Tag Archives: War

Book Review: Exceptional – Why the World Needs a Powerful America by Dick Cheney

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

Should read:

Dangerous: Why the World Doesn’t Need a Powerful America Continue reading

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US Complains As Russia Bombs its Terrorists

This article first appeared at journal-neo.org The New York Times in its recent article, “Russians Strike Targets in Syria, but Not ISIS Areas,” attempts to frame Russia’s recent actions in Syria as dishonest and dangerous. It reports: Russian aircraft carried … Continue reading

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Taking the British Media to Task When They Lie About Russia

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.

Headlines Matter.

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.

fakenews

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.

prop1

prop2

Upon opening the Express this Sunday, lo and behold, they decided to write something altogether more factual.

exp2

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.

prop3

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. Continue reading

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America Is Using Bulgaria to Supply Arms to Ukraine

The United States is delivering arms to Ukraine via Bulgaria, an article on RIA Novosti reads.

Bulgaria is also “producing ammunition for the Ukrainian army” with US money, and Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are ready to take part in similar schemes, the text argues further.

Washington is doing so “despite official declarations” and has so far transferred about 200 sniper rifles and 400 assault rifles and 200 grenade launchers, the author, Aleksandr Hrolenko, notes [RU], arguing this “transit country” has been used for not less than 20 years “when necessary to hide traces”.

Reports about the latter role of Bulgaria emerged for the first time in December.

In his words, the aim might be to embroil Russia in a long-term military conflict.

While until recently Bulgaria and Ukraine were both partners and rivals on the international arms market, with Ukraine profiting more, this relationship changed with the developments in the Donbass region in the spring of 2014.

Reports by the press office of Ukraine’s Ukroboronprom concern are cited according to which a contract was signed last year between US arms manufacturer Barrett Firearms and a firm exporting equipment for Ukroboronprom.

Details about the arms, which were designated for the security services and the National Guard of Ukraine, have only recently emerged, RIA writes.

A US company called AMI Global Security, registered in Portland, Oregon, exported equipment at a total price of USD 7.5 M.

The name of a Bulgarian company, Bulcomers KS Ltd (previously referred to as Bulkomers in the December reports about weapons deliveries via Bulgaria) is pointed to as the “official broker” in the deal.

The arms sold to Ukraine were designed for fighting against lightly armored equipment, damaging radars and defusing ammunition and mines from a safe distance.

Part of the equipment might also be transported from Bulgaria to Ukraine in the form of “auto parts”, which the Balkan nation has traditionally been exporting.

An announcement by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov in February 2015, containing a list of items Kiev received as lethal assistance, is cited to confirm the weapons were supplied.

Reference is made to an incident this summer when a US citizen and two Bulgarians died at the Anevo military ground. Reports emerged subsequently the development had occurred during a test of arms manufactured for Syrian opposition forces fighting Islamic State.

(Back then Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski said Bulgaria was not exporting arms to Syria.)

The text also reads that Ukraine turned to the US and other states “more than once” to buy weapons. Continue reading

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Media: Putin will put forward four conditions to the West at UN General Assembly

This also is interesting if true:

As US President Barack Obama welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to the White House on Friday, Sept. 25, and spoke of the friendship between the two countries, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning-CV-16 docked at the Syrian port of Tartus, accompanied by a guided missile cruiser. This is revealed exclusively by DEBKAfile.

Beijing is not finding it hard to dance at two weddings, wooing the US for better relations, while at the same time backing Russia in its military intervention in Syria. Coupled with the warm smiles and handshakes exchanged at the lavish reception on the White House lawn, Beijing was clearly bent on showing muscle – not just in the South China Sea, but by allying itself with the Russian-Iranian political and military buildup in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his regime.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Chinese aircraft carrier passed through the Suez Canal on Sept. 22, one day after the summit in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

When they talked, Putin made no mention of the Chinese warship entering the eastern Mediterranean or its destination. Its arrival has upended the entire strategic situation surrounding the Syrian conflict, adding a new global dimension to Moscow and Tehran’s military support for Assad.

Many sources have noted the passage of Chinese warships up the Suez to the Mediterranean. These things can be tracked in just the same way as we can for aircraft.

There’s no reason at all to not believe that the story is true. The only point in question is the identity of the ships, but again, from tracking data there’s no reason to disbelieve.

I have seen reports suggesting that the new alliance in place will commenced actions against ISIS and cohorts from October 15th giving just shy of 3 weeks for materiel to reach Syria. Apparently that gives time for other Chinese ships already in transit to reach Syria and deploy.

RT is reporting now on live news Russia, Iraq, Syria and Iran coalition in place and America on the fence “thinking” about it. No mention of China yet.

Today, France has just started bombing Isil (ISIS) too.

However this is going to pan out, America will be pushed out of the solution. A necessary step as we slowly lead America to the back seat in the world order. The world needs to see that problems can be solved without American aggression and regime changes. Continue reading

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Upper House: No request from Putin to dispatch troops in Syria

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. Continue reading

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What Next After the Neocon Rape of Ukraine?

Ukraine is a disaster, a bankrupt nation run by crooks and hoodlums, in hock to another set of villains in the EU. It’s little reported in the West, but now there are major ructions in the West of the country. The problem is Right Sector, which is basically a private army of Nazis who wield crippling power, attended by gangsterism, racketeering and violence. It was they who were in the vanguard of ousting Yanukovich in 2014 (a legally elected president), and now Right Sector is pushing to eject the current band of knaves and cutthroats holding court in Kiev. It’s a real comedy of errors, except there is nothing much to laugh about. Any country that has a private army rampaging about is in for big trouble. If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas, as the saying goes. Poroshenko and his ilk could well find themselves dragged out into the streets and shot without so much as a by your leave. Mr Poroshenko, an oligarch with a somewhat dubious and shady past, had better have his private jet standing by for a quick getaway.

However, it might then be shot down and doubtless the blame would be laid on another ‘Putin’s missile’ (headline courtesy of that bastion of balanced journalism – the Sun). In case you were unaware, according to the Sun it was ‘Putin’s missile’ that shot down flight MH17 last July over Ukraine!

The West has encouraged and in fact orchestrated the mayhem and madness in Ukraine. Millions of dollars were pumped in to fund NGOs, whose ulterior motive was to bring about regime change and create chaos on Russia’s borders. And for their henchman they selected or at least condoned Nazi thugs such as Right Sector to do the dirty work. I find it ironic and sad in the extreme that our fathers and grandfathers fought a long and bitter WWII to rid the world of Nazism (helped out a great deal by Russia who lost something like 25 million souls in the effort), while today the West is turning a blind eye to its menace in Ukraine. And all in a sick and twisted geopolitical game.

The good news is that NATO has blown Mission Ukraine. Despite all the sanctions and hoo-ha, it’s hard to lend credence to the assertion that Russia is a threat and has designs on sweeping west to cut a red swathe through the heartlands of Europe. Nobody is really buying that particular brand of baloney. ‘The Russians are coming’ was always a rather empty and silly jest, anyway. On the other hand, NATO has swept east, despite the promise of Bush Sr to the Russians in the early 90s that they wouldn’t. For heaven’s sake, Russia is the biggest country in the world; it doesn’t need to go rampaging about like a bear in a glass factory.

The Baltic States and their pathetic whining about the ‘Russian threat’ are frankly a laughing stock. NATO generals and Western politicians maunder on about this ad nauseam too, but anyone with half a brain should be able to shred this tissue of lies into fragments and see it for what it is: a desperate and ill-judged move to demonize and ultimately unseat Putin in the old game of let’s change the regime. Judging by opinion polls in Russia, the plan has backfired spectacularly. An overwhelming majority of the population approves of Vladimir Putin, and the chances of ousting him appear about as likely as installing a Communist Commander-in-Chief in the White House. Incidentally, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, enjoys similar popularity at home. Continue reading

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Russian “Threat” Proves American Ignorance, Arrogance and Hypocrisy

The current situation in Ukraine was instigated by the United States. The collapse of the government, the civil war and the installation of a pro-American government, all the consequence of American meddling in the affairs of a country bordering Russia. As usual, the American media played its usual role, selling the government’s version of reality, thus making it easy to cast Putin and the Russians as the bad guys.

The Russian response, the annexation of the Crimea, moving troops near the border, whatever, would all seem reasonable to Americans if a similar crisis was happening in Mexico. Imagine the Russians deciding they didn’t like a Mexican government they claimed was too pro-American and took measures to cause its collapse, then taking an active part to ensure a government friendly to Moscow took its place. That’s what the United States has effectively done in Ukraine.

Too many Americans just don’t understand how the world works and how their own government is the instigator of so much strife in the world. If they can think they sure don’t demonstrate an ability or willingness to do so. If they did they would honestly and rationally conclude that their own government is provoking Russian near intrusions into U.S. airspace.

But since coming to that conclusion would require reading (sorry, no pictures, no tracing your finger slowly across the page, and absolutely no mouthing the words as you read them) and thinking about information more than a few minutes into the past, that’s not gonna happen. So when Americans read about Russian military aircraft flying near U.S. airspace they’re outraged because that’s the easiest reaction.

Maybe that’s exactly what the U.S. government wants. As the article points out, U.S. military surveillance can track Russian military aircraft before they leave Russian airspace. Let them get close and then intercept. Feign outrage and foster fears of Russian aggression. The terrorist bogeyman is getting old so why not return to an old favorite. All governments need a bad guy; if one’s not readily available then fabricate one. As history has demonstrated, the U.S. government is hands down, best at that.

Reaction to these Russian flights just proves what critics of American policy have been saying since the Bush administration cherry-picked “intelligence” to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, taking the United States down a permanent path of financial destruction through stupid, unnecessary and unwinnable military operations.

If another country acted similarly the American government would be ablaze with self-righteous outrage. The media would perform like the trained seal that it is and toot the government’s propaganda horn, riling the American people into an irrational, frothing patriotic fervor. Among the political class there would be calls for economic sanctions and, if the country was small and weak, threats of imminent military action.

And we do that for non-existent threats. General Joseph Dunford, nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Russia an “existential threat” to the United States. No doubt many Americans would, like zombies, nod in agreement, all because of what the media told them about outdated Russian aircraft flying close to U.S. airspace.

Ignoring tangible and ongoing threats to Russian security instigated by the United States over the last quarter century demonstrates that when it comes to American foreign policy and assessing its real consequences, ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy remains the order of the day. Continue reading

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Poroshenko Is Wondering When He WIll Be Deposed by Coup.

Kiev’s dreams of retaking Crimea and the independent regions of Donbass have finally been recognised in Washington and Brussels as the pipe dream they always were .

Russia has made it very clear that it wont accept continued American hegemony, indeed, Russia is a party to the very necessary managed decline of America as a world superpower.

America has now opened up what it calls a ‘direct channel of communication with Russia’ on the Ukraine crisis. One reason Kerry was recently in Sochi and Nuland in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Poroshenko has fired the head of the Security Service, a chap called Nalivaichenko who was rumoured to be an American operative.

The US has realised it needs to get out of Ukraine while saving face. Responsibility will be quietly passed to Russia to help bring the Ukraine crisis to an end (better late than never I suppose).

This means it is time for Poroshenko to go. But where? Putin wont rescue him as he did with his predecessor. Or if he does, it will have more strings attached than he will like.

Poroshenko is pulling up the drawbridges and trying to surround himself with his own men.

A futile attempt in my opinion. The writing is on the wall. Continue reading

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A Realistic Look at the ‘Russian Threat’ to the Baltic States.

So lets take a look at all these Russian threats to the Baltic states.

Well, there really aren’t any.

Moscow ceded these countries peacefully in the early 90’s. Why do that if you wanted them back, as some now claim? Well, the answer is Russia doesn’t want these places back. It is the largest country in the world and has enough fields and forests already. The idea is preposterous. Putin has even said so. Many times.

The media constantly spews out tales of ‘Russian troops gathering near the border’. Translation: Russian troops in Russia. Big news, eh?

‘Russian warships in the Baltic sea’ they scream. They neglect to mention that the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad just happens to be a Russian military base and is guess where? Yup – the Baltic sea. More non-news.

‘Russian bombers in EU airspace’ is another oft-touted line. What they neglect to say is the Air Force of many countries routinely violate the airspace of others. It has always been thus. Sometimes its training, sometimes it is little more than fun or a playful prod to see hoe fast they can react. America does this too.

Were any of these headlines indicative of any serious intent, the stories would be not about planes over the sea miles offshore or the odd mountain where nobody lives, the stories would be about laden bombers approaching heavily populated cities. But they are not.

The ‘Russian threats’ to the Baltics are manufactured lies in order that the US and the EU can apply pressure on Russia to counter this threat. They don’t actually exist.

The desire to lean on Russia is very much evident in the EU and the US though. For reasons we have no space to go into here, but some of which are mentioned elsewhere here. Continue reading

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