Manufacturing Dissent – The New Culture War – By Chris Kanthan (Sott.net)

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Noam Chomsky famously talked about manufacturing consent, a propaganda tool of the elites to control people. However, another equally potent way to control people is by manufacturing dissent. This is otherwise known as ‘divide and rule’, a strategy usually restricted to foreign policy, but now being directed at the American people by the American elites. Neo-Nazis, Alt Right, Antifa, destruction of statues, and Americans assaulting one another are all signs of a divided nation that’s in the throes of a manufactured ‘culture war’. While the ruling class is laughing it up, the middle and working classes are ensnared in what I would call a Societal Autoimmune Disorder (S.A.D.). Between 2008 and now, we have been cleverly steered away from ‘Occupy Wall Street’ to ‘Occupy One Another’.

In a united America, people would be focusing on the economy of reverse Robin Hood that has left 78% of Americans living from paycheck to paycheck; the unsustainable debt that shackles college students and the whole nation; the theft by Wall Street, banksters and the Federal Reserve Bank; the endless, maniacal wars that the military-industrial complex demands; the erosion of civil liberty and privacy; the unhealthy, fake food made from GMO and toxic chemicals; the rise in numerous chronic diseases; and the inexorable rise in healthcare costs, to name a few.

However, many Americans are oblivious to all of that and are busy fighting each other, if not physically then in their own heads and on social media. Whites against blacks, men against women, straight against gay, citizens against immigrants, Christians against Muslims, right against left and so on. There is no logical, mature discussion. Two groups meet to see who can yell louder and nastier. When the police are successful in separating the groups, the mobs content themselves with a cacophony of nonsense. When the police step away, caveman instincts arise and people beat each other up. Whatever happened to “Love Trumps Hate”?

In Syria, after a city was liberated from jihadists, a person observed, “Syria was the most secular, the most comfortable country in the Arab world. It was embarrassing if someone asked whether you were a Muslim or a Christian.” This was the case before March 2011. Within a year, Sunni extremists were killing Shiite Muslims and Christians. Muslim neighbors who had been wonderful friends for generations turned against Yazidi Christians when the madness of ISIS infected their souls; churches that had been around for centuries were destroyed; and thousands of Christians were killed and 1 million were expelled from their homes.

Igniting sectarianism and turning one group against another is all too easy for the elites it seems, whether it’s 500 BC or 2000 AD; whether it’s a third-world country or a developed nation.

Multiculturalism is hard, but it’s made infinitely more difficult when people are taught to focus on their differences, dig up old wounds, demonize entire groups of people, and embrace victimhood. Many Americans are now programmed to be acutely aware of race, gender, ‘identity’ etc. In addition, people are being actively encouraged to get ‘triggered’ by other people’s opinions, words, expressions, and even emotions.

In spirituality and psychology, from Buddha to the most successful people of the 21st century, collective wisdom teaches us that if you want to be happy, you should learn to ignore other people’s opinions and judgments, the things you can’t change and, in general, the trivial events that occur all around you every day.

Instead, we have a new generation of social engineers who tell people to be hyper-vigilant, constantly on the lookout for every conceivable way they could possibly take offense, the wrong words, wrong phrases and wrong opinions expressed in the wrong tones.

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The elites are also manufacturing dissent by highlighting selective statistics and assigning evil intentions to them. For example, if only 20% of computer scientists are women, we’re told it must be because of sexism. We can’t engineer a society that has perfect representation in all careers for all groups in the demographic. 98% of auto-mechanics are men and 94% of nurses are women. Are we going to ‘fix’ those too? If the radical leftists have their way, we’ll be forced to. What they fail to recognize, or do recognize but studiously ignore, is that broad scale social and cultural changes, if they are even appropriate, have to occur naturally. A society is not an inanimate mathematical model on a computer that can be tweaked at will and ‘rebooted’.

Similarly, every country and ethnicity has a dark history where the powerful took advantage of the relatively weaker groups. But you know what? It’s still going on. Only that the elite ‘social engineers’ use far more sophisticated tactics today. They devalue the currency and tell you that you got a raise. They feed you poison and then bankrupt you with expensive treatments that only cure the symptoms. They destroy Syria and Libya and tell you that they are “humanitarian wars”; they pulverize the homes of 20 million people, accept 1 million as refugees, and tell you how compassionate the system is and that you must respect it. They enslave people with debt and mass media, and tell you that slavery was eradicated long time ago.

To distract us from the misery of the totalitarian system run by oligarchs – the 1% that own half the global wealth – are busy conjuring up ways to create a civil war so that we fight each other and not them.

Autoimmune disorders happen when the human immune system becomes extremely sensitive and resorts to attacking harmless things – say, pollen. In some cases, the immune system is so ‘paranoid’ that it starts destroying other organs in the body. The end result is that the entire body becomes ‘inflamed’. And so it is with society.

The elites are inducing Societal Autoimmune Disorder (S.A.D.) in America.

Let’s not succumb to this perilous disease that is ultimately self-inflicted. Let’s not get manipulated into fighting one another. Take some time out, tune out mainstream media for a while, get out of your bubble, and reach out to your neighbor, colleague, family and friends. America as a nation is at a crossroads, and the next decade might very well bring unprecedented changes and challenges. The only way forward is for Americans to come together, set aside ideologies, discuss and debate issues in a logical and constructive manner, and synthesize the foundation for a prosperous future. If we don’t make these efforts, the best case scenario is that Americans in 2100 may find themselves demanding the destruction of statues built in 2017. The worst case scenario… well, you probably don’t want to contemplate that, although it might be very useful for you to do so.

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Chris Kanthan (Profile)

Chris Kanthan is the author of a new book, Syria – War of Deception. It’s available in a condensed as well as a longer version. Chris lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to 35 countries, and writes about world affairs, politics, economy and health. His other book is Deconstructing Monsanto. Folow him on Twitter: @GMOChannel

The Lunatic Technocracy to Introduce Truth Algorithms for Us – By Phil Butler

 

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The lunatics are set loose. Nobody is watching the asylum. And soon the sanitarium gates will burst open into the world population. Yes, I am talking about America the lunatic pen. Google, the disorderly orderly of the digital wing of the nut house, now has free reign. Read to the end, and the disjointed chaos caused when natural selection goes wrong.

When I read the news Google’s Eric Schmidt had announced the Mountain View company would “create” algorithm to de-rank Russia’s RT and Sputnik, I instantly thought, “Here we go into the last phased of Orwell’s 1984.” First, there is no algorithm to create to take RT and Sputnik out of the public view. Google execs just make everything sound technical to appease weak minds. And they love to be able to blame things on “the machine” if things go wrong. For the novice in how Google really works it is probably best to just consider worst cases of corporate monopolization. If you ever saw the film “The Devil’s Advocate”, then understanding how people get roped into the Mountain View, California manipulation machine will be easier. But that’s a story for the former Editor in Chief of Search Engine Journal (me) to tell. For now, let’s return to the Google search machine and Eric Schmidt.

Sure, Google uses math to propagate intelligent search. And the last couple of years have seen millions of media outlets, bloggers, and companies virtually destroyed by algorithm updates; Caffeine, Panda and Penguin. But Google’s most devastating weapon against publishers is the ability and inclination to manually reduce the ranking of any site. Interestingly, this “manual” aspect of Google was hidden by the company when the Penguin anti-SPAM algorithm came under heavy scrutiny. You can read here where Google finally came and created procedures for the millions they destroyed, but it took some doing to get Schmidt’s company to come clean about taking out people’s sites. My company lost a half a million-dollar bid to buy our Everything PR News when the site was de-ranked over a corporate complaint because of our investigative reporting. Caught in the fervor of the “Panda” moment, fate shined the light onto former Google evangelists. We learned that manipulative ranking was the company’s goal all along. And now two big platforms for independent voices have fallen prey to Big Brother. Make no mistake, those of us who have been presented on RT and Sputnik found a listening post that will now be silenced.

What the none of the readers of this report will know, is that the Google and its dark SEO community underneath, collaborated to rule and monetize everything you see, read, and hear on the internet years ago. Don’t freak out when you learn (recent RT story) Eric Schmidt is in bed with the deep state, the NSA, the Pentagon, Barack Obama the Clintons or whoever. Please freak out when you learn how truly evil the people behind Google really are. They will stop at nothing, as the saying goes.

Since Schmidt’s comments before the Halifax International Security Forum Google has backtracked slightly in reaction to Russian communications agency Roskomnadzor suggesting there may be recriminations against Google should RT and Sputnik be unranked nefariously. However, no matter which way Google’s politics, PR, and lobbying go, the company’s march onward toward an Orwellian finale continues. In this CNBC article the former software engineer transformed into billionaire (magically) tries to convince readers Google is Israel’s King Solomon, an entity which needs to decide for users either A or B ideology is better. If you read between the lines you can detect the arrogance and insane intentions of these people. THEY WANT TO DECIDE FOR US. Get it? Read from the story in reference to Schmidt’s “algorithmic” adjudication of the truth:

“Let’s say that this group believes Fact A and this group believes Fact B and you passionately disagree with each other and you are all publishing and writing about it and so forth and so on. It is very difficult for us to understand truth.”

Google and the other technocrat controlled worlds are becoming more and more like Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system. If you think America has been dumbed down educationally, inundated with ultra-consumerist ideals, and brainwashed with ongoing morality advertising, then the pinpoint of light being beamed in by RT and other independent media being shut off will be a significant milestone. I cannot get over MSNBC’s headline on Schmidt: “Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt: It can be ‘very difficult’ for Google’s search algorithm to understand truth.” It’s as if they are introducing “the machine” that is to rule us.

Somehow, in some fantastical metamorphosis and cosmic realignment of neutrons, software engineers (Schmidt), former Wall Street wannabees (Bezos), and programmers turned entrepreneur (Gates) riding the genius of people like Tim Paterson end up advising the world on everything including truth. It is in the traits and personalities of these “technocrats” that we find the seed that has become our collective insanity in almost everything. A good example of what I mean is what I call the “geek” mentality, which is better described as a “gamer” point of view. The people who now advise presidents, parliaments, the military, and academia have a real “hacker” mentality. Anyone who has dabbled in coding and the geek culture knows what I am talking about. The Bill Gates or Steve Jobs (rest his narcissist soul) type personality is smartass – winner takes all – and anything goes to core. In this hacker world underneath Google and the other tech entities, there is no such thing as cheating. A lie to these people is something funny, if it gets past its target that is. Hard core geeks, when all is said and done, are the nastiest bunch of sociopaths you can imagine. Look at how Gates stabbed Apple’s Jobs in the back. And at how Jobs and Gates pirated former colleagues. Stealing to this generation of pencil neck brats is just part of a big digital board game. You know I am telling the truth, every time one of them laughs in your face. Sneaky, nasty, and bursting with their physical frailty. Connivers.

Eric Schmidt is a poster boy for screwed up natural selection processes that took a detour when Rome fell. Many of my colleagues are asking; “Just who in hell made these people experts on truth or geopolitics?” We have to face the fact that influence of any kind bears more weight than truth. Look at Lady Gaga, Madonna, Meryl Streep and Eric Schmidt cited as authorities on how we should X, Y, or Z? We are in this mess of censorship for one reason – we allowed them to go too far. They’re empowered by our inaction just like the schoolyard bullies who beat them up back when. This is what geek culture taught. It taught the Eric Schmidt’s of the world to get back at us all incrementally, one inch at a time, like those bad boys back in grade school. The sum of their vast intellectual gift is to become what they hated. Winners by the definition of a nasty trollism world in which they live. The moves against Russia and RT are not just an instance of Russophobic overreaction – these people want to know the limits of your apathy.

Some readers will scoff at my vociferous opposition to this billionaire geeks, but I know of that which I speak. When an old friend, founder of Search Engine Journal, made me editor in chief of his media site back in 2012 I had every intention of leveling the SEO playing field and search. Baker knew my intentions at transparency and a return to search engine parity from the onset, only he had no idea how far Google’s under culture was prepared to go to destroy anybody speaking of such. That story is a subject for a future report, but suffice it to say I have the goods on how Google came to dominance. The instant I introduced alternative voices to Google culture at SEJ, the dogs of hell were unleashed to destroy me and my business. Like I said, you have no idea how nasty these people are. You have no inkling how far they will take this game once the information bubble is fully domed over you. The end reality is something out of a Hollywood apocalyptic vision. This has nothing whatsoever to do with whether RT and Sputnik are 50% or 100% truth. This Google move is about selling you a 100% lie.

In a coming report, I’ll give you more evidence their rankings have zero to do with truth.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/01/the-lunatic-technocracy-to-introduce-truth-algorithms-for-us/

Strategic submarines Borei to enhance Russia’s nuclear potential — Navy’s commander – By Military & Defence (TASS)

December 12, 16:54 UTC+3

Currently, the Russian Navy incorporates three strategic nuclear-powered Borei submarines

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© Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. The potential of Russia’s naval nuclear force will grow as more nuclear-powered Borei project submarines continue to be built, the Navy’s commander-in-chief Admiral Vladimir Korolyov said on Tuesday.

“Maintaining the combat potential of the strategic naval force by commissioning Borei-A and Borei-B missile-carrying submarines at the proper level will be the main guideline for the fleet’s development,” Korolyov said at a joint meeting of the coordinating council of veterans’ organizations and the Navy’s command.

Korolyov briefed the Navy’s veterans on the outlook for the development of the Russian Navy under the state program for armaments in 2018-2027. There are plans for building up the combat potential of the general purpose forces by creating ships for operations in the ocean, distant sea and littoral zones, upgrading vessels currently in service, providing advanced aircraft for Russia’s Naval Aviation and coastal missile complexes for the on-shore naval units, and increasing the groups of ships carrying high accuracy weapons.”

As the chief of Russia’s General Staff General Valery Gerasimov said earlier, work is already in progress on creating strategic nuclear-powered Borei-B submarines.

 

Currently, the Russian Navy incorporates three strategic nuclear-powered Borei submarines (project 955) – The Yuri Dolgoruky, The Aleksandr Nevsky, and The Vladimir Monomakh. They are armed with solid propellant inter-continental ballistic missiles Bulava. Each submarine can carry up to sixteen such missiles. Another five Borei-A submarines are being built. The keel of the last submarine in the series, The Knyaz Pozharsky, was laid in December last year.

Earlier, the CEO of the Central Design Bureau Rubin, which developed Borei, Igor Vilnit, told TASS the project would be worked on further after the series of upgraded submarines Borei-A was delivered.

More:
http://tass.com/defense/980533

Hamas Announces Beginning of Third ‘Intifada’ Against US Decision on Jerusalem – By © REUTERS/ Ibraheem Abu Mustafa Middle East

© REUTERS/ Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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The previous intifadas in 1987-1991 and 2000-2005 left hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians dead.

Hamas has announced the beginning of the third “intifada” six days after US President Donald Trump announced the controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

According to the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization, which governs the Gaza Strip, it expects the “day of rage” protests against the US move, which claimed two lives and left over 1,000 injured on Friday, to continue.

“Protests will continue in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. Because we protest against the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as we consider it the capital of Palestine. We hope that the protests will develop further and further,” the movement’s press secretary told RIA Novosti.

READ MORE: Israel Strikes Targets in Gaza as Hamas Calls for ‘Intifada’

A day after Trump’s announcement, which has been condemned by Muslim states and countries backing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the leader of the political bureau of Hamas called for a third “intifada” uprising “against the US and Zionist plans to Judaize Jerusalem.” Amid tense clashes between Palestinians and police over the US decision on Jerusalem, the Israeli army has intensified its operations against Hamas, particularly, targeting its tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

Most recently, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Wasel Abu Yousef, told Sputnik that the Palestinian movements of Hamas and Fatah, formerly rivals, are united over Trump’s decision on Jerusalem. Following a new round of reconciliation talks under the mediation of Egyptian authorities held in October, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement with both sides promising it would usher in a new era of Palestinian unity.The previous intifada uprisings in 1987-1991 and 2000-2005 left hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians dead. The first Palestinian intifada was a Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation of the territories conquered during the 1967 Six-Day War, while the second uprising was provoked by visits of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and a group of his supporters of the Temple Mount. While the second intifada had declined, the situation still has remained tense.

The First Intifada

Strictly 50 years ago, the wider world was stunned as Israel occupied the remaining Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and even the Golan Heights in Syria in merely six days.

READ MORE: Israel’s Army Reports About Rocket Fired From Syria at Golan Heights

In the following 20 years the Palestinians did not put up with Israeli dominance, which is when the uprising, otherwise dubbed the first intifada, started.

Amidst numerous Israeli settlements increasingly rising up on the historically Palestinian land, November 1987 saw the first revolt. The Palestinians were struggling, basically unarmed, throwing rocks at the Israeli troops.

The State of Palestine was proclaimed on November 15, 1988, in a session of the Palestinian National Council, the supreme PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] governing body, which also recognized both the Arab and Jewish parts of Palestine providing Israel gave up claims over all territories it had occupied since 1967 and freed the land from its settlements. Back then, the PLO condemned terrorism in all its forms, thus paving the way for negotiating peace with Israel.

One of the landmark political events during the first intifada was the Madrid Conference (October 30-November 1, 1991), which involved peace talks hosted by Spain and mediated by the US and the Soviet Union.Early 1993 saw another round of talks held in secret in Oslo. The parties arrived at an agreement that was expected to end the PLO-Israel conflict. The 1993 agreement also stipulated the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and proclaimed a limited Palestinian National Authority. This time, the Palestinians withdrew their demand that the State of Israel should cease to exist.

The agreement was signed the same year in Washington, by Yasser Arafat, the then head of the PLO Executive Committee, and Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister at the time. Israel and the PLO also signed an additional agreement, which recognized both entitiesas full-fledged negotiators.

The Second Intifada

No sooner had the Oslo agreement come into effect and Israeli withdrawals started, a number of hardline Israelis and Palestinians spoke out against it, pegging it a “sellout.”

This is where Hamas and the notion of the suicide bomber came in, leaving an estimated 1,000 Israelis dead in public places due to terrorist attacks and gunfire. Israel retaliated with airstrikes, causing approximately 3,000 deaths among the Palestinian civilians.

In July 2000, Bill Clinton summoned Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, but the contested status of Jerusalem and Palestine refugees brought the talks to a standstill.

Brought about by Sharon’s controversial visit to the historic Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem on September 28, 2000, illegally occupied by the Israelis by then, the second intifada quickly grew into an open, deadly war. Its other name, Al-Aqsa Intifada, virtually refers to the original name of the Temple Mount, where the “shaking off,” or the intifada, started – Al-Aqsa Mosque.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Israel Seeks to Take Over Al-Aqsa Mosque Under Security Pretext

Yasser Arafat, an all-time Palestinian leader, died in a Paris hospital in November 2004. Earlier the Israeli Air Force eliminated Hamas leaders, including sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his successor Rantisi. Having lost its most high-profile figures, Hamas became demoralized to some extent and started operating locally.

The Sharm el-Sheikh Summit on February 8, 2005, is traditionally associated with the end of the second intifada, as Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon concluded bilaterally that both parties would agree to a cease-fire. The upcoming Roadmap for Peace, initiated by the so-called Quartet on the Middle East – comprising the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations – reiterated the aforementioned commitment, but with little effect, as violence still persisted.

In the wake of the second intifada, Israel, Canada, the United States and Japan condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization, while Australia and Britain slammed solely the military wing of Hamas. The movement is banned outright in Jordan. On December 17, 2014, the European General Court, a branch of the European Union’s Court of Justice, ticked the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas (Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya) off its list of terrorist organizations.

The end of the US petro-dollar is nigh: China offers a much better deal – Nick Giambruno (The International Man)

As Doug Casey has correctly noted, the prime directive of any organism-whether it’s an amoeba or a person or a corporation or a government-is to survive.

That’s why the US government protects the petrodollar so zealously. It needs the system to survive.

World leaders who have challenged the petrodollar recently have ended up dead…

Why Everyone Uses the US Dollar… for Now

In the 1970s, the US government struck a series of deals with Saudi Arabia, creating the petrodollar system. The US promised to coddle and protect the Saudi kingdom. And, in exchange, Saudi Arabia would use its dominant position in OPEC to ensure that all oil transactions happened in US dollars.

Until recently, virtually anyone who wanted to import oil from any country needed US dollars to pay for it.

The dollar is just a middleman here. But countries and businesses use it in countless transactions amounting to trillions of dollars that have nothing to do with US products or services.

Plus, if foreign countries are already using dollars for oil, it’s just easier to use the dollar for other international trade. That’s why, in addition to oil sales, the US dollar is used for about 80% of all international transactions

Take Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, for example. Each led a large oil-producing country-Iraq and Libya, respectively. And both tried to sell their oil for something other than US dollars, before US military interventions led to their deaths.

In October 2000, Saddam had started to sell Iraqi oil for euros only. Iraq said it would no longer accept dollars for oil because it did not want to deal “in the currency of the enemy.”

A little over two years later, the US invaded. Immediately after Baghdad fell to US forces, all Iraqi oil sales were switched back to dollars.

Thanks to WikiLeaks’ release of Hillary Clinton’s emails, we know that protecting the petrodollar-not humanitarian concerns-was a primary reason for overthrowing Libya’s Gaddafi.

According to her leaked emails, the US (and France) feared that Gaddafi would use Libya’s vast gold reserves to back a pan-African currency. This gold-backed currency would have been used to buy and sell oil in global markets. Also, it would have likely displaced a version of the French franc that’s used in Central and Western Africa.

The US and France backed a rebellion, both militarily and financially, that overthrew Gaddafi in 2011.

After Gaddafi’s death, plans for the gold-backed currency-along with Libya’s 4.6 million ounces of gold-vanished.

Of course there were other reasons the US toppled Saddam and Gaddafi. But protecting the petrodollar was a serious consideration, at the very least.

Putin Is a Tougher Adversary

The dollar’s special status gives Uncle Sam tremendous leverage. So it’s no surprise that Russia wants to undermine the petrodollar system.

Russian President Vladimir Putin summed it up this way:

Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.

Essentially, Putin is saying they all want to ditch the dollar.

That’s largely because the US uses the dollar as a political weapon. For example, the US tried to sanction Russia for its actions in Crimea and Ukraine. These sanctions made it harder for Russia to access the US dollar-based financial system. So of course Russia is going to push for an alternative.

Shortly after the sanctions, Russia struck a massive deal to sell oil and gas to China for yuan. The deal totally bypassed the US financial system… and any sanctions.

China’s Permanent Bypass Around the US Dollar

Russia is the world’s largest energy producer. China is the world’s largest energy importer. Normally, they would trade with each other exclusively in US dollars.

But, as I’ve told you in recent weeks, China is now introducing a more permanent way around that.

I call it China’s “Golden Alternative” to the petrodollar. It’s a streamlined way for Russia and everyone else to sell oil to China for yuan-or effectively gold.

China’s “Golden Alternative” to the Petrodollar

China is launching a practical and attractive alternative to the petrodollar system. It will allow anyone in the world to trade oil for gold. It will also totally bypass the US dollar.

Here’s how it will work…

The Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) is introducing a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan. It will allow oil producers to sell their oil for yuan.

Of course, China knows most oil producers don’t want a large reserve of yuan. So producers will be able to efficiently convert it into physical gold through gold exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Bottom line, two of the biggest players in the global energy market are totally bypassing the petrodollar system.

Informed observers say Russia is already converting a large portion of its yuan earnings to gold.

Of course, other countries are interested in sidestepping the US financial system and US sanctions, too. China’s Golden Alternative will give anyone the option to do just that.

This will make the US dollar a much less effective political weapon.

Other countries on Washington’s naughty list are enthusiastically signing up. Iran, another major oil producer, is accepting yuan as payment. So is Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves.

I think others will soon follow. From the perspective of an oil producer, it’s a no-brainer.

With China’s Golden Alternative, an oil producer can participate in the world’s largest market and try to capture more market share. It can also easily convert and repatriate its proceeds into gold, an international form of money with no political risk.

But this doesn’t apply to one critical holdout… Saudi Arabia.

Twisting the Saudis’ Arm

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter. A lot of that oil goes to China, the world’s largest importer.

Beijing still reluctantly pays for Saudi crude in US dollars. The Saudis won’t have it any other way, at least for now.

This bothers China. It can only import Saudi crude by obtaining and then using US dollars. And that, of course, means it has to stay in Washington’s good graces.

Trump’s Treasury secretary really drove this point home recently. He threatened to kick China out of the US dollar system if it didn’t crack down on North Korea.

China would rather not depend on an adversary like this. This is one of the main reasons it’s launching the Golden Alternative.

Saudi Arabia, however, refuses to participate. It won’t sell its oil in anything but US dollars because that would break its longstanding petrodollar agreement with the US.

When China, Russia, and others trade oil for yuan, it’s a significant blow to the petrodollar. But if Saudi Arabia switched to yuan, it would take out the petrodollar… and cause an immediate financial panic in the US.

The truth is selling oil for yuan would cost Saudi Arabia a whole lot.

It would immediately lose American diplomatic and military protection. Then the media and think tanks would quickly start pounding the table for the US military to force democracy on Riyadh.

Last year Trump said, “If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection, I don’t think it would be around.”

He’s absolutely correct.

Of course, the Saudis know all of this. So they’ve been on a short leash… until recently.

In a surprise move, Saudi King Salman recently became the first sitting Saudi monarch to ever visit Russia.

Until recently, the visit would have been unthinkable. Saudi Arabia has been one of the US’ closest allies since the petrodollar system started in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, Russia and Saudi Arabia have been enemies for decades. Most recently, the Saudis and Russians have been on opposite sides of the Syrian Civil War.

That’s why King Salman’s historic visit to Moscow is so remarkable. The Saudis are clearly hedging their bets against the US and the petrodollar system.

Saudi Arabia is now drifting closer to Russia.

The Saudis have committed to invest up to $10 billion in various Russian sectors. But, even more significantly, they’ve agreed to buy the S-400 missile system, Russia’s top line air defense system, as part of a $3 billion weapons purchase.

This deal signals a geopolitical earthquake. The Saudis have never bought Russian military equipment before.

Ever since the birth of the petrodollar, the Saudis have depended on American military protection. After all, it’s what they get in return for pricing their oil in dollars.

The S-400 system deal suggests the Saudis are hedging their bets. First, they’re not buying an American system. Second, they’re buying a Russian system that’s capable of deterring an American attack.

Saudi Arabia is making significant moves to give itself alternatives to American protection.

At the same time, China is cutting back on Saudi crude.

A few years ago, Saudi oil made up over 25% of Chinese oil imports. They were Beijing’s No. 1 supplier. Today, the Saudis’ market share has dropped below 15%.

In other words, the Saudis are losing massive market share and getting pushed out of the biggest oil market in the world. This is mainly because they refuse to sell oil to China in yuan.

China has made itself clear. It’s willing to expand business with anyone who will accept yuan as payment.

Today, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top supplier. Its share of the lucrative Chinese market has grown from 5% to over 15%.

Russia’s enthusiastic acceptance of yuan as payment is the main reason for this shift.

In the meantime, Angola, an African oil producer, has also come on board. The country now accepts yuan as payment for its oil exports to China. It even made the Chinese yuan its second legal currency in 2015.

Chinese imports from Angola have shot up since. It’s now China’s No. 2 supplier, after Russia.

None of this bodes well for the petrodollar system.

The Saudis have two choices… rip up the petrodollar or get shut out of the world’s most lucrative oil market.

One way or another-and probably soon-the Chinese will find a way to compel the Saudis to accept yuan. The sheer size of the Chinese market makes it impossible for Saudi Arabia to ignore China’s demands indefinitely.

What to Watch For

China might not convince the Saudis to ditch the petrodollar system tomorrow. But it’s making significant progress.

A few months ago, Saudi Arabia announced it was willing to issue Panda bonds to finance its government spending deficit. (Panda bonds are yuan-denominated bonds from non-Chinese issuers that are sold in China.)

This is remarkable. The Saudis’ currency is pegged to the US dollar. Up until this point, they’ve exclusively used US dollars for all of their major financial initiatives.

Issuing debt in yuan-instead of US dollars-is a significant move. It means Saudi Arabia is drifting closer to China.

Also, the Saudis recently inaugurated the massive Yasref refinery in the Saudi city of Yanbu. The refinery is an $8.5 billion joint venture between Saudi Aramco and China’s Sinopec.

These are noticeable steps. But the Saudis still haven’t given China what it really wants-oil for yuan.

However, it could happen soon…

The Largest IPO in History

In the coming months, the Saudis plan to float a 5% stake in Saudi Aramco, the state oil company.

Saudi Aramco is the most valuable company in the world. It will likely be the biggest equity offering ever. It could triple, or even quadruple, Alibaba’s current record initial public offering (IPO) of $25 billion.

The IPO’s success will depend on Saudi Arabia recruiting big cornerstone investors. But so far, Western investors haven’t shown a lot of enthusiasm.

For China, however, it could be the perfect opportunity to buy political influence in Saudi Arabia.

If China bought a large stake in the Aramco IPO, it would help cement its relationship with Saudi Arabia. It would also put more distance between the Saudis and the Americans.

And critically, it would give the Chinese more leverage to compel the Saudis to accept yuan for oil.

China is in the process of negotiating not just a 5% stake, but potentially a larger one.

Bottom line…the Saudis haven’t made a clean break with the US yet. However, they are drifting toward China financially and Russia militarily.

The Saudis are clearly setting up the option to dump the petrodollar.

If the Saudis sell oil to China in yuan, it would kill the petrodollar overnight. However, short of that, things still look very dire for the petrodollar.

The petrodollar system is facing serious erosion, thanks in large part to China’s Golden Alternative. That’s already baked into the cake.

And with that, severe inflation in the US is a certainty.

This will likely be the tipping point…

After the collapse of the petrodollar, the US government will be desperate enough to implement capital controls, people controls, nationalization of retirement savings, and other forms of wealth confiscation.

I urge you to prepare for the economic and sociopolitical fallout while you still can. Expect bigger government, less freedom, shrinking prosperity… and possibly worse.

It’s probably not going to happen tomorrow. But we know where this trend is headed.

It’s possible that one day soon, Americans will wake up to a new reality. Once the petrodollar kicks the bucket and the dollar loses its status as the world’s premier reserve currency, you will have few, if any, options.

The sad truth is, most people have no idea how bad things could get, let alone how to prepare…

Yet there are straightforward steps you can start taking today to protect your savings and yourself from the financial and sociopolitical effects of the collapse of the petrodollar.

We recently released a special Guide to Surviving and Thriving During an Economic Collapse. Click here to download the PDF now.

Comment: A well put together analysis which pretty much agrees with our own. The US empire won’t go down without a fight, and that fight is likely to include attempts to ‘flip the chessboard’ and ruin the game for everyone else, most especially their own citizens.

ACTUAL international collusion: Nigel Farage exposes massive Soros network of MEPs spreading ‘gender theory’, open borders and russophobia (VIDEO) – By Robert Bridge (RT)

© Philippe Desmazes / AFP
George Soros

Picking up the anti-Soros torch from Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, UK politician Nigel Farage is seeking to investigate fellow EU MEPs who support the controversial vision of the wealthy financier. But are Orban and Farage’s fears valid?

UK politician Nigel Farage, the prominent face of Brexit, is now concerned about Europe’s destiny. Addressing the EU Parliament this week, Farage provided some thoughtful ideas as to the source of the claims that Russia had somehow manipulated the Brexit vote, as well as the Trump election.

“Just last week, the electoral commission, in the UK, launched an investigation to find out whether the ‘Leave’ campaign took offshore money or Russian money,” Farage said.

“This came about as a result of questions asked in the House of Commons by one Ben Bradshaw, somebody linked to an organization called Open Society.”

But Farage, who seems to take great delight in agitating his fellow MPs, was just warming up. He went on to provide yet another example of an EU parliamentarian working on behalf of George Soros, this time against Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, who has accused the financier of seeking to create “a Europe of mixed population.”

We even had last week Mr. [Guy] Verhofstadt lobbying on behalf of Mr. Soros at the Conference of Presidents in a battle that is going on with Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary,” Farage said, pointing directly at Verhofstadt as he spoke.

I wonder,” Farage continued, “when we are talking about ‘political collusion,’ I wonder if we are looking in the wrong place.”

Farage described Soros’s influence in Strasbourg and Brussels as “truly extraordinary.” And that influence looks set to increase dramatically now that Soros has donated the bulk of his wealth – $18 billion – into his Open Society pet project, which campaigns for open borders and supranational structures such as the European Union.

Comment: Small detail: it’s unlikely that so much of it is from Soros’ own money, but he’d be happy for people to believe so because it gives the project an aura of ‘philanthropy’.

Farage concluded his short, fiery monologue with a weighty statement: “I fear we could be looking at the biggest level of international, political collusion in history.”

On the surface, there seems to be some legitimacy to Farage’s claim. According to public sources, Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI), the EU policy arm of Open Society Foundations, met with members of the European Commission on 44 separate occasions in 2016. And now that the organization has just been energized with $18 billion, it would seem apparent that that influence is set to increase.

Moreover, the Soros organizations published a pamphlet providing details on a list of 226 reliable “friends” who serve in the European Parliament. Farage said he would call on the parliament to set up a special committee to investigate the issue.

Who are Soros’ 226 EU ‘friends’?

In a 177-page pamphlet published by Open Society, entitled “Reliable Allies in the European Parliament (2014-2019),” 226 EU MEPs are listed and labeled according to their political orientation and views.

According to the pamphlet, “The presence of an MEP in this mapping indicates that they are likely to support Open Society’s work. Considering there are 751 members of the European Parliament, “reliable allies” of George Soros hold at least one-third of seats.”

So what sort of qualifications does an MEP need to be included among Open Society’s “reliable allies?” A quick preview of the candidate’s description field provides some good indication as to what Soros expects from his allies, including a political philosophy that includes support of the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex) movement, open borders and an anti-Russia stance.

Among the 226 chosen, there is one Yana Toom, an MEP from Estonia, who comes in for a bit of criticism despite her inclusion. “Refused supporting the European Parliament’s first resolution on the Ukraine-Russia conflict in July 2014, and may be pro-Russia to an unknown extent (and, in that case, not necessarily an Open Society).”

For anyone who questions whether Open Society works directly against Russian interests, that single line should dispel all doubts. Moreover, it provides some background as to why Russia in 2015 banned Open Society from operating on its territory due to the threat it posed to the country’s “constitutional order.”

Another MEP on the list, Monica Macovei of Romania, serves as something like the golden mean for star-studded Soros status.

Resolutely progressive; unquestionable ally of Open Society values; does not hesitate to go against her group’s instructions; however, can sometimes be described as a loose cannon with her own, uncompromising set of priorities.”

When reading such an assessment, one might get the mistaken impression that the European Parliament is designed to serve the will of George Soros and his highly controversial agenda, as opposed to the will of the European peoples.

What does Soros want?

To say that George Soros, who was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, has an influence on the global scene, would be the understatement of the century. His excessive wealth allows him to finance a veritable army of organizations, many serving at cross purposes.

Indeed, Soros, 87, has been connected to movements and civil disturbances as diverse as distanced as Black Lives Matter movement in the US, to the Maidan uprising in Ukraine.

And nowhere has Soros’s influence been more felt than in the ongoing European debate over migrants.

It looks like the European refugee crisis, which has been blamed on the Syrian civil war, would not occur in its current intensity without the direct assistance of the Open Society Foundation.

Thanks to the advocacy work of the Migration Policy Institute and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), both Soros-sponsored organizations, the mass resettlement of Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe became the norm.

In fact, it appeared that the so-called “Merkel Plan” – the deal struck by the EU and Turkey – was the brainchild of the European Stability Initiative, “in addition to the largesse of George Soros’ foundations,” F. William Engdahl wrote in the New Eastern Outlook.

Considering that the massive influx of Muslim migrants threatens to change the face of “Christian Europe” forever, and without any vote on the matter by the people of Europe, perhaps it is time to see exactly what kind of direct influence George Soros and his Open Society Foundation are having on European parliamentarians. After all, these are not the play toys of any one individual, but the representatives of an entire state.

Comment: That’s right there is the real collusion that is “undermining the fabric of Western civilization,” not Putin’s Russia.

See also:

See Also:

SYRIA AND RUSSIA DEMAND U.S. LEAVE COUNTRY NOW; SYRIAN ARMY BLUNTS TERRORIST ATTACK AT BASE IN EAST GHOUTAA – By Ziad Fadel

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With ISIS on the ropes, their leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdaadi, probably dead from a Syrian Air Force strike last June in AlMayaadeen, and the plans to slice up Syria in shreds themselves, the Damascus government and the Kremlin have sent clear messages to the U.S. to get out of Syria, or else.  There are approximately 4,000+ American troops in combat missions supporting the all-Kurd (and some Syriacs/Assyrians) militias claiming to fight ISIS.  It is the American plan to remain in Syria indefinitely in order to coordinate the fight against Iranian-backed guerilla forces buttressing the Syrian Arab Army. This is being done to keep the Zionists in both Occupied Palestine and New York City/D.C. happy.  There is no other conceivable reason for this violation of another country’s sovereignty.

The U.S. is expected to argue that its presence in Syria is for its own self-defense.  Expect WOG OF THE YEAR, Nikki “Rhandawa” Haley,  to deploy that same argument when confronted with the ugly truth of the U.S.’s  neo-colonialist presence in Syria.  And what will the British say?  Oh, I suspect they will side with the rule of law seeing that all member states, excepting the Zionist Apartheid Entity, will take that same position.  After all, the Brits have run out of patience and fig leaves for their unlawful assault on the government of a member state of the U.N.

If the U.S. chooses to remain despite Syrian demands, the only option left for Damascus after Dr. Al-Ja’afari wags his finger at Ms. Haley, is to attack American forces with Iranian-trained militia-men, including Hizbollah.  Besides self-creating another cesspool for U.S. troops, it might even bring on Zionist intervention to help the Yankee ally at his time of need – after all, the Zionist Prime Minister, Mileikowski (a/k/a Netanyahu), has vowed to continue his attacks on Syria in order to prevent Iran from establishing a foothold near the Golan Heights.

Mileikowski, who is facing a multiplicity of indictments related to corruption and defalcation, needs something to divert attention;  and what better way than to bring on the Apocalypse?  No, my readers, we are heading into a Trumpian disaster of the first magnitude.  And if, as Trump trumpets, he is intent on turning North Korea into a parking lot for Hyundai cars, it will be that much worse for the American people.  And (yawn), if Trump decides to decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, then, we are in for an even bigger catastrophe.  And all this for the Zionist cockroaches.

Russia and China are rubbing their palms with excitement because this is going to herald their inexorable rise to the pinnacles of global power. They know the U.S. cannot fight a 3-front war.  Such a scenario will bring on a coup d’etat in Washington (forget impeachment) and will result in the final dumbing down of the United States of America.  It’s going to be “Seven Days in May” redux.  Unless the American public starts getting involved, American soldiers are going to start coming back in plastics bags in numbers which would humble the war in Vietnam.

Of particular interest is Turkey’s new attitude toward the U.S.  It requires no genius to figure out that the Turk army is preparing to move in on the so-called SDF as soon as they have themselves figured out how to do it without killing American soldiers.  But, they must tread carefully in this diplomatic minefield.  An invasion of Syria is exactly that and the repercussions internationally could be quite shrill.  Unless he receives some assurances from Russia and China at the U.N., he will be most circumspect.  This is one chapter we have to read with genuine interest.

DAMASCUS:  The terrorists in the East Ghoutaa are reading events differently.  They believe the U.S. has to pull out of both Syria and Jordan.  The debacle at Al-Tanf is proof positive that the U.S. doesn’t have the belly for staying the course.  What the rodents don’t understand is that the U.S. was never interested in transferring power to them.  The U.S. was only interested in ousting Dr. Assad so as to prevent the gas pipeline from reaching the Syrian littoral which would bring on a precipitous decline in American influence throughout Europe.  If the Americans stay in northeast Syria, it’s only because it wants to block the extension of the pipeline, not to embolden the terrorist rodents or the gentrified opposition whom Washington has given up on.

And so, reading the writing on the wall, the rodents in the East Ghoutaa mounted a ferocious attack on the Syrian Army’s Military Vehicles Administration Base in government-controlled Harastaa.  On Tuesday, the group calling itself Ahraar Al-Shaam, mounted the attack using cleverly dug tunnels to surprise the defenders. What happened instead was the Syrian Army’s own reaction which was sudden and even more ferocious blunting the attack and killing close to 36 rodents.  The Russian Air Force took to the skies immediately and dropped a barrage of munitions on the quivering terrorist vultures

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HAMA:  The main “tank” sniper in the terrorist group calling itself the “Jaysh Al-‘Izza” was liquidated the day before yesterday in northern Hama.  He was said to be the reigning master of the TOW missile system designed to take out armored cars and tanks.  Well, the Syrian-developed Saraab 1 put an end to his “glorious” career when the tank’s captain deployed the Saraab and “toppled” the advancing projectile.  Since the terrorist was seated in a trench and was watching the events unfold, he was an easy target for the T-72’s gunner who laid waste to the offending vermin.  The terrorist’s name?  Hamdu Ahmad Al-Hammood.

 

As Russian MoD releases evidence of US military cooperation with ISIS, Lavrov slams illegal US presence in Syria – By Adam Garrie (The Duran)

This is Russia’s strongest statement to-date, admonishing the illegal US presence in Syria.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has slammed the US for its presence in Syria being not only illegal, but deeply counterproductive.

Lavrov also highlighted a statement from the Russian Defence Ministry which unequivocally accuses (with accompanying photographic evidence) the US of failing to target ISIS fighters in Syria while allowing them safe passage away from oncoming Syrian Arab Army liberators.

Syria has repeatedly stated, including at the United Nations, that US troops and airmen in Syria are not actually fighting ISIS but are merely playing an obstructionist role to the inevitable Syrian victory, one which includes the arming and financing of terrorist groups.

Russia’s latest statements back up these crucial long-time claims by Damascus.

Comment: The Syrian government just yesterday, for the umpteenth time, demanded that US forces get out of its country.

A statement from the Russian Defence Ministry reads,

“The US side categorically refused to carry out airstrikes against Daesh terrorists, claiming that the militants were ‘voluntarily surrendering’ and now fell under the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War.”

Comment: The US suddenly cares about the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War! After 16 years of classifying terrorists and insurgents alike as ‘unlawful enemy combatants’, in order to justify its practices of ‘extraordinary rendition’ and ‘enhanced interrogation’ by placing Muslim resistance to its invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan outside of international law, this reversal to the pre-9/11 international legal norm is rank hypocrisy and speaks further to the ‘war on terror’ being purely a vehicle for advancing US imperial interests.

The statement continued,

“The Abu Kamal liberation operation conducted by the Syrian government army with air cover by the Russian Aerospace Force at the end of the last week revealed facts of direct cooperation and support for ISIS terrorists by the US-led ‘international coalition.

The coalition’s aviation tried to create obstacles for the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces in this area to safely shield militants of the Islamic State, who are leaving Abu Kamal, from the strikes of government forces. To this aim, the coalition’s attack aircraft entered the airspace over the 15-km zone around the city to hamper the Russian aircrafts’ mission.

There is indisputable evidence that the United States pretends it is waging irreconcilable struggle against international terrorism in front of the international community, while in reality it provides cover for the combat-ready Islamic State groups to let them regain strength, regroup themselves and advance US interests in the Middle East.

The Syrian troops’ rapid offensive in Abu Kamal has derailed the US plans to set up ‘pro-American’ authorities to govern the territories on the eastern bank of the Euphrates uncontrolled by the Syrian government”.

Sputnik further reports,

“According to the Defense ministry, such actions by the coalition prove that the advancing Syrian forces in the Abu-Kamal area have crippled the US plans to create a zone to the east of the Euphrates river that would be controlled by pro-American forces rather than by Damascus. The ministry noted that the plan stipulated that Daesh would play a role of pro-American forces disguised as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). To support the claim, the military representatives said that SDF flags were found in Abu Kamal”.

Comment: As we’ve suspected for some time, ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ is just a banner that can be switched out for ‘ISIS’ as circumstances dictate. Now apply this to ‘the Taliban’, ‘al-Qaeda-in-wherever’, ‘al-Nusra Front’, etc, and you get the real picture of US proxy wars across the Muslim world since 9/11: ‘terrorists’ are actually hired mercenaries, some of them no doubt believers in the pseudo-Islamist ideologies that ‘justify’ their ’cause’, but all of whom are agents of the Western, US-led Empire.

In the case of any Kurds (real or ‘affiliated’) momentarily donning ISIS ‘masks’, they presumably justify their duplicity in the interest of securing an independent nation-state, which they will never achieve at this rate.

This is a clear indication from Russia that any previous unspoken “gentlemen’s agreement” between Moscow and Washington, to effectively allow the US and its Kurdish proxies to illegally occupy parts of Syria east of the River Euphrates, is effectively dead. As Syrian troops have destroyed the last bastions of ISIS in Syria, all of which are east of the Euphrates, Syria has shown that it is fully capable of exercising its legal prerogative to liberate what President Assad calls “every inch of Syria” and that Russia will continue to help Syria in the process.

The statement from Russia also indicates sympathy with the Turkish position, which is dead-set against any unilateral Kurdish occupation of Syria, even under US auspices. Yesterday’s meeting between Turkey’s President Erdogan and Russian President Putin appears to have confirmed Russia’s new supportive stance of the shared Syria, Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish position against Kurdish militants, often referred to as Kurdish terrorists.

Seeing as Kurdish forces in both Syria and Iraq have been exposed as being unable to defend their positions without the aid of the United States, the illegal US presence in Syria remains the biggest obstacle to the joint Arab-Turkish-Iranian position against Kurdish nationalism in the region. In Iraq, the US failed to aid their Kurdish allies, while in Syria the US continues to aid the Kurdish-led SDF militia, a group which Syria considers a terrorist organisation.

Comment: As the above Russian MoD evidence suggests, it’s not at all clear where ‘Kurdish-led SDF’ ends and ‘US-led ISIS’ begins.

Sergey Lavrov has now joined Syria in offering a strong admonition of the US presence in Syria. Lavrov stated,

“If you look at who is the greatest danger, it’s just the wards of the United States, various foreign terrorists, militants who are attached to those groups of armed opposition that the US supports”.

Lavrov also slammed American and Israeli desires to see Iran and its “allies” expelled from Syria, saying,

“If we talk about the pro-Iranian forces, then some will be tempted to call the entire Syrian Army pro-Iranian. And then what? Will it have to surrender? This is what they call ‘wishful thinking’…

We state the fact of our and Iranian legitimate presence at the invitation of the legitimate government. We also state the fact of the illegitimate presence of the coalition that has been forged by the United States and which carries out military operations, including independent ones, primarily providing support for the opposition armed groups on Syrian soil and in its airspace.”

Lavrov added that the US has been failing to fight terrorists while helping ISIS and al-Qaeda fighters flee battle zones for a long time.

These strong words from Lavrov, combined with statements accusing the continued US presence in Syria of violating the Geneva Agreement, which the US recently affirmed its support for, is effectively a Russian call for an orderly US withdrawal from the Syrian Arab Republic. The broad points Russia makes are clear:

  • The US actively aids ISIS by evacuating terrorists from zones where their forces are being eliminated by Syrian troops and their allies
  • The US fails to fire upon ISIS terrorists when given a clear and safe opportunity
  • The always illegal presence of the US in Syria violates the Geneva Agreements which, as recently as the weekend, the US committed itself to uphold
  • Syria is being prohibited from exercising its right to liberate the entirety of its legally-recognised territory because of the illegal US presence in Syria
  • The US proxy militias under the charge of Kurdish militants are part of these wider problems

Russia has taken a decisive step in telling the US to quit Syria. It is the most strongly-worded statement against the US presence in Syria that Russia has offered to-date.

In spite of Turkey and Syria refraining from engaging in diplomatic relations, the de facto position of Syria, its Russian, Iranian, Iraqi allies and Turkey is now the same. The US stands alone in seeking to use its universally-reviled Kurdish proxies as a cover for what could be an attempt at a long-term illegal occupation of yet another sovereign Arab state. Russia, as the strongest partner of Syria, is now demanding a US withdrawal, in all but name.

Comment: The Russian Defense Ministry has provided further information, regarding the situation in eastern Syria and the covert US-led coalition support for ISIS terrorists.

Last week, units of the Syrian Army (while receiving support from the Russian Air Force) liberated the town of Abu Kamal, the last remaining ISIS stronghold in Syria, located at the Iraqi border. The operation not only delivered a decisive blow to ISIS, it also ascertained facts of direct cooperation and support provided by the US-led coalition to the ISIS terrorists.

Following the triumph of the Syrian Army, ISIS terrorists began to depart Abu Kamal en masse, while avoiding the strikes of Russian and Syrian aircrafts, and making their way for Wadi Al Sabha passage, located at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The Command staff of the Russian forces stationed in Syria sent two requests to the Washington-led international “anti-ISIS” coalition headquarters, in order to conduct a combined operation so that the fleeing ISIS convoys on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River would be eradicated for good.

The American side, however, completely refused to take any action against the terrorists, stressing that they began to surrender themselves voluntarily, meaning their actions were assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

In addition, the Americans failed to respond to a question previously asked by the Russians on why so many of the ISIS terrorists that supposedly left Syria on combat vehicles with heavy armament were regrouping in the Washington-led coalition-controlled territories and preparing for new attacks against the Syrian Army in the vicinity of Abu Kamal.

But this is not the only controversial thing related to the matter. In order to spare the terrorists from Russian and Syrian air strikes, the coalition’s aircrafts attempted to interfere with the Russian Air Force’s actions in the area.

See also:

U.S. makes deal for free passage of ISIS in Raqqa – but denies involvement, BBC video proves they lie

Putin and Erdogan meet to discuss further stabilizing Syria and post-conflict reconstruction

Mattis says U.S. won’t leave Syria until ISIS stops fighting – doesn’t define “fighting”

US and its vassal states Israel and Saudi Arabia are plotting war with Iran and Hezbollah – By Kurt Nimmo (Newsbud)

Hezbollah

Having failed to unseat Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the United States has switched its focus to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In an act of blatant hypocrisy, the US House has passed “Sanctioning Hezbollah’s Illicit use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act,” a bill that sanctions Hezbollah for alleged war crimes while ignoring its own checkered past brimming with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Congress didn’t need to do much in the way of homework prior to introducing this bill. Israel did that for them when its Intelligence and Terrorism Center at the Center for Special Studies, a research group that collaborates closely with the Israel Defense Forces and the American Jewish Congress, released report on Hezbollah’s purported use of human shields during the 2006 war in Lebanon.

This is a remarkable allegation considering Israel specifically and indiscriminately targeted Lebanon’s civilian population. “Israel’s indiscriminate airstrikes, not Hezbollah’s shielding as claimed by Israeli officials, caused most of the approximately 900 civilian deaths in Lebanon during the July-August 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah,” Human Rights Watch reported in September, 2007.

HRW found that “Hezbollah stored its rockets in bunkers and facilities located in uninhabited fields and valleys; ordered its fighters and civilian officials away from populated civilian areas as soon as the fighting started; and fired its rockets from pre-prepared positions outside villages. In the vast majority of airstrikes resulting in civilian deaths investigated by Human Rights Watch, there was no Hezbollah military presence or activity to justify the attack.”

The IDF saw no difference between Hezbollah fighters and the civilian population. It targeted Hezbollah political and social institutions not involved in hostilities. Both are direct violations of international law.

In addition, it bombed infrastructure, including the Rafik Hariri International Airport, ports, a lighthouse, grain silos, bridges, roads, factories, ambulances and relief trucks, mobile telephone and television stations, fuel containers and service stations, and Lebanon’s largest dairy farm Liban Lait.

The Israeli report claims the IDF was “faced with the problem of inflicting serious damage on Hezbollah’s military infrastructure to protect the security of Israel’s citizens, while maintaining its moral and ideological commitment to avoid harming civilians,” a statement clearly at odds with the truth.

Remarkably, the report also states the “IDF’s air strikes and ground attacks against Hezbollah targets located in population centers were carried out in accordance with international law, which does not grant immunity to a terrorist organization deliberately hiding behind civilians supporting it, using them as human shields.”

The Fourth Geneva Convention (with respect to protected civilians) and Additional Protocols do not specifically mention human shields. However, under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” constitutes a war crime.

Again, the HRW and the United Nations Humans Right Council found little evidence Hezbollah was involved in using human shields. The IDF reported during the operation it did not encounter Hezbollah fighters intermingled with civilians.

Despite a paucity of evidence, a tidal wave of propaganda swept the Israel-friendly establishment media. It made a prima facie case using the biased Israeli report while either ignoring or underplaying Israel’s wanton attack on innocent civilians.

Arguing before his colleagues on the House floor, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) placed the blame squarely on Hezbollah.

“The key reason that civilian areas were destroyed was the cynical strategy of Hezbollah guerrillas to stage their attacks from the middle of towns and residential areas,” Ackerman said, adding that “the loss of civilian life in Lebanon was due solely to Hezbollah’s cruel and uncivilized use of civilian areas as military bases.”

The spate of new legislation aimed at Hezbollah-including missile-related sanctions and new sanctions on entities found to support the group-will further embolden Israel to start another war against Hezbollah.

First, however, it will play the diplomatic game. Israel’s foreign ministry sent out a directive to its ambassadors worldwide calling on them to sway the international community to prevent Hezbollah’s inclusion in the next Lebanese government.

Never mind that Shia Muslims comprise over 40 percent of the population-by far the largest religious group-and support for Hezbollah within the community is uniformly strong. Moreover, two-thirds of Lebanon’s Christians believe Hezbollah is protecting Lebanon from the threat posed by Wahhabi terror groups.

Israel is calling for millions of Lebanese to be politically disenfranchised. It argues support for Hezbollah by Lebanese citizens is tantamount to promoting “the interests of a foreign power.”

If this fails-and it seems most certain it will-the next move will be an invasion of Lebanon.

On November 10, David Rosenberg, writing for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, warned the coming war will be expensive in human life and treasure. He writes that “against an onslaught of thousands of missiles, no Domes, Slings or Arrows will be able to provide the kind of defense Israelis have grown used to. Israel’s infrastructure and economic activity are vulnerable to even a limited missile attack from Hezbollah,” which has reportedly amassed around 100,000 missiles and rockets since the 2006 war.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on October 10 Riyadh is inciting Israel to strike Lebanon. “It is clear that Saudi Arabia and Saudi officials have declared war on Lebanon and on Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah also accused the Saudis of offering to pay the bill for an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He said the Saudis have offered Israel billions of dollars to launch a war. “I speak here about facts not analysis. Saudi Arabia is ready to pay tens of billions of dollars to Israel for that,” he said.

Israel has planned for war since its humiliating retreat from Lebanon in 2006. It will pursue a scorched earth policy this time around.

During the annual Herzliya security conference near Tel Aviv in June, Major-General Amir Eshel, commander of the Israeli Air Force, said Israel can now inflict within two or three days the devastation it took 34 days to accomplish in 2006. Eshel warned Lebanese civilians will bear the brunt.

On November 7, George W. Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense, Dov Zakheim, wrote an article for Foreign Policy speculating that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Jared Kushner, and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu are plotting something.

“And if so, how far will Washington, or more precisely, the White House, go to back up the Saudis if their confrontation with Iran gets hot?” Zakheim writes. “Or will Israel serve as Trump’s proxy? With this president, this crown prince, and the current prime minister of Israel, anything is possible.”

Saudi and US collusion was underscored in late October when Kushner-who holds the portfolio on Middle East policy-visited Saudi Arabia where he engaged in late night discussions with Mohammed bin Salman.

US participation in a war between Israel and Hezbollah will overshadow its participation in the 2006 war. The Bush administration rebuffed calls for a ceasefire in order to help Israel accomplish its goal of destroying Hezbollah, which turned out to be a dramatic failure. The US also gave substantial rhetorical support to Israel as it engaged in war crimes against the people of Lebanon.

Trump-who has difficulty distinguishing between Hamas and Hezbollah and erroneously stated Hezbollah is at war with the Lebanese government-has characterized Hezbollah as a “global threat” that must be addressed. His secretary of defense, James Mattis, mirrors the Israeli view on Iran and has said he believes Iran and the Islamic State are on friendly terms, an absurd assertion at odds with reality.

National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen added a domestic element to the supposed threat to America. “While I’m not here today to speak publicly about any specific, or credible, or imminent threat to the homeland,” Rasmussen told reporters on October 11, “we in the intelligence community do in fact see continued activity on behalf of Hezbollah here inside the homeland.”

In order to push the US into direct military involvement on Israel’s side-and gain public support-a sensational and outrageous terror event will be engineered.

Stephen Zunes, a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco teaching courses on the politics of Middle East, told Vice he believes a false flag may be used to get the United States directly involved in a war. He speculated “an attack by some unknown Salafi group-an al Qaeda, ISIS type” may be used to set things in motion. “Trump could blame [the act of terror] on an Iranian-backed group, and use that as an excuse to attack Iran” and also assist Israel in its war with Hezbollah, depicted as a slavish Iranian proxy.

The alleged shoot-down of a Houthi missile outside of Riyadh on November 4 appears to be a false flag event staged to heighten tension and make the case Shia Houthis are collaborating with Iran.

In July, the Saudis claimed they shot down a missile targeting the Holy City of Mecca. According to Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, who oversees the Air Force’s Central Command in Qatar, the November missile has “Iranian markings.”

It isn’t clear if Israel’s looming war with Hezbollah will result in direct US military involvement. However, considering the political influence of Israel over Congress and Trump’s divisive rhetoric-and his desire to use the military, as he did on the morning of April 7 when he bombed Syria’s Shayrat airbase-the possibility of US direct involvement against Hezbollah and the growing likelihood of an attack on Iran proper cannot be discounted.

Russia’s upgraded Tu-160 strategic bomber to make debut flight in February 2018 – By SPUTNIK

November 16, 18:56 UTC+3

Tu-160 is a legendary Soviet strategic missile carrier armed with cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads

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Tu-160 strategic bomber

Tu-160 strategic bomber

© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. Russia’s upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 strategic bomber will perform its first test flight in February 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin reported to President Vladimir Putin during a working meeting on Thursday.

“We plan that the aircraft will be built already in 2019. Serial deliveries should begin in 2023 while we plan to carry out the first flight of the Tu-160M2, which has been rolled out of the workshop today, in February next year,” the vice-premier said.

“Everything is fine, just perfect. I congratulate the aircraft builders and I think we will deliver good news to the Defense Ministry [it was the Russian Defense Ministry that insisted on resuming the production of the upgraded Tu-160 aircraft, which had proven its worth as a supersonic bomber],” the Russian president said.

As the vice-premier said, it was Russian President Putin who made a decision to strengthen the Russian nuclear triad, including its airborne component, by way of resuming the production of the Tu-160 strategic bomber on a new technical and technological basis.

 

“I am reporting to you that today, these days when the Kazan Aircraft Enterprise is celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Tu-160M2 aircraft has been rolled out of the enterprise’s workshop,” Rogozin said.

A source in the Russian defense industry told TASS on November 9 that the Tu-160M2 strategic bomber prototype originating from Soviet aircraft breakthroughs will take to the skies for the first time from the airfield of the Kazan Aviation Enterprise in February 2018.

“The plane with the factory number 804 based on Soviet aircraft breakthroughs will be rolled out of the final assembly workshop of the Kazan Aviation Enterprise and delivered to the flight testing station in November this year. The plane is expected to perform its debut flight from the enterprise’s aerodrome in February next year,” the source said.

This “will be the first combat aircraft capable of performing the same assignments, which operational 16 Tu-160 planes do,” he said.

“The 804th plane will be subsequently upgraded to the Tu-160M2 variant,” the source said.

It was reported in 2015 that Russia had made a decision to resume the production of Tu-160 bombers in their upgraded Tu-160M2 modification and reschedule the development of the new-generation bomber PAK DA (Perspective Airborne Complex of Long-Range Aviation) for a later term.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that the serial production of Tu-160M2 bombers should begin in 2023. The Russian Aerospace Force intends to purchase no less than 50 such aircraft. Aerospace Force then-Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev said earlier that the Tu-160M2 might take to the skies for the first time already in late 2018.

Tu-160 is the Soviet strategic missile carrier armed with cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Along with the Tu-95MS missile carrier, the Tu-160 makes part of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces along with the ground-based missile systems and submarines.

According to data from public sources, the Russian Aerospace Force currently operates 16 such aircraft built during the Soviet period. About a half of these bombers has already undergone repairs and modernization.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov earlier said that all the Tu-160 bombers operational in the Aerospace Force will be fully upgraded.

 
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