Puppet MastersS


Chess

Ukraine and the Great Asian Enclosure

Image
The Cornerstones of Eurasia

When Pravy Sektor's Dmitry Yarosh called on the Chechen liberation fighters to join Ukrainian nationalists in global struggle, he accented the North Atlantic's energy politics better than anyone before him. Although Pravy Sektor blamed hackers for the call to arms, we ought to take the connection between the Caucasus and the Crimea extremely seriously.

The US and UK support Chechen moves for independence based on the vision of a "liberated region of the Caspian Sea," which would turn over its vast energy resources to "the global marketplace." This vision has been thwarted by Putin's devastating grip on Chechnya, as well as Moscow's involvement on behalf of Abkhazia and South Ossetia during the Russia-Georgia War of 2008. The outcome of the Kremlin's maneuvers has secured Russia's energy corridor from Central Asia into Europe through Ukraine. Hence, Pravy Sektor's manifesto for cross-cutting resistance in infrastructural cornerstones appears to connect North Atlantic's interests while also exposing the general strategy of provoking separatism in order to overthrow competing circles of influence.

It seems surprising, then, that Yarosh left out the rebels in that other Western infrastructural cornerstone - Syria - in his sabre rattling. Syria under Assad seeks to become a "four seas" hub, uniting the Caspian, Black Sea, Persian Gulf, and Mediterranean. Currently, Russia dominates the Caspian Sea, and holds the weight of power in the Black Sea after grabbing the Crimea. With Assad's Syria in place, the Kremlin has a strong foothold in the Mediterranean as well.

As in Chechnya and Ukraine, the US and allies such as Turkey support militants in Syria for a variety of reasons - not least of all, to pry hegemony from China and Russia. In the case of Syria, a gas pipeline from Iran through Iraq stands to generate capital and sovereignty for those powers that the US seeks to oppress. It also connects the Persian Gulf to Russia's encircling network. Critical within this network is also the nearly-concluded Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, which could be linked up to the Russia-China Central Asian pipeline labyrinth that spans more than 6,500-miles.

Chess

Russia threatens to drop the dollar and crash the U.S. economy if sanctions are imposed - Obama signs sanctions anyway

obama - putin
© Unknown
Is Russia bluffing, or is the world as we know it about to change for ever?

On Tuesday Reuters reported that a Kremlin aid Sergei Glazyev had announced that if the U.S. were to impose sanctions on Russia Moscow may drop the dollar as a reserve currency and refuse to pay off any loans to U.S. banks saying that Moscow could recommend that all holders of U.S. treasuries sell them if Washington freezes the U.S. accounts of Russian businesses and individuals.

"We would find a way not just to reduce our dependency on the United States to zero but to emerge from those sanctions with great benefits for ourselves," said Glazyev.
"An attempt to announce sanctions would end in a crash for the financial system of the United States, which would cause the end of the domination of the United States in the global financial system"

That statement is startling by itself, but the true gravity of this situation is only evident when you consider it in context. China has taken Russia's side in the Ukraine conflict (they are after all allies) and China holds the lion's share of U.S. treasuries. If Russia puts out the call to drop the dollar China would have a choice: either hold on to those treasuries while the dollar slides (losing their shirt in the process) or join Russia and dump their holdings as well. It should be pretty obvious which way China would go.

The effects of a coordinated bond sell off by China and Russia would be earth shattering. This would be the financial equivalent of a nuclear bomb being dropped. It is no exaggeration to say that such a move would mark the end of an era.

You would think that this would prompt some serious reflection and that diplomats would be scrambling to resolve this peacefully, but instead today Obama signed a sanction order anyway and revoked the visas of a number of Russian officials. All of this supposedly in response to the violence in Kiev even though we now have leaked phone conversations that indicate that it was in fact the new coalition government in Ukraine that was responsible for the shootings and that the West knows this. Combine this with the fact that several U.S. officials met directly with known Neo-Nazi leaders prior to the coup in Ukraine and these sanctions are even more non-nonsensical.

Propaganda

Propaganda pundit with double standards: Malcolm Rifkind

Image
© Unknown
Those who do not learn the lessons of history will be destined to repeat them.

The Russian invasion of Crimea is not just a crisis for Ukraine. It is in danger of becoming as serious a crisis for the west as a whole, including the UKnited Kingdom. If Vladimir Putin succeeds in redrawing the map of Europe along ethnic lines, using military aggression to do so, we will have re-entered a phase of European history that we thought had ended in 1945.

It has been no secret that, since he came to power, Putin's strategic objective has been to reassert Russian control over its so-called near abroad. Since the days of Peter the Great, Russia has assumed that its own security has required it to control all the territory around its own borders.

Putin's objectives are not limited to Crimea. He has a passion to bring the whole of Ukraine under the ultimate authority of Moscow while acknowledging only its nominal independence.

But not just Ukraine. He finds equally unacceptable the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He showed, in 2008, similar contempt for the independence of Georgia.

Dollar

Bankers' bonus cap architect says EU must sue UK (How about just arresting the fraudsters?)

Image
© AlamyThe UK government should be sued for allowing banks to sidestep new bonus caps, says one MEP.
One of the architects of the EU's cap on bankers' bonuses has called for the UK government to be sued for allowing banks to sidestep the new rules as two more high street banks were preparing to hand their bosses up to £1m in extra pay to avoid the clampdown.

Philippe Lamberts, the Belgian Green MEP who helped devise the restrictions, said it was clear the UK was failing to implement EU law and accused the coalition of having no interest in halting "absurd remuneration packages". He urged the European commission to take the UK to court for allowing bankers to bend the rules which limit bonuses to 100% of salary or 200% if shareholders approve.

His plea came as Barclays and the bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group are expected to reveal they are handing their bosses Antony Jenkins and António Horta-Osório new share awards, on top of their salaries, to prevent their overall pay falling as a result of the cap. The new pay deals could be announced as early as Wednesday.

Sherlock

Olof Palme murder inquiry takes another twist with revoked alibi

Image
© Conspiracion.orgOlof Palme
Sweden's national obsession with the unsolved 1986 murder of its then-prime minister Olof Palme - renewed this week by a revelation that novelist Stieg Larsson helped police with the investigation - has taken yet another twist after it emerged that a key suspect no longer has an alibi for the night in question.

Palme, a populist, leftwing politician whose views made him numerous enemies at home and abroad, was shot in February 1986 as he walked home with his wife from a cinema in Stockholm. Almost 30 years of inquiries has seen the focus fall on everyone from South African agents - Palme was a vocal critic of apartheid - to rogue Swedish spies.

On Tuesday a Swedish newspaper revealed that Larsson - the late author of the hugely successful Millennium trio of crime thrillers, and an expert on far-right groups - left 15 boxes of files connected to his own probe into the case. Larsson passed police the name of Bertil Wedin, a Swede with links to South African security services, as the man who organised the killing. Wedin, now living in northern Cyprus, denies this and police say he is not a suspect.

However, the newspaper given access to Larsson's files, Svenska Dagbladet, reported on Thursday that its own investigations had brought a new lead about another right-wing activist who was an associate of Wedin. Alf Enerström, a doctor and implacable rightwing opponent of Palme who spent time in a psychiatric hospital after shooting a policewoman, was investigated closely by police but always maintained that at the time of the killing he was at home with his then-partner - an account she backed up.

Comment: Some background on Palme and his murder:

Murdered Tetra Pak heiress Eva Rausing had information on murder of Swedish PM Olaf Palme
Olof Palme's Assassination (Operation Tree)


Phoenix

Lighting the fires for chaos in Ukraine

Image
© RickRozoff
A couple of people have wondered if I exaggerated the possibility of war with Russia over Ukraine. I don't think so - in fact I would suggest that the proxy war is already underway.

Two of the first things that happened following the US led coup d'etat in Ukraine was the "new government" declaring that the Russian language would be outlawed in the country (which has millions of Russians in it) and that the ban on Nazi symbols and ideology would be lifted. It cannot be said often enough that many of the violent agitators in Kiev were in fact the ultra-nationalist descendants of those Ukrainian Nazi sympathizers who supported Hitler's invasion of the former Soviet Union during WW II.

But there is even more. NSNBC International reports the following:

Being one of the most reliable sources of information about the activities of Turkey's intelligence service MIT and Turkey's armed forces, Aydinlik Daily quotes a "source that has spoken with the newspaper", alleging, that an intelligence unit linked to Turkey's intelligence service MIT has headed to the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic Crimea to provoke Crimean Turks to act against the ethnic Russian majority and Russian interests in the autonomous republic. The source reported that the deployment of the Turkish unit has been coordinated with both the USA and EU. Translated this essentially means that for all the moralistic talk coming from the Obama administration about how Russia should not be intervening in Crimea, the US-NATO are, and have been, deeply embedded in the drive to take over Ukraine.

Take 2

Two Washington-based RT America 'defectors' in 2 days: Acts of conscience or coordinated propaganda stunt?

Image
At around 5 PM on Wednesday afternoon, RT (formerly Russia Today) anchor Liz Wahl decided to call it quits on-air, accusing the channel of "[whitewashing] the actions of Putin."

Wahl's announcement created quite the buzz in media circles. The New York Daily News, temporarily losing track of the date by several decades,declared: "A 'Russia Today' anchor broke through the Iron Curtain." The New York Times ran a piece headlined "Russian Channel's War Coverage Continues to Cost It Journalists." MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell dubbed Wahl "today's bravest person on TV." And Business Insider helpfully proclaimed: "Anchor For Russian Propaganda Channel Dramatically Quits In Protest Live On The Air."

Perhaps no one was more effusive in his praise for Wahl than James Kirchick, a contributor to The Daily Beast. In an "exclusive" post-resignation correspondence with Wahl, Kirchick reports that, as far back as last August, "Wahl felt morally compromised working for the network, she told me, but wasn't yet prepared to quit." (Wahl had first contacted Kirchick last year after he had taken a brief hiatus from agitating for whistleblower Chelsea Manning's execution in order to stage a bizarre one-man TV protest against Russia's undeniably pervasive homophobia - a stunt that lasted two minutes and was utterly unrelated to the panel on which he'd been asked to participate.)

Comment: As RT's statement points out, this is not exactly normal behaviour. In fact, the very fact that this NEVER happens can only mean it that was done to deliberately get at Russia, and that they were NOT 'acts of conscience.


No Entry

Iran's Zarif: Israel lying about Gaza rocket ship

Image
The Israeli military released pictures of the ship's cargo on its blog on Wednesday
Iran has rejected Israeli allegations that it was behind a shipment of Syrian-made rockets intended for Palestinian militants in Gaza.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed them as "failed lies".

He claimed they were published "just in time" for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, which took place earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Israel's military said it had found the rockets on a ship it seized in the Red Sea off Sudan.

The Klos-C, a Panamanian-flagged vessel, is currently being escorted to the southern Israeli port of Eilat, and is expected to arrive on Saturday. Its 17-member crew were apparently unaware of their cargo.

Comment: Meanwhile:

'U.S. admits Mossad behind Iran scientists assassinations'
U.S. pushing Israel to stop assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists
Anti-Semitism comes full circle: Israeli Defence Forces unit led fascist militia in Kiev - How much involvement did Israel have in neo-Nazi coup d'état?
Amnesty International accuses Israeli psychopaths of war crimes


Ambulance

NATO airstrike 'accidentally' kills 5 Afghan soldiers

drone
© Reuters/US Air Force/Bobbi Zapka/
Five Afghan soldiers have been killed and 17 people wounded in an airstrike by the NATO-led force in Afghanistan in eastern Logar province.

The airstrike, one of the deadliest friendly fire incidents in recent years, occurred at about 3:30 am local time and seriously wounded a further eight soldiers, bringing the total number of injured people to 17.

Dead bodies and wounded personnel have been transferred from the Chark district of Logar province to Kabul, the Afghan defense ministry said in a statement. It added that a delegation has already been sent to investigate.

Coalition forces operating in Afghanistan have said in a statement that the bombing was an accident, but did not give any further details of what might have been the cause of the deadly error.

"We value the strong relationship with our Afghan partners, and we will determine what actions will be taken to ensure incidents like this do not happen again," the ISAF statement said, adding that they are conducting an investigation "to determine the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident."

Magnify

The bizarre story of the 'kidnapped' UN envoy in Crimea

Image
© MYKHAILO MARKIV, POOL/ASSOCIATED PRESSUkraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych, left, greets United Nations Special Coordinator Robert Serry prior talks in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, on Jan. 29, 2014.
News that United Nations envoy Robert Serry had been kidnapped or detained in Crimea spread through the UN press briefing room in New York on Wednesday morning, minutes before a previously scheduled telephone question and answer session with UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson from Kiev.

When Eliasson came on the line, he said Serry had just called him from a cafe in Crimea to say that he had been not kidnapped, but he unidentified men had threatened him. Some of them were armed.

According to Eliassion, when Serry came out of a naval headquarters building, he was accosted and told to go to the airport and leave Crimea, but he refused. Serry instead got in his car, but abandoned shortly after and set out on foot for his hotel. That's when he stopped at the cafe to call Eliasson. Eliasson said it is not clear if Serry's work in Ukraine, or at least the Crimea region, would continue.

Two hours later, the UN told correspondents that Serry was "taking a late flight out of Simferopol and will shortly return to Kiev to continue his mission, which was cut short by today's incident."