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McFaul on Russia: How the US’ Demands Risk War

US imposed binary (US = good – Russia = bad) and demands Russia and all other countries unconditionally submit to US demands is the true threat to peace.

Alexander Mercouris

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In a lengthy article in the Washington Post lamenting the Brexit vote and calling it a “victory for Putin”,

former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul slips out a fascinating comment that is very revealing of the looking glass world of neocon thinking:

“He (Putin) stopped NATO’s expansion by invading Georgia in 2008 and slowed E.U. expansion by invading Ukraine in 2014. He has increased Russia’s economic hegemony in large parts of the former Soviet Union by building the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). As a result of his military intervention in Syria, Putin is expanding Russia’s presence in the Middle East, as Europe and the United States pull back.”

In McFaul’s world all this is taken as axiomatically bad.  But what actually makes it bad?  Let us take each of these propositions one by one:

Stopping NATO expansion and slowing EU expansion

Putin or rather Russia did not invade Georgia in 2008.  As was conclusively established by an EU report what happened in 2008 was that Georgia attacked South Ossetia and Russia repulsed the Georgian attack.

Nor did Russia invade Ukraine in 2014.  What happened in 2014 was that following a violent and unconstitutional coup in Kiev, which overthrew the country’s democratically elected President, Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia whilst Ukraine’s eastern regions – which had overwhelmingly voted for the overthrown President – protested following his overthrow and demanded more autonomy.  The new coup-installed Ukrainian government in Kiev in turn responded by launching a military attack on the protesters in the eastern regions causing the war there.  The fact that the conflict in Ukraine is a civil war is explicitly recognised in the Minsk II agreement – which was brokered by the Germans and the French and which sets out a road-map for a political settlement – and which is itself an international legal document approved and supported as such by the US and by a vote of the UN Security Council.

Putting aside these factual points, why is it wrong for Russia to oppose the expansion of NATO and the EU to its borders and why is it right to seek to expand them in that way?  Why is it a bad thing if the expansion of the one is halted and the expansion of the other is slowed down?

McFaul does not answer or even pose these questions.  For him the mere fact the US wants these organisations expanded right up to Russia’s border suffices in itself to make their expansion good and Russian opposition bad.  As his comment all too obviously shows, in McFaul’s world Russia is not entitled to have opinions on such questions, much less to act on them, even though they concern questions which are vital to Russia’s security and national interests.

The Eurasian Economic Union

Unlike the EU, which has expanded following wars in Yugoslavia and which McFaul wants to expand into Ukraine following a violent coup there, the Eurasian Economic Union has been established entirely peacefully.

Why is wrong and bad for Russia to promote peacefully the EEU and good and right for the US to promote – sometimes violently – the EU?

In his article McFaul essentially accuses Russia of working to subvert and disintegrate the EU for example by wanting Brexit.  Yet isn’t that precisely what he wants the US and EU to do to the EEU?   Why is Russia doing the one to the EU wrong and bad and the US and the EU doing the same to the EEU good and right?

As it happens McFaul is wrong.  The Russians are not trying to subvert or disintegrate the EU.  The “evidence” they are amounts to nothing more than the fact that Marine Le Pen’s party in France once borrowed some money from a Russian commercial bank.  The Russians did not try to achieve a Leave vote in the British Brexit Referendum and Putin did not welcome the result when it came out.  As Putin made perfectly clear at his speech in SPIEF 2016, far from wanting to destroy the EU the Russians want it to become a partner in their Greater Eurasia project.

By contrast the US has openly committed itself to doing all it can to stop or delay the EEU.  The coup in Kiev and the war in Ukraine are at least in part a result of that. 

Expanding Russia’s presence in the Middle East and the war in Syria

The US has been trying to expand its presence in the Middle East for decades.  It has bases in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bahrain and Turkey.  It is allied to Israel and Saudi Arabia.  It has waged aggressive wars which have overthrown the governments of Iraq and Libya.  It has for some years supported the insurgency which is seeking to overthrow the government of Syria; and it has placed Iran under virtual siege.

Why is it good and right for the US to expand its presence in the Middle East in this way through war and violence and wrong and bad for Russia to do the same?

As it happens McFaul is again misrepresenting Russian policy.  Firstly it is debatable whether Russian influence in the Middle East is really expanding.  Russia already had a presence in Syria before the war there started and though Russia’s ties with Iran are growing stronger Iran is in no sense a Russian vassal state or satellite and will not become one.  As for the Russian intervention in Syria, as the Russians have been at pains to point out unlike the various US interventions it is not merely legal but supports an existing government – and thus order and stability in the region – rather than seeking to overthrow or disrupt it.  Moreover unlike the US, which never talks to Russia about anything unless forced to do so, the Russians have gone to great lengths to talk to the US about Syria and to try to work with the US to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.

McFaul’s piece encapsulates everything which is wrong and dangerous about US policy.  As is only too obvious, in his world view and in that of the neocons Russia – and all other countries – are not entitled to their own opinions and are certainly not entitled to an independent foreign policy.  The only proper and “good” course for them is to agree to whatever the US demands of them.  When they behave differently by acting in their own interests they are doing something wrong and bad, become “evil” and are vilified and attacked.

This is an impossible, overweening demand the like of which has never been made by any Great Power since the Fall of the Roman Empire.  There is no possibility of strong independent countries like Russia ever agreeing to it.  Demanding it of them is what is driving the world towards war. 

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World War I Homage – A Triumph of Lies and Platitudes

The unilateral, lawless imperialism that engendered World War I and 20 years later World War II is still alive and dangerously vigorous.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via Strategic Culture:


World leaders gathered in Paris on Sunday under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the centennial anniversary ending World War I. In an absurd way, the Napoleon-era arc was a fitting venue – because the ceremony and the rhetoric from President Emmanuel Macron was a “triumph” of lies and platitudes.

Among the estimated 70 international leaders were US President Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, each sitting on either side of Macron and his wife. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also given pride of place beside the French president.

Macron’s address to the dignitaries was supposed to be a call for international multilateralism. He urged a “brotherhood” for the cause of world peace. He also made a pointed rebuke of “nationalism” as posing a danger to peace – a remark which seemed aimed at Donald Trump who recently boasted of his politics with that very word.

But, ironically, everything about the ceremony and Macron’s speech resonated with jingoistic French nationalism, not his avowed multinationalism. As the politicians sat under the Arc de Triomphe, Macron walked around its circular esplanade in a salute to assembled French military forces bearing assault rifles and bayonets. The French anthem – The Marseillaise – was played twice, once by an army brass band, the second time sung by an army choir. There was also a military plane flyover displaying the blue, red and white tricolor of the French national flag.

In his speech, Macron talked about soldiers coming from all over the world to “die for France” during the 1914-18 Great War. He even said at one point that the war was fought for “the vision of France” and its “universal values”.

This was fluent drivel, French-style. No wonder Russia’s Putin momentarily gave a look of boredom as Macron waxed lyrical.

The speechifying and commemoration was completely detached from current realities of conflict and international tensions.

Among the “brotherhood” whom Macron was appealing to were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose military forces continue to bomb and slaughter Palestinian civilians in illegally occupied territory. Also present was Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko whose armed militias continue to terrorize the people of eastern Ukraine with the blatant objective of instigating a war between the US-led NATO alliance and Russia.

Listening to Macron one would think that World War I erupted mysteriously from no specific cause and that an estimated 10 million soldiers were all killed in heroic battles for noble principles.

There was, of course, no mention by Macron of imperialist warmongering and the barbaric sacrifice of humans as slaves in the service of national capitalist power interests.

Grotesquely, as the world leaders donned solemn faces and mouthed pious platitudes for peace, the whole occasion was a triumph in burying reality and the ongoing causes of wars, as well as whitewashing the very culprits responsible for wars. Among the war criminals wearing a mournful black suit was former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who launched the NATO blitzkrieg on Libya in 2011.

While the empty, self-indulgent rhetoric was ringing out, one couldn’t help but recall some of the most glaring contemporary contradictions that were blocked out with awesome Orwellian efficiency.

Just this week, reports emerged of the horrific civilian death toll from the American air force bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa. The city was razed to the ground by US air strikes last year – supposedly to defeat the ISIS terror group. Some 8,000 bodies of civilians, mainly women and children, have now been recovered by Syrian government forces. And that’s only from clearing away a tiny area of rubble for the whole city.

What the Americans did in Raqqa was a monumental war crime, all the more criminal because US forces, along with their NATO partners Britain and France, are illegally present in and assaulting sovereign Syrian territory.

As Macron was telling world leaders about “the vision of France”, hundreds were being killed in Yemen in a battle to strangle the entire population by taking the port city of Hodeida. The genocidal war on that country – which is putting up to 16 million people at risk from starvation – has been fully backed by France, the US and Britain, from their supply of warplanes and bombs to the Saudi and Emirati aggressive forces.

We could mention other specific conflicts where the culprits are clearly identified. For example, the multi-million-dollar support from Washington for the Azov Battalion and other Neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine, which openly emulate the genocidal conduct of Hitler’s Third Reich to exterminate ethnic Russians.

We could mention how US-led NATO forces continue to expand towards Russian territory with outrageous provocation. The mounting earlier this month of the biggest-ever NATO war drills since the Cold War in the Arctic region adjacent to Russia’s northern border was a brazen threat of rehearsing invasion. The announced tearing up of yet another nuclear arms control treaty unilaterally by Washington is a reckless undermining of global security.

Washington threatens China with naval forces marauding near Beijing’s maritime territory in the South China Sea. Washington blockades Iran with illegal economic warfare and openly agitates for regime change. Washington declares Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba a “troika of tyranny” and reserves the right to threaten each of these countries with military invasion at any time.

Meanwhile, this weekend, Russia hosted peace talks in Moscow between the warring parties of Afghanistan. It was seen as a major breakthrough in trying to bring peace to the Central Asia country which has been wracked by 17 years of violence since US forces began their ongoing military occupation – allegedly to defeat terrorism.

Elsewhere, Russia has engaged with Turkey, Germany and France to convene a summit for peaceful reconstruction of Syria. The latest summit held in Ankara at the end of last month follows several other such meetings in Astana and Sochi, largely at the behest of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, to find a political settlement to the nearly eight-year war in Syria – a war that was fomented covertly by Washington and its allies for regime change.

France’s Macron talks about “multilateralism” for world peace, yet the two countries which have arguably supported and implemented multilateralism in practice are Russia and China in their calls and policies for global partnership and economic development.

And yet it is Russia and China that are being harassed with American and European sanctions, and US military provocations.

The unilateral, lawless imperialism that engendered World War I and 20 years later World War II is still alive and dangerously vigorous. We only have to look around the present world to realize that. But when the culprits indulge in a triumph of bullshit then we also know that the world is once again in very grave danger.

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Creepy Porn Lawyers’ disgusting assault on Tucker Carlson and his 19 year old daughter (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 14.

Alex Christoforou

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Days after ANTIFA targeted Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s home, trying to intimidate and scare the TV host into curbing his free speech against totalitarian mob rule propagated by ANTIFA and their paymasters, it appears that the SJW establishment swamp is going after Tucker with everything they got…sending in the expendable, and always eager to get publicity, Creepy Porn Lawyer, Michael Avenatti, to try and ensnare Carlson in some sort of racist assault scandal.

The entire event appears to be a staged, purposefully hitting upon all the right identity politics buttons…so as to maximize full SJW pressure on Tucker and Fox News.

The Gateway Pundit reports that Tucker Carlson has denied Michael Avenatti’s charges of assault, and explains that his actions were prompted by an unhinged gay man calling his daughter a wh*re and a c**t…

Creepy porn star Michael Avenatti made headlines again this weekend with trumped up charges of assault against FOX News host Tucker Carlson.

On Saturday Avenatti released video of Tucker Carlson in an argument with a crowd of people at a country club in Virginia.

Avenatti claims Tucker assaulted a gay Latino immigrant for no reason.

Avenatti posted this video made the allegations on Saturday.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the SJW swamps’ latest attempt to smear Tucker Carlson, by going after his 19-year old daughter, in a disgusting display of misogyny and hate towards the very women that establishment liberal claims to defend.

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Here’s Carlson’s full statement about the incident:

“On October 13, I had dinner with two of my children and some family friends at the Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Virginia. Toward the end of the meal, my 19-year-old daughter went to the bathroom with a friend. On their way back through the bar, a middle aged man stopped my daughter and asked if she was sitting with Tucker Carlson. My daughter had never seen the man before. She answered: ‘That’s my dad,’ and pointed to me. The man responded, ‘Are you Tucker’s whore?’ He then called her a ‘f—— c—.’

“My daughter returned to the table in tears. She soon left the table and the club. My son, who is also a student, went into the bar to confront the man. I followed. My son asked the man if he’d called his sister a ‘whore’ and a ‘cunt.’ The man admitted he had, and again become profane. My son threw a glass of red wine in the man’s face and told him to leave the bar, which he soon did.

“Immediately after the incident, I described these events to the management of the Farmington Country Club. The club spent more than three weeks investigating the incident. Last week, they revoked the man’s membership and threw him out of the club.

“I love my children. It took enormous self-control not to beat the man with a chair, which is what I wanted to do. I think any father can understand the overwhelming rage and shock that I felt seeing my teenage daughter attacked by a stranger. But I restrained myself. I did not assault this man, and neither did my son. That is a lie. Nor did I know the man was gay or Latino, not that it would have mattered. What happened on October 13 has nothing to do with identity politics. It was a grotesque violation of decency. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

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Former Hillary Clinton Advisor: She’s Running Again in 2020

Clinton admitted that while she doesn’t want to run again — she would “like to be president.”

The Duran

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Via The Gateway Pundit…


Hillary Clinton’s former adviser Mark Penn is warning the public that we should brace ourselves for another run from the power hungry sore loser in 2020.

Penn co-wrote in a Sunday op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that she “won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”

“True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies,” the op-ed that Penn authored with Andrew Stein claims. “She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”

Like a cockroach that just won’t die, or the final boss in a video game that keeps obnoxiously coming back after each defeat — Clinton just won’t go away.

Penn said that by “reinventing herself as a liberal firebrand, Mrs. Clinton will easily capture the 2020 nomination.”

“You can expect her to run for president once again,” he said. “Maybe not at first, when the legions of Senate Democrats make their announcements, but definitely by the time the primaries are in full swing.”

Last month, Clinton admitted that while she doesn’t want to run again — she would “like to be president.”

Even some of her closest allies want her to give it a rest though.

“She’s more likely to win Powerball,” Philippe Reines, Clinton’s longtime adviser, told The Hill.

While nobody really wants to hear that woman’s voice ever again — at least the right can recycle all their best memes from 2016.

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