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American hysteria over Russia will lead to nuclear war, according to report

Russian media reacts strongly to the American Nuclear Posture Review, which tries to convince its readers that Russia is trying to take over the world

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russian television broadcast a dire sounding piece on February 5th that probably was rather disquieting to most Russians, and also a source of significant dismay to their hopes for a rapprochement in relations following the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States. The news agency “Vesti” explained that the US is preparing itself for nuclear war with Russia.

The US Department of Defense published its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.  This consists of at least two documents that are public domain that detail the assessment the DoD made about nuclear threats from around the world.  The language about Russia is curious, for like Russia, the US repeatedly maintains that there is no desire for anything but good relations.

However, this is unfortunately either a blind claim or a willfully blind claim for the sake of propaganda.  Based on the insanity of the US government’s reaction or posture about Russia overall, with the military fears, the sanctions and the most recent incidents of the release of the “Kremlin list” of government heads and successful businessmen and women, and the close flyby of a Russian fighter jet to an American surveillance aircraft, the ever-present “RussiaGate” investigations; and the lack of visible insanity on the Russians’ side, it seems likely that the American version of what is causing the ‘need’ to resolidify ‘defenses’ is lacking in factual evidence and cannot be taken as conclusive or trustworthy.

Not that there is any precedent for this outrageous statement… and if you believe that…

The problem begins with a false premise:

Russia is not the Soviet Union and the Cold War is long over. However, despite our best efforts to sustain a positive relationship, Russia now perceives the United States and NATO as its principal opponent and impediment to realizing its destabilizing geopolitical goals in Eurasia. (Emphasis mine)

This is an extremely bold assertion, though for some of the people who influence the stance of US foreign and military policy, this is how they see it.  However, it is also rather skillful sophistry that is achieved by a combination of American desire for hegemony and also, unfortunately, by a certain level of vagueness on both sides.

The Russian component of this vagueness largely seems to rest on the matter of Ukraine.  Ukraine itself is rightly understood as the motherland of all the Rus’ (“all the Russias”) from history that runs back over a thousand years.  It was Kiev that was the great capital of the early Russian governorate, which slowly expanded to become the Russian Empire.

However, there is also a complicated and deeply tragic history regarding the Ukraine, notably during the Soviet era, when millions of Ukrainians perished in what some in that country now regard as an intentional genocide, perpetrated deliberately against them by the Soviets in Moscow, hence, “Russia.”

This issue itself is complex and warrants, even begs, further exposition, but it is beyond the scope of this article. Some understanding may be gained by reading this piece, which gives an interesting survey of the history of Ukraine.  (Be aware though that it still comes from a publication with Western perspective.)

The main point is that Ukraine’s own nationalistic wish is spawned from factors including a national memory that points at Moscow as the source of their problems.  The fact that the Russian Federation is not Communist does not deter this point of view, because although the Russian nation is no longer a dictatorship, it still does not always conduct its foreign and national affairs transparently, and the desire for a real sense of self-determination is magnified by the allure of the glittering, wealthy West. The Western powers, most notably the USA, know this and have been teasing the Ukrainians with it.

Some of them, in Kiev and the western areas of the country (not all of which were Soviet territories at one point) have long had ties more to Europe than to Russia, and the inclusion of their territories in the Soviet Union was a source of further bitterness.  For many people in Ukraine, their history is of living in a battlefield of foreign powers.

They are understandably almost instinctively upset about any power’s designs on their territory, but it is also easy to manipulate this characteristic, and the United States has led the current struggle for Ukraine yet again.  The allure of Western European life seems to be what drew so many to the Euromaidan struggle in 2014, but the present day economy under the pro-Western government also appears to be in a shambles.

At any rate, the historical memory of extremely authoritarian and cruel Soviet rule in the region, plus the present day “vagueness” that seems to exist with regards to Russian foreign affairs, helps the West to cast Russia as an authoritarian nation, led by a “secret Communist”, Vladimir Putin, “who used to be a KGB agent.”

When one gives this information to many Americans, the conclusion they draw is clear.

The Pentagon, the central hub of US military operations.

Now to be sure, Vladimir Putin has been extremely open and candid about his nation and his own assertions of a strong Russian nation are absolutely proper for Russia, as they are for any nation. Nationalism is held extremely strongly in the United States, and again, history plays a part.  The recent history of what amounts to world dominance, militarily, scientifically, academically, and culturally, gives a sense to Americans that it is their country which is the guardian of all that is good.

But what are they guarding?  That greatness has shown many signs of slipping into decadence, such as happened in the waning days of the Roman Empire, where people lost their vision of becoming great, and have been self-indulgent in their perceived independence, not only of other nations and cultures, but of any power, including the Highest Power.  We have seen it become legal to call homosexual unions “marriage” and depravity, drug use, and tremendous unproductive navel-gazing have become more and more prevalent in a nation that, a mere 45 years ago, really stood as a defender of Christian freedom.

It is not possible that a nation living in delusion about itself can have a clear view of those nations outside itself.  And Russia has moved in the opposite direction as has the West.  The struggle exists, for Russia under Communism suffered great damage to the institutions of family, marriage and Church, but the move of the Federation now is to rebuild these core values.  All this while for a time, America seemed to be engaged in self-destruction by attacking these same core values.

Now, America’s military is in an extremely dangerous place.  The amount of sheer power the military has is greater than any in the world.  Although Russia and China also have incredibly capable military forces, the Chinese are untested in battle thus far, and the Russians are just beginning to show their own incredible capabilities.  But the United States has been at war almost continuously since at least as early as 2001, and this projection of power does create experience.

This Nuclear Posture Review shows us the face of a country who is deluded, hysterical, as the Russian media calls it, and they are right.  Despite the issues with Russia and Ukraine or Syria, Russia’s political will does not remotely resemble the notion that Russia is in an expansionist stage and that it wants to take over the former Soviet republics and then expand into the West.  Russia does want to chart her own course, and as a great power, and one with a long history and long memory of suffering, she wants to try to protect her own people from more suffering.

The American posture points the finger at Russia for being a threat, and then implies that Russia is a threat in very well-crafted language.  And this makes the assessment even more dangerous:

Russia has significantly increased the capabilities of its non-nuclear forces to project power into regions adjacent to Russia and, as previously discussed, has violated multiple treaty obligations and other important commitments. Most concerning are Russia’s national security policies, strategy, and doctrine that include an emphasis on the threat of limited nuclear escalation, and its continuing development and fielding of increasingly diverse and expanding nuclear capabilities. Moscow threatens and exercises limited nuclear first use, suggesting a mistaken expectation that coercive nuclear threats or limited first use could paralyze the United States and NATO and thereby end a conflict on terms favorable to Russia. Some in the United States refer to this as Russia’s “escalate to de-escalate” doctrine. “De-escalation” in this sense follows from Moscow’s mistaken assumption of Western capitulation on terms favorable to Moscow.

Effective U.S. deterrence of Russian nuclear attack and non-nuclear strategic attack now requires ensuring that the Russian leadership does not miscalculate regarding the consequences of limited nuclear first use, either regionally or against the United States itself. Russia must instead understand that nuclear first-use, however limited, will fail to achieve its objectives, fundamentally alter the nature of a conflict, and trigger incalculable and intolerable costs for Moscow. Our strategy will ensure Russia understands that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is unacceptable.

The U.S. deterrent tailored to Russia, therefore, will be capable of holding at risk, under all conditions, what Russia’s leadership most values. It will pose insurmountable difficulties to any Russian strategy of aggression against the United States, its allies, or partners and ensure the credible prospect of unacceptably dire costs to the Russian leadership if it were to choose aggression.

This is an amazing construction and assertion, and it is extremely dangerous for a nation with simultaneously massive power and a deluded worldview to hold.  It is also very difficult to get people who have such a suspicious point of view to back away from that suspicion. There is a great deal of bondage such belief and fear exerts on those who hold it.

That being said, this situation helps explain what many in the alternative media do – to counter media and political bias and to report on events in a light that is hopefully objective and true.  The Vesti newspiece was in its own way as alarmist as the American document it reported is.  The real way through this is obviously through increased understanding of the truth in all matters – historical, ideological, and in our case here, geopolitical.

The American side has taken several nasty jabs at the Russians recently, in this document and last week’s “Kremlin list”, but there is also hope that the disintegrating “Russiagate” investigation will come to the true conclusions about this matter, and so free the hands of those in America who understand that Russia is anything but an enemy or adversary.

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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

RT

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Via RT…


Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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Soros Mimics Hitler’s Bankers: Will Burden Europeans With Debt To ‘Save’ Them

George Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas.

The Duran

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Via GEFIRA:


After the Second World War, many economists racked their brains to answer the question of how Hitler managed to finance his armament, boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Today his trick is well known. The economic miracle of Führer’s time became possible thanks to the so-called Mefo promissory notes.

The notes were the idea of the then President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, and served not only to finance the armament of the Wehrmacht for the Second World War, but also to create state jobs, which would otherwise not have been possible through the normal use of the money and capital markets, i.e. the annual increase in savings in Germany.

The Reich thus financed the armaments industry by accepting notes issued by the dummy company Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft GmbH (hence the name Mefo) rather than paying them in cash. The creation of money was in full swing from 1934 to 1938 – the total amount of notes issued at that time was 12 billion marks. The Reichsbank declared to the German banks that it was prepared to rediscount the Mefo notes, thus enabling the banks to discount them.

Because of their five-year term, the redemption of notes had to begin in 1939 at the latest. This threatened with enormous inflation. Since Schacht saw this as a threat to the Reichsmark, he expressed his doubts about the Reich Minister of Finance. But it did not help, and Schacht was quickly replaced by Economics Minister Walther Funk, who declared that the Reich would not redeem the Mefo notes, but would give Reich bonds to the Reichsbank in exchange. At the time of Funk, the autonomous Reichsbank statute was abolished, the Reichsbank was nationalized, and inflation exploded in such a way that Mefo notes with a circulation of 60 billion Reichsmark burdened the budget in post-war Germany.

George Soros also proposes such a money flurry in the style of Schacht and Funk.

Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas. He calls on the EU heads of state and governments to effectively deal with the migrant crisis through money flooding, which he calls “surge funding”.

“This would help to keep the influx of refugees at a level that Europe can absorb.”

Can absorb? Soros would be satisfied with the reception of 300,000 to 500,000 migrants per year. However, he is aware that the costs of his ethnic exchange plan are not financially feasible. In addition to the already enormous costs caused by migrants already in Europe, such a large number of new arrivals would add billions each year.

Soros calculates it at 30 billion euros a year, but argues that it would be worth it because “there is a real threat that the refugee crisis could cause the collapse of Europe’s Schengen system of open internal borders among twenty-six European states,” which would cost the EU between 47 and 100 billion euros in GDP losses.

Soros thus sees the financing of migrants and also of non-European countries that primarily receive migrants (which he also advocates) as a win-win relationship. He calls for the introduction of a new tax for the refugee crisis in the member states, including a financial transaction tax, an increase in VAT and the establishment of refugee funds. Soros knows, however, that such measures would not be accepted in the EU countries, so he proposes a different solution, which does not require a vote in the sovereign countries.

The new EU debt should be made by the EU taking advantage of its largely unused AAA credit status and issuing long-term bonds, which would boost the European economy. The funds could come from the European Stability Mechanism and the EU balance of payments support institution.

 “Both also have very similar institutional structures, and they are both backed entirely by the EU budget—and therefore do not require national guarantees or national parliamentary approval.“

In this way, the ESM and the BoPA (Balance of Payments Assistance Facility) would become the new Mefo’s that could issue bills of exchange, perhaps even cheques for Turks, Soros NGOs. Soros calculates that both institutions have a credit capacity of 60 billion, which should only increase as Portugal, Ireland and Greece repay each year the loans they received during the euro crisis. According to Soros, the old debts should be used to finance the new ones in such a way that it officially does not burden the budget in any of the EU Member States. The financial institutions that are to carry out this debt fraud must extend (indeed – cancel) their status, as the leader of the refugees expressed such a wish in his speech.

That Soros is striving to replace the indigenous European population with new arrivals from Africa and Asia is clear to anyone who observes its activities in Europe. The question is: what does he want to do this for and who is the real ruler, behind him, the real leader?

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The French People Feel Screwed

For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

The Duran

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Authored by David Brown via The Gatestone Institute:


On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, “La République en Marche”, that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes — “Yellow Vests,” because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown — say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the “Yellow Vests” during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

For more than two weeks, the “Yellow Vests” disrupted France. They paralyzed highways and forced roads to close — causing shortages across the country – and blocked fuel stations from Lille in the North to Marseilles in the South.

During protests in France’s capital, Paris, the “Yellow Vests” were soon joined by a more violent element, who began torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores. 133 were injured, 412 were arrested and more than 10,000 tear gas and stun grenades were fired.

One elderly lady was killed when she was struck by a stray grenade as she tried to shutter her windows against the melee.

There was talk of imposing a State of Emergency.

The “Yellow Vests” present the most significant opposition French President Emmanuel Macron has faced since coming to office in May 2017. Unlike previous protests in France, which have divided public opinion, these have widespread support – 72% according to a Harris Interactive Poll published December 1st.

Fuel tax rises — announced in November before being retracted on December — were intended to help bring down France’s carbon emissions by curbing the use of cars. Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform.

He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter to those outside big cities, where four-fifths of commuters drive to work and a third of them cover more than 30km each week.

The increases have incensed people in smaller communities, where they have already seen speed limits reduced to please the Greens and cuts to the local transport services.

These additional costs-of-living increases come at an extremely bad time for ordinary French people working outside of Paris. Lower-middle class families are not poor enough to receive welfare benefits but have seen their income flat-line whilst cost-of-living and taxes have risen.

An analysis by the Institut des Politiques Publiques think-tank shows that benefits cuts and tax changes in 2018 and 2019 will leave pensioners and the bottom fifth of households worse off, while the abolition of the wealth tax means that by far the biggest gains will go to the top 1%

This is tough to swallow. Macron is seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and is unlikely to escape his new title, “the President of the Rich.”

“People have this feeling that the Paris technocrats are doing complicated things to screw them,” said Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

It is probably not as complex as that. The French people feel screwed.

As employment and growth are slowing, Macron, for the first time in his presidency, is under serious pressure. Unemployment is at 9%; his efforts to reform Europe are stalling, and his approval rating has plummeted to just 23% according to a recent opinion poll by IFOP.

Images of Macron at the Arc De Triomphe daubed in graffiti calling for him to step down, or worse, have done little to bolster his image abroad.

So far, Macron had said he would not bow to street protests. To underline his point, in September 2017, he called protestors against French labour-market reform “slackers”.

The political U-Turn on the fuel tax is a turning point for the Macron presidency. The question is : What next, both for Macron and the “Yellow Vests”?

Macron most likely needs to plough ahead with his reform agenda, and doubtless knows he has the support of a solid majority in the National Assembly to do so. France is crippled by debt (nearly 100% of GDP) and its grossly bloated public sector. There are 5.2 million civil servants in France, and their number has increased by 36% since 1983. These represent 22% of the workforce compared to an OCDE average of 15%.

Tax-expert Jean-Philippe Delsol says France has 1.5 million too many “fonctionnaires [officials]. When you consider that public spending in France now accounts for 57 per cent of gross domestic product. Soon the system will no longer function as there will be less and less people working to support more and more people working less”.

Macron’s mistake, in addition to a seeming inclination for arrogance, is not to have made national economic reform his absolute priority right from his initial grace period after his election. Lower public expenses would have made it possible to lower taxes, hence creating what economists call a virtuous circle. Instead, he waited.

Now, at a time when he is deeply unpopular and social unrest is in full sway he is looking to make further reforms in unemployment benefits, scaling them back by reducing the payments and the length of time beneficiaries can receive the money. The “President of the Rich” strikes again.

There is talk that he may also re-introduce the wealth tax to try to placate the protestors.

Macron’s presidential term lasts until May 13, 2022. Understandably, Macron will be focused on the elections to the European Parliament expected to be held May 23-26, 2019. Headlines have signalled that Marine Le Pen and the National Rally (formally National Front) are ahead in the polls at 20%, compared to Macron’s En Marche at 19%.

The shift is understandable, given the divide between the countryside, where Le Pen has solid support, and the cities, where Macron’s centre-left prevail.

In contrast, the “Yellow Vests” have galvanised support after standing up for the “impotent ordinary”, and seem much buoyed by the solidarity they have been shown by both fire fighters and the police. There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

Whilst Macron’s political opposition may be fragmented, this new breed of coherent public opposition is something new. Leaderless, unstructured and organised online, the “Yellow Vests” have gained support from the left and right, yet resisted subjugation by either.

Being leaderless makes them difficult to negotiate withor to reason with in private. The “Yellow Vests” seem acutely aware of this strength, given their firm rebuttal of overtures for peace talks from the Macron government.

Enjoying huge support from the public and with reforms to the social welfare system on the horizon, the “Yellow Vests” are not going away.

For the first time in his Presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

After Macron rebuked nationalism during his speech at the armistice ceremony, Trump was quick to remind the French President of his low approval rating and unemployment rate near 10%. A stinging broadside from Trump on twitter suggests that Macron may well be relegated to Trump’s list of global “Losers“:

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The “impotent ordinary” in the United Kingdom, who might feel betrayed over Brexit, and the nationalists in Germany, who have suffered under Merkel , are no doubt staring in wonder at the “Yellow Vests”, wishing for the same moxie.

The historian Thomas Carlyle, chronicler of the French Revolution, said the French were unrivaled practitioners in the “art of insurrection”, and characterised the French mob as the “liveliest phenomena of our world”.

Mobs in other countries, by comparison, he argued were “dull masses” lacking audacity and inventiveness. The blazing yellow vests of the French protest movement , however, have made Macron appear increasingly dull and weak too.

David Brown is based in the United Kingdom.

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