|Retro Cold War Guff from the NY Times|
By Eric Margolis
A striking example of how dangerously [we] are misinformed and misled by the war party was featured in a major article in 24 December, New York Times.
In “Russia Rearms for a New Era,” the authors assert Russian military spending is growing and has risen $11 billion from 2014 to 2015. Lurid maps and diagrams of weapons make it seem that Stalin’s 210-division Red Army is again on the march – and headed into Europe.
A professor at Columbia’s Harriman Institute was actually quoted claiming that President Vladimir Putin is trying to “provoke the US and NATO into military action” to bolster his popularity.
What unbelievable rubbish. This dimwitted lady believes that Putin, whose popularity ratings rise over 82% in Russia, needs to court nuclear war to gain a few more points? Shame on the NY Times.
Let’s look at the true figures. The US so-called “defense budget”(it should be called “offense budget”) is in the range of $600 billion, 37% of total world military spending by a nation that only 5% of world population. Some studies put the true figure at $700 billion.
Not included in this figure are “black” projects, a lot of handouts to foreign military forces, and secret slush funds for waging small wars in Afghanistan, the Mideast, Africa and Asia. The US has over 700 military bases around the globe, with new ones opening all the time.
The US spends more on its armed forces than the next nine military powers – combined. America’s wealthy allies in Europe and Japan add important power to America’s global military domination.
Russia defense spending is roughly $70 billion, and this in spite of plunging oil prices and US-led sanctions. France and Britain each spend almost as much; Saudi Arabia spends more. A French admiral ruefully told me the US Navy’s budget alone exceeded that of France’s total armed forces.
Russia is a vast nation with very difficult geography that limits its different military regions from supporting one another – a problem from which Russia has suffered since its 1904 war with Japan. Moscow needs large, often redundant armed forces to cover its immensity. This includes the warming Arctic, where Russia, like other coastal nations, is asserting its sovereignty. And Russia must also keep a watchful eye on neighboring China.
The Kremlin’s view is that America is trying to tear down what’s left of the post-Soviet Russian Federation by subversion (see regime changes in Georgia, Ukraine) and by stirring up Muslim independence movements in the Caucasus and Central Asia. That’s why Russian military forces are fighting in Syria.
After the total collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia’s economy and its once potent military fell to ruin. For two decades, Russia military was starved of men and money, and allowed to rust.
Putin has been playing catch-up for the past decade to rebuild his nation’s great power status and defend against what Russians see a constant western plots.
Memories are still raw of how Russia’s most secret military technologies were sold to the US during the ultra-corrupt Yeltsin era.
Russia’s relatively modest military budget is hardly a threat to the mighty United States. In fact, the only real Russia threat we face is the danger of blundering into a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia in Ukraine, the Black Sea, Syria or Iraq. Great, nuclear-armed powers should never…repeat, never…engage in direct confrontations.
It appalls and mystifies me that otherwise smart, world-wise people at the NY Times and the anti-Russian Council on Foreign Relations would even contemplate military conflict with Russia – for what? Mariupol Ukraine or Idlib, Syria, places no one has ever heard of.
We have been closer to blundering into nuclear war with Russia than any time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Or worse, 1983, when a NATO military exercise codenamed Able Archer was misinterpreted by the Soviet military as an incoming attack by NATO.
This ultimately terrifying crisis was played against the background of intense anti-Soviet propaganda by the West, crowned by Ronald Reagan’s fulminations against the “Evil Empire,” which convinced the Kremlin a western attack was coming. Nuclear war was just averted thanks to a few courageous officers in the Soviet Air Defense Command.
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
|Bashar al-Assad Has More Support Than The Western-backed Opposition|
By Stephen Gowans Bashar al Assad, and his ally, Iran, have more support than do the forces arrayed against him, according to a public opinion poll taken by a research firm that is working with the US and British governments. Continue
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Turkish F-16 Attacked Russian Su-24 Within Syria Airspace – Commander
…The attack on the Russian Su-24 bomber was intentional and had been planned in advance, Viktor Bondarev, the chief of Russia’s Air Force, announced Friday, calling the incident an “unprecedented backstab.” - Continue
Putin and Hollande Go After Erdogan’s Racket
By Pepe Escobar
By Pepe Escobar
… In Moscow, Hollande and Putin confirmed that France and Russia will not be torn apart. The French leader declared: "What we agreed, and this is important, is to strike only terrorists and Daesh and to not strike forces that are fighting terrorism. We will exchange information about whom to hit and whom not to hit."
And considering that al-Nusra has gobbled up, co-opted or instrumentalized an array of Salafi outfits,“moderate” or otherwise, it won’t be hard for the Russians to convince the French these are all legitimate targets.
Also significant is that France will increase support to “rebels” fighting Daesh on the ground; that’s code for the YPG Syrian Kurds – one of Erdogan’s nemeses alongside the PKK.
So the Sultan’s risky shoot down investment is not paying too many dividends…
And then the clincher, as Putin and Hollande reached a consensus: there will be a barrage of air strikes against the fuel tanker truck convoys transporting stolen Syrian oil across Daesh-controlled territory on the way to Turkey. There goes in flames the profitable racket of ‘Sultan’s’ son Bilal Erdogan…
The ‘Sultan’ has been warned. From now on Russia has three major priorities:
1. A de facto no-fly zone already in effect south of the Turkish-Syrian border enforced by the S-400s. Ankara is so scared it grounded even owls and crows.
2. Already in effect; Russia will hit – hard - anything that suspiciously moves on every transport corridor in and out of Turkey. Turkish "humanitarian" convoys – carrying, what else, weapons – were pulverized in Azaz, which is only five kilometers from the Turkish border. And truck distribution points were also bombed near Raqqa.
3. Already in effect; Russia massively bombing the whole wide region where CIA ops run a cash and weapon highway to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and “innocent” Turkmen. Russia started carpet bombing the Jabal Turkmen area immediately after Russian pilot Lt. Col Oleg Pershin was rescued.
…At least two major questions are left unanswered.
How come the US-led ‘Coalition of Dodgy Opportunists’ (CDO), in over a year, never – and the operative word is never – bombed any of the wheels in the Syrian stolen oil machine?
And how come no one among the CDO – Americans especially – did anything to prevent …funding the Daesh racket for so long?
The CIA obviously knows all this and more, with geostationary satellites all over ‘Syraq’ working overtime.
Well, the CIA was too busy running the cash and weapons highway through Turkmen Mountain to be disturbed by a mere oil smuggling op.
But now Russia is going after all of them; the CIA weapon highway, the Turkish-enabled Jihadi highway, the Daesh-to-Turkey stolen oil highway…
Friday, November 27, 2015
In addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdogan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border... Continue
READ MORE, and read comments:
As I see it:
Any country not supporting the legitimate Syrian Army to enable it to retake its country from ISIS and other foreign-supported terrorists, is only promoting and supporting terrorism for their own strategic and imperial plans.
The "Assad Must Go" obsession is an insult to the democratic rights of the Syrian people. The so-called "dictator" was elected as President last year! Why should foreigners have the right to decide who the Syrian people should have as their leader?!
If the U.S. and its followers believe President Assad is not popular, why not test this at another election, instead of making the ludicrous demand that he must step down and not be part of the political future of Syria?
Syria has regularly and correctly complained about the "U.S.-led coalition" bombing attacks on its territory which destroy Syrian infrastructure essential for the Syrian people and their legitimate government. This is in stark contrast to the Russian military presence, which is there by invitation of the Syrian government to actually destroy the terrorists, and does so in co-ordination with the legitimate Syrian authorities.
As the Syrian Ambassador has written to the United Nations Security Council:
"On instructions from my Government, I should like to convey to you the following information.
Aircraft of the so-called international coalition led by the United States of America continue to violate the sovereignty of Syria under the pretext that they are targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization.
Thus, on Saturday, 10 October 2015, aircraft belonging to that coalition bombed... two thermal power stations. The bombardment caused severe damage to those stations and took them out of service, cutting off electricity to the area. The losses sustained amount to €1.2 billion.
The bombardment by coalition aircraft of the power stations east of Aleppo city and other infrastructure in various parts of Syria is a heinous act of aggression and a continuation of the air strikes against the country’s economic, industrial and service infrastructure.
Those attacks are aimed at destroying the capacities of the Syrian people and preventing development and reconstruction. They are also a continuation of the attacks that have been committed against many vital economic installations and have caused great economic and material losses.
Following are just a few examples of those attacks:
...The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic reiterates its stated position that the air raids conducted by the United States of America and its alliance inside the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic are illegal. Those raids are taking place without the prior approval of and in the absence of coordination with the Syrian Government, in violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
The Government calls for the cessation of these American Western operations against the infrastructure of Syria and stresses that they will not contribute anything to the war against ISIL.
I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be issued as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Bashar Ja’afari
READ the Syrian letter to the UN Security Council here:
|By F. William Engdahl|
|The Obama Administration has played a very dirty behind-the-scenes role in supporting IS in order to advance the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. |
|Raqqa's Rockefellers: How Islamic State Oil Flows to Israel|
By Al-Araby al-Jadeed staff
|Oil produced by the Islamic State group finances its bloodlust. But how is it extracted, transported and sold? Who is buying it, and how does it reach Israel? -Continue|
|How Washington, London and Paris gave birth to ISIS-Daesh. Plus we examine the media's role in spreading disinformation ahead of a vote in Parliament for UK bombing of Syria. |
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
UN Security Council resolution authorises 'all necessary means' to be used against groups associated with al Qaeda
November 24, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "RI" -
Russia’s diplomats...have now obtained UN Security Council as well as Syrian government approval for Russia’s military campaign.
They have also got the UN Security Council to scotch the myth of the “moderate jihadis” once and for all.
Back in September, when it became clear the Russians were intending to act in Syria, Russia Insider predicted the Russians would try to get a Resolution from the UN Security Council to give additional legal cover for their military action.
This is in contrast to the US, which avoids the Security Council whenever it can, and which usually prefers to act unilaterally without a UN Security Council mandate.
Thus US bombing of the Islamic State in Syria was doubly illegal under international law because it was carried out without permission from either the UN Security Council or from the Syrian government.
Russia's military action by contrast is completely legal. It has the permission of both the UN Security Council and the Syrian government for it.
It took weeks for the Russians to get their Security Council Resolution. This was because the US did everything it could to stand in the way. However, after weeks of hard work, Russia’s diplomats have finally got the Resolution Russia wanted.
What changed the position was the terrorist outrage in Paris.
After the Paris attack the French backed Russia’s proposal for a UN Security Council Resolution. At that point the US could no longer block it. The US cannot veto a Resolution backed by its own ally France, especially in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Something that suggests some people in the US might be unhappy with this development is the absence from the Security Council table of one person who would normally be expected to be there for such an important vote.
This was Samantha Power - the US’s UN ambassador - a hardline liberal interventionist and one of the most aggressive voices within the US administration calling for regime change in Syria and confrontation with Russia.
Her relations with Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s exceptionally able UN ambassador, are said to be poisonous (see the photo at the bottom of this article).
It looks as if voting for the Resolution was more than Samantha Power could bear. That probably explains why she stayed away. In her absence it was left to her deputy, Michele Sison - a career diplomat - to speak and vote for the US....
The UN has also released - along with the full text of the Resolution - a summary of the debate in the Security Council that preceded the vote.
The key words in the Resolution are these:
“(The Security Council) Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups”The Security Council has not only backed Russia’s military campaign (“all necessary means”), but it has also made clear that Russia is fully entitled to extend this campaign to “all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups”.
The Resolution names amongst these terrorist groups the Al-Nusrah Front.
Russia is therefore fully authorised to bomb all the various jihadi groups in Syria that it is bombing. Even the US has been forced to admit - at least in the Security Council - that the talk of Russia bombing the wrong people - the “moderate jihadis” - is nonsense.
No more 'moderate terrorist' non-sense
To read the full text of the UN Resolution, and further comments:
Monday, October 12, 2015
Are you struggling to make sense of the endless wars ripping through our world? Are you overwhelmed by the horrendous deaths and destruction, the official lies and confusion, and the senseless waste?
Then read this article by Thomas Harrington. It is not new information, but it does help explain what is really going on in our world. It clears away some of the deliberate "fog of war", and makes current and future events easier to understand. These essential truths will NEVER be told by the mainstream media, because the MSM has its own agenda, and is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
The first part of the solution is to understand "Why?". . .