Tag Archives: Russia

A Budget without Russians: The Empire’s Nightmare, by Fred Reed

Fred Reed laments the absurdity of the present hysteria about Russia. From Reed on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Methinks the insane hysteria over Russia needs to stop. It probably will not. For reasons of domestic and imperial politics the American public is again being manipulated into a war frenzy by Washington and New York. It is stupid, without justification, and dangerous.

The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to get rid of Trump. Yes, the man is erratic, contradictory, shoots before he aims, backs off much of what he has promised, and may be unqualified as President–but that is not why Washington and New York want to get rid of him. It is about money and power, as is everything in the United States. Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Neocons, and the Empire run America. Trump has threatened their rice bowls.

Consider:

He has threatened to cut the F-35, a huge blow to Lockheed-Martin and hundreds of subcontractors; to pull US troops out of South Korea, a blow to the Empire; to end the wars, a blow both to the Empire and the military industry getting rich from them; to pull troops out of Okinawa, crippling the Empire in the Pacific; to start a trade war with China with a forty-five percent tariff of Chinese goods, threatening American corporations with factories there; and to chase out illegal immigrants, an important source of cheap labor to businesses. He has called NATO “obsolete,” when leaving it would be the death knell of the Empire; and threatened to establish good relations with Russia, when the lack of a European enemy would leave NATO even more obviously unnecessary.

Thus New York and its branch operation in Washington resuscitate Russia as a bugbear to terrify the rubes,meaning most of the public. Money. Power. Empire.

To continue reading: A Budget without Russians: The Empire’s Nightmare

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The “Russia Scare” Coalition: ISIL’s “Useful Idiots”?, a National Interest Editorial

To dampen charges that he’s a Russian puppet, Mr. Trump and his administration only have to start sounding like neocons. That may have already begun. Buy joining the “Russia Scare” coalition will probably have a number of perhaps unintended and definitely detrimental consequences for the US. From the National Interest Editorial board at nationalinterest.org:

The turmoil surrounding Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation and wider allegations of links between President Donald Trump, his campaign and Russia seems to have made a strong impression in Moscow. Many there had already calibrated initially unrealistic expectations after Mr. Trump’s initial weeks in office; recent events have tempered even these more limited ambitions. Hopes have long faded that Washington would become a Russian ally in Syria, pursue cooperative military action against ISIL, or delink the conflict in Ukraine from the wider U.S.-Russia relationship.

Still, until recently, sober voices on Russia’s television talk shows were a clear minority. Arguing that Russia would have to demonstrate its commitment to working with the United States through concrete actions, and that Moscow could not seek a new beginning while continuing to deny its involvement in the fighting in the Donbas and to engage in dangerous close encounters in the air and at sea, was unpopular. In the last few days, however, the optimistic view that Trump will simply “deliver the goods” to Russia has largely disappeared.

As Soviet media used to say, this is not accidental. According to Western news reports, the Kremlin has encouraged Russian media to scale back their coverage of America’s new president and his administration. While President Putin’s press spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied any such instruction, Russia’s media have in fact redirected their attention to other issues, giving scant air time to Mr. Trump’s comments about Russia during his latest press conference and to separate meetings between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford with their Russian counterparts. That said, Mr. Peskov may not have been involved in issuing directions like this—though such a directive could come only from Russia’s presidential administration.

To continue reading: The “Russia Scare” Coalition: ISIL’s “Useful Idiots”?

 

 

Is Russia Deliberately Trying To Start An Arms Race With Trump? by Duane Norman

Debt may be part of military strategy, especially US military strategy, and not in a good way. From Duane Norman at fmshooter.com:

Yesterday, it was revealed that the Russian military (secretly) deployed the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile. Of course, the mainstream media attempted to spin this as a “major test” for President Trump:

Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that American officials say violates a landmark arms control treaty, posing a major test for President Trump as his administration is facing a crisis over its ties to Moscow.

The new Russian missile deployment also comes as the Trump administration is struggling to fill key policy positions at the State Department and the Pentagon — and to settle on a permanent replacement for Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who resigned late Monday. Mr. Flynn stepped down after it was revealed that he had misled the vice president and other officials over conversations with Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

The NY Times made sure to lead with the Trump-bashing, and gave scant details and/or commentary on the specifics of the system, or its significance. Reuters filled in the key blank from the administration that the NY Times left out:

“We know that this is an old issue. The Russians have been building and testing these things in violation of the INF treaty going back to the Obama administration,” the official told Reuters, asking to remain anonymous to speak freely.

“The issue now is the things are deployed and it’s an even greater violation of the INF treaty,” the official added.

To continue reading: Is Russia Deliberately Trying To Start An Arms Race With Trump?

Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia, by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson

If Russia decideds to break away from China and Iran, and throw in its lot with the West, it will get very little in return. From Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson at paulcraigroberts.org:

An article by Robert Berke in oilprice.com, which describes itself as “The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News,” illustrates how interest groups control outcomes by how they shape policy choices.

Berke’s article reveals how the US intends to maintain and extend its hegemony by breaking up the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, and by oil privatizations that result in countries losing control over their sovereignty to private oil companies that work closely with the US government. As Trump has neutered his presidency by gratuitously accepting Gen. Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor, this scheme is likely to be Trump’s approach to “better relations” with Russia.

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China. Should Putin fall for such a scheme, it would be a fatal strategic blunder from which Russia could not recover. Yet, Putin will be pressured to make this blunder.

One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with its hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Berke says that part of the deal being offered to Putin is “increased access to the huge European energy market, restored western financial credit, access to Western technology, and a seat at the global decision-making table, all of which Russia badly needs and wants.” Sweetening the honey trap is official recognition of “Crimea as part of Russia.”

Russia might want all of this, but it is nonsense that Russia needs any of it.

To continue reading: Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia

Russia will not sell Snowden to Trump; here’s why, by Alexander Mercouris

The NBC News story posted on SLL February 11 may have been either a trial balloon or an intelligence agency plant to “suggest” to the Russian government how to get back in the good graces of the US government. From Alexander Mercouris at theduran.com:

Russia denies NBC story based on US intelligence sources that Moscow is preparing to hand over Edward Snowden to the US in order to please Donald Trump.

On Friday 10th February 2017 NBC circulated a report the Russian government in order to improve relations with the Trump administration was preparing to hand Edward Snowden over to the US.

The report obviously worried Snowden himself, who tweeted that the report proved that he was not and never had been a Russian agent. That suggests that he took the report seriously.

Snowden should not be worried, since the report is groundless and is clearly a provocation. To see why it is only necessary to look at the NBC report itself, which makes it clear who is behind it

U.S. intelligence has collected information that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a “gift” to President Donald Trump — who has called the NSA leaker a “spy” and a “traitor” who deserves to be executed.

That’s according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to “curry favor” with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration.
(bold italics added)

It turns out that the story does not originate in Russia. It originates with our old friends the ‘anonymous officials’ of the US intelligence community.

One of these officials claims that the story is based on “intelligence” of “Russian conversations” that the US intelligence community has ‘gathered since the inauguration”. We have no way of knowing at what level these “conversations” took place, assuming they took place at all, but it is inconceivable that the US intelligence community is genuinely informed of discussions within the top level of the Russian leadership – where such a question would be discussed – or if it is that it would publicise the fact by blurting the fact out to NBC.

To continue reading: Russia will not sell Snowden to Trump; here’s why

Russia Considers Returning Snowden to U.S. to ‘Curry Favor’ With Trump: Official, by Cynthia McFadden and William Arkin

If Edward Snowden is returned to the US he deserves a hero’s welcome, but will probably be thrown in prison for a very long time. From Cynthia McFadden and William Arkin at nbcnews.com:

U.S. intelligence has collected information that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a “gift” to President Donald Trump — who has called the NSA leaker a “spy” and a “traitor” who deserves to be executed.

That’s according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to “curry favor” with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration.

Snowden’s ACLU lawyer, Ben Wizner, told NBC News they are unaware of any plans that would send him back to the United States.

“Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern,” Wizner said.

Snowden responded to NBC’s report on Twitter and said it shows that he did not work with the Russian government.

“Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel,” Snowden said. “No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.”

Edward Snowden ✔@Snowden
Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next. https://twitter.com/CNBCnow/status/830190986697523203
4:43 PM – 10 Feb 2017
14,458 Retweets 21,882 likes

Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, reacted to the report with dismay.

“There are no reasons to extradite Edward Snowden to the U.S.,” Kucherena said, according to TASS, the state-owned news agency. “This is some kind of speculation coming from so-called US special service sources. I think this topic was and remains on the political plane in the U.S., but it’s American special services that are puppeteering this story with sporadic information plants.”

“There is not the slightest reason to raise or discuss this topic in Russia,” Kucherena said.

To continue reading: Russia Considers Returning Snowden to U.S. to ‘Curry Favor’ With Trump: Official

From New World Order To Hazy Global Disorder, by Wayne Madsen

This is another take on Trump’s foreign policy, perhaps a little more optimistic. From Wayne Madsen at strategic-culture.org:

The Donald Trump administration and the Brexit severance of ties between the United Kingdom and the European Union have, in a matter of a little over a half year, changed the world from a post-Cold War «new world order» based on American supremacy to a global «disorder» of altered alliances on a multipolar geo-political chessboard. In many respects, the new global disorder has also placed in jeopardy various post-World War II contrivances, including NATO, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Australia-New Zealand-United States (ANZUS) alliance.

Every international relations textbook and playbook can be thrown away with the advent of the new global disorder. Trump has kicked off his foreign policy by introducing an incoherent foreign policy. On one hand, Trump claims he wants to partner with Russia on the war against «radical Islamic terrorism». Yet, Trump has also indicated, through his UN ambassador Nicky Haley and Defense Secretary James Mattis, that he is committed to NATO and wants Russia to withdraw from Crimea. It is well known that the annual National Football League’s Super Bowl coordinates its patriotic military-oriented events with the Pentagon. In recent past years, U.S. troops serving in places like Afghanistan and Iraq were featured during and after the game on the host stadium’s jumbotron television screens.

The 2017 Super Bowl in Houston was different. This year the live shot of U.S. troops with the 3rd Brigade Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, was from a military base in Zagan, Poland. The Pentagon’s psychological operations specialists wanted to convey the message that under Trump, the new U.S. front lines were no longer in Afghanistan and Iraq in a war against Muslim radical insurgents but in Poland with Russia as the new «enemy». The optics simply do not match Trump’s statements about seeking closer ties with Russia.

To continue reading: From New World Order To Hazy Global Disorder