The Perpetual Russian Invasion Train arrives at Syria!, by Pepe Escobar

Source: RT

Workers repair electrical grids as civilians walk past buildings damaged by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Shaar neighborhood February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan   (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT ENERGY) - RTR4RA6R
Workers repair electrical grids as civilians walk past buildings damaged by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s al-Shaar neighborhood February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan (SYRIA – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT ENERGY) – RTR4RA6R

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Well, the Russians are always coming. The Russians never stopped coming since those heady Cold War days. The Russians are “invading” Ukraine. Every day. For over a year now. Now the Russians are “invading” Syria.

That’s just a prelude. Soon the Russians will be invading the whole Middle East, the whole of Eastern and Western Europe, the whole Arctic. And then, one day, surreptitiously, they will be back in Cuba, ready to invade Florida and then the whole homeland.

History now repeats itself under the eternal recurrence of farce. About the best illustration of the propaganda modus operandi underlying the current exceptionalist hysteria over Russia’s alleged “military incursion” in Syria was penned way back in 2011 on Counterpunch by the late, great Alex Cockburn. Enjoy:

“Suppose the CIA leaks a national security review concluding that the moon is actually made of cheese, and the Chinese are planning to send up a pair of gigantic bio-engineered rats to breed in numbers sufficient to eat the cheese and thus sabotage US plans for Missile Defense radar deployment on the moon’s dark side.

The headlines will initially proclaim, “Doubts on Chinese Rat Threat Widespread. Many scoff.” The lead paragraph in news stories in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal will quote the scoffers, but then ‘balance’ will mandate respectful quotation from ‘intelligence sources’, faculty professors, think tank ‘experts’ and the like, all eager to dance to the government’s tune: Many say rat scenario ‘plausible’, etc.

Lo and behold, by the end of a couple of days of such news stories, the Chinese rat plot is firmly ensconced as a credible proposition. News reports then turn to respectful discussion of the US government’s options in confronting and routing the Chinese rat threat: Vice President says ‘all options are on the table,’ etc.”

There you go. China – as well as Russia – are of course major threats, according to the Pentagon’s military doctrine; as bad if not worse than ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. So Russia must have a rat threat of its own. Which brings us to the “The Russians are Coming” Syria plot, which has submerged think tanks such as the CIA front Stratfor in profoundly thoughtful speculation, everything of course based on prime, second-hand, ideologically-corrupted, lousy – and fake – intel.

Continue reading The Perpetual Russian Invasion Train arrives at Syria!, by Pepe Escobar

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The US provokes with a permanent presence in the Black Sea, by Stratediplo

Source: Stratediplo

blacksea

At the opportunity of the Sea Breeze naval exercise, vice-admiral James Foggo, commanding officer of the USA Sixth Fleet, declared on September 2 that the USA will tend to maintain a presence as permanent as possible in the Black Sea, which the US naval magazine Navy Times calls, nicely enough, “to wave its flag at Russia’s front door”.

It is actually a provocation.

The USA have been running yearly joint maneuvers with the Ukraine for years, without so far considering a permanent presence. Last year they have been reminded the existence of the Montreux Convention. And on the other hand they realised the vulnerability of their navy, first thanks to the Russian Sukhoï 24 that really blinded, desarmed and paralysed the Donald Cook in the very Black Sea (april 2014), and then thanks to the French attack submarine Saphir which virtually (during an exercise) destroyed half of the naval group of the Theodore Roosevelt, included that aircraft carrier just recently modernised, in Florida (february 2015); without any budgetary constraint, the USA do equip their armed forces with their best technology, but their technology is not the most advanced. These two warnings, therefore, could have incited them to a lower profile on global seas, but it seems that tactical superiority (the ability to win a confrontation) doesn’t interest them as much as the assertion of their omnipresence, at sea as well as on land where, for example, they violate every day the Minsk agreements prohibiting the presence of foreign troops in ex-Ukraine (in Malorussia as well as in Novorussia).

Therefore, the intention of a permanent US presence in the Black Sea must be considered as a new and determined policy. The USA may have not signed the Montreux Convention, but they accept it while crossing the Straits, since it was conceived, by the Black Sea bordering countries, as the condition for the opening of this sea to non-bordering countries who don’t have anything do do there since it is a locked sea and not a passing way like the Malacca strait or the English Channel. They are not totally right when pretending that these are international waters where transit is free, since they are multinational waters opened to non-bordering states under certain conditions. The Black Sea is not a navigation corridor, even if the Montreux Convention makes a favour to commercial fleets, that only underlines the specific regime of military vessels, which are precisely the ones that the USA, not geographically prone to Bulgaro-Romanian commerce, intend to deploy permanently… and if the bordering countries were to offer them an exception to the Convention, the next US step would, with no doubt, be the Azov sea, “international” since it is bordered by Russia and the ex-Ukrainian Malorussia (and now Novorussia too).

Indeed the USA are putting  their allies in a difficult position, on one hand Turkey which is obliged, by the Convention, to control the straits (otherwise they would not have been left to Turkey), and on the other hand France which is obliged, by the same Convention, to warn all bordering countries in case a non-bordering power infringes the text, that is, either lets a military vessel for more than 21 days, or introduces (what Turkey is supposed to prevent) a total tonnage above 30000 tonnes.

Since the USA, who already violated this rule last year, are now announcing their intention of a permanent installation, although they know that their fleet is vulnerable and that this announcement puts their allies in a difficult position, it can only be a provocation, like all the ones seen for already a year and a half in Europe, as for example the multiplication of aerial missions likely to provoke incidents.

If the systematic disregard of the Montreux Convention by the USA was to become permanent, and if the partners of Russia were to refuse to play their role in the application of the Convention, it would be difficult not to see there a direct provocation and, in the current state of declared war, an invitation to Russia to adopt the Just Cause solution applied by the USA to the Panama Canal in 1989.

Delenda Carthago.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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