Wednesday 27th of October 2021

more than one string to the empire's trojan horses...

empire trojan horses

The Third World War is currently being fought. How long before it moves into its hot stage?

Washington is currently conducting economic and propaganda warfare against four members of the five bloc group of countries known as BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Brazil and South Africa are being destabilized with fabricated political scandals. Both countries are rife with Washington-financed politicians and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Washington concocts a scandal, sends its political agents into action demanding action against the government and its NGOs into the streets in protests.

Washington tried this against China with the orchestrated Hong Kong “student protest.” Washington hoped that the protest would spread into China, but the scheme failed. Washington tried this against Russia with the orchestrated protests against Putin’s reelection and failed again.

To destablilze Russia, Washington needs a firmer hold inside Russia. In order to gain a firmer hold, Washington worked with the New York mega-banks and the Saudis to drive down the oil price from over $100 per barrel to $30. This has put pressure on Russian finances and the ruble. In response to Russia’s budgetary needs, Washington’s allies inside Russia are pushing President Putin to privatize important Russian economic sectors in order to raise foreign capital to cover the budget deficit and support the ruble. If Putin gives in, important Russian assets will move from Russian control to Washington’s control.

In my opinion, those who are pushing privatization are either traitors or completely stupid. Whichever it is, they are a danger to Russia’s independence.

Eric Draitser provides some details of Washington’s assault on Russia here.

And of Washington’s attack on South Africa here.

And of Washington’s attack on Brazil here.

For my column on Washington’s attack on Latin American independence, see here.

As I have often pointed out, the neoconservatives have been driven insane by their arrogance and hubris. In their pursuit of American hegemony over the world, they have cast aside all caution in their determination to destabilize Russia and China.

By implementing neoliberal economic policies urged on them by their economists trained in the Western neoliberal tradition, the Russian and Chinese governments are setting themselves up for Washington. By swallowing the “globalism” line, using the US dollar, participating in the Western payments system, opening themselves to destabilization by foreign capital inflows and outflows, hosting American banks, and permitting foreign ownership, the Russian and Chinese governments have made themselves ripe for destabilization.

If Russia and China do not disengage from the Western system and exile their neoliberal economists, they will have to go to war in order to defend their sovereignty.

 

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

 

See also: "The Age of Deceit"

 

rats in the ranks...


French Assembly adopts resolution calling to end anti-Russian sanctions imposed by EU

 

RT: Will the government respect the vote, since many parliamentarians spoke out in support?

AM: I don’t think they will respect the vote exactly, but they have to calculate its impact. Before this vote, the French government was giving assurances to French farmers that it was doing everything it could, as it put it, to get the sanctions lifted. It is important to remember that there are elections in France next year for the presidency, which are going to be crucial. What French farmers and indeed the French population feel about these counts. Whereas, I don’t think this vote in itself is going to force the French government to change its policy, it does show in which way French opinion is moving.

RT: How do these sanction affecting both the EU and Russia?

AM: In terms of Russia, with every month that passes their effect diminishes. The main problem for Russia was that they were making it very difficult for Russian companies to raise loans in world financial markets. With every month that passes that problem reduces, because the Russian companies have paid off their debts and they worked out their own problems.

By contrast, in Europe with every month that passes the effect grows and we’re seeing this with French agriculture, but also right across sectors, because they are losing out on the Russian market, which for many of these companies in Europe and in France is very important. And not only are they losing out on it, but with every month that this continues the chances for getting back into that market falls.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/341277-france-russia-sanctions-resolution/

 

russia to make its own camemberts...

 


NATO expansion to the East enables the alliance to deploy forces next to Russia’s borders and then accuse Moscow of “carrying out dangerous maneuvers” near the alliance’s bases, the Russian foreign minister told a Swedish media outlet.

“This is a mean-spirited attempt to turn the issue on its ears,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter daily.

“NATO military infrastructure is inching closer and closer to Russia’s borders. But when Russia takes action to ensure its security, we are told that Russia is engaging in dangerous manoeuvres near NATO borders. In fact, NATO borders are getting closer to Russia, not the opposite,” the Russian FM pointed out.

No room for NATO expansion in coming years – US envoy to alliance https://t.co/zJbK7HDZH1pic.twitter.com/JUGLR15zXu

— RT (@RT_com) April 22, 2016

Speaking about NATO as the EU’s principal military alliance, Lavrov said its existence is an “objective reality” and therefore Moscow is ready for dialogue.

NATO deployments of AMD bases and troops near Russian borders have already violated the basic 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, the foreign minister noted. Today, NATO is different from what it used to be and Russia pays no attention to its soothing words, but instead reacts to the alliance’s military potential massed near Russia’s borders, Lavrov added.

Russia is not interested in neutral Sweden entering NATO, yet “If Sweden decides to join NATO, we (Russians) won’t think that it intends to attack Russia,” Lavrov said. However, he also mentioned that alliance infrastructure in Sweden would definitely arouse a reaction from the Russian military.

Russia to boost military force if Sweden allies with NATO - senator https://t.co/c90P5LM7Dapic.twitter.com/zfv5P5zZwK

— RT (@RT_com) April 29, 2016

Every state is free to choose its self-defense strategy in consideration of its national interests, and it’s better to ask the people before making this decision, according to the Russian foreign minister.

“The answer [why NATO needs new member states] is simple - NATO seeks to cover as much geopolitical space as possible and surround the countries that somehow disagree with NATO, such as, for example, Russia and Serbia."

#Serbia won’t ascend to #EU or join #NATO at cost of alienating #Russiahttps://t.co/jtgyylv4nApic.twitter.com/uaFhzc3Mz7

— RT (@RT_com) April 1, 2016

Self-reliance is Russia’s strategic course now

Russian foreign policy is subject to change because sanctions against Moscow have made business as usual “absolutely impossible.” Russia will have to rely on its own resources first and foremost, the minister told the Dagens Nyheter daily.

“From now on we have to look to ourselves. We have everything we need for that. We are a self-sufficient country,” Sergey Lavrov said, adding that Russians are prepared to work hard to avoid having to buy anything abroad.

“This is a strategic course. It has nothing to do with self-isolation,” Lavrov said. He expressed hope that “when and if” Western partners opt to revert to “normal behavior,” this would only mean additional opportunity for development and cooperation. “But in basic things we’re going to paddle our own canoe.”

#US took advantage of #EU by forcing it to sanction Russia – European MP https://t.co/aYM0mpH8QDpic.twitter.com/b1P7U5OONu

— RT (@RT_com) April 17, 2016

The EU will mature and come to an “equitable respectful dialogue without ultimatums,” Lavrov said, expressing hope that the ongoing situation in Russia-EU relations won’t last long, because the European Union and Russia are not capable of competing in the modern world on their own.

“We’re destined to live and cooperate together,” the Russian foreign minister stated.

Lavrov added that Moscow will speak with other European capitals as “equal partners and defy any ideas prescribed by the EU to be taken for granted.”

He went on to say that not everyone in Europe is happy with the outcome of the anti-Russian sanctions, and it is no secret Brussels will have to discuss the issue.

#Russia open to widest possible cooperation with West - Russian FM https://t.co/4iARtD78Pnpic.twitter.com/Wa8LjSC9mq

— RT (@RT_com) March 3, 2016

“Let’s hope that common sense prevails,” Lavrov said, noting that the “European Union, of course, will head in the direction that Germany wishes to go.”

Sergey Lavrov reiterated that Russia would rely on generating internal resources to avoid being dependent on Europe, which is currently putting politics ahead of economic expediency.

 

https://www.rt.com/news/341378-lavrov-sweden-nato-russia/

 

America wanted to rule the world but lost its way...

 

 

Published time: 10 Aug, 2015 08:30

The Ukrainian issue has intensified the tension that existed between the West and Russia: now, another Cold War is possibly lurking on the horizon. Are we to witness another stand-off - or will it be averted? The relations between Russia and the West seem to be stuck at dead-end, so is there hope common ground will emerge between the two? We ask these questions to the man who prides himself on ending the Cold War, the last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, on Sophie&Co today.

Follow @SophieCo_RT

Sophie Shevarnadze:Mr. Gorbachev, thank you very much for finding the time to talk to us today.

Mikhail Gorbachev:I haven’t gone public for 18 months now.

 

SS:You recently said that the current situation is getting so intense that someone’s nerves might just snap. Why is the threat of mutually assured destruction no longer a sufficient deterrent today?

 

MG: I do not agree with those who say this – that the threat of nuclear destruction is no longer a sufficient deterrent. Today, we have much better knowledge of what nuclear weapons actually are and what they can do.

I’ll give you one example. Just one intercontinental ballistic missile, named Satan in the NATO classification (a very powerful missile of ours )... this one missile alone carries 100 'Chernobyls' in it, and this is why I think everyone understands what an immensely destructive force it is, as we have had enough time to understand that. And now we need to be vigilant and careful to make sure it never gets into the hands of extremists of any kind.

 

SS:In your article, you wrote that Europe needs its own Security Council. However, Europe already has the OSCE. Does that mean that the OSCE has lost its purpose?

 

MG: I’ll give you my answer. As of today, the OSCE is - [sarcastic cough] – that is my answer. Although I wouldn’t say that it “lost its purpose.” To say that would be to imply they are completely useless. However, the OSCE is still trying to do something. They are flailing around in Ukraine, their observers are there, and so on.

It is all about a different thing. Whenever we talk about the nuclear arsenal, the levels of control and responsibility are the highest. We need to get back to it. We need to build a united Europe, a Europe that would be home for all. Whereas now, in this European home we only get squabbles and arguments.

NATO seeks to interfere with everything everywhere

 

SS:When the German reunification was negotiated, the US secretary of state pledged that NATO will not go an inch further east of Germany. Those talks were never translated into binding agreements. Now, when the emotions are running high, negotiating something like this in regard to Ukraine seems to be even less probable. Will NATO ever stop until it reaches Russia’s borders?

 

MG: That’s all because the US is trying hard to get here. And watching the US, Russia responds with some steps in return, sometimes these are unnecessary steps. That’s how all of this grows out of proportion. I gave an interview to Time magazine a couple of days ago. I told them: “I don’t really get you. A long time ago, Eisenhower told you to beware - beware of the military-industrial complex. NATO seeks to interfere with everything and everywhere, it wants to expand beyond its designated territory. Eisenhower was a very serious man, a warrior. He went through everything that our country went through. He is a man whose judgement you can trust, that’s what I told them.

So what is it that you’re doing? Can’t you just live without it? It’s like America cannot live without its military-industrial complex growing, weapons sales increasing and war costs soaring - can’t you live without it?.”

And they answered, “Yes, it looks like it.”

And I said, “Then look, in this case, this society is sick. It needs help.”

 

SS:So why do you think NATO would want to expand to the East? Why?

 

MG: That’s its political culture, its military culture. For example, in 1990, there was a summit for the European countries – a really great summit. So they adopt a development plan for Europe. And it all looks like Europe is becoming the world’s new driving force, it sets the new pace.

So President [George H.W.] Bush delivers one speech, another one, yet another one – about the new world order based on the experience of what is going on in Europe. And Gorbachev says something along the lines after him.

Pope John Paul II also says, “Yes, we do need a new world order, which would be more stable, more fair, more everything, and so on and so forth.”

So everyone realized then that we arrived at the moment where there was an opportunity to move in the peaceful direction; the direction that the best people from basically all countries have dreamt of. And one of them was a certain American by the name of John Kennedy, the man who went through the Caribbean [Cuban Missile] crisis and said:

“If you think that future peace should be Pax Americana you’re mistaken. It’s either peace for all people, or no peace.” That’s exactly true. It’s harsh, it’s cruel, but it’s the way it is.

The inventors of nuclear power also said that. One of them said that with the arrival of nuclear weapons, the world lost its immortality.

And it all started with the Americans all of a sudden wanting to assert themselves. Why did they do so?

The Cold War was over, we put an end to it together, it was in fact a common victory shared by all nations. And yet Americans said, “No way, we won it. We won. We won the Cold War. We did. Us.”

And it seems OK to say ‘Oh well, whatever. If you like saying that - just go ahead.' But this leads to something. If the Americans indeed won, they can make a conclusion – and they did go on to make that conclusion and started to say publicly, “We don’t need to change anything. We won, the world is at our feet. Why should we have to change anything? We don’t need to change a thing. Our policy is right.’ And the most extreme thing they came up with – they began creating a new… superpower, a super empire. America wanted to rule the world.

The Americans lost their way. Any attempt to create a one-sided, mono-polar world is just complete and utter nonsense.

 

 

US needs its own Perestroika

SS:You suggested holding a Russia-US summit because these countries bear...

 

MG: Yes, I did.

 

SS: ...particular responsibility.

 

MG: Neither Russia nor the US responded.

 

SS:But if they wanted to resolve the crisis, surely they would have held this summit long ago.

 

MG: They are going to want to resolve it only when they feel the pressure from the civil society – in the US, here in Russia, and everywhere. It’s clear that without civil society and its defined and organized nature, it’s difficult to keep the hawks at bay.

 

SS:We talked about Barack Obama just now. You were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and so was he. How do you feel about the fact that in this regard he’s your colleague in this sense, a member of the same club, so to speak?

 

MG: In his case it was kind of like an advance. Such things happen in politics, too. One time I was giving a lecture in St. Louis, and after I finished a young man stood up and asked, “Mr. President, what would you advise us Americans to do?” I asked what he meant by that. He said, “You see how bad things are here, and they are getting worse.” I said, “Well, that’s new. All this time it was America that doled out advice for everyone, even though no one asked for it. No, I will not give you any advice. You Americans have everything at your disposal to figure this out.”

 

A second young man stood up and said, “I would like to support my colleague. Please answer the question. You have gone through all of this. We need to do something about our situation, too.” I said, “Very well. I will not give you a plan or a recipe, I just think the US needs its own perestroika.” After that the audience of 10 or 15,000 people that were there gave me a standing ovation. Two years later Barack Obama was elected President. So for the most part, the people are changing. The main thing is that Americans don’t want to die. Why is it that the US opts for using planes, warships, missiles without deploying ground forces? That’s because the society won’t let them anymore, it will start putting pressure immediately.

America can’t live without old policy of pressure

 

 

SS:You also said in an interview that the US acts as the world’s policeman and thinks it alone can protect the world. But who is America’s enemy? Who are they protecting against?

 

MG: I don’t think they have anybody to protect against. They just need an enemy to come back to their old policy of pressure. They can’t live without it. They are still enslaved by their old policy. That’s why America has to be stopped. It should be stopped in a friendly manner, as a partner. Let’s be realistic. America is a phenomenon we can’t ignore, and it has certain rights. Its word carries weight, and America can make decisions that benefit the whole world. Yes, Americans can lead. Do they want to lead? Yes, they can lead. But they should do so in partnership with other nations, because the only kind of leadership that is possible today is leadership through partnership.

 

SS:If I get it right, you also said that Americans want troubles in Europe to continue. How does the US benefit from disagreement among European nations?

 

MG: Whenever tensions are high, whenever there’s instability in a certain country or throughout the region, it’s an opportunity for them to intervene. That’s my frank answer to your question. I am quite familiar with this policy from my own experience. This is bad for US itself in the first place. In my lectures, I ask a question: Do you really think you'll be happy with the role of the world’s policeman? And I say, I'm pretty sure that you won't. And the audience applauds. And in all of my public appearances I ask these questions, probing the public opinion. No, the Americans do not want war. But it is not easy for them, with the society that they have. It has developed certain powerful mechanisms… I'd say they need a Perestroika, I mean it. They can call it any name they want, the American way.

Shifting responsibility is American way, mass media backs it up

SS:The United States benefits from turmoil in Europe because it gives the US a great excuse to interfere - if that's indeed so, why is the USA trying to shift the responsibility for resolving the Ukrainian crisis in its entirety to Russia? Why are the demanding that Russia...

MG: But of course they are!

 

SS:But why not share the responsibility?

MG: But that IS the American way - shifting the responsibility. Their mass media will provide all-round support, they will prove anything that's needed, however improbable. If they need to prove that a devil incarnate appeared, they will, if that's what it takes.

 

SS:I’d like to touch upon the sanctions and other current events. The South Stream [gas pipeline project] had to be shut down. The sale of Mistral ships is suspended. All of these issues have been causing a lot of damage to companies, including European ones. Why is the EU harming itself in its relationship with Russia?

 

MG: Well, just the other day 60 major figures spoke in Germany, including former presidents, as well as Mr. Genscher, Mr. Schroder, and Mr. Mangold, and so on – I knew most of them. Celebrities spoke as well. They all said unanimously that we shouldn’t be doing our business in such a way as to damage our relationship with Russia.

This is all happening because Chancellor Merkel finds herself in a very difficult situation for the reason of Germany’s dependence on the US; as for the rest of the European nations, Germany can handle them. At one point, Americans cut the oil prices, the oil prices plunge, and we lose dollars because of the measures that had already been taken by Americans according to their arrangements with Saudi Arabia. So this is yet another way of putting pressure.

Some time ago, I spoke at a conference in Passau, West Germany, which we held together with Mr. Kohl when he was still well. The theme of that conference was Individual in the United Europe. As it turned out, we both believed that without Russia, there cannot be a world order that would meet the interests of all nations, right. Then a guy stood up and said, “If that’s your opinion then you should accept Russia to the EU.” None of us was ready for that, especially my friend the chancellor. He leapt up, knocking the table over almost, and yelled, “What do you think you’re saying! This cannot be done, no way!” Why did he say 'no way'? Because without Russia, Germany has a lot of weight in the EU, it’s got a very strong position. So when Russia shows up you’ll have to accommodate that. Russia will have enough arguments to defend sovereign, strong positions.

West declared Russia enemy

 

SS:President Putin has recently said, and you also confirmed it, that the Ukraine and Crimea issue was just a pretext to impose sanctions against Russia, and that the West would’ve come up with something to do that anyway.

 

MG: I tend to share that opinion.

SS:I will discuss Crimea separately in a moment. Now, if you do share this opinion it means that the US and the West want to be Russia’s enemies, and that they would’ve imposed sanctions anyway?

 

MG: It was them who declared us enemies. So whether they wanted it or not, they did. Not all of them did though. I’ve heard many of them, to the contrary, defending us saying that Russia is… right. In the course of Russia’s long history, all kinds of things have been done to Russia, but no one managed to bring this country to its knees - let’s recall Napoleon, or Hitler - and nobody will. But you know what can happen now? If the war begins, considering the kinds of weapons that exist now, then…

 

SS:Is there a threat of such war?

 

MG: I believe there’s no threat of war right now. But we see the escalation; we can basically say that Cold War has started, or resumed. That’s what is happening now. So we have to be alert.

 

SS:So let’s go back to Crimea now. Let me quote you saying, “Earlier Crimea was merged with Ukraine under Soviet laws, to be more exact by the [Communist] party's laws, without asking the people, and now the people have decided to correct that mistake.” If that’s true, why doesn’t the West realize or accept it?

 

MG: Because it’s not to the advantage of the West. Historically, this position hasn’t been beneficial for the West. I am always trying to say what I know, to tell the truth in all of my articles, speeches and interviews. So in the times of the Russian Empire, before the Bolshevik Revolution, there was not such state as Ukraine. There was Malorossiya [Little Russia]. You would know that, right? Catherine the Great’s lovers used to rule it one after another. Oh, women are so cunning!

Under Lenin, the state of Ukraine was established. Regardless of anything that’s been said about Ukraine’s living at that time, Ukraine flourished as a state. It had powerful industry and culture; its leaders were represented in the Politburo as key figures. It produced General Secretaries, leaders of the Party and so on. But then passions started to run high; and when passions are revolving around women or having power it hard to get things right.

 

SS:But Mr. Gorbachev, when you were General Secretary, or the first President of the USSR, why didn’t you bring Crimea back as part of Russia? You could’ve done it.

 

MG: Why would I have done that, while the Soviet Union still existed? And the boundaries within the Soviet Union were the same as symbolic fences between two neighbors’ gardens. The biggest fight would’ve happened if your geese wandered into your neighbor’s garden; but from the state viewpoint, it wasn’t divided, or guarded. This is how it used to be.

 

General Secretary Khrushchev thought he would appease Ukraine. He used to be the First Secretary of Ukraine. So he did appease them, so to say, by handing Crimea over to them. But a lot later, in 1991, when we had the negotiations about the future of the USSR, the Belavezha Accords that were dissolving the Union were introduced, and there were all these meetings, and the signed accords were approved.

So the question is, how could they possibly have approved it in that way? Someone representing Russia tried to speak up, something along the lines of “well what about our people, they live across the Union, what happens to them, etc.”. And then cosmonaut Sevastyanov, he was a deputy, so the cosmonaut stood up and said, “Listen, what are you talking about? Gorbachev will be gone from the Kremlin tomorrow – that’s what the most important thing is!”

 

SS: Mr. Gorbachev, you’ve had such a long and intense political career. What would you now consider your greatest achievement of all?

 

MG: Perestroika, and everything that’s related to it, even though it was interrupted, was never completed. Let me count here, freedom, Glasnost – (freedom of speech), freedom to travel abroad, religious freedom, and so on, I won’t list all of them. And finally, disarmament: it made people sigh with relief. Across the globe, particularly in the developed countries, they were all digging shelters in case of nuclear war, which could’ve broken out any moment. So that has been done, and we completed that part.

People were granted freedom of choice in Central and Eastern Europe. Germany was reunited. The relationship with China was resumed. It was fascinating. That’s already enough for a good result. But I do regret that I never managed to lead this project to completion. What we should do now is roll back and resume from those positions. We should come to agreements, and keep moving forward. But all players should participate in this process. As I’ve written in the article, I suggest creating structures and institutions that would be in the hands of the people. That’s it.

 

SS:Thank you very much.

 

MG: How many questions did you write?

 

SS:A lot.

 

MG: Ooh!

 

https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/215851-gorbachev-us-ukraine-war/

 

follow up on deadly airstrike on MSF hospital in Kunduz...

Disciplinary measures against select individuals, whom the US army’s own probe held responsible for the deadly airstrike on MSF hospital in Kunduz, serve as little reassurance such blunders won’t happen again, the NGO’s UK Executive Director Vickie Hawkins told RT.

On Friday Army General Joseph L. Votel, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) published the results of an investigation into the bombing of an MSF facility that took place in October. The probe stated that 16 people had been guilty for the strike. Twelve of those individuals were punished with administrative measures taken by the General including “letters of reprimand and admonishment,” who said this kind of punishment was “appropriate”.

RT: What is your immediate reaction to the results of this US inquiry?

Vickie Hawkins: I mean, obviously, we’ve only just been handed the report itself. It’s very long. So we’ve not really had time yet to digest its findings.


Firstly, I just want to acknowledge the fact that this investigation has happened. That’s an important thing for us. It’s not quite what we were asking for in terms of an independent investigation and we still feel that’s very important because essentially the military that conducted the attack has investigated itself. So we still feel that an independent body needs to review the circumstances of this attack.

Our very initial reactions, I would say, is that we are concerned that disciplinary measures that are announced are not proportional to the severity of the attack and we question whether this would act as a deterrent and we would avoid any future attacks as a result. And we are very concerned that the victims and their families would not seem to have the ability to pursue justice and compensation in their own rights, according to their own means. And for us that, really, adds another devastating blow to the families that have suffered a huge amount as a result of this terrible attack on our hospital.

RT: Do you think the punishment for those involved need to go further than purely administrative?

VC: Well, we are concerned, as I said that this administrative and disciplinary measure does not act as an appropriate deterrent to avoid future attacks of this nature. So yes, I think we would conclude that they don’t go far enough.

RT: Do you think there will be an independent investigation? Who do you think should lead it?

VC: So immediately after the attack in the hospital in Kunduz we tried to activate a little known body called the International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission. They have a place in the Geneva conventions, so they are an independent body that mandated under international humanitarian law to investigate incidents exactly such as this one. So to our minds, they would’ve been an appropriate body. But they have not been activated in the over 20 year history. So, clearly, we really need to question the effectiveness of that mechanism. But for us they were at the time the only logical body that we could turn to.

RT: Would you go so far to say that an investigation into oneself lacks credibility?


VC: It lacks independence, and as a result, we would say that, yeah, it lacks transparency and it lacks the independent nature that we think such an investigation should have. What this doesn’t give us is reassurance today that we can return to Kunduz. We don’t have the feeling on the basis of what we understand so far in terms of the findings that we have all the facts and that we are, therefore, able to return to Kunduz reassured that an attack of this nature could never happen again.

RT: Is there a way to prevent these kind of attacks in the future, considering that the coordinates of the hospital were already provided in advance?

VC: We need assurances from governments that are engaged in conflicts that medical facilities can never be a target at times of war. Next week there is a very important vote coming up at the UN Security Council where member states are being asked to reaffirm their commitment to the protected nature of medical facilities. The resolution also includes a reference to accountability mechanisms and, in particular, the importance of independent investigations, as we’ve been discussing.

So, certainly, one significant step forward would be member states at the UN Security Council next week to pass that vote and reaffirm their commitment to the status of medical facilities that should never be targeted, should never come under attack, because what we’re doing is providing care for people wounded and sick at times of conflict. That’s their job and they should never be attacked for doing so.


RT: The work your organization does is admirable. What kind of effect, what kind of negative impact does it have when something like this happens. How difficult is it for you to continue to persuade your members to go on doing what they do?


VC: I mean, obviously, it’s a devastating thing for the organization. We had given the coordinates of the hospital to all the different armed groups in the area including the Afghan military, including the US military. Everybody knew exactly where the hospital was and we had assurances that it would not be targeted in this way.

For our international staff and for our national staff it’s extremely important that they can rely on the assurances we give them that they are safe. That’s understandably questioned when you have an incident of this severity. So, it was really an enormous blow to MSF and an enormous blow for the people of Northeastern Afghanistan who lost access to the only functioning trauma center in that part of the country.

https://www.rt.com/news/341441-kunduz-msf-hospital-centcom/

bypassing the gorgonzola embargo...

The Russian Agricultural Ministry has offered Italian producers 29 investment projects about to start in nine Russian regions. They could be going by October says the Italian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Giuseppe Castiglione, Izvestia daily reports.
Italian companies looking to do business in Crimea despite sanctions

Another round of talks is planned for June to discuss specific Italian inspired projects.

“In February, we offered to join efforts, deploying Italian investment and technology and our resources as well as investment opportunities,” the Russian ministry told Izvestia without disclosing details.

Aided by Italian investors Russia want so start production of gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses as well as poultry and livestock feed. There are also plans to build a trout farm and grow fruit and vegetables; the newspaper quotes an unknown source.

Italian agricultural producers have reportedly lost €900 million because of the Russian food embargo. The new projects are seen as a chance to export investment and technology instead of the banned products.

Italy wants to cooperate to improve the efficiency of Russian agriculture and expand its own opportunities for international partnership, according to Mr. Castiglione.

READ MORE: EU sanctions against Russia should be lifted ‘as soon as possible’ – regional Italian president

“We are interested in the cooperation to overcome the hard period we entered because of the sanctions,” said the minister.

Some projects supported by Italian investors are operated by Russian private companies, according to Russia’s trade representative in Rome Igor Karavaev.

The production of almond oil might be started by Italians in the Krasnodar region. Investors from Italy also plan to build a buffalo farm and a mozzarella production plant in Crimea, aiming to put €300 million into the enterprises. Earlier this month Italian businessmen voiced plans to build greenhouses and develop wine growing, livestock breeding and the processing of agricultural goods on the peninsula.

 

read more: https://www.rt.com/business/341357-italy-produce-food-russia/

a brazilian close shave...

 

 

Audiences around the world have seen the images from the Brazilian streets - millions of demonstrators, for and against the president, in dozens of cities, in the biggest political protests in the country's history.

But is the story really about corruption, and the rampant money laundering of those involved in the Petrobras scandal, because if it is - then how is the main opposition party, many of whose own members have been implicated, in a position to impeach President Dilma Rousseff?

Or is this the story of a political power struggle? And how much of it is being driven by Brazilian media barons, who are conservative and whose ideological hostility to Rousseff's Workers' Party is no secret?

Brazil's most influential broadcast and print outlets - like Globo, Abril and Folha - are media powerhouses owned by a handful of the country's richest families.

Those outlets have been called out for their selective and strategic coverage of this impeachment story and accused of trying to use the corruption scandal to unseat a government that 50 million Brazilians voted for less than two years ago.

In an attempt to change the narrative, President Rousseff held a private media briefing with journalists from major international outlets - letting them know that there is more to this story - and its coverage - than meets the eye.

We analyse coverage of the impeachment vote against President Rousseff, the political power struggle behind it, and the media powerhouses shaping the Brazilian news narrative.

Talking us through the Brazil impeachment story are: Fabio Zanini, political editor, Folha de São Paulo; Alex Cuadros, journalist and author of Brazillionaires; Olga Bailey, lecturer, Nottingham Trent University; and Jairo Lugo-Ocando, professor of journalism, University of Sheffield.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2016/04/brazil-dilma-rousseff-impeachment-story-160430075617658.html

 

We can suspect that the Brazilian media is in bed with the Yankees, no? Read from top.

 

a venezuela US coup...

 

Washington Brings Regime Change To Venezuela

Paul Craig Roberts

According to President Obama, the world’s only superpower, the unipower, the exceptional country is threatened by small Venezuela in South America !

In an executive order last year, renewed this year, President Obama declared Venezuela to be an “unusual and extraordrinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” and declared a “national emergency” to counter the “Venezuelan threat”
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2016/03/03/obama-extends-order-declaring-venezuela-national-security-threat/ ).

This manufactured “extraordinary threat” serves as the Obama regime’s excuse for overthrowing President Maduro in Venezuela. It is a Washington tradition to overthrow elected Latin American governments that try to represent the interest of the people, and not the interest of US corporations and banks.

I wrote about Washington’s attack on Latin American reformers on April 11 (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/04/11/washington-continues-to-destroy-latin-american-reformers-paul-craig-roberts/) and on April 22
(
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/04/22/washington-launches-its-attack-against-brics-paul-craig-roberts/).

Decades ago US Marine General Smedley Butler confessed that he was “a gangster for capitalism,” imposing the will of New York Banks and the United Fruit Company on Latin American countries by force of arms.

In his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins reports the 1981 assassinations of Panama President Omar Torrijos and Ecuador President Jaime Roldos, both of whom got in the way of US corporate interests.

After being duly demonized by the US media, in 2009 Honduras President Manuel Zelaya, who thought that Honduras should be for Hondurans and not for the United Fruit Company, was overthrown in a military coup greenlighted by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The president chosen by the people was replaced with Roberto Micheletti, a tool of US corporations, chosen by Washington.

Washington has been conducting economic warfare against Venezuela in order to undermine
President Maduro’s public support. The media is controlled by the elite and blames Maduro for the economic problems caused by Washington.

read more: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/05/02/washington-brings-regime-change-to-venezuela-paul-craig-roberts/

Same shit in 1958/59

same shit...

 

the empire might try again...

 

Attempts to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have stalled as the acting speaker of lower house of the Congress annulled the impeachment process on Monday and called for a new vote.

The decision by Waldir Maranhao – who came into office last week – comes as the impeachment process was passed to the Senate for a vote, following last month’s decision in the lower house. The upper chamber was set to vote on Wednesday.


Procedural irregularities were detected during the April vote that ended with the lower chamber accepting impeachment charges against Rousseff, Maranhao said, according to Reuters.

It still remains unclear whether his decision could be overridden by the Supreme Court, the Senate, or a majority of votes in the house.

The leftist Rousseff, who denies any wrongdoing, may face trial on a charge of breaking budget laws.

The Senate had been expected to vote in favor of putting Rousseff on trial. At that point, she would have been suspended from her office for a period of up to six months, with Vice President Michel Temer taking over in the interim.

Maranhao is an ally of Governor Flávio Dino, one of the main supporters of President Rousseff. He took over the office of speaker from Eduardo Cunha, who orchestrated the impeachment process against Rousseff. Cunha was suspended amid the investigation on charges of corruption, intimidation of lawmakers, obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

 

https://www.rt.com/news/342406-brazil-rousseff-impeachment-canceled/

 

Read from top

 

a spy in the ranks...

 


Brazil's acting president used to be US intel informant - WikiLeaks

Brazil's new interim president, Michel Temer, was an embassy informant for US intelligence, WikiLeaks has revealed.


According to the whistleblowing website, Temer communicated with the US embassy in Brazil via telegram, and such content would be classified as "sensitive" and "for official use only." 

READ MORE: ‘Coup & farce’: Brazil’s Rousseff vows to fight impeachment with all legal means

Two cables were released, dated January 11, 2006 and June 21, 2006.

One shows a document sent from Sao Paolo, Brazil, to - among other recipients - the US Southern Command in Miami. In it, Temer discusses the political situation in Brazil during the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

 

read more: https://www.rt.com/news/342933-temer-us-brazil-spying/

 

damaging europe...

 

Despite claims that Western sanctions against Russia are working, Russian counter-sanctions on Europe are proving to be even more effective and if any Western policymaker still harbors the thought of cornering or containing Russia, it should be obvious that Russia is too big and savvy for that, according to a Malaysia-based political analyst.

Malaysia-based political analyst Bunn Nagara, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Malaysia) has provided his analysis on the overall effect of the anti-Russian sanctions and Russia’s counter-measures on Europe.


“Even though Western sanctions are often said to work on Russia, Russian sanctions on Europe are proving to be even more effective,” Bunn Nagara states in his article for the Malaysian daily The Star Online.

The political analyst further notes that Western skepticism is rising regarding the utility of sanctions against Russia having any effect.

First, he cites as an example the recent thaw in relations between Moscow and Turkey, which was hit hard by Russia’s punitive measures following the downing of Russia’s fighter jet in Syria.

The price of "Russian sanctions against Turkey over a range of industries, from food and apparel to travel, construction and energy, was estimated at $10bln (RM40.2bln) or more,” he says, adding that it prompted Recep Tayyip Erdogan to seek a personal meeting with his “friend Vladimir”.

However there are other NATO member states, which are seeking rapprochement with Moscow.


Nagara notes that NATO has revived its idea ofa NATO-Russia Council and is eager to see it meet in Russia again; however Moscow now says that it would only do so on the condition that the talks respected Russia’s national interests.

Among the European states, Greece and Italy were hit particularly hard. Greek and Cypriot officials visited Moscow last year, while Austrian and Hungarian leaders did so earlier this year.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced Italy’s intention to enhance economic ties with Russia. He also expressed hope that EU-Russia relations would improve.

In early June, French lawmakers voted 302 to 16 to lift sanctions against Russia. Moscow’s counter-sanctions had also hit a range of French industries and hurt the country’s economy.


“German businesses have been at least as concerned about the impact of sanctions against themselves,” the political analyst says, adding that “no less than the German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister have been floating the prospect of rolling back sanctions against Russia.”

Another example of the Western eagerness to restore relations with Russia is their attitude towards St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) which was held in the mid-June.

“For the past two years, Western attendance at the SPIEF was low to nil. As two-way sanctions bit deep, Western businesses could stand it no longer and returned to the forum in hopes of getting back to business as usual,” he notes.

US officials tried to persuade American business leaders to stay away again but failed, he further adds. Bosses of US corporations like ExxonMobil joined their European counterparts in Russia again this year.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission has also visited the forum despite the pressure from the US, what came as the highest-level visit by an EU official since 2014.


At the events in St. Petersburg Italian Prime Minister Renzi actively encouraged joint ventures between Italy and Russia. Italian and Russian companies signed business deals even as he spoke.

Besides, the analyst says, late last month, Putin was in Slovenia, an EU and NATO member, calling for closer Russia-EU relations. Western media saw it as a test of EU resolve.

Two days later, Hungary said Russia was no threat to NATO countries. Slovakia added that sanctions against Russia should be removed.

 

, Russia has turned Eastwards, he further notes.
“Days after the SPIEF, Putin was in New Delhi on the sidelines of this year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Tashkent,” he says.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Putin for Russia’s support and pledged as chair of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) to maintain the momentum that Russia had begun, he adds.“Within hours, Putin was in Beijing, observing that Russia and China would continue coordinating their largely common positions on international platforms like the UN, the SCO and BRICS.”This visit, just prior to Hangzhou summit, touched on diplomatic, political and economic interests. It involved 50 documents covering 58 business projects valued at $50 bln (RM201bln), with Russia’s oil and gas sector prominent.Already, 12 of the projects are said to be underway. Among those still to begin is a joint venture in aviation to produce passenger jets that could rival Boeing and Airbus.Notably, he points out, Russia and China have now agreed to expand mutual payments in their respective national currencies rather than the dollar.


“In apparently taking a cue from this move, Erdogan has suggested to Putin that trade between Turkey and Russia be in their own currencies rather than the dollar,” he notes.

All the above, the author concludes keeps Russia “ahead of the curve in the sanctions game.”

Evidently, traditional “weapons” like sanctions and military preparedness cannot work fully as intended, he says.

Diplomatic ploys and political gambits can be at least as important.

It is however hard with “a country the size and economic weight of Russia.”

“If any Western policymaker still harbors the thought of cornering or containing Russia, it should be obvious that Russia is too big and savvy for that,” he states.

Adding that the Western leaders should have understood by now that President  Putin “would not be the first to blink”.

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160815/1044271525/russia-europe-sanctions.html

 

This news of course is seen from a Russian perspective, but is somewhat correct. Meanwhile as usual, the USA is weakening Europe by making them do things that are "principled" (US views of its Empire) but contrary to good European governance. Eventually, the Europeans will wake up in tears...

 

Meanwhile the Europeans and the Russians co-operate:

--------------

"We are convinced, just like our European partners who are developing this project together with us, that it will help diversity gas routes to the European continent and that it overall matches the development program for European gas infrastructure that exists within the EU, complying with EU's main goal of creating an energy union," Lavrov said, speaking at the Ural Federal University in Russia's Yekaterinburg together with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160815/1044270081/nord-stream-paris-climate-agreements.html

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160815/1044269846/portugal-russian-be-200-wildfires.html

 

brics for brics...

 

The months-long Doklam border standoff between China and India has been peacefully resolved. The two sides are both founding members of BRICS and both hope to maintain unity among emerging economies. As Chinese President Xi Jinping once said, "The BRICS cooperation is an innovation, which transcends the old pattern of political and military alliance and pursues partnerships rather than alliances." Furthermore, BRICS countries are expected to reach beyond differences in political systems and ideologies and seek win-win development instead of playing a zero-sum game.

The first BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting was convened in September 2006, which marked the foundation of the BRICS mechanism. In the 10 years since then, BRICS has become an important international economic bloc representing some of the world’s key emerging economies and developing countries.

In that time, BRICS member states have increased their share in the global economy from 12 percent to 23 percent, their trade has grown from 11 percent to 16 percent, and investment has increased from 7 percent to 12 percent. Most importantly, the contribution made by BRICS economies to global economic growth now stands at more than 50 percent.

With the Trump administration’s "America First" policy in play, the global economy now faces the major risk of declining multilateralism. If both developed and emerging economies continue to turn more inward-looking and back away from coordinating their macro-economic policies, the flickering flame of global economic recovery could be snuffed out.

In recent months, many economists including Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde have stated that the global economy is finally showing positive momentum 10 years after the financial crisis. The US, Europe and Japan have witnessed steady growth and Russia, Brazil and South Africa have reportedly improved economic figures as well. China and India, meanwhile, have maintained medium to high economic growth rates.

The BRICS Xiamen Summit aims to usher in the second golden decade of the mechanism.

First, BRICS nations aim to set down new measures to boost trade in services, investment and e-commerce. In 2015, export of BRICS members’ trade in services reached about $540 billion, a mere 11.3 percent of the world’s total. With the middle classes expanding in BRICS countries, there is plenty of opportunity for cooperation in healthcare, tourism, education and other sectors.

In addition to this, BRICS countries have been committed to implementing schemes to facilitate investment, including measures to improve efficiency in the administrative approval process and the openness of industries. The BRICS E-commerce Working Group was established in August to help develop small- and medium-sized e-commerce enterprises into the new driving force behind the bloc’s future economic and trade cooperation.

read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article198112.html

 

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