Friday, October 2, 2015

Putin Explains Russia's Syrian Policy

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 17.09.2015 | 13:00
A summit meeting of Eurasian States in the Tajik capital Dushanbe has provided Putin with a platform to set out Russia’s position on the Syrian crisis.
As is often the case with Putin’s speeches, the Western media has barely reported it. Instead there continues to be the usual ill-informed speculation “about what Russia is doing in Syria”, founded on farfetched claims of grand Russian geopolitical strategies spiced up with false reports of Russian military activity.
In essence what Putin is saying is very simple: the Islamic State is an existential threat to everyone and all those involved in the Syrian civil war should put aside their differences and their geopolitical strategies to combine against it.
To that end Putin proposes a revival of what is in essence the peace plan to bring an end to the Syrian conflict proposed by Kofi Annan at the Geneva Conference in 2012 – that there should be negotiations between the Syrian factions to set up a power sharing government until a final settlement of the conflict can be agreed.
As Putin points out, Assad has accepted this proposal (“President Assad is ready to involve the moderate segment of the opposition forces in these processes, in managing the state”).
At the same time Putin restates that Russia will continue to provide the Syrian military with the supplies it needs to sustain itself, though he is careful to say that this is “necessary military technology assistance” – not (so far) active involvement in the fighting by the Russian military.  Putin does not rule that possibility out but it is clear he only envisages it taking place as part of a broad international coalition against the Islamic State.
Above all Putin remains adamantly opposed to regime change.  He points out that it is the West’s relentless pursuit of regime change that has destabilized the entire region, and which has caused the refugee exodus.
Besides, as Putin points out, defeating the Islamic State “….without active participation by the Syrian authorities and military, without participation by the Syrian army, as the soldiers fighting with the Islamic State say….” makes no sense at all.
As we have discussed previously, this is the Russian position.
If defeating the Islamic State is indeed the overriding priority, then Putin’s logic cannot be faulted.
The problem is – as has become very clear over the last few weeks – for the US and for the other members of the regime change coalition it is not.
It seems that for them overthrowing the government of President Assad remains the priority.
As the falsity of the claims of direct Russian military action in Syria became too strong to argue away, the Western government and media emphasis has shifted over the last few days to claims that the Russians are instead focusing on building a military presence in Syria, possibly as some sort of bargaining tool.
There has been much talk – including production of satellite photographs – concerning Russian construction of an air base in Latakia.  There has also been talk of the deployment of advanced T90 tanks and S300 anti aircraft missiles to Syria.The US has also made attempts to prevent the flight of Russian cargo planes to Syria, which the Russians claim are carrying humanitarian supplies but which the US thinks – or wants people to think – are in reality carrying weapons.
It is certainly possible – and even likely – that in the face of the crisis caused by the rise of the Islamic State the Russians have stepped up their military supplies to Syria.
However some of the claims that are now being made do not look especially compelling.
The Russian presence in Latakia for example is nothing new.  The Russians have long maintained a listening station there, and it makes sense in view of the deteriorating situation to extend the nearby airstrip and to deploy a small number of troops to secure it. 
Whilst it is just possible the Russians are indeed establishing some sort of bridgehead, the Russian moves are equally consistent with precautionary steps for a possible hurried evacuation of the personnel manning the facility in case of a further deterioration of the situation, and this frankly looks like a more plausible explanation of what we are seeing.
As for the deployment of S300 missiles in Syria, no evidence of such a deployment exists, and these reports are certainly false.
In the light of Putin’s comments it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that, as we discussed previously, the disinformation campaign about the Russian military build-up in Syria is intended to discredit the current Russian diplomatic initiative before it properly gets going, rather than because of any genuine concerns that the Russian military presence in Syria is increasing.
Whether that is so or not, the alarm expressed in Western capitals about the Russian military presence in Syria is nothing short of extraordinary.
Putin is surely right that the Islamic State poses a danger to everyone and that the way to deal with it is to combine against it.  That this logic is being so vehemently resisted is bizarre and frankly tragic, and shows how fixated with their geopolitical plans Western leaders have become.

The following are extracts from a speech made by Putin in Dushanbe taken from Russia’s Presidential website  
I mentioned the situation in Syria and Iraq; they are the same as the situation in Afghanistan, in that they worry all of us. Please allow me to say a few words on the situation in this region, the situation around Syria.
The state of affairs there is very serious. The so-called Islamic State controls significant stretches of territory in Iraq and Syria. Terrorists are already publicly stating that they have targets set on Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. Their plans include expanding activities to Europe, Russia, Central and Southeast Asia.
We are concerned by this, especially since militants undergoing ideological indoctrinations and military training by ISIS come from many nations around the world – including, unfortunately, European nations, the Russian Federation, and many former Soviet republics. And, of course, we are concerned by their possible return to our territories.
Basic common sense and a sense of responsibility for global and regional security require the international community to join forces against this threat. We need to set aside geopolitical ambitions, leave behind so-called double standards and the policy of direct or indirect use of individual terrorist groups to achieve one’s own opportunistic goals, including changes in undesirable governments and regimes.
As you know, Russia has proposed rapidly forming a broad coalition to counteract the extremists. It must unite everyone who is prepared to make, or is already making, an input into fighting terrorism, just as Iraq and Syria’s armed forces are doing today. We support the Syrian government – I want to say this – in countering terrorist aggression. We provide and will continue to provide the necessary military technology assistance and urge other nations to join in.
Clearly, without active participation by the Syrian authorities and military, without participation by the Syrian army, as the soldiers fighting with the Islamic State say, you cannot expel terrorists from this nation, as well as the region overall, it is impossible to protect the multi-ethnic and multi-faith people of Syria from elimination, enslavement and barbarism.
Of course, it is imperative to think about the political changes in Syria. And we know that President Assad is ready to involve the moderate segment of the opposition, the healthy opposition forces in these processes, in managing the state. But the need to join forces in the fight against terrorism is certainly at the forefront today. Without this, it is impossible to resolve the other urgent and growing problems, including the problem of refugees we are seeing now.
Incidentally, we are seeing something else: we are currently seeing attempts to practically put the blame on Russia for this problem, for its occurrence. As if the refugee problem grew because Russia supports the legitimate government in Syria.
First of all, I would like to note that the people of Syria are, first and foremost, fleeing the fighting, which is mostly due to external factors as a result of supplies of arms and other specialized equipment. People are feeling the atrocities of the terrorists. We know that they are committing atrocities there, that they are sacrificing people, destroying cultural monuments as I already mentioned, and so on. They are fleeing the radicals, first and foremost. And if Russia had not supported Syria, the situation in that nation would have been even worse than in Libya, and the flow of refugees would be even greater.
Second, the support of the legitimate government in Syria is not in any way related to the flow of refugees from nations like Libya, which I already mentioned, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and many others. We were not the ones that destabilised the situation in those nations, in whole regions of the world. We did not destroy government institutions there, creating power vacuums that were immediately filled by terrorists. So nobody can say that we were the cause of this problem.
But right now, as I said, we need to focus on joining forces between the Syrian government, the Kurdish militia, the so-called moderate opposition, and nations in the region to fight the threat against Syria’s very statehood and the fight against terrorism – so that together, with our efforts combined, we can solve this problem.

American Revolution: Top-Down Rebellion Against System

Dmitry MININ | 03.10.2015 | 00:00

It might seem unlikely to some, but a real political revolution is underway in the US right under our noses. The deeply underwhelming start to the American presidential campaign has unexpectedly evolved into a significant social phenomenon that could well have far-reaching consequences.
Candidates from each of the two mainline American political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, are gaining traction not only without the support of their party leaders, but in many ways in opposition to them. The popular Republican front-runner, the conservative billionaire Donald Trump, preaches «revolution from the right», while over in the Democratic camp, the typically leftist, non-materialistic Bernie Sanders is steadily gaining on Hillary Clinton, agitating for «revolution from the left». Both are sternly critical of the establishment and demand major changes in America’s social and political landscape. We are watching the two leading American political parties, which were previously not all that different from each other, moving toward a classic right/left model of opposition, such as what is found in Europe and throughout the rest of the world.
To a certain extent, what is happening can be compared to the reversal of roles between Democrats and Republicans that occurred after Dwight D. Eisenhower took office in 1953. Previously, and throughout US history, liberal views, particularly on racial segregation, were more characteristic of the Republican Party, while Democrats were more conservative. But when the celebrated General Eisenhower, the favorite in the race, decided to run as a candidate from the Grand Old Party (the GOP) that party adopted his more conservative stance, ceding its liberal past to the Democrats.
And the Republicans have retained that identity ever since. But that inversion was only a reshuffling – «castling short» in chess terminology – and a move that confirmed the absence of a coherent ideology among American politicians, but with no effect on the rudiments of the system. But what is happening now could be looked at as a version of «castling long», with far-reaching consequences for the entire mechanism of government. But something that the two developments have in common is that – both then and now – the political changes began at the top. The main difference is that in an era in which information technology is widespread, the public are no longer merely bit players, but can determine the nature of the emerging transformations to a much greater extent than was possible over 60 years ago.
In a sense, the pervasive hunger in the US for radical changes in its social and political structure is nothing more than the returning boomerang of the «color revolutions» and other upheavals (such as the hot Arab Spring and the cold European autumn, etc.) launched by Washington. These disturbances, which were set in motion with the goal of retaining America’s global hegemony while masquerading as lofty polemics about freedom and democracy, affect the perceptions of not only those to whom they are addressed, but also the domestic audience. Americans are beginning to wonder whether the US itself is complying with the demands it makes of others. And perhaps the time has come for a windy «American winter»?
Given the rising dollar and growing industrial production in monetary terms, as well as low oil prices, at first glance, such sentiments can hardly be explained by the actual socio-economic picture in the US. Why work to change something that’s already wonderful? But it’s not that simple. The rise of the dollar is largely speculative in nature and is not supported by either growth in labor productivity or manufacturers’ profits. Only the most powerful movers and shakers on the financial markets are feeling its effect. The American economy is rapidly becoming less competitive.
During 2014 the dollar strengthened 16% against the currencies of America’s key trading partners and has continued to substantially rise in 2015. It’s no wonder that this pattern has vexed the US companies that depend on exports. The world’s largest manufacturer of household cleansers and personal-care products, the American company Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), had to report a 31% reduction in profits because of «unprecedented» pressure on the foreign exchange market. Revenues at the largest US firms on the S&P 500 Index fell 46% because of the stronger dollar. From Pfizer and McDonald’s to DuPont and Microsoft, all had to pay a high price for a strong dollar. Even Apple, which actively hedges against foreign currency risks, could not avoid trouble. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, made it clear during his conference call on earnings that what is happening in the global economy is having a negative impact on the company’s performance, because of «fierce foreign exchange volatility».
The fledgling recovery of the US economy runs the risk of coming to a quick end, as the rising dollar is killing American exports and the foreign-trade deficit is growing. As a result of low global energy prices, the American «shale revolution» is on the verge of collapse. The drop in revenue means that those companies can no longer afford to pay off their loans and are shutting down thousands of pits and laying off workers. The relative prosperity could be replaced with the bursting of a new bubble. People understand this.
Yet Americans’ increased proclivity for protest stems not so much from fears of a possible reduction in their standard of living, but from a change in their perceptions of the ways in which the configuration of American society meets the needs of the 21st century. The archaic system of indirect elections through the Electoral College in the United States, in which voters in each state have the right to select a quota of electors, who then cast their votes for candidates who have been nominated in an entirely nontransparent process, in which «big money» calls the shots, every conceivable trick is used to muddle voters’ minds, candidates parade their rivals’ dirty laundry, and underhanded political strategists maintain their stranglehold, is becoming an increasingly forceful irritant.
And in a completely bizarre situation, a US president can be elected without winning the popular vote (this has happened more than once, from John Quincy Adams to George W. Bush) or be simply delegated by his party without any kind of election, like Gerald Ford. There is no doubt that demand will continue to grow for the democratization of the American political system and a move toward direct elections. Otherwise, the absolute presidential power that Arthur Schlesinger described as «The Imperial Presidency» is not far off.
Bernie Sanders claims that the United States should emulate Europe and Scandinavia. He has stated that he is «very frightened about the future of American democracy when this becomes a battle between billionaires. I believe in one person, one vote», and also, «We need a political revolution of millions of people in this country who are prepared to stand up and say, ‘enough is enough’ ... I want to help lead that effort». Donald Trump does not urge Americans to take their cue from Europe, but even he advocates for a direct dialog between power and people without the intrusion of unnecessary intermediaries. In this, Sanders and Trump are similar.
As the experts note, «Bernie Sanders the socialist and Donald Trump the plutocrat are addressing much the same impulse. Speaking in clear, declarative sentences ... [they] are seen by their followers as ‘telling it like it is.’» Charismatic spokesmen for the views they espouse, both in their origins, life experiences, and even in their physical appearance, Sanders and Trump are the ideal engines behind the emergent restructuring of the American political system on a «left-right» gradation. On one hand we have a typical Jewish rebel intellectual, á la Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky, while on the other – a complacent, corpulent billionaire.
But of course the «counter-revolution» won’t be caught napping either. And both parties’ «Central Committees» – as well as the Washington «Politburo», as represented by the National Security Council, which is chaired by the president / «General Secretary» – will do everything possible to put an end to these developments. But the trend is plain to see. The rise of this «anti-system» in the current US presidential campaign is too meaningful to simply explain away as a coincidence or anomaly. It would seem that the transition to a multipolar world is quietly affecting even the political system of this final empire, which is becoming less monolithic and more pluralistic.
It looks like we are witnessing the dawn of a profound transformation of the world’s leading power. Even its turn has come at last. Only the future will show how quickly these developments will evolve and whether they will be accompanied by shocks, which are especially possible, given the extremely heterogeneous ethnic and social makeup of the American public.

By Bombing Terrorists in Syria Russia Hits Washington's Raw Nerve

News | 02.10.2015 | 19:28
Sputnik - Russia is undoubtedly bombing insurgents supported by the US, but that is only because Washington has intentionally supported Al Qaeda and ISIL in Syria, geopolitical researcher Tony Cartalucci remarks.
Along with some other Western reporters Australian journalist Lauren Williams notes in her recent piece that Russia has launched its airstrikes on Homs and Hama regions which are "not ISIS [ISIL] hotspots."
"The areas around Homs and Hama are not ISIS [ISIL] hotspots. In fact they are known as a bastion for the US-backed moderate rebel forces and an important strategic gateway to Assad's Alawite coastal heartland," the journalist wrote, citing US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, in her article for The Interpreter.
But who are these "moderate rebel forces" and where do they come from?
"In reality, from the beginning, there were never any moderates. Starting as early as 2007, years before the war in Syria began, the US as a matter of policy had long since decided to intentionally fund and support the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood — for all intents and purposes the political wing of al-Qaeda — and begin arming militants affiliated with al-Qaeda itself," Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher Tony Cartalucci elaborates in his article for New Eastern Outlook.
Citing Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's 2007 article "The Redirection Is the Administration's New Policy Benefitting our Enemies in the War on Terrorism?," the researcher pointed out that back in the early 2000s the Bush administration decided to "reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East."
Since that time Washington has sided with the Sunnis, cooperating with Saudi Arabia's leadership, against Shiites, backed by Iran. To undermine Iran-Syrian positions in the region the US took part in a series of clandestine operations aimed against Tehran and Damascus.
According to Hersh, "a by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to al-Qaeda."  
Cartalucci stressed that Hersh's prophetic report exposed that even in that period of time "the extremist Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was already receiving funding and support from the United States via Saudi Arabia." 
In the 2000s, the Syrian National Salvation Front — the coalition of Syrian opposition groups and the Brotherhood — and one of its leaders Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, were receiving financial and political aid from the United States, Hersh wrote citing former high-ranking CIA and White House officials.
"By 2011, al-Qaeda's affiliates in Syria, most notably the al-Nusra Front, began operating nation-wide, taking the lead in the US-backed fight against Damascus. By 2012, when the US State Department listed al-Nusra as a foreign terrorist organization, it was clear even then, that the largest contingent of anti-government forces on the battlefield was al-Qaeda," Cartalucci pointed out.
In much the same vein US author and syndicated columnist Stephen Lendman writes, referring to retired US Army General Wesley Clark's book "Winning Modern Wars." In 1991, Clark, then brigadier general, met with then Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
"[Clark] was told America planned multiple premeditated wars — intending to destabilize and redraw the Middle East, changing its configuration under US-controlled puppet regimes," Lendman stressed in his article for Global Research.
Wolfowitz's goal was to "clean out those old Soviet client regimes," he noted, adding that the list of the US' targets included Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
Cartalucci underscored that while Washington has repeatedly tried to convince the public that the anti-Assad revolt has been kicked off by the "moderate" opposition, facts on the ground have proven otherwise. Since 2011 the civil war has been largely led by al-Qaeda and its affiliates, namely al-Nusra Front.
"Since November 2011, al-Nusra Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks — ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations — in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed," a US State Department official statement said, cited by the researcher.
Furthermore, many of those so-called "opposition" fighters were not even Syrians.
"At the start of the war against Syria [2011], Qatar printed and distributed false Syrian passports to jihadists from al-Qaeda so that they could convince Atlantist journalists that they were "rebels," and not foreign mercenaries," French intellectual and journalist Thierry Meyssan noted in his September article for, adding that "false Syrian passports are today distributed by certain smugglers to non-Syrian migrants."
Embarrassingly enough, in order to explain how "America's fictional 'moderate' army" has been displaced by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda Western media have repeatedly reported about "massive defections." Alas, so-called Syrian "moderate rebels" trained by US military instructors defected to Islamists with US sophisticated weapons.
However, documented evidence clearly indicates that Washington had no intention to create a genuine moderate opposition in the first place, Cartalucci emphasized:
"News of 'defections' are simply cover for the direct funding and arming of al-Qaeda and ISIS [ISIL] in Syria," he stressed.
Therefore "Russia is not arbitrarily bombing 'moderates' backed by the US in Syria to stave off allegedly 'legitimate' opposition to the government in Damascus — Russia is bombing terrorists who are either operating under the banner of al-Qaeda but are portrayed as otherwise by the US, or will inevitably end up turning their fighters and weapons over to al-Qaeda. Russia is bombing al-Qaeda," Cartalucci pointed out.
Yes, Russia is bombing militants backed by Washington, but that is only because the US is supporting Islamists in Syria.
While US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter claims that the Russian policy in Syria is "doomed," it is more likely that it is Washington who has become seriously entangled in Middle Eastern wars.
"Claiming to fight ISIS [ISIL], while so transparently supporting them, is indeed a doomed position, one doomed to fail today, and one doomed to eternal condemnation in the future," Cartalucci concluded.
Tags: ISIS Russia Syria

Putin at the UN: “Do you at least realize now what you’ve done?”

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 01.10.2015 | 10:03

On September 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. The event was to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the creation of the organization. Putin reminded that the decision to create the United Nations was made in his country in 1945, at the Yalta Conference, by the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition, and that the goal of the United Nations was to secure lasting peace, and not to repeat the mistakes of the previous century.
Here are some key points from his speech:
Post Cold War order
The collapse of the Soviet Union did not result in peaceful world, instead: “We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don’t need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the decisions they need, often stands in their way,” said Russian President.
The significance of the United Nations
Putin characterized an attempt by some countries “to undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as extremely dangerous,” and “may result in the collapse of the entire architecture of international relations, and then indeed there will be no rules left except for the rule of force. The world will be dominated by selfishness rather than collective effort, by dictate rather than equality and liberty, and instead of truly independent states we will have protectorates controlled from outside.”
The mistakes of the Soviet Union and new “social experiments” of “color revolutions”
Putin warned against trying to impose the same form of government on all countries:
“We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn’t be forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has declared the only appropriate one.”
Putin reminded about the mistakes of the Soviet Union:
“we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress.”
Then he called attention to the present day “experiments”:
“instead of learning from other people’s mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are “democratic” revolutions.”
Putin’s harshest critique was about the consequences of these revolutions:
“Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.
I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity.”
The origin of ISIS
Russian President called attention to the origins of the ISIS:
“Power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. And now radical groups are joined by members of the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition backed by the West. They get weapons and training, and then they defect and join the so-called Islamic State….The Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond. Their plans go further.”
International Coalition to fight terrorism
As a response to Obama’s endless empty declarations of the need to fight terrorism, Putin said:
“it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade. It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.”
The only way to deal with current international crisis is to create “a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism,” said Putin. “Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of parties willing to stand firm against those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind. And of course, Muslim nations should play a key role in such a coalition.”
What is Russia doing in Syria?
In addressing accusations of Russia’s support for Assad, Putin responded that: “President Assad’s government forces and the Kurdish militia are the only forces really fighting terrorists in Syria.” On Russia’s involvement, he said: “we provide military-technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other regional countries fighting terrorist groups. We think it’s a big mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground.”
It is not about Russia’s ambitions
Countering criticism about so-called “Russian imperial ambitions”, Putin responded: “it is not about Russia’s ambitions, dear colleagues, but about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world.”
NATO expansion
Referring to the post Cold War order and the American “winner takes it all” attitude, Putin said:
“Sadly, some of our counterparts are still dominated by their Cold War-era bloc mentality and the ambition to conquer new geopolitical areas. First, they continued their policy of expanding NATO – one should wonder why, considering that the Warsaw Pact had ceased to exist and the Soviet Union had disintegrated. Nevertheless, NATO has kept on expanding, together with its military infrastructure. Next, the post-Soviet states were forced to face a false choice between joining the West and carrying on with the East. Sooner or later, this logic of confrontation was bound to spark off a major geopolitical crisis. And that is exactly what happened in Ukraine.”
Ukrainian crisis
About the crisis in Ukraine, he reminded how it began: “people’s widespread frustration with the government was used for instigating a coup d’état from abroad.” The overthrow of the government, and ensuing chaos “has triggered a civil war. We are convinced that the only way out of this dead end lies through comprehensive and diligent implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12th, 2015. Ukraine’s territorial integrity cannot be secured through the use of threats or military force, but it must be secured.”
New era of “rising economic selfishness”
Putin criticized new “exclusive economic associations” [referring to TPP and TTIP], “with their establishment being negotiated behind closed doors, secretly from those very nations’ own public and business communities, as well as from the rest of the world. Other states, whose interests may be affected, have not been informed of anything, either. It seems that someone would like to impose upon us some new game rules, deliberately tailored to accommodate the interests of a privileged few, with the WTO having no say in it. This is fraught with utterly unbalancing global trade and splitting up the global economic space. These issues affect the interests of all nations and influence the future of the entire global economy.”
Instead, Putin proposed “discussing those issues within the framework of the United Nations, the WTO and the G20. Contrary to the policy of exclusion, Russia advocates harmonizing regional economic projects.”
Putin called the economic sanctions imposed on Russia as illegal: “unilaterally imposed sanctions circumventing the UN Charter have all but become commonplace today. They not only serve political objectives, but are also used for eliminating market competition.”
Global warming
Finally, Putin proposed to use the platform of the United Nations to confront the problem of global warming: “I am confident that humanity does have the necessary intellectual capacity to respond to it. We need to join our efforts, primarily engaging countries that possess strong research and development capabilities, and have made significant advances in fundamental research.”
After receiving MBA Angela Borozna worked in finance and information technology for various companies in London, San Francisco and New York. Currently she is pursuing Ph.D in political science, writing dissertation on Russian foreign policy.
Tags: UN Russia Putin

Xinhua: Russian Airplanes Hit IS Targets in Syria

News | 03.10.2015 | 00:04
Xinhua - Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in several areas, a military source told the state news agency SANA on Friday.
The Syrian and Russian airstrikes targeted the IS command center in the northern province of Aleppo, a weapon depot and a field camp in the Marat al-Numan area and the town of Hbait in the countryside of the northwestern province of Idlib.
The strikes also destroyed tens of rebel vehicles in the Kafr Zaita area in the countryside of the central province of Hama.
A day earlier, a military source told Xinhua that over 30 Russian war jets have recently arrived in Syria as part of the recent Russian declared strikes against the jihadi militant groups.
The number of fighter jets that are ready to participate in the airstrikes against the jihadi groups in Syria exceed 30 warplanes, the source said on condition of anonymity.
He added that the jets will target the positions of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the IS militant groups in different Syrian areas.
The source added that in addition to the naval Russian base in Syria's Tartus city and the airbase that is hosting the Russian warplanes in Latakia's airport of Basel al-Assad, a third base is being prepared in central Syria.
The Russian warplanes started Wednesday its airstrikes against the rebel positions in several Syrian areas, marking the first Russian military involvement in the war on the terrorist groups in Syria.
Damascus has confirmed it had asked Russia for military aid, saying the Russian air force aid to Syria has come upon the request of President Bashar al-Assad, according to the state news agency SANA.
A couple of weeks ago, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in an interview that his government could ask for a Russian military aid if necessary. A day later, Russian officials said Moscow is ready to provide aid to Syria.
The Russian leadership has recently amplified its military aid to the Syrian military forces. Russian officials have recently stressed that Moscow will continue providing military aid, including specialists, to Damascus.
Russian officials said the increasing military supplies aim at combating terrorism in accordance with international law.
Tags: ISIS Russia Syria

Obama’s Ludicrous ‘Barrel Bomb’ Theme

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 01.10.2015 | 10:08
The U.S. government has dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs on Iraq alone in the last dozen years – and even hailed the start of the bombing campaign in 2003 as “shock and awe” – but now has coyly and repeatedly decried the Syrian government’s supposed use of crude “barrel bombs.”
This hyper-hypocritical propaganda theme was given voice in President Barack Obama’s Sept. 28 speech to the United Nations General Assembly when he denounced anyone who doesn’t favor “regime change” in Syria as advocating “support [for] tyrants like Bashar al-Assad, who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children.”
At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”
Yet, Obama offered no criticism of various U.S. administrations and American allies that have leveled whole cities, killing countless men, women and children. That slaughter has included two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945 and the devastation of Indochina during the 1960s and 1970s with more bomb tonnage than was dropped in all of World War II. Millions, including countless children, were killed in these bombing campaigns.
More recently, Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush ordered the devastation of Fallujah and other Iraqi cities to suppress resistance to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Obama himself has boasted of ordering military strikes in seven countries, mostly aerial bombardments with many confirmed civilian dead.
In 2014, Israel used American warplanes and armaments to blast apart Gaza killing some 2,100 people – the vast majority civilians and many of them children, including four little boys playing on a beach. President Obama not only refrains from criticizing Israel’s indiscriminate use of these devastating weapons but stays silent on Israel’s rogue nuclear stockpile and today ponders which giant “bunker buster” bombs should be added to Israel’s bristling arsenal.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is dropping U.S.-supplied ordnance, reportedly including cluster bombs, on the helpless population of Yemen with Obama’s tacit approval and reportedly with U.S. intelligence assistance.
On Monday, the Saudi air force apparently bombed a wedding party on Yemen’s Red Sea coast killing more than 130 people, including women who had taken refuge in a tent, according to various news reports.
One surviving relative said it was difficult to determine the exact number of dead because the bodies were blasted into so many bloody pieces. “I saw no body intact,” said Ahmed Altabozi, the uncle of one of the victims.
Yet, while President Obama has avoided any direct public rebukes of U.S. or allied militaries for their slaughter of civilians, he singled out Syria’s embattled government for using a homemade weapon in its desperate fight against terrorists of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
Further, Obama claimed that President Assad dropped the “barrel bombs to massacre innocent children” when there is no evidence that Assad had any such intent. Obama’s comment amounted to crude and deceptive propaganda.
By contrast, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launches one of his periodic “lawn mowing” operations against the people of Gaza and many children are cut down in the process, Obama stands mute, apparently judging that the exercise in recurring butchery is just one of those “price is worth it” moments.
Obviously, any killing of civilians in wartime is to be deplored – whoever is dropping the bombs and whatever the weapon’s degree of lethality – but it was still stunning to watch Obama apply such selective outrage. Indeed, much of the UN General Assembly seemed genuinely shocked by Obama’s blatant double standards.
Propaganda Buzz Phrase
But it’s really all par for the course. Whenever propagandists develop their “themes” for a conflict, they look for certain “hot button” phrases that make the behavior of a “black-hatted enemy” appear particularly venal. “Barrel bomb” has become the propaganda buzz phrase of choice associated with the Syrian conflict.
Yet, it seems likely this clumsy, improvised weapon – supposedly dropped from helicopters – would be far less lethal than rocket-propelled bombs delivered from afar by jet planes or drones, the approach favored by the U.S. government and its “allies.”
Civilians would have a much better chance to seek safety in a bomb shelter before some “barrel bomb” is shoved out the door of a helicopter than when a sophisticated U.S.-made bomb arrives with little or no warning, as apparently happened to the victims of that wedding in Yemen.
And that is not to mention the U.S. bombs that involve depleted uranium, napalm, phosphorous and cluster munitions, which present other humanitarian concerns. However, while U.S.-assisted or U.S.-directed slaughters of civilians attract little attention in the mainstream U.S. media, there are endless denunciations of the Syrian government’s “barrel bombs.”
The propaganda drumbeat is such that the American people are told that they must support “regime change” in Syria even if it risks opening the gates of Damascus to a victory by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists.
This odd “humanitarian” equation, tallied up by the State Department and “human-rights” NGOs, holds that to secure revenge for Syria’s alleged use of “barrel bombs,” the world must accept the possibility of the black flag of Sunni terrorism flying over a major Mideast capital while its streets would run red with the blood of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “heretics.”
Then, apparently, the United States would have little choice but to lead a massive expeditionary force into Syria to oust the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, ensuring the deaths of hundreds of thousands more innocents and sending millions more fleeing into a destabilized Europe.
But such is the power of propaganda in managing public perceptions. Use a phrase like “barrel bomb” over and over again as if it is a uniquely evil weapon when, in fact, it is far less lethal and destructive than the ordnance that the United States routinely deploys or hands out to its “allies” like candy on Halloween. Soon the people lose all perspective and are open to manipulation. [See’s “The Power of False Narrative.”]
Once the U.S. public is softened up with the propaganda and psy-ops – also known as “strategic communications” or Stratcom – the only acceptable option is “regime change” in Syria even if that prospect holds the likelihood of a far worse human catastrophe.
By hearing “barrel bomb” enough times, the judgment of American citizens is clouded and any practical suggestion for a realistic political settlement of Syria’s conflict is deemed “appeasement” of a tyrant, which was the clear message of President Obama’s UN tirade.
And, thus, the killing continues; the chaos grows worse.
Robert Parry,

Global Research Exposes Obama's Lies On Syria

The War on Syria. Obama Lied When He Said This

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 02.10.2015 | 10:45
U.S. President Obama’s central case against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad (and his central argument against Assad’s supporter Russia on that matter) is that Assad was behind the sarin gas attack in Ghouta Syria on 21 August 2013 — but it’s all a well-proven lie, as will be shown here.
President Obama said this to the UN on September 24th: “The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods.”
As I wrote in an article earlier in September, summing up the evidence on this (and you can click through all the way to the ultimate published sources here):
The great investigative journalist Christof Lehmann headlined on 7 October 2013 at his nsnbc news site,«Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria», and he opened:
«Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia´s Interior Ministry». (The U.S. has been allied with the Saudi royal family since 1945.)
Lehmann discussed the chemical-weapons attack «in the Eastern Ghouta Suburb of Damascus on 21 August 2013,» which attack U.S. President Barack Obama was citing as his reason for planning to bombto bring down Syria’s pro-Russian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, whom Obama was blaming for the chemical attack. However, much like another great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh subsequently reported (using different sources) in the London Review of Books on 17 April 2014, Lehmann’s even-earlier investigation found that the U.S. had set up the chemical attack, and that it was actually carried out by Islamic jihadists that the U.S. itself was supplying in Syria, through Turkey. Lehmann reported:
After the defeat of the predominantly Qatar-backed Muslim Brotherhood and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces, which were reinforced by Libyans in June and July 2012, the U.S.-Saudi Axis was strengthened. Uncooperative Qatari-led brigades which rejected the new command structure had to be removed. The influx of Salafi-Wahhabbi fighters to Syria was documented by the International Crisis Group in their report titled «Tentative Jihad».
Hersh’s report added to Lehmann’s, a powerful confirmation by British intelligence, which found that the source of the chemical-weapons attack couldn’t possibly have been Assad’s forces. However, the Brits, of course, didn’t publicly expose Obama’s lie; after all, just as Tony Blair had been George W. Bush’s «lap dog» in Iraq and Afghanistan, David Cameron is Obama’s lap dog in Syria and Libya.
Regarding Obama’s statement, “These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods,” nothing like that is stated in the report by “U.N. inspectors,” though Obama says it is. However, here is what Matthew Schofield of McClatchy reported on 15 January 2014, months after that UN report:
A series of revelations about the rocket believed to have delivered poison sarin gas to a Damascus suburb last summer are challenging American intelligence assumptions about that attack and suggest that the case U.S. officials initially made for retaliatory military action was flawed.
A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated…
The authors of a report released Wednesday [15 January 2014] said that their study of the rocket’s design, its likely payload and its possible trajectories show that it would have been impossible for the rocket to have been fired from inside areas controlled by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
In the report, titled “Possible Implications of Faulty U.S. Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former United Nations weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that the question about the rocket’s range indicates a major weakness in the case for military action initially pressed by Obama administration officials.
That’s putting it mildly — i.e, it misrepresents what the Lloyd-Postal report found, which was (on the report’s page 11):
The US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT.
Here is the “Bottom Line” to their excruciatingly detailed analysis of the evidence:
  •  The Syrian Improvised Chemical Munitions [the rockets] that Were Used in the August 21, Nerve Agent Attack in Damascus Have a Range of About 2 Kilometers.
  •  This Indicates That These Munitions Could Not Possibly Have Been Fired at East Ghouta from the “Heart” or the Eastern Edge of the Syrian Government Controlled Area Depicted in the Intelligence Map Published by the White House on August 30, 2013 [as charged by the White House].
  • This faulty Intelligence Could Have Led to an Unjustified US Military Action Based on False Intelligence.
  • A Proper Vetting of the Fact That the Munition Was of Such Short Range Would Have Led to a Completely Different Assessment of the Situation from the Gathered Data [namely, that the attack was perpetrated by opponents to Assad’s regime].
  • Whatever the Reasons for the Egregious Errors in the Intelligence, the Source of These Errors Needs to Be Explained.
Just as ‘intelligence errors’ (instead of Presidential lies) were blamed for the 2003 invasion of Iraq by President George W. Bush, ‘Egregious Errors in the Intelligence’ (instead of Presidential lies) were blamed here, even though the President continues saying, now even at the UN, “The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons onAugust 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods.”
That whole statement is a lie. Obama in his 24 September 2015 UN speech misrepresented the UN investigators’ finding (which was that a sarin gas attack had, indeed, occurred — and not by ‘advanced rockets’ but by two rockets, each of which was an “unguided rocket”), and he lied about what the analyses of evidence, after the UN’s report was issued, actually did find — namely, that the U.S. President has been (and he still is) lying (and it called these rockets “Improvised Chemical Munitions,” and gave detailed descriptions of both of these rockets that the President called “advanced rockets”).
According to Hersh’s account, Britain’s MI6 already knew that Obama was lying, but couldn’t go public about it.
So, why were there not boos from the audience at the UN when he repeated that by-now disproven old lie, which remains believable only by suckers — people who still believe a man who by now is a rampantly repeated liar? They’re all diplomats. So, the lie lives on. (Just click through to the sources here on this, and you’ll see that Obama was lying. The “intelligence” is not wrong; he simply lies about it.)
Meanwhile, Russian volunteer troops, who are now going public inside Syria about their direct on-the-ground military actions against ISIS and al-Nusra (the latter being al-Qaeda’s local affiliate in Syria), because the Russian Armed Forces are coming there with planes and such to back them and Assad’s forces up, say, “Terrorists have many American weapons, rockets and even night vision devices. Americans teach them. USA bombed our gas plants in the East.”
Putin is, in effect, daring Obama to continue his sham ‘war against ISIS,’ now that proceding further with it would expose the reality of what Obama has been doing all along. Putin is working instead with the leaders of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Israel, to kill the Islamic jihadists, who are backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the U.S. (The way Germany’s highly reliable global-news source, German Economic News, puts the pro-jihadist alliance is: “Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qartar, Turkey, but also the United States”; but, of course it’s actually led by the U.S.) Instead of trying to take over the world, like the U.S. is doing, Putin is trying to organize an alliance against Sunni jihadists, who constitute a real threat to peace and security in his and many other nations.
With American Presidents such as George W. Bush and Barack Obama — has this “perpetual war for” perpetual ‘indispennsable nation’ hood, ‘American exceptionalism’ (Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc., and evenUkraine) become a bad habit of America’s actually heisted political system? And can a nation that’s ruled by lies —lies for which there is no personal accountability — be actually ademocracy? Are not lies coercion against the victim’s mind, just as theft is coercion against the victim’s property, and just as violence is coercion against the victim’s body? The victims here are the public, including all American voters, who are deceived that the American government still represents them. Coercion comes in all three types. Not all tyrannies function the same way, yet all of them are tyrannies, none the less.
When will a stop be put to the recently emergent tyranny in America? Perhaps the first step is to call the spade a spade, not continue the lie that it’s still a ‘democracy.’ Isn’t honesty basic to any real democracy? Doesn’t it need to be restored? Isn’t calling it what it is, the first step?
The UN isn’t set up to do that for us. No one should blame the UN for not doing that, which it cannot do. Only Americans can — if they will.
Tyranny isn’t permanent, any more than is democracy.
Eric Zuesse,