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Fri, 12 Feb 2016
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Obama's defense nominee: Here comes trouble

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© Alex Wong/Getty Images
Ashton Carter is bad news.

Ashton Carter is the typical Beltway apparatchik - profiting from the revolving door between the military, heavy industry and academia.

He advised Goldman Sachs on military technology.

He was an actor in the dismantling of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed by Bill Clinton, which allowed a collection of Dr. Strangeloves to go rampant on computer simulated lab tests of nuclear weapons coupled with underground tests in the Nevada desert (plutonium blown up with explosives, for instance).

He was and remains a key actor in the ever evolving "policy" of demonization of Russia.

He advised Bubba Clinton on missile technology - and how the Empire of Chaos could deploy a missile shield in Alaska while claiming it was not violating the 1972 ABM treaty with Russia.

Clinton violated the ABM treaty; Dubya Bush went one up and LEFT the ABM treaty. A new missile race started - which, by the way, Russia is winning.

Way back in 1996, he was totally paranoid about both Iraq and Iran non-existent WMDs.

Then, in 2006, he even upstaged the Cheney regime calling for a strike on axis of evil member North Korea if they did a ballistic missile test (they did; no strike).

And here's the icing on the weaponized cake: he advised Obama on the "pivoting to Asia".

Run for cover, everybody.

Comment: Well, it is no surprise really. Par for the "American Exceptionalism" course. "We must have war!"


Gold Seal

The World according to Putin

© Sputnik. Alexey Druzhinin
Russia's President Vladimir Putin's incredible poll numbers tell him he has the support of the public for the policy agenda he chooses. This makes both Putin and Russia feel confident.

For years Putin has made it abundantly clear in his speeches Russia is not happy with the global status quo. His address to the Federation Council this week is evidence of this. As far as Putin is concerned, the entire international system is rigged to Washington's advantage. The very existence of the U.S. dollar ensures Washington and its closest allies will never allow a fair playing field. That said, Putin is not eager to see the current global system collapse. He wants more political equality, but he also knows Russia and other emerging powers face punishment for challenging and breaking with the Washington designed global consensus.

Rocket

The implications of the Russian-Turkish gas deal for the future of NATO

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On December 2, the same day that the Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a surprising gas deal during a press conference with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, the foreign ministers of NATO countries met in Brussels. The main points of their discussion included the working-out of the so-called 'Readiness Action Plan', which concerns the formation of a NATO rapid intervention force by 2016 and the transformation of NATO mission in Afghanistan. A video conference with the newly appointed foreign minister of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, was also conducted.1

Colosseum

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Congress votes overwhelmingly in favor of hysterical anti-Russia bill

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House Resolution 758 passed yesterday by an overwhelming 411-10 votes. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the resolution's sponsor, said:
"The US, Europe and our allies must aggressively keep the pressure on Mr. Putin to encourage him to change his behavior."
Right. Putin did change his behavior - much to the glee of the US: he tore up trade deals with the US/NATO/EU and sought out other countries willing to trade. But the shock of Russia closing the Southstream Pipeline project and redirecting resources towards the Bluestream pipeline to Turkey must have really ruffled some feathers.

To counter Russia, the great minds in Washington came up with another plan. Let's take a look:
Introduced in House (11/18/2014)

Supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace for Ukraine that includes:
  • full withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory,
  • full control of its international borders,
  • disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine,
  • adoption of policies to reduce the Russian Federation's ability to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and
  • an end to interference by the Russian Federation in Ukraine's internal affairs.
Five bullet points - and all based on false premises. The first point makes one wonder if they are aware of NATO's reports on the supposed Russian invasion of Ukraine, or if they are upset with Russia's humanitarian missions? The second point seems to be alluding to Crimea's referendum on secession and return to Russia. On the third point, let's review who started arming the "rebels", shall we (hint: Poroshenko)? The fourth point reveals they are upset Russia didn't provide Ukraine with free energy. On the last point, it's okay for the US/NATO/EU to interfere in Ukraine, but apparently forbidden to anyone else.

Megaphone

Assad speaks out: "Terrorism exported to Middle East from Europe"

© Reuters / SANA
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.
Terrorism is being exported to the Middle East from Europe, especially from France, said Syria's President Bashar Assad in an interview to French media. He also criticized Western states for politically supporting terrorists in the region.

In the ongoing civil war in Syria government forces have been fighting terrorists since the very beginning of the conflict in its third year, said Assad in an interview with Paris Match news magazine given in late November and published on Wednesday.

"Even in the first days of the events, there were martyrs from the army and the police; so, since the first days of this crisis we have been facing terrorism," he said answering a question whether the conflict could have been managed differently with the appearance of the first signs of the March 2011 revolution.

Comment: It's good to finally hear from Assad on what's been going in Syria these last months. Syria's silence has given rise to talk suggesting that the Syrian leadership had given tacit support to the illegal airstrikes, seeing any help in the fight against ISIS as a plus. But Lavrov's meeting with Mu'Allim a week or so ago may have changed that. Now, it looks like Assad is hitting on all the right points and calling out the West for their shameless and psychopathic meddling with Syria's sovereignty.


Newspaper

The latest developments in Russia: Putin, South Stream, MH17

Speech

Putin is making his annual speech to parliament today. Again I encourage you all to read what he actually says rather than selections twisted to fit propaganda requirements in the MSM. English. "The agreement between Ukraine and the European Union has been signed and ratified, but the implementation of the provisions regarding trade and economy has been postponed until the end of next year. Doesn't this mean that we were the ones who were actually right?" Well, doesn't it?


South Stream

South Stream was a proposed gas line from Russia, under the Black Sea, to come ashore in Bulgaria and serve southern Europe. The southern equivalent of Nord Stream, it would avoid the uncertainty of Ukrainian transit routes. The EU took against it and Bulgaria was pressured to delay or cancel. Brussels thought that Moscow could be bullied. It was wrong: Putin announced the cancellation in Ankara. "If Europe does not want to implement it, then it will not be implemented. We will focus our energy resource flows on other regions of the world". Western governments and media are trying to spin this as a defeat for Russia. "These reports are evidence of pressure mounting on Russia... and reduce Russia's ability to use gas as a tool of coercion". This is nonsense of course. Southern Europe will remain dependent on uncertain shipments of Russian gas passing through Ukraine or on as-yet-unbuilt tankers and port facilities bringing in more expensive and possibly non-existent LNG from the USA. It won't see employment in building the line or transit fees. Some reactions from Bulgarians. The Eurocrats and NATOcrats in Brussels get their Russian gas via Nord Stream. So they will be warm this winter.


Gold Seal

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: State of the Planet - Vladimir Putin's 11th address to Russia's Federal Assembly

© RIA Novosti/Alexander Astafyev
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, delivers the annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly in the Kremlin's St. George's Hall.
Following tradition, Vladimir Putin's Annual Address to the Russian Federal Assembly took place at the Kremlin's St. George Hall. Putin spoke for just over an hour to an audience of over one thousand. In terms of quality, subject matter, and punch, it ranks up there with his recent speeches and interviews, including: We're including the complete transcript of his talk below the video. As usual, the published translation is clearer and more accurate than the live translation, so keep that in mind while viewing.


Horse

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: The foreign government running Ukraine gets a thin gloss of "legitimacy"

Since the coup in Ukraine in February 2014, there have been rumours floating around that CIA has so many operatives in Ukraine they have occupied a whole floor of a building in Kiev. This, plus the fact that there are likely several thousand foreign mercenaries fighting for the junta against the people of Donbass, has been a source of bad publicity, especially when such people die in the fighting. But, with the stroke of a pen, Waltzman aka Poroshenko solved this problem by signing a decree making mercenaries and other foreigners instant Ukrainians.
The natives of the US, Georgia and Lithuania were hastily granted Ukrainian citizenship in order to become key ministers in the new government of Ukraine, which was approved by the country's parliament on Tuesday.
© RIA Novosti / Nikolay Lazarenko
Ukraine has appointed four foreigners to senior government positions. Uncle Sam is now better positioned to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.
It was claimed that there were not enough qualified citizens in Ukraine to fill the governmental positions in a country of 40 million! If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. The problem lies instead in the fact that
  • There are not enough qualified fascists to fill the positions. The ultra-right-wing Svoboda party polled 10.44% in 2012.
  • Perhaps no one is willing to stick their neck out and take responsibility for ever harsher austerity measures and privatization schemes. The Ukrainians have a habit of trashing their politicians -- literally.
  • Further, a million people associated with the previous Yanukovych government are ineligible, having been purged under Ukraine's 'lustration' law.
  • The CIA wanted to have their own people in the government.
  • Those qualified might not have been subservient enough or might have had doubts about the benefits of aligning with the EU and the US.
There might well be other reasons not mentioned and it is likely a mix of the above.

Handcuffs

UK: West Midlands police teargas and 'assault' Warwick university students protesting for tuition fee rise

© YT/Warwick Free-Ed
A student protest at Warwick University against soaring tuition fees was broken up by police and security guards using tear gas and significant force. Protesters were threatened with a taser, pushed to the ground and rammed against a wall, activists say.

The protest, organized by Warwick For Free Education, occurred on Wednesday as part of a nationwide chain of student demonstrations coordinated by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.

The students had organized a peaceful sit-in at the university's Senate House in protest at rising fees for higher education that have been introduced under PM David Cameron's government.

A spokesman for Warwick University said university security guards, who were monitoring the protest, were subjected to a "shocking and unprovoked act of violence," which prompted them to call for a police presence. But the spokesman's claims were contradicted by students who insisted the protest was quiet and peaceful.

Eye 1

Navy's shower video scandal: Pioneering female submariners secretly filmed in bathroom

© wikipedia.org
USS Wyoming
At least three US female Navy officers, among the first to serve on a submarine as part of integration reform, have for a year been secretly filmed in the shower, Navy officials admit. An investigation into alleged criminal activity has been launched.

The videos were allegedly made and distributed among senior Navy officers by a 24-year-old male second class petty officer, the Navy Times reported.

The women in the videos were serving on the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine Wyoming, home-ported in Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Georgia.

An officer on another sub who received a copy of the videos reported about them to his superiors, according to a Navy Times source.

Comment: These women may be under the illusion that becoming part of the military gives them some legitimate power, respect, and authority. They couldn't be more wrong. They are still treated as objects.