Thursday, May 25, 2017

Abbas Top Adviser: There Is No Regional Peace Plan, Manchester Bomb Maker At Large - Could Strike Again, China Warns U.S. To Leave Disputed Waters, Signs Of Military Action In N Korea




Abbas's top diplomatic adviser: There is no regional peace plan 


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s top diplomatic adviser on Thursday poured cold water on swirling media reports regarding a US-led regional peace process that would see Arab states partially thawing their relations with Israel as a first step toward restarting peace talks.

“There is no regional peace process or anything like it,” Majdi al-Khalidi told The Times of Israel. “No one is talking about it with us, or with anyone.”

The latest report, on Thursday in the Hebrew-language daily Israel Hayom, quoted an unnamed senior Palestinian official revealing ostensible details of what US President Donald Trump conveyed to Abbas when the two men met in Bethlehem earlier this week.

According to that report, Trump’s approach appears to fall in line with that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been promoting a so-called “outside-in” approach that would see ties normalized between Israel and moderate Arab states as a way to promote peace with the Palestinians.

By contrast, Palestinian leadership has insisted on the time-honored formula, first laid down in a 2002 Saudi-led peace initiative, that sees a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians as a prerequisite for normalization with the entire Arab and Muslim world.

Khalidi stressed on Thursday that the PA had in no way changed its stance.
“First the two-state solution must exist and be implemented. And once the Palestinians will have their own state beside the State of Israel, then the Arab peace initiative can be implemented,” he said in a phone interview.








The person who made the bomb that blew up Manchester Arena is still at large and could strike again at any time.
Intelligence services now believe that Salman Abedi who detonated the nail bomb in the foyer of the venue was a ‘mule’ using a device made by someone else.
The bomb was a major step up from the crude but lethal attacks using vehicles at Westminster this year and in atrocities in Nice and Berlin in 2016.
There are fears that whoever made the Manchester Arena bomb is on the run and could carry out one last attack.
A police source told the M.E.N.: "They don't waste bomb makers. The reason we have gone to critical is because he is still out there and the fear is that he will strike again before they get caught."
On Tuesday night Prime Minister Theresa May increased the UK terror threat level from severe to critical.
Earlier today armed forces carried out a raid at an address in Granby Row near Piccadilly Station. The operation was part of the investigation into the bombing.
Fire crews were on standby during the raid. It is not clear whether their presence indicated that the swoop was connected to the search for the bomb maker or bomb-making equipment.
ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack.
As part of their inquiries police are trying to establish who Abedi met before he went to the Arena - and how he travelled there. Much of this is expected to have been caught on CCTV.
Abedi had returned to his home city of Manchester after vsiting Libya - the original home of his parents.








The Chinese Navy has warned a US warship to leave, as it sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea “without permission.” Beijing says that the latest US move disrupts the peace process in the region. 
After the USS Dewey guided missile destroyer entered waters near the disputed land “without permission from the Chinese government,” the country’s navy “warned it to leave,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a news conference on Thursday, as cited by AFP.
China slammed the recent US patrol, saying that it “undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests.” Beijing urged Washington to “correct this mistake” and refrain from further provocations that can undermine the “peace and security of the region” as well as bilateral cooperation between the US and China.
“Stop taking further provocative actions that hurt China’s sovereignty and maritime interests, so as to avoid hurting peace and security of the region and long term cooperation between the two countries,” Lu Kang stated. He added that these patrols can “cause unexpected air and sea accidents,” Reuters reports.









On March 8, we wrote an analysis that said North Korea appeared to be crossing a red line set forth by the United States. And now, there are signs that military action on the Korean Peninsula is increasingly likely.
It’s no secret that the USS Carl Vinson has been near the peninsula for a few weeks. But now the USS Ronald Reagan, which is based near-theater in Japan, has joined it. The USS Nimitz, which is based in Washington state, is back in port, having recently completed a training exercise, as is the USS Theodore Roosevelt, farther south in San Diego. The U.S. Navy has said that the Roosevelt would deploy again soon, though it neglected to mention a destination. Dispatching three carrier groups is sensible, if not necessary, for military action against North Korea, but it’s not actually clear what role the Navy would play in the mission.


But the mission itself is clear: If it were to attack North Korea, the United States would try to destroy its nuclear facilities and eliminate the southern artillery batteries aimed at Seoul. And it would do so primarily through the air.
In fact, the United States already has some 100 F-16 fighter aircraft in South Korea. They have been conducting exercises in South Korean airspace regularly for some time — notable insofar as these kinds of exercises often take place before an attack. Such was the case before Operation Desert Storm.


Airstrikes by F-16s alone, however, are a foreboding prospect. North Korea has ample surface-to-air missiles, and it would be dangerous to send non-stealth aircraft such as the F-16 over target sets without first suppressing its air defenses and command and control centers. It would also imperil Seoul, which would quickly bear the brunt of North Korea’s response to U.S. military action. But here, too, the United States is prepared. Strikes would likely be carried out in part by stealth bombers from Andersen Air Force Base, which is located nearby in Guam. (As it happens, the Guam Chamber of Commerce will soon be briefed on civil defense, terrorist threats and North Korea, according to a report published May 22. Tellingly, no attempt was made to hide the preparations, nor was any concern paid to how North Korea might respond.) The United States could, moreover, deploy the F-35 stealth aircraft it has had stationed in Japan since January. This way, the United States could attack artillery targets, and therefore mitigate the damage against Seoul, before it attacked air defense targets. The F-16s in theater are equipped with weapons systems that are designed to target anti-aircraft capabilities, so they would extend their strikes to destroy air defenses, opening the door for non-stealth defense aircraft.

It’s unclear whether the United States would deploy ground forces; doing so would almost certainly incur U.S. causalities. If the air campaign against North Korea failed to destroy its intended targets, Washington would have to consider sending in special operations forces.

Any attack would begin by striking North Korean command centers, including political command centers. With this in mind, the North Koreans have probably developed a system by which command would be delegated to the field in the event top commanders were killed.

We also don’t know how exactly North Korea would counter an attack. Its leaders are well prepared, even seemingly cocky in their behavior, which has all but dared Washington to attack. Either they are bluffing or they have viable options for a counterattack. Maybe they have a robust offensive capability. Maybe they can destroy U.S. ships and aircraft. Maybe they are further along in their nuclear program than the U.S. thought. Maybe their ballistic missiles can reach Guam.

U.S. Warship Challenges China's Territorial Waters, U.S. To Increase Sanctions On Iran, EMP And Gog




US warship challenges China’s territorial water claims in ‘freedom of navigation’ sail-by



The USS Dewey guided missile destroyer has reportedly sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, apparently challenging Beijing’s sovereignty claims over disputed island chain.
The US warship passed near Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands on Wednesday under the “Freedom of Navigation” principle, according to Wall Street Journal and Reuters sources.
If indeed the USS Dewey sailed within 12 nautical miles of the disputed land, then Washington seemingly violated China's territorial claims. Territorial waters are defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as a belt of coastal waters extending 12 nautical miles from the coast.

Wednesday’s freedom of navigation sail was the United States’ first since October and the first since Donald Trump took office in January.
In a statement to The Japan Times, the Pentagon refused to confirm or deny the report. The Wall Street Journal also failed to get a definitive answer from the Pentagon.
“We operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told the publication in a statement.
“We operate in accordance with international law,” he added, emphasizing the patrols are “not about any one country, or any one body of water.”
While the Pentagon is reluctant to confirm the reports, photos posted on Commander – the US’ Third Fleet Facebook page – appeared to show the US vessel sailing the disputed waters. “USS Dewey (DDG 105) transits the South China Sea before a replenishment-at-sea with USNS Pecos (T-AO-197),” the picture post reads.

Earlier this month, US Navy Commander Gary Ross revealed that Washington is looking to continue its Freedom of Navigation operations in the disputed South China Sea region under Trump’s administration.
“We are continuing with regular FONOPs (Freedom of Navigation operations), as we have routinely done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” Ross was quoted as saying.

Beijing has laid claim to nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which some $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. The Spratly Islands, or Spratlys, comprising more than 750 islets, atolls, and reefs, have also been caught up in the multinational dispute, with the claimants having their own national names for the archipelago.









A US Navy guided-missile destroyer conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea designed to challenge Beijing’s maritime claims, media reported citing unnamed officials.
It was the first such patrol since October and the first one conducted under President Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.


A freedom of navigation patrol, by definition, must take place within 12 nautical miles of territorial waters, the report explained.


The report added, however, that a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the operation, claiming the United States operates in accordance with international law.










US Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin said the Trump administration was exploring ways to increase financial pressure on Iran, Syria and North Korea Thursday, days after President Donald Trump launched a blistering verbal offensive against Tehran during a trip to the Middle East.

Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee that the administration was looking into revoking licenses for aircraft manufacturers to sell parts and planes to Iran, which had been a key component of sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal.


“We will use everything within our power to put additional sanctions on Iran, Syria and North Korea to protect American lives,” Mnuchin said, according to Reuters. “I can assure you that’s a big focus of mine and I discuss it with the president.”

Mnuchin also praised sanctions as having been an important tool in bringing Iran to the negotiating table. While Trump has called the nuclear deal a disaster, his administration has not moved to scrap it.



However last month Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the administration has undertaken a full review of the agreement to evaluate whether continued sanctions relief is in the national interest. Tillerson noted that Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terrorism and that Trump had ordered the review with that in mind.

Trump has repeatedly bashed Iran during speeches over the last week, accusing it of “reckless pursuit of conflict and terror,” in Saudi Arabia, and vowing to keep it from getting a nuclear weapon while visiting Israel.
“The United States is firmly committed to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias,” he told Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Tuesday.









It’s a frightening thing to consider. For the most technologically endowed nation to ever exist on planet Earth, it would be a nightmare of almost unimaginable proportion. I’m referring to an attack on the U.S. by EMP –electromagnetic pulse—about which there continues to be much chatter in the cybersphere. Most feared is a nuclear blast that could interact with the ionosphere, the shell of electrons and electrically charged particles surrounding Earth, to create a series of electromagnetic pulses that could reach across the North American continent, according to the scientists who study such matters.

In such an apocalyptic scenario, an American enemy would explode a nuclear weapon a certain number of miles above a central point above the continent. This would cause everything that is controlled by electronic circuitry to fail, bringing society and culture as we have known them to an instantaneous conclusion. All modern transportation would be stopped, with planes falling from the air. Car engines and circuitry would cease to function. From the sophisticated technologies of the hospitals, banks, and electric power-generating plants to the electronically powered, smallest conveniences such as coffeemakers, all would be instantly fried, and we would be sent back to the 1850s in a millisecond, according to the experts.

Disregarding such an enemy for the moment, the experts tell us we face the possibility of an EMP attack from the cosmos. Now, there’s something to truly be concerned about!

Solar flares are the real danger, according to the scientists involved in study of this sort of EMP assault. These coronal mass ejections are enormous sun eruptions of super-hot plasma that spews charged particles across the solar system. They do the same sort of damage that the nuclear weapon EMPs might do, as I understand it.
The Earth is in a period of high likelihood for these types of coronal mass ejections, according to the scientists—authorities on such things. Although Congress has been given ways to help prepare for damage such EMP events can do, there has apparently been little interest from that quarter in making preemptive preparation. We remember the same sorts of fears and warnings about the year 2000–Y2K–event. In that instance billions of dollars were thrown into fixing the feared problems.
Now, however, unlike in the case of the Y2K scare, for example, the mainstream media seems to have all but ignored the EMP concerns. Even peripheral media cable networks and other such media have remained silence. Only the blogosphere is alive with details of the possibility of impending doom.
My own thought is that the Lord is and has always been in complete control of the fate of individuals, nations, and the entire Earth–which He created. That’s why there hasn’t been all-out warfare–nuclear war. That’s why there hasn’t been an EMP event that sets us back to the 1850s or so…
However, there is a prophetic thought that has nagged for a long time. That’s all it is–a thought.
Salem Kirban wrote the novel 666 in the 1960s. He portrayed the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog attack as being waged totally like the Scripture depicts. There were only horses, bucklers, shields, etc., as they stormed like a cloud to cover the land as the Gog forces raged toward Jerusalem. All modern weaponry had been rendered useless–I can’t remember why or how.
An EMP event from Earth’s sun could apparently make Mr. Kirban’s novel truly prophetic, if all we’ve been told about EMP is correct.
The way things are shaping in that region of the world should alert us that maybe we don’t have too long to wait to find out about how Bible prophecy plays out.










Fear of earthquakes is part of life in California.
But people experience this anxiety in different ways. For some, the fear prompts them to take steps to protect themselves: strapping down heavy furniture, securing kitchen cabinets and retrofitting homes and apartments.
For others, the fear prompts denial — a willful ignorance of the dangers for years until the ground starts shaking.
Seismologist Lucy Jones has spent her career trying to understand public attitudes about earthquakes, with a focus on moving people past paralysis and denial.
Jones said the way experts like her used to talk about earthquakes wasn’t very effective. They tended to focus on the probability of a major earthquake striking in the next 30 years — the length of a typical home mortgage. They also took pains to say what they didn’t know, which she now believes allowed the public to tune out and hope for the best.
Now she is making a dramatically different point. She said that in a keynote speech to international scientists in Japan on May 21, she emphasized that a devastating earthquake will definitely happen, and that there is much the public can do to protect themselves.
Denial may getting a bit harder these days. Over the last several years, a few California cities have taken dramatic steps to require retrofits of thousands of vulnerable buildings. And next year, scientists and the U.S. Geological Survey are expected to unveil the first limited public phase of an earthquake early-warning system that would eventually offer seconds and perhaps more than a minute of warning through smartphones and computers.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

After Manchester Jihad Massacre, UK Troops To Be Deployed To Britain's Streets, BBC Anchor: 'Europe Has To Get Used To Bombings'






“UK to deploy troops after attack, risk now ‘critical’: May,” Reuters, May 23, 2017:
Britain’s armed forces will be deployed to boost security, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday, as the country raised its terror threat to the highest level of “critical” after a suicide attack in Manchester that killed 22 people, including children.
May said members of the armed forces would be positioned at key sites to free up police for patrols and military personnel might be deployed at public events such as concerts and sports events as a further attack was seen as potentially imminent.
May said the independent body which sets the threat level had recommended it be raised from “severe” after a man named by police as Salman Abedi set off an improvised bomb on Monday night as crowds streamed out of a concert….








Troops are to be deployed onto Britain's streets amid fears a further terror attack 'may be imminent', the Prime Minister has announced.
Theresa May revealed the move this evening, less than 24 hours after the bomb attack at a teen concert in Manchester, which left 22 dead and 59 injured.
The Prime Minister confirmed the identity of the Manchester suicide bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, a Mancunian of Libyan descent.
But intelligence agencies fear he may not have acted alone - leaving open the possibility of an active Islamist terror cell on the loose.
Britain's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre last night raised the terror threat level to 'critical', its highest level. 
The threat level has only been raised to 'critical' twice since the system was introduced on August 1, 2006. 
Security services are trying to establish whether Salman worked alone or was part of a wider network that helped him with the bomb. 
A school friend told The Times that Abedi had returned to Libya in the past week. 
The friend said: 'He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.'

On Monday evening he placed a suitcase on the ground in the foyer of the Manchester Arena moments before it detonated, according to CCTV footage recovered by detectives.  


'The joint terrorist analysis centre has concluded that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical.
'This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack is imminent.'  
It means armed soldiers will patrol key sites across the country, at sporting fixtures and musical events.

Undercover SAS troopers will join regular soldiers in Operation Temperer. 









A very sad but awfully truthful 30-second reality check from a female BBC host speaking on MSNBC...



"Europe is getting used to attacks like this...we have to because we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out... as ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq we're going to see more of these kinds of attacks taking place in Europe... and Europe is starting to get used to that..."







And as the following poll from YouGov shows ,up 14 percentage points on July 2010, an almost unanimous 90 percent said that they thought it was fairly or very likely.








Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber responsible for the Manchester Arena bombing Monday night which left 22 people dead and dozens injured, was reportedly the son of Libyan immigrants and was apparently radicalised while living in one of the country’s most heavily Muslim areas — an area that had terror-related problems before.

The Telegraph reported that Abedi was the son of Libyan refugees who fled the regime of dictator Muammar Gadaffi. Gadaffi was killed by rebels in 2011 and the Telegraph cited reports that Abedi’s family had returned to Libya — but Abedi remained.
Police raided Abedi’s house in Fallowfield, South Manchester Tuesday. Fallowfield is the home of a large student population, being a short bus ride away from the main Manchester University campus, and just three miles from Manchester’s city center. 
South Manchester as a whole has a large Muslim population, often gathered in very small areas and raising questions about the risks that a lack of assimilation can bring.








A high-level North Korean detector has ominously claimed that the DPRK military has hundreds and hundreds of attack drones capable of carrying biological and chemical agents to attack Seoul within a single hour.

The individual was interviewed by Japanese newspaper Sekai Nippo under the alias Jin-myeong Han. A former diplomat to Vietnam, he defected from the DPRK in 2015. 

While an enormous amount of attention has been paid to North Korean missile tests, which have greatly increased in frequency and visibility in the past few months, Han argues that the threat of drones from Pyongyang could be just as urgent.

According to Han, the DPRK has been developing their drone delivery system since the 1990's. Han, who claims to have once served in the North Korean air force, said that he helped develop radio communication for the attack drones.

"My guess is that [North Korea] has 300 to 400 drones," he said. They are stored underground and frequently moved between sites to avoid detection by foreign reconnaissance satellites.






Following the toppling of at least five statues of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, angry mobs startled the ruling regime by burning down Chávez's childhood home, set up as a shrine to his socialist revolution by his supporters.
It surely takes the anger and bitterness in the streets to another level.  We no longer hear much in the way of restraining voices for nonviolence in that socialist hellhole.  The mob has taken over, and the monuments are beginning to topple.

It's a sign of a growing civil war, in fact, and like most such events, it could be very bloody.  In the midst of the largely nonviolent Velvet Revolutions of Eastern Europe in 1989, the sorry end of the region's worst dictator, Nicolae Ceauşescu, was the exception – dragged from his palace hideaway to some wall by angry rebel troops and summarily shot as crowds cheered.


The growing attacks on the symbols of the Chavista regime may well extend to attacks on the rulers of the Chavista regime.  It's the direction it's headed, and by their actions, the Chavistas show that they know it.








Lawyers for a Russian tech mogul suing online news site BuzzFeed for defamation will seek within the next two weeks to take sworn testimony from its editor and several reporters.

The suit stems from BuzzFeed’s decision to become the first news operation to post online a former British spy’s dossier about Russia’s alleged scheme to help Donald Trump win the presidency last fall.

A federal judge in Miami on Monday rejected BuzzFeed’s bid to move the case to New York. In a phone interview Tuesday, attorney Val Gurvits, representing a Russian web hosting company and its owner who were named in the dossier, said he would take steps to obtain depositions from BuzzFeed employees.

At least four BuzzFeed reporters would likely be questioned, Gurvits said, with the goal of determining “what steps, if any, BuzzFeed took to verify the facts” about his client, Aleksej Gubarev.
Gubarev is a venture capitalist who owns Florida-based Webzilla Inc., Cyprus-based XBT and other tech companies that collectively are involved in web hosting, online storage and Internet services.













Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Another U.K. Terror Threat Level 'Imminent', ISIS Takes Credit 'This Is Only The Beginning'





UK terror threat level increased to critical in wake of Manchester Arena attack investigation



The UK terror attack threat level has been increased from severe to critical in the wake of Manchester Arena attack investigation, PM Theresa May has announced.
It means that an attack is expected "imminently".
The last time that the UK threat level was critical was June 30 2007 - in the wake of the Glasgow airport car bombing.
The only time before that it was raised to critical - the highest possible level - was on June 30 2006 when a plot to kill thousands on 10 transatlantic flights from the UK was uncovered.
Anti-terror agencies have been working for the past 24 hours to work out if the suicide bomber who killed 22 and injured 120 more at the Ariana Grande pop concert last night was working alone - or as part of an organised terror cell.
The bomber was earlier named as Salman Abedi.
Mrs May revealed that the Secretary of Defence has approved a police request for help from armed forces.
Security Service Mi5 updated its threat level information on its website immediately tonight.
In a live televised statement from Downing Street, she said:"In my statement earlier today I said that the police and security services needed to investigate whether or not Abedi was acting alone."
"Their investigations continue but the work undertaken during the day have revealed that it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to to this attack.
"This morning I said that the joint terrorist analysis centre - the independent organisation responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available - was keeping the threat level under constant review.





Following the horrific events last night in Manchester in which a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert, primarily attended by teenagers, claimed the lives of at least 22 people, we're just now learning that the Islamic State is claiming responsibility for the attack.




Here is the statement from the Islamic State:


"With Allah's grace and support, a soldier of the Khilafah managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester, in revenge for Allah's religion, in an endeavor to terrorize the mushrikin, and in response to their transgressions against the land of the Muslims.  The explosive devices were detonated in the shameless concert arena, resulting in 30 Crusaders being killed and 70 others being wounded.  And what comes next will be more severe on the worshipers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah's permission.  And all praises due to Allah, Lord of the creation."
Of course, this is not a terribly surprising outcome given some of the disturbing messages posted to Twitter last night in which Islamic State supporters celebrated the attack.  Per Yahoo News:



"It seems that bombs of the British airforce over children of Mosul and Raqqa has just came back to #Manchester," one user named Abdul Haqq said on Twitter, in reference to the Iraqi and Syrian cities held by the militants where a U.S.-led coalition, of which Britain is a member, is conducting air strikes.

Supporters posted messages encouraging each other to carry out "lone wolf" attacks in the West and shared Islamic State videos threatening the United States and Europe.

One user said he hoped Islamic State was responsible for the attack, although no claim has appeared on any of the militant's group's official social media channels.

"We hope that the perpetrator is one of the soldiers of the caliphate," he wrote on a channel affiliated to the group hosted by messaging network Telegram.

Others posted banners saying "the beginning is in Brussels and Paris, and in London we form a state," in reference to previous similar "lone wolf" attacks in Belgium and France for which the group has claimed responsibility.










A sick video has surfaced online showing an ISIS jihadist saying "this is only the beginning" after the Manchester 'terror attack' that killed more than 20 .
In the unverified footage, a man wearing a mask and sitting in front of a black flag making the ominous warning.
The man then holds up a sign bearing the words "Manchester 2017-05-22", a reference to yesterday's date.
Hours later ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via the Reuters news agency and the killer was named as Salman Abedi.
In the video the masked man says: "In the name of Allah the merciful, the grateful, this is only the beginning.
"The lions of the Islamic State are beginning to attack all the crusaders. Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar."
He then holds up his sign bearing the date of the attack.
This video appeared on social media and the Mirror can not verify the source of the authenticity.
But just hours later an ISIS statement said: "One of the soldiers of the Caliphate was able
to place an explosive device within a gathering of the Crusaders in the city of Manchester."
The atrocity in Manchester left 22 dead and 59 injured after a suicide bomber detonated
 an improvised explosive device .
The victims named so far include eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and 18-year-old
 Georgina Callander.




U.S. vs Russia: How Russia Became The 'Adversary' Again





How Russia Became "Our Adversary" Again



Forget for now the question of whether and how “our adversary Russia” intervened significantly on Donald Trump’s behalf in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  Put aside the glaring absence of any smoking gun evidence to back that charge up and contemplate the fundamental matter of how and why Vladimir Putin’s Russia became “our enemy” in the first place.
For those of us old enough to remember the long Cold War era, the designation of Russia as a leading global U.S. foe carries no small irony. From the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 until the collapse of the officially Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites in the early 1990s, Russia was an ideological and political enemy of the Western capitalist “elite.”


So, what happened?  How did “our” Cold War super-enemy become “our” brand new top “adversary” all over again, more than a quarter century after the tearing down of the Berlin Wall? The bottom line is that proud, post-Cold War Russia finally experienced too much brazen humiliation and betrayal at the hands of the U.S.-led West. It got up off the canvas under national/nationalist strongman Putin (a former KGB Lieutenant-Colonel wise in the ways of the West) and marshalled enough of still-intact natural and military resources and patriotic to challenge the American Empire’s hubristic claim to the right to rule Eurasia with impunity. “What we say goes” hit a new wall of Russian dignity and power.

One of the many dirty little secrets of the U.S. Cold War was that anti-communism functioned as a pretext and cover for Washington’s Wall Street-fueled ambition to force open and run the entire world system in accord with its multinational corporate elite’s globalist- “Open Door” political-economic needs.  From this imperial perspective, the real Cold War enemy was not so much “communism” as other peoples’ struggles for national, local, and regional autonomy and independence. The enemy remains long after the statues of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin have come down.
It doesn’t matter than Russia is no longer “socialist.” Nationalist and regional push-back against Uncle “We Own the World” Sam has been more than sufficient to get Putin designated as the next official Hitler and Russia targeted as a malevolent opponent by the U.S. elite political class and media. Mike Whitney puts it very well in a recent CounterPunch essay:



“What has Russia done to deserve all the negative press and unsupported claims of criminal meddling?…Just look at a map. For the last 16 years, the US has been rampaging across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Washington intends to control critical oil and natural gas reserves in the ME, establish military bases across Central Asia, and remain the dominant player in an area of that is set to become the most populous and prosperous region of the world…”

“But one country has upset that plan, blocked that plan, derailed that plan. Russia. Russia has stopped Washington’s murderous marauding and genocidal depredations in Ukraine and Syria, which is why the US foreign policy establishment is so pissed-off.  US elites aren’t used to obstacles.”

“For the last quarter of a century – since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union – the world had been Washington’s oyster. If the president of the United States wanted to invade a country in the Middle East, kill a million people, and leave the place in a smoldering pile of rubble, then who could stop him? …Nobody.  Because Washington owns this fu**ing planet and everyone else is just a visitor…Capisce?.”

“But now all that’s changed. Now evil Putin has thrown up a roadblock to US hegemony in Syria and Ukraine. Now Washington’s land-bridge to Central Asia has been split in two, and its plan to control vital pipeline corridors from Qatar to the EU is no longer viable. Russia has stopped Washington dead-in-its tracks and Washington is furious.”

“The anti-Russia hysteria in the western media is equal to the pain the US foreign policy establishment is currently experiencing. And the reason the foreign policy establishment is in so much pain, is because they are not getting their way.  It’s that simple. Their global strategy is in a shamble because Russia will not let them topple the Syrian government, install their own puppet regime, redraw the map of the Middle East, run roughshod over international law, and tighten their grip on another battered war-torn part of the world.”

“So now… Putin must be demonized and derided. The American people must be taught to hate Russia and all-things Russian…Russia must be blamed for anything and everything under the sun…”

Forget the charges of Trump-Russia collusion.  Trump’s main Russia problem is that he came into the White House from outside the elite Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) ruling class establishment Unlike the plugged-in U.S. power and imperial elite, the orange-haired brute never got the Zbigniew Brzezinski-crafted, David Rockefeller-endorsed CFR memo on the grave peril Moscow still poses to “the international system sponsored by the United States.”  (True, it’s unlikely that Trump could have followed the memo). Candidate Trump showed his lack of ruling class credentials by admiring Putin’s authoritarian manliness and calling for a stand-down from Obama and Hillary Clinton’s reckless, Brzezinski-esque provocation of the Kremlin in Eastern Europe and Syria. He foolishly called for normalized relations with the vodka-swilling Eurasian power that arose from the grave to once again become Washington’s “all-purpose [global] punching bag” (Whitney).
After Herr Donald was ironically installed in the White House by leading Russophobe and  “lying neoliberal warmonger” (LNW) Hillary Clinton, Russia-hating took on a new and seductive political meaning for Democrats and their many U.S. media allies. The Russiagate narrative has proved irresistible to these actors for three basic reasons.


First, they have naturally wanted to delegitimize the early Trump administration for standard partisan reasons. They’ve seen tarring Trump as a treasonous friend of a leading “foreign adversary” as useful for that purpose.

Second, highly placed NATO-expansionist New Cold Warriors in both major parties (e.g., John McCain) and the media have wanted to keep the heat on Moscow. The baseless Russia election-hacking and collusion charges have been tools for the New Cold War camp to hedge in Trump’s promises of rapprochement with Russia. The Russiagate scam is part of why Clockwork Orangutan found it necessary to absurdly tell Russia to “give Crimea back” to Ukraine and why he theatrically launched 59 cruise missiles onto a Syrian airbase.

Third, the Russian interference allegation has been made in part to help the DNC and the neoliberal Democratic Party establishment avoid responsibility for blowing the 2016 election. The Democrats ran a wooden, Wall Street-captive, and corruption-tainted candidate (the aforementioned LNW) and a vapid and elitist campaign that couldn’t mobilize enough working- and lower-class voters to defeat the epically noxious and unpopular Trump in key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan and Ohio. The “Moscow stole it” narrative is a fancy version of “The dog [bear?] ate my homework” for a dismal dollar-drenched Democratic Party that abandoned the working class and the causes of peace, social justice and environmental sustainability long ago.

The “inauthentic opposition” party (as the late Sheldon Wolin aptly described the neoliberal Democratic Party) would rather not take a long, hard and honest look at what it has become. It does not want to concede anything to those who dream (naively) of turning it into an authentic peoples’ and opposition party with a bold progressive vision and agenda. The “Russia did it” charge works for establishment Democrats hoping to stave off demands from leftish-progressive-populist types in their own party.
This perverse political logic works to sustain the strange new neo-McCarthyite anti-Russian madness, which is rooted in the U.S. imperial agenda, not any relevant Russian influence on U.S. life and politics.