Is Washington Planning “Operation Barbarossa 2.0″? War against Russia?

 

 
 
NATO-Russia-400x269On June 22, 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union – perhaps the largest ever invasion force by one country against another involving up to four million combat and support troops.

His ambition to conquer the Soviet Union, acquire Lebensraum, its resources and enslave its people failed. So did Napoleon 130 years earlier against Tsarist Russia.

Does Washington plan repeating their mistakes?

Anti-Russian hostility and saber rattling should scare everyone. US-NATO military exercises on Russia’s doorstep are provocative.

They repeat with disturbing regularity. BALTOPS is the latest.

On June 5, NATO said “(s)cores of ships and aircraft from 17 countries are taking part in Baltic Sea naval drills as part of exercise BALTOPS which started on Friday, 5 June 2015 and runs until 20 June.”

“Allied participation demonstrates NATO’s resolve to defend the Baltic region, and will hone the ability of Allies and partners to work together.”

“Fourteen NATO Allies are joined this year by NATO partners Finland, Georgia and Sweden. Overall, 5,600 troops will be involved.”

NATO Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces  Admiral James Foggo said “(t)his exercise represents an important opportunity for our forces, as allies and partners, to enhance our ability to work together and strengthen capabilities required to maintain regional security.”

Washington orchestrates NATO war games – anti-Russian/Chinese/Iranian exercises at a time no threat from these country exists, when America, its rogue NATO allies and Israel alone threaten world peace.

A previous article asked if US-dominated NATO planned war on Russia – the madness of potential nuclear confrontation if launched.

Mounting evidence should give everyone pause for concern. Provocative US-dominated military exercises near Russia’s borders suggest preparation for war.

So does irresponsible Russia bashing – a regular drumbeat of Big Lies. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf is paid to lie.

“Russia bears direct responsibility for what’s happening in Ukraine,” she says – despite no evidence suggesting it, plenty pointing fingers at Washington and its rogue allies.

Harf repeatedly blames “Russian separatists” for daily Kiev war crimes – naked aggression waged with full US support.

Russia is the continent’s preeminent peacemaker. America and its Kiev proxy want war.

On May 28, NATO deputy secretary general (its de facto boss) former US Defense Department official Alexander Vershbow repeated the same Big Lies about Russia he’s blustered numerous times before, including claiming:

– “Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea:”

– Russia undermines regional peace:

– Russia “br(ought) war to Eastern Ukraine:”

– Russia supports Donbass militia fighters “with weapons – including sophisticated heavy weapons – with soldiers and with training:”

– “Russian aggression” destabilizes Ukraine: FALSE! The whole world knows no Russian aggression exists.

– Russia “use(s) force – or the threat of force – to achieve its strategic objectives:”

These allegations are false.

Vershbow said “(w)e are putting NATO into a position of strength…to protect our allies (and) engag(e) with Russia” – code language for confrontation stopping short of declaring war.

Ahead of his visit to Italy, Vladimir Putin addressed irresponsible Western “Russian aggression” accusations saying:

“I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO.”

“I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia. They just want to play the role of front-line countries that should receive some supplementary military, economic, financial or some other aid.”

Russia’s military policy isn’t “global, offensive or aggressive,” he stressed. (V)irtually no bases abroad” are maintained.

Moscow wants demilitarization while Washington’s agenda is polar opposite.

“I invite you to publish a world map…and mark all the US military bases on it,” he said. “You will see the difference between Russia and America.”

Military spending of NATO countries is tenfold Russia’s budget. Washington is installing so-called “anti-missile systems, bases and radars in European territory (and at) sea” – ignoring Russia’s warning about undermining international security.

America under George Bush withdrew from the ABM treaty, not Russia. It limited anti-ballistic missile arsenals. Putin called it “the cornerstone of the entire international security system.”

“Everything we do is just a response to the threats emerging against us,” he explained.

“Besides, what we do is limited in scope and scale, but is, however, sufficient to ensure Russia’s security.”

In late May, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the threat of Washington installing so-called missile defense systems in Ukraine, saying:

“(W)e can only perceive it negatively…because it will be a threat to the Russian Federation. In case there are missile defense systems stationed in Ukraine, Russia will have to take retaliatory measures to ensure its own safety.”

Ukraine remains a dangerous global flashpoint. At an extraordinary FridaySecurity Council meeting, Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin explained repeated Kiev violations of Minsk ceasefire terms.

“OSCE monitors should not simply note ceasefire violations, but clearly write down the purpose of these attacks, and who suffers from them –  civilians or military units carrying out artillery fire against settlements,” he said.

Ahead of the June 7 and 8 G-7 summit in Germany, Obama spoke with Poroshenko. He reaffirmed strong US support “for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

He blamed Russia and Donbass freedom fighters for Kiev high crimes. So did US UN envoy Samantha Power atFriday’s Security Council session – bashing Russia irresponsibly like she always does, systematically ignoring hard truths.

Washington wants Putin ousted. They want regime change in Russia. They want pro-Western stooge governance replacing its sovereign independence.

They risk heading things recklessly toward WW III.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site atsjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts  will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

US and the Lausanne Negociations: Another Idiotic Plan to Hurt Russia

 

iran-oil-rig-400x266“The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests…..We must, however, be mindful that…Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.”

The Wolfowitz Doctrine, the original version of the Defense Planning Guidance, authored by Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia…and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”

-THE GRAND CHESSBOARDAmerican Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, page 30, Basic Books, 1997

The Lausanne negotiations between Iran and the so called P5+1 group (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) have nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. They are, in fact, another attempt to weaken and isolate Russia by easing sanctions, thus allowing Iranian gas to replace Russian gas in Europe. Lausanne shows that Washington still thinks that the greatest threat to its dominance is the further economic integration of Russia and Europe, a massive two-continent free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok that would eventually dwarf dwindling US GDP while decisively shifting the balance of global power to Asia. To counter that threat, the Obama administration toppled the elected government of Ukraine in a violent coup, launched a speculative attack on the ruble, forced down global oil prices, and is presently arming and training neo-Nazi extremists in the Ukrainian army. Washington has done everything in its power to undermine relations between the EU and Russia risking even nuclear war in its effort to separate the natural trading partners and to strategically situate itself in a location where it can control the flow of vital resources from East to West.

Lausanne was about strategic priorities not nukes. The Obama administration realizes that if it can’t find an alternate source of gas for Europe, then its blockade of Russia will fail and the EU-Russia alliance will grow stronger. And if the EU-Russia alliance grows stronger, then US attempts to extend its tentacles into Asia and become a major player in the world’s most prosperous region will also fail leaving Washington to face a dismal future in which the steady erosion of its power and prestige is a near certainty. This is from an article titled “Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan”:

“If Washington removes energy sanctions on Iran…then a new geopolitical configuration will emerge in the region. Connecting with Nabucco will be enough for Iran to fully supply Europe with gas…

Iran takes the floor with inexhaustible oil and gas reserves and as a key transit country. Iran disposes of the 10% of the reported global oil reserves and is the second country in the world after Russia with its natural gas reserves (15%). The official representatives of Iran do not hide that they strive to enter the European market of oil and gas, as in the olden days. Let’s remember that the deputy Minister of Oil in Iran, Ali Majedi, offered to revive project of Nabucco pipeline during his European tour and said that his country is ready to supply gas to Europe through it…

“Some months earlier the same Ali Majedi reported sensational news: ‘two invited European delegations’ discussed the potential routes of Iranian gas supply to Europe,” the article reads.” … It is also noted that the West quite materially reacted to the possibility of the Iranian gas to join Nabucco.” (Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan, Panorama)

So, is this the plan, to provide “energy security” to Europe by replacing Russian gas with Iranian gas?

It sure looks like it. But that suggests that the sanctions really had nothing to do with Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program but were merely used to humiliate Iran while keeping as much of its oil and gas offline until western-backed multinationals could get their greasy mitts on it.

Indeed, that’s exactly how the sanctions were used even though the nuclear issue was a transparent fake from the get go. Get a load of this from the New York Times:

“Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.” (U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb, James Risen, New York Times, February 24, 2012)

See? The entire US intelligence establishment has been saying the same thing from the onset: No Iranian nukes. Nor has Iran ever been caught diverting nuclear fuel to other purposes. Never. Also, as nuclear weapons physicist, Gordon Prather stated many times before his death, “After almost three years of go-anywhere see-anything interview-anyone inspections, IAEA inspectors have yet to find any indication that Iran has — or ever had — a nuclear weapons program.”

The inspectors were on the ground for three freaking years. They interviewed everyone and went wherever they wanted. They searched every cave and hideaway, every nook and cranny, and they found nothing.

Get it? No nukes, not now, not ever. Period.

The case against Iran is built on propaganda, brainwashing and bullshit, in that order. But, still, that doesn’t tell us why the US is suddenly changing course. For that, we turn to an article from The Brookings Institute titled “Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter” which sums it up quite well. Here’s a clip:

“At heart, this is a fight over what to do about Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East and the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Proponents of the deal believe that the best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to seek to integrate Iran into the regional order, even while remaining wary of its ambitions. A nuclear deal is an important first step in that regard, but its details matter little because the ultimate goal is to change Iranian intentions rather destroy Iranian capability.” (Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter, Brookings)

Notice how carefully the author avoids mentioning Israel by name although he alludes to “the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies”. Does he think he’s talking to idiots?

But his point is well taken; the real issue is not “Iranian capability”, but “Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East”. In other words, the nuclear issue is baloney. What Washington doesn’t like is that Iran has an independent foreign policy that conflicts with the US goal of controlling the Middle East. That’s what’s really going on. Washington wants a compliant Iran that clicks its heals and does what its told.

The problem is, the strategy hasn’t worked and now the US is embroiled in a confrontation with Moscow that is a higher priority than the Middle East project. (The split between US elites on this matter has been interesting to watch, with the Obama-Brzezinski crowd on one side and the McCain-neocon crowd on the other.) This is why the author thinks that easing sanctions and integrating Iran into the predominantly US system would be the preferable remedy for at least the short term.

Repeat: “The best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to integrate Iran into the regional order.” In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em. Iran is going to be given enough freedom to fulfill its role within the imperial order, that is, to provide gas to Europe in order to inflict more economic pain on Russia. Isn’t that what’s going on?

But what effect will that have on Iran-Russia relations? Will it poison the well and turn one ally against the other?

Probably not, mainly because the ties between Iran and Russia are growing stronger by the day. Check this out from the Unz Review by Philip Giraldi:

“Moscow and Tehran are moving towards a de-facto strategic partnership, which can be easily seen by the two groundbreaking announcements from earlier this week. It’s now been confirmed by the Russian government that the rumored oil-for-goods program between Russia and Iran is actually a real policy that’s already been implemented, showing that Moscow has wasted no time in trying to court the Iranian market after the proto-deal was agreed to a week earlier. Providing goods in exchange for resources is a strategic decision that creates valuable return customers in Iran, who will then be in need of maintenance and spare parts for their products. It’s also a sign of deep friendship between the two Caspian neighbors and sets the groundwork for the tentative North-South economic corridor between Russia and India via Iran.” (A Shifting Narrative on Iran, Unz Review)

But here’s the glitch: Iran can’t just turn on the spigot and start pumping gas to Europe. It doesn’t work that way. It’s going to take massive pipeline and infrastructure upgrades that could take years to develop. That means there will be plenty of hefty contracts awarded to friends of Tehran –mostly Russian and Chinese–who will perform their tasks without interfering in domestic politics. Check this out from Pepe Escobar:

“Russia and China are deeply committed to integrating Iran into their Eurasian vision. Iran may finally be admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the upcoming summer summit in Russia. That implies a full-fledged security/commercial/political partnership involving Russia, China, Iran and most Central Asian ’stans’.

Iran is already a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); that means financing for an array of New Silk Road-related projects bound to benefit the Iranian economy. AIIB funding will certainly merge with loans and other assistance for infrastructure development related to the Chinese-established Silk Road Fund…” (Russia, China, Iran: In sync, Pepe Escobar, Russia Today)

Get the picture? Eurasian integration is already done-deal and there’s nothing the US can do to stop it.

Washington needs to rethink its approach. Stop the meddling and antagonism, rebuild relations through trade and mutual trust, and accept the inevitability of imperial decline.

Asia’s star is rising just as America’s is setting. Deal with it.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle editionHe can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Russia Under Attack

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research
In-depth Report:

 

While Washington works assiduously to undermine the Minsk agreement that German chancellor Merkel and French president Hollande achieved in order to halt the military conflict in Ukraine, Washington has sent Victoria Nuland to Armenia to organize a “color revolution” or coup there, has sent Richard Miles as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to do the same there, and has sent Pamela Spratlen as ambassador to Uzbekistan to purchase that government’s allegiance away from Russia.  The result would be to break up the Collective Security Treaty Organization and present Russia and China with destabilization where they can least afford it.

For details go here:  http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/18/4656

Thus, Russia faces the renewal of conflict in Ukraine simultaneously with three more Ukraine-type situations along its Asian border.

 And this is only the beginning of the pressure that Washington is mounting on Russia.

On March 18 the Secretary General of NATO denounced the peace settlement between Russia and Georgia that ended Georgia’s military assault on South Ossetia. The NATO Secretary General said that NATO rejects the settlement because it “hampers ongoing efforts by the international community to strengthen security and stability in the region.”

Look closely at this statement. It defines the “international community” as Washington’s NATO puppet states, and it defines strengthening security and stability as removing buffers between Russia and Georgia so that Washington can position military bases in Georgia directly on Russia’s border.

In Poland and the Baltic states Washington and NATO lies about a pending Russian invasion are being used to justify provocative war games on Russia’s borders and to build up US forces in NATO military bases on Russia’s borders.

We have crazed US generals on national television calling for “killing Russians.”

The EU leadership has agreed to launch a propaganda war against Russia, broadcasting Washington’s lies inside Russia in an effort to undermine the Russian people’s support of their government.

All of this is being done in order to coerce Russia into handing over Crimea and its Black Sea naval base to Washington and accepting vassalage under Washington’s suzerainty.

If Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, and the Taliban would not fold to Washington’s threats, why do the fools in Washington think Putin, who holds in his hands the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, will fold?

European governments, apparently, are incapable of any thought.  Washington has set London and the capitals of every European country, as well as every American city, for destruction by Russian nuclear weapons.  The stupid Europeans rush to destroy themselves in service to their Washington master.

Human intelligence has gone missing if after 14 years of US military aggression against eight countries the world does not understand that Washington is lost in arrogance and hubris and imagines itself the ruler of the universe who will tolerate no dissent from its will.

We know that the American, British, and European media are whores well paid to lie for their master.  We know that the NATO commander and secretary general, if not the member countries, are lusting for war.  We know that the American Dr. Strangeloves in the Pentagon and armaments industry cannot wait to test their ABMs and new weapons systems in which they always place excessive confidence.

We know that the prime minister of Britain is a total cipher. But are the chancellor of Germany and the president of France ready for the destruction of their countries and of Europe?  If the EU is of such value, why is the very existence of its populations put at risk in order to bow down and accept leadership from an insane Washington whose megalomania will destroy life on earth?

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: publications@globalresearch.ca

Nazi Kiev Official Greeted in Ottawa and Washington

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

In-depth Report:

 

Kiev’s national security and defense council secretary Andriy Parubiy was feted Andriy-Parubiy-Ottawa-400x262on visits to Ottawa and Washington.

He came seeking more heavy weapons and funding than already provided. He orchestrated February 2014 Maidan killings.

As security chief, he controlled access to weapons used. He took full advantage. He positioned snipers with automatic weapons in Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall.

They murdered around 100 protesters and police. President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed. His ouster followed.

Things were scripted in Washington. The rest, as they say, is history. Plans are to Nazify Ukraine nationwide.

Eliminate Donbass democracy. Use Ukraine as a dagger against Russia’s heartland. Perhaps a prelude to WW III.

Parubiy belongs in prison, not high office. He’s responsible for mass murder and coup following violence he and others staged.

On February 23, Canada’s Globe and Mail covered his Ottawa visit. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper marches in lockstep with imperial US policy.

Parubiy said Canada has an “authoritative voice” on what’s ongoing in Donbass. He asked for help to get Washington to supply more heavy weapons and funding than already.

He wants Canada and other Western countries helping the same way.

So Kiev can prepare for renewed aggression against its anti-fascist Southeastern citizens wanting fundamental democratic freedoms everyone deserves.

So-called “defensive” ones are for offense. Including virtually anything short of nuclear bombs. Maybe they come later.

According to the Globe and Mail, Parubiy met with “Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson and James Bezan, the parliamentary secretary to the defence minister…”

Other scheduled meetings followed with House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer an various MPs.

“Canada has been a kind of a leader in the world vis-a-vis Ukraine,” said Paubiy (in translation).

“Words and actions are the same in Canada, so it’s kind of an example for the rest of the world with their Ukraine policy.”

Parubiy discussed Canadian and US support for the next phase of Kiev’s planned aggression.

He called its dirty war without mercy “a global challenge, a global fight, not just a Russia-Ukraine fight.”

He sounded like a sawdust Caesar saying “we are fighting not only for Ukraine but for Euro-Atlantic and European values.”

Providing more funding and heavy weapons likely assures a deeper hole.

Following discussions, Canada’s Nicholson said Canada supports Minsk. “Any attempt to reduce or take away Ukraine’s sovereignty in that way is completely opposed by Canada,” he added.

He withheld comment on whether Ottawa would supply Kiev with weapons.

On February 25, Parubiy arrived in Washington. America’s global propaganda service Voice of America interviewed him.

Ukraine’s Unian (dis)information agency said he discussed some of the armaments he wants Washington to supply – including anti-tank systems and other heavy weapons.

“The list of required equipment has already been submitted to US President Barack Obama, but it is also planned to present it to other officials who ‘are directly involved in the decision making process,’ ” said Unian.

He’s scheduled to meet with Speaker John Boehner, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, and Pentagon officials.

No comment on whether he and Obama will meet. Maybe quietly with little or nothing said.

Kiev and Washington are partners in high crimes. Renewed aggression on Donbass is planned at Obama’s discretion.

Parubiy is a convenient stooge. He came to get marching orders. They exclude peace, stability and good will.

Rogue states make their own rules. Oppose them and face possible imprisonment or death.

Ukrainian Law Professor Olga Zagulskaya criticized Kiev’s war on Donbass. Persecution followed.

She now suffers from hypertension. Kiev’s “psychological torture had its intended effect,” she said.

She was warned her students prepared to boycott her. They were

“set upon (her) by the ‘intelligentsia’ of Miroslav Popovich, Yuriy Vinnichuk ,and Otar Dovzhenko.”

“At least three SBU men were circling around (her), which means it’s not a purely student event.”

Journalists targeted her. Articles said “Lvov National University professor openly supports terrorists.”

She faced possible criminal charges.To avoid legal proceedings, she resigned three years before retirement.

“At one point (she) felt so dizzy (she) could no longer stand.” She sought medical care. She’s “in treatment, possibly for a long time.”

“All because” she opposes Kiev’s war on Donbass. “(A)s Taras Shevchenko once said,” she explained: ‘I incur punishment, I suffer, but I do not repent!’ ”

Obama’s Ukrainian friends are cutthroat killer Nazi thugs. Zagulskaya is lucky to be alive.

She could have been imprisoned or marked for death. Hooligans running Ukraine operate this way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Madame Merkel – Between Munich, Moscow, Washington and Minsk — Jet-setting for Peace or Propaganda?

Region:
In-depth Report:

 

Angela-MerkelMadame Merkel attended on 6 February the 6-7 February NATO security Conference in Munich. Then, not listening to what Mr. Lavrov had to say to the conference on 7 February, she jetted with ‘General’ (as in Napoleon) Hollande of France to Moscow to meet ‘urgently’ with Mr. Putin on 7 February to initiate new peace / truce talks on Ukraine. Keeping the results largely under wraps, not to divulge to her own people or the rest of Europe, she stopped briefly over in Germany where she finally talked to Sergei Lavrov, before jetting on to emperor Obama for reporting and consulting.

What does the master say? We don’t know yet – eagerly awaiting the mainstream media spin. It should be hitting us shortly. – Next stop Minsk. Merkel with Holland in tow, for talks with Putin and Poroshenko. What else is new? Poroshenko can’t budge without a nod from Washington – which he will not get, of course. Peace is not part of Obama’s and his henchmen’s game plan. He needs war, and he wants Ukraine.

Does this look like a serious attempt by Europe to reach peace in Ukraine or sheer propaganda? – Taking hapless Hollande along to Moscow and Minsk, makes it look graver, more serious, but is likely just another propaganda stunt, replaying the odd, old German- French tandem; of course, as a new lie campaign, eventually serving to vilify Vladimir Putin. If it all fails. And fail it will, since Washington has no intention to reach an agreement.

The Kremlin will not give in handing over Ukraine on a silver platter to the emperor and his European vassals, nor on any platter for that matter. And rightly so. Everybody knows that, except for the msm-enslaved populace; a vast majority. Unfortunately.

Almost certainly, Mr. Putin stressed again, what he said since the beginning of the conflict, that there are no Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, humanitarian aid is all that Russia delivers to the cruelly bombed and massacred people of Neorussia, the Donbass area. This was recently confirmed by Chief of Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, General Viktor Muzhenkohttp://www.globalresearch.ca/ukrainian-government-no-russian-troops-are-fighting-against-us-sanctions-against-russia-based-on-falshoods/5428523.

Of course, no msm has picked up this little detail. How could they? It would throw out all justification for western sanctions – and it would lay bare the western, Washington-driven lies about Russian military intervention in Ukraine. People may start wondering, who if not Russia, is responsible for the bloody civil war in Ukraine, that has already left more than 5,400 people dead, hundreds of thousands without shelter and heating in the midst of winter – and millions of refugees? – And for downing the Malaysian airliner MH17? – Could we have been hoodwinked by the Empire of Chaos and its European vassals?

Mr. Putin may also have laid out to the odd couple, Merkel-Hollande, what he did since the beginning of the conflict as a condition of peace, or at least a truce – a relative large autonomy for eastern Ukraine, with Russian as an official language – and NO NATO base in Ukraine.

That sounds very reasonable, given the fact that the war was entirely instigated and the Nazi putsch government (sic) put in place by Washington. Madame Nuland, Kerry’s sidekick, testified to this in a telephone conversation on January 28, 2014, about three weeks before the coup, with US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. The conversation was published on YouTube. She knew whom she wanted to replace the democratically elected Victor Yanukovitsch with, namely with “Yats”, as she calls him endearingly, the ultra-right wing, fascist Arseniy Yatsenuik, today’s PM of the Kiev junta of thugs and murderers. She later bragged about it at the Washington Press Club.

Again, the msm-lie and deceit machine is as of this day silent about it, lest Mr. Putin could no longer be demonized and his country ‘sanctioned’ – sanctions, which badly backfire especially on Europe – who has built up close and friendly business and trade relationships with Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was a logical step, not only from a geographic point of view; but also seen from an economic development ‘growth’ perspective.

Now – is Ms. Merkel seriously brokering for peace, because the German economy and the Euro may be at stake if Germany is shut out of Russia and the rest of the Eastern markets – all of Central Asia and China?

Keep in mind, there is already the Eurasian Customs Union, to become the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as of 2015, with the member states including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In addition, there is the overlapping Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, with potentially new members of Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan.

Turkey and India are also SCO contenders, but with India betraying the BRICS and seemingly rapidly defecting into the lush neoliberal Obama camp, and Turkey being torn apart, on the one hand as Europe’s key NATO base, and on the other, disgusted by Europe and increasingly leaning towards Russia and China – their SCO membership remains in suspense for now.

The SCO, created in 2001, is a politico-economic and military association. Together the EEC and the SCO account for about 25% of the world population and close to 30% of the world’s economic output. The eastern alliance under Russian-Chinese leadership is well on course of establishing its own monetary system, detached from the fraudulent dollar scheme.

Then there are the remaining BRICS, plus Argentina, Venezuela and possibly others that would gladly be migrating out of Washington’s oppressive fangs into a friendly economic environment, where national sovereignty still counts and is respected.

Given all these facts, is it too farfetched to assume that Madame Merkel may have seen the light after all, racing to Obama, telling him the obvious? That without a change of Washington’s policy towards Russia not only the European economy may collapse, but that the US economy may not survive either? – That with WWIII or even a new Cold War over Ukraine, the world as we know it may eclipse? – That he, Mr. Obama, the emperor of the exceptional nation, should put his bets on other horses than conflict and eternal war, and instead start thinking of peace and cooperation?

It would be fair to assume that Washington knows all that. There has been a pattern for the last 35 years, the hegemonic implementation of a neoliberal dogma; controlling energy, food, money and people under a one world order, be it as it may, through financial and economic subjugation as with Greece and other southern European states, or with endless outright military aggression directly or by proxy (as in bought (mis)leaders and mercenaries), à la Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Thailand, Yemen, and-so-on – and Ukraine. They, the master and his cronies, will not let go, no matter what concessions Putin would be willing to make. Pursuit of the PNAC’s (Plan for a New American Century) objective, Full Spectrum Dominance, knows no mercy. Obama himself is a mere marionette of corporate empire, led by the military industrial complex and the Zionist-Anglo-Saxon banking system.

Madame Merkel, regardless of the tenor and contents of your discussion in Washington, it is up to you, whether you want to lead Europe out of her conundrum – of her wavering between prosperity and submission – between war and peace.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik News, the Voice of Russia / Ria Novosti, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

Russia, China mock divide and rule

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BLOOD & OIL

By Pepe Escobar

 

ROME and BEIJING — The Roman Empire did it. The British Empire copied it in style. The Empire of Chaos has always done it. They all do it. Divide et impera. Divide and rule — or divide and conquer. It’s nasty, brutish and effective. Not forever though, like diamonds, because empires do crumble.

A room with a view to the Pantheon may be a celebration of Venus — but also a glimpse on the works of Mars. I had been in Rome essentially for a symposium — Global WARning — organized by a very committed, talented group led by a former member of European Parliament, Giulietto Chiesa. Three days later, as the run on the rouble was unleashed, Chiesa was arrested and expelled from Estonia as persona non grata, yet another graphic illustration of the anti-Russia hysteria gripping the Baltic nations and the Orwellian grip NATO has on Europe’s weak links.[1] Dissent is simply not allowed.

At the symposium, held in a divinely frescoed former 15th century Dominican refectory now part of the Italian parliament’s library, Sergey Glazyev, on the phone from Moscow, gave a stark reading of Cold War 2.0. There’s no real “government” in Kiev; the US ambassador is in charge. An anti-Russia doctrine has been hatched in Washington to foment war in Europe — and European politicians are its collaborators. Washington wants a war in Europe because it is losing the competition with China.

Glazyev addressed the sanctions dementia: Russia is trying simultaneously to reorganize the politics of the International Monetary Fund, fight capital flight and minimize the effect of banks closing credit lines for many businessmen. Yet the end result of sanctions, he says, is that Europe will be the ultimate losers economically; bureaucracy in Europe has lost economic focus as American geopoliticians have taken over.

Only three days before the run on the rouble, I asked Rosneft’s Mikhail Leontyev (Press-Secretary — Director of the Information and Advertisement Department) about the growing rumors of the Russian government getting ready to apply currency controls. At the time, no one knew an attack on the rouble would be so swift, and conceived as a checkmate to destroy the Russian economy. After sublime espressos at the Tazza d’Oro, right by the Pantheon, Leontyev told me that currency controls were indeed a possibility. But not yet.

What he did emphasize was this was outright financial war, helped by a fifth column in the Russian establishment. The only equal component in this asymmetrical war was nuclear forces. And yet Russia would not surrender. Leontyev characterized Europe not as an historical subject but as an object: “The European project is an American project.” And “democracy” had become fiction.

The run on the rouble came and went like a devastating economic hurricane. Yet you don’t threat a checkmate against a skilled chess player unless your firepower is stronger than Jupiter’s lightning bolt. Moscow survived. Gazprom heeded the request of President Vladimir Putin and will sell its US dollar reserves on the domestic market. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier went on the record against the EU further “turning the screw” as in more counter-productive sanctions against Moscow. And at his annual press conference, Putin emphasized how Russia would weather the storm. Yet I was especially intrigued by what he did not say.[2]

As Mars took over, in a frenetic acceleration of history, I retreated to my Pantheon room trying to channel Seneca; from euthymia — interior serenity – to that state of imperturbability the Stoics defined as aponia. Still, it’s hard to cultivate euthymia when Cold War 2.0 rages.

Show me your imperturbable missile

Russia could always deploy an economic “nuclear” option, declaring a moratorium on its foreign debt. Then, if Western banks seized Russian assets, Moscow could seize every Western investment in Russia. In any event, the Pentagon and NATO’s aim of a shooting war in the European theater would not happen; unless Washington was foolish enough to start it.

Still, that remains a serious possibility, with the Empire of Chaos accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) even as it prepares to force Europe in 2015 to accept the deployment of US nuclear cruise missiles.

Russia could outmaneuver Western financial markets by cutting them off from its wealth of oil and natural gas. The markets would inevitably collapse — uncontrolled chaos for the Empire of Chaos (or “controlled chaos,” in Putin’s own words). Imagine the crumbling of the quadrillion-plus of derivatives. It would take years for the “West” to replace Russian oil and natural gas, but the EU’s economy would be instantly devastated.

Just this lightning-bolt Western attack on the rouble — and oil prices — using the crushing power of Wall Street firms had already shaken European banks exposed to Russia to the core; their credit default swaps soared. Imagine those banks collapsing in a Lehman Brothers-style house of cards if Russia decided to default — thus unleashing a chain reaction. Think about a non-nuclear MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) — in fact warless. Still, Russia is self-sufficient in all kinds of energy, mineral wealth and agriculture. Europe isn’t. This could become the lethal result of war by sanctions.

Essentially, the Empire of Chaos is bluffing, using Europe as pawns. The Empire of Chaos is as lousy at chess as it is at history. What it excels in is in upping the ante to force Russia to back down. Russia won’t back down.

Darkness dawns at the break of chaos

Paraphrasing Bob Dylan in When I Paint My Masterpiece, I left Rome and landed in Beijing. Today’s Marco Polos travel Air China; in 10 years, they will be zooming up in reverse, taking high-speed rail from Shanghai to Berlin.[3]

From a room in imperial Rome to a room in a peaceful hutong — a lateral reminiscence of imperial China. In Rome, the barbarians swarm inside the gates, softly pillaging the crumbs of such a rich heritage, and that includes the local Mafia. In Beijing, the barbarians are kept under strict surveillance; of course there’s a Panopticon element to it, essential to assure internal social peace. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — ever since the earth-shattering reforms by the Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping — is perfectly conscious that its Mandate of Heaven is directly conditioned by the perfect fine-tuning of nationalism and what we could term “neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics.”

In a different vein of the “soft beds of the East” seducing Marcus Aurelius, the silky splendors of chic Beijing offer a glimpse of an extremely self-assured emerging power. After all, Europe is nothing but a catalogue of multiple sclerosis and Japan is under its sixth recession in 20 years.

To top it off, in 2014 President Xi Jinping has deployed unprecedented diplomatic/geostrategic frenzy — ultimately tied to the long-term project of slowly but surely keeping on erasing US supremacy in Asia and rearranging the global chessboard. What Xi said in Shanghai in May encapsulates the project; “It’s time for Asians to manage the affairs of Asia.” At the APEC meeting in November, he doubled down, promoting an “Asia-Pacific dream.”

Meanwhile, frenzy is the norm. Apart from the two monster, US$725 billion gas deals — Power of Siberia and Altai pipeline — and a recent New Silk Road-related offensive in Eastern Europe,[4] virtually no one in the West remembers that in September Chinese Prime Minister Li Keiqiang signed no fewer than 38 trade deals with the Russians, including a swap deal and a fiscal deal, which imply total economic interplay.

A case can be made that the geopolitical shift towards Russia-China integration is arguably the greatest strategic maneuver of the last 100 years. Xi’s ultimate master plan is unambiguous: a Russia-China-Germany trade/commerce alliance. German business/industry wants it badly, although German politicians still haven’t got the message. Xi — and Putin — are building a new economic reality on the Eurasian ground, crammed with crucial political, economic and strategic ramifications.

Of course, this will be an extremely rocky road. It has not leaked to Western corporate media yet, but independent-minded academics in Europe (yes, they do exist, almost like a secret society) are increasingly alarmed there is no alternative model to the chaotic, entropic hardcore neoliberalism/casino capitalism racket promoted by the Masters of the Universe.

Even if Eurasian integration prevails in the long run, and Wall Street becomes a sort of local stock exchange, the Chinese and the emerging multipolar world still seem to be locked into the existing neoliberal model.

And yet, as much as Lao Tzu, already an octogenarian, gave the young Confucius an intellectual slap on the face, the “West” could do with a wake-up call. Divide et impera? It’s not working. And it’s bound to fail miserably.

As it stands, what we do know is that 2015 will be a hair-raising year in myriad aspects. Because from Europe to Asia, from the ruins of the Roman empire to the re-emerging Middle Kingdom, we all still remain under the sign of a fearful, dangerous, rampantly irrational Empire of Chaos.

What Putin is not telling us?

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin – Reprinted from RT

 
 

By Pepe Escobar

 
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference, addressing the economy, ruble and impact of sanctions from the U.S. and Europe.

 
 

Even facing what under any circumstances is a perfect storm; President Putin delivered an extremely measured performance at his annual press conference and Q&A marathon.

The perfect storm evolves in two fronts; an overt economic war — as in siege by sanctions — and a concerted, covert, shadow attack to the heart of the Russian economy. Washington’s endgame is clear: impoverish and defang the adversary and force him to meekly bow to the “Empire of Chaos’ s” whims. And bragging about it all the way to “victory.”

The problem is Moscow happens to have impeccably deciphered the game — even before Putin, at the Valdai Club in October, pinned down the Obama doctrine as “our Western partners” working as practitioners of the “theory of controlled chaos.”

So Putin neatly understood this week’s monster-controlled chaos attack. The Empire has massive money power; a great deal of influence over the world’s GDP at $85 trillion, and the banking power behind that. So nothing easier than using that power through the private banking systems that actually controls central banks to create a run on the ruble. Think about the “Empire of Chaos” dreaming of driving the ruble down by 99% or so — thus wrecking the Russian economy. What better way to impose imperial discipline on Russia?

The “nuclear” optionRussia sells oil in US dollars to the West. Lukoil, for instance, would have a deposit in US dollars in an American bank for the oil they sell. If Lukoil has to pay wages in rubles in Russia, then they will have to sell the US dollar deposits and buy in Russia a ruble deposit for their bank account. This in effect supports the ruble. The question is whether Lukoil, Rosneft and Gazprom are hoarding US dollars overseas — and holding back. The answer is no. And the same applies to other Russian businesses.

Russia is not “losing their savings,” as Western corporate media gloats. Russia can always require foreign companies to relocate to Russia. Apple, for instance, may open a manufacturing plant in Russia. The recent Russia-China deals include the Chinese building factories in Russia. With a depreciated ruble, Russia is able to force manufacturing that might have been located in the EU to be located in Russia; otherwise these companies lose the market. Putin somewhat admitted that Russia should have been demanding this much earlier. The — positive — process is now inevitable.

And then there’s a “nuclear” option — which Putin didn’t even have to mention. If Russia decides to impose capital controls and/or imposes a “holiday” on repayment of larger debt tranches coming due in early 2015, the European financial system will be bombed — Shock and Awe-style; after all, much of the Russian bank and corporate funding was underwritten in Europe.

Exposure to Russia per se is not the issue; what matters is the linkage to European banks. As an American investment banker told me, Lehman Brothers, for instance, brought down Europe just as much as New York City – based on inter-linkages. And yet Lehman was based in New York. It’s the domino effect that counts.

Were Russia to deploy this “nuclear” financial option, the Western financial system would not be able to absorb a shock of default. And that would demonstrate — once and for all – that Wall Street speculators have built a “House of Cards” so fragile and corrupt that the first real storm turns it to dust.

It’s just a shot away

And what if Russia defaults — creating a holy mess out of the country’s $600 billion debt? This scenario reads as the Masters of the Universe telling Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi to create credits in the banking systems to prevent “undue damage” — as in 2008.

But then Russia decides to cut off natural gas and oil from the West (while keeping the flow to the East). Russian intel may wreak non-stop havoc in pumping stations from the Maghreb to the Middle East. Russia may block all the oil and natural gas pumped in the Central Asian “stans.” The result: the greatest financial collapse in history. And the end of the “Empire of Chaos’ s” exceptionalist panacea.

Of course this is a doomsday scenario. But don’t provoke the bear, because the bear could pull that off in a flash.

Putin was so cool, calm, collected — and eager to delve into details — at his press conference because he knows Moscow is able to move in total autonomy. This is — of course — an asymmetrical war — against a crumbling, dangerous empire. What those intellectual midgets swarming the lame duck Obama administration are thinking? That they can sell American — and world — public opinion the notion Washington (European poodles, actually) will brave nuclear war, in the European theater, in the name of failed state Ukraine?

This is a chess game. The raid on the ruble was supposed to be a checkmate. It’s not. Not when deployed by amateur scrabble players. And don’t forget the Russia-China strategic partnership. The storm may be abating, but the match continues.

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His regular column, “The Roving Eye,” is widely read. He is an analyst for the online news channel Real News, the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and (more…)