Tag Archives: Russia

The Russia-China plan for North Korea: stability, connectivity, by Pepe Escobar

Barely reported in the Western Press, Russia, South Korea, and North Korea are exploring various ways to connect their countries. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Moscow has been busy building agreements that would extend Eurasian connectivity eastward. The question is how to convince the DPRK to play along

The United Nations Security Council’s 15-0 vote to impose a new set of sanctions on North Korea somewhat disguises the critical role played by the Russia-China strategic partnership, the “RC” at the core of the BRICS group.

The new sanctions are pretty harsh. They include a 30% reduction on crude and refined oil exports to the DPRK; a ban on exports of natural gas; a ban on all North Korean textile exports (which have brought in US$760 million on average over the past three years); and a worldwide ban on new work permits for DPRK citizens (there are over 90,000 currently working abroad.)

But this is far from what US President Donald Trump’s administration was aiming at, according to the draft Security Council resolution leaked last week. That included an asset freeze and travel ban on Kim Jong-un and other designated DPRK officials, and covered additional “WMD-related items,” Iraqi sanctions-style. It also authorized UN member states to interdict and inspect North Korean vessels in international waters (which amounts to a declaration of war); and, last but not least, a total oil embargo.

“RC” made it clear it would veto the resolution under these terms. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the US’ diminishing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Moscow would only accept language related to “political and diplomatic tools to seek peaceful ways of resolution.” On the oil embargo, President Vladimir Putin said, “cutting off the oil supply to North Korea may harm people in hospitals or other ordinary citizens.”

To continue reading: The Russia-China plan for North Korea: stability, connectivity

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Syria’s President Exposed a Flaw in US Foreign Policy That No One Wants to Talk About, by Darius Shahtahmasebi

The US doesn’t solve all its problems with a country just by knocking off the leader of the country. From Darius Shahtahmasebi at theantimedia.org

In an interview with RT in 2015, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uttered perhaps one of his most intriguing statements since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011. Assad stated:

“Western propaganda has, from the very beginning, been about the cause of the problem being the president. Why? Because they want to portray the whole problem in Syria lies in one individual; and consequently the natural reaction for many people is that, if the problem lies in one individual, that individual should not be more important than the entire homeland. So let that individual go and things will be alright. That’s how they oversimplify things in the West.”  [emphasis added]

He continued:

Notice what happened in the Western media since the coup in Ukraine. What happened? President Putin was transformed from a friend of the West to a foe and, yet again, he was characterized as a tsar…This is Western propaganda. They say that if the president went things will get better. [emphasis added]

Putting aside Assad’s vast and extensive list of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Assad highlighted one of the major flaws in Western thinking regarding America’s hostile policies toward a number of independent states.

Just look at the current to-and-fro-ing between North Korea and the United States to gather an accurate picture of what is being referred to here. The problem of North Korea is consistently portrayed in the media as caused by one person (current leader Kim Jong-un), a narrative that ultimately ignores the role America and its allies have played in this current crisis. As Anti-Media previously highlighted:

“…the problem [North Korean crisis] is constantly framed as one caused by North Korea alone, not the United States. ‘How to Deal With North Korea,’ the Atlantic explains. ‘What Can Trump Do About North Korea?’ the New York Times asks. ‘What Can Possibly Be Done About North Korea,’ the Huffington Post queries. Time provides 6 experts discussing ‘How We Can Solve the Problem’ (of North Korea). ‘North Korea – what can the outside world do?’ asks the BBC.”

To continue reading: Syria’s President Exposed a Flaw in US Foreign Policy That No One Wants to Talk About

Russia, US Officials Revive Dialogue on Arms Control: Offering Glimmer of Hope, by Andrei Akulov

As a general rule, any time US and Russian officials talk to each other, it’s a good thing, especially when they’re talking about arms control. From Andrei Akulov at strategic-culture.org:

The New Start Treaty was in focus of the talks held in Helsinki between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon on September 11-12. The parties agreed that the treaty should be implemented without exception. It was revealed that expert consultations on the future of the agreement had begun. A meeting of the US-Russian bilateral commission on implementing the New START would take place in the near future so that the two sides could continue their discussion of the technical aspects of implementation.

In force since 2011, New START foresees the reduction of both countries’ nuclear arsenals to 1,550 warheads and 700 operationally deployed launch systems by 2018. The treaty also obliges Moscow and Washington to exchange information about their nuclear weapon stockpiles. It is one of the few nuclear agreements still being honored amid the current strained relations between Washington and Moscow. The treaty is set to expire in 2021 and stipulates that the parties may agree to extend it for a period of no more than five years.

With no negotiations in sight on a new strategic arms reduction agreement, it would be prudent to extend the treaty till 2026. True, it would be even more beneficial to have a new treaty, if possible, but there are obstacles on the way. At this level of reductions, other nuclear powers should join. This prospect is hardly feasible at present, and yet step-by-step progress toward constructive consultations on nuclear arms reductions and transparency measures is possible. The US program of creating a global missile defense is also a hindrance. There is also a problem of mistrust against the background of the relationship at its lowest ebb.

An agreement to extend the landmark treaty is the way to stabilize the ties and prevent a competition. It would revive the hopes for saving the arms control regime, which is being eroded, to put the world back to the brink of nuclear war where it had been before the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1963. The mutual limits and the robust verification and compliance regime, including satellites, on-site inspections, required notifications, and data exchanges enhance stability and reduce incentives for engaging in an arms race. With no verification procedures in place, the leaderships of both countries would lose a critical source of intelligence, hampering policymakers’ ability to make informed decisions. By extending New START, the parties could add stability at the time of increasing tensions.

To continue reading: Russia, US Officials Revive Dialogue on Arms Control: Offering Glimmer of Hope

Behold a Pale Horse, and its Rider is Death, by Paul Craig Roberts

Why are Russia and China helping the US make war? From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Two of America’s most populous states, Texas and Florida, are in hurricane ruins, and Washington is fomenting more wars.

The US national debt is now over $20 trillion, and Washington is fomenting more wars.

The entire world is helping Washington foment wars—including two targeted countries themselves—Russia and China—both of which are helping Washington foment more wars. Believe it or not, both Russia and China voted with Washington on the UN Security Council to impose more and harsher sanctions on North Korea, a country guilty of nothing but a desire to have the means to protect itself from the US and not become yet another Washington victim like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Serbia, and Ukraine overthrown in a US coup and now poverty-stricken.

I once thought that Russia and China were checks on Washington’s unilateralism, but apparently not. Both governments have been knuckled under by Washington and both voted to punish North Korea for striving to be sufficiently armed to protect its sovereignty from Washington.

Why are Russia and China repeating their same mistake that they made when they supported Washington’s no-fly UN resolution for Libya, a resolution that Washington and NATO stood on its head when they launched air attacks that helped the CIA organized “jihadists” overthrow Libya’s progressive government and murder Gaddafi?

Russia knows that it is surrounded by US nuclear and military bases. So does China. The question is: have Russia and China capitulated out of fear? Or is their cooperation with Washington a ruse while they prepare their own strike on Washington, or are the two misguided governments trying to cooperate with Washington a la sanctions so as to avoid having to confront a US military attack on North Korea?

It requires much competence to confront evil, and there is probably more evil in Washington than there is competence in Russia and China, two countries interested in being rich to an extent that it might cost them their sovereignty and existence.

When you see such potentially powerful countries as Russia and China collapse under Washington’s pressure in the UN Security Council, it makes you wonder if the various analyses of Washington’s many weaknesses are real, and if they are real, if Russia and China are aware of them.

To continue reading: Behold a Pale Horse, and its Rider is Death

 

The Dangerous Decline of U.S. Hegemony, by Daniel Lazare

North Korea may be the nation the breaks US notions of hegemony and unipolar dominance.

The bigger picture behind Official Washington’s hysteria over Russia, Syria and North Korea is the image of a decaying but dangerous American hegemon resisting the start of a new multipolar order, explains Daniel Lazare.

The showdown with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a seminal event that can only end in one of two ways: a nuclear exchange or a reconfiguration of the international order.

While complacency is always unwarranted, the first seems increasingly unlikely. As no less a global strategist than Steven Bannon observed about the possibility of a pre-emptive U.S. strike: “There’s no military solution. Forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no military solution here. They got us.”

This doesn’t mean that Donald Trump, Bannon’s ex-boss, couldn’t still do something rash. After all, this is a man who prides himself on being unpredictable in business negotiations, as historian William R. Polk, who worked for the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis, points out. So maybe Trump thinks it would be a swell idea to go a bit nuts on the DPRK.

But this is one of the good things about having a Deep State, the existence of which has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt since the intelligence community declared war on Trump last November. While it prevents Trump from reaching a reasonable modus vivendi with Russia, it also means that the President is continually surrounded by generals, spooks, and other professionals who know the difference between real estate and nuclear war.

As ideologically fogbound as they may be, they can presumably be counted on to make sure that Trump does not plunge the world into Armageddon (named, by the way, for a Bronze Age city about 20 miles southeast of Haifa, Israel).

That leaves option number two: reconfiguration. The two people who know best about the subject are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both have been chafing for years under a new world order in which one nation gets to serve as judge, jury, and high executioner. This, of course, is the United States.

To continue reading: The Dangerous Decline of U.S. Hegemony

Laughing on the Way to Armageddon, by Paul Craig Roberts

Many nations are laughing at, not with, the United States. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us.

The latest spin on “Russia stole the election” is that Russia used Facebook to influence the election. The NPR women yesterday were breathless about it.

We have been subjected to ten months of propaganda about Trump/Putin election interference and still not a scrap of evidence. It is past time to ask an unasked question: If there were evidence, what is the big deal? All sorts of interest groups try to influence election outcomes including foreign governments. Why is it OK for Israel to influence US elections but not for Russia to do so? Why do you think the armament industry, the energy industry, agribusiness, Wall Street and the banks, pharmaceutical companies, etc., etc., supply the huge sum of money to finance election campaigns if their intent is not to influence the election? Why do editorial boards write editorials endorsing one candidate and damning another if they are not influencing the election?

What is the difference between influencing the election and influencing the government? Washington is full of lobbyists of all descriptions, including lobbyists for foreign governments, working round the clock to influence the US government. It is safe to say that the least represented in the government are the citizens themselves who don’t have any lobbyists working for them.

The orchestrated hysteria over “Russian influence” is even more absurd considering the reason Russia allegedly interfered in the election. Russia favored Trump because he was the peace candidate who promised to reduce the high tensions with Russia created by the Obama regime and its neocon nazis—Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power. What’s wrong with Russia preferring a peace candidate over a war candidate? The American people themselves preferred the peace candidate. So Russia agreed with the electorate.

Those who don’t agree with the electorate are the warmongers—the military/security complex and the neocon nazis. These are democracy’s enemies who are trying to overturn the choice of the American people. It is not Russia that disrespects the choice of the American people; it is the utterly corrupt Democratic National Committee and its divisive Identity Politics, the military/security complex, and the presstitute media who are undermining democracy.

To continue reading: Laughing on the Way to Armageddon

 

Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die, by Pepe Escobar

The jihadists are a useful tool to fulfill an American goal: to block the economic and political integration of Eurasia led by China and Russia. From Pepe Escobar at Sputnik News via lewrockwell.com:

A serious working hypothesis is being discussed for a while now among independent geopolitical analysts. Here it is, in a nutshell.

Daesh may be dying – but the world is still encumbered with its walking corpse. Plan B of Daesh’s masters may have been to indoctrinate repeated waves of misguided youth across the EU and “seduce” them into D.I. Y. jihadi terror, creating fear and insecurity in Europe. I’ve just been to Barcelona — and that’s not happening. No Fear.

Daesh can also manipulate its brand name to stake a claim into what we may call the New War Belt in Southwest Asia. That’s also not happening, because the “4+1” – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – with the addition of Turkey, and with China in a “leading from behind” role, are all working together.

The unfinished war across “Syraq” coupled with spasms of jihadism in Europe could certainly still metastasize into a massive Eurasian cancer, spreading like a plague from Afghanistan to Germany and vice-versa, and from the South China Sea to Brussels via Pakistan and vice-versa.

What would happen under this cataclysmic scenario is the complete derailment of the Chinese-driven New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); its integration with the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEC); and a massive security threat to the domestic stability of the Russia-China strategic partnership, with uncontrollable bellicose scenarios developing very close to their borders.

It’s no secret which elements and institutions would very much cherish internal political chaos in both Russia and China.

Charlie gets stronger

Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski may be dead, but geopolitics is still encumbered with his corpse. Brzezinski’s life obsession is that no peer competitor to the US should be allowed to emerge. Imagine as he lay dying contemplating the ongoing, ultimate nightmare; a Russia-China pan-Eurasian alliance.

 

To continue reading: Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die