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UK commits more military forces to Ukraine

Ukraine is the focus of the struggle between Western culture and traditionalism, and new military forces threaten total war.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A November 24 piece from Strategic Culture reports that the United Kingdom has added more fuel to the fire in Ukraine by committing more military forces to the conflict in that country. Strategic Culture’s Arkady Savitsky writes (emphasis added):

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court green-lighted a bill on amending the country’s main law by enshrining into it the final goal of obtaining NATO and EU membership. The decision was announced the next day after the UK and Ukraine’s defense ministries made a joint statement, stressing the need to expand military cooperation. The defense chiefs agreed that Operation Orbital, the Army training program started in 2015, was a success to be continued at least till 2020. Instructors from the British Army, most of who have significant experience in participating in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, have trained over 9,500 Ukrainian servicemen. An unspecified number of UK soldiers would be sent to train Ukrainian special forces and marines, in addition to the 100 personnel deployed currently in the country.

A multi-role hydrographic survey ship will be deployed in the Black Sea next year to demonstrate Britain’s support for Ukraine and ensure “freedom of navigation”. HMS Echo is not a warship but it flies the naval ensign. In September, Great Britain made known it planned to increase the warships’ presence in the Black Sea next year with increasingly frequent port calls to Odessa.

NATO naval presence there is seen as provocative by Russia amid increasing tensions in the Azov Sea. A conflict appears to be imminent and the West has taken the side of Ukraine despite the fact that it was Kiev who has been provoking it. EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini believes many vessels flying European Union flags were threatened to make Brussels consider “appropriate targeted measures” to be taken as a signal to Moscow.

The increase in UK military presence goes against the letter and spirit of Minsk accords, which state that the conflict in Ukraine should be managed through diplomatic and political means…

Arkady then makes a very important point. Why does Ukraine need more military forces from outside the country? After all, it is an industrialized nation and according to its own nationalist news agency, UNIAN, it is a large and successful arms exporter:

Nobody in Washington or London asks why an industrialized nation and a large arms exporter, with abundant resources and fertile land should depend on foreign assistance unable to defend itself. Weapons are supplied and training is provided to the country, where corruption is rampant. Even the US State Department’s recent report says it is.  Popular protests are commonplace. The conflict in Donbass is used to distract the people from domestic woes. The frustration with Kiev’s reluctance to introduce much-needed reforms and curtail the political influence of the oligarchs is rapidly growing. The common people of Ukraine need political and economic reforms, not increased foreign military presence on their soil.

The only reason for the West to keep the failed Ukraine afloat is its obsequiousness and readiness to be converted into a springboard to threaten Russia with an aggression. Despite Ukraine’s multiple problems, the country has recently been rewarded with an official status in NATO. The 2018 North Atlantic Alliance’s summit confirmed its support for Ukraine’s full-fledged membership to make a mockery of the so called “NATO standards.”

As to why this commitment to increased military forces, at least from the UK’s point of view:

The UK government is going through hard times. It has just achieved as a draft agreement on post-Brexit relations with the EU. The deal has a little chance to make it through the Commons. Nobody knows exactly how it will end up if the MPs say no. There may be no Brexit at all finally. Chancellor Philip Hammond believes “If the deal is not approved by parliament, we will have a politically chaotic situation… In that chaos that would ensue, there may be no Brexit.” Or there may be endless negotiations, reconciliation conferences, delays and postponements. It’ll be a large order for the government to stay. There are supporters of no-confidence vote in parliament. You never know how it’s all going to pan out.

Nothing unites a divided nation better than an external threat, such as Russia. The Brexit deadline is March 29 to launch a 21-months transition period with Britain still a member. The events in Ukraine are needed to fuel the fire. Making people think that the UK is lending a helping hand to a poor nation under attack is a way to improve the government’s image and approval ratings. The cabinet members never tell their people that by rendering military assistance to Kiev their country becomes an accomplice to a conflict that has nothing to do with its national security or interests. The UK military aid eggs the Ukrainian government on to seek a military solution.

Russia is not watching idle. If the Minsk accords are washed out, it will have each and every reason to recognize the Lugansk and Donetsk self-proclaimed republics as independent states eligible for military cooperation agreements, including stationing Russian military bases on their soil, if their governments ask for it. No international law would be violated.

Ukraine’s government is ramping up tensions because President Petro Poroshenko is running for re-election in March 2019 on a national security platform. So he takes a tougher line on Azov. Those who rush to provide him with military assistance become accomplices in his adventurist actions that could have disastrous consequences. The UK will bear responsibility for goading Kiev into taking a confrontational approach and turning the Azov Sea into a flashpoint that can spark at any minute.

There are some problems with this sort of view, though. For one, the West is loath to completely reveal the nature of this particular conflict. The news-media go on and on about how it is necessary to send military forces to “keep an aggressive / assertive / monstrous Russia in line / at bay / knowing who is the boss”, but it is never reported in mainstream media how the effort here is to contain and isolate Russia. And why?

Because Russia, without aggressive language or actions, simply refuses to play the globalist game. Russia came through seventy years of anti-Christian communism and the nation still bears the scars of what a strictly secular life does. Russia still suffers a flat population growth, large parts of its land feature people living in primitive conditions (despite the atheist triumph of technology under Communism), and the nation has generally come to understand that this way of governance did not work.

Instead, now, there is a strong resurgence of the ancient Orthodox Christian faith in form and practice. Orthodox Christians do not hold with abortion on demand. They do not support homosexuality being normalized. What was a sin six thousand years ago remains a sin today. In addition, the nation did preserve a strong cultural tradition even during Communism, and as President Putin said to George Stephanopolous in Sochi back in 2014, “The Russian people have their own cultural code, their own traditions. We don’t interfere. [We] don’t stick our noses in their lives. And we ask that our traditions and culture are treated with the same respect.

Therefore the story is muddled. Because it is muddled, it is not likely to become a rallying cry for the Britons any more than it would be for the Americans.

The West does not yet realize this.

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Shaun RameweWalter Dublanica Recent comment authors
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Walter Dublanica
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The UK does not exist in reality. The Russians have nothing to be concerned about Brits in Ukraine.

Shaun Ramewe
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Shaun Ramewe

To do what – teach murderous corrupt lying Kiev how to make baked beans on toast!!

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‘End of free speech’: Maffick CEO, host slam Facebook’s unprovoked ‘censorship’ after CNN report

This is because of the political content that challenges the US wars. It is absolutely an act of censorship.

RT

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Via RT…


Facebook blocking several pages operated by Maffick Media is nothing short of outright censorship, the company’s CEO Anissa Naouai said, after a US-funded think tank pointed them out to CNN for a ‘hit-piece’.

The actions of the social media giant, which suspended the accounts of In the Now, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed last Friday without providing any explanation or even contacting the company that ran the pages, is nothing but a simple attempt to get rid of dissenting voices critical of Washington’s policies, Naouai told RT.

It is blatant censorship. What else can you call it?

Unexplained ban

The ban came literally out of the blue even though Maffick did not violate any existing Facebook regulations. “There is no rule that you have to post anything about your funding or personal funding. No one does it, not any of the US-sponsored outlets,” Naouai said. However, that was apparently the stated reason for the blocking as a Facebook spokesperson said the social media giant wanted the pages to become more transparent by disclosing their funding and “Russian affiliations.”

Facebook never contacted Maffick Media directly, though. In fact, it did not even answer the company’s emails and stayed conspicuously silent about the ways that would allow the accounts to be reinstated. “We have not heard a word from Facebook and it has been over three days now,” Naouai said.

The whole situation makes one think that the suspension is in fact connected to the pages’ popularity as well as their critical stance towards US policies, the Maffick CEO said. “We have hosts that talk about things that are not allowed to talk about on other networks like CNN,” she explained.

“If a video that says that gets hundreds of thousands of views on a page that has millions of views, people [in Washington] start to notice that and they get upset. I believe that is why we were targeted: because of our success and because of, as CNN said, high quality of our videos,” Naouai added.

The Maffick CEO also assumed that a recent piece on the US-sponsored coup attempt in Venezuela might have become a trigger for this drastic measure taken by Facebook. “There is a very … divisive and obnoxious policy taking place right now against Venezuela,” she said, “we do not know if this was the segment that triggered [the suspension] but the timing is convenient.”

“When someone calls out what is happening in Venezuela as a blatant coup it ruffles the feathers of think tanks that spent millions if not billions of dollars to persuade [the audience otherwise] and lobby their interests.”

‘Interrogation’ by CNN

Some details of this whole case may indeed seem odd. Just about an hour after the pages were blocked, CNN published a report on the issue as if they broke the news. “CNN knew that we were going to be blocked before we did,” Naouai said, explaining that, when she found out her company’s pages were suspended, CNN had already published its piece.

Weeks before the blocking, CNN sought to interview some freelancers working with Maffick in an apparent attempt to “dig up some dirt,” Rania Khalek, the American host of Soapbox – one of the video shows Maffick ran on Facebook – recalled.

When the company’s leadership “got wind of it” and offered CNN an interview, it all ended up with a 45-minute “interrogation” loaded with “unethical” questions that “almost any other media organization would even think to answer.”

It felt like a police interrogation: very invasive questions about Maffick and our editorial policies. It was clear that they were doing a hit-piece.

“A CNN journalist repeatedly asked me about my political viewpoints. He was in complete disbelief that I have editorial control over my scripts. He could not understand how it was possible,” Khalek, who was one of those, who gave the interview to CNN, said.

Maffick Media assumed that CNN might in fact pressure Facebook into blocking the accounts. “It is a very competitive market existing in a very political atmosphere that is toxic right now in the US,” Naouai said.

Loophole for state censorship?

CNN itself admits in its piece that it did not just stumble upon the Facebook pages in question independently. Instead, this issue was brought to its attention by the Alliance for Securing Democracy – a part of the German Marshall Fund. This fund is a think tank, which is financed by the US and German governments and has such people as Michael Morell, the former CIA deputy head, and Jacob Sullivan, former Vice President Joe Biden’s top security aide, on its advisory board.

Now, CNN, which stepped on a slippery slope by scrutinizing other media outlets’ funding, had to go to some extraordinary lengths to persuade its audience that the Alliance for Securing Democracy “does not receive any funding” from the German Marshall Fund, while still being a part of it at the same time. However, all these facts just added a new layer to the story.

“You have this US-funded think tank prompting CNN to pressure Facebook to ban our pages. That is an act of censorship,”Khalek said. She thinks the whole scheme was used to circumvent the First Amendment banning the US authorities from directly censoring free speech. “So, they use a middleman to pressure private companies to censor us,” she added, calling it a “legal loophole.”

‘Beginning of an end’

Regardless of who is really behind the ploy, Facebook banning some media pages without any explanation sets a tremendously dangerous precedent, Maffick Media believes. “We had a verified page, which had billions of views, just disappear from online without any kind of comment, any kind of requirement, without breaking any rules. That is unprecedented,” Naouai said.

You have Facebook dictating what people can and cannot see and judging what is good content and bad content. And it is all based on the accusations and criticism coming from a government-funded outlet. If Facebook does it to us, it can do it to anyone,” Khalek warned.

This is because of the political content that challenges the US wars. It is absolutely an act of censorship.

The US establishment apparently seeks to suppress the outlets that “offer a platform to alternative voices that can speak out against US wars and the corporate control over our government in a way that you just do not hear in our corporate media,” the Soapbox host believes.

However, if the social media giant and the likes of it will just continue to randomly block media resources while having “no grounds” to do so, it could create very serious problems for society, Naouai believes.

That would be the beginning of an end of free speech.

 

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Warsaw And Munich: Whistling Past NATO’s Graveyard

Sanctions cut both ways.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


If the Anti-Iran conference in Warsaw was the opening act, the annual Munich Security Conference was the main event. Both produced a lot of speeches, grandstanding and virtue-signaling, as well as a lot of shuffling of feet and looking at the ground.

The message from the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia was clear, “We are still committed to the destruction of Syria as a functional state to end the growing influence of Iran.”

Europe, for the most part, doesn’t buy that argument anymore. Germany certainly doesn’t. France is only interested in how they can curry favor with the U.S. to wrest control of the EU from Germany. The U.K. is a hopeless has-been, living on Deep State inertia and money laundered through City of London.

The Poles just want to stick it to the Russians.

Everyone else has a bad case of, “been there, done that, ain’t doin’ it again.”

They know supporting the fiction that the War in Syria was a war against the evil President Bashar al-Assad is counter-productive.

The geopolitical landscape is changing quickly. And these countries, like Hungary, Italy, and the Czech Republic, know that the current policy trajectory of the Trump administration vis a vis Russia, Iran and China is a suicide pact for them.

So they show up when called, receive our ‘diplomats’ and then pretty much ignore everything they said. This is what happened, ultimately, in Munich.

Even the EU leadership has no illusions about the goals of the U.S./Israeli/Saudi policy on Syria. And that’s why they refused to shut Russia and Iran out of the Munich Security Conference despite the hyperventilating of Pompeo’s amateur-hour State Dept.

The Syria Hangover

These countries are struggling with the after-effects of eight years of war displacing millions who Angela Merkel invited into Europe for her own political purposes.

The resultant chaos now threatens every major political power center in Europe, which could culminate in a Euroskeptic win at the European Parliamentary elections in May.

Continuing on this road will only lead to Russia, Iran, Turkey and China forming a bloc with India to challenge the economic and political might of the West over the next two decades.

So it was no surprise to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu glad-handing looking for support to beam back home for his re-election campaign.

It was also no surprise to see NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg grovel at the feet of the U.S. over the shared mission because he knows that’s where the gravy flows from.

But there was no statement of purpose coming out of Munich after two days of talks. Warsaw already set the stage for that. Vice-President Mike Pence fell completely flat as the substitute Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looked sad and confused as to why no one applauded him for his cheap and empty rhetoric about how evil Iran is.

The Syria operation was put together by the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar with the expressed purpose of creating a failed state of ungoverned fiefdoms. Syria was to be carved up piecemeal with a great land grab for all major partners getting a piece.

Israel gets a buffer zone east of the Golan Heights, Turkey gets Idlib, Afrin and Aleppo. The Kurds get everything east of the Euphrates. And Europe gets pipelines from the Arabian peninsula.

Meanwhile Iran loses Syria and Lebanon, Russia gets pushed out of the European gas market (along with the putsch in Ukraine) and the center of the country is a hot mess of terrorism which can be exported all around the region and further directed against Russia and Iran.

It all looked so good on paper.

But, as I’ve described multiple times, it was an operation built on perception and the false premise that no one would stand up to it.

In came Russia in October 2015 and the rest, unfortunately for the neocons, is just a chase scene.

Sanctions Cut Both Ways

Because for Europe, once it became clear what the costs would be to continue this project, there was little to no incentive to do so. That’s why they sued for peace with Iran by negotiating the JCPOA.

For every MAGApede and Fox News neocon who excoriates Obama for giving Iran $150 billion dollars (of their own money back which we stole) I remind you that it was Obama in 2012 that signed the sanctions which froze that money in the first place.

The JCPOA was signed because in 2014 the Syria operation looked like it was on auto-pilot to success. Iran could have their money back because it wouldn’t matter. They would be vassals and the money wouldn’t buy them anything of substance.

It was Russia and China’s making the move into Syria that changed that calculus.

That’s why the only ones who keep pushing for this balkanization strategy are the ones who still stand to gain from it. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel. It was clear in Munich that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was the man everyone wanted to talk to.

Everyone has cut bait. Even the Saudis are hedging their best cozying up to Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. still needs to project power globally to support the dollar and its obscene fiscal debauchery. Israel is staring at a future in which its myriad enemies have won and the Saudis need to rule the Sunni Arab world by leading them in a war against Iran.

The Warsaw Summit was a triumph only insofar as the U.S. can still call its allies to attention and they’ll do so. But that’s about it. But it was clear at Munich that Europe isn’t buying what the U.S. is selling about its relationship anymore.

It’s an not only an abusive one with Trump applying maximal economic pressure but also a wholly unrealistic one. Foreign policy midgets like Pompeo and Pence were literally pleading with everyone to not undermine their latest plan to make the world safe for Israel and Trump’s moronic Energy Dominance plan.

Whistling in Munich

In the end, the whole Munich affair looked like a bunch of people gathering to whistle past the graveyard of the fraying post-WWII institutional order. Trump wants Europe to pay for NATO so we don’t but Europe doesn’t want NATO on Trump’s terms which put them in the cross-hairs of his power play with Russia and China over the INF treaty.

Putin has built a version of fortress Russia that is for all practical purposes impregnable, short-of an all-out nuclear conflict which no one except maybe the most ideologically possessed in D.C. and Tel Aviv wants.

The naysayers have had their day but the weapons unveiled by Putin at last March’s State of the Union address changed the board state in a way that requires different tactics. I said so last March and it identified a shift narrative for all of us as to what Putin’s long-game was.

These new weapons represent a state change in weapons technology but, at the same time, are cheap deterrents to further escalation.  They fit within Russia’s budget, again limited by demographic and, as I pointed out in a recent article, domestic realities

…[They highlight] we’re not winning in technology.  So, all we can do is employ meat-grinder policies and force Russia and her allies to spend money countering the money we spend.

It’s a game that hollows everyone out.  And it’s easier for Putin to sell the defensive nature of his position to Russians than it is to sell our backing Al-Qaeda and ISIS to defeat them.  Because that reality has broken through the barrier to it.

And that’s why Europe is so unwilling to go along with Trump on the INF Treaty, Iranian regime change and even his Arab NATO plan. They are the ones being asked to be on the front lines, pay for and fight a war against their best interests.

And that’s why no one was willing to join the latest ‘coalition of the willing’ in Munich to perpetuate the conflict in Asia. They’ll go along with Trump’s plans in Venezuela, it doesn’t cost them anything strategically.

But even Merkel knows that in light of the events of the past three and a half years, the right move for Europe is to cut a deal with Russia and Iran while keeping their head down as the U.S. loses its mind.


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Venezuela Under Washington’s Gun

It is discouraging to see Trump participate in the attempt to chase Maduro out of office.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


A full court press is taking place in Florida today (Presidents Day) with Republicans, Democrats, expatriates from Cuba and Venezuela and the fascist warmonger ministry of propaganda that constitutes the US media all denouncing Maduro and blaming him for the hardships imposed on Venezuelans by Washington’s sanctions and attacks on Venezuela’s currency . Even “liberal” NPR is reading off the same fascist warmonger script. NPR managed to report on Venezuela without mentioning the sanctions, without mentioning the theft of Venezuela’s gold foolishly entrusted to the US and British central banks, or the orchestrated protests funded by US-financed NGOs that are small in comparison with the crowds that support Maduro that are never mentioned in the US media. In other words, NPR is just another part of the whorehouse brigade.

What Americans forget, or never knew, is that the Cuban expatriates are the descendents of the corrupt Batista crowd that had looted Cuba for years and were thrown out of Cuba by Castro. The Venezuelan expatriates are from the rich elite that couldn’t adjust to Chavez running the country for the people instead of for them, and some of these expatriates were involved in the failed CIA coup against Chavez. All of these expatriates are nothing but shills for Washington’s takeover so that they can get back in on the take.

It is discouraging to see Trump, who the Democrats, the media, and the military/security complex are attempting to chase out of office participate in the attempt to chase Maduro out of office.

It is discouraging to see Washington’s vassals in Europe and in the Organization of American States throw all truth to the wind and line up with Washington’s lies.

It is discouraging that within Western civilization lies dominate all aspects of domestic and international policy. Truth has been stamped out.

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