Saturday 31st of July 2021

proportionating with no clue...

sanctionssanctions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Biden Says US Could Have Gone Further on Anti-Russia Sanctions, Chose to Be Proportionate

 

Earlier, the Biden administration imposed multiple sanctions on a variety of Russian entities and individuals over their alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election, as well as their purported involvement in the SolarWinds hack that infiltrated government networks.

US President Joe Biden declared in a Thursday White House address that he would have taken more severe action against Russia over their alleged interference in the 2020 election and the SolarWinds hack, but instead opted for a more commensurate response.

Biden told reporters that he had relayed his stance to Russian President Vladimir Putin, informing the world leader that the US "could have gone further but I chose not to do so, I chose to be proportionate."

“If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I’m prepared to take further actions to respond. It is my responsibility as president of the United States to do so," Biden underscored. However, the commander-in-chief also emphasized that he has no intention to "kickoff a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia."

"When I spoke to President Putin, I expressed my believe that communication between two of us personally and directly was to be essential in moving forward to a more effective relationship and [Putin] agreed on that point," Biden recalled, highlighting that he wants a "stable, predictable relationship" with Moscow.

"My hope and expectation is we'll be able to work out a modus vivendi, and what is important is that we have direct talks and that we continue to be in contact."

“When President Putin called me in January after I was sworn in to congratulate me, I told him that my administration will be looking very carefully now that we have access to all the data at the issues to assess Russia’s role and then determine what response we would make,” he added.

Russia Warns of Looming 'Consequences' as US Delivers Russian Sanctions.

Biden's late Thursday remarks came after Maria Zakharova, who serves as the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned that the US would suffer "consequences" for "their hostile steps, which are increasing the confrontation between our countries to dangerous levels.

"Such a course, as has been repeatedly stressed, does not serve the interests of the people of the world's two leading nuclear powers, which bear historical responsibility for the fate of the world," she said, addressing the US' recent move to implement sanctions on over 30 Russian entities and individuals.

At the time, Zakharova also noted that the US' "aggressive behavior" would "inevitably ... [receive a] decisive rebuke."

The US government imposed sanctions on approximately 32 Russian entities and individuals for their alleged interference in the 2020 US presidential election and the purported hacking of US software supply chain networks. Russia has repeatedly refuted all accusations of its engagement in US elections meddling, cyberattacks and the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

 

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threats from within...

 

Caitlin Johnstone: Intelligence sources say biggest threat to US is actually US policy

 

By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

 

A new “threat assessment” by the US intelligence cartel has named China the number one threat to the United States today, followed by Russia, Iran and North Korea. 

This has of course led to blaring news headlines like “China poses the biggest threat to the US, a new intelligence report says” from The New York Times, instead of something a little less propagandistic like “Here’s who the CIA wants you to be afraid of in order to advance its geostrategic power agendas.”

The report makes a bunch of evidence-free assertions which serve no purpose other than to help manufacture consent for the movement of expensive weaponry around the globe at the facilitation of unscrupulous war propaganda firms like The New York Times. Not only that, but I can now report that this US intelligence threat assessment is squarely contradicted by my own intelligence source.

 

Far from being threatened in any meaningful way by Beijing, Moscow, Tehran or Pyongyang, my intelligence source tells me that the greatest threat facing the United States today is actually the policy and behavior of the US itself.

My source informs me that infinitely more threatening to Americans than China is their own government’s policy of maintaining more and more severe domestic austerity measures and relying on a racist, violent and increasingly militarized police force to bash its most impoverished populations into line instead of simply helping them. The fact that America’s primary system of care for those who fall through the cracks is its immense prison-industrial complex poses a far greater threat to America than Russia, Iran or North Korea ever will.

“When prison has become your country’s social safety net and you’re incarcerating at a rate unseen anywhere else in the world, it is not the time for you to worry about Kim Jong Un,” the intelligence source tells me.

But this crushing poverty and authoritarianism is necessary when a nation is the hub of a globe-spanning empire and its rulers need to make sure the populace remains too poor, busy and propagandized to begin interfering in the mechanics of the war machine. If Americans began using the power of their numbers to force their political system to cease hemorrhaging money and resources into interminable occupations and ever more expensive acts of military expansionism so that people could be cared for at home, the empire would fall. And that would make the imperialists sad.

According to my source, the real threat to America today is the standing policy of overextending US military commitments in a futile effort to maintain unrivaled unipolar planetary hegemony on a world that is forever out of control while impoverishing and oppressing Americans at home, all to preserve a failed competition-based model of mass-scale human behavior that our species needs to evolve beyond anyway.

Okay, my intelligence source is between my ears.

Anyone with a brain can see that there is no real threat to the United States from outside US borders. US unipolar domination might be under threat from an ever-changing world in which empires are always temporary. Imperialism’s days might be numbered. Capitalism may be on the way out. But the US itself is not being threatened on the world stage by any foreign actor.

The US government is the one threatening nations with obliteration if they do not obey its dictates, not the other way around. Nobody is threatening America.

Your own intelligence sources will, with some rigorous usage, tell you that the real threat to America comes from oligarchs, imperialists and war profiteers who see the US government and its historically unprecedented military force as a tool for expanding power and wealth no matter what the human cost might be.

We can trust our intelligence sources on that matter, my friends. Our story is much better-sourced than any we’ll ever see in The New York Times.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/521151-intelligence-sources-biggest-threat-us-security/

 

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proportionating from russia...

 

Ten US diplomats will have to leave Russia in response to Washington’s expelling of Russian diplomats, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, adding that Moscow is looking at other sanction options if unfriendly steps continue. 

Lavrov announced the news at a press conference on Friday, adding that Moscow would ban US funds and NGOs from interfering in Russia’s internal affairs. Lavrov added that, with the US currently employing 450 diplomatic staff in Russia, and Russia employing 350 in the US, “the Americans will be asked to bring the number of employees in Russia in line with the number of Russians in the United States,” should relations between the two countries sour further.

Lavrov also said that Russia had the opportunity to inflict “painful measures” on US businesses, but would not take action at this time.

 

A day before Lavrov’s announcement, US President Joe Biden signed a decree sanctioning more than 30 Russian individuals and organizations for allegedly interfering in the 2020 presidential election and for supposed involvement in last year’s SolarWinds cyber-espionage case. Russia vehemently denies both allegations.

Biden also ordered 10 Russian diplomats to leave the US, and banned American companies from directly buying shares in Russia’s national debt.

Russia’s retaliation was expected. Earlier on Friday, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that Russia would respond with “reciprocity,” but dismissed the impact of the sanctions. Russia’s economic stability, he said, is “fully ensured.”

Prior to the tit-for-tat exchange, the Biden administration touted a potential meeting between Biden and Putin in Europe this summer. While the sanctions and expulsions have apparently wiped that summit from the calendar, Biden held a press conference on Thursday evening, in which he called for “dialogue and diplomatic process” with Russia, and defended his sanctions order as“proportionate.”

 

Shortly before Biden announced his sanctions, Peskov told reporters that any proposed summit wouldn’t be possible, at least in the short term. Biden was still optimistic on Thursday evening, however, saying that his administration was still working to meet Putin “this summer in Europe.”

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/russia/521284-lavrov-us-diplomats-businesses-sanctions/

 

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The US hypocrisy has no bounds. Lucky, the patience of the Ruskies seems to be limitless as well... see also: https://www.rt.com/russia/521101-biden-putin-policy-rethink/

 

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escalatory slipslapslops...

 

Moscow took retaliatory measures in response to sanctions Washington slapped against it over accusations of alleged election meddling and Russia's purported part in the SolarWinds cyber hack. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed these allegations as lacking any proof and harmful for bilateral relations.

The United States sees Russia's announcement of response actions as "escalatory" and reserves the right to retaliate, a State Department spokesperson told Sputnik.

"Today's announcement by the Russian government was escalatory and regrettable," the spokesperson said on Friday. "It is not in our interest to get into an escalatory cycle, but we reserve the right to respond to any Russian retaliation against the United States."

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced a response, which included barring eight current and former US officials from entering the country in retaliation for the new US sanctions and expulsions of Russian diplomats. Moscow noted that now is the time for the United States to demonstrate prudence by abandoning its confrontational stance toward Russia.

A new batch of sanctions was introduced by Washington over already long-standing allegations of interference in the US election and Moscow's alleged role in the SolarWinds cyberattack. Biden claimed on Thursday that he "could have gone further" with the sanctions, but "chose to be proportionate".

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the US government's actions were contrary to its declared intention to build pragmatic relations with Russia, and notified US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan that Moscow's retaliatory measures would be announced soon.

US-Russia relations suffered a downturn following Joe Biden's controversial remarks in an interview with ABC News in March. In particular, the US president threatened that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would "pay a price" for alleged election meddling and answered in the affirmative when asked whether he considered Putin a "killer."

 

The Russian leader reacted to Biden's remarks wishing the American president good health and reminding him that evaluating other people is like looking in a mirror, and invited Biden to continue the discussion online.

At the same time, Moscow invited Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov for consultations to analyze further actions in the context of relations with the United States. According to Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin will decide when Antonov should return to Washington.

 

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202104161082651932-washington-sees-russian-response-measures-as-escalatory-reserves-right-to-retaliate/

 

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the west is moving to invade russia...

 

by Phil Butler

 

A foreign military bloc of nations is inching closer to Moscow, Vladimir Putin reacts in kind, and somehow Russia is the aggressor. And learned Ph.D.’s scribble on, defying pure logic from Washington’s Think Tank Row. Here’s the latest sensational proof that the world will never, ever be at peace.

Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli and James Carafano have a new plan for defeating Russia for good. Now get this, in America, we have institutions like The Heritage Foundation that fund supposed research to perpetuate wars. No, really. The latest report of the foundation “Putin Threatens Ukraine—Here’s the Danger and What US, Allies Should Do About It” is a blueprint for continuing friction between west and east. Let’s examine the three takeaways Heritage Foundation puts forward.

According to Tsereteli and Carafano, Putin is about to attack Ukraine. These well-paid foreign policy geniuses say a military buildup inside Russian territory, which was in response to threats from Kyiv, proves beyond a doubt the dastardly Putin is about to overrun Russia’s neighbor. To quote the report, “Putin plans to use Russian forces in a full-blown military engagement with that country [Ukraine].” Well, let’s find out why Russia’s president alerted his military.

Didn’t I just read how Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that his country’s National Security and Defense Council had approved a strategy aimed at retaking Crimea and reintegrating the strategically important peninsula? Yes, I am sure of it. Another Washington think tank has already outlined something called the Crimean Platform Initiative, another genius plan hatched in the bowels of CIA headquarters, to make Crimea an expensive proposition for Russia.

This came into being the instant Joe Biden took the oath of office as president, and it’s only part of an overall strategy to engage Russia in a winner take all confrontation that many experts say, is long overdue. And the has taken unilateral aggressive steps toward the Donbass region and any pocket of the pro-Russia sentiment inside Ukraine. A statement by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova on this issue bears repeating here:

 

All efforts by Kyiv to reclaim Crimea are illegitimate and cannot be interpreted in any other way but a threat of aggression against two Russian [federal] subjects. We reiterate that we will consider the participation of any states or organizations in such activities, including the Crimean Platform initiative, as a hostile act against Russia and direct encroachment on its territorial integrity.”

 

Now that we’ve established who the aggressor is, let’s take a look at Tsereteli’s and Carafano’s next brilliant takeaway point. The dynamic duo of war strategies says cosmetic measures against Russia will not do! The “west” (meaning NATO), they say, needs a more clear strategy. Which certainly means a massive arms buildup west of the Siverskyi Donets River. The Zelensky government is being pushed from Washington to take even more drastic measures to force Russia into a war stance. The editorial board of the Washington Post recently advised Zelensky:

 

“Mr. Zelensky now has the opportunity to forge a partnership with Mr. Biden that could decisively advance Ukraine’s attempt to break free from Russia and join the democratic West. He should seize on it.”

 

So, now that we’ve shown who is doing the pushing here, let’s turn to the final takeaway from Heritage Foundation master strategists. Tsereteli and Carafano come right out and say “countries left outside of NATO will remain targets of Russian aggression and manipulations.” So, the purpose of all this supposed spread of militaristic-based democracy is to expand NATO to? I mean, seriously. Washington is not reaching out with the Peace Corps to shore up a budding Eastern European democracy. The United States is kidnapping another former Soviet republic on the way to the big score. My country has military bases in almost every country in the world, has had more wars than the Mongols, and spends more on weapons than everybody else combined – but Russia is being aggressive! Who believes this bullshit?

Let’s be real here. First, please understand who is doing the “thinking” there in Washington. Take James Carafano, the former Lt. Colonel who wrote speeches for the head of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff. Carafano teaches at West Point, what the hell else can he advise, of war with Russia does not come about? The man’s life is about justifying war. Then there’s Mamuka Tsereteli, who’s also the Founding Executive Director at the America-Georgia Business Council. America-Georgia business, hmm? I wonder if there is an America-Ukraine business council in the works soon? But, you can see where this new strategy from Heritage Foundation is headed, can’t you? Taking advice on foreign policy from these so-called experts is putting the foxes in charge of the hen house. Only they’re not as smart as foxes. They don’t need to be. The public is just that numbed and misinformed these days.

Is heavily involved in helping promote the EU’s Three Seas Initiative (3SI), which is an asymmetrical warfare economic platform to cut Russia off from the EU, and install the U.S. and central European powers in her place in East Europe. This report from Mamuka Tsereteli at Emerging Europe lays out the plan. To learn more about Tsereteli’s role, readers should research the so-called Frontier Europe Initiative, currently propagandizing for greater Georgia-Ukraine strategies against Russia. Make no mistake, the narrative and strategies these people are discussing are the precursors to including not only Ukraine in NATO but Georgia as well. Retired Air Force General Phillip Breedlove and former CENTCOM Commander General Joseph Votel are two of the “experts” helping to draft these strategies. And The Heritage Foundation stands center stage of the move for NATO to force Putin and Russia into an inescapable corner.

And there, is your true geopolitical Eurasia picture. The “west” will run on to Moscow, start World War III, and then blame Putin for the holocaust.

 

 

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

 

Read more:

 

https://journal-neo.org/2021/04/16/one-man-stands-in-the-way-of-nato-s-run-onward-to-moscow/

 

Read from top and be very afraid of the NASTY stupidity of your leaders, from Joe Biden to Scott Morrison... You've been warned. The title of this article is not idle. 

 

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US to assassinate belarus president...

 Zero mainstream coverage today of the foiled, U.S. backed plot to assassinate Belarus president Lukashenko

 

 

   Uncategorized  April 19, 2021 4 Minutes   

In his last book “War with Russia?” my friend and colleague Steve Cohen wrote about the flagrant censorship of news being carried on by The New York Times in support of its Russia-bashing editorial policies. Said Cohen, the newspaper’s century old slogan of “All the News That’s Fit to Print” has been turned into “All the News that Fits” when it comes to coverage of Russia.

But the problem goes far deeper than the professional malpractice of one leading newspaper in America. The censorship of news carried by mainstream media by U.S. authorities covers not only the domestic press but also the mainstream of Allied countries.  News blackouts are imposed when something ugly arises implicating the United States in violation of international norms of state behavior for which the State Department has no ready explanation or white wash.

This very situation seems to have arisen over the weekend, when news broke in Moscow over the arrest of two conspirators plotting a coup d’état in Minsk, to be carried out by the Belarus armed forces tentatively during the 9 May parade celebrating victory over fascist Germany in the Second World War.

Other leading English-speaking papers such as The Guardian and The Financial Timeshave front page reports on Alexei Navalny’s near death condition in a prison camp but not a word about Belarus. Ditto the Frankfurter Allgemeine and Le Figaro.  Curious, n’est-ce pas? Warum?  Let’s look into the story in its full dimension.

Last night’s News of the Week program hosted by Dimitry Kiselyov, Russia’s top manager of state news programming,  began with a 20 minute report on the extraordinary arrest of two conspirators plotting armed rebellion entailing the murder of Lukashenko and his family, abolition of the post of President, installation of a Committee of Concord such as previously had been headed by the opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

But these were not empty allegations. The arrests followed on a meeting by the two conspirators with Belarus military officers held in a downtown Moscow restaurant which was filmed from start to finish by the Russian state security agency, the FSB.  Lengthy segments of recordings from their meeting and discussion of their treasonous plans were aired on the Kiselyov program. Moreover, the accused are not some unknown pawns such as the British presented to the world press when they released their accusations against Russia over the Skripal poisoning.  No, one of the two arrested was the former press secretary of Lukashenko, a person who would have had all the contacts necessary to organize such a rebellion. The other plotter has dual US-Belarus citizenship and was well known as a fighter against Lukashenko’s rule.

The two were turned over to the Belarus KGB for interrogation in Minsk.  Surely further information about the links of the plotters to Ukraine, to Poland and to the United States will come out in the next few days.

What we have here is “very likely” (to use current Anglo-American political jargon) involvement of the United States in yet another regime change operation.  The revolution from below in Belarus led by Tikhanovskaya with support from Poland and Lithuania failed. The anti-Lukashenko street demonstrations led to nothing. And now Plan B, a putsch from above, was being organized to achieve the objective of removing Lukashenko both politically and physically. We have not seen such openly murderous plans with “likely” U.S. backing since John Kennedy’s days when the assassination of Fidel Castro was the hot game in D.C.

On the same “very likely” logic, I permit myself to take this all back to the door of the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Policy designate Victoria Nuland.  The links to Warsaw and Kiev that appear present are all in line with what she was doing to precipitate the Maidan in 2013 and violent overthrow of the sitting President in Kiev amidst attempts to murder him as he made his escape to Russian territory in February 2014.

From all of the foregoing, it looks as though U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s pledge several weeks ago that the US would no longer pursue “orange revolutions” was either an out and out lie or made without his knowing that control of foreign policy no longer is in his hands, but is being carried out by his nominal subordinate, Mme Nuland.  No wonder that the U.S. has ordered “stop the presses” on this story until it can put together some plausible response.

In the meantime, the same news program delivered the Kremlin’s response to the Czech action over the weekend to expel 18 diplomats from the Russian embassy in Prague over allegations that Russia was involved in blowing up an arms depot near the capital back in 2014, an event which previously the Czech authorities had blamed on the owners-managers of the depot.  Per the Kremlin, these new and absurd Czech charges of Russia’s nefarious activities were agreed with Washington to direct attention away from the pending story about U.S. involvement in plans to murder the Belarus head of state.

Are we headed to World War III?  If the war machinery today were like what existed in August 1914, the answer would be unquestionably yes.  It is our good fortune that until someone on either side of the East-West divide pushes the Red Button, there are ways back from the abyss. However, we are still heading in the wrong direction, towards the abyss, and the United States is the prime mover.

 

Read more:

https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2021/04/19/zero-mainstream-coverage-today-of-the-foiled-u-s-backed-plot-to-assassinate-belarus-president-lukashenko/

 

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Is America in a new Cold War with Russia? How does a new Cold War affect the safety and security of the United States? Does Vladimir Putin really want to destabilize the West? What should Donald Trump and America’s allies do?

America is in a new Cold War with Russia even more dangerous than the one the world barely survived in the twentieth century. The Soviet Union is gone, but the two nuclear superpowers are again locked in political and military confrontations, now from Ukraine to Syria. All of this is exacerbated by Washington’s war-like demonizing of the Kremlin leadership and by Russiagate’s unprecedented allegations. US mainstream media accounts are highly selective and seriously misleading. American “disinformation,” not only Russian, is a growing peril.

In War With Russia?, Stephen F. Cohen—the widely acclaimed historian of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia—gives readers a very different, dissenting narrative of this more dangerous new Cold War from its origins in the 1990s, the actual role of Vladimir Putin, and the 2014 Ukrainian crisis to Donald Trump’s election and today’s unprecedented Russiagate allegations. Topics include:

  • Distorting Russia
  • US Follies and Media Malpractices 2016
  • The Obama Administration Escalates Military Confrontation With Russia
  • Was Putin’s Syria Withdrawal Really A “Surprise”?
  • Trump vs. Triumphalism
  • Has Washington Gone Rogue?
  • Blaming Brexit on Putin and Voters
  • Washington Warmongers, Moscow Prepares
  • Trump Could End the New Cold War
  • The Real Enemies of US Security
  • Kremlin-Baiting President Trump
  • Neo-McCarthyism Is Now Politically Correct
  • Terrorism and Russiagate
  • Cold-War News Not “Fit to Print”
  • Has NATO Expansion Made Anyone Safer?
  • Why Russians Think America Is Attacking Them
  • How Washington Provoked—and Perhaps Lost—a New Nuclear-Arms Race
  • Russia Endorses Putin, The US and UK Condemn Him (Again)
  • Russophobia
  • Sanction Mania


Cohen’s views have made him, it is said, “America’s most controversial Russia expert.” Some say this to denounce him, others to laud him as a bold, highly informed critic of US policies and the dangers they have helped to create.

War With Russia? gives readers a chance to decide for themselves who is right: are we living, as Cohen argues, in a time of unprecedented perils at home and abroad?

 

Read more:

https://www.amazon.com/War-Russia-Putin-Ukraine-Russiagate/dp/1510745815

 

 

assange2assange2

released, unless a spy?...

 

The government of the Russian Federation authorized the arrest of a Ukrainian diplomat, carried out on 17 April 2021.

The Russian police announced that the Ukrainian diplomat was arrested while in possession of Russian documents classified as military secret.

Under the Vienna Accords, he enjoys diplomatic immunity and, even though he was caught red handed in the act of espionage, he must be released.

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article212789.html

 

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