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Psychoanalysing NATO: Gaslighting

Psychoanalysing NATO: Gaslighting

Psychoanalysing NATO: Gaslighting

NOTE: Because “NATO” these days is little more than a box of spare parts out of which Washington assembles “coalitions of the willing”, it’s easier for me to write “NATO” than “Washington plus/minus these or those minions”.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has called on Russia to explain “exactly what has gone on” after two people were exposed to the Novichok nerve agent in Wiltshire. (BBC)

The Russian state could put this wrong right. They could tell us what happened. What they did. And fill in some of the significant gaps that we are trying to pursue. We have said they can come and tell us what happened. I’m waiting for the phone call from the Russian state. The offer is there. They are the ones who could fill in all the clues to keep people safe. (UK security minister Ben Wallace)

Leaving aside their egregious flouting of the elemental principle of English justice, note that they’re uttering this logical idiocy: Russia must have done it because it hasn’t proved it didn’t. Note also, in Javid’s speech, the amusing suggestion that Russia keeps changing its story; but to fit into the official British story “novichok” must be an instantly lethal slow acting poison which dissipates quickly but lasts for months.

This is an attempt to manipulate our perception of reality. In a previous essay I discussed NATO’s projection of its own actions onto Russia. In this piece I want to discuss another psychological manipulation – gaslighting.

The expression comes from the movie Gaslight in which the villain manipulates her reality to convince his wife that she is insane. Doubt the official Skripal story and it is you – you “Russian troll” – who is imagining things.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya

Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya

Photo by Bernd.Brincken | CC BY 2.0

The summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military alliance that is expanding its deployments of troops, combat and surveillance aircraft and missile ships around Russia’s borders, took place on July 11-12 and was a farce, with Trump behaving in his usual way, insulting individuals and nations with characteristic vulgarity.

Before the jamboree, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg (one of those selected for a Trumpian harangue), recounted in a speech on 21 June that “NATO has totally transformed our presence in Afghanistan from a big combat operation with more than 100,000 to now 16,000 troops conducting training, assisting and advising.”  But then he had a bit of a rethink when he was asked a question about whether NATO had learnt any lessons that might make it think about “intervening in the future.” To give him his due, Stoltenberg replied that he thought “one of the lessons we have learned from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from Libya, is that military intervention is not always solving all problems.”

He is absolutely right about that, because the US-NATO military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been catastrophic.

It is intriguing that NATO’s secretary general can at last admit that military muscle doesn’t solve every problem, but he did not expand on the subject of Libya, which unhappy country was destroyed by US-NATO military intervention in 2011, and it is interesting to reflect on that particular NATO debacle, because it led directly to expansion of the Islamic State terrorist group, a prolonged civil war, a vast number of deaths, and hideous suffering by desperate refugees trying to flee from Libya across the Mediterranean.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NATO is a Con Game

Marc Riboud Forbidden City under the snow, Beijing 1957

Okay, well, Trump did it again. Antagonizing allies. This time it was Germany that took the main hit, over the fact that it pays Russia billions of dollars for oil and gas while relying on the US for its defense … against Russia. And yes, that is a strange situation. But it’s by no means the only angle to the story. There are many more.

For one thing, The US has by far the largest military industry. So it makes a lot of money off the billions already spent by NATO partners on weaponry. Of course Raytheon, Boeing et al would like to see them spend more. But once they would have done that, they would clamor for even more after.

At some point one must ask how much should really be spent. How much is enough, how much is necessary. The military-industrial complex (MIC) has every reason to make the threat posed by ‘enemies’ as big as they possibly can. So knowing that, we must take media reports on this threat with tons of salt.

And that is not easy. Because the MIC has great influence in politics and the media. But we can turn to some numbers. According to GlobalFirePower, the US in 2018 will spend $647 billion on its military, while Russia is to spend a full $600 billion less, at $47 billion. And the US Senate has already voted in a $82 billion boost recently.

There are other numbers out there that suggest Russia spends $60 billion, but even then. If Moscow spends just 10% of the US, and much less than that once all NATO members’ expenditure is included, how much of a threat can Russia realistically be to NATO?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

America First, Helsinki, and Trump’s Existential Threat to the Empire

America First, Helsinki, and Trump’s Existential Threat to the Empire

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The major – perhaps only – redeeming virtue of the Donald’s ersatz campaign platform was his clear intent to seek a rapprochement with Russia, revamp America’s commitments to NATO and other cold war relics and to discard “Regime Change” as the core tenant of foreign policy. In essence, “America First” was to become the new route to domestic security and safety.

Those eminently sensible notions struck the Deep State’s raison d’etre to the quick during the campaign; and by hook or crook, the Donald’s rapid fire actions toward these objectives since April have induced a palpable shock in the Imperial City.

Clearly he means to withdraw America’s 29,000 military hostages now stationed in South Korea in return for some sort of peace treaty, economic normalization and denuclearization arrangement with Kim Jong-un.

Likewise, he has sensibly suggested that demonizing Russia and Putin has accomplished nothing, and that they should be invited back into the G-8. And as soon as Robert Mueller finishes his RussiaGate farce, Trump can get rid of the present asinine sanctions on various Russian officials and Putin cronies, too.

We also now know – owing to the sullen reporting of the Washington Post – that Trump has been hounding the national security bureaucracy about another utterly ridiculous artifact of the Empire. Namely, the fact that 73 years after Hitler descended into Hades from his bunker and 27 years after the Soviet Union slithered off the pages of history, there are still 35,000 US troops in Germany:

The Pentagon is analyzing the cost and impact of a large-scale withdrawal or transfer of American troops stationed in Germany, amid growing tensions between President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to people familiar with the work.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

No Need For Nato

No Need For Nato


A NATO summit approaches that brings Donald Trump to Europe and then on to these shores, and brings the usual clamour for more of the taxpayers’ money to be given to arms manufacturers.

Yet NATO is a demonstrably useless institution. It’s largest ever active military deployment, for 12 years in Afghanistan, resulted in military defeat throughout 80% of the country, the installation of a pocket regime whose scrip does not run further than you can throw the scrip, and a vast outflow of heroin to finance the criminal underworld throughout NATO countries.


Look at this chart closely, and marvel at the fact that the NATO occupation began in early 2002.

In invading Afghanistan and boosting the heroin warlords, NATO countries destabilised themselves

NATO’s second biggest military operation ever was the attack on Libya, where NATO carried out an incredible 14,200 bombing sorties using high explosive munitions and devastated Libya’s infrastructure and entire cities. Here is Sirte after NATO “liberation”.

The direct result of the devastation of Libya and destruction of its government infrastructure has been the massive untrammelled exodus of migrants, especially from West Africa, through Libya and across the Mediterranean on boats. This has not only led to the appalling exploitation and tragic death of many migrants, it has fundamentally weakened the governments and indeed governing public ethos of European NATO member states and led to a right wing populist surge throughout much of the EU.

In short, in destroying Libya, NATO members destabilised themselves.


The direct result of NATO’s destruction of Libya.

Now NATO is focusing once more on the original “threat” it was supposed to combat, a Russian invasion of Western Europe.

Russia has absolutely no intention of invading Western Europe. The very notion is ludicrous. It does not require NATO to deter a threat that does not exist.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Turkey and India Have Leverage in Trump’s Iran Sanction War

Turkey and India Have Leverage in Trump’s Iran Sanction War

Both India and Turkey have said they will defy President Trump’s call for them to stop buying Iranian oil once the U.S. reapplies sanctions in November.  That isn’t really news.

Both of them defied the Obama administration in 2012, albeit in different way. Turkey changed its banking rules to monetize gold and used its gold reserves as a means to launder Iranian oil payments for third parties through its banking system.

India bypassed cutting off Iran from the U.S. dollar by beginning a goods-for-oil swap program.

Today, however, the geopolitical background is far different.  Today, Iran can and does list its oil for sale in Shanghai’s futures market payable in Chinese Yuan.  Turkey can recycle its Yuan it receives from its large trade deficit with China to up its purchases of Iranian oil if need be.

But, more importantly, both India and Turkey have geopolitical freedoms they didn’t have in 2012.  I have covered the Turkey angle on this at length.  India, on the other hand, I haven’t.

Iran has become Turkey’s biggest oil importer.

Turkey, a NATO ally, is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs. In the first four months of this year, Turkey bought 3.077 million tons of crude oil from Iran, almost 55 percent of its total crude supplies, according to data from Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Agency (EPDK).

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year said Turkey was looking to raise the volume of its annual trade with Iran to $30 billion from $10 billion.

And it doesn’t look like this will change with Trump’s sanctions.

With President Erdogan winning re-election he now goes into the NATO Summit with Trump on July 11-12th with a lot of leverage.  Erdogan has openly courted Russia on energy supplies.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Carrier USS Truman Deployed To Atlantic As Russian Submarine Activity Surges

Russia is modernizing its submarine force around Europe to directly challenge American naval dominance — greater than any other period since the Cold War, Admiral James Foggo told Stars and Stripes in an interview last week.

The commander said the U.S. must expand its naval force, along with enhancing its submarine fleet to combat Russian aggression in the region.

Tensions between Russia and NATO have never been higher. According to a new report from the United States Naval Institute(USNI), the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), the eighth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy, has exited the Mediterranean Sea and is now patrolling the Atlantic Ocean, an unnamed defense official recently told USNI.

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) conducts a strait transit. Truman is currently deployed as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe on April 27, 2018. (Source: US Navy Photo/USNI)

Earlier this week, the Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)/Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1), a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier air wing based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, and its support vessels sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.


UNCONFIRMED REPORT USS Harry S. Truman, CVN 75, left the Mediterranean Sea after passing the Strait of Gibraltar, Interfax reported, citing data from systems monitoring the movement of sea-going vessels.



“As a matter of longstanding policy, we do not discuss future operations, but I can tell you that the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group will continue to conduct operations in support of our NATO allies, European and African partner nations, coalition partners, and U.S. national security interests,” Cmdr. John Perkins, a spokesman with U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, told USNI News.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

The predictions have come true about the emergence of a new defense group that will change the European security environment. On June 25, the defense chiefs from nine EU countries signed off on the creation of a new force called the European Intervention Initiative (EII), which is spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron. The new organization will have a common budget and a doctrine establishing its guidelines for acting and joint planning for contingencies in which NATO may not get involved. The group includes the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Spain, and Portugal. Italy may join soon. The initiative is not tied to the EU’s Common European Defense, which includes the PESCO agreement as well as NATO. Great Britain has always opposed the idea of creating a European defense alliance, fearing it would undermine transatlantic unity. Now it has done an about-face, as the rifts within the US grow deeper.

The new force is to be much more efficient than anything else the EU has to offer, with a streamlined decision-making process that will permit a quick reaction time. Its relatively small number of members will give it more flexibility in comparison with the EU or NATO. For instance, the EU’s four multinational military battle groups that were created as far back as 2007 have never been deployed.

Its main mission is to offer a rapid response to crises that could threaten European security. The operations are to be conducted independently from US control. The UK will remain a member of this European defense entity even after it leaves the EU next year. Denmark, which retains a special opt-out status and has not joined PESCO, is a signatory to the EII.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NATO Sabre Strike Exercise: Scaring Russia with Multiple War Games of Unparalleled Scale

NATO Sabre Strike Exercise: Scaring Russia with Multiple War Games of Unparalleled Scale

NATO Sabre Strike Exercise: Scaring Russia with Multiple War Games of Unparalleled Scale

This year, NATO has already organized about 100 exercises, 20 percent more compared to the same period in 2017. Saber Strike-2018, a large-scale US-led exercise involving 18,000 soldiers from 19 NATO members and partner nations, kicked off on June 3 to last till June 15. The scope of the exercise has been steadily expanding with every year. It was 11,000 troops in 2017, 9,000 in 2016, 6,000 in 2015, 4,700 in 2014 and 2,000 in 2013 – that’s how a relatively small drill turned into the regular deployment of substantial force in the proximity of Russia’s borders. Moscow expressed its concern about it at the NATO-Russia Council’s session held on May 31.

The annual multination training event organized every year since 2010 is being held across the training areas in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Non-NATO countries taking part are Finland and Macedonia. Air assault landings are part of the scenario to hone the skills for launching offensive operations.

Sabre Strike is timed with Swift Response airborne drill in Latvia to culminate on June 8. It involves 800 paratroopers from US, Latvia, Lithuania, Israel and Poland.

There will be more exercises held in 2018 near Russia’s borders, including Trident Juncture, a really big one to take place in late October-early November to involve 35,000 troops from 30 nations along with 70 ships and about 130 aircraft and Anakonda organized by Poland in November. The latter will involve 100,000 servicemen, 5,000 vehicles, 150 aircraft and 45 warships. The scale is mind-boggling. One can imagine how much it costs! The Anakonda scenario includes preemptive strikes. If it’s not an open preparation for war than what is? US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley believes it is. According to him, “Having large-scale NATO forces in the Baltic States and Poland, as well as the lack of transparency – we see serious preparation for a great war.” He knows what is talking about.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

Now that the United States (with the cooperation of its NATO partners) has turned the former Soviet Union’s states other than Russia into NATO allies, and has likewise turned the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact allies into America’s own military allies in NATO, the United States is finally turning the screws directly against Russia itself, by, in effect, challenging Russia to defend its ally Syria. The US is warning Syria’s Government that Syrian land, which is occupied by the US and by the anti-Government forces that the US protects in Syria, is no longer really Syria’s land. The US is saying that there will be direct war between Syria’s armed forces and America’s armed forces if Syria tries to restore its control over that land. Tacitly, America’s message in this to Moscow is: now is the time for you to quit defending Syria’s Government, because, if you don’t — if you come to Syria’s defense as Syria tries to kill those occupying forces (including the US troops and advisors who are occupying Syria) — then you (Russia) will be at war against the United States, even though the US is clearly the invader, and Russia (as Syria’s ally) is clearly the defender.

Peter Korzun, my colleague at the Strategic Culture Foundation, headlined on May 29th“US State Department Tells Syria What It Can and Can’t Do on Its Own Soil” and he opened:

“The US State Department has warned Syria against launching an offensive against terrorist positions in southern Syria. The statement claims that the American military will respond if Syrian forces launch an operation aimed at restoring the legitimate government’s control over the rebel-held areas, including the territory in southwestern Syria between Daraa and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Washington is issuing orders to a nation whose leadership never invited America in the first place! 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The US’s Fingerprints Are All Over Nicaragua’s Bloody Civil Unrest

The US’s Fingerprints Are All Over Nicaragua’s Bloody Civil Unrest

Bloody protests against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government have the United State’s fingerprints all over it.  Over 100 people have been killed since the civil unrest broke out in mid-April and it doesn’t take much to realize the US government is fueling the bloodbath.

According to RT, the so-called marea rosa, or “pink tide”, of allied leftist governmentswhich held sway across Latin America in previous years is being rolled back. Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was removed from power in a right-wing coup, co-conspirators of which have now managed to imprison the current presidential frontrunner, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno has stabbed his former leader Rafael Correa in the back by barring him from seeking re-election, while seemingly purging his cabinet of remaining Correa loyalists and beginning the process of allowing the US military back into the country

These are all coalescing as other democratic and not-so-democratic removals of leftist governments from power continue. NATO has nabbed itself a foothold in the Latin American region, now that Colombia has joined the obsolete yet aggressively expanding Cold War alliance, in a thinly veiled threat to neighboring authoritarian Venezuela.

Now it’s Nicaragua’s turn for the US to interfere in the government’s efforts to “police the entire world,” paid with by our stolen tax money, of course. Student demonstrations began in the capital Managua as a reaction to the country’s failure to handle forest fires in one of the most protected areas of the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve. The situation was then exacerbated when, two days later, the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front announced it was slashing pensions and social security payments, sparking further anti-government protests. Targeted opposition violence along with police repressions have led to a mounting body count on both sides.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Who Needs Enemies?


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Conversation in the Jardin du Luxembourg 1892

Obviously, there are tensions between Europe and the US. Just as obviously, these tensions are blamed on, who else, Donald Trump. European Council President Donald Tusk recently said: “With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?” EU Commission chair Jean-Claude Juncker even proclaimed that “Europe must take America’s place as global leader”.

These European ‘leaders’ love the big words. They think they make them look good, strong. In reality, they are merely messenger boys for Berlin and Paris. Who have infinitely more say than Brussels. Problem is, Berlin and Paris are not united at all. Macron wants more Europe, especially in finance, but Merkel knows she can’t sell that at home.

So what are those big words worth when the whip comes down? It’s amusing to see how different people reach wholly different conclusions about that. Instructive and entertaining. First, Alex Gorka at The Strategic Culture Foundation, who likes the big words too: “..a landmark event that will go down in history as the day Europe united to openly defy the US.”and “May 17 is the day the revolt started and there is no going back. Europe has said goodbye to trans-Atlantic unity. It looks like it has had enough.

Brussels Rises In Revolt Against Washington: A Turning Point In US-European Relations

The May 16-17 EU-Western Balkans summit did address the problems of integration, but it was eclipsed by another issue. The meeting turned out to be a landmark event that will go down in history as the day Europe united to openly defy the US. The EU will neither review the Iran nuclear deal (JPCOA) nor join the sanctions against Tehran that have been reintroduced and even intensified by America.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Facebook & Atlantic Council unite: Now social media giant serves NATO’s agenda

Facebook & Atlantic Council unite: Now social media giant serves NATO’s agenda

Facebook & Atlantic Council unite: Now social media giant serves NATO’s agenda
Facebook has engaged a think tank funded by weapons manufacturers, branches of the US military and Middle-Eastern monarchies to safeguard the democratic process. It’s akin to hiring arsonists to run the fire brigade.

If Facebook truly wanted to “protect democracy and elections worldwide,” it would build a broad coalition of experts and activists from a wide and disparate range of the countries it serves. Instead, the American social media giant has outsourced the task to NATO’s propaganda wing.

For the uninitiated, the Atlantic Council serves as the American-led alliance’s chief advocacy group. And its methods are rather simple: it grants stipends and faux academic titles to various activists that align with NATO’s agenda. Thus, lobbyists become “fellows” and “experts,”while the enterprise constructs a neutral sheen, which is rarely (if ever) challenged by Western media outlets – often reliant on its employees for easy comment and free op-eds.

While that has always been ethically questionable, Facebook’s latest move, given its effective monopoly position, is far more sinister. Because it is now tied to a “think tank” which has proposed terrorist attacks in Russia and has demanded Russian-funded news outlets be forced to register as “foreign agents” in the United States.

Make no mistake: this is a dream scenario for NATO and those who depend on it for their livelihoods and status. Because the Atlantic Council is now perfectly positioned to be the tail wagging the Facebook dog in the information space.

Fresh hell

On Thursday, the social network announced how it was “excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe: National Sovereignty vs. International Conquest, at Stake over Iran

Europe: National Sovereignty vs. International Conquest, at Stake over Iran

Europe: National Sovereignty vs. International Conquest, at Stake over Iran

Europe now faces its ultimate ideological fork-in-the-road, which it has thus far ignored but can no longer ignore: They need to decide whether they seek a world of nations that each is sovereign over its own territory but over no other (and this would not be a world at war); or whether they seek instead a world in which they are part of the American empire, a world based on conquests — NATO, IMF, World Bank, and the other US-controlled international institutions — and in which their own nation’s citizens are subject to the dictatorship by America’s aristocracy: the same super-rich individuals who effectively control the US Government itself (see this and this — and that’s dictatorship by the richest, in the United States).

Iran has become this fateful fork-in-the-road, and the immediate issue here is America’s cancellation of the Iran nuclear deal that America had signed along with 6 other countries, and America’s consequent restoration of economic sanctions against Iran — sanctions against companies anywhere that continue trading with Iran. First, however, some essential historical background on that entire issue:

The US aristocracy overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Government in 1953 and imposed there a barbaric dictatorship which did the bidding of the US and allied aristocracies, by installing the Pahlavi Shah there, just as they had earlier, in 1932, installed the Saud King in Saudi Arabia — which land never ever had known democracy. As Wikipedia says of Ibn Saud, who became King in 1932, “After World War I, he received further support from the British, including a glut of surplus munitions. He launched his campaign against the Al Rashidi in 1920; by 1922 they had been all but destroyed,” with Britain’s help. Similarly, the US and its British Imperial partner installed Pahlavi as Iran’s Shah in 1953. This was done by US President Dwight David Eisenhower.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NATO: a Promoter of Colonialism in the 21stCentury

NATO: a Promoter of Colonialism in the 21<sup>st</sup> Century

NATO: a Promoter of Colonialism in the 21stCentury

Five NATO members continue to possess colonies. These NATO states have no intention of granting their territories independence any time soon. Not only does France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United States insist on maintaining vestiges of their colonial pasts, but their colonies have been interwoven into NATO’s military infrastructure.

The continued presence of French, British, Dutch, Danish, and American colonies around the world extends what is officially called the “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” to the South Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. If there was ever an organization guilty of blatantly deceptive advertising practices, it is NATO.

Recent attempts to secure more political autonomy in the French Caribbean territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana, the latter the home of a French space launch facility having strategic importance, have been met with everything from indifference in Paris or extreme hostility. A January 26, 1968 SECRET Central Intelligence Agency report warned against Soviet attempts to establish space tracking facilities in French Guiana. That same year, the Guiana Space Center was established at Korou in the French colony. NATO ordered the suppression of independence moves by the people of Guiana to keep the center solely in the hands of France and the European Space Agency. In March and April 2017, populist tempers flared when Guianese protesters took over the Korou space facility over charges that France was ignoring the people of the colony. Youth unemployment, for example, is at a staggering 55 percent.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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