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South Korea’s history making geo-political pivot frightens the US more than Kim’s weapons

South Korea’s President Moon has just met with China’s President Xi Jinping. The meeting affirmed that South Korea is yet another traditional Asian ally of the US that wants to participate in One Belt–One Road. The implications however, go beyond South Korea’s economy. The move could lead to an outbreak of peace in the region that the US is hellbent on retarding.

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Throughout the Cold War, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, somewhat appropriately referred to by the acronym ‘MAD’, ensured that in spite of high tensions, none of the nuclear powers ever directly attacked each other.

While the Cold War is over, the principle of understanding the mutual detriment of killing millions in two or more nations still holds strong. It is for this reason that Russian President Putin again stated that there is a clear rationale for North Korea’s weapons programme. The authorities in Pyongyang do not want to see their country and people destroyed in the way Iraq and Libya were, as the Arab states did not have a ‘MAD’ deterrent.

9 things you need to know from Vladimir Putin’s end-of-year Q&A session

But into the literally mad fray of Donald Trump, Trump’s Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and his CIA Director Mike Pompeo threatening to destroy North Korea, seemingly at least once a week, there is a very real development that is making many in Washington worried behind the scenes.

South Korea is pivoting towards the geographically close superpowers of China and Russia. Indeed, in a literal sense, all that separates South Korea from Russia and China is North Korea. In spite of this, for decades, the zero-sum Cold War mentality which dominated geo-political relations in the late 20th century, led to South Korea being cut-off from two nearby giants.

Today, this has changed greatly. Furthermore, the meaningful scope and intensity of Seoul’s relations with both Beijing and Moscow has accelerated rapidly under the moderate rule of President Moon Jae-in.

Moon has developed a visibly productive and personally warm relationship with Vladimir Putin since taking office in May of this year. Moon supported, without hesitation, Putin’s tripartite economic cooperation initiative between Russia and the two Korean states when it was first unveiled at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

South Korea and Russia continue to work on more immediate energy projects, including the delivery of Russian liquefied natural gas to South Korea. There are further talks of a wider free trade agreements between Moscow and Seoul that could be finalised in 2018.

South Korea’s relationship with China continues to expand along similar lines. This was affirmed during Moon Jae-in’s just completed visit to Beijing, where he held substantial talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The following is from a report on the visit, originally published by China’s official Xinhua news agency,

“Xi welcomed Moon on his state visit to China for the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

China and the ROK are friendly neighbors and strategic cooperation partners, Xi said.

He said the two countries have made remarkable progress in exchanges and cooperation in various fields, which has brought tremendous benefits to both sides.

There have been some twists and turns in China-ROK relations, which have provided enlightenment for both sides on how to create a better future together on the basis of mutual respect for each other’s core interests, said Xi.

He said China attaches great importance to relations with the ROK and is ready to work with the ROK to maintain the original intention of establishing diplomatic relations and take full account of the well-being of the two peoples.

Both countries should uphold the basic principle of respecting each other’s core interests and major concerns as well as the principle of treating each other as neighbors with sincerity, he said.

Xi also suggested that the two sides adhere to the principle of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation to ensure that the development of bilateral relations is on the right track.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has brought broader prospects for China’s cooperation with its neighboring countries, including the ROK, said Xi.

He called on the two sides to strengthen political communication, cement the foundation of mutual trust, and make good use of the exchange mechanism between legislative bodies and political parties of the two countries.

China welcomes the ROK’s participation in the Belt and Road construction, said Xi, hoping to promote the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the ROK’s development strategy.

He called for increased exchanges in areas such as youth, education, science and technology, media, sports, health and local affairs, for the long-term and stable development of bilateral ties.

Moon’s visit coincided with China’s annual memorial for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre, which fell on Wednesday. Moon extended his empathy to the victims.

This was Moon’s fifth trip to China and the first as ROK president. He expressed his admiration for China’s development achievements.

Calling the two countries important trading partners, Moon said the development of regional countries is closely linked with China’s Two Centenary Goals.

The ROK expects joint efforts with China to cement political trust and friendship between the two peoples, boost cooperation in various areas and coordination in global and regional affairs, Moon said.

The ROK hopes to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.

The two leaders also exchanged their views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

“We must unswervingly uphold the goal of a nuclear-free peninsula and never allow war or chaos on the peninsula,” said Xi.

China believes that ultimately, the Korean Peninsula issue could only be solved through dialogue and consultation, he said.

China and the ROK have important common interests in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, Xi added.

China will continue to strengthen communication and coordination with the ROK on maintaining stability and preventing wars on the Korean Peninsula and promoting peace and talks, said Xi.

He said China supports the continued improvement of the relations between the two countries on the Korean Peninsula through dialogues and contacts, which will help ease tensions and finally settle the issue.

Moon said the ROK is firmly committed to resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through peaceful means, and is willing to work with China to safeguard peace and stability in the region.

Xi reaffirmed China’s position on the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the ROK and hoped the ROK will properly deal with the issue.

After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of cooperative documents in areas such as economic and trade, green and ecological industries, environment, health, agriculture, energy and Winter Olympics”.

The report clearly indicates that each country is sincere about embracing warm relations in the 21st century, after not having official relations during the Cold War period (official relations were only established in 1992). Most crucially, Chinese media appears to be optimistic about South Korea’s participation in the One Belt–One Road initiative.

In many ways, One Belt–One Road remains one of the critical points which can insure the success of a would-be de-escalation of North/South Korean tensions. It would appear that South Korea realises this as much from its own self-interested economic perspective as it does in respect of overriding security concerns for the region and wider world.

North Korea’s nuclear deterrent proves One Belt–One Road is the only hope for peace

While the US seeks to literally starve the DPRK into submission, a tactic which the Russian President has warned will never work as North Koreans would sooner “eat grass” than capitulate to international bullying, China and Russia are clear in the knowledge that only mutual opportunities can solve geo-political crises.

Threatened US Naval blockade of North Korea represents the illegal starvation of a nation

China implemented a “win-win” model of crisis management during its first ever modern peace initiative in a dispute involving third parties. China’s peace plan for Myanmar’s Rakhine State was announced with little fanfare, but it is already being implemented.

China proposes peace process for Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh

The key to the programme’s success was fostering cooperation among the authorities in both Myanmar and Bangladesh, through the promise of increased economic investment and trading opportunities as part of One Belt–One Road. Sure enough, while the US made threats, China’s “win-win” model, secured the trust and enthusiasm of both Naypyidaw and Dhaka–two countries currently being warned off and wooed away from One Belt–One Road by India. Chinese method has quietly secured a victory against both US threats and Indian gamesmanship.

In Myanmar, the US just tried to derail China’s peace plan, but actually ended up alienating India

For South Korea, a similar “win-win” model is being pursued, albeit in very different circumstances.

On the 30th of October, Beijing and Seoul reached a still undisclosed agreement regarding China’s deep concerns over the presence of US THAAD missiles on South Korean soil. Russia and China have each sought to negotiate the removal of THAAD from South Korea, as the presence of the US missiles has been illustrated as a major point of provocation against Pyongyang, while also representing a threat against China and Russia.

America uses North Korea as a transparent excuse for meddling in South Korea and provoking China

China maintains its opposition to THAAD and while the missiles are still in place, the fact that both China and South Korea reached an agreement on the issue, means that in this sense, China trusts the good will of the South Korean President more than that of the US, when it comes to such issues.

This good will has resulted in the positive meeting in Beijing wherein both countries agreed to increase both their short and long-term trading ties.

This clearly is not what the US wants as the US model of trade seeks to build up a network of nations which are largely dependant on the US for their security and consequently policy making, in exchange for economic deals.

The Chinese model by contrast, does not come with such heavy strings attached. China has made it clear both in word and deed that it requires nothing in terms of domestic policy making and governance, once an understanding in-line with an agreement to cooperate on trade and investment  is reached.

The fact that the Chinese model is now attractive to South Korea, a nation once so firmly under the grip of the US that it was nothing more than a satellite state, is demonstrative of the fact that as US allies mature, they seek to diversify their economic and geo-political portfolios, and often at the expense of indelible ties to the US.

This is not to say that South Korea is not still a US ally and partner, it still very much is. But according to the Chinese model, there is room both for traditional allies and new partners in One Belt–One Road.

The idea that everything in geo-politics is a head-to-head competition is a Cold War relic that ironically and worryingly,  continues to shape US thinking more than it did even in the Cold War when the US courted Communist states like Romania as well as left leaning non-aligned states ranging from India to Egypt. Of course, Nixon’s own rapprochement with the People’s Republic of China and his detente with the USSR, proved that even at the height of the Cold War, the US used to be less dogmatic and extreme than it has become since the early 1990s.

In such a paradigm as that which is formulated by the US of 2017, the only loser is the nation seeking to compete, rather than make the best of every situation. In this sense, the US is the clear loser and both China, Russia and South Korea are winners. In time, North Korea could be a winner too as Russia and China have renewed calls to lead a peace process that the US continues to send mixed signals about.

When it comes to an eventual peace process, the cooperation of South Korea is implicitly important. If Russia, China and South Korea end up forming a chain of trade and cooperation among each other, the only missing piece will be North Korea.

In spite of North Korea’s stance vis-a-vis the South, Pyongyang officials have stated that they do not seek hostility with the South, so long as Seoul can demonstrate that it is a sovereign state that represents something more than an instrument of aggressive US foreign policy in the region.

By cooperating with both China and Russia, South Korea can make this message increasingly clear and thus gradually win increased trust from Pyongyang.

As it is with so many other geo-political conflict zones. The logical conclusion of this scenario is that the lone obstacle to peace and cooperation is the presence of the US in East Asia.

South Korea is charting its own course, which is why the US is trying to provoke tensions on the Korean peninsula in order to prevent the outbreak of peace as a result of Seoul’s undeniable geo-political pivot.

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VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal to Interview Assange

The bug in Mueller’s report released on Thursday is that he accepts that the Russian government interfered in the election. Trump should challenge that, says VIPS.

Consortium News

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MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: The Fly in the Mueller Ointment

April 16, 2019

Mr. President:

The song has ended but the melody lingers on. The release Thursday of the redacted text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” nudged the American people a tad closer to the truth on so-called “Russiagate.”

But the Mueller report left unscathed the central-but-unproven allegation that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails, gave them to WikiLeaks to publish, and helped you win the election. The thrust will be the same; namely, even if there is a lack of evidence that you colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin, you have him to thank for becoming president. And that melody will linger on for the rest of your presidency, unless you seize the moment.

Mueller has accepted that central-but-unproven allegation as gospel truth, apparently in the lack of any disinterested, independent forensic work. Following the odd example of his erstwhile colleague, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller apparently has relied for forensics on a discredited, DNC-hired firm named CrowdStrike, whose credibility is on a par with “pee-tape dossier” compiler Christopher Steele. Like Steele, CrowdStrike was hired and paid by the DNC (through a cutout).

We brought the lack of independent forensics to the attention of Attorney General William Barr on March 13 in a Memorandum entitled “Mueller’s Forensic-Free Findings”, but received no reply or acknowledgement. In that Memorandum we described the results of our own independent, agenda-free forensic investigation led by two former Technical Directors of the NSA, who avoid squishy “assessments,” preferring to base their findings on fundamental principles of science and the scientific method. Our findings remain unchallenged; they reveal gaping holes in CrowdStrike’s conclusions.

We do not know if Barr shared our March 13 Memorandum with you. As for taking a public position on the forensics issue, we suspect he is being circumspect in choosing his battles carefully, perhaps deferring until later a rigorous examination of the dubious technical work upon which Mueller seems to have relied.

Barr’s Notification to Congress

As you know, the big attention-getter came on March 24 when Attorney General William Barr included in his four-page summary a quote from Mueller’s report: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Understandably, that grabbed headlines — the more so, since most Americans had been convinced earlier by the media that the opposite was true.

There remains, however, a huge fly in the ointment. The Mueller report makes it clear that Mueller accepts as a given — an evidence-impoverished given — that the Russian government interfered in the election on two tracks:

Track 1 involves what Barr, echoing Mueller, claims “a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA)” did in using social media “to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election.” A careful look at this allegation shows it to be without merit, despite Herculean efforts by The New York Times, for example, to put lipstick on this particular pig.  After some rudimentary research, award winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter promptly put that pig out of its misery and brought home the bacon. We do not believe “Track 1” merits further commentary.

Track 2 does need informed commentary, since it is more technical and — to most Americans — arcane. In Barr’s words: “The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election.”

We are eager to see if Mueller’s report contains more persuasive forensic evidence than that which VIPS has already debunked. In Barr’s summary, the only mention of forensics refers to “forensic accountants” — a far cry from the kind of forensic investigators needed to provide convincing proof of “hacking” by the Russian government.

But They Were Indicted!

Circular reasoning is not likely to work for very long, even with a U.S. populace used to being brainwashed by the media. Many Americans had mistakenly assumed that Mueller’s indictment of Russians — whether they be posting on FaceBook or acting like intelligence officers — was proof of guilt. But, as lawyers regularly point out, “one can easily indict a ham sandwich” — easier still these days, if it comes with Russian dressing.

Chances have now increased that the gullible folks who had been assured that Mueller would find collusion between you and Putin may now be a bit more circumspect — skeptical even — regarding the rest of the story-line of the “Russian hack,” and that will be even more likely among those with some technical background. Such specialists will have a field day, IF — and it is a capital “IF” — by some miracle, word of VIPS’ forensic findings gets into the media this time around.

The evidence-impoverished, misleadingly labeled “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 6, 2017 had one saving grace. The authors noted: “The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation — malicious or not — leaves a trail.” Forensic investigators can follow a trail of metadata and other technical properties. VIPS has done that.

A “High-Class Entity?”

If, as we strongly suspect, Mueller is relying for forensics solely on CrowdStrike, the discredited firm hired by the DNC in the spring of 2016, he is acting more in the mold of Inspector Clouseau than the crackerjack investigator he is reputed to be. It simply does not suffice for Mueller’s former colleague James Comey to tell Congress that CrowdStrike is a “high-class entity.” It is nothing of the sort and, in addition to its documented incompetence, it is riddled with conflicts of interest. Comey needs to explain why he kept the FBI away from the DNC computers after they were said to have been “hacked.”

And former National Intelligence Director James Clapper needs to explain his claim last November that “the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done.” What forensic evidence? From CrowdStrike? We at VIPS, in contrast, are finding more and more forensic evidence that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked by the Russians or anyone else — and that “Guccifer 2.0” is an out-and-out fraud. Yes, we can prove that from forensics too.

But the Talking Heads Say …

Again, if Mueller’s incomplete investigation is allowed to assume the status of Holy Writ, most Americans will continue to believe that — whether you colluded the Russians or not — Putin came through for you big time. In short, absent President Putin’s help, you would not be president.

Far too many Americans will still believe this because of the mainstream-media fodder — half-cooked by intelligence leaks — that they have been fed for two and a half years. The media have been playingthe central role in the effort of the MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank) complex to stymie any improvement in relations with Russia. We in VIPS have repeatedly demonstrated that the core charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election are built on a house of cards. But, despite our record of accuracy on this issue — not to mention our pre-Iraq-war warnings about the fraudulent intelligence served up by our former colleagues — we have gotten no play in mainstream media.

Most of us have chalked up decades in the intelligence business and many have extensive academic and government experience focusing on Russia. We consider the issue of “Russian interference” of overriding significance not only because the allegation is mischievously bogus and easily disproven. More important, it has brought tension with nuclear-armed Russia to the kind of dangerous fever pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the Russian provocation was real — authentic, not synthetic.

Sober minds resolved that crisis more than a half-century ago, and we all got to live another day. These days sober minds seem few and far between and a great deal is at stake. On the intelligence/forensics side, we have proved that the evidence adduced to “prove” that the Russians hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails and gave them to WikiLeaks is spurious. For example, we have examined metadata from one key document attributed to Russian hacking and shown that it was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”

Who Left the Bread Crumbs?

So, if it wasn’t the Russians, who left the “Russian” bread-crumb “fingerprints?” We do not know for sure; on this question we cannot draw a conclusion based on the principles of science — at least not yet. We suspect, however, that cyber warriors closer to home were responsible for inserting the “tell-tale signs” necessary to attribute “hacks” to Russia. We tacked on our more speculative views regarding this intriguing issue onto the end of our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to you entitled “Intelligence Veterans Challenge Russia Hack Evidence.”

We recall that you were apprised of that Memorandum’s key findings because you ordered then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to talk to William Binney, one of our two former NSA Technical Directors and one of the principal authors of that Memorandum. On October 24, 2017, Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney by explaining the genesis of the odd invitation to CIA Headquarters: “You are here because the president told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you.”

On the chance Pompeo has given you no report on his meeting with Binney, we can tell you that Binney, a plain-spoken, widely respected scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. Pompeo reacted with disbelief, but then talked of following up with the FBI and NSA. We have no sign, though, that he followed through. And there is good reason to believe that Pompeo himself may have been reluctant to follow up with his subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015. CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate.

Obfuscation’

A leak from within the CIA, published on March 31, 2017 by WikiLeaks as part of the so-called “Vault 7” disclosures, exposed a cyber tool called “Marble,” which was used during 2016 for “obfuscation” (CIA’s word). This tool can be used to conduct a forensic attribution double game (aka a false-flag operation); it included test samples in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Russian. Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima, to her credit, immediately penned an informative article on the Marble cyber-tool, under the catching (and accurate) headline “WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.” That was apparently before Nakashima “got the memo.” Mainstream media have otherwise avoided like the plague any mention of Marble.

Mr. President, we do not know if CIA’s Marble, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovation have been with the White House — or with former Director Pompeo — on this touchy issue. Since it is still quite relevant, we will repeat below a paragraph included in our July 2017 Memorandum to you under the sub-heading “Putin and the Technology:”

“We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today’s technology enables hacking to be “masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin” [of the hack] … And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Hackers may be anywhere,” he said. “There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can’t you imagine such a scenario? … I can.”

As we told Attorney General Barr five weeks ago, we consider Mueller’s findings fundamentally flawed on the forensics side and ipso facto incomplete. We also criticized Mueller for failing to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

Political Enemies & Mainstream Media (Forgive the Redundancy)

You may be unaware that in March 2017 lawyers for Assange and the Justice Department (acting on behalf of the CIA) reportedly were very close to an agreement under which Assange would agree to discuss “technical evidence ruling out certain parties” in the leak of the DNC emails and agree to redact some classified CIA information, in exchange for limited immunity. According to the investigative reporter John Solomon of The Hill, Sen. Mark Warner, (D-VA) vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, learned of the incipient deal and told then-FBI Director Comey, who ordered an abrupt“stand down” and an end to the discussions with Assange.

Why did Comey and Warner put the kibosh on receiving “technical evidence ruling out certain parties” [read Russia]? We won’t insult you with the obvious answer. Assange is now in prison, to the delight of so many — including Mrs. Clinton who has said Assange must now “answer for what he has done.”

But is it too late to follow up somehow on Assange’s offer? Might he or his associates be still willing to provide “technical evidence” showing, at least, who was not the culprit?

You, Mr. President, could cause that to happen. You would have to buck strong resistance at every turn, and there all manner of ways that those with vested interests and a lot of practice in sabotage can try to thwart you — with the full cooperation of most media pundits. By now, you know all too well how that works.

But you are the president. And there may be no better time than now to face them down, show the spurious nature of the concocted “evidence” attempting to put you in “Putin’s pocket,” and — not least — lift the cloud that has prevented you from pursuing a more decent relationship with Russia.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

James George Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS)

Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official, (ret.)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)

John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, U.S. Army (ret.)

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)

Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, former Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Peter Van Buren,U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Robert Wing, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (former) (associate VIPS)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

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Ukraine’s president-in-waiting Zelensky vows to end conflict in Donbass with ‘POWERFUL INFOWAR’

Zelensky vowed to “act within the Normandy format,” referring to the French-German-Russian-Ukrainian talks on war in Donbass, saying that “we will continue the Minsk process, we will restart it.”

RT

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Comedian-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelensky, set for a landslide win in Ukraine’s presidential vote, stayed true to character at his first press conference, dropping some flashy promises but refusing to go into boring detail.

Shortly after claiming electoral victory, Zelensky held a Q&A session with reporters at his campaign HQ in a Kiev business center. While the official results of the elections have yet to be announced, multiple exit polls suggest he secured more than 72 percent of votes.

Zelensky addressed the media in an easy-going manner. He spoke in a mix of Ukrainian and Russian, switching between the two languages, sometimes in one sentence. He also talked English a bit. But if the press hoped to shed light on the policies of the incoming president and his team, the conference actually generated more questions than answers.

Bringing the civil war in eastern Ukraine to an end appears to be one of the top priorities for Zelensky.

Promising to announce some kind of a plan shortly, he asked the reporters for help in the upcoming “infowar” that he says would help end the conflict, which, since 2014, has been raging between Kiev’s troops and the rebel self-proclaimed republics.

We will launch a very powerful information war to end the war in Donbass.

He then vowed to “act within the Normandy format,” referring to the French-German-Russian-Ukrainian talks on war in Donbass, saying that “we will continue the Minsk process, we will restart it.”

Next up, Zelensky did not rule out – even if half-jokingly – that the outvoted president Petro Poroshenko could gain a government post if the public “asks so.”

Do you want me to appoint him? Then I will ask society… If they tell me that they want to see Petro Poroshenko in one post or another – maybe, I don’t know.

Zelensky added, though, that he would like to try “new people” first. But the very team of the soon-to-be president still remains a mystery, as he’s refusing to provide any names, be it the new administration, the judiciary, or the country’s military.

“We have very serious acting generals who have authority in the army, you will definitely see them. I have no right to give the names of these people now, as there is an agreement with the generals,” Zelensky said cryptically, likewise not revealing his candidate for prosecutor general.

For now, Zelensky and his Servant of the People party – notably named after his own comedy show where he played a schoolteacher-turned-president – are promising to introduce the team “in the near future.”

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The Triumph of Evil

What is going on is that American oil companies want to recover their control over the revenue streams from Venezuela’s vast oil reserves.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts:


Today (April 17) I heard a NPR “news” report that described the democratically elected president of Venezuela as “the Venezuelan dictator Maduro.” By repeating over and over that a democratically elected president is a dictator, the presstitutes create that image of Maduro in the minds of vast numbers of peoples who know nothing about Venezuela and had never heard of Maduro until he is dropped on them as “dictator.”

Nicolas Maduro Moros was elected president of Venezuela in 2013 and again in 2018. Previously he served as vice president and foreign minister, and he was elected to the National Assembly in 2000. Despite Washington’s propaganda campaign against him and Washington’s attempt to instigate violent street protests and Maduro’s overthrow by the Venezuelan military, whose leaders have been offered large sums of money, Maduro has the overwhelming support of the people, and the military has not moved against him.

What is going on is that American oil companies want to recover their control over the revenue streams from Venezuela’s vast oil reserves. Under the Bolivarian Revolution of Chavez, continued by Maduro, the oil revenues instead of departing the country have been used to reduce poverty and raise literacy inside Venezuela.

The opposition to Maduro inside Venezuela comes from the elites who have been traditionally allied with Washington in the looting of the country. These corrupt elites, with the CIA’s help, temporarily overthrew Chavez, but the people and the Venezuelan military secured his release and return to the presidency.

Washington has a long record of refusing to accept any reformist governments in Latin America. Reformers get in the way of North America’s exploitation of Latin American countries and are overthrown.

With the exceptions of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua, Latin America consists of Washington’s vassal states. In recent years Washington destroyed reform governments in Honduras, Argentina and Brazil and put gangsters in charge.

According to US national security adviser John Bolton, a neoconservative war monger, the governments in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua will soon be overthrown. New sanctions have now been placed on the three countries. Washington in the typical display of its pettiness targeted sanctions against the son of the Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega. https://www.rt.com/news/456841-bolton-russia-venezuela-threat/

Ortega has been the leader of Nicaragua since for 40 years. He was president 1985-1990 and has been elected and reelected as president since 2006.

Ortega was the opponent of Somoza, Washington’s dictator in Nicaragua. Consequently he and his movement were attacked by the neoconservative operation known as Iran-Contra during the Reagan years. Ortega was a reformer. His government focused on literacy, land reform, and nationalization, which was at the expense of the wealthy ruling class. He was labeled a “Marxist-Leninist,” and Washington attempted to discredit his reforms as controversial leftist policies.

Somehow Castro and Ortega survived Washington’s plots against them. By the skin of his teeth so did Chavez unless you believe it was the CIA that gave him cancer. Castro and Chavez are dead. Ortega is 74. Maduro is in trouble, because Washington has stolen Venezuela’s bank deposits and cut Venezuela off the international financial system, and the British have stolen Venezuela’s gold. This makes it hard for Venezuela to pay its debts.

The Trump regime has branded the democratically twice-elected Maduro an “illegitimate” president. Washington has found a willing puppet, Juan Guaido, to take Maduro’s place and has announced that the puppet is now the president of Venezuela. No one among the Western presstitutes or among the vassals of Washington’s empire finds it strange that an elected president is illegitimate but one picked by Washington is not.

Russia and China have given Maduro diplomatic support. Both have substantial investments in Venezuela that would be lost if Washington seizes the country. Russia’s support for Maduro was declared by Bolton today to be a provocation that is a threat to international peace and security. Bolton said his sanctions should be seen by Russia as a warning against providing any help for the Venezuelan government.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo and vice president Pence have added their big mouths to the propaganda against the few independent governments in Latin America. Where is the shame when the highest American government officials stand up in front of the world and openly proclaim that it is official US government policy to overthrow democratically elected governments simply because those governments don’t let Americans plunder their countries?

How is it possible that Pompeo can announce that the “days are numbered” of the elected president of Nicaragua, who has been elected president 3 or 4 times, and the world not see the US as a rogue state that must be isolated and shunned? How can Pompeo describe Washington’s overthrow of an elected government as “setting the Nicaraguan people free?”

The top officials of the US government have announced that they intend to overthrow the governments of 3 countries and this is not seen as “a threat to international peace and security?”

How much peace and security did Washington’s overthrow of governments in Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, and the attempted overthrow of Syria bring?

Washington is once again openly violating international law and the rest of the world has nothing to say?

There is only one way to describe this: The Triumph of Evil.

“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” — William Butler Yeats

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