Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

As Seen by Vitaly Podvitsky… Spiteful Legacy

00-vitaly-podvitsky-spiteful-legacy-2017

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In what many considered a bid to undermine Donald Trump’s efforts to normalise future relations with Moscow, US Republican senators want to introduce a bill imposing a new package of sanctions against Russia before Barack Obama’s term ends. In a recent interview with NBC, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Trump “should let everybody know in America” that he’s going to “make Russia pay a price for trying to interfere”. Donald Trump will take the oath of office as the 45th US President on the steps of the US Capitol on 20 January.

10 January 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/cartoons/201701101049439240-obama-trump-legacy/

Editor:

Does this mean that we can arrest the heads of the CIA who interfered in foreign elections? After all, we have to make them “pay a price for trying to interfere”. Note well that these Repugs are going against their own party. It does show that the same sclerosis that affects the Dems infects the Rethuglicans as well (if not more)… the duopoly is very sick, indeed…

Orthodox people… what does this tell us about the rightwing crazies amongst us (we all know the usual cast of sleazy and ignorant suspects)? On the one hand, they support crazies like McCain and Graham. On the other, they support Trump the Chump. Which side will win in their disturbed greedy minds? I dunno… you don’t either… stay tuned… it bids fair to be interesting.

BMD

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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

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Russia Overtakes American Position in World Agricultural Market

00 LNR 2015 23 farm harvest

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Due to several factors, including the rise in the US Dollar, American agricultural products are becoming too expensive and uncompetitive. Meanwhile, Russian farmers are seizing leading positions in the market. This year, the international agricultural market saw significant changes due to such factors as a stronger dollar, the collapse of oil prices, and better crops. According to the Wall Street Journal, as a result, leading exporters gave way to new players. Recently, Canada and the USA, the world’s biggest agricultural exporters, lagged behind Russia in overall production of wheat. This year, Russia plans to export 23.5 million tonnes of grain. Canada expects to export 20 million tonnes and the USA projects exports of 21.8 million tonnes. These former agricultural market leaders could see their lowest rates of export in 44 years. Michael McDougall, director of agricultural commodities at Société Générale SA in New York, said:

Unless emerging-market currencies stop falling, the USA will lose more export market share and will begin to see more foreign products coming in.

Currently, international consumers aren’t very enthusiastic about buying American grain due to the stronger dollar, especially now that fierce competition on the international food market considerably lowered the cost of products in general. Chad Hart, a grain market analyst at Iowa State University (ISU) Extension, said:

The dollar’s strength is be­­coming a bigger issue for farmers than we’ve seen for a while. It’s really having an impact this year.

Meanwhile, the WSJ noted that Russia managed to balance prices and grab a larger share of established markets, such as Egypt. That includes markets traditionally dominated by the USA, so, American farmers will need to get ready for diminished demand and a downslide in prices.

8 February 2016 (MSK)

http://sputniknews.com/business/20160208/1034379322/russia-oertakes-americas-position-in-world-agricultural-market.html

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Journalist Fred Weir pointed up that Moscow’s retaliatory sanctions against the EU helped Russian farmers revitalise their country’s agricultural markets. He thinks that Russia’s “small domestic farmers” managed to “step up” due to Moscow’s retaliatory sanctions against the EU. In his article published in the Christian Science Monitor, Weir specifically quoted one such farmer, Aleksandr Sayapin, who said:

Russia’s near-complete ban on food products, including dairy imports from the EU, created an opportunity. We tripled our production in the past year; we carved out a place in the market.

Weir wrote:

Despite persistent economic woes, Russia’s agriculture seems to have rebounded briskly. The growth came due to a comprehensive subsidy programme aimed at promoting private farming. The programme began in 2012 and includes low-cost loans, controlled prices for fertilizers, support for producers of domestic farm machinery, and state financing for other vital elements of agricultural infrastructure. This clearly had an impact, and that Russia, which previously was one of the largest importers of chicken and pork from North America, became a net exporter of pork for the first time in history in 2015. Russian agricultural exports were [worth] 20 billion USD (1.55 trillion Roubles. 131.52 billion Renminbi. 1.358 trillion INR. 27.78 billion CAD. 28.23 billion AUD. 17.93 billion Euros. 13.79 billion UK Pounds) last year , more than international arms sales, and should grow further this year. The sanctions also boosted the revival of traditional Russian cuisine and a favourable environment for Russian producers of old ingredients like beets, cabbage, buckwheat, tvorog (Russian-style farmers cheese), and kefir (a yogurt drink).

Weir interviewed a former Soviet military officer-turned-businessman Andrei Davidov, who now runs a cattle farm in the nearby city of Kaluga in central Russia, saying:

Davidov has about 150 Hereford cattle at his farm, which he butchers himself, and he makes a comfortable living supplying a supermarket chain and a couple of restaurants in Kaluga.

Davidov said:

I remain upbeat about my country’s future, as far as raising beef cattle is concerned. What this country needs are 800,000 private farms raising cattle, like in the USA; then, maybe, we’d be an agricultural superpower.

Moscow’s sanctions came in response to Western punitive measures levelled two years ago over Russia’s alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis. Repeatedly, Kiev and the West accused Russia of backing the Peoples Republics in the Donbass, in the former eastern Ukraine. Moscow vehemently denies the allegations.

3 February 2016

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160203/1034149635/russia-sanctions-farmers.html

Sputnik International

Thursday, 3 September 2015

3 September 2015. Translated Russian Demot… Evil Sanctions

00 west! don't do evil to the russian bear! 010915

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