Tag Archives: NATO

Putin and Hollande go after Erdogan’s racket, by Pepe Escobar

Source:RT
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It all started with French President Francois Hollande, after the Paris attacks, having the temerity to advance the idea of France working together with Russia in the same coalition against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip “no excuse” Erdogan thought NATO and Russia by this time would be at each other’s – Cold War 2.0 – nuclear throats, while Washington had brushed off Hollande’s idea with a cascade of platitudes and distortions.

And in less than 17 seconds, Prime Minister Ahmet “I ordered it myself” Davutoglu had authorized Turkey to shoot down a Russian Su-24 – only a few hours before Hollande met with President Obama.

So everything seemed to be falling into place. No chance of a new détente between the Atlanticist powers and NATO. On the contrary. Erdogan was sure he had sabotaged for good the Hollande-Putin face-to-face meeting in Moscow.

Not so fast, Sultan.

In Moscow, Hollande and Putin confirmed that France and Russia will not be torn apart. The French leader declared: “What we agreed, and this is important, is to strike only terrorists and Daesh and to not strike forces that are fighting terrorism. We will exchange information about whom to hit and whom not to hit.”
Continue reading Putin and Hollande go after Erdogan’s racket, by Pepe Escobar
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Enantiodromia in Russian politics, by Alexander Dugin

Source: Fort Russ

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This article was first translated at Fort Russ by “Soviet Bear” & subsequently edited by Jouaquin Flores.

In the world there is one major power, a few minor powers, and many passive objects in someone else’s game, with microscopic local interests. They are called “sovereign states” and most of them are represented in the UN. But today such formal “sovereignty” is fictitious and in name only. Sovereignty is a measure of power. No power – no sovereignty. According to American political scientist S. Krasner: “Sovereignty is organized hypocrisy”[1]. This is truth.

Power is distributed hierarchically in the world [2]

At the top of the pyramid of powers is the United States. It is served by a number of influential, sometimes obstinate, but always loyal vassals: the EU, Japan, Turkey, as well as distinctive proxies in the Islamic world: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan.

The next countries in the scale of power are those who are able to effectively compete in some areas with the United States. They belong to the “second world” (not the first, but not the third): this is the BRICS countries and others like them. Brazil (collectively, Latin America), Russia, India, China and South Africa (collectively, TRANS-Saharan Africa in General). Potentially it is possible that this list can include some of the Islamic powers, seeking to be independent from the USA as much as possible.

All of the other countries in the world are irrelevant and only get underfoot, every time adjoining to someone who is stronger in each particular local case. They are the pretext for sorting things out between the powers of the first and second degree, a kind of Gastarbeitern of world politics.

The US: a structure of power of the first degree

Now the most important thing. The structure of the first power (the United States) is: the highest expression of a certain ideological formula — liberalism ( i.e. globalism or the establishment of a global liberal democracy as the most important mission), as well as two means to achieve the ultimate goal — the victory of liberalism on a global scale —

1. By peaceful trade
2. By military force

Continue reading Enantiodromia in Russian politics, by Alexander Dugin

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An Invisible US Hand (Turkey) Leading to War? by, DAVE LINDORFF

Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness

Source: counterpunch

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In considering the terrifying but also sadly predictable news of a Russian fighter jet being downed by two Turkish fighters, let’s start with one almost certain assumption — an assumption that no doubt is also being made by the Russian government: Turkey’s action, using US-supplied F-16 planes, was taken with the full knowledge and advance support of the US. In fact, given Turkey’s vassal status as a member of US-dominated NATO, it could well be that Ankara was put up to this act of brinksmanship by the US.

What makes the downing of the Russian jet, and the reported death of at least one of its two pilots (the other was reportedly captured alive by pro-turkish Turkmen fighters on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkish border, and will presumably be returned to Russia) so dangerous is that as a member of NATO, supposedly a “mutual assistance” treaty that binds all members to come to the defense of one that is attacked, if Russia were to retaliate by downing a Turkish military plane, NATO countries including the US would be obligated to come to Turkey’s defense.

Russia knows this, and that is why so far the Russian response to the downing has been muted. Had it been a Jordanian, Saudi or Kuwaiti jet that downed the Russian SU-24, Russia’s response would have been instantaneous. The guilty party would have had some of its planes shot down, or perhaps even bombed on the ground. But President Putin so far has limited himself to demanding a meeting, to warning that Russian-Turkish economic relations would be threatened, etc.

This restraint is good, but clearly, Vladimir Putin will not stop there. Even putting aside domestic considerations (imaging the public clamor for a military response here in the US if some small country shot down a US plane!), he will have to respond or his whole project — so far stunningly successful — of restoring Russia to its pre-USSR-collapse position as a global power, would be a failure.

Putin’s options are actually quite broad, though some carry considerably more risk for everyone, not just for Russia and Turkey. He could have his own air

force in Syria, where Russia is legally acting at the request of the Syrian government to defend it against rebel forces of ISIS and Al Nusra, some of which are backed by both Turkey and the US, calmly wait for a Turkish military jet to cross into Syrian airspace. At that point it could be downed by Russian planes or missiles. No doubt Turkey will be extraordinarily careful going forward to have its pilots keep well away from Syrian air space too avoid that, but it could happen. My guess is that Russian fighter pilots and anti-aircraft batteries in Syria already have their marching orders to take that action, which probably would not activate NATO confrontation with Russia and lead to World War III, as long as there was reasonable evidence that Turkey’s plane was in Syrian airspace.

But should no such opportunity present itself, Russia has plenty of other opportunities to counter Turkey. Remember, Russia is also defending Syria’s coastline, and could sink or capture a Turkish ship that entered Syrian waters (or Russian waters in the Black Sea, which borders both countries).

Russia — knowing that this is really not about Turkey, but about push-back by the US against growing Russian power and influence, both globally and in the Middle East region — could also choose to respond in a venue where it has more of an advantage, for example in Ukraine, where it could amp up its support for the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, perhaps by downing a Ukrainian military plane, or more broadly, providing air cover to protect those regions. Russia could also, less directly, provide aid to Kurdish rebels in both Syria and in Turkey itself who are fighting against Turkish forces.

I’m sure there are plenty of other options available to Russia also to turn the screws against both Turkey and NATO, without openly pushing buttons that could lead to a direct confrontation with the US and its NATO fiction. Working in Russia’s favor is that the US aside, the European nations of NATO have no desire to be at war with Russia. There are clearly hotheads in the US Congress, the Pentagon, and perhaps even within the neo-con-infested Obama administration, who are pushing for just such a mad showdown. But in Europe, where the actual fighting would mostly occur, and where memories are still strong of the destructive power of war, there is no taste for such insanity. It could, in fact, have been a big error in the long run for the US to push Turkey into such a deadly provocation, if it leads to more anti-American sentiment among the citizens of such key NATO countries as France, Germany, Italy and Britain.

It should be added that Russia and China have become much closer in recent years, economically, politically and militarily. This means there is also the possibility that the two countries could, in concert, step up pressure on the US in the western Pacific, for example by forcing down one of the provocative US flights near China’s new island projects in the South China Sea. That would force an already stretched US military to shift more forces to Asia from Europe and the Middle East.

It is all terribly dangerous and it is hard to predict where things will lead. One thing seems certain, though. This outrageous shootdown of a Russian plane that was in no way posing a threat to Turkey or Turkish forces, will not end here, because Russia and President Putin cannot allow Turkey and NATO to so blatantly act against Russia and its pilots and go unpunished, particularly as it is Russia that is acting legally in Syria, while the US, Turkey and other nations backing rebel forces there are in all acting blatant violation of international law.

Unless saner heads start prevailing in Washington, this could all quickly spiral into the kind of situation in 1914, where a lot of ill-conceived treaties led to a minor incident in the Balkans turning inexorably into World War I.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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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Russia Returns to the Middle East, by Israel Shamir

Source: Information Clearing House

September 26, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – These autumn days are the most important in the Middle East calendar. The Muslims celebrate Eid al Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice; the Jews fast at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and the Eastern Orthodox Christians rejoice at Nativity of Our Lady Mary. It appears, surprisingly, the best place to be at this time is Moscow, where Putin received in quick succession the Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Turkish ruler Recep Erdogan.

They did not come for the lovely Indian summer that blessed Moscow this week, not for the yellow and red leaves covering the maple and birch trees, though this sumptuous new Xanadu is quite fetching this time of the year; its streets refashioned at enormous expense, parks tended by best gardeners; bicycle paths and sidewalks repaved and even its feared traffic jams abated somewhat.

Ostensibly, Abbas and Erdogan came to unveil, together with Putin, the grand new Cathedral Mosque of Moscow, a vast and opulent structure where ten thousand worshippers can pray at once. This city has more Muslims than many a Muslim city has; about two millions of its 14 million dwellers are nominal Muslims.

They unveiled the mosque all right, and used this occasion for a good lengthy talk with Putin. So did Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli PM, who gave a miss to the mosque. And he came with his top brass: the head of staff and the head of military intelligence, after a long-time no-see.

This sudden interest to Moscow is a sign that the Russian entry into the Syrian fray has been playing to a full house. When, some three weeks ago I reported on this decision of Kremlin, my report was met with great doubt, to say the least. Could it be that Russia, after being licked in the Ukraine, will venture that far from home? They were supposed to sulk in the Kremlin under the heavy load of sanctions, not roam around. Now the facts on the ground had justified my previous report. Russian soldiers and marines, Russian weapons, jets and boats are seen on the shore; they are building a new base and fighting the enemy, giving a new lease of life to the embattled Syrian state.

Continue reading Russia Returns to the Middle East, by Israel Shamir

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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

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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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The phony “Refugee Crisis”, by Thierry Meyssan

Source: Voltaire Network

While the European media arouse emotion by showing photographs of a drowned child and reports of crowds of refugees crossing the Balkans on foot, Thierry Meyssan demonstrates that these images have been fabricated. It’s certain that they serve the purposes of the head of the Federation of German Industries, Ulrich Grillo, and also NATO. But they do not show the phenomenon in its totality, which leads the Europeans to offer inadapted responses.

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The left-hand part of this photo has been widely published by the Atlantist Press. The victim, a Syrian Kurd child, Aylan Kurdi, is supposed to have been washed up by the sea. However, his corpse is perpendicular to the waves instead of being parallel. On the right-hand part, the presence of an official Turkish photographer reinforces the suggestion of a staged event. In the background we can see people bathing.
The left-hand part of this photo has been widely published by the Atlantist Press. The victim, a Syrian Kurd child, Aylan Kurdi, is supposed to have been washed up by the sea. However, his corpse is perpendicular to the waves instead of being parallel. On the right-hand part, the presence of an official Turkish photographer reinforces the suggestion of a staged event. In the background we can see people bathing.

A wave of brutal emotion suddenly submerged the populations of the NATO countries. People suddenly realised the drama of the refugees in the Mediterranean – a tragedy that has been going on for years to their complete indifference.

This change of attitude is due to the publication of a photograph showing a drowned child washed up on a Turkish beach. It doesn’t matter that this photo is staged – the sea washes up bodies parallel to the waves, never perpendicular. It doesn’t matter that in less than two days, it was instantly reproduced on the front pages of almost all the newspapers in the NATO zone You have already been advised that the Western Press is free and pluralist.

Continuing in the same vein, television channels multiplied reports on the exodus of thousands of Syrians who were crossing the Balkans on foot. Particular attention was given to the crossing of Hungary, which first of all built a completely pointless barbed-wire fence, then made a number of contradictory decisions which allowed the filming of crowds walking along the railway lines and mobbing their way onto trains.

« Reacting » to the emotion that they had provoked in their citizens, the « surprised and upset » European leaders struggled to find a way to bring help to these refugees. Antonio Guterres, ex-President of the Socialist International, and present UN High Commissioner for Refugees, invited himself to the debate, advocating « the obligatory participation of all the member states of the European Union. According to preliminary estimations, European countries will probably have to expand their relocation opportunities to 200,000 places », he declared.

What is the real problem, who is managing it, and what is their goal ?

Continue reading The phony “Refugee Crisis”, by Thierry Meyssan

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The myth of a Russian “Threat”, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Sputnik News

Not a week goes by without the Pentagon carping about an ominous Russian “threat”.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey entered certified Donald “known unknown” Rumsfeld territory when he recently tried to conceptualize the “threat”; “Threats are the combination, or the aggregate, of capabilities and intentions. Let me set aside for the moment, intentions, because I don’t know what Russia intends.”

So Dempsey admits he does not know what he’s talking about. What he seems to know is that Russia is a “threat” anyway — in space, cyber space, ground-based cruise missiles, submarines.

And most of all, a threat to NATO; “One of the things that Russia does seem to do is either discredit, or even more ominously, create the conditions for the failure of NATO.”

So Russia “does seem” to discredit an already self-discredited NATO. That’s not much of a “threat”.

All these rhetorical games take place while NATO “does seem” to get ready for a direct confrontation with Russia. And make no mistake; Moscow does view NATO’s belligerence as a real threat.

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Continue reading The myth of a Russian “Threat”, by Pepe Escobar

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