Tag Archives: Russia

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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Russia and Syria: The Die Is Cast, by Israel Shamir

Source: The UNZ Review

Despite doubts and denials, Russia is about to embark on an ambitious expansion of its Syrian presence, likely to change the game in the war-torn country. Russia’s small and dated naval repair facility in Tartous will be enlarged, while Jableh near Latakia (Laodicea of old) will become the Russian Air Force base and a full-blown Russian Navy base in the Eastern Mediterranean, beyond the narrow Bosphorus straits. The jihadi multitudes besetting Damascus are likely to be beaten into obedience and compliance, and the government of President Assad relieved from danger and siege. The war with Da’esh (ISIS) is to provide the cover for this operation. This is the first report of this fateful development, based on confidential and usually reliable Russian sources in Moscow.

The knowledgeable and Damascus-based French investigative journalist and dissidentThierry Meyssan noted the arrival of many Russian advisers. Russians began to share satellite imagery in real time with their Syrian allies, he added. An Israeli news site said “Russia has begun its military intervention in Syria” and predicted that “in the coming weeks thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria”. Russians promptly denied that.

President Bashar al Assad hinted at that a few days ago expressing his full confidence of Russian support for Damascus. First six MiG-31 fighter jets landed in Damascus a couple of weeks ago, as reported in the official RG newspaper. Michael Weiss in the far-right Daily Beast presented a flesh-creeping picture of a Russian penetration of Syria. Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper referred to Jableh as the second-base location.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading Russia and Syria: The Die Is Cast, by Israel Shamir

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Conversation: ‘China V-Day parade sending multiple messages to Asia and West’ – Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times, an analyst for RT and Sputnik, and a Sputnik regular. His latest book is Empire of Chaos. Follow him on Facebook by clicking here.

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 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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The Age of Imperial Wars, by James Petras

Source: Global Research

usa-war-crusade

From Regional War, “Regime Change” to Global Warfare

2015 has become a year of living dangerously.

Wars are spreading across the globe. 

Wars are escalating as new countries are bombed and the old are ravaged with ever greater intensity.

Countries, where relatively peaceful changes had taken place through recent elections, are now on the verge of civil wars.

These are wars without victors, but plenty of losers; wars that don’t end; wars where imperial occupations are faced with prolonged resistance.

There are never-ending torrents of war refugees flooding across borders.  Desperate people are detained, degraded and criminalized for being the survivors and victims of imperial invasions.

 Now major nuclear powers face off in Europe and Asia:  NATO versus Russia, US-Japan versus China.  Will these streams of blood and wars converge into one radiated wilderness drained of its precious life blood?

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The world after the Washington/Teheran agreement, by Theirry Meyssan

Source: Voltaire Network

The cease-fire decreed between the United States and Iran redefines the conflicts in the Near East and moves the war towards the Black Sea. Even though it is yet too soon to predict the way in which the rivalry between Riyadh and Teheran will evolve, and also what will become of Turkey, it is already clear that we are moving towards peace in Yemen and Syria.

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The opposition between the United States and Iran, which had dominated Near-Eastern politics since the speech given by Imam Rouhollah Khomeiny at Teheran cemetery on the 1st February 1979, to the signature of the bilateral agreement with the government of Cheikh Hassan Rohani on the 14th July 2015, no longer exists. As from now, Washington and Teheran are both pusuing the interests of the same global ruling class.

At the time, President Jimmy Carter and his National Security Council advisor Zbigniew Brzeziński had to deal with the desertion of Iran, which, until then, had been Washington’s «local police force ». They reacted first by soliciting the Saudis for help in countering the Imam’s revolutionary, anti-imperialist message – this signalled the beginning of the Wahhabisation of world Islam – then by deciding to control the Near Eastern reserve of hydrocarbons.

During his « State of the Union » speech of the 23rd January 1980, Jimmy Carter declared – « Let our position be absolutely clear – any attempt by a foreign power to take control of the Persian Gulf region will be considered as an attack on the vital interests of the United States of America, and any such attack will be resisted by all necessary means, including military force. »

With this objective, the Pentagon organised a regional command for its army, the Central Command (CentCom), whose zone of competence included all the states in the region with the exception of Israel and Turkey.

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Reshuffling Eurasia’s energy deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Asia Times

Workers-in-Kazakhstan-complete-a-section-of-a-pan-Central-Asian-gas-pipeline-designed-to-300x183
Workers in Kazakhstan complete a section of a pan-Central Asian gas pipeline

Pipelineistan – the prime Eurasian energy chessboard — never sleeps. Recently, it’s Russia that has scored big on all fronts; two monster gas deals sealed with China last year; the launch of Turk Stream replacing South Stream; and the doubling of Nord Stream to Germany.

Now, with the possibility of sanctions on Iran finally vanishing by late 2015/early 2016, all elements will be in place for the revival of one of Pipelineistan’s most spectacular soap operas, which I have beenfollowing for years; the competition between the IP (Iran-Pakistan) and TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipelines.

The $7.5-billion IP had hit a wall for years now – a casualty of hardcore geopolitical power play. IP was initially IPI – connected to India; both India and Pakistan badly need Iranian energy. And yet relentless pressure from successive Bush and Obama administrations scared India out of the project. And then sanctions stalled it for good.

Now, Pakistan’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi swears IP is a go. The Iranian stretch of the 1,800-kilometer pipeline has already been built. IP originates in the massive South Pars gas fields – the largest in the world – and ends in the Pakistani city of Nawabshah, close to Karachi. The geopolitical significance of this steel umbilical cord linking Iran and Pakistan couldn’t be more graphic.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading Reshuffling Eurasia’s energy deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan, by Pepe Escobar

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The Seeds of Eurasia; A vision manifests, by Pepe Escobar

Source: TomDispatch

This is by far one of the most significant deals of our fledgling century, a world of possibilities lies ahead. The importance of what Pepe Escobar is covering here is eloquently put into frame by Tom’s excellent introduction to Pepe’s piece.

Pepe’s “Eurasian Big Bang” has all the potential to set things in motion that the very Masters of the Universe may not be able to stop. And that is what makes this the seed of actions to come for the next generations.

What Pepe is really telling us is that the vision China is showing the world is not only unparalleled (How can casino capitalism compete with vision?!) but so mesmerizing that all the beltway can do now is huff and puff as the caravan passes by.

“The purpose of meditation is to look at something deeply and see its roots”, (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Pepe does just that, sit back, make a cup of tea and enjoy this one.

AE

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The Eurasian Big Bang 
How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
By Pepe Escobar

Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations — the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS’ New Development Bank) — whose acronyms you’re unlikely to recognize either.  Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s “nuclear weapons program.”  And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia — a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S.  And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.[Please click below to continue reading]

Continue reading The Seeds of Eurasia; A vision manifests, by Pepe Escobar

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