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A Machiavellian US in the Middle East

A Machiavellian US in the Middle East

The war in Syria has dropped out of the news, like almost everything else, in a time when the Coronavirus seems to dominate all discourse and reporting. But the regime of Bashar al-Assad continues to strangle its own country. The Russians continue to bomb on his behalf, terrifying civilians and hospitals. The Americans work semi-clandestinely to undermine both the regime and its Russian backers.

There is no sign in the US-Soviet relationship of what was called in the 1970s and 80s détente. The big powers, Russia, the US, the UK and France appear intent on maintaining their interests in the Middle East.

Russia has long been a friend of Syria and has had its single foreign base there since Soviet days. For even longer the US, France and the UK have been a friend of Saudi Arabia and today provide weapons for the Saudi air force so it can support Yemen’s government in its attack on the Houthi rebels, resulting in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Finding a pathway to big power détente in the Middle East seems to be eternally difficult. For those who want to shed some light on how it all works, I refer them to an excellent analysis in the current issue of Harvard University’s International Security by Professor Galen Jackson of Williams College.

Reading this one understands how US Middle East policy in the era of presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and their national security advisor Henry Kissinger became totally Machiavellian after Nixon’s resignation.

It raises the question about how Machiavellian it is today. Is the US engaged in undermining Russia so that it can ensure its dominance in the Middle East? Has it been about trying to give Russia a bloody nose in Syria via the firepower of its local allies, which it and some of its NATO allies have provided?

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

Russia Blames Turkey For Its 33 Troops Killed Embedded With “Terrorists”; Turkey Vows To Escalate

Russia Blames Turkey For Its 33 Troops Killed Embedded With “Terrorists”; Turkey Vows To Escalate

“We have fought Russia 16 times in the past, and we will fight it again,” Turkish adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mesut Hakki Casin, has warned after Thursday’s dramatic escalation involving the deaths of some 33 Turkish soldiers in Idlib via airstrike, in the single deadliest day for Turkey in Syria throughout the entirety of the war.

NATO held an emergency meeting at Turkey’s request, while the Trump administration has vaguely responded that the US “stands with Turkey”, but it increasingly looks like Ankara will go it alone in terms of its adventurism inside Idlib, after NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg merely offered “condolences” and expressed “solidarity” with Turkey. Regardless, Turkey has vowed escalation, reports The Washington Post:

Turkey vowed Friday to escalate military actions in Syria’s Idlib province after 33 of its soldiers were killed in an airstrike it blamed on Syria, as the risk of a major military confrontation between Russia and Turkey in the region increased sharply.

Widespread early reports said it was a Russian strike, but in a sign that Ankara doesn’t want to confront the more formidable Russian Air Force, it has blamed Syrian forces while restricting social media access to its own citizens, likely in an effort to allay domestic political pressure on Erdogon to “do something” to confront Russia.

Erdogan has even reportedly told President Trump that Syrian “regime forces” were behind that attack and that Turkey has responded. But Turkey’s defense minister did have this to say of Russia’s role: “This attack occurred even though the locations of our troops had been coordinated with Russian officials in the field,” yet stopping short of saying Russian jets were behind it.

Moscow for its part has remained unflinching after it appears to have set a clear ‘red line’ in Turkey: 

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

Never Trust a Failing Empire

Never Trust a Failing Empire 

The Washington Post, through documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, has published a long investigation into Afghanistan. Journalists have collected over 400 testimonies from American diplomats, NATO generals and other NATO personnel, that show that reports about Afghanistan were falsified to deceive the public about the real situation on the ground.

After the tampering with and falsification of the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), we are witnessing another event that will certainly discomfit those who have hitherto relied on the official reports of the Pentagon, the US State Department and international organizations like the OPCW for the last word.

There are very deliberate reasons for such disinformation campaigns. In the case of the OPCW, as I wrote some time back, the aim was to paint the Syrian government as the fiend and the al-Qaeda- and Daesh-linked “moderate rebels” as the innocent souls, thereby likely justifying a responsibility-to-protect armed intervention by the likes of the US, the UK and France. In such circumstances, the standing and status of the reporting organization (like the OPCW) is commandeered to validate Western propaganda that is duly disseminated through the corporate-controlled mainstream media.

In this particular case, various Western capitals colluded with the OPCW to lay the groundwork for the removal of Assad and his replacement with the al-Nusra Front as well as the very same al-Qaeda- and Daesh-linked armed opposition officially responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

As if the massaging of the OPCW reports were not enough in themselves to provoke international outrage, this dossier serves to give aid and comfort to jihadi groups supported by the Pentagon who are known to be responsible for the worst human-rights abuses, as seen in Syria and Iraq in the last 6 years.

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

FREXIT – Is France Hurling toward Exiting the EU?

FREXIT – Is France Hurling toward Exiting the EU? 

France is by no means calming down. There is a major underlying problem in France which is rising to the surface in direct confrontation with the government and Macron’s ambition to lead Europe. Macron’s confrontation with Trump over NATO is a reflection of a historical posture of the French government that has resented both Germany and the United States. Macron had said, “The Atlantic alliance can only be restored in one way, through restoring the unity of Europe.” The twelve founding members set up a headquarters together for the first time in London in 1950.

NATO Headquarters was located at 13, Belgrave Square. The last meeting to be held in London before the move to Paris was on April 1, 1952, which coincided with NATO’s third anniversary.  NATO was forced to move its headquarters from Paris, France (the A building for Alliance) following the French withdrawal from NATO, which then moved to Brussels 1967.

Macron did not advocate that France should pull out of NATO as was the case under  President de Gaulle. Indeed, de Gaulle did withdraw France from NATO’s military structure in 1966, yet it remained an Ally. Macron has been also pushing for a European Army. Clearly, Macron’s agenda has been to federalize Europe and that is clashing with the people. He is NOT a proponent in having the USA a major part of NATO according to reliable sources.

Macron has been pushing economic reforms to curtail the social benefits in France in his effort to federalize Europe. In protest of his planned reforms in the pension system, the unions have organized several general strikes, which are now being joined by the yellow vests. This has resulted in bringing in hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets. The problem which Macron faces is that France’s economic performance can no longer finance the generous welfare state which is far beyond international standards.

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

Rabobank: “The Global Institutional Architecture Is Collapsing”

Rabobank: “The Global Institutional Architecture Is Collapsing”

It’s December, and the start of the season of good will to all and peace on earth. Not much of that about, of course.

In the UK, the election has been interrupted by the terrorist attack at London Bridge, which both sides are naturally playing politics with in different ways (The Left is soft on terrorists vs. police underfunding and foreign policy, etc.); the latest opinion polls suggest Labour continues to make up some ground but remains well behind, but London Bridge may perhaps see that impetus stalled. Let’s see if the imminent arrival of US President Trump tips the scales, as President Obama did on Brexit, or if he can hold off on commenting as protocol dictates.

In Germany, Angela Merkel’s coalition partners the SPD have just elected new leadership, and they have veered to the left, hardly a surprise against this global backdrop, but likely accelerating the eventual collapse of the current government and opening up questions about what any new one could look like. Instability, or at least uncertainty, at the heart of the Eurozone is certainly not going to be welcome to investors – yet could it herald an imminent fiscal shift?  

Tomorrow and Wednesday will also see the 2019 NATO summit, again in London, where the world’s largest military alliance will get together and try to decide what it is for and if it still has a purpose. Trump continues to put pressure on all members to spend the pledged 2% of GDP to keep it a fighting force vs. Russia, and perhaps China(?): relatively few do or show they even want to (e.g., Germany). He’s is also going to bring up Huawei and 5G to discuss. President Macron of France has called NATO “Brain dead” due to the absence of US leadership–I thought it was leading?

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

Eastern Europe Is Turning Into An Energy Battleground

Eastern Europe Is Turning Into An Energy Battleground

Gas Flame

Bulgaria has agreed to allow NATO to use its Black Sea port for naval coordination efforts as tensions rise between the Western military alliance and Russia.

The agreement was reached following a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov at the White House on November 25.

NATO has bolstered its defenses in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea region, which is becoming a new frontier for energy geopolitics, after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and seized Ukrainian Navy vessels last year.

NATO earlier this year carried out military exercises in the Black Sea that involved more than 20 ships and crews from Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, and Turkey to the consternation of Moscow. Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based in Crimea.

“Viewing with concern the security situation in the Black Sea, the United States welcomes Bulgaria’s offer to provide a maritime coordination function at Varna in support of NATO’s Tailored Forward Presence initiative,” the United States and Bulgaria said in a joint statement.

U.S. and Bulgarian officials will hold high-level meetings to discuss further maritime military cooperation, the statement said.

NATO members Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey border the Black Sea along with Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia. Both Ukraine and Georgia have expressed a desire to join NATO.

Trump hosted Romanian President Klaus Iohannis last month as part of a series of engagements with leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria.

Prior to his arrival in Washington, Borisov told journalists that he would not allow a permanent NATO military base on the Black Sea, a move that would anger Russia.

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

Europe: The cracks are beginning to showIs the EU experiment coming to an end? Europe considers its options

Europe: The cracks are beginning to showIs the EU experiment coming to an end? Europe considers its options

THE NATO BUILD-UP

2014: The expansion of NATO in the late 20th and early 21st centuries had posed a serious strategic threat to Russia’s security. In 1999 the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO. In 2004 they were followed by the Baltics, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Slovenia; Albania and Croatia joined in 2009.

This influx was in addition to most of the western European states which had been members of NATO since the ‘Iron Curtain’ came down soon after hostilities had ceased in Europe in 1945. In all, 28 countries are now members of the alliance. Non-NATO members including, Sweden, Finland, were brought into line with EU/NATO policy after their accession to the Lisbon Treaty. Thus economically, politically and militarily the West had arrived at Russia’s western borders.

Viewed retrospectively, however, this was the high point of NATO hegemony. The juggernaut seemed to be at the height of its power, but the turning points had already come with the brief Russo-Georgia war in 2008 and then Ukraine 2014/15 when Russia said nyet.

COLOUR REVOLUTIONS

Colour revolutions financed by US Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the shape of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), US-AID, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were complementary to the EU/NATO expansion eastwards and had targeted both Georgia and Ukraine. Additionally, Soros’s Open Society and its many tentacles also took part in these operations.

The NED could not be called an NGO since it was funded directly by the US government which made it a “GO”. This was openly admitted later by Victoria Nuland – Under Secretary of State for Eurasian and East European Affairs, and Wife of leading neo-con warmonger Robert Kagan – during a talk which she gave at the Washington press club. (See the you tube). Ms Nuland also took the opportunity to inform the audience that the going rate for colour revolutions was US$5 billion.

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

Suddenly, Western “Regime” Changes Keep Failing

Suddenly, Western “Regime” Changes Keep Failing

It used to be done regularly and it worked: The West identified a country as its enemy, unleashed its professional propaganda against it, then administered a series of sanctions, starving and murdering children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. If the country did not collapse within months or just couple of years, the bombing would begin.

And the nation, totally shaken, in pain, and in disarray, would collapse like a house of cards, once the first NATO boots hit its ground.

Such scenarios were re-enacted, again and again, from Yugoslavia to Iraq.

But suddenly, something significant has happened. This horrific lawlessness, this chaos stopped; was deterred.

The West keeps using the same tactics, it tries to terrorize independent-minded countries, to frighten people into submission, to overthrow what it defines as ‘regimes’, but its power, its monstrously destructive power has all of a sudden become ineffective.

It hits, and the attacked nation shakes, screams, sheds blood, but keeps standing, keeps proudly erect.

What we are experiencing is a great moment in human history. Imperialism has not yet been defeated, but it is losing its global grip on power.

Now we have to clearly understand ‘Why?’, so we can continue our struggle, with even greater determination, with even greater effectiveness.

First of all, by now we know that the West cannot fight. It can spend trillions on ‘defense’, it can build nuclear bombs, ‘smart missiles’ and strategic warplanes. But it is too cowardly, too spoiled to risk the lives of its soldiers. 

It either kills remotely, or by using regional mercenaries. Whenever it becomes clear that the presence of its troops would be required, it backs up.

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

The Declining Empire of Chaos Is Going Nuts Over Iran

The Declining Empire of Chaos Is Going Nuts Over Iran 

The transition in recent years from a unipolar to a multipolar world order has created international tensions that seem to threaten to escalate into clashes between regional and global powers.

In 2014 we were almost at the point of no return in Ukraine following the coup d’etat supported and funded by NATO and involving extremist right-wing Ukrainian nationalists. The conflict in the Donbass risked escalating into a conflict between NATO and the Russian Federation, every day in the summer and autumn of 2014 threatening to be doomsday. Rather than respond to the understandable impulse to send Russian troops into Ukraine to defend the population of Donbass, Putin had the presense of mind to pursue the less direct and more sensible strategy of supporting the material capacity of the residents of Donbass to resist the depredations of the Ukrainian army and their neo-Nazi Banderite thugs. Meanwhile, Europe’s inept leaders initially egged on Ukraine’s destabilization, only to get cold feet after reflecting on the possibility of having a conflict between Moscow and Washington fought on European soil.

With the resistance in Donbass managing to successfully hold back Ukrainian assaults, the conflict began to freeze, almost to the point of a complete ceasefire, even as Ukrainian provocations continue to this day.

Tensions were then focussed on Syria, where a mercenary army of at least 200,000 men, armed and trained by the US, UK, Israel, France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, almost managed to completely topple the country. Russian intervention in 2015 managed to save the country with no time to spare, destroying large numbers of terrorists and reorganizing the Syrian armed forces and training and equipping them with the necessary means to beat back the jihadi waves.

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

Is a New US Mideast War Inevitable?

Is a New US Mideast War Inevitable?

Is a New US Mideast War Inevitable?

In this new century, leaders of both parties have plunged our country into at least five wars in the Middle and Near East… None of these wars has produced a victory or success for us. But taken together, they did produce a multitrillion-dollar strategic and human rights disaster.

In October 1950, as U.S. forces were reeling from hordes of Chinese troops who had intervened massively in the Korean War, a 5,000-man Turkish brigade arrived to halt an onslaught by six Chinese divisions.

Said supreme commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade.”

President Harry Truman awarded the brigade a Presidential Unit Citation.

In 1951, Turkey ended a neutrality dating to the end of World War I and joined NATO. In the seven decades since, there has been no graver crisis in U.S.-Turkish relations than the one that erupted this week.

Turkey has just received the first components of a Russian S-400 air and missile defense system, despite U.S. warnings this would require the cancellation of Turkey’s purchase of 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” said the White House.

The sale has been canceled. The Turkish pilots and instructors training in the U.S. are being sent home. Contracts with Turkish companies producing parts for the F-35 are being terminated. Under U.S. law, the administration is also required to impose sanctions on Turkey for buying Russian weaponry.

Wednesday, the Pentagon warned Turkey against military action in an area of Syria where U.S. troops are deployed. The Turks appear to be massing for an incursion against U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces Ankara regards as terrorist allies of the Kurdish PKK inside Turkey.

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

The Strange Case Of Chrystia Freeland And The Failure Of The “Super Elite”

The Strange Case Of Chrystia Freeland And The Failure Of The “Super Elite”

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has become a bit of a living parody of everything wrong with the detached technocratic neo-liberal order which has driven the world through 50 years of post-industrial decay. Now, two years into the Trump presidency, and five years into the growth of a new system shaped by the Russia-China alliance, the world has become a very different place from the one which Freeland and her controllers wish it to be.

Having been set up as a counterpart to the steely Hillary Clinton who was supposed to win the 2016 election, Freeland and her ilk have demonstrated their outdated thinking in everything they have set out to achieve since the 2014 coup in Ukraine. Certainly before that, everything seemed to be going smoothly enough for End of History disciples promoting a script that was supposed to culminate in a long-sought for “New World Order”.

The Script up until Now

Things were going especially well since the collapse of the Soviet system in the early 1990s. The collapse ushered in a unipolar world order with the European Union and NAFTA, followed soon thereafter by the World Trade Organization and the 1999 destruction of Glass-Steagall (1). The trans-Atlantic at last was converted into a cage of “post-sovereign nations” that no longer had actual control of their own powers of credit generation. Under NATO, even national militaries were subject to technocratic control. This cage was perfect for the governing elite “scientifically managing” from above while the little people bickered over their diminishing employment and standards of living from below.

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

How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

How Stupid Do They Think We Are? 

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

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

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

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

US, NATO Consumed by ‘Black Sea Madness’

US, NATO Consumed by ‘Black Sea Madness’ 

Whom the gods would destroy, Friedrich Nietzsche famously said, they first make mad. What would Nietzsche make of the current, truly mad US and NATO obsession with charging into the Black Sea? It is a useful thought to ponder.

The Black Sea was far outside NATO’s traditional theater of operations for most of the Alliance’s history. However, Brussels and Washington have been piling up their military assets and visibility in the region like bees at a honey pot – or like a rogue herd of elephants charging off the edge of a cliff.

Yet NATO’s “In Your Face” presence in the Black Sea protects no one. On the contrary, it puts America’s allies in the region at grave risk by escalating tensions and increasing the danger that full scale war could break out by deliberately manufactured incident (Just think the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964) and or through a random error or clash that escalates out of control.

The US/NATO forward presence in the Black Sea is strategic madness. And it replicates parallel incendiary US exercises in fake macho stupidity against Beijing in the South China Sea: A region from which the Chinese people suffered invasion and societal collapse on a genocidal scale following defeats by Britain and France in the First Opium War (1839-42) and by Imperial Japan in its terrible invasion of summer 1937.

Washington seems equally intent on opening up a third front against Iran with its parallel forward policy in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Three simultaneous wars against three major nations, two of which are the largest, most populous in the world and formidably nuclear armed? US grand strategy –insofar as there is one – seems to have national suicide as its only goal.

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

Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems

Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems

new article by Forbes reports that the CEO of Crowdstrike, the extremely shady cybersecurity corporation which was foundational in the construction of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire.

George Kurtz ascended to the billionaire rankings on the back of soaring stocks immediately after the company went public, carried no doubt on the winds of the international fame it gained from its central protagonistic role in the most well-known hacking news story of all time. A loyal servant of empire well-rewarded.

Never mind that US government insiders like Hillary Clinton had been prepping for escalations against Russia well in advance of the 2016 elections, and that their preexisting agendas to shove a geostrategic obstacle off the world stage benefitted from the hacking narrative as much as George Kurtz did.

Never mind that Crowdstrike is tied to the NATO narrative management firm known as the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO, Gulf states and powerful international oligarchs. Never mind either that Crowdstrike was financed with a whopping $100 million from Google, which has had a cozy relationship with US intelligence agencies since its very inception.

Never mind that to this day the DNC servers have not been examined by the FBI, nor indeed were they examined by the Special Counsel of Robert “Iraq has WMD” Mueller, preferring instead to go with the analyses of this extremely shady outfit with extensive and well-documented ties with the oligarchic leaders of the US-centralized empire. Also never mind that the Crowdstrike analyst who led forensics on those DNC servers had in fact worked for and was promoted by Robert Mueller while the two were in the FBI.

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

Moscow Slams NATO Black Sea Drills As Alliance Vows Support To Ukraine And Georgia

Moscow Slams NATO Black Sea Drills As Alliance Vows Support To Ukraine And Georgia

The Kremlin has slammed NATO’s multi-national “Sea Shield 2019” naval drills which kicked off in the Black Sea on Friday and will include limited Ukrainian defense forces. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said upon the military games’ beginning, which also happens to mark NATO’s 70th birthday: “Having militarized NE Europe, NATO has decided to increase its military presence in the Black Sea.”

The Sea Shield 2019 is set to run from April 5 to April 13 and involves “14 Romanian warships and six warships from Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, Turkey with 2,200 troops will carry out joint combat tasks in the Black Sea region,” according to Ukraine’s Mission to NATO and the Romanian Ministry of National Defense. Aerial assets will also be deployed as part of the games. Prior drills on the Black Sea by war ships of the NATO Standing Maritime Group-2, via the AFP 

Crucially, non-NATO countries Ukraine and Georgia will also take part — both of which have long been potential flash points between the west and Russia. However, officials reports say their involvement will be limited to coast guard maneuvers. 

But NATO officials have described the exercise as “a long-planned, annual exercise led by Romania” and claimed that “neither the patrols, nor the exercise, are linked to events in Ukraine.”

“Three Allied nations [Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey] border the Black Sea, and NATO regularly conducts exercises and operations in the Black Sea in order to maintain credible deterrence and readiness,” a NATO official continued in response to questions from Russian reporters last week. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commemorating NATO’s 70th in Washington on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Image source: AP

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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