by Mike Whitney
"RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian strategic bombers heading for British airspace yesterday, as the spirit of the Cold War returned to the North Atlantic once again. The incident, described as rare by the RAF, served as a telling metaphor for the stand-off between London and Moscow over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.” (Times Online, Richard Beeston; “RAF scrambles to intercept Russian bombers, 7-18-07)
"Men are always wicked at bottom unless they are made good by some compulsion.”-Niccoló Macchiavelli
When a political heavyweight, like Henry Kissinger, jets-off on a secret mission to Moscow; it usually shows up in the news.
Not this time.
This time the media completely ignored — or should we say censored—Kissinger’s trip to Russia and his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, apart from a few short blurps in the Moscow Times and one measly article in the UK Guardian, no major news organization even covered the story. There hasn’t been as much as a peep out of anyone in the American media.
Nothing. That means the meetings were probably arranged by Dick Cheney. The secretive Veep doesn’t like anyone knowing what he’s up to.
Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.
Kissinger was accompanied on his junket by a delegation of high-powered political and corporate big-wigs including former Secretary of State George Schultz, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Special Representative for Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr., former Senator Sam Nunn and Chevron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David O'Reilly.
Wow. Now, there’s an impressive line up.
The group was (presumably) sent to carry out official government business as discreetly as possible. The media obviously complied with White House requests and kept their mouths shut.
The array of talent in Kissinger’s delegation suggests that the US and Russia are engaged in sensitive, high-level talks on issues ranging from nonproliferation and Missile Defense, to energy exploration and development, to the Iranian “enrichment” program and partitioning of Serbia (Kosovo), to the falling dollar and the massive US current account deficit. The US and Russia are at loggerheads on many of these issues and relations between the two countries has steadily deteriorated.
No one really knows what took place at the meetings, but judging by Kissinger’s parting remarks; things did not go smoothly. He said to one reporter, ``We appreciate the time that President Putin gave us and the frank manner in which he explained his point of view.”
In diplomatic phraseology, “frank” usually means that there were many areas of strong disagreement. Presumably, the main “bone of contention” is Putin’s insistence on a “multi-polar” world in which the sovereign rights of other nations is safeguarded under international law. Putin is ferociously nationalistic and he will not compromise Russia’s independence to be integrated into Kissinger and Co.’s wacky the new world order.
The Empire Strikes Back
Less than 48 hours after the “Russia-USA: A View on the Future” conference had ended, British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband announced that the British government “would expel four diplomats from the Russian Embassy in London in response to Russia’s refusal to extradite Andrei K. Lugovoi, whom the British prosecutors accused of using radioactive Polonium 210 to poison a Kremlin critic and former K.G.B. agent, Alexander Litvinenko, last fall.” (New York Times)
The expulsion of the diplomats is a clear indication that Bush ordered his “new poodle” Gordon Brown to begin a campaign of harassment against Russia.
The British action is unprecedented and outlandish. The Russian Foreign Ministry was evidently thunderstruck by the move. After all, Britain has refused to honor 21 requests from Russia to extradite gangster-oligarch Boris Berezovsky and the Chechen rebel leader Akhmed Zakayev, who currently live in London. As Deputy foreign minister Alexander V. Grushko said, “If Russia used the same formula, the British embassy would be short about 80 diplomats now.” The hypocrisy is shocking to say the least.
Besides, who is going to believe that the British government has taken a sudden interest in the death of a former-KGB agent? Heck, the Brits kill more Iraqis in a day around Basra then anyone in the Kremlin kills in a year. The whole thing stinks of political opportunism much like the investigation of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Russia is presently exploring its options for retaliation, but the implications of unexpected clash are obvious; the US and Britain have placed Russia on their “enemies list” and are planning to execute a guerilla war of harassment, slander, and covert operations intended to deepen the divisions between Europe and Russia. Naturally, Putin will continue to be demonized in the western media as a looming threat to democratic values.
Ultimately, the goal is to pit Europe against Russia while the Pentagon, the CIA, and M-15 settle on a long-term strategy for gaining access to vital petroleum and natural gas supplies in Central Asia and the Caspian Basin. That is still the main objective and both Putin and Kissinger know it.
So far, Putin appears to have the upper-hand in this regard because he has skillfully strengthened alliances with his regional allies — under the rubric of the Commonwealth of Independent States — and because most of the natural gas from Eurasia is pumped through Russian pipelines. An article in “Today’s Zaman” gives a good snapshot of Russia’s position vis a vis natural resources in the region:
“As far as natural resources are concerned Russia's hand is very strong: It holds 6.6 percent of the worlds proven oil reserves and 26 percent of the world's gas reserves. In addition, it currently accounts for 12 percent of world oil and 21 of recent world gas production. In May 2007, Russia was the world's largest oil and gas producer.
As for national champions, Putin has strengthened and prepared Gazprom (the state-controlled gas company), Transneft (oil pipeline monopoly) and Rosneft (the state-owned oil giant). That is why in 2006 Gazprom retained full ownership in the giant Shtokman gas field (7) and took a controlling stake in the Sakhalin-2 natural gas project. In June 2007, it took back BP's Kovytka gas field and now is behind Total's Kharyaga oil and gas field.” (“Vladimir Putin’s Energystan and the Caspian” Today’s Zaman)
Putin — the black belt Judo-master — has proved to be as adept at geopolitics as he is at “deal-making”. He has collaborated with the Austrian government on a huge natural gas depot in Austria which will facilitate the transport of gas to southern Europe. He has joined forces with German industry to build an underwater pipeline through the Baltic to Germany (which could provide 80% of Germany’s gas requirements) He has selected France’s Total to assist Gazprom in the development of the massive Shtokman gas field. And he is setting up pipeline corridors to provide gas to Turkey and the Balkans. Putin has very deliberately spread Russia’s influence evenly throughout Europe with the intention of severing the Transatlantic Alliance and, eventually, loosening America’s vice-like grip on the continent.
Putin’s overtures to Germany’s Merkel and France’s Sarkozy are calculated to weaken the resolve of Bush’s neocon-“Trojan Horses” in the EU and put them in Russia’s corner. Putin is also attracting considerable foreign investment to Russian markets and has adopted “a ‘new model of cooperation’ in the energy sector that would ‘allow foreign partners to share in the economic benefits of the project, share the management, and take on a share of the industrial, commercial and financial risks’". (M K Bhadrakumar “Russia plays the Shtokman card”, Asia Times) All of these are intended to strengthen ties between Europe and Russia and make it harder for the Bush administration to isolate Moscow.
The CFE and the impending Missile Defense Crisis
Last week Russia announced the suspension the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) in retaliation for Bush’s plans to put missile defense system into Poland and Czechoslovakia. The United States had never really complied with the provisions of the treaty anyway, but that hasn’t stopped Europeans from reacting with genuine concern. Russia is now free to redeploy its troops and heavy weaponry to its western-most borders. This is bound to cause a stir among the former-Soviet states in Eastern Europe. The move does nothing to enhance Russian security, but it does raise awareness of how Bush’s provocative Missile Defense is putting Europe on the firing-line. Missile Defense is a “lose-lose” situation for everyone involved; it greatly increases the likelihood of a slip up which could end in a nuclear exchange. Still, the expansion of NATO is a crucial part of the neocon plan for controlling the world’s dwindling resources; so we can expect that the present stand-off will only intensify as the warring parties jockey for position. The sudden appearance of Kissinger, Schultz, Rubin and Nunn suggests that the situation has gotten so worrisome that the Masters of the Empire are actually emerging from the shadows and getting directly involved. They have dropped the silly pretense that our celluloid-figurehead president is actually directing foreign policy at all. He isn’t.
But what can they do?
It is true that NATO has pushed itself into Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. But to what advantage? Putin will never allow NATO in Ukraine or Georgia — even if it means turning off the gas spigot and letting Europe freeze to death in the dark.
Cheney calls this blackmail. Maybe. But to others it looks like a straightforward way of telling people that there's a price to pay for bad behavior. If that’s blackmail — let them hire an attorney.
Kosovo: "The chances of independence are nothing"
Russia and the US are bitterly divided on the issue of Kosovo independence. “Kosovo independence” is a nothing more than a catchy moniker that was cooked up in a far-right think tank to express the geopolitical objectives of its advocates. It’s also a way of minimizing the US-generated ethnic cleansing which has made “partition” seem palatable. Its supporters are the usual assortment of western busybodies, neocons and globalists. Their dream is to weaken Serbia by splitting it up and making it more accessible to foreign interests.
Pro-American Secretary General Ban Ki Moon tried to quickly push through a resolution on independence at the UN Security Council this week, but Russian diplomats stopped him in his tracks.
No dice, Ban.
“I am deeply concerned about the lack of progress,” Ban muttered apologetically. “Any further delay is not desirable for the Balkan States or the European countries.”
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was uncharacteristically outspoken in his rejection of the proposed resolution. When he was asked by a reporter about the likelihood of the Kosovo independence”, Churkin growled, “The chances of that are nothing.”
Well said, Vitaly.
Kosovo is an interesting case that sheds a bit of light on the maneuverings of the globalist-claque and their plans for world domination. Chaos and death follow their every move. Their modus operandi is “divide and rule” through the indiscriminate violence and massive clandestine operations.
Russia deserves credit for not buckling under US pressure. Putin is opposed to rewarding “separatist” movements or of letting the United Nations dissect sovereign nations according to the whims of its main contributors. This angers the scheming globalists, but it is a sensible position. The UN’s mandate is to prevent wars of aggression — not redraw national borders. Just ask the Palestinians how well it worked out last time the UN got involved in the “nation-inventing” business.
Irina Lebedeva reveals the real motives behind Kosovo independence in her article “USA-Russia: Hitting the same Gate, or playing the same game?”
“The North Atlantic alliance documents indicate that the bloc aims at the “Balkanization” of the post-Soviet space by way of overtaking influence in the territories of the currently frozen conflicts and their follow-up internalization along the Yugoslavian lines are set down in black and white. For example, a special report titled “The New North Atlantic Strategy for the Black Sea Region”, prepared by the German Marshall Fund of the United States on the occasion of the NATO summit, already refers to Black Sea and South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) as a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland plagued by Soviet-legacy conflicts.” And the “region of frozen conflicts is evolving into a functional aggregate on the new border of an enlarging West.” Azerbaijan and Georgia in tandem, the report notes, provide a unique transit corridor for Caspian energy to Europe, as well as an irreplaceable corridor for American-led and NATO to bases and operation theatres in Central Asia and the Greater Middle East.”
Okay. So, NATO’s real goal is to break-up existing countries into smaller parts, undermine nationalism, incite ethnic conflicts and create a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland” that provides a “transit corridor for Caspian energy to Europe” as well as a jumping off spot for other military bases.
Sounds a lot like Iraq, doesn’t it?
This should dispel the notion that the US cares about the Muslims of Kosovo or that America bombed Belgrade into rubble to “get rid of the dictator, Milosevic”. That’s all half-truths, misinformation or outright lies. America’s only interests are bases and oil. Period.
Escalation and the prospect of a wider war
An article was posted last night (7-18-07) by the Times Online:
"RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian strategic bombers heading for British airspace yesterday, as the spirit of the Cold War returned to the North Atlantic once again. The incident, described as rare by the RAF, served as a telling metaphor for the stand-off between London and Moscow over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. While the Kremlin hesitated before responding to Britain’s expulsion of four diplomats, the Russian military engaged in some old-fashioned sabre-rattling. (Times Online, Richard Beeston; “RAF Scrambles to intercept Russian bombers) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2093759.ece
This is a good example of how quickly hostilities can escalate when leaders feel overly confident in their poor judgment. Russia is not to be trifled with. Putin will not be hounded or humiliated into submission. He won’t be starved like the Palestinians, bombarded like the Iraqis, or abducted and tortured like the Empire’s other so-called enemies. If Brown and Bush decide that its “good sport” to poke the Bear with a stick—so be it. But, they should be aware of the consequences. Russia only spends 5% of what the US allocates yearly for military expenditures, but it can still flatten Washington and London in a matter of minutes. That’s always worth considering.
Putin: "Glavny protivnik", the main enemy?
Putin is not America’s enemy. He is a fierce nationalist who has led his country out of depression and anarchy into prosperity and resurgent patriotism. He has stabilized the ruble, consolidated his regional power, and elevated the standard of living for every class of Russians. The Russian Federation now has the third largest FOREX reserves, the largest natural gas deposits, and—on many days—provides more oil to foreign markets than Saudi Arabia. The country has regained its international prestige and it has become a force for peace and stability in the region.
The West — and particularly the United States — needs to come to grips with Russia’s ascendant place on the world scene. Russia is not going away. Petroleum and natural gas are becoming scarcer and more costly by the day. Russia’s power will naturally grow in proportion to the diminishing of crucial supplies. This cannot be avoided without initiating a third and, perhaps, final world war.
America’s preeminence in the world depends to great extend on its ability to control the global economic system. That system requires that the dollar continue to be linked to oil reserves. But everywhere the petrodollar is under attack. The only solution is to control two-thirds of the world’s remaining petroleum –which is in the Caspian Basin—and demand payment in dollars.
But that plan has failed. The war in Iraq is lost and the longer America stays, the harder the fall will be. Oil will not continue to be traded in petrodollars, the USD will lose its place as the world’s “reserve currency”, and America will slide into a long and agonizing economic downturn.
The machinations and secret “shuttle diplomacy” of Kissinger and his cohorts will amount to nothing. The situation is irreversible. Geography is fate.
We need to extend the olive branch to Russia and prepare for the inevitable shifting of world power. In the meantime we need to withdrawal from Iraq and let the inescapable struggle for political power begin. Our presence only increases the violence.
American leadership can still be salvaged if we eradicate the cancer that has infected the body-politic and restore the principles of republican government. But that won’t be easy. The small cadres of ruling elites who control policy are driven by a force more powerful than the procreative urge or even the will to survive. They are overwhelmed by a sense of “entitlement” — the fanatical belief that they were born to run the world. This is the rich man’s fundamentalism.
The only way the US can play a productive role in the world’s future, and participate in the species-threatening decisions which face us all (global warming, peak oil, nuclear proliferation, famine, disease) is by removing this poisonous element from our political life and holding them accountable for their long list of crimes. Otherwise our confrontations with Russia, Venezuela, Iran and others will become increasingly uncontrollable and violent causing suffering and death on an unimaginable scale.
It’s up to us.
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