Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Did the West Just Lose World War III by Forfeit? by James George Jatras

The declare-victory-and-go-home option is looking better and better in Syria. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:

In the fall of the year 1480, at a point not far from Moscow, two armies faced each other on the opposite banks of the Ugra River.

On the one side were the forces of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, whose ruler, Grand Prince Ivan III (known as “the Great” and the “gatherer of the Russian lands”), had recently rejected further payment of tribute to the Great Horde.

On the other were the forces of Grand Khan Ahmed bin Küchük, who had come to lay waste to Moscow and instruct the impudent Prince Ivan to mend his ways.

For weeks the two assembled hosts glared at one another, each wary of crossing the water and becoming vulnerable to attack by the other. In the end, as though heeding the same inaudible signal, both withdrew and hastily returned home.

Thus ended more than two centuries of the Tatar-Mongol yoke upon the land of the Rus’.

Was this event, which came to be known as “the great standing on the Ugra River,” a model of what happened in Syria last week?

Almost immediately upon reports of the staged chemical attack in Douma on April 7, speculation began as to the likely response from the west – which in reality meant from the United States, in turn meaning from President Donald J. Trump. Would Trump, who had repeatedly spoken harshly of his predecessors’ destructive and pointless misadventures in the Middle East, and who just days earlier had signaled his determination to withdraw the several thousand Americans (illegally) stationed in Syria, see through the obvious deception?

Or, whether or not he really believed the patently untrue accusations of Syrian (and Russian) culpability, would Trump take punitive action against Syria? And if so, would it be a demonstrative pinprick of the sort inflicted almost exactly a year earlier in punishment for an obvious false flag chemical attack in Idlib? Or would we see something more “robust” (a word much beloved of laptop bombardiers in Washington) aimed at teaching a lesson to both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally, Prince Ivan III’s obstreperous heir Russian President Vladimir Putin?

To continue reading: Did the West Just Lose World War III by Forfeit?

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Putin Warns Of Global “Chaos” If West Hits Syria Again, by Tyler Durden

One of these days Putin is going to have to back up his threats…or quit making them. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Shortly after US Ambassador Nikki Haley revealed that Russia would be slapped with a third round of sanctions on Monday for “enabling the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons in civil war,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said that further attacks on Syria by Western forces, “in violation of the U.N. Charter,” would send international relations into “chaos.”

In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, Putin and Rouhani agreed that the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement. –Reuters

The US-led strike was denounced by Putin as an “act of aggression,” and a “war crime” by Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

“Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the U.N. Charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations,” the Kremlin statement said.

The United States, France and Britain launched over 103 missiles on Saturday night at three Syrian facilities in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in the city of Douma seven days prior. While the West has conclusively blamed the Assad government for the attack, serious questions have arisen over everything from Assad’s motive, the type of nerve agent used, to the credibility of the first responders – an NGO known as the White Helmets who have a reputation for staging evidence.

France cited social media posts and YouTube evidence as justification for their participation in the strikes.

The French services analysed the testimonies, photos and videos that spontaneously appeared on specialized websites, in the press and on social media in the hours and days following the attack.

Testimonies obtained by the French services were also analysed. After examining the videos and images of victims published online, they were able to conclude with a high degree of confidence that the vast majority are recent and not fabricated. The spontaneous circulation of these images across all social networks confirms that they were not video montages or recycled images. Lastly, some of the entities that published this information are generally considered reliable. –Daily Star

So “it looked real and went viral” is apparently all France needs before launching a military strike on a sovereign nation.

To continue reading: Putin Warns Of Global “Chaos” If West Hits Syria Again

Russia’s Real Endgame, by James Rickards

Both Trump and Putin appear to be strident nationalists opposed to globalization. From James Rickards at dailyreckoning.com:

Russia’s Putin has never taken his eye off the ball. His ambition is not global hegemony or European conquest. Putin seeks what Russia has always sought: regional hegemony and a set of buffer states in eastern Europe and central Asia that can add to Russia’s strategic depth.

In Syria, Russia has the warm water port of Tartus — which is important when you consider that most Russian ports are ice-bound for months of the year.

It is strategic depth — the capacity to suffer massive invasions and still survive due to an ability to retreat to a core position and stretch enemy supply lines — that enabled Russia to defeat both Napoleon and Hitler. Putin also wants the modicum of respect that would normally accompany that geostrategic goal.

Understanding Putin is not much more complicated than that.

In the twenty-first century, a Russian sphere of influence is not achieved by conquest or subordination in the old Imperial or Communist style. It is achieved by close financial ties, direct foreign investment, free trade zones, treaties, security alliances, and a network of associations that resemble earlier versions of the EU

Russian military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine is best understood not as a Russian initiative, but as a Russian reaction. It was a response to U.S. and U.K. efforts to attack Russia by pushing aggressively and prematurely for Ukraine membership in NATO. This was done by deposing a Putin ally in Kiev in early 2014.

This is not to justify Russia’s actions, merely to put them in a proper context. The time to peel off Ukraine for NATO was 1999, not 2014.

The Russian-Ukraine situation is a subset of the broader U.S.-Russian relationship. Here, the opposition comes not just from domestic opponents but from the globalist elite.

Globalization emerged in the 1990s as a consequences of the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany. For the first time since 1914, Russia, China and their respective empires could join the U.S., Western Europe and their former colonies in Latin America and Africa in a single global market.

To continue reading: Russia’s Real Endgame

 

Is Putin Winning the War of Attrition with the U.S.? by Tom Luongo

If Russia and China are at “war” with the US, they probably only have to sit back, wait, and hope the US government continues doing what it’s been doing the last few decades. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

The news that President Donald Trump offered to hold a meeting with his counterpart in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, has the political world in an uproar.

Furiously keyboards are chattering away as laptop bombardiers are worried that perpetual war for perpetual empire will end if Trump and Putin see eye to eye on anything.

From the bowels of MI-6 to the think tanks that line K Street schemes are hatched to make it politically unacceptable for Trump to do what he apparently did, if TASS is to be believed.

If true, the offer represents the biggest shift in U.S./Russian relations since Trump’s election and the subsequent hissy fit thrown by his political opposition in every corner of the political landscape.

Because they know what’s happening even though you could never get them to admit it in public, the U.S. is vulnerable.

We’re not vulnerable in any ultimate weapons sense. The U.S. can certainly lob enough nukes at Russia to wipe them out and vice versa.  No, we are vulnerable where our real power comes from: our dominance of the world’s capital markets backed up by both the political will to isolate anyone who doesn’t toe our line and/or the military might to put down any marginal challenges.

Real Might, Real Power

So, China finally launching an oil futures contract denominated in Yuan, the so-called petroyuan, and convertible to gold is a financial WMD which doesn’t dwarf Putin’s new hypersonic missiles today.  But, over time that weapon will grow in power and destructive capability.

China is the world’s largest importer of oil.  That makes it the source of marginal demand for oil in the world.  Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter, that makes them one of the suppliers of the marginal barrel of oil on the world market.

While the Saudi Arabians export a lot more oil than Russia, they do so at a much higher all-in-sustaining-cost basis than Russia does (see volatility of the Saudi Budget relative to oil prices below).  At current oil prices Russia’s slowly growing economy is capable of meeting its social needs as measured by the government’s budget, which ran a very modest 1.5% of GDP in 2017 and should contract again this year.

To continue reading: Is Putin Winning the War of Attrition with the U.S.?

U.S. Establishment: Nixing Arms Control, by Ray McGovern

Russia is, if Putin is to be believed, open to negotiations on arms control. It’s not clear if anyone of the US side is. From Ray McGovern at consortiumnews.com:

Trump’s new National Security Adviser John Bolton has been instrumental in launching wars and scrapping arms control treaties – just the man for the job as the U.S. embarks on a new arms race with Russia, Ray McGovern sardonically observes.

John Bolton’s appointment as national security adviser to President Donald Trump is the latest blow to hopes for a less confrontational U.S.-Russia relationship that would include new talks on arms control. Mutual trust is now hanging by a very thin thread.

George W. Bush announces his appointment of John Bolton to UN ambassador post on August 1, 2005.

One wag suggested to me that the Bolton appointment should not really come as a surprise, since it fits the recent Washington pattern — if White House chaos can be considered a pattern. For Kremlin leaders, though, White House zig-zags are no laughing matter. Let’s try to put ourselves in their shoes and imagine how the unfolding of recent events may have looked to them.

On March 1 in his state-of-the-nation address, President Putin revealed several new strategic weapons systems that Russia developed after the Bush/Cheney/Bolton administration abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which had been the cornerstone of strategic stability for the previous 30 years. (John Bolton is included in that august company because, as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, he was Vice President Dick Cheney’s enforcer to put the kibosh on the ABM Treaty.)

You would not know it from the “mainstream media,” but in that same speech Putin offered to “sit down at the negotiating table” and “work together … to ensure global security” — taking into account the strategic parity Moscow claims.

Referring to what he called “our duty to inform our partners” about Russia’s claimed ability to render ABM systems “useless,” Putin added: “When the time comes, foreign and defense ministry experts will have many opportunities to discuss all these matters with them, if of course our partners so desire.”

 

To continue reading: U.S. Establishment: Nixing Arms Control

Did Putin Order the Salisbury Hit? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Nobody has established a very plausible motive for why Vladimir Putin would want to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Britain has yet to identify the assassin who tried to murder the double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England.

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson knows who ordered the hit.

“We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K.”

“Unforgivable,” says Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov of the charge, which also defies “common sense.” On Sunday, Putin echoed Peskov: “It is just sheer nonsense, complete rubbish, to think that anyone in Russia could do anything like that in the run-up to the presidential election and the World Cup. … It’s simply unthinkable.”

Putin repeated Russia’s offer to assist in the investigation.

But Johnson is not backing down; he is doubling down.

“We gave the Russians every opportunity to come up with an alternative hypothesis … and they haven’t,” said Johnson. “We actually have evidence … that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok,” the poison used in Salisbury.

Why Russia is the prime suspect is understandable. Novichok was created by Russia’s military decades ago, and Skripal, a former Russian intel officer, betrayed Russian spies to MI6.

But what is missing here is the Kremlin’s motive for the crime.

Skripal was convicted of betraying Russian spies in 2006. He spent four years in prison and was exchanged in 2010 for Russian spies in the U.S. If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?

Why wait until eight years after Skripal had been sent to England? And how would this murder on British soil advance any Russian interest?

To continue reading: Did Putin Order the Salisbury Hit?

Russia’s Reaction To The Insults Of The West Is Political Suicide, by Peter Koenig

Russia should, like so many Americans have, tell the lying US political establishment to go jump in a lake. From Peter Koenig at thesaker.is:

The onslaught of western Russia bashing in the past days, since the alleged poison attack by a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok (the inventor of which, by the way, lives in the US), on a Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, has been just horrifying. Especially by the UK. Starting with PM May, who outright accused Russia of using chemical weapons (CW) on UK grounds, without delivering any evidence. Strangely, there is no indication where Skripal and his daughter are, in which hospital the pair is being treated, no poison analysis is being published, they cannot be visited; there is absolutely no evidence of the substance they allegedly have been poisoned with – do Sergei and Yulia actually exist?

As a consequence, Theresa May expels 23 Russian diplomats, who have to leave the UK within a week. Then came Boris Johnson, the Foreign Minister clown, also an abject liar. He said, no he yelled, at his fellow parliamentarians that it was “Overwhelmingly likely, that Putin personally ordered the spy attack.” This accusation out of nothing against the Russian President is way more than a deep breach in diplomatic behavior, it is a shameful insult. – And no evidence is provided. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, in fact, said that Johnson’s personal attack on President Putin was “unforgivable”.

Not to miss out on the bashing theatre, UK Defense Secretary, Gavin Williamson, got even more insolent, Russia “should go away and shut up”. In response to all this demonizing Russia for an alleged crime, for which absolutely no proof has been provided, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that the undiplomatic comments meant that the British authorities are nervous and have “something to hide,”. Lavrov also strongly objected, wanted to initiate a joint UK-Russia investigation into the case – is he dreaming? – and responded to a question of diplomatic retaliation, yes, that Russia will also expel UK diplomates ‘soon’.

There is no doubt that the UK acted as Washington’s poodle. In the course of this anti-Russia tirade, Trump twittered that he fully supported UK’s position. Indeed, the European puppets, Macron, Merkel, May and their chief, The Donald, signed a joint statement blaming Russia for the nerve gas attack on the former double agent, “There is no plausible alternative explanation than that Russia was to blame for the attack”. Bingo, that says it all. The presstitute picks it up and airs it to the seven corners of this globe – and the western sheeple are brainwashed once again: The Russian did it.

To continue reading: Russia’s Reaction To The Insults Of The West Is Political Suicide