Voices from Russia

Monday, 8 August 2016

Hillary, Queen of War: The Road Map Ahead

00 Give Peace a Chance. atomic fireball. 21.09.13

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It All Starts With a Wahhabi-Zionist Lovefest

The Saudi Foreign Ministry had to go on non-denial denial overdrive about a visit to Israel on 22 July by a delegation led by retired General Anwar Eshki. Eshki happens to be close to Saudi intel superstar and onetime close Osama bin Laden pal Prince Turki bin Faisal, who recently met in the open with former Israel Defence Forces (IDF) generals Yaakov Amidror and Amos Yadlin. Whilst in Israel, Eshki met with Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, and Major General Yoav Mordechai, the top IDF honcho in the West Bank. There’s absolutely no way the House of Saud wouldn’t have given a green light for such a visit… and such a high-level meeting. By the way, the Interior Ministry in Saudi Arabia bans all travel to Israel… as well as to Iran and Iraq. So what’s the big deal? The Israelis spun it as the Saudis… fronting for the Arab League… offering normalisation of ties with the Arab world without Israel abdicating from anything on the Palestinian front. The only thing Tel Aviv would have to do, later, is to adopt the 2002, Saudi-proposed Arab peace initiative.

That’s nonsense. For starters, the ultra right-wing Zionists in power in Tel Aviv will never accept reverting to the pre-1967 borders and recognising the state of Palestine. What was “discussed” was a non-deal, even as Tel Aviv gloats:

Important Arab states are willing to openly embrace us, even though we haven’t given up one inch of the West Bank and even as we continue to control al-Aqsa Mosque.

If the Arab League ever embarked on such a blatant non-deal, forever throwing the Palestinians under myriad bulldozers, chances are oligarchies and petromonarchies all across the spectrum would start booking that one-way ticket to London.

That Moscow-Tehran-Ankara Alliance

So what did they actually talk about? Predictably, they talked about the imminent prospect of the Full Spectrum Dominatrix finally taking over the White House. The Obama administration reduced both Bibi Netanyahu in Tel Aviv and de facto House of Saud ruler and Prince of War Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh to the status of proverbial euphemistic “estranged allies”. Between them, they’re de facto allies… even as they can’t admit it to the Arab street. Both are dead sure, under the Queen of War, there’d be… what else… war. The question is against whom.

Informed speculation has it that the common enemy of the Saudis and Israelis, Iran, would be the target. That’s complicated. Indeed, the joint Saudi/Israeli strategy across the Middle East is in tatters. Tehran isn’t stuck in a quagmire… neither in Syria nor in Iraq. ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and assorted “moderate rebels”… covertly supported by the Saudi/Israeli axis… are on the run, even if they insist they aren’t “al-Qaeda” anymore. In fact, an unwinnable war on Yemen entraps Prince of War bin Salman. Then, there’s the spectacular post-coup pivot by Sultan Erdoğan in Turkey… for all practical purposes abandoning those elaborate no fly zone dreams of annexing a post-Assad Syria to his neo-Ottoman set up. The House of Saud is livid, as Turkish diplomats have started to spread this blockbuster news… Erdoğan proposed to Iran’s Rouhani an all-embracing alliance with President Putin to find a definitive solution to the Middle East riddle.

However erratic Erdoğan’s agenda may be, the upcoming Putin-Erdoğan face-to-face meeting may de facto discuss a possible icebreaking new deal between Moscow and Ankara. All geopolitical signs at this stage point…  albeit tentatively… towards a revived Russia/Iran/Turkey alliance, even as a horrified House of Saud is going no-holds-barred to gain Moscow’s trust by offering “untold wealth” and privileged access to the GCC market. As confirmed by a top Western intel source:

The Saudis are definitely keeping all contacts open with the Kremlin. The Saudi King is in Tangiers now and met Russian envoys there. They mean what they say. However, Putin won’t abandon Assad. There has to be a compromise. Both need it.

President Putin is in a privileged spot. Even without accepting the Saudi offer… it’s just a promise, with no ironclad guarantees… Russia holds the best cards, as in a quite problematic but ultimately possible Moscow-Tehran-Ankara alliance that is all about Eurasian integration (and a future seat for Turkey, alongside Iran, in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO). For its part, a Saudi-Moscow alliance  would inevitably lead a Queen of War administration towards… what else… régime change in Riyadh disguised as R2P; “responsibility to protect” the Saudi populace. One should expect Hillary crony Samantha Power to defend it vehemently at the UN.

It’s All About the Three Harpies

Yet, considering the Queen of War’s instincts, all signs do point towards Iran. The manual/blueprint/road map for Hillary’s wars is arguably here, in this very dangerous intersection between American neocons and neoliberalcons. The head of the CNAS think tank one-third (Michele Flournoy) of what I dub The Three Harpies; Hillary Clinton, Flournoy and… the most terrifying words in the English language… probable US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the possible lethal trio in charge of foreign policy under a Clinton Three administration. In fact, this is PNAC (the Project for a New American Century) on steroids, with echoes of the warlike 1992 US Defence Planning Guidance disguised under the soothing rhetoric of benevolent hegemony and “rules-based international order”. If the Trump campaign managed to restrain his motor-mouth and/or motor-tweet instincts and focus on what this warmongering opus means for the USA and the world at large, they’d strike a chord with millions of undecided American voters. For all her bluster, and that rise to unheard-of hysterical levels, the Full Spectrum Dominatrix won’t be foolish enough to launch a war…one that’d inevitably be nuclear… against either Russia (Baltics as a pretext) or China (South China Sea as a pretext), the Pentagon’s top two “existential threats”. In Syria, on the other hand, by January 2017 al-Qaeda/not al-Qaeda goons formerly known as “moderate rebels” will be mostly six feet under.

Erdoğan may be making NATO’s life in Turkey unbearable. As the Queen of War is in AIPAC’s pocket, and considering the Clinton Foundation’s by now legendary cosy ties with the House of Saud, the war target would have to be the Saudi/Israeli preferred target, on top of it pro-Damascus and in close touch with both Ankara and Moscow… Iran. However, how does one pull it off? One avenue, already being explored, is to bomb by all means… and not figuratively… the Iran nuclear deal. A concerted campaign in American mainstream media is already burying the deal; and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei… as reported in the USA… is on the record saying one can’t trust Washington:

They tell us, “Let’s talk about regional issues, too”. However, the experience of the nuclear deal suggests this is deadly poison… in no way can you trust the Americans.

So, expect from Team Clinton the proverbial media barrage of dodgy spin, baseless accusations, and the occasional, perfectly positioned false-flag to lure Tehran into a trap, like, for instance, in neoliberalcon wishful thinking, Iran reviving its nuclear programme. Of course, this won’t happen, but the powerful anti-Iran lobby in the US Congress will use a Hellfire barrage of disinformation to sort of make it happen, even as an illusion. All this while Iran, amongst other development matters, is busy planning a new transportation corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, connecting to Armenia, Georgia, and Bulgaria, and positioning the nation as a key trade hub connecting the Arab world in the south and west, Central Asia in the north, and Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east, all the way to Europe. Once again, Eurasian integration on the move. Tehran has myriad reasons to be on red alert if the Full Spectrum Dominatrix gets her hands on the nuclear codes (how’s that not scarier than Trump?)  She’d act as a surefire faithful servant of the Saudi/Israeli alliance. The road map is ready. Moreover, neocons and neoliberalcons alike can hardly contain their excitement at seeing in action “a force that can flex across several different mission sets and prevail”.

4 August 2016

Pepe Escobar

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160804/1043937453/hillary-clinton-war-queen.html

Thursday, 2 April 2015

BREAKING NEWS! Tehran and World Powers Reach Solutions on Iranian Nuclear Programme

00 Iran nuclear programme. political cartoon. 02.12.13

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On Thursday, according to a joint statement issued by negotiators, Iran and other international powers reached “solutions on key parameters” of Tehran’s nuclear programme following eight-day talks in Switzerland. The agreement envisages converting the Fordow facility into a nuclear physics centre with no fissile material. The parties agreed that the Natantz facility would remain as the only nuclear power plant in the country. Under the deal, Tehran agreed not to create nuclear weapons. Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter that drafting an agreement should start immediately, with a June 30 deadline to finish the process. In a Tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said ahead of the press conference on the results of the talks in Switzerland on Thursday, “Found solutions. Ready to start drafting immediately”. EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini tweeted that the final ministerial meeting of the talks was over, adding, that there was “good news”. Iranian media reports suggest that the parties reached a deal on centrifuges; Tehran agreed to slash centrifuges to 6,000 from the current 19,000. Reportedly, the agreement will be in force for ten years. Press-TV reported the joint statement would announce the lifting of multilateral European and unilateral US financial sanctions against Iran.

2 April 2015

RT

http://rt.com/news/246297-iran-nuclear-talks-lausanne/

Editor:

Now, it’s obvious why Boehner invited Satanyahu to address the Congress. He wanted to knacker the agreement between Iran and the West. Let’s face it, he has moles and ratfinks in Foggy Bottom; he didn’t like what he heard from them. Therefore, in an attempt to knacker the pact before it even got off the ground, he invited his pal Bibi. Unfortunately for Boehner, Bibi was in the midst of an election (and subsequent coalition building), which meant that Bibi would be out of the loop for at least three weeks whilst he cobbled together a governing coalition. The EU, Russians, and Chinese took their chance… Israel can do nothing, as the Shin Bet, Aman, and Mossad are all against a strike on Iran, and Bibi’s tied up in horse-trading with political rivals. This leaves the US Republican Party holding the bag. Watch Cruz, Rubio, Cotton, et al make jackasses of themselves (just watch them try to take the praise for this and try to placate their Israeli pals at the same time… of course, they can’t do it… their attempt will be pathetic, funny, and fitting).

It’s going to piss off Satanyahu… but as the most junior partner in the concern, well, his voice isn’t much heeded outside of the US Congress (who, like all their predecessors, are bought n’ paid-for whores of the first water). Iran gets sanctions lifted… Russia and China cement their relationship with Iran… France and Germany get exports to Iran… Barack Obama gets another feather in his cap… John Boehner et al get the cardboard box. Payback is a motherfucker, ain’t it?

BMD

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Iran Rejects AP Report of Agreement with USA on Nuclear Materials Shipment to Russia

01 Iran atom bomb

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On Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected an Associated Press (AP) report of an alleged agreement with the USA on the list of nuclear materials intended for shipment to Russia. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Marzieh Afkham said that the report on an agreement between Iran and the USA on a formula to reduce Tehran’s nuclear programme is “baseless”. Mehr quoted Ms Afkham as saying, “There’s been no deal on any issue” regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. She also said that such media reports aim to “complicate” and “demolish” the nuclear talks. On Friday, citing diplomatic sources, the AP reported that Iran and the USA tentatively agreed on a formula that Washington hoped would reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms by committing it to ship to Russia much of the material needed for such weapons. The report came as Iran and the six world powers were preparing to have the second round of talks on the Iran nuclear issue in Geneva on 15 January. After failing to reach an agreement by 24 November 2014, Iran and the six world powers (Russia, China, the UK, the USA, and France plus Germany) decided to extend their discussions for seven more months. Western nations suspect Iran of using its nuclear research for developing atomic weapons whilst Iran insists that its nuclear programme is only for peaceful purposes.

3 January 2015

ITAR-TASS        

http://itar-tass.com/en/world/770286

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Russia’s Successes: A Likely Trap?

00 Russia and USA. Syria. 31.08.13

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Editor’s Note:

One of the best things that I’ve read lately, with little wasted verbiage. It’s a read n’ heed. It beats anything available from the American spin machine (eat shit and die, CNN and Fox). Good stuff…

BMD

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One can only marvel at how quickly things change. Just a short while ago, Russia seemed to be retreating on all diplomatic fronts. An attack on Syria was just around the corner, with Iran likely to fall victim next. The Ukraine was rushing full tilt towards association with the EU. All Russia’s efforts were failing. Three months later, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rides confidently in post, there’s been an unexpected diplomatic breakthrough in relations with Iran, whilst the EU summit in Vilnius, which was conceived as a triumph for a United Europe, whose powerful appeal couldn’t be resisted by the two prospective associated members… Armenia and the Ukraine… ended in a flop.

What changed? Nothing. The circumstances are the same, as is the overall alignment of forces. All the main characters behave as they did before. Then, why does Moscow, the putative former number one loser, unexpectedly look like the most skilful player in the tactical, if not strategic, field? It turns out that the linchpin of success in a world in which nothing is clear, no rules are in effect, and where former mainstays crumble away, is adherence to a consistent principle… maybe, any principle, as long as the stance is firm enough. Principles aren’t EU-style values, nor are they Soviet-style ideology. Behavioural principles are a system of views on what the world is all about, and how you should act to conform to norms that may not necessarily exist in written form.

The accepted view on Russia in general, and on President Vladimir Putin’s Russia in particular, is of a country pursuing an archaic foreign policy, reliant on an old-fashioned arcane armamentarium. Its representations hinge on national sovereignty‘s inviolability, which prevails over all new tidings regarding “responsibility to protect”, which implies the right of outside forces to interfere in the internal affairs of a state. This stance exemplifies a legalistic approach, which means that all global players must respect international law, provided that the prime principle, sovereignty, doesn’t require that you deviate from the former for the sake of its assertion. This is why Russia, which normally reveres the UN and its institutions, is so blasé about the ruling of the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea with regard to the Greenpeace ship.

In the last analysis, Russia believes that… no matter what people say about various new types of power… good old “hard power” will always prevail. Moreover, there isn’t even any need to use it. As a rule, it’s enough just to show resolve. Finally, relations between countries amount to an unending fight for power and prestige, as Hans Morgenthau, a classical author of the political realism school, used to say. Thus, it’s inadmissible to let incantations that there are no winners in the “zero-sum game” in the modern world delude you. Inherent in the Russian tradition, these views attained their purest and most consummate form under Putin, particularly, after his recent return to the Kremlin. He’s convinced that only a firm mainstay… a real one, if available, or an intellectual construct, if everything were falling apart… would help a nation survive amidst growing chaos. The classical approaches to international relations are supposed to perform precisely this function.

Current results show that this approach works, because this persistence in a certain method sets Russia apart from other major players. The EU talks about values and applies this yardstick to different situations from the Middle East and North Africa to Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Without analysing the causes, one can only state that it’s a failure everywhere. No one sees the EU as an influential actor in the Middle East, nor is it getting on with SNG countries, where, seemingly, it should be able to enjoy every advantage. The USA prefers an ideologically-consistent approach, dividing participants in conflicts into “progressives” and “retrogrades”. However, the Mideast reality can drive everyone to despair. As developments forge ahead, they’re less and less amenable to fitting into this simple framework. Hence, one sees them thrashing about in search of the “right side of the story”.

Russian policies led to Moscow’s growing prestige, but in itself, this fact can become a trap because it generates growing expectations. Incoherent American behaviour in the Middle East and its attempts to play down its presence and activity are leading to a vacuüm, with everyone habitually looking at Russia as someone best fit to fill it. Who else can do it, if you think about it? The memory of the role played by the USSR there is still alive and there aren’t any other candidates in sight. China shies away from liabilities as if they could burn its fingers. Paradoxically, Russia has no intention whatsoever to come back to this part of the world as the main outside force. Neither was this the aim of its Syrian policy, which, properly speaking, it didn’t directly aim at the Middle East itself. The important thing for Russia was to make everyone realise the above principle… interference with the aim of régime change is inadmissible because it’s a path to all-out ruin.

Largely, this comeback materialised because others made blunders, but now Moscow isn’t sure how it should capitalise on this achievement. Of course, Moscow isn’t averse to signing more arms contracts, but people expect something else… on a grander scale. Yet, Russia isn’t ready to get embroiled in the largely-hopeless affairs of the region. The Ukraine, it’d seem, is another matter. Russia’s stake is obvious. Nevertheless, the spirit of rivalry will fizzle out, leaving questions about what to do with so close a neighbour. After all, Kiev didn’t make a choice in favour of Moscow. Once again, it simply bowed out of choosing in the hope that it’d be in a place to extort benefits from both parties. Riding the crest of a wave of success, Russia might launch a stick-and-carrot offensive to inveigle Kiev into its institutional embrace, but there’s a high risk that all inputs would go down the drain without any visible effect and that relations with the Ukraine would stagnate. When all the tumult dies down, the drift towards the West continues regardless of the vacillating priorities of the authorities. It’s an odd situation.

The Russian leadership feels the world’s instability better than others do, and it uses this knowledge to its advantage. However, the more success that they achieve, the less it’s clear what they should do about it. Russia doesn’t know what it’d like to be in the future, what role it should play, and what priorities it should set. This is the most important thing. It’s developed a view of the world that helps it get tactics right, but it lacks an equally systemic view of itself, which should decide its strategy. However, tactics alone are a short-term asset.

01 Fyodor Lukyanov RIA-Novosti2 December 2013

Fyodor Lukyanov

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/columnists/20131202/185206810/Uncertain-World-Russias-Successes-A-Likely-Trap.html

 

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