Starving Off-Camera: In Yemen 20 Million Fuel the Saudi-US-NATO War Machine – By AbdulRahman Qahtan and Mnar Muhawesh Mnar Muhawesh @mnarmuh – MINT PRESS

Yemen Starvation
The Forgotten War

Within days of starting the war, Saudi Arabia imposed a total land, air and sea blockade, along with targeting vital agriculture and food supply infrastructure that sustains life for the 29 million Yemenis — all of which constitute war crimes under international law.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/cZP7CLDx6Vc?rel=0&showinfo=0

The UN estimates that nearly 20 million Yemenis could die of starvation by the end of this year. That’s about 70 percent of the entire population.

That horrific number includes more than 2 million children who are already going hungry, including 500,000 who are suffering from severe malnutrition.

 

The people of Yemen have found themselves struggling not only for survival, but for a space in the Western media’s war coverage.

In the shadow of the conflict in Syria, the men, women and children of Yemen are being deliberately starved and targeted by strategic airstrikes and an illegal blockade in a war initiated by Saudi Arabia and aided, massively if not entirely, by the United States.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia, backed by Washington with over $200 billion in weapons assistance and billions more worth of military training under both the Obama and Trump administrations, took the already poorest nation in the Middle East and manufactured the worst humanitarian crisis of the modern era.

Within days of starting the war, Saudi Arabia imposed a total land, air and sea blockade, along with targeting vital agriculture and food supply infrastructure that sustains life for the 29 million Yemenis — all of which constitute war crimes under international law.

Saudi Arabia opened its checkbook in response to a UN appeal for funds, contributing nearly $300 million to cover the most urgent humanitarian aid to Yemen. But that Saudi aid would come at a steep price, and with more than a few strings attached, considering this was the same nation bombing Yemen and creating the disaster to begin with.

While the UN accepted Saudi money, it also allowed Saudi Arabia to weaponize humanitarian aid by blocking all aid shipments from reaching the starving population.

This meant that medicine, food, water treatment supplies, and basic necessities for survival were prevented from entering Yemen, exacerbating the already dire situation.

According to data collected by local rights groups, Saudi Arabia has waged over 230,000 airstrikes on Yemen since 2015, with the intention of deliberately targeting Yemen’s lifeline for survival: its food supply.

Fishing boats, fishermen and fish markets became targets of the Saudi-U.S.-backed coalition warships and helicopters in the Red Sea, depleting Yemen’s access to it’s key food staples.

To make food-supply matters even worse, the U.S.-backed Saudi air raids intentionally targeted agricultural fields, marketplaces and food-storage sites from March 2015 to the end of June 2018, creating the perfect storm to ignite famine and starvation.

Yemen relies on maritime imports for more than 80 percent of its annual staple food supplies.

Although staples remain available, the Saudi import restrictions, combined with a rapidly depreciating currency, mean food prices have skyrocketed.

Millions of Yemenis can no longer afford to buy food, forcing more than 75 percent of the population to rely on humanitarian assistance — aid that is mostly controlled and blocked by Saudi Arabia.

As the crisis rages on with no accountability in sight, Yemen’s last remaining lifeline is under threat: Hodeida, relied upon by 18 million Yemenis, is home to the major port where virtually all aid and food must enter the impoverished and war-ravished nation currently importing 90 percent of its food.

According to UN estimates, a quarter-million men, women, and children could die from the military assault alone should the U.S.-backed coalition continue its invasion of Hodeida. In fact, Saudi warplanes have already bombed buses of refugees fleeing the airstrikes.

The goal of the deadly operation, dubbed “Golden Victory,” is to capture Hodeida: a bustling port city and home to over 600,000 Yemenis.

Although Saudi Arabia catches most of the heat for this humanitarian catastrophe and the countless war crimes, another U.S. Gulf coalition ally, the United Arab Emirates, is leading the assault on Hodeida port.

An Emirati-led occupation of Hodeida would put nearly a million people at risk for suffering not only famine but instances of rape and torture, as the UAE currently occupies Southern Yemen and has set up dozens of illegal torture prison sites known for sexual torture.

While creating a state of affairs that intensifies hunger for over 20 million people, Saudi Arabia has faced no accountability from the international community. Instead, it has enjoyed receiving billions worth of weapons from the U.S. and the U.K., training from the U.S. military, and a major position on a human-rights panel at the UN, only enabling what can best be described as genocide.

Perhaps Saudi impunity derives from the fact that this war is also the fuel that fires up the United States and NATO’s war machine, which allows for the continuation of resource exploitation, war on terror, military occupation and destabilization in the small but strategic and resource-rich nation.  

This cynical agenda has forced Yemen to become the new face of skeletal children in the 21st century.

Top Photo | In this Feb. 15, 2018 photo, Awsaf, a thin 5-year-old who is getting no more than 800 calories a day from bread and tea, half the normal amount for a girl her age, drinks tea, in Abyan, Yemen. Nariman El-Mofty | AP

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Trump’s UNRWA Funding Cuts Part of a New Formula to Erase Most Palestinians -By MIKO PELED – MINT PRESS

UNRWA Schools Gaza budget

It is puzzling that the state of Israel claims its own legitimacy derives from the right of Jewish people to “return” to their biblical homeland after 2,000 years of exile — but demands that Palestinian refugees drop their claim to return after 70 years and forget their homeland.

WASHINGTON — (Analysis) U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to severely cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is another step in what seems to be an attempt by the U.S. and Israel to erase the Palestinian refugee issue. Festering for seven decades, the Palestinian refugee crisis has been an open wound affecting Palestine and the countries around it, and now Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claim they have found a solution: deny the existence of the refugees.

However, as much as Trump and Netanyahu may try to deny they exist, and even if the U.S. government decides to “reduce” their number by declaring that there are far fewer refugees than there really are, the fact remains that over 5 million Palestinians live in camps in extreme poverty, neglect and abuse. The reason for this: Israel has banned the refugees and their descendants from returning to their land so that it could maintain a Jewish majority.

 

 

U.S. policy

If the U.S.-Israeli “solution” goes through, as it seems it will, UNRWA will serve only the original surviving refugees, whose number naturally decreases each year. According to a report in Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network:

A bill in Congress attempts to codify this [Trump’s] new formulation. HR 6451 stipulates that only the surviving refugees qualify for resettlement and UNRWA services. The rest of the aid would be channelled to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is bound by the 2018 Taylor Force Act, prohibiting U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until certain conditions are met. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.”

 UNRWA classroom Gaza

Also according to the Al-Shabaka report: “In January 2018 the administration slashed the first $125 million installment of its annual payment to UNRWA by more than half.” Then, when  the U.S. announced that it will no longer contribute to UNRWA at all, the announcement sent “shockwaves around the Arab world.”

Clearly, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria — all countries where Palestinian refugee camps are situated, realize that the result of this will be that millions of Palestinian refugees would be left without even the little education, work, food, and healthcare they currently have. In other words, this will result in an even worse crisis, not a resolution.

 

Double standard

One of the more puzzling aspects of this issue is that the state of Israel claims its own legitimacy derives from the right of Jewish people to “return” to their biblical homeland after 2,000 years of exile. Zionists argue that, owing to connections to an ancient tribe that resided in Palestine some 2,000 years ago, they have a claim to Palestine. Now, the same state of Israel demands that Palestinian refugees drop their claim to return after 70 years and forget their homeland.

The absurdity of the 2,000 year claim to “return” needs hardly be explained, but the fact is that not a single Jewish person can point out where his or her family lived 2,000 years ago. Palestinians however, in many if not most cases, still have the keys to their homes and the deeds to their land. Many of the first generation refugees are still alive and — when given a chance, as shown in this video, — will, even in places where a village or town was totaled by the Israelis, find the exact spot where their home stood, where the well used to be, and where the school, mosque or church stood.

 

UNRWA

A report published by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) says that,

The humanitarian aid and assistance that UNRWA provides to the Palestine refugees can never be enough. But it will be required as long as the issues of statelessness, prolonged military occupation, economic marginalization and vulnerability characteristic of the Palestinian refugee crisis are not addressed.”

It goes on to say:

Because of the prolonged nature of the Palestine refugee problem, the [UNRWA] agency’s efforts to provide education and health care have been pivotal in developing the refugees’ full human potential. Indeed, education is the largest of UNRWA’s main programmes, accounting for approximately 54 percent of its General Fund Budget.”

Clearly, the host countries of Palestinian refugees have a good reason to be concerned now that funding has decreased so substantially.

UNRWA school in Beirut

“The U.S. support for UNRWA was not an act of generosity,” historian Ilan Pappe recently posted. Back in 1950, the U.S. supported the establishment of the agency, with a promise that its creation would lead to the implementation of Resolution 194, passed on December 11, 1948. While in the so-called peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority the refugee issue was designated as a “final status” issue to be discussed at an unknown date in the distant future, the UN resolution predates that and therefore should be implemented without such interminable delays. Resolution 194 states that the UN:

Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations …”

In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Pappe says the following:

UNRWA was not committed to the return of the refugees as UN General Assembly Resolution 194, from 11 December 1948, had stipulated, but was set up simply to provide employment and subsidies to the approximately one million Palestinian refugees who had ended up in the camps. It was also entrusted with building more permanent camps for them, constructing schools and opening medical centres. In other words, UNRWA was intended, in general, to look after the refugees’ daily concerns.”

Recently, Pappe stated that ““UNRWA can only be dismantled if that resolution [194] would be respected.” In other words, dismantling UNRWA is fine as long as the refugees are permitted to return to their homes and their land in Palestine, as stipulated in the resolution, and be paid reparations for seven decades of dispossession.

 

Teaching humiliation

The Israeli government says it welcomes the U.S. decision to stop funding UNRWA. According to Israel, the UN agency — which in 1950 was tasked was caring for the Palestinian refugees that Zionist forces drove out of what was, until then, Palestine — is perpetuating the refugee problem.

Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani has written many short stories that reflect the lives of the Palestinian refugees in the camps. These are stories about the poverty, the humiliation and the desperation of a people who were thrown out of their land and forgotten by the world. He offers honest, heart wrenching descriptions of children “learning humiliation in the Agency schools” (Agency meaning UNRWA) and fathers who are helpless and must compromise their own integrity and dignity in order to provide for their families meager existence — and all of this because Israel has convinced the world that a “Jewish majority” is more important than humanity, people’s lives and dignity, not to mention people’s right to live free on their land.

As things stand today, the U.S. will stop funding the agency that is tasked with caring for millions of refugees — whom Israel created and is refusing to allow to return — while continuing to give Israel billions of dollars each year. Clearly, working the other way around would be more cost-effective. Stop sending Israel foreign aid, allow the refugees to return, and use the billions of dollars of foreign-aid money to facilitate their return, pay reparations, and rehabilitate the communities in Palestine that have been subjected to settler colonialism and apartheid since 1948.

Top Photo | Children wait outside an UNRWA school before attending the first day of class in Gaza City, Aug. 29, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children are starting their school year in Gaza amid major budget cuts that threaten to close United Nations schools. Felipe Dana | AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

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Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering: How Can Anything So Obvious Be Denied by So Many? – ByVT Senior Editors – VT

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by Rand Clifford for Veterans Today

Perhaps the explanation lies in just that, lies, sky high; and the answer to how we are being herded into the “new world order” so acquiescently.The High Cabal/Deep State know human nature—especially when it comes to driving the cycle so elegantly documented in 1787 by Alexander Tyler, University of Edinburgh.

Tyler wrote that all “democracies” go through eight stages, 200 years being the average cycle time:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back to bondage.

Rather an accurate description of the trajectory of the US, which appears to be somewhere in the “…complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence” zone.

Even all the false-flag terror, 9/11, “lone-gunman” shootings (to kill the second amendment, the first amendment already grey and cold), all the war crimes cloaked as humanitarian intervention against terrorism and false deeds of evil dictators slated for regime change. Meanwhile, our “blue heeler” mainstream media nips at the public’s Achilles heels. There remains one attack on the biosphere so comprehensive it’s hard to believe, plus, in the High Cabal’s favor, the vast majority of people simply don’t want to believe they are being sprayed like insects with:

Aluminum oxide nano particles, barium salts, barium titanates, ethylene dibromide, cadmium, methyl aluminum, desiccated human red blood cells, nano-aluminum-coated fiberglass, sub-micron particles (containing live biological matter), polymer fibers, unidentified bacteria, enterobacteria cloacal, enterobacteriaceae, mycoplasma, human white blood cells-A (restrictor enzyme used in research labs to snip and combine DNA), mold spores, bacilli and molds, yellow fungal mycotoxins, lead, mercury, zinc, nitrogen trifluoride, nickel, lithium, calcium, chromium, radioactive cesium, radioactive thorium, selenium, arsenic, titanium shards, silver, streptomyces, strontium, uranium….

Obvious chemtrails in northern England, 2015

Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering (SAG), colloquially known as “chemtrails”; the above list is what researchers have, so far, identified in the fallout, basically in order of prevalence. The High Cabal (HC) can literally spray whatever they want, for their desired effects.

It’s all “conspiracy theory”, officially, and sure gives heft to that burgeoning reality, “Never believe anything until it has been officially denied”.

From Business Wire:

January 31, 2011 03:27 PM Eastern Standard Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–E.L. Rothschild LLC, a private investment company led by Chairwoman Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and CEO Lynn Forester de Rothschild, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire a 70% interest in Weather Central, LP (www.wxc.com). The world’s leading provider of interactive weather graphics and data services for television, web, and mobile, Weather Central’s highly accurate and personalized forecasting offers businesses and consumers a truly unique suite of science-driven weather information products. The company will continue to operate under CEO and founder, Terry Kelly, as well as current management. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 1974, Weather Central is a global provider of professional on-air, online, print, mobile, and enterprise weather solutions and forecasting. With 180 employees, including 70 meteorologists….

Northern England, 2016, the green lines indicate chemtrails, in stark contrast to a contrail that is also visible

From TVNewser:

NBC Universal, along with private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, said Sunday they will buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications. The Weather Channel will be run as a separate entity based in Atlanta with management provided by NBC Universal. In addition, NBC will add Web site weather.com to its list of media properties.

Press Release

NEW YORK — July 6, 2008 — NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Channel properties from Landmark Communications. The Weather Channel will be operated as a separate entity, based in Atlanta, with management services to be provided by NBC Universal. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The transaction includes The Weather Channel Networks, the third-most-distributed cable network, seen in more than 97% of cable television homes in the US.

Blackstone Group, Bain Capitol, NBC—all owned by Rothschilds. [1]

Currently, the Weather Channel’s Weather.com is the market leader, with 50 million users according to comScore. Weather Underground is second with 25 million users. Yes, Rothschilds also purchased Weather Underground. [2]

Consider all the weather persons under blanket gag order to never, ever, say anything about SAG, or your career is over. Think of the stress, compromise and humiliation, having to professionally lie about what is so obvious to any person willing and able to look up and think independently at the same time. But the gag-order dispensers took some heat off the poor gagged “meteorologists” by inventing a new kind of cloud: cirrus aviaticus. [3]

Incredible as it seems, a vast majority of people seem to swallow this new kind of cloud as willingly as they swallowed, “persistent contrails”.  On the hope side, a growing number of people can tell the difference between ephemeral wisps of water vapor (contrails), and SAG. Actual contrails have been almost elinated by modern high-bypass turbofan engines. [4]

Prevalence of cirrus aviaticus clouds have gone sky high.

Lies seemingly impossible for intelligent and aware people to believe—how convenient for the HC that smart phones are blocking millions of especially younger generations from looking up and thinking independently at the same time.

The sky has always been a true-blue teller of what is coming; the sky is rarely so blue anymore. But it sure tells the truth, perhaps like never before, considering massive SAG assault on our biosphere.

SAG has even spawned signature diseases, translating into massive profits for our profit-based healthcare Lernaean Hydra, a many-headed serpent in Greek mythology. That hydra and its existence-extortion head, health insurance, is that head with the ObamaCare tattoo on its forehead.

We now have, chemtrail cough, chemtrail flu, Morgellons, and….

Dr. Gwen Scott mentions (in a 2005 documentary) that mortality from respiratory diseases went from being the 8th most leading cause of death in the USA to being the 3rd in a span of 5 years. What else do we know?  Aluminum is in the mix with its abundance of deleterious effects—not just effects on your health, but the health of every creature and every ecosystem on Earth. Aluminum is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  Is this why now, some people as young as 26 years old are getting Alzheimer’s disease? [5]

Northern England, November 2015, a plane was spraying parallel chemtrails all across the sky.

HEAVY METALS POISON THE HUMAN BODY, causing chronic fatigue, splitting headaches, upset stomach. The central nervous system is effected causing spells of dizziness, insomnia, poor concentration abilities,  lack of muscular coordination and tiredness.

BARIUM CAUSES—anxiety, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath and weakness in the muscles. Chronic fatigue, watery eyes, dry throat; prolonged exposure can cause paralysis and death.

ZINC is necessary—but too much zinc ingested begins to act as a poison in the liver, kidney and pancreas, and causes a wide range of neurological ailments.

ARSENIC: tests are above the safe level—however, NO arsenic should be in rainwater. Over the “safe level” causes headaches, confusion, sleepiness, and convulsions; arsenic poisoning causes vomiting, diarrhea, kidney cancer, skin cancer, scrotal cancer, liver cancer; cancer of the lymphatic system, and lung cancer; blood in the urine, severe muscle cramping, hair loss, stomach pain, coma and death.

So many of the other elements comprising cirrus aviaticus can cause myriad health ailments….

Get ready, humanity and all that supports its health, for stratospheric bondage, the New World Order. It’s even written in stone. [6]

Northern England, this is a contrail, note how it is short, does not persist

Links:

[1]  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/media-almost-all-owned-controlled-us-rothschilds-bryan

[2]   https://www.thewrap.com/can-rothschilds-weather-storm-controversy-27600/

[3]   https://www.google.com/search?q=cirrus+aviaticus&client=firefox-b-1&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBo72B1JXcAhU6CDQIHSeSBNAQ7AkITg&biw=1024&bih=631

[4]   https://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/the-contrail-lie/

[5]  https://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/dr-gwen-scott-speaks-out-about-climate-engineering/

[6]  http://georgiaguidestone.blogspot.com/

Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. He has published over 100 Internet articles since 2007. His novels, CASTLING, TIMING, and Priest Lake Cathedral are published by StarChief Press. Contact for Rand Clifford: randtruth@gmail.com

‘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

The Scourge of Modern ‘Liberalism’ in France –By Pierre Lescaudron – (SOTT)

In these depressing times marked by lies, fear and nihilism, I would like to brighten your mood by sharing a heart warming story. A real life event that is better than a fairy tale and should restore your faith in humanity and our burgeoning postmodern society.

A Modern Fairy Tale

What happened? In a nutshell, a heroic individual saved a 4 year old boy from a deadly fall.

Gassama climbing up to save the boy

Gassama climbing up to save the boy

On Saturday, May 26th 2018, at 8:00 p.m. in Paris 18th district, the boy was left alone by his white French father who was busy playing Pokemon Go. The boy went to the balcony and fell from the 6th floor over the handrail.

During the fall, the vigorous young boy managed somehow to grab the 4th floor handrail as he hurtled toward the ground. Hanging there precariously, death seemed just a few moments away.

Fortunately, Mamoudou Gassama, a migrant from Mali was in the right place at the right time. He saw the distressed boy and swiftly climbed 4 floors of the building exterior, pulled up the boy over the handrail and safely dropped him on the balcony while the crowd cheered and clapped.

Here is the video made by an eyewitness:

Less than 24 hours after the heroic rescue, French President Macron received Gassama at the presidential palace. The latter was immediately given French citizenship and a job in a firefighters squad.

Macron receiving Gassama at the presidential palace

Macron receiving Gassama at the presidential palace

Then Gassama was received at Paris town hall and given its highest distinction: the vermeil medal of Paris. Gassama’s triumph went international, and a few days later the hero received a BET award in Los Angeles.

So, here you have it, all the ingredients of a good tale : Gassama, the hero from an oppressed minority, the powerless innocent victim, the dramatic tension, a literal cliffhanger and the happy ending. Frankly it was as good as a scene directly extracted from a Spiderman movie.

But like in every fairy tale or superhero movie, there’s always a villain. In this case, the villian appeared four days after the heroic rescue, and goes by the name of André Bercoff.

The Evil Witch of Reality

French journalist and writer André Bercoff

French journalist and writer André Bercoff

Bercoff is a prominent French journalist and writer. He worked for some of the most prestigious French newspapers from Le Monde to Liberation. His career spans over 6 decades during which he wrote about 30 books about politics and society. He is also the chairman of the press club de France, the largest professional organization for journalists in the country.

From the professional career of Bercoff we can safely assume he is not a deviant or a transgressor of the established order, quite the contrary.

However, on May 30th Bercoff crossed the unofficial red line and dared to question the official narrative that was unanimously agreed upon by the mainstream media right after the event and way before the results of any detailed investigation. Well, questioning, finding the truth, is the essence of journalism, right?

Puzzling Questions

Believing in this seemingly outdated and politically incorrect principle of journalism, Bercoff started examining the official story and found some inconsistencies. First he pointed to changes in the official narrative:

The boy fell from the 6th floor and was found at the 4th floor

The boy fell from the 6th floor and was found at the 4th floor

– the kid was supposedly living on the 4th floor (where he was saved) then on the 5th floor and finally it was the 6th floor since the concierge stated that the apartment on the 5th floor is unoccupied and that the boy parents indeed lived on the 6th (last) floor.

– in the video of the rescue the neighbor is relatively stocky and wears a beard, during his interview a few hours after the event the neighbor is slim and has no beard.

Bercoff also asks: knowing that Gassama managed to pull the boy up with only one hand and that at one point the stocky neighbor had both his hands on the kids, why didn’t the neighbor pull the kid up? For reference at age 4, a boy weights about 15 kg/33lbs.

Bercoff also wondered how the kid fell since the handrail is taller than him and no furniture is visible through the transparent railing of the 6th floor balcony.

Last but not least, Bercoff wonders how can a 4 year old kid grab a handrail after a 2 storey fall? For reference after a 6m free fall (two floors) a body has already reached about 40km/h.

Any rock climber will tell you that it is impossible for a fit adult to stop themselves by grabbing on to something with their arms when falling at 40km/h. A child is even less likely to be able to manage such a feat given that their high center of gravity – due to a large head to body mass ratio – means children tend to fall head first.

Yet somehow, this boy managed to do it and, in the process, only suffered one torn toenail. This point is so puzzling that even mainstream and website dedicated to debunking ‘conspiracy theories’ were forced to dismiss this inconvenient fact by describing it as ‘miraculous’.

Questioning is Now a Crime

“Don’t speak out or question”

Bercoff was unanimously labelled a conspiracy theorist, despite the fact that he never mentioned the word “conspiracy” and even dismissed the idea that a conspiracy was involved in the event.

The truth is that Bercoff did not cross any line, but rather the ideological line enforced by the dominant culture that makes asking uncomfortable questions taboo, crossed Bercoff. The very essence of human progress – questioning and the ensuing learning – are now forbidden.

To justify this totalitarian drift that even Orwell couldn’t imagine, the media and political elite suggest that such questions are “suggestive”. That is the very definition of thought crime, where it’s not tangible facts or words that matter, but the thoughts behind them, the intention, the implicit. The problem is that thoughts are intangible and therefore any censor, any inquisitor, can ascribe to his target any deviant thought that can be used to criminalize and silence him. That is the terror of the arbitrary.

The Political Context

Gassama’s miraculous rescue raises some obvious questions and doubts. What really occurred during this event may never be known, but we can get a good idea of the validity of the official story by considering how it was politically instrumentalized and the political context in which this instrumentalizing took place. Let’s look at French President Macron’s recent political moves.

1- April 10th: Macron receives Saudi king Salman.
2- April 15th: Macron justifies military strikes against Syria (not EI)
3- May 28th: Macron receives and praises Gassama and gives citizenship and job.
4- June 21th: Macron organizes a LGBT black rap band party at the Presidential palace
5- June 23rd: Macron supports financial sanctions against EU countries that refuse to accept migrants.

These five events, occurring over the last two months, might seem benign and unrelated at first sight. However, as you will see below, they are complementary aspects of a single political stance and perfectly summarize the essence of the liberal doctrine in terms of migration. Let’s analyze those events and their political, social and cultural implications.

Smily Ben Salman and Macron during Saudi official visit

Smiling Ben Salman and Macron during Saudi official visit

First event: Macron welcomes Saudi king Ben Salman.

Saudia Arabia is the main funder of ISIS.

Saudi Arabia is also the cradle of Wahabism/Salafism, a form of literal and fundamentalist Islam that preaches Jihad and Sharia law.

For fundamentalists, religious law is the one and only law. Fundamentalist Islam is a theocracy which is, by definition, incompatible with Western nations.

Along with the Muslim brotherhood, which is the other dominant fundamentalist Islam, supported this time by Qatar, wahhabism is the rising form of Islam and shows an increasing presence in France.

Today about 200 wahabist/salafist mosques and places of prayers are listed in France. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of salafist mosques increased by 170%. The Muslim brotherhood controls about 100 mosques.

Country of origin for asylum seekers

Country of origin for asylum seekers

Second event: Macron bombs Syria not ISIS.

Like other European countries, France actively participates to the destruction of the Middle East and Africa (including Mali where Gassama is born).

Punitive and arbitrary wars waged by the West are one of the fundamental causes of migratory flows: people escape war.

In addition, Macron supports ISIS by weakening its main opponents: Syria through attacks on the Syrian government and military and Russia through economic sanctions. ISIS terrorizes local populations, increases migration flows and spreads the most extreme form of Islamism.

Unsurprisingly, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, three countries destroyed by western wars and today the seat of Islamist terror (Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Syria and Iraq) are the three main purveyors of refugees that reach Europe.

Third event: Gassama becomes a national hero.

Macron, like the rest of the political and media sphere, praise Gassama while ignoring that people save others every week. For example, a few days after the Gassama event, a French soldier saved an 18 month kid who was hanging from a balcony. The media barely mentioned it.

The Gassama event encapsulates the liberal doctrine: migrants are heroes, local Europeans are despicable, they are not even able to take care of their own kids and prefer, instead, to play Pokemon Go. As a result of his incompetency the father is being prosecuted for withdrawal of parental custody and risks 2 years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

The Gassama event is not isolated, it is part of the manufacturing of consent in Western nations. Another striking example of a stage-managed event to serve the liberal ideology is the Theo case. It was all over the French media in 2017.

Hollande visting Theo Luhaka

Hollande visting Theo Luhaka

Allegedly, French cops sodomized an innocent young African (Theo) with a baton. You should have seen the indignation, the bashing of the evil French white cops and by the extension the whole French white authority and people. The firing of the racist cops. The gruesome details about Theo’s pants being forced down, the 10 cm anal fissure, burst sphincter, racist insults, humiliations. And the overflowing compassion: mass demonstrations supporting Theo, President Hollande vising Theo in hospital.

After months of investigation including analysis of video footage and the input of medical experts, the truth finally came to light and it was almost the exact opposite to what was claimed: Theo is part of a family involved in massive fraud, he personally was involved in drug dealing, he resisted arrest, he punched one of the cops, they arrested him. No sodomy or racial insults occurred, his pants were never pulled down.

In contrast to the message that these two overmediatized cases attempted to convey, not all migrants are heroes or victims, not all natives are incompetent or violent. The reality is much more nuanced. By focusing on cherry-picked or manufactured events that put migrants in a good light and local natives in a bad light, the globalist elite attempt to manipulate public opinion.

But a backlash is already occurring.

One by one, European countries (Italy, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia) have begun to claim back their sovereignty and enforcing limits on migration through border control. The European governments and EU central powers that still promote mass migration are becoming more and more isolated and out of touch with with the will of the majority of the people they supposedly represent.

Self-styled liberals and radical leftists want to impose their idyllic multicultural open border vision of the world on everyone, but they are totally disconnected from reality. They claim not to see the destructive consequences of non-integrated mass migration: the rise in crime, in unemployment, the financial costs, the dissolution of culture, the fragmentation of societies and the loss of identity where, in a growing number of enclaves, European people feel like they are crossing the Mediterranean Sea just by opening their door.

Fourth event: Macron organizes a black LGBT party at the Elysee.

Macron could have invited artists that represented French identity, its history and its culture. But according to the French president there is no French culture, as he officially stated: ”there’s no French culture, there is a culture in France and it is diverse”.

Not only does Macron deny French culture, he has also denounced the barbarity of a French nation that embraces wars, colonialism, patriarchy, white patriarchy. Macron officially declared on February 15th 2017:

[colonialism] is a crime against humanity. It is a real barbarity and it is part of this past that we must face and also apologize to those against whom we have committed these actions.

A nation that wallows in guilt, regrets,and shame opens the door to victimhood mentality and victimhood competition. Any individual in France today can feel that the minority he identifies with has been wronged at some point by France. Macron’s statement reinforces victimhood and the subsequent drift towards entitlement, reparation and ultimately endless revenge.

The afro LGBT band Kiddy Smile and the Macrons

The afro LGBT band Kiddy Smile and the Macrons

So, faithful to his negation of the French identity and condemnation of French historical barbarity, Macron invited a rap band made up of black LGBT activists. Rap is the ‘artistic’ arm of liberalism, it preaches non-integration, hate of the white nations and white people, disrespect for the law, murder of police officers (among other things)

This celebration of decadence happened in one of the most symbolic places of the French nation, the Presidential palace that hosted De Gaulle, Kennedy, Trump and Putin. Times sure are changing!

The real cherry on the pie here however is that this insult to France was funded by those who were directly insulted: French taxpayers. French government cynicism has no limit, it would seem.

The French government’s liberal doctrine has replaced assimilation with multiculturalism in the name of diversity, respect of differences, tolerance and open-mindedness.

Assimilation aims to make individuals truly French, where migrants adopt and embrace French culture, history, customs and language. In the end, assimilated migrants become more French than the French as illustrated, for example, by the over-representation of descendants of Spanish and Italian migrants in French nationalist parties.

The French assimilation model started in 1860, earlier than any other European country It was the antithesis of the multiculturalism that has prevailed in Northern Europe countries like the UK or the Netherlands.

For over 100 years, France successfully assimilated migrants from Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and Africa. This assimilated migration was a driving force in the development of France during this period. But assimilation ended in the 60s with the rise of the postmodernist doctrine that negates identity, culture, history. Indeed, if there is no national identity, then how can anyone assimilate into it?.

Fifth event: Macron want to sanction countries like Italy which aim to control mass migration.

The Aquarius carries 629 migrants to Europe

The Aquarius carries 629 migrants to Europe

This arrogant and ignorant statement shows that Macron wants mass migration in Europe and in France because he knows very well that the migrants that reach Italy won’t stay in Italy. For reference half of the 630 migrants on the Aquarius want asylum in France.

Macron’s statement is hypocritical on a domestic level because during his presidential campaign he demanded the reinforcement of European borders and deportation of illegal migrants. It is hypocritical on an international level because Macron wants Italy to accept migrants but doesn’t want to open the French ports to migrant boats.

Macron wants mass migration but he doesn’t want it to be visible because he knows that a majority of the French people reject it. In a recent survey, 76% of the French population want a referendum on immigration. So Macron makes decisions that promote mass migration while multiplying official statements about controlling migration.

Imagine You Were a Migrant

Jihadists in Northern Mali

Jihadists in Northern Mali

Imagine you’re a foreigner, say a Muslim from Mali. Your country has been colonized by France, then your country has been plundered by French multinational corporations (uranium), and then your country has been bombed by France (See point 2 -Macron bombs Syria not ISIS). You might understandably feel some resentment towards France.

You leave your country because of the war and the growing presence of ISIS (See point 2 -Macron bombs Syria not ISIS) and you end up in France because of the open border policy (see point 5 – Macron supports mass migration)

The temporal powers, whether NGOs, politicians, media, administration or artists, all say the same thing : ‘do not assimilate to the evil white culture which anyway doesn’t exist. Stay true to your roots and stick to your community and traditions‘ (see point 4 – the presidential party)

The great Mosque of Lyon, funded by Saudi Arabia

The great Mosque of Lyon, funded by Saudi Arabia

If you’re worried about the locals’ reaction to your non-integration, do not worry, illegal migrants are national heroes and locals are loosers (see point 3 – Gassama the superhero)

If you are dissatisfied with this dividing discourse towards the nation that, after all is hosting you, you might turn to the spiritual powers in search for a wiser message. Unfortunately, the mosques controlled by the Salafists, Wahhabis and the Muslim brotherhood carry a similarly dividing message: ‘submit to the divine law before the civil law, your nation is the Muslim nation’. In other words: ‘be a Muslim, not a citizen‘. (see point 1 Macron receives Ben Salman)

The Worst Of The Left Marries The Worst Of The Right

I used the word ‘liberalism’ several times in this article and the word has different definitions in Europe and the US.

In the US, liberalism is a social ideology promoting freedom, i.e. the destruction of any authority: nations, family, religions. In Europe, liberalism is an economic ideology that promotes freedom too: free market and the subsequent destruction of states, laws and regulations.

Economic liberalism and social liberalism are two sides of the same coin. They work synergetically, the latter producing uprooted, valueless, identity-less individuals that can be economically exploited, while the former produces exhausted dumbed-down individuals that swallow the inanities of postmodernism.

Economic Liberalism and Social liberalism have a fundamental element in common: destruction in the name of freedom. Economic liberalism physically destroys workers and the planet. Social Liberalism destroys the very soul of individuals by annihilating all that feeds it: love, truth, meaning and beauty that were conveyed through ‘traditional systems’ like family, nation, religion, art.

Historically, the right was the enforcer of economic liberalism while the left was the enforcer of social liberalism. Today those two movements have merged and politicians like Macron (and many others like Obama, Merkel, H. Clinton,…) bring us the worst of the right: predatory capitalism and the worse of the left: postmodernist’s nihilism.

Conclusion

The Western world has destroyed the old order in the name of freedom. But individuals and societies have a deep need for order, as French poet Alfred Auguste Pilavoine wrote in 1845

“Order and freedom, two words perfectly correlative and which have real meaning only in relation to each other; no freedom without order, no order without freedom. Order without freedom is tyranny; freedom without order is obscenity.”

The french revolution, and its corollary the 1968 revolution, have created a spiritual, social, moral and cultural void. The vacuum of nihilist societies will be filled by a new authority, and for such purposes Islam is a prime candidate:

  • In Europe the millennial religious order (Christianity) has been destroyed while Islam brings a strong and growing religion.
  • The patriarchal authority incarnated by the father, the teacher, the priest, has been destroyed, while Islam brings a fundamentally patriarchal model of society.
  • The sexual revolution has erased any form of sexual restraint, while Islam is very clear and firm about sexual restraint.
  • Traditional communities, family and nation, have been destroyed, while Islam provides a strong and deep sense of community (Oumma).
  • The West has replaced legal duties with legal rights, while Islam provides a comprehensive set of legal duties (Sharia).
  • Any sense of meaningful ideals or purpose has been annihilated in the West while Islam provides a very clear meaning to life (Jihad).

It’s more than a little ironic that as postmodernists destroyed the old order, western patriarchal societies, in the name of freedom, opened the way for a new order – Islam – that is decidedly more authoritative and arbitrary.

As if the tensions in Europe were not strong enough, some third party liberals pour oil on the fire with a spate of ‘Islamic terrorism’: the Bataclan massacre, the Charlie Hebdo attack, the Manchester concert bombing, the Westminster bridge attack (among many others). All of which bear the clear fingerprints not of Islamism but state terrorism.

Obviously some puppet masters want to flood Europe with mass migration and maximize tensions between communities. The desired result is obviously the destruction of Europe.The last remaining question is: will they succeed?

Pierre Lescaudron

Pierre Lescaudron (M.Sc., MBA) pursued a career in executive management, consulting and post-graduate teaching in high tech fields.

He then became an editor and writer for SOTT.net, fulfilling his dream of researching science, technology and history.

Pierre is a certified Eiriu Eolas instructor and the author of “Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection”.

Why Israel’s Expansionist and Ethnic-Cleansing Ambitions Will Fail – ByAndrés Perezalonso – (SOTT)

Israeli soldiers Palestinian boy Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinian teen Fawzi Muhammad Al-Juneidi in Jerusalem, Dec. 8, 2017. You need an army to get a stone-throwing boy – yet stone throwers keep coming. What to do?

As the world is distracted with the Football World Cup, some observers of the situation in Palestine have been concerned about the possibility of Israel carrying out a major military operation in Gaza. Four years ago, towards the end of the World Cup in Brazil, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, which according to UN figures resulted in the death of 2,256 Palestinians, of which 1,563 were civilians. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights specifies that this included 293 women and 556 children. The extremely high proportion of civilian deaths was a consequence of Israeli soldiers’ orders to fire at every person in sight, as the whistleblower organization Breaking the Silence revealed. It was also consistent with the old unspoken Israeli objective of ethnically cleansing Palestine.

Israeli media has recently disclosed that the country has plans for a full-scale invasion which would cut Gaza in half and occupy part of it. So confident are they on their ability to “create a considerable change on the situation” that the army “is already considering alternatives to the Hamas government”. Earlier on Thursday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio: “I don’t want to launch an operation, but there is a good chance that we will have no other option but to go in so that we can create durable deterrence.” This was said in reference to the burning kites that Gazan demonstrators fly across the border, pointing out that those responsible should be shot, “age doesn’t matter, they’re terrorists and the danger they create must be prevented.” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, also a member of the security cabinet, argued that “there is no difference between a burning kite and a Qassam rocket, and we should not tolerate the kites.” He has a point in that Qassam rockets are about as effective as the kites – both being largely symbolic gestures of defiance than credible weapons of war.

Mindless Genocide in Gaza?

Apart from the World Cup distraction, pro-Palestinian activist Robert Inlakesh thinks the following are also reasons for a possible Israeli offensive on Gaza in the near future:

  • Sara Netanyahu, Bibi’s wife, has been charged with fraud. She used public funds to pay for restaurant meals to the tune of 359,000 shekels ($100,000). This is on top of other more serious corruption charges faced by the Netahyahus. A ‘Wag the Dog‘-style PR operation is in order.
  • In April, the Knesset granted Netanyahu the power to declare war in extreme circumstances, requiring only the approval of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.- Although the Security Cabinet annulled the law within a month, the government plans to “promote anew” the original draft.
  • Israel privatized their weapons manufacturing.- Private company Elbit Systems acquired state-owned Israeli Military Industries for $522 million. Inlakesh speculates that this will eventually have an effect on the price of weapons and that Gaza may be used to ‘test’ them in order to sell them in global markets before the price spike.

Inlakesh also points out that the Israeli population will not tolerate anything less than a decisive blow on Hamas, but since Hamas operates through a network of underground tunnels, the only way to do so would be to blow up the civilian infrastructure above them, implying thousands of civilian casualties, and a massive ground invasion. This is an important point because a limited offensive could end up hurting Netanyahu’s popularity in Israel, while a commitment to the destruction of Hamas would be both extremely difficult to achieve and subject to widespread condemnation across the globe. The world is rightly upset with around 130 deaths in the context of the March of Return demonstrations near the border of Gaza. Would the Israeli government be prepared for the backlash that will come when they kill again, but this time in the thousands or tens of thousands?

The long-term goal of Zionism is to assimilate the whole of Palestine into Israel and expel (or kill) its Arab population. This is made clear when one studies the history of Israel – its foundation was only made possible by ethnic cleansing. A brief look at the change of Palestine into Israel confirms this:

Palestine loss of land

While the West Bank land-grab strategy has been largely based on illegal settlements to create ‘facts on the ground’, Israel has taken a different approach in Gaza. In 2005 it dismantled its settlements in the Strip, but rather than this resulting in genuine peace, Israel turned Gaza into an open-air prison, controlling its borders, including its access to the sea. Furthermore, without Jewish settlers in the area, Israel has been free to use the full force of its military periodically, only limited by international public opinion.

Non-viable Strategy in Syria

Despite the US State Department warning Syria of “firm and appropriate measures” if it moved to reclaim its southern province of Daraa from terrorist groups (which sits right next to the Golan Heights that Israel illegally occupies since 1967) and the repeated Israeli threats against Syria, the war-hardened Syrian Army is already making gains in the region. Around 400 km2 have been liberated in less than a week with Russian air support. Even Free Syrian Army units have switched sides and are fighting with the Syrian Army against Jabhat al-Nusra, aka Al-Qaeda in Syria. It seems that the US and Israel no longer command the respect they used to. In fact, the FSA’s sudden realization that they had been fighting for the wrong side all this time appears to have been motivated by a message from Washington, seen by Reuters, which made clear that “you should not base your decisions on the assumption or expectation of a military intervention by us”.

So far, Israel’s strategy against Syria has consisted of providing support to jihadist groups in the south of the country, and regularly harassing the country with missile strikes and shelling. The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has documented Israeli soldiers interacting with terrorists in the Golan Heights, as well as “the transportation of hundreds of injured militants to Israeli hospitals following confrontations between the militants and the Syrian army near the occupied Golan border.” According to local witnesses, the ‘militants’ include members of Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda.

Israel Syria Golan IDF Nusra

A photo from the Israeli-Syrian border along the Golan Heights shows IDF soldiers conversing with al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra fighters.

As for the bombing harassment, the latest Israeli attack was a double missile strike on Damascus airport. Some reports indicate that the target was an Iranian cargo plane, while others speak of a military installation. It is also not clear if the missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defenses. A few days earlier, Syrian state media outlet SANA informed that US-led coalition aircraft attacked Syrian military positions in Al Bukamal, Deir Ezzor. However, the US denied involvement and an American official went as far as to claim that Israel was behind the bombing. The aggressions intensified briefly in May with an exchange of missiles on the Golan Heights after Israel hit the Damascus suburbs and Baath City, but for the most part Israel has pursued hit-and-run tactics in Syria for years.

None of these actions have managed to stop the Syrian Army’s victory, so one wonders why Israel continues with a strategy that has proven unsuccessful so far. The answer is that there is nothing Israel – nor the US – can realistically do to topple Assad as long as Russia is watching his back, so periodic missile attacks is as much trouble as they can hope to cause. Still, with the Syrian Army closing in on the Golan Heights, we can expect Israel to increase its support for the remaining terrorists in the area, possibly in the form of more shelling and bombing (not to mention military and medical aid). As this happens simultaneously with Israel’s threats of a ground invasion of Gaza, is Israel ready to fight on two fronts simultaneously? Perhaps even three if Hezbollah reacts from Lebanon once things escalate? As always, another look at the map of Israel – a tiny nation – shows why it is not in its best interest to trigger a major war.

Clumsy US Political Defense of Israel

While almost all US administrations have been subservient to Israeli interests – largely due to the influence of the infamous Israel lobby – the Trump administration has been particularly outspoken and active in favour of the Zionist agenda. Trump withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as Nikki Haley’s obscene twisting of reality to protect Israel from criticism in the United Nations, are examples of efforts to keep the likes of Sheldon Adelson in Washington and Israel happy. Adelson is a Zionist billionaire casino tycoon who donated $82 million to Trump’s and other Republican campaigns during the 2016 elections. He is allegedly a member of a “shadow National Security Council” advising the hawkish neocon John Bolton, himself the national security adviser. Adelson also owns the largest newspaper in Israel, which shows unconditional support for Netanyahu, and he is committed to the “Greater Israel” political agenda. When he was once confronted with the idea that Palestinians living in annexed land would not have the same rights as Jewish Israelis, Adelson simply replied: “Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state. So what?”

Sheldon Adelson

© Sebastian Scheiner/AP
Sheldon Adelson attends the opening ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem in May.

One problem with trying to please ideologically possessed people like Adelson is that their agenda is so contrary to what people recognize as fair and normal that vigorous attempts to defend it backfire spectacularly. For example, by quitting the UN Human Rights Council, citing an “anti-Israel bias”, the US, rather than winning hearts and minds for Israel, has simply isolated itself – further eroding American global leadership and not helping Israel’s cause in any way. Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo and Benjamin Netanyahu – who spearheaded and celebrated the US exit – are stuck in the ‘indispensable nation’ mindset that was valid a couple of decades ago, and do not understand that the UN will carry on with its condemnation of Israel with or without US participation.

Israel’s Unlikely Plan

This is ultimately why Israel’s expansionist ambitions will fail. For Israel to be able to continue its slow-motion ethnic-cleansing program in the West Bank and Gaza, and for it to become the indisputable hegemon in the region – and perhaps even steal more territory from its neighbours – it needs the global superpower on its side. The US is still firmly on Israel’s side – the problem is that its political, military and economic influence is rapidly declining – faster than Israel can achieve its objectives.

Consider Gaza. Israel can and does make life a living hell for its population, and every few years it scales up the murder rate to the thousands rather than the dozens. Yet the total population of Gaza in 2018 is almost 2 million. By the year 2032 it 3.1 million people will live there, at current growth rates. How many Israeli offensives will be needed and how long will they take before Israel can ‘cleanse’ the land and claim it as part of the ‘Jewish state’?

Lets think of Syria. Israel helped terrorist groups in the hope that Assad would be replaced by a US and Israeli vassal, or by an extreme Islamic group that Israel could later bomb at will and ‘legitimately’ in order to ‘liberate’ a neighbouring country that was a threat to Israel itself. Instead, the Assad government and its Army have come out of their 7 year long ordeal stronger than ever and are forming an alliance with Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah – the so-called Shiia Crescent that Israel and Saudi Arabia fear the most. In theory, the US and its NATO allies could have finished the job of ‘regime change’ in Syria if the jihadi head-choppers could not. But in practice this was impossible because this would risk a direct confrontation with Russia. The ‘FUKUS’ largely ineffective bombing on Syrian alleged ‘chemical sites’ in April highlighted this fact. Under these circumstances, Syria eventually regaining control of the strategically valuable Golan Heights, whether by political or military means, is not unthinkable.

Israel appears to have passed the point where it could have come to its senses and negotiated a fair peace agreement with the Palestinians. To paraphrase Shakespere’s Macbeth (and much like its America protector), ‘it is in blood so far steeped, that to go back would be as tedious as to go on’. So Israel will double down on its delusional belief that it can find a ‘final solution’ to its Palestinian problem, all the while believing that the world will never turn its back on poor Israel in its existential fight against those who would destroy it and the Jewish people. Given the easily-provoked emotionality of the average human being and the rapidly changing global geostrategic chessboard, that’s a bet that only a fool would make.

Andrés Perezalonso (Profile)

Andrés Perezalonso has been a contributing editor for Signs of the Times in both its English and Spanish versions since 2007. He holds a PhD in Politics, an MA in International Studies, a first degree in Communication, and has a professional background in Media Analysis. He thinks that understanding world events is not unlike detective work – paying attention to often ignored details and connections, and thinking outside of the box. He was born and raised in Mexico and currently resides in Europe.

The Sydney rally to defend Julian Assange: An important step forward – By WSWS

Julian Assange

18 June 2018

Yesterday, Sunday June 17, a demonstration was held in Sydney’s Town Hall Square to fight for the immediate and unconditional freedom of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. The rally demanded that the Australian government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull secure the release of Assange from his confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and his safe return to Australia.

The rally was introduced and chaired by longstanding Socialist Equality Party (SEP) leader Linda Tenenbaum. It was addressed by SEP National Secretary James Cogan; Evrim Yazgin, the president of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) at the University of Melbourne; and Sue Phillips, the national convener of the Committee For Public Education (CFPE). It concluded with a powerful speech by well known journalist and documentarist John Pilger, who has been a tireless fighter for the freedom of Julian Assange and the media.

The rally was based on the political principle that the defense of Assange is inseparably linked to the fight against the oppressive capitalist system, which is the cause of war, social inequality and all attacks on democratic rights.

An audience of several hundred people, including many students and workers, attended and vigorously applauded the speakers. They attended despite a total establishment media blackout and the hostility of the entire official political set-up towards the defence of Assange.

Opening the rally, Tenenbaum declared, “The Socialist Equality Party has organised this rally to begin the fight to build a powerful defence campaign in Australia, New Zealand and internationally that will bring together all those committed to democratic rights—the right of journalists to inform the population, their right to freedom of speech, and the right of everyone to be informed of the truth. These are issues of the most fundamental character. The suppression of the truth, of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, goes hand in hand with the destruction of democratic rights.”

In his address, James Cogan declared that the rally was “crucial for the working class, because it is part of the greater struggle for all the social and democratic rights of the vast mass of humanity.”

Cogan explained that increasing awareness of and concerns about the danger of war were developing within the working class and youth “in these times when the American president speaks casually of ‘totally destroying’ entire countries with nuclear weapons.”

“Of perhaps the most decisive importance,” Cogan continued, “the working class and the youth are coming back into struggle in the United States—the epicenter of world reaction and capitalist degradation.

“One cannot understand the determination of the American ruling elite to silence WikiLeaks and Assange without an understanding of their fear of the working class. The capitalist ruling classes and their representatives in the US and internationally are terrified of the power that the Internet provides to the working class, to ordinary people.

“It gives them access to alternative analysis and news; the ability to exchange information and opinions; and to politically organise across national borders: to unite together as an international force.”

The speaker observed, “Over the past three weeks, as we have promoted this rally, and the vigils that are taking place on June 19, we have revealed the extent of the support for Assange and WikiLeaks that exists in the working class in Australia and internationally.

“The establishment has abandoned him. Millions of people have not. What governments and political parties do now, at a time when Assange faces immense danger, is not going to be forgotten.”

The speech delivered by John Pilger provided a fierce and penetrating exposure of all those politicians, newspaper editors, journalists, ex-liberals and “ex-lefts” who have abandoned Julian Assange to the wolves. It constituted a powerful defence of democratic rights.

“I know Julian Assange well,” he began. “I regard him as a close friend, a person of extraordinary resilience and courage. I have watched a tsunami of lies and smear engulf him, endlessly, vindictively, perfidiously; and I know why they smear him.

“In 2008, a plan to destroy both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a top secret document dated 8 March, 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessments Branch of the US Defence Department. They described in detail how important it was to destroy the ‘feeling of trust’ that is WikiLeaks’ ‘centre of gravity.’

“This would be achieved, they wrote, with threats of ‘exposure [and] criminal prosecution,’ and an unrelenting assault on reputation. The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its editor and publisher. It was as if they planned a war on a single human being and on the very principle of freedom of speech.

“Their main weapon would be personal smear. Their shock troops would be enlisted in the media—those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth. The irony is that no one told these journalists what to do. I call them Vichy journalists—after the Vichy government that served and enabled the German occupation of wartime France.”

Pilger’s invocation of “Vichy” was a well chosen metaphor, and one that is particularly apt today.

A whole layer of pseudo-left organisations boycotted the rally. Nothing could more clearly expose the relationship between the “identity politics” of this cowardly milieu and the interests of imperialism. They utilised the filthy “rapist” slander campaign, concocted against Assange in Sweden, to line up with their own governments and disown any defence of the courageous whistleblower.

Against this affluent, self-interested and anti-working class layer, Pilger insisted, “No investigative journalism in my lifetime can equal the importance of what WikiLeaks has done in calling rapacious power to account. It is as if a one-way moral screen has been pushed back to expose the imperialism of liberal democracies: the commitment to endless warfare and the division and degradation of ‘unworthy’ lives: from Grenfell Tower to Gaza.”

The rally was not a one-off event. The International Committee of the Fourth International will continue to develop and extend the fight for Julian Assange’s freedom throughout the world, and to mobilise the vast social power of the international working class in defence of social and democratic rights. Sunday’s rally underscored the fact that such a struggle can be waged only on the basis of an anti-imperialist, anti-war and socialist perspective.

Linda Tenenbaum

Bolivia’s Evo Morales calls out US imperialism in Venezuela and Latin America: ‘We are no longer your backyard’ – By teleSUR (Sott)

Evo Morales

© EFE
Morales explained, however, that United States’ interventionism is not only militaristic.

The Bolivian President warned that the United States is trying to orchestrate a military coup in Venezuela.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said Saturday that Latin America “is no longer the United States’ backyard” while denouncing the United States’ attempt to convince its South American allies to help it orchestrate a military intervention or coup in Venezuela.

In an interview with news agency EFE, Morales explained that several Latin American leaders have confided in him that U.S. Vice president Mike Pence is “trying to convince some United States-friendly countries” help them seize control of the South American country and replace the current government led by Nicolas Maduro.

The real target, Morales explained, is not the Venezuelan president but “Venezuelan oil, and Venezuelans know that.”

Drawing parallels to 2011 military intervention in Libya, Morales said the U.S. isn’t interested in helping with alleged humanitarian crisis since, despite the current political and social turmoil in Libya, the U.S. will not intervene there since “the country’s oil is now owned by the U.S. and some European oil companies,” Morales asserted.

“One military intervention (in the region) would only create another armed conflict,” he added pointing to Colombia’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a general sign of an escalation of “military aggression to all Latin America and the Caribbean” region.

Comment: Morales is correct in expressing this concerning development: NATO adds Colombia to its list of members, and it’s about more than just Venezuela

Morales explained, however, that U.S. interventionism is not only militaristic.

“When there are no military coups, they seek judicial or congressional coups” as in the case of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment and the Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s imprisonment, which is barring him from running in the upcoming 2018 elections.

“I am certain we will free Lula. If he returns, some countries in Latin America will again strengthen the ideological, programmatic and liberation struggle against the North American empire,” Morales said.

Comment: The President of Bolivia can count himself as one of the world’s few (but ever growing number) of leaders who has the knowledge and the guts to speak out on the egregious and destructive behavior of the US. Viva Morales! See also:

‘Thank God for Russia!’ Remembering when London and Moscow were allies – By RT

1941 British newspaper

© Neil Clark

In the present geopolitical climate, the idea of a pact between the UK and Russia seems far-fetched to say the least. But in the summer of 1941 the two did come together against a common foe.

What lessons can be learned from the ‘Anglo-Russian agreement’ which played a key part in the defeat of Nazi Germany?

The date: Monday, July 14, 1941. The headline of the News Chronicle (price, one penny), states: ‘Britain and Soviet Sign Pact.’ Such a headline would have been unthinkable a few years previously. The British Conservative Party, the dominant member of the ‘National’ government which ruled Britain from 1931-1940, had been fiercely opposed on ideological grounds to the Bolshevik government in Moscow.

It was Tory leader and Prime Minister Winston Churchill who, 13 years earlier, had supported giving aid to the Russian armies who were fighting what he called “the foul baboonery of Bolshevism.”

When it came to expressing his views on Soviet communism, it’s fair to say that Churchill didn’t hold back. He compared Lenin, the father of the Russian revolution, to “a culture of typhoid or of cholera.” Yet here, in 1941, the British – led by Churchill, and the Soviets, were sinking their ideological differences and agreeing to support each other in every possible way against ‘Hitlerite Germany’ – and undertaking that neither would negotiate nor conclude an armistice or peace treaty except by mutual agreement.

Churchill had shown commendable pragmatism, something which too many of today’s leaders seem to lack. “No one has been a more consistent opponent of communism for the last 25 years,” he declared in a broadcast on June 22, the date on which the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. “But all this fades away before the spectacle which is now unfolding…The Russian danger is therefore our danger, and the danger of the United States, just as the cause of any Russian fighting for hearth and house is the cause of free men and free peoples in every quarter of the globe.”

Could you imagine a neocon politician uttering words such as these today?

The historic agreement of July 12 was signed in Moscow by the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the UK Ambassador to the USSR, the Old Wykehamist Sir Stafford Cripps. One Joseph Stalin, and leading representatives of the British armed forces, were also present at the ceremony.

The agreement came at a time when the Soviets were in desperate need for assistance, as German forces continued to advance rapidly towards Moscow. Cripps urged Churchill to send supplies as soon as possible. Friction soon developed between Sir Stafford, who wanted more done to help the Soviet Union, and Churchill, who believed in prioritizing the Middle Eastern front.

The calls for a ‘second front’ in Europe to be opened up to take the pressure off the Soviets, and which Stalin himself had demanded, steadily grew.

The Soviet Union became very popular in Britain, and indeed in the neutral US – where the News Chronicle reported that 72 percent hoped that the Russians would win.

In his book, The Road to 1945, Paul Addison notes how the German invasion of the Soviet Union came at a time when it was difficult for the British, who had stood alone against the Nazis during the Blitz of 1940/1, to see how victory could be achieved. But that all changed when Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa. Addison records how ‘Home Intelligence’ captured the national mood on February 3, 1942: “Thank God for Russia’ is a frequent expression of the very deep and fervent feeling for that country which permeates wide sections of the public.”

Churchill, while welcoming the fact that Britain had a ‘co-belligerent,’ was, however, worried that the people’s admiration for the gallant Soviet war effort would go too far and lead to increased support for communist ideas at home.

He instructed the Ministry of Information “to consider what action was required to counter the present tendency of the British public to forget the dangers of Communism in their enthusiasm over the resistance of Russia.”

“The official authorities would have liked to depoliticise enthusiasm for Russia by concentrating on the military, patriotic and anodyne aspects of Russian life, but in practice this was very difficult,” says Addison. “The two politicians who presented themselves to the public in 1942 as champions of Russia, Cripps and (Lord) Beaverbrook, were both convinced anti-communists. But both found themselves singing the praises of the Soviet system.”

As I noted in an earlier OpEd, Lord Beaverbrook, a right-wing newspaper magnate, could not have been more effusive in his praise for the Soviet Union and its leader.

“Communism under Stalin has produced the most valiant fighting army in Europe. Communism under Stalin has provided us with examples of patriotism equal to the finest annals of history. Communism under Stalin has won the applause and admiration of all the Western nations. Communism under Stalin has produced the best generals in this war,” Beaverbook wrote.

Can you imagine Rupert Murdoch or Lord Rothermere saying the same things about Putin and Russia, today?

It’s worth noting too that the US, when it was still neutral, was urging Britain to improve supplies to Russia. Was anyone claiming then that FDR was a secret Kremlin agent, as they say about Trump in 2018?

In the end, British supplies to the Soviet Union in the second half of 1941 and 1942, transported via the dangerous Arctic shipping routes, did play an important part in checking the seemingly unstoppable Nazi advance. Britain supplied urgently needed tanks, aircraft and machine tools. Overall between 3.5 and 4 million tons of cargo were delivered, greatly boosting the Soviet war effort. In May 1942, the Anglo-Soviet agreement was strengthened still further with the signing of an Anglo-Soviet Treaty, which established a formal military and political alliance.

Those who served on the ‘front line’ of this alliance have not been forgotten. In May 2015, Russian medals were presented to the Scottish veterans of the Arctic convoys on Victory Day. “The Russians have always been so kind to us. I spent two months in Russia, and your people shared everything they had with me, although they didn’t have much for themselves. I would be ready to do something for you again, whatever you ask,”said veteran James Osler.

In August 2016, five more British Arctic convoy veterans were honored by Russia.

While in October that year, the 75th anniversary of the Arctic convoys was marked at a special event in Liverpool.

Looking back at the World War II co-operation between Britain and the Soviet Union, and the positive difference it made to the course of world history, should make us ask the question: If then, why not now?

Why can’t British politicians chart a new course in relations with Russia and seek to work together with Moscow on areas which should be of common concern, such as countering terrorism, dealing with climate change and bringing a lasting peace to the Middle East? Do we really need a Nazi threat to make our leaders come to their senses and drop their old hostilities?

Let’s leave the last word to the News Chronicle, a newspaper whose humane and common sense approach to world affairs, is greatly missed today. In its editorial of July 14, 1941, entitled ‘Pray Silence,’ it declared: “So, by the devious and paradoxical routes which current history has adopted, what many of us hoped two years ago would happen and some hoped, successfully, might be avoided, has now come to pass. It is a miraculous gift. The unexpected has happened…No question of ideologies is relevant. Two great peoples find themselves fighting for their lives against the same ruthless enemy. That is the only thing that matters and it is tremendous.”

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

Strategic partnership between Russia and Indonesia in the Asia Pacific – Dmitry Bokarev Oriental Review (SOTT)

Russian jets

For some time now, Russia has been strengthening its position in Southeast Asia by developing partnerships with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, including Indonesia.

The Republic of Indonesia is a country with a number of unique characteristics. It is the largest island nation surrounded by both the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. Indonesia is located on a strategically important part of the shipping route between Europe and Asia: between the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula lies the Strait of Malacca, used to transport up to a quarter of all the goods shipped by sea in the world. Besides, Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim population in the world, which facilitates ties in the Islamic world. Hence, Russia benefits from a partnership with Indonesia in a number of ways, even outside the scope of its cooperation with ASEAN as a whole.

Russia and Indonesia have had friendly relations since the times of the USSR. Soviet – Indonesian diplomatic relations were established in 1950 when the Soviet Union provided development aid to the newly established Republic of Indonesia. In the 1950s and 1960s, the USSR supplied the Indonesian army with weapons and military equipment, including dozens of war ships, submarines, airplanes, helicopters, tanks, missiles and ammunition exceeding $1 billion in value. Aside from this, at the end of the 1950s, thousands of Soviet military servicemen visited Indonesia with the aim of training their Indonesian counterparts on the use of the delivered military supplies. In the 1960s, the USSR helped Indonesia win its territorial dispute with its former colonial power, Holland. Despite help from other Western nations, the Netherlands had to cede part of the New Guinea island to Indonesia.

map of Indonesia

© Google Maps

After a military coup and a subsequent change of leadership in Indonesia in 1965, the relationship between the Republic of Indonesia and the USSR took a long-term turn for the worse. At the end of the 1980s, the relations improved once again, but the collapse of the USSR that followed decreased the levels of cooperation. Russia and Indonesia started to restore their ties in full in the nineties.

In 2003, Indonesia and Russia signed the Joint Declaration of Friendship and Partnership in the 21st century. After this, frequency in the high-level exchanges between them increased, and the two sides have continued to strengthen their cooperation in various spheres, such as agriculture, tourism, education, science, technology, construction, space exploration, resource extraction, energy production and security. Bilateral trade is also growing in volume. In 2017, it reached more than $3.2 billion, which is 25% higher than that in 2016. Negotiations are ongoing on establishing a free trade zone between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU or EAEU), whose key member is the Russian Federation.

The level of cooperation between the two nations is especially noteworthy in the sphere of military technology and security. Russia and Indonesia are actively engaged in a dialogue on terrorism and piracy in the region. They have conducted joint military exercises on several occasions aimed at refining the necessary skills for resolving these issues. Large stable shipments of Russian weapons and military hardware to Indonesia resumed in 1997. In 2007, Russia and the Republic of Indonesia signed a long-term agreement on supplying Russian weaponry to the Indonesian military. Soon after, in 2008, the Russian Federation provided a credit line to Indonesia for the purchase of weaponry exceeding $1 billion in value. Currently Russia, as in the Soviet times, is Indonesia’s main military equipment supplier.

In August 2017, the Russian Federation and Indonesia signed an agreement laying out the terms for the future contract on the purchase of a batch of Russian Su-35 fighter jets by Indonesia. According to the agreement, Russia is prepared to supply Indonesia with 11 air planes exceeding $1 billion in value. Indonesia will pay for part of the purchase in cash and the remainder in raw materials, such as tea, coffee and palm oil. Both sides are satisfied with the terms of the deal and are ready to sign the final contract.

During the same month, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, and Retno Marsudi, Head of Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took part in a meeting resulting in the decision to increase collaboration between the Russian and Indonesian security forces to combat the threat from the Islamic terrorist organization Daesh (banned in the RF).

A collaboration on issues of security and military hardware is a clear sign of a high degree of trust between the two nations. If this is indeed true, the length and scope of the Russia – Indonesia cooperation in these spheres points to an enormous level of mutual understanding and trust between these two nations.

In December 2017, two strategic Russian bombers TU-95MS landed at the Indonesian airport in Biak on completion of their patrol of the neutral waters of the Pacific ocean. Many experts viewed this event as a signal, sent by the two nations to the rest of the world, that cooperation between Russia and Indonesia reached new heights. Aside from this, it is a sign of Russia’s increasing presence in Southeast Asia.

A new meeting between Lavrov and his Indonesian counterpart Marsudi took place on 13 March in 2018. The Russian minister said that the talks were constructive and covered a range of bilateral issues including topics that are global and regional in nature. He also stated that the meeting included a discussion about Russia’s and Indonesia’s willingness to transform their cooperation into a strategic partnership and that the countries are in the process of working on the declaration to that effect.

Unquestionably, the issues of Russia – Indonesia cooperation is crucial for the whole Asia Pacific. Malacca Strait’s western coastline belongs to Indonesia, a large powerful nation, which receives significant financial benefits from regional shipping traffic. In turn, the Republic of Indonesia (along with both Malaysia and Singapore, also located on the strait’s coastline) is responsible for maintaining security along this sea route, which is a key maritime passage on our planet.

One of the main problems this region has faced for the longest time is piracy. Recently, some experts have also started talking about the increasing terrorist threat around the Strait of Malacca. The USA hopes to control the Malacca Strait under the pretext of ensuring security along its shipping routes. As far back as 2004, the US received a brusque rejection from Malaysia and Indonesia in response to its offer to station US military personnel in the strait. Currently, at a time of substantial escalation in the confrontation between the US and China over control of the Asia Pacific region, the role of the Malacca Strait has increased in importance. Just as the US, PRC wishes to see its naval forces there. In the meantime, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are determined to defend their territorial waters. Fortunately, an armed confrontation is out of the question; however, supplying Indonesia with modern Russian equipment and training its military by RF personnel make a substantial contribution to Indonesia’s as well as the rest of the region’s peace of mind. Russia, thanks to its cooperation with countries such as Indonesia, India, Laos and Vietnam, is in turn becoming a powerful player in the Asia Pacific region and holds a beneficial position in strategically important regions for global trade and transport.

Dmitry Bokarev, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

Comment: New power structures rising to challenge Western dominance: How Singapore, Astana and St. Petersburg view a new world order

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