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Welcome to the radio network of, your media source for independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events. The Behind the Headlines talkshow takes place each Sunday on the SOTT Radio Network. Analyzing global impact events that shape our world and future, and connecting the dots to reveal the bigger picture obscured by mainstream programming, Behind the Headlines is current affairs for people who think.

From the crisis in Ukraine to the ISIS in Iraq, from increasingly extreme weather to surviving in a world ruled by psychopaths, your hosts, their colleagues (and occasional guests) explore the deeper truths driving world events by exposing the manipulations behind what passes for 'news'.

This week on Behind the Headlines, your hosts examine the extraordinary series of meetings that took place in Europe this week concerning the civil war in Ukraine.

Behind the Headlines airs live this Sunday, 8 February 2015, from 2-3.30pm EST / 11am-12.30pm PST / 7-8.30pm UTC / 8-9.30pm CET.

Running Time: 01:42:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Joe: Hi and welcome to Behind the Headlines on the SOTT Radio Network. This week we are broadcasting to you from the internet or the interweb as other people like to describe it.

Niall: As opposed to last week where we were broadcasting from...

Joe: The interweb.

Niall: Oh.

Joe: Yes, it's the same place every week. You can find us here on the interweb in that big, scary place called cyberspace where all truth and all lies exist simultaneously to fry your brain.

Niall: I think most of the internet's porn, isn't it?

Joe: I have no idea and I have no interest in knowing.

Niall: Well this is it. We live in this kind of sliver of it and I think the vast majority of it is either porn or...

Pierre: Jihadist recruiting websites.

Niall: By the way...

Pierre: It's not exclusive. Maybe there are some jihadist porn websites.

Joe: Yeah, let's not go there. These days most of it is actually taken up by Putin bashing by the western media, at least a good percentage of it is taken up by bashing Russia with increasingly inane and spurious allegations. There have been several, but the most recent one being that from the Pentagon officially or semi-officially, at least there are reports that the Pentagon solicited from some kind of a psychologist-type person in America, for a psychological analysis of Putin and she concluded that he had a disorder known as being a poopy head. [laughter] Sorry, that he was autistic, had aspergers or hamburgers. I don't know which disorder, but basically that he was a poopy head. That's the kind of message that people receive. He's crazy and stupid and we don't like him. He's BAD! Bad Putin! You're evil! That's the kind of stuff we're having to deal with. It doesn't say a lot about our glorious, modern, evolved high brow civilization when the pinnacle of western society is coming up with that kind of dialogue. That's diplomacy basically, calling the leaders of other major world nations names. Sad, but there it is. Welcome to planet earth.

Pierre: It may also be a sign of desperation because when you're only solution is to go to name-calling, well maybe you've not got much of a solution in store anymore.

Joe: More like Facebook actually; the kind of discussion that happens on Facebook.

Pierre: At the same time there's been several cases and incidents where western media were exposed for depicting Putin in a false way. There was this episode where allegedly, according to Loyola Publica, José Manuel Barroso quoted Putin saying that he could take Kiev in weeks and after Moscow threatened to publish the transcripts of the discussion, the EU backed down and admitted that there was taken out of context. First example.

Second example was when the Polish foreign minister Political Magazine that he overheard Putin suggesting the partition of Ukraine, dividing into two nations. Finally the Polish minister recognized that those words had never been pronounced by Vladimir Putin.

And the third case, Constantin Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister was quoted, according to the Telegraph British newspaper telling Miliband during a telephone conversation, "Who are you to F**ing lecture me?" And finally Miliband and Russian authorities, so the two parties mentioned that never foul words were used during this phone conversation. So western media and the western politicians are being repeatedly proven wrong in their allegations against Putin and Lavrov.

Joe: It's not just being proven wrong. That doesn't really get it. The way you've described it there is the way that the media describes it, but that's not what's actually happening. Barroso claimed that Putin said he could take Kiev in two weeks.

Pierre: Yeah.

Joe: And then later Barroso admitted - and that's what you just said - that those words had never been spoken by Putin. That's not really what happened. What happened was that Barroso lied.

Pierre: Yeah.

Joe: Right, but you can't say that "I admit that those words were never spoken". What needs to be recognized by the entire world and needs to be in all of the media reports on the story is "Barroso lies. Barroso lied about Putin". Not that he recognized that those words were never spoken. What kind of bullshit is that?!?! Really? That doesn't happen in normal human society and civilization. That's not the way people characterize things. It's completely doublespeak and bullshit! When someone tells a lie, ordinary people recognize it and say "Yes, he lied about that." They don't say "He has now recognized that what he said did not actually happen." No, they say he lied. Why can't we say that about these people? Are they beyond lying? They're the ones who lie the most but apparently we're not allowed or in the official discourse you're not allowed to actually say that the people who lie the most lie.

Pierre: Not only it's lies, but...

Joe: It's even worse.

Pierre: Nefarious. It's putting evil words, evil thoughts in the minds of world leaders.

Joe: At the level of ordinary discourse in the world with people, that's actually as good as you get if someone was to characterize someone as having lied. They would probably say "He's a bullshitter. He makes shit up." So why isn't that on the papers? Why isn't that a headline? "Barroso makes shit up!" That's what happens and at the level of the ordinary people here, that's the way it's discussed. That's the way people understand these things but somehow in the vaunted, lofty rarefied air of politics they have all sorts of different, sanitized euphemisms and things to describe very mundane, ordinary things. Everybody knows what they are, but when they describe them in those terms, it's almost like they didn't lie. "He engaged in a dynamic narrative." [laughter] "No, he didn't lie. It was a dynamic narrative." What the hell? People need a good slap around the face!

Niall: They do. That's the problem. They live in this bubble.

Joe: In a self-created reality where it's make believe.

Niall: It's astounding. It has some real world human interaction where John Kerry would say something outrageous either about Putin personally or about Russia as a whole and then within the day he's off to meet Lavrov and they do a little stand together, shake hands in front of the press corp and as if things are "La-di-da fine". Well it's not fine. What you just stated was outrageous.

Joe: Yeah, but that's diplomacy. That's the whole world of diplomacy which is two-facedness, back-stabbing and basically scurrilous personal relationship, attitudes or behaviour amongst these people. But they all put on a smiley face for the public. Like the other day Lavrov finally said to Kerry when he met him - and this is an example of diplomacy. I don't know, does Lavrov really think Kerry's an ass? Maybe he does, but when he meets him apparently the reported exchanges between them include things like where he pointedly jokes about the Super Bowl and the Patriots...

Niall: They were beaten by the...

Joe: I'm sorry, were beaten by the Patriots, yeah. He said "It's good to see..."

Niall: "We're always happy when the Patriots beat the Hawks" as in war hawks.

Joe: Right.

Niall: The real patriots.

Joe: Yeah. And apparently Kerry said "Oh yeah. I didn't really think about it in that way but I suppose you're right."

Niall: I don't think Kerry understood his point but he just paused and then said "Okay, I'll take that as a compliment." I don't think he got it.

Pierre: He probably sees himself as a patriot and the Russians as hawks.

Niall: It's hard to say. Do they really believe half the bullshit from someone like John Kerry? The problem is that they get into this diplomatic/world of subterfuge and maybe they begin having a clear idea of the way they see the world versus all the different kinds of dynamic narratives they're trying to juggle in order to reach a certain end goal. I think they quickly get lost. They no longer have a firm hand on what they saw of the world. They're no longer sure what the goal was and all the narrative they keep getting mixed up along the way, you rapidly see them in farcical things and looking quite insane, to be honest.

Joe: Yeah, but for them, it's all sane because as was reported in 2004 a few years ago on an interview in 2004 between Seymour Hersch and some Bush government official, that famous comment from the Bush government official walked about them being reality creators and that the rest of us would just be left to judiciously study the results of what they do and that by the time we're studying what they do, they'll have moved on and created new realities. These people actually see themselves, because they're so consumed with power and their belief in their own power and the power to shape and change the world, that nothing is really of any consequence to them because they can just change it. No matter what happens they can change the reality as they see it.

So in that sense a lot of effort goes into it, to control the media, etc., but they're forming a reality for billions of people on this planet and they are creating facts on the ground all the time that conform to what they want to be the reality. If they want Russia to be evil they will do something that will, to a large extent, create the appearance that Russia is evil, but also on the ground they will make efforts to actually create a reality, even though it's a manipulated, false reality, essentially they can create hard facts by, for example, doing something in Russia's name or trying to provoke Russia. They have done this with other countries where they provoke other countries to react in a certain way. It's [inaudible] "Grab me, gotcha" whatever you call it where you accuse someone of doing something and torment them so much that they act in a way that confirms what you've been accusing them of all along. You could apply it to Muslims, the dealings with Muslims by the west.

Niall: Well another classic example recently is John McCain where you almost - you don't really - but you almost feel sorry for the guy when he strenuously defends America's actions and "We should of course arm ISIS". He just dropped that in the middle of this round. But he's getting his narratives mixed up because what he meant was "We don't want to arm ISIS. We want to defeat ISIS but we want to arm some other moderate rebels".

Joe: Well that one's open to debate. I don't know because sure, McCain is like an old goat and I don't know what's keeping him going, probably batteries or something at this stage, but he really should be got gone. They should put him back in his box. He should be out to pasture. He's an old goat and he should have been sent out to pasture and someone should get him to the pasture like in a mental asylum. Give him some grass in a mental asylum. Alternatively, to atone for his past he should be spending his twilight years over in Vietnam trying to reconcile what he did in Vietnam and the history he had in Vietnam, that hole that Putin said he spent several years in and obviously that would drive anybody insane. That's what should be happening to McCain.

But on the thing you're talking about, his comment about ISIS, he said that back in 2000-whatever, he said an entire joint security committee or whatever, all suggested that we should arm ISIS. And he said ISIS. Did he mean the Syrian rebels or the Free Syrian Army? Because that's quite different. To mix up ISIS with Free Syrian Army is quite a stretch. But maybe he's so confused in his head he doesn't know what's going on.
There's another thing recently where he said the same thing. I think this was a genuine mistake, I presume, because he said the best way to force Russia to back down over Ukraine is to send lethal aid/weapons to Moscow.

Niall: Moscow, Kiev, it's all the same.

Joe: It's all the same to him. Go massive and fix the facts around the policy and get it done, you know? That's what he wants. It's bizarre you know. Facts are strange things for McCain and people like him. They're kind of malleable, mutable things.

Pierre: It's quite the television obsess, McCain sending lethal weapons to Moscow. It reminds me of Saakashvili.

Niall: Oh yes!

Pierre: The ex-leader of Georgia.

Niall: Yeah.

Pierre: Who was removed from power in 2013 who was saying that with some military help, Ukraine could take over Russia.

Niall: Take over all Russia. Invade and take over all Russia. That's outrageous. And people are like "He shouldn't be saying this". I'm like "No! Get this guy up in front of a camera. Keep him going. Give him a job in the state department. I want to hear more."

Pierre: I think it's quite the objective and true reflection on what is going on in the minds of these individuals. What they want is not [inaudible]. It's in Ukraine. They want this control to destroy Russia. They want Moscow.

Joe: Saakashvili is cut from a certain cloth and you see similar types. He's a very good example of them. But he's from the same kind of ballpark, the same mould of the Ukrainian leaders Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko and turkey-nose and people like that. They can't really speak publicly about Russia and about what's going on today without coming across like nut bags because they're incensed and so full of rabid hatred for Russia, irrational insane hatred for Russia that it comes out in what they say and you can see it in their face and their expressions. And Saakashvili...

Niall: He's up at the UN spitting.

Joe: Yeah, talk about spittle-flecked rants, he just defines the spittle-flecked rant. The whole UN is just covered in slobber. It was all just totally irrational and ridiculous nonsense but he gets to stand up there. The west and US likes people like that to come up and say stuff because while they may appear a bit crazy, they don't have anything to lose from it. He's only destroying his own reputation and isolating himself with it by going too far and not appearing as he really is, which is a nut bag. But at least he'll get in a few digs there that might sway some people.

So the US has nothing to lose from people like that who. They don't have any strategic investment in those kind of people. They're sidelines anyway. And I think that's true for Yats and Poroshenko because the US isn't interested in any of those people in their future careers. They're short term benefits, but the US isn't even interested in Ukraine as a state or country. They're only interested in Ukraine as a way to get at Russia. They don't care what happens to Ukraine. If Ukraine ends up like a third world nation, as long as it's a European-aligned/western-aligned third world nation they're happy. They don't care if the whole thing goes down the tubes and people are starving in the streets as long as Russia doesn't get it they're happy and as long as Russia doesn't even get eastern Ukraine. If there's no independence for eastern Ukraine, they're happy. They're happy to have millions of deaths. It doesn't matter to them, obviously because they're demand that American high-tech weapons be sent to a bunch of military grunts in Ukraine who will just fire them off at anybody. The Ukrainian army is a joke basically. It has to be a joke. It's not really a professional army, but they want to give them their javelin missiles and all sorts of high-tech weapons and they're just going to kill people with them.

Pierre: The statement by Saakashvili is all the more ridiculous that in 2008 he was the leader of Georgia who tried to get south Ossetia from Russia and he was backed by the US with US military weapons. He lost, so he should know that having US military support is not enough to take down Russia. He didn't even get Ossetia. And right now Ukraine is backed militarily by the US, maybe not fully, maybe not totally officially and it's having defeat after defeat against rebels which are not a powerful army like the Russian army. Right now, as we are talking apparently there are 8,000 Ukrainian troops that are surrounded in the village of Debaltsevo in Ukraine, so the situation is tense for the Ukrainian army despite US military support.

Joe: Well that's why the whole debate right now is whether to actually give proper support. They've sent a certain amount but they're talking now about the right kind of weapons and they'll probably send in a bunch of weapons and ammunition, etc., but nothing that would facilitate a full war.

Pierre: Anti-tanks.

Joe: Yeah. Tanks, armoured personnel, humvees, all the stuff that the US used in Iraq. But it's crazy because to even have the UK defence minister breaking ranks with the US and saying what they're providing will enflame the situation. The German defence minister has already said that France has already said that it's a bad idea. It's dangerous for Europe. It's dangerous for the European Union for the Ukrainian army to be given a full complement of weapons to wage war on eastern Ukraine because eastern Ukraine isn't going to back down and that kind of thing, when it escalates, has the potential to ignite other conflicts of people, particularly in eastern Europe, who are really sympathetic with the eastern Ukrainians and who have aspirations towards similar intent themselves, like in Moldova which is right next door to Ukraine; smaller countries that have the potential to break away section called Transnistria and their Russian line and the Russians have mentioned them.

Niall: And they're still officially communist.

Joe: Right.

Niall: They're still living in the '90s.

Joe: There's a question over whether it's just sane heads have prevailed here in Europe, at least in assumed clear, negative potential results of a major conflict in Ukraine. It's already major. I'll just throw this in here. The official figures from the UN anyway, are 5,000 people have been killed. But there was a report from...

Pierre: German intelligence.

Joe: ...German intelligence today that said that those figures are completely unrealistic and it's more likely that 50,000 people have been killed, including between "combatants", let's call them, soldiers and civilians. And that kind of rings true because we know from a long time ago that many people questioned the official figures on the US casualties and just the amount of people coming back to the US injured after the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The number of injured veterans and the awareness in the press and the problem of US soldiers and marines coming back from Iraq and the problem that was causing within the US because the sheer number of them and the post-traumatic stress disorder problems that so many of them were having in terms of the number of them committing suicide, the number that were committing violent acts against...

Niall: Their families.

Joe: Put all that together and you get a feeling that it was much, much, much bigger in terms of the casualties and the damage that was done to a large number of soldiers in Iraq. So I think the official figure is somewhere in the 5,000 soldiers killed in Iraq over those 10 years, but again, you could probably multiply that by at least 10 and the number of injured you can probably multiply by 10s.

Pierre: Also it is of course then to minimize the negative impact of the conflict to gain or preserve public support, or what is left of the public support. The timing is interesting. German intelligence really is estimating 50,000 casualties - that's a big number - right when Angela Merkel makes a [inaudible] with François Hollande and starts to suggest a partition of Ukraine basically with an autonomous western Ukraine and a no army/no weapons area 50-70 kilometres. And of course the 50,000 figure totally backs up the new policy proposed by Angela Merkel. So many people dead is one of the best reasons to stop the escalation of the war.

There are other reasons as you mentioned Joe. First, fully supporting the Ukraine militarily is crazy because those Ukrainian leaders, Poroshenko and all are totally nuts. So we don't know what they're going to do with their weapons. Secondly, escalation of conflict in Ukraine means you accept the prospect of the war on your territory and your land in Europe. Thirdly, if there's a war, there's going to be some escalation of economic sanctions against Russia. And who's the first victim of those sanctions? Russia and Ukraine.

And the US has the good role in this escalation scenario. They're going to sell their weapons. They're going to create one more client state. They put more pressure on their nemesis, Russia and they benefit from the weakening of EU and Russia and the conflict is not on their land. And the sanctions they don't mind because it doesn't affect them. Now we start to see a dividing line between Europe, fully to realize how harmful and unjustified this conflict is. And on the other side the US, being the US as usual, warmongerers and more blood, conflicts, weapons.

Joe: Well it's hard to see how it's taken so long for European leaders to come around to the realization. Okay, you can allow for the fact that sanctions were started against Russia about seven or eight months ago and another round of sanctions and a third round of sanctions. Last fall there was the attack on the ruble and also last fall the attack on the oil prices. Essentially Saudi Arabia agreed to drop the oil price as has been revealed recently, officially, at the behest of Washington, to try and screw over Russia by reducing Russia's income from oil sales by the price they get for a barrel of oil and the attack on the Russian currency.

So all of these things have just ended in the last few months and I think you could say that European leaders were invested in taking part of these actions to one extent or another. They were waiting to see if it would have any effect. They had to give it some time to see if it would "bring Russia to its knees". But apparently that isn't happening and even Merkel has said that recently. She seems to have understood that because yesterday that even if the US was to give high-tech weapons to the Ukrainian army, it would not scare Russia. Russia would even then not back down. it would not convince them in any way that they are going to lose the battle, to whatever extent they're engaged in it, in eastern Ukraine.

Obviously that must have been conveyed directly by Putin to Merkel recently because she said that the day after she had a meeting with him. So he obviously has convinced her in some way or other "Listen, it doesn't matter what happens here. We have ways and means to safeguard our interests and continue on the course that we have set for ourselves, which is protecting the people of eastern Ukraine, protecting our interests, even in the same kind of line as the US and NATO has used the right to protect when they invaded and bombed Libya in 2011, on the basis of a right to protect. It was all trumped up and lies, but they were going in there to protect the people of Libya from evil Gaddafi, etc.

So the Russians are clearly saying the same thing here, as far as eastern Ukraine's concerned, that they have a right to protect the people in eastern Ukraine who have a good reason to believe that they are threatened by the people who were put in power in Kiev last year. As far as international law goes, as far as it being defined and shaped and is changing all the time and is being made by the actions primarily of the west - but other countries as well - but primarily the west, they shape and form international law in a very vague, generalized way, by what they do. They reframed effectively, international law when they invaded Iraq without any UN mandate. The UN doesn't matter anymore. International law now says that you can invade any country in the world if you think you're strategic interests mandate it. That's international law. International law now is "do what thou will". "Whatever I want to do for me, that's the law." Well that's everybody, so there is no laws, just whatever anybody makes up.
But the point here is the US defined that, the US and the UK in particular, defined that over the past 10 years. So Russia is entirely entitled to do what it's doing in Ukraine, which is protecting the Ukrainian people and protecting Russia's own interests.

Pierre: And unlike the US in Libya, Russia doesn't bomb civilians in Ukraine.

Joe: No!

Pierre: Obviously they did it to protect the interests of the Ukrainian citizens. Another illustration of the double standard of international law of the United Nations is what is central to the charter of the United Nations, the right for self-determination of the people. And that was what was claimed in 1980 in Kosovo in order to destroy Yugoslavia. Everybody agreed at the time "Okay, self-determination. Fine. Kosovo wants to be independent. Let's get them independence and let's bomb Yugoslavia." But now that the Ukrainian people are doing exactly the same; a referendum, self-determination, want to be autonomous, the US are reacting just the opposite way to what they did in Kosovo.

Joe: Yeah. Well it's hypocrisy. The problem is that there's no longer any law that dictates what people can and can't do and even if there is, no one's adhering to them anymore. So in that scenario, when no one adheres to the actual laws, what you have is what we're seeing today in the world. You simple have completing fractions, trying to shout each other down or engaging in a propaganda war to convince the population of who is right and who gets to do what. And that's what it is. It's a propaganda war and the propaganda war is effectively the law. Whoever wins the propaganda war or can make the strongest argument and has the means to back it up and do what they want to do, the law is then defined by that essentially.

So it's a shouting match. It's like a cat fight.

Niall: That's exactly it.

Joe: It's a bar brawl.

Niall: That's exactly what George Soros said recently. "We have until April" - a couple of months - "to create and solidify the appearance of our version of events, otherwise Putin's going to win the information war." He's talking partially about the real effects, the actual military battles taking place on the ground, but it's really only part of it, a touching point where there's a much bigger propaganda war. But "We have until April to make Putin bad" and accepted as such.

Joe: Well he's deluded.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Because he's on the wrong side. Maybe he doesn't realize it because he thinks he can create his own reality because he's got enough billions in the bank to try and create a reality, but he doesn't realize that it's not just about financing propaganda and putting information out there that argues your case. The people like Soros and Washington in the west have an extra problem, which is that they found themselves on the wrong side of the line of truth versus lies. Putin and Russia don't need as much resources as Soros and Washington. They don't have as much resources, but they don't need it because they have truth on their side and that is a big player in terms of convincing people. It's still very difficult to convince people of an egregious lie. All Putin has to say, or Lavrov has to come out and talk sense and put it plainly because that's kind of self-evident and appeals to a logic between ordinary people. "Well yeah. I suppose that makes sense."

Like you were saying Pierre, if Kosovo was allowed to be independent, then so should Crimea or eastern Ukraine. And that's all they have to say and cite a precedent and say "Well you allowed it to happen before so why can't it happen here?" But comparatively, the west has all sorts of convoluted twisting and manipulative narratives that ultimately don't ring true, ultimately sound like lies and bullshit. So you have to put an awful lot of energy into catapulting their propaganda over and over again to try and convince people that black is white.

Pierre: And there's another factor. There's been such an accumulation of lies over decades and lies are bigger and bigger. There's such an internal inconsistency in the west's narrative that right now they have to defend the exact opposite. So when you were mentioning Joe, about supporting ISIS, right now the position of the US doesn't make sense at all. On one said they fund ISIS. On the other side they fight the Syrian regime, Assad who is fighting ISIS. What side are they? What's the line of thinking or what's the policy? Where's the consistency? It doesn't make sense anymore! And I think that's why the dumbing down of the nation is more necessary as well.

Joe: Well the dumbing down has been going on for a long time. It's now after decades of dumbing down, particularly in the US but also in Europe, depending on the country, after a long process of doing that, now they can pass off these egregious bullshit lies and have the people accept it because people have been trained and conditioned not to think, to think in very simple black and white terms. "Putin is bad." "Us versus them." "America versus terrorists" type of thing.

There's a video that Adam Kokesh, who's a former marine in Iraq and he's been going around. He's involved with various groups in the US, but he's a freedom and liberty/libertarian. I don't know what he is, but basically he makes videos on the web and in a recent one outside a movie theatre of people coming out on having seen the American Sniper movie about this deadly sniper that's been in the news recently, he engages the people who came out of watching the movie, in conversation and asking them what they thought and questions and challenges them on their statements. And it's actually painful to watch the people being subjected to the minimal amount of critical thinking and challenging of the beliefs of what they've just said. They say "Yeah, he was a hero because he was protecting Americans. He was protecting the homeland against terrorists."
So this guy Adam Kokesh says, "Okay, but in the movie you saw these people he was shooting. One of them was a woman and a child." So he asked people about that. "They were in their homeland. Iraq was their homeland. The snipers and American troops were in that country invading it and it was the Iraqis' homeland. These people who were fighting back, as you saw in the movie, don't you think they were protecting their homeland?" And there's "Yeah." And he says "So you think the sniper was a hero because he was protecting his homeland against people who wanted to attack it. What if some American troops were in Iraq and people in Iraq were fighting against them on their homeland, to protect their homeland from Americans, aren't they the heroes then?" And people are like "Ah. No. Yeah. No. What's the right answer?" One guy went "Can you repeat the question?" [laughter]

Niall: That's the first time they've been presented with that conundrum. That's how far gone they are.

Joe: But when you're sitting there on your own, if you think about - well they just don't think about it at all because one moment of thinking about it with any kind of relatively sane, half intelligent mind would say "Yeah, there's kind of a bit of a problem about that narrative. Well, it's not so black and white." Just a little...

Niall: No. Kokesh had to feed it.

Joe: Yeah, but those people on their own don't think about it obviously. They get a narrative, they get a simplistic black and white message and they go with it and there's never any questioning of it whatsoever.

Niall: I think to the extent to which they're pounded by it, we have some idea about it, but it is worse. We're on the outside. We're not completely hit with it day-in, day-out. It produces this farcical situation which is going to get even more [inaudible]. It's been an extraordinary week with all these meetings and secret flights off to Kiev and the secret flight off to Moscow by the German defence leader. I can just imagine the reaction in Washington. "Oh my god! Quick, get Biden over there for an attaboy!" Biden comes to Brussels and he starts making relatively toned-down statements that he would have been saying back to the US audience, but they still stand out as stark raving mad!

Joe: You know what I saw in the background at Minsk, when they were all there and Kerry came over, I saw good old Victoria Nuland in the back. I think she was saying "Attaboy. Go get 'em". The question is, Sarkozy's come out - the former French President before this current French President - Sarkozy who was known as President Bling-Bling, who liked to holiday in America...

Niall: They call him the American here in France.

Joe: Right. Sarkozy's the American who likes to holiday in the US and hang out with the Connecticut clique and go on yachts and boat rides and wear stars and stripe boxer shorts and eat donuts and drink Coca-Cola and eat McDonalds. He's come out and said...

Niall: I have it here.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: So he's speaking to his home base. He's now again the leader of the right party in France, UMP, and he didn't just intimate "maybe in the situation with Russia we should consider a different tack", he went totally against the core of the US narrative, which is that Russia is evil because they invaded and occupied Crimea. He said
"Crimea can't be blamed for joining Russia. They chose to." And he also added "Ukraine is simply not destined to join the EU. And we [France, i.e. Europe I guess] are part of a common civilization with Russia. The interests of the American with the Russians are not the interests of Europe with Russia. We do not want a revival of a Cold War in Europe and Russia."
Pierre: "And we must find a means to create a peacekeeping force to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine."

Joe: Right. What's interesting is that Sarkozy is possibly going to run for President in two years time. There's a gulf between that statement, what he just said, compared to US/Anglo warmongering, ramp it up, throw fuel on the fire type thing. But in France, like in the US, there are certain groups that support presidential candidates and it's almost without which you have a hard time being President. So my conclusion based on that is that Sarkozy's thinking of a president's run, has the support of these groups on the pro-Russian or essentially peace with Russia stance.

So it's interesting when you think through that and think through the complex web of influence and how things work in government because let's be honest here. In most countries in the world, particularly in the west, an administration is in power for four or five years, sometimes eight (the US) but for a short period of time, but the general policy stays the same for decades. You don't have to be a genius to assume from that that there is a power that remains stable behind these comings and goings of presidents and governments, right? That's the interest groups and influential groups within the countries that support the candidacy of one person or one party or another.

For me it's just interesting that Sarkozy felt comfortable to make those comments and take that anti-US stance on Russia - that's the way the Americans see it - with a view to his upcoming presidential bid. And it points to me, at this point anyway, of a growing isolation of the US in terms of everything east of the east coast of America basically. You have America and Canada and maybe throw Mexico in, but most of South America not really very much US aligned. And then the rest of the world basically, Europe, Russia, China.

Niall: Did you hear about the latest...

Joe: All no longer US aligned? That's kind of a scary prospect.

Pierre: Just one point before you go on Niall. It's all the more striking that right now on this critical topic Ukraine, you have Hollande, the leader of the left in France and current president and Sarkozy and leader of the right (republican) are both exactly on the same line: "Make peace with Russia". So yes, obviously the real power above presidents in Europe really wants peace with Russia. And it makes sense. For once we cannot blame them for that. It's so logical, it's much better for the European economy or European people.

Niall: I've been wondering what Israel thinks of all of this. The spats going on between the US and Israel are on/off but every time Netanyahu is coming to the US to give a talk, there's always some kind of public flap to some extent as to how much press time Obama or someone else will give to the visiting head of state. It's very contentious because in the past there was the suggestion by Netanyahu that Obama wouldn't meet him at the White House or there wouldn't be an official state dinner, whatever. But Netanyahu is due to come and give a speech at the US Congress about Iran on March 3rd and apparently the spat is that he didn't clear this with the White House, it was at the invitation of leading US republicans, so a different faction to the democrats and Obama. And this was all done behind Obama's back.

It was an Israeli delegation at this Munich security conference that's held every year. It happened to come in this week just as all these other meetings are. And the Israeli delegation was not from the Israeli government. It was from the Israeli opposition. They're having elections in Israel in mid-March. I was scanning through the Israeli press and somebody there is pissed off that Biden and Kerry made a point of meeting the opposition. His name is Hertzog. He's actually the son or grandson of the famous Chaim Hertzog who was the former President of Israel.

So I think there's another big element here as to gauging which way the wind is blowing. Israelis could easily realign as well.

Pierre: It's very true. I think for Israel the days of Netanyahu are accounted. That's the first point. What is interesting is the analogy between what happened with the Netanyahu visit in the US and what is happening in France because during this march organized on the events of January 2015 after the shooting of Charlie Hebdo, Netanyahu has not been invited by François Hollande. So again Netanyahu somehow managed to access powers that are above President obviously because he ended up being part of the march. Not only that he was the central character.

And also these impromptu meetings between European leaders and Putin in Moscow already happened at the end of last year. Remember Hollande on his way back from a journey, I don't remember where, stopped in Moscow. It was not planned, met Putin and after the meeting with Putin, advocated for freezing or even cancelling the economic sanctions against Russia. And then the Charlie Hebdo even happened. Despite this event, Hollande is back again along the same lines, advocating for peace with Russia.

Niall: Yeah. Well you say despite this event. It's not clear, is that meant to isolate the US? That doesn't really work. But there was an unusual footnote to that march in Paris. No Americans there. I don't know if that's related to it as well. The whole thing is like we were saying earlier today, [inaudible]. It's like you're getting to the end of the movie and finally the script is starting to fall into place, all the characters revealed.

Pierre: The tension between the US and Israel is also illustrated by several leaks recently concerning some assassinations of leaders in the Middle East. [inaudible] secret services, CIA and Mossad are shown. You can't help wondering if this is not illustrations or symptoms of growing tension between US and Israel.

Joe: Well Biden gave a good indication of attitude of the US towards European states when he said that European states expressing their own opinion, that diverges from the US opinion, was inappropriate and annoying. That's effectively what he said. That's exactly what he said.

Niall: He came to Brussels and said it.

Joe: Yeah, he said it was inappropriate. He came to them and said "Listen, what you're saying here which doesn't agree with us is inappropriate and annoying. Could you please stop it?" If that doesn't give you an pretty clear indication of the status of Europeans which, compared to other countries around the world are probably in a more powerful position vis-à-vis the US, you can imagine what other smaller countries have to accept from the US. But there's a little bit of respect you'd think has to be shown to European countries because they're quite powerful. But apparently as far as the US government is concerned, these are "You're just saying stuff that disagrees with me is inappropriate. It's not appropriate for you to disagree with America. Do you understand that? And frankly it's annoying to me that you would have your own opinion." That's what he said and it's amazing.

People say that America isn't an empire. Of course it's an empire. It's not a traditional empire in the sense of centuries or in terms of historical empires from the past but it's a new type of empire where it's essentially...

Niall: Well it has bases everywhere.

Joe: It has bases everywhere but it doesn't occupy by force like previous empires may have done. But other empires didn't occupy by force either. They simply kept other countries and peoples in check when necessary. But America has the world more or less sewn up through its military might and economic control through the petrodollar and things like that and its control of the IMF. Finance effectively. The military bases are kind of a back up. I think we have a caller on the line here. It's Tom from Kentucky. Hi Tom. Welcome to the show.

Tom: Hi. How are you?

Joe: Pretty good.

Tom: I just popped in a few seconds ago and I've been listening a little bit to what you guys have been talking about and I've been reading your description and stuff. I was just wondering what you guys think about the climate change and that America should be the leading role into stopping climate change or not? Or help subside it.

Niall: Joe, were you able to hear any of that? It's very choppy on us there Tom.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Should we ask him to repeat the question?

Joe: Yeah.

Tom: Can you guys hear me?

Joe: Can you repeat that Tom?

Tom: I was wondering what you guys think about climate change. I was wondering if you think America should be the leading country to help stop climate change.

Joe: You want us to talk about climate change.

Tom: Yeah. Should America be a leader in helping stop climate change.

Joe: Oh, should America be the leader trying to stop climate change. Well the thing is, America can't do anything about climate change because climate change is a natural phenomenon. It's part of a natural cycle. It may have some indirect relationship with things going on, on the planet, but the climate on this planet changes and has changed repeatedly in the past, over and over again, largely detached, let's say, from anything that human beings are doing directly. We're talking here about CO2 in the atmosphere and human created global warming, etc. It's not really a consideration because look at the historical record. CO2 in the atmosphere has been as high or higher than it is today on several occasions when there was no industrial output and there have been ice ages and dramatic changes in the climate in the distant past and in the not-too-distant past as well, again prior to the industrial revolution.

Anybody who looks at it objectively, without any bias, comes to the conclusion that these kinds of things happen over and over again. Periodically the climate goes into kind of a chaotic spiral or a chaotic cycle where it shifts. Some people say that one of the things that it shifts into, in the northern hemisphere anyway, is into an ice age or a mini ice age where you have spreading of the ice sheets south. And in other parts of the world as part of that process you get a lot of other kinds of weird climate phenomenon and weird weather phenomenon going on.

Niall: The answer is no.

Joe: The answer is no because it can't. It has nothing to do with it. The US government cannot do anything. No government in the world can do anything to stop what's happening with the climate today because it happens naturally. It's part of the planet. The planet has a will of its own, essentially and we are not so important or not so special where we are either responsible for anything that's happening vis-à-vis climate, or that we can do anything about it. That's just delusions of grandeur if you ask me.

Pierre: Maybe to give you some figures, we can see how entropic manmade activity is irrelevant in the grand scheme of climate change. Manmade CO2 is three percent of the total CO2 in the atmosphere. So 97% is natural; volcanoes, ocean releases, etc. Three percent of VO2 is manmade. But all the CO2, natural and manmade is only 5% of greenhouse gases; the major contributor being not CO2 at all, but steam, water vapour. So manmade global warming is not true. It is a myth and therefore we can answer your question. The US doesn't have to lead the fight against global warming or climate change because it has nothing to do with political affairs.

Tom: I'm sorry I didn't hear you. You were kind of choppy there.

Joe: Okay. Well basically no is the answer because it can't do anything about it. It's a natural function of the planet and the way the planet operates. We can get into an indirect correlation between human activity and the planet and climate, but it's not direct. It's not CO2. It's something else, but that's a bit too complicated for right now.

Tom: Okay. I also have one more question and then you guys can let me go.

Niall: Okay.

Tom: There's this really controversial video game out there and the only reason why I'm saying this is because I'm kind of playing one and listening at the same time. I like to multi-task. Anyway, there's this really crazy game out there that is really hot on the market and I was wondering what your opinion of it was, if you've ever heard of it. Do any of you guys know what the game is called? Or if you've heard of it or not?

Joe: Are you going to tell us the name?

Tom: Oh, I was just wondering if you guys knew. Did you know about this or anything?

Joe: Did we hear about a controversial videogame?

Tom: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's this really crazy game. You could look it up. It's very controversial. A lot of the Islam world is very offended by it. That's one of the reasons Charlie Hebdo was attacked because they glorified this videogame and it has a ton of violence. It seems kind of silly to get angry over it, but this game is called Battle Toads and it's just awful. It's a terrible videogame and includes rape and violence and just condones it all. It's awful. I don't know why it's on the market but all the kids are loving it man! They're all going down. You get to kill Jesus Christ in that game. It's crazy that this game would come out. I'm sorry if I'm ranting but fucking Battle Toads.

Joe: Battle Toads kill Jesus. Yeah, that's a good description of the state of our society right now and Tom, I would recommend you stop playing videogames if you play them and you should tell all your friends to stop playing those kinds of videogames as well because they just fry your brain and they turn you into a zombie.

Tom: I'm allowed to be a [inaudible] if I want to. I'm allowed to be a faggot if I want to. I'm allowed to play videogames.

Joe: You can play videogames. In fact you should go and play one right now, okay? Thanks. Bye. So anyway that was Tom and he had a lot of interesting things to say, Battle Toads and killing Jesus. That's what people should be doing.

Niall: [laughing]

Joe: I'm glad we have a bye-bye button there. Why is someone like that listening to this show? I have no idea.

Niall: He's between games.

Joe: "I'll play videogames if I like and you won't stop me!!" Well, go kill Jesus. He never really existed anyway.

Niall: Like all the other myths that America is battling. They're battling demons of their own creation which is really sad.

Joe: We should have recorded that and we could have sold that to one of the big videogame makers for a marketing campaign, just have that idea that he was talking about.

Pierre: I don't know the game he was talking about. He's very welcome to call in...

Joe: Battle Toad.

Pierre: Toad like the frog?

Joe: Yes.

Pierre: Never heard of it. But this caller Tom was shocked by the fact that the game killed Jesus Christ. But then you look at most of the other games called one-person shooters.

Joe: First person shooter.

Pierre: First person shooter, the scenario is quite similar. You have all these weapons and you keep killing Muslims and civilians or whatever and it's okay. If you kill...

Joe: Jesus Christ.

Pierre: Really bad.

Joe: Yeah. He might be a bit fundie. He's maybe a fundie Christian who's into videogames and climate change, which is an interesting mix.

Niall: I couldn't even tell if he was arguing for videogames or against them.

Joe: Well when I said that people shouldn't play videogames and he shouldn't play videogames he took exception to that and said he could play videogames if he damn well likes. He may draw the line at killing Jesus in those videogames, but everybody else is just fair game. It's just not right to kill Jesus in videogames. Everybody knows that. That should be like the 11th commandment, Thou shalt not kill Jesus in videogames. Thou shalt not kill the lord your god in videogames.

Niall: I have a question for you Joe. You glossed over something, that there was some kind of official acknowledgement that on behalf of a US official they got Saudi Arabia to rig the oil price and that this was done with a view to hurting Russia.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Well what was the disclosure or acknowledgement? Because I have something I think might have been it. I'm thinking about what Biden said when he came to Brussels this week. Besides saying "Y'all are really annoying when you go against the party line, vis-à-vis Russia, he made the point of saying that the critics of the policy of sanctions against Moscow should be aware "Remember people, you also benefited from the current low price of oil. Look what we've done for you." That's the message that I'm getting. "We did this for you. What are you complaining about?" Was there something else?

Joe: There was a story..

Pierre: There's been several meetings between Saudi Arabia and Russia and during one of these meetings allegedly, the Saudi officials proposed Putin to reduce the supply because allegedly the low oil price is due to increased supply by Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest producers [inaudible] Russia to reduce the supply to increase the oil price if Russia committed to stop supporting Bashar al Assad regime.

Niall: That was back in 2013.

Pierre: No, no, that's now. 2015. They said it was practically correct sense because Saudi officials say "To bring back peace in Syria we have to reduce our supply we'll do so. We just want peace." But there's a major twist in there because the twist is a regime change that has been expected by the US.

Joe: Okay, but the Saudis haven't said that officially and it's not part of an official narrative from Saudi Arabia. What Niall was referring to was a New York Times article from just a few days ago. The title of it was "Saudi Oil Seen as Lever to Pry Russian Support from Syria's Assad" and it was in the Washington Times by two reporters who made the claim that Saudi Arabia has been trying to pressure Putin to abandon support for Assad by using Saudi dominance of the global oil markets at a time when the Russian government was feeling the effects of the plummeting oil prices. He had a claim that Saudi Arabia and Russia had numerous discussions over the past several months, that didn't produce any breakthroughs but that what was going on was them saying "We can manipulate the price of oil again, not in your favour" and then since the oil price tanked last year they've been having more meeting saying "We can we raise it up again".

Niall: Assuming this is true. Who are these demons that can mess up the whole planet to achieve such an insignificant thing?

Joe: These two guys were quoting. They don't give any sources but they were quoting Saudi officials saying the Saudis had told the US that they think they have leverage over Putin because of their ability to reduce the supply of oil and increase prices.

Pierre: Lavrov made a statement that is posted in the New York Times article saying "We see eye-to-eye with our Saudi colleagues in that we believe the oil market should be based on the balance of supply and demand" Mr. Lavrov said. And he added "And that should be free of any attempt to influence it for political or geopolitical purposes". So it's not a direct acknowledgement of this alleged proposal coming from Saudi officials, maybe between the lines.

Joe: Yeah, but the reason I was saying it and the reason Niall was asking was because there was this report in the New York Times that gave official credence to this idea that the Saudis have been...

Niall: Ditching.

Joe: It's been talked about since it happened.

Niall: And then last minute there's a conspiracy theory.

Joe: Exactly. But conspiracy theory now is on the basis of the New York Times by two really well known journalists. And they're quoting Saudi diplomats and political officials in the US who speak on condition of anonymity. An American official said, like Pierre was saying, "If oil can serve to bring peace in Syria I don't see how Saudi Arabia could back away from trying to reach a deal." Of course peace in Syria isn't what's really going to happen. The conflict in Syria is a result of Saudi Arabia inciting and fuelling. And now they're saying "We can bring peace, but we want Russia to stop preventing us from achieving what we set out to achieve by igniting the conflict and killing 200,000, which was get rid of Assad.

Pierre: It's murky. While this statement is attributed to a Saudi diplomat and then the next sentence in this article is "An array of diplomatic, intelligence and political officials from the United States and the Middle East spoke on the condition of anonymity [both talking] of diplomacy." So it's a lot of speculations.

Joe: Yeah, as you said, but in terms of giving official credence or believability to this idea is the fact that it appeared in the New York Times which, when that happens, you know that that conspiracy theory has been proven to be a conspiracy fact.

Niall: Let's assume the strategy for a second, Saudi Arabia this week made a record slash in its prices, the biggest in 14 years in sales to Asia, primarily to China. But the market is signalling the opposite. It produced the opposite result assuming the intent was for prices to drop further because oil soared 20% as a result of that.

Pierre: Yeah. From almost $40 minimum to almost $60 now, which is almost 50% increase. And that's why all these controversial articles are almost a moot point in the sense that the official narrative that it's supply and demand that is driving oil prices, market price actually, so it's convenient to say Saudi Arabia, the second largest producer in the world, by pumping and selling a maximum of oil is dropping the price of oil. But when you look at figures, when you see total global oil production in the world, supply and demand, you see that there's not a growing gap between supply and demand. So the real reason, from what I understand, for this drop in oil prices and even for the high prices we saw before $100+ a barrel, are mostly due to market manipulation and market speculations because the futures contracts and derivatives relative to oil may be more than 90% of the oil market. Most of the oil traded is virtual oil, as for gold.

Joe: Yeah, even at the practical level the idea that insiders who are dealing in oil in the oil forces around the world, they all know more or less what's going on. They know this information in the New York Times is just deemed worthy of revealing and they knew last year when Saudi Arabia increased its supply of oil and caused the price to drop, that that was artificial. It's happened before so they know that this happens. If you have a country that can just turn off or turn on the tap, it shouldn't really affect the price of oil in a dramatic way because it's being done to achieve a political goal which is to attack Russia. So all of these people in the market and the oil forces and the stock exchange buying and selling, they're complicit in it. So it's false because when this happened they were saying that it's just natural and it's scarcity.

The Saudis on the one hand said they deliberately increased the flow while on the other hand they said it's just natural market fluctuations. No it's not! You're doing it deliberately. Nobody believes that there's any scarcity or conversely if they were to shut it off that there's a scarcity. We know you're just stopping the flow. Any change in the price of oil should be based on a real either abundance of oil or a real lack of oil. That would be realistic. But everything else is just complete manipulation.

Pierre: The problem with this commodity market is that it is not any longer physical commodity markets. By 1974 when the OPEC countries, the major oil exporters agreed to reduce supply drastically, it had an impact based on the supply/demand rules that led to a major increase in oil prices and of course then [inaudible] supply and demand, less supply, higher price makes sense. Today physical and official quoted oil prices are totally correlated. So whatever Saudi Arabia makes, that's what we talked about previously concerning gold. Right now you have a lot of demand for physical gold that far exceeds the supply in the world production and you don't see the price going through the roof. Sometimes there are years between trends for the physical market and virtual markets, more and more diverging, you can have a break. You can have two markets. You can have a black market for the physical commodity with prices much higher, much more than official prices. But we didn't reach this point.

Niall: The Russian stock market apparently hit a 3½ year high this week. That's in spite of what happened last year, at least on paper in the sense of what the market says. In other words all those derivatives put together, the number is severely higher than what it was before they started attacking Russia economically.

Pierre: True, but also those positive theories concerning the Russian stock market happened while the [inaudible] was soaring up. One way of analyzing it is to say that Russia is highly dependent on oil prices because it exports a lot of oil and therefore it's all economic reflex of price; when oil prices go up, the [inaudible] economy goes up. But there's a kind of flaw in this reasoning because when you look at the figures oil business in Russia is an 11% [inaudible]. Ninety percent of Russian activity is not oil related.

Joe: And they're also using most of the oil that they produce. That's why Saudi Arabia has a controlling stake in it because Saudi Arabia is so small but produces so much and exports it and that's why it controls the market. Being the number one oil producer fluctuates between Russia and the US and Russia but the US uses all of the oil that it produces and needs eight million barrels a day more! So it's the countries like Saudi Arabia that have a massive surplus that get to dictate the selling price because they're the ones that are shipping most of it out to the world.

I started to say something earlier on about this turnaround where this flurry of diplomatic BS activity over Ukraine with Merkel and Hollande, etc. going to Russia and planning more talks next week, etc., I was wondering what motivated that because we're not into conspiracy theories. We're straight up.

Niall: Just the facts ma'am.

Joe: Just the facts ma'am. So it would be nice to think that they had all suddenly realized that it was a really bad idea. this spectre of the US dropping cargo planes full of weapons to Kiev and having them go crazy in eastern Ukraine and really ignite a war that the Europeans leaders have said "Okay, this is a bad idea and this is the line that we're drawing. We're going to break ranks with the US over this. We're going to disagree, even if it annoys Joe Biden and it's inappropriate to him." But I wonder if something else hasn't been said by Putin. Obviously Putin has said a lot in terms of what Merkel said, that "It's not going to phase us. You can give all the weapons you want to Kiev but I'm not going to back down."

Niall: He might have said "We're going to take care of the problem in Ukraine ourselves" and left them with no choice.

Joe: Exactly. He basically threw the steering wheel out the window in the game of chicken. He said "Listen, I may not be able to clear the path but we're willing to do whatever is necessary and we're not going to back down". The other aspect is that it comes at a time when it has become clear that sanctions, the attack on the ruble, the drop in oil price, is not really having the desired effect on Russia. It's forcing them to back down and it's willing to continue.

But I was just thinking if Russia was kind of like the US, if it followed the foreign policy that the US has pursued over the past 100 years almost, Russia has a lot of scope there to create a lot of problems for the EU. Belarus is aligned with Russia but Belarus is right on Poland's border. I mentioned before Moldova which is on Ukraine's border and very close to Russia. And then you have Romania, Slovenia, EU countries, right? And if Russia was to follow a policy of destabilization that the US has pursued forever, it would be very easy for them to cause serious problems in those countries by way of deception because that's the way the US destabilizes and infiltrates other countries and foments chaos and conflict, planting bombs and blaming different people; just stirring things up and giving problems to those countries, creating problems for the government, essentially a campaign of terror.

Niall: I don't think they'd need to but go on.

Joe: What I'm saying is that they could do that. We're assuming and hoping that Russia is different in that sense, on a moral or principle stance and wouldn't do that, that it doesn't have the same designs that the US has on the world and has had on the world that wants to live fairly and equitably with nations around the world. But I wonder if there wasn't some threat implied or otherwise, or that they were made to understand; the Russian bear saying "Don't push me too far."

Pierre: Don't wake up the bear.

Joe: "Don't put me in a position where I have no other options because I do have options. Or don't force me to do the things that you've been accusing me of doing because that's my last option, to actually do it and at that point I have nothing to lose because you accused me repeated over the past year of wanting to militarily or by force, take back as much of the Soviet empire as possible and that is obviously within my scope to do if I'm willing to take the risk and pay the price. But in that situation who wins?"

Niall: "But you lose and the only way you can stop me is if America comes over here and physically does it."

Joe: Exactly. "This can go really, really bad and if you want to push me far enough and create that nightmare scenario that you're accusing me of wanting to achieve, well then go ahead, because that's my final trump."

Pierre: But the funny thing is we were mentioning state terrorism at the beginning of the intervention and actually I was wondering if Washington seeing the EU clearly go away from the American political line will have to resort to some kind of operation to force Europe into the anti-Russian line, a kind of MH17 or this kind of terrorist event where all the population is so shocked...

Niall: This is where the rubber hits the road. That may be what ISIS is for. This week six Bosnians were rounded up and arrested for being alleged new members of ISIS threatening to launch terror attacks in EU countries.

Pierre: Right now the narrative is about those jihadists, Muslim religion, jihadis coming back to Europe and bombing their own country. But when they need something that is more specifically targeted politically at Russia to demonize Russia and to justify a military intervention in Ukraine, MH17-like, some kind of event like that so the population is primed and ripe to support a military intervention in Ukraine because Washington is getting really isolated.

Joe: Yeah, but they can't realistically engage in a military invasion in Ukraine because that would involve Russia and then they'd be pushing it to the point of war with Russia. I don't think any of them are willing to go there. The US might be but the EU is not and the US can't do that on its own. I think it needs EU support for that and primarily French and German support because other smaller EU states are subservient to France and Germany, particularly from an economic point of view and then they follow the dictates of the central EU/Brussels/ Germany/France.

Niall: Well they're starting to rebel in a big way and that's probably playing right into this crisis as well. Greece.

Niall: The breaking news on Greece is they've said "Up yours!"

Joe: Yeah, they basically said they're not going to ask for an extension of the IMF.

Niall: They're going to start issuing their own money again.

Joe: Yeah, they're kind of going it alone; that it hasn't worked and it's obviously not going to work and they're not going to continue with this austerity "here's lots of money but eviscerate your social security system". They're going to effectively go alone.

Niall: I think this is the realm of leverage Russia has.

Joe: Well that's the other aspect of it. There's lot of different influences and pressure being exerted. We've just mentioned a few of them and that's another one. Greece is making noises that it's not playing the game anymore and Russia is courting Greece and has said "We're ready to offer any loans that you need on favourable terms. We'll help you economically, whatever." The new Greek government has said "Well we're looking to our EU partners", which is kind of a smart thing to do in that situation because everybody knows that Russia has made this offer and the Greeks are saying "No, but we'll work with the EU on these terms when everybody knows there's a backup option for us with Russia". And Merkel and Co. are like "Oh my god!"

And the other aspect is the new South Stream pipeline. This shows some kind of...

Niall: Forward thinking.

Joe: ...foresight on the part of the Russians in terms of ditching the Bulgaria route a few months ago because Bulgaria was capitulating to EU pressure to sanction Russia and to drop the South Stream pipeline through Bulgaria. So the Russians when "Okay, fine. We'll put it through Turkey next door then, then through Greece", because Turkey has a land border with Greece. It seems that there may possibly have been some foresight in the Kremlin to where the recent Greek elections were going to go several months ago.

Niall: The Kremlin has been funding opposition parties deep in western Europe.

Joe: Right. And Turkey is making not very nice noises about the EU saying "You're a white man's club and you think of Muslims as second-class citizens and if you don't give us an EU membership right now, screw you" basically. And Russia is now putting this pipeline through Turkey which provides gas to western Europe and now Greece is looking east rather than west. So you'd have Turkey which would be fundamentally aligned with Russia, at least from a gas perspective, and also Greece because the pipeline would be going to Greece. So you'd have Russian gas and South Stream coming through Turkey and Greece, two countries that are looking towards Russia more than toward the EU. And they get to dictate all the terms and prices and everything, on vital gas from Russia.

The EU has played this really, really badly. It's been so feckless and ridiculous and with such a lack of the foresight that the Russians have shown, which is one of the aspects of psychopathy, right? Of ponerization where psychopaths who are reality creators can change everything to they way they want it at any moment and forget about the future. Don't look down the line. Don't pursue the results of their actions because they say they're inconsequential because "We can change anything we want. If we make a mistake, we'll just lie and change things and it'll be all good". But it doesn't apparently work out that way.

Pierre: It's not over. And it can explain the position of Hollande and Merkel concerning the Ukrainain case; difficult to fight a political war. It's even more difficult to fight on two fronts, the Greek front and the Ukrainian front. Plus the possible contagion. Europe shot itself in the foot concerning the Greek case. Why bail out banks for €800 billion and did not want to re-negotiate Greek debt that amounts to €250 billion, which is nothing compared to this bailout, while the ECB, Mario Draghi in January released the news concerning the European quantitative easing, for €1 trillion. A few days later he stated that the European Central Bank will not accept Greek bonds as collateral for loans to Greek banks, i.e., that's all jargon. That's all BS to muddy the waters.

Niall: What does it basically mean?

Pierre: That means "we won't lend money to Greece". But at the same time the Troika, the IMF/ECB funding plan is still valid and European authorities were pushing for Greece to keep on using or applying the covert bailout, which is very hypocritical. Bailout suggests financial help. It's not financial help. It is the destruction of the country in exchange for this bait - just enough money to survive and in exchange you privatize your ports, your museums, everything.

Niall: Oh, I was reading something from a few years go. The terms of the "bailout" in quotes is phenomenal. We have some idea of how the shock doctrine works, as described by Naomi Klein, where everything is privatized. Beyond just "sell us all of your public services, privatize everything and therefore try and make money to pay back the debt you owe us", the islands of Greece, the public lands of Greece, every rock, the air Greeks breath, the terms were like everything. And they signed the dotted line. It's just insane.

Pierre: And even people, when you think about it, it's the de-regulation of social advantages; no more minimum wage. It's enslaving the population. And Tsipras and his government refused it. They refused it! They didn't refuse the money. They refused the terms and conditions that came with this unacceptable troika deal. And at the same time the ECB was refusing to lend money to Greece, Alexis Tsipras made very sensible proposition. "Okay, let's correlate the rate of refund, loan payment, to the GDP growth of Greece because the objective is for the Greek economy to flourish again," right? Everybody would agree with that. But the position of the ECB on that was "No. Let the country be looted. Pay back." Aand while the ECB was doing that one of these ratings agencies...

Niall: From New York.

Pierre: ...Yeah, Moody, was downgrading again the debt of Greece to junk, letting interest rates soar to 25% making complety Greece unable to borrow money from the international markets. So they were stuck there. And now the last card they can play, an ace, it can be a major card, Russian help. But if it's related to the same, a Euro exit and Euro exit not only is Greece leaving Europe, but it might give ideas to other countries. Some countries are very close to the same situation, like Spain, but even France. Their independence is [French words] Euroseptic, or maybe Italy. Many countries have a grey political bodyand a population thinking that Europe is a disgrace. It's [inaudible] for the country.

Niall: It's disgraceful. Goldman Sachs got Greece into this mess and the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, is an ex-Goldman Sachs executive. They think they have it all stitched up. You were mentioning trillions here. Once you get into trillions, peoples' eyes tend to glaze over because they've no conception of what that means. Well anyway, someone did a study to try and gauge a global figure of the total world debt. The global debt level is higher than all the total GDPs compiled. It's 200 trillion, which means we all owe someone more than we could possibly produce.

Joe: Well we all owe it to ourselves. It's ridiculous. The whole concept of debt at that level is ridiculous because it's all the countries of the world owe, 75, 80, 90 trillion to themselves.

Niall: 200 trillion.

Joe: No, it's not that much.

Niall: Yes.

Joe: Well there's government debt and personal debt as well. It's different...

Pierre: Yeah, private and public debt.

Joe: Private and public debt yeah. I think public debt is maybe a bit less, but I think the recent public debt exceeded the GDP of countries. Someone was saying - and it kind of makes sense because the question somebody asked was "who do you owe this to?" What it comes back to is "We owe it to ourselves." The whole concept of what people understand debt to be in normal terms, like if I get money from someone, I owe them, that's not what debt actually means when they talk about it in these terms, the global and governmental terms. It doesn't make any sense really. It's not really an actual physical debt except it's controlled and lorded over by these international banking institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. It's just a means to control countries.

Niall: Yeah. It's a function of central banking. Central banking almost sounds like a natural function of how the economies work. It's not! Central banking is privatization of capital and then the loaning at interest which is what was called usury. And it's seems to be so normal, "Well this is the way it always was". But there is another obvious option staring people square in the face which is that the government issue its own debt and therefore there is no one to pay it back to. You loan it interest-free. It's staring us in the face.

Pierre: For centuries, most nations issued their own currency that were usually backed by silver and gold without interest.

Niall: They weren't always backed by silver and gold.

Pierre: Yeah.

Niall: That's one that the gold buffs really need to get their head around. You don't actually need gold.

Pierre: It's not necessary, no, no. And [inaudible]. So this privatization of capital and not only privatization, the end result is enslavement of nations and people to the ones who create money and lend it.

Joe: Create funny-money and lend it. But the whole Greek thing is interesting because it made me think of Plato and...

Niall: And his republic?

Joe: No.

Niall: His cave.

Joe: One of his later dialogues called Critias where he had this dialogue with these personages about Atlantic 9,000 years prior to his era, talking about Atlantis and that Atlantis was this wonderful civilization, etc. that was outside of the Pillars of Hercules which some people think is the Straits of Gibraltar. So it was basically where America is today and that was Atlantis, but it was an empire, like America is today. Eventually a war was fought and it was the Greeks who eventually defeated Atlantis and prevented them from enslaving all the peoples of the Mediterranean. I just thought it was an interesting possible replay of a dynamic, let's say, not that Greeks would go to war or anything, but that it would be the domino that causes some kind of upset.

Niall: On an earlier show I said I'm not sure to what extent this angle of the new Russian pipeline going to the Greek/Turkish border would work as a new anchor of the division of power in Europe because of the natural enmity between Greeks and Turks, but as one of our Greek SOTT editors pointed out, there is graffiti springing up all over Turkey, like "You go Alexis Tsipras. We love you! Awesome! Go for it! Come and save us next."

Joe: Yeah, exactly.

Niall: So people recognize what's going on.

Pierre: That's good.

Joe: Well it's all to be seen and it's going to be pretty interesting over the next few months, what actually happens. It seems that they're going to reach a nexus point here where things have got to go hysterical. It's a bit dangerous.

Pierre: Yeah. It's accelerating.

Joe: Yeah. Who knows? The phoney economy is still there to be collapsed. And of course that would provide some interesting dynamics because in the case where an economy actually crashes, particularly like in western Europe, people that need an enemy. This is what the Ukrainians are playing at the moment in Ukraine. Since they've destroyed the Ukrainian economy, a very useful distraction is war, or at least having an enemy to blame it on and to distract people. It's the same thing happening in Western Europe. It would be an obvious enemy that would be pulled out there. "We don't have to make any sense to people. We'll have the Muslims in western Europe to blame for the economy." People don't think that far. They're desperate and...

Niall: They're out for blood.

Joe: They want to blame somebody for something. "I'm feeling bad, so who gets it?" And that's all to be seen as well. So very interesting times. Anyway folks, thanks for listening and thanks to our chatters. I'll not say thinks to Tom whatever his name is. He's probably got his head stuck in that mind-numbing videogame. Have a good week and we'll be back next week with another show about all of the shenanigans.

Niall: Talk soon. Bye.

Pierre: Have a good week. Bye.