Friday 12th of August 2022



As I compare Russian FM Lavrov and former Secretary of State USA Hilarious Clinton, I enter the strange world of languages, guns and Swedes...

A weird combo if you ask me but you won't. Lavrov speaks possibly seven languages, many fluently. Lavrov learned Sinhalese, then the official language of Sri Lanka, as well as Dhivehi, the official language of the Maldives, he has learned English and French, but he modestly says he is unable to speak the French language fluently, though he understands it very well. There is a good chance he speaks a bit of Armenian and some Georgian (his parents' lingos). 

Clinton manages one lingo at best, though some idiots suggested she can also speaks Irish. 

Present Secretary of State Kerry speaks five languages, though on some of them he ridiculously mixes his syntaxes and vocab. 

One former US president, Herbert Hoover, and his wife used to speak Mandarin to each other in order to stop the press, guests and staff understand what they were taking about. 

But one language that Hillary speaks too well is... war.

Reporter: "What should we expect from a Hillary Clinton at the White House?" Dr James Craig Roberts reply: "War". 

What did I tell you?.

So to study what the Swedes have to do here in this article is half-contained in a SMH letter about them — and the Swiss — selling weapons on both side despite their "neutrality" during WWII. We all know about the heroics of Sweden during WWII helping the Brits to fight the Germans, but we often ignore the dark side. The Swedish Government also breached the nation's neutrality in favor of Germany, for profit (and possibly peace of mind).

During the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Sweden allowed the Wehrmacht to use Swedish railways to transport the German 163rd Infantry Division along with howitzers, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons and associated ammunition from Norway to Finland. German soldiers travelling between Norway and Germany were allowed permittenttrafik through Sweden. "Swedish" iron ore was sold to Germany throughout the war. 

More about the love between the Swedes and Russians further on...

There are presently countless editorials about weapons sales around the world following the massacre in Orlando, Florida. Mother Jones gives us a detailed exposé of which manufacturer has seen its weapons used in similar shooting in the US, claiming irresponsibility (I mean non-responsibility) of the manufacturer (and the NRA) for the massacres. There is not so much a weapon of choice amongst the deeds as all guns can perform very well with intent of a mass killing — including one gun the safety catch of which is apparently dubious, considering several gunmen have shot themselves and others accidentally. So far this year, in the USA, more than one hundred people, including kids have been "accidentally" shot by small kids and toddlers. Bring on the ammos. Guns don't shoot people. We know this.

And Trump is no better than Madam Clinton. He's suggesting everyone at the Orlando club should have had a gun. Imagine, a bar brawl like in a Spaghetti Western at night, when all the kero-lamps and candles have been snuffed, everyone shooting willy-nilly in the dark at moving shadows. But at least Trump knows some of the soldiers in Iraq siphoned a lot of cash destined for the "local reconstruction" into their retirement plan. Beats PTSD and looting compensates brain damage from explosions — though the ones doing the siphoning are rarely on the front lines...

The Swiss manufactured the Oerlikon guns while the Swiss manufactured the Bofors. In the USA, they have Rugers, Remingtons, Smith & Westons, Glocks, Sig Sauers, Mossbergs, Savages, Springfields, Berettas, Taurus, Keystones (for kids), Kahrs, Barretts, Norincos, High points.... etc
And the total cost of shootings (not including the original cash price of the guns) within the USA stands approximately at US$229 billions per annum presently. 

And then there is war. War is the glorious hypocrisy of intent by excellence.

Back to the Swedes, the Norman conquest and the Russians. 

Scandinavian invasions of Normandy, 9th century.

Norman conquest of southern Italy, year 999 to 1139. 140 years of conflict...

Byzantine–Norman wars, c. 1050 to 1185. 135 years of crap...

Norman conquest of England between 1066 and 1071. Only 5 years? Boy!

Norman invasion of Wales, 1060s to 1163. 3 years on foot.

Norman invasion of Ireland, 1169 to 1203. The Irish resisted a bit more than the Saxons...

The Normans (Norse) were raiders and pirates from Denmark, Iceland and Norway (with Sweden) who, under their leader Rollo, agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia, who, as the Son of Carolus Magnus (Charlemagne the Emperor) of course, was born in Frankfurt. Through generations of assimilation and mixing with the native Frankish and Roman-Gaulish populations, the descendants of the Normans would gradually merge with the Carolingian-based cultures. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.

The 11th century Benedictine monk and historian, Goffredo Malaterra, characterised the Normans thus:


Specially marked by cunning, despising their own inheritance in the hope of winning a greater, eager after both gain and dominion, given to imitation of all kinds, holding a certain mean between lavishness and greediness, that is, perhaps uniting, as they certainly did, these two seemingly opposite qualities. Their chief men were specially lavish through their desire of good report. They were, moreover, a race skillful in flattery, given to the study of eloquence, so that the very boys were orators, a race altogether unbridled unless held firmly down by the yoke of justice. They were enduring of toil, hunger, and cold whenever fortune laid it on them, given to hunting and hawking, delighting in the pleasure of horses, and of all the weapons and garb of war. 


Some of you might also know these warriors as Vikings (Norwegian and Danish: Vikinger; Swedish and Nynorsk: Vikingar; Icelandic: Víkingar), from Old Norse víkingr, Germanic Norse seafarers, speaking the Old Norse language, who raided and traded from their Scandinavian homelands across wide areas of northern and central Europe, as well as European Russia, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries. This period of Norse military, mercantile and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Ireland, France, Kievan Rus' and Sicily. 


So we really can mix our Swedes and Norwegians at least to this period in time. Before 1905, Norway and Sweden were in a common embrace and before that, they might have fought each others a bit like England and Scotland over centuries while uniting to go and invade the French under the Norman banner.


The Normans also became pious Christian, in the Catholic orthodoxy. 

Sounds like our Irish hilarious Hillary.

Hillary Clinton is now the most religious candidate running for president.

"I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist,” Clinton says. “My study of the Bible … has led me to believe the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all your might and to love your neighbor as yourself, and that is what I think we are commanded by Christ to do. [as long as you're not Russian or Kommunists]. And there is so much more in the Bible about taking care of the poor, visiting the prisoners, taking in the stranger, creating opportunities for others to be lifted up. I do believe that in many areas judgment should be left to God, that being more open, tolerant and respectful is part of what makes me humble about my faith.

She's starting to sound like Trump who has been trying to woo the evangelicals for votes...

Lavrov is a Russian "public servant" who is said to have nothing to do with Putin's actions... Hello? Lavrov would know that Putin is a clever guy who is doing the best possible to protect Russia from a full frontal assault from the Western money-bags, the West propaganda services and the Western exploitation of Russia into a third world country... through highway robbery.

History is a record of ebbs and flows of maniacs and official thieves wanting what the others have, under various hypocritical moral pretext.
So that's it for the Normans... until...

Solberg — the present Norwegian Prime Minister, then conservative Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in 2004, had rejected a request for asylum in Norway by the Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration had authorised granting Vanunu asylum, but Solberg decided that the application could not be accepted because Vanunu's application had been made outside the borders of Norway. Hello? It has been revealed by a document that extraditing Vanunu from Israel could be seen as an action against Israel and thus unfitting to the Norwegian government's position as a friend of Israel and as a political player in the Middle East. Solberg has defended her decision. 

This is about it for the Norwegians. Well, not quite. A former Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, is now the head honcho of... NATO... And NATO, pressured by the US, wants war with Russia despite saying the contrary. 

It is now time to restudy the relationship between the Swedes and the Russians... Long history indeed, presently in hypocritical trouble, considering Sweden is a "neutral" country but has accepted the lie from the USA that Russia's present aggression blah blah blah. How much cash have the Swede been paid by the USA or how much trade have they been promised in safely-matches made in Sweden? We know that the Swede are patiently waiting for Julian Assange to get into the sunshine to trade him for more US favours. It's on the cards.

The Second Northern War (1655–60, also First or Little Northern War) was fought between Sweden and its adversaries — the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1655–60), Russia (1656–58), Brandenburg-Prussia (1657–60), the Habsburg Monarchy (1657–60) and Denmark–Norway (1657–58 and 1658–60). The Dutch Republic often intervened against Sweden.


In 1655, Charles X Gustav of Sweden invaded and occupied western Poland–Lithuania, the eastern half of which was already occupied by Russia. The rapid Swedish advance became known in Poland as the Swedish Deluge. This reminds me of the blitzkrieg. 


When Charles X Gustav died, his successor settled for the Treaty of Oliva with Poland–Lithuania, Habsburg and Brandenburg in April 1660 and the Treaty of Copenhagen with Denmark in May 1660. Sweden was to keep most of her gains from Roskilde, the Duchy of Prussia became a sovereign state, and otherwise the parties largely returned to the status quo ante bellum. Sweden had already concluded a truce with Russia in 1658, which gave way to a final settlement in the Treaty of Cardis in 1661. Sweden had its empire.


Remind me. Who was invading whom? But then all is not always what seems as followed:


The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony-Poland. Frederick IV and Augustus II were forced out of the alliance in 1700 and 1706 respectively, but rejoined it in 1709. George I of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) joined the coalition in 1714 for Hanover and in 1717 for Britain, and Frederick William I of Brandenburg-Prussia joined it in 1715.

Charles XII led the Swedish army. On the Swedish side were Holstein-Gottorp, several Polish magnates under Stanisław I Leszczyński (1704–10) and Cossacks under the Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa (1708–10). The Ottoman Empire temporarily hosted Charles XII of Sweden and intervened against Peter I.

What a mess. One needed a chart to remember who was allies and foes.

The war started when an alliance of Denmark–Norway, Saxony, Poland and Russia declared war on the Swedish Empire, launching a threefold attack at Swedish Holstein-Gottorp, Swedish Livonia, and Swedish Ingria, sensing an opportunity as Sweden was ruled by the young Charles XII, who was eighteen years old and inexperienced. Sweden parried the Danish and Russian attacks at Travendal and Narva, and in a counter-offensive pushed Augustus II's forces through the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to Saxony, dethroning Augustus on the way and forcing him to acknowledge defeat in the Treaty of Altranstädt. 

The treaty also secured the extradition and execution of Johann Reinhold Patkul, architect of the alliance seven years earlier. Peter I had meanwhile recovered and gained ground in Sweden's Baltic provinces, where he cemented Russia's access to the Baltic Sea by founding Saint Petersburg in 1703. 

Charles XII moved from Saxony into Russia to confront Peter, but the campaign ended with the destruction of the main Swedish army at the decisive 1709 Battle of Poltava (in present-day Ukraine), and Charles' exile in Ottoman Bender. The Ottoman Empire defeated the Russian-Moldavian army in the Pruth River Campaign, but the peace treaty was in the end without great consequence to Russia's position.


The war ended with Sweden's defeat, leaving Russia as the new dominant power in the Baltic region and a major force in European politics. The Western Powers, Great Britain and France, were caught up in another conflict which embroiled over Philip of Anjou's succession into the Spanish Throne. The formal conclusion of the war was marked by the Swedish-Hanoverian and Swedish-Prussian Treaties of Stockholm (1719), the Dano-Swedish Treaty of Frederiksborg (1720), and the Russo-Swedish Treaty of Nystad (1721). 


Therein, Sweden ceded her exemption from the Sound Dues (a toll on the use of the Sound which constituted up to two thirds of Denmark's state income in the 16th and 17th centuries. The dues were introduced by King Eric of Pomerania [Pomerania stretches roughly from the Recknitz river in the west to the Vistula river in the east] in 1429 and remained in effect until the Copenhagen Convention of 1857), and lost the Baltic provinces and the southern part of Swedish Pomerania. The peace treaties also ended her alliance with Holstein-Gottorp. Hanover gained Bremen-Verden, Brandenburg-Prussia incorporated the Oder estuary (Stettin Lagoons), Russia secured the Baltic provinces, and Denmark strengthened her position in Schleswig-Holstein. In Sweden, the absolute monarchy had come to an end with the death of Charles XII, and the Age of Liberty began.


The Age of Liberty (Swedish: Frihetstiden) is a short-lived period of parliamentary governance and increasing civil rights as a direct effect of the Great Northern War, which was disastrous for Sweden. During this 50 year illusory period, the poor still had no vote, as only "taxed" land and property owners were allowed a voice in parliament 


Then came Napoleon: The House of Bernadotte, the current royal house of Sweden, has reigned since 1818. Between 1818 and 1905, it was also the royal house of Norway. Its founder, Charles XIV John of Sweden (who was born Jean Bernadotte), was adopted by Charles XIII of Sweden, who belonged to the House of Holstein-Gottorp which was becoming extinct. 


Jean Bernadotte was a Frenchman and served a long career in the French Army. He was appointed as a Marshal of France by Napoleon. Though the two had a turbulent relationship, Napoleon made him Prince of Pontecorvo on 5 June 1806, but he stopped using that title in 1810 when his service to France ended and he was "elected" as heir-presumptive to the childless King Charles XIII of Sweden. His candidacy was advocated by Baron Carl Otto Mörner, a Swedish courtier and member of the Riksdag of the Estates (parliament). Upon his Swedish adoption, Bernadotte assumed the name Carl (Charles). He did not use Bernadotte in Sweden but founded the royal dynasty there by that name.


There you have a short history of Europe and Russia — and a bit of the Ottoman Empire during the Great Northern War. Nothing great about it. People died for kings and territories.


No love lost. 


Putin, having worked in the Russian secret service, speaks a few languages as well, including English and some French. Though Putin speaks German fluently and Merkel speaks Russian they communicate in their native language.

Let's hope that when Madam la Clinton gets the presidency of the biggest deceiving country on the planet, she manages to become more of a futuralist, reducing NATO sabre rhetoric and makes genuine friend with Putin through an astute Lavrov, while stopping the "frienship" with the real terrorists, the Saudis — and let Syria stay multi-cultural, if you see what I mean, by keeping Assad.


And the world will be better for it.


Gus the Elder
Your local diplomat



the polite manner... before war...

Diplomacy (from the Greek δίπλωμα, "official document conferring a privilege") is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations[2] through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to issues of peace-making, trade, war,economicscultureenvironment, and human rights. International treaties are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. In an informal or social sense, diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational, or polite manner.

strangely enough donald would be our saviour from war...

The overwhelming consensus among American political and national security leaders has held that Putin is a pariah who disregards human rights and has violated international norms in seeking to regain influence and territory in the former Soviet bloc. In 2012, one year before Trump brought his beauty pageant to Moscow, then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called Russia the United States’ top geopolitical threat — an assessment that has only gained currency since then.


As if George W Bush and Obama were not pariahs who disregarded human rights and never violated international norms ! The list of their misdemeanours is long...



If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it — Jo Goebbels


As well the German rightly said of Churchill: The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.


But we, in victory, are fantastic at polishing historical turds... Weird... Donald Trump is our only protector from another catastrophic war in which the winner might not be who we think...

genug ist genug...


German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has criticised Nato military exercises in Eastern Europe, accusing the organisation of "warmongering".

Mr Steinmeier said that extensive Nato manoeuvres launched this month were counterproductive to regional security and could enflame tensions with Russia.

He urged the Nato military alliance to replace the exercises with more dialogue and co-operation with Russia.

Nato launched a simulated Russian attack on Poland on 7 June.

The two-week-long drill involves about 31,000 troops, including 14,000 from the US, 12,000 from Poland and 1,000 from the UK.

It will also feature dozens of fighter jets and ships, along with 3,000 vehicles.

"What we shouldn't do now is inflame the situation further through sabre-rattling and warmongering," Mr Steinmeier said in an interview to be published in Germany's Bild am Sontag newspaper.

"Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance's eastern border will bring security, is mistaken.

"We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation," he said.

The exercises are intended to test Nato's ability to respond to threats, and take place every two years.

But Russia has repeatedly said that Nato troops close to its borders are a threat to its security.

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It was a handshake for which Russian President Vladimir Putin had been waiting a long time. The flags of Russia and the European Union were on display behind him, alongside a gold-trimmed table. And next to the table was European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the man who had been forced to endure considerable criticism for his decision to travel to St. Petersburg to meet with the Russian president.

Many in Brussels had complained prior to Juncker's trip that the visit by the head of the EU executive body would be a coup for Putin, whose country is the target of EU sanctions due to its aggression in Ukraine. But Juncker, 61, was, as is often the case, convinced he was right. He said this week that he was fully aware that not everyone was happy about his visit, but he added that it was the right thing to do.

It is hardly a surprise that Juncker this week became the first prominent European to extend his hand to Russia. He may have only been in his current office for just a year and a half, but unilateral actions like this one have become something of a trademark. He has even come up with a philosophic framework for his increasingly erratic behavior. This commission, he has said, is a "political commission."

The claim may not sound like much, but in reality it is akin to a revolution. According to the European treaties, the body Juncker leads is a normal government agency that must ensure that agreements reached are in fact adhered to. Juncker, though, sees himself as the head of a government -- one who has made it his job to break agreements if it appears politically advantageous.

The list of his unilateral forays is a long one. During the Greek debt crisis, he threw his support behind Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras even though the Commission is not one of Greece's creditors. In the refugee crisis, he wants force EU member states to accept other countries' offers to provide police officers to help protect their borders and has threatened states with monetary penalties should they not accept refugees -- an imposition for any sovereign state.

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"hillarious" the neocon...


We topple governments in the Middle East that we don’t like and we encourage movements that will help us in this - regardless of how dangerous these allies are, Karen Kwiatkowsky (a Republican who worked for the Pentagon and the NSAl), retired US Air Force officer, told RT.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, led by Kurdish groups, have entered the town of Manbij after they surrounded ISIS militants there. But at the same time dozens of US State Department officials have urged Barack Obama in a memo to launch air strikes against Bashar al-Assad's forces, something that would contradict current White House foreign policy.

RT: The memo essentially contradicts Kerry's earlier attempts to broker peace in Syria. How do you account for this rift at the State Department?

Karen Kwiatkowsky: I think that this administration is running out of time. And it is true that Barack Obama has kind of been a barrier to some of the more aggressive policies that have been emanating from both State Department and the Pentagon. But at the same time, this administration and the life spans of these political appointees, these ambassadors, many of whom signed on to this very aggressive warmongering letter, their life span is limited, they have basically 6 months to go. Very likely they will not retain their appointments in a new administration. Certainly, if Hillary Clinton is elected, I imagine many of these war mongering State Department officials are appointees or friends of Hillary Clinton, people who agree with her approach. So, I do see this as somewhat aimed at engaging politically in the domestic events here in the US. We have an election coming. Clinton is very besieged by many things. But she is the neoconservative candidate. She is the candidate who will make this war, if this war on Assad is to be stepped up. She is the one that will do that and these are her people. And they don’t have a lot of time left. 

RT: Do you think that the differences that we’ve seen in the State Department are just there or this is something that is indicative of differences throughout the administration? 

KK: This release to the New York Times is a political event. This is aimed at making policy when there is very little time left to make that policy. If you read the letter, it doesn’t offer really any new strategy. And Obama has been accused of having no real strategy. This is not a new strategy; this is not a replacement strategy. This is bomb and ‘show the flag’. And it is being put forth not by the Air Force, not by the Pentagon - who you might presume might know something about fighting. Certainly, we cannot take ground from the air and this is precisely what they are advocating is airstrikes, which have long been proven to be ineffective. That is why I see it as a political thing and not an actual strategy. There is very little strategy there. What they are putting forth won’t work, is known not to work by even the advocates of violence in the Pentagon know that it won’t work. So, it is not a very good solution. Therefore, I have to conclude that it is aimed at politically communicating something. And I find it remarkable and hilarious that this letter was released and put up through the channel for dissent. These 51 warmongering diplomats are dissenters. That is just absolutely spectacular. 

RT: Just a few days ago, John Kerry said the US is losing patience with Assad.  Does that kind of rhetoric not undermine the peace he's supposedly trying to broker?


‘Hillary Clinton never mentioned Libyan disaster, which is her baby more than anybody’s’


KK: It is typical of John Kerry’s entire approach from the time he has been the Secretary of State. He is trying to walk two different paths and you can’t do that: threatening and negotiating. But the threats are empty. And it is well-known in the region since we have been intervening and interfering and bombing for so long now. The people in the Middle East both are allies and our enemies if you want to consider Assad and Iran as our enemies. All of them know us very well now. They know how we operate; they know to call our bluffs. Our bluffs aren’t bluffs anymore, they are just empty conversation. Kerry hasn’t changed; his policies and approaches have been the same. He is just ineffective. And he is ineffective because our own fundamental policy is not what he says. And it is not what the president says. It is what we actually do. And what we actually do has been reported for years: we topple governments in the Middle East that we don’t like and we encourage movements that will help us in this - regardless of how dangerous or how empty or how incompatible with liberty and our own value system these allies are. And this is why we find ourselves supporting ISIS and fighting with people who are doing terribly destructive things and we can’t say anything bad about them because they are our allies. We’ve got ourselves into this situation; I don’t think it is fair to blame Kerry as an individual. He is representing a system that has no credibility. And certainly you can’t believe a word that is said by an American politician when it comes to what we will and what we won’t do in the Middle East.


choose your nightmare...

Irrespective of whether he wins or not, by nature of the fact he is where he is, Donald Trump throws into question the nature of our relationship with America, including the so-called "Alliance".

How is it that a country like America, with a lot of talented people, can produce a presidential candidate like Trump and see him within a hairsbreadth of becoming President?

Is it the same phenomena that saw Abbott become Australian prime minister, Boris Johnson seeking to become British prime minister, or the narrowly defeated right wing presidential candidate in Austria, Norbert Hofer, Dutch rightwing aspirant for prime minister, Geert Wilders, presidential aspirant in France, Marine Le Pen, or even our own Malcolm Turnbull, who has gone from a "small l" Liberal to right wing conservative in the space of five months?

A common theme with all is demonisation of asylum seekers and immigrants, particularly Muslims. They ascribe to and seek to maintain a status quo which has gone — the supremacy and dominance of the white population. But Trump is more. He is a xenophobe with a huge military arsenal potentially at his disposal and an "army" of rednecks backing him internally, which includes members of state and federal police, the border force and members of the U.S. armed forces.

Australia rushed to the side of the American involvement in Viet Nam. It was a war which should never have been fought. It was entered into because of an American commitment to winning the Cold War. The analysis which saw Viet Nam as a domino in an Asian and broader world scenario was flawed. But as a part of paying our premium on the U.S. defence insurance policy, Australia went and in the process for the first time conscripted young men to fight overseas.

It was a policy implemented by redneck Robert Menzies, Australian Prime Minister from 1949-1965 and an American and monarchical admirer, who tugged his forelock at both. He is lauded by the Sydney Institute and other conservative institutions, such as the Institute for Public Affairs, and conservative Australians such as Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

Tony Abbott wants to be the Defence Minister. Isn't dividing up the spoils of office a little presumptive?

— Craig Emerson (@DrCraigEmerson) June 20, 2016

Turnbull embraces the American Alliance, but the unequal nature of the arrangement and the huge power imbalance between the two countries can hardly be seen as an alliance of equals. It is on American terms and always has been.

Australian military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has achieved nothing positive or of lasting gain. Instead, we have seen the rise of ISIS, and the Taliban both in Afghanistan and Pakistan are stronger. American diplomacy relies on military power; without it they believe their ability to negotiate is weak.

American pressure forced the Australian purchase of the F-111 and now the F-35; it pushed the construction or purchase of larger submarines, resulting in the Collins Class lemon; for construction of the air defence destroyers and now a new generation of submarines. They made acceptance of the Pine Gap spy and control facility a test of the Alliance. Operation of that facility and access to the information it gleans is entirely on their terms – hardly an outcome from an Alliance of equals.

Turnbull says he could work with Trump, but how could anyone? The man is repugnant.

Paradoxically for a Republican, Trump has tapped into white blue collar and redneck fear of a loss of economic and social standing; they fear being a minority in their own U.S. of A. This mood and Trumps fostering of it is dangerously destabilising and could lead to social unrest; whether Trump wins or loses, the genie is out of the bottle.

Where is the USA headed, with or without Trump as President? Trump does not like China, but Clinton is unlikely to moderate the responses already in place and planned to counter what the U.S. sees as unjustified Chinese regional expansion. For Australia, it remains all the way with the USA for better or for worse. But we could act as a broker; we could convene a permanent regional structure for ongoing dialogue to reduce and redirect tension.

China is the biggest and best 'abuser': #DonaldTrump

— NDTV (@ndtv) June 12, 2016

Many years ago, Australia, through its key federal public departments, universities and independent think tanks, might have sought to construct an independent Australian defence and foreign policy, centred on the region rather than U.S. global concerns, ideology or fears over oil supply. Such a policy might have been nuanced and subtle. It would have required a degree of maturity and self confidence that, to date, has been sadly lacking in Australia.

Is it too late? Are we irretrievably bound up in the fate of America, like a Roman vassal state as the Empire moved toward collapse?

Bruce Haigh is a political commentator and retired diplomat. You can follow him on Twitter @BruceHaigh2.


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Hard to know which one, Trump or Clinton, is worse for the future. Despite his many stupid ways to delegate problems for cash, it is possible that Trump is not in favour of war, unlike Madam Clinton... Picking either-or of them is like having to choose between drowning, being quartered or being shot in a nightmare.... except this is reality...

Next time, let Assad win...


The recent tragedies in Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, Medina and Nice — like the related ones coming — all have roots in Syria. Conventional wisdom holds that if the United States had done more to affect the course of Syria's civil war, the Islamic State terrorist group might never have taken hold, Syrian President Bashar Assad might have been defeated, and the scale of the war might have been far smaller. According to this argument, the terrorist attacks that fill our headlines are the results of failed policy.

But the conventional wisdom is wrong. Providing lethal aid early would have made matters worse, accelerating the war rather than slowing it. What no one wants to see today, because so few saw it at the time, is that there was another policy that could have prevented the chaos now consuming the region. The U.S. and its partners could have, and should have, let Assad win. Instead, years later, an anti-ISIL coalition met for two days this week in Washington to plan next steps against the caliphate and those it has inspired.

Several points are worth remembering about how the Syrian civil war began.  First, to the extent that a moderate opposition existed, it was weak. There were Syrians who protested peacefully, and many hoped for a secular alternative to Assad. These people were no match for a well-trained Syrian army supported by Russia, Iran, andHezbollah. The U.S. could have poured weaponry into the conflict, but most intended recipients would have had little training or combat experience. Those weapons would have changed hands, just as U.S.-provided artillery, tanks and Humvees have in Iraq.

Second, the opposition was disorganized and lacked coherent leadership. Many people recognize the names Assad and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL. Some recognize the name Abu Mohammad al-Julani, head of the Nusra Front. But who can name anyone in the moderate Syrian opposition? Who leads the Free Syrian Army or the Syrian National Coalition?


to prove a point...

In order to let us know that Trump is in the pocket of Putin, the NYT (New York Times) runs a story about Trump advisor who used to work for the Ukrainian president before he was sent packing, replaced by a "popular uprising"... Bullshit.


The lawyers for Mr Manaford claim that he never received "$12.4 millions" in cash payment from the pro-Russian political party in Ukraine while WE KNOW THAT THE US PRESIDENT GAVE ONE BILLION DOLLARS to the new government of Ukraine and millions of dollars to the thug militias in that country as well, while the CIA was also influencing the media there. 


The NYT (Link not available on this computer):

Mr. Manafort’s involvement with moneyed interests in Russia and Ukraine had previously come to light. But as American relationships there become a rising issue in the presidential campaign — from Mr. Trump’s favorable statements about Mr. Putin and his annexation of Crimea to the suspected Russian hacking of Democrats’ emails — an examination of Mr. Manafort’s activities offers new details of how he mixed politics and business out of public view and benefited from powerful interests now under scrutiny by the new government in Kiev.


ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation)...:

Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Ukraine today to show support for the country's new government amid mounting tension from Russia - and he showed up with a pretty big gift, too.

Kerry brought news of a $1 billion aid package the U.S. is giving Ukraine to help it get through the next few months of turmoil, according to U.S. Treasury Department.

The aid is made up of a $1 billion loan guarantee as well as technical and financial experts to help the Ukraine's bank and finance ministry with its financial affairs and help prepare the country for national elections in May.

News of the $1 billion loan guarantee was met with skepticism in this country:

We're trillions of dollars in debt and Obama and Kerry want to loan 1 billion to Ukraine??? What happened to…

- Oscar (@OAG707) March 4, 2014


So Obama gives the Ukraine $1 BILLION dollars. Seriously?!?! WTH!!! Thought we were out of money 17 TRILLION dollars ago.

- Katie K (@HelloChampagne) March 4, 2014


@johnkerry USA offers $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees to Ukraine. That is 1/70th of Bill Gates fortune. Are we serious? #russiainvadesukraine

- Dr. David Romei (@DavidRomeiPHD) March 4, 2014

To help explain why the United States would offer Ukraine $1 billion, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace expert Eugene Rumer explained the back story of Ukraine's financial woes. The story helps explain the current conflict between pro-Western and pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.

Rumer said Ukraine was in dire financial straits in November 2013. The International Monetary Fund offered financial assistance on the condition that it come with strict reforms for the country, but Russia stepped in and offered a cushy $22 billion without such reforms.

"Putin offered Ukraine a $22 billion aid package - with $15 billion in loans on very favorable terms and $7 billion in energy discounts, which today they've announced they've withdrawn," Rumer said.

Then-President Viktor Yanukovych accepted Russia's offer, a decision that played a large role in protestors calling for his ouster. Pro-European groups in Ukraine wanted to see the country more closely aligned with the West, not Russia.


Call this a bribe... yes. The "protestors" (pro-European group — read US agitators) were helped by the CIA... You can believe this. 


abandon it...

Moscow is calling on the West to abandon its attempts of "geopolitical engineering" in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a recent interview.

"The Syrian conflict can only be settled by the Syrians themselves. In this regard, we reiterate our calls on our western and regional partners to abandon attempts of geopolitical engineering in this region, respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and work together to help achieve the main goal of life becoming peaceful again in this country," Lavrov told the Corriere della Sera newspaper. Russia expects that US President-elect Donald Trump’s future foreign policy team will take practical steps to normalize bilateral relations and continue fighting terrorism, Lavrov told the Italian newspaper.

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See from top...

no house improvements...

The US spends more on its military than the next seven nations combined. Russian military spending is a fraction of US spending. The US spends an enormous amount on the military to maintain its empire, says Daniel McAdams, executive director, Ron Paul Peace Institute.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Friday met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference. Although both admitted the need for dialogue, the mood at the table was palpably tense.

“NATO's expansion has led to an unprecedented level of tension over the last 30 years in Europe," Lavrov told the Munich conference. 

Statements made by Western politicians at the Munich Security Conference indicate that the Cold War is not over yet, he said.

“They say that all wars begin in the minds of people, and by this logic, that’s where they are supposed to come to an end. However, this hasn’t been the case with the Cold War yet, [at least] judging by some speeches of politicians in Europe and in the US, including statements that were made yesterday and today at the beginning of our conference,” the Russian Foreign Minister noted.

Meanwhile, there is also dissonance among Western leaders, including the issue of NATO expenses, as the Trump administration calls on European members to pay their bills to the 28-member defense bloc and boost defense spending.

RT: Can this split that we see happening among the US, the European Union and Russia deepen? What can we read into the situation at this time? 

Daniel McAdams: I think it is all very healthy because everyone is going to have their bluff called. The Europeans are screaming about ‘Russian aggression’ and how they must do something about Russian aggression. Obviously if they felt threatened they would spend more of their own money defending themselves, as any normal person would have if they felt threatened.

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