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Lose the hysteria, Russia is NOT involved in 'Montenegro coup'

© twitter
Milo Đukanović, the subject of an alleged assassination plot in October.
As the hysteria over the wholly fictional links between the Trump administration and Russia continues unabated, claims have been circulating about a supposed Russian plot to overthrow the government of Montenegro so as to prevent that country from joining NATO.

To say that the 'evidence' for this is thin would be an understatement. The best summary is in the Guardian
Montenegrin police arrested a group of Serbian nationals on the eve of the 16 October vote and two Russian suspects are wanted over the alleged plot to seize parliament and assassinate former president and prime minister Milo Đukanović.

Montenegrin authorities had previously said the conspiracy was orchestrated by "Russian nationalists" but special prosecutor Milivoje Katnić went a step further on Sunday evening, suggesting that Russian authorities were involved.

"So far we have had evidence that Russian nationalist structures were behind [the plot], but now also that Russian state bodies were involved at a certain level," Katnić told local media. "The organs of the Russian state must investigate which bodies are involved and open a criminal trial over these acts."

A spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir, Putin, dismissed the allegations. "These (are) absurd accusations ... We do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, including Montenegro," Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

According to Katnić, a key witness, Aleksandar Sinđelić, a nationalist Serb, was invited to Moscow by Eduard Sismakov, a member of "Russian military structures", to be cleared for the mission. Sismakov, using the alias Shirakov, "asked him to work first to prevent Montenegro from entering Nato. That is the sole motivation of these structures," Katnić said. Montenegrin prosecutors suspect 25 people, mostly Serbs, of links to the alleged coup, and are searching for two Russians, including Sismakov, who is believed to be the main organiser.

In other words the entire weight of the claim
of Russian involvement in the supposed coup rests on the supposed connection between the plotters and an individual identified as "Eduard Sismakov". As to who Eduard Sismakov is, he has been identified by the BBC as a former deputy military attache to Poland.

Comment: Back in October, 2016, there were doubts about whether the coup plot was real, and if so, was it concocted by the Đukanović government in order to win the election. How ridiculous to think Russia had any intention to undermine this tiny country for any reason, especially strategic benefit.

See also:


Star of David

Wishful thinkers: Israel keen to work with Trump, even if it means a settlement pause (for now)

© AFP 2016/Mananhem Kahana
Defense Minister Lieberman and PM Netanyahu, just a couple of optimists at heart!
Israeli leaders are keen to work with the new American administration - even if it means holding back on some expansion projects for the moment. On February 20, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio the country would risk looking "like a bunch of nutcases" if it pushed back at the new administration over settlements.

"For eight years, there was tension and friction with the Obama administration. If we now start to fight with the Trump administration... and the Republican-majority Congress, people will really start to think that the leadership in the state of Israel is a bunch of nutcases," he said, the Times of Israel reported.

Though as president-elect, Donald Trump reacted with fury to the December UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement building (and, new reports say, even tried to stop the resolution from passing), as president he has suggested that settlement building is not "a good thing for peace." In a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington last week, Trump said he'd like to see Israel "hold back on settlements for a little bit."

Netanyahu, possibly taking that to heart, is reported to have told his security cabinet a few days later that while he will not impose a settlement freeze, construction in the West Bank will slow down, and the government may go back on a pledge to build a new illegal settlement in the West Bank for the residents of the Amona outpost, which was evacuated earlier in February after a long legal battle, Haaretz reports. Before his trip, he told the cabinet they "mustn't get into a confrontation with Trump."

Comment: One thing we know about Israel...it always wants something and has a strategy to get it.


X

Trial of Gaddaffi's son unfair and breach of Libyan law, says UN

© REUTERS
The trial of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of the ousted Libyan leader sentenced to death in absentia, did not meet international standards and he should face murder charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Since his father's toppling in 2011, Saif has been held in Zintan, a mountainous western region, by one of the factions that began contending for power after Gaddafi was killed.

He was sentenced to death in July 2015 by a Tripoli court for war crimes, including killing protesters during the revolution. Zintani forces refused to hand him over, saying they did not trust Tripoli to guarantee he does not escape.

The U.N. report on the trial of 37 defendants including Saif cited serious violations of due process, such as prolonged incommunicado detention without access to families or lawyers, and allegations of torture that were not properly investigated.

Comment: See:


Yoda

Putin visits the FSB and outlines how a deal with Trump can be made

Whilst US President Donald Trump battles the US intelligence community and the US elite, the foreign leader he most wants to deal with - Russia's President Putin - has been addressing the senior staff of the organisation he once headed, Russia's counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence agency, the FSB.

Whilst it is all too tempting to contrast President Putin's complete control of his government and intelligence services with President Trump's struggle to achieve mastery over his own, that temptation should be resisted. President Putin did not always have the undisputed mastery of his government and intelligence services that he has now. Only in 2003, following the arrest of the once all-powerful oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the subsequent expulsion from the government of individuals like former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov who were beholden to Khodorkovsky and the other oligarchs, did President Putin achieve the undisputed control of the Russian government and intelligence services that he has now.

The US and Russian political systems differ profoundly from each other, and the parallel between President Putin's struggle with the oligarchs and President Trump's current struggle with the US elite should not be pressed too far. Nonetheless it does show one important fact which those frustrated by some of President Trump's recent actions need to bear in mind: mere possession of the office of President in any political system does not automatically translate into control of the government. A President who really wants to become master of his government - as opposed to being a mere cypher for his bureaucracy - has to fight to achieve it.

Eye 2

American journalist stoops to new low, claims Churkin dead because he 'knew too much' after 'recruiting Trump to the USSR'

Yes, it's already begun: Our beloved media is suggesting that Vitaly Churkin, who has been dead for less than twelve hours, was murdered by Putin/Michael Flynn/aliens because he knew too much about KGB sleeper agent Donald Trump.

This is the very logical, level-headed "insinuation" put forth by Sarah Kendzior, who is an "expert on authoritarian states" and specializes in writing mediocre horror stories about racist Trump Nazis hiding under your bed:


War Whore

Hypocritical MPs demand Theresa May cancel 'disgusting' Trump state visit

© Tom Jacobs / Reuters
A protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in London, February 20, 2017.
MPs of all parties called for "disgusting" US President Donald Trump to be barred from making a UK state visit later this year following Prime Minister Theresa May's "desperate" invitation.

MPs spoke out on Monday during a Parliament debate, which was triggered by a 1.85 million-strong petition calling for Trump's state visit to be blocked as it would be an "embarrassment" to the Queen.

A counter petition signed by 300,000 was also debated.

Comment: Since the British elite are still honoring their ongoing racist & genocidal legacy the most 'disgusting' thing here is their hypocrisy.


Chess

Sources say White House delivered EU-skeptic message to German diplomat ahead of Pence's visit pledging commitment to EU

© REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and European Council President Donald Tusk hold a joint news conference in Brussels, Belgium, February 20, 2017
In the week before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America's "steadfast and enduring" commitment to the European Union, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met with a German diplomat and delivered a different message, according to people familiar with the talks.

Bannon, these people said, signaled to Germany's ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.

Three people who were briefed on the meeting spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The German government and the ambassador, Peter Wittig, declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of the talks.

A White House official who checked with Bannon in response to a Reuters query confirmed the meeting had taken place but said the account provided to Reuters was inaccurate. "They only spoke for about three minutes and it was just a quick hello," the official said.

Snakes in Suits

The hijacking of the Munich Security Conference

History teaches us this - every time a System collapses, its leaders do not realize the truth until they are swept away by the storm. So the political representatives of the European Union, meeting just like every year in Munich for their Security Conference, were shocked to hear Sergey Lavrov speak of a post-Western world order. And yet the world is slipping away from under their feet - the Arab Peoples are desperately resisting wars and false revolutions, while the People of the United States have elected an anti-imperialist into the White House. The organizers of the Conference couldn't have cared less - they were defending the interests of the deep US state against the Trump administration.

The Munich Security Conference took place between 16 and 19 February [1]. Like every year, it united more than 500 European Ministers and members of Parliament, as well as a number of foreign guests. This is the most important international meeting on European Foreign Policy and Defense.

Bad Guys

5 facts proving Lavrov right when he says Ukraine 'dancing to tune of neo-Nazis'

© Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Ukraine's decision to block the adoption by the UN Security Council of a statement dedicated to the late Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was a disgraceful act.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described Ukraine's actions...

Comment: The West's coverage of events in Ukraine and Syria has been the ultimate in 'Fake News'. For much better coverage of Ukraine's recent history and the events of the Maidan, check out: Ukraine on Fire: The Oliver Stone documentary the US Empire doesn't want you to see


Bad Guys

What's Blackwater doing in China?

OK, OK, not Blackwater. That's the mercenary force of convicted war criminals founded by Erik Prince that will never outrun its infamy no matter how many times it changes its name.

No, no, no! Not Blackwater! It's Frontier Services Group—an entirely different mercenary group chaired by Erik Prince—that is heading to China! And they're not there to sell mercenary services! Absolutely not. They're merely opening some "forward operating bases" to help the Chinese train "ex-" PLA soldiers how to be mercenaries! It's entirely different!

Now that we have that clear, some context: Erik Prince is the notorious mercenary who believes he's the modern-day descendant of "Wild Bill" Donovan. (Prince even named his youngest son, Charles Donovan Prince, after Bill.) Prince's budding career as a contract killer went down in flames in 2009 after it was revealed that Blackwater was a front for a secret CIA assassination program. He later admitted that Blackwater "became a virtual extension of the CIA" and took orders directly from the agency, but by that point the news spotlight had shifted elsewhere.

Comment: While some maintain that China is merely part of an omnipotent 'NWO' construct, it remains to be proven that A) the world is as completely controlled as they claim, and B) that a world order can't naturally emerge independent of Western 'dog eat dog' values. As James O'Neill puts it in his article, China's 'One Belt One Road' is a New Geopolitical Paradigm:
We therefore have, on the one hand, a decaying empire endlessly fighting wars of choice, and by bluff, bluster and bullying desperately trying to cling to the vestiges of superpower status.

On the other hand, reverting to Mackinder's world island, we have an entirely different geopolitical and economic model. Over the past twenty years China has been constructing a wholly different economic framework. Unlike the Americans who treat every exercise as a zero sum game, i.e. one where they must win and someone else must lose, the Chinese approach is perfectly encapsulated in President Xi's terminology of "win-win."