Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Time Runs Out on U.S. Opposition to Nordstream 2, by Tom Luongo

The battle over Nordstream 2 is yet another indication that the US empire is splintering. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

The Nordstream 2 pipeline represents the last stand of U.S. influence over the internal affairs of Europe.

Once finished it will stand as a testament to the fundamental split between the European Union and the United States.

Europe will this as its first successful defense of its newly-declared independence. And the U.S. will have to come to terms with no longer having control overseas.

This is a theme repeating itself all around the world right now.

Your view of Nordstream 2 depends on who you are.

If you are the U.S. it is a massive rebuke of the post-WWII institutional order mostly paid for by the U.S. to rebuild Europe and protecting it from the scourge of the U.S.S.R.

From Europe’s perspective it’s, “Job well done and all that but Russia isn’t a threat anymore and it is time for us to come out from underneath the U.S.’s shadow.”

And if you are Russia Nordtream 2 is the wedge driving these two adversaries apart while improving national security on your western border.

Europe has imperial ambitions of its own and Nordstream 2 is a very important part of that. Those ambitions, however, are not in line with those in the U.S., particularly under the “leadership” of Donald Trump.

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Putin Now Thinks Western Elites Are ‘Swine’, by Dmitry Orlov

One day western elites will bitterly rue not paying attention to Vladimir Putin, or worse, disparaging everything he said. From Dmitry Orlov at russia-insider.com:

An article I published close to five years ago, “Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over”, turned out to be the most popular thing I’ve written so far, having garnered over 200,000 reads over the intervening years. In it I wrote about Putin’s speech at the 2014 Valdai Club conference. In that speech he defined the new rules by which Russia conducts its foreign policy: out in the open, in full public view, as a sovereign nation among other sovereign nations, asserting its national interests and demanding to be treated as an equal. Yet again, Western elites failed to listen to him.

Instead of mutually beneficial cooperation they continued to speak the language of empty accusations and counterproductive yet toothless sanctions. And so, in yesterday’s address to Russia’s National Assembly Putin sounded note of complete and utter disdain and contempt for his “Western partners,” as he has usually called them. This time he called them “swine.”

The fake news media

The president’s annual address to the National Assembly is a rather big deal. Russia’s National Assembly is quite unlike that of, say, Venezuela, which really just consists of some obscure nonentity named Juan recording Youtube videos in his apartment. In Russia, the gathering is a who’s-who of Russian politics, including cabinet ministers, Kremlin staffers, the parliament (State Duma), regional governors, business leaders and political experts, along with a huge crowd of journalists. One thing that stood out at this year’s address was the very high level of tension in the hall: the atmosphere seemed charged with electricity.

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Putin on National Defense: Threats or a Bid to Negotiate on Arms Control? by Gibert Doctorow

There’s only one politician on this planet to whose every word attention should be paid. That would be Vladimir Putin. From Gilbert Doctorow at antiwar.com:

As he stated at the outset, Vladimir Putin’s annual state of the nation address today before a joint session of the nation’s bicameral legislature was devoted preponderantly to domestic policy. He was expanding on the practical implications for the Russian population of the policy priorities for his current six-year term that he set out in decrees of May 2018. These have in the meantime taken the form of national projects organized around support to families to encourage childbearing and stabilize the national demographics; housing construction and financing; roads, ports and other transport infrastructure development; improved health services; upgrading public education; encouragement to business innovation and export; and the like.

This material was delivered with a human touch, drawing on many experiences of contact with people from all walks of life that the President has gathered in specially organized meetings focused on these national projects at various cities around his vast country. He cited in particular his time in Kazan last week talking about housing.

For most political observers outside of Russia, myself included, the domestic policy story was marginal to our interests, though we did sit up and pay close attention to his brief remarks on one achievement illustrating the strides the country is making in state of the art applied sciences. This was his description of the breakthrough represented by the design and production of the hypersonic Avangard missile system. He likened it to the launch into orbit of the first Sputnik and he promised spill-over of the science into the civilian economy.

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Warsaw and Munich: Whistling Past NATO’s Graveyard, by Tom Luongo

More and more countries are not getting with US program of unipolar domination. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

If the Anti-Iran conference in Warsaw was the opening act, the annual Munich Security Conference was the main event. Both produced a lot of speeches, grandstanding and virtue-signaling, as well as a lot of shuffling of feet and looking at the ground.

The message from the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia was clear, “We are still committed to the destruction of Syria as a functional state to end the growing influence of Iran.”

Europe, for the most part, doesn’t buy that argument anymore. Germany certainly doesn’t. France is only interested in how they can curry favor with the U.S. to wrest control of the EU from Germany. The U.K. is a hopeless has-been, living on Deep State inertia and money laundered through City of London.

The Poles just want to stick it to the Russians.

Everyone else has a bad case of, “been there, done that, ain’t doin’ it again.”

They know supporting the fiction that the War in Syria was a war against the evil President Bashar al-Assad is counter-productive.

The geopolitical landscape is changing quickly. And these countries, like Hungary, Italy, and the Czech Republic, know that the current policy trajectory of the Trump administration vis a vis Russia, Iran and China is a suicide pact for them.

So they show up when called, receive our ‘diplomats’ and then pretty much ignore everything they said. This is what happened, ultimately, in Munich.

Even the EU leadership has no illusions about the goals of the U.S./Israeli/Saudi policy on Syria. And that’s why they refused to shut Russia and Iran out of the Munich Security Conference despite the hyperventilating of Pompeo’s amateur-hour State Dept.

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Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy, by Stephen F. Cohen

Why the US would want to get along with another superpower whose weapons may be able to blow out of the water and sky is a mystery. From Stephen F. Cohen at thenation.com:

Baseless Russiagate allegations continue to risk war with Russia.

The New Year has brought a torrent of ever-more-frenzied allegations that President Donald Trump has long had a conspiratorial relationship—why mince words and call it “collusion”?—with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

Why the frenzy now? Perhaps because Russiagate promoters in high places are concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller will not produce the hoped-for “bombshell” to end Trump’s presidency. Certainly, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt seems worried, demanding, “The president must go,” his drop line exhorting, “What are we waiting for?” (In some countries, articles like his, and there are very many, would be read as calling for a coup.) Perhaps to incite Democrats who have now taken control of House investigative committees. Perhaps simply because Russiagate has become a political-media cult that no facts, or any lack of evidence, can dissuade or diminish.

And there is no new credible evidence, preposterous claims notwithstanding. One of The New York Timesown recent “bombshells,” published on January 12, reported, for example, that in spring 2017, FBI officials “began investigating whether [President Trump] had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.” None of the three reporters bothered to point out that those “agents and officials” almost certainly included ones later reprimanded and retired by the FBI itself for their political biases. (As usual, the Times buried its self-protective disclaimer deep in the story: “No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.”)

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Putin warns US against misadventures, by M. K. Bhadadrakumar

Russia can take care of itself, and will do so if threatened. From M. K. Bhadadrakumar at indianpunchline.com:

(Russia’s President Vladimir Putin addresses an extended meeting of the Russian Defence Ministry Board in the National Defence Management Centre in Moscow, Dec 18, 2018)

The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to an expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board in Moscow on December 18 stands out as a tour d’horizon of the global strategic balance. The speech must be seen against the backdrop of the free fall in US-Russia relations, build-up of NATO infrastructure on Russia’s western borders and, in particular, the Trump administration’s statements about the US withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987.

Broadly, Putin’s message is in three directions:

The modernization of Russian armed forces has been most successful and the combat readiness of Russian military is at an all-time high level;

Russia has developed new hypersonic weapons of immense destructive power, which are going into serial production for deployment with the strategic nuclear forces to which the US simply has no answer;

Russia is determined to ensure that any US attempts to tilt the strategic balance in its favor will be effectively countered.

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Trump Folds at G-20 on Everything, by Tom Luongo

Trump has been neutered. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

I knew there was something wrong with Donald Trump’s presidency the day he bombed the airbase at Al-Shairat in Syria.  It was a turning point.  I knew it was a mistake the moment he did it and argued as such at the time.

No act by him was more contentious.

It cost me hundreds of followers gained throughout the campaign who wanted to believe Trump was playing 4-D chess.  My Periscopes went from being events to afterthoughts.

Those that left needed to believe this because they had invested so much in him.

They had to believe he was playing some deep game with Putin to bring peace to the region.

He wasn’t.

I was right and truth is painful.  The need for him to be Orange Jesus was so strong they created Qanon and the ‘science’ of political horoscope as slowly but surely Trump was stripped of all of his power except that of complaining about how unfair it all is.

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