https://ilmanifesto.it/ Manlio Dinucci Der italienische Außenminister Di Maio und der italienische Verteidigungsminister Guerini wurden dringend zu …US-Anordnungen gegen Russland: Italien im Blick – von Manlio Dinucci (il manifesto, April 20, 2021)
„…a breakdown of the order is inevitable. And the consequences of a breakdown would be catastrophic…“
Why Russia is driving the West crazy
11778 Views February 10, 2021 85 Comments
by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted on Asia Times
Future historians may register it as the day when usually unflappable Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov decided he had had enough:
We are getting used to the fact that the European Union are trying to impose unilateral restrictions, illegitimate restrictions and we proceed from the assumption at this stage that the European Union is an unreliable partner.
Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, on an official visit to Moscow, had to take it on the chin.
Lavrov, always the perfect gentleman, added, “I hope that the strategic review that will take place soon will focus on the key interests of the European Union and that these talks will help to make our contacts more constructive.”
He was referring to the EU heads of state and government’s summit at the European Council next month, where they will discuss Russia. Lavrov harbors no illusions the “unreliable partners” will behave like adults.
Yet something immensely intriguing can be found in Lavrov’s opening remarks in his meeting with Borrell: “The main problem we all face is the lack of normalcy in relations between Russia and the European Union – the two largest players in the Eurasian space. It is an unhealthy situation, which does not benefit anyone.”
The two largest players in the Eurasian space (italics mine). Let that sink in. We’ll be back to it in a moment.
As it stands, the EU seems irretrievably addicted to worsening the “unhealthy situation”. European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen memorably botched the Brussels vaccine game. Essentially, she sent Borrell to Moscow to ask for licensing rights for European firms to produce the Sputnik V vaccine – which will soon be approved by the EU.
And yet Eurocrats prefer to dabble in hysteria, promoting the antics of NATO asset and convicted fraudster Navalny – the Russian Guaido.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, under the cover of “strategic deterrence”, the head of the US STRATCOM, Admiral Charles Richard, casually let it slip that “there is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state.” (…)
Full document you will read here (PDF):
The Making of US Empire at the dawning of its end
by Pepe Escobar
As the Exceptional Empire gets ready to brave a destructive – and self-destructive – new cycle, with dire, unforeseen consequences bound to reverberate across the world, now more than ever it is absolutely essential to go back to the imperial roots.
The task is fully accomplished by
Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy, by Stephen Wertheim, Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and a research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.
Here, in painstaking detail, we can find when, why and especially who shaped the contours of US “internationalism” in a roomful of mirrors always disguising the real, ultimate aim: Empire.
Wertheim’s book was superbly reviewed by Prof. Paul Kennedy. Here we will concentrate on the crucial plot twists taking place throughout 1940. Wertheim’s main thesis is that the fall of France in 1940 – and not Pearl Harbor – was the catalyzing event that led to the full Imperial Hegemony design.
This is not a book about the U.S. industrial-military complex or the inner workings of American capitalism and finance capitalism. It is extremely helpful as it sets up the preamble to the Cold War era. But most of all, it is gripping intellectual history, revealing how American foreign policy was manufactured by the real flesh and blood actors that count: the economic and political planners congregated by the arch-influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the conceptual core of the imperial matrix.
10 Worst Things Trump Did & 5 Things He Didn’t Do – Consortiumnews
— Weiterlesen consortiumnews.com/2021/01/20/10-worst-things-trump-did-5-things-he-didnt-do/
Assange Extradition Ruling Is a Relief, But it Isn’t Justice
January 4, 2021
Caitlin Johnstone says the judge supported virtually every U.S. prosecutorial argument, no matter how absurd and Orwellian.
British Judge Vanessa Baraitser has ruled against U.S. extradition for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but not for the reasons she should have.
Baraitser’s frightening ruling supported virtually every U.S. prosecutorial argument that was made during the extradition trial, no matter how absurd and Orwellian. This includes quoting from a long-discredited CNN report alleging without evidence that Assange made the embassy a “command post” for election interference, saying the right to free speech does not give anyone “unfettered discretion” to disclose any document they wish, dismissing arguments from the defense that U.K. law prohibits extradition for political offenses, parroting the false claim that Assange’s attempt to help protect his source Chelsea Manning while she was exfiltrating documents she already had access to was not normal journalistic behavior, saying U.S. intelligence might have had legitimate reasons to spy on Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, and claiming Assange’s rights would be protected by the U.S. legal system if he were extradited.
“Judge is just repeating the U.S. case, including its most dubious claims, in Assange case,” tweeted activist John Rees during the proceedings.
In the end, though, Baraitser ruled against extradition. Not because the U.S. government has no business extraditing an Australian journalist from the U.K. for exposing its war crimes. Not because allowing the extradition and prosecution of journalists under the Espionage Act poses a direct threat to press freedoms worldwide. Not to prevent a global chilling effect on natsec investigative journalism into the behaviors of the largest power structures on our planet. No, Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition because Assange would be too high a suicide risk in America’s draconian prison system.
Assange is still not free, and he is not out of the woods. The U.S. government has said it will appeal the decision, and Baraitser has the legal authority to keep Assange locked in Belmarsh Prison until that appeals process has been carried through all the way to its end. Discussions on bail and release will resume on Wednesday, and Assange will remain imprisoned in Belmarsh at least until that time. Due to Assange’s bail offense which resulted from taking political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, it’s very possible that bail will be denied and he will remain imprisoned throughout the U.S. government appeal.
“Today’s court ruling is a huge relief for Julian, his partner and family, his legal team and his supporters around the world,” said MEAA Media Federal President Marcus Strom. “Julian has suffered a 10-year ordeal for trying to bring information of public interest to the light of day, and it has had an immense impact on his mental and physical health.”
“But we are dismayed that the judge showed no concern for press freedom in any of her comments today, and effectively accepted the U.S. arguments that journalists can be prosecuted for exposing war crimes and other government secrets, and for protecting their sources,” Strom added. “The stories for which he was being prosecuted were published by WikiLeaks a decade ago and revealed war crimes and other shameful actions by the United States government. They were clearly in the public interest. The case against Assange has always been politically motivated with the intent of curtailing free speech, criminalisingjournalism and sending a clear message to future whistleblowers and publishers that they too will be punished if they step out of line.”
Indeed, the ruling today was a huge relief for Assange, his family, and for all his supporters around the world. But it wasn’t justice.
“It’s good to hear that court has ruled against the extradition of Julian Assange but I am wary of the fact it’s on mental health grounds,” AP’s Joana Ramiro commented on the ruling. “It’s a rather feeble precedent against the extradition of whistleblowers and/or in defence of the free press. Democracy needs better than that.”
“This wasn’t a victory for press freedom,” tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald. “Quite the contrary: the judge made clear she believed there are grounds to prosecute Assange in connection with the 2010 publication. It was, instead, an indictment of the insanely oppressive U.S. prison system for security ‘threats’.”
It is good that Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition, but her ruling also supported the entirety of the U.S. government’s prosecutorial narrative that would allow for extradition of journalists under the Espionage Act in the future. The ruling is a significant step toward freedom for Julian Assange, but it changes nothing as far as global imperialist tyranny is concerned.
So, the appropriate response at this time is a sigh of relief, but not celebration. The Assange case has never been about just one man; the greater part of the battle, the one we are all fighting, continues unabated.
That said, the message of the empire here was essentially “We totally coulda extradited you if we wanted, but you’re too crazy,” which sounds a lot like the international diplomacy equivalent of “I could kick your ass but you’re not worth it.” It’s a way of backing down while still saving face and appearing to be a threat. But everyone looking on can see that backing down is still backing down.
I think it’s a safe bet that if this case hadn’t had such intense scrutiny on it from all over the world, we would have heard a different ruling today. The empire did what it could to try and intimidate journalists with the possibility of prison for exposing its malfeasance, but in the end, it backed down.
I’m not going to take that as a sign that we’ve won the war, or even the battle. But it is a sign that our punches are landing. And that we’ve got a fighting chance here.
RCEP hops on the New Silk Roads
7647 ViewsNovember 16, 2020 29 Comments
by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted on Asia Times
Ho Chi Minh, in his eternal abode, will be savoring it with a heavenly smirk. Vietnam was the – virtual – host as the 10 Asean nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, on the final day of the 37th Asean Summit.
RCEP, eight years in the making, binds together 30% of the global economy and 2.2 billion people. It’s the first auspicious landmark of the Raging Twenties, which started with an assassination (of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani) followed by a global pandemic and now ominous intimations of a dodgy Great Reset.
RCEP seals East Asia as the undisputed prime hub of geoeconomics. The Asian Century in fact was already in the making way back in the 1990s. Among those Asians as well as Western expats who identified it, in 1997 I published my book 21st: The Asian Century (excerpts here.)
RCEP may force the West to do some homework, and understand that the main story here is not that RCEP “excludes the US” or that it’s “designed by China”. RCEP is an East Asia-wide agreement, initiated by Asean, and debated among equals since 2012, including Japan, which for all practical purposes positions itself as part of the industrialized Global North. It’s the first-ever trade deal that unites Asian powerhouses China, Japan and South Korea. (…)
The End Of The Nagorno-Karabakh War: Retrospection, Clarification, And Forecast
Azerbaijan’s Glorious Victory
The Nagorno-Karbakh War finally ended as a result of Armenia’s sudden Russian-facilitated surrender following its total defeat on the battlefield. The agreement that was reached between the Azerbaijani, Russian, and Armenian leaders can be read here on the official website of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It provides for the deployment of Russian peacekeepers along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor in parallel with the Armenian forces‘ withdrawal from the universally recognized Azerbaijani territory that it had illegally occupied for nearly three decades. The Russian peacekeepers will remain there for five years but could have their mission extended for more five-year intervals pending the approval of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Either one of them, however, can declare their intent to terminate the agreement six months prior to the expiration of its term (as is likely to happen). Although not mentioned in the actual deal itself, Azerbaijani President Aliyev also said that Turkish peacekeepers will jointly carry out activities with Russia.
Additionally, the agreement allows for the return of all refugees and internally displaced people to the formerly occupied territories, as well as an exchange of prisoners, bodies, and other such humanitarian procedures. It can therefore be said that the deal will inevitably result in the full implementation of the four UNSC Resolutions on the matter (822, 853, 874, 884), but it interestingly goes a bit further than just that. The last of the nine terms concerns the creation of a corridor between the western regions of Azerbaijan and its Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic via southern Armenia. Control over transport communication will be carried out by the Russian Border Guard Service, which highlights the crucial role that the Eurasian Great Power is playing in this visionary arrangement. All told, the deal represents an amazing victory for Azerbaijan, one which wouldn’t have happened without perfect unity between its President, Armed Forces, and people. They stood strong for nearly 30 years, concentrated on liberating their occupied territories, and finally fulfilled this legendary task.
A Clear Track Record Of Analytical Accuracy
The author took a very keen interest in their ultimately victorious counteroffensive since it began in late September, publishing 36 analytical articles about everything from the conflict’s history to the latest military dynamics and even the grand strategic factors at play. With humbleness and thanking God for the insight that He inspired, the author produced stunningly accurate analyses which even predicted the joint Russian-Turkish peacekeeping mission in mid-October at a time when most of the world was convinced that those two countries were destined to clash with one another. For the purpose of enlightening his readers, he’s sharing the chronological sequence of his work so that they can follow the evolution of his thoughts during this time and hopefully learn how to improve their own analyses in the event that they’re so inclined. His clear track record of analytical accuracy should also be contrasted with the commentary published by his peers in the Alt-Media Community, many of whom not only got everything totally wrong, but even in some cases completely discredited themselves after pushing propaganda that has since been conclusively debunked by the facts:
8 October: India’s Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis Conundrum
20 October: An Interview With Andrew Korybko
What Went Wrong?
Having proven his credibility and credentials to authoritatively speak on this topic, the author will now engage in some retrospection in order to educate everyone about the reasons why so many others got almost everything about this conflict so terribly wrong. It’s important to understand that media literacy played a huge role in why many people were deceived. They lacked the ability to differentiate between the various information products freely available to them such as journalism, investigations, analyses, op-eds, activism, propaganda, and even fake news, which he elaborated upon earlier in a piece about how “Media Literacy, Not Intimidation & Censorship, Is The Best Way To Fight So-Called Propaganda”. Better media literacy could have resulted in folks realizing that they were being deceived by certain supposedly “credible” sources, which in turn wouldn’t have led to so many false expectations about the course of this conflict. Equally important, however, was the effect of “wishful thinking”, “groupthink”, and “political correctness” in misleading the masses.
Pro-Armenian supporters “wishfully thought” that they’d continue to indefinitely perpetuate their illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territory, which led to them believing now-debunked reports which fed into their “confirmation bias”. Many analysts, however, were wrongly caught up in the dynamics of “groupthink” after convincing themselves that Russia and Turkey were “competing” in the South Caucasus, which blinded them to the reality of their tacit coordination during this conflict that ultimately resulted in their planned joint peacekeeping mission as announced by President Aliyev. Still others were aware of the truth but felt uncomfortable publicly sharing their views about it due to the heavy pressure put upon them by their peers to abide by the totalitarian concept of so-called “political correctness”. Taken together, these three factors led to ridiculously inaccurate claims being made about the most recent phase of the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Most of these mistakes were “innocent”, but some might have been deliberately committed in order to deceive others.
The Immediate Consequences
The world is quickly waking up to the new reality that the Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership is one of the most important forces in the so-called “Greater Middle East”, from Azerbaijan down through Syria and even as far afield as Libya. It used to be that those such as the author who analyzed this emerging geopolitical fact were regarded as “conspiracy theorists” or worse by their peers, but now the only “conspiracy theorists” are those who deny the transregional significance of their bilateral relations. The Alt-Media Community is mostly discredited now and will have to work extremely hard to rebuild the trust that it lost among its audience after unintentionally or deliberately deceiving them regarding this conflict. The same holds true for the Mainstream Media and think tanks, some of which might have in hindsight been functioning as undeclared lobbyists of the once-powerful Armenian diaspora that has actually been defanged as a result of these developments after proving itself unable to manipulate others into intervening in the conflict to save their colonial project.
Their emotional fearmongering that Azerbaijan was preparing to commit an imminent “genocide” against the Armenians was revealed to have been nothing more than a manipulative infoar narrative intended to provoke a larger war. It’ll arguably go down in history as being just as infamous as Bush Jr’s‘ equally false “Weapons of Mass Destruction” claim which was made for the same reason but regrettably actually ended up resulting in the desired military outcome. Armenians are furious at being deceived by their “intellectuals” (both at home and abroad), as well as Pashinyan who suddenly capitulated despite reassuring everyone on an almost daily basis that there hadn’t been any losses whatsoever and that “total victory is within reach”. So enraged were they that they even stormed the national parliament the night that their country’s de-facto surrender was announced, which was incredibly ironic since it hints that a patriotic protest movement might eventually overthrow the same man who came to power on the back of a Soros-driven pro-Western Color Revolution.
What Comes Next?
It’s unclear whether Pashinyan will resign (and possibly flee abroad), be overthrown (and consequently risk suffering a fate as dark as Ceausescu’s), or somehow manage to retain power (albeit as a figurehead leader), but it’s obvious that his political capital isn’t anything like what it used to be. He’s personally responsible for sending potentially thousands of Armenian men into the Azerbaijani meat grinder over the past seven weeks for what ended up being no reason at all, hence why his people are so furious with him. Furthermore, his government is responsible for committing war crimes against the Azerbaijani people so he might even face justice as The Hague, especially if his people and/or military overthrow him (the latter possibly with an intent to receive reduced sentences and/or immunity for their own crimes by handing him over). Azerbaijan will also likely see to it that Armenia pays restitution for its years of illegal occupation. As for Russia, it might stop discussing reports of “mercenaries” in Nagorno-Karabakh since it seems that it was all just an Armenian lie.
Armenia’s Russian-facilitated surrender might soon lead to a rapprochement with neighboring Turkey too, which when paired with the Western Azerbaijan-Nakhchivan Corridor, could unlock the South Caucasus‘ potential to serve as one of the most geostrategically crucial connectivity crossroads in the world. Azerbaijan already benefits from both the “Middle Corridor” connecting East-West trade between China and Europe via Central Asia, the Caspian Sea, the South Caucasus, and Turkey as well as the North-South Transport Corridor connecting Russia with India via Azerbaijan and Iran, but now Armenia could excitedly be integrated into the mix in order to take advantage of the landlocked country’s “land-linked” capability (to borrow the term that similarly positioned Laos uses). For that promising future to happen, though, Armenians must denounce their fascist ideology of “Greater Armenia” just like Nazi Germany denounced its own genocidal expansionism after its war, make meaningful amends for their crimes, and earnestly embrace reconciliation with their neighbors.
The sudden end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War is a moment of reckoning for all. Azerbaijan single-handedly showed the international community that a united nation can indeed succeed in unilaterally implementing UNSC Resolutions which had hitherto been ignored out of “political convenience”. This powerfully proves that international law is still alive and well across the world despite what critics claim. Moreover, Russia’s mature response to the rapidly unfolding developments in remaining neutral despite intense pressure by the Armenian diaspora lobby and their surrogates to intervene in Yerevan’s support and Moscow’s pivotal role in facilitating Armenia’s de-facto surrender speak to the success of its (sometimes imperfectly executed) “balancing” act, which confirms its status both a peacemaker and also one of the world’s most important Great Powers. Nevertheless, it can be expected that some ultra-nationalist forces might wrongly try to blame Russia for Armenia’s seemingly “unexpected” loss in order to unconvincingly deflect blame from their own leaders.
It’s not just ultra-nationalist Armenians who might cling to this literal “conspiracy theory”, but perhaps even those non-Armenians in the Alt-Media and analytical communities whose work has been almost completely discredited by none other than their own hand after they submitted to “wishful thinking”, “groupthink”, “political correctness”, and/or willingly functioned as undeclared lobbyists of the previously powerful Armenian diaspora. Those supposedly Russian-friendly voices might now resort to political Russophobia out of desperation to save their own reputations instead of publicly accounting for their analytical errors and/or even apologizing for deceiving those who trusted them. In any case, their likely infowar meddling won’t have any meaningful impact on derailing the bright future that awaits the South Caucasus. This geostrategic region can now fulfill its destiny in serving as the crucial node for connecting North-South and East-West trade across Eurasia, which will bring immense benefits to its many people and greatly accelerate the reconstruction of Nagorno-Karabakh as well.
Full text you will read here:
Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate?
— Weiterlesen www.moonofalabama.org/2020/10/is-the-war-over-nagorno-karabakh-already-at-a-stalemate.html
Seven days after Azerbaijan attacked the Armenian held Nagorno-Karabakh territory it has not made any territorial progress. Overview map Iran and Georgia have both large Azeri and Armenian minorities within their territories. bigger Detail map bigger The highlands of Nagorno-Karabakh…
August 26, 2020
Belarus – NATO Lobby Acknowledges That Its Color Revolution Failed
On August 15 we explained why the color revolution in Belarus would fail. Belarus‘ President Alexander Lukashenko had offered President Vladimir Putin of Russia to finally implement the long delayed Union State that will unite Belarus with Russia. In exchange he wanted full Russian backing for shutting down the U.S. led color revolution against him. Putin accepted the deal. In consequence:
Lukashenko, and his police, will not hang from a pole. Russia will take care of the problem and the Union State will finally be established.
That does not mean that the color revolution attempt is over. The U.S. and its lackey Poland will not just pack up and leave. But with the full backing from Russia assured, Lukashenko can take the necessary steps to end the riots.
And that is what he did. Lukashenko continued to allow demonstrations but when on Sunday the demonstrators were directed to storm the presidential palace they saw a theatrical but strong response: (…)