Wednesday 20th of February 2019

for some, peace is a "dirty word"

the times...

OffGuardian was founded on the idea that the media should be held to account, corrected, fact-checked and interpreted. A lot of the time that’s job that needs to be done.

But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you just let them talk and their own words condemn them.

This is one of those times.

The Times is scare-mongering about peace.

Nothing more need be said.


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yes, mummy...

Washington wants its NATO allies to increase their military spending and thus reduce the burden placed on the US.

President Donald Trump has reiterated this demand in letters sent to European leaders ahead of an upcoming NATO summit in Brussels.

"Germany has to spend more money. Spain, France. It's not fair what they've done to the United States," Trump told reporters on Friday.

Berlin, for its part, believes that it was fully on track to meet its defense spending obligations

After meeting with her US counterpart, James Mattis, last week, the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that Washington was satisfied with the projected uptick in Germany’s defense outlays.


Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was equally defensive arguing that his country “has halted the systematic fall in defense spending and takes part in a lot of military operations."

"I am not very impressed by this type of letter," Michel told reporters on the fringes an EU summit in Brussels.

With the NATO summit less than two weeks away now, the  personal letters sent by President Trump to the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain,Portugal, Luxembourg, Norway and the Netherlands may exacerbate existing tensions between the United States and its European allies, already strained after the recent  G7 summit in Canada.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized its NATO allies for not doing enough to meet their commitment to spend two percent of their national GDP on defense by 2024.

READ MORE: We Heard Trump's Unhappy: UK Sets Cost of Strong US, NATO Ties & It's 3% of GDP

European allies have been ramping up their defense spending in response to Washington’s demands.

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loosing her underpants...

The UK establishment is alarmed by a "peace deal" that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump may reach at their upcoming meeting. London has used Moscow as a "boogeyman" to preserve its fading influence in Europe, experts told RT. 

After the time and date of the meeting – that is, Helsinki, Finland on July 16 – was set this week, the Times laid out a piece conveying the fears of unnamed cabinet ministers that a "peace deal" will undermine NATO and compromise European security.

Ideas of "what can go wrong" ranged from the cancelation or downsizing of NATO drills in Eastern Europe to acknowledging Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions against Moscow. One minister even predicted "further provocation by Moscow."

Clear and present danger of "losing market"

"The UK has been one of the most active supporters of a hard line towards Russia," and the "vigorous resistance" of its ruling circles to any positive shift in the stance of Washington towards Moscow shouldn't be surprising, Alexander Bartosh, a military expert and former Russian diplomat, told RT.

The UK, which quit the European Union, feels a certain loss of its weight in Europe and tries to turn Russia into a kind of boogeyman, seeing the 'Russian threat' as a unifying factor for nations, looking for closer ties with London," he said.

British historian and author on international affairs John Laughland believes that "in the context of Brexit, Britain wants to talk up the Russian threat in order to be able to sell British military expertise, military capacity, and intelligence gathering expertise to the Europeans.

"The British are afraid [because] if the Russian threat is perceived to disappear they lose their market."

There are all grounds for London to worry because "the common belief that America and Britain are such great friends isn't really justified, as there are many in the US who support tougher and more pragmatic relations with the UK. The Americans don't want to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Britain as they used to do previously," Bartosh said.


Friends and money

The paper also wrote about fears that US President Donald Trump, who has been bashing NATO allies for not chipping in enough to the organization's budget, may accept the Polish offer to pay for the establishment of a permanent US base in the country in a bypass of NATO.




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panic of the russophobes...

Judging by the reaction of the US mainstream media, the world, as we know it, will end in July when Donald Trump meets Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Pundits fear that Putin and Trump will strike a deal that will ruin the current world order.

But why do they think that a deal between the US president and the Russian leader is a bad thing? Why do they say that leaving Putin and Trump unsupervised in the same room is a “doomsday scenario”? Their reasons have nothing to do with American interests. The US media and its “expert community” is nothing more than an external marketing and PR department for the US military-industrial complex and peace is bad for its business. The Helsinki summit is literally a chance to stop a new Cold War, and therefore is a nightmare for the “Washingtonian swamp” that Trump promised to drain.

The US media wants to portray Trump as someone too inept and too vulnerable to go toe to toe with Putin. Politico believes that “the contrast troubles Russian experts and former U.S. officials who worry the president is liable to make promises to a Russian autocrat he seems eager to please.” 

The Hill is concerned that "it’s not clear Trump is looking for a confrontational summit with the Russian leader," and quotes Nile Gardiner, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, who believes that “there’s no point in having a summit unless you’re going to stand up to Putin."  

For Slate, the whole idea of a friendly or even neutral summit with the Russian leader is offensive: "Most U.S. allies dread the meeting because all signs suggest that Trump views it not as a session to clear misunderstandings and reduce tensions on issues where the two sides have common interests (military and intelligence officers have these sorts of discussions routinely), but rather as a summit to build trust and friendship where there is no basis for either."

READ MORE: Wall Street Analyst Explains How Trump-Putin Summit May Ease Tensions in Europe

The bad news for the Russophobes is that Trump wants to meet Putin not because he likes him, but mostly because he needs Russian cooperation on a crucial issue. Namely, without Russian cooperation there is absolutely no way Trump can put an economic stranglehold on Iran and keep the oil price comfortable for the US economy. Let’s face it, Russia is a key player in OPEC, even if Russia is not a formal member of the organization. Only OPEC (mostly Saudi Arabia) and Russia have some spare oil production capacity to cushion the price shock of Trump’s sanctions in Iran. The Trump administration insists that all US allies across the globe must reduce their oil imports from Iran to literally “zero” by November. According to Reuters, “a senior State Department official said this week that countries will need to cut their imports of Iranian oil to zero from November and exemptions are unlikely.” 


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a small defrost...



Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has shared his view on what would be an “ideal” outcome of a Trump-Putin meeting, in an interview with Larry King that covered a wide range of topics, from Crimea to NATO and Syria.

Relations between the US and Russia are now at such a low point that a mere resumption of a normal dialog following a summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin could already be regarded as a success, Lavrov told the veteran TV host, on his show Politicking, aired on RT America.


The top Russian diplomat called the state of relations between the two nations “unfortunate” and said that “most channels of communications established over the last eight years have been frozen, including the ones on very important issues” such as the fight against terrorism and cyber-security.

“What we have now is sporadic meetings between diplomats and military, mostly on Syria,” Lavrov said. He then explained that if Trump and Putin would manage to “re-open all the channels [of dialog] on both divisive issues … and those issues where we can usefully cooperate” he would call such an outcome of the meeting “ideal.”

The foreign minister also said he believes that a spat in bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington began at a time when the US “realized” that Russia would not just blindly and eagerly follow the western line “on everything.” Moscow, in its turn, just wants its voice to be heard and perceived as the voice of an equal partner, he added.


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Please read on military "intelligence"... Then asks yourself why Pompeo, a former CIA chief is now Secretary of State? The next question is "how someone like Bolton managed to get into Trump's pants?" etc, etc... And why has Mueller (the III) found nothing against Russia, in the "interference of the US President election" while claiming to "have found 12 Russians who did"? Is there anything to be found? Had Mueller (the III) found something really irrefutable, would these Presidential elections be null and void? Has the use of spies, former spies and double-agents been the only way to do real "diplomacy" with the top figures just signing the paperwork? Is Alexander Downer a spy? Or a double agent working for the USA as well? Will Putin see through the smokescreens? Will Trump do something stupid or terribly clever? Should Putin invite Rupert Murdoch to see the final of the FIFA World Cup in his Presidential Box?


a fake comedy of indictment...



The indictment of 12 Russians for allegedly hacking the Democratic Party in 2016 appear to be politically motivated, with the goal of spoiling the upcoming Helsinki summit, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“It is regrettable that spreading false information has become the norm in Washington, and [the] indictments are based on openly political motives,” the ministry said on Friday, responding to the announcement by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “The question is for how long will they continue to flog this shameful comedy that disgraces the US.”


Claiming that the people indicted are intelligence officers and hackers does not make them either, the ministry said, adding that the allegation of illegal entry into Democratic Party computers is not backed by any factual evidence.

“The goal of this ‘information attack’ is obviously to spoil the atmosphere prior to the Russian-American summit,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the forthcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US leader Donald Trump. “The influential political forces in the US, that are opposed to the normalization of relations between our countries and have spread open slander for the past two years, are desperately trying to make the best use of yet another fake,” it added.


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on military "intelligence"...