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Moscow Urges to Avoid Politisation of Probe Into Khashoggi Killing

Sputnik – 16.11.2018

MOSCOW – Moscow has no reasons to doubt the ability of Saudi authorities to conduct a proper investigation of the killing of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warns against politicizing this tragedy, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Friday.

“Moscow notes the course taken from the beginning by the Saudi side to conduct the most thorough and objective investigation of the incident, including the interaction with the Turkish authorities,” the source said.

The Foreign Ministry official stressed further that Russia sees ‘no reason to question the ability of the Saudi authorities to deal with this high-profile case at the proper professional level.’

Addressing the politicisation of the issue, he stressed that Moscow was convinced that it was ‘inadmissible’, as such cases needed to be ‘resolved exclusively within the legal framework.’

The official’s statement comes after Saudi Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Thursday the completion of the investigation of Khashoggi’s murder saying that 21 people had been detained in connection with the case, with 11 of them charged. Prosecutors are demanding the death penalty for five of the defenders.

November 16, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

The Donbass Dilemma

By Christopher Black – New Eastern Outlook – 16.11.2018

The November 11th elections of the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics along with the members of their People’s Councils has again underlined the dilemma facing Ukraine, its NATO masters, and Russia for, as Tass reported, the result makes it very clear that there is a high level of support among the peoples of the Donbass for integration with Russia.

It is a dilemma for the NATO puppet regime in Kiev since the political solidity of the Republics remains even in the face of the assassinations of Donbass leaders that have taken place since 2014 including that of Donetsk leader Alexander Zakharchenko in August of this year and in the face of the constant state of siege under which the peoples of the republics live as they resist the attempts to break them. The regime in Kiev is once again forced to recognise that it rules a divided country that is a direct result of the NATO backed putsch that put them in power and the attempts to suppress the Russian language, culture and influence in Ukraine that immediately followed that putsch.

The Russian government on Tuesday the 13th stated as much, ever hopeful, at the OSCE in Vienna,

Russia believes that Sunday’s elections … represent a major step towards dialogue between Donbass and Kiev on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

That belief can only be based on the fact that the elections confirm the political integrity and will of the peoples of the Donbass republics and confirm the failure of the Kiev state of siege to break them. This should, hope the Russians, force NATO and Kiev back to the Minsk agreements and a compromise political solution. But there is little chance of that when the immediate response of the US government was to condemn the elections.

Their State Department spokesperson said on the 12th,

The United States joins our European Allies and partners in condemning the November 11th, sham elections in Russia controlled eastern Ukraine. Yesterday’s illegitimate processes were an attempt by Moscow to institutionalise its Donbass proxies, the so-called …Republics. These entities have no place within the Minsk agreements or within Ukraine’s constitutional government, and they should be dismantled along with their armed formations.

It is in fact a declaration of war, founded on lies. One of them is that Russia has already annexed the territories of the republics when it has not, the other that the peoples governments are just Russian stage sets when they have proven that they are truly representative of the peoples of the Donbass and often have conflicting views with Russia on how to move forward. The third lie is that the Republics have no place in the agreements when in fact the agreements were all about the special status of the republics, or “regions” and the nature of their “interim self-government.”

The Americans finished by stating they regard the elections as a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that they will continue their illegal economic warfare against Russia, under the quasi-legal guise of “sanctions,” adding in for good measure, until Russia surrenders “its control of Crimea to Ukraine”.

The fact that this is the same United States that, as it spoke, was in illegal occupation of Afghanistan, and Syria, had bombed and occupied Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, set up the illegal status of the Serbian province of Kosovo as its puppet state under a confessed war criminal, Hashim Thaci, constantly violates the territorial integrity of China and threatens the DPRK and Iran with imminent attack. This is the same government that was involved in the overthrow of the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014, revealing the other lie in the American statement because Ukraine does not have a legitimate, constitutional government representative of the people but one riddled with Nazis and ultra reactionary forces willing to sell their country to the Americans and Germans. The evidence of members of the present Kiev regime being involved, along with foreign snipers, including US Army snipers, in the killings in the Maidan in Kiev in 2014 is strong evidence that the shootings, chaos and final putsch were an organised NATO operation to install a puppet regime.

It is a dilemma for NATO because with the putsch they had hoped to secure control of the big naval base at Sevastopol and place their battle formations directly on Russia’s border. Russia’s quick action of acceding to the request of the Crimean people to have a referendum on Crimea’s integration with Russia saved both the Russians living there from the nightmare of rule by the Nazi infected regime of Poroshenko and saved their strategic base from falling into NATO’s hands. Instead of the quick victory they had hoped for NATO are faced with a determined opposition from two buffer states that are closely allied to and supported by Russia while stuck with a corrupt and incompetent cabal in Kiev that cannot deliver what they want, complete control of Ukraine.

For Russia the dilemma is whether to absorb the republics into Russia or maintain the very messy status quo of stalemate and siege and the danger of being dragged into a larger war in Ukraine. Integration would have a number of advantages, including bringing under Russian control the mining and industrial strength of those republics, the loyalty of their people, their military experience and resources, and a resolution of the stalemate. On the other hand the Russian leadership fears that integration will be deemed by the NATO gang as an “invasion and annexation” of Ukraine and would be used as a pretext for a wider war against Russia. A wider war can lead to a nuclear war something that Russia, unlike the United States, wants to avoid. But as we see they are already accused of annexing those territories, and that propaganda narrative is not going to change.

And so, the stalemate remains. The dilemma remains. The peoples of the Donbass have expressed their wish. They have shown their courage and their determination, their resilience. They cannot be ignored. But neither can the real concerns of the Russian government. The Minsk Accords of 2015 provide a workable framework for a political resolution that requires compromises to be made. The Donbass republics and Russia have tried to adhere to the agreements consistently while Kiev and NATO violate them at every turn and maintain a state of siege against civilian populations and cities, with daily bombardments, small but deadly engagements, always the threat of larger ones, assassinations, committing war crimes on a daily basis, all supported by the NATO democracies who, as they spent November commemorating the war dead of the past, at the same time celebrated the large scale military exercises they are holding in Norway; practice for an attack on Russia.

The United States, unpleasant as it is to tell you, seizes every opportunity for bloodshed, like a raven flying to the stink of carrion. One day its unbounded greed will deliver the fate it deserves, but its leadership is not interested in political solutions that involve compromise. They want everything. In the case of Ukraine it is clear with the assassination of Zakharchenko that their intention is to resolve the problem with war. Their reaction to the elections confirms it.

Everything the American government does points to war. Not that the world is not already at war. When has it not been, and when has the United States and it allies not been behind them? But the very quick build up of economic warfare on Iran, China, Russia, the DPRK, the rejection of nuclear arms treaties under pretexts, the continuous series of military exercises surrounding Russia, Iran, China, the occupation of Afghanistan, the reactivation of the US 2nd Fleet, the ever hysterical anti Russian, and now beginning to build, anti-Chinese propaganda, are signs they have a military solution in mind in order to solve their problems.

For Russia and the Republics the way out of the dilemma is good will, negotiations and a peaceful resolution. For the US and its allies the way out is more hostility, diktats and violence. Is there an answer?

Clausewitz gives us a clue when he says,

“Since war is not an act of senseless passion but is controlled by its political object, the value of the object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it in magnitude and also in duration. Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be renounced and peace must follow.”

Russia is saying simply, “your war, your siege, your assassinations, your “sanctions” have failed. The elections are a statement of strength and determination to resist. You cannot subdue them. You must abandon the effort and restore the peace. To continue is illogical, an act of stupidity, a danger to the world. The risks are not worth the object.”

Unfortunately, we all know the NATO leadership is locked into their self created fantasies and delusions and so cannot perceive reality or comprehend it when they do, any more than the captain and officers of the NATO Norwegian frigate that, despite all its high tech gear, were unable to see what was right in front of them and collided with a slow moving oil tanker and then sank after returning from the NATO exercise in the area; because they believed in their own infallibility. But this is how all wars start, with delusions, with insanity.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds.

November 16, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

A New Body On Nuclear Disarmament?

By Vladimir KOZIN – Oriental Review – 15/11/2018

In October 2018, Senior Adjunct Fellow of the Federation of American Scientists and former safeguards inspector with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Thomas Shea, unveiled his book Verifying Nuclear Disarmament at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

A key element of his publication is the establishment of a new international control mechanism for the phased and complete elimination of nuclear weapons by all nuclear powers, which will simultaneously monitor any attempts to re-create such weapons of mass destruction again.

In his book, the 78-year-old author, who began his military career on a US aircraft carrier fitting carrier-based aircraft with nuclear bombs, builds on the provisions of the international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) adopted in July 2017 by suggesting that a special implementing body be set up, which he calls the International Nuclear Disarmament Agency (INDA), to complement the IAEA should the treaty ever enter into force.

According to the US expert, the INDA would be a key body for controlling the entire process of global nuclear disarmament, it would oversee the dismantling of nuclear warheads and the equipment needed to make them at nuclear weapons facilities, and it would also ensure that nuclear weapons are never made again. The agency would operate in accordance with the principles set out in the text of the TPNW.

Thomas Shea has worked out the organisational structure of the INDA and sets this out in his book, along with the principles of its interaction with nuclear states and the IAEA.

The American researcher believes that the INDA should be headed by a Nuclear Disarmament Council made up of 24 members (one from each country party to the TPNW). The council would have nine permanent committees that would control the process of eliminating nuclear weapons, safeguard weapon-sensitive information, ensure the safety and security of nuclear weapons, and carry out inspections to verify nuclear disarmament agreements, so perform certain supranational functions, in other words. The council would also oversee the day-to-day activities of the new disarmament control agency and help implement all the provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The INDA’s research work will be provided by its staffed Research Institute and its Center for Research and Development related to the verification of nuclear disarmament.

The book’s author has developed key principles for preventing rearmament following the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the world’s arsenals, including the introduction of a strict inspection regime and the international control of fissile material that could be used to make nuclear warheads. He also suggests converting highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium as soon as possible, which could then only be used in nuclear power plants.

The American researcher proposes starting the nuclear disarmament process by determining for each nuclear state the minimum amount of fissile material that could be used to made nuclear warheads. He believes it would then be possible to embark on a reciprocal exchange of information about operationally deployed nuclear warheads, which should be eliminated first, and then information about non-deployed warheads, which should be disposed of second. The next step in the nuclear disarmament process would be an agreement to reduce the amount of fissile material intended for nuclear weapons and place all remaining stocks of fissile material under special international control to rule out future rearmament.

Thomas Shea suggests that nuclear states take ten confidence-building nuclear disarmament measures. In particular, he believes that an important measure to increase the level of trust between nuclear states in the nuclear missile sphere would be their mutual commitment not to be the first to use nuclear weapons against each other or not to use them at all, whether first, second, or third, and he also calls for the signing of bilateral agreements on the gradual reduction of nuclear arsenals.

Referring to the Nuclear Posture Review approved by the Trump administration in February 2018, Thomas Shea criticises Russia, China and North Korea for modernising their nuclear weapons, while ignoring the fact that the nuclear arsenals of the West’s “nuclear troika” (Great Britain, the US and France) have been upgraded, as have those of the de facto nuclear powers – Israel, India and Pakistan.

Thomas Shea expresses support for the eventual entry into force of the international TPNW. This contradicts Washington’s official negative position on general nuclear disarmament, which is the most strongly opposed to the idea being implemented in comparison with the other nuclear-armed states. It is well known that the US has already started making plans to create a completely new strategic nuclear triad over the next seven to eight years, which America’s current military and political leaders envisage will exist right up to the 2080s.

The US researcher does not mention any deadlines in his book for reaching global nuclear zero, recognising that the process for complete nuclear disarmament could take many years due to existing disagreements on the issue between nuclear-armed states. He simply notes more generally that nuclear disarmament can only take place when every legal nuclear power – which is to say the “nuclear five” represented by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – and the four de facto nuclear powers that are not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty – namely Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan – understand that they will not be able to fully safeguard their security with nuclear weapons alone and so will switch to non-nuclear means to protect their defence interests. Thomas Shea believes that “disarmament won’t come quickly, quietly or cheaply”.

It is likely that the book will arouse some interest among those in the field as an example of the author’s development of a global mechanism for verifying complete nuclear disarmament at some point in the future. It is unlikely to become a catalyst for discussions on how to create a world completely free of nuclear weapons, however, given that the level of nuclear missile confrontation in the world has grown significantly thanks to the biggest nuclear power – America – while the threshold for using nuclear weapons has been lowered, particularly given the Pentagon’s readiness to use low-yield nuclear warheads, which is to say nuclear warheads with an explosive power of less than 5 kilotons.

The real situation in the world today shows that there are too many doctrinal and military-technical obstacles preventing the complete and irreversible elimination of all nuclear weapons. Their elimination is also made more complicated by the lack of a global consensus. There has also been no noticeable increase in the level of trust between nuclear-armed states, which all have different views on nuclear arms control and the doctrinal basis for their actual use.

It is important to bear in mind that only two-thirds of UN member states voted in favour of adopting the TPNW and it did not have the support of every nuclear power. The process of joining it is even worse: only a third of UN member states have actually signed it. The ratification process is moving along just as slowly. As of November 2018, it had been ratified by less than half of the 50 countries required.

The difficulties in implementing the TPNW are also reflected in the fact that a large proportion of the global community does not want to retain the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in its current form. This is clearly shown by the results of a UN vote. In October 2018, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which debates disarmament and international security, unfortunately voted against a draft resolution in support of the INF Treaty. Thirty-one countries voted in favour, 54 countries abstained, and 55 countries, including the US, Great Britain, Canada, France and Ukraine, voted against.

In other words, there is a lack of a global consensus on nuclear disarmament. In fact, it is possible that America’s targeted efforts to unilaterally withdraw from the INF Treaty and its refusal to extend START III could undermine the nuclear non-proliferation regime that has existed for many decades, as well as the entire international legal system for nuclear and conventional arms control that has been established with such difficulty over a long period of time.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The WWI Conspiracy

Corbett Report | 11/11/2018

What was World War One about? How did it start? Who won? And what did they win? Now, 100 years after those final shots rang out, these questions still puzzle historians and laymen alike. But as we shall see, this confusion is not a happenstance of history, but the wool that has been pulled over our eyes to stop us from seeing what WWI really was. This is the story of WWI that you didn’t read in the history books. This is The WWI Conspiracy.

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TRANSCRIPT

INTRODUCTION

November 11, 1918.

All across the Western front, the clocks that were lucky enough to escape the four years of shelling chimed the eleventh hour. And with that the First World War came to an end.

From 10 o’clock to 11 — the hour for the cessation of hostilities — the opposed batteries simply raised hell. Not even the artillery prelude to our advance into the Argonne had anything on it. To attempt an advance was out of the question. It was not a barrage. It was a deluge.

[…]

Nothing quite so electrical in effect as the sudden stop that came at 11 A. M. has ever occurred to me. It was 10:60 precisely and — the roar stopped like a motor car hitting a wall. The resulting quiet was uncanny in comparison. From somewhere far below ground, Germans began to appear. They clambered to the parapets and began to shout wildly. They threw their rifles, hats, bandoleers, bayonets and trench knives toward us. They began to sing.

Lieutenant Walter A. Davenport, 101st Infantry Regiment, US Army

And just like that, it was over. Four years of the bloodiest carnage the world had ever seen came to a stop as sudden and bewildering as its start. And the world vowed “Never again.”

Each year, we lay the wreath. We hear “The Last Post.” We mouth the words “never again” like an incantation. But what does it mean? To answer this question, we have to understand what WWI was.

WWI was an explosion, a breaking point in history. In the smoldering shell hole of that great cataclysm lay the industrial-era optimism of never-ending progress. Old verities about the glory of war lay strewn around the battlefields of that “Great War” like a fallen soldier left to die in No Man’s Land, and along with it lay all the broken dreams of a world order that had been blown apart. Whether we know it or not, we here in the 21st century are still living in the crater of that explosion, the victims of a First World War that we are only now beginning to understand.

What was World War One about? How did it start? Who won? And what did they win? Now, 100 years after those final shots rang out, these questions still puzzle historians and laymen alike. But as we shall see, this confusion is not a happenstance of history, but the wool that has been pulled over our eyes to stop us from seeing what WWI really was.

This is the story of WWI that you didn’t read in the history books. This is The WWI Conspiracy.

PART ONE – TO START A WAR

June 28, 1914.

The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie are in Sarajevo for a military inspection. In retrospect, it’s a risky provocation, like tossing a match into a powder keg. Serbian nationalism is rising, the Balkans are in a tumult of diplomatic crises and regional wars, and tensions between the kingdom of Serbia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire are set to spill over.

But despite warnings and ill omens, the royal couple’s security is extremely lax.  They board an open-top sports car and proceed in a six-car motorcade along a pre-announced route. After an inspection of the military barracks, they head toward the Town Hall for a scheduled reception by the Mayor. The visit is going ahead exactly as planned and precisely on schedule.

And then the bomb goes off.

As we now know, the motorcade was a death trap. Six assassins lined the royal couple’s route that morning, armed with bombs and pistols. The first two failed to act, but the third, Nedeljko Čabrinović, panicked and threw his bomb onto the folded back cover of the Archduke’s convertible. It bounced off onto the street, exploding under the next car in the convoy. Franz Ferdinand and his wife, unscathed, were rushed on to the Town Hall, passing the other assassins along the route too quickly for them to act.

Having narrowly escaped death, the Archduke called off the rest of his scheduled itinerary to visit the wounded from the bombing at the hospital. By a remarkable twist of fate, the driver took the couple down the wrong route, and, when ordered to reverse, stopped the car directly in front of the delicatessen where would-be assassin Gavrilo Princip had gone after having failing in his mission along the motorcade. There, one and a half metres in front of Princip, was the Archduke and his wife. He took two shots, killing both of them.

Yes, even the official history books—the books written and published by the “winners”—record that the First World War started as the result of a conspiracy. After all it was—as all freshman history students are taught—the conspiracy to assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the outbreak of war.

That story, the official story of the origins of World War I, is familiar enough by now: In 1914, Europe was an interlocking clockwork of alliances and military mobilization plans that, once set in motion, ticked inevitably toward all out warfare. The assassination of the Archduke was merely the excuse to set that clockwork in motion, and the resulting “July crisis” of diplomatic and military escalations led with perfect predictability to continental and, eventually, global war. In this carefully sanitized version of history, World War I starts in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.

But this official history leaves out so much of the real story about the build up to war that it amounts to a lie. But it does get one thing right: The First World War was the result of a conspiracy.

To understand this conspiracy we must turn not to Sarajevo and the conclave of Serbian nationalists plotting their assassination in the summer of 1914, but to a chilly drawing room in London in the winter of 1891. There, three of the most important men of the age—men whose names are but dimly remembered today—are taking the first concrete steps toward forming a secret society that they have been discussing amongst themselves for years. The group that springs from this meeting will go on to leverage the wealth and power of its members to shape the course of history and, 23 years later, will drive the world into the first truly global war.

Their plan reads like outlandish historical fiction. They will form a secret organization dedicated to the “extension of British rule throughout the world” and “the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of a British Empire.” The group is to be structured along the lines of a religious brotherhood (the Jesuit order is repeatedly invoked as a model) divided into two circles: an inner circle, called “The Society of the Elect,” who are to direct the activity of the larger, outer circle, dubbed “The Association of Helpers” who are not to know of the inner circle’s existence.

“British rule” and “inner circles” and “secret societies.” If presented with this plan today, many would say it was the work of an imaginative comic book writer. But the three men who gathered in London that winter afternoon in 1891 were no mere comic book writers; they were among the wealthiest and most influential men in British society, and they had access to the resources and the contacts to make that dream into a reality.

Present at the meeting that day: William T. Stead, famed newspaper editor whose Pall Mall Gazette broke ground as a pioneer of tabloid journalism and whose Review of Reviews was enormously influential throughout the English-speaking world; Reginald Brett, later known as Lord Esher, an historian and politician who became friend, confidant and advisor to Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and King George V, and who was known as one of the primary powers-behind-the-throne of his era; and Cecil Rhodes, the enormously wealthy diamond magnate whose exploits in South Africa and ambition to transform the African continent would earn him the nickname of “Colossus” by the satirists of the day.

But Rhodes’ ambition was no laughing matter. If anyone in the world had the power and ability to form such a group at the time, it was Cecil Rhodes.

Richard Grove, historical researcher and author, TragedyAndHope.com.

RICHARD GROVE: Cecil Rhodes also was from Britain. He was educated at Oxford, but he only went to Oxford after he went to South Africa. He had an older brother he follows into South Africa. The older brother was working in the diamond mines, and by the time Rhodes gets there he’s got a set up, and his brother says “I’m gonna go off and dig in the gold mines. They just found gold!” And so he leaves Cecil Rhodes, his younger brother—who’s, like, in his 20s—with this whole diamond mining operation. Rhodes then goes to Oxford, comes back down to South Africa with the help of Lord Rothschild, who had funding efforts behind De Beers and taking advantage of that situation. And from there they start to use what—there’s no other term than “slave labor,” which then turns in later to the apartheid policy of South Africa.

GERRY DOCHERTY: Well, Rhodes was particularly important because in many ways, at the end of the 19th century, he seriously epitomized where capitalism was [and] where wealth really lay.

Gerry Docherty, WWI scholar and co-author of Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War.

DOCHERTY: Rhodes had the money and he had the contacts. He was a great Rothschild man and his mining wealth was literally uncountable. He wanted to associate himself with Oxford because Oxford gave him the kudos of the university of knowledge, of that kind of power.

And in fact that was centered in a very secretive place called “All Souls College.” Still you’ll find many references to All Souls College and “people behind the curtain” and such phrases—”power behind thrones.” Rhodes was centrally important in actually putting money up in order to begin to gather together like-minded people of great influence.

Rhodes was not shy about his ambitions, and his intention to form such a group were known to many. Throughout his short life, Rhodes discussed his intentions openly with many of his associates, who, unsurprisingly, happened to be among the most influential figures in British society at that time.

More remarkably, this secret society—which was to wield its power behind the throne—was not a secret at all.  The New York Times even published an article discussing the founding of the group in the April 9, 1902, edition of the paper, shortly after Rhodes’ death.

The article, headlined “Mr. Rhodes’s Ideal of Anglo-Saxon Greatness” and carrying the remarkable sub-head “He Believed a Wealthy Secret Society Should Work to Secure the World’s Peace and a British-American Federation,” summarized this sensational plan by noting that Rhodes’ “idea for the development of the English-speaking race was the foundation of ‘a society copied, as to organization, from the Jesuits.’” Noting that his vision involved uniting “the United States Assembly and our House of Commons to achieve “the peace of the world,” the article quotes Rhodes as saying: “The only thing feasible to carry out this idea is a secret society gradually absorbing the wealth of the world.”

This idea is laid down in black and white in a series of wills that Rhodes wrote throughout his life, wills that not only laid out his plan to create such a society and provided the funds to do so, but, even more remarkably, were collected in a volume published after his death by co-conspirator William T. Stead.

GROVE: Rhodes also left his his great deal of money—not having any children, not having married, dying at a young age—left it in a very well-known last will and testament, of which there were several different editions naming different benefactors, naming different executors.

So in 1902 Cecil Rhodes dies. There’s a book published that contains his last will and testament. The guy who wrote the book, William T. Stead, was in charge of a British publication called The Review of Reviews. He was part of Rhodes’ Round Table group. He at one time was an executor for the will, and in that will it says that he laments the loss of America from the British Empire and that they should formulate a secret society with the specific aim of bringing America back into the Empire. He talks about this a few different times throughout the will, then he names all the countries that they need to include in this list to have world domination, to have an English-speaking union, to have British race as the enforced culture on all countries around the world.

The will contains the goal. The goal is amended over a series of years and supported and used to gain support. And then by the time he dies in 1902 there’s funding, there’s a plan, there’s an agenda, there’s working groups and it all launches and then takes hold. And then not too long later, you’ve got World War one and then from that you’ve got World War two and then you’ve got a century of control and slavery that really could have been prevented.

When, at the time of Rhodes’ death in 1902, this “secret” society decided to partially reveal itself, it did so under the cloak of peace. It was only because they desired world peace, they insisted, that they had created their group in the first place, and only for the noblest of reasons that they aimed to “gradually absorb the wealth of the world.”

But contrary to this pacific public image, from its very beginnings the group was interested primarily in war. In fact, one of the first steps taken by this “Rhodes Round Table” (as it was known by some) was to maneuver the British Empire into war in South Africa. This “Boer War” of 1899-1902 would serve a dual purpose: it would unite the disparate republics and colonies of South Africa into a single unit under British imperial control, and, not incidentally, it would bring the rich gold deposits of the Transvaal Republic into the orbit of the Rothschild/Rhodes-controlled British South Africa Company.

The war was, by the group’s own admission, entirely its doing. The point man for the operation was Sir Alfred Milner, a close associate of Rhodes and a member of the secret society’s inner circle who was then the governor of the British Cape Colony. Although largely forgotten today, Alfred Milner (later “1st Viscount Milner”) was perhaps the most important single figure in Britain at the dawn of the 20th century. From Rhodes’ death in 1902, he became the unofficial head of the roundtable group and directed its operations, leveraging the vast wealth and influence of the group’s exclusive membership to his own ends.

With Milner, there was no compunction or moral hand-wringing about the methods used to bring about those ends. In a letter to Lord Roberts, Milner casually confessed to having engineered the Boer War: “I precipitated the crisis, which was inevitable, before it was too late. It is not very agreeable, and in many eyes, not a very creditable piece of business to have been largely instrumental in bringing about a war.”

When Rhodes’ co-conspirator and fellow secret society inner circle member William Stead objected to war in South Africa, Rhodes told him: “You will support Milner in any measure that he may take short of war. I make no such limitation. I support Milner absolutely without reserve. If he says peace, I say peace; if he says war, I say war. Whatever happens, I say ditto to Milner.”

The Boer War, involving unimaginable brutality—including the death of 26,000 women and children in the world’s first (British) concentration camps—ended as Rhodes and his associates intended: with the formerly separate pieces of South Africa being united under British control. Perhaps even more importantly from the perspective of the secret society, it left Alfred Milner as High Commission of the new South African Civil Service, a position from which he would cultivate a team of bright, young, largely Oxford-educated men who would go on to serve the group and its ends.

And from the end of the Boer War onward, those ends increasingly centered around the task of eliminating what Milner and the Round Table perceived as the single greatest threat to the British Empire: Germany.

DOCHERTY: So in the start it was influence—people who could influence politics, people who had the money to influence statesmen—and the dream. The dream of actually crushing Germany. This was a basic mindset of this group as it gathered together.

Germany. In 1871, the formerly separate states of modern-day Germany united into a single empire under the rule of Willhelm I. The consolidation and industrialization of a united Germany had fundamentally changed the balance of power in Europe. By the dawn of the 20th century, the British Empire found itself dealing not with its traditional French enemies or its long-standing Russian rivals for supremacy over Europe, but the upstart German Empire. Economically, technologically, even militarily: if the trends continued, it would not be long before Germany began to rival and even surpass the British Empire.

For Alfred Milner and the group he had formed around him out of the old Rhodes Round Table society, it was obvious what had to be done: to change France and Russia from enemies into friends as a way of isolating, and, eventually, crushing Germany.

Peter Hof, author of The Two Edwards: How King Edward VII and Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey Fomented the First World War.

PETER HOF: Yes, well from the British perspective, Germany, after their unification in 1871, they became very strong very quickly. And over time this worried the British more and more, and they began to think that Germany represented a challenge to their world hegemony. And slowly but surely they came to the decision that Germany must be confronted just as they had come to the same decision with regard to other countries; Spain and Portugal and especially France and now Germany.

German finished goods were marginally better than those from Britain, they were building ships that were marginally better than those of Britain, and all of this. The British elite very slowly came to the decision that that Germany needed to be confronted while it was still possible to do so. It might not be possible to do so if they waited too long. And so this was how the indecision crystallize.

I think that Britain might possibly have accepted the German ascendance, but they had something that that was was close at hand, and that was the Franco-Russian Alliance. And they thought if they could hook in with that alliance, then they had the possibility of defeating Germany quickly and without too much trouble. And that is basically what they did.

But crafting an alliance with two of Britain’s biggest rivals and turning public opinion against one of its dearest continental friends was no mean feat. To do so would require nothing less than for Milner and his group to seize control of the press, the military and all the diplomatic machinery of the British Empire. And so that’s exactly what they did.

The first major coup occurred in 1899, while Milner was still in South Africa launching the Boer War. That year, the Milner Group ousted Donald Mackenzie Wallace, the director of the foreign department at The Times, and installed their man, Ignatius Valentine Chirol. Chirol, a former employee of the Foreign Office with inside access to officials there, not only helped to ensure that one of the most influential press organs of the Empire would spin all international events for the benefit of the secret society, but he helped to prepare his close personal friend, Charles Hardinge, to take on the crucial post of Ambassador to Russia in 1904, and, in 1906, the even more important post of Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office.

With Hardinge, Milner’s Group had a foot in the door at the British Foreign Office. But they needed more than just their foot in that door if they were to bring about their war with Germany. In order to finish the coup, they needed to install one of their own as Foreign Secretary. And, with the appointment of Edward Grey as Foreign Secretary in December of 1905, that’s precisely what happened.

Sir Edward Grey was a valuable and trusted ally of the Milner Group. He shared their anti-German sentiment and, in his important position of Foreign Secretary, showed no compunction at all about using secret agreements and unacknowledged alliances to further set the stage for war with Germany.

HOF: He became a foreign secretary in 1905, I believe, and the foreign secretary in in in France was of course Delcassé. And Delcassé was very much an anti-German. He was very passionate about the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine, and so he and the King hit it off very well together. And Edward Grey shared this anti-German feeling with the king—as I explained in my book how he how he came to have that attitude about Germany. But in any case, he had the same attitude with the king. They worked very well together. And Edward Grey very freely acknowledged the heavy role that the King I played in British foreign policy and he said that this was not a problem because he and the King were in agreement on most issues and so they worked with very well together.

The pieces were already beginning to fall into place for Milner and his associates. With Edward Grey as foreign secretary, Hardinge as his unusually influential undersecretary, Rhodes’ co-conspirator Lord Esher installed as deputy Governor of Windsor Castle where he had the ear of the king, and the king himself—whose unusual, hands-on approach to foreign diplomacy and whose wife’s own hatred of the Germans dovetailed perfectly with the group’s aims—the diplomatic stage was set for the formation of the Triple Entente between France, Russia and Great Britain. With France to the west and Russia to the east, England’s secret diplomacy had forged the two pincers of a German-crushing vise.

All that was needed was an event that the group could spin to its advantage to prepare the population for war against their former German allies. Time and again throughout the decade leading up to the “Great War,” the group’s influential agents in the British press tried to turn every international incident into another example of German hostility.

When the Russo-Japanese War broke out, rumours swirled in London that it was in fact the Germans that had stirred up the hostilities. The theory went that Germany, in a bid to ignite conflict between Russia and England, who had recently concluded an alliance with the Japanese, had fanned the flames of war between Russia and Japan. The truth, of course, was almost precisely the opposite. Lord Lansdowne had conducted secret negotiations with Japan before signing a formal treaty in January 1902. Having exhausted their reserves building up their military, Japan turned to Cecil Rhodes’ co-conspirator Lord Nathan Rothschild to finance the war itself. Denying the Russian navy access to the Suez canal and high-quality coal, which they did provide to the Japanese, the British did everything they could to ensure that the Japanese would crush the Russian fleet, effectively removing their main European competitor for the Far East. The Japanese navy was even constructed in Britain, but these facts did not find their way into the Milner-controlled press.

When the Russians “accidentally” fired on British fishing trawlers in the North Sea in 1904, killing three fishermen and wounding several more, the British public was outraged. Rather than whip up the outrage, however, The Times and other mouthpieces of the secret society instead tried to paper over the incident. Meanwhile, the British Foreign Office outrageously tried to blame the incident on the Germans, kicking off a bitter press war between Britain and Germany.

The most dangerous provocations of the period centered around Morocco, when France—emboldened by secret military assurances from the British and backed up by the British press—engaged in a series of provocations, repeatedly breaking assurances to Germany that Morocco would remain free and open to German trade. At each step, Milner’s acolytes, both in government and in the British press, cheered on the French and demonized any and every response from the Germans, real or imagined.

DOCHERTY: Given that we’re living in a world of territorial aggrandizement, there was a concocted incident over Morocco, and the allegation that Germany was secretly trying to take over the British/French influence on Morocco. And that literally was nonsense, but it was blown up into an incident and people were were told “Prepare! You had better prepare yourself for the possibility of war because we will not be dictated to by that Kaiser person over in Berlin!”

One of the incidents —which I would need to make reference to to get the date perfectly right—referred to a threat. Well, it was portrayed as a threat—it was no more of a threat than a fly would be if it came into your room at the present moment—of a gun boat sitting off the coast of Africa. And it was purported that this was a sign that in fact Germany was going to have a deep water port and they were going to use it as a springboard to interrupt British shipping. When we researched it, Jim and I discovered that the size of that so-called gunboat was physically smaller than the king of England’s royal yacht. What? But history has portrayed this as a massive threat to to the British Empire and it’s “masculinity,” if you like—because that’s how they saw themselves.

Ultimately, the Moroccan crises passed without warfare because, despite the best efforts of Milner and his associates, cooler heads prevailed. Likewise the Balkans descended into warfare in the years prior to 1914, but Europe as a whole didn’t descend with them. But, as we well know, the members of the Round Table in the British government, in the press, in the military, in finance, in industry, and in other positions of power and influence eventually got their wish: Franz Ferdinand was assassinated and within a month the trap of diplomatic alliances and secret military compacts that had been so carefully set was sprung. Europe was at war.

In retrospect, the machinations that led to war are a master class in how power really operates in society. The military compacts that committed Britain—and, ultimately, the world—to war had nothing to do with elected parliaments or representative democracy. When Conservative Prime Minister Arthur Balfour resigned in 1905, deft political manipulations ensured that members of the Round Table, including Herbert Henry Asquith, Edward Grey and Richard Haldane—three men who Liberal leader Henry Campbell-Bannerman privately accused of “Milner worship”—seamlessly slid into key posts in the new Liberal government and carried on the strategy of German encirclement without missing a step.

In fact, the details of Britain’s military commitments to Russia and France, and even the negotiations themselves, were deliberately kept hidden from Members of Parliament and even members of the cabinet who were not part of the secret society. It wasn’t until November 1911, a full six years into the negotiations, that the cabinet of Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith started to learn the details of these agreements, agreements that had been repeatedly and officially denied in the press and in Parliament.

This is how the cabal functioned: efficiently, quietly and, convinced of the righteousness of their cause, completely uncaring about how they achieved their ends. It is to this clique, not to the doings of any conspiracy in Sarajevo, that we can attribute the real origins of the First World War, with the nine million dead soldiers and seven million dead civilians that lay piled in its wake.

But for this cabal, 1914 was just the start of the story. In keeping with their ultimate vision of a united Anglo-American world order, the jewel in the crown of the Milner Group was to embroil the United States in the war; to unite Britain and America in their conquest of the German foe.

Across the Atlantic, the next chapter in this hidden history was just getting underway…

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia keeps Israel’s Netanyahu in anteroom

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | November 11, 2018

It is over a month since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced that he was going to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin with a view to open a new page in the relations between the two countries following the incident over Syrian skies on September 17 when a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down killing 15 personnel.

However, Moscow has not scheduled Netanyahu’s visit so far. Netanyahu hoped that on the sidelines of the ceremony marking the centenary of the World War 1 armistice in Paris tomorrow there might be an opportunity for a meeting with Putin. The Israelis sought a meeting. But Moscow apparently hasn’t confirmed Putin’s convenience.

Clearly, Moscow is keeping Netanyahu in the anteroom to cool his heels, signaling that it cannot be ‘business as usual’. In a hard-hitting interview with Times of Israel, the Russian ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov made it clear in the weekend that the September 17 incident rankled. He said the Russian defence establishment is “extremely disappointed” with the Israeli military’s response to the incident.

Ambassador Viktorov also rubbed it in that the Israeli demand for the removal of all Iranian troops on Syrian soil is both “unrealistic” and unnecessary since Iran has no plans to attack Israel and it is Israelis, after all, who are killing Iranians and not vice versa!

Quite obviously, Russia has hardened its stance vis-à-vis Israel. Conceivably, Moscow must be pleased with the ‘new normal’. According to Russian reports, since the deployment of the awesome S-300 missile system in Syria, the Israeli Air Force “hasn’t conducted a single air mission in Syria.” That is to say, the Israeli stance that the S-300 deployment notwithstanding, Israeli jets reserve the right to attack Syria, etc. is just bravado.

Tel Aviv is not taking chances, given the scale of deployment of the S-300 and the probability that Russia has also imposed electronic countermeasures over Syria’s coastline to suppress satellite navigation, onboard radar systems and communications of warplanes attacking targets on Syrian territory.

In political terms, the longer this impasse continues, the weaker the Israeli claim that the Iranian presence in Syria threatens its security becomes. In reality, though, Israel has all along been using the ‘Iranian threat’ as a pretext to attack Syria, thereby staking claim to have a voice in any peace settlement. Israel’s agenda is to get some sort of international legitimacy for its illegal annexation of the Golan Heights.

The Russians are apparently taunting the Israelis by admitting that S-300 may not be hundred percent fool proof. In another report, a senior Syrian military official has been quoted by Russian media as saying, “There is no concept of zero probability in military strategy. We cannot say that this probability has been reduced to zero, because we are talking about open skies, extended borders, various technologies… Therefore, I cannot say that in the end there will not be such a probability, however, the probability of this aggression achieving its goals has been minimized.”

Nonetheless, for the Israelis this is a piquant situation of the “unknown unknown”. Russia is keeping Israel guessing how dangerously risky it could be for its pilots to undertake strikes under these obscure circumstances. Russia may be planning to seek an overhaul of the entire mechanism regarding Israel notifying in advance its air strikes on Syria. Israel was giving Russians only short notice before undertaking missions and had been getting away with it, but the September 17 incident has changed the calculus.

Certainly, for the overall stabilization of the Syrian situation, it is helpful that Israel is prevented from inserting itself into the security situation. Interestingly, Tehran and Damascus have left it entirely to Moscow to needle the Israelis, but it stands to reason that the three allies are also in consultation as regards any new ground rules for the Israelis in the Syrian conflict.

The bottom line is that the Israeli swagger that Netanyahu and Putin have had a special thing going between them at the personal level stands exposed.

Apparently, that is not the case. It seems Moscow deals with Israel strictly on the basis of its willingness to behave responsibly.

Given the state of play currently in the US-Russian relations, Israel is unable to leverage the Trump administration to intervene on its behalf with Moscow. At the Helsinki summit in July between Putin and President Trump, the latter had underscored Israeli security concerns as an agenda item.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

AfD MP calls for an end to sanctions against Russia

Centre for Geopolitical Studies | November 10, 2018

Interview conducted by Dragana Trifkovic, Director of the Centre for Geopolitcal Studies with the MP of the German House of Representatives (Bundestag), Mr. Petr Bystron

Dear Mr. Bystron, recently we have met at the International Conference on the Development of Parliamentarism in Moscow recently. In front of representatives of Parliaments from all around the world, international experts and journalists you held a well-received speech, calling for an end to sanctions against Russia. Why?

I demanded an end to sanctions because they have not achieved anything except harming German business. There’s no point to maintaining these useless sanctions any longer.

The Russian-German relations are very complex. On the political agenda, they are burdened with the sanctions which the EU countries imposed to Russia, but on the other hand, Germany and Russia cooperate on a strategic project such as North Stream 2. How do you see the prospect of developing further relations between your country and Russia, and also how the United States relations towards the possibility of greater convergence between Germany and Russia?

Of course German companies are still trying to do business with Russia. The sanctions mainly hurt the meat and fruit exporters, as well as the machine tool industry. Exports dropped as much as 60% in the early days of sanctions in these sectors. Naturally, German businesses want to maintain their traditionally good contacts to Russia. North Stream 2 is just one example of this. But it’s no secret there is a lot of pressure from the United States to stop this project. There was a bipartisan initiative in the U.S. Senate in March supported by 39 Senators, urging the government to do everything it can it stop the pipeline. President Trump has come out against North Stream 2 as well.

I don’t think Germany should let itself be blackmailed by anyone, and should be free to get its energy supplies from wherever is best. Even during the Cold War, Russia was a reliable supplier of energy, and there’s no reason to think that will change.

At the Moscow conference, we discussed about the perspective of Eurointegration of Balkan countries that are not yet members of the EU. You represent the view that the EU has no perspective and that EU candidate countries do not have much to hope for. What are in your opinion the biggest problems in the EU, and are they solvable? What kind of future can expect the EU, and can the EU be reformed and become a functional community?

There are two problems here: First of all, the EU is in no state to accept new members right now, with all its problems. The EU is in a deep crisis and is fighting for its survival. The main example is Brexit, of course: The first nations are leaving the sinking ship. If the EU doesn’t undergo far-reaching and fundamental reform, it is doomed to failure. The Euro currency system is not sustainable in its present form.

These problems have been exacerbated by the migration crisis, which was caused by Angela Merkel’s completely unnecessary and undemocratic opening of the borders in 2015. In a precarious situation like this, it is completely irresponsible to think about expanding the EU even further, especially with candidates who are not able to meet the most basic standards for joining the Union.

We already saw what problems it causes to accept members who don’t meet the criteria or even cheated to get in, as in the case of Greece. The EU now faces huge problems with Greece, Romania and Bulgaria for this reason. These are countries which shouldn’t have been accepted to the EU in the first place. Accepting the West Balkan countries in these circumstances would be tantamount to suicide.

If there is any country from this region which would qualify for membership, both economically and culturally, it is Serbia. Countries like Albania and Macedonia have huge problems in regard to corruption and economic development. And then there’s the problem with Kosovo, which is not recognized as a country by several European nations, Russia or China, for example. That’s a very unstable situation.

The EU wants very much to expand their influence in the Balkans. However, given the current state of the EU, it’s not even advisable for Serbia to want to join the EU, when countries like the UK, Italy and Eastern Europe are moving away from the broken monstrosity in Brussels. Serbia should be glad it is not in the EU, and stand up squarely for its own national interests.

You are particularly interested in the problem of Kosovo and Metohija. The territory of the southern Serbian province since 1999 and the end of the NATO aggression on Yugoslavia is under occupation. The Western powers want to resolve the problem of Kosovo and Metohija outside the framework of international law and UN Security Council Resolution 1244. Negotiations on resolving this issue are underway in Brussels, although Serbia is not a member of the EU and this community has no basis to deal with this problem. How and where, in your opinion, should the issue of Kosovo and Metohija be solved?

Kosovo is a powder keg with no solution in sight. It will remain a problem for many years. I’m convinced the current situation can not be maintained. This territory was part of Serbia for centuries, and I am very sure it will belong to Serbia again in the long run. The EU protectorate in Kosovo will be short-lived.

How well in the German public do you know the facts about what is happening in Kosovo and Metohija and how the so-called democracy in this territory works? Are there known facts about violence against Serbs in the presence of international forces UMNIK, KFOR and EULEX? How well do you know the results of these international missions?

The problem began with the way the EU treated the UCK. We should not be supporting a terrorist organization aiming to break up a country. A group like this would be immediately outlawed if it were trying to break up Germany, for example, and they would all be locked up. In the case of Yugoslavia, the EU and Germany for some reason supported this terrorist group, which was a tragic mistake. We are very concerned about the current situation, the human rights violations and the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Kosovo.

An entity like Kosovo – which I refuse to call a country – based on injustice and terror, is not viable in the long term, which is evidenced by the continued need for KFOR peacekeeping forces to keep this creation alive.

Recently has been an a discussion in the German Bundestag about the continuation of the mission of German soldiers in Kosovo. At KFOR, there are currently about 400 German soldiers in Kosovo. The Bundestag supported German soldiers remain in Kosovo, thanks to the votes of the ruling CDU / CSU and SPD and the Greens and Liberals (FDP). Alternative for Germany voted against it. How do you assess the mission of the German army in Kosovo and why did you vote against continuation of mission in Kosovo?

This is one of the paradoxes of German politics: That the first German combat mission since WW II was ordered by the formerly pacifist Green Party and their Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer under the Socialist Gerhard Schröder, and they continue to support the KFOR mission. The AfD does not believe in sending German troops to the Balkans, especially not to prop up an artificial entity like Kosovo.

The US supports the formation of the Kosovo Army, although this is contrary to Resolution 1244. German instructors train Albanians to become part of the official army. How is it possible to prevent the taking of illegal actions and violations of the international law by the Western countries?

This is a difficult question and will be a difficult process. But in countries like Germany and the USA, governments and policies can change, thank God. So Serbia needs to be very patient, continue to stand up for itself over the long haul, and reach out to allies and supporters who will see it the same way.

Have you personally, or a delegation from your party Alternative for Germany, visited Kosovo and Metohija? Is there an opportunity for you to do so in the coming period and to make sure of the state of democracy on the spot as well as to evaluate the results of the work of international missions, as well as the the German Bundeswehr?

That’s a good idea. We should definitely visit Serbia and Kosovo with an AfD delegation, to find out more about the situation on the ground. We have already been to Syria, for example, where the situation is completely different from the way it is portrayed in the Western mainstream media, so I’m sure visiting Kosovo would be very interesting.


Petr Bystron is the Speaker of the Alternative for Germany party (AfD)on the Foreign Policy Committee of the German Bundestag.He came to Germany in 1988 as a political refugee and joined the Euro-critical AfD in 2013. He was chair of the AfD for the State of Bavaria 2015-2018. Under his leadership the party reached the best tally of all states in West Germany in the federal elections 2017.

In 2018, he pushed to grant imprisoned British Islam critic Tommy Robinson political asylum in Germany, and filed criminal charges against migrant NGOs engaged in people-smuggling in the Mediterranean. He is a leading political publicist who has won several prizes for his writing and edited a book for University of Geneva with Polish Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa. He is currently one of the 10 most popular German politicians on social media.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

S-300 in Syria – a Preliminary Assessment

The Saker • Unz Review • November 9, 2018

We now know a little more about which version of the S-300 family the Russians have delivered to the Syrians: the Russians have converted a number of S-300PM and S-300P2 systems to the export version S-300PMU-2 “Favorit” which, by the way, is also the version Russia delivered to the Iranians and to the Chinese. This system uses the 48N6E2 missile and has an official range of 195km. I will skip the rest of the technical details and just say that this is a recent modification with excellent capabilities, so all the rumors about Russia delivering some antiquated version of the S-300 are now proven false (as usual). In fact, this is not the first time that the Russians have delivered an “Israeli-restraining” air defense system: in 1983 the USSR delivered a number of S-200VE “Vega-E” (SA-5b) air defense systems to Syria which significantly limited Israeli operations over and even around (AWACS) Syria.

Combined with the EW systems also delivered by Russia, these air defense systems clearly are having an impact on US and Israeli operations. And while the Americans are admitting that this is a problem for them, the Israelis, as usual, have both complained about this delivery and boasted that they did not care at all. adding that they would continue to bomb Syria whenever they feel the need. The Israelis have even declared that they would be willing to kill Russian crews if their aircraft are shot at. Except, of course, that so far the Israelis have stayed out of the Syrian skies (keep in mind that according to Israeli sources in 2017 the IDF attacked Syria over 200 times, roughly one attack every 2nd day!).

This time around, not only are the Israelis facing a much more competent air defense system, this system is also highly mobile and therefore much harder to locate, which will greatly complicate future attacks. Furthermore, since one S-300PMU2 battalion can track 300 targets (and engage 36 with 72 missiles simultaneously) at a very long range, the Syrians will now improve their early warning capabilities tremendously, which will make it much harder for the Israelis to successfully conduct surprise attacks against Syria.

Sooner or later, however, we can be pretty confident that both the Israelis and the US will have to try to strike Syria again, if only for PR purposes. In fact, this should not be too difficult for them, here is why:

First, and contrary to what is often claimed, there are not enough S-300/S-400′s in Syria to indeed “lock” all of the Syrian airspace. Yes, the Russians did create a de-facto no-fly zone over Syria, but not one which could withstand a large and determined attack. What the combined Russian and Syrian forces have done so far is to deny some specific segments of the airspace above and around Syria to the AngloZionist aggressors. This means that they can protect some specific, high-value targets. However, as soon as the US/Israelis get a feel for what has been deployed and where, and how this entire integrated air defense network works, they will be able to plan strikes which, while not terribly effective, will be presented by the propaganda machine as a major success for the AngloZionists.

Second, air defense operations are always a game of numbers. Even if you assume that each of the air defense missile has a probability of a kill of 1 (meaning that every air defense missile fired will destroy one incoming missile), you still cannot shoot down more missiles than what your own stores allow you to fire. The US/NATO/CENTCOM can, if needed, engage many more missiles in a saturation attack than the Russians have available for defense. This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Third, the US/NATO/CENTCOM/IDF all have advanced EW capabilities which will allow them to try to disrupt the Russian fire and reconnaissance capabilities, especially if low RCS aircraft (such as the F-22, F-35, B-1B, etc.) are used in the attacks. Low-RCS aircraft (and missiles) don’t have to operate alone and, in reality, they are often engaged with the support of a determined EW effort.

Finally, the Empire also has long-range weapons which could be used to strike Syria (such as the AGM-158 JASSM low-RCS standoff air-launched cruise missile), especially during a combined electronic warfare and standoff antiradiation missile attack.

So, all the AngloZionists really need to do is to be very careful in their choice of paths of approach and choice of targets, use low-RCS aircraft and missiles under the cover of a robust EW engagement and then use a large enough number of missiles to give the appearance that the Empire has defeated the Russian and Syrian air defenses.

Judging by their past attacks against Syria, the US and the Israelis are far more concerned with the need to appear very powerful, effective and quasi-invulnerable than by actually achieving some meaningful military objective. Of course, this need to appear invulnerable also means that the AngloZionists really cannot afford to have one of their aircraft shot down, hence their current reluctance to test out the Syrian air defense capabilities.

Sooner or later, however, the Israelis will have to try to “defeat the S-300″ as they would put it.

The problem for the Israelis is that they don’t really have any good options. The problem is not so much a technological one as it is a political one.

Let’s assume that the Israelis conduct a successful strike against a meaningful target (if their attack is symbolic, the Russians and Syrians can just limit their reply to the usual protests and denunciations, but take no real action). What would Russia do? Well, the Russians (Shoigu specifically) have already indicated that, if needed, they would increase the number of S-300 batteries (and required support systems) delivered to Syria. Thus, the main effect of a successful attack on Syria will be to make subsequent attacks even harder to plan and execute. Would that really be a desirable outcome for the Israelis? I don’t think so.

If each successful Israeli strike makes each subsequent strike even harder while increasing the danger for Israeli aircraft, what would be the point of such attacks? Are there any truly high-value targets in Syria whose destruction by the IDF would justify triggering a further degradation of the situation in Syria? Conversely, if you were Syrian (or Iranian), would you not want the Israelis to strike Syria (or even S-300 batteries) hard enough to force the Russians to deliver even more air defense systems (not necessarily S-300s by the way!)?

Just as with the case of Hezbollah in Lebanon (which the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 helped create), and the coming to power of Hassan Nasrallah at the head of Hezbollah (which the murder of Abbas al Moussawi by the Israelis in 1992 propelled to the position of Secretary General of the organization), the Israelis are re-discovering again and again the truism: while simple, brute force violence does appear to be effective in the short term, in the mid to long-term it always fails unless backed by meaningful political measures. The big axiomatic truth which the Israelis still are stubbornly refusing to recognize is that all true security is always collective (something the Russians have been repeating for years now). In the case of Syria, Israel would be much, much better off negotiating some kind of deal with the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrians (even an unofficial one!) than trying to prevail by blowing up targets in Syria.

I would even argue that with the Trump presidency now dramatically increasing the rate of collapse of the AngloZionist Empire the Israelis need to start making plans to involve other actors in their regional policy. The truth is that the US is not in a position anymore to remain a key player in Middle-Eastern politics and that decades of abject submission to the Likudnik agenda have irreparably damaged the US credibility and influence in the Middle-East (and the rest of the world).

I would compare the delivery of S-300PMU-2 “Favorit” batteries to Syria to a chess opening or an irreversible move like castling: it does not, by itself, decide the outcome of the game, but it does create a baseline environment in which both players will need to operate. For the Russians, the next step is quite obvious: to continue to deliver all types of air defense systems to the Syrians (especially more Pantsirs) with the goal of eventually being able to protect the entire Syrian airspace from any attacks by the US or Israel. The main elements of a multi-layered air defense network are already deployed, Syria now only needs larger numbers. I very much hope that Russia will provide them.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Midterm Election Results: Prospects for US-Russian Relations

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 09.11.2018

The midterm elections went  largely as expected. Republicans strengthened their position in the Senate and lost their majority in the House. President Trump was not lucky enough to escape the traditional first-term midterm curse. But the expansion of majority control in the Senate is an important achievement. The party that controls the White House has typically lost Senate seats in midterm elections. That didn’t happen this time. What’s more, some staunchly anti-Trump Republicans are no longer there. For instance, two Republican representatives who have been critical of the president — Barbara Comstock and Mike Coffman — lost their races. Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, other Trump critics, are retiring, which will bolster the president’s position inside the GOP congressional caucus. Control over the Senate gives the president a free hand in foreign policy and diminishes the possibility of impeachment to the point that it can no longer be a serious concern.

Since their blue wave was not completely beaten back, Democrats now have a chance to block every initiative put forward by the administration, such as the allocations for the fence to protect the border with Mexico and other steps aimed at curbing migration, the “giant tax cuts for Christmas” that will be offered to individual taxpayers to continue the tax-cutting trend, and the moves to  bid a final farewell to Obamacare. A partial government shutdown over spending for the border wall is possible as early as December.

It is true that the Republicans’ failure to hold on to the House is nothing in comparison with what happened in 2010, when the Democrats lost 63 seats there. But a loss is always a loss. The speaker of the House is a very important position that will be used to promote the Democratic Party’s agenda. This could breathe new life into the House Democrats’  attacks against the president over his alleged ties to Russia.

All in all, things have taken a turn for the worse for President Trump and his administration — it is always better to have control over both houses than control over just one of them, even if that one has become stronger. Besides, Republicans lost their races for the governors’ offices in the Great Lakes region — Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — states where Donald Trump won two years ago. On the other hand, support for the president was evidently decisive for Senator Ted Cruze who won a surprisingly competitive Senate race in Texas. With the president’s help, GOP candidates won Senate seats in Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota.

The results prove that Donald Trump is apparently much more popular than his opponents believed. Democrats won only a relatively small majority in the House. Despite all of the president’s verbal gaffes and missteps, he clearly has the support of a broad sector of American society. And now this is clear to everyone. By adopting a policy of total obstruction, Democratic lawmakers might be paying only lip service to their party. Many things could change during the next two years, but today Donald Trump is in a strong position to win a second term and lead the Republican Party to success in 2020. The strong economy improves his chances.

How does the outcome of the midterms impact US-Russian relations? Even before the election results were known, the State Department had issued a statement saying Russia was to face “more draconian” US sanctions over the alleged “Skripal poisoning.” It read, “Today, the department informed Congress we could not certify that the Russian Federation met the conditions.” The administration knows that anti-Russian, anti-Chinese, and anti-Iranian sentiments are running high in Congress, on both sides of the aisle. Several sanctions bills that will affect the Russian economy will soon be considered by Congress, including the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, which proposes restrictions on both purchases by US citizens  of Russia’s sovereign debt as well as investments in Russian energy projects. These rounds of sanctions will continue to mount.

With a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, “Russiagate” will force the president to adopt a tougher stance toward Moscow. This calls into question the fate of a full-fledged Putin-Trump summit, at least prior to November 2020. It could lower the odds of any progress in arms control.

On the other hand, the president would not be putting himself in any danger by extending the New START Treaty or launching negotiations over a new strategic nuclear-arms agreement. The idea of renewing New START in 2021 seems to be fading, but no one would gain if arms control became a historical artifact. Democratic control of the House does not prevent Donald Trump from addressing this problem. With a Republican majority in the Senate, a new treaty has a good chance of being ratified. Extending New START will strengthen, not weaken, the president’s position.

No summit is needed for doing something as simple as reviving the forgotten 1972 Incidents at Sea Agreement or the 1989 Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities Agreement. The impasse in the talks on Ukraine does not prevent a dialog on Syria. The situation in Libya is clearly an urgent problem of mutual concern. The deterioration in the relationship does not rule out the possibility of maintaining unofficial contacts, including between groups of experts. If the two countries continue to cooperate in space, they can cooperate in other areas too. The president has his hands tied regarding domestic issues, but he enjoys even greater foreign-policy freedom than before. He could use it to boost his popularity before the 2020 presidential race. Lowering the threat of war is one sure way to gain more voters’ support.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Mixed US Midterms Results Offer Chance for Peace Agenda With Russia, China

Sputnik – 09.11.2018

WASHINGTON – The mixed results of the US midterm congressional elections resulting in a divided Congress give President Donald Trump the chance to revive the agenda for improving relations with Russia and pull out of foreign wars that he was elected on in 2016, analysts told Sputnik.

With several results not yet in, the Democrats looked likely to have a majority of around 13 to 15 seats in the House of Representatives while the Republicans extended their Senate majority from 51 out of 100 seats to 54 or 55.

Trump Faces Post-Election Foreign Policy Opportunity

Trump now had room for maneuver on his foreign policy agenda, but it remained to be seen whether he would take advantage of it, political commentator and professor John Walsh said.

“Let us see whether Trump can now return to his original agenda of ‘getting along’ with Russia and China: That is the big question,” Walsh said.

During his 2016 presidential election campaign, Trump challenged the foreign policy consensus of US hegemony, Walsh recalled.

“If you look at his agenda, he wishes to make the United States less the imperial nation and more a normal nation albeit the number one among them. Let us see how this goes,” Walsh said.

Even if Trump was blocked from achieving this goal, he had dramatically changed the issues and terms of debate on US foreign policy in national politics, Walsh pointed out.

“Whether he succeeds or not, Trump indicates a turn away from empire not out of humility, but out of the recognition of reality. Let us hope he can carry this as far as possible whether or not he succeeds completely… The farther he goes, the farther we are from war and even nuclear Holocaust,” Walsh said.

Whether Trump ultimately succeeds or fails, his success so far signals a recognition — whether profound or dim — that the US unipolar moment is over, Walsh emphasized. “Let us praise the passage of that ugly moment,” Walsh said.

The losses suffered by Trump’s Republican Party in the midterm elections were relatively minor and fell within the normal rhythms of US politics, Walsh observed.

“There was entirely too much drama about the midterms. An incumbent in his first term always suffers a loss in the House of Representatives. That is what we saw. And as predicted long ago, the Republicans held the Senate: Surprise,” Walsh said.

Trump was likely to face more plots to undermine him from the US security and political establishments, Walsh cautioned.

“Now let us see what the Deep State will do. They can impeach him in the House but not convict him in the Senate should they choose to go that route,” he said.

Trump Likely to Be Stalled on Domestic Front

On the domestic front, the best Trump could hope for was a deadlocked Congress, California State University Chico Professor Emeritus of Political Science Beau Grosscup said.

“[In] domestic dynamics, Trump will continue to be Trump but his ‘green light’ and enabling House committee system is no longer there,” Grosscup said. “Expect Trump to play the victim (aided by the House Republican Party) when Democrats even mention investigation or impeachment.”

On the legislative front, Republican efforts to cut social security in the name of debt that had been generated due to previous enormous concessions to Wall Street would be stalled, Grosscup predicted.

Trump would also carry reduced political influence or coattails to help candidates supporting him into the 2020 presidential elections, Grosscup said.

See also:

2018 US Midterms: Why Trump Says They Were a ‘Tremendous Success’

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

US imposes additional sanctions on Russia over Crimea

Press TV – November 8, 2018

The United States has slapped additional sanctions on Russian individuals and a company over Crimea’s re-integration with Russia in 2014.

“The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today imposed additional sanctions in response to Russia’s continuing malign activity and destabilizing behavior by designating three individuals and nine entities under Ukraine-related authorities,” it announced on Wednesday.

“Our sanctions are a clear reminder that efforts seeking to normalize investment and economic relationships with those operating in Crimea will not be tolerated,” said US Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker.

The sanctions will freeze any US-based assets and ban financial transactions with the targets, who include Vladimir Zaritsky, the former commander-in-chief of Russia’s missile forces and artillery who is leading a hotel project in Crimea.

Zaritsky’s firm bought three hotels in Crimea that had been owned by the Ukraine state and were taken over after the integration.

Under the new sanctions is the Mriya Resort and Spa, a luxury hotel that opened in the resort of Yalta shortly after the annexation and which the Treasury Department called “the main Russian platform for showcasing investment opportunities in Crimea.”

One of the entities sanctioned – the Limited Liability Company Southern Project – was linked to Bank Rossiya and Russian businessman Yuri Kovulchuk, the Treasury said in a statement.

The US Congress had mandated the latest round of sanctions slapped on Russia.

The sanctions come as the US State Department says it is preparing more sanctions against Russia, as required by Congress, over an alleged nerve attack carried out in Salisbury, UK against a former double agent and his daughter.

Russia has hit back over US sanctions and vowed reciprocal measures, further damaging the US-Russia relationship despite President Donald Trump’s stated goal of forming a closer relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump has described an affinity for Putin and has at times appeared to be following a different agenda than his administration when it comes to punishing Russia over Crimea.

Both leaders are expected to attend events in Paris this weekend commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

During a press conference at the White House on Wednesday, Trump did not rule out the possibility when asked about a meeting with Putin in Paris.

Instead, Trump referred to his “good” July summit in Helsinki with Putin. “I had a very, very good meeting — a very, very good meeting with President Putin, and a lot was discussed about security, about Syria, about Ukraine, about the fact that President Obama allowed a very large part of Ukraine to be taken,” Trump said.

When a reporter pointed out it was Putin who decided to integrate Crimea, President Trump insisted, “No, no. It was President Obama that allowed it to happen.”

In 2014, after a referendum Russia integrated Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula whose population is largely ethnically Russian but was part of Ukraine. Western powers have vowed never to recognize the integration.

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

US-British Threats Against Russia Have a Long History

By T.J. COLES and Matthew ALFORD | CounterPunch | November 6, 2018

In their new book Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don’t Tell You About British Foreign Policy (Até Books), doctors T.J. Coles and Matthew Alford debate the rationale of Anglo-American policy towards Russia.

Alford: There seems to be a consensus that we need a strong military because Russia is on the rise.  What do you think about that rationale?

Coles: There’s no consensus, except among European and American elites. Europe and America are not the world.

There are a lot of issues to consider with regards to Russia. Is it a threat? If so to whom? What kind of threat is Russia? So let’s consider these questions carefully. As far as the British establishment is concerned, Russia is an ideological threat because it is a major power with a substantial population. It’s also self-reliant where oil and gas is concerned, unlike Britain. So there’s lots of potential for Russian political ideology to undermine Britain’s status. In fact, there are European Council on Foreign Relations papers saying that Putin’s Russia presents an “ideological alternative” to the EU.[i] And that’s dangerous.

Britain, or more accurately its policymaking elites, have considered Russia a significant enemy for over a century. Under the Tsar, the so-called Great Game was a battle for strategic resources, trading routes, and so on. The historian Lawrence James calls this period the first Cold War, which went “hot” with the Crimean War (1853-56).[ii] Britain had a mixed relationship with the Tsars because, on the one hand, theirs’ were repressive regimes and Britain tended to favour repressive regimes, hence their brief alliance with Russia’s enemy, the Ottomans. On the other hand, Russia was a strategic threat to Britain’s imperial interests, and thus the Crimean War (1853-56).

When the Bolsheviks took over Russia, beginning 1917, the relationship became much less ambiguous – Russians, and especially Bolsheviks, were clearly the enemy. Their ideology posed a threat internally. So Winston Churchill, who began as a Liberal and became a Conservative, considered the Labour Party, which was formed in 1900, as basically a front for Bolsheviks.[iii] That shows the level of paranoia among elites. The Labour Party, at least at the beginning, was a genuine, working man’s political organisation – women couldn’t vote then, remember. So by associating this progressive, grassroots party representing the working classes as an ideological ally or even puppet of the brutal Bolshevik regime, the Tories had an excuse to undermine the power of organised, working people. So you had the Zinoviev letter in 1924, which we now know was a literal conspiracy between the secret services and elements of the Tory party to fabricate a link between Labour and Moscow. And it famously cost Labour the general election, since the right-wing, privately-owned media ran with the story as though it was real. It’s an early example of fake news.[iv]

That’s the ideological threat that Russia has posed, historically. But where there’s a threat, there’s an opportunity. The British elites exploited the “threat” then and as they do today by associating organised labour with evil Bolshevism and, in doing so, alienate the lower classes from their own political interests. Suddenly, we’ve all got to be scared of Russia, just like in 1917. And let’s not forget that Britain used chemical weapons – M-Devices, which induced vomiting – against the Bolsheviks. Chemical weapons were “the right medicine for the Bolshevist,” in Churchill’s words. This was in 1919, as part of the Allied invasion of Russia in support of the White Army. [v]

So if we’re talking about the historical balance of forces and cause and effect, Britain not Russia initiated the use of chemical weapons against others. But this history is typically inverted to say that Russia poses a threat to the West, hence all the talk about Novichok, the Skripals, and Dawn Sturgess, the civilian who supposedly came into contact with Novichok and died in hospital a few days later.

The next question: What sort of threat is Russia? According to the US Army War College, since the collapse of the Soviet Union and since pro-US, pro-“free market” President Boris Yeltsin resigned in 1999, Russia has pursued so-called economic nationalism. And the US doesn’t like this because markets suddenly get closed and taxes are raised against US corporations.[vi] That’s the real threat. But you can’t tell the public that: that we hate Russia because they aren’t doing what we say. If you look through the military documents, you can find almost nothing about security threats against the US in terms of Russian expansion, except in the sense that “security” means operational freedom. You can find references to Russia’s nuclear weapons, though, which are described as defensive, designed “to counter US forces and weapons systems.”[vii] Try finding that on the BBC. I should mention that even “defensive” nukes can be launched accidentally.

The real goal with regards to Russia is maintaining US economic hegemony and the culture of open “free markets” that goes with it, while at the same time being protectionist in real life. (US protectionism didn’t start under Trump, by the way.) Liberal media like the New York Times run sarcastic articles about Russian state oil and gas being a front for Putin and his cronies. And yes, that may be true. But what threat is Russia to the US if it has a corrupt government? The threat is closing its markets to the US. The US is committed to what its military calls Full Spectrum Dominance. So the world needs to be run in a US-led neoliberal order, in the words of the US military, “to protect US interests and investment.”[viii] But this cannot be done if you have “economic nationalism,” like China had until the “reforms” of the ‘70s and ‘80s, and still has today to some extent. Russia and China aren’t military threats. The global population on the whole knows this, even though the domestic US and British media say the opposite.

Alford: What about military threats? 

Coles: The best sources you can get are the US military records. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The military plans for war and defence. They have contingencies for when political situations change. So they know what they’re talking about. There’s a massive divide between reality, as understood from the military records, and media and political rhetoric. Assessments by the US Army War College, for instance, said years ago that any moves by NATO to support a Western-backed government in Ukraine would provoke Russia into annexing Crimea. They don’t talk about Russia spontaneously invading Ukraine and annexing it, which is the image we get from the media. The documents talk about Russia reacting to NATO provocation.[ix]

If you look at a map, you see Russia surrounded by hostile NATO forces. The media don’t discuss this dangerous and provocative situation, except the occasional mention of, say, US-British-Polish war-gaming on the border with Russia. When they do mention it, they say it’s for “containment,” the containment of Russia. But to contain something, the given thing has to be expanding. But the US military – like the annual threat assessments to Congress – say that Russia’s not expanding, except when provoked. So at the moment as part of its NATO mission, the UK is training Polish and Ukrainian armed forces, has deployed troops in Poland and Estonia, and is conducting military exercises with them.[x]

Imagine if Scotland ceded from the UK and the Russians were on our border conducting military exercises, supposedly to deter a British invasion of Scotland. That’s what we’re doing in Ukraine. Britain’s moves are extremely dangerous. In the 1980s, the UK as part of NATO conducted the exercise, Operation Able Archer, which envisaged troop build-ups between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries. Now-declassified records show that the Russians briefly mistook this exercise for a real-world scenario. That could have escalated into nuclear war. This is very serious.[xi]

But the biggest player is the USA. It’s using the threat of force and a global architecture of hi-tech militarism to shape a neoliberal order. Britain is slavishly following its lead. I doubt that Britain would position forces near Russia were it not for the USA. Successive US administrations have or are building a missile system in Europe and Turkey. They say it’s to deter Iran from firing Scud missiles at Europe. But it’s pointed at Russia. It’s a radar system based in Romania and Turkey, with a battery of Patriot missiles based in Poland. The stationing of missiles there provoked Russia into moving its mobile nuclear weapons up to the border in its Kaliningrad exclave, as it warned it would do in 2008.[xii] Try to find any coverage of that in the media, except for a few articles in the print media here or there. If Western media were interested in survival, there would be regular headlines: “NATO provoking Russia.”

But the situation in Ukraine is really the tipping point. Consider the equivalent. Imagine if Russia was conducting military exercises with Canada or Mexico, and building bases there. How would the US react? It would be considered an extreme threat, a violation of the UN Charter, which prohibits threats against sovereign states.

AlfordSo we’ve extended NATO to pretty much the Russian border? But there’s a hard border there. Everyone knows we’re never going to attack Russia, both for reasons of morality and self-preservation. So maybe this situation is safer than you imply.

Coles: There’s no morality involved. States are abstract, amorphous entities comprised of dominant minorities and subjugated majorities who are conditioned to believe that they are relatively free and prosperous. The elites of those states act both in their self-interests – career, peer-pressure, kickbacks, and so on – and in the interests of their class, which is of course tied to international relations because their class thrives on profiting from resource exploitation. So you can’t talk about morality in this context. Only individuals can behave morally. The state is made up of individuals, of course, but they’re acting against the interests of the majority. As we speak, they are acting immorally– or at least amorally – but creating the geopolitical conditions that imperil each and every one of us.

As for invasion, we’re not going to invade Russia. This isn’t 1918. Russia has nuclear weapons and can deter an invasion. But that’s not the point. Do we want to de-escalate an already tense geopolitical situation or make it worse to the point where an accident happens? So while it’s not about invading Russia directly, the issue is about attacking what are called Russia’s “national interests.” Russia’s “national interests” are the same as the elites’ of the UK. National interest doesn’t mean the interests of the public. It means the interests of the policy-making establishment and the corporations. For example, the Theresa May government sacrificed its own credibility to ensure that its Brexit White Paper (2018) appeased both the interests of the food and manufacturing industries that want a soft Brexit – easy trade with the EU – and the financial services sector which wants a hard Brexit – freedom from EU regulation. Everyone else be damned. That’s the “national interest.”

So for its real “national interest,” Russia wants to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence because its oil and gas to Europe pass through Ukraine. About 80% of Russia’s export economy is in the oil and gas sector. It’s already had serious political tensions with Ukraine, which on several occasions hasn’t paid its energy bills, so Russia has cut supplies. If Europe can bump Ukraine into its own sphere of influence it has more leverage over Russia. This is practically admitted in Parliamentary discussions by Foreign Office ministers, and so forth.[xiii] Again, omitted by the media. Also, remember that plenty of ethnic Russians live in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Russia has a naval base in Crimea. That’s not to excuse its illegal action in annexing Ukraine, it’s to highlight the realpolitik missing in the media’s coverage of the situation.

T. J. Coles is a postdoctoral researcher at Plymouth University’s Cognition Institute and the author of several books.

Matthew Alford teaches at Bath University in the UK and has also written several books. Their latest is Union Jackboot (Até Books).

SOURCES

[i] Mark Leonard and Nicu Popescu (2007) ‘A Power Audit of EU-Russia Relations’ European Council on Foreign Relations, Policy Paper, p. 1.

[ii] ‘Anglo-Russian relations were severely strained; what was in effect a cold war lasted from the late 1820s to the beginning of the next century’. The Crimean War seems to have set a precedent for today. James writes:

[It] was an imperial war, the only one fought by Britain against a European power during the nineteenth century, although some would have regarded Russia as essentially an Asiatic power. No territory was at stake; the war was undertaken solely to guarantee British naval supremacy in the Mediterranean and, indirectly, to forestall any threat to India which might have followed Russia replacing Britain as the dominant power in the Middle East.

Lawrence James (1997) The Rise and Fall of the British Empire London: Abacus, pp. 180-82.

[iii] Churchill said in 1920:

All these strikes and rumours of strikes and threats of strikes and loss and suffering caused by them; all this talk of revolution and “direct action” have deeply offended most of the British people. There is a growing feeling that a considerable section of organized Labour is trying to tyrannize over the whole public and to bully them into submission, not by argument, not by recognized political measures, but by brute force …

But if we can do little for Russia [under the Bolsheviks], we can do much for Britain. We do not want any of these experiments here …

Whether it is the Irish murder gang or the Egyptian vengeance society, or the seditious extremists in India, or the arch-traitors we have at home, they will feel the weight of the British arm.

Winston Churchill (1920) Bolshevism and Imperial Sedition. Speech to United Wards Club. London: The International Churchill Society.

[iv] The fake letter says:

A settlement of relations between the two countries [UK and Russia] will assist in the revolutionising of the international and British proletariat, … [and] make it possible for us to extend and develop the propaganda and ideas of Leninism in England and the colonies.

It also says that ‘British workmen’ have ‘inclinations to compromise’ and that rapprochement will eventually lead to domestic ‘[a]rmed warfare’. It was leaked by the services to the Conservative party and then to the media. Richard Norton-Taylor (1999) ‘Zinoviev letter was dirty trick by MI6’ Guardian and Louise Jury (1999) ‘Official Zinoviev letter was forged’ Independent. For media coverage at the time, see James Curran and Jean Seaton (1997) Power without ResponsibilityLondon: Routledge, p. 52.

[v] Paul F. Walker (2017) ‘A Century of Chemical Warfare: Building a World Free of Chemical Weapons’ Conference: One Hundred Years of Chemical Warfare: Research, Deployment, Consequences pp. 379-400 and Giles Milton (2013) Russian Roulette: A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin’s Global Plot London: Hodder, eBook.

[vi] ‘The Russian Federation has shown repeatedly that common values play almost no role in its consideration of its trading partners’, meaning the US and EU. ‘It often builds relationships with countries that most openly thwart Western values of free markets and democracy’, notably Iran and Venezuela. ‘In this regard, the Russian Federation behaves like “Russia Incorporated.” It uses its re-nationalized industries to further its wealth and influence, the latter often at the expense of the EU and the U.S.’. Colonel Richard J. Anderson (2008) ‘A History of President Putin’s Campaign to Re-Nationalize Industry and the Implications for Russian Reform and Foreign Policy’ Senior Service College, US Army War College, Pennsylvania: Carlisle Barracks, p. 52.

[vii] Daniel R. Coats (2017) Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence CommunitySenate Select Committee on Intelligence, Washington, DC: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, pp. 18-19.

[viii] US Space Command (1997) Vision for 2020 Colorado: Peterson Air Force Base.

[ix]The document also says: ‘a replay of the West-sponsored coup against pro-Russian elites could result in a split, or indeed multiple splits, of the failed Ukraine, which would open a door for NATO intervention’.Pavel K. Baev (2011) ‘Russia’s security relations with the United States: Futures planned and unplanned’ in Stephen J. Blank (ed.) Russian Nuclear Weapons: Past, Present, and Future Strategic Studies Institute Pennsylvania: Carlisle Barracks, p. 170.

[x] Forces Network (2016) ‘British troops to deploy to Poland’.

[xi] For example, Nate Jones, Thomas Blanton and Christian F. Ostermann (2016) ‘Able Archer 83: The Secret History’ Nuclear Proliferation International History Project Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

[xii] It was reported in the ultra-right, neo-con press at the time that:

[Russian] President Dmitri Medvedev announced in his first state-of-the-nation address plans to deploy the short-range SS-26 (“Iskander”) missiles in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad if the U.S. goes ahead with its European Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Medvedev told parliament that the deployment would “neutralize” U.S. plans for a missile defense shield based in Poland and the Czech Republic [now in Romania), which the U.S. claims as vital in defending against missile attacks from ‘rogue states’ such as Iran.

Neil Leslie (2008) ‘The Kaliningrad Missile Crisis’ The New Atlanticist, available at atlanticcouncil.org.

[xiii] For example, a Parliamentary inquiry into British-Russian relations says of the newly-imposed US-British ally in Ukraine:

President Poroshenko’s Government is more openly committed to economic reform and anti-corruption than any previous Ukrainian Administration. The reform agenda has made considerable progress and has enjoyed some successes including police reform, liberalisation of the energy market and the launch of an online platform for government procurement …

The annexation of Crimea also resulted in a ban on importing products from Crimea, on investing in or providing services linked to tourism and on exporting certain goods for use in the transport, telecoms and energy sectors.

House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (2017) The United Kingdom’s relations with Russia Seventh report of session 2016-17, HC 120 London: Stationary Office, pp. 28, 31.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Lavrov Calls US Sanctions on Iran ‘Illegitimate’, Slams Pressure on SWIFT

Sputnik – 06.11.2018

Washington implemented tough unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic on Monday following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned Washington’s decision to slap Tehran with sanctions, calling the restrictions “absolutely illegitimate” and deeply disappointing, and saying that it was “unacceptable” to hold dialogue in the language of ultimatums.

“As far as the US measures against Iran are concerned, they are absolutely illegitimate,” Lavrov said on Tuesday in Madrid following a meeting with Spanish officials.

“They are being implemented in flagrant violation of the decisions of the UN Security Council, and the way in which these measures are announced and implemented cannot but cause a deep sense of disappointment. We proceed from the idea that the norms of not only international law, but of international dialogue, have not been repealed,” Lavrov stressed.

“Pursuing a policy based on ultimatums and one-sided demands is hardly permissible in our times,” according to the Russian foreign minister.

Pressure on SWIFT Also Unacceptable

Commenting on suspected US pressure on international financial messaging system SWIFT, which implied Monday that it would comply with US sanctions against Iranian financial institutions, Lavrov said that such pressure was also illegitimate.

“Within the framework of the participants of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, mechanisms are being developed which will allow for the continued implementation of the provisions of this document, first of all as regards [nations’] economic ties to Iran without US participation, and this is not a simple matter,” the foreign minister explained. “You can see how, using unacceptable methods, pressure has been placed on the operators of the SWIFT system. But experts are actively engaged in these issues, and they have a sufficiently stable understanding that this is possible and that such measures will be found.”

On Monday, Washington followed through with plans to renew sanctions against Iran following President Trump’s exit from the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal. The tough sanctions target Iran’s energy, banking and sea-based transport sectors, and threaten so-called secondary sanctions against foreign companies and countries doing business with the Islamic Republic.

The Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service announced that it would be suspending some Iranian banks’ access to the system, making no mention of US sanctions. Calling the move “regrettable,” SWIFT’s statement said it had taken the step “in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system.”

All of the JCPOA’s other signatories, including Iran, Russia, China and several European powers, have made an effort to save the landmark nuclear deal and bypass the US sanctions or otherwise limit their impact. This has included the development of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) on trade. China and India, the largest importers of Iranian crude oil, have resisted US secondary sanctions threats, and were granted exemptions along with five other oil-importing countries plus Taiwan.

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 1 Comment