Making sense of the Turkish coup attempt

Making sense of the Turkish coup attempt

 

Incirlik, pron. In-jeer-lik in Turkish but generally mispronounced as In-ser-lik by US TV anchors.

 

It has been reported by various sources that US forces in Incirlik have been surrounded by Turkish troops, although some reports now say that the standoff has been resolved.

The reason for this is that apparently, the recent failed coup against Erdogan has been attributed to the US, although this is a source of speculation. Some think Erdogan (pron. Er-do-an) himself staged the coup to consolidate his power and make himself a full-fledged dictator.

But all of this is secondary to the nitty-gritty fact that the US, via the CIA, USAID, the State Department, Soros foundations linked to the government, etc, has a long and sordid history of interference in other countries in an attempt to manipulate or overthrow governments and replace them with leaders willing to kowtow to Washington and spread senseless revolutions (which essentially started with the “Enlightenment,” as discussed here). The latest example of such US meddling may be the recent Brazil “legal” coup but no one can be sure. The latest documented example is the Ukraine debacle, with Asst. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland proudly announcing that the US had spent $5 billion of your money to overthrow a stable duly elected government and replace it with fascist-friendly “leaders” loyal to the US and EU. The net effect was chaos, with Ukraine now enjoying a standard of living that has been compared to that of Haiti.

Libya was another example. Further, the war in Syria can be traced back to the Arab Spring, a project sponsored by Washington and the EU that aimed to replace the stable democratic government of Bashar al-Assad with “moderate” Islamists and wound up spawning ISIS. Though the uprising has been portrayed as homegrown, numerous foreign fighters are involved. The US-sponsored and armed Islamist “rebels” recently beheaded a young boy. That is the new “democracy” sponsored by the US. Not the best publicity for US foreign policy, although good publicity is hard to come by.

This history of disastrous US-led interference goes back at least as far as the CIA-induced coup in Iran in 1954 that unseated a very popular secularist president, had him killed and replaced with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, a very unpopular man famous for torture and murder of his opposition. In 2013 the CIA admitted its involvement. Pahlavi was eventually overthrown by rebels loyal to the Khomeini, an Islamic fundamentalist and Iran has been a thorn in Washington’s side ever since. Without our interference, Iran could be under secular rule instead of being dominated by Islamic fanatics. Only the Wahhabist Saudi Rat Pack is happy about this situation, which makes Iran an outcast.

Other admissions by the CIA include its admission, in 2000, of involvement in the Chilean coup to overthrow President Salvador Allende in 1973. The barbaric Augusto Pinochet, who replaced him, was subsequently tried for human rights abuses.

Kosovo is another example of US meddling and has produced a Muslim state where historic churches have been razed or damaged and no Christian cemetery has been left unscathed. The story is completely covered up, perhaps because the truth would be too much of an embarrassment to the Clintons, who made the decision to invade this once-Christian country and carve out a caliphate. By a twist of fate, I seem to be the only Western blogger who has uncovered these uncomfortable facts, as reported here.

All of this horrible embarrassment owes to the geniuses in the US State Department, who think they can control the world but keep winding up with unintended consequences that badly damage US relations with other countries. They are godless manipulators who keep proving the existence of God, the only thing standing between them and success in their Satanic plans.

What is happening now in Incirlik, Turkey, is another unintended consequence of US policies, in this case, the policy of “isolating” Russia. In truth, we are isolating the US, slowly but surely, as one ally after the other turns away from Washington in horror and disgust (as when almost every US ally in the world joined the

Chinese investment bank AIIB against vociferous warnings from Washington—it was a soft coup that went virtually unnoticed in the msm).

Finally, since Russia seems to have at least some involvement in the counter-coup, it is highly relevant that the US, mostly via the CIA, was deeply involved in coups and subversion against Russia, because this meddling provides a motive for the Russians to help counter this Turkish coup. Thus, even if it turns out the US was not involved, the blatant, counterproductive interference in governments throughout the world for at least 60 years, much of it aimed at countering Russian influence, has made the world justifiably suspicious of US involvement in all coups and terror events everywhere.

The CIA has not yet admitted to its involvement in the troubles in Chechnya that led to war in that Russian region, but this story is well documented and has been reported in minute detail by Zero Hedge. There are few pertinent reports in the Establishment msm, but a few have appeared, for example, here, here and here, which support the Zero Hedge report (I say that because the rabid Neocons who run the lying US media keep pretending ZH is unreliable).

Again, there is no telling whether the US was involved in the coup against Erdogan, and that is not the point I want to make.

I think it is clear that the Russians warned Erdogan of the coup attempt. You will recall that a Turkish fighter plane had shot down a Russian jet over Syria and this had led to a catastrophic rift in Turkish-Russian relations. But there was too much at stake for both parties to allow this contention to continue. Russia had agreed to lay a gas pipeline across Turkey that would supply Europe. Turkey would have had a steady income from the profits of gas sales. That deal is back on the table now thanks to Putin’s willingness to forgive.

Almost miraculously, the Russo-Turkish relationship may have been saved by some stories, whether true or false, including the report that the pilot who shot down the Russian plane over Syria was not following Erdogan’s orders in so doing but had perhaps followed orders from the US. That pilot has meanwhile been arrested, suspected of complicity with the coup. The story that the pilot was working against Erdogan is possible if far-fetched. But truth is not what matters in this case to the parties involved, which are eager to mend fences.

Like so much of what has happened in world affairs, this renewed Russian-Turkish rapport can be classified as payback for US meddling. And it could change the geopolitical landscape in ways that Washington will regret. US ally and NATO member Germany is already feeling the bite, as reported here.

The lesson, again, is that attempts to manipulate geopolitical events will always fail.

But don’t expect the Neocon maniacs in Washington to learn it.

 

 

Declassified document shows Obama DID know he was creating ISIS

Declassified document proves Obama DID know he was creating ISIS

 

by Don Hank

A recent column appearing at zerohedge.com confirmed that a tweet by Donald Trump hinting that Obama knew he was creating a terror group when he sent arms to “rebels” in Syria was on the money.

 

QUOTE:

The tweet included a link to this story that appeared on Breitbart: an account of a 2012  intelligence report from the Defense Intelligence Agency predicting the rise of the Islamic State in Syria – and showing how US policy deliberately ignored and even succored it. Secured by Judicial Watch thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the document says it’s very likely we’ll see the creation of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” And this won’t just be a grassroots effort, but the result of a centrally coordinated plan: it will happen because “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” then engaged in a campaign to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor) adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar).”

 

The author reminds us that “Western countries” includes the US.

Whether Obama and Hillary are Muslims or not is hardly the issue here. They are an important part of the Saudi Rat Pack (SRP) and that is all we need to know. If there were any justice in our country, they would both hang for treason.

BTW, a lot of hullabaloo is made over the “evil Muslims,” and Christians are some of the most vociferous in condemning all Muslims for what the Saudi Rat Pack does. I agree that Islam is not the religion of peace and that Mo was basically a fraud.

However, I have interacted with Muslims lately and am getting a much more-nuanced impression of things.

Two anecdotal pieces of evidence:

I attended a local English-speaking church on Easter Sunday here in Panama, and after the service they offered free food in the church basement. We sat at a table with a guy who turned out to be Indonesian, a really nice, respectful guy who had taken part in the service. When he told us where he was from, I said aren’t you folks Muslims? He smiled and said they were. My family and I gathered that he was admitting that he was a Muslim, and for me that was no surprise. I had lived in Asia for over 3 years and had made friends and acquaintances there. I learned early that Southern Asians are open to various religions and can confess more than one religion. In fact, the Buddhists believe that there are 5 great religions and Christianity is one of them. They deeply respect Christianity. Sounds insane to most Westerners, but that is how they are.

So I told the young Indonesian Muslim church goer that I had understood that Indonesian Muslims are different from their Middle Eastern brothers. He was quick to let me know that his countrymen want nothing to do with the Saudi violence and intolerance. He was definitely sincerely incensed about this and about the fact that people might mistakenly think his countrymen might largely sympathize with radical Islam. He said there was only one small region in Indonesia where the Muslims were radical like the Saudis.

The next piece of evidence came in today. I was seated in a lounge area of a large department store waiting for my wife and daughter to finish spending their money and noticed a gent sitting beside me who was looking about as bored as me and we struck up a conversation. He turned out to be an Albanian, one of 2 diplomats opening an embassy in Panama, and he had lived in Kosovo. Many of you know that I have written a piece on Kosovo, mostly a translation about the horrors that Serbs face there. He did not deny that this had happened in the past but said that the Serbs had really abused the Albanians for years. He pointed out that over 100 years ago, Serbia had tried to illegally annex Albanian territory. I told him I didn’t think any of that justified mistreating Serbs in Kosovo, but I saw he was not to be persuaded, so I decided to change the subject a bit and told him I had heard that the Saudis had sent money to Kosovo after the war was over.

He said that Kosovars do not like Saudi interference and that he knew they were causing trouble in Kosovo.

I was shocked to hear that he and I could agree that the Saudis were behind much of the mischief in the Middle East. In fact, he was clearly disgusted by it. He insisted that no one wants terrorism (meaning Muslims) and he sounded sincere.

Clearly the Islamic world is not a monolith and we owe it to ourselves to learn from individuals like my Indonesian and Albanian friends.

I had noticed a while back that there are certain groups of people who want us to believe that Muslims are all cookie cutter copies of each other, and what I noticed about these folks is important, so please pay attention:

These folks who want us to hate ALL Muslims are by and large Neocons. Now why would the Neocons want Americans to simply hate all Muslims and not just terrorists and potential terrorists?

I cannot say for certain, but I suspect that this is because it is easier to convince Americans of the righteousness of a misguided military action by the Pentagon if the target audience of the war propaganda is a bunch of cattle who accept the notion that all Muslims are equally evil and represent an unnuanced homogeneous group. They could use this excuse to take out any leader, such as Ghadaffi, Mubarak, Saddam, and of course, Assad.

I strongly suspect this slyly implanted idea that all Muslims are evil is what is motivating many Americans to support US military engagements that, without the blanket hatred of all Muslims, would make no sense. Indeed, I have read opinions critical of Assad based on the fact that he is a Muslim and therefore is evil and not worthy of consideration. The people who expressed this opinion did not seem to care that if the US takes him out, he will be replaced by ISIS. To them there is no difference between ISIS and Assad. They are tragically wrong. Assad belongs to a subgroup of Shia Islam that is almost perfectly tolerant of other religions. Despite whatever sins he may be guilty of, he is the perfect choice for protection of minorities and has done an amazing job of creating a tolerant society in Syria. Only the made-in-USA terror groups like Al-Nusra and ISIS have changed this situation and turned groups against each other who once had learned to tolerate each other under the leadership of Assad.

I do not suspect that Trump will use hatred and suspicion of Muslims to such an untoward end. I think he was just shooting from the hip when he said we need to stop the immigration of Muslims until we can figure out what is going on.

But Hillary is another story.

Meanwhile my Albanian acquaintance was surprisingly open minded about Trump and said that Trump no doubt was not referring to all Muslims but only to people from terror-exporting countries. He said that if Trump became president Albanians would support him, but that likewise they would support Hillary if she won the presidency because her husband Bill had “helped” the Albanians in Kosovo. In other words, contrary to the doomsday warnings of both liberals and GOP higher-ups, Trump would not destroy the US’s rapport with all Muslim countries but may only sully the most radical ones, like Saudi Arabia, which is in fact the enemy of the American people and does not deserve to be coddled.

I also told him I thought Kosovo had become more unstable after the war and that NATO was just indiscriminately killing people.

Incredibly, while he disagreed on the first point, he seemed to agree that NATO was just having itself a rowdy shooting match in Kosovo!

Finally, he told me that Kosovo and Albania saved the lives of many Jews in those places. Here is that story confirmed by the Jewish Post http://www.jewishpost.com/news/Why-Albania-A-Nation-of-Muslims-Christians-Saved-Every-Jew.html.

The world is a big place and there are all sorts of nuances that we are best served to examine and try to understand. More-precise knowledge of groups of people can help both avoid unnecessary military intervention and/or make sure the groups targeted by the Pentagon and/or the State Department really are enemies and not in fact friends or potential friends of We the People. We really ought to have noticed by now that groups or nations that Washington declares to be enemies routinely turn out to be friends and vice-versa and that overly strident propaganda against anyone is generally an excuse for a needless war.

I am only just beginning to understand the Muslim world but God has allowed me to make just the kind of contacts that are helping me fill in the blanks.

 

Look what’s happening in the European region that NATO “defended”

Look what’s happening in the European region that NATO “defended”

by Don Hank

From the site: Pravoslavie.RU

From the fourteenth century to the present day, the land of Kosovo and Metohija has been, and will always remain, the spiritual heartland of the Serbian Orthodox nation. Sanctified by a multitude of monasteries and churches as well as by the blood of martyrs, the holy land of Kosovo occupies a place of honor and reverence within the souls of all believing Serbs.

The pretext behind Bill Clinton’s war in Kosovo was genocide against the Albanian Muslim Kosovars, supposedly perpetrated by the Christian Serbs.

Now Kosovo is a holy land to Orthodox Serbs. It holds sites of some of the first churches and sacred monuments ever built in their country – in fact, some of the first in Europe. Some are around1,000 years old.

A joint report was recently issued by In Defense of Christians (IDC) and Knights of Colombus (KC) for the purpose of inducing the US Congress to issue a statement that the persecution of Christians in the Middle East is genocide. While this IDC/KC report mentions how the Knights of Columbus had defended Christians persecuted in Mexico under President Plutarco Calle, in Italy under Mussolini and in communist bloc countries, it does not mention persecution of Serbian Orthodox in Kosovo and Greek Orthodox in Cyprus. It is hoped that eventually, the situation in Kosovo and other parts of the former Yugoslavia will be brought to light. However, time is of the essence.

Once submitted to Congress, their report produced the desired effect. Not only did Congress issue a statement declaring persecution of Christians in the Middle East to be genocide, but the Obama administration was forced to reluctantly follow suit, for fear of losing face. However, while the report presents a meticulously detailed account of the known murders and persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria, it does not mention the genocide in Kosovo, which is ongoing and is a hideous blemish on US foreign and military policy. It should give pause to anyone who has advocated that NATO be “strengthened” (eg, Ted Cruz and followers) rather than dismantled (as suggested by Donald Trump). In effect, while IDC and KC are to be commended for their meticulous study and efforts to bring this report to the US Congress, by singling out only the Middle Eastern Christians, sadly, their report glosses over Bill Clinton’s biggest crime, the Kosovo War, which I described here. The ulterior motivation for this war, and all Middle East wars in which the US engaged, was described here.

This accusation of “genocide” by the Christian Serbs was far from supported by the facts on the ground, which, according to reports from Serbian bloggers and others, seemed to suggest the inverse, ie, genocide against Christians by these supposed victims, who may have made some missteps in defending themselves against criminal Albanians but unquestionably had the right to defend themselves. In fact, as reported, for example, by the BBC here, the UN declared after the war that – at variance with the US allegations – the situation in Kosovo did not rise to the level of genocide against the Albanian Muslims. But it was too late. You can’t wind back a war.

The Serbian Parliament issued a report here taken from a speech by Chief Delegate Aleksandar Cotric at the autumn session of the International Secretariat of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, held in Nicosia, Cyprus, from November 22 to 25. The excerpts appearing in the following are my translations from the Serbian from this site. Cotric’s speech contained horrific details rarely reported outside of Serbia, and while the Serbian Parliament’s site did include these details in its Serbian-language site, its English language site omitted them. Here are my translations of the salient details (emphasis mine):

“Since 1999, Serbian clergy, monks and temples of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija have been exposed to constant attacks, threats and provocations by Albanian terrorists and extremists.”

“Since then more than three hundred thousand Serbs have been expelled from their homes in Kosovo and Metohija, and about 150 churches, monasteries and other religious objects were destroyed, damaged and desecrated.

“More than ten thousand icons, ecclesiastical art and liturgical objects were also stolen or destroyed, and about six thousand tombstones at about 350 Serbian Orthodox cemeteries destroyed or damaged, while in more than 50 Serbian Orthodox cemeteries, there is no monument left intact…”

The sanitized version of this report in English, authorized by the National Assembly (Parliament) of the Republic of Serbia, mentions, like the IDC/KC report, only the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and completely ignores the situation in Kosovo, even though the Kosovar persecution follows the same signature MO as the ISIS persecution in the Middle East. The Serbs who wrote this report would have had every right, and obligation, to report at their English-language site, the above-described ongoing destruction of an entire Serbian region ever since the end of the war in 1999.

Another English-language page of this National Assembly site goes so far as to mention the “Kosovo-Metohija issue” but does not elaborate. Thanks to media self-censorship, no non-Serb would have any idea what this issue is or that it involves genocide against Christians by the Muslim Albanians that NATO purported to protect. How does one protect thugs? Did Ted Cruz know about this when he recommended that NATO be “strengthened”?

So why did the Serbian government not speak out on the dire situation of Christians in Kosovo at its English-language site?

That’s easy. Serbia has applied for accession to the EU and the negotiations are ongoing. The EU is a US puppet and may not mention that the US’s (and NATO’s) war in Kosovo has been wreaking havoc in that region for 17 years. We must all be good little puppets.

Likewise, the Facebook site of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, which appears in English, Russian and Greek, also omits the above details of Christian persecution in Kosovo – in each of those languages – obviously for the same reason. So if a European state wants to join the EU, it had better not tell the truth about the dire situation facing your Christian population. This situation perfectly fits the definition of tyranny.

I went to the Assembly’s Facebook page and posted, admonishing them to stop the self censorship and warning them that they would be better off outside the EU, which had acquiesced to the destruction of Kosovo in cowardly fashion.

There are a few honest and balanced reports on the Kosovo war and its causes, for example, at this site.

An excellent video at this site presents an honest picture of the situation in Kosovo before, during and after the war. Note the role of the Americans in assisting the Albanian Muslims to purge the Christians.

Very obviously, the Kosovo war was not about preventing genocide. It was part of a larger effort by the Western elites to eliminate Christianity.

 

NATO’s double standard being exposed

NATO’s double standard being exposed

Don Hank

Long before Russia got involved militarily in Syria, I had read in the Greek press about the frequent invasions of Greek airspace by Turkish fighters. No international organization — not the EU, not NATO, not the US government — none of them even issued an opinion let alone a scintilla of a rebuke in Turkey’s direction. Except for Greece and Russia, the msm were mum. Then when Turkey shot down the Russian fighter over Syria and the pilot was murdered by Turkish allies on the ground, the Western allies finally issued an opinion. Obama said only that all countries have a right to defend their borders. He didn’t mention that countries who are in the same coalition on the same identical mission are not expected to shoot down each other’s planes on the grounds that these planes spent a few seconds in the other ally’s airspace. Besides, why didn’t he say that when Turkey started making regular incursions into Greek airspace? His silence was deafening.

Now Barack Obama, as president of the US, has more power over NATO than anyone alive today. So what does the Obama-led NATO say about the shootdown of the Russian jet?

Why they say that NATO-member Turkey has every right to defend its airspace but NATO-member Greece does not.

Here’s what the Greek press says:

 

http://www.takaluteraedo.gr/2015/12/blog-post_19.html

 

My translation of excerpt:

PROTOFANIS CHALLENGES NATO Secretary General:

“the Turkish violations in Greek air space are a different thing”

Commenting on the downing of the Russian aircraft in Syria, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed Turkey’s right to defend its borders. However, when reminded of the violations of Greek airspace by Turkey, he stressed that these are “two completely different situations.”

Well-known CNN journalist Hala Gorani said that the NATO Secretary General has essentially “double standards” in this case and should apply the same standards to everyone, reports Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Therefore, according to Mr. Stoltenberg, Turkey has the absolute right to defend its airspace, but Greece “may not.” In other words, one NATO country is free to violate the air borders of another, and the latter is not allowed to “respond.”

 

END EXCERPT

 

This story of the Turkish encroachments on Greek airspace is all over the Greek press. Here is another of many examples:

 

My translation of excerpt:

 

http://www.enikos.gr/international/356097,Kasoylidhs-Oi-Ellhnes-pilotoi-panta-deixnoyn-egkrateia-stis-Toyrkikes-paraviase.html

 

Kasoulides: Greeks pilots always show restraint in Turkish violations – VIDEO

During the joint press conference of Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, the Cypriot official was asked about the Turkish violations in Greek air space.

“I fully support the position of the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, that Greek pilots always show restraint whenever Turkish fighters invade Greek airspace, without having tragic results and hoped the Turks would show similar behavior when their own air space was violated for a few seconds”, said Ioannis Kasoulides.

 

END EXCERPT

 

This goes to show that the world is noticing the extreme hypocrisy of NATO and the West in general.

Of course, if it stopped at Greece, the hypocrites may not have much to worry about.

But the story of Erdogan as a villain is spreading around the world. A search of the German press yesterday showed that even the most popular news sites, such as Bild, were spreading Putin’s story about Turkish president Erdogan’s involvement with ISIS and how, for example, Erdogan’s son Bilal had purchased millions of dollars worth of stolen ISIS oil for resale.

This morning I saw ample coverage of the Erdogan scandal on Italian cable channel RAI. Only at the very end of this coverage did they briefly mention Turkey’s denial of the story. Italian viewers saw a Moscow war room with oversized satellite photos of the ISIS oil installations and tank trucks headed for Turkey in various directions. The presentation was done as a clear indictment, showing Erdogan as a culprit funding ISIS and offering no excuses.

No matter how hard the Madwoman of Berlin tries to persuade Europe to accept Turkey as a member of the EU, the public pressure is building and will not stop.

Thanks to Putin’s saintly restraint and his fearlessness in sharing these satellite images, Erdogan is emerging as the big loser in this propaganda war and the public is gradually siding with Putin.

 

Slapdown of Erdogan propagandist

The owner of a Turkish web site recently wrote the pro-Islamist email shown below to a group of his readers. I responded as follows and as shown in brackets and bold typeface in his message:

Ahmet,

In our quaint culture, when a person like you presents arguments to us, it is our custom to respond with arguments of our own — unless, of course, your side has a knife at our throat, as has typically been the case in the past.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts to beautify the pig’s face, there is a gradual shift in Western opinion toward Russia and against Turkey in the issue of the downing of the Russian plane over northern Syria.

The story of Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and son Bilal’s funding of ISIS is now firmly implanted in our Western consciousness (your unconfirmed diversionary assertion that Assad also participated in trade with ISIS is irrelevant to the emerging narrative regarding Turkey because Turkey is our coalition “partner” and fellow NATO member, thanks to the suicidal tendencies of our “leaders”). BTW, it is interesting how similar your arguments are to those of our own Neocons, who also make liberal use of diversionary tactics.

To tell you the truth, Ahmet, Islam is such an absurd idea to most Westerners that it can only be spread by terror, as you well know and as Mohammed also knew. That is how the Turks managed to spread it in the 14th century, not by means of intellectual arguments but by murdering Byzantine Christians and other kafir wholesale, as laid out masterfully by Bill Warner in his book and in this video.

The early Muslims knew that if they relied solely on apologetics in an appeal to the intellect and the spiritual senses (ie, the approach taught by Jesus), they would never have gotten to first base with Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, etc, which is why you folks massacred us. You were wise enough to know that dead people don’t debate.

As for why Muslim apologetics is ineffectual, I have shown here why the message of Islam fails to convince unless the sword is applied generously by our debating opponents.

My responses to your attempted arguments are in red typeface below.

I can see that you read some of the Western press in order to formulate your arguments. I would like to see at least some deeper thought go into your pro-terror propaganda in the future, because for one thing, I like a challenge and your diversionary Neocon arguments are anything but intellectually challenging, and secondly, if you start analyzing more deeply, you will realize that you can’t provide to sentient Westerners any attractive arguments in favor of Muslim terror and countries that fund and support it. I am sorry that you compel me to point out the obvious.

I am hoping and praying that you and your fellow Muslims –  and especially your allies in NATO – will open their eyes to the truth and heed the clear message of President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, the only leaders in the world sincerely and effectively opposing terror — even as Washington and Brussels dither and slither.  If you still think you can create propaganda to defend your terror-supporting regime through an appeal to the intellect of the non-brainwashed, you will need to find out what the civilized side says that is swaying world opinion. You may try this site. Once you have heard the other side, you may then be better informed in preparing your truth-resistant arguments.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this topic. I look forward to your disingenuous and ineffectual response.

Best,

Don Hank

 

 

PUTIN: “The breakup of the USSR was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.” [Westerners don’t say this, so it is irrelevant to us, although in terms of fighting terror and barbarism, if the countries of the former Soviet Union could back today’s re-Christianized Russia in defending the West, we probably would not be seeing such an uncontrollable proliferation of terror, the hordes of “refugees” flooding Europe or the US-style wars that sow chaos everywhere]

FACT: As a matter of fact, the greatest tragedy of the 20th century was the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. With the empire gone, flocks of sheep numbering millions of people and inhabiting a geography that extends from Bosnia-Hercegovina to Yemen and from Morocco to Iraq, were left without their shepherd. All of the man-made catastrophes and crises in recent history are directly connected with the power vacuum left behind by the Ottoman Empire. These include the Yugoslav civil war, the Iraqi civil war, the Syrian civil war, the Libyan civil war, Greece’s bankruptcy, the Crimea crisis, the rise of the Wahhabi/Salafist creed and so-called “Islamic” terrorism. [The Ottoman Empire was created by massacring our fellow Christians, as shown above. I am amazed that you think the revival of this cruel despotic empire could be an attractive idea to civilized people at all, let alone Christians. Whom did you think you were addressing here?]

PUTIN: “The Russian jet never violated Turkey’s air space and was shot down without warning.”

FACT: In the last 18 months, the Russians had intentionally violated the air space of many allied countries including the UK. In Turkey’s case, they had been bombing Turkey’s allies in Syria [The coalition was formed to fight terror. If by your “allies,” you are referring to the Turkish speaking Syrian minority (erroneously reported to be descended from the people of Turkmenistan), these are people fighting the troops of Bashar Al-Assad, the legitimate, duly elected president of the Syrians. These allies of yours were an ethnic minority fighting the Syrian people and their government. The peoples of the Western world have no interest in supporting their illicit and criminal behavior — such as the cold blooded murder of a coalition pilot. Further, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had already made it clear that Russia does not accept the absurdity of “good” terrorists vs “bad” terrorists, and Obama knew that when he allowed Russia to form the coalition. Turkey had to know it as well. The Turkish speaking fighters in Syria are terrorists, and given Erdo?ans known support for ISIS, it is not surprising that he would have warm feelings toward these terrorists in northern Syria. He is clearly the friend of all Sunni Muslim terrorists and is completely out of place in NATO], then flying over Turkish air space and thumbing their noses at the Turks. They needed the lesson. The warnings issued by the Turkish fighter jet were heard by US pilots flying in the region. One of the recordings circulating in the Internet was supplied by a pilot flying for the Lebanese airline MEA.

[The problem for you is that when coalition planes are participating in a shared mission, it is absurd on its face for one coalition member to intentionally shoot down another coalition member’s plane and the UN has already condemned the Turkish action on these grounds, so that’s that. The self-defense argument is moot. Turkey knew that its own country was not threatened by planes of its own coalition. Nor did coalition members have the mission of protecting certain terror groups in Syria].

PUTIN: “Turkey arms Isis, buys Isis oil.”

FACT: This week the US published a report saying that Russia’s ally Assad was buying most of the Isis oil to supply its troops. The Americans also identified and blacklisted the middle man who made this trade possible. As Putin knows well, Turkey’s leading energy supplier is none other than Russia. That is not all. The tanks and infantry vehicles used by Isis fighters are Russian. The rifles they hang over their shoulders and the AA guns they mount behind their pickup trucks are also Russian. This equipment can only be maintained with Russian spare parts and loaded with Russian ammunition. [There were Russian weapons all over the Middle East and they fell into the hands of terrorists. Unless you have concrete evidence that the Russians knowingly supplied these weapons to their own enemies (which you know very well they did not), this argument only serves as a distraction. (It is strangely similar to the kind of childish arguments regularly made by US Neocons). In the case of the Turkish purchase of oil, there is satellite imaging proving beyond any doubt that Turkey purchased ISIS oil, whereas here is no such evidence that Assad bought the ISIS oil. Putin showed these images to all members of the G20. This enraged Erdo?an at the time but it also led to the destruction of the oil trucks that were enriching him and his son, enraging him beyond his limits of self control. These were key factors in his desperate decision to shoot down a coalition plane and murder its pilot. He then made the stupid blunder of defending the murder, making him look complicit in a war crime. Finally, it is clear to anyone with knowledge of US military and foreign policy that our “leaders” also clandestinely support terror, in tandem with your country (as evidenced, for example, here,  here and here or by googling, for example, the terms: benghazi turkey gun running.) Therefore, the peoples of the West are locked in a death grip with our own renegade governments and also with Muslim terror groups and countries like Turkey that fund them. We can only win with God’s help and with the pure unadulterated truth as our weapon of choice. But while your master has endorsed the use of lies (taqiyya) when dealing with non-believers, our Master has said: ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.]

 

The US loses another battle for hearts and minds

The US loses another battle for hearts and minds

 

by Don Hank

I never see in the media or the political world any connecting of the dots with regard to the US’s loss of prestige, and yet the ground is giving way under our very feet even as we party on into oblivion. It seems incredible to me that almost no one notices this geopolitical tectonic shift. Much of the US’s lost prestige and respect is due to Obama’s heavy handedness but after all, the US has been busy creating disasters for years — particularly military ones — that erode the trust our partners have invested in us. We will not recover this trust easily or quickly — perhaps not in any of our lifetimes.

I have been tracking this phenomenon roughly since my report on the total blackout regarding the major dedollarization effort by the Eurasians, as reported here: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/141009

The next major shift was marked by RMB clearing centers being built all over the world, and most notably in Europe, as reported here: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/141219

This got very few comments and I did  not see any indication that the rest of the Western press — including the alternative media — noticed or cared.

This was followed not long thereafter by the accession of almost all US allies to the Chinese investment bank AIIB, as reported here: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/150319 in another attempted wake-up call that went unnoticed.

These were followed by low-key statements by European leaders indicating that European “alllies” were no longer willing to bow to the Washington hegemon. These included statements by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the most powerful national leader in Europe and no less than Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the EU Commission, the most powerful man in Europe, as reported here: http://laiglesforum.com/game-over-for-obama-power-in-the-world/3523.htm

These statements showed that Europe’s allegiance was gradually turning from the US to Russia. NATO’s allegiance could no longer be taken for granted.

Now still another sign appears that Europe is ready to ditch its allegiance to the tyrant in DC. The EU Parliament has recently issued a statement in support of Edward Snowden, signaling that he could soon be welcomed in the EU despite all the accusations against him by US Neocons, whom Paul Craig Roberts aptly calls “inhuman filth” because of their interventions that sow chaos everywhere.

See:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20151022IPR98818/html/Mass-surveillance-EU-citizens%27-rights-still-in-danger-says-Parliament

Folks, please to not underestimate the importance of each of these small shots across the bow of the DC tyrant. They are all clear signals that the rest of the world is no longer willing to be pushed around by a government that:

1–Intentionally harmed the world economy with its subprime mortgages packaged and sold around the world under the watchless gaze of US agencies tasked with preventing such disasters

2–Intentionally threw the Middle East into near-total chaos with disastrous military interventions starting with Iraq.

The tyrant in Washington has been identified and is targeted for at least a major comeuppance that will definitely be felt as the US government falls into a deep isolation of its own making.

I fear the best we can hope for is lenience.

I will be updating this column from time to time because it is impossible to keep up with all the geopolitical shifts showing how the US is receiving rejection slips from the rest of the world:

Shift 11/3/2015:

 

Just today I saw an article in El País with an interview with Ban Ki-Moon, where he says (my translation):

“The future of president Assad must be decided by the Syrian people.”

That statement sounds innocuous to the uninitiated but it is in facta block buster because it is in fact a low-key challenge to the Washington policy that Assad must go no matter what the Syrians want, based on the highly dubious notion that the US is entitled to define morality and enforce it. It is also a perfect reflection of what Russia has been saying all long in favor of respecting national sovereignties and it flies in the face of Washington’s untenable position that the US should decide the fate of the Syrians. Washington in so doing fully intends to trample on the sovereignty of the Syrian people (just as it tramples on its own people), who have already suffered much. If anyone deserves to decide the fate of their president it is they.

Here, Ban Ki-Moon joins the swelling ranks of high level officials who cautiously oppose US policy and agree with Russia.

Shift 11/3/2015

Iraq has now effectively excluded the US from participation in military operations in that country against ISIS. Ater seeing the remarkable successes of Russia’s airstrikes in Syria, it realized only Russia will provide honest, sincere assistance in defeating ISIS in Iraq.

Are you wasting money on one of those “specialized” news sites?

Are you wasting money on one of those “specialized” news sites?

 

Don Hank

 

I recently had a complaint about a comment of mine on my private forum (applicants may apply at zoilandon@msn.com) regarding Stratfor, which I said was a propaganda outlet. A reader was very upset and said that he had worked with companies that paid money to subscribe to Stratfor for information that helped them plan economic strategy. The implication was that they could not be a propaganda outlet if serious companies paid them for hard to find information. I do want to point out that the msm are also charged with being a propaganda arm of the US government. This does not mean they are literally paid hard cash for government-favorable reporting. It goes much deeper than that. What I call “propaganda” is what we call the oficialista viewpoint here in Latin America, for example. It is a viewpoint that is inhaled with the air that people, especially journalists, breathe. Anyone expressing a contrarian viewpoint is persona non grata in government circles and risks not getting invited to official press conferences – or worse. Thus there is a constant inflow and outflow of the officialist viewpoint at outlets like Stratfor. No one has to bribe or pay them to parrot the official party line. It is in their blood stream.

The Stratfor article I was commenting on was one in which the author was fretting that Latvia had a pro-Russian political party that was rapidly growing, raising “concerns” as to what Russia might eventually do.

Of course, the real concern for those who like democratic systems would be that some tyrannical outsider might try to force Latvia to remain aligned with the West despite its desire not to – just as the East of Ukraine is being forced to go along with the wishes of Western Ukraine and the EU-US-NATO bloc. (And yet, Scotland gets to hold a referendum and no one in the Western world accuses them of illegal behavior for breaking away from a sovereign country, ie, the UK).

The Western press, whether a for-profit geopolitical analysis site like Stratfor or the msm, never misses a chance to focus on what evil deed Russia may do but almost never focuses on what might make an EU member like Latvia want spontaneously to align with Russia and eventually drop out of the EU. The real issue, left unmentioned, is not what Russia will do but the domino effect of countries like Latvia harboring anti-EU Russia-friendly parties which are growing in leaps and bounds. These include the UK, Holland and France, countries that if they should drop out – or I should say when they drop out, will completely sink the entire EU grand projet. (Don’t worry, though. Your favorite pay-to-read site will never annoy you with that piece of trivia). Once the EU falls, as it must, that will not be Russia’s fault. If Russia fills the trade vacuum, that is hardly an act of war. It is what we used to call the free market back when there was one.

But the folks at Stratfor think that the Latvian development is about Russian misbehavior.

And you know what irks me no end?

In stark contrast to the very localized development in Latvia, which is none of our business, there is a worldwide development that is about Russia – and also about China and eventually the rest of the BRICS countries – a development that is our business and the business of Stratfor subscribers, like it or not, and that development is dedollarization, which if the msm is doing its job of blacking it out properly, you probably have never heard of.

Dedollarization, the movement that could destroy the US economy, is well underway and includes not only the 5 BRICS members but also Japan, some African countries and some European countries, like France (see my sampler of foreign press articles below). Why France? Because a French bank was soaked a world record fine a while back for trading with some US-blacklisted countries and they are getting fed up with the bullying.

Hey, Stratfor, want something to warn your subscribers about?

How about warning them about dedollarization and the US’s suicidal practice of imposing gargantuan fines on foreign banks at the whim of the US government? Or the practice of provoking Russia by siding with known fascists in former COMECON countries that they still want to trade with. Dedollarization is the chickens coming home to roost. Oh, but that’s embarrassing for the US elites who implement these suicidal policies.

Besides, Russophobia, a popular form of racism, is all the rage in Washington, and Russia is the whipping boy du jour. More to the point, in a country where Russophobia is the official fare, it would be embarrassing to admit that Putin turned the tables on the dull witted Western elites with a brilliant answer to the sanctions against Russia, namely, dedollarization of international trade – the use of currencies other than the dollar to transact.

It is vital for you to know something that the msm will never tell you: there are 2 reasons that the USD is still worth money:

1. Since the Bretton Woods agreement, the world is obliged to use the USD in international trade; and

2. The US military.

Dedollarization is the start of a process that will slowly erode these 2 factors.

With all this in mind, I went to the Stratfor site to see how many articles they had relating to dedollarization, a phenomenon poised to kill the USD and hence bring hyperinflation to the US. (Dear Stratfor readers: don’t you suppose a bankrupted USA full of hungry people might be just a wee bit more important than some folks in the mini-country of Latvia who prefer trading with a stable country like Russia – which has a capitalist economy without the impediment of Keynesianism and whose debt, unlike ours, is only a modest fraction of GDP?).

I can’t tell you how unsurprised I was to find the following using “dedollarization” as the search term at the Stratfor site:

 

Argentina, Brazil: Countries Plan To De-Dollarize Commerce

Argentina and Brazil plan to de-dollarize commerce in their countries in the first part of 2008 to…

 

That’s it. So if I am a Stratfor reader, I am led to believe that dedollarization is a South American phenomenon, confined to Argentina and Brazil. Meanwhile Europe is teetering on the brink of dedollarizaton, African countries are dedollarizing, and China, Japan and Russia have already taken that route in major international transactions. Now remember: Stratfor charges money to its subscribers for refusing to give them vital information that the long term investor can hardly be without!

But you are not alone, Stratfor. Guess how many articles the writer-for-hire Wall Street Journal had relating to dedollarization when I performed that search? Ready for this? Here ya go:

 

SEARCH

Advanced Search

Sorry, there are no results for your search query, please try another search.

ROFL! I love this stuff!

For good measure, I decided I might as well try the pay-to-read New York Times. Since they peddle these big thick wads that take whole forests for a week’s worth of news, why they would surely carry something about dedollarization, wouldn’t they?

Sure.

Here is what the internal search engine managed to dredge up:

 

Challenge for Peru: Shoring up sol

“Dedollarization has been a very slow process,” Peru’s central bank president, Oscar Dancourt, said. “But we’re making progress, we’re on the …

So if we trust Stratfor and NYT, dedollarization is only happening in South America. And if we trust WSJ, it doesn’t exist. Nothing to worry about. Certainly not the nail-biting that Latvia’s growing anti-EU party will cause those Stratfor subscribers, who apparently all hold mostly EU bonds in their portfolios and whose worst nightmare is a coup in Latvia. The Russkies are coming! The Russkies are coming!

Now, if you don’t like the word “propaganda,” don’t use it. In fact, you may, if you like, send me your suggestions for a word that better fits an international news analysis site that keeps vital information away from the reader while plying them with news about the internal politics of one of the smallest countries in the EU – and spinning even that tidbit to blame it on Russia, the whipping boy of the officialistas in Washington, DC. But just because our government is running a hate-Russia campaign does not mean that Stratfor is deliberately giving Washington what it wants, does it? Of course not. It could be just a remarkable coincidence. Yeah.

So omitting that harsh word “propaganda,” would you at least admit that the media, even the subscription-only media that soak you plenty for their gems of hard-to-find knowledge that is all over the internet for free, are at least keeping important news – and I’d have to say the most important news – safely away from your eyes?

Finally, for those who never heard of dedollarization (how would you know from the msm if even outlets specialized in international economic news don’t carry the story?), I will admit that my information on the subject originally came from sites like The Economic Collapse, FedUpUSA and Zero Hedge. I trust these sites because, for one thing, they quote sources, and for another, they don’t sound like a broken record cut in Washington. Nonetheless, for the hard core doubters, I was challenged to do my own search of the world press on dedollarization, just to make sure you wouldn’t think I make stuff up. Below is a list of links amounting to no more than about 1% of the dazzling array of foreign articles on dedollarization that I found in German, French, Spanish, English and Chinese – and I’m talking about the real dedollarization, not obscure events localized in South America but an economic freight train bearing down on you and me as I type. I skipped Russian this time even though that is one of my primary sources for this information. That’s because the American public is trained like Pavlov’s dogs to reject all things Russian and there is little point sending the reader to, say, Russia Direct or the like because, unlike our reliable msm, Russian news is pure “propaganda,” right, Sheeple?

Oh, and did I mention that, despite the fact that Stratfor charged readers for its “news” report on Latvia, that story was all over the internet, here, for example, and wouldn’t have cost the subscribers a dime to get all the details. Without the racist anti-Russian propaganda.

 

Germany:

I first searched the word for dedollarization, Entdollariserung.

My goal was to find sources that did not quote the usual US blogs on this subject because, while I personally have the highest regard for the 3 blogs mentioned above, the elites want us to believe that only “bona fide” sites like WSJ or NYT are worth quoting. So while some foreign sites run translations of Tyler Durden or Michael Snyder on this subject, I chose to skip those and picked sites like this one:

http://www.contra-magazin.com/2014/06/die-entdollarisierung-der-russischen-wirtschaft-schreitet-voran/

 

The below German language article cites ITAR-TASS quoting the Russian Central Bank office and also quoting Vladimir Putin in Shanghai following a talk with Xi Jinping announcing closer cooperation between the central banks of Russia and China. (I found references to this well-known conference in several languages).

http://freies-oesterreich.net/2014/08/10/russland-und-china-wollen-bilateralen-handel-kuenftig-nicht-mehr-ueber-dollar-abwickeln/#more-2513

 

How about a French site discussing how BRICS countries and France are weighing the possibility of dedollarizing due in part to the draconian fines imposed by the US on French banks (for doing things that are legal in France!)?

http://resistanceauthentique.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/laffaire-bnp-paribas-et-la-dedollarisation-du-monde/

 

Central Bank of the Congo is dedollarizing (report in French):

http://tsimokagasikara.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/rdc-un-pas-vers-la-dedollarisation-une-nouvelle-reglementation-de-change-a-la-bcc/

 

Angola bank is dedollarizing (report in English):

http://www.portalangop.co.ao/angola/en_us/noticias/economia/2014/5/26/Reserve-bank-denies-report-foreign-currency-shortage,77c30ca5-8603-406c-b65d-d2e45b453b39.html

Quote: The official said that the economy is in a course of stability and there is a set of measures that have been taken aimed at the maintenance and sustainability of the framework which is the process of de-dollarisation of the economy, started four years ago.

 

El País, In Spanish, reporting directly on meetings of BRICS in Fortaleza, Brazil, where dedollarization was being planned:

http://www.portalangop.co.ao/angola/en_us/noticias/economia/2014/5/26/Reserve-bank-denies-report-foreign-currency-shortage,77c30ca5-8603-406c-b65d-d2e45b453b39.html

 

BRICS countries “must continue dedollarization” (report in Portuguese)

http://www.efe.com/efe/noticias/brasil/economia/brics-paises-emergentes-devem-prosseguir-com-desdolariza-economia/3/2019/2269481

 

Japan, China, dedollarizing

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Kosuke-TAKAHASHI/3769

 

I think you can see the advantage of having access to the multilingual press. Monolingualism is a bit of a hindrance these days if you want to know what is going on in the rest of the world that might just affect you. Especially if you are a subscriber to “specialized” news sites like Stratfor, Wall Street Journal or New York Times, that seem to have trouble reading any language.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov interview

Interview of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the Sunday Evening Show with Vladimir Soloviev

Translated by Don Hank (all footnotes and links were added by the translator)

Original interview on video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itd9WaolJtY 

Original Russian text:

http://el-murid.livejournal.com/1717453.html

Question: Hello, Sergey Viktorovich. What a feeling it is to realize that you are now not just the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but also the Minister of Foreign Affairs military. Every time I see and listen to you, I have a feeling of tremendous anxiety and that the world has gone mad. My generation does not remember this level of escalation. What is actually happening?

Lavrov: I think the entire world system is being reformatted, because after the disappearance of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, those we refer to by the collective word “West” missed a historic opportunity when Russia proposed a number of initiatives that would allow us to truly unite not only the European continent, but also the Euro-Atlantic, including Eurasia. There were suggestions to center this work around the OSCE based on equality of all states. There were suggestions that after the disappearance of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the major threats to the countries that were part of the NATO-North Atlantic bloc had ceased to exist or, at least, would not expand.

We were assured of this; we talked a lot about the fact that now everyone is interested in peer collaboration, which will be based on respect for each other’s security interests, that security is indivisible, and no one would ensure his own security at the expense of others. First they assured that the unification of Germany would not mean the spread of NATO rules and armed forces to the territory of the former GDR. Then this promise, of course, was forgotten. Then they promised not to expand NATO further to the East, not to cover Eastern and Central European countries, as recorded in a number of agreements, which, unfortunately, were not issued legally. But these promises were also violated. Then there were the political declarations signed at the Summit of the OSCE and they created the NATO-Russia Council which ensured NATO countries would not put substantial combat forces on the territory of the new member states of the North Atlantic bloc. This promise also failed to withstand the test of time, like the declaration of indivisible security that I mentioned earlier.

We started asking questions about why the military infrastructure of NATO is moving closer to our borders; why create a missile defense, for which we have good reason to believe that it carries risks for our strategic forces of nuclear containment. We were told not to worry, because it is not against us. But our calculations and facts that Russian experts have repeatedly provided to jointly explore the U.S. and other NATO partners say the opposite. Serious discussion on these topics was not conducted for all these years.

After this the EU Eastern Partnership was initiated, which covered six post-Soviet states – Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, with priority given to Ukraine.

As you know, the EU has offered Ukrainians an association agreement and a free trade zone. We politely raised the issue that we have a huge amount of trade, economic, investment and industrial relations with Ukraine and it would be nice to consider together about how to develop our relationship. They said “We will first make an agreement with the Ukrainians, and then we’ll show you what you have agreed upon.” We were assured that the Association Agreement and free trade zone would be standard – the same as the European Union had concluded with Mexico, South Korea and some other countries. Then, when the already initialed agreement appeared on websites (we had not seen it before that), it turned out that the draft document goes much further than the standard agreements, which we were told about by the EU. It goes so far as to directly affect Russian-Ukrainian trade and economic cooperation, impeding the functioning of the CIS free trade zone, which, incidentally, was formed at the initiative of the and the insistence of the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, ie at the insistence of the Ukrainians, and creates discriminatory conditions for Russian goods, worsening the agreements reached after Russia joined the WTO. Our efforts, already at the stage of holding an expert, professional, depoliticized conversation between Ukraine, Russia and the EU, were rejected, although Ukrainians were on board. And they were rejected with the words: “Do not interfere in EU-Ukraine cooperation.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/23/uk-tells-russia-dont-in_n_4841424.html)

Q: Of course, we are a regional power, which, as it turned out, lost some sort of war. Somehow I have not seen any foreign soldiers marching in a victory parade on Red Square. But it turns out they can shout to our representative at the UN, “Do not forget that you are the losers!”[1]

U.S. President Barack Obama tells us that we are a regional power and no one wants to talk to us (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/03/25/obama_regional_power_russia_is_no_threat_to_us.html). Why should we be informed of what is happening on our borders? Our destiny is to observe and, as I understand it, to continue the theme of decay, begun in 1991. Then we will gain love and respect. In other words, crumble into dust.

Lavrov: At the heart of what is happening is a winner syndrome which has emerged under the new conditions, and which they cling to in the depths of their souls, assuring us that in the “cold war” there were no winners, and we all have benefited from the fact that we now share common values. Of course, there is also the hurt pride: they believed they could ignore us and do whatever they saw fit with Russia’s neighbors and partners, without asking our opinion, ignoring our legitimate interests. Of course, there is obvious resentment over the fact that the next project of the Georgian Saakashvili[2] type had not panned out. All this is definitely being manifested.

Question: But this is manifesting itself in our relationship as well. We thought they were the allies on the Elbe[3], but it turns out that they saw us as the losing country, to which they only had to give McDonald’s and throw us a bone from a distance. Now it seems that the problem is not in relations between Ukraine and Russia, but between Russia and the U.S., which is behaving as though Alaska had voted for reunification with Russia. Why suddenly such an emotional, and I’d say extreme, reaction?

Lavrov: This proves only one thing: the expansion of NATO, the hasty inclusion in NATO and the European Union of new states, including Baltic countries, which did not meet the criteria for membership, but yet were instantly absorbed under an EU policy called the “Eastern Partnership” – all this was conceived with a significant proportion of American schemes to keep Europe under its thumb and to ensure formats of NATO and the EU which would give the U.S. a substantial voice. Concerns that Europe could suddenly become independent or more independent and less dependent on the Euro-Atlantic link are definitely present in Washington.

We can see it. No one talks about it openly, but it manifests itself in all the practical specific steps taken by the United States in connection with the Ukrainian crisis. We were concerned about this because the problem is not in Russian-“Western” or in Russian-Ukrainian relations, but in Ukraine, where there is a deep statehood crisis which must be overcome, and it can only be overcome by the Ukrainians themselves. We are in favor of this being done on the basis of a national dialogue of  awareness on the part of those who came to power in Kiev, and the need to reach out to all Ukrainians, without exception, including all political forces and all regions of the country, starting a real constitutional reform that is transparent and comprehensive. That’s what we need to talk about. Encouraging Ukrainians to hold this national dialogue and constitutional process must be a joint effort of Russia, the U.S. and the EU. But, unfortunately, our Western partners are trying to present the case as if everything revolves around a Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Question: The Pentagon saw Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. Interestingly, the broadcaster CNN, came and videotaped, but did not find the troops. U.S. State Department officials saw Moscow’s hand in the events in the East and South-East of Ukraine. But when we asked for evidence, we were told: “Why? Everyone has free access to the social networks.”

This is a new logic in international diplomacy when a country decides on its own: “Here we see it, here we don’t; we accept this evidence but not the other. Everything the Russian side says is untrue, and we don’t take it into account, and everything the official Ukrainian side says, is considered legitimate. Europe and America represent ultimate truth.” So what’s the point of even talking to them if they don’t hear us?

Lavrov: You’ve always got to talk, and with everyone. It is always better to talk than not to talk and accumulate misunderstanding.

As for our troops allegedly preparing to roll across the Russian-Ukrainian border in the South-East of the country, I can say that they were training. This was announced, no one hid this fact. Within the framework of the OSCE and the so-called Open Skies Treaty, we have the obligation to inform partners about certain exercises, starting with a certain size and number of deployed forces and materiel, and that’s what we did. Moreover, in response to requests, including those of Ukrainians, Americans and Europeans, inspections were conducted, representatives of these countries were invited, who visited the exercise area and according to their own statements, they drew an official conclusion, finding no threatening military activities. After that, our representatives in the OSCE officially asked the inspectors to make their conclusion known in this esteemed organization. They have not yet done so.

Soloviev : Are they embarrassed?

Lavrov: They probably are. It just does not fit into the overall scheme of the whole situation from the West’s viewpoint.

Question: The Russian delegation went to PACE, where we were frankly humiliated, deprived of all rights except one – the sacred right to pay for membership.

S.V.Larov: And sit in the hall.

Q: Neither the West nor America wants to see the revival of the spirit of slumbering Nazism in the “right sector,” Banderovtsy, Shukhevich,[4] Svoboda (the ”Freedom Party”)[5], the same party that the EU once considered anathema, delegated five members to the current Ukrainian government, and the unpleasantness disappeared instantly. There is a feeling that countries that once had not supported the Hitler coalition were taking revenge on us for having won the Great War.

Sergei Lavrov: I have had many conversations with my colleagues about the nature of the coalition that broke the agreement of February 21, signed by the leaders of three parties that entered into it, and carried out a coup d’état. Of course, we talked about Svoboda (the “Freedom Party,” see footnote). I repeatedly asked John Kerry and foreign ministers of Europe, where one can explore their position on Svoboda and on that party’s policy documents, which provide a direct reference to their succession Declaration in June 1941, proclaiming their mission of helping Hitler impose a new order. I was unable to get a reference to public statements made in this regard.

We certainly know about the numerous speeches of the American, Israeli, and world community as to what the Svoboda Party is, not to mention the “right sector.” In conversations John Kerry told me: “We understand they have a troubled past, but, according to our observations, they are moving toward the political mainstream. “Laurent Fabius [French Foreign Minister–Translator] in one of his speeches said that Svoboda is “just a little bit to the right of others.” An astounding statement!

We have said that such an attitude toward the memory of those who fought and defeated fascism, who saved Europe from Fascism, is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to us to attempt to install in a European a country a coalition involving such people.

Question: This is not a coincidence, but a certain trend. On the one hand, they refuse to see absolute Nazis in the face of Svoboda. On the other hand, when a representative of the Russian delegation to the UN Security Council said that the tragedy in Syrian Kesab, where there is genocide of the Armenian people, cannot be ignored, the Americans blocked this decision. Isn’t this a double standard? Unfortunate Armenians must suffer because Armenia supports Russia?

Lavrov: Fortunately, it is better to be a refugee than to die. The vast majority in Syrian Kesab managed to escape: some to other Syrian districts, some to Lebanon. There were no massacres in the area with photos distributed in the Internet, but photos from other areas of Syria were shown on the internet, and that makes them no less horrific. But the idea of conducting ethnic cleansing in Kesab had emerged. This attempt was obvious, and at one point, it was partially successful. Therefore, when we proposed a clear and unequivocal comment on this topic in the UN Security Council, they said, “But let’s simultaneously condemn the Assad regime, because he is also doing bad things.” There is always a constant linkage tactic, a refusal to condemn specific acts of terrorism in Syria, citing the fact that they would not have happened if Assad had voluntarily disappeared, a violation of all the resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, bilateral documents clearly stating that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds.

Q: A lot of questions about the reunification with the Crimea. We see it quite differently. On radio station “Vesti” and on television, when I consider this topic with our distinguished guests, they all note that a 16,000 strong Ukrainian military corps was stationed in the Crimea. Officially, there were also Russian troops. More than 2.5 million men, and not a shot was fired. This is a real show of will that Americans and Europeans do not want to see. Can no one can tell the essential difference between the Yugoslav scenario and Crimea? Can no one see parallels between the reunification of West and East Germany, and of Russia and the Crimea? Has the level of political blindness and deafness reached an all-time high?

Lavrov: I think I’m pretty sure that everyone sees everything and everyone understands. But thanks to an ideologically charged atmosphere bent on restraining our country, and ill-concealed anger over the fact that it defended its legitimate interests, long violated despite all the constitutions and laws of secession from the USSR, no one has every concealed  the geopolitical project of Russian containment (and this is where it all started ). This is unfortunate and sad. If anyone needed proof of our suspicions and fears, it is no longer needed. All these years our Western partners have lied to us when vowing theirs commitment to a united Europe without dividing lines, swore that they would fully respect our interests and that security is indivisible, etc.

As for parallels that suggest themselves (Kosovo, and more), we are constantly told that “Kosovo was a special occasion; thousands of people were killed there.”[6] This has no part in any civilized framework. It seems that for residents of Crimea, with its overwhelming majority in favor of reunification with Russia, to receive recognition of their inalienable rights, it is necessary that as much blood must be shed in the Crimea as in Kosovo? Excuse me, these are totally unfit parallels and analogies.

But there is a more direct parallel; it is quite interesting — I mentioned it earlier — but I will tell you more. During the decolonization of Africa, in the Comoro islands, which were owned by the French, were released somewhat late from the colonial yoke — independence came only in the early 70s, later than in most other African countries. By arrangement with the colonial power, a referendum was held in which all the Comoros voted for independence except one, Mayotte, the majority of whose residents voted against independence. But the conditions of the referendum were that all should vote en bloc and if the majority said they want independence, then independence would be recognized.

Our French colleagues at the time refused to recognize the results of the referendum, although they were accepted by the UN General Assembly, and they said that a separate additional referendum would be held, and the vote on each island would be tallied and each island would get the status for which it voted. The referendum was repeated. Mayotte again voted against independence, and the UN General Assembly again disagreed with the results of the independent vote. But France said it would recognize the vote of the Mayotte residents. Contrary to the numerous decisions of the UN, which condemned this approach and did not recognize the results of the referendum, Mayotte became a French Overseas Department, i.e., a full-fledged member of the French Republic, in 2011.

Q: It is interesting that neither trade nor political nor economic sanctions followed.

Lavrov: Yes. I repeat, despite disagreement on this by the UN General Assembly, the EU ignores the decision of the international community.

Question: The sanctions against Russia are unusual, very harsh. The officially declared ones seem personalized and reflect resentment, while the informal, economic ones are unique. Everything is forgotten:  the right of business to make a profit and business freedom, and sanctions have even been imposed against journalists[7] for having the audacity to speak their minds. When this was published on the Ministry website warning the Russians that 111 countries signed a treaty with the United States, according to which Russian citizens can turned over to the American authorities…

Lavrov: Or robbed

Question: Or robbed, even on trumped up charges. So it turns out that Russians had better not go abroad?

Lavrov: It is absolutely better to travel. We do everything in our power to broaden these capabilities: annually concluding additional agreements on visa-free regimes, facilitating travel to many countries. Such arrangements exist with nearly all the countries of Latin America, many countries in Asia, and we have been ready to do this with the EU for a long time. Long before the Ukrainian crisis all the arrangements were ready, but their approval was delayed under the influence of a well-known minority[8] in the European Union, which wanted to hinder our rapprochement with the EU solely for reasons of ideological bias.

Question: For reasons of historical revenge..

Lavrov: Including for reasons of historical revenge. Probably in the minds of many, these phobias still play a dominant role.

Travel, of course, needs to be safe, and we pay attention to this issue. For example, during the exacerbation of the situation in Egypt or Thailand when unrest and riots occurred, we were obliged to warn our citizens that it was not safe to go there, so it was best to stay in the resort areas, etc. But what you’re talking about is a problem of a completely different nature associated with the extension of U.S. extraterritorial jurisdiction to territories that do not belong to them, but in which Americans feel entitled to seize citizens of other countries if Washington has issues with them. (http://www.ibtimes.com/russia-issues-travel-warning-about-us-citing-threat-kidnapping-1402265). This happened to the Russians K.V. Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout, who were arrested not for anything they had done, but had been lured into a conversation, during which they made certain statements, which undercover agents interpreted as sufficient grounds for their arrest. They were extradited to the United States in violation of the legal and procedural norms of Senegal and Thailand. These are not the only two examples. There are also such cases in European countries and Canada. Recently, at the request of Americans, Russian citizens were taken from Costa Rica, despite our protests and demands to comply with the requirements of applicable law. Therefore, we are obliged to warn Russians that if they have had some kind of relationship with our American partners, if they have reason to believe that there are issues with them, even the most innocuous, it is better…

Q: To go to Sochi!

Lavrov: Why? To Crimea!

Q: That’s a choice: you can go to Sochi or Crimea.

Lavrov: This is true.

Q: It was no accident that I said you were the most popular minister, and not only in Russia. Numerous articles, written by you or about you, have recently appeared in the foreign press, have created an image of a powerful politician. You are both hated and loved, are respected but people say that you allow yourself to make harsh statements. And you are right to do so. But you also point out that you have had for many years a good personal relationship, in particular, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Now you probably see him more often than your own family, holding “marathons” lasting several hours.
Lavrov: But not on the same issues.

Question: I hope we are still a traditional country. When you are dealing with John Kerry, do you ever feel like you are talking to a robot, who can’t hear you, doesn’t want to admit the obvious? Speaking of that, the following question arises: where is there a higher arbiter, who in the case of a dispute between the two major powers can say “break” and decide who is right and who is wrong, if each side claims that it is right and only its opinion is valid?

Lavrov : I cannot describe any of the partners as a robot or, in other words, say they lack understanding. Absolutely not. Secretary of State John Kerry is a highly intelligent man with a vast experience in the United States Senate. As senator, he was the head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and a presidential candidate in a US election that was won by Bush. He is a very erudite, experienced politician and diplomat.

Most of my other partners in conversations that are not intended for the public, express understanding and behave absolutely properly. With them, you can talk, discuss, exchange arguments, even sometimes disagree on things. I note parenthetically that we never say that our line is absolutely correct, and refuse to give an inch, centimeter, millimeter. Absolutely not. Convince us, because we never reject reasonable arguments and compromises since politics is the art of the possible. It is not part of our tradition to dictate to the rest of the world. This is just a trait of some other powers. I would really like the “unipolar world syndrome” to quickly disappear, because the world can only be multipolar. And the stronger the other poles, besides America, the more useful it will be for Washington itself.

Question: But the U.S. can’t see that.

Lavrov: They’ll have to see it, and I think they already do. Just as in the case of talking about Ukraine, or anything else, they will have to admit it. They understand it, sense it internally. Even when the U.S. decided to bomb Iraq or go to Afghanistan, they began to cobble together a coalition, seeking to include even the small island states willing to send at least some signals unit or two staff officers. And in the end, it all added up and it was announced that dozens of states (40 +) formed the coalition and the effort was legitimized, etc. They already knew it was inconvenient to go it alone, and they still understand that.

As you know, on the eve of the recent vote by the UN General Assembly resolution in support of the sovereignty of Ukraine, including Crimea, which is a clear anti-Russian step, there was no capital, where U.S. ambassadors would not go and impudently request to vote for the resolution, saying that they just have to do it. Those who did not agree were blackmailed and threatened. We know this. For obvious reasons I cannot name the countries and names, but it happens.

Q: And yet it didn’t work.

Lavrov: It didn’t work because only half of the members of the UN supported this resolution.

Question: The wisest was Israel, where there was a strike at the time, and they couldn’t vote.
Lavrov: You asked about the visible and invisible sanctions reaching the point of absurdity, when journalists are forbidden to practice their profession, etc. Besides what lies on the surface, we know that all over the world messengers were sent and American and European ambassadors from different countries were instructed to seek a freeze on normal working contacts with our representatives. In Moscow, the ambassadors of the EU and the U.S., apparently, also agreed to communicate less with us on issues that they believe are of interest to us. Although on issues interest to them, they will definitely be in touch with us.

Here you need to understand a simple thing: international relations are based on reciprocity – “Do as is done to you.” We will not retaliate or act out of spite, but we will take a balanced approach to specific situations arising.

When they make statements about certain arrogant new sanctions against Russia, it is entertaining to listen to what follows that. For example, NATO announced it would freeze most practical projects, including the “helicopter” project for Afghanistan. It splits the cost in providing service to Soviet and Russian helicopters, spare parts supplies, primarily with Russian enterprises, training for pilots and maintenance personnel. There are a  number of other projects, including training to combat drug trafficking in Afghanistan and Central Asia. These were projects of the NATO-Russia Council. In announcing these sanctions, one of the Vice Secretary General of NATO, when asked by reporters, said: “We understand that these are the areas in which it is very important to achieve results, but we will continue to seek cooperation in these areas in other formats.” In other words, the NATO-Russia Council will not do it, but the members of the Alliance will seek ways to continue these projects under another “umbrella”. This shows contrived, artificial ideas in line with the logic of “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

Question: Have these people who are “cutting off their nose to spite their face” put us in a category all by ourselves or is there someone lower down the list than us? Are we alone? Unfortunately, we have people who always vote the same way as we do, like have North Korea, although they’re not the best example. They are willing to do anything to “cut off their nose” to spíte the US. Are there any countries that can be called “wise people” who support Russia?

Lavrov: We have serious support. If smaller countries still cannot afford to openly talk about this because they are too dependent on the West economically and financially, countries that feel more self-reliant and take a serious approach to international relations, understand what is now in question. The problem now is not that it is necessary to help the Ukrainians to overcome the crisis, although that is important, but, as I said, reformatting the world system, the objective formation of a polycentric world order. In late March at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, we met with the foreign ministers of the BRICS countries. A statement was adopted which emphasizes the need to avoid interference in the internal affairs of other countries, condemns any policy of unilateral sanctions and expresses commitment to all the principles of the UN Charter in its entirety.

Question : Is BRICS on our side?

Lavrov: BRICS, I think, is not just for us, but understands that the stakes are enormously high, and not in terms of “who wins and who loses,” but in terms of defending their legitimate interests in this changing world.

Question: How long will this last? Have we ended the era of “peace, friendship, chewing gum” and entered a new round of “cold war”? Changing relations, sanctions, extreme rhetoric – will this go on for a decade?
Foreign Minister Lavrov: I don’t expect it to last a decade. Even now you can see a number of signs that our Western partners are “torn .” On the one hand, they see quite calm reaction on the part of Russia: They failed to ruffle us with the sanctions which go far beyond the scope of basic human decency. Therefore, our partners want to continue to annoy us hoping to ruffle…

Q: They want to ruffle us to achieve what result? So we could write our names on the Brandenburg Gate[9] again? What’s the idea here?

Lavrov: In simple terms, they want to see how we felt now that we’ve been punished.

Question: Call the parents, bring the report card. Are we school kids or what?

Lavrov: Something like that. It has nothing to do with the real problems of international life, Europe, Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian. In parallel, they have to understand that without us it would be very difficult to solve many problems, and I’m not just talking about Syria or Iran. We’re not about to declare: “If you do this to us, then let the bloodshed continue in Syria; we will not deal with a political settlement or provide humanitarian assistance; let Iran build a nuclear bomb.” Russia will not do this, because we’re responsible people, unlike many who are trying to push us in this direction. Without us it will hardly be possible to seriously address the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula – we don’t want to have a nuclear bomb at our borders.

In addition to the political context and the problems on the agenda of the international community (I can’t use this term without irony, because the West applies this term solely to itself and to those who support it unconditionally), there are the economic and business interests. You can read the press or participate in some activities conducted by business circles of Germany, Italy, Spain, France or the USA. In America, a number of companies are deeply invested in the Russian economy: for PepsiCo, for example, Russia is the second biggest market, while Coca-Cola planned to invest $5 billion by 2016; ExxonMobil invested a mere $10 billion; Boeing, Caterpillar and many others work here. Their response shows that they are not welcoming the signals from Western governments, like, “Come on, guys, don’t develop too much cooperation with Russia.” Businessmen are convinced that it is necessary to maintain and cultivate our economic cooperation not only because business always wants profit, but also because business is not sure that these sanctions are lawful.

 



[1] Referring to a hysterical outburst by Samantha Powers, US ambassador the UN.—Tr.

[2] Mikahil Saakashvili, US backed former Georgian president—Translator.

[3] Lavrov is referring here to the link-up of Soviet and American forces at the Elbe River near the end of WW II.–Translator

[4] Ukrainian nationalists widely accused of collaboration with the Nazis in WW II—Tr.

[5] A party now holding top positions in Ukraine thanks to Western support. Their leader Oleh Tyahnybok, who posed famously with John McCain during the Maidan uprising, is listed by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre as the world’s 5th

most dangerous anti-Semite.

[6] Lavrov is referring to the fact that, despite the irregularity of an outside state (the US in that case) intervening in a war of secession, the US was given the green light during the Kosovo War (1998-9) to bombard Serbian cities, under the pretext of alleged “genocide” of Kosovars by Serbs. Later investigations revealed numerous murders of Serbs by Kosovars as well. The US bombing raids killed untold numbers of civilians. Meanwhile the “international community” has recently condemned Russia for intervening in Crimea to save lives, saying that not enough casualties had accumulated to justify the intervention. Lavrov is nonplussed that the “international community” would require people to be killed to justify intervention and is suggesting it should be the other way around: the fewer the casualties the more successful, and hence, justified, the intervention is—Translator.

[7] There are indeed reports of such sanctions in the Western media, such as here.

[8] I am not sure what “minority” Lavrov is referring to here. However, the UK, for example, has had rocky relations with the Russian Federation over issues of extradition and the Litvinenko murder. Yet despite strong anti-Russian sentiments in the political class, over 60% of UK citizens polled recently by The Independent said Putin was their favorite world leader. Their own David Cameron scored 1%!

[9] TV host Vladimir Soloviev is alluding here to the Battle for Berlin after which the fallen Russian heroes were commemorated with a memorial at Brandenburg Gate. The names of some of the Russian fallen are inscribed on this memorial—Translator.