All posts tagged: russia

“The regime will be there” – U.S. Concedes Raqqa…and the Syrian East?

from Moon of Alabama A new Wall Street Journal piece, primarily about the ISIS held city of Raqqa on the Euphrates, casts doubt on long term U.S. plans for such an occupation. Its core quote: “We won’t be in Raqqa in 2020, but the regime will be there.” There were already doubts that a big U.S. move in east-Syria was really going to happen. Jordan opposes any such move. While the U.S. and Jordan have trained, equipped and paid Syrian “rebels” to hold a zone of control in south-west Syria, little preparations have been seen for a large move in the south-east. The U.S. has so far vetted and trained at most 2,000 local Arab fighters in the area. Fewer are ready to go. Even with U.S. special forces embedded with them these forces are way too small to take an ISIS defended city or to capture or to hold a significant area. At least ten to twenty thousand troops would be needed (likely more) for such an endeavor. The current force is probably only …

Sauron Rules in Washington

by Paul Craig Roberts “The problem is that the world has listened to Americans for far too bloody long.” Dr. Julian Osborne, from the 2000 film version of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, On the Beach A reader asked why neoconservatives push toward nuclear war when there can be no winners. If all die, what is the point? The answer is that the neoconservatives believe that the US can win at minimum and perhaps zero damage. Their insane plan is as follows: Washington will ring Russia and China with anti-ballistic missile bases in order to provide a shield against a retaliatory strike from Russia and China. Moreover, these US anti-ABM bases also can deploy nuclear attack missiles unknown to Russia and China, thus reducing the warning time to five minutes, leaving Washington’s victims little or no time in which to make a decision. The neoconservatives think that Washington’s first strike will so badly damage the Russian and Chinese retaliatory capabilities that both governments will surrender rather than launch a response. The Russian and Chinese leaderships would …

American Democracy: A Dead Man Walking

by Paul Craig Roberts Trump’s “sell-out,” as it is called, coming on top of Obama’s eight-year “sell-out,” is instructive. We have now had a Democratic president who sold out the people who elected him and a Republican president who has done the same thing. This is a very interesting point, the meaning of which most people miss. But not Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. At the Valdai discussion club, Putin summed up Western democracy, which I paraphrase as follows: In the West, voters cannot change policies through elections, because the ruling elites control whoever is elected. Elections give the appearance of democracy, but voting does not change the policies that favor war and the elites. Therefore, the will of the people is impotent. People are experiencing that they and their votes have no influence on the conduct of affairs of the country. This makes them afraid, frusrated, and angry, a combination of emotions that is dangerous to the ruling elite, who in response organize the powers of the state against the people, while urging them with …

Sun ‘exposes racism in Russia’ with video of nazi Ukrainian football fans

The White Boys Club fan group of Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev football team. © Ultras Dynamo .Kyiv TV / YouTube RT reports: It appears the UK tabloid, The Sun, needs a lesson in geography after it posted a video of controversial Ukrainian football fan group White Boys Club, who wear KKK capes, and paint swastikas on their clothes under the title ‘Racism in Russia’.  The video was an edited version of a clip posted on YouTube, which shows Ukrainian ultras – hardcore fans of Dynamo Kiev – putting on a visual display during a home match against their biggest rivals, another Ukrainian team, Shakhtar Donetsk last week. Despite being incorrect, the caption was not removed from the website for several hours. It is not clear whether this was an innocent geographical error on the part of The Sun, which has been running a campaign warning of hooliganism at next year’s World Cup in Russia. An accompanying article about the display also made no mention of the fact that the events were taking place in Ukraine. Behind …

Mad-Dog Mattis Going Rabid

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On Monday, April 25th, the AP headlined, “US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban” and reported that U.S. Pentagon chief James “Mad Dog” Mattis was accusing Russia of violating the sovereignty of unnamed nation(s) and was supplying weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan — the very same group that the U.S. back in 1979 had begun arming in Pakistan so that the Taliban would invade Afghanistan and lure Soviet forces into Afghanistan, so as to make the Soviets “bleed” there, as the U.S. itself had bled in its Vietnam War. The U.S. National Security Advisor at that time went to Pakistan and rallied the Taliban there by saying “Your cause is right, and God is on your side!” (see above video). Mattis was also quoted in this news-report as saying, “We’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law or denying the sovereignty of other countries.” The United States has, in fact, invaded Syria — routinely violating the sovereignty of …

Endgame: Comparing results and intentions in the terrorism narrative

Generally speaking, ideas are like plants and animals. Over time, they evolve, things change – we keep what works and throw away what doesn’t. Humans don’t have tails. Dolphins don’t have feet. Moths without camouflage get eaten. Methods and techniques are perfected, and accepted as “the way things are done”. If you want to move something efficiently, you need wheels. If you want to lift something heavy, you use levers and pulleys. We make knives out of steel because it’s hard and can take an edge. We make clothes out of wool because its warm. Nobody makes teapots out of chocolate….and yet terrorists routinely use tools that are not fit for purpose.

VIDEO: Trump Won’t Be Cancelling World War 3 After All

from StormCloudsGathering On April 6th, 2017, on the 100 year anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, Donald Trump launched airstrikes against against the Syrian government; in retaliation for a gas attack supposedly perpetrated by Assad. There was no investigation, not even a hack job of a frame up like we had in 2003. The evidence we do have contradicts the official story, and the stakes are much higher this time around. Full transcript and sources available here.

Five Top Papers Run 18 Opinion Pieces Praising Syria Strikes–Zero Are Critical

by Adam Johnson, FAIR Five major US newspapers—the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News—offered no opinion space to anyone opposed to Donald Trump’s Thursday night airstrikes. By contrast, the five papers ran a total of 18 op-eds, columns or “news analysis” articles (dressed-up opinion pieces) that either praised the strikes or criticized them for not being harsh enough: New York Times After the Missiles, We Need Smart Diplomacy on Syria (4/7/17) Acting on Instinct, Trump Upends His Own Foreign Policy (4/7/17) (originally headlined “On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First”—presumably changed due to social media mockery) Trump Raises the Stakes for Russia and Iran (4/7/17) Syria’s ‘Conundrum’: Limited Strikes Risk Entrenching Assad’s Strategy (4/7/17) Washington Post Editorial: Trump’s Chance to Step Into the Global Leadership Vacuum (4/7/17) Trump Enforces the ‘Red Line’ on Chemical Weapons (4/6/17) Trump Has an Opportunity to Right Obama’s Wrongs in Syria (4/6/17) Syrian Opposition Leader: Trump Has a Chance to Save Syria (4/7/17) Was Trump’s Syria Strike a Moral Impulse or …

Afghanistan – ‘Small’ Western Propaganda Lies, Huge Impact

by Andre Vltchek Ask anyone on the streets of Kabul about the revolutions that have in recent years transformed huge parts of Latin America, and the chances are you’ll encounter a blank stare.  Perhaps mentioning Cuba could evoke at least some recognition, but definitely not Venezuela, Ecuador or Bolivia.  I know because I tried on several occasions, and I failed. Ask in the marvelous historic city of Herat, with its huge minarets and Italian military contingent, about Western imperialism, or about NATO and its murderous campaigns all over the world, and chances are that your question won’t even be understood. “Chances are that those Afghan people who can speak English or other Western languages, are now actually working for the Westerners; either for their military, or for their ‘defense’ contractors… or for the embassies, the United Nations, or perhaps some NGO”, explained an Asian reporter who is based in Afghanistan for more than two decades. “These people are not going to rock the boat, dwelling on crimes committed by the West, here and all over …

Only fools and liars will blame Assad

Joe Hargrave in Fort Russ: So, here’s how it is. 1) There is still no evidence – that has been presented to the public – that Assad ordered a chemical weapons (CW) attack. 2) Yes, that evidence should be made public, discussed and debated by Congress, and a vote taken before we use force. I acknowledge that the War Powers Resolution gives the President the authority to use force for 60 days – but the interests of peace and stability are better served through a debate and a democratic process as opposed to a unilateral decision made in secret, especially when the military action is punitive and not in our immediate national defense interests. 3) Even if Assad ordered the attack and is responsible, the above still applies – that is, if “America First” actually means “America First”, though it is becoming rapidly clear that it means nothing at all from Trump’s mouth. 4) Our government has lied us into wars in the past and may be doing so again. 5) We are relying on …

Russia Reports Discovery of Rebel-Held Chemical Weapons at Site of Idlib Gas Attack

This frame grab from video provided on Tuesday April 4, 2017, by the Syrian anti-government group, the Edlib Media Center, shows victims of a suspected chemical attack, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. (Edlib Media Center, via AP)   By Whitney Webb on Mint Press News: MOSCOW– In the aftermath of yesterday’s chemical gas attack in Syria’s Idlib Province, numerous governments – including those that have funded and armed rebels in an attempt to overthrow the Syrian government – have accused the Syrian army of being primarily responsible for the attack, despite no independent confirmation of their claim and no investigation into who was truly responsible for the tragedy. As MintPress recently reported, the only information available regarding the attack so far has come from only two sources: the White Helmets and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Both groups have strong ties to pro-interventionist governments that have armed and funded rebel groups and even have ties to al-Qaeda. However, pro-interventionist elements in foreign governments and within the Syrian opposition seem …

Demonizing Russia: The Psychology and Consequences of Neo-Mccarthyism

by Stormcloudsgathering, March 28, 2017 This article is not intended to alter your position in regard to Donald Trump in any way. Whether you love him or hate him isn’t an issue of global importance, nor is his political survival relevant to this analysis. Some of the tactics being used in the push to take Trump down however, are. The Stakes Before we dive into the quagmire that the topic of of Russia, Trump and the 2016 elections has become, it behooves us to anchor to the stakes: Russia is a nuclear power. The demonization of foreign nations is a precursor to war, and even a limited conflict between the United States and Russia would kill millions (if not billions) of people; rendering much of the planet uninhabitable for decades. Using U.S. Russian relations as a political football in this context is foolish and irresponsible. The Trump Variable Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign made tying Trump to Russia a central pillar of their messaging strategy. This line of attack was predicated on comments made by …

Questions following the US attack on Syria

Last night, and much to chagrin of people who thought Trump would not escalate matters in Syria, the US military launched 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria, allegedly attempting to destroy a government airbase. They warned the Russian government before-hand, who will have passed on that warning to the Syrians, meaning the area was probably on alert, with any important equipment or personnel removed. The Pentagon have also stated that, at this time, there are no plans for any other strikes or any campaign in Syria.

Why did the American Military take precautions to prevent “fanciful” impossibilities?

by Kit Late last night, The Pentagon stated that their attack on the Syrian Government air-base near Homs was not targeting the regime’s supposed chemical weapon stocks. Despite “all the signs” pointing to Assad’s guilt, and it being “very likely” that this base is where the gas attack originated…no efforts were made to destroy any chemical weapons. At all. The Pentagon’s official statement says: The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act. Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. And that the attack… …was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.” But the targets were limited to: …aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars. So they “know” where the chemical weapons are. And they “know” Assad used them on civilians and (for all they know) may well do so again. So why not target and destroy these weapons? Wouldn’t …

Media Goes Quiet as Russia Exposes US Lies at Security Council

by Richard Brandt via Information Clearing House Russia just called out the West for using the UN to promote regime change — but no one reported it Twitter was flooded with commentary about Nikki Haley’s call to arms against Russia during the Security Council meeting on Wednesday afternoon. But no one bothered to report what Russia had to say. Russia’s deputy United Nations ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said that the West’s “obsession with regime change is what hinders this Security Council.” He noted that for Washington and its partners, “everything is guided by regime change” and allegations that Assad used chemical weapons in an attack in Idlib province on Tuesday are based on “falsified reports from the White Helmets”, an organization that has been “discredited long ago”. Can someone tell us what were these kids doing inside a secret Qaeda hideout dug deep inside a mountain?! Another cheap WH act! pic.twitter.com/brNKcX9zTm — Fares Shehabi (@ShehabiFares) 4 April 2017 He further added that “taking [the White Helmets] at face value is not professional and not serious.” Another …

Does the Washington Establishment Seek War with Russia?

by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Which does the Washington’s Establishment prefer: a U.S. President who wants to reach new agreements with Russia, or a U.S. President who wants to replace all of Russia’s allies? What we’ve been having recently is solely Presidents who want to replace all of Russia’s allies — and they’ve been succeeding at that, so far: They replaced Saddam Hussein. They replaced Muammar Gaddafi. They replaced Viktor Yanukovych. They’re still trying to replace Bashar al-Assad, and also Iran’s leadership. There still is question, however, as to whether U.S. President Donald Trump will continue this string; and many in America’s ‘news’media consider him to be too favorable toward Russia. The aristocracy own the few ‘news’media that have substantial audiences in the U.S., and their advertisers are also overwhelmingly owned by them; and the politicians’ campaigns tend also to be receiving most of their money from them; so, generally, it’s considered political suicide to buck what the few billionaires are rather united on in America, and what they seem quite united on …

On Propaganda and Bias: An open-letter to the Royal Academy

Mr Christopher LeBrun, President Mr Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive Mr Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes Royal Academy of Arts, London 28 March 2017 Dear Sirs, I am writing to you to express my disappointment at the curatorial handling of the exhibition Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 currently on display at the RA. Whilst I am not an art historian or an expert in Russian art of the period, it is well known (and apparent just looking at the pieces on display at the RA) that the years covered by the exhibition represent a decisive and hugely fruitful moment in the development of Russian and European Modernism in which artists who came from a figurative tradition coexisted with avant-garde currents like the Russian Futurists or, later, the Constructivists, along with visionary figures like Kasimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitzky and others (whom you reference in the exhibition), besides, of course, developments in photography, theatre, dance, music and cinema. For this reason, I was incredibly excited to visit the RA exhibition, anticipating a serious, …

Fake News: The Unravelling of US Empire From Within

by Prof. John McMurtry, via Global Research Setting the Stage of the Press-President War US ruling ideology and Washington power have become unstuck as never before. A war of opposing certitudes and denunciations is waged day to day between the long-ruling US corporate media and the White House. Both continuously proclaim ringing recriminations of the other’s ‘fake news’. Over months they both portray each other as malevolent liars. US bully pulpits are now beyond show disagreements and successful media inquisitions of the past. Slanderous accusations long confined to vilifying the designated Enemy have crept into accusations of the President himself. ‘The Russians are coming’ is returning as the final recourse of smear to stop deviations from the global program of hugely profitable enemy hate and perpetual preparations for foreign war. The ruling big lies of the US money party and corporate globalization have divided into opposing camps. The Press and the President denounce each other non-stop on the public stage, while US dark state agents take sides behind the scenes. Fake news is the medium …

“Experts” reveal their “evidence” of Russian “hacking”

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence convened today, hearing testimony from three “star witnesses”. If you have a spare three hours, and a strong stomach, feel free to watch the whole sordid ordeal here. Not surprisingly there was no mention of that fact the that the FBI didn’t analyse the DNC servers – they were not allowed to. Likewise, there was no talk of CrowdStrike, the private firm that did get to do analysis, and then had to backtrack on their own findings. None of that was deemed important. Instead we got three hours of speeches from people who had nothing to say. The three expert witnesses have startlingly similar backgrounds, all hailing from the intelligence community in some way or other. They are all very long on exposition…and very short on actual evidence. Rather than citing statistics, or bringing up evidence of any kind, the Senators are more than happy to just let the three men ramble along twisting narrative pathways. Two of them had the good-grace to be non-committal, or at least vague, …