Tag Archives: Ukraine

Talk of Western intervention in the Black Sea is pure fantasy, by Pepe Escobar

The notion of the US and the rest of its alliance intervening in the Black Sea isn’t dismissed out of hand as farfetched, but the notion of Russia steaming into, say, the Great Lakes is inconceivable. Why? From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Crimea is essential to Russia strategically and economically, but speculation over Ankara helping to boost the US presence in the Black Sea is far-fetched given Turkey’s energy deals with Moscow

The frigate Admiral Essen from Russia's Black Sea Fleet returns to the permanent naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea. It was part of Russia's Mediterranean taskforce from August 2018, spending about 300 days at sea. Photo: AFP/ Alexey Malgavko / Sputnik

The frigate Admiral Essen from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet returns to the permanent naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea. It was part of Russia’s Mediterranean taskforce from August 2018, spending about 300 days at sea. Photo: AFP/ Alexey Malgavko / Sputnik

A power struggle over the Black Sea between Russia and the US plus NATO has the potential to develop as a seminal plot of the 21st century New Great Game – alongside the current jostling for re-positioning in the Eastern Mediterranean.

By now it’s established the US and NATO are stepping up military pressure from Poland to Romania and Bulgaria all the way to Ukraine and east of the Black Sea, which seems, at least for the moment, relatively peaceful, just as Crimea’s return to Russia starts to be regarded, in realpolitik terms, as a fait accompli.

After a recent series of conversations with top analysts from Istanbul to Moscow, it’s possible to identify the main trends ahead.

Just as independent Turkish analysts like Professor Hasan Unal are alarmed at Ankara’s isolation in the Eastern Mediterranean energy sphere by an alliance of Greece, Cyprus and Israel, Washington’s military buildup in both Romania and Bulgaria is also identified as posing a threat to Turkey.

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How the BBC Manufactured ‘Hate’, by Jack Krak

This is how fake news works. From Jack Krak at amren.com:

An insider’s story.

Editor’s Introduction: This article is about events that took place in 2012, but anyone who follows the news closely knows that nothing has changed. This is a remarkable account by someone who had an inside look at deliberate falsifications by what was once one of the most respected names in journalism.

* * *

In May of 2012, the BBC Panorama program broadcast a documentary about “racism” in the host countries of the 2012 European soccer championship: Poland and Ukraine. Those two countries were about to stage the second biggest event in the sport after the World Cup, and legions of journalists had arrived to cover it. The purpose of the BBC program—aired strategically one week before the opening match—was to argue that neither country was qualified to host the tournament because of their “hateful” soccer cultures. The message: All-white countries are hotbeds of violent racism, and non-white fans and players would be in danger.

I know a lot about the Panorama program because I helped produce it. I saw what is arguably the world’s most famous and trusted media organization fabricate a false, sensationalist story. Through outright distortion—and by using only those pieces that fit its predetermined views—the BBC “documented” the vicious attitudes of people who live in countries that are not sufficiently “diverse.” The program had a scripted conclusion before a single camera was turned on.

Panorama is the BBC’s flagship investigative program. It is the longest-running such production in the world, having been on the air since 1953. The closest thing to it on American television is probably 60 Minutes. Panorama enjoys a reputation for hard-hitting and serious investigative journalism.

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Islamic State In Ukraine: A Christmas Present From The West, by George Galloway

By the time the West gets through with Ukraine, that country will wish that Russia had invaded it and taken over. From George Galloway at rt.com:

Islamist Chechen fighters who honed their combat skills at Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) training camps are at war against Ukrainian rebels, confirms the Times. Tumbleweed.

The report in British newspaper the Times, that Chechen Islamists, many reeling from defeat in Syria and Iraq amongst the alphabet soup of fanaticism, had indeed arrived at the war front in eastern Ukraine, woke me up from any Christmas torpor.

An earlier report in the New York Times had revealed that the Islamist Chechens were under the command of the fascist “Right Sector” and were there to “fight Russians” because “we like fighting Russians” and “will never stop fighting Russians.

For the Times at Christmas it was enough to quote one of their commanders: “Putin is our common enemy.” A quote which of course could have come from the editor of the Times!

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Is Russia Learning? by Paul Craig Roberts

Russia appears at times to be remarkably naive about the US government’s intentions. They may be getting wiser. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Is Russia learning that Washington wants no deal with Russia except Russian vassalage and that relying on agreements with the West is delusional? There is some indication that Russia is learning, but it seems to be a slow process.

Russia Insider reports that the Russian government has told Israel that Israeli strikes inside Syria are no longer acceptable.

Russia Insider also reports that when asked about Kiev using Russian focus on the World Cup to attack the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, Putin answered: “if that does transpire, there will be harsh consequences for Ukraine’s sovereignty in general.”

These are reassuring statements that Putin has learned that turning the other cheek to Washington and Israel does not lead to diplomatic solutions but to further provocations. Nevertheless, Putin still appears to hold on to his belief in agreements. Putin said that the solution was for Ukraine to comply with the Minsk Protocol.

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The Stampede of the Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine to Pull Them into Global War, by Martin Sieff

History is littered with empires that came to ruin hitching their policies to insignificant nations. From Martin Sieff at strategic-culture.org:

George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel was right – Again: The only thing the human race learns from history is that it learns nothing from history.

In 1914,the British Empire, largest in human history and one of the longest-lasting, charged into World War I to defend “gallant little Belgium” whose King Leopold over the previous 30 years had carried out one of the longest, largest genocides of all time, killing 10 million people in the Congo.

Germany, wealthiest, most prosperous nation in Europe, blundered into the same needless war when feckless Kaiser Wilhelm II causally gave sweeping approval to Austria-Hungary to annihilate the tiny nation of Serbia. Millions of brave and idealistic Russians eagerly volunteered to fight in the war to protect “gallant little Serbia.” Most of them died too. There is no record that any of the Serbian leaders after the war visited any of their mass graves.

Now it is the United States’ turn.

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Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia, by Ann Garrison

The odds are climbing, says George Szamuely, in an interview with Ann Garrison at consortiumnews.com:

Hungarian scholar George Szamuely tells Ann Garrison that he sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate.

George Szamuely is a Hungarian-born scholar and Senior Research Fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. He lives in New York City. I spoke to him about escalating hostilities on Russia’s Ukrainian and Black Sea borders and about Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s massive military exercise on Russian borders which ended just as the latest hostilities began.

Ann Garrison: George, the hostilities between Ukraine, NATO, and Russia continue to escalate in the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, and the Black Sea. What do you think the latest odds of a shooting war between NATO and Russia are, if one hasn’t started by the time this is published?

George Szamuely: Several weeks ago, when we first talked about this, I said 60 percent. Now I’d say, maybe 70 percent. The problem is that Trump seems determined to be the anti-Obama. Obama, in Trump’s telling, “allowed” Russia to take Crimea and to “invade” Ukraine. Therefore, it will be up to Trump to reverse this. Just as he, Trump, reversed Obama’s policy on Iran by walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. So expect ever-increasing US involvement in Ukraine.

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The ‘America Last’ Express Hurtles On: Saudi Arabia, INF, Ukraine, by James George Jatras

Donald Trump has adopted the America Last foreign policy for which he criticized his predecessors. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:

As the façade of 2016 Candidate Donald Trump’s promised “America First” continues to crumble away, the baked-into-the-cake pathologies of the foreign and security policy “experts” who monopolize President Trump’s administration plunge forward along their predetermined paths. Any realistic notion of American national interests comes last after the priorities of – well, pretty much everyone else with leverage in Washington.

Case in point, let’s start with Saudi Arabia and all the breast-beating over whether Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) really is guilty of ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. (Spoiler Alert: You betcha!)

American and western media were all a-twitter last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s high five to Crown Pariah MbS at the G20. Amid the faux outrage – come on, does anyone really think MbS was the only killer in that room? – the gesture received America’s highest media tribute: a parody on “Saturday Night Live.”

What a circus. Apart from Putin’s greeting, the assembled hypocrites went out of their way to shun the leprous MbS, even shunting him to the margins of the group picture – as though the killing of one dodgy journalist outweighed their abetting MbS’s business-as-usual slaughter in Yemen. Really! I barely know the guy. We were never actually friends

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