This post was published at George Webb
The War Cycle is in full swing upward since 2014. We have witnessed the invasion of Ukraine, the invasion of Syria, Rocketman in North Korea, and numerous civil uprisings. However, the war also comes with sharply declining economies as political leaders need to point the finger outside their domestic rule to distract their people.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan is also on a power trip and the sharply collapsing currency only puts more pressure on him to start conflicts. That basic incentive has played out with his visit to Greece in December. This was the first time a Turkish leader visited Greece in 65 years. As the Guardian reports, Erdoan shocked Greece by calling for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923. The Turkish president in Turkey has sharply criticized the opposition for this demand and as always there is the justification for protecting people of Turkish origin living in Greece. Hitler used the same excuse to invade neighbors to defend Germans living on foreign lands.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 28, 2017.
An interesting report on the official accounts for war-related spending in the U. S. is available here: Which is, of course, a massive under-estimate of the full cost of 2001-2017 wars to the U. S. taxpayers.
It is worth remembering that war-related expenditures are outside discretionary budgetary allocations (follow links here: And you can read more here: The problem, as I repeatedly pointed out, is that no one can tell us what exactly – aside from misery, failed states, collapsed economies, piles of dead bodies etc – did these expenditures achieve, or for that matter what did all the adventurous entanglements the U. S. got into in recent year deliver? In Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria, in Pakistan and Sudan, in Ukraine, in Somalia and Egypt. The sole bright spot on the U. S. ‘policy horizon’ is Kurdistan. But the problem is, the U. S. has been quietly undermining its main ally in the Syria-Iraq-Turkey sub-region in recent years. In South China Seas, Beijing is fully running the show, as multi-billion U. S. hardware bobbles up and down the waves to no effect. In North Korea, a villain with a bucket of uranium is in charge, and Iran is standing strong. In its historical backyard of Latin America, the U. S. is now confronting growing Chinese influence, while losing allies.
This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.
Earlier this week the Washington Post reported that President Trump has decided to come off the fence regarding his prior reluctance to formally approve lethal arms sales to the US-backed government in Kiev, Ukraine, and has now moved forward with Obama-era legislation to export weapons to the war-torn country.
Though as was noted at the time this commercial license approval was limited to small arms and ammunition as part of an initial $41.5 million deal, and not the heavier anti-tank systems sought by Kiev, it now appears the White House is going to announce inclusion of Javelin antitank missiles and possibly other advanced systems that could change the battlefield calculus of the war between Ukrainian and Russian-aligned forces in the Donbass region along the Russian border.
According to a new report by ABC News, Trump is expected to include the anti-tank missile systems as authorized exports to Ukraine, this based on four unnamed state department sources:
President Donald Trump is expected to announce his approval of a plan to sell anti-tank missiles to the Ukrainian government, a move that would mark a significant escalation in lethal U. S. military support for Ukrainian forces battling Russian-aligned forces in the border region, four state department sources tell ABC News. If the president formally signs off, the plan will be presented to Congress for a 30 day review period where it would need to be approved before the State Department can implement it.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 23, 2017.
Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Boris Johnson arrives in Moscow today to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov the next day – the first visit to Russia by a British foreign minister in five years. International security issues are to top the agenda, including North Korea, Iran and regional stability in the Middle East as well as security for the 2018 World Cup soccer tournament in Russia. This time the bilateral relationship is at the lowest ebb due to the differences over Ukraine, Syria, and the allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the politics of various European countries. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dramatically escalated attacks on Russia recently, accusing it of malign influence and hostile intentions.
Mr. Johnson gave an interview to the Sunday Times as he prepares for the trip to Moscow, in which he said that ‘Russia has not been so hostile to the UK or to Western interests since the end of the Cold War.’ According to him, ‘In the Crimea, capturing a part of sovereign, besides, European territory from someone else’s country and holding it for the first time since 1945.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.
After years of covert American involvement in the Ukrainian proxy and civil war which has raged since 2014 – and which a leaked recording confirmed was precipitated by the US State Department – President Trump has decided to come off the fence regarding his prior reluctance to formally approve arms sales to the Kiev government. Late Wednesday the Washington Post first reported the bombshell news that after months of indecision over whether or not to move forward with Obama-era legislation which initially paved the way for legalizing US arms sales to Ukraine, Trump has approved the first ever US commercial sale of weapons to the war-torn country.
According to The Washington Post, “administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces. There has been no approval to export the heavier weapons the Ukrainian government is asking for, such as Javelin antitank missiles.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
At the beginning of the year as the President was assuming office, I penned a piece that focused upon the need for the President to ‘clean house’ regarding the Administration, and putting Congress in its place. I also stressed the need for him to run a ‘tight ship,’ as the midterm elections of Congress in 2018 are going to determine the success of his term. As it stands, things do not look very promising. RINO (Republicans in Name Only) members of Congress have derailed his efforts on everything from Obamacare to Border Control. Every effort the President has initiated has met with dogged resistance.
Who are these resistors? To be sure, many of them can be found ensconced within levels of government or government-influenced positions where said position is not necessarily determined or changed by an incoming administration. An example of how this happens is Ben Bernanke, appointed to head the Federal Reserve under George W. Bush, and kept in place by Obama until 2014 when Yellen stepped into the spot.
The prime example of an infestation are the holdovers from the Obama administration in the State Department…the same department boasting such ‘winners’ as Victoria Nuland and Hillary Clinton. The State Department that almost singlehandedly (with the help of Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain) toppled the government of Ukraine via coup d’tat, as well as enabling the ‘Arab Spring’ to unfold.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 24th, 2017.
Russia-gate blame-scaping is accelerating across Europe… and now it is being embraced by none other than European Council President Donald Tusk.
In what is an unprecedented attack by an EU leader on a member state’s sitting government, Bloomberg reports that Tusk explicitly suggests the ruling Law & Justice party is merely a ‘puppet of Putin’ and just forwarding Russian interests…
‘Strident dispute with Ukraine, isolation in the European Union, walking away from rule of law and judicial independence, attack on non-governmental sector and free media,’ Tusk wrote on his personal Twitter account on Sunday.
‘Law & Justice strategy or Kremlin plan? Too similar to sleep well.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.
When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
One day after Trump caused the latest round of broad media outrage when he reportedly sided with Putin over Russia’s alleged “election interference”, while slamming US intel agencies, and repeating his allegation that the investigation is a ‘hoax’, and the FBI a ‘bunch of hacks,’ Trump reversed himself and “cleared up confusion” over whether he accepts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of meddling in the U. S. election last year.
Speaking at a news conference in Vietnam with President Tran Dai Quang on Sunday morning local time, Trump distanced himself from remarks he made one day earlier in which he suggested he believed Putin when he said there had been no Russian meddling in the election that took him to the White House. The comments drew a backlash of criticism at home because US intelligence agencies have long since “concluded” there was Russian meddling.
As a result, Trump was careful to make clear he sided with the intelligence agencies under his own leadership: “What I said is, I believe Putin believes that,” Trump told reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam. “I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. What he believes is what he believes.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 12, 2017.
All eyes were on Trump and Putin again as the two leaders bumped into each other at the APEC meeting on Saturday. They patted each other on the back several times, and Putin whispered something in Trump’s ear. The US leader listened attentively leaving reporters to guess what the two discussed.
Shortly after, President Trump again dismissed allegations of Russian meddling in last year’s U. S. election, following his first brief meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the APEC conference after their first encounter in July. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said that he believes Vladimir Putin’s denials about election meddling – over allegations raised by US intel agencies including the CIA, NSA, and FBI which claim that Russia actively worked to meddle in the election – which are an ‘artificial Democratic hit job’ and did not want to press further because he thinks the U. S. and Russia can work together on issues that include North Korea, Syria and Ukraine. He also said that interference talk “gets in the way and that’s a shame,” because people will die because of it.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 11, 2017.
The Great Gas War has already two distinct fronts: The now relatively quiet Northern Front in Ukraine and the Southern Front in Syria in which the Western empire has been losing. It looks to me that Lebanon is being targeted as the next front, where the West hopes its loses might be recouped.
Yesterday, November 6th, Reuters reported,
Saudi Arabia said on Monday that Lebanon had declared war against it because of attacks against the Kingdom by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
This comes after Israel, Saudi’s long time though largely un-offical best friend in the region, has been very publicly preparing to renew its own war with Lebanon – or more accurately with Hezbollah. As the American news journal Newsweek put it recently,
ISRAEL PREPARES FOR ANOTHER WAR WITH HEZBOLLAH AS IDF PRACTICES LEBANON INVASION.
Why now and why Lebanon? Well the rulers of Saudi, a Sunni dominated country, will tell us that it is because Hezbollah is a Shia terrorist organisation. ‘Hezbollah’ literally means the ‘Party of Allah’ or ‘Party of God’. Saudi Gulf affairs minister Thamer al-Sabhan yesterday pointedly referred to Hezbollah as, ‘the Lebanese Party of the Devil’. Saudi is not alone of course, Hezbollah has also been listed as a terrorist organisation by America, Israel, the Arab League, the UK and the EU. It is also, however, part of the popular government of Lebanon having seats in its parliament.
I suggest, however, a powerful reason that a new war with Hezbollah may be in the offing is because Lebanon is the next link in any gas pipeline that could potentially bring Iranian Gas to Europe. That was the reason the West decided to ‘liberate’ the Syrian people and it will be why they decide to enforce the same salvation upon the people of Lebanon. Having failed to liberate the Syrians, Saudi, the West, its Sunni Gulf allies and Israel will now see if they can succeed in blocking any Iranian gas ambitions by liberating the Lebanese from their own government. I would not be surprised to hear quite soon from opposition groups vocally denouncing the government or at least Hezbollah. I expect spokes people from those groups to suddenly get a global platform along-side American and regional supporters such as Saudi.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.
I’m obliged to file this blog before Robert Mueller’s office releases the name of the first winner in the Russian Election Meddling tribunal indictment lottery. Most of the betting is on Paul Manafort, the Swamp-creature-fixer-lobbyist-grifter who spent his summer vacation of 2016 managing Donald Trump’s election campaign.
Before that unfortunate summer internship, Manafort was just a shadier-than-average influence-peddler. It happened that many of his clients were bigshots in foreign lands – Mobuto Sese Seko (Congo), Jonas Savimbi (Angola), and Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines), as well as interests in Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ukraine, and other world beauty spots. Also, most notably, Russia where the wicked Mr. Putin dwells and incessantly plots evil against our shining city of a republic.
Over the years, Manafort took large sums of money to the DC laundry room and then distributed bales of it around town to other lobbyist subcontractors, but he left quite trail. And he overlooked the requirement to register as an agent for foreign interests. So, indicting him looks like a no-brainer. An entry-level US Attorney could, figuratively speaking, hitch him up to the rear bumper of a Chevy Yukon and drag him over five miles of broken Coke bottles.
This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on October 30, 2017.
With the onset of winter and the increasing strain on Ukraine’s energy system, the threat of a new nuclear disaster in Central Europe is becoming more than just a theoretical danger.
According to analysts from Energy Research & Social Science (ERSS), there is an 80% probability of a ‘serious accident’ at one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants before the year 2020. This is due both to the increased burden on the nuclear plants caused by the widespread shutdowns of Ukraine’s thermal power plants (the raw material they consumed – coal from the Donbass – is in critically short supply) and also because of the severe physical deterioration of their Soviet-era nuclear equipment and the catastrophic underfunding of this industry.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 17, 2017.
Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The Secretary-General of NATO said this on October 9th, speaking in NATO member Romania, right across the Black Sea from Russia’s region of Crimea (which had always been part of Russia except for the brief period 1954-2014, when the Soviet dictator arbitrarily transferred Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 – i.e., the Soviet dictator had made Crimea ‘Ukrainian’, and only in 2014 was a plebiscite actually held there in order to determine what the people there wanted, and more than 90% chose to be restored to the Russian Government). He said, on October 9th, that NATO is ‘concerned by Russia’s military buildup close to our borders’, but NATO actually had expanded up to Russia’s borders; in no way had Russia expanded up to NATO’s borders. NATO’s leader was importantly misrepresenting history, there.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 12, 2017.
The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don’t think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia.
Public Russia bashing pre-dates Trump. It has been going on privately in neoconservative circles for years, but appeared publicly during the Obama regime when Russia blocked Washington’s plans to invade Syria and to bomb Iran.
Russia bashing became more intense when Washington’s coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.
This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on October 3, 2017.
The ‘Founding Father’ of Ukraine
Could only be Senator John McCain
As Civil War splits East and West
Johnny smiles and takes a breath
(A few brain cells short) …nonetheless,
His plans unfolding once again.
What has been set into motion is still in motion and coming around for a second lap. The consortium of John McCain (the ringleader with the Soros connections), acted with the ‘authority’ of Barack Hussein Obama II and ‘independently,’ aided by Victoria Nuland (commissioned by Hillary Clinton, also acting on behalf of Soros) and Lindsay Graham (a ventriloquist dummy in the hands of McCain). What a team! Arseniy Yatsenuk quacked and chirped under orders, until it was determined that he was too weak.
Yatsenuk couldn’t stem the tide of fighting between the self-proclaimed autonomous Eastern districts of Ukraine and the Kiev government. The IMF had offered to pay the Gazprom bill of $9 billion to Russia, and Ukraine was well on its way in 2014 to becoming a part of NATO and another IMF puppet of Europe. The Separatists had other plans, though, and Russia aided them and offered to support them in the manner of South Ossetia in the Georgian War of 2005.
This post was published at shtfplan on September 30th, 2017.
Via The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board,
Congress needs to learn how the FBI meddled in the 2016 campaign.
When Donald Trump claimed in March that he’d had his ‘wires tapped’ prior to the election, the press and Obama officials dismissed the accusation as a fantasy. We were among the skeptics, but with former director James Comey’s politicized FBIthe story is getting more complicated.
CNN reported Monday that the FBI obtained a warrant last year to eavesdrop on Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager from May to August in 2016. The story claims the FBI first wiretapped Mr. Manafort in 2014 while investigating his work as a lobbyist for Ukraine’s ruling party. That warrant lapsed, but the FBI convinced the court that administers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to issue a second order as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the election.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 20, 2017.