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FINALLY: Russian doping case FAILS in court. Time to revisit Russia-gate?

What would happen if all the lies of our age were put to trial?

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It happened…Pandora’s Box was torn open, and out came Russia-gate, the Syrian Crisis, The Ukraine Crisis, and so much more, including the Russian Olympic doping scandal. By an odd turn of fate, however, it may be the resolution of the doping scandal, which brings hope for the other greater issues. Evidence for the Russian Olympic doping scandal, including the key testimony of Grigory Rodchenkov, was finally tried with fire – and found severely lacking. According to RT:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has published two reasoned awards in the matter of 39 Russian athletes accused of doping, describing Grigory Rodchenkov’s evidence as “hearsay with limited probative value.”

Grigory Rodchenkov was, of course, the erstwhile head of Russia’s anti-doping lab, before resigning under shame, and fleeing to the US, where he made his accusations of “state-sponsored doping” against the Russian Olympic committee.

Pandora’s Box

It is ironic that the Olympics began in Ancient Greece, because the Doping scandal – along with the rest of Russia-gate, and many events going back to Maidan in Ukraine, opened Pandora’s box. It is fitting in more ways than one, to draw this analogy, because Pandora’s box, was in fact, more accurately a jar, which contained the evils of the world, perhaps not unlike the vials that contained the doping samples.

Rodchenkov (left) with his…samples…yeah…I…I want Pandora back

When Pandora’s box was opened, according to myth and song, all the evils were released, but they were not the only thing contained within. There was also hope, which was sealed back inside, but as the Russian saying goes “Hope dies last”. If that is true, let’s hope it can outlast evil.

Never the less, the resolution of the Rodchenkov case may just have reopened Pandora’s box, releasing hope that Russia will have her justice, even if this is a story the corporate media will never tell.

Rodchenkov’s slander came crumbling down, and he even withdrew a major part of his testimony against Russian athletes. Russian officials and people are now hoping this will begin to change rulings made against athletes based on false evidence. Sputnik quoted Putin’s Press Secretary Peskov as saying:

“Now the fact that the man [Rodchenkov] is confused in his testimony is obvious. The fact that he actually confirms that he lied and that his previous words were groundless. Of course, we hope that this situation will force various organizations to very seriously look at the all reasons behind the decisions taken against our athletes again,” Peskov said.

RT further quoted Peskov as saying:

“It’s clear Rodchenkov is mixing up his stories, and his new testimony is evidence that the previous ones were fabrications,” said Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary.

RT also quoted Igor Lebedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Duma, speaking in a similar light saying:

“Rodchenkov lied about doping in our country, which was to be proved. I recommend that a commission is assembled that would gather all false publications about Russian athletes in the Western media, and sue them for defamation.”

It’s clear Russians have been roused by the court’s just ruling. RT has a great in-depth article about Rodchenkov, and the doping case here, which goes into further detail than I, because this article is dedicated to something far bigger than Rodchenkov. Still, the RT article spoke on how this story was received in the West with a media blackout:

A polite silence. Aside from specialist websites writing about Olympic sport, no major Western outlet has covered the story.

This is particularly telling in view of the fact that the entire doping scandal was not started by investigators, but German documentary makers from ARD, who managed to create the biggest Olympics upheaval since the fall of the Soviet Union with the help of little more than interviews with two other runaway Russian insiders, the Stepanovs.

Since then, there has been a consistent barrage of accusations, all of them reported without question within the wider context of Moscow’s new image of an international rogue state, from Crimea to the US voting booths to the running track.

It is that media silence, which is worth our discussion. We should be happy that the court revealed the truth, but this story is bigger than just doping.

It’s time to ask a major question.

What if all slander was tried by such fire?

The Rodchenkov case, Dear Reader, represents a precedent, a microcosm, but microcosms are important models. It allows us to pose a powerful rhetorical question, but one with an even greater and more scandalous suggestion.

If the Rodchenkov case was the West’s strongest evidence against Russia in the doping scandal, and it not only failed to stand up in court, but was utterly demolished, what would happen if all accusations against Russia were put under the same judicial scrutiny, and tried beneath such a titanic tribunal.

What would happen if Russia-gate, The Ukraine Crisis, Maidan, and MH17, along with the Skripal case, and all the scandals against Russia were examined, cross-examined, and tried in a court of law by the same Promethean flame?

What would happen if Russia was finally given the due-process afforded to every human being according to the basic international law – would all the false narratives from Russia-gate to Maidan melt like wax before the fire, like dew before the sun?

The accusations against Russia are never based on evidence

Russia is never afforded such justice, but it only further proves the lies of the stories against her. It is interesting that in the Old Slavic language, is it is difficult to make a distinction between the words “Truth”, “Law” and “Right”, hence why the ancient 11th century Russian code of laws, which were more progressive than those in some countries today, which even banned capital punishment was called Russkaya Pravda.

This can be translated either as Russian law, The Russian Right, or Russian truth, as unlike in the west, it is difficult for the Russian soul to imagine a law can be false, and if something is not Right, it can not possibly be the law, and must be based on lies.

But accusations against Russia, such as Russia-gate are not only based on lies, they are based on the belief that people will accept the testimony of western officials without any real, irrefutable evidence.

Think of most major western accusations, and controversial actions, even beyond the scope of Russia, including the invasion of Iraq, the Vietnam War, the events in modern Syria including the chemical attacks.

Whenever the West presents “evidence” – if at all – what actually is this evidence? Actually think about it, aside from what they claim, or you heard on TV, how can you independently varify?

Is the evidence presented to an international body, an unbiased court in which chain of custody is observed, and the highest standards of fair scrutiny are applied to all evidence? No. Never!

In many cases, the evidence is based on “anonymous sources” or the testimony of “intelligence agencies” (part of whose job is literally subterfuge). Sometimes the evidence is simply “We said so. Trust us.” and those journalists, lawyers, or citizens who question more are treated like unpatriotic criminals, traitors, or foreign agents. Evidence samples are never given to a third party, much less the accused party, to test, just like when the UK refused to give Russia a sample of the Skripal nerve agent.

It does not matter the case, whatever the situation, the answer, and narrative is the same, and looks something like this:


“Russia/Assad/Iraq/China/[insert victem] did it.”

Reporter: “Can you present some evidence?”

“Evidence! Of course we have evidence, don’t worry, our experts proved it.”

Reporter: And those experts would be who? How can we reach them?

“Well, they’re mostly annonymous to protect them…you know, from [insert accused party], because they totally did it. But don’t worry, 17 different intelgence agencies proved they did it. And this lab in an allied country.”

Reporter: We are unable to independently verify that, is it possible you can share a sample of the evidence with several of these highly respected international bodies, accepted by all parties as being unbiased? We really need a clear, transparent investigation to prove guilt.

What do you mean? Didn’t you just hear? They did it! We said so!


That is essentially the level of evidence presented in these situations – and once again – that’s even if you consider the testimony of the accusing parties intelligence agencies to be substantial evidence. From Iraq WMDs, to Syria, and the Ukraine Crisis, to this doping scandal, whatever the situation, we hear the same anonymous sources present evidence that amounts to “They did it because we said so.”

For those who don’t remember, Colin Powell is actually holding up a vial they claimed was anthrax. The Mythical Iraq WMDs. From Pandora’s Box to the Doping Scandal, what is it with vials containing the vile evils of the world

What is even worse, is this ridiculous standard of evidence was even understood to be a logical fallacy in the classical world!

Ipse Dixit

The Great Roman Writer Cicero himself coined the Latin term Ipse Dixit, which essentially means “He said it himself”, but has come to mean when someone defends an argument, or event as being fact, purely on the basis of the dogmatic opinion of the “expert testimony”. Ipse Dixit is essentially saying “It’s true because X said so. It’s a fact, and it’s not up for negotiation.”

Ipse Dixit is exactly the core argument the West uses in all these examples against Russia, but US law has on two separate occasions set a clear precedent, upholding the understanding that Ipse Dixit alone is NOT conclusive. In National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, Inc. v. Brinegar, 491 F.2d 31, 40 (D.C. Cir. 1974), Circuit Judge Wilkey found that the US Secretary of Transportation’s:

“Statement of the reasons for his conclusion that the requirements are practicable is not so inherently plausible that the court can accept it on the agency’s mere ipse dixit

Moreover, according to this log from Cornell University, the Supreme Court of the United States clearly stated in 1997 that:

“Nothing in either Daubert or the Federal Rules of Evidence requires a district court to admit opinion evidence which is connected to existing data only by the ipse dixit of the expert.”

What must be understood here is that no one is saying the testimony of an expert means nothing, only that the testimony of one expert alone is not enough to substantiate such serious accusations. When we are dealing with States, and their Intelligence Agencies, we must recognize that it does not matter if 6 or 66 of them gave testimony, the agents of a state actor are obviously biased towards their own state.

It’s actually not unreasonable to accept this. World leaders, military and state officials, and civil servants take oaths to their nations. Because of this, however, it is also not unreasonable to require additional third-party expert testimony, or call into scrutiny what was heard, if all the “experts” are agents of the same country, or its allies, accusing another country.

The Media Blackout – The Main Stream Media must also be questioned

Of course, a key requirement of ipse dixit to work, is for the general populous to NOT be experts, able to examine the evidence, or at the very least, to not be well informed, as there is so much misinformation and fake news out there.

Just as we can’t assume agents of the accusing country are unbiased, even if 17 intelligence agencies say the same thing, we can likewise not assume that just because 17 news agencies say the same thing, it makes it true.

The reality is people don’t realize how much news organizations from the highest echelons to the smallest websites rely on one another’s reporting. Sometimes even if it isn’t copied, if the same story is broken at once place, it will simply be mirrored by other agencies relying on the same original sources. So you can have 50 stories, but all backed by the same evidence. That is not completely bad, provided the evidence was solid, but it can give the illusion that all 50 stories were based on 50 separate sources.

For example, one news agency can say “Assad is doing x”, and then another says “According to [origonal source] Assad just did x” and then like a massive game of telephone, an uncorroborated story, possibly based on complete lies, becomes accepted as fact.

Even well-intentioned people who are not informed can believe it, simply because of the volume (in every sense of the word) of the reporting. If you hear it one hundred times, it must be correct, right? Inexperienced people can also simply assume that the “reputation” of these “established” news sources and Intelligence agencies is proof alone. They’d be surprised how very amateurish and unprofessional the mainstream media can be. Case in point, major MSM sources actually thought that acclaimed Syrian Journalist #SyrianGirl is a robot.

No, they did not mean they think she is lying, they actually thought her social media accounts were simply bots, and she was not real. In other words, they did not perform any professional fact checking such as the secret art of sending her a private message or an email, or noticing her account had the “verified” checkmark. These are the “experts”, Dear Readers.

This is the danger of Ipse Dixit, misinformed or possibly misleading “expert testimony” can be passed off and circulated to the extent it seems like a fact, especially to untrained eyes.

But you don’t have to be an expert to notice an obvious truth before your eyes, it simply needs to get past the media blackout.

A perfect example is this video, in which the White Helmets, a UK/UK backed group in Syria touted by the West as being heroes, use children in false flag attacks.

The White Helmets, know that the only thing that can save their terrorist allies losing the war in Syria, is a Western-backed intervention, the kind which a chemical attack committed by the Government could trigger. As a result, they despicably train children who can’t even understand what is happening, to help them fake chemical attacks, which they blame on the Government.

UK behind false flag chemical attack in Syria, evidence shows

These false flag attacks provide very weak evidence – the only kind needed or wanted for that matter, in order for the West to justify attacking Syria. There is never any critical examination of evidence, neither of the chemical attack itself, or of this video demonstrating the White Helmets faking chemical attacks. Instead, they simply say “There was a chemical attack. Assad did it. Ipse Dixit, the White Helmets said so, and our intelligence – which we won’t share – proved it.”

There is no response to refutation – no accountability

The West seldom even responds to evidence such as that video. Take note, this is not to say they respond and claim it is fake, but very often, they simply don’t respond at all. Real evidence never makes it past the media blackout, and the narrative continues onward as if no evidence to the contrary was ever presented. When it is presented, it is most often ignored, as if it doesn’t exist.

This insanity can inspire in a reasonable individual the incredible frustration which men like Galileo must have felt, when he was desperately trying to explain the world was NOT flat. It is maddening having to explain to so-called experts, that two plus two does NOT equal 17 intelligence agencies.

The sad thing is, it does not even matter to the West when clear as day evidence is brought forward. There is no accountability. Even when videos like the one above come forward, or when someone actually goes boots on the ground, and speaks to the real people on the scene, it does not change anything. They keep peddling the same narrative, and no one is held responsible even if it is revealed, and becomes accepted as mainstream knowledge that the narrative is false.

Syrian children should be seen, not heard

In the link above, you will find accounts of actual Syrians which don’t matter to the West. Likewise, the fact that Russia is not even one of the top five countries known for doping also is ignored.

That is why this issue is bigger than just the Doping, or even Russia-gate, the Syrian War, and the Ukraine Crisis, because this issue – the lack of accountability and evidence is what allows for all of this.

How many people are actually discussing this issue? The sad truth is, for all this discussion, the west will soon forget about this, about all of this. All evidence will be ignored, and new “evidence” will be invented. Most people won’t even be aware of this. To this sad and cynical reality of our world, RT quoted Nikolay Durmanov, the ex-chief of the Russian anti-doping agency, regarding the Rodchenkov case saying:

“This will change nothing.Yes we can enjoy some moral satisfaction, but in the eyes of the world Russian sport has been painted a rich black color, and there is nothing we can do to wash that reputational stain off this generation. This was an information war waged against us.”

If that upsets you, then spread the word. The reality of life is often different than what should be, but it does not mean that this grim fate is what must be, for the future. That is up to all humanity to purpose a better future, and God to dispose in his own season.

The Tide is Changing

This is the world we live in, we can not change the past, but it is within our power to leave our children a world in which truth and human life matters.

We have seen from the Rodchenkov doping case that it is possible for the truth to prevail. All that is necessary, is for the truth to be presented to stand on its own merits. Too often the issue is not a lack of clear truth, merely that there is never any actual debate. Accusations are made, and actions are taken extra-judicially.

In the Rodchenkov case, we have seen that it’s easy to make unsubstantiated claims in the court of public opinion, but such delusions fall apart quickly under actual investigation. Just imagine what would happen if a serious investigation was opened into Russia-gate, The Ukrainian Crisis, and the events in Syria alone.

In all of those situations, it was those who lied, who opened Pandora’s box, releasing evil upon the world and allowing millions to die. The Box has already been opened. Now, we can only hope that Pandora’s Box will be reopened…but this time…in place of evil…something good will come out.

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Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are one of the few issues on which the great powers agree, intending to continue to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent new entrants into the exclusive nuclear club.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

The issue of nuclear weapons has always united the great powers, especially following the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons towards the end of the Cold War went hand in hand with the need to prevent the spread of such weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the best interests of humanity. During the final stages of the Cold War, the scientific community expended great effort on impressing upon the American and Soviet leadership how a limited nuclear exchange would wipe out humanity. Moscow and Washington thus began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear winter. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances persuaded Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT in exchange for security assurances from its signatories.

Ukraine has in recent years begun entertaining the possibility of returning to the nuclear fold, especially in light of North Korea’s recent actions. Kim Jong-un’s lesson seems to be that a nuclear deterrent remains the only way of guaranteeing complete protection against a regional hegemon. The situation in Ukraine, however, differs from that of North Korea, including in terms of alliances and power relations. Kiev’s government came into power as a result of a coup d’etat carried out by extremist nationalist elements who seek their inspiration from Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. The long arm of NATO has always been deeply involved in the dark machinations that led to Poroshenko’s ascendency to the Ukrainian presidency. From a geopolitical point of view, NATO’s operation in Ukraine (instigating a civil war in the wake of a coup) follows in the footsteps of what happened in Georgia. NATO tends to organize countries with existing anti-Russia sentiments to channel their Russophobia into concrete actions that aim to undermine Moscow. The war in the Donbass is a prime example.

However, Ukraine has been unable to subdue the rebels in the Donbass region, the conflict freezing into a stalemate and the popularity of the Kiev government falling as the population’s quality of life experiences a precipitous decline. The United States and the European Union have not kept their promises, leaving Poroshenko desperate and tempted to resort to provocations like the recent Kerch strait incident or such as those that are apparently already in the works, as recently reported by the DPR authorities.

The idea of Ukraine resuming its production of nuclear weapons is currently being floated by minor figures, but it could take hold in the coming months, especially if the conflict continues in its frozen state and Kiev becomes frustrated and desperate. The neoconservative wing of the American ruling elite, absolutely committed to the destruction of the Russian Federation, could encourage Kiev along this path, in spite of the incalculable risks involved. The EU, on the other hand, would likely be terrified at the prospect, which would also place it between a rock and a hard place. Kiev, on one side, would be able to extract from the EU much needed economic assistance in exchange for not going nuclear, while on the other side the neocons would be irresponsibly egging the Ukrainians on.

Moscow, if faced with such a possibility, would not just stand there. In spite of Russia having good relations with North Korea, it did not seem too excited at the prospect of having a nuclear-armed neighbor. With Ukraine, the response would be much more severe. A nuclear-armed Ukraine would be a red line for Moscow, just as Crimea and Sevastopol were. It is worth remembering the Russian president’s words when referring to the possibility of a NATO invasion of Crimea during the 2014 coup:

“We were ready to do it [putting Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert]. Russian people live there, they are in danger, we cannot leave them. It was not us who committed to coup, it was the nationalists and people with extreme beliefs. I do not think this is actually anyone’s wish – to turn it into a global conflict.”

As Kiev stands on the precipice, it will be good for the neocons, the neoliberals and their European lackeys to consider the consequences of advising Kiev to jump or not. Giving the nuclear go-ahead to a Ukrainian leadership so unstable and detached from reality may just be the spark that sets off Armageddon.

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Mike Pompeo lays out his vision for American exceptionalism (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 158.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda take a look at Mike Pompeo’s shocking Brussels speech, where the U.S. Secretary of State took aim at the European Union and United Nations, citing such institutions as outdated and poorly managed, in need of a new dogma that places America at its epicenter.

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Speaking in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unwittingly underscored why nobody takes the United States seriously on the international stage. Via The Council on Foreign Relations


In a disingenuous speech at the German Marshall Fund, Pompeo depicted the transactional and hypernationalist Trump administration as “rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” He did so while launching gratuitous attacks on the European Union, United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—pillars of the existing postwar order the United States did so much to create. He remained silent, naturally, on the body blows that the current administration has delivered to its erstwhile allies and partners, and to the institutions that once upon a time permitted the United States to legitimate rather than squander its international leadership.

In Pompeo’s telling, Donald J. Trump is simply seeking a return to the world that former Secretary of State George Marshall helped to create. In the decades after 1945, the United States “underwrote new institutions” and “entered into treaties to codify Western values of freedom and human rights.” So doing, the United States “won the Cold War” and—thanks to the late President George H. W. Bush, “we won the peace” that followed. “This is the type of leadership that President Trump is boldly reasserting.”

That leadership is needed because the United States “allowed this liberal order to begin to corrode” once the bipolar conflict ended. “Multilateralism has too often become viewed as an end unto itself,” Pompeo explained. “The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are. The more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done.” What is needed is a multilateralism that once again places the nation-state front and center.

Leave aside for the moment that nobody actually believes what Pompeo alleges: that multilateralism should be an end in itself; that paper commitments are credible absent implementation, verification, and enforcement; or that the yardstick of success is how many bureaucrats get hired. What sensible people do believe is that multilateral cooperation is often (though not always) the best way for nations to advance their interests in an interconnected world of complicated problems. Working with others is typically superior to unilateralism, since going it alone leaves the United States with the choice of trying to do everything itself (with uncertain results) or doing nothing. Multilateralism also provides far more bang for the buck than President Trump’s favored approach to diplomacy, bilateralism.

Much of Pompeo’s address was a selective and tendentious critique of international institutions that depicts them as invariably antithetical to national sovereignty. Sure, he conceded, the European Union has “delivered a great deal of prosperity to the continent.” But it has since gone badly off track, as the “political wake-up call” of Brexit showed. All this raised a question in his mind: “Is the EU ensuring that the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of bureaucrats and Brussels?”

The answer, as one listener shouted out, is “Yes!” The secretary, like many U.S. conservative critics of European integration, is unaware that EU member states continue to hold the lion’s share of power in the bloc, which remains more intergovernmental than supranational. Pompeo seems equally unaware of how disastrously Brexit is playing out. With each passing day, the costs of this catastrophic, self-inflicted wound are clearer. In its quest for complete policy autonomy—on ostensible “sovereignty” grounds—the United Kingdom will likely have to accept, as the price for EU market access, an entire body of law and regulations that it will have no say in shaping. So much for advancing British sovereignty.

Pompeo similarly mischaracterizes the World Bank and IMF as having gone badly off track. “Today, these institutions often counsel countries who have mismanaged their economic affairs to impose austerity measures that inhibit growth and crowd out private sector actors.” This is an odd, hybrid critique. It combines a shopworn, leftist criticism from the 1990s—that the international financial institutions (IFIs) punish poor countries with structural adjustment programs—with the conservative accusation that the IFIs are socialist, big-government behemoths. Both are ridiculous caricatures. They ignore how much soul-searching the IFIs have done since the 1990s, as well as how focused they are on nurturing an enabling institutional environment for the private sector in partner countries.

Pompeo also aims his blunderbuss at the United Nations. He complains that the United Nations’ “peacekeeping missions drag on for decades, no closer to peace,” ignoring the indispensable role that blue helmets play in preventing atrocities, as well as a recent Government Accountability Office report documenting how cost-effective such operations are compared to U.S. troops. Similarly, Pompeo claims, “The UN’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations simply as a vehicle to redistribute wealth”—an accusation that is both unsubstantiated and ignores the urgent need to mobilize global climate financing to save the planet.

Bizarrely, Pompeo also turns his sights on the Organization of American States (OAS) and the African Union (AU), for alleged shortcomings. Has the OAS, he asks, done enough “to promote its four pillars of democracy, human rights, security, and economic development?” Um, no. Could that have something to do with the lack of U.S. leadership in the Americas on democracy and human rights? Yes. Might it have helped if the Trump administration had filled the position of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs before October 15 of this year? Probably.

Equally puzzling is Pompeo’s single line riff on the AU. “In Africa, does the African Union advance the mutual interest of its nation-state members?” Presumably the answer is yes, or its members would be headed for the door. The AU continues to struggle in financing its budget, but it has made great strides since its founding in 2002 to better advance security, stability, and good governance on the continent.

“International bodies must help facilitate cooperation that bolsters the security and values of the free world, or they must be reformed or eliminated,” Pompeo declared. Sounds reasonable. But where is this “free world” of which the secretary speaks, and what standing does the United States today have to defend, much less reform it? In the two years since he took office, Donald Trump has never expressed any interest in defending the international order, much less “returning [the United States] to its traditional, central leadership role in the world,” as Pompeo claims. Indeed, the phrase “U.S. leadership” has rarely escaped Trump’s lips, and he has gone out of his way to alienate longstanding Western allies and partners in venues from NATO to the G7.

When he looks at the world, the president cares only about what’s in it for the United States (and, naturally, for him). That cynicism explains the president’s deafening silence on human rights violations and indeed his readiness to cozy up to strongmen and killers from Vladimir Putin to Rodrigo Duterte to Mohammed bin Salman to too many more to list. Given Trump’s authoritarian sympathies and instincts, Pompeo’s warnings about “Orwellian human rights violations” in China and “suppressed opposition voices” in Russia ring hollow.

“The central question that we face,” Pompeo asked in Brussels, “is the question of whether the system as currently configured, as it exists today—does it work? Does it work for all the people of the world?” The answer, of course, is not as well as it should, and not for nearly enough of them. But if the secretary is seeking to identify impediments to a better functioning multilateral system, he can look to his left in his next Cabinet meeting.

“Principled realism” is the label Pompeo has given Trump’s foreign policy. Alas, it betrays few principles and its connection to reality is tenuous. The president has abandoned any pursuit of universal values, and his single-minded obsession to “reassert our sovereignty” (as Pompeo characterizes it) is actually depriving the United States of joining with others to build the prosperous, secure, and sustainable world that Americans want.

“Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” the secretary of state declared in Belgium. “This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat.” How true. Pompeo’s next sentence—“President Trump is determined to reverse that”—was less persuasive.

 

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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