Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Will Lithuania Rail ‘Blockade’ of Kaliningrad Have Unintended Consequences? By Robert Bridge

You have to ask, how could the blockade of Kaliningrad not have unintended consequences? One side thinks one thing is going to happen, and the other side thinks something else entirely is going to happen. From Robert Bridge at strategic-consequences.org:

For the EU to impose even a partial blockade of Russian territory presents a tremendous risk to regional stability and world peace. Some are beginning to talk about the risk of World War III.

Lithuania has blocked a number of rail-transport goods from reaching the Russia exclave of Kaliningrad. Vilnius says it is merely adhering to the EU-mandated sanctions regime, but Moscow warns it has broken international law. Is this a casus belli?

Efforts to punish Russia for defending its territory from encroaching NATO forces, as well as a very real neo-Nazi threat in neighboring Ukraine ratcheted up this week as Vilnius halted the flow of goods into Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave that is bordered by NATO members Poland to the south, Lithuania to the north and east, and the Baltic Sea to the west.

Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov says the ban affects some 50 percent of all imported goods, including energy resources, metals, construction materials and advanced technology. Official pleas against panic buying went unheeded as frantic shoppers were seen hoarding products.

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Russia To Transfer Nuclear-Capable Missiles To Belarus “Within Months”: Putin, by Tyler Durden

Russia ups the ante. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

At a moment US media and much of the West is consumed with the historic Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Russian President Vladimir Putin just issued what’s possibly the most alarming and escalatory statement thus far in the four-month long Ukraine war.

On Saturday Putin for the first time informed his close ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that he has approved supplying Belarus with nuclear capable long-range missiles. Minsk has long offered to host Russian nukes as a ‘deterrent’ against the West – a prospect which Lukashenko had very provocatively offered even in the months leading up to the Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine. This move will likely be viewed from Washington as a first step in moving toward a heightened nuclear posture in Eastern Europe.

Image source: BelTA

Reuters writes of the announcement, “Russia will supply Belarus with Iskander-M missile systems, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a televised meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday. Delivery will take place within a few months, he added.”

Putin referenced nuclear-capability, according to a transcript of the televised remarks: “In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions.”

The report underscores further that “The Iskander-M is a mobile guided missile system with a range of up to 500 km (300 miles). The missiles can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.”

Currently, Putin and Lukashenka are meeting face-to-face in St. Petersburg on the 30th anniversary of the two countries establishing diplomatic relations, which eventually led to the so-called ‘Union State’ pact of 1999, and has persisted till now, which also enabled Russia to muster much of its forces on Belarusian territory just ahead of the Ukraine invasion.

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Western Officials Admit Ukraine Is Crawling With CIA Personnel, by Caitlin Johnstone

There is just no way that the CIA is going to allow a perfectly good fiasco go by without further mucking it up. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The New York Times reports that Ukraine is crawling with special forces and spies from the US and its allies, which would seem to contradict earlier reports that the US intelligence cartel is having trouble getting intel about what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine.

This would also, obviously, put the final nail in the coffin of the claim that this is not a US proxy war.

In an article titled “Commando Network Coordinates Flow of Weapons in Ukraine, Officials Say,” anonymous western officials inform us of the following through their stenographers at The New York Times:

As Russian troops press ahead with a grinding campaign to seize eastern Ukraine, the nation’s ability to resist the onslaught depends more than ever on help from the United States and its allies — including a stealthy network of commandos and spies rushing to provide weapons, intelligence and training, according to U.S. and European officials.

Much of this work happens outside Ukraine, at bases in Germany, France and Britain, for example. But even as the Biden administration has declared it will not deploy American troops to Ukraine, some C.I.A. personnel have continued to operate in the country secretly, mostly in the capital, Kyiv, directing much of the massive amounts of intelligence the United States is sharing with Ukrainian forces, according to current and former officials.

At the same time, a few dozen commandos from other NATO countries, including Britain, France, Canada and Lithuania, also have been working inside Ukraine.

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SCOTT RITTER: The Fantasy of Fanaticism

The word “fan” comes from fanatic. Think about the average sports fan. How rational is he about the object of his fanaticism? It’s one thing in sports, it’s another thing entirely in war, where irrationality is usually deadly. From Scott Ritter at consortiumnews.com:

Despite what some “defense analysts” may be telling Western media, the longer the war continues, the more Ukrainians will die and the weaker NATO will become.

Main square of Severodonetsk, Ukraine, February 2018. (Visem, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

For a moment in time, it looked as if reality had managed to finally carve its way through the dense fog of propaganda-driven misinformation that had dominated Western media coverage of Russia’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine.

In a stunning admission, Oleksandr Danylyuk, a former senior adviser to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and Intelligence Services, noted that the optimism that existed in Ukraine following Russia’s decision to terminate “Phase One” of the SMO (a major military feint toward Kiev), and begin “Phase Two” (the liberation of the Donbass), was no longer warranted. “The strategies and tactics of the Russians are completely different right now,” Danylyuk noted. “They are being much more successful. They have more resources than us and they are not in a rush.”

“There’s much less space for optimism right now,” Danylyuk concluded.

In short, Russia was winning.

Danylyuk’s conclusions were not derived from some esoteric analysis drawn from Sun Tzu or Clausewitz, but rather basic military math. In a war that had become increasingly dominated by the role of artillery, Russia simply was able to bring to bear on the battlefield more firepower than Ukraine.

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‘Not a Justification but a Provocation’: Chomsky on the Root Causes of the Russia-Ukraine War, by Ramzy Baroud

If one gets the full story of Ukraine, Russia, and NATO since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, it is not difficult to understand why Russia invaded Ukraine. From Ramzy Baroud at commondreams.org:

Chomsky believes that the main ‘background’ of this war, a factor that is missing in mainstream media coverage, is “NATO expansion.”

One of the reasons that Russian media has been completely blocked in the West, along with the unprecedented control and censorship over the Ukraine war narrative, is the fact that western governments simply do not want their public to know that the world is vastly changing.

Ignorance might be bliss, arguably in some situations, but not in this case. Here, ignorance can be catastrophic as western audiences are denied access to information about a critical situation that is affecting them in profound ways and will most certainly impact the world’s geopolitics for generations to come.

The growing inflation, an imminent global recession, a festering refugee crisis, a deepening food shortage crisis and much more are the kinds of challenges that require open and transparent discussions regarding the situation in Ukraine, the NATO-Russia rivalry and the responsibility of the West in the ongoing war.

To discuss these issues, along with the missing context of the Russia-Ukraine war, we spoke with Professor Noam Chomsky, believed to be the greatest living intellectual of our time.

Chomsky told us that it “should be clear that the (Russian) invasion of Ukraine has no (moral) justification.” He compared it to the US invasion of Iraq, seeing it as an example of “supreme international crime.” With this moral question settled, Chomsky believes that the main ‘background’ of this war, a factor that is missing in mainstream media coverage, is “NATO expansion.”

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AIPAC Lobbies Against Probe Of US-Palestinian Journalist Likely Murdered By Israeli Sniper, by Tyler Durden

This is a story many members of the establishment would just like to shove under the rug, because it may involve some culpability on the part of Israel. That nation is of course the fair-haired child of U.S. foreign policy and can do no wrong. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Twenty-four U.S. senators sent a letter to President Biden on Thursday urging an FBI and State Department investigation of the May 11 killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank. They did so in defiance of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which actively lobbied against the letter. 

Abu Akleh, a star reporter for al Jazeera, was shot in the head on May 11 in the West Bank town of Jenin, as she and her crew reported on an Israeli raid on a refugee camp. The Al Jazeera crew and other witnesses said Israeli forces were responsible, but the Israeli government raced to blame “Palestinian terrorists firing indiscriminately,” tweeting a video that purported to support the claim.

However, demonstrating a sharply heightened capacity for honest reporting about Israel when Israel’s victim happens to be a journalist, several major U.S. media outlets have investigated the incident and concluded Abu Akleh was most likely killed by Israeli security forces.

CNN was particularly forceful, saying its multifaceted forensic investigation concluded that Abu Akleh was “shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.” In addition to video and acoustic evidence, the tight shot group on the tree she was standing next to was indicative of careful and deliberate fire, an expert told CNN. Abu Akleh and her crew were all wearing helmets and vests marked “PRESS.”

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Brzezinski’s Proxy War Playbook, by Patrick Macfarlane

The U.S. has been going after Russia via proxies for quite some time. From Patrick Macfarlane at libertarianinstitute.org:

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In 1998, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbiegnew Brzezinski told Le Nouvel Observateur that the CIA “knowingly increased the probability” that the Russians would invade Afghanistan by covertly supporting the Mujahideen before the Soviet invasion. Later in that same interview, Brzezinski claims that this covert intervention caused the end of the Soviet Union:

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war that was unsustainable for the regime, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

In July 2014, almost six months after the Maidan Revolution and Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea, Brzezinski hinted at a similar plan for Ukraine, although he couched it in defensive terms. He wrote on the Atlantic Council’s blog:

If Ukraine has to be supported so that it does resist, the Ukrainians have to know the West is prepared to help them resist. And there’s no reason to be secretive about it. It would be much better to be open about it and to say to the Ukrainians and to those who may threaten Ukraine that if Ukrainians resist, they will have weapons. And we’ll provide some of those weapons in advance of the very act of invasion. Because in the absence of that, the temptation to invade and to preempt may become overwhelming. But what kind of weapons is important. And in my view, they should be weapons designed particularly to permit the Ukrainians to engage in effective urban warfare of resistance.

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Revenge Capitalism and the Empire’s Long Memory, by Eamon McKinney

America’s imperialists neither forgive nor forget. From Eamon McKinney at strategic-culture.org:

The U.S. has long known that sanctions, while causing great suffering to the targeted countries, provides no benefit to America. They are always primarily just revenge against countries who fail to march obediently in lockstep with U.S. demands.

It is hard to keep up but as of the time of writing there are some 44 nations who are currently under U.S. sanctions. This favoured American tool is used to punish countries who displease America. Reasons for said displeasure can range from having the wrong friends, to concocted human rights violations or having an elected Government that doesn’t have the explicit consent of the U.S. Government to rule over the people who elected it. There are too many examples to cite. Russia currently holds the record for having the most sanctions levelled at it, more than 1100 and counting. Companies, institutions and individuals, and even things, yachts and planes can all fall foul of the Empire’s displeasure. Most of these sanctions have been imposed since the start of the Ukraine conflict less than 3 months ago. The stated intention was to try and destroy the Russian economy, as all evidence shows, in that regard the sanctions have failed spectacularly. Mainly because most nations know who was behind the war and wouldn’t join in the anti-Russian narrative or the sanctions. The Russian currency and economy are reaching new heights while the Empire’s close friends in Europe are being crushed under the U.S.-imposed sanctions on Russia. Friends and enemies alike must suffer to satisfy America’s wishes.

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James W. Carden: Neocon Think Tanks Are Driving Biden’s Ukraine Policy

It’s never difficult to determine what neocon think tanks want: nonstop war. From James W. Carden at usrussiaaccord.org:

In Joe Biden’s Washington, it is the self described national security “expert community” that is at the wheel and driving the administration’s Ukraine policy.

A little remarked upon open letter which appeared in the Washington tabloid The Hill on June 1 put a public face on what had been until that point a discreet, though highly successful effort on the part of Washington think tanks  – many of which, like the disgraced Brookings Institution, are funded by foreign governments –  to direct the White House policy on Ukraine.

The letter reads, in part, that..

The United States and Europe must avoid the urge to encourage Kyiv to negotiate a cease fire that falls short of Ukraines goals and could consign millions of Ukrainians to Russian control.

The signatories of the open letter are urging the Biden Administration to stay the course and to continue to arm Ukraine, so that when the time comes, it will be able to negotiate from a position of strength.

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The Neocon’s Dream – Decolonize Russia, Re-colonize China, by Moon of Alabama

Multipolarity is turning into the neocons’ nightmare. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

On March 26 U.S. President Joe Biden called for regime change in Russia:

Speaking in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, President Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

The White House immediately rushed to talk back that call for regime change and a day later Biden himself denied that he was calling for regime change:

President Joe Biden told reporters on Sunday he was not calling for a regime change in Russia when he said a day earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” a surprising comment the White House quickly tried to walk back Saturday.When a reporter asked if he was calling for Putin’s removal from office, Biden replied “no” as he walked out of church Sunday afternoon, according to Bloomberg pool reporter Courtney Rozen.

However, other parts of the U.S. government makes unmistakeably clear that its aims in Russia go even much than regime change. Tomorrow the US Government’s Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) will hold a briefing on the “Moral and Strategic Imperative” that makes it necessary to “Decolonize Russia”.

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