How Russia and Germany may save Europe from war – By Pepe Escobar

 

Are the US, NATO and Russia on a mad spiral leading to war in Europe? Is it inevitable? Far from it. The US-propelled vassal Petro Poroshenko, currently starring in the oligarch dance in Ukraine this week advanced the proposition that Ukrainians in the near future, after his “reforms”, will be asked to vote on whether to join NATO. Let’s be serious here. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of “shatter belt” - territories and peoples that historically have been squeezed between the Germanic Eagle and the Russian Bear. As we stand, the whole shatter belt – apart from Ukraine and Belarus – has become NATO members. Were Ukraine to become a NATO member in – albeit remote – future, the shatter belt buffer zone would disappear. This means NATO – essentially the US – planted right on Russia’s western border. Washington has just announced that it will be pre-positioning more military vehicles in Europe, to be used in exercises or “potential military operations.” This is perfectly in tune with the relentless US “think tank-land” spin that NATO and the US will be “forced” to balance their commitment to security in Eastern Europe against potential Russian “aggression.” As Ukraine, the Baltic States and Poland persist in compounded hysteria about such “aggression,” the option of a post-MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) US-Russia nuclear war is now – casually - back on the discussion table. At least there’s a countercurrent; strands of informed Americans are wondering why the US should be paying for Europe’s defense when European GDP is larger than the US’s.

The air defense missile system “Patriot” (AFP Photo/Bernd Wustneck/Germany Out)

 

November 28, 2014

Are the US, NATO and Russia on a mad spiral leading to war in Europe? Is it inevitable? Far from it.

The US-propelled vassal Petro Poroshenko, currently starring in the oligarch dance in Ukraine this week advanced the proposition that Ukrainians in the near future, after his “reforms”, will be asked to vote on whether to join NATO.
Let’s be serious here. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of “shatter belt” – territories and peoples that historically have been squeezed between the Germanic Eagle and the Russian Bear.
As we stand, the whole shatter belt – apart from Ukraine and Belarus – has become NATO members. Were Ukraine to become a NATO member in – albeit remote – future, the shatter belt buffer zone would disappear. This means NATO – essentially the US – planted right on Russia’s western border.
Washington has just announced that it will be pre-positioning more military vehicles in Europe, to be used in exercises or “potential military operations.” This is perfectly in tune with the relentless US “think tank-land” spin that NATO and the US will be “forced” to balance their commitment to security in Eastern Europe against potential Russian “aggression.”
As Ukraine, the Baltic States and Poland persist in compounded hysteria about such “aggression,” the option of a post-MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) US-Russia nuclear war is now – casually – back on the discussion table. At least there’s a countercurrent; strands of informed Americans are wondering why the US should be paying for Europe’s defense when European GDP is larger than the US’s.

Iskander high-precision missile system in place during military exercises. (RIA Novosti/Alexei Danichev)

Iskander high-precision missile system in place during military exercises. (RIA Novosti/Alexei Danichev)

 Wanna play war, boy?

Now for the “threat” of nuclear war in Europe – bogus or otherwise. It’s pointless to compare the US and Russia strategic nuclear capabilities based on numbers, but not on quality.

Take the compounded GDP of US, Germany, France and England and compare it to Russia; it’s a victory by a landslide. Then examine the strategic nuclear scenario, and it’s a totally different story. GDP alone does not “win” anything.

Washington/Wall Street elites are now deep into nuclear war paranoia. A few studiesat least hint at the obvious; glaring US strategic weakness.

Consider some of the basics:

– Russian ICBMs armed with MIRVs travel at about 18 Mach; that is way faster than anything in the US arsenal. And basically they are unbeatable.

– The S-400 and S-500 double trouble; Moscow has agreed to sell the S-400 surface-to-air missile system to China; the bottom line is this will make Beijing impermeable to US air power, ICBMs and cruise missiles. Russia, for its part, is already focusing on the state of the art S-500 – which essentially makes the Patriot anti-missile system look like a V-2 from WWII.

– The Russian Iskander missile travels at Mach 7 – with a range of 400km, carrying a 700kg warhead of several varieties, and with a circular error probability of around five meters. Translation: an ultimate lethal weapon against airfields or logistic infrastructure. The Iskander can reach targets deep inside Europe.

– And then there’s the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA.

NATO clowns dreaming of a war on Russia would have to come up with an ironclad system to knock out these Iskanders. They don’t have any. Additionally, they would have to face the S-400s, which the Russians can deploy all over the spectrum.

Think of a hefty batch of S-400s positioned at the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad; that would turn NATO air operations deep inside Europe into an absolutely horrendous nightmare. On top of it, good ol’ NATO fighter jets cost a fortune. Imagine the effect of hundreds of destroyed fighter jets on an EU already financially devastated and austerity-plagued to death.

As if this was not enough, no one knows the exact extent of NATO’s strategic capabilities. Brussels is not talking. Extra-officially, these capabilities are not exactly a marvel. And Russian intelligence knows it.

Still assuming those NATO clowns would insist on playing war, Moscow has already made it very clear Russia would use their awesome arsenal of 5,000-plus tactical nuclear weapons – and whatever else it takes – to defend the nation against a NATO conventional attack. Moreover, a few thousand S-400 and S-500 systems are enough to block a US nuclear attack.

None of this hair-raising Apocalypse Now scenario is even taking into account the Russia-China alliance – the major, game-changing Eurasian story of the 2010s.

 

S 400 "Triumf" air defense missile systems (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)

S 400 “Triumf” air defense missile systems (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)

 

Just in case the “pivoting to Asia” gang starts harboring funny ideas about the Middle Kingdom as well, China is massively investing in bouncing lasers off satellites; satellite-hitting missiles; silent submarines that surface beside US aircraft carriers without detection; and a made in China anti-missile missile that can hit a reentering satellite moving faster than any ICBM.

In a nutshell; Beijing knows the US surface fleet is obsolete – and undefendable. And needless to add, all of these Chinese modernizing developments are proceeding way faster than anything in the US.

A modest proposal

The spin in the US has been relentless; Russia is expanding towards a 21st century empire.

Here, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explains in detail how this is undiluted rubbish. What has actually happened is that Moscow deftly called the Brzezinski-inspired bluff in Ukraine – with all its overtones. No wonder the Empire of Chaos is furious.

And yet there is a solution to defuse the current, hysterical rush to war logic. Here I have examined in some detail how Washington is playing Russian roulette. Now it’s time to advance a modest proposal – as it has been discussed by a few concerned analysts from the US, Europe and Asia.

Essentially, it’s very simple. It’s up to Germany. And it’s all about undoing Stalin.

Stalin, at the outset of WWII, took East Prussia from Germany and moved the eastern part of Poland into Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine was originally from Russia; it is part of Russia and was given by Lenin to Ukraine.

So let’s have East Prussia returned to Germany; the eastern part of Poland returned to Poland; and eastern Ukraine as well as Crimea – which Khrushchev gave to Ukraine – returned to Russia.

Everyone get its share. No more Stalin. No more arbitrary borders. That’s what the Chinese would define as a “triple win” situation. Of course the Empire of Chaos would fight it to death; there would be no more chaos manipulated to justify a crusade against bogus Russian “aggression”.

The ball is in Germany’s court. Now it’s up to East Prussians to present the facts to Angela Merkel. Let’s see if she’s able to get the message.

Follow Pepe Escobar on Facebook.

 

‘We will react to NATO build-up!’ Key Putin quotes from defense policy address

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Moscow will respond to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said at the emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow. Here are his key quotes on Russia’s defense, Western sanctions, and violence in eastern Ukraine.

On NATO’S missile system and Russia’s defense

President Vladimir Putin (center) holding a meeting with Russian Security Council permanent members, July 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Ekaterina Shtukina)

President Vladimir Putin (center) holding a meeting with Russian Security Council permanent members, July 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Ekaterina Shtukina)

NATO forces have been increasing military presence in Eastern European countries bordering Russia and sending warships to the Baltic and Mediterranean due to the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. NATO has also stated that it will endorse new funding for Ukraine’s defense, blaming Russia for destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.

We shall provide an adequate and well-measured response to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, and we shall take note of [the West] setting up a global missile defense architecture and building up its arsenals of precision-guided weapons,” Putin said on Tuesday.

No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on. As it stands, NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.”

Putin stated that NATO’s military build-up near Russia’s border is not just for defense, but is an “offensive weapon” and an “element of the US offensive system deployed outside the mainland.

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With that in mind, we need to promptly and diligently implement all the measures we have planned to strengthen our nation’s defense capabilities, including our plans for Crimea and Sevastopol, where we will practically have to set up our military architecture from scratch.”

On sanctions and sovereignty

Putin has criticized the rounds of sanctions that the US and EU have imposed on Russia, which began during Crimea’s accession to Russia and continued after the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine.

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ith that in mind, we need to promptly and diligently implement all the measures we have planned to strengthen our nation’s defense capabilities, including our plans for Crimea and Sevastopol, where we will practically have to set up our military architecture from scratch.”

The very concept of the state sovereignty is becoming diluted. Unwanted regimes and countries that are trying to exercise independent policy or simply stand in the way of someone’s interests are getting destabilized,” Putin said.

Attempts aimed at destabilizing the social and political situation, throwing off Russia and striking at its vulnerable and soft spots have been and will be made,” he added.

According to Putin, Western states are trying to “make Russia agreeable so that certain matters at the international arena are resolved in favor of other countries.”

The so-called competitive struggle at the international arena will imply the use of tools in both economic and political fields. This will include the potential of security services, modern information and communication technologies, and connections of dependent, puppet NGOs – the so-called soft power,” Putin pointed out. “Apparently, some countries regard it as democracy.”

Putin stressed that Russia has an edge over other states, as the country isn’t a member of any alliance.

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Any alliance member countries lose part of their sovereignty and it rarely goes in tune with the national interests of the country. But it’s their sovereign decision.”

On our part, we follow all the norms of international law and fulfill our obligations to our partners. We expect other countries and organizations, military and political alliances – Russia is not a part of any alliance, and that underpins our sovereignty – to take our national interests into consideration.

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The president also pointed out that any controversial issues in Russia will be “settled through diplomatic means only,” with no other state meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

Such methods that are used to pressure weak countries will not work on Russia, he said, adding that they are “absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive” and “undermining the current world order.”

On Ukraine crisis and MH17 investigation

Internal problems are often used to trigger coups that are financed from outside, Putin said.

Of course, there always are some kinds of problems, but it is not clear why one has to use them to completely destabilize and destroy the country – what we often see recently in various regions of the world.”

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As a result of such coups, radical nationalist – or simply neo-fascist, fundamentalist forces – come to power, which is what happened in Ukraine, Putin said.

Yes, after the coup, elections were held, but for some reason again those who funded or carried out the coup became the heads of state. The current authorities are using force trying to silence the part of the population that disagrees with this development,” Putin noted with regret.

The international community has been calling on Russia to use its influence on the eastern anti-government militia to cooperate in the resolution of the crisis.

We of course will do everything in our power but that is not nearly enough,” the president said.

Putin believes the West must appeal to Kiev to honor its ceasefire pledge.

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Putin highlighted that Kiev should not fuel the conflict, citing Tuesday’s incident when “the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked Donetsk with their tanks” as the local militia were handing the black box of the crashed MH17 over to experts.

Tanks broke through to the train station and opened fire at it. The international experts there could not even look out of the windows,” said the Russian head of state. “It’s not like the rebels are shooting at themselves.”

Anti-NATO protesters begin 192-mile march on summit

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British Foreign Secretary of State for Foreign an Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague (L) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen unveils the logo of the NATO Wales’ summit before a family picture as part of a Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting in Brussels on June 25, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Peace activists have set out on a three-week ‘Long March on Newport’ to protest against September’s NATO Summit. Police say they have drafted in 9,000 officers to face the protesters in one of the UK’s biggest ever police operations.

More than 20,000 activists from around the world are expected to take part in demonstrations during the summit, where a week-long peace camp and a counter summit are among some of the events planned in what has been billed as Wales’ largest protest in a generation.

Sixty world leaders from the 28-nation military bloc will meet at the Celtic Manor in Newport for the NATO summit on September 4 and 5. Previous NATO summits in Chicago and Strasbourg saw thousands protest war, austerity and global inequality.

In one of the UK’s largest-ever policing deployments, 20km of security fencing is being erected around the venues.

“This is a UK-wide policing effort and I am confident that we will be able to deliver a safe summit, for delegates and the public,” said Assistant Chief Constable Chris Armitt, who is leading the policing and security operation for the summit.

 

 

 

No NATO Newport is taking a 19-day route from the National Eisteddfod in Llanelli on Friday, arriving in Newport on August 29. The protest is inspired by the Newport Chartist Rising, a 19th century suffrage march where scores were killed while demanding the release of Chartists imprisoned in the town.

“Many of us are increasingly worried by the threat that NATO poses to world stability and peaceful relations,” said the organizers.

“Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has reinvented itself supposedly as a tool of the ‘international community’ to safeguard ‘freedom and security’.

“In reality it is a vehicle for US-led use of force in the interests of the rich and powerful, accelerating militarization, bypassing the United Nations and the system of international law, and escalating spending on arms,” they added.

Activists argue that the money spent on arms could be better spent on hospitals, schools and services.

The protesters want to collect messages on postcards from members of the public along the way with the aim of delivering them on the first day of the summit during planned demonstrations outside the venue.

The No to NATO Newport umbrella group draws on the support of anti-war and anti-cuts activists working with the Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Green Party.

 

Alan Smith 02.09.2014 11:57

Part of a letter sent from a Dutch Professor to Vladmir Putin

We are powerless onlookers, as we witness how the Western Nations, led by the United States, accuse Russia of crimes they commit themselves more than anybody else. We reject the double standards that are used for Russia and the West. In our societies, sufficient evidence is required for a conviction. The way you and your Nation are convicted for ‘crimes’ without evidence, is ruthless and despicable.