Friday, May 29, 2015

MH17: Bellingcat's 'missing link'

MH17: Bellingcat's 'missing link'

Further examination of the Bellingcat evidence concerning the cause of the plane crash with the MH17 provides several gaps. It appears to be related to each other coincidences, suggestions, obscure sources and butter soft proof techniques.
by Hector Reban

The main public evidence that anti-Kiev rebels flight MH17 would have on July 17, 2014 shot down the so-called " track trail theory ', a track on social media published photos and films of a transport of a BUK-launcher through rebel territory. The NOS , the Times and others have already gone so far as to experience the route itself.

The theory, delivered in few hours after the disaster by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), was by the British online research collective Bellingcat (BCAT) perfected and by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) does official investigation into the cause of Disaster adopted as main scenario.

Meanwhile, the BCAT collective managed to accuse the Russians of direct involvement by the visual track to expand on the Russian border. The Dutch and the Anglo-Saxon media sail blindly the instructions of Eliot Higgins, founder of BCAT and his helpers. But in reality seems to depend on closer inspection the wake of BCAT together of coincidences, suggestions, obscure sources and butter soft proof techniques. A spot-deconstruction.

1. Create Opportunity: Put a weapon in their hands, but how?

Without a weapon obviously can not exist perpetrators, so they need to get the rebels have had the opportunity a BUK. Two are mutually contradictory scenarios propagated in the Western media:

a. The rebels made a BUK spoils of a conquered Ukrainian army base.

This interpretation is supported by the BND (German intelligence service) in a statement issued in October 2014 in the German parliament.

Implicitly, this version is confirmed by the US: "We have no evidence that Russians are directly involved," implying that the Russians would have no BUK delivered .

'Compelling' evidence on social media triumphant rebels support this story. Incidentally, Ukrainian officials seem to contradict each other regularly during that time or possibly a BUK held by rebels.

b. The Russians have made ​​available the BUK (the Putin-did-it scenario).

This version is from the first moment after the disaster propagated by top Ukrainian officials:

However, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema cast doubt on this [BUK seized by rebels Ukrainian army; -HR], Telling local media on Friday: "The military told the president after the passenger plane had been shot down That the terrorists did not Possess our Buk missile systems." - The Guardian

If the rebels themselves had the decision must have been so Russians who used the murder weapon. BCAT gives credibility to this story by pushing his stamp of approval on material supplied by the SBU, which in turn is supported by geolocation of blog hosting citizen Ukraine_at_war .

The BUK-conscious platform, according to the report by BCAT late June 2014 have been part of a Russian military transport. Then it would be released around July 17 in his uppie to do the dirty work at Snizhne. After his escape from rebel territory it closed again by the so-called 'july convoy which was heading towards Kursk in Russia .

Actually BCAT is setting both the BND and the US off as inferior traces seekers. More importantly for our story is that there are now two conflicting scenarios that ironically both based on "very compelling social media evidence. Maybe build social media is not always such a hard proof method.

2. The beginning of the tour. Paris Match under pressure

The track trail through rebel territory offering BCAT, begins with a photograph taken by an (anonymous freelance) photographer for the French magazine Paris Match . Who drove entirely coincidentally the morning of July 17 in Donetsk combines beyond what a unique truck 'would prove to be the trailer with the alleged BUK missiles. The waking photographer shooting his masterpiece directly if he has seen in a glass sphere that that day would follow.

Later, the truck will more often BCAT be identified as belonging to the rebels, destroying apparently after their deed no pleasure in them created by pleading evidence. The SBU chief was there just it warned:

One official Kiev, Anton Gerashchenko, said: "In the night, the BUK system from the missile-which was Launched was removed to Russia, where it is likely to be destroyed . "

But BCAT is not one trick. Not only demonstrates the unique truck just to resurface in rebel territory, also could see the conscious BUK platform later in the Russian Kursk convoy July. Russians apparently do not destroy evidence.

Further, we see something on the picture that resembles a kind of tank, a vehicle that is hidden from view by a net. Oddly enough, the image of the front of the truck is very sharp but the back part of the covered launcher, become blurred and barely apparent.

The photo of Paris Match, start of the track trail and alleged links to Russian involvement

We shall show later that the extended version of the track trail theory very well come true.

Other problems with the picture emerge:

. Place: The photographer and the editor would take the picture in Snizhne (as published in PM on July 25), and not in Donetsk, a mistake BCAT and 'Ukraine_at_war' for them ' straighten ':

b. Time: Problems with determining the moment at which the photo would be made, are resolved by Higgins using SunCalc , an app created by Kiev-resident Vladimir Agafonkin. Based on analysis of the shadow of the truck the time can be conveniently put at 11 o'clock in the morning.

c. Authenticity: From the original source, the freelance photographer for Paris Match , we hear nothing more. He wishes to give information and to anonymously stay .

3. The dark sources of Makiivka, Torez and Snizhne

The track continues with a report from Makiivka and a video from Zuhres, which now appears to have been removed from YouTube. Fortunately BCAT the photos. A screenshot of the original video will be displayed showing the unique Volvo.

Now it gets interesting. From the BCAT report on the route followed by these sources pg. 5-8 :

1._StradivariuS_ viaBuzzing_Rook, first reported in Makiivka
2. @ Spice4russia, first reported in Shakhtarsk
3. WowihaY, 2 notifications in Torez
4. Ruslan Nasadyuk on Vkontakte (Russian twitter), first reported in Torez (with photo)
5. @ MOR2537 novel, first reported in Torez
6. GirkinGirkin, First reported in Snizhne (with photo)

The message from Makiivka by the tweeter directly passed on what seems to be the hub of virtually all the evidence surrounding social media and Torez Snizhne, including the so-called smoke plume from the BUK-launch (see section 4). It isWowihaY, alias Vladimir Djukov. Djukov also appears involved in, a website frequented mainly by pro-Kiev supporters.

Remarkably speak source of Makiivka andWowihaY openly about a "BUK". Djukov has even explicitly about '4' rockets. One might wonder to what extent seemed remotely identify a covered, tank-like construction with precision as a launching pad Buk-containing four missiles.

The rather one-sided and outspoken political affiliation of these sources can easily be traced by means of the organizations and individuals that they follow on Twitter. Which appear to be mainly ultranationalist far-right pro-Kiev organizations and fighters.

GirkinGirkin, Account name Igor Girkin, an account referring to the Russian rebel leader Igor Strelkov Girkin alias. This Girkin however runs on the extreme right-wing pro-Kiev contacts and has a background picture on his profile which makes a gruesome scene of WWII suspect.

WowihaY Itself among more faithful follower of Pravy Sector ( PS ) and reports on his profile that he is an 'Ultra Pravosek' is (extreme supporter of PS). On another profile says he saw politics "ultra conservative" to be, and that "God exists because I have seen him!" Djukov is a man with a sacred mission.

On Vkontakte shows Ruslan Nasadyuk a profile photo of a sign figure with soldiers helmet (inscription: "Thank Ukraine) and Ukrainian colors, typetje used for identification more often by ultra-nationalists.

Strikingly Nasadyuk according to his LinkedIn page, graduate engineer in telecommunications and computer technology (and has specialized in English - an interest that clearly on his Vkontakte page emerges). Also Vladimir Djukov aliasWowihaY is interested as a social media profile, in particular for computers, networks and digital imaging , though he also shows keen interest in geolocation (see section 4a).

Picture Prove presence truck with BUK in Torez on July 17, 2014 must show around 12:30 pm

Nasadyuk's photo was moreover appointed initially by SBU chief Gerashchenko as coming from Snizhne but was later BCAT employee Aric Toller located in Torez. BCAT claims in the report that the earliest version of the photo would be posted around 20:09 pm, but then knows the time of printing shade analysis "restore" at 12:30. So the evidence fits neatly inside the place and timing that a credible BUK-track trail would have to reconstruct.

Former chief prosecutor and detective-German writer Gabriele Wolff writes on her blog that the photograph is probably false. The original source is never found (Nasadyuk would have picked him as BCAT a subsequently closed group on Vkontakte). And:

1. The weather in the picture - sunny - does not match the weather in Torez of that day (cloudy);
2. The German secret service has it as false stamped in their Bundestag statement;
3. The combination appears to be in the picture copied .

There are even more considerations:

4. The truck appears to be in the wrong direction with respect to the road to the alleged launch site;
5. There are no witnesses who saw the combination on July 17;
6. There is no longer material, not even from the same source.

The only message that has no connections with Ukrainian ultra-nationalists was done by Anna Reshtanenko on Vkontakte. She says, however, three 'tanks' to see. The existence of the column of three tanks will be confirmed only by reporting 4., Roman @ MOR2537, a member of the pro-Kiev club from Torez that before July 17, 2014 was already in contact with each other. At no footage is also discerned such transport.

In itself may also pro-Kiev do ultras actual observations. But contrary can be argued that the political similarity of almost all witnesses it is remarkable, given the clear importance they have as self-proclaimed resistance fighters to engage the rebels and the Russians in the blame. In addition, both the Ukrainian government as self-supporting right-wing extremist shock troops, co-defendants in this case.

The pictures of reports 4 and 6 are, as well as the video of the lone BUK in Snizhne (see below) and the picture of the plume (section 4), within no time on the website of the SBU. This rapid clearance does directly suggest. That contact could also quite possibly have been reversed. Both in the information sphere as in the PR is the usual politically sensitive information by bringing allow reliable 'third parties'.

Spindle Djukov would his website, his relationships with ultranationalists, have strong convictions and are quick transfer to the SBU recruited quite possible be the Ukrainian secret service. The same could apply for Nasadyuk that his political passion, know-how, academic training and useful knowledge of English would be an extraordinary asset for a secret service. Of course, it remains to speculation.

Back to the track trail then. The SBU place in the evening of 17 July a video of the BUK which at Snizhne own the afvuurplaats would drive. The images shown may not be inferred that it is the same platform as is visible on the other pictures. Also is not sure:

'Note: In the first video above, the Buk is mounted on a truck. It does not Appear to be so in this second video, so there is a chance thatthey are different units . "

In reality, it would seem to be a normal tank.

Later, on the Russian border (see section 5), the platform would only resurface at the same unique Volvo with the blue stripe. Only then is really to see that it is a BUK-platform, because the alleged murder weapon is suddenly uncovered and indeed lacks a missile.

In this way closes the track trail through rebel territory as it began: with a very happy coincidence.

4. Afvuurlocatie Snizhne, or somewhere around

Now the conscious platform is driven independently to his place, BCAT trying to confirm the official story of the Ukrainians and the US that the Buk by the rebels would be somewhere around Snizhne fired. There is a witness problem. Nobody seems to be the launch of the rocket, something that is hard to miss is , to have seen. It is the reason behind the call for witnesses of the JIT, only nine months after the disaster.

a. Three 'Tatort's'

Fortunately for Kiev, BCAT and the Western media resurface two highly reliable proof suppliers: Ukraine_at_war andWowihaY.

Three hours after the disaster is distributed a picture on Twitter of a barely visible plume of smoke puffs that will ultimately promoted to the main and only image evidence that would be a BUK fired around Snizhne . It turns out to be an old acquaintance that places the photograph, namely the man from Torez interested in editing digital photographs,WowihaY. Quick also follow placement on the website of the SBU. The creator of the picture is later identified as Pavel "Pasha" Aleynikov, according to his twitter accountrescuero even a person with persistent Kiev faithful ultranationalist interests.

At night following a feverish attempt to determine the exact location of launch using the smoke plume. Ukraine_at_war notes :

Now the funny thing isWowihaY That made a very similar calculation as I did. In the middle of the night at 1:27 He Has already leg tweeting about it !!!

Ukraine_at_war geolokaliseert the launch site in a wheat field 5 km south of Snizhne. That designation is taken immediately by BCAT. It is remarkable that Ukraine issuing a statement with evidence for a different location. From now famous' intercepted telephone conversations "would indicate that the Buk would be fired from Chernukhino .

The confusion is complete when Der Spiegel , newspaper Algemeen Dagblad and Correct! v several months later designate a field 3 km north of Snizhne, based on verifiable evidence and not incidentally, a caterpillar track.

There are now three places as a location in circulation is actually all relying on the initial US statement on July 17 that they would have radar evidence to launch a BUK near Snizhne.Incidentally, the US has never been this serious material transferred to the public and, according to a CIA source of investigative journalist Robert Parry still the question what and who the US satelliteshown .

b. The burnt field and caterpillars

Also in the supporting evidence emerges the emerged discrepancy. Roland Oliphant, the Daily Telegraph , found in a cornfield south Snizhne traces of caterpillars and a fire that raged would have after shooting the BUK. Der Spiegel sees in a field on the northern side 'for a tractor too wide' traces of tires .

Weapon Expert Rupert Smith says in the article Correcti v! the shooting of a BUK just barely fire traces yields :

"The missile is Launched out of a fireproof container, leaving few visible burn marks on the ground;the launch vehicle in turn leaves marks on the ground That Are identical to Those of a tank. "

Knows BCAT with the help of researchers from TU Delft based on "suspicious burns" to confirm the launch site on the southern spot .

Even now exist again conflicting stories that are supported by mutually exclusive directions. Again, the evidence is again butter soft and based on an idea fix that sends toward confirmation.

Whoever indenkt the tanks caterpillars were abundant at the front of Snizhne, witnesses obviously popping heard in the area (there a plane crashed) and a fire in a parched field may have been caused numerous ways, should have an idea the sorry state of this evidence.

c. The plume was not a launch

The story of the launch plume will later on RTL Nieuws confirmed by researchers from Delft they inschakelden for this purpose. From that advertises itself as a researcher Daniel Roman BCAT-employee department plume .

Roman is trying with all his knowledge to demonstrate the veracity of the plume and calculates using ingenious proof techniques accurately to the desired outcome far. But its findings are quickly contradicted by forensic expert Charles Wood.

After Wood's comments are erased BCAT site (later reinstated ), grabs a Dutch blogger and MH17 researcher, Max van der Werff, on the matter. On his website he gives Wood the views, as well as his own findings. It turns out everything wrong with the photo and the methods of Roman:

"Bellingcat photo proof is spoof . "

For open BCAT is an important problem that needs to be solved. The photo was posted three hours after the disaster really shows a clear sky in a sunny day. The situation on the ground has been really cloudy. But there is also provided a second picture, one with clouds.

This photo plume, according to interviews Aleynikov gave taken from the roof of his apartment, also some cables cluttering the foreground, because the camera would have geautofocust thereon. Van der Werff said in spot investigations show that those cables (bothersome) exist and would be placed in the picture to mask other tampering.

"BUK launch photos are cheats '

The evidence is again seriously questioned, especially after the researchers come up with a new explanation and refuse to reveal the so-called RAW files and transfer the specifications of the used camera. The "plume photo-war currently raging in all severity . For the die-hards is to recommend an old debate about these photos on the blog of Wolff once more in depth .

5. dubious SBU movie at Kransnodon later Luhansk

Immediately after its release on YouTube on July 18 raised doubts about the authenticity of the video that an employee of a secret police surveillance team would have shot the flight with the alleged murder weapon towards Russia .

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry put the material itself as primarily towards Krasnodon. But then Ukraine_at_war with a reversal:

"Ukrainian Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, made ​​early claims That the video was filmed in the Ukrainian town of Krasnodon near the Russian border, However collaborative geo-location was bootable to place the footage in southwestern Luhansk. "

Even so, it took another juggling with time and / or place in many people's doubts away. Some believe that the geolocation of the picture is wrong , others claim that it was going to another truck.Moreover, the timing of recognition can not be verified.

In this article gives a nice summary of raised doubts.

Next logical question is why there is no more material:

If the Secret Service knew there was a truck with missing rocket passed there, why did we not made more content, such as a border crossing?

And why is truck carrying a platform on which clearly visible lacks a rocket, no material available from the launch site in Snizhne and Luhansk. Or between Luhanks and the Russian border?

More cautious this imported Dutch blogger, but he also recognizes that there are many doubts .

Doubt turns into serious suspicion of fraud Focal -journalist Vincent Verweij demonstrates that the filmed position in Luhansk West in the night of 17 July 18, not even under the control of the rebels would (could) have been.

There is supporting evidence for the video, namely the wiretapping of the Ukrainian secret service that appeared in the witness call of the JIT. A senior Russian officer as would 'volunteer' in the transport of the BUK across the border are involved .

Remarkably, of course, that in the intercepted phone calls, including a discussion with the relevant officer of the Russian army, still clearly "BUK" is called a contaminated communications of the enemy, monitored by his secret service. Apparently the Russians have advanced weapons, but no secure command lines and instructions for secrecy.

6. The Russian convoy Putin did it!

BCAT shows in their own words on social media evidence that the conscious BUK-launcher is the end of June would have been in a Russian convoy training. The serial number would clear would be the same as appearing in a photograph of the BUK in rebel territory .

On that picture in which the BUK part of the convoy, only the first and last digit recognizable (the BUK therefore '3? 2 "or" 3 × 2 "called).

The picture seems to be that noticeable where the middle number would have to be performed a correction. The color is slightly different from that of the immediate surroundings and is also much more even coverage.

BUK 3 × 2. Doubts about the central figure out the track trail good

That's something that convenient. Platform Serial 312 was known that it was in Ukrainian hands.

Although Higgins much work makes the murder-BUK plant in the Russian convoy - with names of drivers and units there - the actual spindle evidence is thin. The only image that this platform links to the Russian convoy June is actually the famous photograph of Paris Match .

According Bellingcat the agreement between serial and BUK BUK in Russian convoy in Paris Match photo clearly

Higgins tries the (unobservable) serial number on the Paris Match photo overwriting with the same figures of the platform from the Russian convoy, to suggest agreement therewith.

Now one understands why the difference in sharpness in this photo as suits. The picture is sharp where they should be sharp - because of the unique blue stripe on the truck to be recognized in other materials - and it is unclear where necessary and helpful.

In reality, the picture is just too faint to observe an agreement and is actually in the picture whatsoever to see anything with a serial number.That means of course a firm blow to the track trail theory, because the only link between alleged BUK and Russians is actually amissing link .

It is a problem that Higgins will also realize and thus is another ingenious method out of the hat, the so-called side-skirt fingerprinting . The dirt tracks and flap above the tracks of the conscious vehicle, according to this method in a very unique profile crystallize so that they are comparable in various pictures. Indeed. Now the BUK evident from the convoy also BUK in rebel territory. It is magic of the highest order.

One respondent noted that " Skirt is soft and can look absolutely different profile by speed or wind (...) It's reinforced rubber similar to That used on truck mudflaps as can be Clearly seen in thisphotograph . "

Thirdly, it can be said that over the tracks at the Paris Match photo even hardly a flap. Only with a lot of suggestion and a strong desire to be perceived similarity between the BUK from the convoy and the alleged BUK in rebel territory. On both is at BCAT apparently no shortage.

In July Russian convoy, the convoy in which the murder weapon after his heinous act would be reinstated, we can be very short (for a review see Gabriele Wolff ). Of Higgins also claims all of his instructions " not in any way conclusive 'are. His main clue is that BUK platform is covered in the convoy with a net on photographs, as was the case during the ride to Snizhne in the alleged murder weapon. Such a network would never be used otherwise.

Very vague instructions from not very accurate methods are converted into hard evidence - basically an observation that applies to a lot of evidence in this case.


The conclusion that can be drawn in Section 6 for BCAT appears to be very little need to want to risk a major international conflict. Actually, it is unbelievable that all Dutch media call uncritically behind the track trail theory, given the many shortcomings, doubts and dubious evidence ex pressed into evidence.

To summarize:

1. There are two conflicting scenarios that claim the rebels and give their Russian helpers opportunity to handle the murder weapon. Both contradictory claims are proven using social media with a probability bordering on certainty.

2. The Paris Match photo, beginning of the track and link to the Russian involvement, is stiff with dubiousness. The image is dualistic, with sharp left and right very blurred. Also, time and place are filled by people other than the original photojournalist. Moreover, the anonymous photographer will give any information.

3. Almost all the other evidence of the track trail through rebel territory is based on material provided by the SBU either through a small group of extreme right-wing ultranationalist Kiev supporters (WowihaY, Stradivarius, spice4russia, GirkinGirkin and Roman already in twitter contact before 17 July ). The pictures of the launch plume (Aleynikov) comes from the contacts of ultraconservative Kiev-partisan Vladimir Djukov aliasWowihaY. The photo of the parked BUK in Torez (Nasadyuk) possible false by the SBU material submitted.

4. On many images worked to perpetuate the appropriate timeframe. From any source with the Volvo is to verify an original date. Material of a self-propelled tank-like construction, it is difficult to observe as a BUK. About the pictures of the launch plume is much debate. The SBU video of the truck in Luhansk is dubious and as focal journalist Vincent Verweij a "propaganda set-up.Furthermore, there is no supporting documentation of the flight or of a border crossing.

5. There are three competing sites around Snizhne identified as a possible location of the murder weapon, all three are supported by a comprehensive analysis of research or testimony. What binds them mainly, is the statement that the White House shortly after the disaster issued that satellite evidence would be that the rebels would have fired a round BUK Snizhne. That statement is disputed by an anonymous source in the US intelligence community.

6. The proof techniques (including geolocation, shadow analysis, side-skirt fingerprinting and social media analysis) are buttery soft and very susceptible to wishful thinking, suggestion, cherry-pickingand selection bias .

When methodologies that are meticulously occur, possess ingrained biases or rely on the wrong starting positions, it is not surprising that with seemingly very precise measurements a very erroneous result. For example, one can calculate a afvuurlocatie through a plume of smoke or a fire place. But if the plume is simply not launch rail or a burned field has not been put on fire by BUK, has therefore accurately attributing any evidentiary value.

The extended track trail theory leaves many unanswered questions, questions that can only be answered is adopted as a special degree of stupidity by the Russians. They would for example not destroy evidence, communicating about contaminated communication lines of the enemy clearly highly classified information and openly with the murder weapon through Ukrainian territory controlled flights to the Russian border.

The motive remains unclear. Whether the Russian generals left subordinates with a stand-alone BUK playing Russian roulette in the airspace or a preconceived needs, but irrational plan would have to shoot a Western commercial aircraft out of the sky.

There nevertheless remain not much credible scenarios when it comes to the question of who for whatever reason has brought down a civilian aircraft. The rebels (and Russian helpers) are definitely suspects, but it seems clear that the truth should not be sought in the evidence of Bellingcat. Maybe the media it also can be convinced.

Russia Changes Wikipedia entry about MH17 ( 19-07-14 )
Flight MH17: Blame gaming more important than storage? ( 21-07-14 )
Show Process: Timmermans in toga ( 28-07-14 )
The enigmatic universe of Rutte and Timmermans ( 01-08-14 )
Investigation team ignored local salvors ( 04-09-14 )
Preliminary report: Fact and fantasy ( 12-09-14 )
State indicted on emergency flight ( 10-10-14 )
'Danger airspace Ukraine was known ( 03-01-15 )
Injury for the government ( 27-01-15 )
Sleuths make disaster flight MH17 beating ( 14-04-2015 )

America’s Global Stature is Eroding | Imperial Overstretch Hits The Party of Utter Denialism

America Dying on Its Feet in Front of the World's Eyes

From Iraq, to Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Ukraine, Russia, China and beyond, the world is increasingly ignoring an increasingly weak and belligerent United States
Michael T. Klare
(The Nation)

World no longer listening to weakened Uncle Sam

Taking a look around the world and it’s not hard to conclude that the United States is a superpower in steep decline. Whether in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East, aspiring powers are flexing their muscles, ignoring Washington’s dictates, or actively combating them. Russia refuses to curtail its support for armed separatists in Ukraine; China refuses to abandon its base-building endeavors in the South China Sea; Saudi Arabia refuses to endorse the U.S.-brokered nuclear deal with Iran; the Islamic State movement (ISIS) refuses to capitulate in the face of U.S. airpower. What is a declining superpower supposed to do in the face of such defiance?

This is no small matter. For decades, being a superpower has been the defining characteristic of American identity. The embrace of global supremacy began after World War II when the United States assumed responsibility for resisting Soviet expansionism around the world; it persisted through the Cold War era and only grew after the implosion of the Soviet Union, when the U.S. assumed sole responsibility for combating a whole new array of international threats. As General Colin Powell famously exclaimed in the final days of the Soviet era, “We have to put a shingle outside our door saying, ‘Superpower Lives Here,’ no matter what the Soviets do, even if they evacuate from Eastern Europe.”

Imperial Overstretch Hits Washington

Strategically, in the Cold War years, Washington’s power brokers assumed that there would always be two superpowers perpetually battling for world dominance. In the wake of the utterly unexpected Soviet collapse, American strategists began to envision a world of just one, of a “sole superpower” (aka Rome on the Potomac). In line with this new outlook, the administration of George H.W. Bush soon adopted a long-range plan intended to preserve that status indefinitely. Known as the Defense Planning Guidance for Fiscal Years 1994-99, it declared: “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.”

H.W.’s son, then the governor of Texas, articulated a similar vision of a globally encompassing Pax Americana when campaigning for president in 1999. If elected, he told military cadets at the Citadel in Charleston, his top goal would be “to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity—given few nations in history—to extend the current peace into the far realm of the future. A chance to project America’s peaceful influence not just across the world, but across the years.”

For Bush, of course, “extending the peace” would turn out to mean invading Iraq and igniting a devastating regional conflagration that only continues to grow and spread to this day. Even after it began, he did not doubt—nor (despite the reputed wisdom offered by hindsight) does he today—that this was the price that had to be paid for the U.S. to retain its vaunted status as the world’s sole superpower.

The problem, as many mainstream observers now acknowledge, is that such a strategy aimed at perpetuating U.S. global supremacy at all costs was always destined to result in what Yale historian Paul Kennedy, in his classic book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, unforgettably termed “imperial overstretch.” As he presciently wrote in that 1987 study, it would arise from a situation in which “the sum total of the United States’ global interests and obligations is… far larger than the country’s power to defend all of them simultaneously.”

Indeed, Washington finds itself in exactly that dilemma today. What’s curious, however, is just how quickly such overstretch engulfed a country that, barely a decade ago, was being hailed as the planet’s first “hyperpower,” a status even more exalted than superpower. But that was before George W.’s miscalculation in Iraq and other missteps left the U.S. to face a war-ravaged Middle East with an exhausted military and a depleted treasury. At the same time, major and regional powers like China, India, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have been building up their economic and military capabilities and, recognizing the weakness that accompanies imperial overstretch, are beginning to challenge U.S. dominance in many areas of the globe. The Obama administration has been trying, in one fashion or another, to respond in all of those areas—among them Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the South China Sea—but without, it turns out, the capacity to prevail in any of them.

Nonetheless, despite a range of setbacks, no one in Washington’s power elite—Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders being the exceptions that prove the rule—seems to have the slightest urge to abandon the role of sole superpower or even to back off it in any significant way. President Obama, who is clearly all too aware of the country’s strategic limitations, has been typical in his unwillingness to retreat from such a supremacist vision. “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation,” he told graduating cadets at West Point in May 2014. “That has been true for the century past and it will be true for the century to come.”

How, then, to reconcile the reality of superpower overreach and decline with an unbending commitment to global supremacy?

The first of two approaches to this conundrum in Washington might be thought of as a high-wire circus act. It involves the constant juggling of America’s capabilities and commitments, with its limited resources (largely of a military nature) being rushed relatively fruitlessly from one place to another in response to unfolding crises, even as attempts are made to avoid yet more and deeper entanglements. This, in practice, has been the strategy pursued by the current administration. Call it the Obama Doctrine.

After concluding, for instance, that China had taken advantage of U.S. entanglement in Iraq and Afghanistan to advance its own strategic interests in Southeast Asia, Obama and his top advisers decided to downgrade the U.S. presence in the Middle East and free up resources for a more robust one in the western Pacific. Announcing this shift in 2011—it would first be called a “pivot to Asia” and then a “rebalancing” there—the president made no secret of the juggling act involved.

“After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia Pacific region,” he told members of the Australian Parliament that November. “As we end today’s wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the Asia Pacific a top priority. As a result, reductions in U.S. defense spending will not—I repeat, will not—come at the expense of the Asia Pacific.”

Then, of course, the new Islamic State launched its offensive in Iraq in June 2014 and the American-trained army there collapsed with the loss of four northern cities. Videoed beheadings of American hostages followed, along with a looming threat to the U.S.-backed regime in Baghdad. Once again, President Obama found himself pivoting—this time sending thousands of U.S. military advisers back to that country, putting American air power into its skies, and laying the groundwork for another major conflict there.

Meanwhile, Republican critics of the president, who claim he’s doing too little in a losing effort in Iraq (and Syria), have also taken him to task for not doing enough to implement the pivot to Asia. In reality, as his juggling act that satisfies no one continues in Iraq and the Pacific, he’s had a hard time finding the wherewithal to effectively confront Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the various militias fighting for power in fragmenting Libya, and so on.

The Party of Utter Denialism

Clearly, in the face of multiplying threats, juggling has not proven to be a viable strategy. Sooner or later, the “balls” will simply go flying and the whole system will threaten to fall apart. But however risky juggling may prove, it is not nearly as dangerous as the other strategic response to superpower decline in Washington: utter denial.

For those who adhere to this outlook, it’s not America’s global stature that’s eroding, but its will—that is, its willingness to talk and act tough. If Washington were simply to speak more loudly, so this argument goes, and brandish bigger sticks, all these challenges would simply melt away. Of course, such an approach can only work if you’re prepared to back up your threats with actual force, or “hard power,” as some like to call it.

Among the most vocal of those touting this line is Senator John McCain, the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a persistent critic of President Obama. “For five years, Americans have been told that ‘the tide of war is receding,’ that we can pull back from the world at little cost to our interests and values,” he typically wrote in March 2014 in a New York Times op-ed. “This has fed a perception that the United States is weak, and to people like Mr. Putin, weakness is provocative.” The only way to prevent aggressive behavior by Russia and other adversaries, he stated, is “to restore the credibility of the United States as a world leader.” This means, among other things, arming the Ukrainians and anti-Assad Syrians, bolstering the NATO presence in Eastern Europe, combating “the larger strategic challenge that Iran poses,” and playing a “more robust” role (think: more “boots” on more ground) in the war against ISIS.

Above all, of course, it means a willingness to employ military force. “When aggressive rulers or violent fanatics threaten our ideals, our interests, our allies, and us,” he declared last November, “what ultimately makes the difference… is the capability, credibility, and global reach of American hard power.”

A similar approach—in some cases even more bellicose—is being articulated by the bevy of Republican candidates now in the race for president, Rand Paul again excepted. At a recent “Freedom Summit” in the early primary state of South Carolina, the various contenders sought to out-hard-power each other. Florida Senator Marco Rubio was loudly cheered for promising to make the U.S. “the strongest military power in the world.” Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received a standing ovation for pledging to further escalate the war on international terrorists: “I want a leader who is willing to take the fight to them before they take the fight to us.”

In this overheated environment, the 2016 presidential campaign is certain to be dominated by calls for increased military spending, a tougher stance toward Moscow and Beijing, and an expanded military presence in the Middle East. Whatever her personal views, Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic candidate, will be forced to demonstrate her backbone by embracing similar positions. In other words, whoever enters the Oval Office in January 2017 will be expected to wield a far bigger stick on a significantly less stable planet. As a result, despite the last decade and a half of interventionary disasters, we’re likely to see an even more interventionist foreign policy with an even greater impulse to use military force.

However initially gratifying such a stance is likely to prove for John McCain and the growing body of war hawks in Congress, it will undoubtedly prove disastrous in practice. Anyone who believes that the clock can now be turned back to 2002, when U.S. strength was at its zenith and the Iraq invasion had not yet depleted American wealth and vigor, is undoubtedly suffering from delusional thinking. China is far more powerful than it was 13 years ago, Russia has largely recovered from its post-Cold War slump, Iran has replaced the U.S. as the dominant foreign actor in Iraq, and other powers have acquired significantly greater freedom of action in an unsettled world. Under these circumstances, aggressive muscle-flexing in Washington is likely to result only in calamity or humiliation.

Time to Stop Pretending

Back, then, to our original question: What is a declining superpower supposed to do in the face of this predicament?

Anywhere but in Washington, the obvious answer would for it to stop pretending to be what it’s not. The first step in any 12-step imperial-overstretch recovery program would involve accepting the fact that American power is limited and global rule an impossible fantasy. Accepted as well would have to be this obvious reality: like it or not, the U.S. shares the planet with a coterie of other major powers—none as strong as we are, but none so weak as to be intimidated by the threat of U.S. military intervention. Having absorbed a more realistic assessment of American power, Washington would then have to focus on how exactly to cohabit with such powers—Russia, China, and Iran among them—and manage its differences with them without igniting yet more disastrous regional firestorms.

If strategic juggling and massive denial were not so embedded in the political life of this country’s “war capital,” this would not be an impossibly difficult strategy to pursue, as others have suggested. In 2010, for example, Christopher Layne of the George H.W. Bush School at Texas A&M argued in the American Conservative that the U.S. could no longer sustain its global superpower status and, “rather than having this adjustment forced upon it suddenly by a major crisis… should get ahead of the curve by shifting its position in a gradual, orderly fashion.” Layne and others have spelled out what this might entail: fewer military entanglements abroad, a diminishing urge to garrison the planet, reduced military spending, greater reliance on allies, more funds to use at home in rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure of a divided society, and a diminished military footprint in the Middle East.

But for any of this to happen, American policymakers would first have to abandon the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower—and that may be too bitter a pill for the present American psyche (and for the political aspirations of certain Republican candidates) to swallow. From such denialism, it’s already clear, will only come further ill-conceived military adventures abroad and, sooner or later, under far grimmer circumstances, an American reckoning with reality.

This article originally appeared at The Nation

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Forbes: Ukraine's Yatsenyuk sells US a "flea market" says authoritative editor

Forbes: Ukraine's Yatsenyuk sells US a "flea market" says authoritative editor 
Analyst Kenneth Raposa ridiculed attempts to attract investors by the Ukrainian prime minister in a country with a destroyed economy. 

The Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk strongly lobbying for the option of selling the remnants of Ukrainian industry US companies to "flea market Ukrainian state-owned enterprises". This conclusion was in an influential US publication "Forbes", whose editor ridiculed a campaign to attract sponsors and investors an illusionary extremely profitable proposals, which continues in Ukraine for the last couple of months. - Ukrainian Prime Minister urged US partners to actively use their investment opportunities offered by privatization campaign in Ukraine, particularly in the energy sector, but this trend is becoming more like a flea market, - said in a note columnist Kenneth Raposa titled "Buy the Ukraine, please."  

The author notes that the investment appeal of objects in the Ukraine left after Kiev lost control on the south-east of the country. A number of enterprises are concentrated in the Donbass, could be a good investment for sponsors from abroad, but the team Yatsenyuk arguments that they can be financed in absentia, and a profit after how Ukraine will triumph over alleged militia, the West is no longer perceives. However, according to columnist Forbes, Ukraine is not ready to adequately assess the economic potential of their enterprises. 

The author notes that in March, the Cabinet approved a list of 164 businesses for sale on the auction, estimating the cost of all 3 billion hryvnia ($ 150 million). However, the real value of their experts were ready to evaluate 5 times more expensive. - In other words, it's more like an urgent sale - sums Raposa. Forbes columnist and noted that the Kiev authorities impose very strange criteria for selecting buyers and sponsors. In particular, how ironic edition Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers focused attention only on the fact that the partners did not say in Russian, which reduces the chances of Kiev to sell unprofitable production, and even to his neighbor. 

And yet, as the analyst, the ratings Yatsenyuk and fell Poroshenko to the level that can be compared to the bottomless ditch, and the situation with the sale of state property can only aggravate the crisis of holding power. Recall, last week the Verkhovna Rada endorsed the bill, which gives the Cabinet the right to impose a moratorium on the payment of external commercial debt. This law will allow Ukraine to declare a technical default if the creditors will not be achieved agreement on debt restructuring. 

However, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that such extreme measures would not allow it. According to him, Ukraine has a financial gap in the servicing and repayment of foreign debt in the next 4 years in the amount of $ 15 billion and intends to cover it due to the agreement on restructuring with private creditors. However, internal documents of the Ministry of Finance, published by the hackers' cyber-Berkut ", say the opposite. 

In recent years, the Government of Ukraine are increasingly asking for money for an economic recovery in the Western partners. Yatsenyuk recently just I called the number, which counts. "I do not want anything with nothing to compare, but Greece has already received $ 300 billion," - said Ukrainian Prime Minister at an international conference in Kiev. Note that after such a declaration European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis has made ​​it clear that the EU will not be plugging holes in the budget of Ukraine. According to the Kiev authorities, the results of March 2015 Ukraine's foreign debt reached 32.8 billion dollars. The National Bank earlier predicted that the total debt of Ukraine will amount to 93% of GDP for the year, which is more than 1 trillion hryvnia.

Residents of Nikolayev go to Maidan - to demand resignation of Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk.

Residents of Nikolayev go to the Maidan - to demand the resignation of Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk.

Mykolaiv region on 28 May.

Residents of Nikolayev going to go to Kiev, in order to take part on May 31 in the national Chamber at the Independence Square. During the rally, participants gather to demand the resignation of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. At Maidan on Sunday plans to perform military analyst Rustam Tashbaev, as well as the Supreme Ataman Cossack troops Nazar Muhachev. At the same time the organizers urge to ignore the political symbolism of politicians and oligarchs - must be simple and sensible will of the Ukrainian people. "People's Chamber, which will be voted on the question of the ultimatum early termination of powers of the president and the prime minister, will be held at 12:00 am in Sunday at the Independence Square on May 31. Please, bring tidings come themselves and bring with them all not indifferent to the fate of the people of the state. "- Writes on her page on the social networking site Facebook Ruslan Tashbaev. na ..

Poroshenko calls his greatest achievement, the deterrence of Novorossia

Poroshenko calls his greatest achievement, the deterrence of Novorossia


Poroshenko named as his main achievement of the year holding off a project for the creation of New Russia within the boundaries of only two Republics of Donbass, instead of all nine that are anti-Kiev.

He stated this on his account in the microblogging network Twitter. Thus, the de facto recognition of a New Russia.

"Ukraine has demonstrated unity. This is the achievement of the Ukrainians I rule over and is my greatest achievement of the year ", - said the Troubled politician suffering a loss of confidence worldwide.

During the interview, the on the only TV channels in the country, which are devoted to the Fascist Regime and their president's anniversary of work in the office of their Dictator. Then Poroshenko said (The attackers in Ukraine who he had traditionally accused Russia of, had involvement in the war in the Donbass, and Moscow denied the charges) was a key objective he stifled in - the creation of New Russia.

The main objective of this project, says Poroshenko, was cut off from the Ukraine's Nine regions in the south-east of the country that are strongly opposed to Kiev's Anti-Russian policies.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Whoever is Behind the Murder of Alexei Brain Remains Unknown

New-Russia - Great Power! | Official ✔

Whoever is behind the murder of Alexei Brain remains unknown, shots were fired at the car in 
which the the brigade commander was traveling. Brain was badly injured and died on the spot. 
Also accompanying him passengers were injured. This is not the first attack on the commander, since March 7, approximately at the same location during a journey of another vehicle Brain was traveling in three explosive devices were detonated. He escaped with minor injuries for that last attempt. 

While it is difficult to say who is behind it, killing Brain may be the result of sabotage group of Ukrainians infighting in the Donbas, since the summer of last year. It was launched then a campaign to oust the influential and independent militia commanders. The first was to leave the Donbass Defense Minister Igor DNI "Arrows", and then followed by Nicholas Kozitsyna, Igor Bezlera and others. 

Brain remained one of the last independent commanders that remained at the head of the combat units first established. Although some repeatedly tried to shift and disband the teams. The brigade commander enjoyed unquestioned authority, and his unit was probably the most efficient in the LC, and therefore the power to disband it, as it was with some Cossack units was not possible. Brain was a bright representative of the Russian Spring. He was one of the first who took up arms to defend their native lands from the Nazis, who came to power in Ukraine in 2014. He opposed the signing of the armistice with the Kiev regime in Minsk in September 2014 and demanded the resignation of the Junta government.

Washington to its Arab “friends” has made clear that “If you’re drowning, you’re on your own

Washington to its Arab “friends” has made clear that “If you’re drowning, you’re on your own

Author: Viktor Mikhin

Analysis of the results of the summit of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) with the US President Barack Obama widely publicised by Washington makes it possible to make far-reaching conclusions and to some extent to suggest the development of future events in the Middle East Region.

On the eve of the visit of the heads of the GCC in the United States numerous speculations on the results of the summit and the most inconceivable assumptions appeared. Firstly, many political analysts literally got stuck on the refusal of the Saudi king Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud to come to the United States. Immediately world media hysterically suggested a sharp deterioration in relations between the two countries. It was believed that the king sharply “bucked” against American plans to improve their relations with Iran, that has quite naturally led to a diminution of the US-Saudi relations.

However, the facts show a slightly different direction. It is true that neither Saudi Arabia nor the other members of the GCC are happy with the adjustment of the international community of its relations with Tehran. “From Obama’s point of view the diplomatic agreement with Iran on limiting its nuclear program provides a unique opportunity to stop the escalating conflict in the region,” the New York Times says. “From the standpoint of the Saudi government, led by Sunnis, the easing of sanctions in the proposed transaction simply gives Iran, which is dominated by Shiites, billions of dollars in order to provoke instability in the region.”

In Riyadh, they would like to preserve the situation in the Gulf region as it was, at least, for the last 50 years: Saudis determine the situation not only in the region but throughout the Arab world. To be exact, these are the Saudis who seek to control events and to determine, which government should be in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and even in faraway Libya. It is quite clear that the emergence of a new power, liberated from far-fetched international sanctions, will reduce the impact of the kingdom. Especially as Iran even under trying conditions of sanctions showed high rates of development that is altogether absent in “free” Gulf States.

Second, the king could not go to the US for health reasons. It is enough to just look at Saudi TV and Youtube with the participation of the Saudi King to understand that his health is deteriorating. It is difficult for him to walk no more than 5 meters with a cane, and he immediately sits down in his chair. All Saudi kings, the sons of Ibn Saud, the famous creator of the Saudi kingdom, are big people who suffer from severe spinal cord disease once in their 70s. Moreover, it was Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who spent a lot of effort, managing Saudi Arabia for the last 10 years on behalf of his brother, the then ailing King Abdullah, who also suffered from spinal disease. Today the new king’s health leaves something to be desired, and no wonder that Washington using its authority and influence, forced him to appoint a new crown prince, the future king.

And it may be added that the Saudi king is not a good negotiator and rules the kingdom only through medieval laws that in today’s world is an absolute nonsense.

However, it altogether satisfies the so-called democratic US, that by means of missiles alter the form of governments in many countries of the world, but not in the medieval Saudi Arabia. So I want to remind the current “democratic” rulers of Washington of the saying: “Tell me with whom thou goest, and I’ll tell thee what thou doeste.”

That was the future Saudi king Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who headed the Saudi delegation that quite satisfied the current US administration. After all, he has excellent business relationships with the official Washington to the extent that it prompted the Iranian newspaper Tehran Times to write: “In other words, the new crown prince is not only a product of the influence of the West, but an experienced specialist in the field of the gendarmerie and the guidance of internal order in the kingdom.” Another member of the delegation is the son of the current king, 29-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, who is currently running the military operations against the Yemeni rebels, will get a good practice in negotiations.

However, the general delegation was headed by none other than the Emir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. There is no doubt that in the Arab expanse he is the most experienced diplomat and negotiator. He was the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister for almost 40 years and when he became the Emir he participated and often led the majority of the negotiations that were conducted by the Arabs, both among themselves and on the international arena. To negotiate with the powerful of the world and to get maximum results is quite common right for him.

During the talks at Camp David, the Arab side expected, according to the world press, Obama administration to relieve them from the anxiety about Iran. In this regard, they proposed to sign a contract with the US on mutual defence, similar to those that are in place between the US and Japan, as well as between the US and South Korea. Such an agreement would oblige America to defend Gulf Arab states against possible aggression of Iran. But the White House felt that they could not win the support of the US Congress with such an agreement and therefore this alternative did not pass.

However, Barack Obama assured his Arab allies that the United States considered it one of their primary tasks to maintain security in the region and the preservation of its territorial integrity. For the sake of peace and prosperity in the region, that is of great interest to Americans, as Barack Obama assured, Washington is ready to not only help their allies to develop their own missile defence system (including the early warning system), but also to accelerate the transfer of arms and to provide trainers for the preparation of border guards and special forces. The number of joint exercises will be increased, too, and the US will receive tremendous dividends for all this. Confirming the readiness to defend allies from any external intrusion, Barack Obama also promised to confront “Iran’s destabilising activities” as much as possible.

Anticipating the concerns of the leaders of the Arabian Peninsula, the US president said that the nuclear deal with Iran that the US were still seeking to conclude, would not pose any threat to the Gulf countries and bring additional destabilisation. And apparently, President Barack Obama managed to convince the GCC that the potential cooperation between the US and Iran on nuclear program may take place – as it was noted in the joint statement that Arab leaders also made after the summit.

At the same time the Arab side appears to have the pledge from the US to increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication to the US President, said during the negotiations at Camp David, that the White House was “ready to consider options for establishing no-fly zones over Syria”. But in March, the US Secretary of State John Kerry hinted at the desirability of certain negotiating contacts with al-Assad. As you can see, it’s already become a familiar manner of the present US administration to shy away in one or other direction but always guarding only their own interests.

Nevertheless, the results of the Arab-American summit clearly showed that the United States that have not tied themselves with much promises will continue their own game in the Gulf region. And it is not probably accidental that the notorious map of Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters was printed in the American press again, on which Saudi Arabia is replaced with three new states, but the most part of the Saudi territory is given to Yemen and Jordan. Apparently, Washington that is fewer and fewer dependent on the supply of oil of its Arab “friends” has made clear to them that “If you’re drowning, you’re on your own”.

Viktor Mikhin, member correspondent of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.



Saturday, May 23, 2015 

Ukrainian beasts, committing over the last year and a half wanton aggression against the people of Donbass, and has repeatedly accused the proclamation of the Republic in the methods that are incompatible with civilized rules of warfare.

The torture and abuse of civilians and prisoners of war militias have repeatedly accuses Ukrainian fascists and numerous human rights organizations, and even the UN and the OSCE. In Ukraine, the sadistic manners categorically denied its fighters. However, because of the blatant impunity and the same stupidity Nazis themselves posted on the Web monstrous evidence of their infamy.

Ukrainian fighter, using the social network Facebook nickname Yashka Tsygankov, and judging by the content of his account, Nazi sympathizers, or even actively participating in the activities of the so-called AQL "Right Sector", posted photos , which documented the effects of torture a captured militiamen. We cut off the prisoner, both index fingers.

In comments on the fingers cut from the captive vengeance izgalyatsya "svidomye evroukraintsy." Among delighted by what he saw - Like appreciative of the chief editor of the odious turchinovskogo resource Tsenzor.NET Yury Butusov .

The comments referred to Butusov briefly but succinctly remarked: "Thank you, very cool." The remaining vying called executioners "handsome" and "well done", which should save God, the more that evroukraintsy him about it passionately pray.

"Well done, guys. God bless you. We pray for you," - cheered some sadists Elena .

Race pravosechka called " bustling Shubin , "general complained that the prisoner was deprived of a finger. "We had to be amputated at the throat it all .... great, too, had to be cut," - said Nazi.

It is, in fact, everything you need to know about "the new Ukraine," built by "maidan" reasonably noted "journalistic truth".

On the title photo: presumably he bastard, posted a net photo gallery execution.

In case you decide to clean up the evidence evroukrainets crimes Ukrainian fascists, publish screenshots below to confirm if needed, that the writing pen is not cut down with an ax.



Saturday, May 23, 2015 antifa

West is tired of the Kiev authorities, whose actions are more difficult to justify. In Europe there is a real sense of danger. They have created a Frankenstein's monster in the Ukraine and is now afraid of how far his actions it can go. This renowned British commentator remarked Neil Clark.

According to experts, the countries that contributed to the changes in Ukraine are beginning to retreat from their positions, and are now acting pragmatically. This is evidenced by the change of colors of the United States. This situation is worrying Kiev, the rhetoric is becoming more aggressive.

Leading European countries do not want the outbreak of a major war in Europe. However, it can become a reality after Ukraine's accession to NATO. Especially when you consider the bellicose statements of the Ukrainian leadership.

Realistically thinking politicians in Europe are looking for the possibility of lifting sanctions against Russia because they cause substantial harm to the leading European economies in France and Germany, is convinced a British journalist.

"Leading European countries less likely want a large-scale war, and it will become more likely if Ukraine becomes a NATO member. Especially with the current government of Ukraine and extremely bellicose rhetoric," - said the journalist.

"In Europe, there are real concerns. They have created this monster of Frankenstein and worried where it will lead," - said Clark.

"It is understood that all has gone as far as possible, - says the journalist. - More realistic people in Europe are clearly unwilling to lift the sanctions against Russia, because they are detrimental to the major European economies such as Germany and France."


Poster's Comment:

If President Obama wants a war with Russia, then take it there and leave Donbass out of it. Killing off innocent civilians in the Donbass only proves your cowardice to settle a score with Putin.

Anti-Americanism, an emerging mood jangling nerves around Eastern Europe

Anti-Americanism, an emerging mood jangling nerves around Eastern Europe

By Fred Weir 
May 18, 2015

The snapping point came for Pavel Melikhov, he says, when he heard President Obama compare Russia to a disease. In a speech to the UN last September, the president listed the top threats to global security, with Ebola coming first, “Russian aggression in Europe” second, and the Islamic State group in third place. Mr. Melikhov, a middle-aged Moscow-area businessman, says that moment crystallized his way of thinking about his country and its place in the world.

U.S. President Obama speaks to UN General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2014 (Richard Drew, AP)

He had felt supportive when Moscow annexed Crimea last year – as did a huge majority of Russians – and says he believed that President Vladimir Putin was defending Russia’s natural interests by backing Russian-speaking rebels in eastern Ukraine against a revolutionary, anti-Moscow government that took power in Kiev last year. But Mr. Obama’s remark jolted him by revealing a gaping chasm between what seemed obvious to him, as a Russian, and the way people in the West seem to perceive the same events.

“It wasn’t just me. All my co-workers were stunned,” he says. “The leader of the US put our country on a blacklist with a virus and a terrorist organization. That says it all. The masks are off. The US is not a friend; it’s ‘us’ and ‘them’ now. I have finally and completely understood that.” Melikhov is not an outlier in today’s Russia; indeed, he appears to be part of the new normal. Over the past year something has happened in the broad public mind, which looks to some experts like the birth of a distinct Russian nationalism for the first time in history.

In the past, Russia was an empire, then a communist colossus, then a “defeated” power that was expected – even by its leaders – to adopt Western ways. To be a “Russian” always meant being part of a state with grand ambitions and an ideology that did not address, or even admit, a separate Russian existence.

But amid a global geopolitical crisis over Ukraine, its pro-European revolution, and the civil war it triggered, “we see Russians groping for an identity more intensely than ever before in the past quarter century,” says Masha Lipman, an independent political expert. “There’s a clear nationalist drive, yet still no clarity on what the new identity is. Russia is no longer an empire, but not yet a nation state,” she says.

Patriotism, awakened

It’s not that Melikhov was unpatriotic before. When he was a boy, he was a regular at Desantnik, a private downtown Moscow military-patriotic club started in the 1980s and run by former special services officers. There, young people are taught paramilitary skills like hand-to-hand combat, flying, parachuting, and marksmanship.

The club’s president is Yury Shaparin, a veteran of the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan, who says he founded the club to foster patriotic values among young people in practical ways, mainly through physical training. He kept it going through the bitter years following the USSR’s collapse, when the economy imploded and then-President Boris Yeltsin led Russia down a path that seemed to accept not only the West’s hegemony, but also its political, economic, and cultural values.

“There seemed like no room for being a Russian. It was hard to feel patriotic under Yeltsin,” Mr. Shaparin says, standing in Desantnik’s gym, where about a dozen young people are learning to kickbox. Nearby there is a rack of Kalashnikov rifles, for shooting practice.

The past decade-and-a-half under Mr. Putin have been years of relative prosperity, when people got on with their private lives and paid little attention to politics. But, according to Shaparin, the events of the past year have awakened a sense among Russians that they are not like people in the West, their country has its own interests, and they have no one to rely on but themselves.

“We don’t wish for war, and we don’t feel the West is an enemy, but many people now see that they are trying to force us into a box, surround us with military bases, make us give up Ukraine, and break up what’s left of our country,” he says.
“What we teach here is that Russia can be saved, and all these sanctions and NATO threats can be defeated, if Russians grow more aware, learn to be strong and fit, and be willing to work together to build a better country. Nothing good will come from giving in to outside pressure.”

Public opinion surveys offer snapshots of this emerging mood.

Most frequently cited are the approval ratings of Putin, which have remained at a stratospheric 80-plus percent over a year – a span that started with anti-Moscow revolution in Kiev. That was followed by fallout of all kinds: the hasty annexation of the mainly Russian-populated Crimean peninsula; covert Kremlin support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s bitter civil war; increasing Western sanctions on Russia’s economy along with efforts to isolate Moscow on the world stage; a harsh economic crisis; and a near-catastrophic plunge in the value of the national currency, the ruble.

A year after the annexation of Crimea, a poll by the state-run VTsIOM agency found that two-thirds of respondents approved of the action, and 89 percent believed the territory shouldn’t be returned to Ukraine under any circumstances. A March survey by the independent Levada Center found that 68 percent believe that Russia is a “great power,” up from 30 percent in an identical poll taken 10 years ago.

Another recent VTsIOM poll found only a slight majority of Russians were even aware of Western sanctions against the country, but of those, well over 80 percent believed the sanctions were imposed with ill intent toward Russia. Less than 1 percent thought the West had “good intentions.”

Most alarmingly, anti-American sentiment is at its highest peak since reliable polling of Russians began in the mid-1980s. According to a March Levada survey, 73 percent of respondents had a “negative” attitude toward the US, up from 56 percent a year earlier.

‘A process, not an accident’

These data points connect to make a coherent picture, say experts. The Ukrainian crisis was just a trigger for a process that was waiting to happen, says Olga Kamenchuk, an expert with VTsIOM. “Such changes in popular views do not come out of the blue.”

Russians have been mentally distancing themselves from the Western model of life for some time. But the Ukrainian crisis brought forth a flurry of reactions, including solidarity with Russian-speaking “compatriots” such as Crimeans and eastern Ukrainians, the sense that a hostile West is working to surround Russia and thwart its regional interests, and vaguer yearnings for a deeper sense of national purpose.

“Whatever is happening in modern Russia is a process, not an accident, and it can be expected to unfold further,” says Ms. Kamenchuk.
The Kremlin has worked hard to shape these perceptions and harness them to ensure its own political survival. Some basic concepts of the new patriotism have been initially expressed by Putin, then amplified by the vast state propaganda machine, which dominates what most Russians see and hear.

They include the notion of the “Russian World,” whose geography extends beyond Russia’s borders to embrace people whose language, culture, and mindset – though not necessarily ethnicity – are Russian, such as Crimeans, Abkhazians, Transdnistrians, and quite a few other far-flung groups. The assertion that Russia has a responsibility to protect such populations, and perhaps gather them back to the Motherland, has set nerves jangling around Eastern Europe. Another, also originating with Putin, is the claim that liberals, gays, and other “Westernized” Russians represent a “fifth column” that threatens to subvert Russian society from within.
“For Russian mass opinion, the appeal to force is very popular. Force increases respect,” says Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy director of the Levada Center. “Russians easily accept that the West’s antagonism toward our country is based on pure hostility. Even if living standards are worsening, they don’t doubt the official explanation that it’s due to ‘enemy action’ and not our own policies. Basically, Russians have always wanted to live in a strong country, and they are prepared to pay a price for that.”
The limits of patriotic sentiments

But while Russians may be more patriotic than ever in their hearts, most have yet to express that patriotism through action. Attempts to convince Russians to actually join patriotic organizations and stage huge, Soviet-style pro-Kremlin street demonstrations, have not proven to be so successful.

Nikolai Starikov is a writer and organizer of the apparently independent Anti-Maidan movement, which seeks to raise patriotic consciousness and actively oppose any sign of Ukrainian-style, pro-democracy revolution in Russia. He presided over a small demonstration of his supporters outside the US embassy, on a blustery April afternoon in Moscow. About 50 protesters, mainly university students, held up banners decrying NATO expansion and “US interference” in Ukraine.

“Our American partners have unleashed a war inside the Russian World and at Russia’s frontiers. They do not conceal their plans to change the regime in Russia,” he says.

But most Muscovites, hurrying by in the late winter snowstorm, seemed completely oblivious. It was a tiny turnout – though the Anti-Maidan movement debuted in February with a march of about 35,000 supporters through downtown Moscow – and the entire group folded their banners and hurried away after about 15 minutes.

“It’s difficult to organize people, so that they get together” Mr. Starikov laments. “Public opinion is changeable.”

In fact, the Kremlin directly sponsored several youth movements to oppose any domestic pro-democracy revolt following the 2004 “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine, including Nashi and the Young Guard, but despite the infusion of considerable official resources, those attempts petered out after a few years leaving little trace behind.

A massive Red Square rally in March to commemorate the annexation of Crimea, led by Putin personally and themed “We Are Together!”, was slightly marred by social media postings showing hundreds of participants, mainly young people, lining up later to receive their payouts.

‘A time of great opportunity’?

“Of the two pillars of the current nationalist consensus, one is transient. That is the extremely broad support for Putin, but Putin will not be forever, right?” says Ms. Lipman. “The other is too negative. Anti-Western sentiment may be deep and genuine, but being anti-Western does nothing to help shape a sense of who we are.”

Melikhov, the businessman, has a tentative answer to that. “We should use this situation, and all this energy,” he says. “I’ve never seen a time when people felt so consolidated and ready to be constructive. For me, patriotism means to go out and build something, improve my business, help others to start something. This could be a time of great opportunity for our country, and ourselves.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The World's Decline to Rely on US Dollars Anymore: Truth Behind the West’s Sanctions

The World's Decline to Rely on US Dollars Anymore: Truth Behind the West’s Sanctions

In its quest for world domination, which the White House has been pursuing for more than a century, it relied on two primary tools: the US dollar and military might. In order to prevent Washington from establishing complete global hegemony, certain countries have recently been revising their positions towards these two elements by developing alternative military alliances and by breaking with their dependence on the US dollar.

Until the mid-twentieth century, the gold standard was the dominant monetary system, based on a fixed quantity of gold reserves stocked in national banks, which limited lending. At that time, the United States managed to become the owner of 70% of world’s gold reserves (excluding the USSR), therefore it pushed its weakened competitor, the UK, aside resulting to the creation of the Bretton Woods financial system in 1944. That’s how the US dollar became the predominant currency for international payments.

But a quarter century later this system had proven ineffective due to its inability to contain the economic growth of Germany and Japan, along with the reluctance of the US to adjust its economic policies to maintain the dollar-gold balance. At that time, the dollar experienced a dramatic decline but it was saved by the support of rich oil exporters, especially once Saudi Arabia began to exchange its black gold for US weapons and support in talks with Richard Nixon. As a result, President Richard Nixon in 1971 unilaterally ordered the cancellation of the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold, and instead he established the Jamaican currency system in which oil has become the foundation of the US dollar system. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that from that moment on the control over oil trade has become the number one priority of Washington’s foreign policy. In the aftermath of the so-called Nixon Shock the number of US military engagements in the Middle East and other oil producing regions saw a sharp increase. Once this system was supported by OPEC members, the global demand for US petrodollars hit an all time high. Petrodollars became the basis for America domination over the global financial system which resulted in countries being forced to buy dollars in order to get oil on the international market.

Analysts believe that the share of the United States in today’s world gross domestic product shouldn’t exceed 22%. However, 80% of international payments are made with US dollars. As a result, the value of the US dollar is exceedingly high in comparison with other currencies, that’s why consumers in the United States receive imported goods at extremely low prices. It provides the United States with significant financial profit, while high demand for dollars in the world allows the US government to refinance its debt at very low interest rates.

Under these circumstances, those heding against the dollar are considered a direct threat to US economic hegemony and the high living standards of its citizens, and therefore political and business circles in Washington attempt by all means to resist this process.This resistance manifested itself in the overthrow and the brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who decided to switch to Euros for oil payments, before introducing a gold dinar to replace the European currency.

However, in recent years, despite Washington’s desire to use whatever means to sustain its position within the international arena, US policies are increasingly faced with opposition. As a result, a growing number of countries are trying to move from the US dollar along with its dependence on the United States, by pursuing a policy of de-dollarization. Three states that are particularly active in this domain are China, Russia and Iran. These countries are trying to achieve de-dollarization at a record pace, along with some European banks and energy companies that are operating within their borders.

The Russian government held a meeting on de-dollarization in spring of 2014, where the Ministry of Finance announced the plan to increase the share of ruble-denominated contracts and the consequent abandonment of dollar exchange. Last May at the Shanghai summit, the Russian delegation manged to sign the so-called “deal of the century” which implies that over the next 30 years China will buy $ 400 billion worth of Russia’s natural gas, while paying in rubles and yuans. In addition, in August 2014 a subsidiary company of Gazprom announced its readiness to accept payment for 80,000 tons of oil from Arctic deposits in rubles that were to be shipped to Europe, while the payment for the supply of oil through the “Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean” pipeline can be transferred in yuans. Last August while visiting the Crimea, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced that “the petrodollar system should become history” while “Russia is discussing the use of national currencies in mutual settlements with a number of countries.” These steps recently taken by Russia are the real reasons behind the West’s sanction policy.

In recent months, China has also become an active member of this “anti-dollar” campaign, since it has signed agreements with Canada and Qatar on national currencies exchange, which resulted in Canada becoming the first offshore hub for the yuan in North America. This fact alone can potentially double or even triple the volume of trade between the two countries since the volume of the swap agreement signed between China and Canada is estimated to be a total of 200 billion yuans.

China’s agreement with Qatar on direct currency swaps between the two countries are the equivalent of $ 5.7 billion and has cast a heavy blow to the petrodollar becoming the basis for the usage of the yuan in Middle East markets. It is no secret that the oil-producing countries of the Middle Eastern region have little trust in the US dollar due to the export of inflation, so one should expect other OPEC countries to sign agreements with China.

As for the Southeast Asia region, the establishment of a clearing center in Kuala Lumpur, which will promote greater use of the yuan locally, has become yet another major step that was made by China in the region. This event occurred in less than a month after the leading financial center of Asia – Singapore – became a center of the yuan exchange in Southeast Asia after establishing direct dialogue regarding the Singapore dollar and the yuan.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has recently announced its reluctance to use US dollars in its foreign trade. Additionally, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has recently tasked the National Bank with the de-dollarization of the national economy.

All across the world, the calls for the creation of a new international monetary system are getting louder with each passing day. In this context it should be noted that the UK government plans to release debts denominated in yuans while the European Central Bank is discussing the possibility of including the yuan in its official reserves.

Those trends are to be seen everywhere, but in the midst of anti-Russian propaganda, Western newsmakers prefer to keep quiet about these facts, in particular, when inflation is skyrocketing in the United States. In recent months, the proportion of US Treasury bonds in the Russian foreign exchange reserves has been shrinking rapidly, being sold at a record pace, while this same tactic has been used by a number of different states.

To make matters worse for the US, many countries seek to export their gold reserves from the United States, which are deposited in vaults at the Federal Reserve Bank. After a scandal of 2013, when the US Federal Reserve refused to return German gold reserves to its respective owner, the Netherlands have joined the list of countries that are trying to retrieve their gold from the US. Should it be successful the list of countries seeking the return of gold reserves will double which may result in a major crisis for Washington.

The above stated facts indicate that the world does not want to rely on US dollars anymore. In these circumstances, Washington relies on the policy of deepening regional destabilization, which, according to the White House strategy, must lead to a considerable weakening of any potential US rivals. But there’s little to no hope for the United States to survive its own wave of chaos it has unleashed across the world.

Vladimir Odintsov, political commentator, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”
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