The media is foaming at the mouth at the prospect of a war between North Korea and the USA. Is a nuclear war likely between North Korea and the USA? Are Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un likely to go to war? We say no. It’s all theatre. Or at least, it’s all theatre now North […]
I’m not sure why anyone falls for the dishonest media spin from either side.
The current “cold war” situation owes more to an engineered conflict that is agreeable to both sides (EU/US and Russia) to distract the peasants from the domestic economic turmoil.
Creating political theatre and ‘threats’ allows governments to run loose economic policy and pour money into defence without taking a beating on the markets.
The ISIS/AQ threat is better persecuted by special forces. To be able to dump billions into new defence projects and soak up blue collared workers into a standing military you need a credible threat.
China doesn’t work so re-igniting the cold-war provides a convenient dog and pony show to distract everyone from our politicians inability to extract us from the economic quagmire they put us in.
There isn’t a single military expert who believes any conflict between NATO/Russia can ever be won by either side, regardless of the military technology employed, since as soon as either side crosses a certain line, then it would escalate to tactical nuclear options, followed by wholesale destruction from the ICBM arsenal.
Putin knows exactly how much rope he has to play with, NATO isn’t going to risk anything over places like Georgia or Ukraine, it is fairly doubtful they would do much over the Baltics. Putin would have to launch an invasion of Finland or Poland before you’d see any kind of response.
Really this is the stuff of Tom Clancy. Any war between major superpowers would plunge the entire global financial system into a collapse, global trade is too interwoven for anything over than skirmishes over non-relevant world economic players.
It’s well known that the UK could no longer even repeat the task force needed to defend the Falklands, but Argentina doesn’t gain anything from trying to take them by force again.
Putin is never going to invade Ukraine, he has the capability and stated he could be in Kiev in 2 days if he wanted (which he could). But occupying a sovereign country would bankrupt Russia and likely lead to his own regime falling.
He is a smart guy and knows real wars are now fought with the media. Market manipulation and information warfare not armour and foot mobiles.
The military talk up a threat to get bigger budgets and new kit, the media toe the line because fear sells more print than Kim Kardashian’s arse, and Putin gets to hold his political control by playing the archetype Russian bear.
Behind the scenes they all discuss what their plans are and laugh at us little people.
Whatever is said publicly the west want to keep Putin in power. He is predictable and capable of holding the country together in a manageable state. They would rather have Putin than some irrational unknown hardliners trying to be a Putin without the smarts of knowing where the line is drawn.
The west don’t care about Russian domestic policy. What they care about is stability of regimes not spooking the markets and causing economic collapse.
No doubt Putin told the US exactly what he was doing in Crimea – he’s not so stupid as to antagonise a nuclear superpower. And no doubt the American administration agreed that the strategic importance of Sevastopol was sufficient grounds for them to protect their interests without interference knowing the potential instability Ukraine was facing.
Anyone who thinks what politicians say and do, or what the media report is in any way representative of what goes on behind closed doors at this level of geopolitics has clearly fallen for the body of lies entirely woven for their benefit.
Remember. War is good business. Most of our enemies like Bin Laden and Saddam were created to serve economic purposes. Suddenly Putin is the bogeyman and Iran is our new best mate. When they want to give China an economic haircut, they’ll be next.
Don’t fall for the rhetoric from either side.
It starts out quite interesting, actually. It walks the reader through history as Cheney sees it first, starting off with the founding fathers and the usual stuff about freedom and liberty, and he dwells on the relationship between the US and Europe in the second world war somewhat.
Reading through the lines you start to see the changes in attitude from what started out as good sound principles of freedom and liberty to what we see today (not sure he intended that to show through as clearly as it does). From what I deduced, it was somewhere between the end of the Vietnam war and the arrival of Carter as president the US started to become noticeably aggressive and interventionist abroad.
The book implies that Reagan was single handedly responsible for bringing down the Berlin wall with his Brandenburg speech. Not true.
It is an interesting read initially for the non-American as it offers an insight into *why* Americans think as they do.
What is disappointing in a way is how he described the principles the US was founded on and its early development (I suppose we all knew them anyway but they are well presented therein). He describes a country that anyone would want to live in.
What I see as an outsider (and occasional visitor), is how far wide of that mark and those intended standards the US has become, both with actions abroad and the influence of big media and business on the masses and the political decision making. But that happens anywhere.
I had no opinion on Cheney one way or another, so I can read his opinions without any particular bias against the guy. He seems to have a dim view of Obama, but then again, so do most Americans.
I was finding untruths and flawed thinking early on. The bloke is the neocon of neocons.
He seems scornful of any president who didn’t want to bail into any country, all guns blazing, at the drop of a hat. He thinks the Iraq war was a terrific idea. Obama and Clinton have had scorn. He seems to like the Bushes.
It started out well but then goes downhill rapidly with his train of thought……
Then it gives a scary insight into the neocon mind. Example: Indignation that Assad didn’t step down as Obama “instructed” him to do. Really!
About a third of it is taken up with quotes from other neocons to support his worldview, with some commentary in-between.
Then follows page after page of quotes from Obama with him trying to rip it to bits. The thing was, after reading Obama’s stuff, I am actually starting to like the bloke. I didn’t before.
Then he launches into the real out there stuff: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, etc. were all *super* ideas and they should have gone much, much further.
He thinks Russia is still the USSR, and must be hemmed in and castrated at any cost. He has similar views of China.
Then, there is page after page of what he thinks the next president should do, which basically is rule the world and start World War 3 to do it.
It rounds off with a General Cheeseburger rant about “exceptional”, greatest country in the world, apple pie on Sunday, blah blah.
I can only say its great that this old duffer was put out to grass. If one who thinks like him gets in the White House in 2016, there will be a world war for sure.
All in all it was a disturbing journey into a disturbing mindset. After reading it, I am surer than I ever was of the need to contain American aggression around the world and de-dollarise. I came out of it – unintentionally – with a new-found fondness for some of Obama’s ideas.
Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America
Dangerous: Why the World Doesn’t Need a Powerful America
For the mainstream western media, lying about Russia is now just a routine part of the working day.
No British Sunday newspaper would be complete without the obligatory anti-Russian double page spread on the ‘threat’ Putin and Russia poses to somebody somewhere this week.
To get this right, one must not concern oneself with facts. Simply choose a country, any country will do, do some random Googling, make some stuff up to pad it out, but be sure to say you are “quoting a source” to absolve yourself of responsibility for what you write.
Better still, you can lend your article some surface credibility by quoting from or linking to the made up articles of others. They will return the compliment and quote yours when they write how Russia is poised to invade [insert country of choice] next week.
The concept of accurate reporting and checking sources seems to be a thing of the past.
We all saw the headlines when MH17 went down that read “Putin’s Victims” and “Putin Killed My Son”. The idea being that because the missile that hit MH17 may have once been manufactured in Russia, this makes Russia, and Putin particularly, personally responsible.
Using this logic, if my cat were to get run over by a man driving a Volkswagen, I should pen a headline that reads, “Merkel’s Killer Car Mows Down Innocent Moggie in Cold Blood”. I would then find a picture of Merkel smiling and use a sub-headline that reads, “Sources Claim Merkel Sniggered When Told of Cat Catastrophe”.
This is what happens in the western media each week. But the target isn’t Merkel and her killer Volkswagens, the target is Putin and Russia.
In many respects the headlines matter more than the article itself. Rather than read them cover to cover, the public tend to graze through the papers absorbing the headlines and the next few lines, assuming them to be a reasonable synopsis of what the article will contain proof of before they move on.
They are subsequently misled when they read the typical western media headlines on anything to do with Russia. They go away with the impression Putin is a cackling Bond villain, in his secret cave, with his finger poised over a big red nuclear button. They imagine he has planes and ships permanently poised to invade the west at any moment, and only our continued vigilance prevents these invasions.
War is Imminent. Really?
When a western media hack wants to write something bad about Russia, always better to get the word WAR in the headline. Preferably in capitals. Here is a good example from the Express a week ago.
I wasn’t the only one to find this headline tiresome and misleading.
The Express’s Defence Editor who is responsible for publication of nonsense such as this, is a chap called Marco Giannangeli. I and others decided to engage him on Twitter to find out why he published such twaddle.
After a polite exchange of views, he quickly began to distance himself from the headline.
Upon opening the Express this Sunday, lo and behold, they decided to write something altogether more factual.
For a change, there was no photo of Putin shirtless, no tales of him being poised to invade New Zealand or somewhere, and not so much made up rubbish from unnamed “sources”.
Has the penny dropped? I doubt it will last if it has. But progress is progress however fleeting it may turn out to be.
I’d like to think I had a little something to do with this. Easier to write what actually happened than make stuff up about the UK going to war with Russia as they did last week.
In Other News.
The Mail on Sunday however, is as ever, today regurgitating US State Department propaganda today with this little gem.
Russia is “bombing innocents”, apparently. The insinuation here is that if this is so, it is done on purpose. That is the take-away the casual reader gets.
To the Mail’s credit, they also give column inches to a altogether more sensible journalist who actually knows something about Russia: Peter Hitchens.
The White House and Downing Street both seethe with genuine outrage about Russia’s bombing raids on Syria.
Yet the people Vladimir Putin bombed have views and aims that would get them rounded up as dangerous Islamist extremists if they turned up in Manchester. So why do British politicians call them ‘moderates’ when Russia bombs them?
It’s not as if London or Washington can claim to be squeamish about bombing as a method of war. We have done our fair share of it in Belgrade, Baghdad and Tripoli, where our bombs certainly (if unintentionally) killed innocent civilians, including small children.
I find Peter’s articles on Russia most refreshing. As a former Moscow correspondent, he has forgot more about Russia than most tabloid hacks will ever know.
Expect More Bias on Syria Reporting.
The western media will continue to report negatively on Russia’s actions in Syria. We will see more claims about the bombing of civilians.
The Russians made clear from the outset that ISIL (ISIS) were not the sole target of their mission.
From the outset they made it clear that ensuring the survival of Syria as a state, and the survival of the legitimate government of that state were the primary goals.
Lavrov, when asked about targets said that if it looked like a terrorist than it would be treated as such.
By definition, all terrorists are civilians; so too are ‘rebels’. It is convenient when writing propaganda to muddy the water this way.
The US now considers Al-Quada (Al-Nusra) to be ‘moderate terrorists’ and therefore to be supplied and protected by the various agencies available to the US.
What is going on is that the US is struggling to find a way to justify it’s support of ISIS and other terrorists. Their support is now becoming obvious with the impact of Russian and Syrian activity upon ISIL (ISIS) and those other terrorists.
Of course these are not ‘terrorists’ but different facets of several mercenary armies bankrolled by the US and their allies; both directly and indirectly. Russia is thus correct to treat them all as being aspects of the same enemy.
The US isn’t writing the script any more. Russia will bomb other US-funded terrorists as well, even if they have pretty names. Anti-Assad terrorists are anti-Assad terrorists. It doesn’t matter what they call themselves.
Of course, our compliant western media will make some parping noises about the ones they know are western funded imagining that ‘our’ terrorists are better than ‘their’ terrorists somehow.
If you are at war with the elected government, and do terroristic things, you are a terrorist. Using that logic, the US is the world’s most prolific terrorist, but don’t expect that to be written in the newspapers either.
Russian Upper House officials and the Kremlin spokesman have dismissed media reports about an alleged request to sanction the use of Russian military forces in Syria, adding that such document never existed even in preparatory stage.
“I know nothing about this, I have seen no documents on this issue. I cannot explain where this information could be coming from,” Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday when facing the question if media reports about the request to the Federation Council to sanctions the use of the Russian military forces in Syria were true.
“Currently there are a lot of speculations in various mass media. An overwhelming majority of these reports have nothing in common with the reality. I think it would be counter-productive and silly if I started commenting on all such news,” Peskov added.
The head of the Upper House Committee for Defense and Security, Viktor Ozerov, has also said that he had no information about the document. “There is no such address in the Federation Council and, to my awareness, it is not being prepared,” Ozerov told RIA Novosti.
The comments came after US news agency Bloomberg reported, quoting its own unnamed sources, that Vladimir Putin’s administration had already prepared the request for the Federation Council’s license to send troops to Syria. The US journalists went further to suggest that Moscow planned to start an independent campaign against ISIS in the Middle East if no agreement with Washington is reached.
Russian law requires that the presidential decision to send military forces abroad should be sanctioned by the Upper House of Parliament, the Federation Council. However, in 2006 Russian senators passed a set of amendments to Federal law that allow president to send special forces in foreign countries without such sanctions as part of anti-terrorist operations.
“In theory, the fight against the Islamic State falls under the definition of fight against terrorism but last year’s events showed that despite these amendments and possibilities Vladimir Putin chose to address the Federation Council with a request to sanction the use of Russian military forces in Crimea,” Senator Ozerov told reporters.
On March 1, 2014 the Federation Council unanimously approved Vladimir Putin’s request to use Russian military forces in Ukraine in order to settle the turmoil in the split country. However, the actual troops deployment has not taken place and in June 2014 Putin asked the senators to repeal their decision in order to help the beginning of the three-party talks aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbass.
Russia currently has a small number of military specialists in Syria, most of them technical staff advising government troops on the use of Russia-made weapons.
This is a long story. That should then but, for once, because it is a matter of life and death, war and peace. The story is about the conflict in Ukraine, and about how “we” – the West – a war sucked in danger of being with Russia. Because this happens, if we are not […]