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War with Russia Is Not ‘Inevitable.’ Keep Repeating That

One is mystified why Putin, Lavrov, and other Russian statesmen continue to refer politely to their Western “partners” even when it’s painfully clear that they have no Western partners.

Jim Jatras



Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

Well, that didn’t take long! No sooner had Robert Torquemada Mueller wrapped up his obscenely expensive inquisition without finding any so-called collusion with Russia than the obstacles to rapprochement between Washington and Moscow immediately dissipated. Calls for a new détente issued from sound thinkers such as Daniel R. DePetris of The American Conservative (Trump now has his “first opportunity to settle on a Russia policy without the risk of an extreme political backlash”) and Srdja Trifkovic of Chronicles:

‘Now that the Russian Collusion Myth has been revealed to be a mendacious conspiracy by the Deep State, the Democratic Party and the media, President Donald Trump needs to move on with his election promise to improve relations with Moscow. That is a geopolitical and civilizational necessity.’

The undeniable wisdom of such recommendations was instantly recognized by the Washington establishment. Not only did Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans back off their Nazi-Putin paranoia, Trump’s own team, starting with National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rushed copies of DePetris’ and Trifkovic’s musings onto their boss’s desk.

The most striking (though, oddly, little commented upon) evidence of the now-liberated Trump administration’s beeline towards a new realist overture towards Moscow was explicit US recognition of Crimea as part of Russia. The newfound respect for Russia’s security needs is evident:

The White House

Proclamation on Recognizing Crimea as Part of the Russian Federation

Issued on: March 25, 2019

The Russian Federation took control of Crimea in 2014 to safeguard its security from external threats. Today, aggressive acts by NATO, including US forces, in the Black Sea and Ukraine continue to make Crimea a potential launching ground for attacks on Russia. Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Russia’s need to protect itself from NATO and other regional threats.  Based on these unique circumstances, it is therefore appropriate to recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim that, the United States recognizes that Crimea is part of the Russian Federation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.


Oh wait, that actually didn’t happen. The genuine March 25 proclamation related to something entirely different.


Let’s get something straight. It is a fantasy to believe that Trump has been freed by Mueller’s goose egg. The Democrats will use his work as a starting point (not as a finish) to keep digging into Trump’s private and business affairs to find something for which they can impeach him. As far as Russia goes, sure there was no direct “collusion,” but on the other hand the report, even before its release, is being cited across the political spectrum as proof that Russia “interfered” in our election to undermine our “democracy” and thus as reason to keep the demonization campaign against Russia going. Pathetically, Trump will continue to defend himself by boasting that “nobody’s been tougher on Russia” than he has while futilely calling for better relations (and even mutual decreases in military spending, which will join his nonexistent Mexican wall, his national infrastructure rehab, his Syria pullout, his … ).

In that sense Mueller has changed nothing. We will continue to sputter along like this for the remainder of Trump’s presidency in a continued downward slope. If anyone in Moscow thinks Trump now will be able to move towards normalized relations they are sadly mistaken.

Aside from occasional pipe dreams that supposedly “declining power” Russia can be pressed into service as a check against China (without offering Moscow any positive incentive, of course) what we can count on is continuation of the coordinated campaign to render Russia’s strategic situation untenable: deployment of intermediate-range weapons in Europe to make warning virtually nonexistent (and a strong possibility that START will follow INF into oblivion);strategic bomber probes with prototype nuclear-armed cruise missiles to prepare the aircraft for the possibility of launching the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) weapon; NATO maneuvers around Russia’s land and sea borders (but only to deter aggression, of course!); more sanctions; yet more expansion of NATO (Ukraine and Georgia still on the agenda!); vilification of Russia and, particularly, of President Vladimir Putin; militarization of Ukraine; attacking the Orthodox Church; the Skripal hoax; more chemical false flags in Syria; trying to tank South Stream 2; blaming Russia for “undermining democracy” in every western country in addition to the US – all are components of a full-spectrum operation to destroy Russia’s economy, to destabilize its society, to replace its “regime” with one more to their “partners’” liking, and ultimately to dismember Russia.

In the face of this, one is mystified why Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and other Russian statesmen continue to refer politely to their Western “partners” even when it’s painfully clear that they have no Western partners. While these “partners” – who, it should be noted, never that use that term about the Russians – claim they only want to change Moscow’s “behavior,” that isn’t true. There is nothing Russia could do short of surrendering its sovereignty and returning to the 1990s that would even begin mollify Russia’s “partners.” As US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put it in December 2018, America’s “mission is to reassert our sovereignty [and] reform the liberal international order,” and “we want our friends to help us and to exert their sovereignty as well.” But Russia and other countries that haven’t “embraced Western values of freedom and international cooperation” to Pompeo’s satisfaction aren’t our “friends” and thus have no such sovereign liberty.

In short, these Western “partners” hate Russia not for what it does, but for what it is: an obstacle to absolute global domination by a US-led “liberal international order.” Russia’s deployment of the most powerful weapons imaginable perhaps can limit the military aspect of that agenda, but it cannot reverse it. Quite to the contrary, such actions, like Moscow’s defensive moves after the 2014 regime change in Ukraine or Russia’s 2015 deployment in Syria or current presence in Venezuela, are held up as further “proof” of Russians’ “typically, almost genetically driven” aggressiveness, in the words of former CIA Director James Clapper.

Does this mean that western war planners are preparing for a redux of the 1812 Grande Armée or 1941 Operation Barbarossa rolling across Belarus or Ukraine into Russia? No. Rather, western officials, mainly in the US, are confident (aren’t they always?) that under constant moral, economic, financial, and military pressure a tipping point will be reached in Russia’s internal instability and strategic vulnerability (the latter including the knowledge that leadership decapitation without warning is possible), forcing Moscow to fold, either through revolution, or coup, or inflicting a (we would hope, limited) military humiliation on them somewhere.

Notwithstanding their soft rhetoric, the Russian leadership understands this quite well. As Professor Stephen Cohen observes:

‘Moscow closely follows what is said and written in the United States about US-Russian relations. Here too words have consequences. On March 14, Russia’s National Security Council, headed by President Putin, officially raised its perception of American intentions toward Russia from “military dangers” (opasnosti) to direct “military threats” (ugrozy). In short, the Kremlin is preparing for war, however defensive its intention.’  

Just over a year ago, in March 2018, Putin unveiled a new set of deterrent capabilities against “all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, [and] introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development.”(Hint: he was talking about the US and NATO.) “Nobody listened to us,” Putin said then. “Well, listen to us now.”

Of course, they didn’t listen a year ago. And they’re not listening today, either.

Gilbert Doctorow likens the current situation to that in depicted by Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace. Today as then, what happens next will be less due to this or that policymaker making this or that bad decision as much as the existence of a “near universal acceptance of the logic of the coming war” (Must read: “‘War and Peace’: The Relevance of 1812 as Explained by Tolstoy to Current Global Affairs,”

‘Transposed to our own day, this issue finds its parallel in the informational war the United States and the West more generally have been waging against Russia. The defamation of Putin, the denigration of Russia all have been swallowed whole by the vast majority of our political classes, who today would view with equanimity, perhaps even with enthusiasm any military conflict with Russia that may arise, whatever the immediate cause.’

Hardheaded observers, notably military men, might reject this notion. Where is mobilization of NATO armies in offensive strength? The Russians know NATO is a joke – they won’t even cough up Trump’s lousy two percent of GDP! General Shoigu isn’t stupid!

Objectively that’s true. But that doesn’t change the fact that western, especially American, policymakers have defined our attitude towards Russia as an existential struggle that can have only one outcome – Russia’s collapse, leading to regime change – either via war or means short of war. All elements of western policy are geared to that one inalterable objective.

That this policy won’t and cannot succeed is never even considered by its authors. It continues because, literally, they cannot think of Russia in any other way. Nikolai Gogol likened the Russia of his day to a speeding troika, wordlessly hurtling towards its fate while “all things on earth fly by and other nations and states gaze askance as they step aside and give her the right of way.”

Today, that reckless plunge describes not Russia but America and our craven satellites. As Israel Shamir concludes:

‘Russians have few ambitions. They do not want to rule the world, or even to dominate their neighbors. They do not want to fight the Empire. They would be content to be left in peace. But if pushed, and now they are being pushed, they will respond. In [the] Russian view, even the most hostile American politicians will desist before the Doomsday collision. And if not, let it be.’

The question that no one in Washington seemingly is asking themselves is not whether war is inevitable but whether the Russian leadership, despite their polite talk, have come to believe (rightly) that positive change in their “partners’” behavior is very unlikely and that therefore war is much more likely than not, according to the “logic” of things described by Doctorow. “Fifty years ago, the streets of Leningrad taught me one rule: if a fight is inevitable you have to strike first,” Putin told journalists at the 2015 Valdai conference. Even if, from the west’s point of view war is not inevitable, what if the Russians have come to believe it is? (Suggested viewing: the films 1612 (2007) and the Taras Bulba (2009) as psychological war preparation of the population comparable to Sergei Eisenstein’s World War II-era Alexander Nevsky (complete with a western bishop with a swastika on his miter) and the two-part Ivan the Terrible.)

Even more than a year ago, when the writing was already on the wall that Russiagate would turn out to be a whiff as far as nailing Trump goes, it was clear that in one important sense it had exceeded beyond all expectationsachieving permanent enmity between the US and Russia. Now, with the pointless investigation concluded, nothing has improved, nor can there be much expectation that it will. As Doctorow notes:

‘Indeed, no one wants war, neither Washington nor Moscow.  However, the step by step dismantling of the channels of communication, of the symbolic projects for cooperation across a wide array of domains, and now dismantling of all the arms limitation agreements that took decades to negotiate and ratify, plus the incoming new weapons systems that leave both sides with under 10 minutes to decide how to respond to alarms of incoming missiles – all of this prepares the way for the Accident to end all Accidents.   Such false alarms occurred in the Cold War but some slight measure of mutual trust prompted restraint. That is all gone now and if something goes awry, we are all dead ducks.’

Barring a miracle, this does not end well.

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nopeOlivia KrothIsabellajohn vieiraJohn Nolan Recent comment authors
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Olivia Kroth

Russian politicians call the enemy “Western partners” because they are not loudmouthed and provocative. This is not on the Russian agenda, because Russians are well educated and reserved. Of course Russians know very well what to expect from the West. And they are taking counter measures, without constant blaring.

Tom Welsh
Tom Welsh

The film “Taras Bulba” is actually a showcase for heroic (Russian) Cossacks fighting for their liberty against vile Polish nobles.


actually those were Maloros nobles fighting Polish nobles and there was absolutely nothing heroic about that.

John Nolan
John Nolan

Amazia is cursed through her own petty, childish, self confessed claims of moral, intelligence supiority, to the rest of the world, but, her bubble has burst, she is headed toward total economic, moral, political insanity and annihilation, which they are bringing on themselves. Russia, like China, just play the waiting game, allowing their opponents, in this global chess game, to place themselves in checkmate, which Amazia has now done. Amazia is a desperate, defunct state, intent on war, as that has been, overall, the only thing she was successful at, since her instigation, making weapons of mass destruction, whilst ‘liberating’… Read more »

Olivia Kroth

I like this term, “Amazia”. It fits so well. Indeed, politics of “Amazia” are truly amazing, hard to understand for people living outside of “Amazia”. It is a a very peculiar world, all in itself. And the most amazing thing of all: “Amazia” constantly wants to export its strange ideas, such as democracy, whatever that may be. Nobody of a sane mind really understands this word bubble.

john vieira

The NWO are literally trying to get Russia to capitulate…so far unsuccessfully.

Olivia Kroth

Not only “so far” unsuccessfully, bot forever unsuccessfully.


“One is mystified why Putin, Lavrov, and other Russian statesmen continue to refer politely to their Western “partners” even when it’s painfully clear that they have no Western partners.” The reason the use of the Russian equivalent of this word “partner” mystifies you, sir, is because you are not Russian. You see, we are much more conditioned by the system we grew up in than we realise: the biggest influencer in that system are the words we use, and the perceptions they help to build. Thus, although our dictionary definitions give several interpretations for “partner” including “either of a pair… Read more »

Olivia Kroth

US diction is so vulgar that US Americans can hardly understand the way Russians talk. They may be partners engaged in talks, and yet they live light years apart.


Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou



RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.


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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.




Authored by Tom Luongo:

Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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