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Russian envoy killed in a ‘parallel universe’

The Russian ambassador was killed in Ankara on the evening of Dec. 19 . The killer, a 22-year-old Turkish graduate of the police academy who had been fired in July after being deemed untrustworthy, fired 11 bullets into the ambassador’s back as he finished addressing the attendees at the opening of the Russia Through Turkish Eyes photo exhibit.

Andrey Fomin

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This article originally appeared on OrientalReview.org

Since the murderer was killed by a detachment of police who arrived a few minutes after the tragedy, the upcoming investigation is unlikely to lead back to those who ordered this crime.  Obviously this was not the work of the Turkish government – this murder was specifically intended to disrupt the process of rebuilding the dialog between Russia and Turkey spanning a wide range of issues – from resolving the situation in Syria to shipping natural gas to Europe.

Many point to Daesh’s underground network in Turkey – but it should be understood that that is under the full control of the Turkish authorities and the cover operation now being conducted by the authors of this campaign of intimidation is intent on convincing the world that the Islamists are beyond anyone’s control and too reckless to be kept in check.

The gunman was likely an agent from Mossad or a Western intelligence service who was passing himself off as a covert terrorist, which would be an entirely plausible story for a young man who had found himself in difficulties.  The shots that rang out in an Ankara gallery of contemporary art a few minutes after a plane carrying Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu turned toward Moscow were also intended to overshadow his visit (which turned out not to have been worthwhile, based on the negotiations).

By and large this act of terrorism was a desperate, angry move by figures at the backstage in the global theater who have lost this round in Syria.

Back in October we wrote about how the events in Syria are in no way a local conflict, but rather reflect a clash between powerful forces, one demanding “freedom of capital” and the other – protecting freedom of the soul.  These high stakes explain the unprecedented campaign of lies that major transnational news outlets have launched in recent weeks concerning the state of affairs in Aleppo with their baseless accusations that the Syrian army and its allies have committed war crimes.

The propaganda has become so ferocious that Syrian, Russian, and alternative sources of information that report on the real situation in Syria have been accused of fabricating a “parallel universe.”  It’s hard to believe, but people who are well aware that  the “documented evidence” that they are presenting as “proof of the regime’s atrocities” was actually filmed, say, somewhere in Egypt, still have the audacity to claim that their reporting reflects “reality” and that anything inconsistent with that is something “parallel.”

The fanatical faith of the devotees of “freedom of capital” in the “sanctity” of their “civilizing” mission, which they see as the only path, can be attributed to nothing but this entirely Trotskyist psychic phenomenon (that the end justifies the means).

The result of the astonishing intellectual selectivity of these blind guides (or Intellectual Yet Idiots, as the Lebanese-American scholar Nassim Taleb has called them) was recently clearly exhibited by a US correspondent for the Norwegian mainstream newspaper Aftenposten.  He was covering the press conference held by Eva Bartlett, a Canadian journalist and activist with the International Syria Solidarity Movement, in the United Nations building in New York on Dec 9.  That Norwegian correspondent challenged her on one point and her reply resonated throughout social networks for the next few days.

Among other things, she declared that the volunteer group known as the White Helmets, although so renowned in the West, is entirely unknown in Aleppo (another activist with the Syria Solidarity Movement, Vanessa Beeley, recently published a detailed investigation of these terrorist accomplices).  Aftenposten interweaves its usual propaganda with photos and videos from highly dubious sources supporting the insurgents and condescendingly notes, referring to UN humanitarian official Jan Egeland, that “no one in Aleppo has ever heard of the UN either.”

To Russians, who continually find themselves up against a similar lack of coherence in the way Europeans think of their country (whether in the imaginary “Russian threat” to the Baltics, “aggression in the Donbass,” or the “occupation of Crimea”), such metamorphoses are interpreted as “Russophobia.”  But it seems that the problem goes much deeper.

A favorite catchphrase for most US and European politicians is “Western values.”  This slogan is invariably trotted out whenever they need to force someone else to agree to some decision that is essential to the West, while anyone who opposes them is declared an enemy of these values and is subjected to ostracism, sanctions, condemnation, or even destruction.  Few realize that that concept is now widely used within a context that has nothing to do with axiology (the study of values), but which is at its heart merely a political mythology.

An impartial analysis of Western values, especially in comparison with those held by the Russians, gives a very clear answer to the question as to why Russia, although it seems to no longer have any fundamentally new ideological project to offer the world, is emerging as the new “shining city upon a hill” for a growing number of people across the globe.

First of all, when Western ideologues attempt to define the concept of Western values, they usually cite a dozen or so stock phrases such as “democracy,” “tolerance,” “a strong civil society,” “the rule of law,” and “political pluralism,” all of which were divorced from their original meanings long ago.  In fact, only provincial Europhiles and American students in liberal arts colleges believe in these mottos anymore.

On the contrary, the difference between the word (“democracy”) and the deed (utterly suppressing dissent and ordering the overthrow of legitimate regimes in objectionable countries) has become one of the most important tools used by the West to promulgate its quasi-values, which are actually fronts for its true expansionist interests.

Let us turn to a comparative table of the actual value systems of the contemporary West vs. Russia:

The  West

 Russian (Eurasian) civilization

  • globalism
  • a multi-polar world
  • universality
  • the diversity of identities
  • the superiority of the Western world (Western civilization as a model)
  • all civilizations are equal and sovereign
  • limitless progress
  • movement forward without destroying the old
  • material prosperity
  • spiritual and social development
  • multiculturalism
  • internationalism (the brotherhood of nations)
  • a society that is open to migrants (at the expense of the native-born population)
  • a strict migration policy (the protection of the interests of the native-born population)
  • political pluralism
  • the spiritual communion of an entire society (“sobornost”)
  • a strong civil society
  • a society in solidarity
  • the bourgeoisie (the primacy of the propertied classes)
  • communitarianism (the primacy of the majority)
  • agnosticism, atheism, and secularization
  • faith (traditional religions)
  • a preference for newly formed religions and sects
  • a preference for traditional religions and a rejection of sects
  • gender equality (the feminization of men and masculinization of women)
  • the preservation of natural gender differences and traditions
  • same-sex marriages and surrogate motherhood
  • the traditional family
  • sex “education” in schools
  • moral education in schools
  • support of the LGBT community at the expense of the traditional majority
  • the identification of non-traditional sexual orientation as an abnormality
  • juvenile justice that includes the legal protection of children from their parents
  • the exclusive right of parents to raise their children as they see fit, up to a certain age
  • the right to euthanasia
  • a ban on euthanasia and a focus on improving pain relief
  • the right to clone
  • a ban on cloning
  • individualism
  • various forms of collectiveness
  • freedom defined as the utmost rejection of social taboos
  • freedom defined as alignment with the (Divine) ideal
  • the law means justice
  • justice above the law
  • formal tolerance
  • genuine forbearance and compassion
  • political correctness
  • truth
  • transparency
  • openness (in the sense of “honesty”)
  • a “free” press
  • an accurate press
  • shame
  • conscience
  • a preference for private ownership
  • all types of ownership are equal
  • an open economy
  • a balance between openness and sovereignty
  • the “free market” as the primary regulator of economic relationship
  • the state determines the national priorities for the economy
  • the right to the unilateral use of force in the name of democracy
  • non-violence
  • social safety nets for those who are loyal to the system
  • social safety nets for all
  • an army of paid professionals
  • the universal conscription of citizens
  • wars are justified and essential in order to bring democracy to the “barbaric” part of the world
  • only defensive wars are acceptable

It is important to note that the values listed in the right-hand column of the table of values are merely ideals that are professed and are not officially approved Russian imperatives – they are understood identities that Russians have adopted (and these are being retained even amidst the atmosphere of the aggressive recoding emanating from the West, which, however, has not been very successful over the last 25 years).

Since the onset of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, the process of re-traditionalizing Russian society has greatly accelerated, and this now seems irreversible and is even having a clearly beneficial effect on the West.  The hysteria unleashed by the owners of a number of international media outlets communicating only a single, primal thought – “Russia is the world’s greatest evil” – is tied to this Russian renaissance and the subsequent frustration of the hopes of Western elites to build a totalitarian super-society in the foreseeable future based on pseudo-liberal slogans.

But what kind of “evil” can Western civilization speak of when it has placed its bets on Hominid immoral in its classical, Biblical delineation?

Amb. Andrey Karlov became the real victim of aggressive imposing of false values and world-views on entrapped individuals, vainly wishing to find the Truth in distorting mirrors of the lavishly financed Western propaganda machine. They never realize that consuming Daily News or Al-Jazeera, they are turning into a Mevlut Mert Altintas themselves…

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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