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Sat, 01 Apr 2023
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US democracy 'a facade' - Russian security chief

© Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev
Washington was captured by corporate interests and is pushing their agenda on the world stage, Nikolay Patrushev has said...

The US is not really a democracy, nor does it seek to promote democracy in its relations with other nations, contrary to Washington's claims, senior Russian security official Nikolay Patrushev has said. He made the remarks while commenting on the upcoming 'Summit for Democracy' hosted by the US government.

Patrushev, who is the secretary of the Russian Security Council, described the US economy as "dependent on corruption and lobbying connections going to the White House and Capitol Hill."

Corporate interests have hijacked the levers of political power in the US and use the country's international clout to pursue their own agenda, he said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, to be published in full later today.
"Their democracy is a pretty facade for the political system, which serves to hide the neglect of the rights of ordinary Americans."
Washington pursues the same approach in the international arena, where it claims to be the champion of democracy but disregards other nations' sovereignty, Patrushev said. He believes that this "hypocrisy" will be on display at the Summit for Democracy, which will kick off this week in Washington.

Arrow Up

US-led economic alliance - Doing the 'Humpty Dumpty' blindfolded

© New Eastern Outlook
There's a lot more to the news that India-based defense company BrahMos Aerospace will soon close a deal to sell Indonesia supersonic cruise missiles worth at least $200 million than meets the eye. The India-Russia joint venture via BrahMos could have lasting geopolitical effects in Southeast Asia and on the current American hegemony.

Another India-Russia joint venture was just clinched last year when the Philippines ordered $375 million in shore-based anti-ship missiles. This deal was part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambition to triple India's defense exports. And for Russia, every partnership sealed in Asia is a thorn in the side of the so-called western alliance.

The Philippines have indicated their deal is a kind of "icebreaker" for potential further corporations. And the India component of the negotiations going on is both vital, and brilliant from the Russian standpoint. The United States has been busy trying to torpedo direct Russian sales to the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia, so Modi edging closer and closer to Russia economically, and perhaps strategically, is a thorn in Washington's side.

Whatever the reasons, Indonesia's acquisition of new weapons grew by about 28% in 2021 and then 69% in 2022. As for the Philippines, the country elevated acquisitions by 29% in 2021 and 40% in 2022. Take note, these figures are much higher than the average investment in military hardware and systems elsewhere in the region.

Eye 1

Biden meets with Trudeau as US, Canada announce immigration agreement

joe biden justin trudeau
© Blair Gable/Reuters
U.S. President Joe Biden walks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill, March 24, 2023, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
President Joe Biden and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a new migration deal as part of Biden's first visit to America's northern neighbor.

The new agreement will allow Canada to send migrants who cross at unofficial ports of entry at America's northern border back to the U.S., a change to the Safe Third Country Agreement long-sought by Canada.

The U.S. will also be able to turn back asylum seekers who travel across the border from Canada.

Comment: See also:


Putin: West building WWII Axis-style alliance

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin participates in an annual extended meeting of the Board of the Russian Interior Ministry in Moscow on March 20, 2023.
Western countries are seeking to put together new global alliances reminiscent of those forged by the Axis powers prior to World War Two, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

Speaking in an interview with Russia 1 TV aired on Saturday, the Russian leader dismissed claims that Moscow and Beijing are forming a military bloc that could threaten the West. He described the cooperation between the two as "transparent," adding that Russia and China make no secret about their ties in various spheres, including defense.

Meanwhile, Putin continued, the US is creating new alliances, citing NATO's new Strategic Concept as an example of such efforts. "It directly stipulates that NATO is going to develop relations with nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including New Zealand, Australia and South Korea," he said.

The bloc also announced that it would endeavor to create what Putin called "a global NATO," adding that the UK and Japan recently signed a reciprocal military access agreement.


Moscow waiting for Western leaders 'to sober up' - Lavrov

© Sputnik/Murad Orujov
FILE PHOTO: "I would like to reiterate that Russia is fully responsible for the security of Transnistria in full accordance with the mandate that our troops have. We will be guided by this mandate," the top diplomat pointed out
Moscow will determine how its future relations with Western nations will develop only after they come to their senses, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

Speaking at the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, which provides support to Russian and foreign NGOs and think tanks, Lavrov accused the US and its allies of being "mired in cave Russophobia, while sacrificing the glaring problems in their own societies."

"When and if they sober up, we will decide on our position regarding further relations with them. But we will make this decision, of course, on our own and based on our terms," the foreign minister added.

Comment: See also: Russia possesses weapons capable of wiping out any enemy, including US — Patrushev


Kremlin spokesman vaguely backs ex-president's 'piracy' call

streaming netflix prime
© Global Look Press / Silas Stein
The term "pirated content" has a whole new meaning in the contemporary world, the Kremlin told journalists on Saturday. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, was offering support to a suggestion by former President Dmitry Medvedev to allow Russians to download western entertainment content for free.

It is Russia that has been outright "robbed" by the US and its allies, Peskov said, adding that Moscow has to deal with "pirates" in the West anyway. "They have seized our assets, stolen our assets," the Kremlin spokesman told journalists, saying that "before, such people were called 'pirates'; now, they are called 'bandits'."

Earlier on Saturday, Medvedev suggested finding "proper pirates" and using them to obtain content from western entertainment companies that left Russia over its conflict with Ukraine. Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, also said that any such content should be put online for free to make the western entertainment giants suffer "maximum damage so that they go broke."

Comment: A national pastime - digital piracy - may just get the stamp of approval from the Kremlin.


How they convinced Trump to lock down

© Reuters/Leah Mills
Former US President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci
An enduring mystery for three years is how Donald Trump came to be the president who shut down American society for what turned out to be a manageable respiratory virus, setting off an unspeakable crisis with waves of destructive fallout that continue to this day.

Let's review the timeline and offer some well-founded speculations about what happened.

On March 9, 2020, Trump was still of the opinion that the virus could be handled by normal means.

Two days later, he changed his tune. He was ready to use the full power of the federal government in a war on the virus.

What changed?


My would-be assassins are still in office - former Pakistani PM

© AFP/Aamir Qureshi
Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan
Imran Khan says the threat to his life is "real," and that the current PM is "petrified" that he will return to power...

Death threats will remain a constant part of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's life until he can return to power and hold his would-be killers accountable, he told Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi on Saturday.

Khan told Rattansi that he has survived two attempts on his life in the last week - one which involved him being led into a "deathtrap" outside a court in Islamabad, and another in which agents of the state were to provoke police into opening fire on a crowd of Khan's supporters before "coming after" him to finish the job.
"The threat is real because these people are sitting in power. They are petrified that if I win the elections they will be in trouble, or held accountable."
He blames Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and Major General Faisal Naseer, a senior intelligence official, of plotting his assassination at a rally last November. Khan, who was removed from office in a no-confidence motion seven months earlier, was hit in the leg and hospitalized. Sharif denies any involvement in the alleged murder attempt, and has accused Khan of spreading "false and cheap conspiracies." He has also denied colluding with the US to have Khan removed from power.


The big questions that weren't answered by the Telegraph's Lockdown Files

© Unknown
UK PM Rishi Sunak • MP Matt Hancock
The Telegraph's Lockdown Files have fizzled out. I fear they've had less impact than lockdown sceptics hoped. They did have some impact, including coverage by the BBC, though other media that advocated the harshest restrictions did their best to ignore the leak, or to attack Ms. Oakeshott personally. Now we're back to trivia: Lineker, Partygate, and a dredge through the lower sludge of the Met, which ignores their main deficiency: an inability to catch burglars.

The Files reveal Matt Hancock as arrogant, vain and ignorant. He lacks curiosity. He entangles himself in his own spin, unable to reduce quarantine when he's told he can do so. He 'deploys' data on the Alpha variant to increase fear, not owing to its medical impact. He is drunk on power, mocking those paying to be imprisoned in Heathrow's Premier Inn. His supposed boss - Boris - emerges marginally better. Boris half-knows that it is all mad. He occasionally expresses alternative views, but he is too feeble, cowardly and innumerate to seize control. Instead, he ignores the rules... and pays the price.

So, here we are... £400 billion squandered; two years stolen; trust in government and science shattered; the Brexit Government's majority wasted; awash with folk who have lost the habit of work.

Back, though, to the Files. What bugs me is what hasn't emerged.

Arrow Up

Germany now addicted to US LNG - German MP

LNG tanks
© Getty Images/fmajor
Opposition politician laments ecological and economic effects of losing access to Russian energy...

The sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines has turned Germany's dependence on Russian natural gas into an addiction to liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US, a member of the German Bundestag, Andrej Hunko, has said.

Germany has paid heavily for last year's explosions on the pipelines, which were built to deliver cheap natural gas from Russia, The Left party politician told China's Global Times newspaper in an interview on Thursday. He noted:
"The sabotage left Berlin without an option to "choose which gas is better and cheaper and which is ecologically better. Before, it was a decision under political pressure, whether to use gas or not. But now there is no infrastructure to use gas, and this is the biggest impact."
Germany used to meet up to 40% of its demand with gas from Russia. Last year, Berlin managed to reduce its reliance on the fuel from the sanctioned country by replacing it with imports of LNG from the US, "which is by far more expensive and worse from an ecological point of view," according to Hunko.

Comment: The power to dictate eliminates the power to choose.