‘Losing Military Supremacy’ book review: How the US lost its edge to Russia – By The Saker The Unz Review (SOTT)

maryanov military supremacy

The fact that the USA is facing a profound crisis, possibly the worst one in its history, is accepted by most observers, except maybe the most delusional ones. Most Americans definitely know that. In fact, if there is one thing upon which both those who supported Trump and those who hate him with a passion can agree on, it would be that his election is a clear proof of a profound crisis (I would argue that the election of Obama before also had, as one of its main causes, the very same systemic crisis). When speaking of this crisis, most people will mention the deindustrialization, the drop in real income, the lack of well-paid jobs, healthcare, crime, immigration, pollution, education, and a myriad of other contributing factors. But of all the aspects of the “American dream”, the single most resilient one has been the myth of the US military as “the finest fighting force in history”. In this new book, Andrei Martianov not only comprehensively debunks this myth, he explains step by step how this myth was created and why it is collapsing now. This is no small feat, especially in a relatively short book (225 pages) which is very well written and accessible to everyone, not just military specialists.

Martyanov takes a systematic and step-by-step approach: first, he defines military power, then he explains where the myth of US military superiority came from and how the US rewriting of the history of WWII resulted in a complete misunderstanding, especially at the top political levels, of the nature of modern warfare. He then discusses the role ideology and the Cold War played in further exacerbating the detachment of US leaders from reality. Finally, he demonstrates how a combination of delusional narcissism and outright corruption resulted in a US military capable of wasting truly phenomenal sums of money on “defense” while at the same time resulting in an actual force unable to win a war against anything but a weak and defenseless enemy.

That is not to say that the US military has not fought in many wars and won. It did, but in the words of Martyanov:

Surely when America fought against a third-rate adversary it was possible to rain death from the skies, and then roll over its forces, if any remained by that time, with very little difficulty and casualties. That will work in the future too against that type of adversary – similar in size and flimsiness of Iraqi Forces circa 2003. But Ledeen’s Doctrine had one major flaw – one adult cannot continue to go around the sandbox constantly fighting children and pretend to be good at fighting adults.

The main problem for the USA today is that there are very few of those third-rate adversaries left out there and that those who the USA is trying to bring to submission now are either near-peer or even peer adversaries. Martyanov specifically lists the factors which make that kind of adversary so different from those the USA fought in the past:

  1. Modern adversaries have command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities equal to or better than the US ones.
  2. Modern adversaries have electronic warfare capabilities equal to or better than the US ones
  3. Modern adversaries have weapon systems equal to or better than the US ones.
  4. Modern adversaries have air defenses which greatly limit the effectiveness of US airpower.
  5. Modern adversaries have long-range subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles which present a huge threat to the USN, bases, staging areas and even the entire US mainland.

In the book, all these points are substantiated with numerous and specific examples which I am not repeating here for the sake of brevity.

One could be forgiven for not being aware of any of these facts, at least if one considers the kind of nonsense written by the US corporate media or, for that matter, by the so-called “experts” (another interesting topic Martyanov discusses in some detail). Still, one can live in an imaginary world only as long as reality does not come crashing in, be it in the form of criminally overpriced and useless weapon systems or in the form of painful military defeats. The current hysteria about Russia as the Evil Mordor which is the culprit for everything and anything bad (real or imaginary) happening to the USA is mostly due to the fact that Russia, in total contradiction to all the “expert” opinions, not only did not crash or turn into a “gas station masquerading as a country” with her economy “in tatters”, but succeeded in developing a military which, for a small fraction of the US military budget, successfully developed armed forces which are in reality far more capable than the US forces. I realize that this last statement is quite literally “unthinkable” for many Americans and I submit that the very fact that this is so literally unthinkable greatly contributed to making this possible in the first place: when you are so damn sure that by some kind of miracle of history, or God’s will, or Manifest Destiny or any other supernatural reason, you are inherently and by definition superior and generally “better” than everybody else you are putting yourself in great danger of being defeated. This is as true for Israel as it is for the USA. I would also add that in the course of the West’s history this “crashing in of reality” in the comfy world of narcissistic delusion often came in the form of a Russian soldier defeating the putatively much superior master race of the day (from the Crusaders to the Nazis). Hence the loathing which western ruling elites always had for everything Russian.

In this book, Martyanov explains why, in spite of the absolutely catastrophic 1990s, the Russians succeeded in developing a modern and highly capable combat force in a record time. There are two main reasons for this: first, unlike their US counterparts, Russian weapons are designed to kill, not to make money and, second, Russians understand warfare because they understand what war really is. This latest argument might look circular, but it is not: Russians are all acutely aware of what war really means and, crucially, they are actually willing to make personal sacrifices to either avoid or, at least, win wars. In contrast, US Americans have no experience of real warfare (that is warfare in defense of their own land, family and friends) at all. For US Americans warfare is killing the other guy in his own country, preferably from afar or above, while making a ton of money in the process. For Russians, warfare is simply about surviving at any and all cost. The difference couldn’t be greater.

The difference in weapons systems acquisition is also simple: since US wars never really put the people of the USA at risk, the consequences of developing under-performing weapons systems were never catastrophic. The profits made, however, were immense. Hence the kind of criminally overpriced and useless weapons system like the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship or, of course, the fantastically expensive and no less fantastically vulnerable aircraft carriers. The Russian force planners had very different priorities: not only did they fully realize that the failure to produce an excellently performing weapons system could result in their country being devastated and occupied (not to mention their families and themselves either enslaved or killed), they also realized that they could never match the Pentagon in terms of spending. So what they did was to design comparatively much cheaper weapons systems which could destroy or render useless the output of the multi-trillion dollar US military-industrial complex. This is how Russian missiles made the entire US ABM program and the US carrier-centric Navy pretty much obsolete as well as how Russian air defenses turned putatively “invisible” US aircraft into targets or how Russian diesel-electric submarines are threatening US nuclear attack subs. All that at a tiny fraction of what the US taxpayer spends on “defense”. Here again, Martyanov gives plenty of detailed examples.

Martyanov’s book will deeply irritate and even outrage those for whom the US narcissistic culture of axiomatic superiority has become an integral part of their identity. But for everybody else this book is an absolute must-have because the future of our entire planet is at stake here: the question is not whether the US Empire is collapsing, but what the consequences of this collapse will be for our planet. Right now, the US military has turned into a “hollow force” which simply cannot perform its mission, especially since that mission is, as defined by US politicians, the control of the entire planet. There is a huge discrepancy between the perceived and the actual capabilities of the US military and the only way to bridge this gap are, of course, nuclear weapons. This is why the last chapter in the book is entitled “The Threat of a Massive American Military Miscalculation”. In this chapter, Martyanov names the real enemy of both the Russian and the American people – the US political elites and, especially, the Neocons: they are destroying the USA as a country and they are putting all of mankind at risk of nuclear annihilation.

The above summary does not do justice to Martyanov’s truly seminal book. I can only say that I consider this book as an absolutely indispensable “must read” for every person in the USA who loves his/her country and for every person who believes that wars, especially nuclear ones, must be avoided at all costs. Just like many others (I think of Paul Craig Roberts), Martyanov is warning us that “the day of reckoning is upon us” and that the risks of war are very real, even if for most of us such an event is also unthinkable. Those in the USA who consider themselves patriots should read this book with special attention, not only because it correctly identifies the main threat to the USA, but also because it explains in detail what circumstances have resulted in the current crisis. Waving (mostly Chinese made) US flags is simply not an option anymore, neither is looking away and pretending that none of this is real. Martynov’s book will also be especially interesting to those in the US armed forces who are observing the tremendous decline of US military power from inside. Who better than a former Soviet officer could not only explain, but also understand the mechanisms which have made such a decline possible?

You can also get both versions of the book (paper & electronic) here.

The book is also available on Amazon as a pre-order here.

It is scheduled to become available on September 1st.

Get at least one copy and give more to your friends!

The Saker

Italian Elections: Destroying Democracy to Protect the Globalist Elite – By Federico PIERACCINI (Strategic Cultural Foundation)

Italian Elections: Destroying Democracy to Protect the Globalist Elite

Federico PIERACCINI

 

Recent events in Italy show that the country is getting the same type of treatment meted out to other countries whose election results do not agree with the neoliberal globalist elite and so must be stymied. The attitude shown by this transnational elite towards the winning forces in Italy is the same as that normally reserved for recalcitrant countries like Russia, Venezuela, China and Lebanon following their own elections or constitutional reforms.

European populations are increasingly failing to abide by the electoral wishes of the international oligarchs, with votes being directed to populist parties and the most anti-systemic candidates available. The most credible candidates for the people seem to be those who openly oppose the economic measures (neoliberalism) adopted over the last 20 to 25 years by the financial elite. These measures were specifically adopted to enrich the wealthy and enslave the rest of us through debt. Unsurprisingly, people are voting in candidates who are fighting for greater monetary and military sovereignty.

Without wishing to express a political judgment (often it would be negative), we need to note that events like Brexit, Trump’s victory, the partial success of Le Pen, the exploits of the nationalist fronts in Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and, most recently, the victories of Lega and the Five Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle, M5S) in Italy are symptomatic of how the European population feels about 25 years of a reduction in national sovereignty and the worsening of individual economic conditions.

The globalist front, centered around financial speculation and the expropriation of national assets, has built up over the course of three decades its political network consisting of NGOs, think-tanks, journalists, experts, senators and parliamentarians scattered across the United States and Europe. Large financial, economic and business interests have fostered a firm and lasting bond between large industrial groups (medical, agricultural, military, intelligence, IT, industry) and national politicians, often bribed to adopt legislation unfavorable to the country and its people. The type of public donations known as political lobbying in the US is prohibited in Europe, and so should simply be seen as corruption. Politicians elected by the people have often catered to the interests of their donors or financial backers, in spite of laws against this, and have advanced the type of austerity that is contrary to the interests of their constituents. The result has been politicians’ betrayal of their electoral mandates in favor of international finance or powerful lobbies in Washington or Brussels.

Naturally, banks, central banks, large industrial groups and speculators work closely with national governments, and have every interest in pursuing their interests to the detriment of the common citizen. This entails such things as bombing foreign countries for oil, preventing Eurasian integration (from Lisbon to Vladivostok), or beating an independent nation into submission with economic coercion (financial terrorism). Allies and enemies alike suffer the same treatment, being required to share their cake with international elites or face the consequences, which can be as severe as that experienced by Gaddafi in Libya.

In Italy, the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD) and Forza Italia are the elite parties. They have never had to sell out as such, given that their purpose from their very inception had been to serve the interests of the globalist elite. The PD reflects the worldview of the Clinton faction of the American ruling elite, with its preference for humanitarian interventions, as seen in the Arab Spring, and a general inclination towards soft power over the type of hard power that was visited on Iraq in 2003. Having said that, the Democratic Party of the Left (Partito Democratico della Sinistra, PDS), the political father of the current PD, was as the forefront of supporting the bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999.

Forza Italia leans towards America’s neoconservatism (Berlusconi is a great friend of Bush, and Italy invaded Iraq in 2003 alongside the US while Berlusconi was prime minister), and while maintaining good relations with Putin, Berlusconi has always viewed the Atlantic as his political lodestar (quite literally, as he was affiliated with the P2 Masonic lodge linked to Gladio).

M5S and Lega are cut from a different cloth. While Lega originates from Lega Nord, a regional party, M5S stems from the popular refusal to cede further popular sovereignty to Brussels and Washington. In recent months, M5S and Lega have repeatedly stated that the sanctions against Russia are wrong, that the war in Libya was an error of the past not to be repeated again in Syria, and pointed out how these wars served to spur uncontrolled immigration into Europe. M5S and Lega have countered over the last few months the narrative advanced by the media and the elite close to PD-Forza Italia and the European technocracy, explaining to citizens that an alternative is possible and that sovereignty belongs to the people, who are able to reclaim it through the vote.

In the March elections, Italian citizens gave the two parties an overwhelming mandate to implement their electoral promises. What happened next represents what is now becoming a regular routine, whereby popular sovereignty is quashed, especially in Europe. The president, Sergio Mattarella, challenged the appointment of Paolo Savona as economy minister, a person who has expressed mildly anti-euro positions and promises to fight for Italians in Europe. Mattarella did everything possible to protect the interests of the unelected technocracy in Brussels, effectively neutralizing the danger posed by a M5S-Lega government. Mattarella also protected NATO interests, since the new government was strongly opposed to sanctions against Russia (and possibly against Iran as well), and also opposed to new wars, and, above all, to a socio-economic policy based on austerity that particularly hit hard weaker countries in the EU like Italy.

This sabotage undertaken by the European bureaucracy, in league with Berlin, Brussels and Washington, will have the opposite effect and backfire, recounting the results of the West’s foolish efforts to subvert the popular will as seen in places like Syria.

Mattarella has dutifully appointed a favorite of the financial markets, rating agencies, and the central banks of the EU, Italy and Germany. Carlo Cottarelli, ex-IMF director, famously authored the spending review (advocating for all those cuts that have brought the Italian economy to its knees, antagonizing the population to the point of voting two strongly anti-European parties) and is the ideal figure to approve budgetary laws completely running against the interests of Italians. Cottarelli will not even gain confirmation in the senate and the chamber, even though he will still remain in office until the next government is set up. It is a clever way for the elites to neutralize the populist government; for now.

The elites do not seem to realize that in acting this way, M5S and Lega will have all the ammunition they need to attack the new executive over the coming months as it enacts impositions from Brussels and Berlin in direct contravention of the will of the people. Cottarelli, Mattarella, the PD and anyone else supporting the executive will find themselves struggling to survive in the next snap elections for the parliament that could be held as early as this July or October. In the months between now and the upcoming election, M5S and Lega will pound on the fact that Mattarella wanted to support international elites rather than the national interest as expressed by the people through the polls. They will insist that the popular will has been sabotaged by technocrats, big banks, lobbies and powerful groups. In light of recent events, with Cottarelli appointed by Mattarella a few minutes after Giuseppe Conte’s decision to stand down, what else can they be expected to say?

The ramifications will boil into a popular rage fomented by the two leaders, who will be able to blame the new Cottarelli government for any decisions that worsen the conditions in the country. They will blame Mattarella and the EU for preventing them from implementing the measures that would have served to protect the Italian people and reform the European economic prison.

In September, when the Italians will be called on to vote, what will count is the political propaganda that Italians will have been subjected to over the summer months, with threats coming from the financial elite under the form of increases to the financial spread between the Italian BTP and the German Bund and speculation on the stock market. No one should be surprised if Lega and M5S collect more than two-thirds of the total votes as an expression of popular feeling. In this way, the new government will be able to change the constitution and implement the necessary profound changes that, absent Mattarella’s intervention, would have otherwise been unfeasible.

The international elite linked to speculative finance and the NATO military bloc is struggling to accept a change that has been ongoing for years, namely; a change that signifies a transition from a unipolar world order to a multipolar one. This elite has repeatedly used economic and military measures like financial terrorism, coups d’etat, and wars (thanks to the supremacy of the dollar) to subdue foreign countries. This mindset of American exceptionalism, enshrined and promulgated as the neoliberal world order in the early 1990s, has also reduced international institutions into mere executors of the unipolar will. The insistence on a unipolar model actually accelerates a transition to a multipolar one, whereby Washington, London and Brussels represent only a portion, sometimes a small one, of global politics.

The unipolarists visit their opprobrium on countries refusing to bow to their will, scorning Putin’s re-election, Hezbollah’s gathering of support in Lebanon, Xi Jinping’s mandate being prolonged by the party; and now even the victory of two unapproved Italian parties unwilling to align themselves with European diktat.

In three months’ time, the practical consequences of Mattarella’s nefariousness will be made evident, with Lega and M5S now made able decide the fate of the country and probably of the entire eurozone, with a wave goodbye to Mattarella and international finance led by Brussels and Berlin hoping to stymie the consequences of thirty years of degrading laws and budget cuts.

Italy’s crisis and the crisis of democracy in Europe – By Alexander Mercouris (THE DURAN)

Italy’s unelected pro EU President has just set a democratic election aside by preventing anti-EU parties forming a government

 

Before analysing what has just happened in Italy and discussing its likely consequences, it is necessary to say something about the fact of what has just happened.

Italy is supposed to be a parliamentary republic with the Prime Minister and the government accountable to the parliament.

As in other parliamentary republics the Italian President is supposed to be a figure above politics, whose primary function is to safeguard the constitution, which he is sworn to uphold.  He is not supposed to meddle in day to day politics or to take on himself the leadership of the country.

 

Italy recently had parliamentary elections, which parties which can be broadly defined as ‘anti-EU’ decisively won.

Italy’s most prominent pro-EU party, the Democratic Party, saw its vote fall to 19% of the vote.  By contrast the leftist but anti-EU Five Star Movement won 32% of the vote, whilst the right wing but even more anti-EU Northern League won 17.7% of the vote.

After complex and protracted discussions of a sort which are by no means unusual in Italy, the Five Star Movement and the Northern League agreed to form a coalition government together.

That coalition government would have represented the two anti-EU parties which together won almost 50% of the vote in the parliamentary elections, and which have a majority in the lower house of the Italian Parliament the Chamber of Deputies.

There was no obvious constitutional or legal reason why that government, which represents the parties which won the parliamentary elections, should not have been allowed to take office.

In the event that is not what was permitted to happen.

The strongly pro-EU Italian President Sergio Mattarella – who is not directly elected, but is elected by an electoral college made up of the two chambers of the Italian parliament and of representatives of Italy’s regions – to the surprise of some (including me) appeared to agree to the coalition’s suggestion that its nominee Giuseppe Conte should be Italy’s new Prime Minister.

However, in what I strongly suspect was a prearranged move, he then vetoed the coalition’s nominee for Finance Minister, Paolo Savona.

This is despite the fact that Savona is an experienced banker and an internationally recognised economist, who has headed several of Italy’s banks, and who has previously held ministerial office.

In vetoing Savona’s appointment Mattarella did not question Savona’s qualifications for the Finance Ministry post or question his general competence.  Savona’s record makes that impossible.

Nor did Mattarella say that Savona was unfit to hold office because, for example, he suffers from ill health or has a criminal record.

Instead Mattarella vetoed Savona’s appointment because of Savona’s known skepticism about Italy’s membership of the Eurozone, with which Mattarella happens to disagree.

Mattarella has dressed this up by talking of the negative reaction to Savona’s appointment by the financial markets, and of his “duty” to protect Italy’s savers.

As to the first, that subordinates the will of the Italian people as expressed in a democratic election to the opinion of the financial markets; as to the second, that is purely Mattarella’s opinion, whilst the nature of his “duty” to “protect” Italy’s savers is unknown to me.

I would add that it also seems to be a case of “protecting” Italy’s savers by setting aside their votes.

In either case these seem to me to be strange reasons for a President to give for in effect refusing to confirm in office a Finance Minister selected by a government which had just been democratically elected by the people.

In reality I suspect that Mattarella never intended the coalition to take power.  He did not reject Conte because that would have been too obvious a rejection of the outcome of the election, so he rejected Savona instead, knowing that that would be unacceptable to the coalition, and would cause it to return its mandate to form a government.

In that way Mattarella is now able to say that the coalition’s failure to form a government is its fault, and deny that he has set the verdict of the election aside.

In fact this is a straightforward case of the European political establishment – of which Mattarella is very much a part – setting the result of a democratic election which it doesn’t like aside.  Moreover it is not the first time the European political establishment has done this, though it has not done this previously in quite so flagrant a way.

Thus back in November 2011 the Italian Presidency was also used to help engineer the resignation of Italy’s then Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi who also had by this time. become something of a bête noire for the European political establishment.

Berlusconi  says this was because he refused to apply for a loan to the IMF, which would have required him to impose swingeing austerity measures on Italy.   Spain’s former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero says that’s true.

As happened after Berlusconi was forced to resign, so now, the Italian Presidency is moving to appoint a rigidly orthodox pro-EU technocrat to run what is sometimes called a “technical government” in place of a government democratically accountable to the parliament.

In 2011 this was the former EU Commissioner Mario Monti.  This time it is the former IMF economist Carlo Cottarelli.

This is despite the fact that Giuseppe Conte – the coalition Prime Minister designate whose appointment the President has effectively blocked – commands a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, which Cottarelli of course does not.

Cottarelli in fact embodies and is committed to implementing precisely the mix of policies – fiscal orthodoxy, ‘supply side reforms’ and unending austerity inside the Eurozone – which Italian voters rejected in the elections in March.

There is an old British quip that if voting changed anything it would be abolished.  That is not true in Britain.  In Italy however the Italian people have just been given a lesson that voting changes nothing.

Back in November 2011, whilst the plotting against Berlusconi was still underway, but shortly after the European political establishment had engineered the resignation of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, I wrote the following on my personal blog

If the European Union collapses as a result of this crisis this will be the moment when that collapse begins.  The European Union is supposed to be a union of democracies yet faced by the greatest crisis in its history its response is to impose its decisions by arranging the removal of the government that is supposed to be accountable to the people affected by those decisions whilst denying those same people a say.  Moreover it seems that Greece is only the start.  Steps are apparently already underway to engineer through the Italian Presidency the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Italy so that it can be replaced with a new government that is more amenable to the wishes of the French and German governments and to those of the central European institutions.

Acting in a democracy to deny the people the right to a say in the way they are governed amounts to a coup d’etat.  This is so regardless of whether this coup is carried out legally or not.  The political crisis in Germany in the early 1930s was precipitated by the perfectly legal and constitutional step of forming technocratic governments that had not been elected and which were not accountable to the German parliament the Reichstag, which sought to use Presidential powers to impose by decree austerity measures the German people had not voted for.  The result was a crisis of legitimacy that ended in dictatorship.

I do not think that this time things will go this far but no one should be under any illusions about the momentous nature of the events that are now starting to unfold.  Europe is on the brink and its crisis has just stopped being only economic.

Compare that with what the British writer and commentator John Laughland is now saying about the Italian crisis

I don’t think it’s a constitutional crisis in Italy, I think it’s a constitutional crisis in the whole of Europe.  We’ve seen now systematically how members of the European elite, of which President Mattarella is an excellent example, use every method they can to prevent parties wielding power if that power is to be wielded against the euro or against the European Union.

Back in March, immediately following the Italian parliamentary elections, I discussed the reasons for the rise of anti-EU parties in Italy and across Europe.  I said that it was the inevitable outcome of the increasingly anti-democratic style European politics have been taking for several decades now and especially after the Eurozone was established.

I should have added that it was also an inevitable response to the draconian economic policies that go hand in hand with those politics, and which in the case of Italy have delivered two decades of economic stagnation.

I also said that the European political establishment appears incapable of learning anything from this, and appears determined instead to dig in, making it a certainty that resistance to it will continue to grow

…..instead of analysing and responding to what is happening the European establishment across Europe is retreating into denial.

Thus the parties and leaders who are increasingly winning votes are dismissed as “populists” – a label which is both meaningless and deeply anti-democratic – their voters are dismissed as ‘ultra-right’ and racist, and their electoral successes are explained by sinister Russian meddling which is supposed to occur but of which no evidence is ever found…..

Unfortunately, as its denialism about its repeated electoral defeats might lead one to expect, the establishment in Europe instead of changing its approach is simply digging in.

Thus we have seen the manipulation of the French electoral process in order to engineer the election of Emmanuel Macron in France, the cobbling together of the ‘grand coalition’ in Germany, the threats against Poland and Hungary, and the increasingly frantic attempts in Britain to reverse or water down the Brexit vote.

Unfortunately – as I also pointed out in the same article – in the desert which is post-modern European politics, no convincing alternative to the European establishment exists.

Though the coalition in Italy between the Five Star Movement and the Northern League mathematically speaking commands the support of around half of Italy’s voters, the two parties are ideological opposites, and it is far from certain that the coalition they have formed would have held together in government.

Moreover there are serious doubts not just about the viability of its programme but about the managerial competence of its members.

Whilst it is certainly possible that the two coalition partners will vote down Cottarelli when he comes to parliament for a vote of confidence – forcing elections in August – and whilst it is also possible that the two parties which make up the coalition will increase their share of the vote in the August elections – no one should assume any of that.

Italy being Italy, it is not impossible that the coalition will fracture, or that there will be a strong reaction against it at the polls.

In that case the coup will have succeeded, and the ancien régime will have been restored.

However that will not resolve the underlying crisis not just in Italy but in Europe.

In my previous article I spoke of the situation not just in Italy but in Europe being one of paralysis – what the Greeks called stasis – a state of immobility or ‘standing still’ despite the situation having become intolerable.

Just as everywhere else in Europe, the political system in Italy looks increasingly discredited and broken, but no viable alternative exists to put in its place.

As Gramsci once said

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.

In the current political paralysis – what the Greeks called statis – “standing still” – the chaotic electoral result in Italy is just one more of the “great variety of morbid symptoms” which are bound to appear.

Events in Europe over the last few months illustrate the extent of this paralysis vividly.  Consider for example

(1) the inability of Merkel and Macron to agree together a programme for EU reform and the growing personal antipathy there is said to be between them;

(2) the resurrection of Germany’s unpopular and discredited “grand coalition” despite the severe setback it suffered in the German parliamentary elections last September;

(3) the inability of the EU to stand by Iran and to develop an effective response to Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the JCPOA or to respond to the further sanctions on Iran which he is imposing (see this discussion in the Financial Times).

The fact that the EU is almost certain to extend the sectoral sanctions it imposed on Russia at the end of June, though barely anyone in Europe believes in them any more, also tells the same story.

In Europe – not just in Italy – not only is it a case that “the new cannot be born”, but the Europeans look increasingly unable to break out of the prison they have made for themselves.

The Duran
EUR

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US warns Syria not to attack al-Qaeda and ISIS in SW Syria – By Moon of Alabama (SOTT)

Golan Heights

© AA

The Syrian government and its Russian ally plan to clean up the southwest region of Syria around the city of Daraa. The move should open the M5 highway, Syria’s lifeline, between Damascus and Jordan and secure the border with Jordan as well as the demarcation line with the Israel occupied Golan Heights.

The operation was supposed to start in a day or two, but the U.S. has now threatened to intervene. As the southwest Daraa governorate is infested with a large Islamic State (ISIS) group as well as al-Qaeda and associated groups the U.S.move must be interpreted as protection for these terrorists.

On July 7 2017 the U.S, Russia and Jordan agreed to set up a de-escalation zone in southwest Syria. The parameters were not publicized and the implementation lagged. Russia had offered to let its military police supervise the zone but the U.S. rejected that. The opening of the important M5 highway to Jordan which was originally part of the plan likewise did not happen. The ceasefire in the region was broken several times. There was also infighting between ISIS and al-Qaeda.

In November 2017 the presidents of the United States and Russia met and agreed to a Memorandum of Principals which covered southwest Syria. The memorandum was not published.

The neo-conservatives at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) disliked the agreement. It headlined Southern Syria Deal Fails to Constrain Iran, al Qaeda. Israel had demanded that no groups associated with Iran should come near the zone, but no such rule was agreed upon. ISW also noted:

Al Qaeda has exploited the ‘de-escalation zone’ to develop a new durable safe haven along the Syrian-Jordanian border.

Neither al-Qaeda nor the Islamic State are covered by the de-escalation and ceasefire agreement. UN Security Council resolutions 2249 and 2254 demand that all UN members fight Al Qaeda, ISIS and individuals and groups associate with them. It calls upon UN member states “to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Syria”.

At that time ISW published a map of southwest Syria which shows the strategic positions taken by ISIS (grey), al-Qaeda (brown) and aligned groups (light brown):

daraa

In December 2017 the U.S. stopped payments to “rebels” in the south west. Some of the groups, including al-Qaeda, receive money, weaponsand fire support from Israel.

In April 2018 ISW published a new version of its map of the area. Amusingly al-Qaeda had vanished from it:

daraa

Over the last days Syrian helicopters have dropped leaflets over “rebel” held towns in the western part of the rebel held areas. They demand that the rebels give up fighting and reconcile with the Syrian government.

The Iranian ambassador to Jordan Mojtaba Ferdowsi-pour publicly declared that Iran has no role in any military operation in south of Syria. He added:

‘After ending its mission in Syria, Iran will not remain in Syria and whenever Syrian government ask us, Iran will leave the country.’

It is obvious that the Syrian government and its Russian allies have all rights to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda independent of any de-escalation agreement. The UNSC resolutions even demand that. But the U.S. thinks different.

Last night the U.S. State Department published this threat:

The United States is concerned by reports of an impending Assad regime operation in southwest Syria within the boundaries of the de-escalation zone negotiated between the United States, Jordan, and the Russian Federation last year and reaffirmed between Presidents Trump and Putin in Da Nang, Vietnam in November. The United States remains committed to maintaining the stability of the southwest de-escalation zone and to the ceasefire underpinning it. We also caution the Syrian regime against any actions that risk broadening the conflict or jeopardize the ceasefire. As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations.

One wonders what “firm and appropriate measures” the U.S. has planned for. Strong words? Cruise missile attacks? Nukes?

I have not seen any reaction yet from the Syrian or Russian side.


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Comment: Israel would prefer to have ISIS on its border – and they’ve said as much publicly. It’s no big stretch to come to the conclusion that Israel has been actively supporting ISIS and al-Qaeda. We wonder what the UN thinks about that? Oh, right … they haven’t said anything about it.

US Complicity in Gaza Massacre – By Strategic Culture Foundation

US Complicity in Gaza Massacre

The horrendous bloodshed this week in Gaza is directly related to US President Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the American embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem.

The US bears responsibility in large part for the atrocity in which more than 60 unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli military. This was a cold-blooded massacre.

Thousands of others were maimed from live fire. An eight-month-old baby girl, Layla Ghandour, was among the victims after she died from asphyxiation from tear gas fired at the protesters.

Washington’s shameless defense of Israel’s brutal use of lethal force as “restrained” and its subsequent blocking of an independent UN inquiry into the mass shootings only compound Washington’s culpability in the massacre. A massacre which threatens to add further tensions to an already combustible region.

The question is how much of US complicity was a deliberate calculation by Washington to provoke widespread violence, not just in the occupied Palestinian territories, but in the wider Middle East?

Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was implemented despite international warning that the move violated global consensus that Jerusalem should be a shared capital between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Trump’s decision recklessly snubbed Palestinian rights by symbolically siding with Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its “undivided capital”.

Not only that but the US embassy move was pointedly scheduled to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s foundation as a state on May 14, 1948. The date is also marked by Palestinians as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, when millions of Palestinians were forced from their homes and ancient land by Israeli settlers.

Such a move by the Trump administration was bound to exacerbate already heightened Palestinian grievances after decades of injustice against their right to statehood and their right to return to ancestral homelands. Some 70 per cent of Gaza’s two million residents claim to be refugees who demand the right to return to their homelands in what is now Israeli-occupied Jerusalem and elsewhere in the modern state of Israel.

Trump’s blatant partisan intervention on the side of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory flies in the face of UN resolutions and international consensus which views Palestinians as having an inalienable claim to statehood. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory has expanded without relent despite countless UN resolutions condemning such expansion as illegal.

At least one thing is incontestably clear now. Washington’s role in the decades-old conflict no longer has the pretense of being “an honest broker” or “neutral mediator”. For decades, the US has tacitly sponsored Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. It is 25 years since President Bill Clinton oversaw the Oslo Peace Accords. Today, the so-called peace process is dead and Palestinians are further than ever from realizing their right to a state in coexistence with Israel.

Trump has made it clear that as far as the US is concerned there is no peace process, that there is no “Two State Solution”.

It is telling that Palestinian leaders no longer recognize the US as a mediator. The US is part of the ongoing problem of an illegal colonialism against Palestinian people. Israeli governments are not interested in finding an honorable peace settlement. Their tacit position seems to be one of relentless conquest and driving the remaining Palestinian population out of the entire land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

What is the solution? It seems now that the only decent arrangement is for a One State Solution to be striven for, in which all the people of the Holy Land are entitled to share equal rights. However, that is something that is anathema to the Israeli leaders who want only to create a solely Jewish state.

The international community must face up to the illusion of a Two-State Solution. The world must somehow muster the political will to advocate for the rights of Palestinians to live in the land which was formerly known as Palestine.

For seven decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the source of ongoing conflict in the entire Middle East. Without a proper, just peace settlement that recognizes and delivers on the rights of Palestinians the region will continue to be wracked by violence.

Washington’s brazen and reckless intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be recognized now as an incendiary role. The US has forfeited any claim to be a mediator. It is a malevolent actor.

Israel’s project of conquest is part and parcel with the wider US ambition to control the Middle East for its imperialist designs. America is not some benign player as its mythical image-making would pretend.

The mass murder this week in Gaza in conjunction with the US giving its stamp of approval to Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory is a fitting proof of Washington’s real role in the Middle East. Washington cares not a jot for democracy or peace in the region. It is motivated entirely by hegemonic control for American imperial power.

Chaos and conflict is the fuel for American presence and control. Dispossession of Palestinians goes hand-in-hand with Washington’s strategic planning to balkanize and destroy states. We have seen this nefarious policy with regard to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere. Washington needs Israeli conquest in the same way it needs a cluster of other client despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab dictatorships. To crush indigenous democratic rights in order to project its power interests, chiefly for the huge oil wealth of the region, as well as for denying perceived global rivals from gaining influence, especially if that influence might be more progressive.

The US is hellbent on keeping the Middle East in turmoil and conflict. Forget about lofty claims of “democracy building”. Washington’s power relies on creating war and bloodshed. The Project for a New American Century, and other neocon strategy documents, have long prescribed this very policy of creative-destruction, in hoc with Israel, as a formula to consolidate US power, no matter the cost in millions of innocent lives.

Washington’s callous and criminal disregard for Palestinians is a piece of its strategy for mayhem. The renewed confrontation with Iran is also testimony to this pernicious policy.

The cynicism of the US is staggering. This week at the UN, the American ambassador Nikki Haley walked out when the Palestinian envoy, Riad Mansour, began his address to the Security Council about the atrocity in Gaza. For months, Haley has been denouncing Syria, Russia and Iran over alleged violations. Yet she had not the conscience to listen to how Israeli troops butchered unarmed Palestinians in cold blood.

Haley’s rank hypocrisy is closely matched by Western mainstream news media. Their saturated coverage and hysterical distortions over Syria blaming the Assad government and Russia for alleged atrocities was in stark contrast to their muted response to the US-backed cold-blooded murder in Gaza this week.

The criminal arrogance of the US and its complicity in mass murder was exposed this week. It was an object lesson on how the US is not a force for good, as it so often proclaims. Rather, it is evidently a force for destruction in the interests of its own selfish imperialist designs.

US plan of last push against ISIS raises specter of Syria partition – By RT

 US plan of last push against ISIS raises specter of Syria partition
Announcing the start of military operations against the remaining strongholds of Islamic State, the US State Department included some pointed language, hinting at de facto partition of Syria, analysts tell RT.

“The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday.The operations will be conducted by the US-led coalition and local partners, including the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces.

The US will also work with Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon to “secure their borders” from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Nauert said. This is intriguing, because the only remaining IS presence is near the Iraqi border, with a pocket south of Damascus currently being cleared out by Syrian government forces.

Nauert also said the US will ensure there is a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria so that IS cannot return and the liberated populations “are not exploited by the Assad regime or its Iranian supporters.”

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the “No Assistance for Assad Act,” or HR 4681. If approved by the Senate, it would mandate that any US funds for recovery, reconstruction or stabilization in Syria “should be used only in a democratic Syria or in areas of Syria not controlled by a government led by Bashar al-Assad or associated forces.”

Between Nauert’s statement and the House bill, a question arises on whether the US intends to allow the reintegration into the Syrian state of any areas liberated from IS.

US statements supporting the territorial integrity of Syria “are only words” that serve as cover for “plans to partition Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday, after a meeting with Turkish and Iranian officials in Moscow. Lavrov had also warned earlier this year about Western plans to partition Syria.

The State Department’s language is “subterfuge,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. The US and its allies intend to occupy the eastern part of Syria and partition the country, in order to “use the Sunnis in East Syria and West Iraq to form a barricade to stop any Iranian influence and cut off supplies to Hezbollah.”

Washington’s objectives are aligned with the axis between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Maloof added, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hoping the US will fight Iran for Israel.

“They will go alone if they have to and drag the US into it,” Maloof told RT. “We’re getting sucked into another war.”  

Nauert’s reference to a “future political settlement that honors the will of all Syrians, including Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, and other minorities” could mean either regime change or some form of partition, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT. The State Department notably made no mention of Shia or Alawite Syrians.

“Even if the Syrian government headed by President Assad remains in power in the west,” Jatras said, “de facto or de jure areas will be created for Kurds and particularly Sunnis.” The reference to Turkmen could signal the possibility of permanent Turkish presence in, or even annexation of, some parts of Syria, he added.

“ISIS is a sideshow. The real US targets are the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers,” Jatras said. “The stage is being set for a confrontation with Iran, in which Syria is simply one theater.”

“The reference to Christians is simply cynical. It is intended to make Americans think we give a damn about Syria’s Christians, despite seven years of arming and funding jihadists for whom Christians are prime targets for murder and enslavement,” Jatras explained.

The US has approximately 2,000 troops in Syria, who are there without legal authorization. The Russian military contingent that has aided Damascus against IS and other terrorist groups arrived in September 2015 at the government’s invitation.

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WADA reveals worst doping cheaters in 2016, Russia not even in top 5 – By RT

WADA reveals worst doping cheaters in 2016, Russia not even in top 5
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published the Anti-Doping Rules Violations report for 2016 featuring 1,595 confirmed doping cases involving athletes representing 117 countries.

Out of 1595 cases indicated in the report, 1,326 offences were labeled as “positive results,” while the remaining 269 violations committed by athletes and sports personnel “were derived from investigations and evidence-based intelligence.”

Seventy-nine percent of the drug violations registered by WADA in 2016 were committed by male athletes, with track and field being the most doping-affected sport, where 205 cases were revealed. It is followed by bodybuilding (183), cycling (165), weightlifting (116), and football (79).

The list of the worst offenders was topped by Italy, whose athletes committed 147 violations over the course of 2016. Italy is followed by France and the US, which have 86 and 76 doping offences respectively. Australia, with 75 doping cases, and Belgium, with 73, are in fourth and fifth places in the report. Russia, which has repeatedly been accused of doping by Western countries, tied for sixth place with India, with 69 officially confirmed violations.

The doping scandal which erupted after the 2014 Sochi Olympics undermined Russia’s reputation and credibility and resulted in numerous sanctions being imposed, with the 2018 Olympics ban being the latest in a long list of measures against Russia.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and national athletics federations (RUSAF) remain suspended by international sports governing bodies as part of the crackdown against Russia over its alleged state-sponsored doping system, which presumably existed for many years.

“The 2016 ADRVs Report makes for particularly interesting reading in combination with WADA’s 2016 Anti-Doping Testing Figures Report that was published last year,” WADA President Sir Craig Reedie is cited as saying on WADA’s website.

READ MORE: ‘Rodchenkov’s evidence is hearsay with limited probative value’ – CAS

“We are continuing to see the impact of intelligence-based testing, an area of increasing focus for the Agency as we strengthen our investigations and intelligence-gathering capacity.”

“While in- and out-of-competition testing remains critical to detecting doping, recent events have shown that investigative work is becoming ever more important as we look to protect clean athletes’ rights worldwide,” he said.

Italy’s Election: Italy swings against EU – By Alexander Mercouris (THE DURAN)

Collapse of pro EU centre as Italian voters embrace parties opposed to the EU establishment

The Italian elections have resulted in the predicted swing against the centre-left pro-EU Democratic Party, the successor of Italy’s once mighty Communist Party – the party of Togliatti and Gramsci – and today the Party of outgoing Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

From a position in 2008, when the Democratic Party won 37% of the vote in the parliamentary elections of that year, it fell to 25% of the vote in the elections of 2013, and has no fallen further to just 19% of the vote in the elections which have been held now.

The result is that the Democratic Party has now fallen to third place behind the combined Beppe Grillo’s insurrectionary Five Star Movement (which won 32% of the vote) and the right wing alliance nominally led by Matteo Salvini but whose best know figure is Silvio Berlusconi, the individual who has dominated Italian politics since the Tangentopoli scandal of the early 1990s.

As it happen, the result of the election was almost as big a blow for Berlusconi as it was for the Democratic Party.  Expectations that he would emerge as the ‘kingmaker’ in forming a new Italian government have been dashed, with his Forza Italia Party winning only 14%, less than its alliance partner, the considerably more right wing Northern League, which won 17.7% of the vote, and which is now clearly established as a powerful force in Lombardy and the Veneto.

What the Italian election in fact shows is the gathering pace across Europe of the swing against establishment parties which are strongly identified with the EU.

Though Berlusconi has had his own major falling outs with the EU establishment at various points during his political career, he is nonetheless very much a member of the Italian establishment and is someone who has long played a major role in European and EU politics.

As a result Italian voters refused to turn to him, just as they turned their backs on the even more strongly pro-EU Democratic Party, choosing instead to vote in large numbers for the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, both of which have been strongly critical of the EU, and both of which have at times considered the possibility of Italy quitting the Eurozone, though neither of them as it happens advocates it now.

The Italian election in fact serves as a further case study of the malign effect of the draining of the life blooded of politics in Europe as the EU has become increasingly centralised and technocratic.

I discussed this phenomenon back on 25th June 2016, in an article I wrote for The Duran shortly after the Brexit referendum in Britain

…..the EU, at least as it has become over the last decade, is best understood as a cabal of three governments, primarily those of the US and Germany, with France treated by the Germans (though not by the US) as a sort of junior partner, which make the decisions in secret that are binding on all the rest….

…..any European political leader who tries to hold out against this system risks finding their objections simply ignored whilst becoming the target of the wrath of the US and of the EU establishment…..

In such a situation, where a political leader’s chances of survival and ability to get things done depends so much on staying on the right side of the EU’s leadership – and ultimately of the US – rather than their own country’s voters, it is unsurprising that the quality of Europe’s political leadership has declined to so great a degree.  In place of people like De Gaulle, Adenauer, Brandt and Thatcher, European political leaders today increasingly come over as colourless technicians distant from their own voters because the system allows for nothing else…..

The EU can work – as it did in the past – when it functions as a genuine community of economically and culturally compatible free democracies, which do not always agree with each other but which are nonetheless prepared to work closely with each other in certain areas in their mutual interest.

It cannot work as a crypto-imperial project of someone else – especially when that someone else is located far away on the other side of the ocean and can therefore have little idea of European wants and needs. 

It was therefore inevitable that beyond a certain point such a crypto-imperial project would provoke resistance and it is entirely unsurprising that the first expression of that resistance should come in Britain, which has always been the country that was most skeptical of the EU in the first place.

It is clear that despite the well publicised differences between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel, Donald Trump’s election has made no difference to the operation of the system.

The result is that the ‘resistance’ I spoke about in my article of 25th June 2016 is now spreading across Europe.

As a result we have seen since the Brexit vote the far better than expected result of the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party in Britain’s 2017 general election, the rise of the AfD in Germany, growing mutinies against the EU leadership in Poland and Hungary, the recent victory of Milos Zeman in the Czech Presidential election, the strong vote for the right in the recent Austrian parliament elections, and now with the victories of the anti-EU parties in Italy.

Even in France and the Netherlands – the two countries where the anti-EU insurgency has made less of an impact than some expected – Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Geert Wilders have won millions of votes.

However instead of analysing and responding to what is happening the European establishment across Europe is retreating into denial.

Thus the parties and leaders who are increasingly winning votes are dismissed as “populists” – a label which is both meaningless and deeply anti-democratic – their voters are dismissed as ‘ultra-right’ and racist, and their electoral successes are explained by sinister Russian meddling which is supposed to occur but of which no evidence is ever found.

On the effect of immigration in triggering these votes, I will hear state my own view.

Whilst there is no doubt that opposition to mass immigration is a factor in the current rise of anti-EU parties, mass immigration to Europe has taken place in the past (especially in the 1960s) without having anything like the same consequences.

That strongly suggests to me at least that immigration should be understood as the issue around which opposition to the EU is crystallising – because it immediately separates pro and anti-EU parties from each other – rather than as the underlying cause of the rise of the anti-EU parties.

This is shown by what happened last year in Britain where Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-immigrant positions did not damage him electorally in the 2017 election because the electorate had already accepted him for entirely different reasons as the ‘anti-system’ candidate.

Unfortunately, as its denialism about its repeated electoral defeats might lead one to expect, the establishment in Europe instead of changing its approach is simply digging in.

Thus we have seen the manipulation of the French electoral process in order to engineer the election of Emmanuel Macron, the cobbling together of the ‘grand coalition’ in Germany, the threats against Poland and Hungary, and the increasingly frantic attempts in Britain to reverse or water down the Brexit vote.

As to Italy, though the hostility of Italian voters to the establishment is clear enough, they have delivered a muddled and uncertain outcome.

The right wing alliance led by Salvini has fallen short of a majority, and I struggle to believe that the Five Star Movement and either of the two parties which make up the right wing alliance – Forza Italia or the Northern League – will be able to forge a coalition with each other.  If they do I expect that coalition to be unpopular and unhappy, and to fall apart quickly.

Italy despite having a large population and Europe’s biggest industrial base after Germany has always punched below its own weight, as it is weakened by its perennial political instability, its record breaking levels of indebtedness, and the systemic weaknesses of its financial system.

All these problems are going to be made worse by this electoral result, and I would say that anyone who expects that the election result will result in a government which will take Italy out of the euro or which will veto the EU’s sanctions against Russia is going to find their expectations unfulfilled.

As everywhere else in Europe, the political system looks increasingly discredited and broken, but no viable alternative exists to put in its place.

As Gramsci once said

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.

In the current political paralysis – what the Greeks called statis – “standing still” – the chaotic electoral result in Italy is just one more of the “great variety of morbid symptoms” which are bound to appear.

The Duran

 

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Americans ‘are hiding’ from us in this ‘little village’ of Davos, says Russia’s Deputy PM – By RT

Americans ‘are hiding’ from us in this ‘little village’ of Davos, says Russia’s Deputy PM
The American delegation at Davos seem to be avoiding any contact with their Russian counterparts. At least that’s the impression Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, shared with journalists.

“It’s not Russia which is hiding from dialogue. And Russia isn’t closed. It’s the Americans who are hiding from us in Davos – it’s a small village – but they don’t want to talk. They’re hiding from a real discussion,” Dvorkovich said during a panel session at the annual forum at the Swiss Alpine ski resort.

The head of the Russian delegation in Davos did not pay much attention to the American sanctions against Russia, decrying them as “an insignificant issue.”

“We’re talking about the US sanctions, but these sanctions aren’t the most interesting thing in the world … We shouldn’t waste so much time on this – we just have to work more efficiently and work better, instead of discussing sanctions,” he said.

However, the Deputy PM said “the aim of the sanctions, which the US employs, isn’t just to punish Russia or send a signal to Russia, but to compete in Europe. The sanctions are definitely used to fulfil those tasks.”

The US has introduced several waves of sanctions, targeting Russian individuals, companies and whole branches of economy, since Moscow reunited with Crimea in 2014 following a referendum and the conflict in Ukraine broke out. The restrictions were further expanded after Donald Trump took office in early 2017.

Dvorkovich was asked if he was aiming to hold talks with the US President, who is expected to attend the Swiss event. “I’m not the president of Russia. I’m not in a position to ask for a meeting with Trump, but I’m ready to contact the representatives of the American delegation,” he replied.

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Reporting what the mainstream media won’t: Follow RT’s Twitter account

America’s Dishonest Media War Against Russia Could Lead to Catastrophe – By Paul Craig Roberts

“I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. The crazed morons in Washington are risking the life of the planet”

9 hours ago
|

1538 21

Our government is run by psychopaths

Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept exposes the fake news put out by the US Department of Homeland Security (an euphemistic name for a Big Brother operation that spies on US citizens) that Russia hacked 21 US state elections, news that was instantly spread around the world by the presstitute media.

The propagandists running Homeland Security were contradicted by the state governments, forcing Homeland Security to retract its fake news claims.

The unasked/unanswered question is why did Homeland Security put out a FAKE NEWS story?

Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is “now religious dogma”—a requirement—to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that “an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards.”

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In other words, the United States no longer has a media. It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know.What Greenwald doesn’t address is the effect of the massive amount of fake news on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. So why is Washington making false accusations against Russia?

This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in miiltary attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack.

Iran and North Korea cannot attack the US and its European vassals, but Russia and China can. I have written about the Operational Command of the Russian armed forces conclusion that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. Instead of reassuring the Russians that no such planning is in the works, Washington has instead pushed further the fake news Russiagate story with the false report that Russia had hacked the elections of 21 states.

What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia?

Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propanganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are
presented as truth by the Western presstitutes?

If you were the Russian government, would you conclude that your country was the next to be attacked militarily by Washington?

If you were the Russian government, you would know that Washington/NATO cannot possibly attack Russia except by surprise nuclear strike.

Knowing this, if you were the Russian government, would you sit there and wait on the strike? Imagine yourself the Russian government listening day in, day out, to endless wild improbable charges against Russia.

What can Russia possibly conclude other than this is preparation of Western peoples for a nuclear attack on Russia?

Russia is not going to be hung like Saddan Hussein or murdered like Gaddafi.I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility.

The crazed morons in Washington are risking the life of the planet.

The presstitutes are worse than the whores that they are. They never question the path to war; they only amplify it. Washington’s craven, cowardly, moranic vassel states in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, and the rest of the EU/NATO idiots are, by their cooperation with Washington, begging for their own destruction.

Nowhere in the West is there a sign of intelligence.

Will Washington follow Adolf Hitler’s folly and march into Russia?Source: The Unz Review

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