Category: Russia
Iran fulfills all nuclear deal commitments, subject to world’s most robust verification – IAEA
| October 13, 2017 | 9:09 pm | China, Donald Trump, France, Germany, IAEA, Iran, JCPOA, Russia, UK | No comments

https://www.rt.com/newsline/406636-iran-nuclear-deal-iaea/

Iran fulfills all nuclear deal commitments, subject to world’s most robust verification – IAEA

The international atomic watchdog has confirmed that Iran is fully implementing all of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “As I have reported to the Board of Governors, the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,” the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, said Friday. The head of the agency also stressed that Iran is subject to the “world’s most robust nuclear verification regime” and that so far the IAEA has “had access to all locations it needed to visit.” Earlier, US President Donald Trump announced that his administration will not re-certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement. Signed in July 2015 between Tehran and the P5+1 ( China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) the deal was designed to gradually lift sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

‘Return to sanity’: Gorbachev calls for US-Russia summit amid fears of nuclear treaty collapse Published time: 12 Oct, 2017 12:52
| October 12, 2017 | 8:21 pm | Analysis, Russia, struggle against nuclear war, USSR | No comments

https://www.rt.com/news/406472-mikhail-gorbachev-nuclear-treaty/

‘Return to sanity’: Gorbachev calls for US-Russia summit amid fears of nuclear treaty collapse

'Return to sanity': Gorbachev calls for US-Russia summit amid fears of nuclear treaty collapse
Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the treaty signed between the US and the Soviet Union on the elimination of nuclear and conventional missiles is “in jeopardy,” stressing that scrapping the 1987 deal could end in “disastrous” consequences.

“This December will mark the 30th anniversary of the signing of the treaty between the Soviet Union and United States on the elimination of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles…” the former Soviet leader wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post, referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

He went on to note the merits of the deal, citing the fact that Russia and the US reported in 2015 that 80 percent of the nuclear warheads accumulated during the Cold War had been decommissioned or destroyed.

However, Gorbachev – who led the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991 – said the agreement is now “in jeopardy.”

“It has proved to be the most vulnerable link in the system of limiting and reducing weapons of mass destruction. There have been calls on both sides for scrapping the agreement,” he wrote.

Gorbachev stated that both Russia and the US have “raised issues of compliance, accusing the other of violating or circumventing the Treaty’s key provisions…”

“Relations between the two nations are in a severe crisis,” he said, noting the importance of establishing “a dialogue based on mutual respect.”

The former Soviet leader said that it is up to US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to “take action,” and called on both countries to hold a summit to focus on “the problems of reducing nuclear weapons and strengthening strategic stability.” 

Once again noting the importance of the INF Treaty, Gorbachev warned that scrapping the deal could result in a collapse of the “system of nuclear arms control,” which would lead to “disastrous” consequences.

Gorbachev referred to today’s “troubled world” and said it was “disturbing” that US-Russia relations have “become a serious source of tensions and a hostage to domestic politics.” 

“It is time to return to sanity,” he wrote.

Signed at a 1987 summit meeting between Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan, the INF Treaty obligated both sides to eliminate their short- and intermediate-range missiles. It came into force on June 1, 1988.

The Treaty allowed for hundreds of nuclear-tipped missiles that were deployed in Europe to be scrapped amid the Cold War arms race.

The editorial comes just days after former US Defense Secretary William Perry warned that relations between Washington and Moscow have entered a “new Cold War,” and that current conditions could lead to global conflict.

Almost Entire US Division in the Baltic States, Violating Russia-NATO Deal – MoD
| October 12, 2017 | 8:13 pm | Russia | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/world/201710121058156928-us-military-baltic-states/

Almost Entire US Division in the Baltic States, Violating Russia-NATO Deal – MoD

A convoy of U.S. troops, a part of NATO's reinforcement of its eastern flank, who are on their way from Germany to Orzysz in northeast Poland, drive through Sulejowek towards a military base in Wesola, near Warsaw, Poland, March 28, 2017

Almost Entire US Division in the Baltic States, Violating Russia-NATO Deal – MoD

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According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the US presence in the Baltic States contradicts a key Russia-NATO agreement.

The second US armored brigade arrived in Poland and has deployed together with armored vehicles; meanwhile, the third US brigade’s equipment remains in Poland, said the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

“Thus, contrary to all the statements of NATO and the United States about the ‘insignificant’ amount of troops being sent to Russia’s borders, now it is not a brigade that has been deployed, but a mechanized division of the US Armed Forces, where in two hours, prepared personnel can be transferred from the nearest American base in Europe (Ramstein, Germany),” Konashenkov said.

According to Igor Konashenkov, all the hysteria in the Baltic states and Poland regarding the “Russian threat” posed by the Russia-Belarus Zapad-2017 military exercises is an information screen for this Pentagon operation.”Amid the Zapad-2017 military exercise, the ‘rotation’ of the US 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team under the Operation Atlantic Resolve plan was held in Poland and the Baltic states. All the equipment of this brigade — 87 M1A1 Abrams tanks, M109 Paladin howitzers, 144 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and around a hundred other vehicles — must have remained there. The personnel of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team must have been replaced by the servicemen of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team in order for the NATO-Russia Founding Act not to be violated,” Konashenkov said.

He noted that after the Zapad-2017 drills, dozens of military attachés, observers and reporters saw that the units of the Russian Armed Forces had returned from Belarus to their points of permanent deployment.  As Konashenkov stressed, hysteria in Eastern Europe “was replaced by calm and amnesia.”

The Zapad-2017 military exercises were held on September 14-20 in the territory of Russia and Belarus. Some NATO member states voiced concerns about the joint exercises before they even started, saying that Russian troops deployed in Belarus for the joint military exercises could remain in Belarus after training.

Russian and Belarusian officials refuted the allegations, stating that the planned training was purely protective and didn’t pose a threat to any of the Eastern European states. Russia and Belarus invited NATO specialists and foreign journalists to observe the exercises.

NATO’s Huge New Multinational Battalion in Romania a Provocation – Analyst
| October 11, 2017 | 8:38 pm | Analysis, Russia | No comments
US Navy flag bearers, backdropped by the radar building of a missile defense base, walk in Deveselu, during an opening ceremony attended by U.S., NATO and Romanian officials at a base, originally established by the Soviet Union, in Deveselu, Southern Romania, Thursday, May 12, 2016.

NATO’s Huge New Multinational Battalion in Romania a Provocation – Analyst

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Leaders of NATO have announced the development of a thousands-strong multinational battalion stationed in Romania to bolster the bloc’s strength in the region. The move is part of the ongoing military buildup between NATO and the Russian bloc in Eastern Europe.

On Monday, NATO leaders announced that a multinational force of NATO troops will be formed in Romania to act as “defense and discouragement” against Russian aggression, as Romanian President Klaus Iohannis put it.

“We are not a threat for Russia. But we need dialogue from a strong position of defense and discouragement,” Iohannis said. “Our purpose is peace, not war.”

​Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek of Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear spoke to Mark Sleboda, a Russia-based international relations and security analyst and frequent critic of US and NATO policy. They asked Sleboda what he thought about the forming of the multinational force in the Warsaw Pact-affiliate-turned-NATO-member.

“It not only involves NATO-Romanian relations,” Sleboda said, “but we’re talking about the NATO footprint in the Black Sea — what they’re referring to as their TFP [Tailored Forward Presence]. An instrumental part of that is the introduction of this new multinational force. The details of it are as yet sketchy. There’s been talk about it for much of the last year and they’ve announced its implementation now so it will include at least 4,000 troops.”

“It has been said that a large portion of them will be Romanian, with Poland, Italy and Bulgaria and others. This will complement 900 US military troops that are already stationed in Romania. It also concerns the US establishment of its missile defense shield, the Aegis Ashore system in Romania and likewise in Poland.”

“It [also] marks an increased NATO naval presence in the Black Sea since around 2014,” Sleboda added. “There have been almost continuous US missile cruisers in the Black Sea and they have announced it in cooperation with those multinational force brigade. There will be increased naval presence beyond the Black Sea. We’ve seen a number of significant NATO military exercises and naval military exercises in the Black Sea and that is only going to increase as a result of this.”

“It’s got Moscow more than a little concerned, because first we saw these four permanent/rotating brigades, which was violating the NATO Russia Founding Act.” That act was inked between NATO and Russia in 1997; in it, both parties claimed that they were not adversaries but rather partners in building “a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area.”

NATO “gets around this,” according to Sleboda, by saying “the 4,000 troops are rotating in and out. [This] is the second NATO military increase in the region just within the last year,” said Sleboda, referring to the battalion deployed to Poland in April. “That’s going to be of big importance. There was initially announced to be a small troop presence, a tripwire if you will. Now we see another, more tactically significant 4,000 troops [than the ones stationed in Poland].”

Smolarek asked if he thought the presence of another NATO battalion in a country so close to Russia might lead the powers into conflict. Sloboda waved aside the idea of direct engagement, but he said that it would “put pressure on the situation. A number of frozen conflicts are occurring in countries on Russia’s borders that have significant ethnic Russian [populations], and [NATO is attempting] to move into these countries, to absorb them into NATO and the EU, as a bastion against Russia.”

“We get the arguments that Russia is conducting troops against NATO’s own borders. That’s because you move your borders right up to the Russian border. Russia is only conducting military exercises within its own borders,” Sloboda noted.

Moscow did take a recent exercise outside its borders when 100,000 Russian troops participated in large-scale military exercises in Belarus in September.

Absurd Russian Ads Hype as US Corporations Buy Democracy
| October 10, 2017 | 8:40 pm | political struggle, Russia | No comments
People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with a Google logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014.

Absurd Russian Ads Hype as US Corporations Buy Democracy

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Google is the latest US internet company to claim it found “Russia-linked” advertisements on its network – allegedly posted to influence the US presidential election last year.

Twitter and Facebook have already made similar claims and all three are now facing more scrutiny in the coming weeks before Congressional committees.

What is truly astounding about this hysteria over alleged Russian interference in US democracy is that American citizens are being distracted from what is, by far, the much more alarming issue of how their government and Congress is bought by US Big Business.

Bloomberg reported this week that: “Google identifies Russian election interference network”. It said the internet giant found political ads worth $4,700 which it believes are “tied to the Russian government”. These ads, it is claimed, carried political articles which were meant to influence which way American citizens would vote in the presidential contest between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump last November.Google has reportedly said that another $53,000 worth of ads are “under review” for suspicion of being “linked” to the Russian government. This follows claims made by Facebook that it had earlier identified $100,000 spent on ads by Russian sources, while Twitter said it had located $274,000 worth of such ads.

The Russian government has repeatedly rejected accusations that it tried to meddle in the US election. Moscow rightly highlights the dearth of any evidence and total lack of due legal process. The American allegations have also whipped up a toxic climate to curb the legitimate media activities of Russian news channels.

It is understood that Russia’s state-owned news channel RT promoted some of its content through social media like Facebook and Twitter. But as RT editor Margarita Simonyan pointed out such promotion is entirely normal for all news media companies. She estimated that US-based outlets probably spent much more than RT promoting their content through the Russian section of Twitter.

Several issues about this “Russian meddling” trope are patently dodgy, yet are bizarrely overlooked.The first is that, as with other claims of Russian interference in the US election, no evidence is ever presented. Facebook, Twitter and Google are making vague claims of “accounts believed to be tied to the Russian government”. And the US news media simply repeat these nebulous claims without further question.

A second anomaly is that Congressional committees that have been investigating allegations of Russian interference have also not presented any evidence – after nearly nine months of intensive probing.

Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner, who are heading up a select intelligence committee, made a “big presentation” last week in Washington on their findings. The “findings” turned out to be an embarrassing anti-climax. The Congressmen admitted they found no evidence of “Russia collusion” in the election and baldly asserted that Moscow’s “influence campaign continues” which they will continue to investigate – no doubt at a huge cost to American taxpayers.

So, Russia is being accused of interfering in the presidential elections on the basis of the allegation alone, and yet American politicians are also contradicting themselves by saying that the alleged interference did not alter the vote outcome.

But here is the biggest absurdity. The sums of money claimed to have been used by Russia to destabilize US democracy are ridiculously minuscule.

For argument sake, let’s go along with the claims that somehow “Russian agents” took out ads on social media to influence the US election. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Google the expenditure amounts to about $300,000.That figure is a pittance compared with the avalanche of money that US corporations doled out to bankroll the election campaigns of the two candidates.

According to Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton’s election bid was leveraged with $1.2 billion from “Super-PACs” (Political Action Campaigns). Trump received less corporate money, raising a total of $647 million – or about half of what Clinton’s coffers received.

Now put those figures into perspective. The alleged Russian influence ads costing around $300,000 represent some 0.01 percent of what US corporations actually spent ($1.8 billion total) in promoting either Clinton or Trump for the White House. In other words, the much speculated – and highly dubious – financial outlay that Russian sources allocated to allegedly upset the American democratic process is negligible compared with the actual money spent by major American companies to determine the 2016 election outcome.

While American media and politicians are endeavoring to get citizens all worked up about “Kremlin meddling” the glaring fact is that their democratic process is subject to enormous US corporate influence. And not just the 2016 election. Every presidential cycle.

Note too that this is only taking into consideration the corporate lobbying in the presidential contest. Every year, it is calculated that US companies spend about $3 billion lobbying federal government and Congress.

That is, every year, year after year, Big Business in America spends 10,000-fold on influencing lawmakers and government policy compared with the alleged ad campaign that Russia supposedly engaged in.Another source of major influence on American politicians are the lobby groups funded separately by the Israeli and Saudi government interests. Each year, these foreign states spend an estimated $5-7 million on lobbying members of the US Congress and the federal government. This is real money with real impact on US democracy as opposed to alleged Russian interference.

Getting back to “lobbying” by US companies – some might call it bribery – among the biggest donors are the military manufacturing firms. According to American publication, The Hill, included in the top 50 corporate lobbies plying Congress with campaign funds are Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman.

Another major lobby – although not in the top 50 – is the National Rifle Association (NRA) which promotes gun ownership for private citizens by donating to Congress members.

Three recent events show how corporate money effectively buys American government policy.

President Trump is pushing for an overhaul of tax policy which will result in the biggest ever tax benefit to corporate America.

Secondly, with regard to the US military budget, the Congress is due to pass a record increase amounting to $700 billion annually. This largesse to Pentagon-connected manufacturers like Lockheed Martin and Boeing is no doubt fueled by Trump using reckless bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea, threatening war instead of a diplomatic solution.Thirdly, in the aftermath of the latest mass shooting in Las Vegas – the worst ever in modern US history – in which 58 people were mowed down by a 64-year-old male shooter armed with an arsenal of assault rifles in his hotel room, both the White House and Congress are adamant that “now is not the time to talk about gun control laws”. Congressional Republicans, in particular, are big recipients of NRA funding. Trump’s election campaign also reportedly received $30 million from the NRA.

In the gargantuan scale of corporate funding and influence on US democracy, it is patently absurd for US media and politicians to chase after Russia for alleged meddling.

There again, maybe not so absurd, if such a travesty serves to distract American citizens from the much more pressing issue of how their democracy is bought and sold by elite American interests.

Americans pushed into pro-war frenzy by elite-controlled MSM & NATO – Max Blumenthal

https://www.rt.com/usa/406059-msm-nato-americans-war-support/

Americans pushed into pro-war frenzy by elite-controlled MSM & NATO – Max Blumenthal

Americans pushed into pro-war frenzy by elite-controlled MSM & NATO – Max Blumenthal
Years of Russia hysteria and North Korea fearmongering led by the US mainstream media and NATO propaganda have built support for war among Americans, making them ready to “fight and die” in overseas lands, author and journalist Max Blumenthal told RT.

READ MORE: Red Scare redux? US imposes World War II-era ‘foreign agents’ designation on Russia media

A recent study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has pointed at a shift in the collective thinking and feeling of Americans, when it comes how they view global conflict.

The study was conducted over the last two years leading up to the elections in 2016 and found that Americans seem to have found a new appetite for war.

Blumenthal, who co-hosts the “Moderate Rebels” podcast focused on US interventions and is the Senior Editor of AlterNet’s Grayzone Project, spoke to RT America’s Manila Chan about these developments.

RT:What do you make of this Chicago Council study?

Max Blumenthal: The Washington Post in a commentary framed these numbers as kind of the failure of Donald Trump’s America First policy. And I think Trump has done a pretty horrible job selling his policy. There was a non-interventionist component that he campaigned on, which proved pretty popular, particularly in places like the Rust Belt.

However, I really think that if you look at these numbers, you should look at the internals, and look at when the poll was taken, and when the numbers started to shift. They started to shift when the election campaign began. They reflect a concerted campaign by the mainstream media and by the national security state, which has unprecedented access and control over mainstream media – particularly CNN and MSNBC – to bring the American public’s views in line with the elites’ [views] of our interventionist bipartisan foreign policy consensus in Washington. Two years of non-stop red-baiting, Russia hysteria, and fearmongering over North Korea have done the trick, particularly among Democrats.

READ MORE: Senate found ‘zero’ evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, time to do ‘other things’ – White House

RT:Speaking of the mainstream media, why do liberals tend to support interventionist policies at higher rates than even Republicans? It’s unusual, isn’t it?

MB: Yes, it is unusual. We should just talk about some of the numbers first. From 2015 to this summer we saw a 20 percent surge in the number of Americans who would support sending troops to defend South Korea. We also see, for the first time in history, a majority of Americans willing to send US troops to fight and die for Latvia against Russia, and that is a reflection of their support for NATO.
Liberals disproportionately support these militaristic policies, which seem to suggest support for a hot war with Russia, and even hot war with China. It would be disastrous if they took place. So why didn’t that take place? Because of the partisan war against Trump, who has been portrayed as an enemy of NATO – even though he is now as supportive of NATO as ever; as someone who is a Manchurian candidate of Russia, who is controlled by Putin’s nine-dimensional chess and has colluded with Russia. So, Democrats tend to see Russia in a negative light, and they support interventionist policies.

But if you also look at CNN and MSNBC versus Fox News, which is the de-facto channel of the Republican Party and Trump, you see non-stop contributors from the national security state – like James Clapper, Michael Hayden, the former CIA director – pushing these kinds of militaristic policies. So, these are the channels that Democrats watch. Their media, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, has really stepped up the fearmongering and militarism.

So, you see a total reversal from the Bush period, the Bush era – when Democrats were staunchly against the Iraq war, because it was Bush’s war. And now you see the people that are against guns that are against mass shooting – favoring pointing guns and committing mass shootings abroad.

RT:How do you view the posture of the American people on defending eastern European countries like Lithuania and Latvia, who are members of NATO?

MB: In 2014, Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State, wife of the neo-conservative Robert Kagan, said that Americans were ready to fight and die for Latvia. That wasn’t true at the time. Now it is. These attitudes have been manufactured.

They’ve been partly manufactured by NATO propaganda. We heard at lot – especially on CNN from figures like Jake Tapper, “Deep State Jake,” who almost every show is pushing regime change in one of the non-compliant states. We heard a lot about the Zapad [West] military exercises, thinking Romania, where Russia was said to have amassed 100,000 troops on NATO borders – even “Democracy Now!” reported that.

It turns out that Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, was pushing this lie – that there will be 100,000 troops. I think less than 10,000 troops in the end appeared for these military exercises. This was supposed to terrify the states. It was absolute blaster and pro-war propaganda. We’ve seen that reflected in these attitudes.

A Chapter in a Declining Empire

A Chapter in a Declining Empire

 – from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Everyone not yet anesthetized by the anti-Russia hysteria, should read Robert Parry’s The Rise of the New McCarthyism. The estimable Parry argues for similarities between today’s overheated political antics and those of an earlier time. He likens the relentless Russia-baiting of 2017 with the red-baiting of the post-war period often identified with Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy.

But that is not quite right. Labelling the post-war delirium, characterizing the anti-Communist frenzy of the period as “McCarthyism” places far too much weight on that sole figure. True, Joe McCarthy exploited the climate, pushing the absurdity of the times to even more absurd levels. Yet we overlook the causes of the poisoned atmosphere just as surely as we would if we labelled this moment we live in as “Maddowism,” after the woman committed to exploiting the mania for ratings, after Rachel Maddow’s prodding anti-Russian sentiment to ever greater heights.
Political fever, like that of 1919 in the US, 1920-22 in Italy, the 1930s throughout Europe, 1946 and 2003 in the US, and again today in the US, is usually driven by crises– threats or perceived threats to the system. It reflects weaknesses or vulnerabilities resulting from economic distress or international conflict. Whether the threat is real or perceived, identifiable or mythical, ruling classes use a crescendo of fear and alarm to foster an atmosphere of conformity and compliance.
During and after World War I, the Bolshevik revolution frightened the US ruling class into its first “Red scare,” an orgy of war-induced patriotism and media-crazed fear of mythical Red barbarity, an orgy resulting in mass arrests and deportations.
Similarly, the victory of the Soviet Union, the expansion of socialism, the intensifying struggles for national liberation, and a domestic left third-party challenge to two-party hegemony spurred the ruling class to spark a second Red scare. A critical mass of consensus was quickly achieved, persisting throughout the Cold War. Thus, it is misleading to say, as Parry does, that “…the 1950s version was driven by Republicans and the Right with much of the Left on the receiving end, maligned by the likes of Sen. Joe McCarthy as ‘un-American’ and as Communism’s ‘fellow travelers.’”
In fact, except for the “fellow travelers,” most of the non-Communist left and most liberals gleefully joined the red-baiting hunting party for “subversives.” Those who didn’t enthusiastically join the mob did little or nothing to diminish the campaign. Certainly, when the purges began to target the moderate anti-Communists, liberal voices did pathetically stir.
Consequently, those familiar with the history of Cold War US repression are not surprised by liberal complicity in the anti-Russia madness today. It should be no surprise that the liberals and the petty-bourgeois left betray the truth, make common cause with the forces of hate, distrust, and prejudice. In times of crisis, that’s what they too often do.
Outside of a few notable voices, liberal/left intellectuals are buying the anti-Russia frenzy. Despite the fact that US security services have an unbroken record of lies and manipulations, they are today manufactured to be the saviors of US “democracy.” The entertainment industry has cast “deep throat” Mark Felt– a crazed, disgruntled FBI official, bitter because he didn’t inherit the directorship from J. Edgar Hoover– as the hero of the Watergate debacle. Industry moguls stretch credulity to portray him as the courageous forerunner of the sleazy James Comey.
How quickly the liberals have forgotten the shame of 2003, when a ruling class-induced frenzy of lies and distortions prompted an unprovoked US invasion of a sovereign country. Have the scoundrels fabricating “evidence” against Iraq left or have they been removed from the State Department, the CIA, the FBI, etc.? Or are they still there, now busy spinning lies against Russia?
Liberals and the weasel-left should heed Parry’s warning: “Arguably, if fascism or totalitarianism comes to the United States, it is more likely to arrive in the guise of “protecting democracy” from Russia or another foreign adversary than from a reality-TV clown like Donald Trump.” Apart from flirting with war, the new consensus against Putin and Russia further erodes the remaining vestiges of democratic life in the US. Fear has brought us an Orwellian destruction of privacy and freedom, along with a murderous foreign policy and, now, a shamefully uncritical conformity.
War by Other Means
If “The New McCarthyism” is an inaccurate description of our times, what would be more suitable? Perhaps “The New Cold War” would be more appropriate since US aggression is both global and endless. The US is conducting war or war-like actions in Africa, the Middle East, South America, the Caribbean, and in Asia. Any and every country that fails to accept US global leadership becomes a target for US aggression.
This constitutes a desperate attempt on the part of US elites to maintain their place at the top of the hierarchy of imperialism, their ultimate mastery over all global affairs.
After the arrogant declaration of victory in the Cold War and the presumption of global governance, matters begin to fall apart for the champions of US global dominance. Former clients like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein began to defy US hegemony. States like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador choose paths independent of the US template for the global economy. Other states like Yugoslavia, Cuba, and DPRKorea refused to acknowledge that socialist economic relations were outlawed in the post-Soviet era. Still other states like Iran, post-Yeltsin Russia, Libya, and Syria reject US interference in their and their neighbors’ affairs. And, of course, the world’s largest economy (PPP)– PRChina– does not accept a subordinate role in global affairs.
In short, the US role as self-appointed world policeman has been answered with far-from-servile acceptance by the world’s people.
The US response to resistance has been violence. Uncountable deaths and injuries from invasion, occupation, and remotely-mounted attacks have been visited upon combatants and civilians alike. The stability of numerous countries has been disrupted, usually under the cynical banner of human rights. Over the last two decades or so, US imperialism has restructured its aggression, relying more and more on surrogates, drones, and economic aggression, but with the same deadly results.
Obama’s cabal of liberal interventionists has refined and expanded the tactic of imposing international sanctions, a particularly brutal, but seemingly high-minded form of aggression.
We should not deceive ourselves. International sanctions may masquerade as a mechanism of civil enforcement, but they are, in fact, acts of war– war by other means. The current world balance of forces allows the US to cajole, intimidate or manipulate UN member states to endorse strangling the economies of US adversaries under the guise of UN sanctions. The UN virtually rubber stamps the US initiatives to cut the lifelines of countries, organizations, even corporations that dare to ignore US dictates. Similarly, the EU and NATO act as sanction lapdogs.. The consequences of sanctions can be just as destructive, as death-dealing, as overt military aggression. Shamefully, even Russia and PRC– the victims of sanctions– have collaborated on these sanctions in recent years, an opportunistic approach meant to ingratiate themselves with US leaders.
At the same time, no UN economic sanctions have been imposed upon the serial human rights violator, the apartheid state of Israel– merely calls, resolutions, and condemnations.
In a toxic atmosphere of incredulous “sonic” attacks charged to Cuban authorities, provocative claims of Russian government meddling in everything from the electric grid to Facebook, allegations of Venezuelan drug trafficking, suspicions of Chinese espionage, and the many other marks of induced paranoia, the fight for truth is the only escape, the only response to the ugly throes of a diseased, embattled empire. Most assuredly, the empire is in decline, though most of its citizens are unaware, sheltered by a thick curtain of deceit.
Greg Godels (Zoltan Zigedy)
zzsblogml@gmail.com