Friday, March 02, 2018

Second place

"Russian Army in Damascus" (Meyssan):
"Washington has decided to relegate its project for the destruction of states and societies in the Greater Middle East to second place in its preoccupations, and to concentrate its forces on opposing the Chinese project for the Silk Road. This has apparently been implemented by President Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull (representing the British), on 24 February at the White House."
". . . Moscow, which until now had limited its engagement in Syria to its air force and a few Special Forces, has now secretly moved in infantry troops.

On the morning of 25 February, the Russian land army moved into East Ghouta alongside the Syrian Arab Army.

It is now impossible for anyone at all to attack Damascus, or attempt to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic, without automatically provoking a Russian military riposte.

Saudi Arabia, France, Jordan and the United Kingdom, who had secretly formed the « Little Group » on 11 January in order to sabotage the peace conference at Sotchi, will be unable to take any further decisive action.

The gesticulations of the British and French Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Boris Johnson and Jean-Yves Le Drian, cannot disguise the new agreement between the White House and the Kremlin, nor the international legality of the Russian military presence and its military action in favour of the civilians who are prisoners of the jihadists.

They can not hope to question this agreement, as their respective countries did in July 2012, taking into account the evolution of the local and international situation.

If necessary, we will pretend not to know that the two armed factions present in East Ghouta (pro-Saudi and pro-Qatari) are run by Al-Qaïda. They will be discreetly exfiltrated. The officers of the British MI6 and the French DGSE (who are operating under cover of the NGO Médecins sans Frontières) will be repatriated.

The war has not yet ended for the whole of the territory, but it is already over for Damascus."
"East Ghouta: the last great battle of the Syrian war?" (Mercouris):
 "Just as in 2016 the air waves and the presses are full of furious denunciations of Syrian and Russian bombing.

There is again talk of barrel bombs and of the supposedly intentional bombing of hospitals, though the military logic of deliberately bombing hospitals is never explained and entirely escapes me.

As was  the case with the bombing of eastern Aleppo in 2016 much emphasis is given to the killing of children, with vivid pictures plastered all over the media of dead or injured children, to the point where at times it almost seems as if most of the people being killed in east Ghouta are children.

In 2016 there were no Western reporters in eastern Aleppo to observe and report about the bombing there.

Today in east Ghouta there are also no Western reporters present to observe and report about the bombing there.

Just as was the case in eastern Aleppo in 2016 so in east Ghouta today the presence of Western reporters is impossible because the violent Jihadi terrorists who in the autumn of 2016 were in control of eastern Aleppo, and the violent Jihadis who are in control of east Ghouta today, would kill or kidnap without hesitation any Western reporter foolish enough to go there.

The result is that just as was the case in 2016 in Aleppo, the reports of the bombing in east Ghouta come entirely from ‘local sources’ whose accuracy and objectivity (given that they are reporting from an Al-Qaeda controlled area) must be in doubt.

Moreover the same organisation – the White Helmets – is prominently involved in both places and on both occasions.

Just as in 2016 the obvious problems with the accuracy and objectivity of the reporting seems not to worry the Western media at all.

Just as was the case in 2016 in its reporting of the bombing of Aleppo, so in its reporting of the bombing of east Ghouta today,  the Western media simply reproduces the reports it obtains from the ‘local sources’ and the White Helmets without providing any health warning about their objectivity or accuracy, publishing them as if they were proven and true."
"US Propaganda Collapses in Syria, But Threats Remain" (Cartalucci).

"What the Russian Veto on Yemeni War Signifies" (Bhadrakumar):
"This is the first time Russia has shot down a US-led move in the Security Council regarding a regional conflict in which it is not directly involved. Moscow did not block the Western moves over Iraq in 2003 or over Libya in 2011, although Russian interests were involved. Nor did Moscow block Kosovo’s admission to the UN as a sovereign state, piloted by the West, in 2008, although it was a bitter pill to swallow in every sense.

In Syria, of course, Russia has exercised its veto power repeatedly both in self-interest and in the interests of its ally. But in the Yemen conflict, Russia is neither a participant nor a protagonist, nor has it any legitimate reason to take sides.
Suffice to say the Russian veto on Monday falls into a category by itself as a manifestation of the Russian-American standoff for global influence. It therefore becomes a turning point in the post-Cold War era of big-power politics.

On its broadest plane, Russia has signaled that the US and its Western allies can no longer dominate the international system and Russia will oppose US hegemony as a matter of principle. This has serious implications for regional and international security."
"Russia Shows Off New Weapons - Tells U.S. To "Come Down To Earth"" (Moon):
"The "western" media will call Putin's speech and the announcement of new weapons a sign of "Russian aggression" and that he "threatens to start an arms race". But that is not what it was. This was the Russian response to 20 years of U.S. aggression and unilateral arms deployment. It is the response to NATO encroachment on Russia's border and to the attempted destruction of the balance of power that MAD ensured. This is the response that Putin had announced eleven years ago in Munich.

It will take some time for "Washington" to understand what Putin means."
"Iran trade is not vulnerable to US sanctions" (Bhadrakumar):
"The Modi government has announced a decision to sequester India-Iran relations from US sanctions by allowing Indian companies and entities to use the national currency. This decision coincided with President Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit and becomes a landmark event in the chronicle of India-Iran relations.

Interestingly, European countries are also moving in the same direction as India. Their plan is to offer euro-denominated credits to Iranian buyers of their goods and services, which will keep the transactions beyond the reach of any US sanctions. France has already announced its intention to offer dedicated, euro-dominated export guarantees to Iranian buyers, which dispense with any US link, whether to the dollar or otherwise."
"Iranian foreign policy is making an historic shift in its integration with the international community. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on February 19 in a national address, “In foreign policy today, the top priorities for us include preferring East to West.” Of course, it is another side of the Iranian ideology of preserving the country’s strategic autonomy. Yet, importantly, Khamenei didn’t exclude the West.

Détente with the US was Iran’s expectation in negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal but the growing feeling is that this will not be possible so long as the Trump administration is in power. It was an historic mistake on the part of the Obama administration not to have taken the nuclear deal to its logical conclusion by removing the residual US sanctions that hamper banking ties and, secondly, by engaging Iran constructively on issues of regional security and stability. The bottom line is that Iran has a surprisingly flexible foreign policy – pragmatic to dealings with the West. It’s the Israeli lobby, stupid – in Washington and Delhi!"
"U.S. Escalates Threat Against Iran After Russia U.N. Veto" (Durden).
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