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Military Officials Angered Over UK Dispatch Of “Survey Ship” To Black Sea; Calls For Destroyer

Deployment of the Type 45 would likely put Russian forces on high alert that a potential confrontation with the West in the Black Sea could be on the horizon.

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Via Zerohedge…


The national security monitor and publication Strategic Sentinel confirms that Britain is to dispatch the HMS Echo, a UK Royal Navy survey vessel and monitoring ship to the Black Sea following the Russia-Ukraine incident near the Kerch Strait.

But crucially there are already calls from top British commanders to send a much more powerful and capable Type 45 destroyer, or guided missile warship, into the Black Sea amid escalating tensions and after the UK condemned Russia for seizing Ukrainian ships and their crew off the coast of Crimea, which the Russian Navy said were “maneuvering dangerously”.

There’s concern that should the situation escalate between Russia and Ukraine, the Royal Navy would need more serious military hardware in the vicinity.

Plymouth-based Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo out in action

The growing calls from the top echelons of the military establishment means we could soon witness a major build-up of forces in the Black Sea, and greater potential for outbreak of war.

According to the UK Plymouth Live newspaper:

Britain’s former top sailor has raised concerns over the decision to send a Plymouth Royal Navy ship out to the Black Sea as tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine.

Admiral Lord West warned that sending HMS Echo – a vessel that specialises in survey exercises – and not a more advanced Type 45 destroyer that can ‘look after itself’ is not a good idea following troublesome sea clashes.

The criticism comes as Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced he would send the hydrographic survey ship HMS to the area, and perhaps more significantly would commit more troops to Ukraine following Sunday’s incident. It’s hugely significant that the former commander of the UK Navy would issue such strong and biting criticism of the decision to send a less muscular, less aggressive ship.

In a formal statement the UK Ministry of Defence said the monitory vessel’s mission is to “demonstrate the UK’s support to ensuring freedom of navigation”.

Admiral Lord West said after the Russia-Ukraine flare up in the Kerch Strait: “The minister will be aware that it has been stated that we are sending a warship to Black Sea. That warship as I understand it is actually a survey ship.”

Type 45 Destroyer in the foreground, which Admiral Lord West wants to see deployed to the Black Sea

And West made the call for more advanced warships to be deployed: “If things are hotting up in the Black Sea to send a ship in harm’s way that is not really capable of looking after itself is not a clever idea,” he said.

“Should this reviewed and perhaps we should send a ship like the (Type) 45 that is able to look after itself in these circumstances,” he concluded.

The former highest ranking Naval commander is further likely voicing the sentiment of active high ranking members of the UK military.

The Royal Navy touts its Type 45 destroyers as “the most advanced warships the nation has ever built” — of which there are six in operation. They are designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare and are equipped with long-range radars.

Deployment of the Type 45 would likely put Russian forces on high alert that a potential confrontation with the West in the Black Sea could be on the horizon, but it appears for now the Ministry of Defence is resisting such calls and cooler minds are prevailing.

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macColin SmithrucawigginsWalter Dublanica Recent comment authors
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ruca
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ruca

How pathetic. Does Britain only choose village idiots for leadership roles? As if porkosheckle’s provocation wasn’t enough. Somebody needs a war to cover their impossible debt.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Pig-ratShenko needs baked beans on toast!! What a sad joke. Russia must be wetting itself laughing.

Sally Snyder
Guest
Sally Snyder

Here is an interesting look at recent comments from Vladimir Putin about the eventuality of nuclear war:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/10/nuclear-brinkmanship-and-march-toward.html

One can’t help but be concerned that one wrong move by either Russia and the United States could create an end of the world scenario in this period of nuclear brinksmanship.

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

Russian people have fought many wars against belligerent and aggressive foes and won.
Tis better to fight and die rather than spend the remainder of your life in chains.

FUKUS nations will be dealt a blow that is likely to totally destroy the fantasy that they are all powerful if they attack Russia.

The US would also be a wasteland after a nuclear exchange, so that’s a bonus 🙂

Stunned_at_Sunset
Guest
Stunned_at_Sunset

They’re just going to the Black Sea to “survey” the situation and determine yet another way to provoke the Russians by not minding their own business.

JPH
Guest
JPH

So UK wants a Tonkin of its own, but fails to realize that its sailors are at real serious risk.

ruca
Guest
ruca

They don’t care about even their own sailors. As soon as you sign up, you’re worm food.

dennis morrisseau
Guest

Sea of AZOV. BRITANNIA NO LONGER RULES THE WAVES–nor anything else of significance.
SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP YOU LITTLE LIMEY BAST…..s

regolo gellini
Guest

Well spoken m8 !

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

Lord West’s remarks are foolish in the extreme.

There is no naval vessel in existence that could “look after itself” in the Black Sea, should Russia wish to destroy it. Even if a whole US carrier task group could get into the Black Sea, it could not defend itself.

Guy
Member
Guy

Just the military beating it’s chest again and being extremely childish at that.You are correct of course.The bigger the ships the bigger the targets.

regolo gellini
Guest

Senility and alcoholism at work in ols blighty 🙂

ruca
Guest
ruca

Why bother calling him lord?

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

I think it’s about time that Russia, China and Iran should send a joint naval task force to the English Channel to investigate the UK’s strange and abhorrent annexation of the “Channel Islands”. By their geographical position they are clearly part of France, yet the UK claims them.

Also, of course, the Islas Malvinas (which the British obnoxiously call “the Falkland Islands”). They obviously belong to Argentina, by far the closest nation, while they are 8,000 miles away from the UK. That’s a whole third of the Earth’s circumference!

Smokingeagle
Guest
Smokingeagle

The Islas Malvinas were so named because French fishermen from St. Malo had established a small colony there. The French called the islands the Malouines (from St. Malo), which translated to the Spanish “Malvinas”. The islands changed hands between the Spanish and British, ending with the British claiming ownership. At the time, Argentina as a country did not exist so the islands cannot possibly “belong to Argentina”. Not only that, but the islands were uninhabited when first the French, and then the Spaniards and British arrived, so no “Argentinians” were displaced. “The islands were uninhabited when discovered by Europeans. France… Read more »

Tom Welsh
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Tom Welsh

‘The Royal Navy touts its Type 45 destroyers as “the most advanced warships the nation has ever built”…’

That depends on what they mean by “advanced”, doesn’t it? Like the F-35, I am sure they are very expensive and contain all kinds of fancy gadgets.

On the other hand, I don’t think it makes the slightest difference to a Bastion or Kindzhal how advanced the little tin and plastic boat it hits might be. They will just go up in flames, break in half, and sink without trace.

ruca
Guest
ruca

Type 45, meet Onyx, or Granat! Not even a need to fire a Zircon.

Doug Brown
Guest
Doug Brown

It’s been downhill since Henry VIII for poor old England. What wimps. What cowards. What a pathetic excuse for what once was.

Guy
Member
Guy

I think it would be a good idea to re-enact the Donald Cook event should the UK want to flex it’s flabby muscle.

Walter Dublanica
Member

There used to be a song ” rule Britania ,Britania rules the waves tra la la” Never heard this song in decades. I guess that Britania ain’t much any more.

wiggins
Guest
wiggins

Try Last Night Of The Proms…. 🙂

Colin Smith
Guest
Colin Smith

West is off his rocker. The U.K. is no longer in the big navy league. One warship would be blown out of the water. West ran the Falklands fiasco, which was against a quite minor regional military. And they only just pulled it off with US. help. West should go back to golf or whatever and enjoy his retirement. I also doubt he’s any kind of seaman. Probably decades since he ran a watch at sea.

mac
Guest
mac

I notice so many grammatical errors in these articles, I wonder if The Duran has heard of proof reading yet.

Latest

The real reason Western media & CIA turned against Saudi MBS

The problem with MBS isn’t that he is a mass murdering war criminal, it is that he is too “independent” for the United States’ liking.

RT

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Forces are aligning against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, lead by elements within the CIA and strong players in the mainstream media. But what is really behind this deterioration in relationship, and what are its implications?

Following the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, western media and various entities, including the CIA, appear to have turned their back on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). In response to the scandal, the Guardian released a video which its celebutante, Owen Jones, captioned“Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest threats on Earth. Time to stop propping up its repulsive regime.”

The Guardian was not alone in its condemnation. “It’s high time to end Saudi impunity,” wrote Hana Al-Khamri in Al-Jazeera. “It’s time for Saudi Arabia to tell the truth on Jamal Khashoggi,” the Washington Post’s Editorial Board argued. Politico called it “the tragedy of Jamal Khashoggi.”

Even shadowy think-tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Atlantic Council released articles criticising Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s death.

A number of companies began backing away from Saudi money after the journalist’s death, including the world’s largest media companies such as the New York Times, the Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, Arianna Huffington, CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Google Cloud CEO, just to name a few.

The CIA concluded that MBS personally ordered Khashoggi’s death, and was reportedly quite open in its provision of this assessment. Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, also took time out of his schedule to express concern over Saudi Arabia’s confirmation of the killing.

At the time of the scandal, former CIA director John Brennan went on MSNBC to state that the Khashoggi’s death would be the downfall of MBS. Furthermore, the US Senate just voted in favour of ending American involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen (a somewhat symbolic victory, though this is a topic for another article), but nonetheless was a clear stab at MBS personally.

The only person who appeared to continue to uphold America’s unfaltering support for MBS, even after all the publicly made evidence against MBS, was the US president himself. So after years of bombarding Yemen, sponsoring terror groups across the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific and beyond, why is it only now that there has been mounting opposition to Saudi Arabia’s leadership? Let’s just bear in mind that western media had spent years investing in a heavy PR campaign to paint MBS as a “reformer.”

Former national security adviser under Barack Obama’s second term, Susan Rice, wrote an article in the New York Times, in which she called MBS a “partner we can’t depend on.” Rice concludes that MBS is “not and can no longer be viewed as a reliable partner of the United States and our allies.” But why is this? Is it because MBS is responsible for some of the most egregious human rights abuses inside his own kingdom as well as in Yemen? Is it because of MBS’ support for groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda? No, according to Rice, we “should not rupture our important relationship with the kingdom, but we must make it clear it cannot be business as usual so long as Prince Mohammad continues to wield unlimited power.”

One will observe that the latter segment of Rice’s article almost mirrors former CIA director Brennan’s word on MSNBC word for word who stated that:

“I think ultimately this is going to come out. And it’s very important for us to maintain the relations with Saudi Arabia. And if it’s Mohammed bin Salman who’s the cancer here, well, we need to be able to find ways to eliminate the cancer and to move forward with this relationship that is critical to regional stability and our national interests.”

In reality, this is probably the issue that western media and government advisors have taken up with MBS. Aside from the fact he allegedly held a huge hand in the brutal murder of one of their own establishment journalists (Saudi Arabia reportedly tortured and killed another journalist not long after Khashoggi, but western media was eerily silent on this incident) MBS is not opposed for his reckless disregard for human rights. With insight into Rice’s mindset, we actually learn that if the US were to punish MBS, he would be likely to “behave more irresponsibly to demonstrate his independence and exact retribution against his erstwhile Western partners.”

You see, the problem with MBS isn’t that he is a mass murdering war criminal, it is that he is too “independent” for the United States’ liking.

Last week, Saudi Arabia and the other major oil producers met in Vienna at the year’s final big OPEC meeting of the year. As Foreign Policy notes, Saudi Arabia remains the largest oil producer inside OPEC but has to contend with the US and Russia who are “pumping oil at record levels.” Together, the three countries are the world’s biggest oil producers, meaning any coordinated decision made between these three nations can be somewhat monumental.

However, it appears that one of these three nations will end up drawing the short end of the stick as the other two begin forming a closer alliance. As Foreign Policy explains:

“But Saudi Arabia has bigger game in mind at Vienna than just stabilizing oil prices. Recognizing that it can’t shape the global oil market by itself anymore but rather needs the cooperation of Russia, Saudi Arabia is hoping to formalize an ad hoc agreement between OPEC and Moscow that began in 2016, a time when dirt-cheap oil also posed a threat to oil-dependent regimes. That informal agreement expires at the end of the year, but the Saudis would like to make Russia’s participation with the cartel more permanent.”

Russian officials have been signalling their intention to formalise this agreement for quite some time now. Given the hysteria in western media about any and all things Russian, it is not too much of a stretch to suggest that this is the kind of news that is not sitting too well with the powers-that-be.

Earlier this year, Russia and Saudi Arabia announced that it would “institutionalize” the two-year-old bilateral agreement to coordinate oil production targets in order to maintain an edge on the global market.

While US president Trump has been supportive and incredibly defensive of MBS during this “crisis”, the truth is that the US only has itself to blame. It was not all too long ago that Trump announced that he had told Saudi King Salman that his kingdom would not last two weeks without US support.

Saudi Arabia is learning for themselves quite quickly that, ultimately, it may pay not to have all its eggs in one geopolitical superpower basket.

Saudi Arabia has been increasingly interested in Moscow since King Salman made a historic visit to Moscow in October 2017. While Trump has openly bragged about his record-breaking arms deals with the Saudis, the blunt truth is that the $110 billion arms agreements were reportedly only ever letters of interest or intent, but not actual contracts. As such, the US-Saudi arms deal is still yet to be locked in, all the while Saudi Arabia is negotiating with Russia for its S-400 air defence system. This is, as the Washington Post notes, despite repeated US requests to Saudi Arabia for it disavow its interest in Russia’s arms.

The economic threat that an “independent” Saudi Arabia under MBS’ leadership poses to Washington runs deeper than meets the eye and may indeed have a domino effect. According to CNN, Russia and Saudi Arabia “are engaged in an intense battle over who will be the top supplier to China, a major energy importer with an insatiable appetite for crude.”

The unveiling of China’s petro-yuan poses a major headache for Washington and its control over Saudi Arabia as well.According to Carl Weinberg, chief economist and managing director at High-Frequency Economics, China will “compel”Saudi Arabia to trade oil in Chinese yuan instead of US dollars. One must bear in mind that China has now surpassed the US as the “biggest oil importer on the planet,” these direct attacks on the US dollar will have huge implications for its current world reserve status.

If Saudi Arabia jumps on board China’s petro-yuan, the rest of OPEC will eventually follow, and the US might be left with no choice but to declare all of these countries in need of some vital freedom and democracy.

Therefore, ousting MBS and replacing him with a Crown Prince who doesn’t stray too far from the tree that is US imperialism may put a dent in pending relationships with Saudi Arabia and Washington’s adversaries, Russia and China.

Once we get over the certainty that the US media and the CIA are not against MBS for his long-list of human rights abuses, the question then becomes: why – why now, and in this manner, have they decided to put the spotlight on MBS and expose him exactly for what he is.

Clearly, the driving force behind this media outrage is a bit more complex than first meets the eye.

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The Indiscreet Charm of the Gilets Jaunes

Nothing scares the Identity Politics Left quite like an actual working class uprising.

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Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review:


So it appears the privatization of France isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or “yellow vests”), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in cities and towns throughout the country to express their displeasure with Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to transform their society into an American-style neo-feudal dystopia. Highways have been blocked, toll booths commandeered, luxury automobiles set on fire, and shopping on the Champs-Élysées disrupted. What began as a suburban tax revolt has morphed into a bona fide working class uprising.

It took a while for “the Golden Boy of Europe” to fully appreciate what was happening. In the tradition of his predecessor, Louis XVI, Macron initially responded to the gilets jaunes by inviting a delegation of Le Monde reporters to laud his renovation of the Elysée Palace, making the occasional condescending comment, and otherwise completely ignoring them. That was back in late November. Last Saturday, he locked down central Paris, mobilized a literal army of riot cops, “preventatively arrested” hundreds of citizens, including suspected “extremist students,” and sent in the armored military vehicles.

The English-language corporate media, after doing their best not to cover these protests (and, instead, to keep the American and British publics focused on imaginary Russians), have been forced to now begin the delicate process of delegitimizing the gilets jaunes without infuriating the the entire population of France and inciting the British and American proletariats to go out and start setting cars on fire. They got off to a bit of an awkward start.

For example, this piece by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian‘s Paris Bureau Chief, and her Twitter feed from the protests last Saturday. Somehow (probably a cock-up at headquarters), The Guardian honchos allowed Chrisafis to do some actual propaganda-free reporting (and some interviews with actual protesters) before they caught themselves and replaced her with Kim Willsher, who resumed The Guardian‘s usual neoliberal establishment-friendly narrative, which, in this case, entailed dividing the protesters into “real” gilets jaunes and “fake” gilet jaunes, and referring to the latter fictional group as “thuggish, extremist political agitators.”

By Sunday, the corporate media were insinuating that diabolical Russian Facebook bots had brainwashed the French into running amok, because who else could possibly be responsible? Certainly not the French people themselves! The French, as every American knows, are by nature a cowardly, cheese-eating people, who have never overthrown their rightful rulers, or publicly beheaded the aristocracy. No, the French were just sitting there, smoking like chimneys, and otherwise enjoying their debt-enslavement and the privatization of their social democracy, until they unsuspectingly logged onto Facebook and … BLAMMO, the Russian hackers got them!

Bloomberg is reporting that French authorities have opened a probe into Russian interference (in the middle of which report, for no apparent reason, a gigantic photo of Le Pen is featured, presumably just to give it that “Nazi” flavor). According to “analysis seen by The Times,” Russia-linked social media accounts have been “amplifying” the “chaos” and “violence” by tweeting photos of gilets jaunes who the French police have savagely beaten or gratuitiously shot with “less-than-lethal projectiles.” “Are nationalists infiltrating the yellow vests?” the BBC Newsnight producers are wondering. According to Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick, “a beast born almost entirely from Facebook” is slouching toward … well, I’m not quite sure, the UK or even, God help us, America! And then there’s Max Boot, who is convinced he is being personally persecuted by Russian agents like Katie Hopkins, James Woods, Glenn Greenwald, and other high-ranking members of a worldwide conspiracy Boot refers to as the “Illiberal International” (but which regular readers of my column will recognize as the “Putin-Nazis“).

And, see, this is the problem the corporate media (and other staunch defenders of global neoliberalism) are facing with these gilets jaunes protests. They can’t get away with simply claiming that what is happening is not a working class uprising, so they have been forced to resort to these blatant absurdities. They know they need to delegitimize the gilets jaunes as soon as possible — the movement is already starting to spread — but the “Putin-Nazi” narrative they’ve been using on Trump, Corbyn, and other “populists” is just not working.

No one believes the Russians are behind this, not even the hacks who are paid to pretend they do. And the “fascism” hysteria is also bombing. Attempts to portray the gilets jaunes as Le Pen-sponsored fascists blew up in their faces. Obviously, the far-Right are part of these protests, as they would be in any broad working class uprising, but there are far too many socialists and anarchists (and just regular pissed-off working class people) involved for the media to paint them all as “Nazis.”

Which is not to say that the corporate media and prominent public intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Lévy will not continue to hammer away at the “fascism” hysteria, and demand that the “good” and “real” gilets jaunes suspend their protests against Macron until they have completely purged their movement of “fascists,” and “extremists,” and other dangerous elements, and have splintered it into a number of smaller, antagonistic ideological factions that can be more easily neutralized by the French authorities … because that’s what establishment intellectuals do.

We can expect to hear this line of reasoning, not just from establishment intellectuals like Lévy, but also from members of the Identity Politics Left, who are determined to prevent the working classes from rising up against global neoliberalism until they have cleansed their ranks of every last vestige of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, and so on. These leftist gatekeepers have been struggling a bit to come up with a response to the gilets jaunes … a response that doesn’t make them sound like hypocrites. See, as leftists, they kind of need to express their support for a bona fide working class uprising. At the same time, they need to delegitimize it, because their primary adversaries are fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and assorted other isms and phobias, not the neoliberal ruling classes.

Nothing scares the Identity Politics Left quite like an actual working class uprising. Witnessing the furious unwashed masses operating out there on their own, with no decent human restraint whatsoever, Identity Politics Leftists feel a sudden overwhelming urge to analyze, categorize, organize, sanitize, and otherwise correct and control them.

They can’t accept the fact that the actual, living, breathing working classes are messy, multiplicitous, inconsistent, and irreducible to any one ideology. Some of them are racists. Some are fascists. Others are communists, socialists, and anarchists. Many have no idea what they are, and don’t particularly care for any of these labels.This is what the actual working classes are … a big, contradictory collection of people who, in spite of all their differences, share one thing in common, that they are being screwed over by the ruling classes. I don’t know about you, but I consider myself one of them.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. According to The Guardian, as I am sitting here writing this, the whole of Europe is holding its breath in anticipation of the gilets jaunes’ response to Macron’s most recent attempt to appease them, this time with an extra hundred Euros a month, some minor tax concessions, and a Christmas bonus.

Something tells me it’s not going to work, but even if it does, and the gilets jaunes uprising ends, this messy, Western “populist” insurgency against global neoliberalism has clearly entered a new phase. Count on the global capitalist ruling classes to intensify their ongoing War on Dissent and their demonization of anyone opposing them (or contradicting their official narrative) as an “extremist,” a “fascist,” a “Russian agent,” and so on. I’m certainly looking forward to that, personally.

Oh… yeah, and I almost forgot, if you were wondering what you could get me for Christmas, I did some checking, and there appears to be a wide selection of yellow safety vests online for just a couple Euros.

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Latest

Washington Is Changing The World Order Against Its Own Interests

Any country sufficiently stupid to ally with the US is allied with a dead man walking.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts:


The hubris and arrogance of Washington have been at work since the Clinton regime to destroy the power and relevance of the United States.

This website has an international audience. The most asked question from this audience is the world order. There is a realization that Washington’s control might weaken, a development people abroad see as hopeful. They ask me for verification of their hope.

Here is my answer:

The world order has already changed.  China has a larger and more powerful industrial and manufacturing based economy than the US, and China’s potential domestic consumer market is four times larger than that of the US. As economies are consumer based, China’s potential is an economy four times larger than that of the US.

Russia has a far more capable military with weapon systems unmatched by the US. The US is drowning in debt, and the illegal and irresponsible sanctions that Washington tries to impose on others are driving the world’s largest countries away from the use of the US dollar as world reserve currency and away from Western clearance systems such as SWIFT.  The United States already has one foot in the grave.  Any country sufficiently stupid to ally with the US is allied with a dead man walking.

President Eisenhower, a five-star general, warned Americans 57 years ago to no effect that the military/security complex was already a threat to the American people’s ability to control their government. Today the military/security complex is the Government. As Udo Ulfkotte documented in his book, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA buys the News—no you can’t buy a copy unless you can find a used copy in German in a German book store, the CIA has seen to that—journalism independent of official explanations no longer exists in the Western world.

Much of the world does not understand this. Aside from the material interests of Russian and Chinese capitalists, a portion of the youth of both superpowers, and also even in Iran, have succumbed to brainwashing by American propaganda. Gullible beyond belief, they are more loyal to America than they are to their own countries.

The United States itself is extremely unsuccessful, but its propaganda still rules the world. The consequence is that, based on its propagandistic success, Washington thinks it still holds the balance of economic and military power. This is a delusion that is leading Washington to nuclear war.

Considering the hypersonic speed, trajectory changeability and massive power of Russian nuclear weapons, war with Russia will result in nothing whatsoever being left of the US and its vassals, who sold out European peoples for Washington’s money.

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