Worried for its loss of hegemony the West is bent on bringing down Russia - July, 2014

Some two thousand five hundred years ago the great Chinese military strategist Sun Tsu wrote -
"Whoever occupies the battleground first and awaits for the enemy will be at an advantage. Whoever occupies the battleground afterward or must race to the conflict zone will be at a disadvantage. The highest form of warfare is to attack the enemy's plans; next is to attack the enemy's alliances; next is to attack the enemy's army. The lowest form of warfare is to attack the enemy's cities." 
As the reader can see, methods employed by the Western alliance have actually been well known for many centuries. With this in mind, I therefore urge the reader to look at recent events in places such as Syria and Ukraine as a long-term geostrategic - preventative - effort by the Western political establishment to secure global supremacy. In other words, as Sun Tsu suggested, they are attempting to occupy the geopolitical battleground before a resurgent upstart like Russia (and China) arrives to setup encampment. As we have seen, there is now a very active - and an increasingly violent - effort by the Western alliance to isolate Russia, spread anti-Russian hysteria and attack Moscow's plans and alliances (i.e. Eurasian Union) and destabilize other vulnerable areas within Russia's geopolitical sphere of influence.

This is all a geostrategic effort to preserve Western hegemony at a time when historic geopolitical shifts are taking place all across the world. Interestingly, this is all coming almost exactly one hundred years after similar geopolitical processes led humanity into what was known then as the bloodiest war in world history. Similar to how the First World World formed the basis of the world we live in today, seeds planted today (i.e. the multiple political hotspots around the world today) will eventually bare fruit and become the basis of the world to come.
 

It's the centennial of the First World War. Once more, Western political influence around the world is waning. Once more, dramatic sociopolitical changes are taking places across the globe. But unlike one century ago, when one such sociopolitical movement - Marxism - victimized the Russian Empire, Russia's star today is clearly on the rise. It was therefore only inevitable that there would be yet another concerted effort to either isolate Russia economically and politically - or simply drag it into major war with one or more of its neighbors. One hundred years ago they succeeded in dragging Russia down - which also indirectly made possible the genocide of Armenians inside the Ottoman Empire. However, unlike back in 1914 when the Russian Empire was in a discernible decline and Marxism had already been eating away at its sociopolitical fabric, the Russian nation today is as healthy as it can be, Russian patriotism is on the rise and Russia's nuclear armed military still ranks amongst the world's best.

Therefore, this time around, Russia will not blindly fall victim to Western machinations or be dragged into a war. In the spirit of Sun Tsu, if Russia is to overtly send troops into Ukraine it will be at the time and place of its choosing. In other words, it wont be lured or forced into a war. Therefore, for the time being, that is until the geopolitical calculus changes significantly on the ground, karabakhization of the conflict in Novorossiya will be Moscow's preferred method of stopping Western advances in the region. 

With that said, I am glad to report that after suffering some setback in recent months, during which they were giving up territory to the Western-backed junta in Kiev, pro-Russian forces in Novorossiya have launched a massive counteroffensive.

It now looks like they were regrouping, reorganizing and rearming. They also seem to have acquired better arms and more volunteers from the Russian Federation and elsewhere. Having thus regrouped and rearmed, and encouraged by more active Russian support, pro-Russian forces have now suddenly turned-the-tide. According to all indicators, the junta in Kiev is suffering terrible loses on the battlefield and many units of the Ukrainian military are in utter disarray. After watching Alexander Zakharchenko's thirty minute press conference, it is now obvious why this man was recently chosen to lead the resistance movement in south-eastern Ukraine and why resistance forces have been enjoying great success in recent days. Now, faced with a historic disaster looming over his head, the once tough talking chocolate king who had no problems with ordering the bombing of civilians in Novorossiya is all-of-a-sudden praying for a ceasefire. 

Although we are seeing increasing Russian involvement, Moscow's role in the region will continue to be limited and indirect - unless the geopolitical calculus suddenly changes and Russia decides to invade, in which case Russian troops will no doubt conquer Kiev in two weeks. But, with so much at stake, with Europe on the brink of a major war, I do not think Moscow is interested in overreaching at this point. Let's remember: While Americans are gamblers, Russian are chess players. Having already returned Crimea to Mother Russia - and in the process sabotaged Kiev's admission into the EU and NATO for the foreseeable future - Moscow will for the time being be happy with securing indirect control over Novorossiya.

Ukrainians have been thought a very nasty lessen on the harsh realities of international relations, geopolitics and the political West. Ukrainians, like others before them, have once more learned the hard way that when the proverbial "shit hits the fan" Western powers will be nowhere to be seen. Like many others before them, Ukrainians have destroyed their nation in a blind pursuit of Western fairytales. As globalist criminals of the Western political establishment now meet in Wales, we should therefore again be reminded of their deceit, impotence and toxicity. Utterly useless on the battlefield against a nation like Russia, the Western political establishment will simply continue its assault against Moscow's rise as a global power by other means, and as we recently saw in eastern Ukraine, their effort will take on demonic aspects.

The fires caused by the tragic crash of Malaysian flight MH117 in south-eastern Ukraine had not even been put out when the Western press had already begun explicitly blaming Moscow and President Putin for the incident. 

The destruction of the Malaysian airliner was a setup against Moscow. The junta in Kiev either shot down the aircraft or deliberately sent the aircraft into harms way hoping that pro-Russian forces will mistaken it for a Ukrainian military aircraft and shoot it down. The intent obviously was to put all the blame on Moscow. They sacrificed hundreds of innocent lives simply to cause widespread Russophobia in a Europe that has been increasingly skeptical of Western warmongering against Russia. The intent was to shock the sheeple and thereby make it easier for the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance to pass deeper sanctions against Russia. 

Nevertheless, a few very important questions remain unanswered: Why was the Malaysian aircraft rerouted by Ukrainian air traffic controllers and made to fly over the conflict zone? What was the aircraft doing flying over a war zone where several military aircraft had only prior to the Malaysian incident been shot down by pro-Russian forces? Why were Ukrainian military aircraft trailing the airliner just prior to it being shot down? Now that the aircraft's black boxes have been in Britain for nearly a month, why haven't we heard anything from British investigators?

The above are only a few of the questions that will not be satisfactorily answered by the Western world's government controlled propaganda outlets posing as news agencies. With that said, the following are a few news reports about the doomed airliner that should be read -
Malaysian press charges Ukraine government shot down MH 17: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/09/mala-a09.html
“Western Media Neglect of Moscow’s MH17 Evidence is Shameful”: http://www.globalresearch.ca/western-media-neglect-of-moscows-mh17-evidence-is-shameful/5396715
Fake Audio Tape Shows US-Backed Hit to Frame Russia: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2014/07/21/508850-downed-airliner-fake-audio-tape-shows-us-backed-hit-to-frame-russia
Malaysia Flight MH17 May Have Been Escorted By Ukrainian Su-27 Fighter Jets: http://theaviationist.com/2014/07/21/su-27s-escorted-mh17/#ixzz388l8fCyi
US Faces Intel Hurdles in Downing of Airliner: https://news.yahoo.com/us-faces-intel-hurdles-downing-airliner-153105748--politics.html
Troops Move on Crash Site in Ukraine, Foiling Deal: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/28/world/europe/ukraine.html?_r=1
Once more: They murdered hundreds of innocent civilians just to make Moscow look bad. Think about that for a moment to truly understand the kind of monsters we are dealing with.

NATO's gradual expansion eastward (via the EU), the bloody civil war in Ukraine (via anti-Russian racists instigated by Western interests), the Islamic insurgency in the northern Caucasus (via Western proxies in places such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) and the Islamic insurgency in Syria (supported by a conglomeration of Arabian, Turkish, Israeli and Western intelligence agencies) are all in varying degrees a part of the long term geostrategic agenda to stop Russia's rise as a global power. A couple of months ago I predicted that a new Iron Curtain will be erected by the Western world as a measure to drive a wedge between Russia and the rest of Europe. Recent tit-for-tat sanctions and talk about increasing NATO's military presence in eastern Europe are indeed troubling signals that the Western agenda is indeed heading towards that direction. The agenda to isolate Russia is systematically bringing the world to the brink of a world war.

But why? Is going after Russia, one of the most powerful nations on earth, really worth the risk?

What's Washington's problem with Moscow?

When a rabid giant is terminally ill and the only way it can remedy its declining health and prolong its life is to take the life of a competitor who is a rising giant, the terminally ill giant will be willing take great risks to preserve its life.

Sometime during the mid-1990s, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is believed to have stated that the natural wealth found within the vastness of the Russian Federation was too much for one country to posses. The geopolitical implications of her outrageous words were quite obvious, especially for Russians -
Putin warns of outside forces that wish to split Russia and take over its natural resources (2007): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2009/02/putin-warns-of-outside-forces-that-wish.html
The Western political establishment has come to the conclusion that the only way it can preserve it's political influence, wealth and a certain standard-of-living for those living within the Western world is through controlling natural reserves, international trade, the commodities trade and ensuring the global hegemony of the US Dollar - by all means. In other words, for the West to maintain its wealth, power and influence within global affairs in the 21st century, it has to keep nations dependent on it by making sure that nations accept its authority by continuing to trade in US Dollars and continue parking their hard currencies within Western financial institutions.

Naturally, to achieve this goal the West needs political and economic cooperation or subservience from political entities around the world. The world is therefore divided into two camps: Those cooperating with or subservient to the political West (a vast majority of nations on earth today) and those brave few nations that are attempting to resist. One of those few nations resisting the Western order today is the Russian Federation. The following link is to an interview with Sergei Glaziev, one of President Putin's advisers. In the interview Glaziev is speaking very candidly about current world affairs -
Interview with Sergei Glaziev - Advisor to President Putin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cikvqdMRTTA
With Glaziev's words in mind, watch also the following interview with Paul Craig Roberts, a well known former official in US President Ronald Reagan's administration - 
Raul Craig Roberts on Ukraine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NZnHyTYsqU
Unlike any other nation on earth today, the Russian Federation is self-reliant to a large degree and thus truly independent. Unlike any other nation on earth today, Russia is blessed with an over abundance of natural resources. Russia's share of the resource rich arctic region is the largest. Russia is the largest political land mass on earth and a nation that strategically borders Europe, south Caucasus, Central Asia, the Far East and the United States. Russia is one of the few nations in this globalized/liberalized/Westernized world where nationalism and the Christian church is live and well. The aforementioned characteristics - coupled with its large, well trained and nuclear armed military - makes Russia very unique in terms of geostrategic importance, wealth, power and most importantly self-reliance (i.e. independence).

From a Western perspective, Moscow's political independence, nationalism, conservatism, natural wealth, it's land size, military power and self-reliance is a serious long-term problem. 

Therefore, as we saw in the 1990s, even if Moscow sincerely wanted to work with the West, its efforts would not be genuinely accepted by the Western political establishment - for Russia's cooperation per se is not what they are really after. For the West to truly feel comfortable with Russia, Moscow has to be made either fully subservient to the Western political order or simply be isolated or fragmented. Needless to say, Russians have never been a nation to bow their heads to anyone. Russia will therefore continue being a geopolitical problem for Western powers and Russian leaders like President Putin will continue being subjected to a vicious disinformation campaign by the Western world's propaganda organs -
Simply put: The geostrategically important and resource-rich territory that Moscow controls has for centuries been the envy of major powers, and the current - independent - Russian political establishment headed by President Putin has become a source of nightmares for the Western elite.

Bluntly put: For the Western political order to survive, Russia must die.

But it wasn't always like this.

The United States of America and the Russian Empire had very good relations throughout much of the 19th century. The two powers in question complimented each other in the geopolitical calculus of the time. Although
for obvious reasons Americans are not thought this in their schools there were in fact times in the 19th century when Saint Petersburg and Washington were politically allied against the British Empire. This close friendship between the United States and the Russian Empire at the time was vividly reflected with the sale of Russian-Alaska to the Americans.


In my opinion, this genuine Russo-American friendship effectively came to an end when the British Empire and the emerging empire of the United States began merging between late 19th century and early 20th century.

Some Brits claim London handed its declining empire to Washington. Some Americans claim Brits came back to control the US. In my opinion, neither side took control over the other side. What happened between Washington and London was merely a merger and a consolidation of imperial assets via the birth of a new world order - that of the Anglo-American. Carroll Quigley documents some aspects of this Anglo-American unification process. With that said, no talk about any Anglo-American alliance can be considered complete without taking into full account the strong Jewish/Zionist component embedded deeply within it. Therefore, the alliance in question is in fact an Anglo-American-Jewish world order. As noted above, this merger process began in the late 19th century and reached its pinnacle in recent decades. Nevertheless, throughout the last one hundred years, one of the Anglo-American establishment's perennial/persistent targets have been Russia and Germany. In fact, for much of the 20th century, the following slogan has more-or-less been the geostrategic motto of the Anglo-American-Zionist policymakers -
"Keep America in, Germany down, Russia out"
In other words, for the Western political/financial establishment, the US has been used as a bulldog for keeping in check Europe's two most powerful nations. When one gives this geostrategic formula some serious thought, everything that has taken place in the political world during the last century or so will begin making much better sense.

The sudden disappearance of the Soviet Union some twenty-five years ago provided the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance with a historic opportunity to become the world's premiere hyperpower. This Western alliance quite suddenly came to the realization that it no longer had a geopolitical rival in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America or anywhere for that matter. This realization - that it was the top predator in a unipolar world - lies at the root causes of the wars and sociopolitical upheaval we have witnessed in Russia's Caucasus region, Ukraine, Serbia, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, as well as the on going campaigns against Venezuela, Iran and North Korea and of course NATO's anti-Russian expansion eastward during the past twenty years.
 

The following quote by one of the most important cogs in the US war machine candidly talks about Washington's actual agenda in a post-Soviet world - 
"We are going to attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years. We are going to start with Iraq and then we are going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran... We learned that we can use our militaries in the region, in the Middle East, and the Soviets wont stop us... and we've got about five to ten years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes - Syria, Iran, Iraq - before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us"

Wesley Clark, in a speech given on
October 3, 2007
As the reader can see, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Anglo-American-Zionist order has been busy seeking to preserve its place on top of the global food-chain. They simply do not want any new kids on the block now to share in their spoils or threaten their global hegemony. As General Clark stated, it has been a Western rush to hegemonize the world - "before the next great superpower comes to challenge us". 

The Ukraine crisis is meant to create circumstances to drive a bloody wedge between Europe and Russia and breath new life into NATO. The crisis in the Middle East, including the rise of ISIS, is meant to drive a bloody wedge between Shiites and Sunnis, draw Western forces back into the strategic region and perhaps support the creation of a Kurdish state.

The following is more on the recent carnage in the Middle East -
New Iraq crisis is part of US agenda to target Syria and Iran: http://rt.com/op-edge/183336-iraq-crisis-us-target/
Comfortably bloated with a century of excess and firmly sitting alone on the top of the world for the past twenty-five years, the prevailing Western controlled system-of-things in the world can only be maintained if the financial and political elite of the Western world manages to maintain its current status as the alpha and the omega of global affairs. Any lesser role for this now power-crazed and gluttonous global elite will ultimately cause its collapse. The fundamental problem here is that the Western world's top policymakers fully recognize this ominous fact facing their existence.

Being that Russia and China currently pose the only real long-term global threats for them, it is rather easy to see that the Western world's two main targets have been Moscow and Beijing. But because Beijing has been made to enter into a symbiotic economic relationship with the US (which may in fact explain why Washington has encouraged American businesses to open shop in China during the past forty years), the West has been placing most of its emphasis on undermining the Russian state instead. From a Western perspective, China is controllable whereas Russia is not. 

As noted above, President Putin's Russia has been a target for the West essentially because Moscow, a massive nuclear power, stubbornly maintains its political, economic and financial independence and because it controls virtually unlimited supplies of natural resources. As noted above, Russia, a Eurasian power stretching from Europe to Alaska, is also in an ideal position to control global commerce and impact the political affairs of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. To the dismay of Western officials, the Russian state today may be the only truly independent political entity on earth. An independent Russia poses serious long-term threats to Western global hegemony. 

Therefore, if Russia cannot be controlled, it has to be contained or destroyed. And what better way to destroy a nation than by making it adopt democracy, Western pop culture and the hegemony of the US Dollar?

The following is a candid quote from one of Washington's most influential foreign policymakers, one who also happens to be a lifelong Russophobe -
"Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire. But if Russia becomes an empire, it cannot be a democracy at the same time. We might add that an imperial Russia will be forced to abandon economic reform in favor of central planning"
Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a 1993 Foreign Affairs article
Brzezinski's words very clearly explains why soon after the Soviet Union's collapse Western leaders were doing their best to infiltrate territories (like Ukraine) that were previously under Russian control; force Russia's post-Soviet leaders to "reform" their economy; and import "democracy" into Russia's multi-ethnic and thus potentially vulnerable society. They have been diligently working on their Russophobic agenda by funding anti-Russian forces throughout former Soviet republics, funding subversive groups throughout Russia's very diverse society and surrounding the Russian Federation with pro-Western buffer states and Western military installations. In other words, yes folks, Washington's so-called "missile defense shield" is actually a military measure aimed directly against Russia -
U.S. missile defense in Europe 'real threat' to Russia (June, 2011): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2011/06/us-missile-defense-in-europe-real.html
While many in the world today are conditioned to believe that the West is on a noble campaign to curb international terrorism and bring "freedom and democracy" - and of course gay-rights - to the darkest corners of the world, senior officials in the Kremlin fully realize that the ultimate intention of the Western alliance in Eurasia is to isolate and/or undermine Russia as a long-term geostrategic measure to ensure that no power rises to compete with their hegemony over global affairs.

Moscow fully realizes that the Great Game to undermine its power is well underway. Moscow also realizes that the Russian state will remain the number one target of the Western alliance for the foreseeable future. But isolating or destroying Russia will be virtually impossible now that a post-Soviet Russia has finally gotten off its knees and its projecting its power well beyond its borders. As we saw in Georgia in 2008, when the Bear first fought back, Russians have begun drawing red-lines in places where Moscow considers areas of strategic importance -
Russia Hints at Intervention in Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict (July, 2012): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2012/07/russia-hints-at-intervention-in-armenia.html
Russia Steps Into World Leadership Role (September, 2013 ): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2013/09/russia-steps-into-world-leadership-role.html
In a historic dispute with the West, Russia reclaims Crimea (March, 2014): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2014/03/in-historic-dispute-with-west-russia.htm
It is encouraging to know that after suffering setback after setback, Moscow has managed to rebound in recent years and has been able to mark its territory in the south Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and now in eastern Europe. The Russian state is on the rise, and barring any unforeseen catastrophic event, the Russian state will be one of the premiere powers of the world in the 21st century. Faced with a powerful opponent within which they see their eventual demise, they are thus in a panic. Therefore, the current historic clash of interests between the East and the West will continue and the Western political order will continue to sow bloodshed around the world as a result.

Preserving global hegemony by lighting fires around the world

As noted above, the West reached its historic pinnacle in the 1990s when the Soviet Union was no longer around to act as a geopolitical buffer. With the Soviet Union no longer around the Western elite found themselves along on top of the world. In a sense, having reached a height from which it could not rise any further, the only way forward for the West was down. The financial and economic bubble created throughout the 1990s began to burst by the mid 2000s. This downturn, coupled with the appearance of emerging nations such as Russia, China, Iran, India and Brazil, the Western elite was faced with a watershed moment: How to preserve its global hegemony?

The article at the very bottom of this page touches upon a fundamental mindset prevailing within policymakers in Washington and London: The desperate need to maintain Europe's occupation by Western banking institutions and cultural subversion at any cost - even if this means to plunge the continent into yet another war in which they will once more try to play the role of saviors.

In short: With natural resources under their control rapidly depleting and with competitive nations rapidly rising around the world, the Western political order is in a desperate, long-term struggle of self-preservation.

Western-backed Islamic extremists in the Middle East, Caucasus and China and Western-backed racists and Russophobes in eastern Europe are part of the agenda to secure Western hegemony in Eurasia. For its part, Moscow must do all it can to resist all attempts by the Western political establishment to draw Russia into yet another war in Europe. Make no mistake about it, drawing Russia into such a war, thereby frightening and weakening both sides of the conflict and making the continent dependent on the West for survival is an agenda being actively pursued by Washington today. Ukraine was a vulnerable point on Russia's border. And another vulnerable point on Russia's periphery is of course the strategic Caucasus. Recent clashes between Armenians and Azeris suggest that Western interests may very well be pushing for renewed violence between Yerevan and Baku as a way of destabilizing yet another strategic point found within the Russian zone of influence.

Similar to how the crumbling British Empire during the beginning of the 20th century pushed humanity into a world war merely to preserve itself - and in the process made possible the Armenian Genocide - the declining American empire in the beginning of the 21st century is likewise doing its best to push humanity into another world war to preserve itself as well.

Several regions of the world are being systematically pushed into armed confrontation. This effort is once more threatening Armenia's very existence. With plans to incorporate Armenia into the Customs Union pressing forward successfully, as noted above, it is very probable that recent clashes between Azeris and Armenians was an effort to destabilize yet another strategic region on the strategic periphery of the Russian Federation. Please consider the following -
В тени Украины. Эксперт о том, чем сегодня опасен карабахский конфликт: http://www.aif.ru/politics/world/1312691
Michael Rubin: Is Putin’s Next Move Against Azerbaijan? http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/08/08/is-putins-next-move-against-azerbaijan/
The dangerous thaw in the 'frozen conflicts' in the post-Soviet space: http://www.russia-direct.org/content/dangerous-thaw-frozen-conflicts-post-soviet-space
Nagorno-Karabakh Clash: US Chance to Gain Foothold Near Iranian Borders: http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20140807/191811304/Nagorno-Karabakh-Clash-US-Chance-to-Gain-Foothold-Near-Iranian.html
Alexander Krylov: War in Karabakh conflict zone will resume, if Russia leaves South Caucasus: http://www.arminfo.info/index.cfm?objectid=17774140-1BCB-11E4-91680EB7C0D21663
Russia Is Involved In Another Border Dispute That No One Is Talking About: http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-border-dispute-2014-8
Yes, they are once again recklessly starting fires around the world because they have been accustomed to the thought that such fires will not harm them. Yes, once again humanity is on the threshold of a world war because of the relentless manipulation of targeted societies and the incitement of violence around the world. Yes, once again, if God forbid Russia suffers another major defeat Armenia's existence will once again be in danger. Anyone in our society that does not see this is either an imbecile or an agent of the West. The Western agenda against Russia is an agenda that is also against Armenia. Recent signals from Washington  have not been hiding this ominous reality. Russia's fight is thus Armenia's fight.

If not for Russia's sake, then surely for Armenia's sake we Armenians must do all we can to support the growing effort against the blight on humanity that is Western establishment. The desperate agenda to stop Russia's rise as a major global competitor against the Western world will thus take on informational, political, military, economic and financial forms... and despite how enthusiastically Armenians dance for the honorable CIA representative in Armenia, Washington will certainly not exempt Armenia from any punishment -
As we can see, Washington does not want Armenia to do business with Russia! As if the decades long dissemination of anti-Russian disinformation throughout Armenian society and the Western world's tacit support for Turks and Islamists were not enough, we now see the American empire bullying our small, landlocked, remote, NATO-blockaded, impoverished, embattled and fledgling nation in the south Caucasus. Yes folks, Western officials are essentially threatening Armenian officials about doing business with Armenia's largest investor, largest trade partner, largest energy provider, only strategic ally and only arms supplier. And according to Washington: If Armenians don't like it, they can complain to Moscow.

This folks is imperial arrogance at its utmost ugliest!

Why is Washington treating Yerevan in this manner knowing very well about Armenia's already dire situation in the south Caucasus?

Simply put: Because it can!


And why can it? Because Armenians want to be like "westerners". Because Armenians yearn to speak English. Because Armenians love waiting on visa lines at the US embassy.
Because Armenians look forward to sending their children to Western universities or to the American University of Armenia. Because Armenians prefer getting their "news" from CIA run operations such as Radio Liberty. Because Armenians long to work for Western/US funded organizations. Because Armenians love receiving Western awards. Because Armenians love worshiping foreign gods. Because Armenians love importing "Western values" into Armenia. Because Armenian officials love pocketing Western bribes (aka: aid money). Because faced with the prospect of being cut off from Western "aid" Armenians have been dragging their feet with regards to the Russian-led Customs Union...

As I have said numerous times in the past: If we the sheeple want to speak their language, get our information from their sources, watch their films, sing their songs, dance to their music, attend their universities, live in their lands, work for their organizations, trade in their currency, eat their foods, dress in their clothing.... They have already won half the battle.


The following link to a short video clip is a vivid example of what I am talking about. The surreal scene from Moscow in 1990 is essentially why the Western political establishment has been enjoying unprecedented superiority in global affairs and quite symbolic of just how manipulative and naive the sheeple were and continue being -
Moscow 1990: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=newRbaPkkao#t=116
Ultimately, we the sheeple - some knowingly, most unknowingly - give the Anglo-American-Jewish global order their unprecedented powers. We should therefore not be surprised by their ugly arrogance and by their self-serving actions around the world.

Nevertheless, what an upside-down turned world we live in.

Instead of Moscow telling Yerevan to stop dealing with Washington in light of US aggressions in eastern Europe and in the Middle East, officials in Washington are instead telling Armenians to stop dealing with Moscow - Armenia's only life-line! Instead of Washington telling NATO-member Ankara and Baku to stop their twenty years old economic blockade of Armenia, they are telling Yerevan to stop their cooperation with Armenia's only ally - Russia! Instead of complaining about the multi-billion dollar arms and energy transactions between Baku with Russia, Washington is complaining about Armenia's, in comparison miniscule, dealings with Russia?!

Do our nation's pro-Washington imbeciles need any more proof of the West's true intentions towards Armenia?

In light of all this, what will the typical Armenian do? Well, if the past is any indicator, Armenians will most probably continue dancing like a bunch of happy monkeys for the honorable CIA representative in Armenia... and then have the balls to bitterly complain about Moscow selling arms to Baku.
 


Armenians would do well to keep this in mind: If Moscow ever begins to favor Baku over Yerevan someday, it will only be as a direct result of the Armenian nation's historic foreign policy failures and the Armenian people's Western fetishes. And if that black day ever comes, kiss Armenia good bye.

Money as a weapon of mass destruction 


Leo Tolstoy wrote: “Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave”

Emperor Napoleon lamented: "When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain"

Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild boasted: “Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws"

When the big guns don't work against a particular enemy, money continues to be by-far the Western establishment's all-time favorite weapon-of-mass-destruction. As long as they continue controlling the creation and dissemination of money - and set prices of commodities and the parameters of global trade - they will continue being the masters of the universe.

Therefore, let it surprise no one that prices of major global commodities such as gold, diamond and oil are determined every morning within London. Let it surprise no one that most nations on earth (including Armenia in recent years) have had central bank officials trained in the Western world. Let it surprise no one that nation-states are forced to borrow money from Western lending institutions. Let it surprise no one that nation-states are forced to accept Western economic/financial restrictions by entering into Western trade organizations.


The above is why representatives of nations around the world are forced to quietly sit at the table with Wall Street executives and IMF/World Bank officials. Making nations dependent - financially and economically and thus politically - on the Western world is incomparably a more effective and less messy weapon than Western bombs and missiles.

For the past several hundred years global commence and finance had been, to a large degree, controlled by a multinational, albeit European powers: Britain, France, USA, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Sweden, etc. This multinational character in trade and fiance began to change as a result of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and Germany's two defeats in 1918 and 1945. With economic giants at the time such as Russia, Germany and Japan no longer in the equation, Anglo-American influence in global commerce and finance - and thus politics - rose to unprecedented heights.

The economic and financial principles set by Anglo-Americans at Bretton Woods at the close of the Second World War thus came to dominate the world. Since Second World War all roads have thus led to the new Rome.

For nearly one hundred years the global financial system and global trade has been rigged solely to their benefit. For nearly one hundred years Western powers have looked at the rest of the world as a playground for their financial/corporate elite. For nearly one hundreds years Western corporations and currency dominated the world. For nearly one hundreds years Western societies have thus enjoyed unprecedentedly high standards-of-living. This needless-to-say came at a great cost to the rest of the world.

The following Swiss study may go a long way in explaining why the world is in the shape it currently is in and why the Western economic/financial paradigm is in fact a very dangerous monster that needs to be killed before it ruins the entire world. Humanity needs to realize that over 90% of mega-corporations that control most of the global economy are Western entities - and that the Western war-machine essentially exists to protect the global operations of these mega-corporations -

Does one 'super-corporation' run the global economy? Study claims it could be terrifyingly unstable: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2051008/Does-super-corporation-run-global-economy.html#ixzz1k2BaFZ00
The whole system is designed/rigged to make nations dependent on the Western system. The whole system is designed/rigged to bring wealth into the coffers of the Western elite - at the cost of either destroying or enslaving nation-states around the world. Their financial system is ultimately why the Western world holds unprecedented powers over mankind. As Argentinians and Greeks have found out in recent years, indebtedness and financial servitude on a personal level as well as on a national level - is indeed a weapon-of-mass-destruction. This is how they make or break peoples/nations around the world. The Greek tragedy and Argentina's plight in recent years is a stark lesson for humanity.

Yet a majority of the sheeple still do not see the fundamental problem at hand.

A glaringly obvious and yet a mostly overlooked absurdity in global financial matters is the inability of nation-states to print their own currency based on their own economic forecasts and financial formulas. The sovereign right to independent print money has almost exclusively been relegated to Western institutions. This Western right to create money out of thin air and lend it to developing nations at interest lies at the very root of their power and influence. You take this right away from them, you take away their power and influence.
 

Why does Armenia, for instance, have to beg interest-charging-money-lending cartels to acquire the essential funds it needs to develop its national infrastructure? Why can't official Yerevan simply print the money it needs for such types of development projects and create job for its citizens in the process? Why does Armenia have to borrow(!) money from a foreign entity? Please think about this for a while because we have been born and raised in a world (the Anglo-American-Jewish era) where this question is almost never asked. And in rare times when it is asked, a proper answers is never given. We all simply assume that it can't be done. Yet, it can be done!
 

For a nation to prosper and be truly independent, it has to be able to print its own money as needed. For further insight on this most important of topics please visit the link to a film following this paragraph. In my opinion, The Secret of Oz is one of the most important documentaries made because the subject matter directly impacts each-and-every human being alive today. Producers of the film are adherents of fiat currency. Fiat money is literally anything that a government recognizes as legal tender. The currency is then regulated by state agencies and not by private banks or private financial institutions. Propagators of fiat money are opposed to gold-backed currencies because commodities such as gold can be manipulated by private or foreign interests -
The Secret of Oz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI
And the following counter-presentation, produced by Austria's prestigious Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents the advantages of a gold-based monetary system -
Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYZM58dulPE
Both schools-of-thought, those who support fiat currency and those who support a gold-backed currency, adamantly oppose the control of a nation's monetary system by private banking institutions. 

Incidentally, the financial system we have in the world today (thanks to Anglo-American-Jewish entities such as the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, City of London, the IMF and the World Bank) is more-or-less a "privately" run form of fiat money. After all, what is the Dollar? Nothing but paper! No? An exclusive group of people - primarily Anglo-American-Jews - print as much of the paper in question as they need and they go on to make financial policy for the entire world and the rest of humanity is expected to quietly fall inline. 

As long as independent nation-states or blocks of allied nations do not take back the right to print their own money independent of Western wishes - be it fiat or gold based currency - humanity will remain dependent upon Western powers for survival. As long as nations allow themselves to become dependent upon Western loans for their national development, they will remain inependent upon Western powers for survival. As long as nations stake their economic survival on trading with the Western world, they will remain dependent upon Western powers for survival.
 

Financial freedom - the unrestricted implementation of fiscal policy of sovereign nations - is thus the key to a successful nation-state. With that in mind let's once more recognize that the Anglo-American-Jewish global order will rule the backward barbarians of this world as long as the backward barbarians in question (Argentinians in the following particular case) blindly embrace the financial/economic paradigm setup by the Anglo-American-Jewish global order at the end of the Second World War -
This Is How A Hedge Funder Brings An Entire Country To Its Knees: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/heres-hedge-fund-guide-bringing
And time-to-time, even western European nations are terrorized by Uncle Sam's money cartels -
Just imagine: A global entity makes a unilateral decision to severely punish a nation - and has the precise levers to do so - simply because the nation in question did not abide by its self-serving laws. Where is the backlash? Where is the public outcry? Does the public even understand what is going on? When this happens to small, developing nations around the world, not much noise it made and the nation easily falls prey. But when this happens to a well established nation, like France in this case, noise is sometimes made. But mere noise is not enough. I really hope the French finally wake up from their post-De Gaullian stupor before it kills their nation -
France lashes out against US dollar, calls for ‘rebalancing’ of world currencies: http://rt.com/business/170864-france-balance-dollar-bnp/
As noted above, the control Washington has over global commerce and finance is unprecedented in human history. This is a serious matter for humanity. Even Fareed Zakaria, a Council of Foreign Relations member and a professional propagandist at CNN for the American empire, admitted in his show recently that Washington's control over global financial and trade matters is a very powerful weapon that is being used recklessly -
Fareed Zalaria: "I'll tell you how America is wielding a unique weapon that is the economic equivalent of a killer drone":  http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1407/13/fzgps.01.html
Russia has managed to survive Western sanctions because of its energy reserves, massive size, powerful military and geopolitical importance. But even Russia would not want to bare the brunt of a serious Western financial/trade onslaught. Needless to say, lesser nations around the world do not stand a chance.
 

As long as all roads led to Rome, punishing nations for not following Roman dictates proved easy for Romans. Today, all roads (financial, economic and cultural) have been meticulously paved to lead to Washington and London. It has therefore become troublingly easy for the Western establishment to impose harsh penalties on nations that do not follow rules it has created for its self-interest.

The only way humanity can free itself from the monster that the political West has become is to strive for the creation of a multi-polar world order where multiple centers of power are established and seek the end of the US Dollar's reign as global reserve currency. The leader in this monumental effort can be the Russian nation -
BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance: http://rt.com/business/173008-brics-bank-currency-pool/
Gazprom Wants Rubles, Not US Dollars, For Its Arctic Oil Exports Amid Western Sanctions: http://www.ibtimes.com/russian-energy-giant-gazprom-wants-rubles-not-us-dollars-its-arctic-oil-exports-amid-1672302
As powerful as the Western financial order currently is, it is also vulnerable.
 

The Western world has been living in a bubble created by the US Dollar's global hegemony. The Western financial system has grown so immense in size today that it is essentially a virtual reality and a house of cards. This Anglo-American-Jewish paradigm is living its twilight years. Once this Western financial bubble finally bursts and the house of cards falls apart - and it's only a matter of time before it does - it will be lights out for the Western world.

The Soviet Union's collapse will look like a leisurely walk through a pretty flower garden in comparison because the Western world is too developed, too well fed, too complacent, too dumbed-down, too decadent, too medicated and too racially/culturally mixed to survive such a downturn. 

At this point in history, the only thing the West has going for itself is hype, the mere notion/facade of superiority (e.g. American exceptionalism) and the semblance/facade of stability achieved by the global dominance of the US Dollar. Once the US Dollar falls, so will the political West. Time is on our side. The longer we consolidate our resources and wait the West will implode. Nevertheless, please keep in mind that preserving the Bretton Woods paradigm is ultimately what the Western establishment is aiming for to survive in a rapidly changing world - and as long as it is not made to suffer consequences for their actions, they will go to great lengths to preserve their global hegemony.

As long as the political West is not made to suffer it will create suffering
 
Western powers are bloated with several centuries of plundered wealth and nearly a century of near total dominance over global affairs. Western powers have come to control global trade routs and the commodities exchange. Western powers set the world's political, financial and cultural trends. The US Dollar is the world's reining reserve currency. Western power and influence is thus unprecedented in the annals of human history - but it has been in decline in most recent years. With dwindling natural resources under their direct possession and/or control the emergence of competitive powers around the world, their near total control of the political and financial life of the world is slowly being challenged.

I think the fundamental danger lies in the fact that Western powers are doing their best to secure their hegemony in a new century when emerging powers are poised to become their global competitor. In other words, the Western elite is deeply worried about maintaining its opulent lifestyle. The tens-of-millions of Westerners that live in mansions, gated communities and on vast estates - and the political/financial elite that preside over them - want to maintain their aforementioned standard-of-living and not meekly surrender it to Asiatic, backward upstarts in Russia or China.

The worrying part here for me is that they will go to great lengths - including bringing the world to the very brink of catastrophe - simply to ensure their global supremacy and money flow. Another worrying things is that Western powers feel immune and in the particular case of Washingtonians, they feel destined to rule the world as evidenced by a peculiar psychosis infamously known as "American Exceptionalism".

The Western world's world view has been cultivated by centuries of easy money and a safe geography. Western nations such as the US and Britain have historically provoked wars around the world knowing well that due to their safe distances from the killing fields, their respective societies could weather such crisis and then simply come in to exploit the spoils in the aftermath. Thus, from a distance they destroy, they destabilize... they then come in to gather the spoils of war, rebuild and lead. Of course there is also the added benefit of selling weapons to warring factions and purchasing assets and/or commodities in troubled nations at rock bottom prices. Another benefit to sowing unrest around the world is enjoying the acquisition of hard currency. The more nations they destabilize, the more money pours into their coffers by wealthy individuals and firms taking their money out of those troubled nations and placing it into the perceived security of Western banks. Immense amounts of wealth have in fact been poured into London and New York in recent years from all over the world in this very manner. While the situation may be changing in recent times, where did many of Russia's Jewish oligarchs flee to with their plundered wealth after President Putin chased them out? The City of London! 


This imperial arrogance, megalomania, opulence and gluttony coupled with financial worries and the strong sense that nothing will happen to them regardless of what they do overseas, drives their political thinking and world view. It also drives their blood-lust.

As long as the Anglo-American-Jewish world is not made to suffer serious consequences for their actions overseas, they will continue their volatile sociopolitical experiments and militaristic aggression around the world regardless of the amount of misery and carnage it causes. 

Even prominent American voices like former Ronald Reagan official Paul Craig Roberts are now coming out and expressing the need for tougher actions against the West -
Once more, I would like to remind the reader that as long as the Western world's political/financial establishment is not seriously threatened with destruction (i.e. as long as the Western world does not suffer dire consequences for their actions around the world) they will continue to treat the world as a far way, exotic land where to safely carryout toxic experiments. Think of it this way: They destroy nations, kill millions and ruin the lives of hundreds-of-millions and then they go up on public podiums and contemplate whether it was the right thing to do... In other words, regardless of how bad it gets around the world as a direct result of their policies, at the end of the day, they simply get into their luxury cars, go to their estates or gated communities, sit by their fireplace, sip their wine and check to see how their stocks are doing. As long as this now centuries old process continues, the Western order, which thrives on being the top predator, will enjoy superiority in world affairs.

Unipolar world must come to an end

  
The sudden disappearance of the Soviet Union some twenty-five years ago provided the political West with a historic opportunity to become a hyperpower. The Western political establishment quite suddenly came to the realization that it no longer had a geopolitical rival in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa or South America. This realization - that it was the top predator in a unipolar world - coupled with the increasingly desperate effort to preserve the US Dollar as the global reserve currency and the currency with which to conduct international trade - became the root cause of Western instigated wars and social upheaval we have witnessed in places such as Venezuela, Ukraine, Russian Chechnya, Serbia, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The Western political establishment's unprecedented powers is the reason why it has become a monster of global proportions in recent decades. Consequently, from Argentina to North Korea one can find Washingtonian meddling in every single trouble spot in the world today.

This long term, geostrategic agenda has taken on an air of urgency for the Western world's financial elite in recent years essentially because of rising competition around the world. Nations such as Russia, China, India, Iran and Brazil are beginning to threaten the influence and control the West has had over global affairs in recent decades. This rising competition is the reason why the Western establishment is causing problems around the world - for threatening the US Dollar's global hegemony is threatening the Western world itself. Knowing they won't be directly hurt by it, they are starting fires within various strategic hotspots around the world as a preventative measure to curb competition.
 

Simply put: The Western elite realizes that without Western control over global finance and trade the Western world cannot exist.

Iraq and Libya tried to fight the US Dollar's hegemony with devastating results for both Iraq and Libya. But now the Russian Federation and several other major nations such as China have made it their objective to seek a multi-polar political paradigm and therefore free themselves of Western control. Evolving economic/political pacts like BRICS nations, although made up of political entities that are in varying degrees dependent on the Anglo-American-Zionist global order for survival, are trying to lessen their dependence on the West. Divorcing the US Dollar is the most important task humanity faces today but accomplishing this task wont be fast, easy or blood free. Although the political West cannot in response subject BRICS nations to direct military aggression, it will do its best to undermine such nonconforming states through various other effective methods. As always, when direct military aggression is out of the question, their weapons-of-choice are cultural subversion, financial/trade restrictions and of course financing militants and/or popular social movements to cause trouble in targeted nations. 

Needless to say, Russia has proven to be their most potent competition. Moscow's control of European gas supplies, its self-reliance, its military and diplomatic capabilities as well as the Western establishment's historic/instinctual fear of a rising East is the main reason behind their unbridled hate towards the Russian nation. Simply put: The Anglo-American-Jewish alliance sees its demise with the rise of Russia. This is the fundamental reason for their anti-Russian hysteria.

Nevertheless, a
s long as the Western world is protected by oceans and allied buffer states, the Anglo-American-Jewish establishment will continue their volatile political experiments around the world. As long as the Western world controls the commodities trade and the money flow in the world, the
Anglo-American-Jewish establishment will continue leading the world in matters pertaining to politics, trade, finance and culture. As long as the Western political/financial establishment is not made to suffer severe consequences for their actions around the world, they will continue their egregious crimes against humanity. But, as evidenced by its financial woes and desperate militaristic rampages across the world, the good news for humanity is that the political West is clearly in decline. Sadly, however, on its way down it will cause historic bloodshed around the world. 


The following link is to an excellent radio interview with Italian political analyst Umberto Pascali. Please make sure to listen to him -
"End of the Unipolar World - The Battle for Europe" with Umberto Pascali: http://www.kpfa.org/archiv e/id/103646
As Umberto pointed out, the good news is that we may be living during the twilight of the Anglo-American-Jewish era in human history. The bad news is that before the current state of world affairs will change for the better, it may get much-much worst. The bad news is that a rabid monster that is facing its demise will indeed prove very dangerous. The good news is that a powerful nation exists today to act as a balancing force.

I have been heralding the rise of Russia for the past ten years. For the past ten years I have been calling on people to open their eyes and recognize that the Russian nation has an almost sacred role to play on earth for it is the last front against American imperialism, Western Globalism, Islamic extremism, Zionism and pan-Turkism. 

I'm therefore exceedingly glad that more-and-more people are coming forward in recent years to recognize Russia's value on the political scene. I'm exceedingly glad that more-and-more people are coming forward to sound the alarm about the unprecedented dangers the Western political establishment presents to the world. Humanity is gradually waking up and beginning to recognize the evil nature of the Anglo-American-Jewish global order and the need to stop it. In the meanwhile, let's all pray that Russian leaders continue having the wisdom to resist Western incitement. On this solemn one-hundredth anniversary of the First World War, let's also pray that humanity does not get to experience another global calamity.

Arevordi
July, 2014

***

Is US bent on bringing down Russia? Some in Kremlin say yes

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/US%20Missile%20Shield%20around%20Eurasia.jpg

There are at least two schools of thought in the Kremlin about what Russia can do in the face of a US-led "sanctions attack," which is only growing deeper with each passing week. One school, tactically embraced by President Vladimir Putin himself yesterday, is that conciliatory rhetoric, signals of non-aggression toward Ukraine, and massaging the divergent economic interests between European countries and the US, may succeed in blunting further sanctions, if not rolling back the ones already imposed.

But another point of view, held by many leading foreign policy advisers, is far more pessimistic, and even fatalistic. This perspective argues that Russia's schism with the US will keep on widening no matter what happens in Ukraine. The US, they say, is pursuing a "containment 2.0" strategy that, like the successful US cold war policy that toppled the former Soviet Union, is aimed at weakening and ultimately defeating Russia as a geopolitical foe.

'The Ultimate Goal is Regime Change'

Several waves of sanctions have hit banks and individuals considered close to President Putin or heavily involved in Russia's Ukraine policy-making. Last week the US imposed the toughest measures yet, curbing the access of leading Russian banks and oil companies to Western capital markets. The European Union followed up with somewhat milder sanctions, which they have threatened to bolster again in the wake of the MH17 disaster. But while Moscow's March annexation of Crimea may have been the trigger that unleashed successive waves of sanctions from the US and Europe, the "containment 2.0" theory's adherents say that it was merely the spark that set off a conflict that had been brewing for a long time.

"It's an illusion to believe that there are some specific steps we could take in connection with Ukraine to mollify the US, and they would lift this blockade and return to normal," says Sergei Markov, a Kremlin-connected political analyst. "No, just watch, they will keep moving the goal posts."

The real reasons that US-Russia acrimony has been inexorably building, they say, is that Russia is at the leading edge of emerging countries that are challenging the US-run global financial and political order. The US plan, Mr. Markov says, "is to continue tightening the screws over the long term, aiming to increase discontent among Russia's middle class, and to turn people against Putin. The ultimate goal is regime change, and we would be fools not to see that."

Although the Kremlin has claimed that sanctions against Russia will "boomerang" against Western economic interests, few analysts believe Russia can win against the overwhelming financial and economic firepower of the US and its allies in any extended showdown. As such, some argue that Russia has no choice but to accept a measure of isolation as its lot.

Embracing Isolation

But there are ways Russia can turn the situation to its advantage, they say. First, they argue, the Kremlin could adopt policies that might compensate for the loss of foreign investment by encouraging domestic capital to mobilize. Indeed, they say, something just like that appears to have happened by accident. After the first wave of US sanctions caused an exodus of foreign investors in March, a remarkable Russian stock market rebound occurred in the weeks after, as Russians came rushing in to snap up the bargains.

Similarly, they argue, the Russian government can use its nearly half-a-trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves to bolster the ruble and back investments in domestic industries. That could make up for the coming loss of virtually all Ukrainian imports and redirect Russia's economy from raw materials exports to modern manufacturing and services.

"There is a lot of domestic capital and energy that could be unlocked, but our elites need to embrace reforms," says Sergei Karaganov, honorary chair of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies, a leading Moscow think tank. "The sanctions so far imposed are doing very little harm, but our economy was stagnating even before," due to over reliance on raw materials exports and an unwelcoming environment for small and medium-sized businesses in Russia. "The sanctions can be an impetus, a wake-up call," he says, "but only if we make the right policy choices."

A Wall of BRICS?

The other major thing Russia can do, say those who see a US campaign against it, is grow its ties with like-thinking countries who are also at odds with the US-dominated world order.

Unlike the former Soviet Union, whose string of client states were a crippling economic drain, Russia's potential allies are some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Two months ago Putin closed a huge gas deal with China, signalling that Moscow has alternatives if its main customer, the EU, decides to stop buying Russian energy. Last week, at a summit of the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] countries, the emerging five-nation group resoundingly condemned US-led sanctions against Russia. They also established a development bank which could eventually rival US-dominated institutions such as the World Bank.

The evolution of the BRICS over the past 14 years from an idea suggested by a Goldman Sachs analyst to an actual bloc of countries that holds summits, coordinates foreign policies, and designs its own supra-national institutions obviously has deeply-rooted causes. But Russian experts say the current sanctions campaign against Russia by the US is probably doing more than anything else to spur the determination of BRICS states to develop their own parallel institutions – and, incidentally, give refuge to Russia.

"A couple of years ago the idea of a BRICS development bank seemed completely fanciful," says Georgi Toloraya, director of the Russian National Committee for BRICS Research, a semi-official think tank in Moscow. "But now we have this confrontation between Russia and the West. Tensions are growing between China and the US in the political-military sphere. This is changing minds rapidly. Now the idea of creating a separate institution doesn't seem so exotic at all."


US Military Dusts Off Decades-Old 'Readiness' Plans for Russia

http://a.abcnews.com/images/Blotter/AP_Martin_Dempsey_ml_140725_16x9_992.jpg

As American officials fire of diplomatic salvos at Russia in response to that nation's purported actual artillery salvos into Ukraine, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said recently that among other actions, the U.S. military is dusting off decades-old plans, just in case.

"We're looking inside our own readiness models to look at things that we haven't had to look at for 20 years, frankly, about basing and lines of communication and sea lanes," Gen. Martin Dempsey, America's top military officer, said at the Aspen Security Forum Thursday evening. What the military does when faced with these crises is “ our job is preparedness, deterrence and readiness."

In addition to its own plans, Dempsey said the U.S. military is having "conversations with our NATO allies about increasing their capability and readiness" and that there's a very active ongoing process and debate about how best to provide support to Ukraine.

"I wouldn't misinterpret my presence here today sitting with you. We're not sitting still" Dempsey said.

Dempsey said Russia's actions in Ukraine signaled a significant "change in the relationship of the U.S. and Russi" but said America's first instinctual response to Russian aggression should be to look at NATO and the role it played against the Soviets a half century ago.

"That's why NATO was create: to increase stability, offset Soviet aggression at the time, but maintain a stable Europe. And we've been successful at that for 60 years", Dempsey said. "So the first step here is to have that conversation in the halls of NATO while recognizing the change and taking stock in ourselves, in our capabilities, in our readiness, in our deterrent capabilities."

Dempsey's comments came just hours after U.S. officials accused Russia of firing artillery rounds into eastern Ukraine from Russian territory, a move a Pentagon official called a "clear escalation" of the conflict and Russia's alleged hand in it. Beyond Russia's intentions in Ukraine, Dempsey said he also feared that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be in danger of "light[ing] a fire that he loses control of" by stoking a potentially dangerous strain of nationalism in Europe.

Last week a Malaysian Airlines plane crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing nearly 300 travelers. Shortly after, the Ukrainian government produced a bevy of evidence suggesting pro-Russian rebels had downed the plane with a sophisticated surface-to-air missile that Ukraine claims was provided by Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin in turn blamed the Ukrainian government and the west for escalating the conflict and pledged that Russia would do “everything it its power� to facilitate an investigation into the Malaysia Airlines tragedy.

Prior to the plane crash, the Ukrainian government and American officials accused Moscow of secretly sending commandos into eastern Ukraine to foment instability. For instance, one of the rebel's military leaders, Ukraine says, is actually a former Russian intelligence agent from Moscow.

"They are soldiers of fortune, Rambo types who have fought in Russian wars" former White House counter-terrorism advisor and current ABC News consultant Richard Clarke said last week."They are people in close contact with the Russian security services, people who have apartments and homes in Moscow, and people who are probably being paid by Russian security services to be the military heart and core of the rebels. These are the dogs of war."

Putin has denied Russian military troops are active in Ukraine, but said back in March that Russia reserves the right to use military force to protect Russians there.

Source: US Military Dusts Off Decades-Old 'Readiness' Plans for Russia

Global Elite Agitating for War Against Russia

http://rickrozoff.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/14ca3-nuland.jpg

Victoria Nuland — who acted as the front person for the State Department’s coup in Kiev — bluntly expressed the opinion of the United States toward the European Union back in February.

Nuland employed a choice expletive when she dismissed the glacial movement of EU apparatchiks and their apparent political paralysis in response to the State Department’s covert effort to install a cooperative regime in Ukraine.

The MH17 downing was engineered to move the EU and public consensus in the direction of open confrontation with Russia. The EU does not want to appear indifferent and lackadaisical to the exploitatively propagandized tragedy, so it will lend its support for a new round of sanctions and, most importantly, the neocon introduced Senate bill 2277, the so-called “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014” more appropriately dubbed the World War III bill.

The legislation was introduced by Sen. Bob Corker, who is slated to become the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if Republicans take control of that house in November.

If passed the Corker bill will declare Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine “major non-NATO allies” and move NATO troops and equipment into the former Soviet republics of  Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It will put an ABM system on the fast track in Eastern Europe and step up military and intelligence assistance to Ukrainian forces fighting against separatists in Donbass and elsewhere in Eastern Ukraine.

Other suggestions arising from Congress include adding Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Sweden to NATO. The Corker bill will encourage the color revolution crowd to subvert the Russian Federation. “S. 2277 would direct the secretary of state to intensify efforts to strengthen democratic institutions inside the Russian Federation, e.g., subvert Vladimir Putin’s government, looking toward regime change,” writes Patrick Buchanan.

“The U.S. directive to the State Department to work with NGOs in Russia, blatant intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, would be answered with a general expulsion of these agencies from Moscow,” Buchanan adds.

In 2012 Russia booted the premier color revolution organization – the U.S. Agency for International Development – out of the country. The State Department’s USAID, writes Eva Golinger, “is the principal entity that promotes the economic and strategic interests of the US across the globe as part of counterinsurgency operations… Wherever a coup d’etat, a colored revolution or a regime change favorable to US interests occurs, USAID and its flow of dollars is there.”

Corker and the neocon Republicans – including Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, and others who co-sponsored S. 2277 – are looking to push a reluctant EU into a war posture with its trading partner.

“Most Europeans have little stomach for confronting Russia,” writes Doug Bandow for Forbes. “Economic ties with Moscow are profitable, there is no treaty obligation to Ukraine, and no alliance member desires war. So Washington has taken the lead against Moscow even though America has little at stake in Russia’s misbehavior.”
“Efforts to expand NATO are strikingly misguided.  Traditional military alliances were created to advance a nation’s security.  They were not intended to act as clubs for international business, associations for shared values, or tools for political integration.  Military alliances were supposed to prevent and win wars.  During the Cold War the U.S. established the alliance to protect the war-ravaged European states from America’s hegemonic adversary, the Soviet Union, and its satellite-allies.”
NATO has morphed from a post-war relic ostensibly designed to protect Europe into a belligerent alliance aligned against the Russian Federation. It works not only to destroy its economic relationship with Western Europe, but foment regime change within its borders.


“Western elites desire to loot Russia, a juicy prize, and there stands Putin in the way. The solution is to get rid of him like they got rid of President Yanukovich in Ukraine,” writes Paul Craig Roberts.

The last time a spat in Eastern Europe turned excessively violent, 65,000,000 people died and set the stage for the death of 85,000,000 a few years later. In total, during the 20th century, an excess of 250,000,000 people were killed by government.

A repeat of a similar situation will not result in a conventional war, but a nuclear one. “We have 450 active ICBMs, but because of geographical constraints, they can really only be used to attack Russia,” writes Eugene K. Chow. The United States has a total inventory of 4,650 nuclear weapons, including nearly 2,000 actively deployed warheads, and Russia has about the same, Chow explains.

Nuclear weapons, like all weapons, were invented to be used and gain superiority and dominance over an enemy. “The crossbow, the dreadnought, poison gas, the tank, the landmine, chemical weapons, napalm, the B-29, the drone,” all of these weapons have been used, writes Tom Engelhardt, and some of them still are.

Recently a senior adviser to Vladimir Putin said the U.S. plans a nuclear first strike on Russia. Paul Craig Roberts insists the placement of ABM systems in Eastern Europe are intended to intercept Russian missiles after a first strike. “The Western elites and governments are not merely totally corrupt, they are insane. As I have previously written, don’t expect to live much longer,” Roberts warns.

Source: Global Elite Agitating for War Against Russia

Washington Post: War in Europe is not a hysterical idea

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Over and over again — throughout the entirety of my adult life, or so it feels — I have been shown Polish photographs from the beautiful summer of 1939: The children playing in the sunshine, the fashionable women on Krakow streets. I have even seen a picture of a family wedding that took place in June 1939, in the garden of a Polish country house I now own. All of these pictures convey a sense of doom, for we know what happened next. September 1939 brought invasion from both east and west, occupation, chaos, destruction, genocide. Most of the people who attended that June wedding were soon dead or in exile. None of them ever returned to the house.

In retrospect, all of them now look naive. Instead of celebrating weddings, they should have dropped everything, mobilized, prepared for total war while it was still possible. And now I have to ask: Should Ukrainians, in the summer of 2014, do the same? Should central Europeans join them?

I realize that this question sounds hysterical, and foolishly apocalyptic, to U.S. or Western European readers. But hear me out, if only because this is a conversation many people in the eastern half of Europe are having right now. In the past few days, Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Academy of Sciences recently announced it will publish a history of Novorossiya this autumn, presumably tracing its origins back to Catherine the Great. Various maps of Novorossiya are said to be circulating in Moscow. Some include Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, cities that are still hundreds of miles away from the fighting. Some place Novorossiya along the coast, so that it connects Russia to Crimea and eventually to Transnistria, the Russian-occupied province of Moldova. Even if it starts out as an unrecognized rump state — Abkhazia and South Ossetia, “states” that Russia carved out of Georgia, are the models here — Novorossiya can grow larger over time.

Russian soldiers will have to create this state — how many of them depends upon how hard Ukraine fights, and who helps them — but eventually Russia will need more than soldiers to hold this territory. Novorossiya will not be stable as long as it is inhabited by Ukrainians who want it to stay Ukrainian. There is a familiar solution to this, too. A few days ago, Alexander Dugin, an extreme nationalist whose views have helped shape those of the Russian president, issued an extraordinary statement. “Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote — and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.”

But Novorossiya will also be hard to sustain if it has opponents in the West. Possible solutions to that problem are also under discussion. Not long ago, Vladimir Zhirinovsky — the Russian member of parliament and court jester who sometimes says things that those in power cannot — argued on television that Russia should use nuclear weapons to bomb Poland and the Baltic countries — “dwarf states,” he called them — and show the West who really holds power in Europe: “Nothing threatens America, it’s far away. But Eastern European countries will place themselves under the threat of total annihilation,” he declared. Vladimir Putin indulges these comments: Zhirinovsky’s statements are not official policy, the Russian president says, but he always “gets the party going.”

A far more serious person, the dissident Russian analyst Andrei Piontkovsky, has recently published an article arguing, along lines that echo Zhirinovsky’s threats, that Putin really is weighing the possibility of limited nuclear strikes — perhaps against one of the Baltic capitals, perhaps a Polish city — to prove that NATO is a hollow, meaningless entity that won’t dare strike back for fear of a greater catastrophe. Indeed, in military exercises in 2009 and 2013, the Russian army openly “practiced” a nuclear attack on Warsaw.

Is all of this nothing more than the raving of lunatics? Maybe. And maybe Putin is too weak to do any of this, and maybe it’s just scare tactics, and maybe his oligarchs will stop him. But “Mein Kampf” also seemed hysterical to Western and German audiences in 1933. Stalin’s orders to “liquidate” whole classes and social groups within the Soviet Union would have seemed equally insane to us at the time, if we had been able to hear them.

But Stalin kept to his word and carried out the threats, not because he was crazy but because he followed his own logic to its ultimate conclusions with such intense dedication — and because nobody stopped him. Right now, nobody is able to stop Putin, either. So is it hysterical to prepare for total war? Or is it naive not to do so?

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/anne-applebaum-war-in-europe-is-not-a-hysterical-idea/2014/08/29/815f29d4-2f93-11e4-bb9b-997ae96fad33_story.html

World War on Russia’s Mind When U.S. Duels Over Ukraine

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From his perch as Vladimir Putin's adviser for building ties with fellow former Soviet republics, Sergei Glazyev perceives the world shifting to a war footing.

There's a war waged against Russia with economic sanctions and military conflicts roiling Ukraine to Iraq, according to Glazyev, 53, an academician and a native of Ukraine who for the past two years has advised Putin on integration with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Putin struck back this week with a ban on U.S. and European food imports that may benefit the former Soviet allies.

Setting the world ablaze is the U.S., where "hawks" are provoking a global conflict "with the aim of establishing control not only in Europe, but also in Russia, Ukraine," Glazyev said in an interview in Moscow on Staraya Ploshchad, where the presidential staff has its headquarters. On his office's walls are a picture of Putin and an updated map of Russia that marks the annexed Crimea peninsula as its territory.

Months of a slow boil of European and U.S. sanctions against Russia over Ukraine have done little more than harden a siege mentality in the Kremlin, thrusting controversial advisers like Glazyev to the forefront in Putin's showdown against erstwhile Cold War foes. With the country's richest businessmen shaken by the deepening rift, Glazyev's flair for provocation is needed to "intimidate the elites," according to Mikhail Vinogradov, head of the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation.

Russia's Answer

The retaliatory measures "weren't our choice, but we won't leave an escalation of sanctions unanswered," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Vygaudas Usackas, head of the European Union delegation in Moscow, according to a statement issued today.

Glazyev, a Soviet-educated economist, has been sanctioned by both the EU and the U.S. for allegedly meddling in Ukraine's sovereign affairs. A former State Duma deputy and co-founder of the nationalist Rodina party, he ran against Putin for president in 2004.

In 1992-1993, he was the minister for external economic relations, and later served as a senior official at the Eurasian Economic Community and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Last year he was considered as a candidate to replace Sergey Ignatiev at the helm of Russia's central bank, according to Reuters. The job went to Elvira Nabiullina, a former economy minister and aide to Putin.
Crimean Takeover

While some of Glazyev's proposals have been rebuffed by the government, such as his list of 15 countermeasures against countries that penalize Russia and calls for the central bank to lower interest rates, his denunciation of outside meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs in January and a defense of then-President Viktor Yanukovych highlighted the turn taken by Kremlin during the crisis, which culminated in the seizure of Crimea in March.

Putin, who's repeatedly denied any involvement in the pro-Russian insurrection raging in eastern Ukraine, said last month that "ultimatums" made by the U.S. and the EU are aiming to destabilize his country. He also accused the U.S. and its allies of exploiting the crash of Malaysian Air Flight 17 to force him to renounce support for people of Russian heritage in Ukraine.

These arguments resonate with Glazyev, who said the U.S. is trying to grow stronger at the expense of others, thwarting integration across Eurasia and checking China's clout.

Kazakhstan, Belarus

In May, Putin signed a treaty with his counterparts from Kazakhstan and Belarus to create a trading bloc of more than 170 million people. Kyrgyzstan and Armenia are seeking to join by the end of the year. The union, effective from the start of 2015, is intended to yield a free flow of goods, capital and workers, and will level tariff and non-tariff regulations.

Putin has sought to lure Ukraine and its more than 40 million people into the alliance to build a trading bloc to rival the EU. Yanukovych pursued closer ties with the customs union and pulled out of an association agreement with the EU before his ouster in February. His successor, President Petro Poroshenko, signed the free-trade accord with the 28-nation bloc in June.

Russia can't go it alone against the U.S. and must create an "anti-war coalition" to check the "aggressor," Glazyev said.

Countering China

"The point of a series of regional wars organized by the Americans, especially today's catastrophe in Ukraine, centers on the U.S. securing control over all of north Eurasia" to bolster "its position against China," Glazyev said. "That's how the U.S. military and oligarchs are trying to maintain leadership in the global competition with China."

The effort will backfire, said Glazyev, who spoke before a round of retaliatory steps announced by Russia yesterday banning food and agricultural products for one year from the U.S., the EU, Norway, Canada and Australia. The U.S.-led "economic war" against Russia will ricochet, leaving the EU to pay the steepest costs in the conflict, he said.

The trading bloc stands to lose about 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion), an estimate he says includes the possible bankruptcy of several European banks and companies toppled after the cutoff in financial and economic ties. An energy crisis in Europe will bring a sharp spike in prices and a loss of competitiveness for European producers. Meanwhile, Turkish, Chinese and east Asian nations will fill the void left by the departure of their European rivals from the Russian market.
Germany, Estonia

The fallout will cost 250 billion euros for Germany alone while pushing the three Baltic states to the brink of an "economic catastrophe," he said. Lithuania and Latvia will lose the equivalent of half of their entire economic output, and the cost for Estonia will reach 50 percent more than its gross domestic product, Glazyev said.

Where does that leave Russia?

"Task no. 1 is to block those threats to economic security that are now coming from the U.S., neutralize them by reducing the dependence of our external economic activity on the mercy of American politicians, whose aggressiveness threatens the entire world," he said.

To further insulate its economy, Russia should abandon the use of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, according to Glazyev. Russia, which international reserves are the world's fifth-biggest, needs to diversify its holdings to include China's yuan, India's rupee and Brazil's real.

‘Behave Properly'

"If a country aspires to reserve status for its currency, it should behave properly, and that isn't the case today," Glazyev said.

Still, turning Russia into a ringed-off economic fortress isn't at the heart of Glazyev's prescriptions. Faced with a souring climate abroad, the country should promote import substitution and policies aimed at reversing the brain drain that's sapped Russia's scientific prowess.

"What could serve as our chief response is the implementation of a plan for fast-track development of the Russian economy on the basis of a new technological order," he said. "This plan includes a transition to a sovereign monetary system underpinned by internal sources of credit, an active policy of innovation and support for progress in science and technology."

Glazyev is at pains to emphasize that Russia, a "victim of aggression," must build bridges with the international community to rein in America's "aggressive, paranoid political leadership." Penalizing European or U.S. companies is "counterproductive" because they can serve as allies in a conflict that doesn't serve their interest, according to Glazyev.


The Emperor’s Rage: Let Chaos Envelop the World!

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Chaos reigns and spreads as enraged leaders in the US, Europe and their clients and allies pursue genocidal wars. Mercenary wars in Syria; Israel’s terror bombing on Gaza; proxy wars in the Ukraine, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia. Tens of millions of refugees flee scenes of total destruction.  Nothing is sacred.  There are no sanctuaries.  Homes, schools, hospitals and entire families are targeted for destruction.

Chaos by Design

At the center of chaos, the wild-eyed President Obama strikes blindly, oblivious of the consequences, willing to risk a financial debacle or a nuclear war.  He enforces sanctions against Iran; imposes sanctions on Russia; sets up missile bases five launch minutes from Moscow; sends killer drones against Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan; arms mercenaries in Syria; trains and equips Kurds in Iraq and pays for Israel’s savagery against Gaza.

Nothing works.

The Chaos President is blind to the fact that starving one’s adversaries does not secure submission:  it unites them to resist.  Regime change, imposing proxies by force and subterfuge, can destroy the social fabric of complex societies:  Million of peasants and workers become uprooted refugees. Popular social movements are replaced by organized criminal gangs and bandit armies.

Central America, the product of decades of US direct and proxy military interventions, which prevented the most basic structural changes, has become a chaotic, unlivable inferno for millions.  Tens of thousands of children flee from their ‘free market’- induced mass poverty and militarized state and gangster violence.  Children refugees at the US border are arrested in mass, and imprisoned in makeshift detention camps, subject to psychological, physical and sexual abuse by officials and guards on the inside.  On the outside, these pitiful children are exposed to the racist hatred of a frightened US public unaware of the dangers these children are escaping and the US government’s role in creating these hells.

The US-backed Kiev aviation authorities re-directed international passenger airlines to fly over war zones bristling with anti-aircraft missiles while Kiev’s jets bombed the rebellious cities and towns.  One flight was shot down and nearly 300 civilians perished.  Immediately an explosion of accusations from Kiev blaming Russian President Putin flooded Western media with no real facts to explain the tragedy/crime.  War-crazy President Obama and the slavering prime ministers of the EU ejaculated ultimatums, threatening to convert Russia into a pariah state.  ‘Sanctions, sanctions, everywhere . . .  but first… France must complete its $1.5 billion sale to the Russian navy.’  And the City of London exempts the Russian oligarchs from the ‘sanctions’, embedded as they are in London’s money-laundering, parasitical FIRE (Fire, Insurance and Real Estate) economy. The Cold War has returned and has taken an ugly turn… with exceptions…for business.

Confrontation among nuclear powers is imminent:  And the maniacal Baltic States and Poland bray the loudest for war with Russia, oblivious to their positions on the front lines of incineration…

Each day Israel’s war machine chews up more bodies of Gaza’s children while spitting out more lies.  Cheering Israeli Jews perch on their fortified hills to celebrate each missile strike on the apartments and schools in the densely populated Shejaiya neighborhood of besieged Gaza. A group of orthodox and secular entrepreneurs in Brooklyn have organized group tours to visit the Holy Sites by day and enjoy the Gaza pyrotechnics by night . . . night goggles to view the fleeing mothers and burning children are available at a small extra charge…

Again the US Senate votes unanimously in support of Israel’s latest campaign of mass murder – no crime is depraved enough to ruffle the scruples of America’s leaders.  They hew close to a script from the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations.  Together they embrace a Beast from the Apocalypse gnawing on the flesh and bones of Palestine.

But, Sacre Bleu!  France’s Zionists have prevailed on the ‘President-Socialiste’ Hollande.  Paris bans all anti-Israel demonstrations despite the clear reports of genocide.  Demonstrators supporting the Gazan resistance are gassed and assaulted by special riot police – ‘Socialist’ Hollande serves the demands of powerful Zionist organizations while trashing his country’s republican traditions and its sacred ‘Rights of Man’. The young protestors of Paris fought back with barricades and paving stones in the finest traditions of the Paris Commune waving the flags of a free Palestine.  Not a single ‘red banner’ was in sight:  The French ‘left’ were under their beds or off on vacation.

There are ominous signs away from the killing fields.  The stock market is rising while the economy stagnates.  Wild speculators have returned in their splendor widening the gap between the fictitious and real economy before the ‘deluge’, the chaos of another inevitable crash. In industrial America’s once great Detroit, clean water is shut-off to tens of thousands of poor citizens unable to pay for basic services.   In the midst of summer, urban families are left to defecate in hallways, alleyways and empty lots.  Without water the toilets are clogged, children are not washed.  Roscoe, the master plumber, says the job is way beyond him.

According to our famed economists, the economy of Detroit is ‘recovering . . . profits are up, it’s only the people who are suffering’.  Productivity has doubled, speculators are satisfied; pensions are slashed and wages are down; but the Detroit Tigers are in first place.

Public hospitals everywhere are being closed.  In the Bronx and Brooklyn, emergency rooms are overwhelmed.   Chaos! Interns work 36 hour shifts . . . and the sick and injured take their chances with a sleep-deprived medic.  Meanwhile, in Manhattan, private clinics and ‘boutique’ practices for the elite proliferate.

Scandinavians have embraced the putschist power grab in Kiev.  The Swedish Foreign Minister Bildt bellows for a new Cold War with Russia.  The Danish emissary and NATO leader, Rasmussen, salivates obscenely at the prospect of bombing and destroying Syria in a replay of NATO’s ‘victory’ over Libya. The German leaders endorse the ongoing Israeli genocide against Gaza; they are comfortably protected from any moral conscience by their nostalgic blanket of ‘guilt’ over Nazi crimes 70 years ago.

Saudi-funded Jihadi terrorists in Iraq showed their “infinite mercy” by… merely driving thousands of Christians from ancient Mosul.  Nearly 2,000 years of a continuous Christian presence was long enough!  At least most escaped with their heads still attached.

Chaos Everywhere

Over one hundred thousand agents of the US National Security Agency are paid to spy on two million Muslim citizens and residents in the USA.  But for all the tens of billions of dollars spent and tens of millions of conversations recorded, Islamic charities are prosecuted and philanthropic individuals are framed in ‘sting operations’.

Where the bombs fall no one knows, but people flee.  Millions are fleeing the chaos.

But there is no place to go!  The French invade half a dozen African countries but the refugees are denied refuge in France.  Thousands die in the desert or drown crossing the Med.  Those who do make it, are branded criminals or relegated to ghettos and camps. Chaos reigns in Africa, the Middle East, Central America and Detroit.  The entire US frontier with Mexico has become a militarized detention center, a multi-national prison camp.  The border is unrecognizable to our generation.

Chaos reigns in the markets.  Chaos masquerades as trade sanctions:  Iran yesterday, Russia today and China tomorrow. Washington, Watch out!  Your adversaries are finding common ground, trading, forging agreements, building defenses; their ties are growing stronger.

Chaos reigns in Israel. War-obsessed Israelis discover that the Chosen People of God can also bleed and die, lose limbs and eyes in the alleyways of Gaza where poorly armed boys and men stand their ground.  When the cheers turn to jeers, will they re-elect Bibi, their current kosher butcher?  The overseas brethren, the fundraisers, the lobbyists and the armchair verbal assassins will automatically embrace some new face, without questions, regrets or (god forbid!) self-criticism –if it’s ‘good for Israel and the Jews’ it’s got to be right!

Chaos reigns in New York.  Judicial rulings favor the pirates and their vulture funds demanding one-thousand percent returns on old Argentine bonds.  If Argentina rejects this financial blackmail and defaults, shock waves will ripple throughout global financial markets.  Creditors will tremble in uncertainty:  Fears will grow over a new financial crash.  Will they squeeze out another trillion-dollar bailout?

But where’s the money?  Printing presses are working day and night. There are only a few life boats . . . enough for the bankers and Wall Street, the other ninety-nine percent will have to swim or feed the sharks.

The corrupted financial press now advises warlords on which country to bomb and politicians on how to impose economic sanctions; they no longer provide sound economic information or advise investors on markets.  Their editorial rants will incite an investor flight to buy king-sized mattresses for stuffing as the banks fail.

The US President is on the verge of a mental breakdown: He’s a liar of Munchausen proportions with a bad case of political paranoia, war hysteria and megalomania.  He’s gone amok, braying, ‘I lead the world: its US leadership or chaos’.  Increasingly the world has another message:  ‘It’s the US and chaos.’

Wall Street is abandoning him.  The Russians have double-crossed him.  The Chinese merchants are now doing business everywhere we used to be and we ought to be.  They’re playing with loaded dice.  The stubborn Somalis refuse to submit to a Black President:  they reject this ‘ML King with drones’ . . . The Germans suck on their thumbs in total stupor as Americans monitor and record their every conversation…for their own safety!  “Our corporations are ingrates after all we have done for them”, the First Black President whines.  “They flee from our taxes while we subsidize their operations!”

Final Solutions: The End of Chaos

The only solution is to move on:  Chaos breeds chaos. The President strives to project his ‘Leadership’.  He asks his close advisers very hard questions:  “Why can’t we bomb Russia, just like Israel bombs Gaza?  Why don’t we build an ‘Iron Dome’ over Europe and shoot down Russian nuclear missiles while we fire upon Moscow from our new bases in Ukraine? Which countries will our ‘Dome’ protect?  I am sure that the people of East Europe and the Baltic States will gladly make the supreme sacrifice.  After all, their leaders were at the very front frothing for a war with Russia.  Their reward, a nuclear wasteland, will be a small price to ensure our success!”

The Zionist lobby will insist our ‘Iron Dome’ covers Israel.  But the Saudis may try to bribe the Russians to spare the oil fields as Moscow targets the US missile bases near Mecca.  Our radio-active allies in the Middle East will just have to relocate to a new Holy Land. Do Obama and his advisers imagine reducing the Asian population by a billion or two?  Do they plan several hundred Hiroshimas because the Chinese crossed the  President’s ‘red lines’:  China’s economy and trade grew too fast, expanded too far, it was too competitive, too competent, too successful at gaining market shares, and they ignored our warnings and our unparalleled military might.

Most of Asia will inhale nuclear dust, millions of Indians and Indonesians will perish as collateral damage.  Their survivors will feast on ‘radiated fish’ in a glowing sea.

Beyond Chaos:  The New American Way:

Because our ‘Iron Dome’ will have failed us, we will have to re-emerge out of toxic ashes and crawl from our bunkers, dreaming of a New America free from wars and poverty.  The Reign of Chaos will have ended.  The ‘peace and order’ of the graveyard will reign supreme.

The emperors will be forgotten. And we never will have found out who fired that missile at the doomed Malaysian airliner with its 300 passengers and crew.  We will have lost count of the thousands of Palestinian parents and children slaughtered in Gaza by the Chosen People of Israel. We will not know how the sanctions against Russia panned out. 

It won’t matter in the post-nuclear age, after the Chaos…


NATO’s Global Offensive

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No holiday this summer for NATO; it’s working overtime. In preparation for the Summit of Heads of State and Government on September 4-5 in Newport in Wales, NATO will set down the blueprint for ’"strategic adaptation" for anti-Russia moves. As already announced by U.S. General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, it "will cost money, time and effort." The work has already begun.

In Ukraine, while NATO intensifies its training of Kiev’s armed forces — financed by Washington with $33 million — they are reactivating three military airports in the southern region, used by jet fighter-bombers of the alliance. In Poland they have just carried out an exercise of American Polish and Estonian paratroopers, jumping from C-130J troop carrying aircraft that arrived from the German base at Ramstein. In Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania various NATO military operations are going on, with AWACS radar planes, F-16 fighters and warships in the Black Sea.

In Georgia, where NATO was received by a delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly to accelerate Georgia’s entry into the Alliance, U.S. instructors are retraining troops returned from Afghanistan to operate in the Caucasus. In Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Armenia they are training forces chosen because they are operating under command of NATO, in whose headquarters officers of these countries are already present. In Afghanistan, NATO is converting the war, turning it into a series of "covert operations."

The “North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” after its extension into Eastern Europe (even into the territory of the former Soviet Union) and to Central Asia, is now focusing on other regions.
In the Middle East, NATO, without appearing officially, infiltrated forces to lead a covert military operation against Syria and is preparing for other operations, as evidenced by the shift to Izmir, Turkey, of Landcom, the command of all the land forces of the alliance.

In Africa, after waging a war to demolish Libyaa in 2011, NATO signed last May in Addis Ababa an agreement that increases military assistance provided to the African Union, in particular the education and training of brigades of the African Standby Force, which also provides “planning and naval air transport.” It thus has a determining voice in decisions on where and how to use them. Another tool is the "anti-piracy" operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean and the strategically important Gulf of Aden.

Italian warships will participate in the operation, conducted in concert with the U.S. Africa Command. Their task is to forge relationships with the armed forces of the seacoast countries: for this purpose the guided missile destroyer Mimbelli made a stopover at Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania from July 13 to 17.

In Latin America, NATO signed a "Security Agreement" in 2013 with Colombia, which was already involved in military programs of the alliance; Colombia may soon become a partner. In this context, the U.S. Southern Command in Colombia is holding an exercise of South and North American Special Forces, with the participation of 700 commandos.

In the Pacific Rimpac 2014 is now taking place. This is the word’s largest maritime exercise, directed against China and Russia. Under U.S. command, 25,000 soldiers from 22 countries with 55 ships and 200 warplanes are participating. NATO is present through the naval forces of the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Norway, plus Italy, Germany and Denmark as observers. The “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” has been extended to the Pacific.

Source: http://www.voltairenet.org/article184929.html

Europe's Nightmare Coming True: America vs. Russia...Again

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Russia is learning to live in a new harsh environment of U.S.-led economic sanctions and political confrontation with the United States. More than five months after the change of regime in Kiev, which ushered in a new era in Moscow's foreign policy and its international relations, a rough outline of Russia's new security strategy is emerging. It is designed for a long haul and will probably impact the global scene.

The central assumption in that strategy is that Russia is responding to U.S. policies that are meant to box it in and hold it down—and back. The Kremlin absolutely could not ignore the developments in Ukraine, a country of utmost importance to Russia. The armed uprising in Kiev brought to power a coalition of ultranationalists and pro-Western politicians: the worst possible combination Moscow could think of. President Putin saw this as a challenge both to Russia's international position and to its internal order.

Taking up the challenge, however, meant a real and long-term conflict with the United States. Verbal opposition to U.S. global hegemony was not enough. Unlike the 2008 Georgia war, Ukraine was not an episode that could be safely localized and bracketed. Essentially, the current U.S.-Russian struggle is about a new international order.

For the foreseeable future, Ukraine will remain the main battleground of that struggle. Moscow's tactics can change, but its core interests will not. The main goal is to bar Ukraine from NATO, and the U.S. military from Ukraine. Other goals include keeping the Russian cultural identity of Ukraine's south and east, and keeping Crimea Russian. In the very long run, the status of Crimea will be the emblem of the outcome of the competition.

In broader terms, the competition is not so much for Ukraine as for Europe and its direction. Unlike at the start of the Cold War, with its pervasive and overriding fear of communism, the present situation in Ukraine and the wider U.S. conflict with Russia can be divisive. Western Europeans generally still see no threat from Russia; they also depend on Russian energy supplies and on the Russian market for their manufacturing exports.

Russia will seek to salvage as much of its economic relationship with the EU countries as possible, especially to retain some access to European technology and investment. It will also work hard to protect the market for its energy supplies to Europe. In this effort, Moscow will focus on Germany, Italy, France, Spain and a number of smaller countries—from Finland to Austria to Greece—with which Russia has built extensive trading relations.

Ideally, Russia would want to see Europe winning back a measure of strategic independence from the United States. Moscow may hope that the U.S.-led punishment of Russia, coming as it does mainly at the expense of the EU's trade with it, can lead to Transatlantic and intra-EU divisions. Yet, the Russians already feel that for the foreseeable future Europe will follow the United States, even if at a distance. Thus, at least in the short term, Russia will have to count with a more hostile Europe.

Longer-term Russian calculations are linked with the steady emergence of Germany as a twenty-first century great power and Europe's de facto leader. This process, over time, could give the EU the character of a genuine strategic player and make Europe's relations with the United States more equitable. Even though Berlin's and Moscow's interests differ significantly, and a stronger Germany may not necessarily lead to an easy understanding with Russia, Russo-German relations are a rising priority for the Kremlin.

This calculus however, is for the distant future. For the present, Russia is seeking to compensate for the losses in its Western trade and its standing vis-a-vis Europe and the United States through a new outreach to Asia. China's importance to Russia rises, as it is the one major economy impervious to U.S.-initiated sanctions. Concerned at the same time with potentially becoming too dependent on its giant neighbor, Russia will seek to engage others, such as Japan and South Korea, but, like in Europe's case, those countries' relations with Russia will be constrained by their alliances with the United States.
 
Source: Europe's Nightmare Coming True: America vs. Russia...Again

Western plutocracy goes bear hunting

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The post-Cold War status quo in Eastern Europe, not to mention in Western Europe, is now dead. For Western plutocracy, that 0.00001% at the top, the real Masters of the Universe, Russia is the ultimate prize; an immense treasure of natural resources, forests, pristine water, minerals, oil and gas. Enough to drive any NSA-to-CIA Orwellian/Panopticon war game to ecstasy. How to pounce and profit from such a formidable loot?

Enter Globocop NATO. Barely out of having its collective behind unceremoniously kicked by a bunch of mountain warriors with Kalashnikovs, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is now fast “pivoting” – that same old Mackinder to Brzezinski game – to Russia. The road map will be put in place at the group’s summit in early September in Wales. Meanwhile, the MH17 tragedy is undergoing a fast metamorphosis. When the on-site observations by this Canadian OSCE monitor (watch the video carefully) are compounded with this analysis by a German pilot, a strong probability points to a Ukrainian Su-25′s 30 mm auto-cannon firing at the cockpit of MH17, leading to massive decompression and the crash.

No missile – not even an air-to-air R-60M, not to mention a BUK (the star of the initial, frenetic American spin). The new possible narrative fits with on-site testimony by eyewitness in this now famously “disappeared” BBC report. Bottom line: MH17 configured as a false flag, planned by the US and botched by Kiev. One can barely imagine the tectonic geopolitical repercussions were the false flag to be fully exposed.

Malaysia has handed out the flight recorders to the UK; this means NATO, and this spells out manipulation by the CIA. Air Algerie AH5017 went down after MH17. The analysis has already been released. That begs the question of why it is taking so long for MH17′s black boxes to be analyzed/tampered with.

Then there’s the sanctions game: Russia remains guilty – with no evidence – thus it must be punished. The EU abjectly followed His Master’s Voice and adopted all the hardcore sanctions against Russia they were discussing last week.Yet there are loopholes. Moscow will have reduced access to US dollar and euro markets. Russian state-owned banks are forbidden from selling shares or bonds in the West. Yet Sberbank, Russia’s largest, has not been sanctioned.

So Russia in the short and medium term will have to finance itself. Well, Chinese banks could easily replace that kind of lending. Don’t forget the Russia-China strategic partnership. As if Moscow needed another warning that the only way to go is to increasingly bypass the US dollar system.

EU nations will suffer. Big time. BP has a 20% stake in Rosneft, and it’s already freaking out on the record. ExxonMobil, Norway’s Statoil and Shell will also be affected. Sanctions don’t touch the gas industry; now that would have propelled the EU’s counterproductive stupidity to galactic levels. Poland – hysterically blaming Moscow for everything under the sun – gets more than 80% of its gas from Russia. The no less strident Baltic states, as well as Finland, get 100%.

The ban on dual-use goods – civilian and military applications – will badly affect Germany, the top EU exporter to Russia. On defense, the UK and France will suffer; the UK has no less than 200 licenses selling weapons and missile launching gear to Russia. Yet the French 1.2 billion euro (US$1.6 billion) sale of Mistral assault ships to Russia will go ahead.

Meanwhile, in the demonization front …

This is what Associated Press spins as “analysis” and distributes to papers around the world; a collection of cliches desperately in search of a thesis. Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center, faithful to who pays his bills, gets a few things right and most things wrong. David Stockman at least has a ball deconstructing the lies of the Warfare State. But the real thing is definitely Putin’s economic adviser Sergei Glazyev. One of his key theses is that European business must be really careful to protect their interests as the US attempts to “ignite a war in Europe and a Cold War against Russia”.

This, though, is the ultimate bombshell – delivered by a cool, calm and collected Glazyev. Watch it carefully. A detailed reappraisal of what Glazyev has been saying for weeks now, mixed with some outstanding comments here leads to a inevitable conclusion: key sectors of Western plutocracy want a still ill-defined war with Russia. And journalism’s Holy Grail – never trust anything until it’s officially denied – confirms it.

NATO’s Plan A is to install missile batteries in Ukraine; that is already being discussed in detail in the run-up to NATO’s summit in Wales in early September. Needless to say, if that happens, for Moscow, that’s way beyond a red line; it implies a first strike capability at Russia’s western borderlands.

Washington’s short Plan A, meanwhile, is to organize a wedge between the federalists in Eastern Ukraine and Russia. This implies progressive, direct funding of Kiev in parallel to building up, via American advisers already on the ground, and vast weaponizing, a huge proxy army (nearly 500,000 by the end of the year, according to Glazyev’s projection). Endgame on the ground would be to seal the federalists off into a very small area. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshensko has been on the record saying this should happen by early September. If not, by the end of 2014.

In the US, and a great deal of the EU, a monstrous grotesquerie has developed, packaging Putin as the new Stalinist Osama bin Laden. So far, his strategy on Ukraine was to be patient – what I called Vlad Lao Tzu – watching the Kiev gang hang themselves while trying to sit down with the EU in a civilized manner working for a political solution. Now we may be facing a game changer, because the mounting evidence, which Glazyev and Russian intel relayed to Putin, points to Ukraine as a battlefield; a concerted drive for regime change in Moscow; a concerted drive aiming for a destabilized Russia; and even the possibility of a definitive provocation.

Moscow, allied with the BRICS, is actively working to bypass the US dollar – which is the anchor of a parallel US war economy based on printing worthless pieces of green paper. Progress is slow, but tangible; not only the BRICS but BRICS aspirants, the G-77, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the whole Global South is absolutely fed up with the Empire of Chaos’s non-stop bullying and want another paradigm in international relations. The US counts on NATO – which it manipulates at will – and mad dog Israel; and perhaps the GCC, the Sunni petro-monarchies partners in the Gaza carnage, which can be bought/silenced with a slap on the wrist.

The temptation for Putin to invade Eastern Ukraine in 24 hours and reduce the Kiev militias to dust must have been super-human. Especially with the mounting cornucopia of dementia; ballistic missiles in Poland and soon Ukraine; indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Donbass; the MH17 tragedy; the hysterical Western demonization.

A bear with limited patience

But Putin is wired for playing the long game. The window of opportunity for a lightning strike is gone; that kung fu move would have stopped NATO in its tracks with a fait accompli, and the ethnic cleansing of 8 million Russians and Russophones in Donbass would never have developed.

Still, Putin won’t “invade” Ukraine because Russian public opinion doesn’t want him to. Moscow will keep supporting what is a de facto resistance movement in the Donbass. Remember: in give or take two months, General Winter starts to set in those broke, IMF-plundered Ukrainian pastures. The leaked German-Russian peace plan will be implemented over Washington’s collective dead body. This New Great Game, to a great extent, is also about preventing Russia-EU economic integration via Germany, part of a full Eurasian integration including China and its myriad Silk Roads.

If Russia’s trade with the EU – about US$410 billion in 2013 – is due to take a hit because of sanctions, then that also spells out a Go East movement. Which implies a Russian fine-tuning of the Eurasian Economic Union project. No more a Greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok – Putin’s original idea. Enter the Eurasian Union as a brother in arms of China’s myriad Silk Roads. Still, this spells out a strong Russia-China partnership at the heart of Eurasia – and still this is absolute anathema to the Masters of the Universe.

Make no mistake, the Russia-China strategic partnership will keep evolving very fast – with Beijing in symbiosis with Moscow’s immense natural and military-technological resources. Not to mention the strategic benefits. A case could be made this has not happened since Genghis Khan. But it’s not like Xi Jinping is pulling a Khan to subdue Siberia and beyond.

Cold War 2.0 is now inevitable because the Empire of Chaos will never accept Russia’s sphere of influence in parts of Eurasia (as it doesn’t accept China’s). It will never accept Russia as an equal partner (exceptionalists don’t do equality). And it will never forgive Russia – alongside China – for openly defying the creaking, exceptionalist, American-imposed order. If the US deep state, guided by those nullities who pass for leadership, in desperation, goes one step beyond – it could be a genocide in Donbass; a NATO attack on Crimea; or worst case scenario, an attack against Russia itself – watch out. The Bear will strike.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

Pepe Escobar: NATO is desperate for war

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is desperate; it is itching for a war in battlefield Ukraine at any cost. Let's start with Pentagon supremo, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who has waxed lyrical over the Russian Bear's "threat": "When you see the build-up of Russian troops and the sophistication of those troops, the training of those troops, the heavy military equipment that's being put along that border, of course it's a reality, it's a threat, it's a possibility - absolutely."

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu could not elaborate if it was "threat" or "reality", absolutely or not, but she saw it all: "We're  not going to guess what's on Russia's mind, but we can see what Russia is doing on the ground - and that is of great concern. Russia has amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border." 

In trademark, minutely precise NATOspeak, Lungescu then added that Russia "most probably" would send troops into eastern Ukraine under the cover of "a humanitarian or peace-keeping mission". And that settled it. Hagel and his remote-controlled Romanian minion Lungescu obviously have not read this or simply ignored its detailed explanation by Russian Air Force's spokesman: the "threat" or "build-up" happens to expire this Friday, the last day of Russian military exercises announced in advance. 

Fogh of War gets antsy 

Right on cue, NATO secretary-general Anders "Fogh of War" Rasmussen arrived in Kiev practically foaming war in his mouth, ready to lay down the groundwork for NATO's summit in Wales on September 4 when Ukraine, enthroned as a major non-NATO ally, could be projected to become, in lightning speed, fully NATO-weaponized. Moreover, NATO is about to seriously "build up" in Poland, Romania, the Baltics and even Turkey. 

But then all sorts of Khaganate of Nulands (as in Victoria Nuland, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs) derivatives started to spin out of control. One can imagine the vain Fogh of War vainly trying to regain his composure. That took some effort as he was presented with the spectacle of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - a certified oligarch dogged by dodgy practices - trying hard to evict the Maidan originals from the square in the center of Kiev; these are the people who late last year started the protests that were later hijacked by the Banderastan (as in Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan)/Right Sector neo-Nazis, the US neo-con masters. 

The original Maidan protests - a sort of Occupy Kiev - were against monstrous corruption and for the end of the perennial Ukrainian oligarch dance. What the protesters got was even more corruption; the usual oligarch dance; a failed state under civil war and avowed ethnic cleansing of at least 8 million citizens; and on top of it a failed state on its way to further impoverishment under International Monetary Fund "structural adjustment". No wonder they won't leave Maidan. 

So Maidan - the remix - has already started even before the arrival of General Winter. Chocolate King Poroshenko must evict them as fast as he can because renewed Kiev protests simply don't fit the hysterical Western corporate media narrative that "it's all Putin's fault". Most of all, corruption is even nastier than before - now with plenty of neo-Nazi overtones.


With Fogh of War already fuming because "Russia won't invade", the pompously named "Secretary" of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, neo-Nazi Andrey Parubiy - who is the most likely candidate for having ordered the hit last month on the MH17 civilian aircraft - decided to step out; a certified rat abandoning a sinking ship move mostly provoked by the fact he did not get an extended ethnic cleansing overdrive in Eastern Ukraine, and had to endure a ceasefire. Poroshenko is not an idiot; after loads of bad PR, he knows his nationwide "support" is evaporating by the minute. 

Compounding all this action, a US missile cruiser enters the Black Sea again "to promote peace". The Kremlin and Russian intel easily see that for what it is. And then there's the horrendous refugee crisis building up in eastern Ukraine. This past Tuesday, Moscow during a UN Security Council meeting requested emergency humanitarian measures - predictably in vain. Washington blocked it because Kiev had blocked it ("There is no humanitarian crisis to end"). Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin dramatically described the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk as "disastrous", stressing that Kiev is intensifying military operations.


According to the UN itself, at least 285,000 people have become refugees in eastern Ukraine. Kiev insists the number of internal refugees is "only" 117,000; the UN doubts it. Moscow maintains that a staggering 730,000 Ukrainians have fled into Russia; the UN High Commission for Refugees agrees. Some of these refugees, fleeing Semenivka, in Sloviansk, have detailed Kiev's use of N-17, an even deadlier version of white phosphorus. 

When Ambassador Churkin mentioned Donetsk and Luhansk, he was referring to Kiev's goons gearing up for a massive attack. They are already shelling the Petrovski neighborhood in Donetsk. Almost half of Luhansk residents have fled, mostly to Russia. Those who stayed behind are mostly old-age pensioners and families with small children. Humanitarian crisis does not even begin to describe it; there's no water, electricity, communication, fuel and medicine left in Luhansk. Kiev's heavy artillery partially destroyed four hospitals and three clinics. Luhansk, in a nutshell, is the Ukrainian Gaza. 

In a sinister symmetry, just as it gave a free pass to Israel in Gaza, the Obama administration is giving a free pass to the butchers of Luhansk. And there's even a diversion. Obama was mulling whether to bomb The Caliph's Islamic State goons in Iraq, or maybe drop some humanitarian aid. He opted for (perhaps) "limited" bombing and arguably less limited food and water airdrops. So let's be clear. For the US government, "there might be a humanitarian catastrophe" in Mount Sinjar in Iraq, involving 40,000 people. As for at least 730,000 eastern Ukrainians, they have the solemn right to be shelled, bombed, air-stricken and turned into refugees. 

The new Somalia 

Moscow's red lines are quite explicit: NATO out of Ukraine. Crimea as part of Russia. No US troops anywhere near Russia's borders. Full protection for the Russian cultural identity of southern and eastern Ukraine. 

Yet the - real - humanitarian crisis (which Washington dismisses) is another serious matter entirely. Kiev's forces are not equipped for prolonged urban warfare. But assuming these forces - a compound of regular military; oligarch-financed terror/death squads; the neo-Nazi-infested "voluntary" Ukrainian national guard; US-trained foreign mercenaries - decide to go for mass carnage to take Donetsk and Luhansk, arguably Moscow will have to consider what NATO types spin as a "limited ground intervention" in Ukraine. 

NATO spinsters are foolish enough to believe that if Putin can disguise the intervention as a peacekeeping or humanitarian mission, he may be able to sell it to Russian public opinion. In fact Putin has not "invaded" because Russian public opinion does not want it. His popularity is at a staggering 87%. Only an - improbable - Kiev-perpetrated mass carnage would change the equation, and sway Russian public opinion. Considering this is exactly what NATO wants, Fogh of War will be working overtime to force his vassals to bring about such carnage. 

Still, considering the latest developments, what facts on the ground point to is the current oligarch dance in Kiev already unraveling - as in this example here. Moscow won't even have to bother to consider "invading". Meanwhile, Poroshenko's slow motion genocide in Eastern Ukraine, as well as his crackdown of Maidan remix in Kiev, will keep getting a free pass. All hail Ukraine as the new Somalia; a fitting Frankenstein created by the exceptionalist Empire of Chaos. 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

Source: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-080814.html



Pepe Escobar: The Birth of a Eurasian Century


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A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass — at the expense of the United States.

And no wonder Washington is anxious.  That alliance is already a done deal in a variety of ways: through the BRICS group of emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Asian counterweight to NATO; inside the G20; and via the 120-member-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Trade and commerce are just part of the future bargain.  Synergies in the development of new military technologies beckon as well. After Russia’s Star Wars-style, ultra-sophisticated S-500 air defense anti-missile system comes online in 2018, Beijing is sure to want a version of it. Meanwhile, Russia is about to sell dozens of state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters to the Chinese as Beijing and Moscow move to seal an aviation-industrial partnership.

This week should provide the first real fireworks in the celebration of a new Eurasian century-in-the-making when Russian President Vladimir Putin drops in on Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.  You remember “Pipelineistan,” all those crucial oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing Eurasia that make up the true circulatory system for the life of the region.  Now, it looks like the ultimate Pipelineistan deal, worth $1 trillion and 10 years in the making, will be inked as well.  In it, the giant, state-controlled Russian energy giant Gazprom will agree to supply the giant state-controlled China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) with 3.75 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas a day for no less than 30 years, starting in 2018. That’s the equivalent of a quarter of Russia’s massive gas exports to all of Europe. China’s current daily gas demand is around 16 billion cubic feet a day, and imports account for 31.6% of total consumption.

Gazprom may still collect the bulk of its profits from Europe, but Asia could turn out to be its Everest. The company will use this mega-deal to boost investment in Eastern Siberia and the whole region will be reconfigured as a privileged gas hub for Japan and South Korea as well. If you want to know why no key country in Asia has been willing to “isolate” Russia in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis — and in defiance of the Obama administration — look no further than Pipelineistan.

Exit the Petrodollar, Enter the Gas-o-Yuan

And then, talking about anxiety in Washington, there’s the fate of the petrodollar to consider, or rather the “thermonuclear” possibility that Moscow and Beijing will agree on payment for the Gazprom-CNPC deal not in petrodollars but in Chinese yuan. One can hardly imagine a more tectonic shift, with Pipelineistan intersecting with a growing Sino-Russian political-economic-energy partnership. Along with it goes the future possibility of a push, led again by China and Russia, toward a new international reserve currency — actually a basket of currencies — that would supersede the dollar (at least in the optimistic dreams of BRICS members).

Right after the potentially game-changing Sino-Russian summit comes a BRICS summit in Brazil in July. That’s when a $100 billion BRICS development bank, announced in 2012, will officially be born as a potential alternative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as a source of project financing for the developing world.

More BRICS cooperation meant to bypass the dollar is reflected in the “Gas-o-yuan,” as in natural gas bought and paid for in Chinese currency. Gazprom is even considering marketing bonds in yuan as part of the financial planning for its expansion. Yuan-backed bonds are already trading in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and most recently Frankfurt.

Nothing could be more sensible for the new Pipelineistan deal than to have it settled in yuan. Beijing would pay Gazprom in that currency (convertible into rubles); Gazprom would accumulate the yuan; and Russia would then buy myriad made-in-China goods and services in yuan convertible into rubles.

It’s common knowledge that banks in Hong Kong, from Standard Chartered to HSBC — as well as others closely linked to China via trade deals — have been diversifying into the yuan, which implies that it could become one of the de facto global reserve currencies even before it’s fully convertible. (Beijing is unofficially working for a fully convertible yuan by 2018.)

The Russia-China gas deal is inextricably tied up with the energy relationship between the European Union (EU) and Russia. After all, the bulk of Russia’s gross domestic product comes from oil and gas sales, as does much of its leverage in the Ukraine crisis. In turn, Germany depends on Russia for a hefty 30% of its natural gas supplies. Yet Washington’s geopolitical imperatives — spiced up with Polish hysteria — have meant pushing Brussels to find ways to “punish” Moscow in the future energy sphere (while not imperiling present day energy relationships).

There’s a consistent rumble in Brussels these days about the possible cancellation of the projected 16 billion euro South Stream pipeline, whose construction is to start in June.  On completion, it would pump yet more Russian natural gas to Europe — in this case, underneath the Black Sea (bypassing Ukraine) to Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Austria.

Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have already made it clear that they are firmly opposed to any cancellation.  And cancellation is probably not in the cards.  After all, the only obvious alternative is Caspian Sea gas from Azerbaijan, and that isn’t likely to happen unless the EU can suddenly muster the will and funds for a crash schedule to construct the fabled Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, conceived during the Clinton years expressly to bypass Russia and Iran.

In any case, Azerbaijan doesn’t have enough capacity to supply the levels of natural gas needed, and other actors like Kazakhstan, plagued with infrastructure problems, or unreliable Turkmenistan, which prefers to sell its gas to China, are already largely out of the picture. And don’t forget that South Stream, coupled with subsidiary energy projects, will create a lot of jobs and investment in many of the most economically devastated EU nations.

Nonetheless, such EU threats, however unrealistic, only serve to accelerate Russia’s increasing symbiosis with Asian markets. For Beijing especially, it’s a win-win situation. After all, between energy supplied across seas policed and controlled by the U.S. Navy and steady, stable land routes out of Siberia, it’s no contest.

Pick Your Own Silk Road

Of course, the U.S. dollar remains the top global reserve currency, involving 33% of global foreign exchange holdings at the end of 2013, according to the IMF. It was, however, at 55% in 2000. Nobody knows the percentage in yuan (and Beijing isn’t talking), but the IMF notes that reserves in “other currencies” in emerging markets have been up 400% since 2003.

The Fed is arguably monetizing 70% of the U.S. government debt in an attempt to keep interest rates from heading skywards. Pentagon adviser Jim Rickards, as well as every Hong Kong-based banker, tends to believe that the Fed is bust (though they won’t say it on the record). No one can even imagine the extent of the possible future deluge the U.S. dollar might experience amid a $1.4 trillion Mount Ararat of financial derivatives.  Don’t think that this is the death knell of Western capitalism, however, just the faltering of that reigning economic faith, neoliberalism, still the official ideology of the United States, the overwhelming majority of the European Union, and parts of Asia and South America.

As far as what might be called the “authoritarian neoliberalism” of the Middle Kingdom, what’s not to like at the moment? China has proven that there is a result-oriented alternative to the Western “democratic” capitalist model for nations aiming to be successful. It’s building not one, but myriad new Silk Roads, massive webs of high-speed railways, highways, pipelines, ports, and fiber optic networks across huge parts of Eurasia. These include a Southeast Asian road, a Central Asian road, an Indian Ocean “maritime highway” and even a high-speed rail line through Iran and Turkey reaching all the way to Germany.

In April, when President Xi Jinping visited the city of Duisburg on the Rhine River, with the largest inland harbor in the world and right in the heartland of Germany’s Ruhr steel industry, he made an audacious proposal: a new “economic Silk Road” should be built between China and Europe, on the basis of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe railway, which already runs from China to Kazakhstan, then through Russia, Belarus, Poland, and finally Germany. That’s 15 days by train, 20 less than for cargo ships sailing from China’s eastern seaboard. Now that would represent the ultimate geopolitical earthquake in terms of integrating economic growth across Eurasia.

Keep in mind that, if no bubbles burst, China is about to become — and remain — the number one global economic power, a position it enjoyed for 18 of the past 20 centuries. But don’t tell London hagiographers; they still believe that U.S. hegemony will last, well, forever.

Take Me to Cold War 2.0

Despite recent serious financial struggles, the BRICS countries have been consciously working to become a counterforce to the original and — having tossed Russia out in March — once again Group of 7, or G7. They are eager to create a new global architecture to replace the one first imposed in the wake of World War II, and they see themselves as a potential challenge to the exceptionalist and unipolar world that Washington imagines for our future (with itself as the global robocop and NATO as its robo-police force). Historian and imperialist cheerleader Ian Morris, in his book War! What is it Good For?, defines the U.S. as the ultimate “globocop” and “the last best hope of Earth.” If that globocop “wearies of its role,” he writes, “there is no plan B.”

Well, there is a plan BRICS — or so the BRICS nations would like to think, at least. And when the BRICS do act in this spirit on the global stage, they quickly conjure up a curious mix of fear, hysteria, and pugnaciousness in the Washington establishment. Take Christopher Hill as an example. The former assistant secretary of state for East Asia and U.S. ambassador to Iraq is now an advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm deeply connected to the White House and the State Department. When Russia was down and out, Hill used to dream of a hegemonic American “new world order.”  Now that the ungrateful Russians have spurned what “the West has been offering” — that is, “special status with NATO, a privileged relationship with the European Union, and partnership in international diplomatic endeavors” — they are, in his view, busy trying to revive the Soviet empire. Translation: if you’re not our vassals, you’re against us.  Welcome to Cold War 2.0.

The Pentagon has its own version of this directed not so much at Russia as at China, which, its think tank on future warfare claims, is already at war with Washington in a number of ways. So if it’s not apocalypse now, it’s Armageddon tomorrow. And it goes without saying that whatever’s going wrong, as the Obama administration very publicly “pivots” to Asia and the American media fills with talk about a revival of Cold War-era “containment policy” in the Pacific, it’s all China’s fault.

Embedded in the mad dash toward Cold War 2.0 are some ludicrous facts-on-the-ground: the U.S. government, with $17.5 trillion in national debt and counting, is contemplating a financial showdown with Russia, the largest global energy producer and a major nuclear power, just as it’s also promoting an economically unsustainable military encirclement of its largest creditor, China.

Russia runs a sizeable trade surplus. Humongous Chinese banks will have no trouble helping Russian banks out if Western funds dry up. In terms of inter-BRICS cooperation, few projects beat a $30 billion oil pipeline in the planning stages that will stretch from Russia to India via Northwest China. Chinese companies are already eagerly discussing the possibility of taking part in the creation of a transport corridor from Russia into Crimea, as well as an airport, shipyard, and liquid natural gas terminal there. And there’s another “thermonuclear” gambit in the making: the birth of a natural gas equivalent to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that would include Russia, Iran, and reportedly disgruntled U.S. ally Qatar.

The (unstated) BRICS long-term plan involves the creation of an alternative economic system featuring a basket of gold-backed currencies that would bypass the present America-centric global financial system. (No wonder Russia and China are amassing as much gold as they can.) The euro — a sound currency backed by large liquid bond markets and huge gold reserves — would be welcomed in as well.

It’s no secret in Hong Kong that the Bank of China has been using a parallel SWIFT network to conduct every kind of trade with Tehran, which is under a heavy U.S. sanctions regime. With Washington wielding Visa and Mastercard as weapons in a growing Cold War-style economic campaign against Russia, Moscow is about to implement an alternative payment and credit card system not controlled by Western finance. An even easier route would be to adopt the Chinese Union Pay system, whose operations have already overtaken American Express in global volume.

I’m Just Pivoting With Myself

No amount of Obama administration “pivoting” to Asia to contain China (and threaten it with U.S. Navy control of the energy sea lanes to that country) is likely to push Beijing far from its Deng Xiaoping-inspired, self-described “peaceful development” strategy meant to turn it into a global powerhouse of trade.  Nor are the forward deployment of U.S. or NATO troops in Eastern Europe or other such Cold-War-ish acts likely to deter Moscow from a careful balancing act: ensuring that Russia’s sphere of influence in Ukraine remains strong without compromising trade and commercial, as well as political, ties with the European Union — above all, with strategic partner Germany. This is Moscow’s Holy Grail; a free-trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok, which (not by accident) is mirrored in China’s dream of a new Silk Road to Germany.

Increasingly wary of Washington, Berlin for its part abhors the notion of Europe being caught in the grips of a Cold War 2.0. German leaders have more important fish to fry, including trying to stabilize a wobbly EU while warding off an economic collapse in southern and central Europe and the advance of ever more extreme rightwing parties.

On the other side of the Atlantic, President Obama and his top officials show every sign of becoming entangled in their own pivoting — to Iran, to China, to Russia’s eastern borderlands, and (under the radar) to Africa. The irony of all these military-first maneuvers is that they are actually helping Moscow, Tehran, and Beijing build up their own strategic depth in Eurasia and elsewhere, as reflected in Syria, or crucially in ever more energy deals. They are also helping cement the growing strategic partnership between China and Iran. The unrelenting Ministry of Truth narrative out of Washington about all these developments now carefully ignores the fact that, without Moscow, the “West” would never have sat down to discuss a final nuclear deal with Iran or gotten a chemical disarmament agreement out of Damascus.

When the disputes between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea and between that country and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyou islands meet the Ukraine crisis, the inevitable conclusion will be that both Russia and China consider their borderlands and sea lanes private property and aren’t going to take challenges quietly — be it via NATO expansion, U.S. military encirclement, or missile shields. Neither Beijing nor Moscow is bent on the usual form of imperialist expansion, despite the version of events now being fed to Western publics.  Their “red lines” remain essentially defensive in nature, no matter the bluster sometimes involved in securing them.

Whatever Washington may want or fear or try to prevent, the facts on the ground suggest that, in the years ahead, Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran will only grow closer, slowly but surely creating a new geopolitical axis in Eurasia. Meanwhile, a discombobulated America seems to be aiding and abetting the deconstruction of its own unipolar world order, while offering the BRICS a genuine window of opportunity to try to change the rules of the game.

Russia and China in Pivot Mode

In Washington’s think-tank land, the conviction that the Obama administration should be focused on replaying the Cold War via a new version of containment policy to “limit the development of Russia as a hegemonic power” has taken hold. The recipe: weaponize the neighbors from the Baltic states to Azerbaijan to “contain” Russia. Cold War 2.0 is on because, from the point of view of Washington’s elites, the first one never really left town.

Yet as much as the U.S. may fight the emergence of a multipolar, multi-powered world, economic facts on the ground regularly point to such developments.  The question remains: Will the decline of the hegemon be slow and reasonably dignified, or will the whole world be dragged down with it in what has been called “the Samson option”?

While we watch the spectacle unfold, with no end game in sight, keep in mind that a new force is growing in Eurasia, with the Sino-Russian strategic alliance threatening to dominate its heartland along with great stretches of its inner rim. Now, that’s a nightmare of Mackinderesque proportions from Washington’s point of view.  Think, for instance, of how Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser who became a mentor on global politics to President Obama, would see it.

In his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski argued that “the struggle for global primacy [would] continue to be played” on the Eurasian “chessboard,” of which “Ukraine was a geopolitical pivot.” “If Moscow regains control over Ukraine,” he wrote at the time, Russia would “automatically regain the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

That remains most of the rationale behind the American imperial containment policy — from Russia’s European “near abroad” to the South China Sea. Still, with no endgame in sight, keep your eye on Russia pivoting to Asia, China pivoting across the world, and the BRICS hard at work trying to bring about the new Eurasian Century.

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT, and a TomDispatch regular. With a chapter on Iran, he is a contributing editor to The Global Obama: Crossroads of Leadership in the 21st Century. Follow him on Facebook.

Russian Bombers With Nuclear Weapons Buzz California And Alaska, Claims United States

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The Ukraine crisis has everyone discussing the possibility of a World War 3 or at least a Cold War 2 lately, but now Vladimir Putin has raised the bar on his saber rattling by sending Russian bombers to California and Alaska while armed with Russia’s nuclear weapons. Worse, some U.S. defense officials believe these 16 flights are “not just training missions.”

In a related report by The Inquisitr, when Russian tanks invaded Ukraine and Russian bombers buzzed the U.S. coast, the response by Putin was to dismiss the possibility of war as “Russophobia propaganda.” But now some leaders in the U.S. government are claiming that another Cold War 2 has already begun.

Unfortunately, this may be the attitude within the Russian government, as well. Recently, Paul Craig Roberts, former editor of the Wall Street Journal, wrote an article he simply titled as “War Is Coming.” In this article, Roberts noted how even advisers to Putin seem to believe World War 3 is around the corner:
“[T]he Russian response to the extra-legal ruling of a corrupt court in the Netherlands, which had no jurisdiction over the case on which it ruled, awarding $50 billion dollars from the Russian government to shareholders of Yukos, a corrupt entity that was looting Russia and evading taxes, is telling. Asked what Russia would do about the ruling, an advisor to President Putin replied, ‘There is a war coming in Europe.’ Do you really think this ruling matters?”
This would explain why Russian bombers “conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days.” U.S. fighter jets were scrambled in order to intercept Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers, Tu-142 Bear F maritime reconnaissance aircraft, and one IL-20 intelligence collection aircraft. According to the Russian Defense Ministry a Russian Tu-95 bomber “is capable of destroying the critical stationary assets of an enemy with cruise missiles, in daytime and nighttime, in any weather and in any part of the globe.”

Major Beth Smith, spokeswoman for U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), says, “Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones.” There were even flights that went into Canadian airspace. Smith believes this “spike in activity” should be considered training missions or exercises and should not be considered an actual threat by Russia’s nuclear weapons.

But the Washington Free Beacon reports that other unnamed defense officials disagree with this official public announcement by the NORAD spokesperson. Instead, they say the Russian bombers are “trying to test our air defense reactions, or our command and control systems,” and that “these are not just training missions.”

Admiral Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, also says that Russia’s nuclear weapons capabilities are being increased by Putin in response to the Ukraine crisis:
“Russia continues to modernize its strategic capabilities across all legs of its triad, and open source [reporting] has recently cited the sea trials of its latest [missile submarine], testing of its newest air-launched cruise missile and modernization of its intercontinental ballistic force to include its mobile capability in that area.”
Are you concerned the Ukraine crisis could cause World War 3 at least revert the world to Cold War status?

Source: http://www.inquisitr.com/1398220/world-war-3-russian-bombers-nuclear-weapons-california-alaska-united-states/

Will Putin Realize That Russia Holds The Cards?

Russian President Vladimir Putin

More evidence, about which I hope to write at length, is piling up that Europe has acquiesced to Washington’s drive to war with Russia, a war that is likely to be the final war for humanity.  By Russia’s low key and unthreatening response to Washington’s aggression, thereby giving the West the mistaken signal that Russia is weak and fearful, the Russian government has encouraged Washington’s drive to war.

It appears that the Russians’ greatest weakness is that capitalism has raised enough Russians to a comfortable living standard that the war that Washington is bringing to them is scary, and they want to avoid it in order to continue living like decadent Western Europeans. The same thing happened to the once fierce Vandals in North Africa in the 6th century when the Vandals were exterminated by a small force from the Eastern Roman Empire. The Vandals had lost the valor that had given them a rich chunk of the Roman Empire. Russia needs to save the world from war, but the avoidance of war requires Russia to make the costs clear to Europeans.

Faced with economic sanctions, essentially illegal and warlike actions, applied to various Russian individuals and businesses by Washington and Washington’s EU puppets and by Switzerland, a country taught to be more fearful of Washington than of Moscow, Russian President Putin has asked the Russian government to come up with countermeasures to be implemented in response to the gratuitous sanctions imposed against Russia. But, Putin says, Russia must hold back: “Obviously we need to do it cautiously in order to support domestic manufacturers, but not hurt consumers.” In other words, Putin wants to impose sanctions that are not really sanctions, but something that looks like tit for tat.

The amazing thing about Russia finding herself on the defensive about sanctions is that Russia, not Washington or the impotent EU, holds all the cards. Putin can bring down the economies of Europe and throw all of Europe into political and economic chaos simply by turning off the energy supply.

Putin would not have to turn off the energy supply for very long before Europe tells Washington good-bye and comes to terms with Russia. The longer Putin waits, the longer Europe has to prepare against Russia’s best weapon that can be used to peacefully resolve the conflict that Washington has orchestrated.

Washington’s aggressive moves against Russia will not stop until Putin realizes that he, not Washington, holds the cards, and plays them. The world has had enough of Washington, its constant lies, its constant wars, and its bullying.  Putin would do well to spend a few hours with Belisarius, Justinian the Great’s great general.

“When I treat with my enemies,” Belisarius said, “I am more accustomed to give than to receive counsel; but I hold in one hand inevitable ruin, in the other peace and freedom.”

That is precisely the position that Vladimir Putin is in with regard to Europe.  In one hand he holds the ruin of Europe.  In the other peace and freedom in the relations between Russia and Europe.

He needs to call up the [expletive deleted] European “leaders” and tell them. If Putin does not put his foot down hard and make clear to the Europeans what the stakes are, Washington will succeed in its determination to drive the world to war, and “exceptional and indispensable” Americans will die along with all the rest. 

Paul Craig Roberts served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States. He is also chairman of The Institute for Political Economy. 



The ‘Other’ Pressure On Putin Is Internal: Russia Hardliners

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Finally, an engagement that Vladimir Putin could enjoy. Wearing dark aviator glasses against the bright sun, the Russian president attended the Russian “Navy Day” parade last Sunday at the Norwegian sea port of Severomorsk. A warship recently put into service fired some salvoes, and sailors responded to Putin’s greeting with three cries of Hurrah!

Reactions like that have become thin on the ground for Putin recently. In his phone calls with Western government leaders the mood has turned steely, the tone sharp. When — even after the death of the 298 passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 — no decisive sign came from the Kremlin that it intended to distance itself from the fighters suspected of having shot the plane down over eastern Ukraine, Brussels too begun discussing tough sanctions against Russia.

Before his appearance at the recent “Navy Day” parade, Putin seemed edgy and tense. After a series of late-night phone calls last week, he offered an apparently improvised video message, struggling for words as he called for an independent investigation of the crash. The video was shown at 1:40 a.m. Moscow time on the Kremlin website and was apparently directed at a Western public and Americans who at that hour had not yet gone to bed rather than to Russians and the pro-Russian fighters in Ukraine.

Two days later, at a meeting of the Russian Security Council, Putin came across to other participants as awkward and stiff.

Some observers took these behaviors as a sign that Putin is also being pressured at home in Russia. Bloomberg had reported the previous week that Russian entrepreneurs were “increasingly frantic” in view of new threats of sanctions and increasing isolation. The 19 richest Russians have already lost $14.5 billion in the crisis, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

But does any of that really have to concern Putin? His popularity ratings are higher than they’ve been in a long time. According to the latest survey by the independent Levada Institute, 86% of Russians support their president’s course. That’s a result that would make any politician think twice before changing direction. There is no indication that the results could change if the European Union were to announce that it is halting all trade in arms, and limiting Russia’s access to European capital markets and technologies relevant to oil and gas production.

In confidential exchanges, high-ranking members of the president’s administration admit that the fear of sanctions is considerable. “Whoever claims that sanctions don’t matter to us is a complete idiot,” said one member of the inner circle with daily access to Putin. Sanctions would be “very painful” for Russia and would probably plunge the country into lasting recession, “but they would not be deadly.” What Russia needs to do is re-orient itself towards other markets, the insider said.

Putin himself appears to be unimpressed by the threat of new sanctions. He even said on Monday that Russia was the one considering limits on arms imports from the European Union: Russia’s arms industry was “entirely” in a position to produce everything it needed on its own, and needed to “insure itself against the risks of our European partners breaking contracts."

Mikhail Fradkov, who was Russian Prime Minister during Putin’s first term as president, is all together more skeptical: “If sanctions were to affect the whole financial sector the economy would break down within six months,” he says.

The Kremlin insider also confirms that the president is under major pressure. Radical powers supported by patriotically revolutionized citizens are trying to get Putin to send troops to march across the border into Ukraine. In fact, state-run television networks are keeping such sentiment alive with reports on both verified and invented victims of Kiev’s anti-terror offensive, as well as alleged broken promises by European politicians, and the United States’ attempts at creating splits between Russia and Europe.

Moscow observers don’t currently see any powerful counter-voices within the Kremlin. Since the beginning of his third term in May 2012, Putin has surrounded himself with yes-men, says Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist specialized in the Russian elite, who until two years ago was herself a member of Putin’s United Russia party.

She says she has no reason to assume that there has been any split in the inner leadership circle. “In our society, open discussion among the power elite is not something that’s done,” she says, adding that it is not in line with the country’s authoritarian traditions. “You either play along, or you leave.”

Yes, there is some disquiet in society and in the Kremlin as well: both regular folks and oligarchs worry about their prosperity. “But there are moments when people understand that a higher goal is at stake – the renaissance of a great power,” Kryshtanovskaya says. So, even people in Putin’s closest circle — whose names are on the U.S. sanctions list — are prepared to endure the downsides to policy choices.

Liberals, however, don’t get much of a hearing at the Kremlin these days. When former Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin warned in an interview with the state news agency Tass last week that sanctions and other showdowns with the West could cost Russians one-fifth of their income, his remarks were kept off state-controlled TV, from which more than 90% of Russian citizens get their news.

It is only when remarks such as Kudrin’s also make it into TV news coverage that a possible change in direction could be underway, says Kryshtanovskaya. There has always been a right-wing, reactionary opposition in Russia even if it has received less attention in the West than the liberal, West-oriented opposition, she points out.

Indeed, what some in the West fail to calculate is that conservatives have been putting pressure on Putin since he came to power 15 years ago — only now there are hardly any liberals left to form a counterweight. Ultimately, any clean break in Putin’s circle of power is unlikely, says political adviser Yevgeny Minchenko who has close ties to the Kremlin. There have always been various camps, between which Putin functions as a sort of moderator.

“I do not believe that an opposition is now forming against the president,” Minchenko said. “That is a naïve hope of the West.”

Source: The 'Other' Pressure On Putin Is Internal: Russia Hardliners

The Rise of the Petroyuan and the Slow Erosion of Dollar Hegemony

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For seventy years, one of the critical foundations of American power has been the dollar’s standing as the world’s most important currency. For the last forty years, a pillar of dollar primacy has been the greenback’s dominant role in international energy markets. Today, China is leveraging its rise as an economic power, and as the most important incremental market for hydrocarbon exporters in the Persian Gulf and the former Soviet Union to circumscribe dollar dominance in global energy – with potentially profound ramifications for America’s strategic position.

Since World War II, America’s geopolitical supremacy has rested not only on military might, but also on the dollar’s standing as the world’s leading transactional and reserve currency. Economically, dollar primacy extracts “seignorage” – the difference between the cost of printing money and its value – from other countries, and minimises U.S. firms’ exchange rate risk. Its real importance, though, is strategic: dollar primacy lets America cover its chronic current account and fiscal deficits by issuing more of its own currency – precisely how Washington has funded its hard power projection for over half a century.

Since the 1970s, a pillar of dollar primacy has been the greenback’s role as the dominant currency in which oil and gas are priced, and in which international hydrocarbon sales are invoiced and settled. This helps keep worldwide dollar demand high. It also feeds energy producers’ accumulation of dollar surpluses that reinforce the dollar’s standing as the world’s premier reserve asset, and that can be “recycled” into the U.S. economy to cover American deficits.

Many assume that the dollar’s prominence in energy markets derives from its wider status as the world’s foremost transactional and reserve currency. But the dollar’s role in these markets is neither natural nor a function of its broader dominance. Rather, it was engineered by U.S. policymakers after the Bretton Woods monetary order collapsed in the early 1970s, ending the initial version of dollar primacy (“dollar hegemony 1.0”). Linking the dollar to international oil trading was key to creating a new version of dollar primacy (“dollar hegemony 2.0”) – and, by extension, in financing another forty years of American hegemony.

Gold and Dollar Hegemony 1.0

Dollar primacy was first enshrined at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, where America’s non-communist allies acceded to Washington’s blueprint for a postwar international monetary order. Britain’s delegation – headed by Lord Keynes – and virtually every other participating country, save the United States, favoured creating a new multilateral currency through the fledgling International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the chief source of global liquidity. But this would have thwarted American ambitions for a dollar-centered monetary order. Even though almost all participants preferred the multilateral option, America’s overwhelming relative power ensured that, in the end, its preferences prevailed. So, under the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard, the dollar was pegged to gold and other currencies were pegged to the dollar, making it the main form of international liquidity.

There was, however, a fatal contradiction in Washington’s dollar-based vision. The only way America could diffuse enough dollars to meet worldwide liquidity needs was by running open-ended current account deficits. As Western Europe and Japan recovered and regained competitiveness, these deficits grew. Throw in America’s own burgeoning demand for dollars – to fund rising consumption, welfare state expansion, and global power projection – and the U.S. money supply soon exceeded U.S. gold reserves. From the 1950s, Washington worked to persuade or coerce foreign dollar holders not to exchange greenbacks for gold. But insolvency could be staved off for only so long: in August 1971, President Nixon suspended dollar-gold convertibility, ending the gold exchange standard; by 1973, fixed exchange rates were gone, too.

These events raised fundamental questions about the long-term soundness of a dollar-based monetary order. To preserve its role as chief provider of international liquidity, the U.S. would have to continue running current account deficits. But those deficits were ballooning, for Washington’s abandonment of Bretton Woods intersected with two other watershed developments: America became a net oil importer in the early 1970s; and the assertion of market power by key members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1973-1974 caused a 500% increase in oil prices, exacerbating the strain on the U.S. balance of payments. With the link between the dollar and gold severed and exchange rates no longer fixed, the prospect of ever-larger U.S. deficits aggravated concerns about the dollar’s long-term value.

These concerns had special resonance for major oil producers. Oil going to international markets has been priced in dollars, at least since the 1920s – but, for decades, sterling was used at least as frequently as dollars in order to settle transnational oil purchases, even after the dollar had replaced sterling as the world’s preeminent trade and reserve currency. As long as sterling was pegged to the dollar and the dollar was “as good as gold,” this was economically viable. But, after Washington abandoned dollar-gold convertibility and the world transitioned from fixed to floating exchange rates, the currency regime for oil trading was up for grabs. With the end of dollar-gold convertibility, America’s major allies in the Persian Gulf – the Shah’s Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia – came to favour shifting OPEC’s pricing system, from denominating prices in dollars to denominating them in a basket of currencies.

In this environment, several of America’s European allies revived the idea (first broached by Keynes at Bretton Woods) of providing international liquidity in the form of an IMF-issued, multilaterally-governed currency – so-called “Special Drawing Rights” (SDRs). After rising oil prices engorged their current accounts, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab allies of the United States pushed for OPEC to begin invoicing in SDRs. They also endorsed European proposals to recycle petrodollar surpluses through the IMF, in order to encourage its emergence as the main post-Bretton Woods provider of international liquidity. That would have meant Washington could not continue to print as many dollars, as it wanted to support rising consumption, mushrooming welfare expenditures, and sustained global power projection. To avert this, American policymakers had to find new ways to incentivise foreigners to continue holding ever-larger surpluses of what were now fiat dollars.

Oil and Dollar Hegemony 2.0

To this end, U.S. administrations from the mid-1970s devised two strategies. One was to maximise demand for dollars as a transactional currency. The other was to reverse Bretton Woods’ restrictions on transnational capital flows; with financial liberalisation, America could leverage the breadth and depth of its capital markets, and it could cover its chronic current account and fiscal deficits by attracting foreign capital at relatively low cost. Forging strong links between hydrocarbon sales and the dollar proved critical on both fronts.

To forge such links, Washington effectively extorted its Gulf Arab allies, quietly conditioning U.S. guarantees of their security to their willingness to financially help the United States. Reneging on pledges to its European and Japanese partners, the Ford administration clandestinely pushed Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab producers to recycle substantial parts of their petrodollar surpluses into the U.S. economy through private (largely U.S.) intermediaries, rather than through the IMF. The Ford administration also elicited Gulf Arab support for Washington’s strained finances, reaching secret deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their central banks to buy large volumes of U.S. Treasury securities outside normal auction processes. These commitments helped Washington prevent the IMF from supplanting the United States as the main provider of international liquidity; they also gave a crucial early boost to Washington’s ambitions to finance U.S. deficits by recycling foreign dollar surpluses via private capital markets and purchases of U.S. government securities.

A few years later, the Carter administration struck another secret deal with the Saudis, whereby Riyadh committed to exert its influence to ensure that OPEC continued pricing oil in dollars. OPEC’s commitment to the dollar as the invoice currency for international oil sales was key to broader embrace of the dollar as the oil market’s reigning transactional currency. As OPEC’s administered price system collapsed in the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration encouraged universalised dollar invoicing for cross-border oil sales on new oil exchanges in London and New York. Nearly universal pricing of oil – and, later on, gas – in dollars has bolstered the likelihood that hydrocarbon sales will not just be denominated in dollars, but settled in them as well, generating ongoing support for worldwide dollar demand.

In short, these bargains were instrumental in creating “dollar hegemony 2.0.” And they have largely held up, despite periodic Gulf Arab dissatisfaction with America’s Middle East policy, more fundamental U.S. estrangement from other major Gulf producers (Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran), and a flurry of interest in the “petro–Euro” in the early 2000s. The Saudis, especially, have vigorously defended exclusive pricing of oil in dollars. While Saudi Arabia and other major energy producers now accept payment for their oil exports in other major currencies, the larger share of the world’s hydrocarbon sales continue to be settled in dollars, perpetuating the greenback’s status as the world’s top transactional currency. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab producers have supplemented their support for the oil-dollar nexus with ample purchases of advanced U.S. weapons; most have also pegged their currencies to the dollar – a commitment which senior Saudi officials describe as “strategic.” While the dollar’s share of global reserves has dropped, Gulf Arab petrodollar recycling helps keep it the world’s leading reserve currency.

The China Challenge

Still, history and logic caution that current practices are not set in stone. With the rise of the “petroyuan,” movement towards a less dollar-centric currency regime in international energy markets – with potentially serious implications for the dollar’s broader standing – is already underway.

As China has emerged as a major player on the global energy scene, it has also embarked on an extended campaign to internationalise its currency. A rising share of China’s external trade is being denominated and settled in renminbi; issuance of renminbi-denominated financial instruments is growing. China is pursuing a protracted process of capital account liberalisation essential to full renminbi internationalisation, and is allowing more exchange rate flexibility for the yuan. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) now has swap arrangements with over thirty other central banks – meaning that renminbi already effectively functions as a reserve currency.

Chinese policymakers appreciate the “advantages of incumbency” the dollar enjoys; their aim is not for renminbi to replace dollars, but to position the yuan alongside the greenback as a transactional and reserve currency. Besides economic benefits (e.g., lowering Chinese businesses’ foreign exchange costs), Beijing wants – for strategic reasons – to slow further growth of its enormous dollar reserves. China has watched America’s increasing propensity to cut off countries from the U.S. financial system as a foreign policy tool, and worries about Washington trying to leverage it this way; renminbi internationalisation can mitigate such vulnerability. More broadly, Beijing understands the importance of dollar dominance to American power; by chipping away at it, China can contain excessive U.S. unilateralism.

China has long incorporated financial instruments into its efforts to access foreign hydrocarbons. Now Beijing wants major energy producers to accept renminbi as a transactional currency – including to settle Chinese hydrocarbon purchases – and incorporate renminbi in their central bank reserves. Producers have reason to be receptive. China is, for the vastly foreseeable future, the main incremental market for hydrocarbon producers in the Persian Gulf and former Soviet Union. Widespread expectations of long-term yuan appreciation make accumulating renminbi reserves a “no brainer” in terms of portfolio diversification. And, as America is increasingly viewed as a hegemon in relative decline, China is seen as the preeminent rising power. Even for Gulf Arab states long reliant on Washington as their ultimate security guarantor, this makes closer ties to Beijing an imperative strategic hedge. For Russia, deteriorating relations with the United States impel deeper cooperation with China, against what both Moscow and Beijing consider a declining, yet still dangerously flailing and over-reactive, America.

For several years, China has paid for some of its oil imports from Iran with renminbi; in 2012, the PBOC and the UAE Central Bank set up a $5.5 billion currency swap, setting the stage for settling Chinese oil imports from Abu Dhabi in renminbi – an important expansion of petroyuan use in the Persian Gulf. The $400 billion Sino-Russian gas deal that was concluded this year apparently provides for settling Chinese purchases of Russian gas inrenminbi; if fully realised, this would mean an appreciable role for renminbi in transnational gas transactions.

Looking ahead, use of renminbi to settle international hydrocarbon sales will surely increase, accelerating the decline of American influence in key energy-producing regions. It will also make it marginally harder for Washington to finance what China and other rising powers consider overly interventionist foreign policies – a prospect America’s political class has hardly begun to ponder.

This article originally appeared at The World Financial Review and is reprinted with the authors’ permission.

Flynt Leverett is professor of international affairs at Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs. Hillary Mann Leverett teaches US foreign policy at American University and is CEO of STRATEGA, a political risk consultancy. They are both retired national security professionals, Flynt of the CIA, State Department and National Security Council; Hillary of the State Department, National Security Council and US mission to the United Nations. They are co-authors of
Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Visit their website.

Source: The Rise of the Petroyuan and the Slow Erosion of Dollar Hegemony
 
Russia Is Involved In Another Border Dispute That No One Is Talking About

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With all eyes focused on Ukraine's border with Russia, it is hardly surprising that the "other" dispute has fallen off the front pages. However, as Stratfor notes, there has been a burst of diplomatic activity in recent months over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which Armenia and Azerbaijan have disputed for decades.

Russia, the strongest power in the Caucasus, has become more engaged in the issue as Azerbaijan's leverage in the region grows. Russia's involvement could herald a change in this longstanding conflict.

In 1994, after mediation by numerous external players including Russia, Turkey, and Iran, a cease-fire was reached to end the conflict. But by that time Armenian forces had decisively defeated Azerbaijan, leading to the de facto independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian control of several provinces bordering the region.

Now, as Russia and the West confront each other over Ukraine, the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute represents a subtler yet similarly significant issue for the Caucasus. As Georgia attempts to move closer to the West and Armenia strengthens ties with RussiaAzerbaijan is maintaining a careful balance between the two sides. Azerbaijan thus serves as the pivot of the Caucasus, and the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh is a crucial aspect in shaping Baku's role.

Russia has historically supported the Armeniansbut in light of Azerbaijan's rising influence, Russia has become more engaged on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue than it has been in years. Russian officials have held numerous meetings with officials from Azerbaijan and Armenia on the issue in recent months, indicating a possible shift in Moscow's position.

But for Moscow to truly change its stance on Nagorno-Karabakh, it would need to weaken considerably, or Azerbaijan would need to become so vital to Russian interests that Moscow would change allegiances and confront Armenia, an unlikely prospect at this point. 
 


Anglo-American Dominance Could Be Coming To An End Guest Column by Umberto Pascali


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“It’s only the tip of the iceberg. A grand geopolitical project is beginning to materialize…” 

On June 6 2014, the official Russian news agency Itar Tass announced what many were expecting since at least the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis: Russian main energy company, Gazprom Neft has finally “signed agreements with its consumers” to switch from Dollars to Euros (as transition to the ruble) “for payments under contracts”. 

The announcement that the agreement has been actually signed and not just discussed was made by Gazprom’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Dyukov. Despite the pressures from Wall Street and its military, propaganda and political apparatus, 9 out of 10 consumers of Gazprom’s oil and gas agreed to pay in Euros. Of course, the big watershed was the Gazprom unprecedented 30-years $400Bl natural gas supply to China signed in Shanghai last May 21 in the presence of President Putin and President Xi Jinping in the middle of the Anglo-american sponsored violent destabilization of Ukraine. In fact it is improper to talk a dollar denominated $400Bl, because this “biggest deal” will not be using dollars but the Renminbi (or Yuan) and the Russian Ruble. It links China and Russia economically and strategically for three decades, de facto (and maybe later also de jure) creating an unshakable symbiotic alliance that necessarily will involve the military aspect. 

The Russia-China agreement is a clear defeat of the obsessive geopolitical attempts by Wall Street to keep the two country in a situation of competition or, ideally, war-like confrontation. It changes the structure of alliances. It strikes at the historical foundations of British colonial geopolitics (Divide and Rule). Under escalating pressures and threats to their national security, Russia and China overcame brilliantly historical, ideological, cultural differences which had previously been been by the colonial powers (and their financial heirs in Wall Street and the London’s city) for their “Divide & Conquer” strategy. 

Furthermore, to the horror of London and Washington, China and Russia concluded an agreement with India (the BRICS!) breaking the other holy tenet of British colonial geopolitics: The secret to controlling Asia, and thus Eurasia has always been to instigate a perennial rivalry between India, China, and Russia. This was the formula for the 19th century “Great Game”. This was why Obama was selected to succeed George W Bush. The then vice Presidential candidate Joseph Biden announced it very openly on Aug 27 2008 at the Democratic Convention in Denver, explaining why the Obama-Biden duo had been chosen to take over the White House. The greatest mistake of the Bush administration and the Republicans, he said, was not their atrocious unchained warmongering, but their failure “to face the biggest forces shaping this century. The emergence of Russia, China and India’s great powers”. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s protégé Barack Obama was to defeat this “threat”. Obviously they failed! But this explains the dogged, irrational, King Canute-style self-destructive arrogance that has taken over the present Administration. 

The significance of these developments should be emphasized in relation to both the real economy and  the underlying financial structures. These developments in Eurasia are likely to have weaken on “the chains that have tied the European Union to Wall Street and the City of London”.  The end of the dollar payment system (Aka Petro-dollar) does not concern the currency of the United States or the United States as such. In fact overcoming this system could mean  the restoration of a rational and prosperous economy in the United States itself. What is known as “dollar system” has been just an instrument of feudal financial centers to loot the economy of the world. These centers are ready to do anything to save their right to loot. It is well known that whoever tried, until now, to create an alternative to the dollar system, met a ferocious reaction. 

It is fitting to remember in this moment of great hope, the words of one of the very few great living strategists, Gen. Leonid Ivashov. On June 15 2011, reflecting on the savage destruction of Libya, the general who is an unofficial spokesman of the Russian armed forces and has been Russia’s representative in NATO, wrote “BRICS and the Mission of Reconfiguring the World.” http://www.voltairenet.org/BRICS-and-the-Mission-of 

Whoever challenges the dollar hegemony, explained Ivashov, becomes a target. He gave precise examples: Iraq, Libya, Iran: 

“the countries which defied dollar dominance invariably came under heavy pressure and in a number of cases – under devastating attacks.” But the “the financial empires built by Rothschilds and Rockefellers are powerless against the five largest civilizations represented by the BRICS.”

Thus, Ivashov advocated a coordinated strategy by countries representing half of the world population to win their independence using their own currency. “The shift to national currencies in the financial transactions between the BRICS countries should guarantee an unprecedented level of their independence…” 

Since the collapse of the USSR, the countries which defied dollar dominance invariably came under heavy pressure and in a number of cases – under devastating attacks. Saddam Hussein –who banned dollar circulation in all spheres of Iraq’s economy including oil trade– was displaced and executed and his country was left in ruins. M. Gaddafi started switching Libya’s oil and gas business to gold-backed Arab currencies and air raids against the country followed almost immediately… Tehran had to put its plan to stay dollar-free on hold to avoid falling victim to aggression. 

Still, even enjoying unlimited US support, the financial empires built by the Rothschilds and Rockefellers are powerless against the five largest civilizations represented by countries accounting for nearly half of the world’s population. BRICS is clearly immune to forceful pressure, its member countries do not appear vulnerable to color revolutions, and the strategy of provoking and exporting financial crises may easily backfire. 

In contrast to the US and the EU, BRICS countries altogether own natural resources sufficient not only to keep their economies afloat in the settings of contracting availability of hydrocarbon fuels, food, potable water, and electric power but also to sustain vigorous economic growth. The shift to national currencies in the financial transactions between the BRICS countries should guarantee an unprecedented level of their independence from the US and from the West in general, but even that is only the tip of the iceberg. A grand geopolitical project is beginning to materialize. 

Now it’s the moment for Europe to decide the big step. The Ukrainian crisis is in reality a Battle for Europe. 

The elites of Continental Europe — The Germany of Alfred Herrausen, the France of Charles De Gaulle, the Italy of Enrico Mattei and Aldo Moro, the Europe that tried to road of sovereignty and independence … have been until now terrorized and threatened exactly in the terms explained by Gen Ivashov. Now the Battle for Europe is raging. We will look in a coming article at the great European forces, the silent partners, still traumatized and scared, who are looking with trepidation and painful memories of the past defeats at the firm stand of Russia. 

Source: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/06/07/anglo-american-dominance-coming-end-guest-column-umberto-pascali-courtesy-global-research/

A New Financial System independent from Wall Street and City of London begins to take shape concretely in Russia?

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Russia “forced” by the sanctions to create a currency system which is independent from the US dollar. Russia announces that it will sell (and buy) products and commodities – including oil – in rubles rather than in dollars. The move is towards the development of bilateral.

Putin has been preparing this move — the creation of a payment system in rubles completely independent and protected from the Dollar and the “killer speculations” (e.g. short-selling) of the big Western financial institutions — for a long time. After sanctioning several Russian banks to punish Russia for Crimea, the Washington politicians were told by the financial power-to-be to step back because obviously, the Wall Street vampires understand that putting Russian banks outside the reach of their blood sucking teeth is never a good idea.

For Wall Street and the city’s financial services, countries like Russia should always have an open financial door through which their real economy can be periodically looted. So Washington announced that it was a mistake to enforce sanctions on all Russian banks; only one, the Rossiya bank shall be hit by sanctions, just for propaganda reasons and to make an example out of it. It is what Putin needed. Since at least 2007, he was trying to launch an independent Ruble System, a financial system that would be based on Russia’s real economy and resources and guaranteed by its gold reserves. No  tolerance for looting and financial speculation: A peaceful move, but at the same time a declaration of independence that Wall Street will consider as a “declaration of war”.

According to the Judo strategy, the sanction attack created the ideal situation for a “defensive” move that would redirect the brute force of the adversary against him.  And now it’s happening. Bank Rossiya will be the first Russian bank to use exclusively the Russian ruble. The move has not been done in secret. On the contrary. A huge golden ruble symbol will be set up in front of bank Rossiya headquarters in Perevedensky Pereulok in Moscow “to symbolize the ruble’s stability and its backing by the country’s gold reserves,” the official agency Itar-Tass explains quoting the bank officials. In fact, the officials  are very clear on their intention to punish the western speculators that have been looting their country for a long time:
“Russia, at its present stage of development, should not be dependent on foreign currencies; its internal resources will make its own economy invulnerable to political wheeler dealers.”
This is only the first step, declared Andrei Kostin, the president of VTB, another bank previously sanctioned: 
“We have been moving towards wider use of the Russian rouble as the currency of settlement for a long time. The ruble became fully convertible quite a long time ago. Unfortunately, we have seen predominantly negative consequences of this step so far revealed in the outflow of capital from this country. The influx of foreign investments into Russia has been speculative and considerably destabilizing to our stock markets.”
According to Itar-Tass, Kostin was very precise and concrete:
“Russia should sell domestic products – from weapons to gas and oil – abroad for roubles and buy foreign goods also for rubles….Only then are we going to use the advantages of the rouble being a foreign currency in full measure.”
Putin himself lobbied for the new siystem in meetings with members of the Upper House of the Duma, the parliament, on March 28, overcoming the last doubts and indecisions: “
“Why do we not do this? This definitely should be done, we need to protect our interests, and we will do it. These systems work, and work very successfully in such countries as Japan and China. They originally started as exclusively national [systems] confined to their own market and territory and their own population, but have gradually become more and more popular…”

Gazprom Wants Rubles, Not US Dollars, For Its Arctic Oil Exports Amid Western Sanctions

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Western sanctions against Russia are forcing its state-owned energy giants to ditch the U.S. dollar. Russia said this week that it would accept payment for its oil and gas exports in Russian rubles and Chinese yuan, the business daily Kommersant reported via the official news agency RIA Novosti.

Russian gas conglomerate Gazprom OAO (MCX:GAZP) said it would take rubles in exchange for shipping 80,000 tons of crude oil from its Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic to Europe, Kommersant said. Two tankers carrying the crude departed last week and are due to arrive in Europe next month. Meanwhile, the daily said Gazprom would take yuan for shipping oil via the state-owned pipeline monopoly Transneft AK OAO’s (MCX:TRNFP) Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, which links to a refinery in Daqing, China.

The currency switch is a protective measure for Russia and its state-controlled entities. Since U.S. dollars can be controlled and tracked by the American government, Moscow has begun avoiding making transactions in greenbacks, Kommersant said. Crude oil has been a U.S. dollar-denominated commodity for more than half a century.

The European Union and the U.S. in March introduced a round of sanctions against Russia after the Kremlin annexed Crimea, a peninsula formerly within Ukraine. In July, Western governments ramped up the penalties amid Russia’s escalating intervention in Ukraine, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s refusal to scale back support for rebels after the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, aka MH17. The latest sanctions target the energy, finance and military sectors, with one provision banning the EU and the U.S. from exporting advanced oil technologies to Russia.

Source:http://www.ibtimes.com/russian-energy-giant-gazprom-wants-rubles-not-us-dollars-its-arctic-oil-exports-amid-1672302

Russian Strategy in the Face of Anglo-American Imperialism: The Beginning of World Shift

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The offensive led by Anglos-Saxons (USA, UK and Israel) for world domination continues on two lines simultaneously: both the creation of the "Greater Middle East" (Greater Middle East) by attacking simultaneously Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and separating Russia from the European Union through the crisis they organised in Ukraine.
 
In this sprint, it seems that Washington wants to impose the dollar as the single currency in the gas market, the energy source of the twenty-first century, the way it imposed it on the oil [1] market. The Western media hardly cover the war in Donbass and their population is ignorant of the scale of the fighting, the US military presence, the number of civilian casualties, the wave of refugees. On the other hand, Western media have a delayed reaction to events in North Africa and the Levant, presenting them either as the result of a so-called "Arab Spring" (that is to say, in practice, a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood), or as the destructive effect of a civilization which is inherently violent. More than ever, it is necessary to help the Arabs who are incapable of living peacefully in the absence of Western settlers.
 
Russia is now the leading power capable of leading the resistance to Anglo-Saxon imperialism. It has three tools: BRICS, an alliance of economic rivals who know they can not grow up without one another, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a strategic alliance with China to stabilize Central Asia and finally, the Organization for Collective Security Treaty, a military alliance of former Soviet states.

At the Fortaleza Summit (Brazil), which was held from July 14 to 16, BRICS took the plunge and announced the creation of a monetary reserve fund (mainly Chinese) and a BRICS Bank as alternatives to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the dollar system [2].
 
Even before this announcement, the Anglo-Saxons had established their answer: the transformation of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network in order to prepare unrest among all Muslim peoples of Russia and China. [3] They continued their offensive in Syria and spilled over the borders both in Iraq and in Lebanon. They failed however to expel part of the Palestinians to Egypt and to destabilize the region even more deeply. Finally, they keep away from Iran to give President Hassan Rohani a chance to weaken the power of the anti-imperialist Khomeinists.
 
Two days after the announcement of the BRICS, the United States accused Russia of destroying Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the Donbass, killing 298 people. On this basis, purely arbitrary, they forced the Europeans to enter into economic war against Russia. Situating itself as a court, the Council of the European Union tried and convicted Russia without any evidence and without giving it an opportunity to defend itself. The CEU issued "sanctions" against its financial system.
 
Recognizing that European leaders are not working for the interests of their people, but for those of the Anglo-Saxons, Russia has gnawed at the bit and refrained from going to war in Ukraine. It supports the insurgents with arms and intelligence, and hosts more than 500,000 refugees, but declines to send troops into the fray. It probably will not happen until the vast majority of Ukrainians revolt against President Poroshenko, even if it does not enter the country until after the fall of the People’s Republic of Donetsk.
 
Faced with economic warfare, Moscow has chosen to respond with similar measures, but in agriculture, not finance. Two considerations guided this choice: first, short-term, other BRICS can mitigate the consequences of so-called "sanctions"; on the other hand, medium and long term, Russia is preparing for war and intends to completely rebuild its agriculture to go it alone.
 
Moreover, the Anglo-Saxons have planned to paralyze Russia from within. First by activating, via the Islamic Emirate (EIS), terrorist groups within its Muslim population, and organizing a media challenge in the municipal elections of September 14. Large sums of money have been distributed to all opposition candidates in the thirty largest cities involved, while at least 50,000 Ukrainian agitators, mixed with refugees, are regrouping in St. Petersburg. Most of them have dual Russian citizenship. This is clearly to reproduce at the provincial level protests that followed the elections in Moscow in December 2011 – with the addtition of violence; and engage the country in a color revolution process to which certain officials in the ruling class are favorable.

To do so, Washington has appointed a new ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, who had prepared the "Rose Revolution" in Georgia and the coup in Ukraine. It will be important for President Vladimir Putin to be able to trust his prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, whom Washington hoped to recruit to overthrow him.

Considering the imminent danger, Moscow would have been able to convince Beijing to accept the accession of India in exchange for that of Iran (but also those of Pakistan and Mongolia) to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO ). The decision should be published at the summit in Dushanbe (Tajikistan) on September 12 and 13. It should put an end to the conflict which has opposed India and China for centuries and engage them in military cooperation. This reversal, if confirmed, also would end the honeymoon between New Delhi and Washington who was hoping to distance India from Russia in particular by giving access to nuclear technologies. The membership of New Delhi is also a bet on the sincerity of the new Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, despite the suspicion that he encouraged anti-Muslim violence in 2002 in Gujarat when he was the leading Minister.

In addition, the accession of Iran, which is a provocation in the face of Washington, should give the SCO precise knowledge of jihadist movements and ways to counter them. Again, if confirmed, it would reduce Iran’s willingness to negotiate a lull with the "Great Satan" that led it to elect Sheik Hassan Rohani to the presidency. It would be a gamble on the authority of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
 
Indeed, these memberships would mark the beginning of the shift in the world from the West to the East. [4] Still, this trend must be protected militarily. This is the role of the Organization for Collective Security Treaty (CSTO), formed around Russia, but to which China does not belong. Unlike NATO, this organization is a classic alliance, consistent with the Charter of the United Nations since each member retains the option to leave if it wants. So it is based on this freedom that Washington has tried in recent months to buy some members, including Armenia. However, the chaotic situation in Ukraine appears to have cooled those who dreamed of US "protection".
Tension is likely to increase in the coming weeks.

Source: http://www.voltairenet.org/article185074.html

Putin Wants Measures to Protect BRICS Nations From U.S. Sanctions

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Russia will press other BRICS emerging market nations to agree measures to prevent "sanction attacks" by the U.S. to "harass" countries opposing its policies, President Vladimir Putin said. In an interview published as a two-day BRICS summit got under way in Brazil on Tuesday, Putin said he would urge Brazil, China, India and South Africa to draw "substantive conclusions" from sanctions imposed on Russia over its actions in the Ukraine crisis, and said it was time to dilute the dominance of the U.S.-led West and the U.S. dollar by boosting the role of the BRICS on the global stage.

"Recently Russia has been exposed to a sanction attack by the U.S. and its allies," Putin told the ITAR-Tass news agency.

"Together we should think about a system of measures that would help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the U.S. and their allies, but would promote a civilized dialogue on all points at issue based on mutual respect."

Putin gave no details but said the BRICS nations should cooperate more at the United Nations, where Russia and China have the right of veto, and work together more closely to combat security threats. The president, who attended the World Cup final in Brazil on Sunday, wants the emerging powers to play a bigger role in world affairs to counter U.S. influence.

"Any attempts to create a model of international relations where all decisions are made within a single 'pole' are ineffective, malfunction regularly, and are ultimately set to fail," he told ITAR-Tass.

The BRICS leaders will sign off during their summit in the coastal city of Fortaleza on the creation of a BRICS-led development bank and emergency reserves fund — rivals to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, each of which would be armed with $100 billion. Putin hit out against the “unreasonable delay” in enacting reforms to reflect the new financial might of emerging nations at the IMF, which is dominated by the Group of Seven leading industrial nations.

“We [BRICS] should take a more active part in the IMF and the World Bank's decision-making system,” Putin said, before leveling his sights at another grievance, the status of the U.S. dollar.

“The international monetary system … depends a lot on the U.S. dollar, or, to be precise, on the monetary and financial policy of the U.S. authorities. The BRICS countries want to change this,” he said.

Putin has stepped up criticism of what he says is U.S. meddling in other states' affairs as the former Cold War superpowers clashed over Russia's annexation of Crimea in March and its political support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The U.S. and the European Union have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on some Russian officials and companies, and have threatened more sanctions if Moscow does not do more to de-escalate the crisis.


France lashes out against US dollar, calls for ‘rebalancing’ of world currencies

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The French government wants to break the monopoly the dollar has on international transactions after the country’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, was slapped with a record $9 billion fine and a 1-year dollar trading ban. Michel Sapin, the French finance minister, called for a “rebalancing” of the currencies used for global payments, saying the BNP Paribas case should “make us realize the necessity of using a variety of currencies” the Financial Times reports.

“We [Europeans] are selling to ourselves in dollars, for instance when we sell planes. Is that necessary? I don’t think so. I think a rebalancing is possible and necessary, not just regarding the euro, but also for the big currencies of the emerging countries, which account for more and more of global trade,” the finance minister told the FT at a conference over the weekend.

France wants to bring the euro to greater prominence in international trade. Sapin said he would raise the idea on Monday when he meets in Brussels with eurozone finance ministers. BNP was punished for helping counties like Iran, Sudan, and Cuba process $30 billion in transactions which are illegal under US law, since they violate US sanctions. Starting on January 1, 2015, the bank will not be able to carry out dollar-based transactions for one year.

The French government has called the fine and 1-year ban unreasonable and unfair, as it blocks the country’s largest bank from handling dollars, which is the dominant currency in global trade. Nearly 90 percent of all deals in the $5 trillion a day foreign exchange market includes the US dollar. Heavy-handed sanctions from the US and Europe have forced countries to also look towards other currency options. Russia, for example, is actively working to de-dollarize, and is starting to use the Chinese yuan and other Asian currencies in trading.

Dollars dominate most oil and gas pricing, another cycle France hopes to break. Christophe de Margerie, the CEO of Total, France’s largest company, says other currencies can be used in oil purchases, even if the benchmark is left in dollars.

“The price of a barrel of oil is quoted in dollars,” de Margerie said. “A refinery can take that price and using the euro-dollar exchange rate on any given day, agree to make the payment in euro.”

The US and OPEC countries have traded oil exclusively in US dollars since 1971.

Source: France lashes out against US dollar, calls for ‘rebalancing’ of world currencies

France hits back after UK condemns Russia Mistral ship deal

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France’s foreign minister has accused the UK of double standards following its criticism of the Russian Mistral warship deal. Referring to Russian oligarchs in the UK, he said that Britain must tend to its own backyard before attacking French policies. Following the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized Paris for its plan to go ahead with the delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. Cameron stressed that the move would be "unthinkable" in Britain.

"The English in particular were very pleasant so to speak saying we would never do that, but I told my dear British friends let's talk about the financial sector," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told TF1 television after a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels. "I am led to believe that there are quite a few Russian oligarchs in London," he added, as quoted by Reuters. When asked whether he meant that the UK must first address its own business, Fabius replied: "Exactly."

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande said the plan to deliver the Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia would go forward, despite calls from the US and UK. The first ship is nearly completed and will be presented in October.

The Russians have paid. Should we repay 1.1 billion euros if the boat was not delivered to the purchaser?” he asked while speaking to reporters late on Monday – the night before an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels to discuss tougher sanctions on Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis. "For the time being, a level of sanctions has not been decided on that would prevent this delivery," he said. “The contract was signed in 2011, the boat is almost finished and should be delivered in October."

France will be the first NATO country to supply Russia with military equipment. Under the 1.2 billion euro contract (US$1.6 billion) signed by Russian defense exporting company Rosoboronexport and French DCNS in June 2011, Russia is to receive two Mistral-class helicopter carriers. The head of Hollande's ruling Socialist Party, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, told iTélé television on Tuesday that "Hollande is not backing down.”

He is delivering the first (ship) despite the fact he is being asked not to...This is a false debate led by hypocrites...When you see how many (Russian) oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard," he continued.

US President Barack Obama expressed concern in June about France continuing significant defense deals with Moscow, following Crimea's accession to Russia in March. He said that it “would have been preferable to press the pause button” on the deal. On Monday, a senior US administration official reiterated that Washington has not changed its stance and continues to oppose the deliveries. However, it is not yet clear whether France will go through with the delivery of the second ship, which is planned for the end of next year.

"Does that mean that the rest of the contract - the second Mistral - can be carried through? That depends on Russia's attitude," Hollande said on Monday evening.

Source: France hits back after UK condemns Russia Mistral ship deal

Germany Is Not a Classic Western Ally

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Steffen Seibert, Angela Merkel's chief spokesman, commented as follows on the uncovering of two Germans spying for the United States, one in the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and one in the Defense Ministry. "The difference of opinion [between the U.S. and Germany] affects the trust in this partnership, but it is a partnership that is not just of historical but of enormous current importance." (Wall Street Journal, 10 July, p. A7)

The fact is, however, that historically Germany is not a classic Western ally. How could it be when the Western allies (and the Russians) went through two world wars before they were able to tame Germany? No: Germany, though in the Western camp today, has historically been positioned between West and East, and many Germans today still regard themselves in this manner.

This situation seems not to be fully understood in the United States. There are basically two reasons for this. The first is that the German immigration is the largest of all the European immigrations to the U.S., and this makes for a certain predisposition in favor of Germany. The second is that the American protector role in Germany during the Cold War led to an intimate relationship between the political classes in the two countries, reaching its apotheosis at the moment of German reunification, when the then American President, George H. W. Bush, gave to understand that Germany was America's most important ally.

This intimate relationship has not extended throughout the German population where, in the wake of the NSA spying disclosures, anti-Americanism has reached unprecedented proportions. According to Olaf Boehnke, who runs the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, "There was always some kind of anti-American sentiment in the German public, but this is skyrocketing. It's really worrying." (The Cable, 9 July).

Thomas de Maizière, Germany's Interior Minister, stated on 7 July that Germany wanted to go to "360-degree surveillance", and that therefore the diplomatic and intelligence services of the Western allies -- The U.S., the U.K. and France -- would no longer be exempted from the attention of the BND. (The Independent, 7 July.) As if to highlight the new situation, the German Government on 10 July announced that the head of American Intelligence in Germany was being expelled from the country.

Source: Germany Is Not a Classic Western Ally

300 German Intellectuals Support Putin, Criticize US-NATO Influence in Europe and Mainstream Media Propaganda

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Dear Mr. President!

In your speech to the State Duma you asked for understanding from the Germans. We are German citizens who have experienced the post-war majority in the western half of Germany. When the Cold War ended in 1990 and our country was re-united, a sigh of relief went through the world, because the ever- looming danger of a nuclear military conflict which would have engulfed the entire globe seemed to have been avoided. Germany would have been wiped out.

The Soviet Union made unparalleled sacrifices in its decisive contribution to the liberation of Europe from Nazism. Nevertheless, in 1990 it was ready to support German reunification in 1991, to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and accept NATO membership of the reunified Germany. This was not honored by the West. The then US Ambassador in Moscow (1987 to 1991), Jack Matlock, confirmed a few days ago in the Washington Post that President Bush had agreed not to take advantage of the generosity of President Gorbachev. The expansion of NATO into former Soviet republics, the establishment of military bases in former Warsaw Pact states and the establishment of a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe with a unilateral termination of the ABM Treaty by the United States are not only blatant breaches of good faith. These measures are understood by us as a Western claim to power directed against the Russian state and the economic consolidation of your country after you took office in 2000. Moreover, Keir A Lieber and Daryl G Press in their 2006 Foreign Affairs article “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy” convincingly showed that the purpose of the missile defense shield is to facilitate a first strike nuclear neutralization of Russia.

This history, in concise form, reflects the background against which we judge the events in Ukraine since November 2013. It is now well documented that the U.S. has exploited the legitimate protests of the Ukrainian people for their own purposes. The pattern is evident form other countries: Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine in 2004, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Venezuela ……

Within twelve hours of the negotiated agreement with the European Union and OSCE, announced by the foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle and involving a peaceful transition of power, it was summararily abrogated with the help of fascist forces. Those behind the current coup government in Kiev are shown on the website of the Open Ukraine Foundation of the incumbent Prime Minister.

The intra – and international – legal issues surrounding secession of the Crimea are a separate issue. We do not address the legal, but purely political events here. Against the background of developments in Europe since 1990, the deployment of some 1,000 U.S. military bases around the world, the control of the Straits by the U.S. and the re-focussing of the perpetrators of the Maidan threat to the Russian Black Sea fleet, we see the secession of the Crimea as a defensive measure with a simultaneous message: this far and no further! The crucial difference with Kosovo’s independence declaration is that the latter was only made possible by illegal NATO bombing, unfortunately with the participation of Germany, which created the conditions for independence.

Dear Mr. President, you have called for an economic community from Lisbon to Vladivostok for almost four years. It would be the economic basis for the“common European home”. Ukraine could make a perfect bridge for future cooperation between your intended Eurasian Union and the European Union, not least in cultural terms. We are persuaded the the purpose of the massive influence of the USA is to prevent the Ukraine from becoming such a bridge. The forces which have prevailed in the European Commission are supporting the policy of the United States against Russia. The speech of the Executive Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Pierre Vimont, on 14 March this year is so far unique (EurActiv, “EU shunned from US-Russia meeting on Ukraine”).

Dear Mr. President, we trust that your historic speech in 2001 will continue to form the basis for your actions against the EU and Germany in the German Bundestag. The latest polls show that the majority of Germans do not want any confrontation with the Russian Federation and understand Russia’s reaction to the events in Ukraine. We do not underestimate the difficulties faced by the Federal Republic of Germany as a member of the EU and NATO concerning Russia, these are also known to you. However, at least we expect the Federal Government to operate the old Roman legal principle audiatur et altera pars (“hear the other side too”). This was however omitted in connection with the neighborhood policy of the EU in the case of Ukraine.

Even during the Cold War Russia has not made use of the argument that 27 millions of its citizens died during WWII for political gain against Germany. This figure alone gives a special quality in the relations between our countries. The people of Germany have a keen sense of to this: when “The Group of Soviet forces in Germany” in 1994 takes leave of Germany with a performance of its music corps on the square before the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, there were moving scenes between the numerous spectators and musicians.

In this context, when we see the present news reporting and commentaries in the German media we can only say that we find them disgusting.

Dear Mr. President, with our modest means as simple citizens, we will help to ensure that the intended division of Europe does not succeed, but the ideas of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz be brought back to life. We are convinced that if the states and peoples of the Eurasian continent regulate their affairs peacefully with each other, respectfully, cooperatively, on the basis of law and without outside interference, this will also radiate to the rest of the world. We see you in this sense as an ally.

For your present, and hopefully next term, we wish you strength, stamina, intelligence and skill.

With utmost respect,

Signed by 300+ people (for full list see here)
Merkel tosses out the CIA station chief on espionage charges

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The world has come a long way since 2008 when hundreds of thousands of Germans turned out to hear candidate Barack Obama speak in Berlin. On Thursday our German friends tossed out "the representative of the U.S. intelligence agencies," presumably the CIA station chief in Berlin.

The expulsion of America's top spy would have been rare in East Germany during the Cold War, much less in an ally the U.S. is treaty-bound to defend. Thursday's order by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government reflects America's diminished standing in the world under President Obama, and perhaps some dubious CIA spycraft.

The ostensible reason for the expulsion is German anger over media reports about two cases of American spying. A German intelligence official has reportedly told investigators he sold secret documents to the U.S., and press reports Wednesday said police have searched the home and office of a defense ministry employee suspected of espionage, possibly for the U.S.

These stories are unconfirmed, but the Germans aren't taking silence for an answer, especially after last year's disclosures by Edward Snowden that the U.S. had tapped Mrs. Merkel's phone. The Chancellor at first made light of the revelations, but she hasn't won three terms by ignoring public opinion and soon joined the outrage.

Much of this is faux outrage because the Germans surely know that even friendly nations spy on one another. During the Cold War the top aide to Chancellor Willy Brandt was discovered to have been a spy for East Germany. And these days Russian spies are all over Europe, especially Germany. As a KGB colonel, Vladimir Putin operated out of Dresden in the 1980s and he's now providing asylum to Mr. Snowden, who has done so much to harm U.S. interests.

Germany enjoys closer commercial and political ties with both Russia and Iran than do most other Western countries. The U.S. needs to understand these relationships, and that requires intelligence. The U.S. would be irresponsible if it didn't eavesdrop on German officials.

The espionage flap also offers cover for an all-too familiar strain of German anti-Americanism. Steffen Seibert, the government's apparently tone-deaf spokesman, on Wednesday declared "a deep-seated difference of opinion between Germany and the United States on the question of how to balance security and interference in civil liberties." Sorry, Mr. Seibert, the U.S. isn't Germany's security threat. A former Merkel justice minister has even demanded that Berlin freeze negotiations on the trans-Atlantic free-trade deal.

The real U.S. offense isn't the spying so much as doing it so poorly. Following the Snowden revelations, the CIA should have been especially careful in its tradecraft. Assuming these latest stories are true, they put Mrs. Merkel in a bad political spot. This follows a troubling trend by the CIA's operations directorate, which somehow missed Mr. Putin's invasion of Crimea, the 2012 threat to the consulate in Benghazi, and the egregious handling of an Islamist detainee that ended up in prosecutions of U.S. agents in Italy.

Congress's intelligence committees should do a deeper dive into the German cases and Langley's larger failings. But Americans should also ask why even our friends now think they can expel a U.S. official and pay no price for it.

Source: Thousands of Germans once cheered Obama. Now they expel CIA personnel.

Spanish farmers burn EU flag in anger over Russia sanctions war

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A trade union representing Catalonian crop growers and cattle ranchers has staged a protest, demanding that the EU compensate them for the revenues lost as a result of the escalation of sanctions, which have closed the Russian market to them. A group of about 30 representatives from JARC (Young Farmers and Ranchers of Catalonia), one of the biggest agricultural unions in the region, demonstratively burned crates of ripe peaches outside the Lleida municipality building. As a throng of journalists looked on, the unionists hurled an EU flag onto the bonfire, which disintegrated in seconds.

"We will not accept any more that the EU keep telling us what to do, these people that have never set foot in a fruit field. For once you will have to listen to the producers, not the consumers," David Borda, a union official, told Ruptly news agency.


Earlier this month, the European Union imposed sectoral sanctions on Russian banks and high-tech industries in connection with Russia's alleged meddling in the Ukrianina crisis. Russia, which said that it had no responsibility for events in eastern Ukraine, retaliated by banning imports of agricultural produce from the EU for one year.

JARC, which also delivered a list of demands to government officials, believes that the European Union’s political standoff has harmed farmers, and says that they should be compensated through the raising of tariffs on imported fruit and vegetables from other countries, such as Turkey and Morocco.

The EU has allocated €125 million to help farmers in the immediate aftermath. Finance group ING has estimated that the annual losses as a result of the blocking of the Russian market will amount to €6.7 billion a year, and could result in the loss of 130,000 jobs. Similar farmers protests have taken place across Spain, though producers have targeted both, the EU and also Russia, whose consulate in Seville was picketed earlier this week.


 Source: http://rt.com/news/182236-spain-peach-sanctions-protest/

A Clash of Civilizations: From Fukuyama to Huntington

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When the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, the United States – and its junior partners in Europe – found itself bereft of an enemy. One scholar, Francis Fukuyama, concluded by 1992 that this represented the "end of history" and the beginning of an age in which "western" values such as capitalism and "liberal democracy" were unchallenged and would dominate forever. Fukuyama’s thesis served as the foundation for a manifesto of American imperialism. Written by

William Kristol and Robert Kagan, and published in July 1996 on the pages of Foreign Affairs (a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations), it offered an "elevated vision of America’s international role" as a "benevolent global hegemony." Though Kagan and Kristol were what would later be described as "neoconservatives," their prescription was soon accepted and put into practice by the "liberal" Clinton administration.

Birth of the Empire

Washington’s policy of backing Croatian, Bosnian Muslim, Albanian and Montenegrin separatists against the Serbs in Yugoslavia led to the tragedies of 1995 – a mass expulsion of Serbs from territories claimed by Zagreb and Sarajevo, in a repeat of the 1940s – and 1999, when NATO openly attacked Serbia in order to occupy its province of Kosovo. Yugoslavia itself was abolished in 2003, and Montenegro separated from Serbia in 2006 – in effect establishing the Austro-Hungarian vision for the Balkans a century after the Hapsburg Empire vanished into history.

However dysfunctional Yugoslavia was, its shards are failed states outright. Serbia had been blockaded for nearly a decade and its infrastructure devastated by bombing, but the real reason for its present predicament is the series of quisling regimes in power since the October 2000 Yellow Revolution. Macedonia, which begged Empire’s protection to avoid war, got war anyway, and is currently held hostage by its ethnic Albanians – encouraged by the Empire’s gift of "independent Kosovo". Pitched as the "great success" of Washington after the Somalia fiasco, Bosnia is still a protectorate, ruled by EU viceroys and U.S. ambassadors. Even Slovenia and Croatia, presented as "civilized" and "European" – fared better only until the loot from Yugoslavia ran out; now they are EU members with economies on par with Greece.

Under Bush the Younger, Washington invaded Afghanistan as retribution for the September 11 terrorist attacks, and in 2003 attacked Iraq on spurious claims about "weapons of mass destruction". Contrary to Bush’s campaign talk about "a more humble foreign policy," both interventions quickly morphed from punitive raids and "regime change" into decade-long "nation-building" occupations. Perfectly in line with the Kristol-Kagan manifesto, the reasons given were "ending evil" and bringing "democracy" and "freedom" to both Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite promises to bring "hope and change" to Washington, Barack Obama’s election in 2008 preserved the continuity of Empire.

There is perhaps no better illustration of this continuity than Victoria Nuland: chief of staff to (Clinton’s Russia point-man) Strobe Talbott, foreign policy advisor to (Bush VP) Dick Cheney, ambassador to NATO, State Department spokesperson, and now Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs – in which capacity she was caught "midwifing" a coup in Ukraine. Oh, and she’s married to Robert Kagan.

Weaponizing "Democracy"

One of the last actions by the Clinton government was to introduce an experimental method of regime change: the "color revolution." The unconventional coup of October 2000 in Belgrade was so successful, it would be replicated in many places around the world, most notably Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), and Kyrgizstan (2005), as well as Egypt in 2011. This was the equivalent of Wilhelmine Germany sending Lenin on a sealed train to St. Petersburg in 1917, only updated for the 21st century. The Bolsheviks of yore became "human rights activists" – trained and teleoperated by the Empire.

The "revolutions" all failed in the long run, but not before laying waste to the countries they subverted, creating poverty, conflict and societal collapse. This is why an attempted repeat of the 2004 "Orange Revolution" in Kiev devolved into a violent coup on February 22 this year, sparking the current civil war in Ukraine.

It wasn’t just the color revolutions that failed; nation-building in the Middle East did as well, leaving countless dead in its wake. Even the white-knighting in the Balkans did not produce the expected gratitude among the Muslims of the world. Just about the only success has been the destruction of Yugoslavia and turning Serbia into a pathetic lackey of Brussels and Washington.

Interestingly, US insiders involved admitted that the 1999 NATO war had little to do with the "plight of Kosovo Albanians," but far more with "Yugoslavia’s resistance to the broader trends of political and economic reform" – as well as that the ultimate target of this war of aggression wasn’t Belgrade, but Moscow.

Clash of Civilizations

The same year Kristol and Kagan wrote their manifesto based on Fukuyama’s triumphalist thesis, Fukuyama’s former teacher Samuel Huntington wrote "Clash of Civilizations," arguing that the world’s future was more likely to be one of conflicts between cultural blocs – the West, Islam, Latin America, Africa, the Orthodoxy, China, etc.

What immediately jumps out from Huntington’s thesis is his argument that other civilizations would have to deal with the (Anglo-American) West, one way or another – either by seeking isolation, trying to join it, or "develop[ing] economic and military power… while still preserving their own values and institutions." Professor Huntington passed away in 2008, so it is impossible to get his clarification, but this sounds like an implicit recognition of the West’s hostility and aggression towards everyone else.

Eighteen years later, it certainly seems that Huntington’s understanding of the world was far more accurate than Fukuyama’s (and Kagan/Kristol’s). Even as its own economy falls into ruin, the West is seeking to conquer and confront the world, from "regime change" in Latin America and the Middle East to the "Asian pivot" and hostility towards China and India. But the focal point of aggressive efforts seems to be Russia – most likely because its miraculous recovery through rejection of Western totems of "liberal democracy" and "human rights" threatens to undermine the perception Western triumphalism promoted by Fukuyama.

As the centenary of the Great War approaches, Anglo-American historians seek to blame it on Russia and Serbia, the Orthodox Other. Having failed to weaponize Islam against Russia (as well as China, India and Africa) the West has turned instead to that most malignant metastasis of European political heritage, backing Nazis in the Balkans, the Baltics, and now in Ukraine.

The problem facing the West today is not only that its deluded leaders have erred in following Fukuyama, but also that they do not fully understand Huntington’s warnings. From the Tatars to Napoleon, Hitler and even Communism – which failed to destroy Russia’s traditional being no matter how hard its adherents tried – Russia has a history of not only fighting civilizational conflicts, but winning them.

The West? Not so much.

Source: http://original.antiwar.com/malic/2014/07/25/a-clash-of-civilizations/

Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order: The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis

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Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan's young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. To these troubles are added a resurgence of tensions with Russia and a relationship with China divided between pledges of cooperation and public recrimination. The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis.

The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies. In the decades following World War II, the U.S.—strengthened in its economy and national confidence—began to take up the torch of international leadership and added a new dimension. A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace. The traditional European approach to order had viewed peoples and states as inherently competitive; to constrain the effects of their clashing ambitions, it relied on a balance of power and a concert of enlightened statesmen. The prevalent American view considered people inherently reasonable and inclined toward peaceful compromise and common sense; the spread of democracy was therefore the overarching goal for international order. Free markets would uplift individuals, enrich societies and substitute economic interdependence for traditional international rivalries.

This effort to establish world order has in many ways come to fruition. A plethora of independent sovereign states govern most of the world's territory. The spread of democracy and participatory governance has become a shared aspiration if not a universal reality; global communications and financial networks operate in real time.

The years from perhaps 1948 to the turn of the century marked a brief moment in human history when one could speak of an incipient global world order composed of an amalgam of American idealism and traditional European concepts of statehood and balance of power. But vast regions of the world have never shared and only acquiesced in the Western concept of order. These reservations are now becoming explicit, for example, in the Ukraine crisis and the South China Sea. The order established and proclaimed by the West stands at a turning point.

First, the nature of the state itself—the basic formal unit of international life—has been subjected to a multitude of pressures. Europe has set out to transcend the state and craft a foreign policy based primarily on the principles of soft power. But it is doubtful that claims to legitimacy separated from a concept of strategy can sustain a world order. And Europe has not yet given itself attributes of statehood, tempting a vacuum of authority internally and an imbalance of power along its borders. At the same time, parts of the Middle East have dissolved into sectarian and ethnic components in conflict with each other; religious militias and the powers backing them violate borders and sovereignty at will, producing the phenomenon of failed states not controlling their own territory.

The challenge in Asia is the opposite of Europe's: Balance-of-power principles prevail unrelated to an agreed concept of legitimacy, driving some disagreements to the edge of confrontation.

The clash between the international economy and the political institutions that ostensibly govern it also weakens the sense of common purpose necessary for world order. The economic system has become global, while the political structure of the world remains based on the nation-state. Economic globalization, in its essence, ignores national frontiers. Foreign policy affirms them, even as it seeks to reconcile conflicting national aims or ideals of world order. This dynamic has produced decades of sustained economic growth punctuated by periodic financial crises of seemingly escalating intensity: in Latin America in the 1980s; in Asia in 1997; in Russia in 1998; in the U.S. in 2001 and again starting in 2007; in Europe after 2010. The winners have few reservations about the system. But the losers—such as those stuck in structural misdesigns, as has been the case with the European Union's southern tier—seek their remedies by solutions that negate, or at least obstruct, the functioning of the global economic system.

The international order thus faces a paradox: Its prosperity is dependent on the success of globalization, but the process produces a political reaction that often works counter to its aspirations.

A third failing of the current world order, such as it exists, is the absence of an effective mechanism for the great powers to consult and possibly cooperate on the most consequential issues. This may seem an odd criticism in light of the many multilateral forums that exist—more by far than at any other time in history. Yet the nature and frequency of these meetings work against the elaboration of long-range strategy. This process permits little beyond, at best, a discussion of pending tactical issues and, at worst, a new form of summitry as "social media" event. A contemporary structure of international rules and norms, if it is to prove relevant, cannot merely be affirmed by joint declarations; it must be fostered as a matter of common conviction.

The penalty for failing will be not so much a major war between states (though in some regions this remains possible) as an evolution into spheres of influence identified with particular domestic structures and forms of governance. At its edges, each sphere would be tempted to test its strength against other entities deemed illegitimate. A struggle between regions could be even more debilitating than the struggle between nations has been. The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another. These goals are not necessarily self-reconciling: The triumph of a radical movement might bring order to one region while setting the stage for turmoil in and with all others. The domination of a region by one country militarily, even if it brings the appearance of order, could produce a crisis for the rest of the world.

A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages. To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.

Russia’s Choice, in 1914 and Now

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On June 28, two events marked the centenary of the fateful shots which ended the lives of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie von Hohenberg. In Sarajevo, the Bosnian Muslim authorities hosted the Vienna Philharmonic, which performed at the same old City Hall where the angry Archduke had impatiently scowled through the sycophantic speech of Sarajevo’s mayor, before departing for a meeting with destiny. The orchestra played a Haydn piece based on the Austrian Imperial – and German national – anthem. Perhaps that is appropriate; after all, they owe their world-famous New Year’s Concert tradition to Goebbels.

Meanwhile, in the Bosnian Serb Republic, renowned director Emir Kusturica opened Andricgrad – an arts and humanities complex dedicated to Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ivo Andric – with a two-act play about the assassination and the subsequent trial of Gavrilo Princip and his fellow Young Bosnia revolutionaries. It was followed by a fireworks show and a concert of the Red Army Choir, singing "The Sacred War."

Forget the 1990s – Bosnia is still fighting World Wars I and II.

Blaming the Other

The rest of the world may be doing the same, actually. A century after Princip’s fateful shots in Sarajevo, the West – with all the Central Powers and members of the post-1917 Entente now in NATO – is pushing a narrative that the Serb "terrorists" triggered the hostilities, but that it was Russia (!) that caused the war to go European.

In a February 2014 BBC poll of historians, one flat-out blamed Serbia alone, while three placed blamed Russia as much as Germany and Austria-Hungary. One of those, Heather Jones of the LSE, claimed the Russian mobilization "frightened Germany into preemptively declaring war on Russia." Sean McMeekin, who teaches at Koç University in Turkey, went a step further:

…absent a terrorist plot launched in Belgrade the Germans and Austrians would not have faced this terrible choice. Civilian leaders in both Berlin and Vienna tried to "localize" conflict in the Balkans. It was Russia’s decision – after Petersburg received its own "blank cheque" from Paris – to Europeanise the Austro-Serbian showdown which produced first a European and then – following Britain’s entry – world conflagration. Russia, not Germany, mobilised first.

Yet there are literal mountains of evidence showing that both Berlin and Vienna anticipated Russia coming to Serbia’s aid. As David Fromkin showed in "Europe’s Last Summer", both governments expected the other to handle the Russians while they went after their primary targets – the Serbs and the French, respectively.

Moreover, Nicholas II himself told his cousin the Kaiser on July 29, 1914:

An ignoble war has been declared to a weak country. The indignation in Russia shared fully by me is enormous. I foresee that very soon I shall be overwhelmed by the pressure forced upon me and be forced to take extreme measures which will lead to war. To try and avoid such a calamity as a European war I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far. (source)

Why Russia Intervened

Nicholas II was facing a difficult choice. Less than 10 years earlier, Russia had suffered a humiliating defeat in a war against Japan, losing its Far East possessions and two naval fleets. The revolution that followed shook the foundations of the Russian state and society; reforms shepherded by Prime Minister Stolypin stalled after his 1911 assassination by a revolutionary. Russia was recovering, but nowhere near ready for a major war. So why did the last Tsar choose one? Because he would have lost all legitimacy had he chosen otherwise.

Russia had been the protector of Orthodox Christians in the Balkans for the two centuries prior. It had backed the Balkans Alliance in the successful war on the Ottoman Empire in 1912-13. Its prior success against the Ottomans in 1878 prompted the Congress of Berlin, which allowed Austria-Hungary to occupy Bosnia. Yet in 1908, when Vienna illegally annexed Bosnia, Russia was too weak to do anything about it. The public opinion was firmly on the side of backing Serbia against yet another Austrian act of aggression – while nobody really approved of the assassination in Sarajevo, it was clear that Austria was using it as a pretext for a war of extermination, something it had wanted for over a decade.

It was possible for Nicholas II to, accept the Austro-German propaganda about "terrorists" acting on orders from Belgrade and abandon the Serbs to their fate – but only theoretically. He was an autocrat in name, but knew perfectly well he ruled only with the consent of the governed, as evidenced by his later abdication.

Russia paid a terrible price for backing Serbia. Following a February 1917 rebellion, Nicholas II abdicated and the provisional government under Alexandr Kerensky took power; by November that year, the Bolsheviks had overthrown Kerensky. They promised "peace, bread and land"; instead, they delivered five years of vicious civil war, widespread starvation and a humiliating surrender of Brest-Litovsk. Nicholas himself was murdered by the Bolsheviks in July 1918, along with his entire family.

Matters of Right and Wrong

Yet Nicholas II Romanov never said he regretted his choice in 1914. Helping Serbia against Austro-German aggression was simply the right thing to do. This is something that critics from the West just don’t understand, thinking as they do from the viewpoints of profit and interest. They point the finger at Russia for coming to Serbia’s rescue, yet take it as a given that Britain "had to" intervene following the German invasion of Belgium. That, or they follow the lead of Niall Ferguson, who famously asked in 2000’s "Pity of War" whether German hegemony in Europe would have been so terrible. Maybe not for the British, but certainly for those Slav untermenschen the "civilized" Vienna and Berlin wanted exterminated…

The simple truth is that the first shots of the Great War were not fired by Gavrilo Princip, but by the Austro-Hungarian artillery, which attacked Belgrade in the evening of July 28, 1914.

Last year, a Bosnian-born journalist found a photograph from April 1941, showing Adolf Hitler appreciatively looking over his birthday present and trophy from the conquest of Yugoslavia: a memorial plaque to Gavrilo Princip. The plaque was displayed in the German war museum, along with the same railway carriage where the 1918 armistice was signed, and in which Hitler forced the French to surrender in 1940. Princip’s prison in Terezin Fortress was used by the SS to torture the Jews of the "Paradise Ghetto", before sending them to the ovens of Auschwitz.

And today, almost hundred years since Austria-Hungary launched a war of extermination against "Serbian terrorists," the Western-backed junta in Kiev – championing a rabidly Russophobic identity invented by Austria-Hungary and Germany over a century ago – is waging a war of extermination against Russian-speaking "terrorists" refusing to submit to its rule. The Kremlin is now facing the same choice forced on Nicholas II, and much closer to home.

Anyone who thinks that Moscow will just sit back and watch, clearly hasn’t been paying attention.


It's Still 1945 in Europe - In Washington's View
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Just how independent is the European Union? Given recent events involving the United States and its European allies, one really must wonder. First, there was the US National Security Agency brazenly tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cellphone and, very likely, many more vip’s in Germany, a key US ally and Europe’s most important nation.

Washington and the NSA shrugged off this horribly embarrassing incident with the usual “well, everyone does it.”

Not true. Imagine the stink if Germany bugged President Barack Obama’s Blackberry. Chancellor Merkel was humiliated but she downplayed the scandal, unable or unwilling to chastise the US by taking any real punitive action – like closing one of the 69-year old US military bases in Germany.

Next, Britain’s Mutual Defense Agreement with the US is up for renewal. This 1958 pact is the foundation of the much ballyhooed US-British “Special Relationship.” This writer has reported for years that Britain cannot fire its nuclear-armed missiles without Washington turning the key via special codes. Now, we learn that Britain’s nukes also contain components that only the US can provide. France, at least, has an independent nuclear force.

In 2003, US CIA agents kidnap a Muslim cleric off the street in Milano. Italian courts indict and convict 23 US agents of this crime and orders them extradited to Italy. The US refused the legitimate extradition request. US officials charge UBS bank with helping Americans avoid taxes – a perfectly legal act in Switzerland, the bank’s home.

The head of UBS wealth management, Raoul Weil, was arrested in Italy and sent to the US under house arrest where he waits trial. Washington shut down a second important private Swiss bank and sends others running. The Swiss banks, no angels, risked seeing their US operations shut down unless they violated the basic Swiss bank secrecy law by giving up many of their client’s names.

Now, France’s leading bank, BNP, is being forced to pay a mammoth fine of $8.79 billion for violating US and New York State sanctions against Sudan, Iran and Cuba. Such dealing was entirely legal under French and EU law, but the US was determined to expand its punitive laws to Europe -a process called “lawfare.” BNP’s business in the US was threatened. BNP’s humiliation was hailed as a victory by Israel against Iran.

Shockingly, France’s government made no more than a few peeps of protest, yet another example of abject weakness by President Francois Hollande who is often compared to a large jellyfish by French critics. Paris could have told the Americans “non!” and threatened to seize US assets in France. Instead, it groveled.

Of late, two Americans were caught red-handed spying on Germany’s government. The CIA station chief in Berlin was ordered expelled. Germany repeatedly asked the US to be included on its lilly-white list of allies supposedly not to be spied upon: Canada, Britain, Israel, Australia, New Zealand. The US refused.

No one knew whether President Barack Obama was actually aware of this espionage. He will, of course, deny being in the loop. But further serious damage was inflicted on US relations with Germany and the European Union.

Unwisely, Washington still deals with Europe and the EU as if dealing with minor vassal states: “foot soldiers for America’s nuclear knights,” in the pithy words of Germany’s late defense minister, Franz Josef Strauss. Washington’s arrogance and contempt for Europe was best illustrated by State Department neocon Victoria Nuland’s reply when asked if the EU should get more involved in US attempts to overthrow Ukraine’s pro-Russian government, “f-k the EU.”

Washington has never accepted any European state or the EU as an equal. While official US policy backs a united Europe, unofficially the US has sometimes tried to thwart or delay unification – particularly a European armed force. NATO – 76% financed and run by Washington – is still the EU’s police force and America’s big stick in Europe.

At times, it looks as if not so much has changed in Europe since 1945. The Soviets are gone, but the more amiable Americans are still around. But it often seems that Washington is almost trying to alienate its natural European allies by treating them like banana republics with old world charm.