Friday, January 23, 2015

Gas Theft and Auschwitz Snub… Russia’s Every Right to End the Insults

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 17.01.2015 | 00:00
How many insults does the European Union expect Russia to bear without consequences? Ethnic cleansing of Russian people by the Brussels-backed Kiev regime, a refugee crisis on Russia’s borders, economic sanctions based on groundless accusations hurting Russian society – and now this – the neo-Nazi cabal that seized power in Ukraine with CIA backing last year has repeatedly been found guilty of siphoning off Russia’s natural gas exports to the EU.
On top of all that comes the insult of Russian President Vladimir Putin not being invited along with European leaders to attend the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. More on that in a while.
But first on the issue of natural exports. Russia this week finally responded to the Kiev regime’s incorrigible banditry by giving notice that it is to cut off all gas supplies that transit through Ukraine – which make up about 40-50 per cent of the EU’s supply. In the middle of winter and with temperatures plummeting the move by Russian state-owned Gazprom has reportedly sent Brussels officials into panic mode.
No doubt the dutiful Western corporate media will crank up the «Putin as arch villain» narrative. Families freezing across Europe will be attributed to the «evil genius» of the «Soviet mastermind».
Maros Sefcovic, European Commission vice president for energy, said the decision by Gazprom to turn off the gas taps will damage Russia’s reputation as an international supplier. His admonition echoes earlier calls by Europe’s energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger who appealed to Russia not to «politicise» energy trade. 
That’s ironic humour for you. Russia has not politicised anything; it is the Brussels bureaucracy, along with their American cohorts, who have sought to politicise everything – and to give Moscow impossible room for manoeuvre. 
Gazprom’s chief executive Alexei Miller this week reminded international media that Russia has been a reliable supplier of natural gas to Europe for the past four decades – even during the West’s aggressive Cold War.
Besides, the objective of Russia’s latest gas cut-off is not to end the trade with Europe. Russia is planning to route future supplies to the EU through Turkey. As Miller pointed out, it is up to the EU to now build the necessary infrastructure to take the gas supplies from the Turkish border into Greece and beyond.
Russia’s objective is simply this: to put an end to the Kiev regime’s de facto theft of Russian gas exports to Europe. How much more reasonable can that be?
We can imagine how Britain would react if Scotland decided to with-hold North Sea oil supplies transiting its territory. Or how France would respond if its wine exports were being hijacked en route by some third party. Or the US if Mexico were found to be surreptitiously dipping into its exports to the rest of South America.
It’s an absurd complaint by EU officials and governments to now accuse Russia of «energy blackmail». After all, it was Brussels that put the kibosh on Russia’s South Stream gas project via the Black Sea last year, thus, in effect, squeezing Russia to fall back on the Ukrainian transit route. That route has, as noted, become infeasible due to the Kiev regime’s incessant and illegal siphoning off of Russian exports. 
So what does the EU want Russia to do? Keep giving gas handouts to the Kiev mafia-regime that refuses to pay for its own gas supplies and which is bombing and killing ethnic Russians in the eastern Ukrainian regions?
Russia has every right to take measures to protect its vital economic interests. An alternative pipeline through Turkey will provide a southern arc complimentary to the existing Nord Stream Russian gas supply route via the Baltic Sea into Germany. It is therefore ridiculous to accuse Russia of cutting off gas supplies to the EU. Russia is merely cutting off illegal interference in its exports by a third party – the Kiev Reich.
Admittedly, entailed is a critical supply problem this winter for the EU until the Turkish route is implemented. But that’s not Russia’s problem; it is Brussels’ problem for having blocked the construction of the South Stream project and for its relentless indulgence of the Kiev regime, with all its criminality.
In any case, complaints from the EU that Russia is damaging its reputation as an international energy supplier ring hollow. Russia has found a ready alternative market for its gas exports with China after Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping signed a $400 billion record deal last year. The Asian market for Russia’s prodigious energy resources is projected to overshadow the EU market. Moreover, the Moscow-Beijing partnership is to be financed with roubles and yen, which relieves Russia and China of artificial dependence on the US dollar or Euro. 
It seems the height of European conceit to lecture Russia about trade ethics, when the former has imposed a gratuitous embargo on Moscow over baseless accusations of interfering in Ukraine. It is the EU elite and their Washington ally who have been systematically interfering in Ukraine and provoking a war of aggression on the eastern regions – with a death toll of nearly 5,000 over the past year and up to one million refugees. If international law and morality were adhered to, it is Brussels and Washington that should be sanctioned, if not prosecuted for the criminality they have unleashed in the form of the Kiev regime.
Europe’s hypocrisy and double think are underscored with France’s ongoing unilateral abrogation of the deal it had with Russia for the supply of two warships. Russia has paid France over $1 billion already for the delivery of the Mistral class vessels; yet Paris refuses to honour the contract. A less polite but not inaccurate way to describe this French misconduct is state-sponsored «piracy». 
Washington is reportedly breathing down the French government’s neck to not relent on its shameless scuppering of the Russian Mistral contract. Which makes the damage to French «reputation» all the more injurious. Not only is France not be trusted as an international trading partner; its «sovereign independence» is also evidently at the mercy of Washington’s bullying. How can anyone trust the French government to honour anything in the light of this craven kowtowing?
But here’s the coup de grace for European insolence towards Russia: French President Francois Hollande and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck will be among other European leaders to attend the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz later this month. The ceremony will be led by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
An official invitation was reportedly not sent to Moscow, and Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this week that the Russian president would not be attending the Auschwitz event, as a result.
In January 1945, it was the Russian Red Army that liberated the death camp – which has since come to symbolise the crimes of Nazi Germany and European fascism generally. Russian troops liberated thousands of Poles, Jews and other European nationals from imminent death at Auschwitz, where over one million had already perished. The French Vichy regime collaborated with Nazi Germany to send hundreds of thousands to their death at Auschwitz and other extermination centres. 
Seventy years on, Russia is being snubbed over perhaps its most heroic contribution to Europe – the defeat of fascist Germany and its mass extermination programs. 
It is astounding how relatively quickly European history is in effect being re-written – and by countries that were perpetrators of the horrors of World War II.
But should we be surprised? Russia saved Europe’s neck from fascism and continues to save Europe’s neck from freezing every winter with its natural gas supplies. And yet for all this, Russia has to endure insults and provocations from a thankless European elite. 
It’s time that there were consequences for such hideous, purblind European arrogance. Russia can legitimately take her generous bounties elsewhere in the world – and let the incorrigible ingrates freeze if they want to!
Tags: European Union Eastern Europe Russia Ukraine Putin

Davos: Russland-Forum - WebCast Aufzeichnung vom Weltwirtschaftsforum

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 23.01.2015 | 18:58

Tags: Russia

Genocides, Not Wars by ANDRE VLTCHEK WEEKEND EDITION Counterpunch

Western Wars, Not Really Wars

In ancient times, even the greatest bandits such as kings and conquerors, deranged knights and simple arch-brigands, used to lead their armies into battle. It would be unthinkable for them to hide behind; it would be so shameful!

The Queen or a lady of his heart would embrace the warrior, or throw her scarf at his feet, or collapse in real or staged grief. And the warrior, often a nitwit and idiot, but a warrior nevertheless, would saddle his horse, salute his wife and his people, and go to battle, proudly leading his troops. And the chances were he would die during the battle. Therefore, he would think twice before leading his country to a war.
There used to be great pathos in all this, and also, great unpronounced rule: you want to murder, rape and steal, then be prepared to spill your own blood and brains!
Of course the priests and preachers hardly went to battles. While Christianity was behind most of the outrageous conquests and crimes against humanity, its leaders were living a safe life in tremendous palaces and villas. Only those who enjoyed the actual acts of torture and rape went to the field. But the Christian clergy almost always consisted of liars and cowards, and torture was done in safety, far from the trenches.
But the kings, their marshals and generals went, and often died, like soldiers, in a bath full of blood, puss and shit! At least they died properly, like their soldiers. They were brigands, but many of them were brave brigands, nevertheless.
Look at these cowards of nowadays, those modern-day crusaders, the leaders of the Empire! Where are their horses, their armor and where is their courage?
They don’t even think twice about whom to fight. They can lead dozens of conflicts, simultaneously. Because today’s wars are totally safe for them – they are like video games. Only those who are ‘targeted’ are at great risk. Attackers are akin to what Christians always thought God is: punishing, scary, spreading fear and demanding obedience, unpredictable.
So they turned themselves into gods, or demigods, along with their chosen race, culture and religion… and their self-proclaimed right to control and to punish others, those who want to believe in something else, and to live their own lives as they choose.
Yes, the Empire’s leaders really believe that they have become gods. And now we only hear their twisted propaganda slogans, and their self-glorifying lies. They have become like those preachers and priests of the bygone eras: sadistic but constantly frightened, brutal and suspicious.
Mr. Obama, it is pity that we will never meet: that I will never have the chance to show you what your ‘smart bombs’ are doing near Mosul in Iraq, or what crimes the NATO-financed and trained ISIL are committing all over the Middle East.
But you have an inkling of everything that I would be showing you, anyway, at least theoretically, just as your predecessors were aware about all those millions of men, women and children, massacred all over Indochina, as well as in Indonesia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa.
But you are, forgive me for saying this, a fundamentalist, a Christian Western supremacist, as all your predecessors were. And a fundamentalist has extremely thick skin, and he is incapable of feeling compassion. A fundamentalist has to impose his will and his beliefs on others. He may suspect something, he may even ‘know’, but he is unable to convert this knowledge into respect and support for other people and for other opinions.
This is also actually what Western Christian fundamentalists converted Islam into – they kidnapped it and re-created it into a reflection of their own image. The reason was to have some worthy enemy to fight against, and to have some justification for those war games. And, most importantly, to have an ally in its most important war: against Communism, against Socialism, against social justice and against real progress!
A fundamentalist can easily become a killing machine, if he is not stopped.
The Second World War was really the last war in which Western troops were fully engaged, where they actually fought, although even then, whenever civilians could have been bombed, they were. Millions of women and children died during the carpet-bombing of Tokyo, Dresden, as well as the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The bombing of civilians is the true Western way of conducting war! Even the Japanese, I was told in Oceania, would always evacuate the civilians before getting engaged in the terrible ‘final battles’ against the US troops! Not to speak of the fact that Pearl Harbor was a ‘surgical strike’ against the US Navy, in which no civilian object was bombed by the Japanese, and as the old people who can still remember told me, repeatedly, the only civilian casualties there, were those inflicted by the Japanese planes that were shot down and crashed into the ground.
What followed WWII were not really true wars, anymore, but genocides; holocausts. All perpetrated mainly through carpet-bombing, through poisonous chemicals, later by enlisting corrupt foreign military, US-trained and financed death-squads, and most recently by using ‘smart bombs’, stealth fighters, cruise missiles and drones, as well as ‘Muslim terrorists’ (created in NATO camps).
In this way, new-era crusaders sit in their comfortable offices and war-rooms, and play games that are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives. After they are done murdering, they drive home, eat their burgers and watch sports on television. Long distance wars, as well as long distance killing, are like any other job: it is like selling insurance policies or cutting someone’s hair.
Except that countless human beings get torn to pieces.
There is no ideology in all this, no risk, and no pathos. It is all extremely pragmatic. The Empire wants to control the world, therefore it murders, surgically, quietly and mainly without witnesses.
Those of us, who go to the places where all this is happening, now face countless obstacles, intimidation, or at the least, red tape. There is an almost complete media black-out. We go without any backup, without any cover, or support. We are out on our own. If we fall, then we fall – we have no organization to call, nobody to pick us up off the ground. We die, regularly. Selena, my colleague from Press TV died, covering the same story as I was: ISIL, and how NATO manufactured them. I survived. After that, someone called me ‘an armchair revolutionary’ and a coward… because I ‘only’ stayed in the Mosul area for two days…
Sometimes, we get humiliated, insulted by our own readers whom we serve faithfully, or even by those whom we considered to be the closest people on Earth.
Just as in ancient times, those few of us, are at the forefront, like Don Quixote, or like the scribe of Saladin.
We document all that is done to the world and to those poor people of the planet. We often work 8 days a week, 25 hours a day. Because there are fewer and fewer of us… Because what we do, has to be done, somehow; by someone…
And the Empire keeps on killing. And the citizens of the Empire have mostly no clue how it is done, or how a dead body really looks like. Or how the village bombed to the ground looks like. Or how it feels when some country loses all hope after being overrun by those button-pushing invincible boys sitting several thousands of miles away.
What cowardice it is to kill defenseless children and women, what a shame!
But it is not just children and women the Empire kills: it kills everything that stands in its way.
A few months ago I was almost killed by a unbalanced preacher in Surabaya, Indonesia. He said that he would, and he tried to liquidate me. These dudes are particularly malicious, as they or their ancestors, had already betrayed China after the revolution, and then they betrayed again, this time Indonesia, during and after the 1965 massacres. They have been serving foreign interests, they have been brainwashing people, and now many of them are going back to China, obeying orders from their foreign handlers to implant the ‘prosperity gospel’ and all sort of deranged Protestant crap.
Killing with bombs is not the only way that the Empire destroys entire countries. It also kills through religion, propaganda and ideology.
Its Pentecostal and Protestant implants have already caused great damage all over Africa, in Asia and all over Latin America, spreading corruption, ignorance and gloom. Only the strongest countries like Vietnam, China and Eritrea (? Blogger) have stood firm and defined those religious inserts as weapons of imperialism and fundamentalist capitalism.
Entire nations have been ruined by the anti-Communist and anti-socialist propaganda, by dark nihilism and commercialism, by pop culture and by the manufactured ‘opposition movements’, those that are serving directly or indirectly the interests of the Empire.
All this has been done ‘remotely’ – entire parts of the world have collapsed without almost any Western lives being lost or even risked.
I have already survived several attempts on my life, by those ‘proxy’ fanatics. The latest try being by above-mentioned deranged Surabaya preacher and a businessman (‘two in one’ human projectile), and much earlier, by Indonesian intelligence, while being savagely tortured in occupied East Timor. I had been condemned to death by Peruvian military, camouflaged as Shining Path guerillas in 1992. I was captured and almost killed by that modern-day UstaĊĦe during the Yugoslav War. I survived the Israeli shelling of Gaza during the Intifada, and all sorts of sniper and artillery barrages. And more recently, I survived the depths of an intelligence bunker in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as a Kenyan jail. Of all of this, the Surabayan preacher was the most toxic, the vilest… But even him, I survived.
All these were proxy attacks – proxy operations, all conducted by traitors, by the lackeys of the Empire and of its ideologies, and religions.
I survived, but others didn’t. But at least those of us, who didn’t, including Selena Shim (covering ISIL for Press TV) or Hiroyuki Muramoto (covering a murderous attack by the Thai military against ‘Red Shirt’ protesters in 2010 Bangkok), received some recognition. Millions, tens of millions of ordinary, mostly ‘local’ people, slaughtered like cattle, have never even been mentioned by their names in any mainstream reports.
President Obama was certainly perfectly aware of all those ‘proxy wars’ and maneuvers, for years and decades before he became the President of the United States. His father, a Kenyan economist, was recruited by ‘Tom Mboya’ (Thomas Joseph Odhiambo), then flown to Hawaii, indoctrinated/educated there, and finally sent back to Kenya, in order to steer his country away from the possibility of a socialist path.
His mother’s second husband, Obama’s stepfather, and an Indonesian officer, Lolo Soetoro was yet, another recruit and a traitor/collaborator, serving the West. When he met Obama’s mother, he was undergoing training in Hawaii. Then, after the horrid 1965 US-sponsored coup took place, he was flown back to Indonesia (1966), and Obama and his mother followed him just one year later. They lived in the upscale Menteng neighborhood of Jakarta, where Obama is still remembered ‘with love’ by the children of other Indonesian anti-Communist cadres, as ‘our Barry from Menteng’.
I have lived in both countries – Kenya and Indonesia – and can testify that both of them have thoroughly collapsed, socially and morally, as they have pioneered some of the most shameful models of corruption and unbridled capitalism in the world. Not one Western soldier has died destroying them. They were conquered, plundered and made into submissive client-states thanks to great planning by the Empire, and because of the tremendous cynicism and greed of local collaborators: the military, the religious clergy, the ‘educators’ and the business ‘leaders’.
And so the drones are flying, stealth fighters are bombing, cruise missiles are crashing into cities and villages, and the collaborators with Western fascism are helping to oppress their own people, keeping them in darkness and in constant fear.
It has all been effective until now, but will not be, forever.
This system will not survive for long, because the arrangement is simply too appalling, and even the massive propaganda in the ‘client’ states, by corporate media and by private schools, that manufactures unanimity, cannot keep people from noticing, that something has gone terribly wrong, that they had been robbed, humiliated and fooled.
In stark contrast to the cowards sitting in their gated communities or in their ‘war rooms’, all great leaders of progress and resistance, from Che, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel, Chavez, Morales, to Al-Sadr or Nasrallah, always stood at the forefront, leading their people in the fight against oppression, for independence and justice. They never hid behind civilians, behind women and children. That is what people expect; this is what is demanded.
President Salvador Allende of Chile tried it the peaceful way. But when, on 9-11-1973, the military junta provoked by the war criminal Henry Kissinger, by ITT, by Chase Manhattan and the Chicago School of Economics, as well as by several other institutions, sent its jets and combat helicopters against the Presidential Palace ‘La Moneda’, he did not run away to Havana or Moscow. Allende stood up, and marched towards the rockets and the explosion, towards his certain death. It is because President Salvador Allende was not a traitor or a coward. He was a Chilean man, a patriot, a socialist. And if his country, his beloved Chile, was going to die, to go up in flames that day, so was he.
Ask in the villages of West Bengal or in towns in Amazonia, whether the people want to be controlled by cowardly and greedy corporate tycoons and by the governments in Washington or Europe, governments that are simply serving those corporate interests, while hiding behind cordons of armed guards and security apparatchiks. We all know what the answer would be!
The world has almost forgotten what a real war is. But let us recall something: it is when two armies fight against each other, bravely or mostly stupidly, but fight. In a real war, each man in those trenches, rightly or wrongly, thinks about his city or his village, about his dear ones, about his girlfriend, wife, mom, children. Behind their backs are rivers and forests, beaches, mountains and meadows. For them, they are ready to die for, defending them.
But this, what we have now? The aggressor is defending nothing. There is just the hard back of a chair behind his back, and perhaps a few communication modules.
And those victims! How could they defend anything if they don’t even know what, and when, it is going to fall on them? One second, and entire blocks of houses go up in flames. There is no warning.
These are not wars, but genocides! These are persistent, constant genocides perpetrated by the market, Christian, Western fundamentalists.
On 1st May 2004, when it appeared that the United States might once again attack Cuba, President Castro spoke in Havana, addressing then President G.W. Bush:
“You have neither the morality nor the right, none whatsoever, to speak of freedom, democracy and human rights when you hold enough power to destroy humanity and are attempting to install a world tyranny, side-stepping and destroying the United Nations Organization, violating the human rights of any and every country, waging wars of conquest to take over world markets and resources and installing decadent and anachronistic political and social systems which are leading the human race into the abyss.”
At the end, Fidel declared that if Cuba is attacked, he would do what he was expected to do, and what he already had done on several previous occasions – he would go and fight! And none of us had any doubt that he would. But he had one regret, in regard to President Bush:
“My only regret is that I would not even see your face because in that case you would be thousands of miles away while I shall be on the frontline to die fighting in defense of my homeland.”
Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: Fighting Against Western Imperialism‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter
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