Aletho News


The Russian Military Warns: a Major War in Syria Is Imminent

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.03.2018

On March 17, the Russian General Staff warned about an imminent attack on Syria. The statement did not elaborate. Of course, some information is classified but an independent and impartial analysis of publicly available information leads one to the same conclusion. Let’s look at the facts.

There are warships deployed by US Navy in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf. They are ready to launch roughly 400 long-range Tomahawks against a target in the Middle East on any given day. Sea-launched cruise missiles were used to strike Syria in April. Anything that is at all related to the military operations on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is hush-hush information, but it’s an open secret that the strategic bombers based there can launch at least a hundred cruise missiles and then use other high-precision munitions in a follow-up attack. On average, one bomber carries 20 AGM-86 ALCMs. Five bombers are believed to be normally stationed on this island that is off-limits to inquisitive outsiders. This means that at least 500 cruise missiles can be fired on short notice.

On March 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that Great Britain, France, and some additional countries besides the US had special forces operating in Syria that were engaging the Syrian Army directly. But it’s not just commandos.

It was reported on March 16 that the UK would be stationing a significant number of troops at the US-controlled Al-Tanf military base, adjacent to the Iraqi border. This facility is prominently featured in NATO’s war planning in Syria. It blocks the corridor linking Iran to Lebanon via Syria and Iraq. The size of the deployment — about 2,300 troops accompanied by tanks and helicopters — is too significant just to be intended to fight Islamic State militants who are already on the run.

Before that, the US had already sent 600 troops with armored vehicles to the base. And American reinforcements have also been sent to the Omar oil field.

On March 12, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened military action against Syria. Experience has shown that the US will strike first and think about explanations later. It’ll no doubt “invent” some pretext to justify its actions.

Tensions have risen since last week. For instance, the mainstream media raised a ruckus over a mysterious “large underground” North Korean military base in Syria! This story about Pyongyang helping Syria to rebuild its chemical stockpiles and other urban legends are going viral.

The escalation coincided with the March 16 meeting between the Russian, Iranian, and Turkish foreign ministers in Astana to discuss further plans to bring peace to Syria, including expanding the concept of the de-escalation zones. That meeting laid the ground for a summit in Istanbul on April 4. There are about two weeks still to go. This top-level event could produce landmark decisions that might foil the West’s plans in Syria. Not much time is left. From the American perspective, this calls for urgent action to stymie that process.

Washington’s plan includes the goal of partitioning Syria in such a way that a large chunk of it would remain under the control of the US-led coalition. The Americans are already assembling municipal councils on the lands east of the Euphrates River. This area must be retained at any cost in order to ensure that Washington has a say in the future settlement of this war-torn country, otherwise all the hard work put in so far will go down the drain, undercutting America’s global standing and diminishing its clout in the Middle East. Losing Syria would be tantamount to suffering a major defeat in its confrontation with Iran, which it considers its arch-enemy. The plans include a rollback of Russian forces. Syria is the right place to do that. If the Russian military is openly warning the world of an imminent strike, that is a serious threat. And it does not look like a one-strike operation. This time we’re in for something much more serious — a large-scale operation to “contain” Russia, beat back Iran, win the support of the rich oil-exporting Arab nations and make them pay huge sums for American weapons, and show the world the US is omnipresent and adamant in its desire to dictate its will.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Why the UK, the EU and the US Gang-Up on Russia

By James Petras :: 03.20.2018

Introduction: For the greater part of a decade the US, the UK and the EU have been carrying out a campaign to undermine and overthrow the Russia government and in particular to oust President Putin. Fundamental issues are at stake including the real possibility of a nuclear war.
The most recent western propaganda campaign and one of the most virulent is the charge launched by the UK regime of Prime Minister Theresa May. The Brits have claimed that Russian secret agents conspired to poison a former Russian double-agent and his daughter in England, threatening the sovereignty and safety of the British people. No evidence has ever been presented. Instead the UK expelled Russian diplomats and demands harsher sanctions, to increase tensions. The UK and its US and EU patrons are moving toward a break in relations and a military build-up.

A number of fundamental questions arise regarding the origins and growing intensity of this anti-Russian animus.

Why do the Western regimes now feel Russia is a greater threat then in the past? Do they believe Russia is more vulnerable to Western threats or attacks? Why do the Western military leaders seek to undermine Russia’s defenses? Do the US economic elites believe it is possible to provoke an economic crisis and the demise of President Putin’s government? What is the strategic goal of Western policymakers? Why has the UK regime taken the lead in the anti-Russian crusade via the fake toxin accusations at this time?

This paper is directed at providing key elements to address these questions.

The Historical Context for Western Aggression

Several fundamental historical factors dating back to the 1990’s account for the current surge in Western hostility to Russia.

First and foremost, during the 1990’s the US degraded Russia, reducing it to a vassal state, and imposing itself as a unipolar state.

Secondly, Western elites pillaged the Russian economy, seizing and laundering hundreds of billions of dollars. Wall Street and City of London banks and overseas tax havens were the main beneficiaries

Thirdly, the US seized and took control of the Russian electoral process, and secured the fraudulent “election” of Yeltsin.

Fourthly, the West degraded Russia’s military and scientific institutions and advanced their armed forces to Russia’s borders.

Fifthly, the West insured that Russia was unable to support its allies and independent governments throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Russia was unable to aid its allies in the Ukraine, Cuba, North Korea, Libya etc.

With the collapse of the Yeltsin regime and the election of President Putin, Russia regained its sovereignty, its economy recovered, its armed forces and scientific institutes were rebuilt and strengthened. Poverty was sharply reduced and Western backed gangster capitalists were constrained, jailed or fled mostly to the UK and the US.

Russia’s historic recovery under President Putin and its gradual international influence shattered US pretense to rule over a unipolar world. Russia’s recovery and control of its economic resources lessened US dominance, especially of its oil and gas fields.

As Russia consolidated its sovereignty and advanced economically, socially, politically and militarily, the West increased its hostility in an effort to roll-back Russia to the Dark Ages of the 1990’s.

The US launched numerous coups and military intervention and fraudulent elections to surround and isolate Russia. The Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Russian allies in Central Asia were targeted. NATO military bases proliferated.

Russia’s economy was targeted: sanctions were directed at its imports and exports. President Putin was subject to a virulent Western media propaganda campaign. US NGO’s funded opposition parties and politicians.

The US-EU rollback campaign failed.

The encirclement campaign failed.

The Ukraine fragmented – Russia allies took control of the East; Crimean voted for unification with Russia. Syria joined with Russia to defeat armed US vassals. Russia turned to China’s multi-lateral trade, transport and financial networks.

As the entire US unipolar fantasy dissolved it provoked deep resentment, animosity and a systematic counter-attack. The US’s costly and failed war on terror became a dress rehearsal for the economic and ideological war against the Kremlin. Russia’s historical recovery and defeat of Western rollback intensified the ideological and economic war.

The UK poison plot was concocted to heighten economic tensions and prepare the western public for heightened military confrontations.

Russia is not a threat to the West: it is recovering its sovereignty in order to further a multi-polar world. President Putin is not an “aggressor” but he refuses to allow Russia to return to vassalage.

President Putin is immensely popular in Russia and hated by the US precisely because he is the opposition of Yeltsin – he has created a flourishing economy; he resists sanctions and defends Russia’s borders and allies.


In a summary response to the opening questions.

1) The Western regimes recognize that Russia is a threat to their global dominance; they know that Russia is no threat to invade the EU, North America or their vassals.

2) Western regimes believe they can topple Russia via economic warfare including sanctions. In fact Russia has become more self-reliant and has diversified its trading partners, especially China, and even includes Saudi Arabia and other Western allies.

The Western propaganda campaign has failed to turn Russian voters against Putin. In the March 19, 2018 Presidential election voter participation increased to 67%. Vladimir Putin secured a record 77% majority. President Putin is politically stronger than ever.

Russia’s display of advanced nuclear and other advanced weaponry has had a major deterrent effect especially among US military leaders, making it clear that Russia is not vulnerable to attack.

The UK has attempted to unify and gain importance with the EU and the US via the launch of its anti-Russia toxic conspiracy. Prime Minister May has failed. Brexit will force the UK to break with the EU.

President Trump will not replace the EU as a substitute trading partner. While the EU and Washington may back the UK crusade against Russia they will pursue their own trade agenda; which does not include the UK.

In a word, the UK, the EU and the US are ganging-up on Russia, for diverse historic and contemporary reasons. The UK exploitation of the anti-Russian conspiracy is a temporary ploy to join the gang but will not change its inevitable global decline and the break-up of the UK.

Russia will remain a global power. It will continue under the leadership of President Putin. The Western powers will divide and bugger their neighbors – and decide it is their better judgment to accept and work within a multi-polar world.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Statement of Four: West Wages Multi-Front, Multi-Domain Campaign Against Russia

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 19.03.2018

Contain Russia in all spheres, squeeze it out everywhere you can, and ramp up pressure to make it kneel. It’s not a big thing to find a pretext to justify the orchestrated campaign launched by the West to put the relations with Moscow on confrontational footing. It stubbornly keeps on reviving the Cold War. This is a holistic policy with some actions hitting media headlines to focus world public attention on, while some moves are camouflaged and kept out of spotlight.

With so many doubts expressed about Moscow’s complicity in the Salisbury spy poisoning, the leaders of the UK, the US, Germany and France – the big four – made an unprecedented joint statement putting the blame on Russia. They did not find it necessary to wait for investigation results to say Moscow had violated international law and threatened their security. The statement says Russia did not cooperate with Britain. It does not mention the fact that Moscow was ready to meet London halfway but received no requests in line with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The only thing Russia can be blamed for is its policy of refusing to communicate in the language of ultimatums.

Everything has suddenly become clear. Russia’s guilt is evident despite the fact that nothing new has been revealed since French President Macron’s spokesman warned the UK on March 14 against “fantasy politics”. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon had not investigated the case but the verdict was handed down. UK PM Theresa May was quite happy about the statement as it showed that the allies “are standing alongside us”.

On March 15, the US introduced new sanctions against Russia to punish it for alleged election meddling and cyberattacks. The announcement came together with the statement of the Big Four. As usual, the move is the result of allegations and claims not based on solid proof and established facts. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer believes it’s still “not enough”. He demands that President Trump introduce more sanctions and publicly denounce Russian President Putin. It’s just the first step, chimed in Senator Mark Warner of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He wondered why it had taken so long.

That’s what is in the spotlight. Now, about the creeping offensive kept out of spotlight to be waged almost clandestinely. Few media have reported about the decision of the Polish government just announced by Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak to move “some of the army units” stationed in the west of the country to its eastern borders. The country’s military command system would be reformed because Russia is “unpredictable.”

Meanwhile, Romania is preparing to stage a “maidan” in Moldova to gobble it up. If the plan goes through, this post-Soviet country will become part of NATO and the EU, unleashing a chain reaction in the region considered a sphere of Russia’s influence. A coup is slated for March 24. Extremist groups are expected to capture the parliament building. Moldovan President Igor Dodon had predicted that the attempts to forcibly unify Moldova and Romania would lead to a civil war. The scenario events will most certainly spur separatist sentiments in Transnistria. No doubt, Russia will be blamed for “nefarious activities”, especially if it raises its voice in support of Moldovans’ right to decide their own fate without outside interference.

On March 14, the US announced a diplomatic offensive to squeeze Russia out from the Balkans. Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, urged the nations of the region to resolve their disputes with the help of the West. He mentioned the possible expansion of the EU. Mr. Mitchell did not say so openly but there is little doubt it was an attempt to lure Belgrade away from Russia. Serbia is a country of special concern for the US military brass.

NATO has recently accused Moscow of interfering in the internal affairs of the Balkan countries, including information warfare. EU leaders wasted no time to express their concern over Russia’s policy in the region as Theresa May was ringing alarm bells over the Salisbury poisoning case. They are ready to engage Moscow in “information war”.

Making Russia responsible for the situation in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta is another direction of attack. Provocations are being planned to blame the Russia-backed Syria’s government for the use of CW.

The Salisbury poisoning, false flag chemical attacks in Ghouta, “battle for the Balkans”, provocations being prepared in Moldova, Estonia, Estonia, Latvia and Poland abruptly stepping up their fight against the Nord Stream-2 gas project in the Baltic Sea, as well as a lot of other things, are parts of a broader picture. The West is attacking Russia on all fronts and in all domains. There are no clear rules of the road. The pressure will be gradually being ratcheted up till Moscow bows and kneels.

As history teaches, this outcome is unlikely. But the policy may backfire to undermine the Western unity, which is extremely fragile. The West faces multiple threats and challenges; its very foundation is in jeopardy. These are the days when it needs partners more than artificially created enemies adding to the plethora of grave problems it is trying hard to tackle. Today it is wasting resources and effort on waging the well-orchestrated campaign against Moscow instead of coming up with constructive policy of ensuring its security and cohesion.

March 19, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Britain’s Insane Cold War Dramatics

Strategic Culture Foundation | 16.03.2018

Britain has now been joined by the United States, France and Germany in blaming Russia for an alleged murder plot on British soil. No verifiable evidence has been provided by the British authorities to support their shrill claim of Russian violation.

It is as insane as it is pathetic, as it is perfidious. A modern-day parody of William Shakespeare’s admonition “thou protest too much”.

In the unprecedented joint statement issued Thursday by the four NATO powers, it was stated, “The United Kingdom thoroughly briefed [sic] its allies that it was highly likely Russia was responsible for the attack”.

The “attack” refers to an apparent poisoning assault on a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal (66), and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, in the English town of Salisbury on March 4. How fitting a medieval town should feature in a medieval-like inquisition.

Skripal had been exiled to England eight years ago in a spy-swap with British MI6 for whom he had betrayed Russian state secrets a decade earlier. Both father and daughter have reportedly been hospitalized. But notably no photographs of the pair have been published to confirm their whereabouts or their condition.

Almost from the moment of the apparent attack on the Skripals, British politicians and media have hysterically speculated that Russian state agents carried out a “vendetta”. Within days, the British authorities claimed to have “evidence” that the nerve toxin allegedly used was a Soviet-era chemical weapon, known as “Novichok”.

This week, British Prime Minister Theresa May went even further to blame Russia for the attempted murder of the Skripals. She announced various sanctions in the British parliament, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from Britain. All the world’s a stage, to quote Shakespeare again.

The British have quickly engaged in intense rallying of the United States and European allies to support their position of impugning Russia. The latest joint statement of “solidarity” demonstrates that the British have managed to muster an unprecedented line-up of inquisitors condemning Russia.

Moscow has lamented Britain’s “absolutely irresponsible conduct” in this tawdry affair. London has shown deplorable disregard for due process and normal diplomatic relations to recklessly orchestrate a crisis.

The recklessness is almost incredible. Britain has not presented any hard evidence to back up its claims of a Soviet-era nerve toxin, nor how this alleged chemical is provably connected to the Russian state.

It is clear from the joint statement that the US, France and Germany are relying on Britain’s “brief”, and yet all four jump to the conclusion that “the only plausible explanation” for the apparent poison attack is Russian responsibility.

That a supposed criminal investigation involving a seemingly sophisticated chemical weapon could be conclusively carried out in a matter of days beggars belief. More plausible is that the British official position was a foregone conclusion – to blame Russia – and now to instill this prejudice in other willful NATO allies.

For the British to argue that a Soviet-era chemical incriminates Russia is fatuous beyond words. There is every reason to believe that “Novichok” nerve agents are possessed by several states, including the US and Britain. The Americans were involved in the “clean-up” of chemical warfare laboratories in Uzbekistan as far back as 1999, as previously reported by the New York Times, where the Soviet Novichok agents were purportedly synthesized.

As for the British, their chemical weapons laboratory at Porton Down – eight miles from Salisbury where the Skripals fell ill on March 4 – must have its own stock of Novichok if indeed the British laboratory carried out a positive identification last week. “If” being the operative word here.

The point is that any number of state agencies could be in possession of the deadly nerve toxin. How the British attribute it solely to Russia is not verified. The claim relies entirely on the say-so of the British authorities. The same disreputable authorities who helped concoct lies about WMDs to wage a genocidal war on Iraq in 2003.

According to the UN-affiliated Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Russia destroyed 100 per cent of its declared arsenal of lethal chemicals at the end of 2017 in compliance with the Convention of Chemical Weapons ratified by 165 nations in 1997. The Americans have not yet fully complied, retaining a portion of their toxic stockpile.

Also according to the convention, Russia has a right to inspect the allegedly offending sample that Britain claims to have identified. But all legal requests from Moscow for confirmatory access have been refused by the British.

This is a travesty of due process. Britain is making grave accusations against Russia of violating its sovereignty and attempted murder. Yet the British are not presenting their supposed evidence. Instead, London has sought to escalate the crisis by imposing sanctions on Russia, and enlisting the support of the US, France and Germany to amplify its dubious charges against Moscow.

Russia has rejected all charges. Moscow says the hypothesis of a revenge assassination on a disgraced former spy who had been living an open and undisturbed life in England for nearly a decade is absurd. Especially given the timing of Russia’s presidential elections this weekend and the hosting of the forthcoming World Cup tournament. For Russia to carry out such an act defies logic and credibility.

Britain’s ridiculous 24-hour “deadline” this week on Russia to “provide answers” over the hypothetical, but undisclosed, “evidence” is so impossible it also indicates the unfolding of a propaganda script. When Russia “failed” to comply with the preposterous demand that was then cited as “more proof” of Russian guilt.

The litany of similar false and baseless charges against Russia over the past four years – from aggression in Ukraine to shooting down a Malaysian airliner, from Olympic doping to election meddling – all follow the same propaganda script. Allegations without evidence, repeated ad nauseam. Thanks to dutiful, supine Western so-called news media.

Britain and its allies are engaging in an appalling degradation of diplomacy and the rule of law. With utter arrogance, ironically they claim to be upholding law and order, while in reality they are pushing the world towards hell in a handcart.

Adding insult to injury, British premier Theresa May deprecated Russia’s “disdain for the gravity of the matter”; her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Russia of being “smug”; while the Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson sniped that Russia “should shut up and go away”.

Russia is being wronged, not for the first time. But her integrity and fortitude will be vindicated – again. The allure of British Cold War spy propaganda has long ago expired. The stale and impotent residue will eventually show just how bankrupt the British rulers and their NATO allies have become.

In their bankruptcy they are desperately trying to start a war. But their criminal insanity will be their own downfall. In the wise words of Abraham Lincoln, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

March 16, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Hold my beer and watch this!

The Saker | March 15, 2018

Rattlesnakes have a terrible reputation. Here were I live, in Florida, we have the biggest rattlesnakes on the planet, the Eastern Diamondback (Crotalus adamanteus). They are huge and can reach well over 2m (6ft) in length and weigh up to 15kg (30lbs). The Eastern Diamondback’s venom is not the most potent out there, but they can deliver *a lot* of it. So, yes, it is a formidable creature. But it is also a gentle creature and truly very shy one.

Eastern Diamonbacks are also a stunningly beautiful creatures.  I confess that I absolutely love them.

For all their reputation for nastiness, Eastern Diamonbacks will never ever attack you if they can avoid it. I have seen a lot of these snakes on my hikes, I have manipulated them (with a hook), and I have seen my German Shepherd come nose to nose with one (literally) and that Eastern Diamondback did not strike. Why? Because these snakes will do everything they can to avoid having to bite you.

First and foremost, they hide. Really well. You can stand right next to a large Eastern Diamondback and never notice it. You can walk right by, and it won’t move, or rattle its tail, and you will never know that it was there. Camouflage is their first line of defense.

Then, if discovered, they will rattle their tails. If needed, very loudly. You can easily hear the rattle from an Eastern Diamondback from 5m (15ft) away. More than enough distance to easily avoid it.

Furthermore, if given the chance, the Eastern Diamondback will retreat and hide.

Finally, when cornered a lot of them try what is called a “dry bite”: they do bite you, but deliver no venom. Why? Because you are not prey, so what would be the point of envenoming you? The Eastern Diamondback does not want you dead, it wants you to let it live!

I was once told by a park ranger in Arizona that the profile of a typical rattlesnake bite victim is: white, male, with tattoos and the famous last words “hold my beer and watch this!“.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because that is exactly what I see happening before my horrified eyes.

Russia is the Eastern Diamondback desperately trying to do all it can to avoid to have to strike. The West is the drunk idiot full of hubris, arrogance and a very mistaken sense of invulnerability saying “hold my beer and watch this!“.

Keep in mind that in a confrontation with a drunken human the Eastern Diamondback is most unlikely to survive. And it knows that, and that is why it does everything it can to avoid such a confrontation in the first place.  But if cornered or attacked the Diamondback will strike. Hard. Want to see what such a strike looks like? Like this:

You most definitely do NOT want to be on the receiving end of that strike!

But that’s for normal, sober, people. When you are drunk your attitude is “hold my beer and watch this!” you “know” that you can handle that snake.

They are all at it right now. May, Trump, Macron and Merkel, of course, but also the their sycophantic presstitutes and the herds of zombified followers. They all believe in their invulnerability and superiority.

The terrifying truth is that these folks have NO IDEA whom they are dealing with nor do they understand the consequences of pushing Russia too hard. Oh, in theory they do (yeah, yeah, Napoleon, Hitler, we know!). But in their guts, they feel safe, superior and just can’t conceive that they can die and their entire society simply disappear.

I suggest that they carefully ponder the following.

In a recent interview Putin was asked about the rationale of a retaliatory strike by Russia if she was attacked by the USA.  Putin replied the following: “Yes, for mankind this would be a global catastrophe, for the world it would be a global catastrophe, but as a citizen of Russia and as the Head of the Russian state I ask: “what need would we have a world if there is no Russia?“.

So there you have it, directly from Putin: if the AngloZionist plan is to eliminate Russia (whether physically or otherwise), then the Russian people have no need for such a world. Consider these words as the Russian version of a very loud, almost desperate, rattle.

And look at how they are all trying to see how far they can “safely” push Russia.

I wonder if that Russian “rattle” will be loud enough to stop the West before it is too late.

I am not so sure.

March 16, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

US in Afghanistan to Influence Russia, Iran, China – Russian Foreign Ministry

Sputnik – March 14, 2108

The United States retains its presence in Afghanistan to exert influence on neighboring countries and regional rivals – namely, Russia, Iran and China, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Director Zamir Kabulov told Sputnik in an interview.

“In our opinion, the United States is in Afghanistan primarily with the aim of controlling and influencing the political processes in its neighboring countries, and also demonstrating its power to its regional competitors, primarily China, Russia and Iran. The United States is clearly trying to achieve destabilization of Central Asia and later transfer it to Russia in order to subsequently present itself as the only defender against potential and emerging threats in the region,” Kabulov said.

According to the diplomat, Russia and other countries neighboring with Afghanistan have questions about the true goals and time frame of the US military presence in the Central Asian country.

“If the United States and its NATO allies intend to continue their destructive policy in Afghanistan, this will mean that the West is heading toward the revival of the Cold War era in this part of the world. We closely monitor the developments and are ready to respond in cooperation with our partners and other like-minded people,” Kabulov noted.

The diplomat pointed out that Washington still failed to understand that the Afghan conflict could not be resolved solely by military means, stressing that it was impossible to defeat the Taliban by force.

Moscow is puzzled by the attempts of the United States and NATO to persuade Afghanistan to replace Russian weapons and military equipment, such move leads to reduction of Afghan’s military potential, Zamir Kabulov told Sputnik in an interview.

“The course taken by the United States and NATO to persuade Kabul to replace Russia-made small arms and aircraft is surprising, as it will inevitably lead to a decrease in the combat capabilities of the Afghan armed forces and further deterioration of the situation,” Kabulov said.

The diplomat reminded that a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on Russia’s defense industry assistance to Afghanistan had entered into force in November 2016, adding that the document created the legal framework for Russian assistance in arming and equipping the Afghan security forces.

“At the moment, negotiations are underway on repairs and supplies of spare parts for the Afghan Air Force’s helicopters for various purposes, produced in Russia (the Soviet Union),” Kabulov added.

Afghanistan Parliamentary Election

The parliamentary election in Afghanistan is unlikely to take place in July in the current circumstances, Kabulov said.

“I do not think that the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan will be held in July this year as scheduled. The Taliban continue to control about half of the country’s territory, engage in hostilities, organize and carry out terrorist attacks in large cities, and, apparently, are not going to make compromises and reconciliation with the Afghan government,” Kabulov said.

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) is also unlikely to accomplish all the necessary procedures before the date set for the vote, given that the commission has announced earlier that the registration of voters will complete only by early August, the diplomat noted.

Furthermore, disagreements between the presidential administration and its political opposition regarding the parameters of the upcoming elections still remain unresolved, the official noted.

“In my opinion, if elections are conducted in the current circumstances, their results will not improve the political situation in the country and confidence in the current government, will not force the armed opposition to cooperate with the government,” Kabulov added.

The diplomat also noted that the Daesh terror group posed a serious threat to holding the election.

“The Daesh jihadists pose a serious threat to the security of the conduct of elections, especially in the north and a number of eastern provinces of Afghanistan. Some polling stations in the provinces of Helmand, Uruzgan, Kunduz, Badakhshan, Faryab and Ghazni are the most problematic in terms of security, according to the IEC data. I think that, in fact, the list of problematic areas in terms of organization of voting is much longer,” Kabulov said.

Afghanistan Reconciliation Talks

Russia considers the so-called Moscow format of talks an optimal platform for the promotion of national reconciliation in Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov noted.

“Unfortunately, the existence of a large number of international formats on the Afghan issue has not significantly contributed to the involvement of the Taliban in peace negotiations. In this regard, we consider the Moscow format of consultations launched by us in early 2017 as the optimal platform for substantive negotiations to promote national reconciliation and establish a constructive dialogue between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement,” Kabulov said.

Kabulov also noted that Moscow considered the format of talks in the Afghan capital as one approach toward achieving a collective solution to the problems surrounding Afghan settlement.

“A signal of international support for the resolution of the intra-Afghan conflict through political dialogue with the government of Afghanistan has been sent to the Taliban. The Taliban ignored the recent meeting of the ‘Kabul process’ in the Afghan capital, insisting on direct talks with the United States,” the diplomat added.

In February 2017, Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and Afghanistan came together in Moscow for talks to promote the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan through regional cooperation with Kabul in the leading role. Apart from the aforementioned states, the latest round in April gathered five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The United States refused to take part in the meeting.

Afghanistan has long suffered political, social and security-related instability because of the simmering insurgency, including that of the Taliban, but also because of the actions of the Daesh terror group.

The United States has been in Afghanistan for almost 17 years following the 9/11 attacks. Before his election, Trump slammed sending US troops and resources to the Central Asian country.

March 14, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moscow on Expulsion of 23 Diplomats From UK: ‘Unacceptable, Unjustified’ Move

Sputnik – March 14, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats from the UK since the Cold War over the alleged attack on a former spy. Moscow has denounced May’s claims as baseless.

The Russian Embassy in London called the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats announced by UK Prime Minister Theresa May over the poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal “unacceptable, short-sighted and unjustified.”

In a statement, the Embassy confirmed that the diplomats had been declared persona non grata, adding that London was to blame for the harm caused to Russian-UK relations by this “hostile step.”

The Russian Embassy’s reaction followed UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s address to the House of Commons, where she announced a response to the alleged attack on Skripal.

Biggest Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Since Cold War

Reiterating a claim she made Monday about Russia’s alleged culpability in the Skripal case, the prime minister accused Russia of an “unlawful use of force against the United Kingdom,” saying this crime was part of a well established pattern of “Russian state aggression” in Europe, and accused Moscow of “sarcasm, contempt and defiance” in its response to London’s ultimatum to provide further information.

May announced that 23 Russian diplomats “identified as undeclared intelligence officers” will be expelled and given one week to leave.

Second, she vowed the creation of new legislative powers against “hostile state activity,” as well as possible new counter-espionage powers.

May promised the freeze of Russian assets in cases where they threaten UK citizens, adding there was no place for those seeking to do harm to the UK.

The prime minister also said that “criminals” and “corrupt elites” from Russia were not “welcome” in the UK. She informed lawmakers that “led by the National Crime Agency, we will continue to bring all the capabilities of UK law enforcement to bear against serious criminals and corrupt elites. There is no place for these people – or their money — in our country.”

May also confirmed that her government will be looking to strengthen Magnitsky Act-type, human rights-based amendments to existing sanctoins.

Suspension of High Level Contacts

London will suspend all high level contacts with diplomatic officials from Moscow, including during the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia, which British ministers and members of the royal family will skip.

May accused Russia of “flagrantly” breaching its international obligations, and said it was “tragic” that Russian President Putin “has chosen to act in this way.”

The prime minister stressed that the London and its allies will coordinate its actions, and welcomed support received from NATO and the EU. A NATO Council meeting will be held to discuss the matter on Thursday. The UK is also pushing for a debate at the UN on the Skripal case, and has asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to to help verify its claims against Russia.

Skripal’s attempted murder was not just an act of aggression against the UK, but an affront to the prohibition of chemical weapons, May said.

Opposition Responds

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn called the events in Salisbury “abominable,” adding that the Labour Party supports the prime minister in taking firm, multilateral action to ensure chemical weapons are never again used in the UK. He asked whether May agrees on the need to maintain dialog with Russia.

Responding to a lawmaker’s question about whether she will respond to any Russian response with an even firmer response, May said there were “other measures” that London stands ready to deploy should it face “further provocations” from Moscow.

May accused Russia of having a “pattern” of aggression, from Syria to Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, to meddling in elections in other parts of the world to “propaganda” and “misinformation campaigns.”

Asked about whether the UK will seek to further diversify away from the delivery of Russian gas, May confirmed that “we are indeed looking” to other countries for supplies.

Asked whether Russian English language media including RT would be targetted, May said that this was not a matter for the government, but for media regulator Ofcom. She added that the UK would continue to support the efforts of BBC’s Russian language service. Moscow had previously warned that UK media would be expelled from Russia if Russian media was expelled from the UK.

What Happened

Moscow has dismissed all accusations of involvment in the Skripal incident and requested access to the case. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has characterized London’s accusations as “propaganda,” and complained that Russia wasn’t provided with any evidence regarding the crime, in spite of the accusation of Russian involvement, and the fact that Russia had made a request for information regarding a crime which affected Yulia Skripal, who is a Russian citizen.

Ex-GRU officer and MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were hospitalized on March 4 following what London claims to have been an attempted poisoning.

March 14, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

The Skripal Incident-Another Anti-Russian Provocation

By Christopher Black – New Eastern Outlook – 09.03.2018

The British government is talking war with Russia over a mysterious incident that is claimed to have taken place on Sunday March 4, just a few kilometres from the secrecy shrouded British biological and chemical warfare research and development facility at Porton Down in Wiltshire. I say claimed since we have very little information confirming what exactly took place outside of government statements and we have seen no photographs of the alleged victims in their hospital beds to convince us that the alleged victims did fall ill and are being treated. However, let us assume that the incident as described did take place.

The mystery consists in the fact that the victims, former Russian colonel of military intelligence, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, were not under any known threat from Russia. Skripal was charged and convicted in Russia in 2006 of being an asset of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and handing over secret information to the British. He was jailed, but in a spy swap in 2010 was pardoned and allowed to leave Russia for Vienna, then Britain, where he has been living ever since. Why he was pardoned is difficult to determine, unless it was necessary legally to effect the swap with the British. In any even the Russians had washed their hands of him but it seems the British had other uses for him, as their expendable man for a provocation against Russia.

The facts as the British government states them are that Skripal and his daughter, visiting from Russia, met for lunch in Salisbury, the town outside of which Porton Down is located. The purpose of the daughter’s visit is not known. According to ever changing media accounts witnesses in a restaurant reported that Skripal appeared to be agitated and angry and left in that state with his daughter following. Agitated and angry about what we do not know.

Half an hour later it is said that the two of them were found slumped over on a public bench. Some early media accounts state that it was thought they had taken too much fentanyl and were vomiting and that their illness may have been self-induced. But very quickly the British government claimed that they had been poisoned by some chemical or nerve agent and immediately cast the blame on Russia though the investigation had just begun. The incident was immediately taken out of the hands of the local police and handed over to the Counter-Terrorism Police, formerly known as Special Branch, though the government refused to call it a terrorist incident. A meeting of the British government high-level emergency committee, Cobra, was called. Why this was done for what appears to be an assault or attempted murder or a self-induced accident is a good question. But the answer lies in the immediate propaganda campaign mounted in the British press against Russia.

On Thursday the 8th of March the British government claimed that they had identified a “nerve agent” as the substance used. Yet the BBC quotes on the same day a woman physician who attended at the scene saying that she found Mrs. Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench vomiting and fitting. She had lost control of her bodily functions. The physician, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved the daughter into the recovery position and opened her airways as others tended to her father. The doctor stated that the she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on her face or body and that though she had been worried she would be affected by a nerve agent so far she “feels fine.”

Yet, the British media published on Thursday a photograph of a police officer who they say attended the scene and who they claim was made ill and placed in intensive care but is now stable and recovering. The two stories do not add up, as it would seem the doctor was in closer physical contact with the two victims than the police officer yet the doctor has suffered no symptoms at all.

The Guardian quoted Andrei Lugovoi, another former Russian agent, accused of Litvinenko’s murder by the British as stating that Skripal had been pardoned in Russia so no one from there is after him:

“I don’t rule out that this is another provocation by British. Whatever happens on British territory, they start yelling: ‘He was killed, he was hung, he was poisoned!’ and that Russia is to blame for everything. This is to their advantage.” Igor Sutyagin, yet another Russian traitor flown to Russia in 2010 in an exchange of spies-also said, “I don’t think that Mr. Skripal would be targeted, because he was pardoned.”

To add to the mystery the British government refuses to name the alleged nerve agent. To create more drama the British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, stated that it was not Sarin or VX but something “very rare.” I think we can expect that they will choose the right dramatic moment to name something and state that only Russian labs can make it. That is their modus operandi. They certainly do not want to state that VX was involved since VX was developed in 1952 at Porton Down near the sight of the incident; for that would lead to necessary investigations into security at that facility and whether personnel there were involved. However, despite the fact that Porton Down is in the business of manufacturing chemical warfare agents including nerve agents and that logic would dictate that the Porton Down authorities would be barred from being investigators into a case in which they could be involved the British government immediately assigned Porton Down to identify the substance that might have been used.

That the Russians may be correct that this incident is another NATO arranged provocation must be seriously considered. Despite the fact there is no evidence whatsoever that Russia had anything to do with this incident, the British government was quick to label Russia as the villain of the piece and the mass media dutifully acted in lock step and put out the word. Boris Johnson called Russia a “malign and disruptive force’ and made threats about pulling the UK out of the World Cup to be held in Russia this year. The attempts by the NATO alliance to throw Russia out of the Olympics on trumped up doping charges were largely successful and now we see another attempt to disrupt a sports event that is important to world football fans and to Russia. Johnson added that Britain would act “robustly’ of Moscow is found to be involved.

The Russian embassy in London stated the allegations of Russian involvement are untrue and that the “script of yet another anti-Russian campaign has already been written.” It seems so and the script has some pages to run yet. One has to wonder what the role of the British intelligence services is in this for the BBC also reports that Skripal still kept the company of British intelligence agents. So one has to ask, for what reason? What was his continuing role as an asset of MI6? What was their role on that day?

But that line of inquiry will not be followed. All the British media are linking this incident to the case of Alexander Litvinenko, another Russian who was supposedly poisoned with radioactive tea. Evidence that cronies of his were involved were ignored in favour the line that Russia was behind it though no evidence has ever been put forward to support that claim. They are also making the claim that this “very rare” substance must be from a state military stockpile, so the statements to come from the British government can be predicted.

This incident has echoes of the case of Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian dissident killed in London in 1978 by a ricin pellet injected into his leg by means of an umbrella it was said, though it was no doubt done with an air pistol. That murder was quickly blamed on the KGB and Bulgarian government agents but there is evidence that in fact the murder was arranged by MI6 as was the murder of media magnate Robert Maxwell in 1991, who had documents relating to the Markov murder in his possession, according sources such as Richard Cottrell in his book Gladio and accounts by former British intelligence agent Gordon Logan.

The Skripal incident also brings to mind the death of Dr. David Kelly in 2003 whose mysterious death in woods near his home, was officially attributed to “suicide.” He is thought by many to have been assassinated by the British secret services and CIA to keep him from revealing secrets about the war in Iraq. He worked at Porton Down as head of microbiology.

He in turn is connected to other scientists at Porton Down who have died under questionable circumstances, for instance, Dr. Richard Holmes, whose body was found in the same woods as Dr. Kelly, in 2012, two days after going for a walk, and one month after resigning from Porton Down, and to Vladimir Pasechnik’s death in November 2001, another Russian defector, who allegedly died of a stroke. His death was not announced until a month later and by British intelligence. Dr. Kelly had been involved in his debriefing when he left Russia.

Sir Edward Leigh, a member of the Parliamentary Defence Committee, in the British Parliament stated, “the circumstantial evidence against Russia is very strong. Who else would have the motive and the means?” The answer to that of course is that the British government has the motive and the means. What would Russia benefit from harming a has-been like Skripal and causing all this fuss? None. What benefit does Britain have and NATO? The answer again is provided by Sir Richard who went on to state “The only way to preserve peace is through strength,” carefully echoing Trump’s foreign policy. He continued, “and if Russia is behind this, this is a brazen act of war, of humiliating our country and defence is the first duty and spending 2% of the budget on defence is not enough.” There is the motive right there. To justify an increase on defence spending and to hit Russia yet again with propaganda warfare to justify NATO’s continuing aggression against Russia.

Russia has volunteered to cooperate in the “investigation” but to what end? The script is already written, the drama will unfold, the consequences will flow and they will lead not to peace and cooperation but to more hostility and war.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia slams extended US sanctions as illegal, harmful to world

Press TV – March 3, 2018

Russia has slammed US sanctions against the country as illegal and harmful to the world after Washington extended embargoes against Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis.

“We have never been the initiator of these sanctions, we consider them illegal and harmful not just to the people of our two countries but the whole world,” Interfax news agency quoted Russian presidential press spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Saturday.

The remarks came a day after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to extend sanctions against Moscow, which have been in place since the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014.

Ties between the US and Russia have plummeted to levels not seen since the Cold War due to the two powers’ disputes over the crises in Ukraine and Syria and after US officials accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

On Friday, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the US was planning to deploy some 400 anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s doorstep as part of its military buildup in Eastern Europe.

Last year, the US for the first time deployed Patriot long-range anti-aircraft missiles to the Baltics to be used in large-scale NATO military drills in Lithuania near Russia’s border.

The armed conflict in Ukraine broke out following the ouster of pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and intensified after people in Crimea voted for reunification with the Russian Federation in a referendum held in March 2014.

The US and its allies in Europe brand the reunification as annexation of the territory by Russia, accusing Moscow of having a major hand in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, an allegation strongly rejected by the Kremlin.

Western countries have levied broad economic sanctions against Moscow over its alleged support for pro-Russia separatist forces in eastern Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

In late 2016, Washington alleged that Russia had influenced the US presidential election in November that year to help Donald Trump get elected, an allegation that Russia strongly denied.

Russia and the US are also at odds over the Syrian crisis, as they are backing opposite sides in the conflict.

Russia has been offering military advisory support to the Syrian government in its battle against extremist militants, while the US and its allies back the Takfiri militants fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

March 3, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , | 2 Comments

NPT Violated: Russia Raises Issue of Utmost Importance

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 02.03.2018

Speaking at the UN Geneva Disarmament Conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is threatened by American tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) stationed in Europe and the destabilizing effect of joint nuclear missions (JNM) that NATO forces are being trained for.

The statement is more than propitious. No progress on European security is conceivable without an agreement on what to do with tactical nukes. US TNW are deployed while Russian tactical nukes are all stored. Unlike the US, Russia does not keep them abroad. Its non-strategic delivery means cannot strike the continental US. It makes American TNW in Europe an addition to the strategic potential able to tilt the existing strategic balance.

US instructors train European personnel, the Belgian, German, Italian and Dutch, to use TNW. An example is the yearly exercise Steadfast Noon, a low-profile training event conducted in semi-secrecy. The exercise testifies to the fact that European non-nuclear states (NNS) are involved in nuclear planning. The US trains their military personnel to fight a nuclear war.

It all constitutes a flagrant violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It prohibits nuclear states from transferring nukes to other recipients (Article I). It also prohibits NNS from receiving TNW (Article II). About half of US air-delivered bombs in Europe to be modernized are earmarked for delivery by aircraft of Europe’s NNS, which are parties to the NPT. In the early 2020s, modernized B61-12 guided nuclear bombs will be delivered by stealth F-35 bombers that many European NATO members are going to acquire thus achieving first strike nuclear capability.

Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey take part in the F-35 program. Belgium will probably purchase the F-35 as a replacement for its aging F-16. Poland, Finland (not a NATO member but a privileged partner) and Germany appear to be on the way to acquire the aircraft. There will probably be others – all of them becoming nations with nukes deployed on their territories and crews trained to use TNW in violation of the NPT.

The nukes are hard to get rid of. In 2010, NATO adopted the Tallinn formula, which stipulates that no member of the alliance can unilaterally withdraw American TNW.

The US 2018 Nuclear Posture Review eulogizes low-yield nuclear weapons (with strength of less than 20 kilotons). It identifies the need for nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles and lower-yield warheads for sea-launched strategic missiles.

If the idea is implemented, the RF won’t be able to distinguish an incoming low-yield munition from a full-blown weapon to trigger a nuclear exchange at strategic level. From Russia’s perspective, the concept presupposes another addition to the strategic arsenal. Very provocative, isn’t it?

NATO’s superiority in conventional weapons also should not be forgotten as well as the nuclear capability possessed by France and the United Kingdom.

Here is another aspect so rarely remembered nowadays. Sea-based TNW are excluded from the US-Russia TNW balance. The undeservedly forgotten Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs) signed in 1991 have so far been complied with. Unlike the INF Treaty, the compliance with the PNIs has never been doubted. Emergence of sea-based TNW means an end to the PNIs that have served both nations so effectively and for so long. The US, in effect, is adding European nuclear arsenals to the Russia-US strategic equation. Moscow will respond. It will also demand that these weapons are taken into consideration in potential arms control talks. It has every reason and right to do it. The problem of TNW will arise in negotiating the future the New START.

As one can see, the US plans undermine European security. They bring to naught the chances of reaching new strategic or non-strategic nuclear US-Russia accords. And it makes the US and European NATO members less secure upping the nuclear threshold. Moscow will not stand idle watching all these war preparations take place. It will respond. And other NPT participants will question the validity of the agreement breached in broad daylight. So may negative things with no silver lining visible. Is it worth it? Evidently not, but that’s what the US is doing. It will be responsible for the consequences. Russia has done its best to avoid the worst. On Feb.28, Sergey Lavrov said something really important. Hopefully, there are enough reasonable people not to make his stern and timely warning fall on deaf ears.

March 2, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions

By Robert BRIDGE | Strategic Culture Foundation | 26.02.2018

In the past, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) justified its militarization of large swaths of Eastern Europe by pointing to the omnipresent threat of terrorism, or some ‘rogue’ foreign state, inherently understood to be Iran. Today the mask has slipped and it is no longer denied that NATO’s primary target is Russia.

But first, a trip down nightmare lane. The road to ruin – at least as far as US-Russia relations were concerned – began immediately following the 9/11 terror attacks. Three months after that fateful day, in December 2001, George W. Bush informed Vladimir Putin that the US was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a strange move considering that the treaty had kept the peace between the nuclear superpowers since 1972. This geopolitical “mistake,” as Putin rightly defined it, allowed the US to begin the process of deploying a missile defense system, smack on the border with Russia, allegedly to shield the continent against an attack by Iran. Never mind the fact that Tehran had absolutely no reason, not to mention the wherewithal, to carry out such a suicidal mission. But Washington has never been one to let facts get in the way of a forced move on the global chess board.

Thus, the Bush administration advocated on behalf of a land-based missile defense system with interceptors based in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. However, due to serious objections from Russia, not to mention the apprehensive citizens of the host countries, the plan had reached an impasse in 2008 – just as Obama was replacing Bush in the White House. Some would call that impeccable timing. What happened next can only be described as a devious sleight of hand on the part of Washington.

In September 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama, announced to great fanfare that the US would “shelve” the Bush plan. This announcement was received in Moscow and beyond as a sign that America’s first black president was truly the real deal when it came to working on behalf of global peace. Suddenly, it appeared that the Bush reign of error had been an ugly anomaly, a bad eight-year dream. That grand illusion lasted for about as long as it took to read that sentence.

Barack Obama, the man who had seduced the global masses with his velvety albeit teleprompted delivery, shifted gears the very next day, announcing that the US would be deploying, in four phases, sea-based SM-3 interceptor missiles in Eastern Europe instead. An opinion piece in the New York Times, penned by then Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, provided all the information to understand that the world had been hoodwinked.

“Steady technological advances in our missile defense program — from kill vehicles to the abilities to network radars and sensors — give us confidence in this plan,” Gates wrote. “The SM-3 has had eight successful tests since 2007, and we will continue to develop it to give it the capacity to intercept long-range missiles like ICBMs. It is now more than able to deal with the threat from multiple short- and medium-range missiles — a very real threat to our allies and some 80,000 American troops based in Europe that was not addressed by the previous plan.”

“We are strengthening — not scrapping — missile defense in Europe,” he concluded.

With the benefit of hindsight and common sense, it seems that Washington’s plan from the start was to move forward with the sophisticated SM-3 system; the bulky Bush initiative just provided the necessary distraction to usher in the advanced Obama plan, which presents a major threat to the global strategic balance.

But all that is ancient history compared to what is happening today. Under the guise of ‘Russia aggression,’ a concept that was peddled to the unsuspecting masses based on the fake news of a Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine and Crimea, compounded by claims that Russia somehow swayed the 2016 US presidential elections, US-led NATO has dropped all pretensions and declared open season on Russia. Combined with Donald Trump’s empty threat that the US would exit NATO if member states did not start spending more on defense (2 percent of annual GDP), Eastern Europe has become a veritable hothouse of paranoia-driven militarization.

In what the Kremlin has described as the greatest amassing of military assets on its border since World War II, NATO troops and hardware have set up camp from as far north as Estonia, down through Latvia and Lithuania, into Romania and Poland, where the rotation of US troops is now standard operating procedure.

Meanwhile, massive military games aimed at deterring the Russian bogeyman continue unabated on Russia’s border. In April, British journalist Neil Clark described just one of these exercises, dubbed Summer Shield. The NATO military exercises “got underway at the Adazi military base. Soldiers from Latvia, the US, Bulgaria, Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, the UK, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Germany and also non-NATO member Sweden are taking part in the drills,” Clark wrote.

He then went on to make a rather unsettling yet accurate observation: “Today’s mantra regarding ‘Russian aggression’ is the 2003 equivalent of ‘Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction,’ to be repeated ad nauseum by anyone supporting NATO’s Drang nach Osten. And like the WMD claim, it’s based on zero evidence.”

Such reckless behavior would have been difficult to fathom less than a decade ago.

But these are brave new times, and American madness has settled upon the realm of foreign relations like a noxious cloud, forcing client states to crack open their tattered wallets or be left out in the cold when the big, bad Russian bear comes a knocking.

Consider the case of Romania, one of Europe’s poorest countries. Prompted by Donald Trump’s warning that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members must fork over 2 percent of their GDP on military spending, Bucharest just made a down payment on a $1 billion American-made M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), as well as four new multi-function corvettes.

Romanian Defence Minister Mihai Fifor told Jane’s that these exorbitant purchases would “improve Romania’s national and allied defense capability” and emphasized that Romania’s commitment to the 2% of GDP spending cap “for the next 10 years is strong”.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said, “We want those procurement programs to also strengthen our defence industry based on offset arrangements where possible”.

This was not the first American military incursion into Romania under the guise of guarding against Iran and other alleged rogue players.

In May 2016, the US activated its $800 million missile shield in Romania, which Russia obviously views as a direct threat.

“At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, and worse than that, they can be rearmed with 2400km-range offensive missiles even today, and it can be done by simply switching the software, so that even the Romanians themselves won’t know,” Vladimir Putin told reporters during a visit to Greece in May 2016.

“We have been saying since the early 2000s that we will have to react somehow to your moves to undermine international security. No one is listening to us,” Putin warned.

It remains to be seen how long NATO tone deafness will continue before the militarization of Eastern Europe gets completely out of control and the situation becomes untenable. Or perhaps the point of no return has already come to pass and, fait accompli, we are merely enjoying an illusory calm before the storm.

February 26, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Falsehoods and Lies: Inciting War Is a War Crime

Strategic Culture Foundation | February 16, 2018

The torrent of reckless false accusations against Russia made by the US and its NATO allies is hitting warp speed.

This week saw more baseless allegations of Russian cyber attacks on American elections and British industries.

There were also crass claims by US officials that Russia was behind so-called sonic attacks on American diplomats in Cuba.

Then a Dutch foreign minister was forced to resign after he finally admitted telling lies for the past two years over alleged Russian plans for regional aggression.

Elsewhere, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed this week during a tour of the Middle East that “the primary goal” of his nation’s involvement in Syria is “to defeat” Islamic State (Daesh) terrorism.

This is patently false given that the US forces illegally occupying parts of Syria are launching lethal attacks on Syrian armed forces who are actually fighting Islamic State and their myriad terrorist affiliates.

Meanwhile, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia of blocking peace efforts in Syria – another audacious falsehood to add to her thick compendium of calumny.

Perhaps the most barefaced falsehood transpired this week when French President Emmanuel Macron candidly admitted that his government did not have any proof of chemical weapons being used in Syria.

“Today, our agencies, our armed forces have not established that chemical weapons, as set out in treaties, have been used against the civilian population,” said Macron to media in Paris.

His admission follows that of US Defense Secretary James Mattis who also fessed up earlier this month to having no evidence of chemical weapons being deployed in Syria.

“We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used,” said Mattis to reporters at the Pentagon. “We do not have evidence of it.”

Yet, only a few weeks ago, the French and US governments were condemning Syrian President Assad for alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces. France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also accused Russia of bearing responsibility because of its alliance with Damascus.

But now we are told that the French and US governments do not, in fact, have any evidence concerning chemical weapons in Syria.

This is in spite of US President Donald Trump unleashing over 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles on the Arab country last April in purported reprisal for the “Syrian regime” dropping chemical munitions on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province on April 4 2o17.

Macron went on to make the absurd declaration this week that “if” chemical weapons were found to be used then he would order military strikes on Syria.

Both Syria and Russia have categorically and repeatedly rejected claims of using chemical weapons, pointing out that Syria’s stockpile was eliminated back in 2014 under a UN-brokered deal.

When Mattis said “we have reports from the battlefield” he was referring to groups like the CIA covertly-sponsored terrorist outfit Al Nusra Front and their media outlet, the so-called White Helmets.

Western news media footage over the past two weeks seemingly depicting Syrian and Russian air strikes on civilian areas is sourced from the White Helmets. This group is embedded with Al Nusra.

The same warped narrative claiming Syrian and Russian violations during the liberation of Aleppo from the terrorists at the end of 2016 is being played out again in East Ghouta and Idlib. And again the Western news media are amplifying the dubious propaganda from the likes of the White Helmets as if it is independent, verified information.

This week in Paris Abdulrahman Almawwas, the so-called vice president of the White Helmets, which also go by the name of Syria Civil Defense, told the Reuters news agency that France and other NATO powers must intervene in Syria.

“It’s time to take real action and not just talk about red lines,” said Almawwas, who was clearly disappointed after hearing Macron’s admission of no evidence for chemical weapons.

Tellingly, the White Helmets’ envoy was hosted by senior French government officials while in Paris, including Macron’s chief diplomatic advisor, according to Reuters.

He also went on to complain – unwittingly – that the White Helmets have received less funding from foreign governments this year compared with last year.

Reuters reported: “Almawwas said the group’s financing for 2018 from foreign governments [sic] had dropped to $12 million from $18 million a year earlier.”

According to the White Helmets’ own website, the foreign governments whom they receive financing from include: the United States, Britain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Canada, among others.

In other words, this so-called humanitarian relief organization is a NATO-sponsored entity, which evidently operates freely in areas of Syria controlled by Al Nusra and other internationally proscribed terror groups.

And this is the same “source” which has been used by the NATO governments and Western news media to disseminate claims about Syrian state forces using chemical weapons against civilians – claims which senior US and French officials are now belatedly negating.

What we have here is demonstrable peddling of falsehoods and lies by Western governments and their news media.

Not just with regard to the war in Syria, but on a range of other international incendiary issues, as noted above.

Accusing Russia of aggression, nuclear threats, sabotaging elections, targeting civilian infrastructure which could  “kill thousands and thousands” (British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson last month), or any number of other wild allegations, is symptomatic of sociopathic lying by Western governments.

The reckless falsehoods and lies espoused by the US and its European allies are made possible because of the reprehensible servility of Western media not holding to account the wild claims that they willfully disseminate.

This relentless propagation of lies is an appalling incitement to tensions, conflict and war.

Engaging in war fever is not only irresponsible. It is in fact a war crime, according to Nuremberg legal standards.

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment