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Russia wastes no time turning East; inks mega-energy agreement, plus other deals with China

While Western mainstream media concentrates attention on the emissions agreement signed by US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi at the recent APEC Beijing Summit, Russia's Putin and China's Xi quietly signed major new energy agreements that will have enormous geopolitical significance in bringing about the very nightmare that US strategists such as Zbigniew Brzezinski warned about way back in 1997 when America seemed indomitable as sole Superpower.

The impetus, ironically, to the array of strategic Russia-China deals are the very economic and financial sanctions the rather stupid strategists at the US Treasury and National Security Council devised to "punish" Putin beginning last May for allegedly "invading" Crimea.

China to be Russia's major gas customer

On November 9 in meetings on the periphery of the Beijing APEC summit, Putin and Xi signed 10 agreements. Far the most significant is the one for the so-called West Route gas pipeline that will connect gas fields in western Siberia with northwest China through the Altai area of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. They also agreed on provisions for possible second and third sections to be added later that would bring capacity to a staggering 100 billion cubic meters a year. West Route is designated a priority and to be finished in six years. Initially it will give China another 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually over 30 years.

Comment: Blindness to consequences is the very essence of psychopathy. It's tempting to think the Western leaders are consciously plotting to create the maelstrom of chaos we see in the world today, but that's not exactly the way it is. Each intervention, from Afghanistan and Iraq (overt), to the numerous covert CIA-sponsored "color revolutions", and the rise of ISIS, was assumed to be a completely controllable situation. Now each of them is individually spinning out of control, and the interplay between these situations is ramping up the danger of total war by orders of magnitude. But none of this matters the the Western Imperialists. As Mr Engdahl has stated, they are seeking only to preserve the power they've accumulated. It was all laid out in the late 1990's with the assumption that "things will unfold as they should". The psychopathic elite are in for a very rude shock. .

2 + 2 = 4

Interview with the Saker: Controinformazione in Italy

Comment: "So the quest is on for a criteria, a worldview, a unifying ideology which would allow Russians to separate the good from the bad and, hopefully, keep the good." The Saker poses this question at the end of the interview that follows (the original English of an interview conducted by Anacronista of Controinformazione in Italy. The answer is simple, and somewhere in the KGB archives is probably just waiting for someone to read it and understand it: Political Ponerology. It's simply not true to see every single Russian leader for the past 300 years as all good. And it's certainly not helpful to see only a history of corruption and oppression.

But the solution is rather simple: For 300 years, Russia has been the playground of psychopaths. Yet the majority of Russians - the ordinary people - have shown themselves to be resilient. They have suffered the worst, survived, and are now poised to be the example the world needs. They have broken out of the cycle of pathocracy (a cycle the West is entrenched in - the root of the 'civilizational conflict' the Saker speaks of below). And we can all learn something from that. If we don't, we can simply continue to suffer the same oppression.

russia cartoon
Anacronista: Today the contrast between Russian and US foreign policies is striking: on one side moderation, common sense, respect for sovereign states; on the other side coups d'etat, threats, sanctions and lies. Is the contrasting behaviour of the two powers due to incidental political calculations or to a different underlying view of life?

The Saker: The first thing to point out is that Lavrov and Putin are extremely well educated men who come from elite institutions: Lavrov from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Putin from the former external intelligence directorate of the KGB. They are far better educated that modern US diplomats. In the past the US also had distinguished diplomats like James Baker, but now they are either total idiots (like Psaki) or arrogant liars (like Powers). The second thing is that the USA truly does not have a "diplomacy". After all, US "diplomacy" is just a combination of demands, promises, threats and bombings which do not require any real diplomatic skills. Third, Russia has greatly suffered from the costs of empire, both under the Czars and under the Soviet rule. As a result, Russia does not want to be an empire, or a super power, or a world policeman or a hegemon. All Russia wants is to be a *normal* but, and this is important, a *truly sovereign* country. In order to achieve that Russia has a few basic fundamental rules she really believes in:

No end to war: US vassal Lithuania agrees to supply Ukraine with military aid

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
© AFP Photo / Samuel Kubani
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Lithuania has decided to provide limited military aid to Ukraine following a meeting between Presidents Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania in Kiev. The move aims to bolster military cooperation between the two states.

"We have agreed on the supply of armaments for the Ukrainian armed forces," Poroshenko said, after talks with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Monday.

Poroshenko added that the aid constituted "real help," though he did not clarify if it was for lethal or non-lethal equipment.

Grybauskaite said the deal would entail providing Ukraine with the necessary knowhow for building modern armed forces. More Ukrainian representatives will be invited to study at the Military Academy of Lithuania, and there will be an increase in joint exercises with the goal of completing "the formation of the trilateral Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade," the Lithuanian president said.

Comment: Ukraine can't join EU because Ukraine is broke and has no gold.


SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Ted Cruz goes Cicero

© Yahoo
Cicero and Cruz
Ted Cruz (R - Texas) begins his speech delivered on the Senate floor Nov. 20th, 2014 with "The words of Cicero - powerfully relevant 2,077 years later," and then proceeds to recite Cicero's speech "In Catilinam (Against Catiline)" delivered to the Roman Senate in 63 B.C. with some modifications to fit his purpose. During this period in Roman history there was martial law, accusations of high treason, and the specter of civil war.

America today is increasingly becoming like the - now lost - Roman empire.

Lucius Sergius Catiline
© Wikipedia
Lucius Sergius Catiline
Lucius Sergius Catiline lost an election to Marcus Tullius Cicero for Rome's highest office of consul, Cicero claimed that Catiline conspired to murder him and attempt a coup d'état. Cicero presented to the consul a letter, allegedly written by Catiline, that was found and presented as evidence of the conspiracy. Martial law was declared, and Catiline was denounced in the Senate - a triumph about which Cicero never tired of reminding his peers and readers (Catiline went into exile and soon after died in battle with his army). This is the official version of events where Cicero is generally hailed as a remarkable orator and a model for democracy that is still widely taught to this day.

There is much more to this Cicero character and how the Cataline conspiracy became Rome's 9/11. You can listen to a discussion on the subject on this SOTT Talk Radio broadcast. A more in depth analysis of the situation will be featured in the next installment of Laura Knight-Jadczyk's Secret History series.

Anyway, back to Ted Cruz. Catiline, a Popularis, was an advocate for the poor. He called for the cancellation of debts and openly backed land redistribution. Cicero, on the other hand, was aligned to the Optimates ("Best Men") who wished to preserve the aristocracy's power. Cicero created a law banning such populist gestures. In Cruz's speech, he aligns himself with Cicero and paints Obama as a modern day Catiline. As if Obama was not (s)elected by, and is not working for the 1% that enjoys the fruit of the labours of the masses of ordinary humanity.

Cruz delivers quite the inflammatory speech and makes sure to include the threats implied in Cicero's original speech.

Signs of sanity in Israel? Three former security heads slam Netanyahu's pathological agenda

Three of Israel's most senior ex-defense officials came out last week, almost simultaneously, with blistering attacks on the security policies of the Netanyahu coalition. Appearing in separate forums, the three - former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit, former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin and former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi - each charged that the government is endangering Israel's future by allowing right-wing extremists to sabotage prospects for a two-state solution, putting the country on a path toward a single, binational state that will be plagued by continuing ethnic strife.

Two of the attacks appeared as op-ed essays in last Friday newspapers. One, by Diskin, appeared in the mass-circulation Yediot Ahronot. Titled "What lies ahead for Israel" (in English here), it argues that the current "Jerusalem intifada" is a "microcosm" of what awaits Israel if it does not resume serious peace negotiations with the Palestinian leadership. Diskin is particularly critical of the "inflammatory propaganda" and "brainwashing" that depicts Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as an obstacle rather than a partner, when in fact, he writes, Abbas is strongly opposed to terrorism and maintains a "clear policy" of security cooperation with Israel.

The second, by Shavit, appeared in the liberal-leaning Haaretz. Titled "Blindness, Stupidity, Cause for Concern" (here, Hebrew only), it worries about the "haughtiness and arrogance" among "central factors in religious Zionism,"
together with more than a bit of the messianic thinking that rushes to turn the conflict into a holy war. If this has been, so far, a local political conflict that two small nations have been waging over a small and defined piece of territory, major forces in the religious Zionist movement are foolishly doing everything they can to turn it into the most horrific of wars, in which the entire Muslim world will stand against us.

I also see, to the same extent, detachment and lack of understanding of international processes and their significance for us. This right wing, in its blindness and stupidity, is pushing the nation of Israel into the dishonorable position of "the nation shall dwell alone and not be reckoned among the nations" (Numbers 23:9).

Comment: It seems that among even the most dyed-in-the-wool Zionists, a part of Israel's intelligence-military apparatus no less, there's recognition of the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu's security policies are not only psychopathic but also suicidal for Israel, and go far beyond the pale (though there is much precedence for the Israelis acting pathologically ie. the wholesale cleansing of the Palestinians in the 30's and 40's, the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, 911, etc). If Diskin, Ashkenazi and Sahvit's public criticisms are to be taken at face value (they are no strangers to dirty tricks after all), and they are taken to be sincere, then their words may be understood as further proof of just how far gone this train wreck of a nation is - and how desperate those with inklings of good sense and sanity (or an instinct towards self-preservation) feel about where its going.


Much ado about nothing: Iran nuclear talks extended seven months

© Reuters/Joe Klamar/Pool
Delegations of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sit around the negotiations table during their meeting in Vienna November 24, 2014.
Iran and six powers failed for a second time this year on Monday to resolve their 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and gave themselves seven more months to overcome the deadlock that has prevented them from clinching an historic deal.

Western officials said they were aiming to secure an agreement on the substance of a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on the all-important technical details.

"We have had to conclude it is not possible to get to an agreement by the deadline that was set for today and therefore we will extend the JPOA to June 30, 2015," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters at the end of the talks.

He was referring to the so-called Joint Plan of Action, an interim deal agreed between the six and Iran a year ago in Geneva, under which Tehran halted higher level uranium enrichment in exchange for a limited easing of sanctions, including access to some frozen oil revenues abroad.

Hammond said the expectation was that Iran would continue to refrain from sensitive atomic activity.

He added that Iran and the powers "made some significant progress" in the latest round of talks, which began last Tuesday in the Austrian capital. Hammond said that there was a clear target to reach a "headline agreement" of substance within the next three months and talks would resume next month.

Comment: Much ado about nothing. See also Breaking the Syria-Iran alliance is the endgame for U.S. "Islamic State" strategy.

Red Flag

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to step down

Chuck Hagel
© AFP Photo / Jim Watson
Chuck Hagel
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will step down from his position, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Monday.

Hagel, who has served in this position since February 2013, was forced out by President Barack Obama, CNN confirmed from several sources.

White House officials, however, are portraying this as a mutual decision.

Administration officials said there was a series of discussions over the past several weeks with the President, initiated by Hagel. The talks covered a "broader discussion of national security for the next two years," a defense official said.

The two came to realize that "a different focus was needed and a change is in order," the official added. "It is wrong to conclude that this was a protest by Hagel or it was over policy differences."

Comment: Ah yes, stay calm, nothing to see here.

The White House announced that Obama will make a personnel announcement from the White House State Dining Room at 11:10 a.m. The New York Times first reported Monday morning that Obama asked Hagel to step down last Friday, seeking to reassure critics of the President's foreign policy with the move.

The move, White House officials told the Times, was meant to acknowledge that the new national security threats facing the nation - most notably the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - call for a different kind of leadership in the Defense Department.

"The next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus," an administration official told the paper.

A critic of the Iraq war, Hagel was brought on to oversee withdrawal from Afghanistan and a smaller Pentagon budget than ever before.

Hagel, a former senator of Nebraska, was the last Republican still serving in Obama's Cabinet.

Comment: We shall see who Obama picks as the next Defense Secretary to determine if world events and wars will be escalating.

Snakes in Suits

Obama is no Machiavelli

© REUTERS Kevin Lamarque
President Obama seems poised to declare war on the world. American policy in 2014 has taken on a "zombie-like" feverishness aimed at war. Terror has been turned into a horror gag reel these days, as Washington acts out some fetish for chaos in our world.

And for those who consider Obama a Machiavellian genius, this requires a massive intellect. A modern day political Frankenstein seems more apt.

America has armed and sponsored Israel so they can butcher Palestinian civilians. We're prodding NATO moves in Ukraine, right on Russia's doorstep. We've fueled a fetish to unseat Syria's Assad, and to perpetuate the Iraq war, maybe forever. Yes, Washington's gone totally biblical, and not in a good way.

Meanwhile, we sit on our couches in Omaha or Orlando, reading the morning news served up to strike fear and loathing. A thousand authors, conjure for you, images of Russian bears devouring Europe, of gleaming scimitars slicing the air, and a rerun of those twin towers plummeting, down, down, down. But this is a time of WikiLeaks, the NSA spies, lies, deceit, and misdirect. You must see it, anyone surely must!

While Caliphates, the Supreme Soviet, and Hamas rockets are blamed for baby killing, a crumbling western civilization is not brought about by Vladimir Putin, but by a decaying system of greed, graft, and mediocre leaders. The fact is ISIS, the Arab Spring, and Ukraine and yes, Gaza are all components of Washington policy under Obama. This cannot be repudiated, but it can be reasoned.

Psychopathic semantics: US providing 'non-lethal assistance' to Kiev forces (not to mention military advisors and paid mercenaries)

© RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov
Local residents, obviously terrorists, escape from a fire in the house destroyed in the Ukrainian armed forces' air attack on the village of Luganskaya on July 2, 2014
As the US is debating whether it should send lethal military aid to Ukraine, some political analysts say current claims that Washington is only providing Kiev with non-lethal military assistance are nothing more than a red herring, because that aid is also being used for lethal purposes.

Former US President George W. Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley has called on the CIA to provide lethal military assistance to the Ukrainian government.

So far, the White House has officially relegated support to non-lethal assistance despite Kiev's requests for lethal military aid.

However, some political analysts believe that all this talk about lethal aid and non-lethal aid ignores the fact that the non-lethal aid that the US has been giving Ukraine has been used in a lethal context.

"Even if the US supplies only non-lethal military equipment, what is this equipment being used for? Is it being used defensively? The word "defensively" totally disarms the cognitive ability to assess that it is being used offensively. I mean, to give armor to troops to send them into the battlefield to kill people including civilians - you can call it non-lethal aid but it is being used for lethal aims," Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization and a contributor at the Strategic Culture Foundation told Radio Sputnik.

Comment: The following exemplifies the type of "non-lethal advice" that the U.S. psychopaths have so far given to the military forces of Kiev from: Heartbreaking video of man finding his home and family bombed by U.S.-backed Kiev army

"One of the hardest things about producing this site is watching these gut-wrenching videos coming out of East Ukraine.

There are literally hundreds of them.

We think of ourselves as pretty hard-boiled, but sifting through them looking for news, or even worse, having to watch sections of them over and over again as one edits and captions is sometimes too much ...

Sometimes without warning, the tears well up as your soul rebels ...

Watch this video, even if it hurts. After seeing this, no sane person could still believe Kiev is right in attacking East Ukraine.

Western politicians are guilty of this. Obama and Merkel are guilty of this.

They are funding, encouraging, and justifying a cynical, homicidal military attack against civilians, whose only sin was to exercise their right to secede from a country they no longer wanted to belong to, a basic right recognized in all democracies.

The attack is being led to a large extent by psychopathic neo-nazi extremists.

And the western media is complicit in the crime, by saying its not happening. It's as simple as that. Sometimes evil leaps out and rips your face off, right in the middle of civilization.

That's what is going on in East Ukraine."

Arrow Down

Willful ignorance: Scientists banned from advising the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency is a federal agency that is charged with the responsibility of writing and enforcing legislation to protect human health and the environment. Established under Nixon in 1970, the EPA is another one of those agencies that sounds like a good idea, until you peel off the shiny friendly top layer to discover the stench of corruption underneath. Up until now, they at least pretended to be there to serve as watchdogs, but it seems like they've decided to give up on that silly illusion.

Since they are looking after all things environmental, they need unbiased specialists to advise them on policies and issues.

Silly me, I always thought that sounded sort of...I dunno...science-y.

Our estimable House of Representatives disagrees.

Comment: Welcome to the United States of Fascism where corporations and government are one.

The EPA Closes Its Libraries, Destroys Documents

Judge says EPA does not have to address call to label hazardous pesticide ingredients