Tag Archives: Russia

Putin’s Now Purged The West From The Kremlin

It came as the biggest shock of the day on Wednesday. The Russian government resigned. The day before President Vladimir Putin gave his State of the Nation address and outlined a slate of constitutional changes.

(Tom Luongo) Putin’s plan is to devolve some of the President’s overwhelming power to the legislature and the State Council, while beefing up the Constitutional Court’s ability to provide checks on legislation.

From TASS:

In Wednesday’s State of the Nation Address, Putin put forward a number of initiatives changing the framework of power structures at all levels, from municipal authorities to the president. The initiatives particularly stipulate that the powers of the legislative and judicial branches, including the Constitutional Court, will be expanded. The president also proposed to expand the role of the Russian State Council. Putin suggested giving the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) the right to approve the appointment of the country’s prime minister, deputy prime ministers and ministers.

The bigger shock was that in response to this Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev dissolved the current government willingly and resigned as Prime Minister.

Within hours Putin recommended Federal Tax Service chief, Mikhail Mishustin as Prime Minister. The State Duma approved Putin’s recommendation and Mishustin was sworn in by Putin all within a day.

While this came on suddenly it also shouldn’t be a surprise. These changes have been discussed for months leading up to Putin’s speech. And it’s been clear for the past few years that Putin has been engaged in the second phase of his long-term plan to first rebuild and then remake Russia during his time in office.

The first phase was rescuing Russia from economic, societal and demographic collapse. It was in serious danger of this when Putin took over from Boris Yeltsin.

It meant regaining control over strategic state resources, rebuilding Russia’s economy and defense, stabilizing its population, getting some semblance of political control within the Kremlin and bringing hope back to a country in desperate need of it.

Hostile analysts, both domestic and foreign, criticized Putin constantly for his tactics. Russia’s reliance on its base commodities sectors to revive its economy was seen as a structural weakness. But, an honest assessment of the situation begs the question, “How else was Putin going to back Russia away from the edge of that abyss?”

These same experts never seem to have an answer.

And when those critics were able to answer, since they were people connected to monied interests in the West who Putin stymied from continuing to loot Russia’s natural wealth, their answer was usually to keep doing that.

Don’t kid yourself, most of the so-called Russia experts out there are deeply back to Wall St. through one William Browder and his partner-in-crime Mikhail Khordokovsky.

Nearly all of them in the U.S. Senate are severely compromised or just garden variety neocons still hell-bent on subjugating Russia to their hegemonic plans.

Their voices should be discounted heavily since they are the same criminals actively destroying U.S. and European politics today.

In the West these events were spun to suggest Putin is consolidating power. The initial reports were that he would remove the restraint on Presidential service of two consecutive terms. And that this would pave the way to his staying in office after his current term expires in 2024.

That, as always when regarding Russia, is the opposite of the truth. Putin’s recommendation is to remove the word “consecutive” from the Constitution making it clear that a President can only ever serve two terms. Moreover, that president will have had to have lived in Russia for the previous 25 years.

No one will be allowed to rule Russia like he has after he departs the office. Because Putin understands that the Russian presidency under the current constitution is far too powerful and leaves the country vulnerable to a man who isn’t a patriot being corrupted by that power.

There are a number of issues that most commentators and analysts in the West do not understand about Putin. Their insistence on presenting Putin only in the worst possible terms is tired and nonsensical to anyone who spends even a cursory amount of time studying him.

These events of the past couple of days in Russia are the end result of years of work on Putin’s part to purge the Russian government and the Kremlin of what The Saker calls The Atlanticist Fifth Column.

And they have been dug in like ticks in a corrupt bureaucracy that has taken Putin the better part of twenty years to tame.

It’s been a long and difficult road that even I only understand the surface details of. But it’s clear that beginning in 2012 or so, Putin began making the shift towards the next phase of Russia’s strategic comeback.

And that second phase is about taking a stable Russia and elevating its institutions to a more sustainable model.

Once birth rates improved and demographic collapse was averted, the next thing to do was to reform an economy rightly criticized for being too heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues.

And that is a much tougher task.

It meant getting control over the Russian central bank and the financial sector. Putin was given that opportunity during the downturn in oil prices in 2014.

Using the crisis as an opportunity Putin began the decoupling of Russia’s economy from the West. During the early boom years of his Presidency oil revenue strengthened both the Russian state coffers and the so-called oligarchs who Putin was actively fighting for control.

He warned the CEO’s of Gazprom, Rosneft and Sberbank that they were too heavily exposed to the U.S. dollar this way in the years leading up to the crash in oil prices in 2014-16.

And when the U.S. sanctioned Russia in 2014 over the reunification with Crimea these firms all had to come to Putin for a bailout. Their dollar-denominated debt was swapped out for euro and ruble debt through the Bank of Russia and he instructed the central bank to allow the ruble to fall, to stop defending it.

Taking the inflationary hit was dangerous but necessary if Russia was to become a truly independent economic force.

Since then it’s been a tug of war with the IMF-trained bureaucracy within the Bank of Russia to set monetary policy in accordance with Russia’s needs not what the international community demanded.

That strong Presidency was a huge boon. But, now that the job is mostly done, it can be an albatross.

Putin understands that a Russia flush with too much oil money is a Russia ruled by that money and becomes lazy because of that money. Contrary to popular opinion, Putin doesn’t want to see oil prices back near $100 per barrel.

Because Russia’s comparative advantage in oil and gas is so high relative to everyone else on the world stage and to other domestic industries that money retards innovation and investment in new technologies and a broadening of the Russian domestic economy.

And this has been Putin’s focus for a while now. Oil and gas are geostrategic assets used to shore up Russia’s position as a regional power, building connections with its new partners while opening up new markets for Russian businesses.

But it isn’t the end of the Russian story of the future, rather the beginning.

And the slow privatization of those industries is happening, with companies like Gazprom and Rosneft selling off excess treasury shares to raise capital and put a larger share of them into public hands.

Again, this is all part of the next stage of Russia’s development and democratizing some of the President’s power has to happen if Russia is going to survive him leaving the stage.

Because it is one thing to have a man of uncommon ability and patriotism wielding that power responsibly. It’s another to believe Russia can get another man like Putin to take his place.

So, Putin is again showing his foresight and prudence in pushing for these changes now. It shows that he feels comfortable that this new structure will insulate Russia from external threats while strengthening the domestic political scene.

Gilbert Doctorow has an excellent early reaction to this dramatic turn by Putin which I encourage everyone to read in full. The subtle point he makes is:

To understand what comes next, you have to take into account a vitally important statement which Putin made a few moments before he set out his proposed constitutional reforms. He told his audience that his experience meeting with the leaders of the various Duma parties at regular intervals every few weeks showed that all were deeply patriotic and working for the good of the country. Accordingly, he said that all Duma parties should participate in the formation of the cabinet.

And so, we are likely to see in the coming days that candidates for a number of federal ministries in the new, post-Medvedev cabinet will be drawn precisely from parties other than United Russia. In effect, without introducing the word “coalition” into his vocabulary, Vladimir Putin has set the stage for the creation of a grand coalition to succeed the rule of one party, United Russia, over which Dimitri Medvedev was the nominal chairman.

The end result of this move to devolve the cabinet appointments to the whole of the Duma is to ensure that a strong President which Putin believes is best for Russia is tempered by a cabinet drawn from the whole of the electorate, including the Prime Minister.

That neither opens the door to dysfunctional European parliamentary systems nor closes it from a strong President leading Russia during crisis periods.

Once the amendments to the constitution are finalized Putin will put the whole package to a public vote.

This is the early stage of this much-needed overhaul of Russia’s constitutional order and the neocons in the West are likely stunned into silence knowing that they can no longer just wait Putin out and sink their hooks into his most likely successor.

Sometimes the most important changes occur right under our noses, right out in the open. Contrast that with the skullduggery and open hostility of the political circus in D.C. and you can which direction the two countries are headed.

Source: ZeroHedge

Russian Military News: New Exoskeleton Unveiled After Stunning Footage Of Strategic Bomber Crash

(ZeroHedge) The Russian army has developed an exoskeleton which has already been field tested Syria, according to Sergei Smaglyuk, president of Moscow-based “GB Inzhiniring,” which developed the suit along with TsNIITochMash, according to RIA Novosti.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/exo1b.jpg?itok=HlIySlFS

Weighing in at around 15 lbs, the carbon fiber and metal suit allows a soldier to carry heavy mortars and a 700-round belt-fed machine gun long distances without fatigue. According to the report, the suit can also be used to help evacuate wounded people in disasters, and will allow troops to march much further without getting tired.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/exo1c.jpg?itok=r5aJpQJp

Based on recommendations from the Russian military, GB Inzhiniring incorporated the ability for the suit to eject its cargo in an emergency. They also developed a special backpack for the machine gun which feeds ammunition through a special sleeve.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/exo1a.jpg?itok=1FG2KbHZ

Other modifications under consideration for future versions of the suit include a more flexible chassis and a more heavily armored version. A battery will also allow soldiers to use and charge various equipment while on the move, such as a communications, an electronic commander’s tablet and navigation gear.

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The exoskeleton is set to enter mass production soon, while foreign buyers have reportedly expressed interest in the device once it receives an export passport.

According to Smaglyuk, “This is already much closer to the science fiction. In the future, such equipment will increase the strength and speed of the serviceman. As soon as this happens, the very next day, a boom of exoskeleton of very different designs and purposes will begin. Today we are considering the concept of feeding an active exoskeleton from an onboard network, for example, a truck. machine with ammunition, the soldier puts “suit” that can be connected to the car battery and starts unloading. Such a project could be useful logistics unit.”

***

Stunning Footage Of Deadly Russian Strategic Bomber Crash Surfaces Online

A horrific video of a Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber in Murmansk – a crash that left two of the fighter’s crew members dead and two badly injured – was caught on video.  And the footage has now emerged online.

Highlighted by RT, the video shows the strategic bomber’s approach to an air base in near-zero visibility and the moment it slammed into the airstrip and burst into flames. The video was recorded by a Russian serviceman at the base, which is located near the city of Olenegorsk, and was recently leaked online.

The video shows the heavy fog that was covering the area during the incident, which took place on Jan. 22.

During the crash-landing, the bomber literally broke apart, with its cabin engulfed in flames while tumbling on the ground.

The plane crashed during what the Russian Ministry of Defense said was a routine training mission. Though initially the ministry said there were no weapons aboard the jet at the time of the crash, later reports indicated that it had been armed with one Kh-22 long-range anti-ship missile and several hundred rounds aircraft cannon ammo. The bomber that was involved in the crash was built 33 years ago, but underwent an overhaul in 2012.

Source: ZeroHedge

Putin Tests Latest Kalashnikov Sniper Rifle

According to Russia Today, Putin visited the Kalashnikov Concern’s shooting range and tested the company’s brand new sniper rifle in Kubinka on Wednesday. After inspecting the experimental samples of the rifles, Putin shot five times with an SVCh-308 (Chukavin sniper’s rifle) rifle at a target from a distance of 600 meters. Three of the president’s shots successfully hit the target. According to Kalashnikov, the SVCh-308 rifle is designed to engage the enemy’s manpower at small and medium distances. It can be used in conditions of combined arms combat as well as for keeping a cover. The rifle’s small dimensions allow the shooter to do without additional weapons, which increases mobility. The SVCh was initially called SVK. Recently, Kalashnikov has renamed the rifle to include the designer’s last name (Chukavin) into the designation of this firearm and revealed more details. Now the rifle is called Chukavin Sniper Rifle or SVCh (Снайперская Винтовка Чукавина – СВЧ) wrote the Firearm Blog.

 

Provocations Have A History Of Escalating Into War

Can War Be Avoided and the Planet Saved?

(Paul Craig Roberts) The Russian Government and President Putin are coming under pressure not from US sanctions, which are very good for Russia as they force Russia into independence, but from Russian patriots who are tiring of Putin’s non-confrontational responses to Washington’s never-ending insults and military provocations. Russian patriots don’t want war, but they do want their country’s honor defended, and they believe Putin is failing in this job. Some of them are saying that Putin himself is a West-worshiping Atlanticist Integrationist.

This disillusionment with Putin, together with Putin’s endorsement of raising the retirement age for pensions, a trap set for him by Russia’s neoliberal economists, have hurt Putin’s approval ratings at the precise time that he will again be tested by Washington in Syria.

In many columns I have defended Putin from the charge that he is not sufficiently Russian. Putin wants to avoid war, because he knows it would be nuclear, the consequences of which would be dire. He knows that the US and its militarily impotent NATO allies cannot possibly conduct conventional warfare against Russia or China, much less against both. Putin also understands that the sanctions are damaging Washington’s European vassals and could eventually force the European vassal states into independence that would constrain Washington’s belligerence. Even with Russia’s new super weapons, which probably give Putin the capability of destroying the entirety of the Western World with little or no damage to Russia, Putin sees no point in so much destruction, especially as the consequences are unknown. There could be nuclear winter or other results that would put the planet into decline as a life-sustaining entity.

So, as I have suggested in many columns Putin is acting intelligently. He is in the game for the long term while protecting the world from dangerous war.

Whereas I endorse Putin’s strategy and admire his coolness as a person who never lets emotion lead him, there is nevertheless a problem. The people in the West with whom he is dealing are idiots who do not appreciate his statesmanship. Consequently, each time Putin turns the other cheek, so to speak, the insults and the provocations ratchet upward.

Consider Syria. The Syrian Army with the help of a tiny part of the Russian Air Force has cleared all areas of Syria but one of the American-instigated-financed-and-equiped forces sent by Washington to overthrow the Syrian government.

The remaining US proxy force is about to be eliminated. In order to save it, and to keep a Washington foothold that could permit a restart of the war, Washington has arranged yet another false flag “chemical attack” that the presstitute and obedient Western media will blame on Assad. President Trump’s National Security Adviser, a crazed, perhaps insane, Neoconservative, has told Russia that Washington will take a dim view of the Syrian/Russian use of chemical weapons against “Assad’s own people.”

The Russians are fully aware that any chemical attack will be a false flag attack orchestrated by Washington using the elements it sent to Syria to overthrow the government. Indeed, Russia’s ambassador to the US explained it all yesterday to the US government.

Clearly, Putin hopes to avoid Washington’s orchestrated attack by having his ambassador explain the orchestration to the American officials who are orchestrating it. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-30/russian-ambassador-gave-intel-us-officials-showing-planned-chemical-provocation
This strategy implies that Putin thinks US government officials are capable of shame and integrity. They most certainly are not. I spent 25 years with them. They don’t even know what the words mean.

What if, instead, Putin had declared publicly for the entire world to hear that any forces, wherever located, responsible for an attack on Syria would be annihilated? My view -— https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/08/29/a-book-for-our-time-a-time-that-perhaps-has-run-its-course/ — and that of Russian patriot Bogdasarov— https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/08/a-russian-response-to-a-new-us-attack-on-syria-should-include-sinking-the-carriers-not-just-shooting-at-their-missiles/ — is that such an ultimatum from the leader of the country capable of delivering it would cool the jets of Russophobic Washington. There would be no attack on Syria.

Bogdasarov and I might be wrong. The Russian forces deployed around Syria with their hyper sonic missiles are more than a match for the US forces assembled to attack Syria. However, American hubris can certainly prevail over facts, in which case Putin would have to destroy the sources of the attack. By not committing in advance, Putin retains flexibility. Washington’s attack, like its previous attack on Syria, might be a face-saver, not a real attack. Nevertheless, sooner or later Russia will have to deliver a firmer response to provocations.

I am an American. I am not a Russian, much less a Russian nationalist. I do not want US military personnel to be casualties of Washington’s fatal desire for world hegemony, much less to be casualties of Washington serving Israel’s interests in the Middle East. The reason I think Putin needs to do a better job of standing up to Washington is that I think, based on history, that appeasement encourages more provocations, and it comes to a point when you have to surrender or fight. It is much better to stop this process in its tracks before it reaches that dangerous point.

Andrei Martyanov, whose book I recently reviewed on my website, recently defended Putin, as The Saker and I have done in the past, from claims that Putin is too passive in the face of assaults. https://russia-insider.com/en/russia-playing-long-game-no-room-instant-gratification-strategies-super-patriots/ri24561 As I have made the same points, I can only applaud Martyanov and The Saker. Where we might differ is in recognizing that endlessly accepting insults and provocations encourages their increase until the only alternative is surrender or war.

So, the questions for Andrei Martyanov, The Saker, and for Putin and the Russian government is: How long does turning your other cheek work? Do you turn your other cheek so long as to allow your opponent to neutralize your advantage in a confrontation? Do you turn your other cheek so long that you lose the support of the patriotic population for your failure to defend the country’s honor? Do you turn your other cheek so long that you are eventually forced into war or submission? Do you turn your other cheek so long that the result is nuclear war?

I think that Martyanov and The Saker agree that my question is a valid one. Both emphasize in their highly informative writings that the court historians misrepresent wars in the interest of victors. Let’s give this a moment’s thought. Both Napoleon and Hitler stood at their apogee, their success unmitigated by any military defeat. Then they marched into Russia and were utterly destroyed. Why did they do this? They did it because their success had given them massive arrogance and belief in their “exceptionalism,” the dangerous word that encapsulates Washington’s belief in its hegemony.

The zionist neoconsevatives who rule in Washington are capable of the same mistake that Napoleon and Hitler made. They believe in “the end of history,” that the Soviet collapse means history has chosen America as the model for the future. Their hubris actually exceeds that of Napoleon and Hitler.

When confronted with such deluded and ideological force, does turning the other cheek work or does it encourage more provocation?

This is the question before the Russian government.

Perhaps the Russian government will understand the meaning of the orchestrated eulogies for John McCain. It is not normal for a US senator to be eulogized in this way, especially one with such an undistinguished record. What is being eulogized is McCain’s hatred of Russia and his record as a warmonger. What Washington is eulogizing is its own commitment to war.

FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Approved Uranium One Deal, Netting Clintons Millions

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As the mainstream media continues to obsess over $100,000 worth Facebook ads allegedly purchased by Russian spies in 2016 seeking to throw the presidential election, we’re almost certain they’ll ignore the much larger Russian bombshell dropped today in the form of newly released FBI documents that reveal for the very first time that the Obama administration was well aware of illegal bribery, extortion and money laundering schemes being conducted by the Russians to get a foothold in the atomic energy business in the U.S. before approving a deal that handed them 20% of America’s uranium reserves…and resulted in a windfall of donations to the Clinton Foundation.

As we pointed out last summer when Peter Schweizer first released his feature documentary Clinton Cash, the Uranium One deal, as approved by the Obama Administration, netted the Clintons and their Clinton Foundation millions of dollars in donations and ‘speaking fees’ from Uranium One shareholders and other Russian entities.

Russian Purchase of US Uranium Assets in Return for $145mm in Contributions to the Clinton Foundation – Bill and Hillary Clinton assisted a Canadian financier, Frank Giustra, and his company, Uranium One, in the acquisition of uranium mining concessions in Kazakhstan and the United States.  Subsequently, the Russian government sought to purchase Uranium One but required approval from the Obama administration given the strategic importance of the uranium assets.  In the run-up to the approval of the deal by the State Department, nine shareholders of Uranium One just happened to make $145mm in donations to the Clinton Foundation.  Moreover, the New Yorker confirmed that Bill Clinton received $500,000 in speaking fees from a Russian investment bank, with ties to the Kremlin, around the same time.  Needless to say, the State Department approved the deal giving Russia ownership of 20% of U.S. uranium assets 

Now, thanks to newly released affidavits from a case that landed one of the Russian co-conspirators, Vadim Mikerin, in jail, we learn that not only was the Obama administration aware the Russians’ illegal acts in the U.S. but it may have also been fully aware that “Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.”  Per The Hill:

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

Of course, when Schweizer’s book first made Uranium One a political hot topic in 2015, both the Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions and insisted there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for anyone to oppose the deal.  That said, we now know that the FBI was aware of wrongdoing going back to at least April 2009 even though the deal wasn’t approved until October 2010.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

And guess who ran the FBI’s investigation into this particular Russian plot?  As The Hill notes, the Mikerin probe began in 2009 under Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, and ended in late 2015 under the controversial, former FBI Director James Comey who was relieved of his duties by President Trump.

Ironically, when the DOJ finally arrested Mikerin in 2014, following 5 years of investigations in a massive international bribery and money-laundering scheme, rather than publicly celebrate, they seemingly swept it under the rug.  In fact, there was no public release concerning the case at all until a full year later when the DOJ announced a plea deal with Mikerin right before labor day.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.

But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.

The only public statement occurred an entire year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

Perhaps this is what the “most transparent” President in history meant when he told Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” after his 2012 election.

Below are the affidavits released today:

https://www.scribd.com/document/361782806/Indictment-Affidavit#from_embed

https://www.scribd.com/document/361783782/Mikerin-Plea-Deal#from_embed

https://www.scribd.com/document/361783782/Mikerin-Plea-Deal#from_embed

https://gunnyg.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/obamaputinlaughgangsterpix.jpg?w=585&zoom=2

https://gunnyg.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/650-101717-obama-and-the-clintons.jpg?w=640&zoom=2


BREAKING NEWS: Senate Judiciary OPENS PROBE into Clinton-Obama era Russian nuclear bribery case …


The Obama Administration’s Uranium One Scandal

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Source: ZeroHedge

General Asapov Died In Syria Because Russian Officers Lead From The Front

Unlike Western armies the Russian army still requires senior officers like General Asapov to lead their men into battle

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The death of Lieutenant General Valery Asapov and two Russian colonels who were with him in Syria highlights the fundamentally different military command philosophies of the US and Russian militaries.

Putting aside the question of whether or not General Asapov was deliberately targeted, the key point about his death is that he was a high ranking general (commander at the time of his death of Russia’s 5th Red Banner Army) who was killed whilst carrying out personal reconnaissance on the front line in Deir Ezzor in Syria, where he exposed himself to shelling.

Though his death was big news in Russia, it has been received there calmly, with none of the displays of dismay or panic, or the feverish post-mortems, or the angry cries for vengeance, which would assuredly have happened if a US officer of similar rank had been killed in the same way.

Nor is there the slightest sign of General Asapov’s death having caused any change in the battlefield strategy followed by the Russians in Syria.

Thus offensive military operations by the Syrian army as advised and directed by the Russians in the area where General Asapov was killed continue with undiminished vigour, with – as reported by The Duran – Russian engineers just completing a road bridge across the Euphrates to enable the Syrian army to get across.

All this highlights a key point about the Russian army’s system of command: Russian commanders – including the most senior commanders – are expected to lead from the front, making themselves visible to their men, whilst at the same through direct observation gaining a ‘feel’ for the battle.

By contrast US military practice prefers to keep commanders out of harm’s way, expecting them to control the battle from their headquarters in the rear.

The result is that Russian commanders run a far greater risk of being killed or injured than their US counterparts do.

Back in 2008 General Anatoly Khrulyov, commander of Russia’s 58th Army, was wounded during the war with Georgia during a firefight with Georgian Special Forces.  Khrulyov’s wounding was reported in the West as a blow to the Russians. The Russians however were unfazed, going on to win the war against Georgia – in which General Khrulyov’s 58th Army played the leading part – in just five days.

After the war General Khrulyov continued to command the 58th Army until his retirement in 2010, when he became  – with the agreement of the Russian government – the Chief of Staff of the military of the breakaway former Georgian republic of Abkhazia, which through his contribution to the battle in 2008 he had helped to save.

By contrast when US Major General Harold Greene was killed in Afghanistan in 2014 as a result of an insider attack by an Afghan soldier, it was the first time a US general had been killed in combat for more than forty years.  To see what an unusual occurrence that was, consider how the BBC reported General Greene’s death

Gen Greene is not only the highest ranking US military official to have been killed since the start of the war in Afghanistan, his death also marks the first time in more than 40 years that a general has been killed in combat….

“It was once common for generals to share the fate of the ordinary soldier,” says Boston University political scientist Andrew Bacevich. “There was once a common used phrase – ‘fighting generals’ – those who stayed on the front lines.”

Lt Gen Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr was killed in the final days of the Battle for Okinawa during World War Two. Posthumously promoted to the rank of four-star general, Gen Buckner became the highest-ranking military officer killed on the battlefield during that war.

“In the US Civil War, it was quite common for generals to be killed. In World War Two, the odds were substantially lower,” says Stephen Biddle, a military expert with the Council on Foreign Relations.

“As weapons’ ranges increased, the headquarters tended to move to the rear, to get them further out of harm’s way.”

Maj Gen John Albert B Dillard Jr was killed during the Vietnam War when his helicopter was shot down in 1970. According to data compiled by the Associated Press, Gen Dillard was the last army general killed in action overseas before the death of Gen Greene.

As military technology and tactics changed in Vietnam, so did the nature of the war. Because of the lack of distinct frontlines, many commanders would lead their battalions from helicopters above the battlefield, radioing commands to their soldiers below…..

Lt Gen Timothy Maude became the highest-ranking officer killed by foreign action since Gen Buckner when a passenger plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

Following the Vietnam War, high ranking officers were rarely placed in vulnerable positions, such as on the battlefield. Instead, they occupied more strategic positions in places like the Pentagon.

“In modern times, the American military has become more bureaucratised,” says HW Brands, a historian at the University of Texas.

“These days it takes a long time to become a general – 25 years – whereas in the Civil War, people became generals after three months in battle. The army will not put someone with 25 years training on the field.”

Note that this very low level of combat deaths of US generals – Dillard and Greene are the only two to have been killed in combat since 1970 – has happened notwithstanding that the US military has been engaged in fighting in one place or another almost continuously since that year.

This is completely different from Russian military practice, in which the commander is expected – including by his own soldiers – to lead from the front, something which inevitably exposes senior Russian officers to much greater risk of death or injury in battle by comparison with senior US officers.

The reason the Russian military is able to brush off losses of its senior commanders such as those of Generals Khrulyov and Asapov in a way that the US military almost certainly would not be able to do is because the command and staff systems of the Russian army are specifically designed in anticipation of such losses.

This has practical consequences in the way US and Russian officers conceive of their command roles during a battle.

A US commander directs the battle from his headquarters in the rear, relying on reports and intelligence (including increasingly from drones) to keep him accurately informed about what is going on.  By way of example, in 2003 General Tommy Franks directed the whole invasion of Iraq from his headquarters located far away to the rear in Qatar.

By contrast a Russian commander is supposed to lead from the front.  General Khrulyov was wounded in 2008 because he advanced with his men into South Ossetia, and General Asapov has just been killed because he was carrying out personal reconnaissance on the front line in Deir Ezzor in Syria.

Reports and intelligence from drones and from other technical means obviously are sent to Russian headquarters, just as they are to US headquarters, and are processed by the staff there and provided to the commander and to the supreme headquarters in Moscow.  However the burden of assessing this intelligence and these reports, and informing and advising the commander about them, falls upon the chief of staff, whose role in the Russian army goes far beyond the organisational and planning tasks the chief of staff tends to have in the US army.

Which is the better system as a civilian I am in no position to judge.

The Russians would doubtless say that the US system turns commanders from warriors into managers, robbing them of their ‘feel’ of the battle, and causing them to lose the qualities of aggression and inventiveness which are essential to achieve victory.

The Americans would doubtless respond that the Russian system is outdated, being more suited to the Napoleonic battlefield than the modern battlefield, and that sending valuable officers into harm’s way where they might get injured or killed is not only wasteful, but by distancing the officers from their headquarters, actually limits their knowledge of the state of the battle.

Regardless of who is right, on the specific subject of General Asapov’s death, I suspect that as a Russian officer he would be baffled by some of the things which have been said about it.

I am sure that he would say that death is an occupational hazard for a soldier, and that there was therefore nothing untoward or remarkable about his death, and that the proper way to respond to it is not to seek ‘revenge’ – which I suspect he would consider futile and pointless – but to complete successfully the mission for which he gave his life.

As to his being ‘martyred’, I suspect that he would simply say that death in battle was the price he was always willing to pay for his service as a Russian soldier.

By Alexander | Russia Feed

Did USA.gov Declare War On Russia Yesterday?

Syria – U.S. CentCom Declares War On Russia

Yesterday three high ranking Russian officers were killed in an “ISIS attack” in eastern Syria. It is likely they were killed by U.S. special forces or insurgents under U.S. special forces control because ISIS is a proxy army, created and financed by USA.gov and her allies to grab as much land as possible in this region. The incident can be understood as a declaration of war.

The U.S. Central Command in the Middle East wants the oil fields in east-Syria under control of its proxy forces to set up and control a U.S. aligned Kurdish mini-state in the area. The Syrian government, allied with Russia, needs the revenues of the oil fields to rebuild the country.

https://i2.wp.com/www.moonofalabama.org/images5/syriaoilmap20170917.jpg

Last week the Russians issued sharply worded statements against U.S. coordination with al-Qaeda terrorists in Idleb province and warned of further escalation.

Yesterday the Russian Ministry of Defense accused the U.S. military in east-Syria of direct collaboration with the Islamic State:

US Army special units provide free passage for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) through the battle formations of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists, the ministry said in a statement.“Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir ez-Zor,” the statement reads.

The newly released images “clearly show that US special ops are stationed at the outposts previously set up by ISIS militants.”

“Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said.

This map marks the currently relevant conflict area – (U.S. proxies – yellow, SAA – red, ISIS – black):

Map by Weekend Warriorbigger

The accusations are plausible. Large parts of ISIS in Deir Ezzor consist of local tribal forces from eastern Syria. U.S. special envoy Brett McGurk recently met tribal leaders who had earlier pledged allegiance to ISIS. Deals were made. As we wrote:

The U.S. diplomat tasked with the job, Brett McGurk, recently met with local tribal dignitaries of the area. Pictures of the meeting were published. Several people pointed out that the very same dignitaries were earlier pictured swearing allegiance to the Islamic State.

https://i0.wp.com/www.moonofalabama.org/images5/isismcgurk-s.jpg

bigger

Just like during the “Anbar Awaking” in its war on Iraq the U.S. is bribing the local radicals to temporarily change over to its side. This will help the U.S. to claim that it defeated ISIS. But as soon as the payments stop the very same forces will revert back to their old game.

The local criminal Ahmad Abu Khawla, circled in the pictures above, who had earlier fought for ISIS, was suddenly installed as commander of a newly invented “Deir Ezzor Military Council”, set up under U.S. special force control.

Last night a Russian three-star general and two colonels were killed in a mortar attack while they visited a Syrian army headquarters in Deir Ezzor:

Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov, of the Russian armed forces, has been killed after coming under shelling from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants near Deir ez-Zor, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced.In its statement, the ministry said that Asapov was at a command outpost manned by Syrian troops, assisting commanders in the liberation of the city of Deir ez-Zor.

Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov is the highest-ranking Russian officer to be killed in the Syrian campaign. He was a commander of the 5th Army in Russia’s Eastern Military District, one of the four strategic commands in the Russian Armed Forces. The army is based in Russia’s Far East, in the city of Ussuriysk, some 98 km (61 miles) from Vladivostok.

For three years ISIS had besieged Syrian troops in Deir Ezzor city and its airport. It had not once managed to successfully attack the Syrian headquarters or to kill high ranking officers. Now, as U.S. proxy forces “advised” by U.S. special forces, have taken position north of Deir Ezzor, “ISIS” suddenly has the intelligence data and precision mortar capabilities to kill a bunch of visiting Russian officers?

That is not plausible. No one in Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran or Moscow will believe that.

The Russian military, as usual, reacts calmly and officially attributes the attack to ISIS. Doing so avoids pressure to immediately react to the attack. (The U.S. will falsely interpret this as a face-saving Russian retreat.) 

But no one in Moscow will believe that the incident is independent of other recent maneuvers by the U.S. forces and independent of the earlier accusations the Russian military made against the U.S. forces.

Nominally the U.S. and Russia are both in Syria to fight the Islamic State. The Russian troops are legitimately there, having been invited by the Syrian government. The U.S. forces have no legal justification for their presence. So far open hostilities between the two sides had been avoided. But as the U.S. now obviously sets out to split Syria apart, openly cooperates with terrorists and does not even refrain from killing Russian officers, the gloves will have to come off.

U.S. Central Command has declared war on the Russian contingent in Syria. A high ranking Russian general was killed. This inevitably requires a reaction. The response does not necessarily have to come from Russian forces.  Moscow has many capable allies in the area. The response does not necessarily have to come in Syria.

“Accidents” and “incidents”, like an “ISIS mortar attacks”, or unintentional bombing of troop concentration of the other side, can happen on both sides of the front. Cars can blow up, bridges can collapse. Any U.S. officer or civilian official in the larger Middle East should be aware that they too are now targets.

Source: Moon Of Alabama

 

Russia Kills 800 ISIS Terrorists, US There To Rescue Survivors

 

The US has long been accused of colluding with Daesh to provide safe passage and logistic support to the members of the Takfiri group in conflict zones.

Russian forces killed over 800 ISIS terrorists in Syria over the weekend as US troops airlifted the remaining survivors to safety, according to eyewitnesses

Syrian troops supported by Russian warplanes conducted one of the biggest operations against ISIS to-date, with over 800 ISIS militants, 13 tanks, and 39 pickup trucks equipped with machine guns completely destroyed, the Russian Defence Ministry confirmed.

Abna24.com reports: “On August 27, 2017, the [Syrian] government forces’ units have annihilated ISIS’s most battle-tested and well-armed group with massive support of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Euphrates River valley near the city of Tell Ghanem al-Ali.”

“Currently, a grouping of Syrian government troops is rapidly carrying out an offensive along the eastern shore of the Euphrates River, moving toward Deir ez-Zor. The goal is to unblock this city and destroy the last stronghold of ISIS in Syria,” the Defense Ministry said.

The Syrian army and self-defense units supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces have significantly advanced toward Deir ez-Zor from three directions, the Russian General Staff said earlier this week.

The lifting of siege of Deir ez-Zor will lead to the complete defeat of the most combat-effective formations of ISIS terrorist group in Syria, the chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate said on Friday.

Source: New World Order Report

Putin Declares “Total Independence” From Rothschild NWO Banking Cabal

In June last year President Putin banned Jacob Rothschild and his New World Order banking cartel family from entering Russian territory “under any circumstances,” and now, just over one year later, Putin has declared “total independence” from the global banking cartel and Rothschild international money lending organizations.

Declaring the achievement the “greatest gift” that can be given to future generations, Putin hosted a party in the Kremlin to celebrate the achievement.

They said we couldn’t do it, they said we would be destroyed,” Putin told staff and senior associates. “Our future generations will be born without Rothschild chains around their wrists and ankles.”

This is the greatest gift we can give them.”

  1. Putin Drains The Swamp: Expels 755 U.S. Diplomats
  2. Vladimir Putin Stopped Rothschild In 2006 ~ Consecration Of Russia
  3. Hungary Kills The Rothschild IMF Banks: Ordered To Vacate Country
  4. Bolivia Removes Deep State IMF & World Bank From Country

Putin’s Greatest Legacy

Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin also spoke at the event and praised Putin’s achievement in driving the Rothschilds out of the country.

They don’t go easily,” Kudrin said. “But we have proved it is possible.”

The greatest legacy that can be passed on to your children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in life, but rather a legacy of freedom from enslavement.”

By making the final payment on all of the former Soviet republics debts to the world’s central banks – making Russia the only country to set itself free from the tyrannical grip of the New World Order’s banking system – Putin has ensured future generations of Russians will not live in debt slavery to the {Khazarian} globalist cabal.

https://rasica.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fed-reserve-distress-jefferson.jpg?w=768&h=361

  1. Vladimir Putin Speech: 85% Of The 1917 Soviet Government Was Made Up By Rothschild Zionist Khazars!

  2. President Putin Bans Russian Officials From Owning Foreign Rothschild Bank Accounts & Stock!

It is understood that the Rothschild banking racket was a noose tied around the neck of the Russian economy. Once the knot was tightened, the economy would struggle and choke.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have been major players in the global economic landscape ever since their creation in 1944.

These international banking organizations, which are privately controlled by the notorious Rothschild banking family, first pressure nations to deregulate their financial sector, allowing private banks to loot their economies.

  1. U.S. Supreme Court Allows Antitrust Lawsuits To Move Against JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, & Bank Of America

Once the governments are forced to bail-out their deregulated financial sector, the IMF or World Bank sets up a loan package written in secret by central bankers and finance ministers that undermine their national sovereignty and force them to adopt policies of austerity that harm workers, families, and the environment.

Russia were the first country to grow wise to the ruse. They have worked hard to gain financial independence and have now completed the process of kicking the Rothschild controlled banks out of their country.

Putin’s style

Early in his presidency Putin made a priority of uniting Russia socially, spiritually, and economically. He ordered the arrest of the Rothschild backed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky who had made Rothschild, Henry Kissinger and Arthur Hartman directors of the Open Russia foundation.

  1. Putin’s Purge: Another Rothschild Goon Found Dead & Another Flees To U.K.
  2. Convicted Felon George Soros’s Purple Rain: Plots Continuing War Against The Will Of The U.S. People

https://rasica.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/mussolini-rothschild.jpg?w=768&h=499

Last year Putin reminded his cabinet that he was dealing with the Rothschilds and globalist banksters by “grabbing them by the scruff of the neck and kicking them out Russia’s back door.

They do not own the world, and they do not have carte blanch to do whatever they want. If we do not challenge them there will be other issues. We will not be bullied by them.

Source: Political Vel Craft

Russia Prepares for War

Plans to Move Thermonuclear ICBMs to Western Border

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Last week TASS reported Russia’s western-most ICBM division will be rearmed with the RS-24 Yars missile system. Yars is a MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear, intercontinental ballistic missile that can reportedly carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads. The ICBM RS-24 Yars constitutes the backbone of Russia’s strategic missile force.

“The westernmost strategic missile force division in the Tver region will soon begin to be rearmed with the missile system Yars. It will be a sixth strategic missile division where the newest mobile ground-based missile complexes will replace the intercontinental ballistic missile Topol,” Sergey Karakayev, the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force told the news agency.

The Russians claim the deployment is in response to NATO installing a US anti-missile system in Eastern Europe in violation of previous Russian-US arms treaties. The United States has made the outrageous claim its missile system is designed to respond to threats from Iran.

“Now, after the deployment of those anti-missile system elements, we’ll be forced to think about neutralizing developing threats to Russia’s security,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in May.

Putin added that the US anti-missile systems currently in place in Romania and soon in Poland can be easily be repurposed to fire short and mid-range missiles.

Russia announced it would modernize a launch detection system in response to the threat along its border. It has also discussed stationing its state-of-the art Iskander missiles at its westernmost Baltic outpost of Kaliningrad which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania. The Iskander travels at hypersonic speed and is capable of evading anti-ballistic missiles.

In addition to missiles and nuclear warheads, NATO and Russia have engaged in massive war games this year. NATO’s Anakonda 2016 exercise involved more than 30,000 troops, about half of them Americans, and thousands of combat vehicles from 24 nations. The huge exercise simulated battle maneuvers across Poland. A simultaneous naval exercise, BALTOPS 16, simulated “high-end maritime warfighting” in the Baltic Sea. Exercises were conducted in the waters near Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania. The maritime exercise represented a clear provocation.

“All of this—the aggressive exercises, the NATO buildup, the added US troop deployments—reflects a new and dangerous strategic outlook in Washington. Whereas previously the strategic focus had been on terrorism and counterinsurgency, it has now shifted to conventional warfare among the major powers,” Michael T. Klare wrote for The Nation in July.

“Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941,” notes Paul Craig Roberts.

“To make the crisis clear for my readers and for all peoples, Washington is surrounding Russia with nuclear missile sites that can be silently converted from ABMs to first strike nuclear missiles that can reach Russian targets in a mere few minutes. Washington attempted to disguise this first strike capability with the explanation that the missiles were there to protect against an Iranian ICBM attack on Europe. This explanation was given by the US government despite the fact that everyone knows that Iran has neither ICBMs nor nuclear weapons,” he writes on his website.

Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, is not optimistic about what such frenzied military activity portends.

He believes it is futile for Americans to plan for retirement.

“The crazed American government drowning in its own hubris has set us on a course to nuclear war. Can America produce a leader who can reverse course?”

Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly continue along this suicidal path. Donald Trump has said repeatedly he will not confront Russia. However, he has announced if elected the United States will expand its already massively inflated military budget.

Source: Black Listed News

Xi Jinping Calls for ‘New World Order’ Dominated by China and Russia (video)

Render The West Powerless Within Ten Years

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The men who would be kings of the world: Putin and Xi (Photo : Getty Images)

Chinese president Xi Jinping has called on Russia to join China in forming a “New World Order” dominated by both countries that he expects to realize in the next 10 years.

In a vitriolic speech delivered at the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party this July, Xi urged Russia and its president Vladimir Putin to join China in a military alliance that will render NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) “powerless” and “put an end to the imperialist desires of the West.”

This China-Russia alliance is intended to put more pressure on the United States, China’s main antagonist in the South China Sea, by stretching its military forces even thinner with more naval deployments to Europe.

But more important for China, a military alliance with Russia along the lines of NATO will mean Russia will be obligated to fight alongside China should a war break out in Asia against the U.S.

“The world is on the verge of radical change,” said Xi to his communist comrades. “We see how the European Union is gradually collapsing, as is the US economy — it is all over for the new world order.”

“So, it will never again be as it was before. In 10 years we will have a new world order in which the key will be the union of China and Russia,” said Xi.

Putin has so far not publicly responded to the offer of a military alliance. Putin, however, has long been in favor of a broader military and economic relationship with China. He described both nation’s existing cooperation as an “all-embracing and strategic partnership.”

Xi’s speech was described as incendiary by the West.

Xi’s bitter comments came as China faces mounting military challenges and international censure stemming from its obstinate refusal to accept the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. This court ruled on July 12 that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights within the “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea.

Xi is also facing a dangerous leadership challenge within the Communist Party of China from powerful factions allied with former Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin. Xi is purging leaders in the communist party and the People’s Liberation Army allied with Hu and Jiang as he strives to transform China into a one-man dictatorship under his rule in the mold of Mao Zedong.

Analysts viewed Xi’s bellicose statements against the West as an attempt to bolster his flagging credentials in the wake of the humiliating South China Sea verdict by the arbitration court. Xi is widely seen as the architect of Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

Beijing is calling on citizens to be vigilant against anti-government agitators who may be agents of the West.

By | China Topex

Biggest News Story Of The Year You Haven’t Heard About Until Now

The “Empire of Chaos” has Russia backed into a corner and Putin says we are on the brink of WWIII. Darrin McBreen talks to Paul Craig Roberts about NATO’s deployment of anti-missile systems surrounding Russia.

Russia Just Pulled Itself Out Of The Petrodollar (video)

Back in November, before most grasped just how serious the collapse in crude was (and would become, as well as its massive implications), we wrote “How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed“, because for the first time in almost two decades, energy-exporting countries would pull their “petrodollars” out of world markets in 2015. 

This empirical death of Petrodollar followed years of windfalls for oil exporters such as Russia, Angola, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Much of that money found its way into financial markets, helping to boost asset prices and keep the cost of borrowing down, through so-called petrodollar recycling.

We added that in 2014 “the oil producers will effectively import capital amounting to $7.6 billion. By comparison, they exported $60 billion in 2013 and $248 billion in 2012, according to the following graphic based on BNP Paribas calculations.”

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The problem was compounded by its own positive feedback loop: as the last few weeks vividly demonstrated, plunging oil would lead to a further liquidation in foreign  reserves for the oil exporters who rushed to preserve their currencies, leading to even greater drops in oil as the viable producers rushed to pump out as much crude out of the ground as possible in a scramble to put the weakest producers out of business, and to crush marginal production. Call it Game Theory gone mad and on steroids.

Ironically, when the price of crude started its self-reinforcing plunge, such a death would happen whether the petrodollar participants wanted it, or, as the case may be, were dragged into the abattoir kicking and screaming.

It is the latter that seems to have taken place with the one country that many though initially would do everything in its power to have an amicable departure from the Petrodollar and yet whose divorce from the USD has quickly become a very messy affair, with lots of screaming and the occasional artillery shell.

As Bloomberg reports Russia may unseal its $88 billion Reserve Fund and convert some of its foreign-currency holdings into rubles, the latest government effort to prop up an economy veering into its worst slump since 2009.”

These are dollars which Russia would have otherwise recycled into US denominated assets. Instead, Russia will purchase even more Rubles and use the proceeds for FX and economic stabilization purposes. 

“Together with the central bank, we are selling a part of our foreign-currency reserves,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in Moscow today. “We’ll get rubles and place them in deposits for banks, giving liquidity to the economy.

Call it less than amicable divorce, call it what you will: what it is, is Russia violently leaving the ranks of countries that exchange crude for US paper.

More:

Russia may convert as much as 500 billion rubles from one of the government’s two sovereign wealth funds to support the national currency, Siluanov said, calling the ruble “undervalued.” The Finance Ministry last month started selling foreign currency remaining on the Treasury’s accounts.

The entire 500 billion rubles or part of the amount will be converted in January-February through the central bank, according to Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev. The Bank of Russia will determine the timing and method of the operation.

The ruble, the world’s second-worst performing currency last year, weakened for a fourth day, losing 1.3 percent to 66.0775 against the dollar by 3:21 p.m. in Moscow. It trimmed a drop of as much as 2 percent after Siluanov’s comments. The ruble’s continued slump this year underscores the fragility of coordinated measures by Russia’s government and central bank that steered the ruble’s rebound from a record-low intraday level of 80.10 on Dec. 16. OAO Gazprom and four other state-controlled exporters were ordered last month to cut foreign-currency holdings by March 1 to levels no higher than they were on Oct. 1. The central bank sought to make it easier for banks to access dollars and euros while raising its key rate to 17 percent, the emergency level it introduced last month to arrest the ruble collapse.

Today’s announcement “looks ruble-supportive, as together with state-driven selling from exporters it would support FX supply on the market,” Dmitry Polevoy, chief economist for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States at ING Groep NV in Moscow, said by e-mail. “Also, it will be helpful for banks, while there might be some negative effects related to extra money supply and risks of using some of the money on the FX market for short-term speculations.

Bloomberg’s ready summary of the US economy is generally spot on, and is to be expected when any nation finally leaves, voluntarily or otherwise, the stranglehold of a global reserve currency. What Bloomberg failed to account for is what happens to the remainder of the Petrodollar world. Here is what we said last time:

Outside from the domestic economic impact within EMs due to the downward oil price shock, we believe that the implications for financial market liquidity via the reduced recycling of petrodollars should not be underestimated. Because energy exporters do not fully invest their export receipts and effectively ‘save’ a considerable portion of their income, these surplus funds find their way back into bank deposits (fuelling the loan market) as well as into financial markets and other assets. This capital has helped fund debt among importers, helping to boost overall growth as well as other financial markets liquidity conditions.

[T]his year, we expect that incremental liquidity typically provided by such recycled flows will be markedly reduced, estimating that direct and other capital outflows from energy exporters will have declined by USD253bn YoY. Of course, these economies also receive inward capital, so on a net basis, the additional capital provided externally is much lower. This year, we expect that net capital flows will be negative for EM, representing the first net inflow of capital (USD8bn) for the first time in eighteen years. This compares with USD60bn last year, which itself was down from USD248bn in 2012. At its peak, recycled EM petro dollars amounted to USD511bn back in 2006. The declines seen since 2006 not only reflect the changed global environment, but also the propensity of underlying exporters to begin investing the money domestically rather than save. The implications for financial markets liquidity – not to mention related downward pressure on US Treasury yields – is negative.

Considering the wildly violent moves we have seen so far in the market confirming just how little liquidity is left in the market, and of course, the absolutely collapse in Treasury yields, with the 30 Year just hitting a record low, this prediction has been borne out precisely as expected.

And now, we await to see which other country will follow Russia out of the Petrodollar next, and what impact that will have not only on the world’s reserve currency, on US Treasury rates, and on the most financialized commodity as this chart demonstrates

… but on what is most important to developed world central planners everywhere: asset prices levels, and specifically what happens when the sellers emerge into what is rapidly shaping up as the most liquid market in history.

Source: Zero Hedge

Putin Flying Ship Born Missiles From Caspian Sea Into Obama Terrorist Proxy Army Assets In Syria.

A Russian navy ship in the Caspian Sea launches a cruise missile Wednesday in an image taken from a video posted on the Russian Defense Ministry website. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said four Russian navy ships launched 26 cruise missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria.

A Russian navy ship in the Caspian Sea launches a cruise missile Wednesday in an image taken from a video posted on the Russian Defense Ministry website. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said four Russian navy ships launched 26 cruise missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria. 

The attack was announced on Russian state television during a televised meeting on Wednesday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top military advisers.

“Besides using aviation to destroy militants, this morning ships from the Caspian Flotilla were brought in, four destroyers launched 26 Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles at 11 targets,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin in a meeting televised by Rossiya-1.

“The fact that we launched high-precision missiles from the Caspian Sea at approximately 1,500 kilometers [932 miles] and hit all of the targets says much about the good training in the military-industrial complex and good skills of the staff,” he added.

The Kalibr supersonic cruise missile was deployed this summer after seven years of testing and development. Although the missile system had been seen as a potential threat to Western European targets, the evidence it has an effective range of more than 900 miles surprised analysts of Russian military hardware.

The cruise missile strikes came as Russian forces based in western Syria unleashed what appears to be its heaviest day of strikes yet in the week-long air campaign against Syrian rebels, apparently in support of what Syrian officials told the Associated Press is a new ground offensive to retake rebel-held areas in Idlib, Hama and Homs provinces. Most of the Russian airstrikes of the past week have been concentrated in those areas.

After a summer of significant setbacks at the hands of both anti-government groups and the Islamic State, the Syrian government is widely expected to use Russia’s new support to push out from the government-controlled areas in the western third of the country.


Has Putin Has Just Put An End to the Wolfowitz Doctrine?

about Paul Wolfowitz who crafted the Bush Doctrine Obama follows today

Russian Propaganda Newspaper: declares World War III on America, promises to topple the U.S. by early 2016

war(NaturalNews) As news broke recently that Russian warplanes had dropped their first ordnance in civil-war-ravaged Syria, a noted Russian propaganda newspaper, the Komsomolskaya Pravda, was making a dire prediction: The U.S. will become embroiled in World War III by the end of 2015.

Only, it won’t be a war like the first two global conflagrations. The next world conflict will be waged economically, the article states, adding that, in fact, the first economic “shots” have already been fired.

The article, translated at the WatchingAmerica website, first claims that, during World War II, the U.S. “profited” by selling weapons to many of the countries involved in the conflict, “including the Soviet Union exclusively in exchange for gold.”

“After sewing chaos and instability throughout the world, the U.S. has received a strike in retaliation,” the article continued. “The thing that Americans feared most has come to pass: Russia and China’s united war against the dollar.”

It also contained a direct reference to covert acts of aggression that were exposed by Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, on August 17, who said sources in China confirmed that a chemical plant explosion was no accident, that it was caused by the U.S. in retaliation for Beijing’s recent currency devaluation.

Vindication

“With maneuvers in the East China Sea and accidents at chemical plants, the Chinese decided they would no longer tolerate the situation, and so they pulled the trigger in the first economic world war,” the Pravda article said, which is a virtual acknowledgement of the revelations in Adams’ report. The piece continues with a mention of a Chinese yuan devaluation and the August stock market plunge on Wall Street.

“First, China devalued the yuan, which caused the collapse of the Shanghai Exchange Composite Index by 7.6 percent,” the article said. “Next, China began to interfere heavily in the exchange market by using its reserves. Within a short period of time, Beijing had sold a fantastic number of American bonds, and this has affected the profitability of those bonds.”

Continuing, the article stated, “As of Aug. 19, the traditionally synchronized movement of U.S. stocks and bond yields had been destroyed. This way of life had persisted for almost 30 years, but in one day, everything changed.”

“Since early 2015, China has sold $107 billion in treasury bonds. That was how it began, and now, the entire year will be defined by the last two weeks,” it said, noting that both Russia and China have been dumping U.S. bonds for a couple of years, only doing it slowly.

“Large quantities of American stock make China’s economy dependent on the U.S. because falling prices would hurt China as well. But everyone understands this, so they have been gradually getting rid of the stock in order to minimize loses,” said the article.

“According to experts, if sales continue at this same pace, it will allow the PBOC to carry out an intervention for another 18 weeks,” which will be January 2018, as of this writing.

‘Not Fought With Tanks And Cannons’

The article states that it isn’t clear that the U.S. economy can withstand such a blow, but opines that “more than likely” it will not because the U.S. financial system has never endured such a hit.

“Therefore, it is obvious that a military conflict is overdue. Specialists are of the opinion that with every percent that the market falls, the amount of infusion that would be necessary grows by roughly $200 billion,” said the article. It went on to warn that Russia would not support another ceasefire agreement in Ukraine, but would instead seek full capitulation of the country, and that Russia “has the right to a peacekeeping operation if force is used in Kiev, similar to what it did in Georgia in 2008.”

“However, there will not be a world war with tanks and cannons. Black Monday, Aug. 25, 2015, has already become the economic equivalent of Pearl Harbor and will likely go down in history as the beginning of the first economic world war,” the Pravda piece noted.

It’s important to note that article’s author is Alexander (Oleksandr) Luzan, the chairman of Ukraine’s Slavic Party, founded in the early ’90s after the Soviet collapse to campaign for improving and maintaining relations with Russia and other former Soviet Republics.

A cornerstone of Slavic Party ideology is the unification of all Slavic lands, which means uniting Ukraine with Russia, as well as other Slavic nations in Eastern Europe.

You can stay up to date on the unfolding economic collapse and the rising possibility of global war at Collapse.news and NationalSecurity.news. Make sure to also check out AlternativeNews.com for comprehensive independent news that the mainstream media refuses to touch.

Sources:

ZeroHedge.com

NaturalNews.com

WatchingAmerica.com

Collapse.news

Paul Craig Roberts: “Washington Is Impotent To Prevent Armageddon”

Paul Craig Roberts’ address to the Conference on the European/Russian Crisis, Delphi, Greece, June 20-21, 2015

Paul Craig Roberts, formerly Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, Associate Editor, Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow, Stanford University, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

The United States has pursued empire since early in its history, but it was the Soviet collapse in 1991 that enabled Washington to see the entire world as its oyster.

The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the rise of the neoconservatives to power and influence in the US government. The neoconservatives have interpreted the Soviet collapse as History’s choice of “American democratic capitalism” as the New World Order.

Chosen by History as the exceptional and indispensable country, Washington claims the right and the responsibility to impose its hegemony on the world. Neoconservatives regard their agenda to be too important to be constrained by domestic and international law or by the interests of other countries. Indeed, as the Unipower, Washington is required by the neoconservative doctrine to prevent the rise of other countries that could constrain American power.

Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neoconservative, penned the Wolfowitz Doctrine shortly after the Soviet collapse. This doctrine is the basis of US foreign and military policy.

The doctrine states:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

Notice that Washington’s “first objective” is not peace, not prosperity, not human rights, not democracy, not justice. Washington’s “first objective” is world hegemony. Only the very confident so blatantly reveal their agenda.

As a former member of the Cold War Committee on the Present Danger, I can explain what Wolfowitz’s words mean. The “threat posed formerly by the Soviet Union” was the ability of the Soviet Union to block unilateral US action in some parts of the world. The Soviet Union was a constraint on US unilateral action, not everywhere but in some places. Any constraint on Washington is regarded as a threat.

A “hostile power” is a country with an independent foreign policy, such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have proclaimed. Iran, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, and North Korea also proclaim an independent foreign policy.

This is too much independence for Washington to stomach. As Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated, “Washington doesn’t want partners. Washington wants vassals.”

The Wolfowitz doctrine requires Washington to dispense with or overthrow governments that do not acquiesce to Washington’s will. It is the “first objective.”

The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in Boris Yeltsin becoming president of a dismembered Russia. Washington became accustomed to Yeltsin’s compliance and absorbed itself in its Middle Eastern wars, expecting Vladimir Putin to continue Russia’s vassalage.

However at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, Putin said: “I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world.”

Putin went on to say:

“We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law, and independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?”

When Putin issued this fundamental challenge to US unipower, Washington was preoccupied with its lack of success with its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Mission was not accomplished.

By 2014 it had come to Washington’s attention that while Washington was blowing up weddings, funerals, village elders, and children’s soccer games in the Middle East, Russia had achieved independence from Washington’s control and presented itself as a formidable challenge to Washington’s uni-power. Putin blocked Obama’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran.

The unmistakable rise of Russia refocused Washington from the Middle East to Russia’s vulnerabilities.

Ukraine, long a constituent part of Russia and subsequently the Soviet Union, was split off from Russia in the wake of the Soviet collapse by Washington’s maneuvering. In 2004 Washington had tried to capture Ukraine in the Orange Revolution, which failed to deliver Ukraine into Washington’s hands. Consequently, according to neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Washington spent $5 billion over the following decade developing Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that could be called into the streets of Kiev and in developing Ukrainian political leaders willing to represent Washington’s interests.

Washington launched its coup in February 2014 with orchestrated demonstrations that, with the addition of violence, resulted in the overthrow and flight of the elected democratic government of Victor Yanukovych. In other words, Washington destroyed democracy in a new country with a coup before democracy could take root.

Ukrainian democracy meant nothing to Washington. Washington was intent on seizing Ukraine in order to present Russia with a security problem and also to justify sanctions against “Russian aggression” in order to break up Russia’s growing economic and political relationships with Europe. Washington feared that these relationships could undermine Washington’s hold on Europe.

Sanctions are contrary to Europe’s interests. Nevertheless European governments accommodated Washington’s agenda. The reason was explained to me several decades ago by my Ph.D. dissertation committee chairman who became Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. I had the opportunity to ask him how Washington managed to have foreign governments act in Washington’s interest rather than in the interest of their own countries. He said, “money.” I said, “you mean foreign aide?” He said, “no, we give the politicians bags full of money. They belong to us. They answer to us.”

Recently, the German journalist Udo Ulfkotte wrote a book, Bought Journalists, in which he reported that every significant European journalist functions as a CIA asset.

This does not surprise me. The same is the situation in the US.

As Europe is an appendage of Washington, a collection of vassal states, Europe enables Washington’s pursuit of hegemony even to the extent of being driven into conflict with Russia over a “crisis” that is entirely a propaganda creation of Washington’s.

The media disguises the reality. During the Clinton regime, six mega-media companies were permitted to acquire 90% of the US print, TV, radio, and entertainment media, a concentration that destroyed diversity and independence. Today the media throughout the Western world serves as a Propaganda Ministry for Washington. The Western media is Washington’s Ministry of Truth. Gerald Celente, the trends forecaster, calls the Western media “presstitutes,” a combination of press prostitutes.

In the US Putin and Russia are demonized around the clock. Every broadcast alerts us to “the Russian threat.” Even Putin’s facial expressions are psychologically analyzed. Putin is the New Hitler. Putin has ambitions to recreate the Soviet empire. Putin invaded Ukraine. Putin is going to invade the Baltic states and Poland. Putin is a threat on the level of ebola and the Islamist State. US Russian experts, such as Stephen Cohen, who state the facts are dismissed as “Putin apologists.” Any and every one who takes exception to the anti-Putin, anti-Russian propaganda is branded a “Putin apologist,” just as 9/11 skeptics are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists.” In the Western world, the few truth-tellers are demonized along with Putin and Russia.

The world should take note that today, right now, Truth is the most unwelcome presence in the Western world. No one wants to hear it in Washington, London, Tokyo, or in any of the political capitals of Washington’s empire.

The majority of the American population has fallen for the anti-Russian propaganda, just as they fell for “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people,” Iranian nukes,” the endless lies about Gaddafi, 9/11, shoe bombers, underwear bombers, shampoo and bottled water bombers. There is always a new lie to keep the fear factor working for Washington’s endless wars and police state measures that enrich the rich and impoverish the poor.
The gullibility of the public has enabled Washington to establish the foundation for a new Cold War or for a preemptive nuclear strike on Russia. Some neoconservatives prefer the latter. They believe nuclear war can be won, and they ask, “What is the purpose of nuclear weapons if they cannot be used?”

China is the other rising power that the Wolfowitz Doctrine requires to be constrained. Washington’s “pivot to Asia” creates new naval and air bases to control China and perpetuate Washington’s hegemony in the South China Sea.

We come to the bottom line. Washington’s position is not negotiable. Washington has no interest in compromising with Russia or China. Washington has no interest in any facts. Washington’s deal is this: “You can be part of our world order as our vassals, but not otherwise.”
European governments and, of course, the lapdog UK government, are complicit in this implicit declaration of war against Russia and China. If it comes to war, Europeans will pay the ultimate price for the treason of their leaders, such as Merkel, Cameron, and Hollande, as Europe will cease to exist.

War with Russia and China is beyond Washington’s capability. However, if the demonized “enemy” does not succumb to the pressure and accept Washington’s leadership, war can be inevitable. Washington has launched an attack. How does Washington back off? Don’t expect any American regime to say, “we made a mistake. Let’s work this out.” Every one of the announced candidates for the American presidency is committed to American hegemony and war.

Washington believes Russia can be isolated from the West and that this isolation will motivate those secularized and westernized elements in Russia, who desire to be part of the West, into more active opposition against Putin. The Saker calls these Russians “Atlanticist integrationists.”

After two decades of Russia being infiltrated by Washington’s NGO Fifth Columns, the Russian government has finally taken action to regulate the hundreds of Western-financed NGOs inside Russia that comprise Washington’ subversion of the Russian government. However, Washington still hopes to use sanctions to cause enough disruption of economic life within Russia to be able to send protesters into the streets. Regime change, as in Ukraine, is one of Washington’s tools. In China the US organized the Hong Kong “student” riots, which Washington hopes will spread into China, and Washington supports the independence of the Muslim population in the Chinese province that borders Kazakhstan.

The problem with a government in the control of an ideology is that ideology and not reason drives the action of the government. As the majority of Western populations lack the interest to search for independent explanations, the populations impose no constraint on governments.

To understand Washington, go online and read the neoconservative documents and position papers. You will see an agenda unconstrained by law, by morality, by compassion, by common sense. You will see an agenda of evil.

Who is Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for the Ukrainian part of the world? It is the neoconservative Victoria Nuland who organized the Ukrainian coup, who put in office the new puppet government, who is married to the even more extreme neoconservative, Robert Kagan.

Who is Obama’s National Security advisor? It is Susan Rice, a neoconservative.

Who is Obama’s Ambassador to the UN? It is Samantha Power, a neoconservative.

Now we turn to material interests. The neoconservative agenda of world hegemony serves the powerful military/security complex whose one trillion dollar annual budget depends on war, hot or cold.

The agenda of American hegemony serves the interests of Wall Street and the mega-banks. As Washington’s power and influence spreads, so does American financial imperialism. So does the reach of American oil companies and American agribusiness corporations such as Monsanto.

Washington’s hegemony means that US corporations get to loot the rest of the world.

The danger of the neoconservative ideology is that it is in perfect harmony with powerful economic interests. In the US the left-wing has made itself impotent. It believes all the foundational government lies that have given America a police/warfare state incapable of producing alternative leadership. The American left, what little remains, for emotional reasons believes the government’s 9/11 story. The anti-religious left-wing believes the threat posed to free thought by a Christian Russia. The left-wing, convinced that Americans are racists, believes the government’s account of the assassinations of Martin Luther King.

The left-wing accepts the government’s transparent 9/11 fable, because it is emotionally important to the American left that oppressed peoples strike back. For the American left, it is emotionally satisfying that the Middle East, long oppressed and exploited by the French, British and Americans, struck back and humiliated the Uni-power in the 9/11 attack.

This emotional need is so powerful for the left that it blinds the left-wing to the improbability of a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, outwitting not merely the FBI, CIA, and NSA, which spies on the entire world, but as well all 16 US intelligence agencies and the intelligence agencies of Washington’s NATO vassal states and Israel’s Mossad, which has infiltrated every terrorist organization, including those created by Washington itself.

Somehow these Saudis were able to also outwit NORAD, airport security, causing security to fail four times in one hour on the same day. They were able to prevent for the first time ever the US Air Force from intercepting the hijacked airliners. Air traffic control somehow lost the hijacked airliners on radar. Two airliners crashed, one into the Pennsylvania country side and one into the Pentagon without leaving any debris. The passport of the leader of the attack, Mohammed Atta was reported to be found as the only undamaged element in the debris of the World Trade Center towers. The story of the passport was so preposterous that it had to be changed.

This implausible account did not raise any eyebrows in the tame Western print and TV media.

The right-wing is obsessed with immigration of darker-skinned peoples, and 9/11 has become an argument against immigration. The left-wing awaits the oppressed to strike back against their oppressors. The 9/11 fable survives as it serves the interests of both left and right.

I can tell you for a fact that if American national security had so totally failed as it is represented to have failed by the official explanation of 9/11, the White House, the Congress, the media would have been screaming for an investigation. Heads would have rolled in agencies that permitted such massive failure of the national security state. The embarrassment of a Superpower being so easily attacked and humiliated by a handful of Arabs acting independently of any intelligence agency would have created an uproar demanding accountability.

Instead, the White House resisted any investigation for one year. Under pressure from the 9/11 families who lost family members in the World Trade Center Towers, the White House created a political commission consisting of politicians managed by the White House. The commission sat and listened to the government’s account and wrote it down. This is not an investigation.

In the United States the left-wing is focused on demonizing Ronald Reagan, who had nothing whatsoever to do with any of this. The left-wing hates Reagan because he had to use anti-communist rhetoric in order to keep his electoral basis while he strove to end the Cold War in the face of the powerful opposition of the military/security complex.

Is the left-wing more effective in Europe? Not that I can see. Look at Greece for example. The Greek people are driven into the ground by the EU, the IMF, the German and Dutch banks and the New York hedge funds. Yet, when presented with candidates who promise to resist the looting of Greece, the Greek voters give the candidates a mere 36% of the vote, enough to form a government, but not enough to have any clout with creditors.

Having hamstrung their government with such low electoral support, the Greek people further impose impotence on their government by demanding to remain in the EU. If leaving the EU is not a realistic threat, the Greek government has no negotiating power.

Obviously, the Greek population is so thoroughly brainwashed about the necessity of being part of the EU that the population is willing to be economically dispossessed rather than to leave the EU. Thus Greeks have forfeited their sovereignty and independence. A country without its own money is not, and cannot be, an independent country.

Once European intellectuals signed off on the EU, they committed nations to vassalage, both to the EU bureaucrats and to Washington. Consequently, European nations are not independent and cannot exercise an independent foreign policy.

Their impotence means that Washington can drive them to war. To fully understand the impotence of Europe look at France. The only leader in Europe worthy of the name is Marine Le Pen. Having said this, I am immediately denounced by the European left as a fascist, a racist, and so forth. This only shows the knee-jerk response of the European left.

It is not I who shares Le Pen’s views on immigration. It is the French people. Le Pen’s party won the recent EU elections. What Le Pen stands for is French independence from the EU. The majority of French see themselves as French and want to remain French with their own laws and customs. Only Le Pen among European politicians has stated the obvious: “The Americans are taking us to war!”

Despite the French desire for independence, the French will elect Le Pen’s party to the EU but will not give it the vote to be the government of France. The French deny themselves their independence, because they are heavily conditioned by brainwashing, much coming from the left, and are ashamed to be racists, fascists, and whatever epithets have been assigned to Le Pen’s political party, a party that stands for the independence of France.

The European left-wing, once a progressive force, even a revolutionary one, has become a reactionary force. It is the same in the US. I say this as one of CounterPunch’s popular contributors.

The inability even of intellectuals to recognize and accept reality means that restraints on neoconservatives are nowhere present except within Russia and China. The West is impotent to prevent Armageddon.

It is up to Russia and China, and as Washington has framed the dilemma, Armageddon can only be prevented by Russia and China accepting vassal status.

I don’t believe this is going to happen. Why would any self-respecting people submit to the corrupt West?

The hope is that Washington will cause its European vassals to rebel by pushing them too hard into conflict with Russia. The hope that European countries will be forced into an independent foreign policy also seems to be the basis of the Russian government’s strategy.

Perhaps intellectuals can help to bring this hope to fruition. If European politicians were to break from Washington’s hegemony and instead represent European interests, Washington would be deprived of cover for its war crimes. Washington’s aggressions would be constrained by an independent European foreign policy. The breakdown of the neoconservative uni-power model would be apparent even to Washington, and the world would become a safer and better place.

Reposted from : Zero Hedge

Panic in Ukraine Over Food, Empty Stores and Protests; Strategic Food Reserve Empty

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000JzrrsqGP8sg/s/500/moscow-1991-92-039.jpg
by Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Here’s a brief update from “Ellen” who lives in Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine.

Hello Mish

We have quite a panic over the collapse of currency. People buy any food product that can be stored. Everyone wants to rid of Hryvnia. We haven’t seen anything like this since 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Stores are empty.

It is hard to say what the exchange rate is these days, somewhere between 34 and 42

There were riots in downtown today. A group of protesters was beaten up by police. They marched through downtown and gave a last warning to government officials. Next time they said they will shoot some officials.

Ukraine is on a brink, but the West is not in a hurry to give us money. Perhaps they want something.  Maybe they know the money will end up with corrupt officials who will steal it.

Either way, the few billion dollars they promised in March won’t save our economy, not after this panic started.

Best wishes
Ellen

Strategic Food Reserve Empty

A curious thing happened today. To quiet protests over food, president Petro Poroshenko ordered the minister of the food reserve to fill the shelves of stores with flour, sugar, canned meat, and buckwheat from the reserve.

Well guess what? There was no food in the reserve. It has either been looted (like the vanishing gold), or it was fed to the army.

Here is a nice translation from Russian by J. Hawk: Ukraine’s Strategic Food Reserve…Runs Out Of Food.

Ukrainian food prices are rising at a rate faster than in the ‘90s. But the Yatsenyuk government is still blaming the situation on the ignorance of the population and speculation by supermarket chains.

They used to blame currency exchangers, now they are blaming supermarket directors. However, you can’t feed the people with such tales.

The government’s “economy block” hastily summoned the director of the Ukrainian State Reserve Vladimir Zhukov. They demanded that he open the storehouses and fill the shelves with flour, sugar, canned meat, and buckwheat from its stores. In response the keeper of Motherland’s strategic stores revealed a terrible military secret to Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko: the storehouses are empty.

It would seem Ukraine’s Black Hour is here.

J.Hawk’s Comment: There indeed were earlier reports that the strategic reserve was being “unsealed” to support military operations on the Donbass. The army has to eat, after all, and maintaining several tens of thousands of soldiers for nearly a year is likely to make a dent. The second factor was the junta’s desperate need to earn hard currency to somehow plug up the many budget holes opened up by its adoption of “European Choice” neoliberal economic policies. Therefore anything that could be sold, was sold, including Mariupol’s huge grain reserves. Finally, there’s the small matter of corruption. One gets the impression Ukraine is a giant organized style “bust-out” operation, whose objective is to stash as much loot in foreign accounts and then leave the mess for someone else to clean up. To say that the Kiev junta has some kind of a strategy would be giving them entirely too much credit. It’s a collection of loosely coordinated individuals pursuing their own venal agendas and living hand-to-mouth, without any thought given to Ukraine’s long-term prospects.

Here is a link to the original article that J. Hawk translated: Ukraine State Reserve Doesn’t Even Have Buckwheat. Everything was Stolen.

Buckwheat is a Russian staple. I believe, “out of buckwheat” would be the equivalent of Japan being out of rice.

Mish note: One person accused me of bias over the word “junta”. I did not choose the word. I quoted someone, just as I quote Colonel Cassad.

In context, it certainly appears J. Hawk went out of his way to not just translate, but to mention the possibility reserves were unsealed to feed the army.

The First Question to Ask After Any Terror Attack: Was It a False Flag?

https://i0.wp.com/fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2013/297/6/b/post_apocalypse_new_york_city_by_myjavier007-d6rokbe.pngSource: Zero Hedge

Governments from around the world admit they’ve used the bully’s trick … attack first, and then blame the victim:

  • Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”.   The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found:  “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the “Incident” was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….”    And see this
  • A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.  Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
  • Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War, and Putin
  • Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence
  • The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change
  • As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
  • 2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.
  • And Official State Department documents show that – only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed – the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
  • The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war
  • A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
  • The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on
  • The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
  • An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
  • Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
  • According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
  • The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
  • As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”
  • Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that – in July 2001, at the G8 summit in Genoa – planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters
  • Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers)
  • Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
  • United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

  • Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians
  • Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)
  • At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
  • Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters
  • A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
  • U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants
  • The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists
  • High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government
  • The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others
  • Britain’s spy agency has admitted to (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target

So Common … There’s a Name for It

Painting by Anthony Freda

The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago.

“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:


False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.

The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
– Plato

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
– U.S. President James Madison

“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

 “The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin

People Are Waking Up to False Flags:

People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.

More people are talking about the phrase “false flag” than ever before.

Russian Inflation Watch – Hookers Hike Rates Up To 100% Amid Crashing Currency

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/12/20141210_russhook.jpgby Tyler Durden

On the (high) heels of sanctions and oil-price-collapses, the plunge in the Russian Ruble is even impacting the oldest profession in the world as brothels begin pegging transaction fees to the dollar. As LiveLeak so eloquently reports, the cost of getting laid in Russia just became more expensive – thanks Obama!! An escort agency in the northern port of Murmansk has raised rates 30-40% (a friend told us) from the $130-per-two-hours “spending time with an employee” but it is workers in The Urals that are really suffering where sex workers have raised rates between 50 and 100%. It appears someone has crossed a red line…

Getting laid in Russia just became more expensive.

The crime of buying sexual services is becoming more expensive in Russia as prostitutes increase their rates to offset the free-falling ruble, regional media reported.

An escort agency in the northern port of Murmansk has raised prices by 30 to 40 percent, news website Flashnord.com reported.

The pre-crisis price was 3,000 to 7,000 rubles ($55 to $130 at Thursday’s rate) per two hours of “spending time with an agency employee,” Flashnord said Tuesday.

The price will likely be pegged to the dollar in the future, the website said. Though prostitution is illegal in Russia, the report gave the name of the alleged brothel, Madlen.

A representative of another “escort salon” named World of Sex in Murmansk was cited as saying that the enterprise “is trying to keep prices as they were, but life’s getting more expensive, and girls can’t work at a loss.”

In the Urals, sex workers have raised prices by between 50 and 100 percent, Uralpolit.ru said Wednesday, citing unnamed clients of prostitutes.

In addition to the falling ruble, the sex tariff inflation may have been boosted by an influx of sex workers fleeing war-torn Ukraine, the website said. The new competition is forcing local sex workers to hike their rates in order to pay their bills, the report said.

The ruble has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar since the start of the year due to an economic downturn.

Sex workers make up about 1 million of Russia’s 142 million population, Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov said last year.

Prostitution is punishable with a fine of up to 2,000 rubles ($37) in Russia. Pimps face up to a decade behind bars.

 

A Russian Plane Zaps U.S. Warship’s Missile Defense System


by
Gary North

An unarmed Russian bomber in April flew over a high-tech U.S. ship. A crew member pressed a button. Poof! No more missile defense system on the ship. No more radar. The ship became a defenseless floating coffin.

Then the plane flew over the blind ship a dozen times. Basically, it was “Nyah, nyah, nyah.”

This story got no play in American media.

On 10 April 2014, the USS Donald Cook entered the waters of the Black Sea and on 12 April a Russian Su-24 tactical bomber flew over the vessel triggering an incident that, according to several media reports, completely demoralized its crew, so much so that the Pentagon issued a protest.

The USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) is a 4th generation guided missile destroyer whose key weapons are Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers, and capable of carrying nuclear explosives. This ship carries 56 Tomahawk missiles in standard mode, and 96 missiles in attack mode.

The US destroyer is equipped with the most recent Aegis Combat System. It is an integrated naval weapons systems which can link together the missile defense systems of all vessels embedded within the same network, so as to ensure the detection, tracking and destruction of hundreds of targets at the same time. In addition, the USS Donald Cook is equipped with 4 large radars, whose power is comparable to that of several stations. For protection, it carries more than fifty anti-aircraft missiles of various types.

Meanwhile, the Russian Su-24 that buzzed the USS Donald Cook carried neither bombs nor missiles but only a basket mounted under the fuselage, which, according to the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, contained a Russian electronic warfare device called Khibiny.

As the Russian jet approached the US vessel, the electronic device disabled all radars, control circuits, systems, information transmission, etc. on board the US destroyer. In other words, the all-powerful Aegis system, now hooked up — or about to be — with the defense systems installed on NATO’s most modern ships was shut down, as turning off the TV set with the remote control.

The Russian Su-24 then simulated a missile attack against the USS Donald Cook, which was left literally deaf and blind. As if carrying out a training exercise, the Russian aircraft — unarmed — repeated the same maneuver 12 times before flying away.

After that, the 4th generation destroyer immediately set sail towards a port in Romania.

Since that incident, which the Atlanticist media have carefully covered up despite the widespread reactions sparked among defense industry experts, no US ship has ever approached Russian territorial waters again.

According to some specialized media, 27 sailors from the USS Donald Cook requested to be relieved from active service.

Vladimir Balybine — director of the research center on electronic warfare and the evaluation of so-called “visibility reduction” techniques attached to the Russian Air Force Academy — made the following comment: “The more a radio-electronic system is complex, the easier it is to disable it through the use of electronic warfare.”

In short, “back to the drawing board!”

Problem: it takes about seven years for the Pentagon to design and deploy a new cyber security system. As for missile guidance systems, it takes even longer.

If you want to know how much bang for the taxpayer’s buck the Pentagon gets, begin here.

This is blind man’s bluff. The Pentagon is the blind man.

The Pentagon’s strategy is to play dumb. “Incident? What incident?”

Congressional hearings? Don’t hold your breath.

Now Russia’s defense minister says that Russian bombers will soon start patrolling the Gulf of Mexico.

George H. W. Bush and NATO promised in 1990 that NATO would not be expanded to Russia’s borders. Then NATO broke the promise. It was mission creep by a bloated bureaucracy, whose original mission was to defend Western Europe for a few hours against an invasion by the USSR until the USA launched nuclear missiles on the USSR. That mission officially ended in 1991, when the USSR committed suicide.

Russian bombers in the Gulf? We are now seeing tit-for-tat. It is mission creep from the other side.

All those Pentagon bucks! So little bang!

The Spike Series By Cold Steel

Spike Series

Cold Steel Bowie Spike Neck Knife, 53NBS. Entirely re-engineered in 2013, this Spike series continue to raise the bar for neck knives! Thin, light and super-tough, their razor sharp, zero ground blades, are complemented by heavily scalloped, textured handle scales that offer a comfortable, secure grip.
Integral quillons provide a safe stop for index finger and thumb, while the textured Faux G-10 provides excellent positive traction even when your hands are cold, wet and slippery.

Available in four distinctive blade shapes (Bowie, Drop Point, Tokyo and Tanto point) they offer all the strength of a solid steel one-piece construction (much stronger than any tactical folder and even rivaling the strength of some boot knives) while still being light enough to carry all day without fatigue.

The brand new Spike series come complete with all-new Secure-Ex sheaths that provide even greater retention and safety. Super lightweight (weighing in at 3oz. in the sheath!) the Spikes can be comfortably worn around the neck 24/7 by using the black bead lanyard provided, or carried on a waistband or belt by taking advantage of their new Tek-Lok™ compatible design.

Easily concealed, razor sharp and light as a feather — the Spike series by Cold Steel!

Good Alternative

How An Asian Country Beat Scotland To Become The World’s Best Whisky Maker


by Sonali Kohli

Famed international whiskey connoisseur Jim Murray releases his annual Whiskey Bible this month, and there’s something missing from the top five: a Scottish whiskey.

Instead, Japan’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 took title of World Whiskey of the Year, making it the first Japanese whiskey to earn the accolade. Yamazaki is the flagship single malt for Suntory, the company that bought Beam, Inc. earlier this year for $13.6 billion to become the world’s third-largest distiller.

Murray, who gave the whiskey 97.5 out of 100 points, wrote that the Yamazaki has a “‘nose of exquisite boldness’ and finish of ‘light, teasing spice.”

A brief history of Yamazaki Distillery explains its rapid ascent among whiskey connoisseurs: It was the first whisky distillery in Japan, built in 1923 after World War I and headed by Masataka Taketsuru (who later went on to found competitor Nikka Whisky). Taketsuru, who brought Scottish whisky making to Japan, was a student of the Scottish brew. He studied the University of Glasglow and visited distilleries around the country to learn how the Scottish make the drink.

 How did Japan learn the Scottish craft better than, for instance, American distilleries that have spent centuries trying to make a name in the business?
 

New York Magazine’s Jordana Rothman points to the youth of Japan’s whiskey industry, which she says makes it “less shacked to tradition.” Yamazaki also has the benefit of its mineral water which “is treasured enough to be bottled and sold on its own.” Its wood barrels, meanwhile, are made of a native oak, Mizunara, which Rothman writes “impart an almost ecclesiastic perfume you won’t find in any Scotch.”

Bill Murray’s character in the movie Lost in Translation would approve.

Furious 7 – Trailer

Take five with Marty Robbins y’all