CHOSSUDOVSKY: TOWARDS A WORLD WAR III SCENARIO

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The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

Coinciding with the onset of the nuclear crisis in Japan, a new regional war theater has opened up in North Africa, under the disguise of a UN sponsored “humanitarian operation” with the mandate to “protect civilian lives”.

These two seemingly unrelated events are of crucial importance in understanding both the nuclear issue as well as the ongoing US-NATO sponsored war, which has now extended its grip into Libya. The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. Its potential repercussions, which are yet to be fully assessed, are far more serious than the Chernobyl disaster, as acknowledged by several scientists.

The crisis in Japan has also brought into the open the unspoken relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear war. Nuclear energy is not a civilian economic activity. It is an appendage of the nuclear weapons industry which is controlled by the so-called defense contractors. The powerful corporate interests behind nuclear energy and nuclear weapons overlap. In Japan at the height of the disaster, “the nuclear industry and government agencies [were] scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan’s civilian nuclear power plants”. The media consensus is that the crisis at Fukushima’s five nuclear power plants has been contained. The realties are otherwise. The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that “the severity rating of its nuclear crisis … matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster”.

Moreover, the dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California:

“Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer”.

A New War Theater in North Africa

The War on Libya was launched within days of the Fukushima disaster. As we go to press, a dangerous process of military escalation is ongoing. NATO warplanes are hitting civilian targets in Libya including residential areas and government buildings in violation of international law.

The war on Libya is an integral part of the broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia which until recently consisted of three distinct areas of conflict : Afghanistan and Pakistan (the AfPak War), Iraq, Palestine. A fourth war theater has opened up in North Africa, which raises the issue of escalation over a vast geographical area. These four war theaters are interrelated. They are part of a broader region of conflict, which extends from North Africa and the Middle East, engulfing a large part of the Mediterranean basin, to China’s Western frontier with Afghanistan, and Northern Pakistan.

How does the war on Libya relate to this broader US-NATO military agenda?

Is a World War III scenario unfolding?

Is the use of nuclear weapons contemplated in North Africa?

With regard to nuclear doctrine, the concept of a US sponsored pre-emptive nuclear attack applies to a number of countries or “rogue states” including Libya. An all out war against the Qadhafi regime has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 20 years, Moreover, Libya was the first country to be tagged for a preemptive attack using tactical nuclear weapons.  The Clinton administration’s plan to nuke Libya had been announced in no uncertain terms in a 1996 Department of Defense press briefing:

“[The] Air Force would use the B61-11 [nuclear weapon] against Libya’s alleged underground chemical weapons plant at Tarhunah if the President decided that the plant had to be destroyed. ‘We could not take [Tarhunah] out of commission using strictly conventional weapons,’ Smith told the Associated Press. The B61-11 ‘would be the nuclear weapon of choice,’ he [Assistant Secretary of Defense Harold P. Smith] told Jane Defence Weekly.

Clinton’s Defense Secretary William Perry had confirmed in a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “the U.S. retained the option of using nuclear weapons against countries [e.g. Libya] armed with chemical and biological weapons.”

The Department of Defense’s objective was to fast track the “testing” of the B61-11 nuclear bomb on an actual country and that country was Libya: “Even before the B61 came on line, Libya was identified as a potential target”.

While the 1996 plan to bomb Libya using tactical nuclear weapons was subsequently shelved, Libya was not removed from the “black list”: “The Qadhafi regime” remains to this date a target country for a pre-emptive (“defensive”) nuclear attack. As revealed by William Arkin in early 2002, “The Bush administration, in a secret policy review… [had] ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the “axis of evil” Iraq, Iran, and North Korea but also China, Libya and Syria.

Operation Odyssey Dawn. Nuclear Weapons against Libya? How Real is the Threat?

Has the project to nuke Libya been definitively shelved or is Libya still being contemplated as a potential target for a nuclear attack? (This preface serves as an update on the potential dangers of a nuclear war against a defenseless non-nuclear State). The air campaign directed against Libya commenced on March 19, 2011. America deployed its Bat-shaped B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers operating out of the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Described as “deadly and effective”, the B-2 was used as an instrument of “humanitarian warfare”.

Barely two weeks after the commencement of the war, the Pentagon announced the testing of the B61-11 nuclear bomb using the same B-2 Stealth bombers which had been deployed to Libya at the very outset of Operation Odyssey Dawn. The B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber is the US Air Force’s chosen “carrier” for the delivery of the B61-11 nuclear bomb. These timely tests pertained to the installed equipment, functionality and weapon’s components of the B61-11 nuclear bomb. The tests were conducted by the B-2 bombers operating out of the same Air Force base, from which the B-2 bombing raid on Libya were conducted.

Is the timing of these tests in any way related to the chronology of the Libya bombing campaign?

The U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command was in charge of both the JTA tests of the B61-11 as well as the deployment of three B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers to Libya on March 19 under operation Odyssey Dawn. Both the deployment of the B-2s to the Libya war theater as well as the tests of the equipment of the B61-11 (using the B-2 bomber for delivery) were coordinated out of Whiteman Air Force base.

America’s Long War: The Global Military Agenda

The US has embarked on a military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity. The first two chapters of this E-book focus on the “Cult of Death and Destruction” underlying this global military agenda. US-NATO weapons of mass destruction are portrayed as instruments of peace. Mini-nukes are said to be “harmless to the surrounding civilian population”. Pre-emptive nuclear war is portrayed as a “humanitarian undertaking”. Nuclear war has become a multibillion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright “privatization of nuclear war”.

US nuclear doctrine is intimately related to “America’s War on Terrorism” and the alleged threat of Al Qaeda, which in a bitter irony is considered as an upcoming nuclear power. Under the Obama administration, Islamic terrorists are said to be preparing to attack US cities. Proliferation is tacitly equated with “nuclear terrorism”. Obama’s nuclear doctrine puts particular emphasis on “nuclear terrorism” and on the alleged plans by Al Qaeda to develop and use nuclear weapons.

Chapter III focusses on America’s Holy Crusade and the Battle for Oil. The “Global War on Terrorism” requires going after the terrorists, using advanced weapons systems. US foreign policy upholds a pre-emptive religious-like crusade against evil, which serves to obscure the real objectives of military action. In the inner consciousness of Americans, the attacks of September 11, 2001 justify acts of war and conquest against evil-doers. The Global War on Terrorism is presented as a “clash of civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives. The lies behind 9/11 are known and documented. The American people’s acceptance of this crusade against evil is not based on any rational understanding or analysis of the facts. “The American inquisition” purports to extend Washington’s sphere of influence. Military intervention is justified as part of an international campaign against “Islamic terrorists”. Its ultimate intention, which is never mentioned in press reports, is territorial conquest and control over strategic resources. Ironically, under the Global War on Terrorism, these plans of conquest are instrumented by covertly supporting Islamic paramilitary armies, which are then used to destabilize non-compliant governments and impose Western standards of “governance” and “democracy”.

World War III Scenario

The contours of a World War III scenario are discussed in Chapter IV. The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously.

Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military’s Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon. According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theaters: “[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

Chapter V focusses on war preparations pertaining to Iran, including the launching of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Islamic Republic. While Iran remains on the Pentagon’s drawing board, a fundamental shift in the sequencing of military operations has occurred. The US-NATO-Israel alliance realizes that Iran has significant capabilities to respond and retaliate. With the onset of the US-NATO led war in North Africa, Washington and its allies have chosen to wage war on countries with lesser military capabilities. This factor in itself has been crucial in the decision by the US and its allies to put “the Iran operation” on hold, while launching a “humanitarian war” on Libya.

How to Reverse the Tide of War

Chapter VI focusses on antiwar actions directed against this diabolical military agenda. Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled: “We must fight against evil in all its forms as a means to preserving the Western way of life.” Breaking the “big lie” which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda, the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged. This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens as to the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

The object of this E-Book is to forcefully reverse the tide of war, challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.

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TOWARDS A WORLD WAR III SCENARIO: THE REAL IMPERIALIST AGENDA

Review of Michel Chossudovsky’s book

by Finian Cunningham

“Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War” by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky is a book that cuts through the chaos and deception to show the reader exactly how and why humanity is facing an existential threat. It is a wake-up call that the world is being pushed towards catastrophic conflict.

Western governments led by Washington are assiduously removing every check towards all-out hostility with the Islamic Republic of Iran, escalating economic sanctions, while mounting a fierce array of military power in the Persian Gulf.

Meanwhile, the Western public is disarmed from outright opposition to the juggernaut to war because the mainstream media has assisted Western governments in falsely portraying Iran as an imminent nuclear threat to world peace, and downplaying the gravity of what is at stake if a conflict should result – World War III.

This book shows that, incredibly, the same deception that the Western governments and media perpetrated to facilitate the war on Iraq less than a decade ago is now being repeated with Iran. But the real threat to world peace and the future of humanity is not Iran and its non-existent nuclear weapons program – it is the US-led alliance of NATO powers and their Middle East partners, Israel, Turkey and the handful of Gulf Arab monarchs.

The real agenda behind the drive for war is imperialist control of natural resources in a region that possesses some 60 per cent of all known reserves of oil and gas – the lifeblood of the capitalist global economy. Cloaked with the fictitious cover of “war on terror”, “international security” and “humanitarian intervention”, realities are being turned upside down.

The agenda for global control of resources is a long-term dynamic that Washington and its NATO allies have had on the drawing board for decades. The nine-year war on Iraq is but one episode of this unfolding scheme of conquest. The NATO-orchestrated regime change in Libya is also part of this military roadmap, which now has Iran in its sights. But this war lust will not stop with Iran. It is about global conquest by Western powers in which ultimately China and Russia are also marked out as future enemies.

Disturbingly, the US-led agenda of permanent war has incorporated the doctrine of pre-emptive strikes with all military options, including the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons and a new generation of so-called monster bombs. The imminent military showdown in the Persian Gulf could turn out to be not just a regional explosion of latent conflicts – it may be the trigger for a conflagration between global powers armed with nuclear arsenals capable of unleashing destruction that puts the very future of the planet in the balance.

The Western public has a vital task in preventing their governments’ drive for war. Michel Chossudovsky’s book is an essential tool in equipping the public for that task by showing them the truth of what is at stake.

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THE PENTAGON’S SECRET NUCLEAR AGENDA: “PRIVATIZING NUCLEAR WAR”

Review of Michel Chossudovsky’s Book ‘Toward’s a World War III Scenario’

by Sherwood Ross

U.S. corporations that reap billions from making nuclear weapons have “a direct voice” as to “their use and deployment,” according to professor Michel Chossudovsky in a recently released book.

What’s more, he says, if nuclear weapons are integrated with conventional armaments, a decision to use nuclear weapons could be made by battlefield generals.

On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Neb., that brought together more than 150 “senior executives from the nuclear industry and military-industrial complex,” writes Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) in Montreal.

“This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima”. According to a leaked draft of the agenda, the secret session included discussions on “mini-nukes” and “bunker-buster” bombs with nuclear warheads “for possible use against rogue states,” Chossudovsky writes in his new book, “Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War,” (Global Research, 2012)

The meeting was intended to set the stage for the creation of a new generation of “smaller,” “safer,” and “more usable” nukes for use, in  America’s 21st Century “in-theater nuclear wars”, Chossudovsky writes. No members of Congress representing the public were in attendance.

Barely a week prior to this meeting, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) disbanded the advisory committee that had “independent oversight” over the U.S. nuclear arsenal, including the testing and/or use of new nuclear devices.

The nuclear industry — which makes both nuclear devices and their missile delivery systems — Chossudovsky writes, is controlled by a handful of defense contractors, led by Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, BAE Systems Inc, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Boeing. The sales of these six largest US defense contractors (including the UK-US conglomerate BAE Systems Inc) was in 2010 of the order of 242.6 billion dollars, with recorded profits of $16.4 billion.

Meanwhile, “the Pentagon has unleashed a major propaganda and public relations campaign with a view to upholding the use of nuclear weapons for the ‘defense of the American homeland’,” Chossudovsky writes. He points out:

“In an utterly twisted logic, nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace and preventing ‘collateral damage.’ The Pentagon had intimated that the ‘mini-nukes’ with a yield of less than 5,000 tons are harmless to civilians because the explosions ‘take place under ground.’ Each of these ‘mini-nukes,’ nonetheless, constitutes — in terms of explosion and potential radioactive fallout — between one-third and six times the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.”

Based on the twisted notion that the “mini-nukes” are “not dangerous for civilians,” the U.S. Congress in 2003 gave the Pentagon the “green light” to use tactical nuclear weapons in “conventional war theaters” (such as the Middle East and Central Asia) alongside conventional weapons, Chossudovsky writes.

This new nuclear doctrine, he goes on to say, turns reality upside down not only by denying the horrific impact of nuclear weapons but by asserting “in no uncertain terms that nuclear weapons are ‘safe’ and their use in the battlefield will ensure ‘minimal collateral damage’ and reduce the probability of escalation.” Chossudovsky notes, “The issue of radioactive fallout is not even acknowledged with regard to tactical nuclear weapons; neither is the issue of ‘Nuclear Winter’.”

To justify pre-emptive military actions, U.S. National Security Doctrine (NSD) requires the fabrication of a terrorist, or “outside enemy,” threat, the author writes. As well, the doctrine needs to tie said terrorist threats to “state sponsorship” by so-called rogue states. Here, the Global War on Terror (GWOT) directed against Al Qaeda fits right in as essential building blocks in the Pentagon’s GWOT campaign.

Under the latest nuclear doctrine, the Pentagon discards the policy of fighting in “self-defense” in favor of “anticipatory action.” This war would allow the use of nuclear weapons against a “rogue enemy” who is alleged to plan to develop WMD at some undefined future date, Chossudovsky writes.

“Nukes would serve to prevent a non-existent WMD program (e.g Iran) prior to its development,” the author explains. “This twisted formulation goes far beyond the premises of the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review and NPSD 17, which state that the U.S. can retaliate with nuclear weapons if attacked with WMD.”

And by integrating nuclear with conventional armaments on the battlefield, “there is the risk that tactical nuclear weapons could be used without requesting… presidential approval,” Chossudovsky writes. He asserts, “combat commanders would be in charge of Theater Nuclear Operations (TNO), with a mandate not only to implement but also to formulate command decisions pertaining to nuclear weapons.”

Moreover, because these “smaller” tactical nuclear weapons have been reclassified by the Pentagon as “safe for the surrounding civilian population,” thereby allegedly “minimizing the risk of collateral damage,” there are no overriding, built-in restrictions to prevent their use, Chossudovsky writes. Stockpiled tactical nuclear weapons, he concludes, are now considered to be an integral part of the battlefield arsenal, “part of the tool box,” so to speak, used in conventional war theaters.

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CHOSSUDOVSKY’S NEW BOOK: AMERICA’S “CONTINGENCY PLAN” TO ATTACK IRAN WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Review of “Towards a World War III Scenario. The Dangers of Nuclear War”

by Sherwood Ross

U.S. plans to attack Iran with a mix of nuclear and conventional weapons have been in readiness since June, 2005, according to Michel Chossudovsky. a distinguished authority on international affairs.

“Confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the U.S. and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran,” writes professor Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal.

The plans were formulated in 2004. The previous year, Congress gave the Pentagon the green light to use thermo-nuclear weapons in conventional war theaters in the Middle East and Central Asia, allocating $6 billion in 2004 alone to create the new generation of “defensive” tactical nuclear weapons or “mini-nukes”. 

“In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney ordered USSTRATCOM (Strategic Command) to draft a ‘contingency plan’ that included “a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons,” Chossudovsky writes. The plan went beyond the terms of reference outlined in the Pentagon’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR),  which called for a “preemptive” “first strike use” of nuclear weapons against Russia and China as well as Iran and North Korea.

The 2005 plan identified more than 450 strategic targets in Iran, including numerous alleged nuclear-weapons-program development sites. The plan, incredibly, was rationalized on a second 9/11 type attack on the US that Cheney believed Iran would allegedly support!

“President Obama has largely endorsed the doctrine of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons formulated by the previous administration,” Chossudovsky writes in his new book, “Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War” (Global Research, 2012). His Administration “has also intimated it will use nukes in the event of an Iran response to an Israeli attack on Iran.”

Chossudovsky points out, “The new nuclear doctrine turns concepts and realities upside down. It not only denies the devastating impacts of nuclear weapons, it states, in no uncertain terms, that nuclear weapons are ‘safe’ and their use in the battlefield will ensure ‘minimal collateral damage and reduce the probability of escalation.’ The issue of radioactive fallout is not even acknowledged with regard to tactical nuclear weapons, neither is the issue of ‘Nuclear Winter’.”

“What is unfolding (in Iran) is the outright legitimization of war in the name of an illusive notion of global security. America’s mini-nukes, with an explosive capacity of up to six times a Hiroshima bomb, are upheld as a ‘humanitarian’ bomb, whereas Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons are branded as an indisputable threat to global security,” Chossudovsky writes.

He points out that a U.S.-Israeli strike against Iran would probably not be limited to Iran’s nuclear facilities but likely would be “an all-out air attack on both military and civilian infrastructure, transport systems, factories and public buildings.”

Employed would be “the entire gamut of new advanced weapons systems, including electro-metric weapons and environmental modification techniques (ENMOD),” Chossudovsky writes.

He notes that the U.S. has stepped up its military shipments to Israel, its NATO allies, and to countries bordering Iran. Israel in 2004 took shipment of the first of 500 U.S.-made BLU 109 “bunker buster” bombs, and the U.S. has supplied thermonuclear bombs to Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, and Great Britain. Turkey alone, a partner in the U.S. anti-Iran coalition, has 90 thermonuclear B61 bombs at its Incirlik nuclear air base.

“It is not Iran and North Korea which are a threat to global security by the United States of America and Israel,” he adds. What’s more, Western European governments have joined the bandwagon and “have endorsed the U.S.-led military initiative against Iran.”

He goes on to say, “At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable — a nuclear holocaust which could potentially spread in terms of radioactive fallout over a large part of the Middle East.”

It may also be noted the U.S. currently has several, nuclear-armed carrier task forces in waters near Iran and has built more than 40 military bases in the countries surrounding Iran. The U.S. reportedly has 20,000 nuclear bombs available to use and Israel reportedly has another 200, whereas Iran is not known to have one. U.S. military spending of $700 billion a year, moreover, is 100 times the rate of Iran’s $7 billion annual military outlay.

READ THE FULL E-BOOK FREE: TOWARDS A WORLD WAR III SCENARIO

THE GLOBALIZATION OF WAR: MILITARY BUILDUP ACROSS THE GLOBE

The world’s attention is increasingly focused on Syria and Iran as the region continues to move toward military confrontation. Less noticed, however, is that the pieces are being put into place for a truly global conflict, with military buildup taking place in every region and threatening to draw in all of the world’s major powers.

WILLIAM ENGDAHL: ARAB SPRING A WESTERN PLOY TO CONTROL EURASIA

The ultimate goal of the US is to take the resources of Africa and Middle East under military control to block economic growth in China and Russia, thus taking the whole of Eurasia under control, author and historian William Engdahl reveals.

ALEX JONES: OBAMA LAUNCHING WORLD WAR III

In this critically important update, Alex Jones warns how the international banking cartel is using Obama and the US military to start World War III. The controllers of the New World Order believe they can achieve their one world government by destabilizing every country in the the middle east and northern Africa which will draw Russia and China into crisis to create a world-wide catastrophe. Once this event occurs, and the world is brought to the brink of total obliteration, the global banking cartel plans to move in with their final phase: a one world government and eugenics agenda.

Alex urges his listeners to get the word out about this point in history. We are right now in the beginning stages of world war three. If this situation escalates, it can result in the worst world war that mankind has ever suffered.

DAVID ICKE: THE COMING WORLD WAR III IN 2012

David Icke talkS about the coming World War III and explains it with facts and stories.

Icke states that World War III will begin in 2012 and involve Israel, America, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and China following massive civil unrest.

DAVID ICKE: WORLD WAR III IS PLANNED FOR 2012

Albert Pike received a vision, which he described in a letter that he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. This letter graphically outlined the plans for three world wars that were seen as necessary to bring about a One World Government, with a one world army, a one world currency, and a one world religion.

LYNDON LAROUCHE: WORLD WAR III – EUROPE, AMERICA, ISRAEL VS RUSSIA, CHINA, INDIA AND IRAN

A webcast from the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LaRouche PAC) made on May 7th, 2008, warning about the possibility of nuclear war with Russia, China and India, the current food crisis and the imminent collapse of the current civilizational model (among other things), followed by Q&A.

LYNDON LAROUCHE: ‘NOBODY WILL SURVIVE THIS WAR’

While the European and American economies are on an accelerating path to collapse, and the escalation of world war persists, all opposition to the instrument of this process has been removed when the Democratic party recently rejected running an opposing candidate against Barack Obama in the 2012 Elections.

That, along with equally ridiculous lack of competent leadership coming from the Republican party sets us up for a continued Obama Presidency, Economic disintegration, and Global War.

This being the case, Lyndon LaRouche will intervene this Monday to address the American people in this time of crisis, how to turn this process around in what presently looks like a hopeless situation, and as Mr. LaRouche declared earlier this week, this means the situation is in our hands:
“First of all, there is now an understanding between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, of a very peculiar type, in which no one in the Democratic Party is going to oppose Obama.

They’re shutting up, they will not oppose Obama. What happened in the meantime, which is the reason the British were in a rush on this with Obama, was the intention was to use Europe as a key part of the alliance for attacking Russia, China, and so forth. Because this war was not intended to be a war of Israel attacking Iran! The attack by Israel on Iran was intended, but it was intended for the reason to have the attack on Iran trigger
a chain reaction set up, for a thermonuclear attack by the United States and its allies, in this operation against Russia and China.

So what you’re looking at, is a full-scale thermonuclear war attack, on Russia and China, and others. That’s the intention.  The British and the United States are thermonuclear powers; a war between the United States and these nations in Asia, is a thermonuclear war, which means, if it actually happens, would be a virtual extermination of much of this planet and the people on it. But the British are determined to carry that out, and Obama is their instrument.

LYNDON LAROUCHE: OBAMA’S IMMINENT THREAT OF GLOBAL THERMO NUCLEAR WAR

Lyndon LaRouche talks with Alex Jones about Obama’s martial law executive order and the coming World War III.

http://larouchepac.com/

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LYNDON LAROUCHE WARNS AMERICA: ‘WE’RE IN THE GREATEST CRISIS OF OUR TIME!’

THE SHOWDOWN HAS NOW BEGUN

By Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Friday, May 4, 2012

The already more than bankrupt British imperial monarchy should have recognized that it had stepped into a global economic mine-field, when it had continued its commitment to drive Russia into submission to the British monarchy’s stated intention to reduce the world’s human population from currently seven billions persons, to less than two billions or, as the British monarchy had also projected, similarly, recently, no more than one billion.

Simply said: no sane treaty or law concocted by anyone on this planet, has the actual right to demand the passive submission of the human beings of any nation to their destruction, as the Roman Empire had sometimes demanded. The list of victims of the so-called “Anglo-American Empire” of Queen Elizabeth II’s plan for the intended “Green” virtual mass-extinction includes more than five billions human beings of this planet. Those policies have lately included the mass murder already conducted against Greece, and threats of a similar fate intended for Spain, Portugal, and also, implicitly, Italy. The British intention for “green” genocide on a planetary scale, also includes the majority of the population of our United States; unless the British monarchy’s puppet-U.S. President Barack Obama and his frankly fascist advisor Cass Sunstein are removed from office, very soon, that done for reason of abundantly proper cause. This removal of such fascists-in-fact as Obama’s advisor Cass Sunstein, must be done very soon.

It is in that immediate setting, that the British empire and its puppet Barack Obama, have intended to push President Vladimir Putin’s Russia down the road of submissions designed to promote extinction, too. Naturally, it is the emotionally highly disturbed, British puppet-President of our United States, Barack Obama, who is to be presumed, yet once again, to act as the “patsy” selected to do the imperial monarchy’s dirty-work of a presently existential threat of warfare against President Putin’s Russia. Forcing a chosen class of victims of the intended warfare to defend themselves from the intended preparations for launching such warfare in defense of its already threatened existence, is already a casus belli. Unfortunately, as I warned in an important public address during 2009, neither British puppet and Emperor Nero think-alike, Barack Obama, nor the fascist official Obama advisor Cass Sunstein, is truly civilized.

The evidence respecting Sunstein on this account is thoroughly consistent with his own widely publicized professions.

The point to be stressed against Sunstein for a clearer view of the Obama administration of the present moment’s, global, strategic outlook at this time, is the following.

My Duty in This Matter

The time has come when it is my particular responsibility to make clear the force of the truth of an ugly situation which was made possible by the manifest prevalence of political cowardice among our citizenry, even among most of our republic’s current crop of political authorities, so far. This comes at a time when I must also warn against the closely related matter of the present, immediately looming threat of global thermonuclear warfare. I appear to be among the best qualified, from the combined experience of age, as also in the clinical sense of experience in public affairs, and economic forecasting, to address what I have addressed over many decades, of the blend of cowardice and confusion which has made cowards, or simply fools of many among the so-called “most influential” of the leading strata of my own United States.

After all, I do have the necessary, superior qualifications of experience to speak publicly on this specific matter, as I shall insist here and now. That issue here, is the immediate threat of the extinction of entire nations on this planet through the direct and indirect launch of a massive assault by thermonuclear weapons, an assault which has been prompted by the whim of the de facto British puppet Barack Obama, a launch which would prompt the immediate response by Russia and others.

The present British imperial intention in this matter, is to either launch war against Russia, or terrify it into a degree of submission under which Russia would lose its capacity for resistance to the intended global tyranny of the British imperial instruments operating from a roster of nations which have been reduced to virtual puppets of Queen Elizabeth II and her lackey-like puppet Obama. The current NATO threat of war against Russia, is the pivot of this moment on which the choice of either planetary thermonuclear warfare, or the peacefully productive survival of the planet, now depends.

Now, having said that much as a matter of introduction of the subject of the present war-like actions by Britain against Russia, consider how such a mere British puppet of doubtful foreign, and massive financial backing, such as Barack Obama, came to play a crucially significant role in the British empire’s current launch of threatened nuclear warfare against President Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It is the nature of the British financial backing of Obama which forces a special kind of attention to that subject.

That put to one side, I shall now sum up, very briefly, the actual causes for the presently immediate danger of a generalized thermonuclear war intended to engage Russia in deadly conflict. I shall present the essentials of the deep background of the British motive for setting in motion such a war against Russia at this time. I shall summarize the subject-matter by continuing my explicitly stated commitments, up to the present date, on the account of this issue, since a brief evening meeting when I had shared my response on the request of a gathering of a few American soldiers assembled in a military camp in India (from where I was about to move to northern Burma). The occasion was the news of both the death of President Franklin Roosevelt, and also the inauguration of Harry S Truman as President Roosevelt’s replacement. I was confident that the U.S. forces would defeat Japan’s. What worried me was the prospect of the promotion of Vice-President Harry S Truman. I have never been wrong in my thoughts about Truman which had troubled me on that occasion in India. Nor, would I doubt my fears concerning the outcome of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The actually present intention of the British Empire and its puppets among our own citizens, as among the peoples of western Europe, is to proffer the choice of two options to the nations of Russia and Asia. The first choice is the subjugation of Russia to join all western and central Europe in the category of British imperial puppets, as we witness in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and probably, soon, Italy; the alternative choice is the use of (principally) U.S.A. thermonuclear arsenals to bring about the virtual extinction of Russia—and, therefore, Russia’s return of fire within a very brief lapse of time within the framework of a U.S. launch by President Barack Obama in support of the British intention. The pivot of that latter threat is that Russia condone a military build-up by U.S.A. and western and central European forces among the nations bordering Russia, a threat clearly intended to reduce Russia’s strategic position to a level of loss of capability for effective defense. The probable net outcome would include the thorough destruction of western and central Europe, and also the United States.

The fact of that matter is, that if Russia were crushed along the lines of either of those two, distinctly differing, indicated options presently presented to Russia, the British/Wall Street cabal would be freed to detonate a kind and scale of genocide on this planet which would be sufficient, on its own account, to reduce the human population of this planet to what the present Queen of England and her circles have demanded repeatedly, since the likeness of the late Bertrand Russell’s publicly stated intention to launch nuclear warfare against the Soviet Union in 1946.

The only power on this planet which could, or possibly would be enabled to launch an effective NATO attack on Russia, is centered in the backing supplied by the thermonuclear capability of the U.S. military organization, the Ohio class submarines in particular; but, the result of such an assault as that, would be the virtual extermination of human life through the continuing spread, for as much as a generation or more, of the threatened effects on any surviving portion of those remaining alive after such an exchange.

Yesterday’s dispatches from the Presidency of Russia on these matters are to be recognized as existential in all their leading implications. No nation of this planet were likely to survive such a conflict, were such a conflict with Russia uncorked at this present juncture.

The Root of this Threat of War

The first and foremost fact to be faced by the citizens of our United States, is what is now known as “bail-out,” or, in other words, how did a sick wretch like Barack Obama happen to become a President of the United States?

The fuller, centuries-old story of the United States defense of itself against Anglo-Dutch tyrannies should be viewed in the light of all presently practical considerations now. Trace that page of history from the capture of the British Isles by the New Venetian Party of the followers of Paolo Sarpi, the Sarpi followers who had actually led that attack on Britain and beyond by the William of Orange who represented the same New Venetian Party which is still currently associated with the New Venetian tradition of the Netherlands and the British Isles.

The crushing of the Massachusetts Bay Colony which had formerly been founded and led by the Winthrops and Mathers, had suppressed the original North American root of a society consistent with the specifically American roots of our later sovereign republic. The corruption which had already been expressed by the New Venetian Party, was expressed afresh by that 1763 Peace of Paris which established the actually imperial system of what was to become recognized as the British Empire then, as today.

It is crucial, in the light of the threat of world-wide thermonuclear warfare which the deranged, British-controlled puppet-President Obama typifies, that we must recognize a profound, deeply rooted distinction of the general population of the United Kingdom from the virtually world-wide financier power expressed as the currently collapsing global financier power of what has been the actual power of an existent British Empire since 1763, a date on which the conflict underlying the cause of any future war between the United States and the British empire’s monetarist predators first arose.

The Alternative to World War

As things have gone thus far, war or no war, whoever the current Republican candidates might be, and whoever might lose the nominal vote in the present Presidential election-campaign, it is both the United States and western and central Europe, which are almost certainly qualified to bring a defeat upon themselves which will not also be a crushing defeat of anyone as much as the leadership of the established political parties.

For example: as long as Obama remains a candidate for President, a Republican candidate (surviving out of four) might (hypothetically) win the vote for being the least despised; but the nominal victory of either, his success—Mitt Romney’s, for example—would be the success of being chosen to extend the destruction of our nation now.

For example, as matters stand right now, as long as President Barack Obama remains in the competition, Romney probably wins (unless President Barack Obama were to unleash thermonuclear Hell at some early date). Whereas, if almost anyone were to replace current President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, for example, would be the blamable cause for a national catastrophe, since Obama is already sufficiently despised.

Actually, but for the constraints placed upon me by my age—at near to the age of 90—I would have been the best qualified choice for the Presidential election for the sake of our republic. I would have been the man whom our nation’s frantic enemies would fear the most: me. None of the others actually represents a fungible option.

That is not merely “my opinion;” the failure of all among the presently indicated choices is that none among what might be considered as options for candidacies presently, possesses the combined knowledge and temperament required even to identify an actual solution for the rapidly plunging economic-breakdown-crisis, let alone to bring it to a success. Thus, for the present moment, we are gripped by a crisis now careening into utter catastrophe for the world presently.

I have specified the only feasible remedy for this present crisis of the United States. It consists, essentially, of three, relatively crucial, interlocking actions:

Immediate installation of a replication of the 1933 Glass-Steagall doctrine of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Immediate installation of the original model of a national banking system of Public Credit of the United States under the Treasury System, as that had been installed under U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.
The immediate launching of the NAWAPA (North American Water and Power Alliance) as the keystone of an actual economic recovery program.
There are, actually, no other presently existing, and also competent options, other than exactly those three. Anything different would produce a national farce.

These three principled form of actions, when combined, represent the only U.S.A. action which might presently rescue the United States from an immediate, most calamitous self-destruction. That successful economic turn-about can be accomplished by proceeding immediately to bring about the installation of a renewed principle of Public Credit, under the guidance of a Twenty-First Century model of design for a contemporary version of the original NAWAPA, as extended to cooperating with Canada and northern Mexico.

This defined action, as presented by the presently updated form supplied as the NAWAPA-XXI design, is that unique quality of “keystone” reform which is presently required for the North American continent during a span of a prospect of process of development over about a quarter century ahead.

The decision to proceed with NAWAPA-XXI would ensure the accompanying effects of progress which would prompt cumulative vast other accomplishments for the conditions of life through much, even most of this planet.

Why Not Choose To Win?

There is exactly one reason why the United States has failed in every election since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy: the same reigning opinion which was responsible for the fraudulent agreement to cover up the actual causes of the assassinations of both President Kennedy and his brother Robert. It is the so-called “establishment” which rigs the behavior of the mass of the citizenry.

The approximate rule to be considered in the customary cases is that, in such cases, the idea of a “will of the people” is usually a farce, except in the cases such as a crushing defeat in some nation’s war, or a shocking catastrophe of comparable magnitude. Otherwise, the majority of the electorate has little knowledge of how the election (or dictatorship) might have “worked out.”

How the Reform Succeeds

The United States had been a crucial element in the 1945 defeat of the Adolf Hitler regime. That victory had been made possible, in fact, through a leading role of the initial support, by other forces inclusive of the role of the decisive margin of the support against the Hitler forces by many nations of the world. Those opponents of Hitler included, at that time, the forces of the British empire and of Britain’s Wall Street cabal, which emerged as the leading agency, among various allied nations, which had joined in the defeat of the Hitler system.

Unfortunately, it had been the reigning trans-Atlantic interests, including the New York- and London-based Brown Brothers Harriman, who had joined in promoting the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, until the point that Winston Churchill realized that it was President Roosevelt who provided the only hope for Britain’s survival.

However, beginning with the death of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, the frankly anti-Roosevelt, British-inclined policies which included formerly pro-Hitler elements of Wall Street (such as Prescott Bush’s Brown Brothers Harriman) operated through the U.S. Presidency of Harry S Truman. Under the post-World War II leadership, a still mighty U.S. power, had already slipped into a severe economic decline.

General Dwight Eisenhower’s campaign both for ending the Churchill-Truman and Bertrand Russell intention for a continued steep economic decline of the U.S. economy and also for an end of the active war in Korea, was a great and popular action which swept Eisenhower into the Presidency.

Although the ouster of President Truman by the election of President Dwight Eisenhower had lessened both the degree of economic ruin and the “witch-hunt” frenzies which the Truman Presidency had promoted, the evil which Truman had been largely responsible for unleashing had a continuing momentum expressed in the hatred against President Kennedy and a continuation expressed in the chronic efforts to assassinate both President Charles de Gaulle and also President John F. Kennedy.

The opposition to the memory of President Franklin Roosevelt, and the hatred of President Kennedy shown from the legendary right-wing circles heart-set on long waves of suppression of scientific and related economic progress, had two leading motives which no actually intelligent and patriotic Americans had not wished to suppress: weakening the United States through foolish “long wars,” and sabotaging the types of economic policies which the British and U.S. right-wingers wished to destroy. The assassination of President Kennedy stopped net economic progress, and pushed the United States into the series of useless long wars which have been a leading factor in the accelerated collapse of the U.S. economy under the vicious U.S. Presidencies of George H.W. Bush, his son George W. Bush, Jr., and the worst of them all, Barack Obama.

The one thing the British Monarchy has feared, is an actual revival of the U.S. economy, and U.S. opposition to being dragged into ruinous “long wars,” even, presently. These are the familiar scheme of Britain’s prominent organizers of wars and revolutions, such as the infamous arms peddler Alexander Helphand, whom British agent Frederick Engels had co-sponsored as a British intelligence agent specializing, on British behalf, in “permanent wars, and permanent revolution.”

Those same British motives and methods for ruining our United States have been expressed up through the present moment of a general, virtually global,“economic breakdown crisis” over the span of the section of the world centered within the range of the trans-Atlantic region during the interval 1964-2012. Since the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, the practice of Helphand-style “long wars” has been the characteristic expression of treason leading into the assassination of President Kennedy and kindred varieties of “political dirty tricks” which have been the British empire’s greatest successes in ruining both the economy and the morals of our United States.

During this present year, 2012, especially since the close of the United States’ Presidency under the George W. Bush, Jr. Administration, there has been far worse performance under the Presidency of Barack Obama. It must also be emphasized, that a comparable collapse of the entire trans-Atlantic system had erupted in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the consequent effects of the systemic decline of western and central Europe under the process represented by the current “European system” which is presently gripped by the condition of general monetarist bankruptcy rampant throughout Europe presently.

“The U.S.A. & Russia Now”

Under the U.S. Presidency of Barack Obama, and the general breakdown-crisis which his influence has unleashed on the United States, the trans-Atlantic region of the planetary system has entered what has now assumed an ostensibly permanent and ultimately fatal form of present general-breakdown-crisis, a crisis from which civilization could not recover were the present trans-Atlantic systems of economic and related social practice under Obama and his ilk permitted to be continued now.

For as long as an actual, systemic form of reversal of this present breakdown-crisis remains lacking, the condition of the planet at large will be generally the combination of one of the worst dark ages in world history with a monstrous collapse of the world’s present levels of population to either less than one billion persons, or, a more than merely possible virtual extinction of the human species.

I report these conditions not only because what I warn against is true. I report those conditions because a revival and progress of civilization is available through means which are already within the bounds of our existing cultures. It is the will to make the necessary reforms which has been lacking since about a time dated within the aftermath of the assassinations of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and of his brother Robert.

The reforms which I have indicated, above, for the United States presently, are the needed, explicit expression of the means by which the present most calamitous depression can be averted and turned into an upward direction. The three-part reform which I have identified in the opening of this report, is a relatively unique source of remedy for the present trends of destruction and rot, and the most clearly defined remedy for the willfully arranged, current acceleration of the variously actual and otherwise threatened destruction of civilization as a whole.

The immediate, outlined, three-part reform of the U.S. economy with which I have opened this present report, contains essential, integral elements, which afford the United States the means to reverse the disastrous trends which have now virtually destroyed the hopes of our nation, in particular. The three-element policy for reconstruction of the U.S.A. economy, is a presently unique quality of reform which is urgently needed if the survival of even our own republic could be reasonably assured.

The True Physical Principle of Life

There is one special, added factor to be emphasized in completing this present report.

What are known to our record of history as the general, ultimately fatal designs, which continue to dominate the systems of human society generally in the vicinity of the Mediterranean area and beyond, have represented the fruits of subjection to the prescriptions for what has been termed as an oligarchical system. Such a system is based, traditionally, as the Roman Empire typifies such atrocities conceived in the spirit of evil, on a broad division of the members of human society between what has been defined conventionally as an overlordship by an oligarchical social system, reigning over other humans subjected to a relatively cattle-like status.

In the history of ancient Europe and beyond, the customary dividing-line of those two so-called classes, separating “over” or “under,” has been associated with the human-controlled use of fire as the principal mode for the distinction of social classes as being either “man” or “beast.” Indeed, only the human species is defined by the role of the willful use of fire. That distinction appears, today, to have referenced some sort of “aboriginal” social distinctions within populations of ancient time.

However, the general rule for the successful progress within the ranks of the human species, is the increase of the applied energy-flux density per capita on which depends the ability to sustain or improve the productive powers of the product of labor per capita and per square kilometer “cross-section” of such roles of willful power of mankind per capita and per unit of cross-sectional flow of applicable power per capita and per square meter cross-sectional flow.

Increase of such cross-sectional rates of flow, distinguishes the progress of the human condition from both the stagnancy of a culture and its degeneration. Western Europe and North America have entered into a general degeneracy of their culture during an interval now approaching more than four decades, for example.

This thermodynamical characteristic of living processes generally, is carried over from other forms of variously living and extinct species and human cultures. This general principle of all living process presently known to us, is a general law. That law is definable as a condition of progress from lower to higher modes of thermodynamics of all forms of life, as the fruit of this same set of terms. The universe, most clearly the human species, depends for the survival of existing and improved species on increase of the relative “energy-flux density” in the flow of various expressions of progress and upward-directed evolution of living processes.

Any culture, or species, which falls behind a universal standard of progress measurable in terms directly contrary to the fraudulent concoction of a so-called “Second Law of Thermodynamics,” is a culture, or species, which is relatively on the course toward its own, and other extinctions. Notably, although the advocacy of the hoax known as a “Second Law of Thermodynamics” is, indeed, promoted among advocates of an oligarchical motivation, it has been promoted as a means for what becomes a motive for increase of death rates within human populations, and other cases; there is no actual “Second Law” except among oligarchical classes of humans, slaves, or simple-minded fools.

All competent scientific approach to such matters, reflects a universal law of progress for all viable forms of existence so defined.

An Example: the Speed of Light

The characteristic trend of discoveries associated with the typical achievements of the genius of modern scientists such as Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and relevant cases of others, is best typified by selected examples such as the notion of “matter-anti-matter” factors. It was demonstrated on the basis of such developments of insight into physical principles, that neither time nor space exist as specific magnitudes. For example, we are approaching the calculable potential of powered rates of propulsion which could achieve arrival at a moon of Mars from the Moon after a journey of about a single week. Propulsion at the indicated “speed of light” is associated with the notion of “matter, anti-matter” impulsion.

However, the needed expression of human understanding of our universe, depends not only upon the conception of life which was discovered by the efforts of V.I. Vernadsky, but the principle of life as addressed more deeply by living processes which express a principle of life as such, rather than merely the “footprints where life has walked.”

Morever, since we must expect the Sun to “die” within a lapse of about two billions years, and since our attention to the fact of the targetting of Earth, within the Solar system, by hostile “rocks” or other relevant means, the very conditions within the galaxy within which our Solar system is contained, require a factor of physical-scientific and related expression of invented progress within and beyond our Solar System, even merely to sustain the reasonably demanded actions for the continued existence of human life.

For these and related reasons, the need for the continuing, forward progress of mankind’s development of our activity, qualitatively and quantitatively, within no less than this galaxy, is a law of both the principle of life, and also of processes which are systemically superior to life in their inherent qualities of implied design.

The Popular Frauds

The so-called “Second Law of Thermodynamics” is among the worst, and yet most popular frauds encountered since that hoax was hatched by Rudolf Clausius’ 1850s projection of the hoax of an alleged “Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

All competent “social theory” pertaining to the definitions of physical science, is properly situated as a fruit of insight into characteristics of our universe which are poorly represented from the standpoint of what is merely “sense perceptions.” Given all the practical thermodynamic-like processes of relevance to physical progress, per se, in science, we must consider that deeper features of practiced science must be discovered by means other than the experience of human sense-perception, as such.

The two cases which most readily demonstrate the point which I have just presented here, involve the notions associated with, first, life as such, and, second, the power of creativity which is, to the best of our present knowledge, limited to the human creativity which is known to us only as a phenomenon of the development of the noëtic potential expressed by the actual functions of the human mind.

The necessary diagnosis to be considered, lies in the fact that the human mind reflects the highest of the known characteristics of the role of the conscious human mind, such as those expressions of human mentation as represented by Wilhelm Furtwängler’s analysis of the unique role of the human mind in the expressions of Classical musical composition’s proper use of the human singing voice.

The extraordinary importance of this principle lies in the fact, that the human mind’s most characteristic distinction is the role of the Classical principle of composition which defines music as Furtwängler was enabled to reveal its innermost “secrets” most explicitly among leading Classical composers and related Classical musicians. The human mind is the type of the most powerful conception of universal principle presently known to mankind. The decline in possession of that specific expression of knowledge has been proven to have been a principal source of the cumulative moral degeneration of popularized musical expression since the last great generations of composers—down to modernists and junk-dealers alike—during the course of the Nineteenth Century.

In fact, the human creative powers revealed as existent by the special role of Classical musical composition, and related poetry and drama, express the most precious gifts to the human experience known as principles, for mankind.

The only important question remaining, is what must we do to change all this?

LYNDON LAROUCHE: GLOBAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE AND WORLD WAR III

Lyndon LaRouche gave this address to a private gathering in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 2, 2012.

We are presently, as most of you already know, in probably one of the greatest crises in human history. Because we’ve come to a point that the conflict centers on the question of, will thermonuclear weapons be used?

This problem has been on our minds, and threatening us, since, probably the middle of the 1960s, at which point there was the possibility of a Russian super-bomb—one case from that period—but there’s been an increasing importance of thermonuclear capabilities. And even back then, during the middle of the 1960s, it was known and fairly estimated by most officials in this business, that thermonuclear warfare is extinction warfare. That does not mean that there would be an immediate extinction of humanity, but there would be a process of eruption which would probably, we would have to say it’s estimated, could eliminate the human species.

We are now at a point where that is brought back to us, because we have, between Russia and China, on the one side, who are struggling for peace in the world, and avoidance of this process; on the other side, you have certain forces which are pushing for warfare, using the Middle East cockpit for such warfare, which could be such a threat to mankind. And that threat to mankind is foremost in my attention, and in the attention of people of rank whom I know inside the United States and other countries.

You have some people, such as the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the United States, and certain leadership forces in Russia and China, which are working to try to prevent this thing from happening. And it’s our concern that this prevention occur. But the danger is going to exist for some time.

Now, the other side of the thing, is the fact that we’re in the worst financial crash in world history. The crash is centered in the trans-Atlantic region, and affects, of course, Africa, but Africa doesn’t know that, because Africa has been under so much, for so long, that this is not great news. But for the rest of the world, for the trans-Atlantic world, we’re now in the point of a breakdown crisis. And what we’re looking at is an economic breakdown, which is now threatened, unless certain measures are taken, to occur during this year. If the present President of the United States were by some mischance re-elected, then we would have a terrible situation.

But the current President, of course, is in difficulty for violations of this or that, things which could result in his being removed from office. We’ve already seen that process: If you look back to the Nixon Administration, and how Nixon was hoisted out of government back in the early 1970s, you know how these things are done. And what is happening now, in the United States, has a certain resemblance to what happened to Richard Nixon back in a comparable period; it’s close to that now. The charges are actually there, they’re floating outside; the indications are there, and we have generally a mess.

- The Possibility of Something Good -

We have one piece of good news in this whole process. My old adversary, the British Empire, has undergone a certain degree of improvement. The following is extremely interesting, because there is truth in the situation; it is also the possibility of something good, and we just have to take both of these contingencies in mind, and see which one is going to be forthcoming.

Recently, a group of people associated with finance, international finance, inside the British system, have called for a Glass-Steagall adoption by Britain, and also, in collaboration with the United States. Now, this certainly is not coming from Mr. Obama. But a Glass-Steagall introduction now, between certain forces in Britain—if it happens—and certain forces in the United States, which I can say, we are committed to. We’re committed to Glass-Steagall, because without Glass-Steagall as a reform, the United States economy will crumble, and will crumble this year. Only Glass-Steagall’s installation will save the situation.

So, therefore, the hopeful side is that, first of all, Russia and China succeed, together with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, in preventing the current situation in the Mediterranean from becoming general warfare. That’s number one.

Number two, we must have a reform of the economic system, especially in the trans-Atlantic region. Now, of course, a reform in the trans-Atlantic region would be a reform that would affect the world economy, and for most of the world, that reform would not be too difficult.

For Europe, it’s a crisis. All of Western and Central Europe is in the process of disintegration right now, economic disintegration. It’s being held together with wires and cheese, and whatnot, and whatever else they use to pull things together. But we’re on the verge of a general disintegration throughout Central and Western Europe. Economic disintegration. Not crisis, not depression, disintegration.

And the question is, can we stop it?

Because the collapse of the European system, the trans-Atlantic system, would mean a disaster for the relatively better off, momentarily, China and other parts of the world. So therefore, we have a Pacific region, which is more stable, but with many difficulties, and we have the trans-Atlantic system. The trans-Atlantic system is now in the threat of a breakdown crisis, and the whole system is being held together by wire, and whatever, and toothpaste, and whatever else you use to pull things together.

By this order, under the present trends, if what present trends seem to be, were to continue, by the end of this year, we will have a disintegration of the trans-Atlantic system.

That can be prevented.

- A Recovery Depends on Glass-Steagall -

Now, what I want to emphasize with this talk about calamities, I want to emphasize what’s important: what are the remedies. What are the possibilities of escaping this crisis?

Now, what you hear from various quarters, is that Glass-Steagall is, for the trans-Atlantic region in particular, the one measure which can prevent a general economic breakdown crisis of the trans-Atlantic system. There would be no great technical difficulties for Asia in participating in such a system. There are measures that have to be taken, but they could be taken. And they’re not really controversial. They may be controversial to some people, but they’re perfectly reasonable. All the interests of nations, variously, can be represented fairly by this kind of reform. And it is my particular hope that this be realized, and realized this year, so we can bring together, around what we have now, a group of nations who will initiate a kind of reform which means an economic recovery process among nations.

It’s going to be difficult, because, as you know, most nations of the world have been undergoing a deterioration, especially in the trans-Atlantic region. There’s been a disintegration of the economies of the Americas, and Europe, and so forth. Africa, of course, is continuing to suffer—it’s hard to say they’re going through a crisis, because they’ve been in crisis for so long, it doesn’t make much difference.

But, the possibility of a recovery does exist. It exists and depends upon a Glass-Steagall agreement. Why?

If you look at the accounts in the trans-Atlantic regions, among nations, you will find that there’s not much value in any of it. The physical productive capabilities throughout Europe, throughout the United States, are actually zero. All the so-called wealth of the United States, in terms of money wealth, is fake. There’s no value in it.

There are no industries in the United States of any significance left—they’re gone. The skills of the people are gone. The deterioration of our population, of our young population, under 25 years of age, is a criminal state of affairs. We are at the breakdown point, and the danger is that the continuation of the process which is behind this breakdown, if it continues, can bring down civilization, by chain-reaction effects. And can actually lead in the process, to the unleashing of thermonuclear war. And a thermonuclear war, if it’s stacked up now, and the way the system is stacked up now, is a quasi-extermination event, which can lead to a complete extermination process.

Therefore, we must, we must take certain drastic measures of reform, and take them now, based on agreements among nations for an economic reform, as well as economic-cooperation reforms among nations.

In the trans-Atlantic region, it’s very easy to do so, in principle. Whether politically it’s feasible or not, that’s another question. But in physical terms, solutions do exist. They’re not going to be comfortable solutions, because we have lost, in the United States; we have lost in Europe; we have lost the greatest part, since the assassination of John F. Kennedy—we’ve gone through a process in the United States, and into Europe, which has resulted in a general erosion of productive capabilities in the trans-Atlantic region.

There are very few exceptions, and very small ones.

- The Threat of Thermonuclear War -

So, now we’ve reached the point that, if we’re going to rebuild, if we’re going to avoid this great crisis which now threatens us, we’re going to have to start modestly, but with great ambition. What we will be able to achieve—we have a labor force that no longer has skills. The majority of our U.S. labor force no longer has productive skills. What they’re doing is not production—it’s make-work. It’s fill-in work.

You have a similar trend in Western and Central Europe. The euro system has been an absolute disaster for all of Western and Central Europe. And the result is, now you have China and India, both of which—China more notably—depend to a significant degree on a European and a U.S. market. And therefore, the threat of the collapse of the trans-Atlantic region is a threat to all nations, to one degree or another.

My view is that we can solve that problem, if the will is there to do it.

And the thing we’re starting on, really, is, you have Russia standing in the way, directly, in near-Asia, of thermonuclear war. The danger was, last Summer, after the destruction of one nation [Libya] by Obama—and it was the U.S. forces under Obama which destroyed that nation—and they wanted to extend it immediately into the Near East, into Syria and to Iran. That intention still exists. Russia is blocking the way against the continuation of that war. And implicitly, China is involved in that.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military, have been at the other end of blocking against that war. Because any general officer, especially of this grade, knows exactly what thermonuclear war is. The world knows what the naval capabilities are of the United States in the Pacific region. We have the ability, on a first launch, to virtually exterminate part of civilization. That must not occur. We must prevent that.

So, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States understand that, and do what they can to prevent this thing from being launched. And without their interference, and without Russian interference, that would have happened. You cannot have a war in Syria, and a war in Iran, that does not become a world war. And if it becomes a world war, at that point, it becomes a thermonuclear world war.

European nations generally have very little reserve for military operations, as I think many of you know. They have drained their capabilities. You have two major powers in the world which have, combined, major capabilities. One is the United States. The United States is the only nation that has, on the Western side, an in-depth thermonuclear capability, largely in the naval capabilities. The U.S. naval capabilities can virtually destroy much of the planet. And that’s what’s being threatened.

What Russia has been doing, in the Middle East, in collaboration of a certain type with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, has been blocking the steps that would lead to a thermonuclear war throughout the planet. And, if you go back to the middle of the 1960s, when the first idea of thermonuclear war was possible, we began to recognize at that point that thermonuclear war would be extinction warfare, or would become extinction war, if it kept going on. We’ve now reached the point that the British have very poor depth, in terms of thermonuclear capability. They don’t have reserves. The one nation on that side is the United States, that has in the naval forces, the reserves necessary to virtually destroy much of the planet.

And it’s not just the detonation of those weapons. It’s the after-effect of the detonation of those weapons, which is what concerns us the most. Because you’ve got to think about what the weather is after a full-blast shock of thermonuclear warfare, on a strategic level. Not local weapons, not special cases, but strategic. And that’s what a few people—a few governments and a few people around this world—have been blocking.

Now, what’s the other side?

Well, as I said before, we have a world economy that does not really function as a world economy. You have some parts of Asia, some parts of other locations, where there’s still some kind of productivity; there’s some growth going. But that growth is largely dependent on the continuation of world trade levels. So, therefore, we’re looking at the whole concern of all mankind. If it doesn’t affect one nation directly, it affects it indirectly, with the same force as if it were directly.

And we can change that.

- A Sudden Change -

Now, let’s suppose this. The group in Britain, which proposed the adoption of a Glass-Steagall law—some of you may not understand the Glass-Steagall law, but it’s crucial in this case—recognized, people who had been part of the British system on everything, on the imperialist side, all this stuff, suddenly changed their view. And one bright day, they announced their change of view, and said that Britain must adopt a change in economic policy, from its previous economic policy to a U.S.-style Glass-Steagall policy.

This came from a number of people who are typical British oligarchs, financial oligarchs. And they were very firm. They proposed, publicly—this was a few weeks ago—the establishment of a Glass-Steagall agreement with the United States. Now, of course, Glass-Steagall was originally a U.S. creation under President Franklin Roosevelt. It was destroyed by the current and recent administrations—by the Bush Administration and the current President’s Administration. They’ve done everything possible to destroy Glass-Steagall.

The destruction of Glass-Steagall, from the United States, is the cause of the general breakdown crisis going on in the United States today. You see in London, in other parts of Europe, the European nations, generally, you see this madness, this gambling system—the so-called Libor system—has destroyed the economies, or what remained of the economies, in the trans-Atlantic region. We are, in this year, in this month, we are on the verge of the disintegration of the European system, the economic disintegration of the European system. And we can stop it—with Glass-Steagall.

Because what Glass-Steagall is dealing with, is a gambling system, and it’s pure gambling. The trans-Atlantic region is based on pure financial gambling. There is no substance to what’s going on. It’s a complete fraud.

Now, the solution is, under what’s called Glass-Steagall, which was invented by President Franklin Roosevelt, and continued since that time until recently: Glass-Steagall was the means by which we dumped the speculative banking system. We just told them, you’re bankrupt. We shut down the worst speculators in the world, in London and the United States. We shut them down, then. And that’s how we saved the United States, in particular, back during the 1930s, under Franklin Roosevelt.

The impact of the Roosevelt Glass-Steagall reform was so strong, that they were never quite able to destroy it until the end of the 1990s—not until that time. Then they got the thing through. And since that time, the United States, and also Europe, have gone into a hyperinflationary spiral, which has brought the European system to a breakdown point. So, obviously, on the first account—and there are several accounts, I just indicate to you which are crucial here—if we do not put back Glass-Steagall, as a U.S. law, immediately, and if we do not engage Europe in agreements to the same effect—which is what the British group I referred to has said—then the whole system, the whole economic system, of the trans-Atlantic system, is going to disintegrate, this year.

So, it’s not a usual situation. But Glass-Steagall will work.

Now, the problem is, it is not difficult for most of you, in your own countries, to recognize what the benefits of Glass-Steagall are. The obvious benefits. And most nations do know this. But they know that certain financial interests don’t like the idea. But the point has come, when the financial interests in the Western Hemisphere, the western part of the world, have created a hyperinflation beyond belief. This is worse than any hyperinflation in recent European history. And if we don’t get rid of that hyperinflation, the United States will go down, and Europe will crash immediately. The entirety of Western and Central European nations is presently on the brink of disintegrating.

This is not a question of a depression, an economic depression. It’s a matter of disintegration.

For example: Spain is on the verge of disintegrating. Greece is ready to disintegrate. Italy will disintegrate. And in that process, how much will be left? Nothing.

- We Are Going To Survive -

So therefore, we’re on the edge of the situation, where these reforms must occur, or we’ll have a chain-reaction collapse throughout the planet, of economies. And therefore you have this phenomenon, of suddenly, the British Empire, which has been the world empire ever since 1763, when the British East India Company took over—and that situation has dominated the world, as British imperialism, up to the present day. And what you’ve always had, is that the complicitly of certain U.S. forces with the British in that policy, has been the cause of most of the problems this world has gone through.

Now we’ve come to a time that the monster has threatened to eat itself. The monster of hyperinflation, the monster of the British system, has come to its end, and leading British thinkers have understood that, and led in the charge.

More recently, in the past week, we’ve had also the same thing happen inside the United States. A number of leading bankers, who are among the biggest robbers of nations you ever saw—just like the British ones—these robbers of nations have suddenly come to say, “Oh, we must reform. We must have Glass-Steagall.”

Now, Glass-Steagall is not difficult for most governments to understand, at least on the surface, on the outside. We simply take those categories of financial speculation, which are not worthy of trust, and we tell these gentlemen, they can continue their banking processes, but we don’t have anything to do with them. And we will not bail them out if they get into difficulties. If they cannot survive, they will go bankrupt, and we will help them go bankrupt. But we are going to limit the liabilities of the United States, and these gentlemen in England and so forth, will have a similar intention. We’re going to survive.

What are we going to do? We’re going to say, the inflation, the hyperinflation, belongs to you. It belongs to you who are in this hyperinflation. Other nations should have no obligation to pay any of the debts of these wild speculators. And if we can do that, we can regrow. But it will be a painful regrowing, a difficult regrowing.

Because, as you know, throughout the world, there are great shortages of productive capability. We’re going to have to take people who are unskilled, or poorly skilled; we’re going to have employ them, and build up their skills, with great projects, which includes space projects. Space technology is a very important part of the future economy of the world today. And our mastery of Mars as a base of operation, as well as the Moon, is one of the key prospects which we have to use in order to organize things on Earth. It does not mean we’re going to suddenly get into a space ship and travel to Mars. It means that Mars is one of the areas in which the people of the world, our world, are going to have to participate, in order to promote the development and security of Earth. And all intelligent governments are thinking in that direction.

The Moon is necessary. The Moon is necessary, because if you try to go from the Earth to the Mars directly, it takes a lot of power to take people up there. So if you can just get up there, and build industry on the Moon, then the building of the industry on the Moon now becomes a vehicle by which you can begin to move, and we can do it within this generation.

We can actually have the establishment of a Mars control station on the Moon within a generation. It would mean using thermonuclear fusion as an impulse power. And with themonuclear fusion, you can get from the Moon to Mars in a week, and the ability to get from the Moon to Mars in a week, is man’s triumph in moving outward in our Solar System.

And what we have to do is take the kind of technology which building that system means, and use that technology to drive the industrial and general development of all nations of Earth into some degree of necessary progress. There has to be a change: We have to think of ourselves in terms of, yes, we have this planet Mars; there are many reasons why we have to put things up there, which we will use to satisfy needs on Earth, by way of development of the Moon. We will then have a basis for seeing what the true unity of mankind must be. What we must share in common, as sovereign nations, respectively, in order to bring about what has to be done.

Physical Credit: The True Nature of Wealth

Now, the problem is this:

Most people still believe, including in the United States, of course, that money is the basis for economy, and that is not true. Economy is based on the productive skills, productive powers of labor, of people. And it’s the improvement of the ability of people to produce, physically, things that are needed, to change the environment, and that sort of thing. These are the things on which humanity depends.

Therefore, we’re going to have to change, in the sense of, instead of looking at money as the nature of wealth, we’re going to have to look at credit, physical credit, as the true nature of wealth. And what I have to do, with others, is to make clear what that means.

Nearly every nation has leadership in it on economic policy, which understands the first part: understands what Glass-Steagall reform represents; can understand why it works; can understand why it’s an international issue, not a national issue. Because the key thing here is cooperation, physical cooperation among nations, inphysical production, physical advancement: conditions for life.

Therefore, my major problem, my, shall we say, assignment, is, with my associates and others, to make clear how that system works: how the change from money as value, to money as an instrument of investment—that change has to become understood. And that is not well understood. There are many people in the world who understand aspects of this, and prefer this to what they’re getting now. But the one empty spot in the whole thing is, there is not a clear understanding of what a credit system is.

We in the United States have a tradition of a credit system, off and on. The first settlement, in Massachusetts, was based on a credit system, and it worked. But the British Empire at the time didn’t like it, so they crushed it. Our Constitution in the United States was based on a credit system, not a monetarist system. We were then pushed by the British into going to a monetarist system, as an imperial force. Then, with Abraham Lincoln, we used a credit system to defeat the British from destroying us in a Civil War, under Lincoln’s leadership.

This was reintroduced as a concept by President Franklin Roosevelt.

So, it is a part of our system, and some of our economists have a better grasp of it. The other people who have a better grasp of that particular question are in Britain. Because, after all, the British were our masters, most of time. We’ve pretended to be our own masters, but we didn’t run the world. The British used us to run errands for them, but they ran the world.

But we in the United States, and some in Britain, understand history, the history of economy, well enough to understand what a credit system is.

- NAWAPA: The Greatest Water Project Ever -

Now, we had one project in particular which I have been pushing, and my associates have been pushing. We had, during the time of the 1960s, a policy of building water systems in the United States, and beyond, water systems which would beautify the deserts, and also make them more productive. One of these systems was called [[NAWAPA]] (the North American Water and Power Alliance). [[http://larouchepac.com/infrastructure]] And NAWAPA is a project which would take about 20 to 25 years to complete. It’s the greatest water project that mankind has ever designed, and it’s been sitting there ever since the death of President Kennedy. It’s the water system which is being looked at in Russia from a different standpoint, and looked at by China, of course: The great water projects in China are part of the same process. They came out of the same process.

So these great water projects and other engineering projects of this type, which are the foundation for changing the terrain, and expanding economy, these are the kinds of things that are needed.

We need a space program. That’s a longish question, but we urgently need it. Humanity needs it.

And Africa—Africa has never had justice. Never. And if we develop, as we can, that justice can be delivered. It’s largely technological. It’s a lack of skills, it’s poverty, things of that nature. But we can cure those kinds of problems. We have done it in the past, and then we stopped doing it. Africa has been destroyed, again and again. It’s one of the most important areas for development, if we’re going to have a global development system, and we need it.

Because the key thing here: If we’re going to create a change in the monetary, the money systems, and so forth, among nations, we’re going to have to earn trust among nations. And that’s what we have to do. And Africa is the test of whether we can be trusted, or not. We’re going to have to earn that trust. China has done a certain amount of work in that area, in Africa. It’s very good work, and there are jokes made about it, and so forth, but it’s important. But it’s the only place from which much is being done for Africa.

Cooperation Based on National Sovereignty

So, therefore, the issue here is, we have to get from a system of bitter controversies, to recognizing the common interests of mankind, without forgetting the fact that nations are based on sovereignty. We cannot dispense with the concept of sovereignty of nations. But we must solve problems, including problems of cooperation, with cooperation among nations.

We will come to a time, and you have to realize it now, where war as we have known it, among nations, is no longer possible. When great war is based on thermonuclear fusion, and matter/antimatter reactions coming up now, you cannot have warfare in the sense we’ve understood it before. There was never any good reason for mankind to think that warfare was necessary to mankind, if we could reach the kind of agreement and cooperation, which would enable us to eliminate that factor in our history.

We must have sovereignty of nations, because that involves the question of the human mind, and you cannot have nations blindly operating without their own opinion, their own development of their own minds. Sovereignty is necessary, but sovereignty with cooperation among sovereign states is not impossible, in theory; it’s urgently necessary now. And we will not have trust, for the purposes of the kind of projects I’ve indicated, unless we can bring people to trust each other on the basis of the protection of their sovereignty. And sovereignty means the things that are necessary for nations to be sovereign, not to be slaves sitting in poverty.

And that’s where we are right now. Right now, everything is being held in suspension. We don’t know when, in this month of August, a great crash might occur. We don’t know. We can only fight to try to prevent that from happening. And there is chance, but it’s going to be a tough fight.

And this is essentially the core of my message here. We are in a situation in which the fate of humanity as a whole is actually in jeopardy. But at the same time, you have powerful forces, powerful nations, and other things, which, if they cooperate together, and can find cooperation, can solve these problems right now. But first we must beaware of the problems. We must be aware of the solutions. We must be aware of some of the questions which most nations will have difficulty in understanding. And since we need cooperation, we have to get busy in developing the necessary understanding, of doing the things that we have to do.

LYNDON LAROUCHE: GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA WOULD BE UNSURVIVABLE

Alex Jones talks with political activist and former presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche about what America will look like if Obama is re-elected for a 2nd term.

LYNDON LAROUCHE: UNSURVIVABLE

larouchepac.com

A dark, gruesome, but wholly true depiction of the threat of thermonuclear war, the consequences, and Obama’s deployment of a major portion of the U.S. thermonuclear capabilities in multiple theaters threatening both Russia and China.

In a tight, stark presentation, LaRouchePAC’s latest video documentary, “Unsurvivable” presents the horror of the ther -monuclear war to which President Barack Obama is currently leading the world. Unsurvivable is a dark, gruesome, but whol -ly true depiction of the threat of thermonuclear war, the conse -quences, and Obama’s deployment of a major portion of the U.S. thermonuclear arsenal in multiple theaters threatening both Russia and China. During the past three years under Obama, thermonuclear war has become a more imminent reality than
at any other time in recent history.

Unsurvivable was intentionally released the weekend leading into the Democratic nominating convention as a criti -cal part of LaRouchePAC’s full scale mobilization to guarantee Barack Obama is not reelected president. There is one issue and one issue only in this election: Thermonuclear war and the power to destroy the American people. That power is now in the hands of Barack Obama. LaRouche warned early this week, “If that President is reelected, you are dead! … You have no oth -er issue to celebrate or to even worry about. It will all be taken off your shoulders when they kill you.”

Remove Barack Obama and remove the threat of thermo -nuclear war.  This fight is winnable. There is already a fracturing of support for Barack Obama’s reelection.   At the top strategic level, the fissions are great. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently
delivered multiple public messages during his appearance in London that directly contradict Obama’s drive for war. The In-dependent’s headline for the story was, “Obama Wrong Over Syria Action, Says Top General”, which quoted Dempsey saying that comparisons made between Libya and Syria are, at best, a source of “amusement”. On Iran, Dempsey said he had not asked for advanced notification of an attack from Israel, in part be -cause “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) delivered the warning to the White House in a personal letter addressed to Obama stating that committing the nation to war without the consent of the Congress, “constitutes an impeachable high crime and misde-meanor.” More of these voices must come forth in the coming weeks before November 6th.

This fight must also be won with the American people.   The U.S. population has a twelve year track record of utter stu-pidity at the polls, giving two presidential terms to George W. Bush and electing Obama. If the masses of American voters are stupid enough to reelect Barack Obama as president, then the scenario depicted in Unsurvivable will not only be likely, but virtually inevitable.  Lyndon LaRouche initially identified Obama’s predilec -tion for murder on April 9, 2009 when he diagnosed him as a modern incarnation of the Roman Emperor Nero. This presi-dent’s pathological, Nero-like narcissism makes him capable of mass murder. He has already committed mass murder in Libya, in his targeted drone killings, his weekly “kill list,” and his eco -nomic policies for the United States that have left millions of Americans unemployed, on the verge of starvation, and at the mercy of killer healthcare. Thermonuclear war, or threaten-ing thermonuclear war against the superpowers of Russia and
China would be the ultimate act of mass murder, a holocaust beyond comparison.

It is understood by leading military figures throughout the world, that any regional confrontation would inevitably escalate into world war. A U.S. intervention into Syria, where Obama has drawn a “red line” on the movement of chemi-cal weapons, would bring this about. An Israeli strike against Iran, which has essentially been condoned by Barack Obama, would result in such a confrontation. This thermonuclear world
war scenario is precisely the intention of U.S. President Barack Obama and his British controllers, the same British controllers of the international war criminal, Tony Blair.

There is currently a very short timetable for a dramatic changing of the guard. The transatlantic economic collapse is a pressing force that has pinned both Obama and his British controllers into their current war posture. This is a faction who would sooner end the world and themselves, than fall behind in a geopolitical, economic-financial power struggle against the rising nations of the trans-Pacific.

The situation demands action. Use all the resources you have available to win this fight. Support LaRouchePAC financial-ly; deploy Unsurvivable; and have the nerve to state the hard truth to your fellow citizens: A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for thermonuclear war.

 

EX-GOLDMAN SACHS ANALYST CHARLES NENNER PREDICTS MAJOR WAR COMING AT THE END OF 2012

DR. JEROME CORSI: WORLD WAR III IS ABOUT TO BEGIN

Author and columnist Jerome Corsi talks about Obama and the orchestrated attacks inside Iran. Alex Jones also talks about Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that will kill a provision allowing the military to detain individuals, including American citizens, without trial or due process. Alex also covers the latest breaking news and takes your calls.

THE ART OF WAR: OBAMA’S “GREATER EAST”

by Manlio Dinucci
.
For 236 years the U.S. has defended democracy everywhere: Hillary Clinton asserted this in Cairo. Thus she must have erased from history the more than 160 military interventions abroad that U.S. imperialism made starting from the 1940s; the wars of the Cold War period in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Lebanon; the coups the CIA orchestrated in Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina; and the wars of the post-Cold War period in Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

Clinton guarantees that the Obama administration is making the same commitment to carry out these actions. In fact, from the strategy launched by Republican George W. Bush of the Greater Middle East (including North Africa and Central Asia), Democrat (and Nobel Peace Prize laureate) Barack Obama has moved to the strategy of the Greater East, which aims at the entire Asia-Pacific region in an open challenge to China and Russia.

The first step was the war against Libya, which (as Bill Clinton and Bush did with Yugoslavia) has been demolished as a unified state to put into power rulers loyal to Washington. This led to the “free elections” in the “free Libya,” won by the “liberal” Mahmoud Jibril, whose success is attributed to the popular will.

To claim this ignores the fact that the U.S. and other western powers spent millions of dollars in Libya to secure the support of organizations and tribal groups. It ignores that Jibril has Washington’s confidence since he is an economist trained in the U.S., responsible for promoting economic neo-liberalism in the Arab world. In 2007 Jibril was made ​​head of the Government Office in Libya for economic development, linked to the U.S. and British multinationals. In this capacity, Jibril warned Washington that the plan to privatize the Libyan economy and form a new pro-Western ruling class had been blocked by Gadhafi, and that competition from China and Russia was increasing. Jibril’s victory was already on the drawing board.

On March 30, 2011 (ten days after the beginning of the war against Libya), the New York Times wrote, based on information from the government: “If the American and Western intervention overthrows Muammar Gadhafi, Mahmoud Jibril could be the leader of Libya.”

The war on Libya is the model that the U.S. has adopted to disintegrate other states, including Syria and Iran, which hinder their advance eastward. Since many countries are reluctant to host U.S. military bases, the Pentagon is deploying in international waters, starting from the Persian Gulf and moving gradually eastward, using special ships that serve as floating bases for special forces.

Other air and naval bases have been installed or upgraded in Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Australia and other countries. In Singapore, the first “littoral combat ship” was deployed. It’s a new warship that can approach the coast to strike deep inland. The U.S. Navy has deployed about 50 of these in the Pacific.

As part of a diplomatic offensive to create rifts between China and neighboring countries, Clinton made ​​a “historic visit” to Laos. Promising $9 million for de-mining, she had her picture taken with a boy who was mutilated; he was one of the many victims of unexploded ammunition, which was approximately 30 percent of the 2 million tons of bombs dropped on Laos by the U.S. in 1964 -1973. Of course, it was to defend democracy.

WAR ON ALL FRONTS

Paul Craig Roberts
Infowars.com
July 17, 2012

The Russian government has finally caught on that its political opposition is being financed by the US taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other CIA/State Department fronts in an attempt to subvert the Russian government and install an American puppet state in the geographically largest country on earth, the one country with a nuclear arsenal sufficient to deter Washington’s aggression.

Just as earlier this year Egypt expelled hundreds of people associated with foreign-funded “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) for “instilling dissent and meddling in domestic policies,” the Russian Duma (parliament) has just passed a law that Putin is expected to sign that requires political organizations that receive foreign funding to register as foreign agents. The law is based on the US law requiring the registration of foreign agents.

Much of the Russian political opposition consists of foreign-paid agents, and once the law passes leading elements of the Russian political opposition will have to sign in with the Russian Ministry of Justice as foreign agents of Washington. The Itar-Tass News Agency reported on July 3 that there are about 1,000 organizations in Russia that are funded from abroad and engaged in political activity. Try to imagine the outcry if the Russians were funding 1,000 organizations in the US engaged in an effort to turn America into a Russian puppet state. (In the US the Russians would find a lot of competition from Israel.)

The Washington-funded Russian political opposition masquerades behind “human rights” and says it works to “open Russia.” What the disloyal and treasonous Washington-funded Russian “political opposition” means by “open Russia” is to open Russia for brainwashing by Western propaganda, to open Russia to economic plunder by the West, and to open Russia to having its domestic and foreign policies determined by Washington.

“Non-governmental organizations” are very governmental. They have played pivotal roles in both financing and running the various “color revolutions” that have established American puppet states in former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire. NGOs have been called “coup d’etat machines,” and they have served Washington well in this role. They are currently working in Venezuela against Chavez.

Of course, Washington is infuriated that its plans for achieving hegemony over a country too dangerous to attack militarily have been derailed by Russia’s awakening, after two decades, to the threat of being politically subverted by Washington-financed NGOs. Washington requires foreign-funded organizations to register as foreign agents (unless they are Israeli funded). However, this fact doesn’t stop Washington from denouncing the new Russian law as “anti-democratic,” “police state,” blah-blah. Caught with its hand in subversion, Washington calls Putin names. The pity is that most of the brainwashed West will fall for Washington’s lies, and we will hear more about “gangster state Russia.”

China is also in Washington’s crosshairs. China’s rapid rise as an economic power is perceived in Washington as a dire threat. China must be contained. Obama’s US Trade Representative has been secretly negotiating for the last 2 or 3 years a Trans Pacific Partnership, whose purpose is to derail China’s natural economic leadership in its own sphere of influence and replace it with Washington’s leadership.

Washington is also pushing to form new military alliances in Asia and to establish new military bases in the Philippines, S. Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere.

Washington quickly inserted itself into disputes between China and Vietnam and China and the Philippines. Washington aligned with its former Vietnamese enemy in Vietnam’s dispute with China over the resource rich Paracel and Spratly islands and with the Philippines in its dispute with China over the resource rich Scarborough Shoal.

Thus, like England’s interference in the dispute between Poland and National Socialist Germany over the return to Germany of German territories that were given to Poland as World War I booty, Washington sets the stage for war.

China has been cooperative with Washington, because the offshoring of the US economy to China was an important component in China’s unprecedented high rate of economic development. American capitalists got their short-run profits, and China got the capital and technology to build an economy that in another 2 or 3 years will have surpassed the sinking US economy. Jobs offshoring, mistaken for free trade by free market economists, has built China and destroyed America.

Washington’s growing interference in Chinese affairs has convinced China’s government that military countermeasures are required to neutralize Washington’s announced intentions to build its military presence in China’s sphere of influence. Washington’s view is that only Washington, no one else, has a sphere of influence, and Washington’s sphere of influence is the entire world.

On July 14 China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said that Washington was interfering in Chinese affairs and making China’s disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines impossible to resolve.

It looks as if an over-confident US government is determined to have a three-front war: Syria, Lebanon, and Iran in the Middle East, China in the Far East, and Russia in Europe. This would appear to be an ambitious agenda for a government whose military was unable to occupy Iraq after nine years or to defeat the lightly-armed Taliban after eleven years, and whose economy and those of its NATO puppets are in trouble and decline with corresponding rising internal unrest and loss of confidence in political leadership.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/pew-study-finds-steep-declines-in-faith-in-politicians-and-capitalism-a-844127.html 

ON THE VERGE OF AN ALL OUT WAR: MASSIVE MILITARY BUILD-UP IN THE PERSIAN GULF

by Ben Schreiner

The familiar menace of U.S. war drums have resumed at a fevered pitch, as Iran finds itself once again firmly within the Pentagon’s cross hairs. 

According to multiple reports, the U.S. is currently in the midst of a massive military build-up in the Persian Gulf on a scale not seen in the region since prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.  The military surge reportedly includes an influx of air and naval forces, ground troops, and even sea drones.  Lest one forgets, the U.S. already has two aircraft carriers and their accompanying striker groups in the region. 

A growing sense of Iran war fever can also be seen mounting in Washington.  For instance, in an effort to foil ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany), a bipartisan group of 44 U.S. Senators recently sent a letter to President Obama urging the administration to “focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists.”

Such hawkish posturing occurs despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence community (as well as the Israeli intelligence community, for that matter) finds no evidence that Iran has decided to pursue a nuclear weapon–the ostensible reason behind Western sanctions and threats of attack.  Moreover, as an April Pentagon report states, Iran’s military doctrine remains one of self-defense, committed to “slow an invasion” and “force a diplomatic solution to hostilities.”  (Compare this to the U.S. military doctrine rife with notions of global “power projection” and one sees where the credible threat lies.)  

The nuclear issue, though, is but a pretext used to veil U.S. imperial designs in the region.  As a senior U.S. Defense Department official recently let slip to the New York Times:  “This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions.”  In other words, it is about removing one of the last irritants to U.S. power projection in the resource-rich Middle East.

Of course, Iran already finds itself under siege from a lethal trifecta comprised of U.S.-led cyber attacks, Israeli-led assassinations, and oppressive Western economic sanctions.  The latter of which has left ordinary Iranians to confront a toxic mix of ballooning inflation and rampant unemployment.  In short, as Conn Hallinan writes at CounterPunch, the West is “already at war with Iran.”

The question, then, is just how far this “war by other means” shall ultimately escalate?

Towards a Dangerous Escalation

Although punitive economic sanctions are frequently sold as an alternative to war, history is replete with evidence to the contrary.  In the end, sanctions are often but a prelude to military hostilities.  (One only needs to cross over to Iraq and look at the history of Western sanctions and eventual U.S. invasion.) 

In fact, a recent report in the New York Times warned of much the same.  The current round of Western economic penalties imposed on Iran, the paper wrote, “represent one of the boldest uses of oil sanctions as a tool of coercion since the United States cut off oil exports to Japan in 1940. That experiment did not end well: The Japanese decided to strike before they were weakened.”

But much like the attempted torpedoing of Japan’s economy prior to the Second World War, the current attempt to bring Iran to its knees via economic sanctions may very well be designed to draw an attack from Iran–thus creating a justification for a full-fledged U.S. military campaign to impose “regime change.” 

And much the same as in the 1940s, a global crisis of capitalism greases our current path to war.  After all, war enables the forcible opening of new markets, along with bounties galore to be wrought via “creative destruction”; both of which are desperately needed for the sustenance of an imperiled economic system predicated on limitless growth and expansion.  Indeed, this enduring allure of war has already reared its ugly head amidst the current crisis.

The colonial smash-and-grab that was the 2011 N.A.T.O. intervention into Libya, as Alexander Cockburn has deemed it, was our first evidence that Western elites have settled on war as a means to resolve the current intractable capitalist crisis.  But the spoils from Libya have proven to be insufficient to revive growth stymied since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. 

A heavily sanctioned Iran, on the other hand, boasts a G.D.P. over five times larger than pre-“liberated” Libya, while also sitting atop the world’s third largest oil reserves and the second largest natural gas reserves.  A defeated and placated Iran able to be enveloped more fully into the U.S.-dominated capitalist system thus holds great potential for global capitalism’s needed regeneration.  Of course, in seizing control over Iran’s energy resources, the U.S. and its allies would also come to possess a monopoly over the Middle East’s energy resources–a strategic key in any future conflict with rivals Russia and China.

And so it is that under the imperative of renewing global capitalism that the U.S. swiftly amasses its military hardware to the Persian Gulf under to cloak of combating nuclear proliferation.  The accompanying talk of military hostilities and of using “all options” against Tehran by elites in Washington thus ought not to be taken as idle threats. 

Clearly, we stand at the very precipice of outright war.

GREG HUNTER: WE ARE CLOSER TO WORLD WAR THAN YOU THINK

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

Much of the news in the past few weeks centers around the European debt crisis, but even bigger problems are coming to a boil in the Middle East.  First off, Syria is degrading into a full blown civil war.  Rebels set jets and helicopters on fire in an airbase in southern Syria over the weekend.  The Syrian army has been accused of a massacre that killed more than 100 people last week.  After more than a year of bloody fighting, there are growing calls for the U.S. military to take action.  This has Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul worried the U.S. could charge into another quagmire.  On his House of Representatives website this week, Dr. Paul said, “As might be expected from an administration with an announced policy of “regime change” in Syria, the reaction was to blame only the Syrian government for the tragedy, expel Syrian diplomats from Washington, and announce that the US may attack Syria even without UN approval. . . . It may be the case that the Syrian military was responsible for the events last week, but recent bombings and attacks have been carried out by armed rebels with reported al-Qaeda ties. With the stakes so high, it would make sense to wait for a full investigation — unless the truth is less important than stirring up emotions in favor of a US attack. . . . We are on a fast track to war against Syria. It is time to put on the brakes.” 

Attacking Syria will not be the same as NATO’s attack on Libya because of one very big reason—Russia.  Syria hosts a small, but strategically important, naval maintenance and supply base in Tartus on the western Syrian coast.  The Russians will not want to give this up as it is a permanent base for some of its nuclear armed warships.  This alone makes Syria and Russia inseparable military allies.  Russia has reportedly sold Syria sophisticated missiles recently to thwart air attacks like the ones carried out by NATO in Libya.  It is hard to imagine a scenario where Syria was attacked and Russia would stand aside and allow it to be overrun by western backed rebels.

On the Eastern side of the Middle East, there is another boiling caldron with the Iranian nuclear program standoff.  Two meetings in the last few months with the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Russia, China and Iran have produced nothing but continued meetings.  Iran has repeatedly said its nuclear program is for the peaceful production of energy, but the West does not buy it.  (Of course, Iran might be a little nervous having U.S. led invasions in countries bordering it on both East and West.  Think Afghanistan and Iraq.  This would be akin to a hostile country invading both Mexico and Canada.)

The next meeting in Russia comes in less than two weeks.  A July 1st deadline for an all-out EU oil embargo is approaching.  Now, the U.S. is threatening a near blockade of air and sea traffic in and out of Iran if the Iranians do not back off their nuclear ambitions.   Debka.com reported Monday, “In the fall, the US administration will bring out its most potent economic weapon: an embargo on aircraft and sea vessels visiting Iranian ports. Any national airline or international aircraft touching down in Iran will be barred from US and West European airports. The same rule will apply to private and government-owned vessels, including oil tankers. Calling in at an Iranian port will automatically exclude them from entry to a US or European harbor.  This sanction would clamp down an air and naval siege on the Islamic Republic without a shot being fired.”

The Obama Administration is trying to persuade the Israelis to hold off attacking Iran by promising these new crippling sanctions.  Nearly two months, ago a defiant Iran said it could endure an oil embargo for two to three years.”  Meanwhile, the Israelis continue to prepare for war.  This week, it was reported, “Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, influential German news weekly Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published on Monday. . . . In Israel, foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said only: ‘I can confirm that we have German submarines. It’s no secret.  “As for the rest, I am not in a position to talk about their capacity,’ he told AFP.  Israel is the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear-armed power.”

The Israelis are not the only ones who think they should be prepared for war.  Last week, GOP rising star Senator Marco Rubio was asked, “You would sanction a strike before you would tolerate a nuclear Iran?”  Rubio said, “Yes and I think that we need to begin to prepare people for that.” 

Russia and China are not only trading partners with Iran but military allies. The Russians and Chinese have reportedly sold Iran missile and torpedo technology that can sink U.S. warships and heavily damage U.S. bases in the Middle East. If there is a war, expect Russia and China to side with Iran. They will, at the very least, continue to supply Iran with weapons. There is a good chance any war with Iran or Syria will spiral out of control and directly involve the Russian and Chinese military in what will surely be a WWIII event. I hope I am wrong, as there will be no real winners in the next global conflict–only survivors.

RON PAUL: WAR DRUMS IN SYRIA

Ron Paul
Infowars.com
June 5, 2012

War drums are beating again in Washington. This time Syria is in the crosshairs after a massacre there last week left more than 100 dead. As might be expected from an administration with an announced policy of “regime change” in Syria, the reaction was to blame only the Syrian government for the tragedy, expel Syrian diplomats from Washington, and announce that the US may attack Syria even without UN approval. Of course, the idea that the administration should follow the Constitution and seek a Declaration of War from Congress is considered even more anachronistic now than under the previous administration.

It may be the case that the Syrian military was responsible for the events last week, but recent bombings and attacks have been carried out by armed rebels with reported al-Qaeda ties. With the stakes so high, it would make sense to wait for a full investigation — unless the truth is less important than stirring up emotions in favor of a US attack.

There is ample reason to be skeptical about US government claims amplified in mainstream media reports. How many times recently have lies and exaggerations been used to push for the use of force overseas? It was not long ago that we were told Gaddafi was planning genocide for the people of Libya, and the only way to stop it was a US attack. Those claims turned out to be false, but by then the US and NATO had already bombed Libya, destroying its infrastructure, killing untold numbers of civilians, and leaving a gang of violent thugs in charge.

Likewise, we were told numerous falsehoods to increase popular support for the 2003 war on Iraq, including salacious stories of trans-Atlantic drones and WMDs. Advocates of war did not understand the complexities of Iraqi society, including its tribal and religious differences. As a result, Iraq today is a chaotic mess, with its ancient Christian population eliminated and the economy set back decades. An unnecessary war brought about by lies and manipulation never ends well.

Earlier still, we were told lies about genocide and massacres in Kosovo to pave the way for President Clinton’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. More than 12 years later, that region is every bit as unstable and dangerous as before the US intervention – and American troops are still there.

The story about the Syrian massacre keeps changing, which should raise suspicions. First, we were told that the killings were caused by government shelling, but then it was discovered that most were killed at close range with handgun fire and knives. No one has explained why government forces would take the time to go house to house binding the hands of the victims before shooting them, and then retreat to allow the rebels in to record the gruesome details. No one wants to ask or answer the disturbing questions, but it would be wise to ask ourselves who benefits from these stories.

We have seen media reports over the past several weeks that the Obama administration is providing direct “non-lethal” assistance to the rebels in Syria while facilitating the transfer of weapons from other Gulf States. This semi-covert assistance to rebels we don’t know much about threatens to become overt intervention. Last week Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said about Syria, “I think the military option should be considered.” And here all along I thought it was up to Congress to decide when we go to war, not the generals.

We are on a fast track to war against Syria. It is time to put on the brakes.

The above was taken from Ron Paul’s House web page.

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: ‘WE NEED TO PREPARE PEOPLE’ FOR WAR WITH IRAN

VP favorite shares appetite for war with CFR elite

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vice-Presidential frontrunner Marco Rubio told the elitist Council on Foreign Relations during an event last week that the American people should be prepared for a war with Iran.

Rubio was asked by moderator Richard Stengel, “You would sanction a strike before you would tolerate a nuclear Iran?”

“Yes and I think that we need to begin to prepare people for that,” the Florida Senator responded.

This is by no means the first time Rubio has publicly displayed his appetite to commit the United States to another unaffordable war.

During a Brookings Institution speech at the end of April, Rubio not only called for attacking Iran, but also advocated a military assault on Syria.

Speaking of Iran, Rubio stated, “We should also be preparing our allies, and the world, for the reality that unfortunately, if all else fails, preventing a nuclear Iran may, tragically, require a military solution.”

He also said that Syria should become a target for “American leadership,” in the context of ignoring UN mandates and sending in American troops to directly help rebel fighters who, as we have documented, are being directed by Al-Qaeda terrorists.

“You need the center of gravity to instigate this coalition (supporting opposition groups in Syria) and move forward with a defined plan,” said Rubio. “In the absence of American power and American influence and American leadership, it’s hard to do that.”

Rubio’s rhetoric went down well with the Brookings Institution, an establishment think tank that openly admits in its own memos that the “responsibility to protect” humanitarian ruse is merely a crude pretext for long-planned regime change in Syria.

Rubio is currently joint favorite to become Mitt Romney’s running mate alongside junior United States Senator from Ohio Rob Portman.

The Florida Senator has been busy displaying his “foreign policy chops,” or in other words indicating that he will be a loyal servant of the military-industrial complex, during a series of recent speaking engagements at internationalist confabs.

Back in April, veteran Washington Post columnist Al Kamen suggested that Rubio is a favorite of the ultra-powerful Bilderberg Group, the collection of power brokers who have directly selected VP candidates in the last two U.S. presidential elections.

Given the fact that pro-NATO Syrian National Transitional Council head Bassma Kodmani was in attendance at this year’s Bilderberg confab in Chantilly Virginia, the goal of toppling Bashar Al-Assad remains a front burner issue for the global elite.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

WAR MACHINE A GOLD MINE FOR THE ELITE

Infowars.com
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vice-Presidential frontrunner Marco Rubio told the elitist Council on Foreign Relations during an event last week that the American people should be prepared for a war with Iran.

Note: Which country can stall the best – Iran or the USA? … Difficult to believe with the security of both the USA and Israel hanging in the balance, while Iran continues its goal of obtaining nuclear capabilities (for the bomb), we see that Israel has once again been forced to buckle under the pressure of Obama’s failed policies. “In the fall …” !!  Unbelievable!  Guess this is one way to wait out November’s elections.  Bee Sting

OBAMA’S AIR-SEA BLOCKADE PLAN FOR IRAN DELAYS ISRAELI STRIKE. HORMUZ AT STAKE?

US President Barack Obama has again persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to hold off attacking Iran’s nuclear program in the coming months by promising a new set of severe sanctions against Iran. US administration officials assured DEBKAfile’s Washington sources that Israel’s leaders were won over by the Obama administration’s promise to ratchet up US and Europe sanctions against Iran if the next round of negotiations with the six world powers in less than two weeks gets bogged down again.

These are the new sanctions hanging over Iran as reported by our sources:

1. On July 1, the Europeans will activate the embargo that left pending on Iranian oil exports and banks.

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2.  In the fall, the US administration will bring out its most potent economic weapon: an embargo on aircraft and sea vessels visiting Iranian ports. Any national airline or international aircraft touching down in Iran will be barred from US and West European airports. The same rule will apply to private and government-owned vessels, including oil tankers. Calling in at an Iranian port will automatically exclude them from entry to a US or European harbor.

This sanction would clamp down an air and naval siege on the Islamic Republic without a shot being fired.

Word of the US plan prompted a deliberately provocative visit by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari Thursday, May 31 to his forces stationed on the disputed three islands commanding the Strait of Hormuz, Abu Musa, Little Tunb and Big Tumb.

The islands are claimed by the United Arab Emirates. A previous visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on April 11 stirred up a major outcry in the Gulf region.

In Washington, Jafari’s visit it was taken as Tehran’s reminder of its repeated threat to close the Hormuz Straits in the event of a blockade to the transit of a large part of the world’s oil.

3.  President Obama promised Prime Minister Netanyahu to deal personally with India and Indonesia, the most flagrant violators of anti-Iran sanctions who make their financial networks available for helping Tehran evade restrictions on its international business activities.

Washington, according to our sources, made sure its sanctions plan was leaked to Tehran through diplomatic and intelligence back channels as a means of twisting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s arm into instructing his negotiators at the Moscow talks on June 16 to start showing flexibility on the world powers’ demands to discontinue uranium enrichment up to 20 percent and stop blocking international nuclear agency inspectors’ access to sites suspected of engaging in nuclear weapons development.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton no doubt had Israel’s latest concession to the Obama administration in mind, Sunday, June 3, when she brushed aside as “nothing new” questions about Khamenei’s threat to respond to an Israeli attack with “thunderous response.” She explained, “We look forward to what the Iranians actually bring to the table in Moscow. We want to see a diplomatic resolution. We now have an opportunity to achieve it, and we hope it is an opportunity that’s not lost, for everyone’s sake.”

Tehran has now been made aware that if that opportunity is indeed lost, there may be some pretty heavy music to face in the form of an international air and sea embargo.

SECRET COOPERATION: ISRAEL DEPLOYS NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON GERMAN-BUILT SUBMARINES

The Dolphin class submarines are built for Israel in a shipyard in Kiel (March 2012 photo).Zoom

The Dolphin class submarines are built for Israel in a shipyard in Kiel (March 2012 photo).

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A German shipyard has already built three submarines for Israel, and three more are planned. Now SPIEGEL has learned that Israel is arming the submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The German government has known about Israel’s nuclear weapons program for decades, despite its official denials.

Germany is helping Israel to develop its military nuclear capabilities, SPIEGEL has learned. According to extensive research carried out by the magazine, Israel is equipping submarines that were built in the northern German city of Kiel and largely paid for by the German government with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The missiles can be launched using a previously secret hydraulic ejection system. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told SPIEGEL that Germans should be “proud” that they have secured the existence of the state of Israel “for many years.”
In the past, the German government has always stuck to the position that it is unaware of nuclear weapons being deployed on the vessels. Now, however, former high-ranking officials from the German Defense Ministry, including former State Secretary Lothar Rühl and former chief of the planning staff Hans Rühle, have told SPIEGEL that they had always assumed that Israel would deploy nuclear weapons on the submarines. Rühl had even discussed the issue with the military in Tel Aviv.

Israel has a policy of not commenting officially on its nuclear weapons program. Documents from the archives of the German Foreign Ministry make it clear, however, that the German government has known about the program since 1961. The last discussion for which there is evidence took place in 1977, when then-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt spoke to then-Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan about the issue.

The submarines are built by the German shipyard HDW in Kiel. Three submarines have already been delivered to Israel, and three more will be delivered by 2017. In addition, Israel is considering ordering its seventh, eighth and ninth submarines from Germany.

The German government recently signed the contract for the delivery of the sixth vessel. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, Chancellor Angela Merkel made substantial concessions to the Israelis. Not only is Berlin financing one-third of the cost of the submarine, around €135 million ($168 million), but it is also allowing Israel to defer its payment until 2015.

Merkel had tied the delivery of the sixth submarine to a number of conditions, including a demand that Israel stop its expansionist settlement policy and allow the completion of a sewage treatment plant.

ISRAEL FITTING NUCLEAR ARMS ON GERMAN-SUPPLIED SUBMARINES

Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed byGermany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, influential German news weekly Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published on Monday.

The magazine said in a cover story that Berlin had until now denied any knowledge that German submarines were being used as part of an Israeli atomic arsenal.

But former high-ranking officials of the German defence ministry told Der Spiegel that the government always assumed Israel was putting nuclear warheads on the Dolphin-class vessels.

The article, based on a months-long probe, cited files from the foreign ministry in Berlin indicating the West German state was aware of the practice as early as 1961.

In Israel, foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said only: “I can confirm that we have German submarines. It’s no secret.

“As for the rest, I am not in a position to talk about their capacity,” he told AFP.

Israel is the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear-armed power.

Germany has already supplied Israel with three of the submarines in question, footing most of the bill, and another three are to be delivered by 2017 under a recently signed contract.

Meanwhile Israel is weighing whether to order three more, according to the report.

“The Germans can be proud to have ensured the existence of the state of Israel for several years to come,” Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak was quoted by Der Spiegel as saying.

The opposition Social Democrat Party called Sunday on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for an explanation.

“The federal government must provide information so that we know if the submarines delivered by Germany can be potentially equipped with nuclear warheads,” party spokesman Rolf Muetzenich told Der Spiegel.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said all submarines had been delivered unarmed.

“The federal government will not speculate on subsequent arming,” he said.

The report said Germany hoped to see Israeli concessions on settlements on Palestinian land and approval for the completion of a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the assistance.

Israel sees its existence under threat if its arch-foe Iran goes nuclear. Like the United States, it has refused to rule out bombing Iranian nuclear sites.

Germany, bearing the historical guilt of the Holocaust, is Israel’s closest ally in Europe.

But it has sharply criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pro-settlement policies in the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem as undermining peace efforts with the Palestinians.

Tensions between Germany and Israel flared in April when Nobel prize-winning German author Gunter Grass published an inflammatory poem warning that a nuclear-armed Israel “could wipe out the Iranian people (with a) first strike.”

SYRIA, IRAN, RUSSIA, AND CHINA PLAN JOINT WAR GAMES, IRANIAN NEWS AGENCY REPORTS

Largest joint exercise in Mideast history, reportedly involving troops, tanks, planes and even Russian nuclear subs, set to take place by July 2012 along Syrian coast

By GABE FISHER | Times of Israel
June 19, 2012
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Iran, Syria, Russia and China are planning the “biggest-ever wargames in the Middle East,” according to an unconfirmed report on the semi-official Iranian news site Fars News.
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According to the article, the four countries are preparing 90,000 troops, 400 aircraft and 1,000 tanks for the massive joint maneuvers, which are to take place along the Syrian coast by July 2012.

The report states that Russian “atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers as well as Iranian battleships and submarines will also arrive in Syria” and that Egypt has agreed to let 12 Chinese warships cross the Suez Canal for the exercises.

The IDF spokesman’s office called the report a “political matter” and declined to comment.

Iran is currently holding talks with six Western powers over the fate of its nuclear program. The talks, said to be held in a tense atmosphere in Moscow, seek to alleviate world concerns that the Islamic Republic is developing nuclear weapons.

Syria meanwhile faces international pressure to end a 15-month crackdown on local rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

China and Russia have come to the aid of both countries in recent months at the UN Security Council, vetoing military intervention in Syria and expanded sanctions on Iran.

IRAN, RUSSIA, CHINA, SYRIA TO STAGE BIGGEST JOINT WAR GAMES IN MIDDLE EAST HISTORY

Far News Agency

June 19, 2012

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian, Russian, Chinese and Syrian armies are due to stage joint amphibious exercises along the Syrian costs in coming weeks, informed sources revealed on Monday.

According to informed sources, 90,000 forces from the four countries will take part in the land and sea wargames due to be held in Syria.

Ground, air and sea forces as well as air defense and missile units of the four countries will take part in the exercises.

Sources also said that Egypt has acceded to grant passage to 12 Chinese warships to sail through the Suez Canal, adding that the military convoy is due to dock at the Syrian harbors in the next two weeks.

Russian atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers as well as Iranian battleships and submarines will also arrive in Syria at around the same date.

Syria plans to test its coast-to-sea and air defense missiles in the wargames.

A sum of 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks will also be used in the exercises.

A Syrian official, who asked to remain anonymous, had informed two weeks ago that the drills would be conducted in Syria soon.

Unofficial sources also said the four countries are now busy with taking swift preparatory measures for these biggest-ever wargames in the Middle-East.

Sham Life reported that the maneuvers will be stage in less than one month from now, that is early June.


F. WILLIAM ENGDAHL: OBAMA’S GEOPOLITICAL CHINA PIVOT: THE PENTAGON TARGETS CHINA

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the nominal end of the Cold War some twenty years back, rather than reducing the size of its mammoth defense spending, the US Congress and all US Presidents have enormously expanded spending for new weapons systems, increased permanent military bases around the world and expansion of NATO not only to former Warsaw Pact countries on Russia’s immediate periphery; it also has expanded NATO and US military presence deep into Asia on the perimeters of China through its conduct of the Afghan war and related campaigns.

Part I The Pentagon Targets China

On the basis of simple dollar outlays for military spending, the US Pentagon combined budget, leaving aside the huge budgets for such national security and defense-related agencies of US Government as the Department of Energy and US Treasury and other agencies, the US Department of Defense spent some $739 billion in 2011 on its military requirements. Were all other spending that is tied to US defense and national security included, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates an annual military spending of over $1 trillion by the United States. That is an amount greater than the total defense-related spending of the next 42 nations combined, and more than the Gross Domestic Product of most nations.

China officially spent barely 10% of the US outlay on its defense, some $90 billions, or, if certain defense-related arms import and other costs are included, perhaps $111 billion a year. Even if the Chinese authorities do not publish complete data on such sensitive areas, it is clear China spends a mere fraction of the USA and is starting from a military-technology base far behind the USA.

China today, because of its dynamic economic growth and its determination to pursue sovereign Chinese national interests, merely because China exists, is becoming the Pentagon new “enemy image,” now replacing the earlier “enemy image” of Islam used after September 2001 by the Bush-Cheney Administration to justify the Pentagon’s global power pursuit, or that of Soviet Communism during the Cold War. The new US military posture against China has nothing to do with any aggressive threat from the side of China. The Pentagon has decided to escalate its aggressive military posture to China merely because China has become a strong vibrant independent pole in world economics and geopolitics. Only vassal states need apply to Washington’s globalized world.

Obama Doctrine: China is the new ‘enemy image’

After almost two decades of neglect of its interests in East Asia, in 2011, the Obama Administration announced that the US would make “a strategic pivot” in its foreign policy to focus its military and political attention on the Asia-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia, that is, China. The term “strategic pivot” is a page out of the classic textbook from the father of British geopolitics, Sir Halford Mackinder, who spoke at various times of Russia and later China as “pivot powers” whose geographical and geopolitical position posed unique challenges toAnglo-Saxon and after 1945, to American hegemony.

During the final months of 2011 the Obama Administration clearly defined a new public military threat doctrine for US military readiness in the wake of the US military failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. During a Presidential trip to the Far East, while in Australia, the US President unveiled what is being termed the Obama Doctrine.[1]

Obama told the Australians then:

With most of the world’s nuclear power and some half of humanity, Asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation…As President, I have, therefore, made a deliberate and strategic decision — as a Pacific nation, the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future…I have directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the Asia Pacific a top priority…As we plan and budget for the future, we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region. We will preserve our unique ability to project power and deter threats to peace…Our enduring interests in the region demand our enduring presence in the region.

The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay. Indeed, we are already modernizing America’s defense posture across the Asia Pacific. It will be more broadly distributed — maintaining our strong presence in Japan and the Korean Peninsula, while enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia. Our posture will be more flexible — with new capabilities to ensure that our forces can operate freely .. I believe we can address shared challenges, such as proliferation and maritime security, including cooperation in the South China Sea.[2]

The centerpiece of Obama’s visit was the announcement that at least 2,500 elite US Marines will be stationed in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. In addition, in a series of significant parallel agreements, discussions with Washington were underway to fly long-range American surveillance drones from the remote Cocos Islands — an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. Also the US will gain greater use of Australian Air Force bases for American aircraft and increased ship and submarine visits to the Indian Ocean through a naval base outside Perth, on the country’s west coast.

The Pentagon’s target is China.

To make the point clear to European members of NATO, in remarks to fellow NATO members in Washington in July 2012, Phillip Hammond, the UK Secretary of State for Defense declared explicitly that the new US defense shift to the Asia-Pacific region was aimed squarely at China. Hammond said that, “the rising strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region requires all countries, but particularly the United States, to reflect in their strategic posture the emergence of China as a global power. Far from being concerned about the tilt to Asia-Pacific, the European NATO powers should welcome the fact that the US is willing to engage in this new strategic challenge on behalf of the alliance.” [3]

As with many of its operations, the Pentagon deployment is far deeper than the relatively small number of 2,500 new US soldiers might suggest.

In August 2011 the Pentagon presented its annual report on China’s military. It stated that China had closed key technological gaps. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for East Asia, Michael Schiffer, said that the pace and scope of China’s military investments had “allowed China to pursue capabilities that we believe are potentially destabilizing to regional military balances, increase the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation and may contribute to regional tensions and anxieties.” [4] He cited Chinese refurbishing of a Soviet-era aircraft carrier and China’s development of its J20 Stealth Fighter as indications of the new capability requiring a more active US military response. Schiffer also cited China’s space and cyber operations, saying it was “developing a multi-dimensional program to improve its capabilities to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by adversaries during times of crisis or conflict.” [5]

Part II: Pentagon’s ‘Air-Sea Battle’

The Pentagon strategy to defeat China in a coming war, details of which have filtered into the US press, is called “Air-Sea Battle.” This calls for an aggressive coordinated US attack. US stealth bombers and submarines would knock out China’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems deep inside the country. This initial “blinding campaign” would be followed by a larger air and naval assault on China itself.[6] Crucial to the advanced pentagon strategy, deployment of which has already quietly begun, is US military navy and air presence in Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam and across the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. Australian troop and naval deployment is aimed at accessing the strategic Chinese South China Sea as well as the Indian Ocean. The stated motive is to “protect freedom of navigation” in the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea. In reality it is to be positioned to cut China’s strategic oil routes in event of full conflict.

Air-Sea Battle’s goal is to help US forces withstand an initial Chinese assault and counterattack to destroy sophisticated Chinese radar and missile systems built to keep US ships away from China’s coastline.[7]

US ‘Air-Sea Battle’ against China

In addition to the stationing of the US Marines in the north of Australia, Washington plans to fly long-range American surveillance drones from the remote Cocos Islands — an Australian territory in the strategically vital Indian Ocean. Also it will have use of Australian Air Force bases for American military aircraft and increased ship and submarine visits to the Indian Ocean through a naval base outside Perth, on Australia’s west coast.[8]

The architect of the Pentagon anti-China strategy of Air-Sea battle is Andrew Marshall, the man who has shaped Pentagon advanced warfare strategy for more than 40 years and among whose pupils were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. [9] Since the 1980s Marshall has been a promoter of an idea first posited in 1982 by Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, then chief of the Soviet general staff, called RMA, or ‘Revolution in Military Affairs.’ Marshall, today at the ripe age of 91, still holds his desk and evidently very much influence inside the Pentagon.

The best definition of RMA was the one provided by Marshall himself: “A Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is a major change in the nature of warfare brought about by the innovative application of new technologies which, combined with dramatic changes in military doctrine and operational and organizational concepts, fundamentally alters the character and conduct of military operations.” [10]

It was also Andrew Marshall who convinced US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his successor Robert Gates to deploy the Ballistic Missile “defense” Shield in Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Japan as a strategy to minimize any potential nuclear threat from Russia and, in the case of Japan’s BMD, any potential nuclear threat from China.

PART III: ‘String of Pearls’ Strategy of Pentagon

In January 2005, Andrew Marshall issued a classified internal report to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld titled “Energy Futures in Asia.” The Marshall report, which was leaked in full to a Washington newspaper, invented the term “string of pearls” strategy to describe what it called the growing Chinese military threat to “US strategic interests” in the Asian space.[11]

The internal Pentagon report claimed that “China is building strategic relationships along the sea lanes from the Middle East to the South China Sea in ways that suggest defensive and offensive positioning to protect China’s energy interests, but also to serve broad security objectives.”

In the Pentagon Andrew Marshall report, the term China’s “String of Pearls” Strategy was used for the first time. It is a Pentagon term and not a Chinese term.

The report stated that China was adopting a “string of pearls” strategy of bases and diplomatic ties stretching from the Middle East to southern China that includes a new naval base under construction at the Pakistani port of Gwadar. It claimed that “Beijing already has set up electronic eavesdropping posts at Gwadar in the country’s southwest corner, the part nearest the Persian Gulf. The post is monitoring ship traffic through the Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Sea.” [12]

The Marshall internal report went on to warn of other “pearls” in the sea-lane strategy of China:

• Bangladesh: China is strengthening its ties to the government and building a container port facility at Chittagong. The Chinese are “seeking much more extensive naval and commercial access” in Bangladesh.

• Burma: China has developed close ties to the military regime in Rangoon and turned a nation wary of China into a “satellite” of Beijing close to the Strait of Malacca, through which 80 percent of China’s imported oil passes. China is building naval bases in Burma and has electronic intelligence gathering facilities on islands in the Bay of Bengal and near the Strait of Malacca. Beijing also supplied Burma with “billions of dollars in military assistance to support a de facto military alliance,” the report said.

• Cambodia: China signed a military agreement in November 2003 to provide training and equipment. Cambodia is helping Beijing build a railway line from southern China to the sea.

• South China Sea: Chinese activities in the region are less about territorial claims than “protecting or denying the transit of tankers through the South China Sea,” the report said. China also is building up its military forces in the region to be able to “project air and sea power” from the mainland and Hainan Island. China recently upgraded a military airstrip on Woody Island and increased its presence through oil drilling platforms and ocean survey ships.

• Thailand: China is considering funding construction of a $20 billion canal across the Kra Isthmus that would allow ships to bypass the Strait of Malacca. The canal project would give China port facilities, warehouses and other infrastructure in Thailand aimed at enhancing Chinese influence in the region, the report said… The U.S. military’s Southern Command produced a similar classified report in the late 1990s that warned that China was seeking to use commercial port facilities around the world to control strategic “chokepoints.” [13]

Breaking the String of Pearls

Significant Pentagon and US actions since that 2005 report have been aimed to counter China’s attempts to defend its energy security via that “String of Pearls.” The US interventions since 2007 into Burma/Myanmar have had two phases.

The first was the so-called Saffron Revolution, a US State Department and CIA-backed destabilization in 2007 aimed at putting the international spotlight on the Myanmar military dictatorship’s human rights practices. The aim was to further isolate the strategically located country internationally from all economic relations, aside from China. The background to the US actions was China’s construction of oil and gas pipelines from Kunming in China’s southwest Yunnan Province, across the old Burma Road across Myanmar to the Bay of Bengal across from India and Bangladesh in the northern Indian Ocean.

Forcing Burma’s military leaders into tighter dependency on China was one of the factors triggering the decision of the Myanmar military to open up economically to the West. They declared that the tightening of US economic sanctions had done the country great harm and President Thein Sein made his major liberalization opening, as well as allowing US-backed dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi, to be free and to run for elective office with her party, in return for promises from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of US investment in the country and possible easing of US economic sanctions. [14]

The US corporations approaching Burma are hand-picked by Washington to introduce the most destructive “free market” reforms that will open Myanmar to instability. The United States will not allow investment in entities owned by Myanmar’s armed forces or its Ministry of Defense. It also is able to place sanctions on “those who undermine the reform process, engage in human rights abuses, contribute to ethnic conflict or participate in military trade with North Korea.” The United States will block businesses or individuals from making transactions with any “specially designated nationals” or businesses that they control — allowing Washington, for example, to stop money from flowing to groups “disrupting the reform process.” It’s the classic “carrot and stick” approach, dangling the carrot of untold riches if Burma opens its economy to US corporations and punishing those who try to resist the takeover of the country’s prize assets. Oil and gas, vital to China, will be a special target of US intervention. American companies and people will be allowed to invest in the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise.[15]

Obama also created a new power for the government to impose “blocking sanctions” on any individual threatening peace in Myanmar. Businesses with more than $500,000 in investment in the country will need to file an annual report with the State Department, with details on workers’ rights, land acquisitions and any payments of more than $10,000 to government entities, including Myanmar’s state-owned enterprises.

American companies and people will be allowed to invest in the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise, but any investors will need to notify the State Department within 60 days.

As well, US “human rights” NGOs, many closely associated with or believed to be associated with US State Department geopolitical designs, including Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Institute for Asian Democracy, Open Society Foundations, Physicians for Human Rights, U.S. Campaign for Burma, United to End Genocide— will now be allowed to operate inside Myanmar according to a decision by State Secretary Clinton in April 2012.[16]

Thailand, another key in China’s defensive String of Pearl Strategy has also been subject of intense destabilization over the past several years. Now with the sister of a corrupt former Prime Minister in office, US-Thai relations have significantly improved.

After months of bloody clashes, the US-backed billionaire, Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra , managed to buy the way to put his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra in as Prime Minister, with him reportedly pulling the policy strings from abroad. Thaksin himself was enjoying comfortable status in the US as of this writing, in summer 2012.

US relations with Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, are moving in direct fulfillment of the Obama “strategic pivot” to focus on the “China threat.” In June 2012, General Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, after returning from a visit this month to Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore stated: “We want to be out there partnered with nations and have a rotational presence that would allow us to build up common capabilities for common interests.” This is precisely key beads in what the Pentagon calls the String of Pearls.

The Pentagon is now quietly negotiating to return to bases abandoned after the Vietnam War. It is negotiating with the Thai government to create a new “disaster relief” hub at the Royal Thai Navy Air Field at U-Tapao, 90 miles south of Bangkok.

The US military built the two mile long runway there, one of Asia’s longest, in the 1960s as a major staging and refueling base during the Vietnam War.

The Pentagon is also working to secure more rights to US Navy visits to Thai ports and joint surveillance flights to monitor trade routes and military movements. The US Navy will soon base four of its newest warships — Littoral Combat Ships — in Singapore and would rotate them periodically to Thailand and other southeast Asian countries. The Navy is pursuing options to conduct joint airborne surveillance missions from Thailand.[17]

In addition, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter went to Thailand in July 2012 and the Thai government has invited Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who met with the Thai minister of defense at a conference in Singapore in June.[18]

In 2014, the US Navy is scheduled to begin deploying new P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft to the Pacific, replacing the P-3C Orion surveillance planes. The Navy is also preparing to deploy new high-altitude surveillance drones to the Asia-Pacific region around the same time. [19]

PART IV: India-US Defense ‘Look East Policy’

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was in India in June of this year where he proclaimed that defence cooperation with India is the lynchpin of US security strategy in Asia. He pledged to help develop India’s military capabilities and to engage with India in joint production of defence “articles” of high technology. Panetta was thr fifth Obama Cabinet secretary to visit India this year. The message that they have all brought is that, for the US, India will be the major relationship of the 21st century. The reason is China’s emergence. [20]

Several years ago during the Bush Administration, Washington made a major move to lock India in as a military ally of the US against the emerging Chinese presence in Asia. India calls it India’s “Look East Policy.” In reality, despite all claims to the contrary, it is a “look at China” military policy.

In comments in August 2012, Deputy Secretary of defense Ashton Carter stated, “India is also key part of our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, and, we believe, to the broader security and prosperity of the 21st century. The US-India relationship is global in scope, like the reach and influence of both countries.” [21] In 2011, the US military conducted more than 50 significant military activities with India.

Carter continued in remarks following a trip to New Delhi, “Our security interests converge: on maritime security, across the Indian Ocean region; in Afghanistan, where India has done so much for economic development and the Afghan security forces; and on broader regional issues, where we share long-term interests. I went to India at the request of Secretary Panetta and with a high-level delegation of U S technical and policy experts.” [22]

Indian Ocean

The Pentagon “String of pearls” strategy against China in effect is not one of beautiful pearls, but a hangman’s noose around the perimeter of China, designed in the event of major conflict to completely cut China off from its access to vital raw materials, most especially oil from the Persian Gulf and Africa.

Former Pentagon adviser Robert D. Kaplan, now with Stratfor, has noted that the Indian Ocean is becoming the world’s “strategic center of gravity” and who controls that center, controls Eurasia, including China. The Ocean is the vital waterway passage for energy and trade flows between the Middle East and China and Far Eastern countries. More strategically, it is the heart of a developing south-south economic axis between China and Africa and Latin America.

Since 1997 trade between China and Africa has risen more than twenty-fold and trade with Latin America, including Brazil, has risen fourteen fold in only ten years. This dynamic, if allowed to continue, will eclipse the economic size of the European Union as well as the declining North American industrial economies in less than a decade. That is a development that Washington circles and Wall Street are determined to prevent at all costs.

Straddled by the Islamic Arch–which stretches from Somalia to Indonesia, passing through the countries of the Gulf and Central Asia– the region surrounding the Indian Ocean has certainly become the world’s new strategic center of gravity.[23]

No rival economic bloc can be allowed to challenge American hegemony. Former Obama geopolitical adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, a student of Mackinder geopolitics and still today along with Henry Kissinger one of the most influential persons in the US power establishment, summed up the position as seen from Washington in his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and It’s Geostrategic Imperatives:

It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geo-strategy is therefore the purpose of this book. [24]

For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia…. America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained. [25]

In that context, how America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s GNP and about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources. [26]

The Indian Ocean is crowned by what some call an Islamic Arch of countries stretching from East Africa to Indonesia by way of the Persian Gulf countries and Central Asia. The emergence of China and other much smaller Asian powers over the past two decades since the end of the Cold war has challenged US hegemony over the Indian Ocean for the first time since the beginning of the Cold War. Especially in the past years as American economic influence has precipitously declined globally and that of China has risen spectacularly, the Pentagon has begun to rethink its strategic presence in the Indian Ocean. The Obama ‘Asian Pivot’ is centered on asserting decisive Pentagon control over the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean and the waters of the South China Sea.

The US military base at Okinawa, Japan is being rebuilt as a major center to project US military power towards China. As of 2010 there were over 35,000 US military personnel stationed in Japan and another 5,500 American civilians employed there by the United States Department of Defense. The United States Seventh Fleet is based in Yokosuka. The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa. 130 USAF fighters are stationed in the Misawa Air Base and Kadena Air Base.

The Japanese government in 2011 began an armament program designed to counter the perceived growing Chinese threat. The Japanese command has urged their leaders to petition the United States to allow the sale of F-22A Raptor fighter jets, currently illegal under U.S law. South Korean and American military have deepened their strategic alliance and over 45,000 American soldiers are now stationed in South Korea. The South Koreans and Americans claim this is due to the North Korean military’s modernization. China and North Korea denounce it as needlessly provocative.[27]

Under the cover of the US war on Terrorism, the US has developed major military agreements with the Philippines as well as with Indonesia’s army.

The military base on Diego Garcia is the lynchpin of US control over the Indian Ocean. In 1971 the US military depopulated the citizens of Diego Garcia to build a major military installation there to carry out missions against Iraq and Afghanistan.

China has two Achilles heels—the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca near Singapore. Some 20% of China oil passes through the Straits of Hormuz. And some 80% of Chinese oil imports pass through the Strait of Malacca as well as major freight trade.

To prevent China from emerging successfully as the major economic competitor of the United States in the world, Washington launched the so-called Arab Spring in late 2010. While the aspirations of millions of ordinary Arab citizens in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere for freedom and democracy was real, they were in effect used as unwitting cannon fodder to unleash a US strategy of chaos and intra-islamic wars and conflicts across the entire oil-rich Islamic world from Libya in North Africa across to Syria and ultimately Iran in the Middle East. [28]

The US strategy within the Islamic Arch countries straddling the Indian Ocean is, as Mohamed Hassan, a strategic analyst put it thus:

The US is…seeking to control these resources to prevent them reaching China. This was a major objective of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but these have turned into a fiasco. The US destroyed these countries in order to set up governments there which would be docile, but they have failed. The icing on the cake is that the new Iraqi and Afghan government trade with China! Beijing has therefore not needed to spend billions of dollars on an illegal war in order to get its hands on Iraq’s black gold: Chinese companies simply bought up oil concessions at auction totally within the rules.

[T]he USA’s…strategy has failed all along the line. There is nevertheless one option still open to the US: maintaining chaos in order to prevent these countries from attaining stability for the benefit of China. This means continuing the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and extending it to countries such as Iran, Yemen or Somalia.[29]

PART V: South China Sea

The completion of the Pentagon “String of Pearls” hangman’s noose around China to cut off vital energy and other imports in event of war by 2012 was centered around the increased US manipulation of events in the South China Sea. The Ministry of Geological Resources and Mining of the People’s Republic of China estimated that the South China Sea may contain 18 billion tons of crude oil (compared to Kuwait with 13 billion tons). The most optimistic estimate suggested that potential oil resources (not proved reserves) of the Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea could be as high as 105 billion barrels of oil, and that the total for the South China Sea could be as high as 213 billion barrels. [30]

The presence of such vast energy reserves has not surprisingly become a major energy security issue for China. Washington has made a calculated intervention in the past several years to sabotage those Chinese interests, using especially Vietnam as a wedge against Chinese oil exploration there. In July 2012 the National Assembly of Vietnam passed a law demarcating Vietnamese sea borders to include the Spratly and Paracel islands. US influence in Vietnam since the country opened to economic liberalization has become decisive.

In 2011 the US military began cooperation with Vietnam, including joint “peaceful” military exercises. Washington has backed both The Philippines and Vietnam in their territorial claims over Chinese-claimed territories in the South China Sea, emboldening those small countries not to seek a diplomatic resolution.[31]

In 2010 US and UK oil majors entered the bidding for exploration in the South China Sea. The bid by Chevron and BP added to the presence of US-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in the region. That move is essential to give Washington the pretext to “defend us oil interests” in the area. [32]

In April 2012, the Philippine warship Gregorio del Pilar was involved in a standoff with two Chinese surveillance vessels in the Scarborough Shoal, an area claimed by both nations. The Philippine navy had been trying to arrest Chinese fishermen who were allegedly taking government-protected marine species from the area, but the surveillance boats prevented them. On April 14, 2012, U.S. and the Philippines held their yearly exercises in Palawan, Philippines. On May 7, 2012, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying called a meeting with Alex Chua, Charge D’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China, to make a serious representation over the incident at the Scarborough Shoal.

From South Korea to Philippines to Vietnam, the Pentagon and US State Department is fanning the clash over rights to the South China Sea to stealthily insert US military presence there to “defend” Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean or Philippine interests. The military hangman’s noose around China is being slowly drawn tighter.

While China’s access to vast resources of offshore conventional oil and gas were being restricted, Washington was actively trying to lure China into massive pursuit of exploitation of shale gas inside China. The reasons had nothing to do with US goodwill towards China. It was in fact another major weapon in the destruction of China, now through a form of environmental warfare.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: RUSSIA AND THE CHANGING WORLD

June 2, 2012

By Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin chairs Government Presidium meeting
.

In my previous articles I have discussed some of the key foreign challenges that Russia now faces. This subject deserves more detailed discussion and not only because foreign policy is an integral part of any government strategy. External challenges and the changing world around us are forcing us to make decisions that have implications for our economy, our culture, and our budgetary and investment planning.

Russia is part of the greater world whether we are talking about the economy, the spread of information or the development of culture. We do not wish to and cannot isolate ourselves. We hope that our openness will lead to economic and cultural development in Russia while increasing levels of mutual trust, a resource that is in increasingly short supply today.

However, we intend to be consistent in proceeding from our own interests and goals rather than decisions dictated by someone else. Russia is only respected and has its interests considered when the country is strong and stands firmly on its own feet. Russia has generally enjoyed the privilege of conducting an independent foreign policy and this is what it will continue to do. In addition, I am convinced that global security can only be achieved through cooperation with Russia rather than by attempts to push it into the background, weaken its geopolitical position or compromise its defenses.

Our foreign policy objectives are strategic in nature and are not based on opportunistic considerations. They reflect Russia’s unique role on the world political map as well as its role in history and in the development of civilization.

I do not doubt that we will continue on our constructive course to enhance global security, renounce confrontation, and counter challenges like the proliferation of nuclear weapons, regional conflict and crises, terrorism and drug trafficking. We will do everything we can to see that Russia enjoys the latest achievements in scientific and technical progress and to assist our entrepreneurs in occupying their rightful place in the world market.

We will strive to ensure a new world order, one that meets current geopolitical realities, and one that develops smoothly and without unnecessary upheaval.

Who undermines confidence

As before, I believe that the major principles necessary for any feasible civilization include inalienable right to security for all states, the inadmissability of the excessive use of force, and the unconditional observance of the basic principles of international law. To neglect any of these principles can only lead to the destabilization of international relations.

It is through this prism that we perceive some aspects of U.S. and NATO conduct that contradict the logic of modern development, relying instead on the stereotypes of a bloc-based mentality. Everyone understands what I am referring to – an expansion of NATO that includes the deployment of new military infrastructure with U.S.-drafted plans to establish a missile defense system in Europe. I would not touch on this issue if these plans were not conducted in close proximity to Russian borders, if they did not undermine our security and global stability in general.

Our arguments are well known, and I will not spell them out again. Regrettably, our Western partners are unresponsive and have simply brushed our concerns aside.

We are worried that although the outline of our “new” relations with NATO are not yet final, the alliance is already providing us with “facts on the ground” that are counterproductive to building mutual trust. At the same time, this approach will backfire with respect to global objectives, making it more difficult to cooperate on a positive agenda and will impede any constructive reallignment in international relations.

The recent series of armed conflicts started under the pretext of humanitarian aims is undermining the time-honored principle of state sovereignty, creating a moral and legal void in the practice of international relations.

It is often said that human rights override state sovereignty. This is undoubtedly true – crimes against humanity must be punished by the International Court. However, when state sovereignty is too easily violated in the name of this provision, when human rights are protected from abroad and on a selective basis, and when the same rights of a population are trampled underfoot in the process of such “protection,” including the most basic and sacred right – the right to one’s life – these actions cannot be considered a noble mission but rather outright demagogy.

It is important for the United Nations and its Security Council to effectively counter the dictates of some countries and their arbitrary actions in the world arena. Nobody has the right to usurp the prerogatives and powers of the UN, particularly the use of force with regard to sovereign nations. This concerns NATO, an organization that has been assuming an attitude that is inconsistent with a “defensive alliance.” These points are very serious. We recall how states that have fallen victim to “humanitarian” operations and the export of “missile-and-bomb democracy” appealed for respect for legal standards and common human decency. But their cries were in vain – their appeals went unheard.

It seems that NATO members, especially the United States, have developed a peculiar interpretation of security that is different from ours. The Americans have become obsessed with the idea of becoming absolutely invulnerable. This utopian concept is unfeasible both technologically and geopolitically, but it is the root of the problem.

By definition, absolute invulnerability for one country would in theory require absolute vulnerability for all others. This is something that cannot be accepted. Many countries prefer not to be straight about this for various reasons, but that’s another matter. Russia will always call things as it sees them and do so openly. I’d like to emphasize again that violating the principle of unity and the inalienable right to security – despite numerous declarations committing to it – poses a serious threat. Eventually these threats become reality for those states that initiate such violations, for many reasons.

The Arab Spring: lessons and conclusions

A year ago the world witnessed a new phenomenon – nearly simultaneous demonstrations against authoritarian regimes in many Arab countries. The Arab Spring was initially received with hope for positive change. People in Russia sympathized with those who were seeking democratic reform.

However, it soon became clear that events in many countries were not following a civilized scenario. Instead of asserting democracy and protecting the rights of the minority, attempts were being made to depose an enemy and to stage a coup, which only resulted in the replacement of one dominant force with another even more aggressive dominant force.

Foreign interference in support of one side of a domestic conflict and the use of power in this interference gave developments a negative aura. A number of countries did away with the Libyan regime by using air power in the name of humanitarian support. The revolting slaughter of Muammar Gaddafi – not just medieval but primeval – was the manifestation of these actions.

No one should be allowed to employ the Libyan scenario in Syria. The international community must work to achieve an internal Syrian reconciliation. It is important to achieve an early end to the violence no matter what the source, and to initiate a national dialogue – without preconditions or foreign interference and with due respect for the country’s sovereignty. This would create the conditions necessary to introduce the measures for democratization announced by the Syrian leadership. The key objective is to prevent an all-out civil war. Russian diplomacy has worked and will continue to work toward this end.

Sadder but wiser, we oppose the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions that may be interpreted as a signal to armed interference in Syria’s domestic development. Guided by this consistent approach in early February, Russia and China prevented the adoption of an ambiguous resolution that would have encouraged one side of this domestic conflict to resort to violence.

In this context and considering the extremely negative, almost hysterical reaction to the Russian-Chinese veto, I would like to warn our Western colleagues against the temptation to resort to this simple, previously used tactic: if the UN Security Council approves of a given action, fine; if not, we will establish a coalition of the states concerned and strike anyway.

The logic of such conduct is counterproductive and very dangerous. No good can come of it. In any case, it will not help reach a settlement in a country that is going through a domestic conflict. Even worse, it further undermines the entire system of international security as well as the authority and key role of the UN. Let me recall that the right to veto is not some whim but an inalienable part of the world’s agreement that is registered in the UN Charter – incidentally, on U.S. insistence. The implication of this right is that decisions that raise the objection of even one permanent member of the UN Security Council cannot be well-grounded or effective.

I hope very much that the United States and other countries will consider this sad experience and will not pursue the use of power in Syria without UN Security Council sanctions. In general, I cannot understand what causes this itch for military intervention. Why isn’t there the patience to develop a well-considered, balanced and cooperative approach, all the more so since this approach was already taking shape in the form of the aforementioned Syrian resolution? It only lacked the demand that the armed opposition do the same as the government; in particular, withdraw military units and detachments from cities. The refusal to do so is cynical. If we want to protect civilians – and this is the main goal for Russia – we must make all the participants in the armed confrontation see reason.

And one more point. It appears that with the Arab Spring countries, as with Iraq, Russian companies are losing their decades-long positions in local commercial markets and are being deprived of large commercial contracts. The niches thus vacated are being filled by the economic operatives of the states that had a hand in the change of the ruling regime.

One could reasonably conclude that tragic events have been encouraged to a certain extent by someone’s interest in a re-division of the commercial market rather than a concern for human rights. Be that as it may, we cannot sit back watch all this with Olympian serenity. We intend to work with the new governments of the Arab countries in order to promptly restore our economic positions.

Generally, the current developments in the Arab world are, in many ways, instructive. They show that a striving to introduce democracy by use of power can produce – and often does produce -contradictory results. They can produce forces that rise from the bottom, including religious extremists, who will strive to change the very direction of a country’s development and the secular nature of a government.

Russia has always had good relations with the moderate representatives of Islam, whose world outlook was close to the traditions of Muslims in Russia. We are ready to develop these contacts further under the current conditions. We are interested in stepping up our political, trade and economic ties with all Arab countries, including those that, let me repeat, have gone through domestic upheaval. Moreover, I see real possibilities that will enable Russia to fully preserve its leading position in the Middle East, where we have always had many friends.

As for the Arab-Israeli conflict, to this day, the “magic recipe” that will produce a final settlement has not been invented. It would be unacceptable to give up on this issue. Considering our close ties with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Russian diplomacy will continue to work for the resumption of the peace process both on a bilateral basis and within the format of the Quartet on the Middle East, while coordinating its steps with the Arab League.

The Arab Spring has graphically demonstrated that world public opinion is being shaped by the most active use of advanced information and communications technology. It is possible to say that the Internet, social networks, cell phones, etc. have turned into an effective tool for the promotion of domestic and international policy on par with television. This new variable has come into play and gives us food for thought – how to continue developing the unique freedoms of communication via the Internet and at the same time reduce the risk of its being used by terrorists and other criminal elements.

The notion of “soft power” is being used increasingly often. This implies a matrix of tools and methods to reach foreign policy goals without the use of arms but by exerting information and other levers of influence. Regrettably, these methods are being used all too frequently to develop and provoke extremist, separatist and nationalistic attitudes, to manipulate the public and to conduct direct interference in the domestic policy of sovereign countries.

There must be a clear division between freedom of speech and normal political activity, on the one hand, and illegal instruments of “soft power,” on the other. The civilized work of non-governmental humanitarian and charity organizations deserves every support. This also applies to those who actively criticize the current authorities. However, the activities of “pseudo-NGOs” and other agencies that try to destabilize other countries with outside support are unacceptable.

I’m referring to those cases where the activities of NGOs are not based on the interests (and resources) of local social groups but are funded and supported by outside forces. There are many agents of influence from big countries, international blocks or corporations. When they act in the open – this is simply a form of civilized lobbyism. Russia also uses such institutions – the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, International Humanitarian Cooperation, the Russkiy Mir Foundation and our leading universities who recruit talented students from abroad.

However, Russia does not use or fund national NGOs based in other countries or any foreign political organizations in the pursuit of its own interests. China, India and Brazil do not do this either. We believe that any influence on domestic policy and public attitude in other countries must be exerted in the open; in this way, those who wish to be of influence will do so responsibly.

New challenges and threats

Today, Iran is the focus of international attention. Needless to say, Russia is worried about the growing threat of a military strike against Iran. If this happens, the consequences will be disastrous. It is impossible to imagine the true scope of this turn of events.

I am convinced that this issue must be settled exclusively by peaceful means. We propose recognizing Iran’s right to develop a civilian nuclear program, including the right to enrich uranium. But this must be done in exchange for putting all Iranian nuclear activity under reliable and comprehensive IAEA safeguards. If this is done, the sanctions against Iran, including the unilateral ones, must be rescinded. The West has shown too much willingness to “punish” certain countries. At any minor development it reaches for sanctions if not armed force. Let me remind you that we are not in the 19th century or even the 20th century now.

Developments around the Korean nuclear issue are no less serious. Violating the non-proliferation regime, Pyongyang openly claims the right to develop “the military atom” and has already conducted two nuclear tests. We cannot accept North Korea’s nuclear status. We have consistently advocated the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula – exclusively through political and diplomatic means — and the early resumption of Six-Party Talks.

However, it is evident that not all of our partners share this approach. I am convinced that today it is essential to be particularly careful. It would be inadvisable to try and test the strength of the new North Korean leader and provoke a rash countermeasure.

Allow me to recall that North Korea and Russia share a common border and we cannot choose our neighbors. We will continue conducting an active dialogue with the leaders of North Korea and developing good-neighborly relations with it, while at the same time trying to encourage Pyongyang to settle the nuclear issue. Obviously, it would be easier to do this if mutual trust is built up and the inter-Korean dialogue resumes on the peninsula.

All this fervor around the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea makes one wonder how the risks of nuclear weapons proliferation emerge and who is aggravating them. It seems that the more frequent cases of crude and even armed outside interference in the domestic affairs of countries may prompt authoritarian (and other) regimes to possess nuclear weapons. If I have the A-bomb in my pocket, nobody will touch me because it’s more trouble than it is worth. And those who don’t have the bomb might have to sit and wait for “humanitarian intervention.”

Whether we like it or not, foreign interference suggests this train of thought. This is why the number of threshold countries that are one step away from “military atom” technology, is growing rather than decreasing. Under these conditions, zones free of weapons of mass destruction are being established in different parts of the world and are becoming increasingly important. Russia has initiated the discussion of the parameters for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

It is essential to do everything we can to prevent any country from being tempted to get nuclear weapons. Non-proliferation campaigners must also change their conduct, especially those that are used to penalizing other countries by force, without letting the diplomats do their job. This was the case in Iraq – its problems have only become worse after an almost decade-long occupation.

If the incentives for becoming a nuclear power are finally eradicated, it will be possible to make the international non-proliferation regime universal and firmly based on existing treaties. This regime would allow all interested countries to fully enjoy the benefits of the “peaceful atom” under IAEA safeguards.

Russia would stand to gain much from this because we are actively operating in international markets, building new nuclear power plants based on safe, modern technology and taking part in the formation of multilateral nuclear enrichment centers and nuclear fuel banks.

The probable future of Afghanistan is alarming. We have supported the military operation on rendering international aid to that country. However, the NATO-led international military contingent has not met its objectives. The threats of terrorism and drug trafficking have not been reduced. Having announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, the United States has been building, both there and in neighboring countries, military bases without a clear-cut mandate, objectives or duration of operation. Understandably, this does not suit us.

Russia has obvious interests in Afghanistan and these interests are understandable. Afghanistan is our close neighbor and we have a stake in its stable and peaceful development. Most important, we want it to stop being the main source of the drug threat. Illegal drug trafficking has become one of the most urgent threats. It undermines the genetic bank of entire nations, while creating fertile soil for corruption and crime and is leading to the destabilization of Afghanistan. Far from declining, the production of Afghan drugs increased by almost 40% last year. Russia is being subjected to vicious heroin-related aggression that is doing tremendous damage to the health of our people.

The dimensions of the Afghan drug threat make it clear that it can only be overcome by a global effort with reliance on the United Nations and regional organizations – the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the CIS. We are willing to consider much greater participation in the relief operation for the Afghan people but only on the condition that the international contingent in Afghanistan acts with greater zeal and in our interests, that it will pursue the physical destruction of drug crops and underground laboratories.

Invigorated anti-drug measures inside Afghanistan must be accompanied by the reliable blocking of the routes of opiate transportation to external markets, financial flows and the supply of chemical substances used in heroin production. The goal is to build a comprehensive system of anti-drug security in the region. Russia will contribute to the effective cooperation of the international community for turning the tide in the war against the global drug threat.

It is hard to predict further developments in Afghanistan. Historical experience shows that foreign military presence has not brought it serenity. Only the Afghans can resolve their own problems. I see Russia’s role as follows – to help the Afghan people, with the active involvement of other neighboring countries, to develop a sustainable economy and enhance the ability of the national armed forces to counter the threats of terrorism and drug-related crime. We do not object to the process of national reconciliation being joined by participants of the armed opposition, including the Taliban, on condition they renounce violence, recognize the country’s Constitution and sever ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. In principle, I believe it is possible to build a peaceful, stable, independent and neutral Afghan state.

The instability that has persisted for years and decades is creating a breeding ground for international terrorism that is universally recognized as one of the most dangerous challenges to the world community. I’d like to note that the crises zones that engender a terrorist threat are located near the Russian borders and are much close to us than to our European or American partners. The United Nations has adopted the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy but it seems that the struggle against this evil is conducted not under a common universal plan and not consistently but in a series of responses to the most urgent and barbarian manifestations of terror – when the public uproar over the impudent acts of terrorists grows out of proportion. The civilized world must not wait for tragedies like the terrorist attacks in New York in September 2001 or another Beslan disaster and only then act collectively and resolutely after the shock of such cases.

I’m far from denying the results achieved in the war on international terror. There has been progress. In the last few years security services and the law-enforcement agencies of many countries have markedly upgraded their cooperation. But there is still the obvious potential for further anti-terrorist cooperation. Thus, double standards still exist and terrorists are perceived differently in different countries – some are “bad guys” and others are “not so bad.” Some forces are not averse to using the latter in political manipulation, for example, in shaking up objectionable ruling regimes.

All available public institutions – the media, religious associations, NGOs, the education system, science and business – must be used to prevent terrorism all over the world. We need a dialogue between religions and, on a broader plane, among civilizations. Russia has many religions, but we have never had religious wars. We could make a contribution to an international discussion on this issue.

The growing role of the Asia-Pacific Region

One of our country’s neighbors is China, a major hub of the global economy. It has become fashionable to opine about that country’s future role in the global economy and international affairs. Last year China moved into second place in the world in terms of GDP and it is poised to surpass the U.S. on that count, according to international – including American – experts. The overall might of the People’s Republic of China is growing, and that includes the ability to project power in various regions.

How should we conduct ourselves in the face of the rapidly strengthening Chinese factor?

First of all, I am convinced that China’s economic growth is by no means a threat, but a challenge that carries colossal potential for business cooperation – a chance to catch the Chinese wind in the sails of our economy. We should seek to more actively form new cooperative ties, combining the technological and productive capabilities of our two countries and tapping China’s potential – judiciously, of course – in order to develop the economy of Siberia and the Russian Far East.

Second, China’s conduct on the world stage gives no grounds to talk about its aspirations to dominance. The Chinese voice in the world is indeed growing ever more confident, and we welcome that, because Beijing shares our vision of the emerging equitable world order. We will continue to support each other in the international arena, to work together to solve acute regional and global problems, and to promote cooperation within the UN Security Council, BRICS, the SCO, the G20 and other multilateral forums.

And third, we have settled all the major political issues in our relations with China, including the critical border issue. Our nations have created a solid mechanism of bilateral ties, reinforced by legally binding documents. There is an unprecedentedly high level of trust between the leaders of our two countries. This enables us and the Chinese to act in the spirit of genuine partnership, rooted in pragmatism and respect for each other’s interests. The model of Russian-Chinese relations we have created has good prospects.

Of course, this is not to suggest that our relationship with China is problem-free. There are some sources of friction. Our commercial interests in third parties by no means always coincide, and we are not entirely satisfied with the emerging trade structure and the low level of mutual investments. We will also closely monitor immigration from the People’s Republic of China.

But my main premise is that Russia needs a prosperous and stable China, and I am convinced that China needs a strong and successful Russia.

Another rapidly growing Asian giant is India. Russia has traditionally enjoyed friendly relations with India, which the leaders of our two countries have classified as a privileged strategic partnership. Not only our countries but the entire multipolar system that is emerging in the world stands to gain from this partnership.

We see before our eyes not only the rise of China and India, but the growing weight of the entire Asia-Pacific Region. This has opened up new horizons for fruitful work within the framework of the Russian chairmanship of APEC. In September of this year we will host a meeting of its leaders in Vladivostok. We are actively preparing for it, creating modern infrastructure that will promote the further development of Siberia and the Russian Far East and enable our country to become more involved in the dynamic integration processes in the “new Asia.”

We will continue to prioritize our cooperation with our BRICS partners. That unique structure, created in 2006, is a striking symbol of the transition from a unipolar world to a more just world order. BRICS brings together five countries with a population of almost three billion people, the largest emerging economies, colossal labor and natural resources and huge domestic markets. With the addition of South Africa, BRICS acquired a truly global format, and it now accounts for more than 25% of world GDP.

We are still getting used to working together in this format. In particular, we have to coordinate better on foreign policy matters and work together more closely at the UN. But when BRICS is really up and running, its impact on the world economy and politics will be considerable.

In recent years, cooperation with the countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa has become a growing focus of Russian diplomacy and of our business community. In these regions there is still sincere goodwill toward Russia. One of the key tasks for the coming period, in my view, is cultivating trade and economic cooperation as well as joint projects in the fields of energy, infrastructure, investment, science and technology, banking and tourism.

The growing role of Asia, Latin America and Africa in the emerging democratic system of managing the global economy and global finance is reflected in the work of the G20. I believe that this association will soon become a strategically important tool not only for responding to crises, but for the long-term reform of the world’s financial and economic architecture. Russia will chair the G20 in 2013, and we must use this opportunity to better coordinate the work of the G20 and other multilateral structures, above all the G8 and, of course, the UN.

The Europe factor

Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as Europeans. We are by no means indifferent to developments in united Europe.

That is why Russia proposes moving toward the creation of a common economic and human space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – a community referred by Russian experts to as “the Union of Europe,” which will strengthen Russia’s potential and position in its economic pivot toward the “new Asia.”

Against the background of the rise of China, India and other new economies, the financial and economic upheavals in Europe – formerly an oasis of stability and order – is particularly worrisome. The crisis that has struck the eurozone cannot but affect Russia’s interests, especially if one considers that the EU is our major foreign economic and trade partner. Likewise, it is clear that the prospects of the entire global economic structure depend heavily on the state of affairs in Europe.

Russia is actively participating in the international effort to support the ailing European economies, and is consistently working with its partners to formulate collective decisions under the auspices of the IMF. Russia is not opposed in principle to direct financial assistance in some cases.

At the same time I believe that external financial injections can only partially solve the problem. A true solution will require energetic, system-wide measures. European leaders face the task of effecting large-scale transformations that will fundamentally change many financial and economic mechanisms to ensure genuine budget discipline. We have a stake in ensuring a strong EU, as envisioned by Germany and France. It is in our interests to realize the enormous potential of the Russia-EU partnership.

The current level of cooperation between Russia and the European Union does not correspond to current global challenges, above all making our shared continent more competitive. I propose again that we work toward creating a harmonious community of economies from Lisbon to Vladivostok, which will, in the future, evolve into a free trade zone and even more advanced forms of economic integration. The resulting common continental market would be worth trillions of euros. Does anyone doubt that this would be a wonderful development, and that it would meet the interests of both Russians and Europeans?

We must also consider more extensive cooperation in the energy sphere, up to and including the formation of a common European energy complex. The Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea and the South Stream pipeline under the Black Sea are important steps in that direction. These projects have the support of many governments and involve major European energy companies. Once the pipelines start operating at full capacity, Europe will have a reliable and flexible gas-supply system that does not depend on the political whims of any nation. This will strengthen the continent’s energy security not only in form but in substance. This is particularly relevant in the light of the decision of some European states to reduce or renounce nuclear energy.

The Third Energy Package, backed by the European Commission and aimed at squeezing out integrated Russian companies, is frankly not conducive to stronger relations between Russia and the EU. Considering the growing instability of energy suppliers that could act as an alternative to Russia, the package aggravates the systemic risks to the European energy sector and scares away potential investors in new infrastructure projects. Many European politicians have been critical of the package in their talks with me. We should summon the courage to remove this obstacle to mutually beneficial cooperation.

I believe that genuine partnership between Russia and the European Union is impossible as long as there are barriers that impede human and economic contacts, first and foremost visa requirements. The abolition of visas would give powerful impetus to real integration between Russia and the EU, and would help expand cultural and business ties, especially between medium-sized and small businesses. The threat to Europeans from Russian economic migrants is largely imagined. Our people have opportunities to put their abilities and skills to use in their own country, and these opportunities are becoming ever more numerous.

In December 2011 we agreed with the EU on “joint steps” toward a visa-free regime. They can and should be taken without delay. We should continue to actively pursue this goal.

Russian-American affairs

In recent years a good deal has been done to develop Russian-American relations. Even so, we have not managed to fundamentally change the matrix of our relations, which continue to ebb and flow. The instability of the partnership with America is due in part to the tenacity of some well-known stereotypes and phobias, particularly the perception of Russia on Capitol Hill. But the main problem is that bilateral political dialogue and cooperation do not rest on a solid economic foundation. The current level of bilateral trade falls far short of the potential of our economies. The same is true of mutual investments. We have yet to create a safety net that would protect our relations against ups and downs. We should work on this.

Nor is mutual understanding strengthened by regular U.S. attempts to engage in “political engineering,” including in regions that are traditionally important to us and during Russian elections.

As I’ve said before, U.S. plans to create a missile defense system in Europe give rise to legitimate fears in Russia. Why does that system worry us more than others? Because it affects the strategic nuclear deterrence forces that only Russia possesses in that theatre, and upsets the military-political balance established over decades.

The inseparable link between missile defense and strategic offensive weapons is reflected in the New START treaty signed in 2010. The treaty has come into effect and is working fairly well. It is a major foreign policy achievement. We are ready to consider various options for our joint agenda with the Americans in the field of arms control in the coming period. In this effort we must seek to balance our interests and renounce any attempts to gain one-sided advantages through negotiations.

In 2007, during a meeting with President Bush in Kennebunkport, I proposed a solution to the missile defense problem, which, if adopted, would have changed the customary character of Russian-American relations and opened up a positive path forward. Moreover, if we had managed to achieve a breakthrough on missile defense, this would have opened the floodgates for building a qualitatively new model of cooperation, similar to an alliance, in many other sensitive areas.

It was not to be. Perhaps it would be useful to look back at the transcripts of the talks in Kennebunkport. In recent years the Russian leadership has come forward with other proposals to resolve the dispute over missile defense. These proposals still stand.

I am loath to dismiss the possibility of reaching a compromise on missile defense. One would not like to see the deployment of the American system on a scale that would demand the implementation of our declared countermeasures.

I recently had a talk with Henry Kissinger. I meet with him regularly. I fully share this consummate professional’s thesis that close and trusting interactions between Moscow and Washington are particularly important in periods of international turbulence.

In general, we are prepared to make great strides in our relations with the U.S., to achieve a qualitative breakthrough, but on the condition that the Americans are guided by the principles of equal and mutually respectful partnership.

Economic diplomacy

In December of last year, Russia finally concluded its marathon accession to the WTO, which lasted for many years. I must mention that, in the finishing stretch, the Obama administration and the leaders of some major European states made a significant contribution to achieving the final accords.

To be honest, at times during this long and arduous journey we wanted to turn our backs on the talks and slam the door. But we did not succumb to emotion. As a result a compromise was reached that is quite acceptable for our country: we managed to defend the interests of Russian industrial and agricultural producers in the face of growing external competition. Our economic actors have gained substantial additional opportunities to enter world markets and uphold their rights there in a civilized manner. It is this, rather than the symbolism of Russia’s accession to the World Trade “club”, that I see as the main result of this process.

Russia will comply with WTO norms, as it meets all of its international obligations. Likewise, I hope that our partners will play according to the rules. Let me note in passing that we have already integrated WTO principles in the legal framework of the Common Economic Space of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Russia is still learning how to systematically and consistently promote its economic interests in the world. We have yet to learn, as many Western partners have, how to lobby for decisions that favor Russian business in foreign international forums. The challenges facing us in this area, given our priority of innovation-driven development, are very serious: to achieve equal standing for Russia in the modern system of global economic ties, and to minimize the risks arising from integration in the world economy, including Russia’s membership in the WTO and its forthcoming accession to the OECD.

We are badly in need of broader, non-discriminatory access to foreign markets. So far Russian economic actors have been getting a raw deal abroad. Restrictive trade and political measures are being taken against them, and technical barriers are being erected that put them at a disadvantage compared with their competitors.

The same holds for investments. We are trying to attract foreign capital to the Russian economy. We are opening up the most attractive areas of our economy to foreign investors, granting them access to the “juiciest morsels,” in particular, our fuel and energy complex. But our investors are not welcome abroad and are often pointedly brushed aside.

Examples abound. Take the story of Germany’s Opel, which Russian investors tried and failed to acquire despite the fact that the deal was approved by the German government and was positively received by German trade unions. Or take the outrageous examples of Russian businesses being denied their rights as investors after investing considerable resources in foreign assets. This is a frequent occurrence in Central and Eastern Europe.

All this leads to the conclusions that Russia must strengthen its political and diplomatic support for Russian entrepreneurs in foreign markets, and to provide more robust assistance to major, landmark business projects. Nor should we forget that Russia can employ identical response measures against those who resort to dishonest methods of competition.

The government and business associations should better coordinate their efforts in the foreign economic sphere, more aggressively promote the interests of Russian business and help it to open up new markets.

I would like to draw attention to another important factor that largely shapes the role and place of Russia in present-day and future political and economic alignments – the vast size of our country. Granted, we no longer occupy one-sixth of the Earth’s surface, but the Russian Federation is still the world’s largest nation with an unrivaled abundance of natural resources. I am referring not only to oil and gas, but also our forests, agricultural land and clean freshwater resources.

Russia’s territory is a source of its potential strength. In the past, our vast land mainly served as a buffer against foreign aggression. Now, given a sound economic strategy, they can become a very important foundation for increasing our competitiveness.

I would like to mention, in particular, the growing shortage of fresh water in the world. One can foresee in the near future the start of geopolitical competition for water resources and for the ability to produce water-intensive goods. When this time comes, Russia will have its trump card ready. We understand that we must use our natural wealth prudently and strategically.


Support for compatriots and Russian culture in the international context

Respect for one’s country is rooted, among other things, in its ability to protect the rights of its citizens abroad. We must never neglect the interests of the millions of Russian nationals who live and travel abroad on vacation or on business. I would like to stress that the Foreign Ministry and all diplomatic and consular agencies must be prepared to provide real support to our citizens around the clock. Diplomats must respond to conflicts between Russian nationals and local authorities, and to incidents and accidents in a prompt manner – before the media announces the news to the world.

We are determined to ensure that Latvian and Estonian authorities follow the numerous recommendations of reputable international organizations on observing generally accepted rights of ethnic minorities. We cannot tolerate the shameful status of “non-citizen.” How can we accept that, due to their status as non-citizens, one in six Latvian residents and one in thirteen Estonian residents are denied their fundamental political, electoral and socioeconomic rights and the ability to freely use Russian?

The recent referendum in Latvia on the status of the Russian language again demonstrated to the international community how acute this problem is. Over 300,000 non-citizens were once again barred from taking part in a referendum. Even more outrageous is the fact that the Latvian Central Electoral Commission refused to allow a delegation from the Russian Public Chamber to monitor the vote. Meanwhile, international organizations responsible for compliance with generally accepted democratic norms remain silent.

On the whole, we are dissatisfied with how the issue of human rights is handled globally. First, the United States and other Western states dominate and politicize the human rights agenda, using it as a means to exert pressure. At the same time, they are very sensitive and even intolerant to criticism. Second, the objects of human rights monitoring are chosen regardless of objective criteria but at the discretion of the states that have “privatized” the human rights agenda.

Russia has been the target of biased and aggressive criticism that, at times, exceeds all limits. When we are given constructive criticism, we welcome it and are ready to learn from it. But when we are subjected, again and again, to blanket criticisms in a persistent effort to influence our citizens, their attitudes, and our domestic affairs, it becomes clear that these attacks are not rooted in moral and democratic values.

Nobody should possess complete control over the sphere of human rights. Russia is a young democracy. More often than not, we are too humble and too willing to spare the self-regard of our more experienced partners. Still, we often have something to say, and no country has a perfect record on human rights and basic freedoms. Even the older democracies commit serious violations, and we should not look the other way. Obviously, this work should not be about trading insults. All sides stand to gain from a constructive discussion of human rights issues.

In late 2011, the Russian Foreign Ministry published its first report on the observance of human rights in other countries. I believe we should become more active in this area. This will facilitate broader and more equitable cooperation in the effort to solve humanitarian problems and promote fundamental democratic principles and human rights.

Of course, this is just one aspect of our efforts to promote our international and diplomatic activity and to foster an accurate image of Russia abroad. Admittedly, we have not seen great success here. When it comes to media influence, we are often outperformed. This is a separate and complex challenge that we must confront.

Russia has a great cultural heritage, recognized both in the West and the East. But we have yet to make a serious investment in our culture and its promotion around the world. The surge in global interest in ideas and culture, sparked by the merger of societies and economies in the global information network, provides new opportunities for Russia, with its proven talent for creating cultural objects.

Russia has a chance not only to preserve its culture but to use it as a powerful force for progress in international markets. The Russian language is spoken in nearly all the former Soviet republics and in a significant part of Eastern Europe. This is not about empire, but rather cultural progress. Exporting education and culture will help promote Russian goods, services and ideas; guns and imposing political regimes will not.

We must work to expand Russia’s educational and cultural presence in the world, especially in those countries where a substantial part of the population speaks or understands Russian.

We must discuss how we can derive the maximum benefit for Russia’s image from hosting large international events, including the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in 2012, the G20 summit in 2013 and the G8 summit in 2014, the Universiade in Kazan in 2013, the Winter Olympic Games in 2014, the IIHF World Championships in 2016, and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Russia intends to continue promoting its security and protecting its national interest by actively and constructively engaging in global politics and in efforts to solve global and regional problems. We are ready for mutually beneficial cooperation and open dialogue with all our foreign partners. We aim to understand and take into account the interests of our partners, and we ask that our own interests be respected.

This article was originally published in Moskovskiye Novosti (The Moscow News) 

PUTIN’S GEOPOLITICAL CHESS GAME WITH WASHINGTON IN SYRIA AND EURASIA

July 27, 2012

by F. William Engdahl

Since reassuming his post as Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin has lost no minute in addressing the most urgent geopolitical threats to Russia internationally. Not surprisingly, at the center of his agenda is the explosive situation in the Middle East, above all Syria. Here Putin is engaging every imaginable means of preventing a further deterioration of the situation into what easily could become another “world war by miscalculation.” His activities in recent weeks involve active personal diplomacy with Syria’s government as well as the so-called opposition “Syrian National Council.”  It involves intense diplomacy with Erdogan’s Turkey regime. It involves closed door diplomacy with Obama. It involves direct diplomacy with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

Syria itself, contrary to what most western media portray, is a long-standing multi-ethnic and religiously tolerant secular state with an Alawite Muslim President Bashar Al-Assad, married to a Sunni wife. The Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shia Islam which doesn’t force their women to wear head scarves and are liberal by Sunni standards, especially in the fundamentalist places like Saudi Arabia where women are forbidden to even hold a driver’s license. The overall Syrian population is a diverse mix of Alawites, Druze and Kurds, Sunnis, and Armenian Orthodox Christians. Were the minority regime of Al-Assad to fall, experts estimate that, like in Egypt, the murky Sunni (as in Saudi Arabia) Muslim Brotherhood organization would emerge as the dominant organized political force, something certainly not welcome in Tel Aviv and certainly not in either Russia or China.1

According to an informed assessment by Gajendra Singh, retired Indian diplomat with decades of service in the Middle East and a deep familiarity with the ethnic mix inside Syria, were the minority Alawite regime of Al-Assad to fall, the country would rapidly descend into a bloodbath that would make estimates of 17,000 killed to date a mere prelude. Singh estimates, “A defeat of Assad led regime will lead to slaughter of Alawites, Shias, Christians, even Kurds and Druzes. In all, 20 % of a population of 20 Million.”2

That would be some 4 million Syrians. That ought to be food for thought for those in the West cheering on a murky dubious opposition “Syrian National Council” that is dominated by the ominous Muslim Brotherhood, and an armed opposition “Free Syrian Army” that has been reported even by the New York Times as rife with factional armed splits. Moreover the conflict were it to descend into a Libya-like internal bloodbath, would spill over across the Syrian border into Turkey. Syrian coastal area has a significant Alawite population and a large number of Alawites live in the adjoining Turkish provinces of Hatay and Antakya.

To sort out fact from fiction inside Syria is daunting as media are limited and opposition spokesmen have been repeatedly caught lying about events. In one recent instance, a UK journalist claimed he was deliberately led into a potential death trap by rebel opposition forces to score propaganda against the Damascus regime. The UK Channel 4 News’s chief correspondent, Alex Thomson, told AP that Syrian rebels set him up to die in no man’s land near the Lebanese border, saying they wanted to use his death at the hands of government forces to score propaganda points.3 And in one brazen example of political manipulation, BBC was recently caught publishing a photograph it claimed was of a massacre at Al-Houla on 25 May 2012, in which 108 persons are known to have died including 49 children. It turned out the picture had been taken by Italian photo journalist, Marco Di Lauro in Iraq in 2003.4

The stakes in this geopolitical chess game are nothing less than survival first of Syria as a sovereign nation, whatever its flaws and defects. More, it ultimately involves the survival of Iran, Russia and China as sovereign nations together with the other BRIC states Brazil, India and South Africa. Longer term, it involves the matter of survival of civilization as we know it and avoidance of a world war that would decimate the world population not by tens of millions as seventy years ago but likely this time by billions.

The Syria stakes for Moscow

Russia’s Putin has drawn a deep hard line in the sand around the survival of Al-Assad and Syria as a stable state. Few ask why Russia is warning of possible world war if Washington persists to demand immediate regime change in Syria as Hillary Clinton is doing. It is not because Russia is intent on advancing its own imperialist agenda in the Middle East. It’s in little shape militarily and economically to do so even if it had wanted. Rather, it is about preserving port rights to Russia’s only Mediterranean naval port at Tartus, the only remaining Russian military base outside the former Soviet Union, and its only Mediterranean fueling spot. In event of a showdown with NATO the base becomes strategic to Russia.

Yet there is more at stake for Russia. Putin and Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, have made clear were NATO and the USA to launch military action against Assad’s Syria, the consequences would be staggering. Reliable sources in Damascus have reported the presence of at least 100,000 Russian “technical advisers” in the country. That’s a lot, and a Russian freighter carrying rebuilt Russian Mi-25 attack helicopters is reportedly bound for Syria, while several days earlier a Russian naval flotilla sailed for Tartus led by the Russian destroyer, Admiral Chabanenko.

An earlier attempt to send the rebuilt helicopters back to Syria which had earlier purchased them, was blocked in June off Scotland’s coast when it sailed under a non-Russian freighter flag. Now Moscow has made clear it will tolerate no interference in its traffic with Damascus. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, announced that “The fleet will be sent on task to guarantee the safety of our ships, to prevent anyone interfering with them in the event of a blockade. I remind you there are no limits,” he soberly added.5 In so many words, what Moscow is announcing is that it is willing to face a 21st Century version of the 1962 Cuba Missile Crisis if NATO foolishly persists in pressing regime change in Damascus.

As it has openly emerged that the so-called democratic opposition in Syria is being dominated by the shadowy Muslim Brotherhood, hardly an organization renowned for multi-ethnic democratic tendencies, a victory for a US-backed Muslim Brotherhood regime in Syria, Moscow also believes, would unleash a wave of Muslim-led destabilizations across Central Asia into republics of the former Soviet Union. China is also extremely sensitive about such a danger, only recently confronted with bloody riots of Muslim organization in its oil-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Province, quietly sponsored by the US Government.6

Russia has joined firmly with China since both nations fell into a catastrophic trap over abstaining in the UN Security Council from vetoing the US Resolution. That US resolution opened the door to NATO destruction of not only Mohammar Ghaddafi, but of Libya itself as a functioning country. This author has spoken personally in Moscow and in Beijing since the Libya debacle asking well-informed persons in both places how in effect they could have been so short-sighted on Libya. They both clearly have since concluded that further advance of Washington’s agenda for what George W. Bush called the Greater Middle East Project is diametrically opposed to the national interest of both China and Russia, hence the iron opposition to the NATO agenda in Syria for regime change. To date Russia and China, Permanent veto members of the UN Security Council, have three times exercised their veto over new US-sponsored sanctions against Syria, the latest on July 19.

Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insist on a strict adherence to the proposed peace plan of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Unlike what Washington prefers to generously read into it, the Six Point Annan Plan calls for no regime change, rather for a negotiated settlement and end to the fighting on both sides, a ceasefire.

Washington’s Janus-faced duplicity

Aligned on the side of violent regime change in Syria are a bizarre coalition that includes, in addition to Washington and its European “vassal states” (as Zbigniew Brzezinski called European NATO members),7 most prominently Saudi Arabia, hardly a regime anyone would accuse of being a paragon of democracy. Another lead role against Damascus is being played by Qatar, home to US military as well as the blatantly pro-NATO propaganda channel Al-Jazeera. In addition, the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is providing training and space to prepare armed mercenaries and others to flow over the border into neighboring Syria.

An attempt by the Erdogan government to send a Turkish Phantom air force fighter jet into Syrian airspace flying provocatively low, apparently in order to incite a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident to fan flames of NATO intervention a la Libya two weeks ago, fell flat when Turkey’s general staff issued a statement saying: “No traces of explosives or flammable products were found on the debris recovered from the sea.” Erdogan was forced to shift his line to cover face, no longer using the phrase, “shot down by Syria” and instead referring to “our plane that Syria claimed to have destroyed.”8 NATO has established a command and control center in Iskenderun, in Turkey’s Hatay province, near the Syrian border months ago to organize, train and arm the “anything but” Free Syrian Army.9 The Obama Administration, not wanting a full Syria war before US elections in November, reportedly also told Erdogan to “cool it” for now.

Most westerners who take their knowledge of world affairs religiously from the pages of the Washington Post or CNN or BBC are convinced the Syrian mess is a clear cut case of “good guys” (the so-named Syrian National Council and its rag-tag makeshift “Free Syrian Army”) versus the “bad guys” (the Al-Assad dictatorship with its armed forces). For more than a year western media has run footage, some as noted,  not even filmed in Syria, claiming that innocent, unarmed opposition civilian pro-democracy populations are being massacred ruthlessly in a one-sided butchery by the regime.

They never explain how it would serve Assad to alienate his strongest asset to survival, namely the support of a majority of Syrians against what he has accurately named foreign intervention into sovereign Syrian affairs.

Indeed numerous eyewitness journalist accounts from inside Turkey and Syria including RT have alleged that from the beginning the “peaceful democratic opposition” had secretly been provided with arms and training, often inside camps across on the Turkish side. Professor Ibrahim Alloush from Zaytouneh University in Jordan told RT,

“Weaponry is being smuggled into Syria in large quantities from all over the place. It is pretty clear that the rebels have been receiving arms from abroad and Syrian television has been showing almost daily shipments of arms being smuggled into Syria via Lebanon, Turkey and other border crossings. Since the rebels are being supported by the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and by NATO it is safe to assume that they are getting their financing and weaponry from the same sources that are offering them political cover and financial backing.”  10

One veteran Turkish journalist whom this author interviewed in Ankara in April, just back from an extensive tour of Syria, gave his eyewitness account of the capture of a small band of “opposition” fighters. The journalist, fluent in Arabic, was astonished as he witnessed the head of the rebels demand to know why their military captors spoke Arabic. When told that was their native language, the rebel leader blurted out, “But you should speak Hebrew, you’re with the Israeli Army aren’t you?”

In short, the mercenaries had been blitz-trained across the border in Turkey, given Kalashnikovs and a fistful of dollars and told they were making a jihad against the Israeli Army. They did not even know who they were fighting. In other instances, mercenaries recruited from Afghanistan and elsewhere and financed by Saudi money, including alleged members of Al Qaeda, make up the “democratic opposition” to the established regime of Al-Assad.

Even the ultimate US establishment newspaper, The New York Times, has been forced to admit that the CIA has been pouring arms into the Syrian opposition. They reported, “C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.”11

The International Committee for the Red Cross now classifies the conflict as a civil war.12 Peter Wallensteen, a leading peace researcher at the University of Uppsala and the director of the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, stated that, “It’s increasingly an internationalized civil war, and as we know from previous history, the more internationalized, the longer the conflict will be…there is a civil war, but now so many weapons are coming from the outside, that there is actually an internationalized civil war.” 13

According to Mary Ellen O’Connell, a respected legal scholar and professor of law and international dispute resolution at the University of Notre Dame, “The International Committee of the Red Cross statement means that the Assad regime is facing an organized armed opposition engaging in military force, and it has the legal right to respond in kind. The Syrian military will have more authority to kill persons based on their being part of the armed opposition than when Assad was restricted to using force under peacetime rules.”14 The rebel opposition groups claim it means just the opposite.

While the US State Department makes pious pronouncements of their supporting “democracy” and demanding Al-Assad step down and recognize the dubious and factionalized opposition of the Syrian National Council, an exile group dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, Russia is working skillfully on the diplomatic front to weaken the Western march to war.

Putin’s shrewd diplomacy       

Now, no sooner did Vladimir Putin again take the office as Russia’s President on May 7 than he embarked on a complex series of diplomatic missions to defuse or hopefully derail Washington’s Syrian game plan. On July 16 Putin hosted a Moscow visit of Kofi Annan where he repeated Moscow’s unflinching support for the Annan Peace Plan. 15

Because of the considerable media distortions it’s useful to read the actual text of the six-point Annan plan:

    (1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy;

    (2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilise the country.

    To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centres, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres.

    As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism.

    Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with him to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism;

    (3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause and to coordinate exact time and modalities of the daily pause through an efficient mechanism, including at local level;

    (4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained, immediately begin organizing access to such locations and through appropriate channels respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons;

    (5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;

    (6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.15

There is no demand in the Annan Plan for Bashar al-Assad to step down before any ceasefire, contrary to what Hillary Clinton repeats after insisting the US also backs the Annan Plan. The Annan Plan calls for a diplomatic solution. The US clearly does not want a diplomatic solution. It wants regime change and evidently widening war across the Shi’ite-Sunni divide of the Muslim world.

Moscow and Beijing just as clearly want to draw the line and prevent chaos spreading from Syria. On July 19, again Russia and China, both veto members at the UN Security Council blocked a new US-backed resolution on Syria they insisted was designed to open the door to a Libya-like military intervention into Syria. The resolution had been drafted by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and would have opened the door for a Chapter 7 resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria. Chapter 7 allows the 15-member council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.17 The Hague resolution demanded that the Syrian government in 10 days pull out all its heavy weapons from urban areas and return troops to barracks. Nothing was said about disarming the “Free Syrian Army.” Washington claimed it would only be interested in economic or diplomatic sanctions, not military. Of course. Hmmmm…

Putin has more than a little leverage to use with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. Erdogan was in Moscow just prior to the July 19 UN Security Council vote to discuss Syria with Putin.18  Turkey is the second-largest buyer of Russian natural gas, some 80% of its natural gas coming from Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom. 19 Turkey’s entire “energy hub” strategy of playing a key role in gas flows from Eurasia, the Middle east to Europe depends on gas from Russia and Iran. One year ago a $10 billion pipeline deal was signed between Iran, Iraq and Syria for a natural gas pipeline from Iran’s huge South Pars field to Iraq, Syria and on to Turkey, eventually connecting to Europe.20

Putin had also gone to Tel Aviv on June 21 to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.21 Russian influence inside Israel is not minor. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union some six million Russians, mostly Jews, have emigrated to Israel over the past two decades. Ultimately Israel cannot be overjoyed at the prospect of a Muslim Brotherhood-run Syrian opposition coming to power in neighboring Syria. While few details emerged of the content of the talks, it is clear that Putin delivered the message that a “destroyed, disoriented and broken up Syria would not help Israel. Syria has the second, most well-organized Muslim Brotherhood organization after Egypt,” according to former Indian Ambassador K. Gajendra Singh.22

Then on July 11, Putin and Lavrov invited Abdel Basset Sayda, the new head of the US-backed opposition organization, Syrian National Council, to Moscow for “talks.” Sayda, who is from the Kurdish Syrian minority and has lived twenty years in Swedish exile, is a curious figure as opposition spokesman, from the Kurd minority in Syria, a man with little or no active political experience, clearly chosen mainly to hide the dominant Muslim Brotherhood profile of the SNC. Russia reportedly made it clear to Sayda they would continue to block any attempts to oust Assad and that the opposition need seriously adhere to the Annan Plan and negotiate a settlement. Sayda for his part made clear no negotiations until Assad is gone, a stance that is feeding the bloodshed.23

There are signs in all the bloodshed and escalation of violence that Putin reached some quiet deal as well with Obama to keep war off the table until Obama is past the November elections. Russia recently agreed to reopen supply lines for US military supplies in Afghanistan at the same time Washington orchestrated an “apology” for the recent killings of civilians in Pakistan with its drones.24

Veteran roving journalist Pepe Escobar recently summed up the situation in all its grim reality:

 “Turkey will keep offering the logistical base for mercenaries coming from “liberated” Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon. The House of Saud will keep coming up with the cash to weaponize them. And Washington, London and Paris will keep fine-tuning the tactics in what remains the long, simmering foreplay for a NATO attack on Damascus. Even though the armed Syrian opposition does not control anything remotely significant inside Syria, expect the mercenaries reportedly weaponized by the House of Saud and Qatar to become even more ruthless. Expect the not-exactly-Free Syrian Army to keep mounting operations for months, if not years. A key point is whether enough supply lines will remain in place – if not from Jordan, certainly from Turkey and Lebanon.”24

Notes

1 David Harding, How a meeting of the Muslim Brotherhood offers new hope to Syria’s rebels, The Daily Mail, 18 July 2012, accessed in http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2175295/How-meeting-Muslim-Brotherhood-offers-new-hope-Syrias-rebels.html#ixzz20zdHkpBv

2 Gajendra Singh, Syria: An update on internal, regional and international standoff, 18 July, 2012, email to author.

3 Raphael Satter, UK journalist Syria rebels led me into death trap, Associated Press, June 8, 2012, accessed in http://news.yahoo.com/uk-journalist-syria-rebels-led-death-trap-195428598.html.

4 Richard Lightbown, Syria: Media Lies, Hidden Agendas and Strange Alliances, Global Research, June 18, 2012, accessed in http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31491

5 Tom Parfitt, Russian ship with helicopters for Syrian regime sets sail again, The Telegraph, 13 July, 2012.

6 F. William Engdahl, Washington is Playing a Deeper Game with China, Global Research, June 11, 2009, accessed in http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14327

7 The vassal quote by Zbigniew Brzezinski:  ”…To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial (American-ed.) geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives , 1997,  p.  40.

8 Adrian Blomfield, Syria: Turkey jet crash may have been accident, The Telegraph, 12 July, 2012, accessed in

9 Pepe Escobar, Why Turkey won’t go to War with Syria, July 8, 2012, accessed in  http://www.voltairenet.org/Why-Turkey-won-t-go-to-war-with

10 RT, Syrian opposition getting ‘daily shipments’ of arms, 08 February, 2012, accessed in http://www.rt.com/news/syria-opposition-weapon-smuggling-843/

11 Eric Schmitt, CIA Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition, The New York Times, June 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/cia-said-to-aid-in-steering-arms-to-syrian-rebels.html?pagewanted=all

12 Mariam Karouny and Erika Solomon , Syrian forces surround rebels fighting in capital, Reuters,  July 16 2012, accessed in  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/16/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8610SH20120716

13 Victor Kotsev , Chaos in Syria overshadows rebels’ hopes, Asia Times, July 18, 2012, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG18Ak02.html

14 Ibid.

15 AFP, Russia’s Putin to meet Annan for Syria talks, 15 July 2012, http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/109-world-top-news/67866-russias-putin-to-meet-annan-for-syria-talks-.html

16 “Six-Point Proposal Presented to Syrian Authorities”, UN Security Council. 21 March 2012.

17 Voltaire Network, Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria for third time, 19 July 2012, accessed in http://www.voltairenet.org/Russia-China-veto-UN-resolution-on

18 Rian.ru, Putin Meets Turkey’s Erdogan Ahead of UN Syria Vote, 19 July 2012 accessed in http://www.turkishweekly.net/print.asp?type=1&id=138726

19 F. William Engdahl, The Geopolitical Great Game: Turkey and Russia Moving Closer,  accessed in http://www.voltairenet.org/The-Geopolitical-Great-Game-Turkey

20 Pepe Escobar, op. cit.

21 AFP, op. cit

22 K. Gajendra Singh, Will Putin’s Israel Visit Calm Middle East Tempest?, June, 2012, accessed in http://tarafits.blogspot.in/2012/06/will-putins-israel-visit-calm-middle.html

23 RT, Syrian National Council in Moscow for first-ever talks, RT.com, 11 July, 2012, accessed in http://rt.com/politics/syria-russia-lavrov-moscow-talks-912/print/

24 Pepe Escobar, op. cit.

25 Ibid.

RUSSIA MASSING TROOPS NEAR NORTHERN IRANIAN BORDER?

Business Insider

April 10, 2012

IRAN – The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources.

Russian Security Council head Viktor Ozerov said that Russian General Military Headquarters has prepared an action plan in the event of an attack on Iran. Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, warned against an attack on Iran. “Iran is our neighbor,” Rogozin said. “If Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”

Rogozin now is the deputy Russian prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia’s defense sector. Russian Defense Ministry sources say that the Russian military doesn’t believe that Israel has sufficient military assets to defeat Iranian defenses and further believes that U.S. military action will be necessary.

The implication of preparing to move Russian troops not only is to protect its own vital regional interests but possibly to assist Iran in the event of such an attack. Sources add that a Russian military buildup in the region could result in the Russian military potentially engaging Israeli forces, U.S. forces, or both.

Informed sources say that the Russians have warned of “unpredictable consequences” in the event Iran is attacked, with some Russians saying that the Russian military will take part in the possible war because it would threaten its vital interests in the region. The influential Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has quoted a Russian military source as saying that the situation forming around Syria and Iran “causes Russia to expedite the course of improvement of its military groups in the South Caucasus, the Caspian, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.”

This latest information comes from a series of reports and leaks from official Russian spokesmen and government news agencies who say that an Israeli attack is all but certain by the summer. Because of the impact on Russian vital interests in the region, sources say that Russian preparations for such an attack began two years ago when Russian Military Base 102 in Gyumri, Armenia, was modernized. It is said to occupy a major geopolitical position in the region.

RUSSIA SENDS WARSHIPS TO SYRIA

Russia despatched a flotilla of warships to its naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus on Tuesday in an apparent show of support for President Bashar al-Assad.

By Tom Parfitt, Moscow and Adrian Blomfield | telegraph.uk.co

July 10, 2012

Two destroyers and three amphibious landing vessels carrying marines set sail from Russian bases in the Arctic and the Black Sea, according to Russian military sources.

Russia’s defence ministry insisted that the mission was part of a previously scheduled exercise in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea and at least one of the vessels in the flotilla has patrolled waters off Syria earlier this year.

But Western diplomats say the purpose of the mission is to show tangible support for Mr Assad, to warn the West against military intervention in Syria and to prepare for the possible evacuation of Russian nationals from the country.

Russia renewed naval patrols in the Mediterranean in 2007 – after a 15-year hiatus – with a wider aim of expressing the country’s military resurgence.

It was unclear whether the ships were carrying weapons supplies or large numbers of marines.

Despite the demonstration of military strength, speculation has been mounting that Russia is subtly realigning its once unquestioned support for Mr Assad, although its public position is unlikely to change.

This week, Moscow announced that it would halt the delivery of new weapons to the Syrian armed forces, while some of Mr Assad’s leading opponents have been invited to the Kremlin for talks.

Meanwhile, Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League special envoy to Syria, sought regional support for his faltering peace plan as he held talks with senior officials in both Iran and Iraq.

Mr Annan, who said this week that he was working on a new proposal to end the fighting in Syria, said he believed that Iran could play a “positive role” in ending the crisis, despite its close relationship with the Assad regime.

The United States has accused Iran of propping up Mr Assad, by giving him arms and logistical support.

Mr Annan has said that he will brief the Syrian opposition on a new approach he has agreed with Mr Assad earlier this week. Although he would not be drawn on the specifics of the proposal, he said that his new plan involved ending the conflict on a step-by-step basis, beginning with districts that have suffered the worst violence.

RUSSIA SENDING WARSHIPS ON MANEUVERS NEAR SYRIA

By ANDREW E. KRAMER and RICK GLADSTONE | The New York Times

July 10, 2012

MOSCOW — Russia said on Tuesday that it had dispatched a flotilla of 11 warships to the eastern Mediterranean, some of which would dock in Syria. It would be the largest display of Russian military power in the region since the Syrian conflict began almost 17 months ago. Nearly half of the ships were capable of carrying hundreds of marines.

The announcement appeared intended to punctuate Russia’s effort to position itself as an increasingly decisive broker in resolving the antigovernment uprising in Syria, Russia’s last ally in the Middle East and home to Tartus, its only foreign military base outside the former Soviet Union. The announcement also came a day after Russia said it was halting new shipments of weapons to the Syrian military until the conflict settled down.

Russia has occasionally sent naval vessels on maneuvers in the eastern Mediterranean, and it dispatched an aircraft-carrying battleship, the Admiral Kuznetsov, there for maneuvers with a few other vessels from December 2011 to February 2012. There were rumors in recent weeks that the Russians planned to deploy another naval force near Syria.

But the unusually large size of the force announced on Tuesday was considered a message, not just to the region but also to the United States and other nations supporting the rebels now trying to depose Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

Tartus consists of little more than a floating refueling station and some small barracks. But any strengthened Russian presence there could forestall Western military intervention in Syria.

The Russian announcement got a muted response in Washington. “Russia maintains a naval supply and maintenance base in the Syrian port of Tartus,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “We currently have no reason to believe this move is anything out of the ordinary, but we refer you to the Russian government for more details.”

The announcement came as a delegation of Syrian opposition figures was visiting Moscow to gauge if Russia would accept a political transition in Syria that excludes Mr. Assad. It also coincided with a flurry of diplomacy by Kofi Annan, the special Syria envoy from the United Nations and the Arab League, who said Mr. Assad had suggested a new approach for salvaging Mr. Annan’s sidelined peace plan during their meeting on Monday in Damascus.

While the Kremlin has repeatedly opposed foreign military intervention in Syria, Russian military officials have hinted at a possible role in Syria for their naval power. The ships have been presented as a means either to evacuate Russian citizens or to secure the fueling station at Tartus.

A statement by the Defense Ministry said ships had embarked from ports of three fleets: those of the Northern, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, and would meet for training exercises in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Taking part, the statement said, would be two Black Sea Fleet landing craft that can carry marines: the Nikolai Filchenkov and the Tsezar Kunikov.

Russia’s Interfax news agency cited an unnamed military official as saying that an escort ship, the Smetlivy, would stop in Tartus for resupplying in three days — though it had presumably recently left its home port of Sevastopol, in the Black Sea.

Another contingent, from the Arctic Ocean base of Severomorsk, in the Murmansk Fjord, will take longer to arrive. That convoy includes three landing craft with marines escorted by an antisubmarine ship, the Admiral Chabanenko.

The voyage to the Mediterranean was unrelated to the Syrian conflict, the official said, but the boats laden with marines would stop in Tartus to “stock up on fuel, water and food.”

Visits on Tuesday by Mr. Annan to Iran, the Syrian government’s most important regional ally, and Iraq, Syria’s neighbor to the east, which fears a sectarian spillover from the conflict, came as a deadline of July 20 approaches. That is when the United Nations Security Council is to decide whether to renew the mission of 300 observers in Syria charged with monitoring the introduction of Mr. Annan’s peace plan. The observers’ work was suspended nearly a month ago because it was too dangerous.

At a news conference in Tehran, Mr. Annan reiterated his view that the Iranians had a role to play in resolving the conflict, despite objections from the United States. Mr. Annan also said Mr. Assad had proposed altering the peace proposal so that the most violent areas of the country would be pacified first. The current plan calls for an immediate cessation of all violence everywhere as a first step.

“He made a suggestion of building an approach from the ground up in some of the districts where we have extreme violence — to try and contain the violence in these districts and, step by step, build up and end the violence across the country,” Mr. Annan told reporters in Tehran.

There was no immediate word on whether the suggested new approach would be accepted by Mr. Assad’s opponents. But in Moscow, a delegation from the Syrian National Council, the umbrella opposition group in exile, suggested they had no interest in engaging with him.

“What brings together the opposition today is our consensus on the need to topple Assad’s regime and build a new political system,” Bassma Kodmani, a member of the delegation, said at a news conference in Moscow.

The delegation members, who are to meet on Wednesday with Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, also said they would not ask that Russia grant Mr. Assad asylum — something Russian officials have said they are not considering anyway.

Andrew E. Kramer reported from Moscow, and Rick Gladstone from New York. Reporting was contributed by Thomas Erdbrink from Tehran, Duraid Adnan from Baghdad, Peter E. Baker from Washington and Dalal Mawad from Beirut.

RUSSIA’S CONCERN IS TO DENY VICTORY TO THE WEST

By Zaki Laïdi | The Financial Times

Moscow will not give up Damascus, as Russia’s foreign minister has made clear – despite rebels’ latest success in targeting the heart of the Assad regime. At stake here, beyond Syria, is the restoration of Russian power in relation to the west.

Russia’s relations with Syria date back to the emigration to Turkey and Syria of Circassian minorities in the 19th century and this link still influences Russia’s perception of the Syrian crisis. The fear is that chaos in Syria, if followed by an Islamist victory, might radicalise the Russian Caucasus. Moreover, Syria has traditionally been a counterweight to Turkey, especially when Turkish-Syrian relations were troubled. If the Damascus regime fell, Moscow’s southern flank would be weakened. Indeed, the regime’s fall would cut Russia out of the Middle East, where it has met with one setback after another over the past 50 years.

Of course, the counter-argument is that the more Moscow supports Damascus, the more it jeopardises its position in Syria. But Russia does not think in these terms. It does not seek to adapt to a changing world but to return to the old world by preserving what is left of it. Russia is fighting national decline not with renewal or development but with systematic political obstruction.

Russia’s decline in the Middle East began in 1971, when Anwar Sadat. president of Egypt, expelled Soviet military advisers. The Russians were unable to make up for this defeat in the region because Iraq was too unpredictable and Iran too uncontrollable. Syria has the advantage of being highly predictable and perfectly controllable. It is predictable because Syrians have always known just how far to push against the west or Israel – their realism evident in Damascus’s silence after Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor Syria was building with the help of North Korea. It is also controllable because the country has very few allies besides Russia and Iran. The regime has no cards to play and, despite an apparent opening to the west in recent years, is unreformed.

Moscow sees Syria as the perfect friend. Relations might sometimes be strained by the big military debt Damascus has incurred with Moscow. Yet the stability of Syrian policy is appealing to the Russians because it closely resembles theirs. Both countries defend their interests by compromising as little as possible with the west, short of resorting to force. Both maintain authoritarian and nationalist regimes for which doing business with the west need not imply adopting its model of democracy and human rights. There have been close contacts between the Russian and Syrian elites since the mid-1950s, especially between their armies and intelligence communities.

This stable relationship has also been strengthened by the hereditary nature of the Russian and Syrian regimes. Children of the countries’ respective nomenclatures often succeed their parents in key intelligence positions. There are also personal links: some 30,000 Russian citizens live in Syria. Russian arms sales and access to naval facilities are not the foundation but the extension of this relationship.

Yet there is another factor driving Russian conduct: Moscow’s desire to prevent any western gains from the Syrian crisis. The regime’s unpopularity is secondary in Russia’s assessment of a situation: above all, it does not want to see the Syrian crisis unfold like the Libyan one. In Moscow’s eyes, the west used UN Resolution 1973 on Libya to get rid of an unpopular regime, and its success was unwelcome. Russians consider help to people struggling against oppressive leaders as a façade to hide ulterior political or commercial motives. What matters to them is that the international system should rest on the sovereignty of states. As Russia declines and falls behind the west and China, its leaders are increasingly tempted to base their political identity on their opposition to the west. In these circumstances, unrest in Syria – even if it ends in civil war and the departure of Bashar al-Assad – is preferable to an orderly political transition that would end the regime.

Russia’s priority is not so much to support the Syrian regime. It is to make the price of regime change prohibitive enough for the west to forgo any thoughts of sponsoring it – in Syria, or in Russia.

The writer is a professor at Sciences Po. His book ‘Limited Achievements: Obama’s Foreign Policy’ is published next month.

SPECIAL REPORT: RUSSIA MOVES NUCLEAR MISSILES TO CUBA

Paul Joseph Watson

Infowars.com
Thursday, August 2, 2012

A report out of Pravda quotes President Vladimir Putin as saying that Russia has moved strategic nuclear missiles to Cuba in response to the United States’ continuing efforts to encircle Russia in Eastern Europe.

The article, written by Lyuba Lulko, explains how Russia is reviving its military operations in Vietnam, Cuba and the Seychelles.

In October 2001, President Vladimir Putin announced that the Lourdes radio-electronic center on the island had been shut down as a “gift” to President George W. Bush on the basis of promises given by Bush that the U.S. missile defense system would never be deployed in Eastern Europe.

However, with the missile defense system under the auspices of NATO now reaching “interim operational capability” in Europe at the end of May, that promise has been shattered.

“The Russian Federation has fulfilled all terms of the agreement. And even more. I shut down not only the Cuban Lourdes but also Kamran in Vietnam. I shut them down because I gave my word of honor. I, like a man, has kept my word. What have the Americans done? The Americans are not responsible for their own words. It is no secret that in recent years, the U.S. created a buffer zone around Russia, involving in this process not only the countries of Central Europe, but also the Baltic states, Ukraine and the Caucasus. The only response to this could be an asymmetric expansion of the Russian military presence abroad, particularly in Cuba,” the report quotes Putin as saying.

“With the full consent of the Cuban leadership, on May 11 of this year, our country has not only resumed work in the electronic center of Lourdes, but also placed the latest mobile strategic nuclear missiles “Oak” on the island. They did not want to do it the amicable way, now let them deal with this,” added Putin.

According to the report, Cuba, which was angered by the original decision to shut down the radio-electronic center, has agreed to allow Russia to locate the missiles on Cuban territory because of its fears over new U.S. military bases in Colombia.

Whether the quotes attributed to Putin are accurate or not remains to be seen. They appear nowhere outside of the original Pravda piece.

Once the primary mouthpiece of the Soviet Communist Party, Pravda’s influence has now declined rapidly. The online version is managed by former journalists who worked for the original newspaper but other than that the two versions are separate entities.

Speculation that Russia was re-building its nuclear infrastructure in preparation for a potential future conflict came with the news that 5,000 new nuclear bomb shelters were being constructed in Moscow to be completed by the end of 2012.

Officials justified the move by saying they wanted the entire population of Moscow to be able to reach a nuclear bomb shelter within minutes. China has also built huge underground bomb shelters, outpacing the United States whose bomb shelters from the cold war era still remain as they were at the time or have been decommissioned.

The prospect of Russia moving nuclear missiles to Cuba obviously harks back to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, which marked the closest moment that the world came to World War III and a potential nuclear holocaust.

Given the gravity of Putin’s alleged statements, don’t expect to wait too long for Russian authorities to deny the quotes featured in the Pravda report.

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

RUSSIA TO REVIVE ARMY BASES IN THREE OCEANS

The Russian government intends to restore the military-technical support of their ships at the former military base in Cam Ranh (Vietnam), Lourdes (Cuba) and the Seychelles. So far, this is not about plans for a military presence, but rather the restoration of the crew resources. However, a solid contractual basis should be developed for these plans.

The intentions were announced on July 27 by the Russian Navy Commander Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov. “At the international level, the creation of logistics points in Cuba, the Seychelles and Vietnam is being worked out,”   Chirkov was quoted by the media. The issue was specifically discussed at the meeting with the leaders of all countries. President of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang has recently held talks with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow and President Putin in Sochi. Cuban leader Raul Castro met with Putin in Moscow earlier this month. A little earlier the President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Michel made an unequivocal statement.

“We will give Russia the benefits in Cam Ranh, including the development of military cooperation,” the President of Vietnam told the media. Cuba that has an American military base in Guantanamo Bay and is protesting against the deployment of new U.S. bases in Colombia, of course, wants to acquire an ally in Russia to be able to contain the United States. Seychelles in the Indian Ocean has always been in the zone of Soviet influence. In 1981, the Soviet Navy helped the government to prevent the military coup and before the collapse of the USSR the Soviets had a constant presence in the area. In June of 2012, at the opening of an Orthodox church in the capital city of Victoria, James Michel spoke of Russia’s role in combating piracy and supported the Russian idea to build a pier in the port of Victoria, designed for the reception of the Navy warships of Russian Federation.

Following the statement by Vice-Admiral, Russian Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry made it clear that they were talking about rest and replenishment of the crews after the campaign in the area and not military bases. It is clear, however, that Russian warships could do both without special arrangements, given the good attitudes of the leaders of these countries toward Russia. It can be assumed that the Russian Admiral unwittingly gave away far-reaching plans of the Russian leadership. That would be great, because from the time of Peter the Great, Russia had a strong fleet and army. In addition, it is worth mentioning Putin’s statement at the G20 meeting in June. After the meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Putin made a sudden harsh statement to the press.

“In 2001 I, as the President of the Russian Federation and the supreme commander, deemed it advantageous to withdraw the radio-electronic center Lourdes from Cuba. In exchange for this, George Bush, the then U.S. president, has assured me that this decision would become the final confirmation that the Cold War was over and both of our states, getting rid of the relics of the Cold War, will start building a new relationship based on cooperation and transparency. In particular, Bush has convinced me that the U.S. missile defense system will never be deployed in Eastern Europe.

The Russian Federation has fulfilled all terms of the agreement. And even more. I shut down not only the Cuban Lourdes but also Kamran in Vietnam. I shut them down because I gave my word of honor. I, like a man, has kept my word. What have the Americans done? The Americans are not responsible for their own words. It is no secret that in recent years, the U.S. created a buffer zone around Russia, involving in this process not only the countries of Central Europe, but also the Baltic states, Ukraine and the Caucasus. The only response to this could be an asymmetric expansion of the Russian military presence abroad, particularly in Cuba. In Cuba, there are convenient bays for our reconnaissance and warships, a network of the so-called “jump airfields.” With the full consent of the Cuban leadership, on May 11 of this year, our country has not only resumed work in the electronic center of Lourdes, but also placed the latest mobile strategic nuclear missiles “Oak” on the island. They did not want to do it the amicable way, now let them deal with this,” Putin said.

It is obvious that Russia will not stop simply at “resting” their sailors in the area. Now back to the statement of Chirkov. Americans have not officially resented it. For example, the Pentagon spokesman George Little said that Russia had the right to enter into military agreements and relationships with other countries, as does the United States, according to France Press Agency. The reason is simple: American analysts believe that Russia now cannot afford to create its own military bases.

The Americans talk about Russia’s lack of influence, money and the actual fleet. Western media quoted an “independent expert on the defense” in Moscow Paul Fengelgauer. He said that Russia does not have the necessary naval resources to provide constant presence outside its territorial waters, as it has only 30 major warships that serve five fleets. Therefore, the possibility of placing an additional station does not mean the expansion of sea power in Russia. This is largely an objective assessment. But since the crisis in the West in 2008, Russia began to recover part of its navy. The loss was not that great – about a quarter of the Soviet reserve. Another thing is that we should talk about the modernization of the fleet. There is much to maintain. On Thursday, Chirkov said that this year Russia’s naval forces can be replenished with another 10-15 warships, including destroyers and nuclear submarines.

As for the influence, judging by the words of the Russian President, Russia is also actively growing in this regard, although work in this direction has only begun. As we can see, Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans are involved. This is due not only to geopolitical reasons, but the growing economic presence of Russia in the regions. For example, “Gazprom” is actively working on offshore Vietnam. In the Caribbean, it also participates in the construction of Meso-American pipeline and field development in Venezuela. An ammunition plant is under construction in Cuba.

However, one should start with a solid contractual basis. Take, for example, agreements on mutual defense that the U.S. has with the Philippines, Japan, Colombia, and Mexico. In the presence of such agreements military bases cannot be challenged as a military expansion. Russia has room to grow – of the 16 operating in the Soviet era military bases today there is only one left – Tartus in Syria, or two, if we consider the base in Sevastopol.

RUSSIAN ATTACK SUBMARINE SAILS INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO UNDETECTED FOR WEEKS

Russian Akula Submarine / AP

BY: Bill Gertz | Washington Free Beacon
August 14, 2012

A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

It is only the second time since 2009 that a Russian attack submarine has patrolled so close to U.S. shores.

The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

The submarine patrol also exposed what U.S. officials said were deficiencies in U.S. anti-submarine warfare capabilities—forces that are facing cuts under the Obama administration’s plan to reduce defense spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years.

The Navy is in charge of detecting submarines, especially those that sail near U.S. nuclear missile submarines, and uses undersea sensors and satellites to locate and track them.

The fact that the Akula was not detected in the Gulf is cause for concern, U.S. officials said.

The officials who are familiar with reports of the submarine patrol in the Gulf of Mexico said the vessel was a nuclear-powered Akula-class attack submarine, one of Russia’s quietest submarines.

A Navy spokeswoman declined to comment.

One official said the Akula operated without being detected for a month.

“The Akula was built for one reason and one reason only: To kill U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines and their crews,” said a second U.S. official.

“It’s a very stealthy boat so it can sneak around and avoid detection and hope to get past any protective screen a boomer might have in place,” the official said, referring to the Navy nickname for strategic missile submarines.

The U.S. Navy operates a strategic nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia. The base is homeport to eight missile-firing submarines, six of them equipped with nuclear-tipped missiles, and two armed with conventional warhead missiles.

“Sending a nuclear-propelled submarine into the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean region is another manifestation of President Putin demonstrating that Russia is still a player on the world’s political-military stage,” said naval analyst and submarine warfare specialist Norman Polmar.

“Like the recent deployment of a task force led by a nuclear cruiser into the Caribbean, the Russian Navy provides him with a means of ‘showing the flag’ that is not possible with Russian air and ground forces,” Polmar said in an email.

The last time an Akula submarine was known to be close to U.S. shores was 2009, when two Akulas were spotted patrolling off the east coast of the United States.

Those submarine patrols raised concerns at the time about a new Russian military assertiveness toward the United States, according to the New York Times, which first reported the 2009 Akula submarine activity.

The latest submarine incursion in the Gulf further highlights the failure of the Obama administration’s “reset” policy of conciliatory actions designed to develop closer ties with Moscow.

Instead of closer ties, Russia under President Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB intelligence officer who has said he wants to restore elements of Russia’s Soviet communist past, has adopted growing hardline policies against the United States.

Of the submarine activity, Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “It’s a confounding situation arising from a lack of leadership in our dealings with Moscow. While the president is touting our supposed ‘reset’ in relations with Russia, Vladimir Putin is actively working against American interests, whether it’s in Syria or here in our own backyard.”

The Navy is facing sharp cuts in forces needed to detect and counter such submarine activity.

The Obama administration’s defense budget proposal in February cut $1.3 billion from Navy shipbuilding projects, which will result in scrapping plans to build 16 new warships through 2017.

The budget also called for cutting plans to buy 10 advanced P-8 anti-submarine warfare jets needed for submarine detection.

In June, Russian strategic nuclear bombers and support aircraft conducted a large-scale nuclear bomber exercise in the arctic. The exercise included simulated strikes on “enemy” strategic sites that defense officials say likely included notional attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Alaska.

Under the terms of the 2010 New START arms accord, such exercises require 14-day advanced notice of strategic bomber drills, and notification after the drills end. No such notification was given.

A second, alarming air incursion took place July 4 on the West Coast when a Bear H strategic bomber flew into U.S. airspace near California and was met by U.S. interceptor jets.

That incursion was said to have been a bomber incursion that has not been seen since before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

It could not be learned whether the submarine in the Gulf of Mexico was an Akula 1 type submarine or a more advanced Akula 2.

It is also not known why the submarine conducted the operation. Theories among U.S. analysts include the notion that submarine incursion was designed to further signal Russian displeasure at U.S. and NATO plans to deploy missile defenses in Europe.

Russia’s chief of the general staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, said in May that Russian forces would consider preemptive attacks on U.S. and allied missile defenses in Europe, and claimed the defenses are destabilizing in a crisis.

Makarov met with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in July. Dempsey questioned him about the Russian strategic bomber flights near U.S. territory.

The voyage of the submarine also could be part of Russian efforts to export the Akula.

Russia delivered one of its Akula-2 submarines to India in 2009. The submarine is distinctive for its large tail fin.

Brazil’s O Estado de Sao Paoli reported Aug. 2 that Russia plans to sell Venezuela up to 11 new submarines, including one Akula.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow’s military is working to set up naval replenishment facilities in Vietnam and Cuba, but denied there were plans to base naval forces in those states.

Asked if Russia planned a naval base in Cuba, Lavrov said July 28: “We are not speaking of any bases. The Russian navy ships serve exercise cruises and training in the same regions. To harbor, resupply, and enable the crew to rest are absolutely natural needs. We have spoken of such opportunities with our Cuban friends.” The comment was posted in the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

Russian warships and support vessels were sent to Venezuela in 2008 to take part in naval exercises in a show of Russian support for the leftist regime of Hugo Chavez. The ships also stopped in Cuba.

Russian Deputy Premier Dmitri Rogozin announced in February that Russia was working on a plan to build 10 new attack submarines and 10 new missile submarines through 2030, along with new aircraft carriers.

Submarine warfare specialists say the Akula remains the core of the Russian attack submarine force.

The submarines can fire both cruise missiles and torpedoes, and are equipped with the SSN-21 and SSN-27 submarine-launched cruise missiles, as well as SSN-15 anti-submarine-warfare missiles. The submarines also can lay mines.

The SSN-21 has a range of up to 1,860 miles.

IRAN: THERE WILL BE WAR AND WE WILL WIN

June 30, 2012

More than 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching U.S. bases

ballistic_missiles

By Reza Kahlili | World Net Daily

Just days after the breakdown of talks with the West over Iran’s nuclear program, the deputy chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards announced that there soon will be war – and that Allah will ensure his forces are victorious.

The last round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) ended in Moscow last week without any agreement on Iran’s illicit nuclear program.

Gen. Hossein Salami, in a televised interview, boasted that, “Iran has complete control of all the enemy’s interests around the world and is on a path to reach equivalency with world powers.” The commander emphasized that Iran’s nuclear program is irreversible, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Salami said war is inevitable, and the Iranian forces are ready.

“The current sanctions will only help Iran with its progress, and the Iranian ballistic missiles can target the enemy’s moving carriers with 100 percent accuracy,” he warned the West. “The Guards’ operational plan includes a radius of deterrence in the region in which all interests of the enemy have been identified, and in case of war, those interests will be attacked.”

Guards’ commanders have stated previously that all U.S. bases in the region are targeted with missiles and will be attacked should America strike Iran.

Salami said Iranian ballistic missiles can travel at several times the speed of sound and cannot easily be tracked and destroyed. “Our defense inventory is so great that at times our brothers in the Guards face limitations with space.”

The Revolutionary Guards have more than 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching all U.S. bases in the region, all of Israel and some capitals in Europe. In collaboration with China and North Korea, they are also working on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Salami said the Guards are on high alert, adding, “Our forces in relation to our internal security will complete their mission with all of their capability.”

In 2009, millions of Iranians took to the street demanding regime change, but ultimately the uprising was cruelly suppressed and many Iranians were tortured and executed. According to statistics from the Islamic regime’s Justice Department, all Iranian prisons are overflowing and there is a need for more prisons. As reported by Iranian officials, last year alone more than 600 people were executed, including women.

Salami repeated that the Guards are ready for war, which is close, and though it will be very difficult, “We have faith in Allah.”

In another sign that the Iranian officials expect war, Iran’s supreme leader Wednesday urged all factions of the regime, political and military, to unite and remain steadfast in defense of Islam in confronting the “arrogant powers.”

According to Sepah News, the official media outlet of the Guards, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a meeting with regime officials, stated, “Today the arrogant powers of the world have focused all their power to hurt the Islamic republic and stop its progress (nuclear program), which motivates the Islamic world.”

Referring to sanctions on Iran, Khamenei said, “America itself is surrounded by serious problems, which cannot be solved. … Their main goal is to separate the Islamic republic from the support of its people. … Allah willing, this conspiracy will also be defeated.”

AGENCY: IRAN TO HOLD MANEUVERS WITH MISSILES

July 1, 2012

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards are planning war games this week, including drills with surface-to-surface missiles aimed at models of foreign bases, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.

It said the maneuvers would begin Monday in Iran’s central desert and last three days.

The report quoted Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the airspace unit of the Guards. He said the message of the maneuvers to “adventurist” nations in the region and the West is that “Iran will respond to any possible evil” in a “strong and crushing” way.

He said the maneuvers are also aimed at assessing the accuracy and effectiveness of warheads and systems.

The announcement coincides with the beginning of a European Union oil embargo meant to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. The West suspects Iran wants to build nuclear weapons, and Israel has hinted at an attack if diplomatic efforts and sanctions fail to eliminate the threat.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, like power generation and cancer treatment.

Gen. Hajizadeh threatened that if Israel plans any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, “They will provide us a reason to remove Israel from the earth.”

He said Israel is not capable of attacking Iran “since it was defeated by Hezbollah” in 2006, a reference to a monthlong war between Israel and the Iran-backed Lebanese group.

Israel considers Iran its most dangerous enemy because of its nuclear program, missile capability, support for radical anti-Israel groups like Hezbollah and frequent references to destruction of the Jewish state.

Iran has already tested a Shahab-3 missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) that can reach Israel and southern Europe.

Gen. Hajizadeh also said Iran has produced an anti-radar missile called “Arm” that can hit any source of radar. He said the weapon could “damage” missile shields in Turkey and Gulf countries.

IRAN SAYS IT TEST-FIRES MISSILES IN WAR OF NERVES

By Marcus George | Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Tuesday it had successfully tested medium-range missiles capable of hitting Israel as a response to threats of attack, the latest move in a war of nerves with the West.

Israel says it could attack Iran if diplomacy fails to secure a halt to its disputed nuclear energy program. The United States also has military force as a possible option but has repeatedly encouraged the Israelis to be patient while new economic sanctions are implemented against Iran.

The Islamic Republic announced the “Great Prophet 7″ missile exercise on Sunday after a European embargo against Iranian crude oil purchases took full effect following another fruitless round of big power talks with Tehran.

Iran’s official English-language Press TV said the Shahab 3 missile with a range of 1,300 km (800 miles) – able to reach Israel – was tested along with the shorter-range Shahab 1 and 2.

“The main aim of this drill is to demonstrate the Iranian nation’s political resolve to defend vital values and national interests,” Revolutionary Guards Deputy Commander Hossein Salami was quoted by Press TV as saying.

He said the tests were in response to Iran’s enemies who talk of a “military option being on the table”.

On Sunday, Iran threatened to wipe Israel “off the face of the earth” if the Jewish state attacked it.

Analysts have challenged some of Iran’s military assertions, saying it often exaggerates its capabilities.

Senior researcher Pieter Wezeman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said Iran’s missiles were still relatively inaccurate and of limited use in conventional warfare. With conventional warheads, “their only utility is as a tool of terror and no more than that”, he said by telephone.

He added, however, that they could be suitable for carrying nuclear warheads, especially the larger ones.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies, said in a 2010 report that all Tehran’s ballistic missiles were “inherently capable of a nuclear payload”, if Iran was able to make a small enough bomb.

Iran denies Western accusations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability. The world’s No. 5 oil exporter maintains that it is enriching uranium only to generate more energy for a rapidly growing population.

OIL MARKETS ON EDGE

Iran has previously threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which more than a third of the world’s seaborne oil trade passes, in response to increasingly harsh sanctions by the United States and its allies intended to force it to curb its nuclear research program.

Fars said dozens of missiles involved in this week’s exercises had been aimed at simulated air bases, and that Iranian-built unmanned drones would be tested on Wednesday.

Iran repeated its claim to be reverse-engineering the sophisticated U.S. RQ-170 drone that it says it brought down during a spying mission last year.

“In this drone there are hundreds of technologies used, each of which are valuable to us in terms of operations, information and technicalities,” General Amir Hajizadeh was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying.

Wezeman said Iran had a large standing armed force, but that its weapons were generally outdated. “And those weapons only get older and older and they don’t have access to new technology because they are under a United Nations arms embargo.”

In his first comments since the European Union oil ban took force, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said sanctions would benefit Iran by lessening its dependence on crude exports.

“We must see the sanctions as an opportunity … which can forever take out of the enemy’s hands the ability to use oil as a weapon for sanctions,” Fars news agency quoted him as saying.

Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continued in Istanbul on Tuesday with a meeting of technical experts from Iran and six world powers.

The discussions follow a round of political talks in Moscow last month at which the sides failed to bridge differences or agree on a further round of talks at that level.

The experts have no mandate to strike agreements but the six powers – the United States, China, Britain, Germany, France and Russia – hope that by clarifying technical aspects of Tehran’s work they can open way for more negotiations in the future.

Diplomats in Istanbul said discussions were “detailed” and would most likely be followed by a meeting between a senior negotiator from the European Union and Iran’s deputy negotiator Ali Bagheri. Such a meeting could, at a later date, be a prelude to talks on a political level, diplomats have said.

“We hope Iran will seize the opportunity … to show a willingness to take concrete steps to urgently meet the concerns of the international community,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said ahead of the meeting. Ashton and her team represent the six powers in dealings with Iran.

As a priority, the powers want Iran to stop enriching uranium to levels close to weapons-grade, ship out any stockpile, and close a secret facility where such work is done.

Iran denies its program has a military dimension and wants relief from economic sanctions before it makes any concessions.

IRANIAN CALL TO SHUT OIL LANES

On Monday, Iranian parliamentarians proposed a bill calling for Iran to try to stop tankers taking crude through the Strait of Hormuz to countries that support the sanctions.

However, the Iranian parliament is relatively weak, analysts say, and the proposal has no chance of becoming law unless sanctioned by Iran’s clerical supreme leader.

That is seen as unlikely in the near term given that Western powers have said they would tolerate no closure of the Strait while Iranian leaders, wedded to strategic pragmatism for the sake of survival, have said they seek no war with anyone.

“It’s a gesture at this stage,” said independent British-based Iran analyst Reza Esfandiari.

“They want to emphasize that Iran can make life difficult for Europe and America. I think this is more of an attempt to offset falling crude prices. Financial markets are very sensitive to such talk.”

On Tuesday, the price of Brent crude, which has been on a downward trend for the last three months, broke $100 for the first time since early June.

“A lot depends on nuclear talks,” said Esfandiari. “If there’s no progress and the initiative is deadlocked, then these kind of actions will intensify.”

PENTAGON ADMITS LETHALITY, EFFECTIVENESS OF IRAN MISSILE SYSTEMS

presstv.ir
July 11, 2012

The Pentagon has admitted that the “lethality and effectiveness” of Iran’s missile systems has improved and Tehran would present a “formidable force” while defending its territory.

According to a June 29 report by the Pentagon, “Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems by improving accuracy and developing new submunition payloads” that “extend the destructive power over a wider area than a solid warhead,” Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The report, signed by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, was presented to the four US congressional defense committees last week to comply with a 2010 directive to provide an annual classified and unclassified assessment of Iran’s military power.

It noted that improvements in Iran’s missile capability are occurring in parallel with regular ballistic-missile training that “continues throughout the country” and the addition of “new ships and submarines.”

Iran is “developing and claims to have deployed short-range ballistic missiles with seekers that enable the missile to identify and maneuver toward ships during flight,” the report added.

“This technology also may be capable of striking land- based targets.”

Congressional Research Service Iran analyst Kenneth Katzman said previous reports by the US government “always downplayed the accuracy and effectiveness of Iran’s missile forces.”

“The report [however], seemed pretty sober and respectful of Iran’s capabilities, crediting Iran with improving survivability,” Bloomberg quoted Katzman as saying.

Early in July, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) test fired domestically-produced missiles during a three-day military drill codenamed The Great Prophet 7.

The tested missiles included Shahab (Meteor) 1, 2, 3, Khalij Fars (Persian Gulf), Tondar (Lightning), Fateh (Victor) and Zelzal (Quake) as well as Qiam (Uprising).

Iran has repeatedly stated that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.

IRAN PLEDGES TO DEPLOY WARSHIPS IN THE ATLANTIC

By Patrick Goodenough | CNSNews
July 25, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – For the second time in less than a year, Iran’s top naval commander has said Iranian Navy vessels will soon be plying the Atlantic Ocean, having made great strides in recent years in expanding its presence beyond Iranian waters.

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari’s comments came on the same day Iran launched its first domestically-built oil tanker. The 21,000-ton vessel, capable of carrying up to 750,000 barrels of oil, was ordered by Venezuela, and Sayyari’s remarks raise the possibility that a warship may escort the tanker on its delivery sailing to Iran’s Latin American ally.

Iran has also established close ties with Cuba, another potential destination for an Iranian Navy Atlantic voyage.

“The navy has carried out successful activities in open seas, and in the near future we will witness the presence of the navy in the Atlantic Ocean,” the Mehr news agency quoted Sayyari as saying.

“The powerful presence of Iranian Navy in the high seas has proven the Islamic Republic’s might,” he said.

Sayyari pointed to the navy’s expanding capabilities over the past decade. Once limited to the Persian Gulf, Iranian warships have been carrying out anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden-Horn of Africa region since late 2008.

In February 2011 it sent a frigate and replenishment ship through Egypt’s Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea, the first such passage since the 1979 revolution. That voyage came shortly after the fall of the Mubarak regime ushered in the prospect of a thawing of long-hostile Iran-Egypt ties.

Last February, an Iranian destroyer and navy supply vessel again traversed the canal, entered the Mediterranean and docked at the Syrian port of Tartus, rattling Israel.

“Today we witness that the army’s naval force is deployed in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea instead of the Persian Gulf, and god willing, we will go beyond the Mediterranean in future,” said Sayyari.

Last fall, the navy commander first announced plans to send warships to the Atlantic, saying, “Like the arrogant powers that are present near our marine borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders.”

U.S. officials at the time dismissed the comments as bombastic rhetoric.

“We don’t take these statements seriously, given that they do not reflect at all Iran’s naval capabilities,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.

“Given the limited size and capability of the Iranian navy, they would be far better off focusing on the challenges closer to home, including reducing the potential for naval incidents in the Gulf and playing a constructive role in freedom of navigation and maritime issues at home,” commented State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has paid two visits to Venezuela this year, strengthening ties with its U.S.-baiting president, Hugo Chavez, as well as other leftist allies including the leaders of Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador.

On his most recent visit, last month, he hailed Chavez’ support in the face of U.S. hostility and declared that “justice-seeking nations like Iran and Venezuela will definitely build their countries and make progress outside the dominance of imperialism.”

Chavez in turn reiterated his call for a consolidation of ties with Iran in all areas.

Last May House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) wrote to President Obama, asking about administration actions to counter the threat of Iranian activity in the Western Hemisphere.

The prospect of Iranian warships sailing in Atlantic waters recalls Russia’s deployment in 2008 of navy ships led by its Northern Fleet flagship, the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, in what was believed to be the first such voyage to the Western Hemisphere since the end of the Cold War.

During the deployment – described by Russian media as a “fist in America’s belly” – the ships held joint maneuvers with Venezuelan Navy vessels in the Caribbean.

U.S. ADDS FORCES IN PERSIAN GULF, A SIGNAL TO IRAN

By THOM SHANKER, ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER | The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuzand to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates.

The deployments are part of a long-planned effort to bolster the American military presence in the gulf region, in part to reassure Israel that in dealing with Iran, as one senior administration official put it last week, “When the president says there are other options on the table beyond negotiations, he means it.”

But at a moment that the United States and its allies are beginning to enforce a much broader embargo on Iran’s oil exports, meant to force the country to take seriously the negotiations over sharply limiting its nuclear program, the buildup carries significant risks, including that Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps could decide to lash out against the increased presence.

The most visible elements of this buildup are Navy ships designed to vastly enhance the ability to patrol the Strait of Hormuz — and to reopen the narrow waterway should Iran attempt to mine it to prevent Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters from sending their tankers through the vital passage.

The Navy has doubled the number of minesweepers assigned to the region, to eight vessels, in what military officers describe as a purely defensive move.

“The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it,’ ” one senior Defense Department official said. “Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the gulf.” Like others interviewed, the official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the diplomatic and military situation.

Since late spring, stealthy F-22 and older F-15C warplanes have moved into two separate bases in the Persian Gulf to bolster the combat jets already in the region and the carrier strike groups that are on constant tours of the area. Those additional attack aircraft give the United States military greater capability against coastal missile batteries that could threaten shipping, as well as the reach to strike other targets deeper inside Iran.

And the Navy, after a crash development program, has moved a converted amphibious transport and docking ship, the Ponce, into the Persian Gulf to serve as the Pentagon’s first floating staging base for military operations or humanitarian assistance.

The initial assignment for the Ponce, Pentagon officials say, is to serve as a logistics and operations hub for mine-clearing. But with a medical suite and helicopter deck, and bunks for combat troops, the Ponce eventually could be used as a base for Special Operations forces to conduct a range of missions, including reconnaissance and counterterrorism, all from international waters.

For President Obama, the combination of negotiations, new sanctions aimed at Iran’s oil revenues and increased military pressure is the latest — and perhaps the most vital — test of what the White House calls a “two track” policy against Iran. In the midst of a presidential election campaign in which his opponent, Mitt Romney, has accused him of being “weak” in dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue, Mr. Obama seeks to project toughness without tipping into a crisis in the region.

At the same time he must signal support for Israel, but not so much support that the Israelis see the buildup as an opportunity to strike the Iranian nuclear facilities, which Mr. Obama’s team believes could set off a war without significantly setting back the Iranian program.

A key motivation for “Olympic Games,” the covert effort to undermine Iran’s enrichment capability with cyberattacks, has been to demonstrate to the Israelis that there are more effective ways to slow the program than to strike from the air.

But this delicate signaling to both Iran and Israel is a complex dance. Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that the administration must strike a fine balance between positioning enough forces to deter Iran, but not inadvertently indicate to Iran or Israel that an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites is imminent or inevitable.

“There are a lot of expectations to manage,” Mr. Kerry said in an interview. “People need to know you’re serious, but you must also leave room for peaceful resolution. It’s very important not to take steps that send the wrong messages here.”

There is little evidence that the increased pressure is having the desired effect. Negotiations with Iran are at a stalemate, though a group of Iranian, American and European experts are expected to meet in Istanbul on Tuesday to review a recent American proposal and Iranian response. So far, though, Iran has strenuously resisted all efforts to force it to give up enrichment of uranium, starting with production of a type that is considered relatively close to bomb grade.

Responding to the tightening of Western sanctions, Iran on Monday announced that it would consider proposed legislation to disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz as well as missile tests, in a drill clearly intended as a warning to Israel and the United States.

The Iranian legislation calls for Iran’s military to block any oil tanker en route to countries no longer buying Iranian crude because of the embargo. It was unclear whether the legislation would pass or precisely how Iran would enforce it.

Senior Pentagon and military officials acknowledge that Iran has the capability to close the strait, at least temporarily, and the additional mine-clearing forces can be viewed as both concrete and spoken evidence of Washington’s commitment to make sure any closing is as brief as possible.

The most significant Iranian threat to shipping came during its war of attrition with Iraq in the 1980s. Iran attacked tankers and other commercial traffic to disrupt Iraq’s oil revenues and threaten shipments from other Arab states viewed as supporting Baghdad. Iran also laid significant numbers of mines in an attempt to block transit, prompting mine-clearing operations and attacks on the Iranian Navy by American warships.

Defense Department officials stressed that the recent reshaping of American forces in the Persian Gulf region should not be viewed as solely about the potential nuclear threat from Iran.

“This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions,” the senior Defense Department official said.

“This is a complex array of American military power that is tangible proof to all of our allies and partners and friends that even as the U.S. pivots toward Asia, we remain vigilant across the Middle East.”

While American ground troops have been withdrawn from Iraq, a force equivalent to an extra Army combat brigade has remained in Kuwait, officials said. It could have many roles to contain regional instability, but Iran is a primary concern.

While it always is difficult to read Iran’s intentions, senior American Navy officers have noted that Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf have refrained recently from provocative behavior.

“Things have been, relatively speaking, quiet,” said Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of naval operations, assessing actions by Iranian Navy vessels over “the last couple of months.”

But that was without the pressure of the new sanctions; already Iran is exporting far less oil every day than a year ago: about 1.5 million barrels a day versus 2.5 million before the gradual imposition of earlier sanctions.

While Iranian vessels have avoided any confrontations with allied warships in recent weeks, Iran expects to equip its ships in the Strait of Hormuz soon with shorter-range missiles, a Revolutionary Guards commander said on Friday, according to the semiofficial Mehr news agency.

With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

The United States and 19 other countries will hold a major mine countermeasure exercise in the Persian Gulf in September, said a senior military officer who noted that countries in the region were taking more steps in their own defense, including buying American-made air defense systems and other weaponry.

OCTOBER 2012 SURPRISE: WILL ISRAEL ATTACK IRAN BEFORE THE NOVEMBER 2012 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES?

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment (Edit)

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
June 25, 2012

On Saturday, the Israeli newspaper Haartez reported a senior Israeli official as saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to attack Iran prior to the elections in the U.S.

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“U.S. defense contracts, an Iranian F-16 acquisition, and Israel’s new military preparations suggest that all sides are getting ready for whatever may come,” Haaretz wrote, citing a report posted by Business Insider.

Business Insider and Haaretz did not venture to speculate when Israel would launch an attack.

On Sunday, Michael Carmichael suggested the attack would occur during the Democrat national convention.

“Military experts have long agreed that the ‘sweet spot’ for an Israeli attack on Iran will be this coming September or October precisely because of the timing of the US presidential election cycle,” Carmichael explains.

“For maximum political impact and minimal diplomatic responsiveness, the time of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC – September 3-6 comes within this window of opportunity as well as the days immediately prior to the US election – say from Halloween till the 6th of November.”

Carmichael notes that elections have played an instrumental role in military activities. He mentions Israel’s Operation Cast Lead and argues it was timed to coincide with the transition between Obama and Bush and ended abruptly immediately before the Inauguration in January 2009. He also mentions the Tet Offensive in early 1968 that removed LBJ from the race for the White House.

In May, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that Netanyahu has settled political differences within his ruling coalition and this makes an attack more likely.

On Thursday, Israel said a military strike is more likely now that talks between Iran and the West on Iran’s nuclear program have failed.

“I don’t want to pretend to set timelines for the world,” said Defense Minister Ehud Barakabout a new round of sanctions imposed on Iran, “but we have said loud and clear that it cannot be a matter of weeks but it (also) cannot be a matter of years.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel today underscores the seriousness of the situation. Putin is to meet with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials to talk about Iran and Syria. Russia opposes any military response to Iran’s nuclear program.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week on Russian television that in order to settle the Iranian issue, “it’s necessary to refrain from constant threats of using force, abandon scenarios aimed against Iran and stop dismissing the talks as failure.”

U.S. BLOG BUSINESS INSIDER: U.S., ISRAEL CONTINUE PREPARATIONS FOR STRIKE ON IRAN NUCLEAR FACILITIES

The website cites U.S. defense contracts and Israel’s new military preparations, suggesting that ‘all sides are getting ready for whatever may come.’

By Haaretz | Jun.23, 2012

Israel and the U.S. are pushing forward with preparations to jointly strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, the U.S. blog Business Insider reported on Saturday.

“U.S. defense contracts, an Iranian F-16 acquisition, and Israel’s new military preparations suggest that all sides are getting ready for whatever may come,” the report says.

According to the blog, the U.S navy has recently signed a $338 million contract with defense contractor Raytheon to “provide the Navy with 361 Tomahawk cruise missiles in their most recent configuration. According to the website, the U.S. is either renewing its stock of missiles or planning ahead.

“On May 9,” the report added, “the U.S. House of Representatives passed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which seeks to “reaffirm the commitment to Israel’s security as a Jewish state; provide Israel with the military capabilities to defend itself by itself against any threats… [and] expand military and civilian cooperation.”

A senior Israeli official recently told Reuters that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to attack Iran before the U.S. elections in November.

HERE IS HOW THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL ARE PREPARING FOR WAR WITH IRAN

By Michael Kelley and Robert Johnson | Business Insider

Jun. 23, 2012

Talk of a joint U.S.-Israeli military strike on Iran has waned recently — while talk of U.S.-Israel cyberattacks have taken its place — but that hasn’t stopped Iran, Israel and the U.S. from continuing “to prepare all other options“ for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

U.S. defense contracts, an Iranian F-16 acquisition, and Israel’s new military preparations suggest that all sides are getting ready for whatever may come.

Among recent U.S. defense contracts that could relate to an Iranian attack, Raytheon was awarded a $338 million contract to provide the Navy with 361 Tomahawk cruise missiles in their most recent configuration.

Of those, 238 of the misses will be designed to launch from submarines and the remainder from Navy ships like the Ticonderoga class Arleigh Burke guided missile cruiser currently operating with the 5th Fleet based in Bahrain east of Iran.

These are the same missiles that started the Libyan Operation Odyssey Dawn bombing campaign last March when 124 were launched from Navy ships and subs against Qaddafi’s missile defense radars and anti-aircraft sites around Tripoli.

The U.S. could simply be renewing depleted reserves from that mission, as well as others, or it could be planning ahead for a specific attack. With work on the contract expected to be completed in 2014, this particular batch wouldn’t be used in any immediate action, but could replenish reserves spent in any upcoming airstrikes.

Taking out radar and aircraft defenses would be one step in an Iranian attack. Another, equally as vital, would be determining where Tehran’s fleet of submarines may be parked in the Persian Gulf.

There are several ways of locating a sub accurately enough to destroy it, and one of them is using the ERAPSCO sonar buoy.

The buoys are a one-time-use asset that gets dropped into the water to work with other buoys pinpointing underwater objects. The Navy just ordered 17,000 of them under a $13 million contract days after the Tomahawk order. The buoys can be used for research as well, but in the face of biting defense cuts, it seems possible the Navy has something mission-focused for them in mind. Their delivery is also expected in early 2014, to potentially replenish supplies used before then.

Submarine

US Navy

USS Carl Vinson and the USS Bunker Hill

Both of these acquisitions could be part of a standard ordering cycle that we simply have no idea of, but in light of the following developments we thought them worth mentioning.

On May 9 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which seeks to “reaffirm the commitment to Israel’s security as a Jewish state; provide Israel with the military capabilities to defend itself by itself against any threats… [and] expand military and civilian cooperation” among other statements of U.S. policy.

Former counter-terrorism specialist and CIA military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi wrote that the bill “basically provides Israel with a blank check drawn on the U.S. taxpayer to maintain its ‘qualitative military edge’ over all of its neighbors combined.” (To that end the U.S. is stockpiling an increasing number of weapons in Israel.)

The Israeli government has been on lockdown since Netanyahu joined forces with the Kadima party and its Iranian-born leader Gen. Shaul Mofaz.

One senior Israeli figure with close ties to the leadership told Reuters that Netanyahu had made the decision to attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election in November so that the move “will bounce the Americans into supporting them.”

Israel just bought its fourth German-made sub capable of launching nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and German news source Der Spiegel subsequently reported that these are already deployed.

F-18

US Navy

F/A-18E Super Hornet

Iran is not sitting idly by, but rather proactively waiting for a strike. Emily J Blasco of the InterAmerican Security Watch reports that Iran has been calibrating their anti-aircraft system to the specifications of a U.S.-made F-16 fighter that it received from Venezuela in 2006. (Venezuela purchased  F-16s from the U.S. before Hugo Chavez came to power.)

The U.S. has squadrons of F-16 based in the Persian Gulf and Israel’s 362 F-16s would be in play if they chose to launch attacks from a base in Azerbaijan (which is to the north of Iran).

According to the confidential testimony offered by a high-ranking member of the Venezuelan Air Force (FAV), an F-16 was disassembled in Venezuela, placed in sealed containers without any description of its contents and taken to Iran. Venezuelan pilots were then sent to reassemble the fighter and provide training to Iranians.

This allows Iran to familiarize its radar and defense systems with the F-16 before a possible attack. Blasco notes that possessing an F-16 “allows Iran to learn how to detect its presence in the radar or the speed in which it approaches [and] will be very useful in enemy combat.”

Overall we know that discussion between Iran and major world powers (the P5+1) that sought to resolve the row over Tehran’s disputed nuclear activities have broken down again, but no one has given any strong indications of what it would take for the conflict to spill over from the cyber realm to the physical world.

Nevertheless U.S., Israel and Iran seem to be ready if it does.

THE WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY TO STRIKE IRAN

MARCH 22, 2012 

Zero Hedge

Following last Friday’s majority vote by the Israel Security Council authorizing Iranian “action” when required, answering the “if“, the only open question remains “when.” As it turns out, based on the following analysis by Rapidan Group, there are only 10 or so distinct 10 day New Moon windows for the remainder of 2012. If one removes the sandstorm prone months of April, July and September, there are 7 periods in which a military strike is realistic. Also CVN 65 is moving at a snail’s pace and is just now approaching the Straits of Gibraltar.  Since any action will likely not take place unless 3 aircraft carriers are in the vicinity, and because the ICE yesterday institutedultra-short term trading spike curbs in crude, starting April 1, one can likely eliminate the immediately proximal March 17-27 window. Which leaves six. Our advice would be to buy up OTM calls in Brent in the days just ahead of the start of any such window, as any “surprise” attack will have a uplifting impact on all combustible assets, doubly so for levered ones.

From Rapidan Group

Timing Considerations

Based on press reports, officials see high odds of an attack sometime between 2Q12 and the end of the year, with most pointing to 2Q or 3Q.

If Israel elects to conduct a conventional military strike, the optimal conditions would be moonless and cloudless nights. “Operation Orchard,” Israel’s attack on Syria’s reactor at Al-Kibar on Sep 6, 2007, took place 5 days before the new moon. This suggests windows starting about 5 days before a new moon and ending five days after – see the table below. Low humidity is also ideal, but not required.

Attackers would want to avoid sandstorms, which have afflicted Iran in April, July, and September in recent years. Last year, a large sandstorm in mid-April hit 20 provinces, forcing the shutdown of schools and businesses. Sandstorms are visible and predictable, however, and would be taken into account by planners.

For non-kinetic options, climate is not a consideration to our knowledge. Presumably, they would be tried before kinetic ones and only after leaders were convinced Iran had not yet felt enough pain to compel it to freeze enrichment.

RAY MCGOVERN: ISRAEL’S BOMB IRAN TIMETABLE; THE REAL REASON ISRAEL WANTS TO STRIKE IRAN BEFORE THE U.S. ELECTION

By Michael Kelley | Business Insider

AUGUST 18, 2012

For months senior Israeli officials have said the “window of opportunity” for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities is “before the U.S. presidential election in November” because Iran’s nuclear facilities will soon be in fortified underground bunkers out of the reach of Israeli bombs.

But former CIA analyst Ray McGovern believes that delaying Iran’s nuclear capabilities is not the primary concern of a military strike, but simply the pretext.

“The Israelis want to pretend the Iranians are building up their nuclear capabilities, want to zap them between now and November 6, and the chances are at least even that they will try to do that thinking the U.S. will come in with both feet,” McGovern told us.

McGovern thinks that “Israel does not fear a nuclear weapon in Iran’s hands” because Israel already has a nuclear arsenal and the threat of Iran having a couple of nukes “would not be all that credible except in a limited, deterrent way.”

That deterrent would be important, however, because “since 1967 the Israelis have been able to pretty much do whatever they want in that area” and a nuclear Iran would bring a “different strategic situation because, for the first time, Israel would have to look over their shoulder.”

So even though Israel’s leaders don’t truly fear imminent nuclear annihilation, McGovern says they “would like to end any possibility, however remote, that anytime soon Iran could have that kind of very minimal deterrent capability.”

McGovern believes that Israel’s primary goal is to “have Iran bloodied the same way we did to Iraq” so that Iran “would no longer be able to support Hamas and Hezbollah in Gaza, Lebanon, and elsewhere.”

And the reason Nov. 6 is an important date, McGovern wrote in a recent article, is that “a second-term Obama would feel much freer not to commit U.S. forces on Israel’s side” and “might use U.S. leverage to force Israeli concessions on thorny issues relating to Palestine.”

There is serious doubt that Israel could handle a full-fledged war with Iran, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has admitted that he would prefer the U.S. and its superior firepower lead any attack.

A potential loss of leverage after Nov. 6 would explain the current drumbeat of war being played by Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

BI contributor ForexCrunch points out that Netanyahu was recently granted greater powers within the government, a text message system is being tested in case of retaliation to an attack, the Bank of Israel is preparing the financial system for an Israeli strike in Iran, France is preparing to evacuate its citizens from Israel, and the Israeli media have published a flurry of articles suggesting a military strike is imminent.

“Netanyahu feels, with good reason, that he’s got Obama in a corner for these next three months,” McGovern said. “If he’s right about Obama jumping in with both feet—and I think Obama would do that—even though Israeli generals are advising that it could be a disaster, [then] Netanyahu is willing to try it.”

For its part the Obama administration has been doing everything it can—short of saying that it would not back an Israeli strike—to delay an attack. Beyond offering firepower in exchange for waiting until after the election, U.S. officials informed Israel that staunch American ally Saudi Arabia vowed to take down any Israeli jet flying in its airspace.

And five senior officials—including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta—have visited Israel this month to insist there is still time for diplomacy, in the form of talks and heavy sanctions, to prevent a physical attack.

But, as McGovern notes, it may not be up to the U.S. at this point.

“We are at war with Iran right now—not only the cyber attacks, but the special forces inside Iran and the assassination of the Iranian scientists,” McGovern said. “The only question is whether that will extend to an attempt to destroy their nuclear-development facilities, and that’s up to Israel.”

RAY MCGOVERN: ISRAEL’S BOMB IRAN TIMETABLE

Ex-CIA official Ray McGovern says that the Middle East may well erupt in a new phase of war in the next 10-12 weeks. The timetable is fixed on the date of the US presidential election that could have massive repercussions.

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As the clock ticks down to the U.S. elections in November, another clock is ticking in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, whether Israeli forces should exploit the American political timetable to pressure President Obama to support an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

More Washington insiders are coming to the conclusion that Israel’s leaders are planning to attack Iran before the U.S. election in November in the expectation that American forces will be drawn in. There is widespread recognition that, without U.S. military involvement, an Israeli attack would be highly risky and, at best, only marginally successful.

At this point, to dissuade Israeli leaders from mounting such an attack might require a public statement by President Barack Obama warning Israel not to count on U.S. forces — not even for the “clean-up.” Though Obama has done pretty much everything short of making such a public statement, he clearly wants to avoid a confrontation with Israel in the weeks before the election.

However, Obama’s silence regarding a public warning speaks volumes to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The recent pilgrimages to Israel by very senior U.S. officials — including the Secretaries of State and Defense carrying identical “PLEASE DON’T BOMB IRAN JUST YET” banners — has met stony faces and stone walls.

Like the Guns of August in 1914, the dynamic for war appears inexorable. Senior U.S. and Israeli officials focus publicly on a “window of opportunity,” but different ones.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney emphasized the need to allow the “most stringent sanctions ever imposed on any country time to work.” That, said Carney, is the “window of opportunity to persuade Iran … to forgo its nuclear weapons ambitions.”

That same day a National Security Council spokesman dismissed Israeli claims that U.S. intelligence had received alarming new information about Iran’s nuclear program. “We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon,” the spokesman said.

Still, Israel’s window of opportunity (what it calls the “zone of immunity” for Iran building a nuclear bomb without Israel alone being able to prevent it) is ostensibly focused on Iran’s continued burrowing under mountains to render its nuclear facilities immune to Israeli air strikes, attacks that would seek to maintain Israel’s regional nuclear-weapons monopoly.

But another Israeli “window” or “zone” has to do with the pre-election period of the next 12 weeks in the United States. Last week, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevi told Israeli TV viewers, “The next 12 weeks are very critical in trying to assess whether Israel will attack Iran, with or without American backup.”

It would be all too understandable, given Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s experience with President Obama, that Netanyahu has come away with the impression that Obama can be bullied, particularly when he finds himself in a tight political spot.

For Netanyahu, the President’s perceived need to outdistance Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the love-for-Israel department puts Obama in a box. This, I believe, is the key “window of opportunity” that is uppermost in Netanyahu’s calculations.

Virtually precluded, in Netanyahu’s view, is any possibility that Obama could keep U.S. military forces on the sidelines if Israel and Iran became embroiled in serious hostilities. What I believe the Israeli leader worries most about is the possibility that a second-term Obama would feel much freer not to commit U.S. forces on Israel’s side. A second-term Obama also might use U.S. leverage to force Israeli concessions on thorny issues relating to Palestine.

If preventing Obama from getting that second term is also part of Netanyahu’s calculation, then he also surely knows that even a minor dustup with Iran, whether it escalates or not, would drive up the price of gasoline just before the election — an unwelcome prospect for Team Obama.

It’s obvious that hard-line Israeli leaders would much rather have Mitt Romney to deal with for the next four years. The former Massachusetts governor recently was given a warm reception when he traveled to Jerusalem with a number of Jewish-American financial backers in tow to express his solidarity with Netanyahu and his policies.

Against this high-stakes political background, I’ve personally come by some new anecdotal information that I find particularly troubling. On July 30, the Baltimore Sun posted my op-ed, “Is Israel fixing the intelligence to justify an attack on Iran?” Information acquired the very next day increased my suspicion and concern.

Former intelligence analysts and I were preparing a proposal to establish direct communications links between the U.S. and Iranian navies, in order to prevent an accident or provocation in the Persian Gulf from spiraling out of control. Learning that an official Pentagon draft paper on that same issue has been languishing in the Senate for more than a month did not make us feel any better when our own proposal was ignored. (Still, it is difficult to understand why anyone wishing to avoid escalation in the Persian Gulf would delay, or outright oppose, such fail-safe measures.)

Seeking input from other sources with insight into U.S. military preparations, I learned that, although many U.S. military moves have been announced, others, with the express purpose of preparation for hostilities with Iran, have not been made public.

One source reported that U.S. forces are on hair-trigger alert and that covert operations inside Iran (many of them acts of war, by any reasonable standard) have been increased. Bottom line: we were warned that the train had left the station; that any initiative to prevent miscalculation or provocation in the Gulf was bound to be far too late to prevent escalation into a shooting war.

SEARCHING FOR A CASUS BELLI

A casus belli — real or contrived — would be highly desirable prior to an attack on Iran. A provocation in the Gulf would be one way to achieve this. Iran’s alleged fomenting of terrorism would be another.

In my op-ed of July 30, I suggested that Netanyahu’s incredibly swift blaming of Iran for the terrorist killing of five Israelis in Bulgaria on July 18 may have been intended as a pretext for attacking Iran. If so, sadly for Netanyahu, it didn’t work. It seems the Obama administration didn’t buy the “rock-solid evidence” Netanyahu adduced to tie Iran to the attack in Bulgaria.

If at first you don’t succeed … Here’s another idea: let’s say there is new reporting that shows Iran to be dangerously close to getting a nuclear weapon, and that previous estimates that Iran had stopped work on weaponization was either wrong or overtaken by new evidence.

According to recent Israeli and Western media reports, citing Western diplomats and senior Israeli officials, U.S. intelligence has acquired new information — “a bombshell” report — that shows precisely that. Imagine.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli Radio that the new report is “very close to our [Israel’s] own estimates, I would say, as opposed to earlier American estimates. It transforms the Iranian situation to an even more urgent one.”

Washington Post neocon pundit Jennifer Rubin was quick to pick up the cue, expressing a wistful hope on Thursday that the new report on the Iranian nuclear program “would be a complete turnabout from the infamous 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that asserted that Iran had dropped its nuclear weapons program.”

“Infamous?” Indeed. Rubin warned, “The 2007 NIE report stands as a tribute and warning regarding the determined obliviousness of our national intelligence apparatus,” adding that “no responsible policymaker thinks the 2007 NIE is accurate.”

Yet, the NIE still stands as the prevailing U.S. intelligence assessment on Iran’s nuclear intentions, reaffirmed by top U.S. officials repeatedly over the past five years. Rubin’s definition of “responsible” seems to apply only to U.S. policymakers who would cede control of U.S. foreign policy to Netanyahu.

The 2007 NIE reported, with “high confidence,” the unanimous judgment of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran stopped working on a nuclear weapon in the fall of 2003 and had not restarted it. George W. Bush’s own memoir and remarks by Dick Cheney make it clear that this honest NIE shoved a steel rod into the wheels of the juggernaut that had begun rolling off toward war on Iran in 2008, the last year of the Bush/Cheney administration.

The key judgments of the 2007 NIE have been re-asserted every year since by the Director of National Intelligence in formal testimony to Congress.

And, unfortunately for Rubin and others hoping to parlay the reportedly “new,” more alarmist “intelligence” into an even more bellicose posture toward Iran, a National Security Council spokesman on Thursday threw cold water on the “new” information, saying that “the U.S. intelligence assessment of Iran’s nuclear activities had not changed.”

Relying on the unconfirmed Israeli claim about “new” U.S. information regarding Iran’s nuclear program, Rubin had already declared the Obama administration’s Iran policy a failure, writing:

“Foreign policy experts can debate whether a sanctions strategy was flawed from its inception, incorrectly assessing the motivations of the Iranian regime, or they can debate whether the execution of sanctions policy (too slow, too porous) was to blame. But we are more than 3 1/2 years into the Obama administration, and Iran is much closer to its goal than at the start. By any reasonable measure, the Obama approach has been a failure, whatever the NIE report might say.”

Pressures Will Persist

The NSC’s putdown of the Israeli report does not necessarily guarantee, however, that President Obama will continue to withstand pressure from Israel and its supporters to “fix” the intelligence to “justify” supporting an attack on Iran.

Promise can be seen in Obama’s refusal to buy Netanyahu’s new “rock-solid evidence” on Iran’s responsibility for the terrorist attack in Bulgaria. Hope can also be seen in White House reluctance so far to give credulity to the latest “evidence” on Iran’s nuclear weapons plans.

An agreed-upon casus belli can be hard to create when one partner wants war within the next 12 weeks and the other does not. The pressure from Netanyahu and neocon cheerleaders like Jennifer Rubin — not to mention Mitt Romney — will increase as the election draws nearer, agreed-upon casus belli or not.

Netanyahu gives every evidence of believing that — for the next 12 weeks — he is in the catbird seat and that, if he provokes hostilities with Iran, Obama will feel compelled to jump in with both feet, i. e., selecting from the vast array of forces already assembled in the area.

Sadly, I believe Netanyahu is probably correct in that calculation. Batten down the hatches.

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27 years in CIA’s analysis division, his duties included preparing and delivering the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates.

NETANYAHU’S SECRET WAR PLAN: LEAKED DOCUMENT OUTLINES ISRAEL’S PLAN TO ATTACK IRAN

by Richard Silverstein

In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer.  My source, in fact, wrote to me that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but:

“These are not normal times. I’m afraid Bibi and Barak are dead serious.”

The reason they leaked it is to expose the arguments and plans advanced by the Bibi-Barak two-headed warrior. Neither the IDF leaker, my source, nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war. While whoever wrote this briefing paper had use of IDF and intelligence data, I don’t believe the IDF wrote it. It feels more likely it came from the shop of national security advisor Yaakov Amidror, a former general, settler true-believer and Bibi confidant.  It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another pro-war booster.

I’ve translated the document from Hebrew with the help of Dena Shunra.

Before laying out the document, I wanted to place it in context. If you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that after Bibi’s IDF service he became the marketing director for a furniture company. Recent revelations have suggested that he may have also served in some capacity either formally or informally in the Mossad during that period.

This document is a more sophisticated version of selling bedroom sets and three-piece sectionals. The only difference is that this marketing effort could lead to the death of thousands.

This is Bibi’s sales pitch for war. Its purpose is to be used in meetings with members of the Shminiya , the eight-member security cabinet which currently finds a 4-3 majority opposed to an Iran strike. Bibi uses this sales pitch to persuade the recalcitrant ministers of the cool, clean, refreshing taste of war. My source informs me that it has also been shared in confidence with selected journalists who are in the trusted inner media circle (who, oh who, might they be?).

This is Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibi’s effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harm’s way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel.

Bibi’s sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iran’s war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil.

There will be those who will dispute the authenticity of this document. I’m convinced it is what my source claims, based on his prior track record and the level of specificity offered in the document. It references cities by name and the facilities they contain. It names new weapons systems including one Israel supposedly hasn’t even shared with the U.S.

No, it’s real. Or I should say that while it’s real, it is the product of the Israeli dream factory which manufactures threats and then creates fabulist military strategies to address them. The dream factory always breaks the hearts of the families of those whose members fall victim to it. It never produces the result it promises, nor will it do so here.

Remember Bush-era Shock and Awe? Remember those promises of precision-guided cruise missiles raining death upon Saddam Hussein’s Iraq? Remember Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” ceremony on the deck of the USS Lincoln, only six or seven years premature? Remember the promises of decisive victory? Remember 4,000 U.S. dead, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?

Now, think of what an Israeli war against Iran could turn into. Think about how this sanitized version of 21st century war could turn into a protracted, bloody conflict closer to the nine-year Iran-Iraq War:

The Israeli attack will open with a coordinated strike, including an unprecedented cyber-attack which will totally paralyze the Iranian regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders.  The internet, telephones, radio and television, communications satellites, and fiber optic cables leading to and from critical installations—including underground missile bases at Khorramabad and Isfahan—will be taken out of action.  The electrical grid throughout Iran will be paralyzed and transformer stations will absorb severe damage from carbon fiber munitions which are finer than a human hair, causing electrical short circuits whose repair requires their complete removal.  This would be a Sisyphean task in light of cluster munitions which would be dropped, some time-delayed and some remote-activated through the use of a satellite signal.

A barrage of tens of ballistic missiles would be launched from Israel toward Iran.  300km ballistic missiles would be launched from Israeli submarines in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf.  The missiles would not be armed with unconventional warheads [WMD], but rather with high-explosive ordnance equipped with reinforced tips designed specially to penetrate hardened targets.

The missiles will strike their targets—some exploding above ground like those striking the nuclear reactor at Arak–which is intended to produce plutonium and tritium—and the nearby heavy water production facility; the nuclear fuel production facilities at Isfahan and facilities for enriching uranium-hexaflouride.  Others would explode under-ground, as at the Fordo facility.

A barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles will pound command and control systems, research and development facilities, and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus.  Intelligence gathered over years will be utilized to completely decapitate Iran’s professional and command ranks in these fields.

After the first wave of attacks, which will be timed to the second, the “Blue and White” radar satellite, whose systems enable us to perform an evaluation of the level of damage done to the various targets, will pass over Iran.  Only after rapidly decrypting the satellite’s data, will the information be transferred directly to war planes making their way covertly toward Iran.  These IAF planes will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public, not even revealed to our U.S. ally.  This equipment will render Israeli aircraft invisible.  Those Israeli war planes which participate in the attack will damage a short-list of targets which require further assault.

Among the targets approved for attack—Shihab 3 and Sejil ballistic missile silos, storage tanks for chemical components of rocket fuel, industrial facilities for producing missile control systems, centrifuge production plants and more.

While the level of specificity in this document is, in some senses, impressive, in one critical aspect it is deficient.  Muhammad Sahimi points out that the current chief of the Revolutionary Guards, when he assumed his position in 2007, deliberately addressed the issue of over-centralization of command and control by dividing the nation into 31 districts.  Each of these has its own independent command and control facilities and mechanisms.  So Israel wouldn’t be able to knock out a single facility and paralyze the IRG.  They’d need to knock out 31 separate sets of facilities–a much harder task.

There seems also to be an assumption that Iran’s leaders and nuclear specialists live nice domestic lives and that Israeli intelligence knows where they all live and can easily target them.  In truth, the most senior Iranian military and scientific figures live clandestine lives and it’s hard for me to believe even the Mossad knows where they are and how to target them.

So it appears that Netanyahu believes he’s fighting Saddam circa 2003.  During that war, the Iraqi Revolutionary Guards were centralized and knocking out one C&C centercould decapitate the entire military apparatus.  But Iran has learned from Saddam’s mistakes.  It isn’t fighting the last war as Bibi appears to be.  It is preparing for the next one.  While Israel may have new tricks up its sleeve that no one in the world has yet seen, if it doesn’t understand the nature of the enemy, its defenses, its structure, etc. then it can’t win.

MEMO EXPOSES ISRAELI WAR PLAN AGAINST IRAN

By Bill Van Auken

AUGUST 18, 2012

A leaked memo that surfaced Wednesday provides a detailed blueprint for an unprovoked Israeli war against Iran. The publication of the memo coincides with multiple Israeli media reports indicating that such an attack may be imminent.

The memo was first published by US blogger and journalist Richard Silverstein and was subsequently picked up by the BBC and other media. Silverstein said that the document had been passed by a member of the Israel Defense Forces to a politician, and then on to him. He said it had been prepared for the eight-member Israeli Security Council as part of a bid by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to convince other members of the government to support an early and unilateral Israeli strike.

The memo posted on Silverstein’s blog, Tikun Olam, states: “The Israeli attack will open with a coordinated strike, including an unprecedented cyber-attack which will totally paralyze the Iranian regime.” The aim is to shut down all communications between the Iranian government and military, leaving the country’s leadership in the dark about what is happening at key installations and bases. Carbon fiber munitions would be employed to shut down the country’s electrical grid.

Meanwhile, “A barrage of tens of ballistic missiles would be launched from Israel toward Iran,” the memo states. These would be fired by Israeli submarines from the Persian Gulf region against Iranian nuclear facilities at Arak, Isfahan, Fordo and elsewhere. They would be supplemented by “a barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles” aimed at destroying the regime’s command and control capacity and decapitating Iran’s nuclear and missile development program, targeting the “residences of senior personnel.”

These attacks would be followed up by Israeli Air Force warplanes carrying out air strikes against “targets which require further assault.”

Clearly, such an assault would inflict massive civilian casualties while plunging the entire region into chaos.

The memo is only the latest in a number of reports over the past week indicating that Netanyahu and Barak are making a concerted push for war, having publicly declared that the stalemated international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are a failure and that economic sanctions have not swayed Tehran to abandon the program. The Iranian government insists that its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.

Matan Vilnai, who is leaving his post as Israel’s “home front” defense minister to become the Zionist state’s ambassador to China, gave an interview published in the Israeli daily Maariv Wednesday in which he spelled out the government’s projections for the domestic impact of a war on Iran.

Vilnai told Maariv that “the home front is ready as never before” for a war with Iran. “There is no room for hysteria” he said, estimating that approximately 500 people within Israel would probably be killed in retaliatory strikes. “There might be fewer dead, or more, perhaps… but this is the scenario for which we are preparing, in accordance with the best expert advice.”

Israelis had no choice but to accept such a death toll, Vilnai suggested. “Just as the citizens of Japan have to realize they can have earthquakes, so the citizens of Israel have to realize that if they live here, they have to be prepared to expect missiles on the home front. It’s not pleasant for the home front, but decisions have to be made and we have to be ready.” Recent polls have indicated continued strong public opposition to a war with Iran.

The war, Vilnai said, “will last 30 days on several fronts,” according to the government’s assessments. The implication is that Israel would be involved in hostilities not only with Iran, but also with the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah as well Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip.

Vilnai is being replaced in his “home front” post by Avi Dichter, the former director of Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, Netanyahu announced on Tuesday. The appointment of Dichter, who resigned from the opposition Kadima party to take the post, was widely seen as part of the war preparations as well as a move to bolster support for an attack within the government.

As director of Israel’s General Security Service (GSS) from 2000 to 2005, Dichter was responsible for choosing the targets of Israel’s so-called “targeted assassinations,” the Zionist regime’s response to the second Palestinian intifada. These extra-judicial executions claimed some 724 lives, including those of at least 228 civilian bystanders, of whom 77 were children.

New civil defense measures are being taken in preparation for war, including the rolling out of a text message system for warning the population against incoming missiles, the distribution of more gas masks, and the organization of air raid drills at schools in the north of Israel when they open next month

An indication of the seriousness with which the war threats are being taken internationally is their impact on Israel’s economy. Fears of an Israeli attack have sent the shekel to its lowest level in nearly 15 months, while the Tel Aviv stock market hit a three-week low on August 13. Meanwhile, the cost of insuring Israeli debt has risen steadily—what traders are calling a “saber-rattling” premium.

There have been multiple reports indicating that the stepped-up threats of war against Iran are driven not so much by new intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program as by the US election calendar. Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s largest circulation daily, published a report by two of its senior journalists last Friday stating, “Insofar as it depends on Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, an Israeli military strike on the nuclear facilities in Iran will take place in these coming autumn months, before the US elections in November.”

On Tuesday, the daily Ma’ariv reported that Netanyahu and Barak have set a September 25 deadline for US President Barack Obama to make a commitment that the US will take military action against Iran. The date coincides with the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which Netanyahu is scheduled to attend.

Israel’s Channel 10 News reported Tuesday that US and Israeli officials are seeking to set up a meeting between Netanyahu and Obama around that date. At that time, the sources said, Obama will supposedly commit to using military force against Iran by June 2013 if Tehran has not submitted by then to Western demands that it scrap its nuclear program.

Netanyahu’s calculation appears to be that launching a war before the November election in the US would force the Obama administration to join Israel in attacking Iran out of fear of being out-flanked on the right by Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who recently visited Israel and declared that the US should support the Israeli regime if it launches a unilateral war.

According to military analysts, Israel does not have the military capacity to wipe out Iran’s nuclear program, but could set it back at least two years through air strikes. Drawing the US into an attack holds the prospect of inflicting far more extensive damage as well as the potential for an all-out war for regime-change.

Much has been made in the Israeli media of opposition from within the top ranks of Israel’s military and its intelligence apparatus to launching a unilateral attack. A number of former military and spy chiefs have spoken publicly in opposition to Tel Aviv carrying out an imminent war. These divisions, however, are of a tactical character, involving different calculations as to how best to prepare a war that would bring in the US military.

Speaking at a Pentagon press conference Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voiced the view that the Israeli regime had yet to make a decision as to “whether or not they will go in and attack Iran at this time.” He stressed that Israel is an “independent… sovereign country” and would act “based on what they think is in their national security interest.”

Panetta went on to make his own provocative attack on Iran in relation to the unfolding civil war in Syria. Presenting no evidence, he claimed that Iran was “trying to train a militia within Syria to be able to fight on behalf of the regime.” The defense secretary said that Iran’s role was “dangerous” and was “adding to the killing that’s going on.” He added, “The Syrian people ought to determine their future, not Iran.”

These remarks reek of hypocrisy. The reality is that it is Israel, not Iran, that is armed with hundreds of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, in Syria, the US and its allies, particularly the reactionary monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as the government in Turkey, are deeply involved in organizing, arming and training the sectarian militias that are waging a terror campaign to topple the Assad regime. The unsubstantiated charge against Iran that it is assisting its ally Syria with the training of a pro-government militia is yet another threat against Tehran and one more indication that the intervention in Syria is directed at preparing a far more dangerous war against Iran itself.

Under conditions in which the US military has deployed a massive force in the Persian Gulf, including two aircraft carrier battle groups and extensive air power, bolstered by a squadron of the most advanced F-22 fighter planes, the threats and provocations from both Washington and Tel Aviv have ratcheted up tensions to a level in which the outbreak of a full-scale war is on a hair trigger.

ISRAEL TO DEMAND GUARANTEE OBAMA WILL ATTACK IRAN

By Richard Silverstein

AUGUST 18, 2012

Israel in recent days has become a Hall of Mirrors in which wherever members of the war camp look in the media, they see an infinite regress of leaks and self-serving articles which promote the war narrative. There are about eight main talking points for war and Haaretz features two or three articles every day focussing on one point or another. Some of the articles are directly attributed to Ehud Barak, some contain arguments so clearly close to his own that you know he was the anonymous source.

*  *

Pull the string and I’ll wink at you
I’m your puppet
I’ll do funny things if you want me to
I’m your puppet
Oh, I’m yours to have and…you’ve got full control
Of your puppet

…I’ll have it snap your fingers and I’ll turn you some flips
I’m your puppet,
Oh darlin’
Listen, your every wish is my command
All you gotta do is wiggle your little hand
I’m your puppet…

Now comes even more an even deluded than normal set of declarations (Hebrew) concerning relations with the U.S. regarding Iran. The new thinking is that if the U.S. will publicly commit to a military attack against Iran in a speech to the next UN General Assembly meeting in the fall (which just so happens to fall on the eve of Yom Kippur), then Israel won’t attack Iran before the November election:

Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak expect Barak Obama to declare that the U.S. would take military actions to stop Iran’s nuclear program at the UN General Assembly fall session or any other public forum before that date. This presidential commitment would prevent an Israeli attack before the November elections. Though neither the foreign ministry or prime minister’s offices would confirm this, other sources say preliminary efforts have begun with U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who is extremely close to Obama, to coordinate such developments.

…According to a senior official in Jerusalem, if Obama does say the words Israel expects to hear, this would be a decisive contribution toward restoring Israel’s level of trust in the U.S.

It appears that Israel has had a major accident and a severe case of amnesia. Instead of being a small country in the Middle East, Israel (or its leaders) appear to believe they are Obama’s Brain . All they have to do is propose action in Israel’s interest and it’s Obama’s obligation to assent. Or in another metaphor, Obama is a mere robot and Bibi is Dr. Frankenstein his creator and programmer. That appears to be something close to the relationship Sheldon Adelson has with Mitt Romney, so I suppose it isn’t too far-fetched that Bibi believes he could enjoy the same control of Obama.

Israel is demanding something incredible: that the President of the United States should go before the UN General Assembly to essentially declare war on a member state from a UN podium. That in itself is a violation of the UN charter. Not that Israel has ever paid much attention to such niceties.

I suppose too, Israel has never heard of the term blackmail, because that’s what it’s proposing in case Obama refuses to issue such a declaration of intent to attack. It would never cross the mind of such narcissists as the prime minister and defense minister–that threatening the president of the most powerful nation on earth, if he doesn’t do what Israel wants then Israel will do something the U.S. doesn’t want–is not a nice thing.

But never fear, Israel will be sympathetic and flexible about such a declaration, which it would prefer to hear now. It understands that Obama may wish to wait till just before the elections to make it and not be prepared to do so today. That would be quite satisfactory for Israel’s sake.

There is one reason and one reason alone that Israel has taken leave of its senses in such a fashion: Obama has treated Israel like it’s a piece of fragile porcelain that could be broken with any more than the most delicate touch. Instead of bellowing his objection to war against Iran, he whispers in Bibi’s ear. This has led no less a figure than Haaretz’s managing editor, Aluf Benn, to infer that Obama really has no problem with an Iran attack. If he did, Benn reasons, Obama would speak in tones previous presidents have managed to muster when they disagreed with Israel including Carter, the first President Bush and Clinton among them. Obama has determined that only kid gloves will do for the Israelis, who in turn interpret kid gloves as carte blanche for doing and saying whatever they like in the region.

Barack Obama is personally and directly responsible for the mess that has become the Middle East. He is equally responsible for the next war, whether it’s in Iran, Syria, Lebanon or Gaza. In the Middle East, inaction can be as devastating as bad action.

U.S. SENDS LOADED WARSHIP TO IRAN ON APRIL 12, 2012! READY IF OBAMA ORDERS MILITARY ACTION; RUSSIA MASSING TROOPS NEAR NORTHERN IRANIAN BORDER

THREE U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIES NOW IN THE MIDDLE EAST WITH FOURTH EN ROUTE

Zero Hedge
July 19, 2012

A week ago we reported news that Middle East veteran aircraft carrier CVN-74 Stennis was ending its brief sabbatical prematurely, and far earlier than previously expected, and heading right back into the field, er sea, of action. As Kitsapsun reported, “Bremerton-based aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is returning to the Middle East much sooner than expected. The Navy hasn’t officially announced the new deployment plan for the Stennis, said spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Zach Harrell.” The ship came home to Naval Base Kitsap on March 2 after seven months of launching planes into Iraq and Afghanistan. Generally, it wouldn’t go back to the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility for four to five years, after a deployment to the Western Pacific and a maintenance period. But with Iran making threats, crew members learned Saturday they’ll be leaving again in late August for eight months.” We concluded that shortly, Stennis will be the third carrier accompanying Lincoln and Enterprise. As it turns out, a third carrier was already en route, and as of today, CVN 69 Eisenhower is either at the opening of the Straits of Hormuz, or just past it. That makes 3 aircraft carriers in the middle east, 2 in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea and one just off the coast of Syria. And technically, the LHD 7 Iwo Jima Big Deck Amphibious ship, which is also just off the coast of Iran region, makes three and a half.Which means that a 5th one (rounded up) – Stennis – is coming in 1-2 months. Good luck Iran.

Source: Stratfor

So to recap: Four US aircraft carriers. One big deck amphibious warfare ship. One Iran. WTI well below its 2012 highs even with Bernanke having engaged in yet another flow-boosting Qualitative Easing operation. And One presidential election in 4 months.

THESE U.S. DESTROYERS THAT WERE DEPLOYED TO SPAIN TO CREATE A EUROPEAN MISSILE SHIELD HAVE RUSSIA CONSIDERING A MISSLE STRIKE AGAINST EUROPE

AUGUST 18, 2012 LEAVE A COMMENT (EDIT)

By Walter Hickey and Robert Johnson | Business Insider

Destroyer

US Navy

The Navy is deploying four Guided Missile destroyers to Rota, Spain to serve as an integral part of the European Defense Shield. 

The shield has been riling up Russia since it was announced, and in May the Kremlin came out and said it was not ruling out a first strike against the NATO shield in Europe.

Not long after the strike was threatened a story came out saying that Obama would release classified data on the shield to the Russians in an effort to calm them down.

No word on that yet, but then again, we know Obama wants to wait until after the election to assuage Russian concerns.

In the meantime, we took a look at the four destroyers headed over to Spain — the USS Ross, USS Porter, USS Carney and the USS Cook that riled the Russian’s up in the first place.

The USS Ross was commissioned in 1997 and has almost 300 crew

The Ross is 505 feet long and weighs around 9,000 tons full

In 2009 the Missile Defense Agency announced that the Ross would be upgraded to hold the advanced Standard Missile-3

In addition to the missiles that the ship carries, the Carney also has a landing pad for an anti-submarine helicopter

The Ross — like the 62 other ships in the Arleigh Burk class of destroyers — cost around $1.8 billion

This is the USS Carney, the oldest of the ships being sent to Spain

Seen from the mast here, the Carney was commissioned in 1996

One USS Carney tradition is the playing of National Anthem on guitar after each underway replenishment

In the back here, the Carney launches a coordinated volley of vertically-launched missiles

The ship also has a five inch gun which poses a massive threat to nearby enemies

The USS Cook, seen here receiving fuel on-the-go, was commissioned in 1998

The ship was one of the first to come to the aid of USS Cole — another Arleigh Burk-class destroyer — after it was damaged in a suicide attack by al Qaeda operatives in 2000

Here, the Cook fires a torpedo as part of an exercise

The ship is seen here firing Tomahawk missiles into Iraq in April, 2003

The ship was part of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group

The USS Porter in the foreground — is the youngest ship of the four being sent to Spain and was commissioned in 1999

an SA330 Puma lands on the Porter’s helipad for personnel transfer

In 2007 the Porter sank two pirate boats off the coast of Somalia that were attacking an oil tanker

In 2007 the Porter sank two pirate boats off the coast of Somalia that were attacking an oil tanker

 

The ship carries 90 Tomahawk missile, which can be launched from the vertical launch system

The ship carries 90 Tomahawk missile, which can be launched from the vertical launch system

 

On August 12, 2012 the Porter collided with a Japanese Oil Tanker near the Strait of Hormuz and will be in Dubai for repairs for the time being

On August 12, 2012 the Porter collided with a Japanese Oil Tanker near the Strait of Hormuz and will be in Dubai for repairs for the time being

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer was left with a gaping hole on one side after it collided with an oil tanker early Sunday just outside the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The collision left a breach about 10 feet by 10 feet (three by three meters) in the starboard side of USS Porter. No one was injured on either vessel, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

The collision with the Panamanian-flagged and Japanese-owned bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan happened about 1 a.m. local time. Photos released by the Navy showed workers standing amid twisted metal and other debris hanging down from the hole.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Navy said, though the collision was not “combat related.” There were no reports of spills or leakages from either the USS Porter or the Otowasan, the Navy said.

Navy spokesman Greg Raelson said the destroyer now is in port in Jebel Ali, Dubai. “We’re just happy there were no injuries,” he said. “An investigation is under way.”

The USS Porter is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, an island nation in the Gulf, near Iran.

The Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Gulf, is a crowded and tense waterway where one-fifth of the world’s oil is routed. Tensions have risen there over repeated Iranian threats to block tanker traffic in retaliation for tighter sanctions by the West. The sanctions are aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment program, so far without success.

Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz show no sign of abating.

The United States stoked the flames recently with an announcement that it will send U.S. Navy minesweepers and warships into the Gulf for exercises. The U.S. military maneuvers scheduled for September, to be joined by ships from about 20 American allies.

This is part of a Pentagon buildup in the Gulf with more troops and naval firepower, seeking to rattle Iran and reassure Saudi Arabia and Washington’s other Gulf Arab partners worried about Iran’s influence and power.

Iranian commanders and political leaders have stepped up threats and defiant statements in recent weeks over the Strait of Hormuz.

While it appears unlikely that Iran is ready to risk an almost certain military backlash by trying to close Hormuz — which is jointly controlled with Oman — the comments from Tehran show that Iranian authorities see the strait as perhaps their most valuable asset in brinkmanship over tightening sanctions.

Iranian officials have been quick to counter statements about closing the strait with observations that the situation is not likely to become that severe, indicating recognition that a step like closing the strait would have grave implications.

Warnings from Tehran in the past about possible closure have been enough to boost oil prices to offset the blow of sanctions. It’s also among the potential flashpoints if military force is used against Iran over its nuclear program.

If attacked, Iran could severely disrupt oil supplies and send the shaky global economy stumbling backward again.

Three years ago, The USS Hartford, a nuclear-powered submarine based in Groton, Conn., collided in the strait with the USS New Orleans, a San Diego-based amphibious ship.

The New Orleans’ fuel tank was ruptured, and 15 sailors on the Hartford suffered minor injuries. The collision caused $2.3 million in damage to the New Orleans, and the cost so far of repairs to the Hartford is $102.6 million.

The submarine’s commanding officer was relieved of his duties, and the sub’s chief of the boat, an adviser to the commanding officer, was reassigned. Several crew members were punished.

RUSSIA DOES NOT RULE OUT PREEMPTIVE MISSILE DEFENSE STRIKE

RIA Novosti

Russia does not exclude preemptive use of  weapons against [NATO] missile defense systems in Europe but only as a last resort, the Russian General Staff said on Thursday at a missile defense conference in Moscow.

“The placement of new strike weapons in the south and northwest of Russia against [NATO] missile defense components, including the deployment of Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad region is one possible way of incapacitating the European missile defense infrastructure,” Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov said.

Taking into account the “destabilizing nature of the missile defense system… the decision on the pre-emptive use of available weapons will be made during an aggravation of the situation,” he said.

The projected European missile defense system could by 2020 have the ability to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said on Thursday.

The United States and NATO agreed to develop the system at a summit in Lisbon in 2010, but talks between Russia and the alliance have floundered over NATO’s refusal to grant Russia legal guarantees that the system would not be aimed against Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

“By 2018-2020 – that is the third and fourth phases of the deployment of the Euro-missile defense in Europe – the continent should have enough anti-missile defense to be able to intercept part of Russia’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine launched ballistic missiles,” Patrushev said at an international conference on Euro-missile defense in Moscow.

“The geographical regions and technical characteristics of these missile defense systems create the foundations for additional dangers, especially considering the current and future levels of high-precision armament of the United States,” he said.

“Our experts say other targets, which could require serious missile defense against it, do not really exist,” he said.

Patrushev said the creation of the Euro-missile defense, which is taking place without Russia’s agreement and will lead to a degradation of Russia’s nuclear deterrent, could lead to a disbalance in strategic stability at the regional and global levels.

“The refusal to discuss the conditions for providing legal binding guarantees for the deployment system to be not aimed at Russia strengthens our convictions that the real goal of this missile defense system could differ from what is stated,” he said.

Russia’s military and political leadership has already warned its western partners several times that if talks fail, Russia may take a series of measures including deployment of Iskander short-range nuclear-capable tactical ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad exclave.

NATO denies its missile defense proposals are aimed at Russia.

“In fact, we have no desire at all to disturb global strategic stability,” NATO’s Deputy General Secretary Alexander Vershbow told the conference. “Quite the contrary: NATO missile defense will be capable of intercepting only a small number of relatively unsophisticated ballistic missiles. It does not have the capability to neutralize Russian deterrence.”

The “Missile Defense Factor in Forming a New Security Space” conference has been organized by the Russian Defense Ministry. More than 200 military specialists and experts are taking part from over 50 nations inclduding the 28 NATO nations. As well as NATO and Russia, representatives of China, South Korea, Japan, the CIS nations and the OSCE are taking part in the conference.

U.S. DANGLES SECRET DATA FOR RUSSIA MISSILE SHILED APPROVAL

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is leaving open the possibility of giving Moscow certain secret data on U.S. interceptor missiles due to help protect Europe from any Iranian missile strike.

A deal is being sought by Washington that could include classified data exchange because it is in the U.S. interest to enlist Russia and its radar stations in the missile-defense effort, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Tuesday in written replies to Reuters.

No decision has been made yet on whether the United States would offer data about the interceptors’ “velocity at burnout,” or VBO, said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham, the spokeswoman, but it is not being ruled out.

VBO is at the heart of what Russia wants as the price for its cooperation, said Riki Ellison, head of the private Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, who has close ties to missile defense and military officials.

VBO tells how fast an interceptor is going when its rocket-booster motor fuel is spent and the motor burns out.

With VBO and certain other technical data, Moscow could more readily develop countermeasures and strategies to defeat the system and transfer the information to others, Ellison said.

Ellen Tauscher, the administration’s special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense, held talks in Moscow Tuesday with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, including on missile defense, a State Department spokesman said.

The Defense Department, in its response to Reuters, ruled out giving Russia information on either “telemetry” or U.S. “hit-to-kill” technology.

Telemetry involves the automatic transmission and measurement of data from remote sources to monitor a missile flight. Hit-to-kill is the way in which modern U.S. interceptors, such as Raytheon Co’s Standard Missile-3, destroy targets by slamming into them.

The department emphasized the Obama administration was following in the footsteps of the George W. Bush administration in seeking missile defense cooperation with Moscow, a process formally begun in 2004.

In keeping open the possibility of sharing VBO information with Moscow, Obama is at odds with Republicans in Congress who have said they will seek to legislate a prohibition on such data-sharing.

Republican Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, faulted the administration for what he described as “caving” to Russian concerns at the expense of U.S. interests.

“That is why it is important Congress insist on protecting our classified missile defense information, and our right to deploy missile defenses without concern for Russia’s posturing,” he said in a statement Tuesday to Reuters.

The sharing of such data might help salve Russian concerns about the layered shield being built in Europe by the United States and its NATO allies, chiefly to fend off the perceived threat from Iranian missiles.

Moscow fears the bulwark could grow strong enough over time to undermine its nuclear deterrent force. It has threatened to deploy missiles to overcome the shield and potentially target missile defense installations such as those planned in NATO members Poland and Romania.

The Defense Department, in its reply to Reuters, said the sharing of classified U.S. data is subject to an interagency group known as the National Disclosure Policy Committee, which evaluates requests for dealing with other governments.

Bradley Roberts, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, told Turner’s committee last week the United States had been making “no progress” toward persuading Russia to drop its opposition to the shield despite its willingness to consider sharing certain classified data.

PRESIDENT OBAMA ASKS MEDVEDEV FOR ‘SPACE’ ON MISSILE DEFENSE – ‘AFTER MY ELECTION I HAVE MORE FLEXIBILITY’

By Jake Tapper | ABCNews

SEOUL, South Korea — At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”

The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.

The exchange:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

When asked to explain what President Obama meant, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes told ABC News that there is room for the U.S. and Russia to reach an accommodation, but “there is a lot of rhetoric around this issue — there always is — in both countries.

A senior administration official tells ABC News: “this is a political year in which the Russians just had an election, we’re about to have a presidential and congressional elections — this is not the kind of year in which we’re going to resolve incredibly complicated issue like this. So there’s an advantage to pulling back and letting the technical experts work on this as the president has been saying.”

PAUL FARRELL: WORLD WAR III: THE GREAT COMMODITIES WAR TO END ALL WARS

A new era of depletion, collapse and austerity

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

AUGUST 19, 2012

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, WWIII: The Great Commodities War to End All Wars. We’ve heard that before. Remember WWI, known as The War to End All Wars, 37 million casualties. WWII was bigger, 60 million. Will WWIII finally end all wars? Or end the world, civilization, planet?

And it’s already started folks, ending the Great American Dream.

Fasten your seat belts, soon we’ll all be shocked out of denial. Some unpredictable black swan. A global wake-up call will trigger the Pentagon’s prediction in Fortune a decade ago at the launch of the Iraq War: “By 2020 … an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies is emerging … warfare defining human life.”

And that’s also the clear message in “The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources,” the latest book by noted international security expert Michael Klare.

Earlier, about the same time as the Pentagon’s prediction, Klare published his classic, “Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict,” a look ahead to a world that he now hopes will not “end in war, widespread starvation, or a massive environmental catastrophe.” Although they are “the probable results of persisting in the race for what’s left.” Unfortunately, hope can’t trump reality in today’s race for what little is left.

We need men who pull no punches in describing what’s dead ahead, whether labeling it “Resource Wars” or “WWIII, The Great Commodities War That Can End Everything.” Klare does just that with this warning:

“It is true that eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels and other finite materials cannot be accomplished overnight — our current reliance on them is just too great,” warns Klare, well aware that the forces of capitalism are trapped in denial, cannot see the dangers dead ahead, focusing only on getting richer no matter the consequences to the planet.

“But no matter how much corporate or government officials wish to deny it, there is not nearly enough non-renewable resources on this planet to perpetually satisfy the growing needs of a ballooning world population.”

All major nations are quietly preparing for Resource Wars

Even worse, in today’s world run by climate-denying billionaires, Klare warns “existing modes of production are causing unacceptable damage to the global environment. Eventually continuing with current industrial practices will simply prove impossible. And precisely because implementing a whole new industrial order will be a lengthy task, any delay in beginning that work will prove costly, as resources keep dwindling and their prices continue to rise.”

If there is a race, it’s a downhill race to WWIII: The Great Commodity Wars. The world’s great powers are accelerating war preparations — yes, they are in the early logistical build-up stage, amassing the resources and arms to send troops into battle.

And they’re doing it in a world lost in denial, sinking deeper into a collective conscience that pretends our problems will be solved by the magic of free-market capitalism, unwilling to admit it not only no longer exists, it has morphed into an anarchy controlled by a bizarre conspiracy of Super Rich narcissists.

Welcome to the New Era of Resource Depletion and Austerity

Yes, the planet is at a historic turning point. You must plan for black swans, earth-shaking wake-up calls — a perfect storm of global wars, mass starvation, pandemics, environmental catastrophes.

The critical mass is building. We’re just not listening, especially conservative politicians, Wall Street CEOs and the Super Rich, who dismiss the warnings of men like environmentalist Bill McKibben, money manager Jeremy Grantham, anthropologist Jared Diamond and global security expert Michael Klare all warning us to wake up, before it’s too late to react, let alone plan.

Listen to the warnings: “The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion — a crisis that goes beyond ‘peak oil’ to encompass shortages of coal and uranium, copper and lithium, water and arable land. With all of the planet’s easily accessible resource deposits rapidly approaching exhaustion, the desperate hunt for supplies has become a frenzy of extreme exploration, as governments and corporations rush to stake their claims in areas previously considered too dangerous or remote.”

Wars to grab what’s left … until nothing’s left … for anybody

Klare opens on a fascinating replay of Russia’s 2007 risky deployment of a mini-submarine using a robotic arm to plant a titanium flag deep under the polar ice cap, two and a half miles below the surface of the North Pole. Why?

Forget national pride. In recent years as climate change warms this “frozen wasteland,” Russia, as well as Canada, the U.S. and other nations are laying a claim to long-ignored “vast deposits of oil, natural gas and valuable minerals.”

Faced with an impossible equation — out-of-control global population growth plus rapid depletion of nonrenewable resources equals mega-catastrophes — the big players are all selfishly grabbing and hoarding scarce commodities … like desperate banana republic dictators as the entire world sinks into pure anarchy, scrambling for a share of what little’s left, until nothing is left for anyone.

13 reasons why this time is so very, very different

This time the challenges the world is facing really are very different from any prior time in history, warns Klare: “While the current assault on remote resource frontiers bears some similarities to the historical exploration of undeveloped territories,” such as the Roman Empire’s expansion, today’s global threats are “in many important ways different from anything that has come before.”

Why? Because “never before have we seen the same combination of factors that confronts us today.”

Here are the five biggest reasons the next few decades are so crucial to the survival of the planet and our civilization:

  • Scarce nonrenewable commodities are rapidly and permanently disappearing.
  • There are no “new frontiers” to open up as existing reserves disappear forever.
  • Population growth is creating a “sudden emergence of rapacious new consumers.”
  • Economic, technical and environmental add increasing limitations on exploration.
  • Climate change is having “devastating” unintended consequences on energy.

Klare adds that in “many cases, the commodities procured will represent the final supplies of their type.” Get it? “The race we are on today is the last of its kind that we are likely to undertake.”

Seven other factors are reviewed or come to mind that definitely are risk factors that increase the probability of massive global catastrophes:

  • Rapid rise of powerful new resources competitors, China, Africa, Saudis
  • New warrior mind-set willing to grab or fight for new territories and borders …
  • Conservative strategy preferring existing industrial methods rather than develop new more costly technologies and innovative alternatives …
  • Lack of a political will to invest government funds that would incur more debt to prime the innovation …
  • The time needed to prepare for known threats is rapidly vanishing …
  • America is rapidly morphing from a democracy into a Super Rich anarchy …
  • Failure to grasp that this new era of “peak everything” means that the lack of resources will increase scarcity and austerity across all nations …

And finally, the total failure to accept and encourage any kind of population controls, even denying birth control, without which all other strategies will be futile.

13 triggers that will ignite WWIII: the Great Commodity Wars

Soon, even the myopic dinosaurs in the oil, coal and fossil-fuels industries, the guys who have been bragging about having 200 or more years of reserves, will be hit with a catastrophic wake-up call, as these risk factors balloon to critical mass and a flash point — fueled by commodity wars, pandemics, global starvation, environmental crises, skyrocketing commodity prices and accelerating population growth.

But by then, as Klare and others like him warn, it will be too late for the fossil-fuel dinosaurs.

Whether you’re a hard-line climate-denying billionaire capitalist or a liberal-leaning environmentalist, you need to read Michael Klare’s new “Race For What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources.” Or as I prefer to call it, either, “The New Era of Depletion, Austerity and Collapse,” or “WWIII: The Great Commodity Wars to End All Wars.” It’s a must-read.

DECCA AITKENHEAD: WORLD WAR III WILL BE OVER RESOURCES AND COMMODITIES

By Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian

June 30, 2012

Massive geopolitical shifts seldom announce themselves with a bang.

They tend instead to creep up slowly, until it’s hard to be sure exactly when they began.

I remember going to buy some steel about six years ago, and being staggered by the price. “Ah,” the man in the hardware store explained, “It’s the Chinese, you see. They’re buying up so much steel, the price has gone through the roof.”

The last time I visited my brother, all the lead had been stripped from his garden shed – the second theft in two months – thanks to rocketing lead prices.

And it must have been around the time of the Iraq war that I recall first hearing someone say the next big war would be fought over water. At the time the prediction had sounded far-fetched; these days, it’s a commonplace.

These sort of random, disconnected events look neither random nor disconnected once you read Dambisa Moyo‘s account of what’s happening to the world’s commodities. In 1950 the world’s population stood at 2.5 billion; by last year it had reached 7 billion, and is projected to hit 10 billion by 2050.

With almost all the population growth occurring in the emerging economies, by 2030 some 2 billion people will have joined the global middle classes. “Put another way,” Moyo writes, “in less than 20 years we will witness the creation of a middle class of roughly the same size as the current total population of Africa, North America and Europe.”

Naturally, they will want mobile phones, fridges, cars and washing machines; 2,000 new cars already join Beijing’s streets every day. In 2010 China had 40 cities with populations of more than a million; by 2020 it plans to have added another 225. The implications for the world’s commodity resources are stark and sobering: global demand for food and water is expected to increase by 50% and 30% respectively by 2030, the pressure on copper, lead, zinc and corn is already becoming unsustainable, and no one has a clue where the energy we’ll need is going to come from.

If Moyo’s calculations are correct, we are in big trouble – which makes the central premise of her book, Winner Takes All, all the more arresting. Governments across the world, she writes, have singularly failed to grasp what’s coming – with one sensational exception. “Simply put, the Chinese are on a global shopping spree.” State-sponsored Chinese corporations are busy buying up commodities across Africa, North America, the Middle East, South America – anywhere they can – in a concerted strategy to seize control of resources before the rest of the world wakes up to the looming crisis.

They’re striking deals with what she calls the “axis of the unloved” – developing countries rich in commodities but poor in political and economic capital – in return for much needed investment, employment and infrastructure. Extravagant shoppers, the Chinese are happy to pay over the odds, treating their trading partners not as poverty-ridden charity cases nor political pariahs but valued commercial equals. But when the resources begin to run dry, the consequences will be catastrophic. Already, since 1990 at least 18 violent conflicts worldwide have been triggered by competition for resources. If nothing is done now, warns Moyo, commodity wars on a terrifying scale are all but inevitable.

To western eyes, Winner Take All makes for scary reading. Viewed through Chinese eyes, on the other hand, it’s an altogether different story. For all its premonitions of armageddon, the book’s tone feels more congratulatory than cautionary – reflecting the particular perspective of its author.

Moyo stepped off a transatlantic flight only hours before we meet, but arrives looking like a supermodel, shrugging off jet lag with the indifference of someone who, when asked where she lives, replies: “Oh, on a plane.” Born in Zambia in 1969, she spent her first eight years in the US before returning with her parents, both economists, to the capital, Lusaka. At 19 she left again for good, acquiring a masters from Harvard and a doctorate from Oxford, and working for the World Bank and Goldman Sachs, before publishing her first book, Dead Aid, in 2009.

A turbocharged attack on aid, it caused quite a sensation – here was an African denouncing western aid as patronising and counterproductive – earning Moyo the nickname “the anti-Bono” and securing her reputation as a box-office star of the global high-finance circuit. Her second book, How The West Was Lost, was a devastating obituary of America’s supremacy, the cause of death diagnosed as a fatal overdose of greed and laziness. With blue-chip western academic credentials, yet a distinctly non-western way of looking at the world, she was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine. Yet her latest work, she says, was inspired by her own ignorance.

“I’m pretty savvy; I kind of understand what’s going on in the world. So I was quite surprised to learn how little I knew about commodity scarcity. I was very shocked by my own ignorance. It just seemed to me surprising that the only country that seemed to be doing something in a very systematic and deliberate way was China.”

Winner Take All is presented as a warning to the west – it’s subtitled China’s Race For Resources, and What It Means For Us – but the book reads more like a hymn of praise to China. When I ask if she regards its story as scary or thrilling, she doesn’t hesitate. “Oh, I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s fundamentally fantastic – and also in the literal sense of the word. You know, it’s fantastic – it’s a good thing – but also ‘fantastic’ as in something really tremendous.

They bought a mountain in Peru – half the height of Mount Everest – they bought the mineral rights. I flew in from Canada this morning, where they’ve done a laptops-for-pork deal. They’re importing beef from Brazil, and in return they’ll build roads and railways. It’s just an amazing display of discipline, and a systematic approach – it’s unparalleled. I don’t know any other country that does it in this way.”

If anything, the chief inspiration for Winner Take All seems to have been Moyo’s irritation with western attitudes to Chinese growth. “There is this obsession with China being a culprit,” she agrees. “Even now, people will still say: ‘Oh, the reason why the United States’ economy is not doing well is because the Chinese are manipulating the exchange rate,’ or, ‘The Chinese have human-rights issues,’ and, ‘The Chinese don’t do democracy, and the Chinese cheat.’ You know, it’s always about the Chinese, and no one actually takes a step back and thinks: ‘Gosh, actually, it’s our fault that productivity is declining. It’s got nothing to do with the Chinese.’”

The hypocrisy of western criticism is, she says, quite breathtaking. We accuse the Chinese government of meddling in free-market capitalism, clean forgetting that US farm subsidy programmes and Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy have condemned Africa’s farmers to poverty. The US is perfectly happy to take China’s money – more than $1tn worth of government bonds – yet expects the emerging markets to say: “No, we don’t want Chinese money because there’s an issue of human rights.”

We complain that the Chinese are paying too much for commodities, instead of wondering whether China might in fact have grasped their true value. And we have the nerve, she marvels, to accuse China of neocolonialism, failing to understand that “the rest of the world actually thinks what China is doing is pretty damn clever”. It was the west which got rich by invading and plundering the rest of the world, whereas China is engaging with it on respectful, peaceful, generous terms.

“What the Chinese are trying to do – move a billion people out of poverty – is just an unheard-of thing in history. The fact that they have moved 300 million in 30 years is unheard of. It took Britain 156 years to double its per capita income. It took America 57 years, Germany 65 years. It’s taken the Chinese 12-and-a-half years.”

Moyo stresses more than once: “I’m an economist, not a political scientist,” and her writing is full of the maddeningly opaque jargon of commodity trading. Yet the book’s fundamental message seems to be as much about the contrasting politics of Washington and Beijing as commodity prices. She is always described as a passionate free-market capitalist, so I ask how that fits with her admiration of China.

“I have to tell you, this is my favourite thing about being raised in Africa; we don’t do labels very well, we don’t do this, ‘Oh, you’re a Democrat; oh, you’re a Republican.’ Because we live in the real world. There’s not a single country that actually approaches economics in a pure, free market, capitalist way. I like the free market – but it very much exists only in textbooks. If I had a choice, and we could live in a very pure world, I would be a supporter of the free markets. But because we don’t live in that world, I do really admire what the Chinese have done. Having the good fortune of being born in Africa – I absolutely love the fact that I was raised and born in Africa – I love people who deliver results.”

Moyo’s critics say her predictions of a commodity crisis are alarmist, failing to account for future technological solutions to shortages. People have been worrying about unsustainable population growth ever since Thomas Malthus in 1798, goes this critique, and yet the world always somehow manages to muddle through.

“Right, but the people who are saying: ‘We’ll muddle through,’ are people sitting in the west who get clean water when they turn the tap on. If you’re in India, and the Brahmaputra river is being rerouted by the Chinese, you’re not muddling through; lives are being lost. Wars are being fought right now. ‘Oh, we’ll muddle through,’ is a very western view, because you’re not killing each other yet, and oil prices haven’t risen to $1,000 a barrel. If you live in a poor country, where you have to walk miles for water, or you have to fight for water or resources, it is already happening.” She invests her money in technology and innovation, she adds. “And my sense is that we’re not close to any big discovery in any of the categories – land, water, energy and minerals – that has made me not nervous about the coming headwinds.”

Other critics dismiss her predictions of scarcity as miscalculations based upon a flawed assumption that China and other emerging markets will continue to grow at their recent prodigious rate – when in fact, their economies are starting to slow, and have probably already peaked.

“People do not understand,” she says, with a hint of weary incredulity, “that the Chinese government will and can do pretty much anything to make sure they don’t have a recession. They’re not going to sit there and do nothing while an economy slows down to 5% growth a year. They will have a political problem; they will have Tiananmen Square, they will have people on the streets. So what do they do? They’ll turn the taps on.”

The notion that African aspirations could now be switched off strikes Moyo as equally laughable. “I go to Africa all the time. You talk to a young person and tell them they can’t have Facebook? Seriously? You try telling them that.”

It’s not hard to see why Moyo is such a hit as a public intellectual. But when we come to the logical conclusion of her thesis, her position seems to become somewhat illogical. She calls for the creation of a global body focused exclusively on commodity issues – but when I ask what it would look like, her only clear stipulation is a central role within it for China.

If China is winning the commodity race, its interest in any such body strikes me as doubtful, but Moyo thinks self-interest will ensure their support for a strategy to prevent resource depletion and consequent conflict. “I think the world will be drawn into a war for resources,” she says firmly. “I think we’ll see more wars.”

Yet if all her predictions are correct, at that point surely the Chinese will flex their considerable military might in order to protect the worldwide interests they’ve paid for. It would be perverse of them not to, wouldn’t it? Moyo flatly refuses to see it.

“They have been very deliberate in their speeches that this is about the peaceful rise of China. And by the way, what kind of campaign would they launch? They would go to all those countries and be fighting in all those different countries at the same time? I don’t know how they would be able to do it. I can’t play that scenario out.” Perhaps my scepticism is simply evidence of the sort of suspicious western mindset Moyo scorns, but I wonder if her determination to champion China might not be in danger of tipping over into blind faith.

Moyo is clearly well aware that her critics dismiss her as more of a showy controversialist than a sober-minded thinker. When I ask about the factual errors that have been seized upon in all three books – in Winner Take All, for example, she says Opec stands for Oil Producing Exporting Countries – she bristles defensively. “Well, I wish I had been more perfect. But my book hit the New York Times bestseller list last week, and people seem interested in what I have to say.” She considers it “rather cheap” to indict a book because of a few inaccuracies, and suspects critics make so much of her mistakes because they cannot forgive the heresy of Dead Aid. “They think I’m speaking out of my place.” As for “the anti-Bono” nickname, “I absolutely despise it. When people make those type of cheap headlines, it takes away from fundamental points.”

There certainly seems to be more than a hint of subtle prejudice in some of the comments she has attracted – both positive and negative. Nigel Lawson called her “confused” and “muddled” in a BBC radio debate, while his son Dominic has praised her as “a very serious lady indeed”, and I can’t imagine him describing a white male equivalent as a “very serious gentleman indeed”.

She has homes in New York and London, but is anxious to point out: “That sounds all very glamorous, but it’s just where I throw my stuff,” and insists: “My core, core, core: I’m an African.” I ask to what extent she suspects her work is viewed through the prism of her identity as an African woman. “Woman? Zero. African? 100.” Given her own emphasis on the influence of African origins on her work, I can’t work out if she considers this unfair or not.

“I think,” she reflects with an elegant shrug, “I’m kind of a hard bird to figure out.”

THE IMPENDING DANGERS OF A GLOBAL CONFLICT: HOW TO PREVENT WORLD WAR III

The Lessons of History

by Prof. Vyacheslav Dashichev

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All indications suggest that the international community is once again entering a period of increasing risk of war. It is no coincidence that Western political analysts are writing about it more often. In June 2011, a book by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky was released: “Towards A Third World War III Scenario”.  Even among Russian analysts there are increased concerns about the fate of the world, for example, the article by Yuri Krupnov: “The general trend is clear: The West needs a major war.” After the shameful war of NATO against Libya, the U.S. and Israel are increasingly threatening to take action against the Iranian military. Many see in this the risk of bringing about another major war. 

Is there good reason for such an alarming outlook? Let us not forget how in the past the world slipped into major world wars.

Are there any analogies which relate to the present? We now live in a new era of nuclear-armed missiles in which fighting a war using such weapons is no longer a rational option to achieve political goals simply because the attacking side risks receiving a crushing blow as a response.

However, is it reasonable today to rely on our statesmen to carry out their policy decisions rationally? The same old failings apply equally to them: stupidity, selfishness and egoism, wanting to outdo their opponents, to dominate and exploit others.

What was decisive in triggering the world wars of the 20th Century compared to today’s situation? In a four-volume book “Hitler’s strategy – recipe for disaster” I investigated the causes of this misfortune for mankind. In it I name 7 factors:

1) The actions of the expanding German empire – which freely admitted their intentions – was to obtain regional and then global domination and to gain control of the resources and markets of the world. In a meeting at his headquarters in 1940 Hitler said: “Today we are fighting for oil reserves, rubber, mineral resources, etc.” In 1941, two days before the attack on the Soviet Union, Hitler signed Directive No. 32 “Preparing for the period after the completion of Operation Barbarossa” in which he went over plans for defeating the USA and Britain and following that world domination.

2) The expansionist German Reich wanted to achieve military superiority by massive rearmament.

3) The goal of the German Reich was to upset the balance of power in the world arena by defeating small and medium-sized countries and thereby increasing its geopolitical space in its struggle for world domination. This involved the annexation of Austria and the taking of Sudetenland and then Czechoslovakia. The attack on Poland led them to the point of critical mass in the change of balance of power. Britain and France could not let that happen so they declared war on Germany. Thus, began the second World War.

4) Merging the countries into a coalition whose individual national interests and sovereignty were threatened by the expansionist state. In the scheme of international relations there is a principle known as defensive reaction. This states that a potential counterbalance of forces is created that acts against the state that adopts a policy of domination, violence or the desire to rule over other peoples and nations by imposing his values by force. In the first World War it was Entente, and in the second the anti-Hitler coalition that acted as a counterbalance.

5) Within the innermost circle of the power elite in an expansionist state a power structure comes into being that is concentrated into one single person. Fateful decisions over war and peace are made by one or only a few persons.

6) The expansionist state seeks to resist the economic and systemic crisis of capitalism. The solution is to go to war. In a meeting with the generals in 1939, Hitler said: Either we declare war, or Germany will be confronted with a deep economic crisis.

7) Propaganda is used to systematically implant the notion of an enemy in the minds of the population. The enemy are the peoples of the countries against which the attack is being prepared.

Both world wars started in Europe and then encroached onto other regions of the world. In particular, it should be noted that the expansionist state intending to gain power by declaring war, each time has made a fatal mistake in assessing its own forces, that is the moral, spiritual and material requirements to achieve the set goal. In this case Germany grossly violated the law formulated by Clausewitz which states that the political objectives should be strictly in accordance with material resources and international conditions. For that reason in two world wars the expansionist state of Germany suffered severe defeat, and the German people experienced two national catastrophes.

The same fatal error of setting foreign policy tasks that in no way were in accordance with the available resources was made by the Soviet authorities after the second World War. Stalin, who always decided alone over the fate of his country, believed that after the outstanding victory over fascism, he could easily install Soviet domination over Eastern and Central Europe. After he had brought the countries of this region under Soviet control he grossly violated the balance of power in Europe and caused a defensive reaction in the countries of Western Europe. He provoked the Cold War which hung like an intolerable burden over the Soviet Union, its economy and its population. It is one of the main reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union. And that’s not all. The country was condemned to a struggle with a coalition that had far greater resources. In addition, it also permitted the USA, as guarantor and defender and leading force in the West, to set up American domination over Western Europe – and, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, also over the eastern part of Europe.

Since the days of the Cold War with the world divided between the two superpowers – the USA and the Soviet Union, both of which were nuclear powers struggling for supremacy – there was a balance of nuclear fear. This kept both powers from taking undue risks which forced them to take measures to avoid a war. They also signed a series of agreements on the mutual limitation of nuclear weapons and restraint in their further development. However, this did not mean the end of the struggle between the superpowers. The US has shifted its focus on information and economic warfare and secret acts of sabotage (subversive activities). A pro-American lobby was setup in the Soviet Union. This lobby paid bribes and recruited representatives of political parties and the state apparatus to work for it. All this is the strategy – developed by Liddell Hart- of indirect measures to destroy the enemy and seize territory without using military forces. This strategy played a very important role in organizing the state putsch in December 1991. One of the main goals of American policy was to bring about the downfall of the Soviet Union and it was the establishment of capitalism in the post-Soviet sphere of influence that served as the best method of bringing down Russia in all spheres, but especially the economy.

At the time of the Soviet reforms in the 80’s new foundations were developed in Soviet foreign policy which permitted a series of agreements at the end of the Cold War and the establishment of a new peace accord in Europe to be agreed with the West. On 21.11.1990 the Paris Charter had been signed by all European countries, the USA and Canada. It declared that the era of confrontation was over. “We proclaim that in future our relations will be based on respect and cooperation.” It was proclaimed: “Europe free yourself from the legacy of the past. A new era of democracy, peace and unity approaches.” In the Charter magnificent goals and standards of international coexistence were declared to strengthen security and confidence among all countries, to encourage disarmament, and that political consultations be intensified in order to solve economic, social, ecological, cultural and humanitarian problems. Peace should emanate from Europe. Europe must be open to all countries and cooperate with all countries in order to solve current and future problems.

The importance of the OSCE should be strengthened and its 10 principles should be followed strictly.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union all these wonderful formulations were thrown out since they no longer suited the interests of the United States. Now the United States was the pre-eminent power in a unipolar world order and did not resist the temptation to exploit its advantage to expand its sphere of influence, to impose its will and values, and to dominate all the world’s resources. For the world this policy has brought a greater threat than that of the East-West confrontation.

1) The US is clearly an expanding state. The goal of US global politics was developed with unique clarity in the Project for the New American Century (PNAC 1997) by Cheney (Vice President), Rumsfeld (defense secretary) et al.

That means world domination in the sense of American principles and values: “We need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.” These provisions were developed further in the following program documents of the US administration.

2) In order to achieve and maintain world domination the project envisaged the unprecedented American expansion of military force: “We must increase our military spending significantly if we want to accept global responsibility, and attain the future military strength required.” Today military spending amounts to nearly $700 billion. That’s nearly half the military spending of the entire world. That’s significantly more than the military spending at the peak of the Cold War.

The aim of the US is global military dominance including missile defense, so that Russia will lose its ability to respond militarily, and thereby will no longer be in a position to offer resistance to military and political threats. American authors openly discuss this (Note 2: the Pentagon).

3) The US has set as its goal to decisively reset the balance of power worldwide to its advantage. They broaden their geopolitical space to maintain their position of world domination as well as their access to the energy and natural resources of world markets. They do this by waging wars against individual states and building up a network of military bases. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has waged war against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and gained control over many other countries without carrying out military actions. The American military is now in over 130 countries. Europe has long been under American rule and today it has 40,000 men under arms in Germany, including nuclear weapons. These troops are not only an instrument of American domination in Europe but also serve to assert American interests in other regions of the world.

4) The American policy of dominance has generated strong anti-American sentiments around the world as a consequence of the principle known as a defensive reaction. But till now it has not developed to the point that an anti-US coalition of states has come into being, namely those countries against which the United States wants to impose its will. One explanation is that the political elites of Western countries were forced to accept the US dictates of the Cold War in order to protect themselves from Stalin’s expansion. Today they are still free-riding the coat-tails of American policy in order to gain certain advantages. But in the consciousness of European countries other sentiments are awakening.

People are not willed to accept that the United States is treating them like satellites and exploiting them in its global military affairs. A famous German politician Egon Bahr once made a well-known comment: “No people can live continuously on its knees”. If the US does not stop with its politics of domination an anti-American coalition can be expected.

5) In the United States a small secret inner circle decides over war and peace. To it belong some of the richest families. Even Brzezinski in a speech on October 14 showed a major concern because most of today’s Congressmen and Senators as well as most of the top officials belong in the category of very rich, the so-called top 1% and only a small part of them decide on US policy.

http://csis.org/publication/zbigniew-brzezinskis-de-tocqueville-prize-speech 

6) We are now faced with finding a way out of the largest financial, economic and moral crisis since 1929/33 which has shaken capitalist society and the social structure of US society and has now taken hold of the whole world. Therefore, there is the danger that American leaders pursue the dangerous path of war, for example, a war against Iran. In this way they could try to attain their geopolitical goals. In this age of globalization a medium scale war could very rapidly develop into a world war. However, this does not restrain the US power elite because there are enough of them who believe that it is time to get rid of a few billion unnecessary citizens of the world.

7) As far as propaganda, psychological control and the motivation of American politics of predominance and the creation of enemy stereotypes are concerned the US power elites have surpassed all previous records. Here we see that there is much in common with the factors leading to the world wars of the 20th. Century and the trends of today’s American politics. This is also true in respect of the tendency of overestimating one’s own forces in the effort to secure global predominance. The overextension of the US in its imperial efforts constitutes one of the main reasons for today’s financial crisis and the accumulation of huge public debts. American hegemony is approaching its own demise.

Washington has enriched the international lexicon of terminology with such terms as:

humanitarian war, preventive intervention, superior armaments, general meaning of American values, US interests above all else, “if you’re not for us, you’re against us”, axis of evil, rogue state, checkbook diplomacy, selective strikes, NATO globalization, closing vulnerable areas of the US with anti-missile systems, etc. The new American military doctrine has given the US the prerogative to conduct preventive wars.

What does the Russian leadership think of US policy and how does it respond to the possible threat?

It is known that during the reign of Yeltsin an unusual state concept prevailed according to which there was no longer an external threat to Russia anymore. This concept was supported by Foreign Minister Kosirev. This concept severely damaged Russian national interests and the country’s defense capability.

Later foreign policy was weakened further, reminiscent of a policy of reconciliation.

It is hard to see why the Russian leadership did not even once bring a proposal warning against the dangers of the expansionist politics of the United States, and American hegemony and tyranny in the world arena, which threatened the world and Russia. There were several broad possibilities but they were not utilized. It is remarkable that neither Yeltsin nor Putin nor Medvedev made an appeal to the EU, to revive the good principles of the Paris Charter. They were not even mentioned in official publications although they met the essential national interests of Russia and other European countries.

Another example: In 2008 I put together a project for a convention to ban the Politics of Global Dominance. The project was published and submitted to the Russian Foreign Office with the proposal that it be put forward at the next UN General Assembly.

“We, the United Nations member states, in recognizing that the quest for global predominance in the 20th Century led to world wars, resulted in countless victims, led to colossal losses of material wealth, the militarization of society and people’s consciousness, the emergence of difficult-to-eradicate enemy stereotypes, to post-war poverty, destruction, despair and the hardening of human attitudes, the collapse of production and the decline in science. We are aware that after each World War once again a large power center forms that exercises an imperial and messianic rule threatening the national interests and the freedom of the peoples of the world who must resist this by uniting in opposition. In light of this and that in times of nuclear weapons and the space age, a new world war resulting from the politics of global domination would lead to the extinction of human civilization; in the firm conviction that the politics of predominance always goes hand in hand with expansion and that it is the most dangerous factor in international relations, also that it stands in sharp contrast to the democratic principles of foreign policy and ignores international principles such as “unity in diversity”, “live and let live”. Therefore, the need is recognized to remove the material basis for the politics of global predominance by restricting the military expenditures of all UN members up to 0.5% of their gross domestic product.

 We declare our resolution for an international ban on politics that has as its goal the domination over other peoples and that such politics can be described as a Crime against Humanity.”

This international convention could – in the event of its ratification by the UN General Assembly – be an important threshold in the fight of the world community against the politics of hegemony, of dictates and dangerous military despotism in international relations. But this proposal for a convention elicited no response from our politicians.

The Russian leadership could also start other important proposals to consolidate the peace, for example:

•   Termination and complete prohibition of military competition which the US forces on the world, and restriction of military budgets to 0.5% of GDP.
•   The dissolution of NATO as a relic of the Cold War in light of the fact that Europe today is no longer under threat, and the conversion of the OECD into an energetic principal organization for European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation.

•   The repatriation of 40,000 American and 20,000 British troops and nuclear weapons from Germany.

•   Proposals against the building of American bases in Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea and the Balkans.

•   Repatriation of NATO troops from Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Regarding the US missile defense system in Europe the Russian leadership has long held an absurd position, and that of cooperation with the Americans in building the system, although the system is directed solely against Russia. Medvedev should have been taking a decisive step and effective measures against the threat a lot sooner and not just before the Duma elections. This makes it appear only as a campaign maneuver.

These and other proposals of Russian foreign policy could counter an increase in the military threat. The Chief of General Staff of the Russian army, Makarov, spoke about them before a public committee on 11 November 2011. But the proposals were not presented to the international organizations. One wonders why?

Historical experience shows that those who sought to dominate Europe and the world always encountered a fiasco. The same fate awaits the initiators and perpetrators who build the American world empire. What is important is to prevent a new world war being unleashed.

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