All posts tagged: russia

Actors and other Useful Idiots for Empire

by Cindy Sheehan In 2005 while I was roasting for peace under the hot Texas sun at Camp Casey in Crawford, Tx, Rob Reiner sent his wife Michelle and a crew there to film a commercial with me. Before the end of 2005, a lot of the people/groups who supported our antiwar effort kicked us to the curb when they figured out we really were against war and not just against Bush’s wars. The Reiners were among the ones that I discovered didn’t so much care about the wars, but cared more about getting Demo-quacks elected. Soon after Camp Casey temporarily shut-down that summer, I was invited to the Reiner’s house to have a meeting. I was never the kind of person who got all twittery over so-called celebrities, but if the Reiners could help our cause, I was anxious to further our collaboration. Rob Reiner and his team had already offered to do the paperwork and pay for getting Gold Star Families for Peace (my organization at the time) non-profit (501c3) status which we …

We Lived Better Then

by Stephen Gowans Over two decades ago Vaclav Havel, the pampered scion of a wealthy Prague family, helped usher in a period of reaction, in which the holdings and estates of former landowners and captains of industry were restored to their previous owners, while unemployment, homelessness, and insecurity—abolished by the Reds– were put back on the agenda. Havel is eulogized by the usual suspects, but not by his numberless victims, who were pushed back into an abyss of exploitation by the Velvet revolution and other retrograde eruptions. With the fall of Communism allowing Havel and his brother to recover their family’s vast holdings, Havel’s life—he worked in a brewery under Communism—became much richer. The same can’t be said for countless others, whose better lives under Communism were swept away by a swindle that will, in the coming days, be lionized in the mass media on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s demolition. The anniversary is no time for celebration, except for the minority that has profited from it. For the bulk …

Germany’s Minister of Defense is the first victim of “Zapad 2017”

Adomas Abromaitis Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen at a defense ministers’ summit in Estonia on September, 7 criticized upcoming Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2017 military exercises. She said that around 100,000 Russian soldiers will take part in the upcoming Zapad 2017 war games, despite Moscow’s claims that they will only have 12,700 participants and exercise will not exceed the 2011 Vienna Document limits. Moscow and Minsk also insist on defensive character of the exercise. Two countries that constitute the Union State of Russia and Belarus pre-declared intention to improve interoperability of staffs of different levels as well as interfacing of prospective troops and armament control systems in order to be prepared to react adequately to emerging threats. The statement of Germany’s Minister of Defense fully contradicts these official sources and was likely made in order to divert attention from internal problems in the German Army and switch it to external factors. Is Germany itself really ready to cope with rapidly changing geopolitical situation? This question should logically be addressed to the country’s Minister of Defense …

Mexican Standoff Goes Nuclear

Apart from the criminally insane, (John McCain, Lindsey Graham et al.) nobody wants war, particularly nuclear war. Unfortunately, however, war happens, sometimes by accident sometimes by design. The present standoff between the US/NATO and Russia and China is a case in point. The United States ever present hegemonic ambitions are hardly secret and have been displayed in their most virulent and openly aggressive forms since the collapse of the USSR.

The United States of Manufactured Hysteria

C.J. Hopkins in Counterpunch: Thank God for the Charlottesville Nazis! For a moment there, it was looking like we were actually going to have a few days to stop and reflect on the state of America without being subjected to some new form of manufactured mass hysteria. Seriously, just a few short weeks ago, as the corporatist ruling classes’ ridiculous attempt to convince the world that Donald Trump is some sort of Russian sleeper agent appeared to be finally fizzling out, a significant number of leftist types were beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fact that the United States government is controlled by a global corporate plutocracy that has no allegiance to any nation, or people, or to anything other than itself, and that is in the process of demonizing and potentially deposing an elected president … that maybe that might be something to focus on, not exclusively, by any means, but alongside other vital issues, like defending the rights of transgender drone pilots and purging syllabi of oppressive pronouns. Fortunately, thanks to the Nazis …

Terror Incognita: ‘Demistifying’ the Fog of War

by Sean Stinson, August 28, 2017 “The Muslim terrorist apparatus was created by US intelligence as a political weapon” – National security adviser to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the United States.” – Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken Corporate propaganda is flying so thick and fast lately it’s dizzying just keeping up with it. For regular readers of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, Vladimir Putin is the new Fuhrer of American …

The West Just Might Be Giving Up On Syrian Regime Change At Last

In the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, sieged by ISIS, residents watch a speech by president Assad projected on a wall. Caitlin Johnstone in Medium: The Guardian has published a new article titled “Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria”, which is just as significant for what it says as for who is saying it. The Guardian has long been one of the most virulent promulgators of establishment lies about the Syrian government, giving extensive coverage to the transparent Bana Alabed psy-op, the western-instituted propaganda outlet known as the White Helmets, as well as advancing establishment narratives about Aleppo and Assad and many other blatant falsehoods. And indeed the article itself does a good job of retaining that vintage Guardian propaganda feel, portraying the failure to unseat Bashar al-Assad as something unfortunate and talking about poor refugees who are afraid to return home now that regime change is looking unlikely. But it also describes how the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and other nations have been coming to terms with …

Russia Slowly but Surely Putting an End to the American Empire

A russian soldier on a humanitarian mission in Syria. A Darius Shahtahmasebi op-ed in AntiMedia: Over the past few weeks, some dramatic stories and a potential nuclear war have taken the media’s attention away from the non-story that is the Russiagate-election scandal. But as attention veers away from the Russian hacking narrative, why are genuine stories regarding Russia’s actual influence in the world almost completely ignored? Russia is slowly but surely nabbing small but significant pieces of the American empire. Not only did Russia foil the U.S. military establishment’s plan to dominate Syria by inserting its military in the country and setting up a quasi-no-fly-zone of its own, but Russia is also acquiring pieces of the global chessboard through other means. Let’s start backward. Washington’s violent, stalwart ally and regional power player Saudi Arabia has been cozying up to Russia over the course of the year amid Russia’s demonstrable successes in Syria. As Al-Jazeera explains: “In late May, then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman went to Russia to discuss with President Vladimir Putin the oil market and the situation in Syria. The visit came just three weeks before Crown Prince Mohammed …

Why is the media promoting Antifa?

by Gabriel Black, for WSWS Over the past week, the anarchist affiliation Antifa (“Anti-fascist”) has received widespread and favorable coverage in the establishment media. On August 18, the New York Times, the main newspaper voice for the Democratic Party, published a major front-page feature article, “Antifa Grows as Left-Wing Faction Set to, Literally, Fight the Far Right.” The piece, written by Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer, and Serge F. Kovaleski, showcased the views of the movement with interviews of its members. The article presents Antifa as a serious force for fighting fascism, all but inviting readers to sign up. “Unlike most of the counterdemonstrators in Charlottesville and elsewhere,” the Times reports, “members of Antifa have shown no qualms about using their fists, sticks or canisters of pepper spray to meet an array of right-wing antagonists whom they call a fascist threat to American democracy.” The newspaper interviewed several members of the affiliation, who, the Timesstates, believe “the ascendant new right in the country requires a physical response.” The quotes are all presented favorably, including one from a self-identified member of …

US Pundits, Politicians Tacitly Admitting They Lied About Russia

An anti-Trump, anti-Russia demonstration  in the US. Caitlin Johnstone writes in Medium: It has been nearly three weeks since The Nation pushed an explosive memo from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity into mainstream consciousness with an article detailing the evidence that the DNC leaks last year could not have been the result of a Russian hack. By continuing to ignore it, the US intelligence community and all the pundits and politicians who have advanced the Russian hacking narrative are tacitly admitting that they lied. The report is unequivocal. Not only could Russian hackers not have obtained the DNC emails in the way they are alleged to have obtained them, but metadata was in fact manipulated to implicate Russia in the leak. Since publication of the viral Nation article, even more evidence has come to light showing that a hack is far more improbable even than originally suspected. This means that there is currently more publicly-available evidence indicating that Russia did not hack the DNC than there is that it did. These earth-shattering revelations have …

The Nations that Accept Nazism Today

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The U.S. Government leads a global operation to make racist fascism ‘respectable’ again. On 21 November 2014, in a vote at the United Nations on a Resolution opposing a resurgence of the racist-fascist ideology (opposing the ideology that’s commonly called “nazism”) which Resolution was titled “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance”, 115 nations voted “Yes” to pass the Resolution, 3 voted “No” to reject it, and 55 voted “Abstain,” meaning they didn’t want to express a view on the resolution. An additional 19 didn’t vote at all on it (decided to absent themselves from that roll-call, for whatever reason — basically, not even saying whether they were neutral on it by voting “Abstain” — just said nothing at all on it). The document that they were voting on had been posted complete on 17 November 2014, and is still posted in its entirety here. As can be seen there, it had been proposed by …

Why Trump rolled over on Russia

by Philip Roddis, from Steel City Scribblings Trump’s cave in on rapprochement with Putin shows the hollowness and shallow worldview of this inept narcissist. More importantly, it shows an American ruling class committed to war, cold for now, on Russia. To see why, we must set aside what we think we know about the old one. Suppose that cold war was not about ‘defending our freedom’. Suppose it was instead about one sixth of the world’s land mass – its vast resources and markets – being closed off to Profit. Why suppose any such thing? Because for reasons beyond my current remit, capitalism’s inner laws of motion demand ceaseless accumulation, even as they drive a tendency to falling profits. I haven’t the space here to prove these things, nor do I ask anyone to accept them on my say so. I ask only that for purposes of inquiry we suppose them true. Things that don’t otherwise make much sense suddenly snap into focus. Like why there’s still a cold war on Russia …. The Reagan …

Pepe Escobar: And the winners in the post-Daesh era are… (updated)

Syrians walk past Aleppo’s citadel as life returns to normal after the expulsion of Jihadi terrorist groups by the Syrian army and its allies Russia and Iran. Photo from the #believe_in_aleppo hashtag in Twitter. An excerpt from Pepe Escobar’s latest article in Asia Times: […] Mesopotamia and the Levant, in the post-Daesh era, are indeed unrecognizable compared to the state of play in the early 2010s. The facts on the ground in the Syrian war theater are stark. While the Beltway was blinded by regime change, Moscow swooped in and with a small expeditionary force turned the Middle East game upside down. While Russian jets fully coordinated with an array of forces on the ground, Russian diplomacy ended up closing down all manner of war fronts and imposing ceasefires or de-escalation zones. A New Syrian Army (NSA?), instead of those walking dead FSA, is now fully battle-tested, in both conventional and guerrilla warfare, and with morale extremely high to the point that Hezbollah now needs to deploy only a few of its officers to coordinate …

The Real Reason Washington is Worried about North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives for the opening ceremony of a newly built residential complex in Pyongyang on April 13 [2017]. Photo: Reuters   By Stephen Gowans in What’s Left A number of countries have recently tested ballistic or cruise missiles and a handful, not least Russia and China, possess nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of striking the United States. And yet the missiles and nuclear weapons program of only one of these countries, North Korea, arouses consternation in Washington. What makes tiny North Korea, within its miniscule defense budget, and rudimentary nuclear arsenal and missile capability, a threat so menacing that “worry has spread in Washington and the United Nations”? [1] “The truth,” it has been said, “is often buried on the front page of The New York Times.” [2] This is no less true of the real reason Washington frets about North Korea’s missile tests. In a July 4, 2017 article titled “What can Trump do about North Korea? His options are few and risky,” reporter David E. Sanger, a member of the Council …

Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie — Revenge Against Trump

by Eric Zuesse During the later portion of a phone-call, by the world’s greatest investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, Hersh has now presented “a narrative [from his investigation] of how that whole fucking thing began,” including who actually is behind the ‘RussiaGate’ lies, and of why they are spreading these lies. In a youtube video upload-dated August 1st, he reveals from his inside FBI and Washington DC Police Department sources — now, long before the Justice Department’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be presenting his official ‘findings’ to the nation — that the charges that Russia had anything to do with the leaks from the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to Wikileaks, that those charges spread by the press, were a CIA-planted lie, and that what Wikileaks had gotten was only leaks (including at least from the murdered DNC-staffer Seth Rich), and were not from any outsider (including ’the Russians’), but that Rich didn’t get killed for that, but was instead shot in the back during a brutal robbery, which occurred in the high-crime DC neighborhood where he …

The New York Times Pushes Propaganda War Against Russia

by “Publius Tacitus”, via Sic Semper Tyrannis, August 1, 2017 There is no longer any doubt that the New York Times is nothing more than a willing cog in the establishment war machine and is happy to serve as a propaganda platform. While there are times that newspapers and electronic media outlets are unwitting dupes for propaganda, the article penned by Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt (published on 31 July 2017) is the work of willing puppets masquerading as journalists: Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression This screed starts with this piece of artful dishonesty: Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War. Since when is it an act of “aggression” for a country–Russia in this case–to conduct military exercises in its own territory? Gordon and Schmitt also conveniently omit the …

Neocons Leverage Trump-Hate for More Wars

by Robert Parry, via Consortium News A savvy Washington observer once told me that the political reality about the neoconservatives is that they alone couldn’t win you a single precinct in the United States. But both Republicans and Democrats still line up to gain neocon support or at least neocon acceptance. Part of the reason for this paradox is the degree of dominance that the neoconservatives have established in the national news media – as op-ed writers and TV commentators – and the neocon ties to the Israel Lobby that is famous for showering contributions on favored politicians and on the opponents of those not favored. Since the neocons’ emergence as big-time foreign policy players in the Reagan administration, they also have demonstrated extraordinary resilience, receiving a steady flow of money often through U.S. government-funded grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and through donations from military contractors to hawkish neocon think tanks. But neocons’ most astonishing success over the past year may have been how they have pulled liberals and even some progressives …

How the World May End

by John Pilger, via Consortium News, August 4, 2017 The U.S. submarine captain says, “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know and there’s nothing to be done about it.” Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1959 movie, “On the Beach,” showing how a nuclear war ends life on the planet. He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest. The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The Northern Hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now. A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most …

America Declares Economic War Against Europe

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On Friday night, July 28th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would sign into law the increased economic sanctions (passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House) against any business that is declared to have “knowingly provided goods or services … for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines.” Russia is the largest energy-supplier to the world’s largest energy-market, which is Europe, or the EU. The biggest proportion of that trade is in Europe’s main source of energy, which is gas, which is pipelined into Europe from Russia. So: those pipelines are vitally important not only to Russia’s economy but to Europe’s. President Trump had gotten Congress to agree to limit the application of this provision only to “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States, may impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date of the enactment of this …