This is your site. Support it. On June 21 the editorial board of the Washington Post, long a propaganda instrument believed to be in cahoots with the CIA and the deep state, called for more sanctions and more pressure on Russia. One second’s thought is sufficient to realize how bad this advice is. The orchestrated demonization of Russia and its president began in the late summer of 2013 when the British Parliament and Russian diplomacy blocked the neoconned Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria. An example had to be made of Russia before other countries began standing up to Washington. While the Russians were focused on the Sochi Olympic Games, Washington staged a coup in Ukraine, replacing the elected democratic government with a gang of Banderite neo-nazi thugs whose forebears fought for Hitler in World War II. Washington claimed it had brought democracy to Ukraine by putting neo-nazi thugs in control of the government. Washington’s thugs immediately began violent attacks on the Russian population in Ukraine. Soviet war memorials were destroyed. The Russian language was declared banned from official use. Instantly, separatist movements began in the Russian parts of Ukraine that had been administratively attached to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted overwhelmingly to seperate from Ukraine and requested to be reunited with Russia. The same occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Batchelor and Cohen take a reprieve (perhaps welcomed) from the Washington/Trump civil war and shift their attention to troop movements in the Baltic States (NATO) as Canada sends in a rotation contingent, a Ukraine that continues to fester quietly with Poroshenko’s visit to Washington, and more serious, the U.S. shooting down of the Su 22 Syrian jet and an Iranian drone in Syria. The overview is that under Trump, there is no change in the NATO stance in Europe, but vastly deteriorating conditions in Syria even as ISIS is clearly defeated there. The new problems evolving in Syria are about potential problems between the numerous allies on opposite sides that represent a poisonous mix of conflicting agendas over and above what is represented by ISIS. Both pundits are in agreement over this assessment. Cohen begins with his interpretation of the American shoot down of the Syrian jet and quite simply labels it as illegal and an act of war against a sovereign state. But he also notes that the Russians did something interesting. They did not react for two days and then on Monday came out with a statement that Russia would target (radar paint) any non-legitimate aircraft in the region, and should it prove hostile or in non-compliance to orders to leave it would be shot down. The ‘deconfliction’ agreement has therefore died. For Cohen this is yet another incidence of sabotage by the Pentagon/CIA to prevent Trump and Putin negotiating. Cohen assumes this is correct by ‘the pattern of events’ shown for decades between Russia and the USA during cold war events . For this writer we are very close to Russia declaring a ‘no fly zone’ in Syria, and it is very clear that some Americans were caught with surprise and fear at this reaction. The other pattern is that the Russian reaction to these transgressions has always been a degradation of cooperation in Syria. Whether Trump can function with this kind of interference by his opposition without that opposition starting a shooting war is a very real worry. More about this later. The discussion then shifts to Europe and the Ukrainian Crisis. Batchelor maintains that European leadership, the new leaders in the U.K. France, and Germany’s Merkel are two weak to carry on effectively with the Minsk2 Agreement. Enter US Sec. State Tillerson, who advocates dissolving the agreement and having the combatants negotiate a solution for themselves. Cohen then brings up the new American sanctions and discusses how destructively stupid they are. Three European foreign ministers have now threatened to put sanctions on the U.S. if these new U.S. sanctions were passed into law. This is an amazing development and shows the real direction of Europe and Russia – and Washington. Cohen elaborately details these political changes with European leaders.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov cancelled an upcoming meeting with the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., according to AP, in retaliation to the Trump administration’s announcement on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and firms over Russian activities in Ukraine. Ryabkov said that “the situation is not conducive to holding a round of this dialogue” that was scheduled for Friday and criticized the U. S. for ‘not having offered and not offering anything specific’ to discuss. “We have said from the very beginning of Washington’s exceptionally destructive policy in regard to applying anti-Russia sanctions, that [such measures] will not and cannot have an effect desired by the US on our individuals or entities,” Ryabkov told RIA Novosti Tuesday. The decision to widen the list came as President Trump met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.
Presidential historian and author Doug Wead claims that the deep state, which has successfully overthrown the governments of foreign countries, is going to continue to actively seek a coup d’etat of the dually elected president of the United States. If there was ever a time in history to be concerned about another rise in communism, now is that time. Wead says that the deep state is determined to overthrow Donald Trump. The presidential historian refused to mince words, saying: We have very skilled, talented professionals. They’ve overthrown governments in Vietnam and the Philippines, in Iraq and Iran, in Egypt, in the Ukraine. Duly elected democratic governments. They created what they called ‘popular uprisings.’ Of course, we should expect nothing less from shadow governments. The very same people who work in the State Department, some of them in intelligence, and some of them in the media, have successfully caused uprisings in several other countries. They’ve worked together to overthrow foreign governments, and Wead believes Trump is a thorn in their side preventing a global takeover.
This post was published at shtfplan on June 18th, 2017.
Less than a day after the Senate overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions against the Kremlin, on Thursday Germany and Austria – two of Russia’s biggest energy clients in Europe – slammed the latest U. S. sanctions against Moscow, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas. Shortly after the Senate voted Wednesday to slap new sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy over “interference in the 2016 U. S. elections” and aggression in Syria and Ukraine, in a joint statement Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it appeared that the Senate bill was aimed at securing US energy jobs and pushing out Russian gas deliveries to Europe.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.
With tensions among the world’s super powers mounting in places like Ukraine, Syria, North Korea and most recently Qatar and Iran, it may only be a matter of time before someone pushes the red button. When they do, all bets are off, and as we’ve learned from the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in June of 1914, once the trigger is pulled there’s no going back and hundreds of millions of lives, perhaps billions, will hang in the balance. Considering that Russia is closely allied with Syrian President Assad, has a direct interest in maintaining control of Ukraine’s former Crimea region, and its ties to Iran, ignoring the possibility of a global war in coming years could be a devastating oversight. We are, in fact, at war right now. But just as was the case from the 1960’s through the end of the 1980’s, it is a ‘cold war.’ There have been no direct troop engagements that we know of between the Russians and the United States. But look to cyber space and it should be clear that there is a battle taking place on a daily basis. Moreover, as we’ve previously reported, nuclear war may well be on the horizon, because the confrontations taking place on the geo-political stage are no longer just talk. Action has already been taken by both sides:
This post was published at shtfplan on June 9th, 2017.
Shortly after midnight local time on Thursday, an unknown attacker threw a device in the U. S. embassy compound in Ukraine’s capital Kiev which exploded. Nobody was injured, according to Reuters. Authorities have called the incident a terrorist act. Authorities in Kiev said in a statement that the incident occurred at 12:05 a.m. local time, and occurred at the U. S. Embassy compound in the Shevchenko district.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 8, 2017.
Oleksander Turchinov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, a powerful advisory body to the Ukrainian president, has proposed building “an insurmountable fortress” on Ukraine’s border with Russia. Russian commentators laughed themselves to tears over Kiev’s latest maniacal proposal. In a statement addressed to Ukraine’s Border Guard Troops on the occasion of their national holiday, Turchinov said that while the country’s border with the E.U. should be made into a convenient and reliable one, and equipped in accordance with Western standards, the eastern border with Russia must become “an insurmountable fortress.” “Today, it is important to equip the state border in the West according to European standards – a convenient and reliable one, and in the East -to create an insurmountable fortress. I am confident that our border guards will adequately fulfill all the tasks set by the country!” the official said. Turchinov made the remarks during the celebration of Border Guard Day on Sunday, a holiday that is also celebrated in Russia, and has its origins in the Soviet period (a period in history that Ukraine’s post-Maidan leaders openly despise).
As of late, the media has forgotten about tensions between Ukraine, NATO, and Russia. Crimea and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine have largely left the public’s awareness. However, that shouldn’t be the case, because this region is still a powder keg that could blow at any time. And if it does, it could easily result in another world war. If you don’t think the situation in Ukraine could still explode into a wider conflict, take a look at what this member of Russia’s parliament recently said at an international security conference. ‘On the issue of NATO expansion on our borders, at some point I heard from the Russian military – and I think they are right – If U. S. forces, NATO forces, are, were, in the Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, Russia is undefendable militarily in case of conflict without using nuclear weapons in the early stage of the conflict,’ Russian parliamentarian Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Nikonov told attendees at the GLOBSEC 2017 forum in Bratislava, Slovakia. Russian military leaders have discussed Moscow’s willingness to use nuclear weapons in a conflict with military leaders in NATO, as part of broader and increasingly contentious conversations about the alliance’s expansion, Nikonov later told Defense One.
This post was published at shtfplan on May 30th, 2017.
The 2017 Memorial Day weekend will inevitably go down in history as the three-day span when remembrances of our military veterans took a media backseat to President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and everything Russian. One of the key areas under multiple probes is a meeting Kushner held in December with Sergey Gorkov, the Chairman of Vnesheconombank (VEB), a Russian state-owned bank which has been under U. S. sanctions since July 2014 for Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine. What this meeting was about has yet to be officially determined. Reuters reported on Saturday that ‘FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump, said the current U. S. law enforcement official.’
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has imposed a ban on Russia’s biggest social media networks and internet services popular with millions. His decision is a significant ramping up of sanctions on Ukraine’s neighbour for its annexation of Crimea and the continuing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Those targeted include social networks VK.com and Odnoklassniki, search engine Yandex and the Mail.ru email service. Ukrainian service providers have been ordered to block access to the sites. The companies’ offices in Ukraine will also face asset freezes and other restrictions although it was not immediately clear how the ban on the services would come into force and whether Ukraine had the technical means to enforce it.
After the latest diplomatic scandal involving Donald Trump, which unleashed a frenzy of allegations that Trump is either a traitor or too dumb to govern for sharing allegedly confidential data to the Russian foreign minister, the angry response by Democrats – many of whom now demand hearings, transcripts, or worse – was predictable. What was unexpected was the loud criticism by some very prominent republican senators. Earlier today, Sen. John McCain said that allegations Trump shared highly classified information with top Russian officials are “deeply disturbing,” and added that “regrettably, the time President Trump spent sharing sensitive information with the Russians was time he did not spend focusing on Russia’s aggressive behavior, including its interference in American and European elections, its illegal invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, its other destabilizing activities across Europe, and the slaughter of innocent civilians and targeting of hospitals in Syria,” he said. He was not alone, joining other Republicans who voiced similar criticism about Trump’s actions in the Oval Office. One was Sen. Susan Collins who said earlier Tuesday that the Senate Intelligence Committee needs to be briefed on the report. Sen. Ben Sasse told MSNBC that “It’s not helpful that this was with the Russians, right? I mean this is just weird.” Senator Bob Corker was even more blunt, saying the White House is “in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening. You know, the shame of it is there’s a really good national security team in place and there are good productive things that are under way through them and through others, but the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment – it creates a worrisome environment.” It was the harsh Republican response that prompted Height Securities’ Peter Cohn to write a note to clients on Tuesday that Trump’s recent conduct “raises questions for investors about whether senior Republicans will abandon ship.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 16, 2017.
With both the White House and Trump himself denying that they had done anything wrong in response to the WaPo story that Trump improperly shared confidential information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, next it was Russia’s turn. And sure enough, on Tuesday morning, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “we don’t want anything to do with this nonsense,’ in response to reporter questions prompted by the WaPo articles. “It’s complete nonsense” He did however cryptically note that “Russia doesn’t forget about the principle of reciprocity in relation to sanctions against its companies by Ukraine and ‘unfriendly’ actions that ‘violate rights of people in Ukraine.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 16, 2017.
In April 2014, just as the Ukraine conflict (and proxy civil war) was hitting its climax, in the process undermining US-Russian relations for years, some 2,066 Americans were asked to show where the Ukraine was on a map. The result, while leaving something to be desired, was not terrible.
Fast forward to this weekend, when the NYT repeated the same exercise with the latest geopolitical hotspot: North Korea. In an experiment led by Kyle Dropp of Morning Consult, he asked 1,746 American adults to point to where North Korea is on the world map.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 15, 2017.
With Emmanuel Macron’s defeat of the right-wing populist Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, the European Union and the euro have dodged a bullet. But geopolitical risks are continuing to proliferate. The populist backlash against globalization in the West will not be stilled by Macron’s victory, and could still lead to protectionism, trade wars, and sharp restrictions to migration. If the forces of disintegration take hold, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU could eventually lead to a breakup of the EU – Macron or no Macron. At the same time, Russia has maintained its aggressive behavior in the Baltics, the Balkans, Ukraine, and Syria. The Middle East still contains multiple near-failed states, such as Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Lebanon. And the Sunni-Shia proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran show no sign of ending. In Asia, U. S. or North Korean brinkmanship could precipitate a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula. And China is continuing to engage in – and in some cases escalating – its territorial disputes with regional neighbors.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 9, 2017.
The investigations of Russian involvement in the presidential elections are expanding into additional investigations. Batchelor mentions the statement from Senator Burr of South Carolina, who will lead the Senate Sub Committee Investigation on Russian involvement in the US presidential election, has gone on record that we are in a new cold war with Russia. Cohen, in turn, raises the point that he has yet to note all the complaints of the United States that could have Washington at war with Russia and proceeds to do so and to explain why this new cold war is more dangerous: in sequence they are Ukraine, the NATO build up on Russia’s border; Kremlingate (the DNC hack), the chemical weapons event in Syria (and Trump’s missile attack response), the perception of Kremlin involvement in European elections, and finally the new allegation that Russia is “colluding with the Taliban” against the US in Afghanistan. This too is a dynamic process as the list appears to be growing…..One cannot help but ponder that as there is no real evidence emerging from these various investigations. all are just public relations exercises designed to keep the hysteria at the heights. But are the failures of these investigations not seen as the failures of the narratives? Apparently not so much. Cohen states that this process has lasted a decade and a general attitude of “Russiaphobia” and a new cold war. The intensity of this attitude, Cohen concludes, has somehow emerged as worse than that of the Soviet era, and he explains how. He reminds that during the Soviet era there was, at least, a policy of diplomacy operating – and this time all the various narratives in operation that could bring war are unsupported by any evidenc. This may be the most dangerous aspect of this whole process that there is much less talking between these countries. Also what is missing this time is a MSM that practices real journalism that functioned as a kind of safety valve in the past that would keep any developing narrative somewhat credible. But with the media complicit in promoting the anti-Russian accusations we have instead a partnership with government where the Fourth Estate is compromised – except for some few notable exceptions in the mainstream (Tucker Carlson is mentioned). And Cohen claims that these failures are being somewhat noted and commented upon. Batchelor does comment, however, that the media discussion is beginning to take the position that Congress is too partisan to deal with the Russiagate investigation. Cohen maintains that this may go on for years and be a major platform for a new Hillary campaign then. (This writer also assumes an escalation – perhaps blaming Russia for a declining dollar or adverse economic realities.) And Cohen notes that virtually everone has bought into this – perhaps for cosmetic/political reasons and that at some point the lack of credibility, the lack of evidence – and serious omissions, for example, by the FBI in their “DNC hacking incident” – may interfere with the narratives. And Batchelor responds that the French now have their own Russiagate with their own presidential election. A Russian based hacker group called Pawn Storm is targeting E.U. elections and is now the new bogyman in Europe. Both pundits then begin to discuss what might be called the evolution of “allegation politics” where evidence of any wrong doing is completely unnecessary to achieve an outcome. Cohen then brings Ukraine into the discussion. Kiev has now cut off electrical power to the capital of Luhansk as a means to provoke Russia. Also mentioned is the importance to Russia of the American presence in Afghanistan. Without the American presence, that country would become a centre for jihadism against that whole region and southern Russia and yet Russia stands accused of working with the Taliban against the United States. So the allegation politics continue to support Western insouciance. At some point does one see the rest of the unaligned world just throwing up hands and accepting that any American president will have as much legitimacy (or as little) as the whole deserves to receive? This process has achieved that much. The perverse aspect of this speaks to how the rest of the world are even more intimidated by fear of becoming a target of America as the Russians have become. We have seen now what they have done to Trump, and we will have to live in this new dangerous world with this reality that is now in the open.
The Russia-China strategic partnership, uniting the Pentagon’s avowed top two “existential” threats to America, does not come with a formal treaty signed with pomp, circumstance – and a military parade. Enveloped in layers of subtle sophistication, there’s no way to know the deeper terms Beijing and Moscow have agreed upon behind those innumerable Putin-Xi Jinping high-level meetings. Diplomats, off the record, occasionally let it slip there may have been a coded message delivered to NATO to the effect that if one of the strategic members is seriously harassed – be it in Ukraine or in the South China Sea – NATO will have to deal with both. For now, let’s concentrate on two instances of how the partnership works in practice, and why Washington is clueless on how to deal with it.
Paging Doctor Oz! A patient calling itself The United States wandered into the emergency room disoriented, wearing a filthy warm-up suit, claiming it was ‘the greatest’ this and that… but was unable to complete the nine-page admission protocol or present valid insurance ID. Patient is growing increasingly violent, threatening staff and other patients…. Nations do develop something like Alzheimers. Perhaps you haven’t noticed that for some time now nothing sticks in the national brain-pan – if that’s what we can call the news media and its analogs on the Web waves. For months, an obsession about ‘Russian interference in the election’ raged through the left lobe of the national consciousness. Then, about a week ago, it vanished utterly. Grandpa suffered similar delusions about the Russians meddling with ‘our precious bodily fluids.’ (Paging Doctor Strangelove.) Not so far back as last summer, a candidate named Trump un-ironically called for ‘an end to endless war in the Middle East.’ The oft-applied policy of ‘regime change,’ he said, was not working out in the various US-engineered failed states such as Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Ukraine. About two weeks ago, I seem to recall, the State Department even declared explicitly that we had no brief for regime change in the case of one Bashar al-Assad over in Syria. Then there was something in the wifi waves about a poison gas attack. The evidence as to exactly who perpetrated it looked, how-you-say, not altogether convincing. This evidence amounted to the US Intel services, in their aggregate omniscience, asserting that, ‘yes, it was so that this weasel Assad bombed his people with Sarin.’ Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow ran so hard with the story that they vanished over the horizon.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 21, 2017.
This is a syndicated repost courtesy of KUNSTLER. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission. Paging Doctor Oz! A patient calling itself The United States wandered into the emergency room disoriented, wearing a filthy warm-up suit, claiming it was ‘the greatest’ this and that… but was unable to complete the nine-page admission protocol or present valid insurance ID. Patient is growing increasingly violent, threatening staff and other patients…. Nations do develop something like Alzheimers. Perhaps you haven’t noticed that for some time now nothing sticks in the national brain-pan – if that’s what we can call the news media and its analogs on the Web waves. For months, an obsession about ‘Russian interference in the election’ raged through the left lobe of the national consciousness. Then, about a week ago, it vanished utterly. Grandpa suffered similar delusions about the Russians meddling with ‘our precious bodily fluids.’ (Paging Doctor Strangelove.) Not so far back as last summer, a candidate named Trump un-ironically called for ‘an end to endless war in the Middle East.’ The oft-applied policy of ‘regime change,’ he said, was not working out in the various US-engineered failed states such as Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Ukraine. About two weeks ago, I seem to recall, the State Department even declared explicitly that we had no brief for regime change in the case of one Bashar al-Assad over in Syria.