All posts tagged: russia

Caspian Sea Agreement Symptomatic of Wider Geopolitical Changes

James O’Neill On 12 August 2018 the five littoral states to the Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan) signed an historic agreement governing the use of the Caspian Sea. The negotiations had been ongoing for more than 20 years. One of the issues was with the Caspian should be regarded as a sea (it is salty but completely enclosed) or a lake. If the former, then it would be governed by the international law of the sea. If defined as a lake, then the resources would be divided equally between the five States. In the event, the five nations agreed to accord it ‘a special status,’ neither lake nor sea. Whether this unique formulation will be recognised by non-littoral States is an open question. There are several significant elements to the Caspian Sea Convention (CSC) that are worthy of note. The first aspect is the size of the resources at stake. The Caspian Sea basin is known to hold 50 billion barrels of oil in proven reserves, and nearly 9 trillion cubic metres …

Western narratives, proven to be false, have nevertheless brought about a real Russia-West estrangement

Tony Kevin We have a situation now in which two major world governments, UK and Russia, both nuclear powers and permanent members of the UNSC, are upholding entirely opposed and contradictory narratives on two issues – the alleged Salisbury/Amesbury Novichuk poisonings, and the alleged nerve gas attacks by Assad Government forces on 7 April in Douma, Syria (on basis of false White Helmets-staged evidence). The latter allegation led to a US/UK bombing attack on Syrian Air Force bases. On both issues, the US and French governments – also UNSC members and nuclear powers – have in solidarity supported UK government- sourced narratives , though in the former case there has been no UK judicial process, and in the latter case OPCW inspectors have found no physical evidence of use of nerve agents in Douma , and nor do local people’s accounts support the allegations. In the Salisbury case, OPCW technical reports made public in Moscow on 14 April by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, detailing results of the Skripal samples analysis by the OPCW Spiez Laboratory …

Book Review – “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”

David William Pear How can I write a review of Andre Vltchek’s new book Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism? I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Andre himself says that: There is nothing to add to the writing of maverick revolutionary philosophers. Hands off their work! Let them speak! Editions without prefaces and introductions, please; no footnotes! The greatest works of philosophy were written with heart, blood and passion! No interpretation is needed. If allowed to read them, even a child can understand.” He is speaking about the works of other great revolutionary writers, not himself. I think Andre is a great revolutionary writer, too. But, who am I to speak for Andre or greatness? Read his great works for yourself, and you will understand them without my introduction. You will find that Andre has the guts to put himself out there, let it all hang out, and expose his vulnerabilities as well as his wisdom… But I am damned if I don’t write a book review for Andre’s book, because I …

The West has Performed a “Philosophical Coup” Against the Left

It has been happening for quite some time, but no one has been paying much attention: Western academia, mainstream media, and the most visible propagandists, were trying to convince the world that 1) ideology has died, or at least became irrelevant 2) in case it did not die, the Left is actually… hold your breath…right-wing!

Especially the Left that is holding power, particularly in Asia and in Latin America, is being ‘re-defined’ in London, Paris and Washington. The Western propaganda gurus are apparently rejuvenated, lately, as there are great budgets available to them, in the United States, United Kingdom, and elsewhere. They are openly told to go after certain countries, particularly Russia, China and Iran.

Why the Neocons Hate Russia (even more than they hate everyone else)

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Neoconservatism started in 1953 with Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the Democratic Party U.S. Senator from the state of Washington (1953-1983), who became known as a ‘defense’ hawk, and as “the Senator from Boeing,”because Boeing practically owned him. The UK’s Henry Jackson Society was founded in 2005 in order to carry forward Senator Jackson’s unwavering and passionate endorsement of growing the American empire so that the U.S.-UK alliance will control the entire world (and U.S. weapons-makers will dominate in every market). Later, during the 1990s, neoconservatism became taken over by the Mossad and the lobbyists for Israel and came to be publicly identified as a ‘Jewish’ ideology, despite its having — and having long had — many champions who were ‘anti-communist’ or ‘pro-democracy’ or simply even anti-Russian, but who were neither Jewish nor even focused at all on the Middle East. Republicans Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and John McCain; and the Democrat, CIA Director James Woolsey — the latter of whom was one of the patrons of Britain’s Henry Jackson Society — were especially prominent neoconservatives, who came to …

America’s latest witch-hunt

The current Maria Butina indictment in the US reminds one of Voltaire’s famous saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. I do not share Maria Butina’s fondness for guns or for the National Rifle Association’s aggressive lobbying for easy public access to guns. Nor would I put up my hand to attend National Prayer Breakfasts in the US. But she seems to be an innocent victim of current Washington elite Russophobia.

New Zealand – The ebb & flow of History

Hugh O’Neill There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat.” Julius Caesar, Act iv, Scene iii After Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, the British Empire had few rivals in the first half of the 19th Century, but when Britain allied with France in the Crimean War against Russia, they realised that wooden ships were no match for French iron ships. The Industrial Revolution was spreading and other empires were rising: Russia, Japan, America, France and Germany all wished to join the global game of chess. Russophobia thrived in NZ since the Crimean War, encouraged by newspapers e.g. Daily Southern Cross whose 1873 ‘hoax’ report of Russian ship “Kaskowiski” invading Auckland caused panic. When the Russian Empire did collide with the British in Northern Afghanistan (Pandjeh Incident 1884), the NZ public demanded protection in the form of coastal batteries, torpedo boats and militia training, …

No, Carole Cadwalladr, THIS is what war looks like…

Carole Cadwalladr has been applying her fingertips to her keyboard again. This is usually bad news for anybody offended by giant leaps of logic or insufferable smugness, but it’s also usually inane enough you can just ignore it. Not in this case. The overall standard of Western Journalism has fallen, and it was never mountainously high to begin with, but this tweet is SO offensive, so hubristic and vain and insulting that it merits special attention. It deserves to be called out. Loudly, and often. No – Carole – Facebook profile pictures are NOT “what war looks like now”, and sitting behind a keyboard in the home counties, giggling about Russian bots whilst Wimbledon is muted on the TV behind you, doesn’t make you a fucking soldier. How DARE you write that? Do you have no sense of hubris? Of respect? It is the most disgusting sentence I have ever read. Words cannot express the smallness of the mind and the gargantuan scale of the ego that shat those words into the world, fully expecting …

Donald Trump – Despised by Europe, Despises Europe

Andre Vltchek Why is Europe full of hate for Donald Trump? Is it, perhaps, because millions could soon die in yet another of the senseless and horrible wars unleashed by the Western empire? Or is it because Europeans suddenly ‘saw the light’ and realized that they mistreated billions of innocent people throughout history; that actually all people on Earth are equal and should be left alone and be allowed to live their lives as they please? Far from that; unfortunately, very far! Most of the Europeans simply hate Trump because he had enough of the status quo, of what could be objectively described as sneaky and sleazy games. Mr. Trump sees collaboration with Europe as an extremely bad business. Not that President Trump is a saint himself. Of course, he isn’t. He is a businessman – a very ruthless one, and in the past very daring and very successful. He has already managed to break the backs of hundreds of people, and now he would not hesitate to run hundreds of countries to the ground, …

“Democratic Institutions?” – 10 Lessons from history that will destroy your trust in the CIA

In the hysterical wake of the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki, President Donald Trump was roundly criticised in the media for taking the side of a “hostile state” over his own intelligence agencies. The Guardian referred to Mueller as a “heroic marine” who Trump disbelieved in favour of a “Russian dictator”.

In the past, when Trump has criticised the FBI, CIA or NSA he has been accused of “undermining faith in our institutions”. He’s been blamed for a collapse of trust in the government. But was this trust ever earned?

At every corner, we are urged to simply believe what we are told. Whether it is about believing Porton Down and MI6 about “novichok”, or believing the White Helmets about Sarin, or believing the FBI about “collusion”, we are presented with no facts, just assertions from authority. Those who question those assertions are deemed “bots” at best or “traitors” at worst.

Well here, fellow traitors, are the Top Ten reasons to question anything and everything the CIA – or any intelligence agency – has ever told you.

Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism

So it appears America and democracy have miraculously survived the dreaded Trump-Putin summit … or Trump’s meeting with his Russian handler, as the neoliberal ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media would dearly like us all to believe. NATO has not been summarily dissolved. Poland has not been invaded by Russia. The offices of The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC have not been stormed by squads of jackbooted Trumpian Gestapo. The Destabilization of the Middle East, the Privatization of Virtually Everything, the Conversion of the Planet into One Big Shopping Mall, and other global capitalist projects are all going forward uninterrupted. Apart from Trump making a narcissistic, word-salad-babbling jackass of himself, which he does on a more or less daily basis, nothing particularly apocalyptic happened.

Helsinki Summit: Trump and Putin Respond to Mueller Indictments

Eric Zuesse In the July 16th joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the question arose of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly having engineered the theft of computer files from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. Here is that part of the press conference, in a question that was addressed to both Presidents (and I boldface here the key end part of Putin’s presentation, and then I proceed to link to two articles which link to the evidence — the actual documents — that Putin is referring to in his response): REPORTER (Jeff Mason from Reuters): For President Putin if I could follow up as well. Why should Americans and why should President Trump believe your statement that Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election given the evidence that US Intelligence agencies have provided? Will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a US Grand jury. TRUMP: …

Open Thread: Trump-Putin Summit and Mounting Hysteria

Yesterday, Trump and Putin met for a summit in Helsinki. The resulting hysteria, all throughout the mainstream media and in the minds of neocon and (self-described) “liberals” alike.

Just to be clear – it is not unusual for heads of state to meet. It is not unusual for leaders with different values or interests to discuss international politics. It’s the entire point of diplomacy.

The media at large appear to have forgotten this – giving thousands of column inches to insane ramblings employing words such as “traitor”, “treason”, “puppet” and “surrender”. Words which are rapidly losing their meaning.

Ukraine’s anti-Roma pogroms ignored as Russia blamed for far right resurgence

Max Parry Last month, former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a lecture at Trinity College Dublin made remarks condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin, blaming him for the resurgence of far right politics in the European Union and United States. Clinton stated that Putin… …has positioned himself as the leader of an authoritarian, white-supremacist and xenophobic movement that wants to break up the EU, weaken America’s traditional alliances and undermine democracy. We can see this authoritarian movement rippling out from the Kremlin, reaching across Europe and beyond. It’s emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists and even neo-Nazis.“ Before addressing the deceitfulness of her comments, the one part of them that is true needs to be recognized. At this point, it is universally acknowledged that there is a significant revival in far-right and neo-Nazi political activity being experienced in America and across the EU. It is also increasingly present in other countries such as India and Turkey, and even Brazil’s current leading candidate for President is being called a fascist. However, …

Meanwhile in Ukraine….

In one of the largest, if not the largest, Neo-Nazi demonstration in Europe since WW2, 20,000 fascists and their supporters marched through the streets of the Ukrainian capital celebrating the birth of Stepan Bandera 01.01.1909 founder and leader of the ultra-nationalist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) commanded by Roman Shukhevych. This organization which along with the equally collaborationist outfit, the 14th Waffen SS Grenadier Division Galicia 1, were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Poles, Jews and Russians during the ethnic cleansing which began in Lviv with a pogrom of the city’s Jews a week after the German invasion in 1941, and in the western Ukraine between 1943-45.

The View of Russia in the West

Paul Craig Roberts The upcoming Trump/Putin summit is hampered by the crazed portrait of Russia painted by presstitutes. Jonathan Chait, Amy Knight, Max Bergmann, Yaroslav Trofimov, Roger Cohen, and the rest of the conscious or de facto CIA assets that comprise the Western presstitute media have turned Putin into a superhuman who controls election outcomes throughout the West, murders people without rhyme or reason, and has President Trump under his thumb doing Putin’s bidding. Who could imagine a more extreme conspiracy theory? Jonathan Chait in New York magazine writes that “the dark crevices of the Russia scandal run deep,” so deep that “it would be dangerous not to consider the possibility that the summit is less a negotiation between two heads of state than a meeting between a Russian-intelligence asset and his handler.” So here is Chait, who brands truth-tellers “conspiracy theorists” coming up with the greatest conspiracy theory of our time that President Trump has been a Kremlim asset since 1987. Chait provides a ”crazy quilt of connections” to illustrate his absurd conspiracy theory …

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 6 – Tying up the Loose Ends

Rob Slane, the Blogmire Over the last five pieces (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) I have, slowly but surely, advanced a theory of what happened in the Skripal case. I must confess to having done so with a fair amount of unease. I don’t want to believe that my Government has been stating a case that is false. I don’t want to believe that the public have been lied to. I don’t want to have to think that there has been a lot of effort made to present an explanation that hides the truth. And yet, given the fact that the Government story contains self-evident fallacies, and cannot be made to add up, I don’t think that there’s much alternative than to be hugely sceptical about their claims. I stated the two main fallacies in Part 1, which are the claims that three people were poisoned by the nerve agent A-234, which is 5-8 times more toxic than VX, and that because A-234 was developed in the Soviet Union, the …

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 5 – An Educated Guess

Rob Slane, the Blogmire I want in this piece to start joining some dots together on this case, using some of the facts, clues and suppositions that I have set out in the previous parts. I said at the end of Part 4 that there would be one more piece. That has turned out to be wishful thinking on my part, and there will in fact be a further article after this one. In this piece, I want to propose a theory — or maybe educated guess is a better term — for what I think may have happened on 4th March. Then I will need one final piece to show why I think this theory helps to explain a number of other events and incidents connected with the story. Think of that final part as tying up some loose ends. So what of the theory? Back in Part 2, I made the claim that two of the most important clues in the whole Skripal case are: The people who were seen on CCTV walking …

An Open Letter to the People of Britain, from Vasily Livanov MBE

This open letter, from iconic Russsian actor Vasily Livanov MBE, was first sent to The Guardian. They declined to publish it, we did not. As with many of my compatriots, there are many things about Britain and the British people that I admire. As someone whose whole life has been linked with literature, cinema and theatre, I have the greatest appreciation for English literature and the arts, for its writers and playwrights, actors and directors. As someone who had the good fortune to have played the iconic Englishman Sherlock Holmes in a very successful Soviet film series, I was honoured to have been awarded an MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I am grateful for a chance to have been part of the mutually enriching cultural kinship and synergy of our two countries. As someone who has lived a long life, I vividly remember the years of WWII when the Soviet Union and Britain were staunch and proud allies in the fight against Nazism. Many Russians feel an affinity with many things English – …

Open Thread: The Amesbury Couple and the Reborn Novichok Saga

1. Are we supposed to believe that this “novichok” incident is directly related to the alleged poisoning of the Skripals? How so?
2. If this IS the same chemical, why is it suddenly affecting new victims four months after the initial “attack”?
3. How come the emergency services and medical personnel, who spent ten weeks treating the Skripals and DS Bailey, didn’t recognise the symptoms of novichok poisoning immediately? Why was nerve agent poisoning mistaken for drug use AGAIN?
4. Why and how did Porton Down get involved in this case? Is it usual for them to test the blood of suspected drug abuse victims?
5. And finally, what on Earth is going on?