Tag Archives: Belarus

As Anger Toward Belarus Mounts, Recall the 2013 Forced Landing of Bolivia’s Plane to Find Snowden, by Glenn Greenwald

Belarus didn’t do anything that the US hasn’t done, although Belarus got its man and the US didn’t. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

What Belarus did, while illegal, is not unprecedented. The dangerous tactic was pioneered by the same U.S. and E.U. officials now righteously condemning it.

Bolivian President Evo Morales holds a press conference at the Vienna International Airport on July 3, 2013, angrily denying any wrongdoing on Wednesday after his plane was diverted to Vienna over suspicion fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was on board. (Photo: Patrick Domingo/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. and E.U. governments are expressing outrage today over the forced landing by Belarus of a passenger jet flying over its airspace on its way to Lithuania. The Ryanair commercial jet, which took off from Athens and was carrying 171 passengers, was just a few miles from the Lithuanian border when a Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet ordered the plane to make a U-turn and land in Minsk, the nation’s capital.

On board that Ryanair flight was a leading Belarusian opposition figure, 26-year-old Roman Protasevich, who, fearing arrest, had fled his country in 2019 to live in exile in neighboring Lithuania. The opposition figure had traveled to Athens to attend a conference on economics with Belarus’ primary opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and was attempting to return home to Lithuania when the plane was forcibly diverted.

Protasevich, when he was teenager, became a dissident opposed to Belarus’ long-time authoritarian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko, and has only intensified his opposition in recent years. When Lukashenko last year was “re-elected” to his sixth term as president in a sham election, the largest and most sustained anti-Lukashenko protests in years erupted. Protasevich, even while in exile, was a leading oppositional voice, using an anti-Lukashenko channel on Telegram — one of the few remaining outlets dissidents have — to voice criticisms of the regime. For those activities, he was formally charged with various national security crimes, and then, last November, was placed on the official “terrorist list” by Belarus’ intelligence service (still called the “KGB” from its days as a Soviet republic).

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Uncharted Waters, by Israel Shamir

Russia is pursuing alliances and tactical advantage, the US is pursuing Russia. From Israel Shimir at unz.com:

The US has been fighting two wars: with Ukraine against Russia, and with Russia against Climate. Both are very costly, both bring no profit to Americans, both are entirely unnecessary, but both are essential for the Biden regime at this time, as the Covid pandemic runs out of steam. How will matters proceed?

The Ukrainian war may have been postponed. Russian troops withdrew from their forward positions on the Ukrainian border to their permanent bases. Perhaps Putin decided that the threat of a powerful Russian response would suffice for Kiev to give up their plans of a Donbas invasion. It was a close call: Kiev artillery shelled Donbas; Russian tanks faced them waiting for the order to roll westward, but the order didn’t come. It is still too close to call. In the last few days, the shelling of Donbas by the Kiev regime has actually intensified. Kiev troops have moved forward to the frontline separating the regime-controlled areas and free Donbas, and they brought with them more of their heavy weaponry. In Donbas, people are in a wretched mood: they feel abandoned by Russia, or rather have returned to the same hell of intermittent shelling they have lived with for years. They haven’t been allowed to join the Russian Federation as they had hoped. In Kiev, they think Putin blinked first. So say the Brits. Prudent Putin does not want war, but he may still get it. What we have now feels like a lull rather than a stable situation.

Europe Defender, one of the largest US Army-led military exercises in decades has kicked off and will run until June. The Russian Defence Minister Mr. Shoygu called upon his troops to stand ready to respond to any “adverse developments” during the NATO exercises; heavy weapons will remain in forward positions, so troop deployment could be fast. In May, Royal Navy ships will pass the Bosporus, while the Russians have moved their missile boats from the Caspian and Baltic Seas to the Black Sea. So there are still plenty of chances for things to go wrong.

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The US’ Hybrid War On Russian Energy Targets Germany, Belarus, And Bulgaria, by Andrew Koryobko

The US is waging a war on Russian energy supplies to Europe, and it may not be as futile as many people believe. From Andrew Koryobko at oneworld.press:

The US is ruthlessly waging an intense Hybrid War on Russian energy interests in Europe by targeting the Eurasian Great Power’s relevant projects in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, banking on the fact that even the partial success of this strategy would greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked “decoupling” between Moscow and Washington’s transatlantic allies.

The Newest Front In The New Cold War

The New Cold War is heating up in Europe after the US intensified its Hybrid War on Russian interests there over the past two months. This proxy conflict is being simultaneously waged in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, all three of which are key transit states for Russian energy exports to the continent, which enable it to maintain at least some influence there even during the worst of times. The US, however, wants to greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked “decoupling” between Moscow and Washington’s transatlantic allies which would allow America to reassert its unipolar hegemony there even if this campaign is only partially successful. This article aims to explore the broad contours of the US’ contemporary Hybrid War strategy on Russian energy in Europe, pointing out how recent events in those three previously mentioned transit states are all part of this larger plan.

Germany

From north to south, the first and largest of these targets is Germany, which is nowadays treating Russian anti-corruption blogger Navalny. The author accurately predicted in late August that “intense pressure might be put upon the authorities by domestic politicians and their American patrons to politicize the final leg of Nord Stream II’s construction by potentially delaying it as ‘punishment to Putin’”, which is exactly what’s happening after Berlin signaled that it might rethink its commitment to this energy project. America isn’t all to blame, however, since Germany ultimately takes responsibility for its provocative statements to this effect. Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, published a thought-provoking piece titled “Russian-German Relations: Back To The Future” about how bilateral relations will drastically change in the aftermath of this incident. It’s concise and well worth the read for those who are interested in this topic.

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Where Will All These War Games Lead? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Sometimes pretends wars become real ones. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

In northeast Syria last week, a U.S. military vehicle collided with a Russian armored vehicle, injuring four American soldiers.

Both the Americans and Russians blame each other for failing to follow established rules of the road. Had an American been killed, we could have had a crisis on our hands.

Query: With the ISIS caliphate dead and buried, why are 500 U.S. troops still in Syria a year after Donald Trump said we would be pulling them out? What are they doing there to justify risking a clash with Russian troops who are in Syria as the invited allies of the Damascus regime of Bashar Assad, whether we approve of his regime or not?

Nor was this the only U.S.-Russian faceoff last week.

Over the Black Sea, two Russian military jets swept past the nose of an American B-52, one of the bombers on which the airborne leg of our strategic deterrent depends. The Russian Su-27s flew so close to the B-52 that their afterburners shook the eight-engine bomber.

What was a nuclear-capable B-52 doing over the Black Sea, which is to Russia what the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are to us?

That B-52 overflight of the Black Sea was part of an exercise in which six U.S. B-52s overflew all 30 NATO nations in one day — from the U.S. and Canada to Spain and the Balkans and to the eastern Baltic Sea — in a military exercise to test Russian air defenses.

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What Is America’s Cause in the World Today? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Do the rationales offered by the military and government officials who decide when and how the US will go to war, and embraced by the public, particularly those who lose loved ones, stand up to scrutiny and analysis?

In Memoriam, SLL, 5/28/18

Pat Buchanan asks the same question. From Buchanan at buchanan.org:

After being sworn in for a fourth term, Vladimir Putin departed the Kremlin for Annunciation Cathedral to receive the televised blessing of Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The patriarch and his priests in sacred vestments surrounded Putin, who, standing alone, made the sign of the cross.

Meanwhile, sacred vestments from the Sistine Chapel were being transported by the Vatican to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to adorn half-clad models in a sexy show billed as “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” One model sported a papal tiara.

The show proved a sensation in secular media.

In Minsk, Belarus, on May 17, to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Britain’s embassy raised the rainbow flag. Belarus’s Ministry of Internal Affairs was not amused:

“Same-sex relationships are a fake. And the essence of fake is always the same — the devaluation of truth. The LGBT community and all this struggle for ‘their rights,’ and the day of the community itself, are just a fake!”

Belarus is declaring moral truth — to Great Britain.

What is going on? A scholarly study sums it up: “The statistical trends in religion show two separate Europes: the West is undergoing a process of secularization while the post-socialist East, de-secularization.”

One Europe is turning back to God; the other is turning its back on God.

And when Vladimir Putin and Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko are standing up for traditional values against Western cultural elites, the East-West struggle has lost its moral clarity.

And, so, what do we Americans stand for now? What is our cause in the world today?

In World War II, Americans had no doubt they were in the right against Nazism and a militaristic Japan that had attacked us at Pearl Harbor.

In the Cold War, we believed America was on God’s side against the evil ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which declared the Communist state supreme and that there was no such thing as God-given rights.

To continue reading: What Is America’s Cause in the World Today?