All posts filed under: Russia

Russia Recovered Remains Of Israeli Spy From Syria.. Or Did It?

Ahmed Al-Khalid Russia is about to hand over the remains of the notorious Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who was executed in Syria, Israeli media claimed earlier this week. The reports based on information provided by anonymous sources in the Syrian opposition hold that a Russian delegation arrived to Damascus, took the body and left the country with it. Despite zero evidence these claims caused a huge commotion in Syria and Israel, forcing both countries to pay closer attention to Russia’s actions. This may be the very outcome desired by those who have been spreading these rumors. Who Is Eli Cohen A Mossad agent, Eli Cohen successfully infiltrated the highest echelons of the Syrian government, taking the position of senior adviser to the Minister of Defense in the 1950-s. He had been gathering sensitive information on the Syrian army until the discovery of his true identity which was followed by the execution in 1965. The intelligence provided by Cohen laid the foundation of the Israeli success in the war of 1967 when the Golan Heights were …

Stop the Gucci and Prada Talk

Chinese and Russian People Want to Live Too! Andre Vltchek I hear this again and again, whenever I speak in the West: What kind of Communism is that, in China? In all big cities, they have Prada and Gucci in every major department store.” Western leftists are obsessed with this topic. They do not even realize how ridiculous, how racist their arguments actually are! China, with some 6,000 years long history, 1.3 billion inhabitants and the second largest economy in the world, has almost eradicated extreme poverty in the cities, and in the countryside. For the first time in modern history, people are moving from the urban centers to the villages. The great Ecological Civilization effort is demonstrating to the world how to save the environment, and the planet. The country is firmly back with its brilliant model of “Communism with the Chinese characteristics”. Its foreign policy is more and more internationalist. But the more progressive, independent-minded and kind to its people China becomes, the more it is attacked and antagonized by the West. The …

Mueller-Dämmerung

If Nietzsche was right, and what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, we can thank the global capitalist ruling classes, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media for four more years of Donald Trump. The long-awaited Mueller report is due any day now, or so they keep telling us. Once it is delivered, and does not prove that Trump is a Russian intelligence asset, or that he personally conspired with Vladimir Putin to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, well, things are liable to get a bit awkward. Given the amount of goalpost-moving and focus-shifting that has been going on, clearly, this is what everyone’s expecting.

Can Russia and China Survive this Unharmonious World?

Andre Vltchek Does it pay ‘to be good’? Is it still possible to play by the rules in this mad world, governed by brigands? What if the rules are defined and ratified by all countries of the world, but a small group of the strongest (militarily) nations totally ignores them, while using its professional propagandists to reinterpret them in the most bizarre ways? Describing the world, I often feel that I am back in my primary school. When I was a child, I had the misfortune of growing up in a racist Czechoslovakia. Being born in the Soviet Union, and having an half Russian and half Asian mother, I was brutally beaten up between classes, from the age of seven. I was systematically attacked by a gang of boys, and humiliated and hit for having ‘Asian ears’, for having an ‘Asian mother’, for being Russian. During winters, my shoes were taken out into the bitter cold and pissed into. The urine turned into ice. The only consolation was that ‘at least’ I was Russian and …

Russian Stalemate

Frank Lee The brewing conflict between the Russian Oligarchy and the Russian people is reaching a crisis point. The side that prevails will determine the future of Russia and perhaps the world. On 17 March 1991 a referendum was held in the Soviet Union on whether or not the USSR should continue to exist. There was an 80% turnout (some 185,647,355.00 of registered voters). The upshot of this election was that 113,512,812.00 voted to preserve the USSR. That’s 71.92%. Their wishes were disregarded, however. The entrenched bureaucracies and business interests, collectively the nomenklatura, decided that this was too good an opportunity to pass up; there was money to be made in this once in a lifetime situation. Which sounds eerily rather like EU referenda practise. The sunny interlude of Gorbachov was to give way to the beginning of the Yeltsin catastrophe – a catastrophe not equalled since WW2. The emergence of the cosmopolitan business oligarchy and its political hangers-on was to consolidate its power and create a new kind of political, economic and social structure. …

RussiaGate as Organised Distraction

Prof. Oliver Boyd-Barrett, via Organisation for Propaganda Studies For over two years RussiaGate has accounted for a substantial proportion of all mainstream US media political journalism and, because US media have significant agenda-setting propulsion, of global media coverage as well. The timing has been catastrophic. The Trump Administration has shredded environmental protections, jettisoned nuclear agreements, exacerbated tensions with US rivals, and pandered to the rich. In place of sustained media attention to the end of the human species from global warming, its even more imminent demise in nuclear warfare, or the further evisceration of democratic discourse in a society riven by historically unprecedented wealth inequalities and unbridled capitalistic greed, corporate media suffocate their publics with a puerile narrative of alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. The RussiaGate discourse is profoundly mendacious and hypocritical. It presumes that the US is a State whose electoral system enjoys a high degree of public trust and security. Nothing could be further from the truth. The US democratic system is deeply entrenched in a dystopian two-party system …

Putin Now Thinks Western Elites Are ‘Swine’

Dmitry Orlov via Russia Insider An article I published close to five years ago, “Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over”, turned out to be the most popular thing I’ve written so far, having garnered over 200,000 reads over the intervening years. In it I wrote about Putin’s speech at the 2014 Valdai Club conference. In that speech he defined the new rules by which Russia conducts its foreign policy: out in the open, in full public view, as a sovereign nation among other sovereign nations, asserting its national interests and demanding to be treated as an equal. Yet again, Western elites failed to listen to him. Instead of mutually beneficial cooperation they continued to speak the language of empty accusations and counterproductive yet toothless sanctions. And so, in yesterday’s address to Russia’s National Assembly Putin sounded note of complete and utter disdain and contempt for his “Western partners,” as he has usually called them. This time he called them “swine.” The president’s annual address to the National Assembly is a rather big deal. Russia’s …

The Orientalism of Western Russophobia

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the publication of Edward W. Said’s pioneering book, Orientalism, as well as fifteen years since the Palestinian-American intellectual’s passing. To bid farewell to such an important scholar shortly after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Said fiercely criticized until his dying breath before succumbing to leukemia, made an already tremendous loss that much more impactful.

“New Knowledge” and the same old same old

Most of us in the UK-based alternate media are familiar with the Integrity Initiative by now. A disinformation campaign funded by the foreign office through the (very dodgy sounding) Institute for Statecraft. Their job was to smear people opposing Theresa May’s government – be they foreign or domestic. Less well-known in this country is New Knowledge, a direct US-based parallel of the Integrity Initiative. They’ve been conducting “counter propaganda” and “social media experiments” in the US since 2015, but only just hit the headlines.

Syria, Then and Now: Liberated of Western-backed Terrorism

Max Parry In a surprise turn of events, last month U.S. President Donald J. Trump made the abrupt unilateral announcement that American troops would begin to withdraw from Syria. The unexpected decision provoked the wrath of the foreign policy establishment and bipartisan ‘war party’ in Washington who immediately denounced it as a premature, reckless move that would lead to a resurgence of ISIS. As anticipated, the Beltway blob also claimed it was another sign of Trump’s perceived untold allegiance to Russian President Vladimir Putin. None of the warmongers in Washington would dare admit that the real gains made against ISIS were by the Syrian army with Russian air support, let alone that their own policies were responsible for its manifestation. Sure enough, a suicide bombing in Kurdish-controlled Manbij killed four American personnel just a month later and Daesh, which has a history of taking credit for attacks perpetrated by others, immediately claimed responsibility. It is almost as if the strategic asset themselves did not desire an American pullback— could it be another ‘false flag’ to …

The Fetishization of the Corporate Media

CJ Hopkins So the corporate media have gone and done it again. As they have, repeatedly, for the last two and half years, they shook the earth with a “bombshell” story proving beyond any reasonable doubt that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, or at least committed an impeachable felony in connection with something to do with the Russians, or Ukrainians, or other Slavic persons … which story turned out to be inaccurate, or not entirely accurate, or a bunch of horseshit. This time it was BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold, “a reporter with a checkered past” (i.e., a history of inventing his sources) who broke the “bombshell” Russiagate story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit. Leopold, and his colleague Anthony Cormier, reported that Trump had directed his attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about plans to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, thus suborning perjury and obstructing justice. Their sources for this “bombshell” story were allegedly “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation …

Buzzfeed, Question Time & the purpose of Fake News

in the last two months both Buzzfeed and The Guardian have issued “BREAKING NEWS” stories that were based on anonymous sources….both these stories were shown to be untrue in less than 24 hours.The important question is: Why does the media tell lies, if they know they will be revealed as such?

Lies and Damned Lies: Australia, the US and the “Syria Withdrawal”

Few of us would claim we never told a lie, but neither that we did so enthusiastically. Just the innocent deception of our own children with the Santa Claus fairy tale is a lie, even if told for the most altruistic of reasons. Perhaps that illustrates the conundrum, and need for some distinction between “innocent lies” and egregious ones, and those in between.

MH17: JIT’s expiring mandate

Three and half years on, why are there still so many unanswered questions? Célia Schmidt The year is ending and so is the mandate of the Joint International Team investigating the downing of flight MH17. It’s time to provide the results of the prosecutors’ work. No need to say how it’s important to identify and pursue those responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on 17 July 2014 in Ukraine. Otherwise, the perpetrators will feel like they have impunity. But as the investigation progresses, more questions to the JIT and more doubts about their ability to find responsible for the death of 298 passengers arise. Loopholes in the JIT report At the press conference in May 2018, the international investigators presented evidence that, according to them, implicated the Russian army in the MH17 crash. From the beginning, this theory, quite realistic indeed, has been the only one developed by the JIT. But should not prosecutors consider all the possible scenarios about the circumstances of the disaster? There is no doubt that a massive Russian …

The Year of Putin-Nazi Paranoia

As my regular readers will probably recall, according to my personal, pseudo-Chinese zodiac, 2017 was “The Year of the Headless Liberal Chicken.” This year, having given it considerable thought, and having consulted the I Ching, and assorted other oracles, I’m designating 2018 “The Year of Putin-Nazi Paranoia.”

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria” – Is Trump telling the truth?

Eric Zuesse At 11:52AM on Wednesday, December 19th, CBS News headlined “White House orders Pentagon to pull troops from Syria immediately” and reported that, “Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a veteran of the US Air Force who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and now serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said it’s ‘simply not true’ [which Trump, had said there, that] ISIS is defeated in Syria.” CBS News didn’t indicate which political Party Kinzinger represents, but he is a Republican, and he represents the rural Illinois 16th Congressional District, where Donald Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton by a 17% margin in 2016. So, Kinzinger is an anti-Trump Republican on this matter. He’s credible about that, not partisan about it. Who is telling the truth, Trump’s “We have defeated ISIS in Syria” or Kinzinger’s contrary, and what explains the contradiction between the accounts by Trump and Kinzinger? As the CBS News report says, “Two weeks ago, Special Envoy Brett McGurk said the end of ISIS will be a long-term initiative, and “nobody is declaring mission accomplished.” CBS’s …

UPDATED: Maria Butina Endgame

I wrote in some detail in Off-Guardian on 29 July about the 15 July arrest by the FBI in Washington DC of a 29 year old Russian national, a postgraduate student in Washington DC and gun enthusiast, Maria Butina.

I was not expecting Maria Butina to be still languishing in solitary confinement in a high-security prison in Virginia awaiting trial as an agent of foreign influence, over four months later. Yet this is what has happened to this unfortunate young aspiring lobbyist for better US-Russian relations.

Discuss: Kerch Strait and Azov Sea Tensions

The Guardian has a an opinion piece today, titled: The EU’s response to Russia must be bold and unanimous. It is written by German politician Norbert Röttgen, head of the Bundestag foreign affairs committee…and it is simply massively dishonest and one-sided. The “mainstream” narrative on Ukraine has been corrected to death in the alternate media, there is no need to go back over old ground, suffice to say, here are just few of the relevent facts which Mr Röttgen leaves out of his article: The Kerch Strait is incredibly shallow, it has a canal carved into to the sea bed to allow deep-draft ships to pass. Using the canal requires a pilot, and ships can only go in single file. The Ukrainian naval ships ignored these rules. Ships using the Kerch strait are required to give 72 hours notice, due to the narrowness of the passage and the shallowness of the sea. These rules have been in place for years. Ukraine ignored them. There have been calls – both inside and outside Ukraine – to …

The EU and the warning signs of Fascism

Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.

How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?

Bleak See on the Black Sea

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević Following the latest events in and around the Black Sea, two old questions are reappearing. Both are inviting us for a repeated elaboration: If a Monroe doctrine (about the hemispheric security exclusivity) is recognised at one corner of the globe, do we have a moral right or legal ground to negate it at the other corner? This irrespectively from the fact that Gorbachev-Yeltsin Russia unilaterally renounced the similar explication – the Brezhnev doctrine about irreversibility of communist gains. Clearly, the ‘might-makes-right’ as a conduct in international relations cannot be selectively accepted. Either it is acknowledged to all who can effectively self-prescribe and maintain such a monopoly of coercion, or it is absolutely (revoked and) condemned as contrary to behaviour among the civilised nations. Next to the first question is a right of pre-emption. It is apparent that within the Black Sea theatre, Russia acts in an unwilling, pre-emptive and rather defensive mode. That is not a regime change action on the other continent following the rational of extra security demand by …