Sunday 21st of October 2018

a new tack from the USA... and an advice from a Russian elder...

advice from the elderadvice from the elder

Telling Vladimir what to do would be like selling freezers to esquimos. But under the rahrah in the USA, one has to be aware that a new tack by the Trump administration does not mean that the USA has given up on trying to muck up Russia. Presently Russia is demonised for a) saving Aleppo from terrorists (true) and b) for having interferred with the USA elections (false) and other false indictments. 

In the mean time, what the USA cannot get by sanctions, distrust and petty sabre-rattling, the USA could get under the doonah in Moscow and tear the place apart for PROFIT. That's on the card...

Here in Australia, the bigoted right wing government of New South Wales is selling all the public assets to their mates at discounted rates, even if they are not their mates. Gorby regrets that the Soviet Union was dismantled in a shamble, eventually leading to the Ukraine malaise, as the West (the Yanks) never had the intent to stick to their agreement of the deal Gorbachev did with Reagan (the geazer who's smilling like Al Capone in all the pictures with Gorby)...


Set aside the fact that Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil and Donald Trump’s apparent choice for secretary of state, knows scores of world leaders and is a skilled businessman. Why would Mr. Trump choose as his top diplomat a man whose every decision or action would be tainted by suspicion that he’s capitulating to Russian interests or those of the oil industry, having spent his entire career at Exxon Mobil?

Mr. Trump seems impervious to ethical standards. By naming Mr. Tillerson, he risks burdening his administration with another appointee likely to ensure endless controversy.

Mr. Tillerson has no background in diplomacy beyond corporate deal making. And his relationship with Vladimir Putin, Russia’s authoritarian leader, raises serious questions about whether he could manage Russia policy in a way that advances America’s national interests. Mr. Putin even gave him an “Order of Friendship” award in 2013.

American-Russian relations are at their worst since the Cold War, a result of Mr. Putin’s annexation of Crimea, the war in eastern Ukraine, his attempts to destabilize countries in Europe, and bombings of civilians in Syria. The Central Intelligence Agency’s newly revealed judgment that Russia interfered in the election to hurt Hillary Clinton adds a frightening dimension to the relationship.

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Détente Now: A New Call for Peace, Security, and Cooperation




by Gilbert Doctorow, Ute Finckh-Krämer, Ludger Volmer, Rolf Ekéus and Noam Chomsky
Civic and religious leaders in Germany are spearheading a new initiative to avoid war between Russia and the West.

A transatlantic appeal for a new policy of détente with Russia has been launched. The declaration’s authors invite the general public to join leading political figures and social activists who have publicly rallied to support the call.

The initiative was born in Berlin several months ago in the days of deepest gloom engendered by confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, the Baltic countries, and Syria, with major war exercises held around Russia’s borders and bellicose language from both sides that suggested imminent hot war. As German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank Walter Steinmeier (SPD) said in an interview with Bild newspaper on October 8, present times are more dangerous even than during the Cold War that ended in 1990:

Previously, the world was divided, but Moscow and Washington knew each other’s red lines and respected them. In a world with many regional conflicts and dwindling influence of the great powers, the world becomes more unpredictable.”

The roll-out of the initiative called Détente Now aims at bringing civil society on two continents into play both to enforce and to support approaches to pursue dialogue and compromise with Russian counterparts, e.g., on confidence- and security-building measures between Russia and its neighbors. Détente Now will be a powerful voice for change of direction in foreign policy within Europe, and within Germany in particular, as it and several other key EU countries have their national elections in the course of 2017.

In the United States, the word “détente” brings to mind the efforts of former presidents and secretaries of state to control and reduce strategic weapons and to find ways of cooperation instead of confrontation. In Germany, the equivalent policy,  Entspannungspolitik, was crafted in the 1970s by Chancellor Willy Brandt and his close adviser Egon Bahr.  Their “Eastern Policy” promoted rapprochement as a means of gradually changing the behavior and views of the opposing side.  It is widely believed to have facilitated the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the original Cold War.

The Détente Now declaration specifically seeks implementation of the twin objectives of a “Europe whole and free” and a common space of peace and security extending from Lisbon to Vladivostok. That vision of all-European security set out in the Charter of Paris signed in 1990 by all European states and the institutionalization of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Budapest in 1994, was predicated upon respect for human rights and liberties, and upon equal security provisions for all. Regrettably, in the 1990s this grand vision was replaced by political and security schemes that left Russia out in the cold: the greater European Union and an expanded NATO. The result has been nearly calamitous, the authors of Détente Now believe.

The declaration was initiated by a few concerned citizens of civil society, churches, and science, including Wolfgang Biermann (former adviser to Egon Bahr), Peter Brandt (historian), Konrad Raiser (former secretary general of the World Council of Churches), Reiner Hoffmann (chairman of the German Trade Unions Federation), and Horst Teltschik, (former head of Chancellor Kohl’s office and 1999–2008 director of the Munich Security Conference), as well as, from the United States, Daniel Ellsberg (longtime advocate for an informed citizenry).

Many people from the United States, Germany, and other countries support the declaration in the wake of the American presidential election as a transatlantic appeal for a new policy of détente. Among the key first signatories in Germany are well-known Bundestag members from the SPD party, recently joined by a growing number of Green deputies, as well as city mayors, scientists, artists, and journalists. In the United States, the declaration has won the support of several board members of the American Committee for East West Accord, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the Association of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, Veteran Intelligence Officials for Sanity, and of celebrities from the film and music industries, among them Roger Waters (founding member of Pink Floyd) or David Kasper (an Academy Award–winning filmmaker).

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why they hate tillerson...

Why They Hate Rex Tillerson


He’s not John Bolton, he’s not Mitt Romney, and he’s for peace with Russia

by , December 14, 2016

While the Democrats morph into a neoconservative party of paranoiacs whose main issue is hating on Russia, and the John McCain-Lindsey Graham duo arises to make its last stand in a Trumpified GOP, Rex Tillerson is the perfect target of their ire. Seeking to delegitimize the President-elect as a Russian-controlled Manchurian candidate, the CIA-Clinton-Saudi axis of “resistance” is on the warpath, and Tillerson’s alleged ties to Vladimir Putin are taking center stage in what is bound to turn into a knock-down drag-out fight on the Senate floor.

What’s noteworthy about this gathering storm is that Trump seems to welcome it: despite the rising tide of cold war hysteria, the Trump team is determined to have this fight right out of the starting gate. Instead of waiting for the inevitable assault, they’re going on the offensive against  the War Party  – and that is a welcome development for those of us who support détente with Russia.

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of State is the CEO of Exxon, a company that has always opposed the American empire’s favorite ploy short of war: economic sanctions. Exxon is one of the principal supporters of USA Engage, a business lobby that has for years argued against Iranian and Iraqi sanctions, and that believes in “positively engaging other societies through diplomacy, multilateral cooperation, the presence of American organizations,” and that “the best practices of American companies and humanitarian exchanges better advances U.S. objectives than punitive unilateral economic sanctions.”


The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House.

Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said.

The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.

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gas for the poms...?

Britain has emerged as the unlikely first recipient of gas from a sanctioned Russian project after fears of a winter supply crisis drove prices close to five year highs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the £20bn Yamal project on Russia's northern coastline last week. Shortly after, British wholesale gas prices soared to four-year highs when a crucial North Sea pipeline was put out of action by a crack and a distribution hub in Austria was hit by an explosion. 

Now a deal has been struck to bring the debut cargo from Yamal to the Isle of Grain import terminal via a specially built ice-breaking tanker by the end of the month.

Britain rarely receives deliveries of liquid natural gas (LNG) in winter because prices are typically far higher in east Asian markets. However rocketing demand in Europe drove the price for gas delivered to the UK to more than $10 per million British thermal units. This put the UK on a par with Asian gas markets, which are some of the most expensive in the world.

Around 40pc of the UK’s domestic supplies have been wiped out until the new year due to the emergency shutdown of the North Sea’s Forties pipeline, operated by Ineos. Supply from Europe has also been constrained by the explosion at a hub in Austria and technical problems in the Norwegian North Sea.

Despite the upheaval Government officials have repeatedly argued that the UK is not facing a threat to security of supply due to the wide range of gas sources available


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