Voices from Russia

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Why J-Lo Is More Ethical Than Our Greatest Statesmen

01 Mammon

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I’m not sure when I first became aware of the oeuvre of the “singer” Jennifer Lopez… she of the two-note vocal range… but it may well have been when I was living in Kazakhstan in late 1999. As the new millennium approached, her track Waiting for Tonight was in heavy rotation on the German music channel I got with my satellite TV package. It was utterly rotten, but better than the works of Die Fantastischen Vier (click here), so I sometimes let it play out. Anyway, that early association of J-Lo + Central Asian autocracy might explain why I was neither shocked nor all that bothered when word got out that Jenny from the Block performed for Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the dictator of Turkmenistan. I mean… commercial pop star accepts cash for performance… whoa, stop the presses!

Yes, yes, I know, Berdymukhamedov’s a nasty man. That’s true. However, you know what? I recall that when I was in Kazakhstan, Vanessa-Mae (click here)… now largely forgotten, but at that time considered a superhot pop/classical act… played in the capital Astana during the New Year celebrations and nobody cared. Indeed, lots of pop stars have performed for shady types in oppressive post-Soviet régimes for two decades now. Nevertheless, since J-Lo isn’t yet totally washed up, all of a sudden, it’s news. Of course, J-Lo’s entourage claimed that she wouldn’t have performed for Berdymukhamedov had she known who he is… apparently none of them heard of this thing called “Google”. Then, a human rights organisation revealed that she’s raked in as much as 10 million bucks (325 million Roubles. 7.7 million Euros. 6.6 million UK Pounds) over the years performing in Azerbaijan, Belarus, and elsewhere, and has even serenaded the ever-charming Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya, so the professed innocence seems dubious.

Of course, she’s hardly alone in her penchant for entertaining dodgy geezers… Beyonce and Mariah Carey once sang for members of Gaddafi’s family; Sting hung out with Islam Karimov’s daughter for ca$h; and lots of celebrities chilled at Kadyrov’s expense, from Hilary Swank to Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu. It’s the same story every time (unless you’re Depardieu, who doesn’t care)… “Oh, I didn’t know…” even as they’re trousering a wad of dollars, which some later gave away out of sincere regret/for face-saving PR (delete as appropriate). You can believe their claims of ignorance if you like, but, you know, Gaddafi was kind of famous, and, as I said, there’s this thing called Google…

The selectiveness of the outrage bothers me. You see, all of these celebrities are clear about what they do… they perform for money. J-Lo is a businesswoman and she does business in dodgy places, like ExxonMobil or Coke or Apple. However, she’s a trivial person; she doesn’t matter. If we’re going to savage her, then, there are some bigger targets we ought to focus on first. Like Tony Blair, for instance… his consulting agency Tony Blair Associates is currently advising the government of Kazakhstan in exchange for buckets of cash. That’s much dodgier than an aging single mother of two dancing for some khan in the desert; indeed, dancing for the khan is more honourable… it’s an ancient art and comes free of Tony Blair’s self-righteous, self-exculpatory blather.

What about Bill Clinton, everybody’s favourite vegan ex-president? He makes millions each year blathering away to foreigners; a speech from Clinton can cost you half a million bucks (16.25 million Roubles. 400,000 Euros. 325,000 UK Pounds), and he won’t even put on a skin-tight sparkly dress for you. Sometimes, he talks to Canadians and Swedes, but if the payday is good enough, he’ll jet off to Saudi Arabia, a country so oppressive it makes Turkmenistan look like a San Francisco nudist colony circa 1968. The rulers of assorted oppressive oil-rich regimes gain a lot of cachet by hosting Clinton. What prestige did Berdymukhamedov gain by having the fading singer of Love Don’t Cost a Thing mime on stage for him? Zero.

Then, there’s Al Gore, who hates global warming so much that he sold his rubbish TV station to the Emir of Qatar for 500 million USD (16.25 billion Roubles. 380 million Euros. 330 million UK Pounds), and I needn’t add that the champion greenhouse-gas-generating emir isn’t known for his progressive views either. Sure, Gore got a bit of stick for that, but not enough. That’s not fair. Has J-Lo spent her career banging on about human rights in Central Asia only to turn against everything she’d ever said as soon as the payout was awesome enough? No. On the other hand, Al Gore smeared himself with filthy lucre as quick as he could.

Let’s be reasonable here. J-Lo is paid to entertain. Sometimes, she entertains unpleasant people. However, she’s got a toy boy… she has to keep him in bling, you understand, and, at least, she works hard for an hour or so on stage to get her money. Compare that with some of the most respected, allegedly enlightened statesmen of our age who’ll spout platitudes at just about any old thug if the bucks are big enough. I know who I think is more honest.

17 July 2013

Daniel Kalder

RIA-Novosti

http://www.en.rian.ru/columnists/20130717/182283906/Transmissions-from-a-Lone-Star-Why-J-Lo-Is-More-Ethical-Than-Our.html

As John Robles Sees It… Broadcasting Board of Governors to be US “Ministry of Truth”, Next Step in Information War

00 Right Wing Lies. 18.07.13

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In what looks like a desperate move by the US government to manipulate and misinform the US populace due to the waning popularity of Congress, the Intelligence Community, the “War” Department, and the President, on 2 July the US government quietly lifted a prohibition on allowing government-produced propaganda to be directed at Americans inside the USA. The new “modifications” to the Smith-Mundt Act will allow propaganda produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the propaganda arm of the US government, which broadcasts Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, to be fed to and directed at the American populace. That is, in their words, “they’ll provide access” to their “material” so Americans can see what’s being broadcast abroad.

If you’re reading this, then, you’re one of a growing number of the world’s English-reading population that’s sought news and information from non-US corporate or government-controlled entities. Whether you’re interested in hearing unbiased reporting, seeking the truth, attempting to get the whole story, or trying to get an opposing view, you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to the internet, it’s possible for people, both in the USA as well as the world, to access non-US-based independent and alternative media in order to get a real perspective about events that don’t go through American filters, which may be biased or censored.

An example of such bias might be calling Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi a dictator rather than a leader, calling foreign-import terrorists and cannibals in Syria “rebels”, or calling Edward Snowden a traitor rather than a whistleblower. Examples of censorship and blackouts are even more numerous and insidious, some examples include the complete media blackout that exists in the UK with regard to Julian Paul Assange, the limited reporting in the USA on Snowden, or the complete and almost total blackout and manipulation that exists in Serbia and on any news coming out of that country. A couple years back, US Secretary of State Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton indignantly complained that the USA was losing the global media war. Apparently, the US government thought that the internet would be an American-controlled propaganda distribution and spying tool, but unfortunately for Washington, this hasn’t been the case, as the internet allowed Americans to access alternative media and alternative views.

This latest step in the American media mind-control battle is chilling for many reasons. The extreme and violent reaction by the US government to the recent revelations of it own illegality by WikiLeaks, Bradley Edward Manning, and now Edward Snowden, to name a few, shows just how truly terrified and obsessed the US government is, now that its illegality is revealed. The Obama Administration and the US government’s war on journalists, whistleblowers, and truth-seekers and their continuing attempts to control, muzzle, and censor the internet and the American mass media hasn’t been enough apparently. Now, the USA wants to transmit propaganda to the American populace, in effect, filling the information vacuum they’re creating with their own “manufactured” content, therefore, nullifying the mission and the purpose of the Fourth Estate.

This latest move makes it appear even more as if the US government is using George Orwell’s Oceania as a blueprint for the new “Amerika” and the “Homogenous American World” planned by the Project for a New American Century… a plan that needed an event such as 9/11 to serve as a catalyst. 9/11 allowed for the total global military expansion of the USA and its surrogate NATO, in order to force the world into submission if it decides it doesn’t want to be part of a Homogenous American World. We’ve seen the endless state of war that the citizens of Oceania had to live with brought to reality with the endless “Global War on Terror”, with endless threats and fabricated battles against “evil” leaders such as Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar Hafez al-Assad, and ex-CIA asset Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, with countries destabilised and invaded by the USA as examples of how terrible the world is, and how “honourable and “just” Big Brother is in “protecting American lives” and “spreading democracy”.

We’ve also seen the complete and total surveillance state that the Oceanians had to live under realised though the internet and the NSA’s PRISM and related programmes. With the help of “Internet Giants”, the American populace has become glued to their monitors and their narcissistic social media pages ready to accept that everything they do on-line is recorded and watched by “Big Brother” in order to guarantee their own safety. Microsoft even has a patent, taken out in 2011, for something almost exactly like the Oceanian telescreen surveillance system. Even Oceania’s Ministry of Love and the constant fear of torture or secret indefinite arrest have been realised with the knowledge that the USA tortures and renditions, and maintains “Ministry of Love”-type installations in Guantánamo and Super Max. Moreover, the US government can now drone and indefinitely detain Americans without charge or trial or contact with the outside world. The only thing that was lacking, as if the corporate-controlled American mass media, which almost never goes against the government line, wasn’t enough, was an Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Orwell wrote, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”. With the allowing of US government manufactured propaganda to be directed at Americans, the USA now has its own internal Ministry of Truth.

The wording of the legislation and the ease by which it will be manipulated will soon make Americans the subject of Ministry of Truth-type propaganda. Not only will your news be filtered, Americans, as it is now, but now it’ll also be cleverly manufactured. At this point, the only hope for Americans is that the US State Department, which controls the BBG, is as inept as “winning the hearts and minds” of Americans as they are at winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the world. There was probably a good reason why it was illegal for the US State Department to broadcast “internally-authored news stories” that are broadcast around the world by US government-controlled and -financed broadcasters. However, in the name of “security” and “terror”, Americans have been conned into letting another right fall to the wayside through the passing of this new law. In an extreme scenario, one could view this as the death of the Fourth Estate.

The bill to change the Smith-Mundt Act was introduced by US Representatives William “Mac” McClellan Thornberry (R-TX), and David Adam Smith (D-WA). They pushed the entire security and terror reasoning to the extreme with Smith saying in 2012, “Effective strategic communication and public diplomacy should be front-and-centre, as we work to roll back al-Qaeda’s and other violent extremists’ influence among disaffected populations. An essential part of our efforts must be a coordinated, comprehensive, adequately-resourced plan to counter their radical messages and undermine their recruitment abilities. To do this, Smith-Mundt must be updated to bolster our strategic communications and public diplomacy capacity on all fronts and mediums, especially online”. We know that the USA already censors, blocks, and shuts down al-Qaeda and extremist sites worldwide and the internal American internet is almost under a complete and total lockdown. So, what’s the real reason for allowing government manufactured propaganda to be directed at the American masses? Big Brother needs a voice to maintain his power and legitimacy, this change to the Smith-Mundt Act gives it that.

Look for the Ministry of Truth, coming soon, in subtle ways, to the American populace.

00 John Robles. VOR 06.1217 July 2013

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_07_17/Broadcasting-Board-of-Governors-to-be-US-Ministry-of-Truth-next-step-in-information-war-2897/

Editor’s Note:

Guess Who works for the BBG? Yep… Victor Potapov. This piece means that the BBG (and RFE/RL and VOA) are on the Centre‘s shit-list. This means that Darling Fr Victor may become persona non grata at the Centre (one can hope). Freddie M-G is part of Uncle Sugar‘s spin-machine, too… she works (or worked) for NPR as a manager. Two propagandists for the price of one! Perhaps, Hilarion Kapral should rethink allowing her to speak at ROCOR parishes, as she’s part of (or was part of) the American dezinformatsiya apparat (of course, it goes twice as much for Potapov). Let’s not forget Fatso… he’s part of the rightwing K Street slimeocracy and the Moonie crowd at the Washington Times. Well, well, well… shitbirds of a feather DO flock together. Do we really want such sorts amongst us in influential places? Interesting question, no?

One last thing… the BBG is a well-known Langley front. Do we really want those mixed up with such questionable sorts as influential clerics/figures in our Church? That’s the $64,000 Question

BMD 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Will Russia be Able to Weather the Tempests and Storms?

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For decades, Western propaganda trumpeted that the USSR and its “satellites” were to blame for conflicts in the world and the appearance of trouble spots on the planet’s map. Western politicians and the media brazenly claimed that the USSR harboured expansionist plans. Twenty years have passed since the collapse of the USSR. Has the world become any safer? What do we see today? The planet sinks ever deeper into a quagmire of chaos and violence. Acute interstate, social, and religious conflicts flare up, more than ever before. Even in once-prosperous Europe, mass protest actions mount against the attempts of the bourgeois authorities to make not only the proletariat, but also the so-called middle class, bear the brunt of the deepening crisis caused by the greed of the global oligarchy.

However, the most acute and violent conflicts rage outside Europe. Tensions around Iran have built up for many years, and one hears ever-more vocal threats of military intervention against that country. The DPRK is under constant pressure. In the heart of Africa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for many years, a civil war simmered away unabated. The West’s insane policy with regard to Libya didn’t only destroy one of the most successful states on the continent, but had dire consequences for neighbouring countries. For example, Northern Mali fell into the hands of religious fanatics; it’s seceded for all intents and purposes. A similar process is taking place in East Africa, where the split of Sudan led to a state of constant armed confrontation between its northern and southern parts.

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Islamist rebels in Syria

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At present, the Middle East is the focus of stormy events. Immediately after the Second World War, the region became a source of constant tension and numerous wars because Israel and its Western allies refused to comply with UN resolutions on ending its occupation of Arab territories, the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland, and the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Meanwhile, during the past two years, almost all the Middle Eastern and North African states were destabilised to varying degrees. Today, a fratricidal civil war ramps up in Syria. Afghanistan and Iraq are areas of great instability. In Turkey, Kurds wage an armed struggle for national liberation. Most recently, relations between the People’s Republic of China and Japan deteriorated sharply over territorial disputes.

None of this is happening accidentally. Of course, each of these conflicts has its own internal causes. However, the main source of global instability is due to the Western powers’ policy of seeking to impose a neo-colonialist development scenario on the whole of mankind. Again, the world is at a turning point in its history. Contrary to recent cheerful claims that the economic recession’s over, capitalism sinks deeper and deeper into an all-embracing crisis. This is inevitable because it hasn’t eliminated the underlying causes of the crisis. This time around, it hit Europe, where a whole group of countries faces bankruptcy. The ruling élites are trying to shift the burden of the crisis onto the shoulders of the mass of the population. Contradictions between the collective character of modern production and the private appropriation of its results have sharpened.

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In what direction will the world move? One needn’t say that the world élite will seek to preserve a capitalist system of social organisation dominated by the “golden billion”, which wallows in money and parasitic consumption. That being said, the more farsighted members of the privileged are beginning to understand and admit that the West is driving the world into a dead end. Franz Müntefering, the leader of the SPD, said, “In 1990, when communism and its planned economy found themselves on their knees, we rejoiced in vain, believing that now the social market economy finally triumphed. In reality, after that, a different capitalism developed throughout the world, with all of its abuses and without any of its social component. Communism exerted a disciplining impact on capitalism. We must consign the present form of capitalism, which doesn’t feel responsible to man and society, to the dustbin. We must stop the abuses of unbridled financial capital”. Former German President Horst Köhler (CDU) said that he saw the breakdown of “Anglo-Saxon capitalism“, run by gamblers and adventurers, saying, “Money-making without rules, without responsibility, and without conscience has collapsed”. The leaders of other European countries echo him. The President of the USA, from which the paroxysms of crisis shaking the whole world emanate, never tires of urging the need for change… sweeping, profound, and fundamental change. Obama hurls accusations at “fat cats”, who grow richer, even at the peak of the economic crisis.

Therefore, sober Western leaders already realise that the “uncontrolled self-regulating market economy” model has reached an impasse and that we need to scrap it. However, the formal leadership doesn’t always lay down foreign policy guidelines. Neoconservatives hidden in the bowels of the American establishment express the interests of the more aggressive transnational monopolies and banks, whose interest is in global control over markets and in political diktat. They believe that they can reach both these ends by using military force, which they increasingly buttress with aggressive information and propaganda campaigns. Another element in the neocons’ strategy is managed chaos. It only seems that all the events referenced above are spontaneous. There’s a profound inner link between them; all of them, to varying degrees, manifest the class strategy of the most-belligerent Western circles, which seek to subjugate the whole world.

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The West is the main sponsor of international terrorism, which it uses to further its global ends. There’s a growing conviction in the world that American power structures planned the events of 9/11 (the terrorist strike on New York) to provide a pretext for a “worldwide offensive against international terrorism”, which is, in reality, an expansion of American global economic, military, and media power. However, the concept of a unipolar world is crumbling and collapsing in front of our eyes. Even Zbigniew Brzeziński, a foremost apologist of American globalism, admits the failure of the “American dream” in his recent book. That’s why socialism is increasingly attractive in the 21st century as a new focus of civilisation. Above all, it connotes a harmonious development of productive forces, a reasonable level of consumption, and a prudent attitude to nature, with well-being and progress for each and every one.

Opposition grows worldwide to globalisation American-style. After the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s, it seemed that there wouldn’t be a counterweight to the rampant greed and aggressiveness of the West, but an alternative centre of political and economic influence recently appeared in the alliance of the BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). These countries are home to more than half of the world’s population, and account for an ever-growing part of the world economy. South Africa‘s joined the alliance, completing its “southern arc”. The growing economic, political, and military might of the BRIC bloc not only increases its international influence, but also, for the first time since the collapse of the USSR, puts an obstacle in the way of Western expansion, in the way of attempts to restore a neo-colonial world order. We must emphasise that unlike the USSR and the socialist bloc, which provided a powerful political and military alternative to the West, but failed to draw level with our rivals economically at that stage, today, China’s steadily turning into the “workshop of the world”, entering ever-new markets, including Europe and the USA. Together with the fast-growing economies of India and Brazil, that creates a fundamentally new situation in the world.

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It’s important that the international system based on the UN, created with the active participation of the USSR, has withstood the test of time. In spite of all the attempts by the USA and its allies to gain control over it, the UN’s still a key element in stabilising international relations. The principle of the balance of forces at the Security Council instituted by its founding fathers, including Soviet leaders, make it possible to restrain open acts of aggression on the part of financial imperialism. With the disintegration of the USSR and the humiliatingly pro-Western policy of the Yeltsin group, including notorious Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, the role of the UN Security Council sharply diminished. This situation lasted a long time, which enabled the USA and its allies to launch a series of brazen acts of aggression against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. However, because of the changing balance of forces, the system of legitimising aggression by using the UN misfired for the first time in the last two decades. That happened when Russia and China vetoed draft resolutions that would give the West the right to perpetrate armed intervention against Syria.

Therefore, the USA and its allies are trying to build a new parallel system of world governance by expanding the role of NATO and the WTO. Their aim is to gain global control not by crude military force, but by preserving and deepening the unfair economic relations and non-equivalent exchange between the rich industrialised North and the planetary South, which possesses vast natural resources. There’s no doubt that the WTO, contrary to its official declarations on removing barriers to international trade, in reality, serves centuries-old colonial goals. They seek to get natural resources and manpower from the South at miserly prices and sell the goods from the North at staggeringly-high prices. They achieve this through a system of international courts entirely dominated by Western representatives. Those recalcitrant leaders who challenge the justice of such a state of affairs are likely to suffer the fate of Slobodan Milošević, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi.

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Galician Uniate priest in Nazi service serving traitors in the Waffen-SS… reflect on this… the USA and the UK protected Nazi collaborationist scummers from Estonia, Latvia, and Galicia, and still do!

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In the context of the deepening crisis of capitalism and the inevitable concomitant mounting protests, one must assume that the leading imperialist countries would seek to limit the influence of communist and left-wing parties. They’ll intensify persecution and reprisals against their leaders. In particular, Eastern European countries go out of their way to demonstrate their loyalty to Uncle Sam. They openly glorify Bandera and other Hitler accomplices as fighters against communism, erect monuments to surviving fascists, ban Soviet and communist symbols, intimidate honest and upright politicians, and pass legislation that equates communism and fascism. In spite of all this, communist and left-wing movements have noticeably strengthened their positions at the international and regional levels. Elections for parliaments and local legislatures in many countries bring ever more proof of that.

Meanwhile, it’s important to understand to what extent the position of the Russian élite on international issues meets Russian national interests. We see that Russia’s external policy is markedly class-oriented. The constant neglect of the country’s interests for the sake of the personal ambitions and selfish interests of the ruling group manifests this. From the early 1990s, the Russian “élite” was eager to become part of the Western “establishment”. Initially, they kept them out, but then they graciously allowed them to enter the Western club, but only as a junior (and often unprivileged) partner. The Russian élite tolerate all this. It can’t be otherwise, because, as is well known, not only the Russian oligarchs, but top bureaucrats keep their money in Western banks, send their children to Western universities, spend their holidays in Western holiday resorts, and have “standby landing sites” in the shape of apartments, villas, and castles in Western countries.

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The Pyatnitsky Choir… one of the national treasures of Russia (they’re more worthwhile than a roomful of crapitalist greedsters… and most people would agree with me).

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From the 2011 Slavyansky Bazar festival in Belarus

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It’s a well-known truth that one must base a successful foreign policy on three foundations:

  • patriotic sentiment in society
  • a powerful economy
  • powerful armed forces

Russia doesn’t have any of these three components. Speaking about patriotic sentiment, throughout the twenty years after the coup d’état of August-December 1991, the ruling group has, in fact, done its best to eradicate patriotism. Indeed, the very word “patriot” has acquired a derogatory meaning. A continuing process seeks to eliminate love of country, folk traditions, and national customs, and to impose alien values upon us. The state of the Russian economy is well-known. It’s become a source of raw materials for the Western and, more recently, Eastern industry. It’s a semi-colonial economy heavily-dependent on demand on the part of the developed countries, and the slightest fluctuations in the global economy have very unpleasant consequences for Russia. Moreover, the bulk of property has already been withdrawn from our country’s jurisdiction and is in offshore zones. As for the armed forces, they’ve practically lost their combat ability because of continuous “reforms” lasting many years. The share of modern weapons is at best 10 percent. The officer corps has been decimated. The reforms under Defence Minister Serdyukov resulted in the expulsion of tens of thousands of the most experienced and knowledgeable officers from the Army. One can go on detailing the destruction of the national self-consciousness, the ruining of industry and agriculture. The message is clear… we can achieve nothing by merely professing the determination to uphold national interests.

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One has to bear in mind that even the modern empire, the USA, with its huge economic, military, and political power, needs allies. The Americans work vigorously to ensure that each of their foreign policy actions gets the broadest possible global support. On the contrary, in recent years, Russia pushed away all its traditional allies. Today, practically, we have only one reliable strategic ally, Byelorussia. However, that fraternal people again and again comes under powerful pressure from pro-Western elements in the Russian ruling élite. One has a feeling that these influential forces at the top would be genuinely glad if Byelorussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko fell from power, and the economic actions of the Russian government indicate attempts to create prerequisites for a worsening of living standards in Byelorussia and for the growth of protest sentiments there.

To sum up, one can safely say that the world has entered a zone of tempests and storms. If the huge Russian ship is to sail through that zone safely, we need a skilful crew and reliable equipment, and the passengers need the assurance that the ship is being steered in the right direction. So far, society’s increasingly doubtful that we’re moving in the right direction. We’re totally convinced that our country would regain its status as a great power, the respect of its rivals, and the trust of its friends only if the popular patriotic forces led by the KPRF came to power.

2 October 2012

Gennady Zyuganov

Chairman of the KPRF Central Committee

Pravda

As quoted in 21st Century Manifesto

http://21centurymanifesto.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/will-russia-be-able-to-weather-the-tempests-and-storms/

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Putin Warns West’s Syria Policy Could Backfire

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President Vladimir Putin warned the Western powers that their “dangerous” stance on the Syria crisis could come back to haunt them. In a wide-ranging interview with the RT international news channel, Putin said, “Today, some want to use militants from al-Qaeda or some other equally-radical groups to accomplish their goals in Syria. This policy is very short-sighted and is fraught with dire consequences”.

Putin compared alleged Western funding of radical Islamist militants to help topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with American support for Afghan rebels after the USSR’s 1979 invasion of its Central Asia neighbour, saying, “When someone aspires to attain an end they see as optimal, any means will do. As a rule, they’ll try and do that by hook or by crook… and hardly ever think of the consequences. That was the case during the war in Afghanistan. At that time, our present partners supported a rebel movement there and basically gave rise to al- Qaeda, which later backfired on the USA itself”.

Putin also hit out at Western criticism of the Kremlin’s refusal to back proposed UN sanctions against the Assad régime over the continuing bloodshed in Syria and dismissed suggestions that Moscow would alter its position, saying, “How come Russia’s the only one who’s expected to revise its stance? Don’t you think our counterparts in negotiations ought to revise theirs as well? Because if we look back at the events in the past few years, we’ll see that quite a few of our counterparts’ initiatives haven’t played out the way they were intended to. Look at what’s going on in Arab countries. There have been notable developments in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, etc. Would you say that order and prosperity have been totally ensured for these nations? Besides, what’s going on in Iraq? In Libya, there are armed clashes still raging among the country’s various tribes”.

Putin suggested the key to ending the conflict in Syria was to halt weapons deliveries to Damascus, saying, “I believe that the first thing to do is to stop shipping arms into the warzone, which is still going on. We should stop trying to impose unacceptable solutions on either side, because it’s a dead-end. That’s what we should do. It’s that simple”. The Kremlin said its arms shipments to Syria don’t violate international law and don’t include equipment that could be used against “peaceful protesters”.

On 19 July, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the country, a move that American UN Ambassador Susan Rice called “paranoid if not disingenuous”. The resolution has its basis in Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which provides for the use of force to put an end to conflict. Russia said that it has no special interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that the “Syrian people” should decide his fate. Earlier this year, Putin vowed not to allow a repeat of the “Libya scenario”, which saw the ouster and murder of long-time Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign last year.

6 September 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120906/175798858.html

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