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Britain launches cyber attack drills against Russia

Sabre-rattling by Great Britain continues to vilify and demonize Russia without proof or cause while evading any attempts at resolution.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Quartz (qz.com) reported on October 7th, 2018 that defense officials in Great Britain have simulated a crippling cyber attack on Russia as part of its military preparedness planning. However, the reported piece, like most of the West’s reporting about Russia, is full of innuendo and vague references to dimly possible scenarios that carry very little to zero burden of proof. To highlight that end, we are emphasizing these rather hyperbolic talking points in bold type:

British defense officials say they have practiced cyber war games that could shut off electricity in Russia’s capital, The Sunday Times (paywall) reports.

The measures are part of a wider range of strategies to hit back at an increasingly assertive Russia—accused of interfering with US elections, cyberattacks on Western targets, and poisoning a former spy on UK soil—without resorting to a full-blown nuclear attack.

“If they sank our aircraft carrier with a nuclear-tipped torpedo, what is our response? There’s nothing between sinking their submarine and dropping a nuclear weapon on northern Kamchatka,” one senior source told The Sunday Times. “This is why cyber is so important; you can go on the offensive and turn off the lights in Moscow to tell them that they are not doing the right things.”

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Military planners are looking for options if Russian president Vladimir Putin tests NATO’s resolve by seizing small islands belonging to Estonia, taking control of Libya’s oil reserves, or using ”irregular forces” to attack troops, according to the report.

British troops also recently held their biggest military exercise in 10 years, which included six navy ships and more than 5,000 troops in the Omani desert, to prepare for a confrontation with unconventional Russian forces like those used in Crimea. Cyber weapons are seen as a potential deterrent and a way to avoid a direct military  confrontation.

UK defense chiefs are talking up their cyber prowess after a string of alleged Russian hacker exploits, including revelations last week of a Russian computer attack on the international chemical weapons watchdog. The attempted hack was disrupted by Dutch military intelligence with the help from British officials. Also last week, US authorities charged Russian intelligence officers with seeking to hack the nuclear energy company Westinghouse Electric and anti-doping watchdogs.

The announcements suggest world leaders are pushing back against Putin’s increasing aggressive cyber operations, which allegedly includes breaking into the control rooms of vital US electric grids(paywall). Russia, after all, has hammered smaller nations with its cyber weapons in the past. The country disabled computer systems for the Estonia’s parliament, broadcasters, and banks in 2007, according to the Times, and regularly disrupts Ukrainian banking and electrical systems.

The US is expected to announce that it will use its cyber capabilities on behalf of NATO if asked, Reuters reported last week. The US announcement is aimed squarely at Russia, according to a senior defense official, and is part of a British-led effort to stiffen NATO’s cyber capacity. The 29-nation alliance has recognized cyber as a domain of warfare since 2014, but the precise implications haven’t been formalized.

American intelligence shows that Russian hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee and leaked information in the lead-up to the US presidential election. The White House recently warned foreign entities that it would use more offensive measures as part of its revised cyber security strategy. US intelligence reportedly expects a series of hacker attacks before congressional elections next month.

There is a great deal of bold-type above, and its consistency and constancy are emblematic of the West’s continued effort to isolate President Vladimir Putin and the nation he leads. However, as many readers of The Duran already know, the vast bulk of these claims are simply fake news, or at best, unproven allegations. Two of the most glaringly fake reports given here are about the alleged “unconventional military” employed in Crimea (these were actually simply Crimean citizens who voted to rejoin Russia, reversing the 1954 Khrushchev era “gift” of the region to Ukraine) and the allegation of Russian interference in the US presidential elections of 2016 (never proven, and categorically denied by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange).

Behind all this mighty effort is an attempt by a strange alliance of Cold War era hawkish people in the US and the efforts of mega-globalist figures like George Soros and his ally (or perhaps surrogate) Bill Browder to prevent the Russian Federation from charting its own course as a sovereign nation in the world.

While Russia has made it public record that they, too, are prepared for a major world-scale conflict, as most noticeably in joint wargames with China and Mongolia at the Vostok-2018 event, Russia vigorously and repeatedly counters the aggression rhetoric from the West each time.

Great Britain recently had its own claims about the “danger” of Russia refuted by no less of an event than the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which featured England’s team playing all over Russia, and many English fans following the games. Both through reading reports in various news sources and through direct contact, the sum total of the thought of British citizens who saw and experienced Russia firsthand was that the nation offered nothing but warmth and friendship, countering the hysterical screeds of Boris Johnson and Theresa May.

In a logical world, one reviews factual information to arrive at an opinion. However, in the West, it appears that one forms an opinion and simply blocks any information that challenges it.

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Louis Robertam hantsCudwieser7.62x54RKlink Recent comment authors
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Fred
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Fred

Denmark has also said rhe same thing in the last few days….uk national newspapers are full of Russian hacking including charity organisations….trying to make up any excuse and ratchet up the tension so the boys can play with their toys…just like when we must bomb Syrians because of fake injured child accounts and tweets….jeez it just takes one slip up and the consqequences will be dreadful.Imagine as a response which would be justified that all out financial information is lost…savings pensions information NI contributions…health information …state information etc etc.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Together with Canada and the US. Remember who funds the White Helmets? Conveniant timing when there is an OPCW meeting coming up on the 15th October 2018. Now they wouldn’t be trying to get Russia kicked out of the OPCW, would they?

You can call me AL
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You can call me AL

Denmark or The Netherlands – or both ?.

Sally Snyder
Guest
Sally Snyder

As shown in this article, one of Europe’s leaders is admitting that Europe can no longer rely on the United States for its security:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/can-europe-rely-on-united-states-for.html

At the very least, it is interesting to see that, unlike many decision makers in Washington and much of Europe that at least one nation has realized the importance of co-operating and strengthening ties with Russia as part of its move to becoming part of an autonomous European powerhouse that is not at the mercy of the United States.

Hal Duell
Guest
Hal Duell

Isn’t it time to put this tired old camp follower out to pasture?

Louis Robert
Guest
Louis Robert

This latest collectively orchestrated anti-Russian propaganda campaign has been in preparation of, and meant to “justify” (i.e. serve as a pretext for) a major, concerted cyber attack on Russia by the Empire (USA-EU-NATO-and the other bits).

Again, this is additional confirmation said Empire is in the long process of gradually launching its long sought total war against Russia… (and China), therefore forced to prepare and be ready to strike immediately, whenever appropriate.

All this must be considered extremely dangerous and be taken most seriously. This is war. Total war in the making.

Guy
Member
Guy

Threats and intimidation Louis .That is all it is ,to scare us all .The UK did not fare well in WWII and would fare even worse should the worst happen. And they know it also .It will be election time soon in the UK , the rest is history.They are making fools of themselves as most of the NATO slaves.
Cheers.

Louis Robert
Guest
Louis Robert

Hi,Guy! Yes, “threats and intimidation”, but expanding dangerously out of all proportion by the day, soon by the hour. The trend matters most and it is ever more towards war, total war. Any one of those fanatical idiots gone mad can all too easily, at any time, “drop the ball”… Such hysterical liars and fools cannot be trusted, playing as they are with such destructive toys that have already left behind millions of dead, and entire countries in ruin… not to mention a lethal planetary environment plagued by accelerating climate change, and global warming. If we are to survive, those… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

‘Operation Beluga’, from the crowd behind ‘Operation Gladio’.

Operation Beluga: A US-UK Plot to Discredit Putin and Destabilize the Russian Federation + BOMBSHELL: French Counter-Terror Boss: ‘I Have Proof Who Killed Litvinenko – It Wasn’t Russia’… http://www.mirastnews.com/2016/03/operation-beluga-a-us-uk-plot-to-discredit-putin-and-destabilize-the-russian-federation.html

Amanda Momtazi
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Amanda Momtazi

Unfortunately, many otherwise, sensible people with the ability to “think” which is becoming a rare commodity in Britain today, are also taken in by the constant and unrelenting anti-Russian propaganda. We have just as much of a Deep State here as does the USA, added to which we are rapidly being censored and our free speech becoming abolished by new EU Laws to which our so-called government are willing accomplices. However, those of us who recognise the situation will continue as much as we are able to support Russia and it’s truly remarkable and wonderful President.

Normski
Member
Normski

As an “informed” Brit, I second that!.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

As another “informed” Brit, I pass the comment.

Guy
Member
Guy

The war department in the UK has gone completely off the deep end .It would be equivalent to the Monty Python series if it wasn’t so serious .Do the people of the UK take this seriously .

Normski
Member
Normski

Unfortunately, a lot of people in the UK are still suckered in by the MSM – it’s only informed people like us that refer to the “alternate media” such as this site, Russia Insider or RT who can see the bigger picture!.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

If you havent seen this, it proves your point: “UK Sending 800 Troops To The Arctic To Target Russia” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-07/uk-sending-800-troops-arctic-target-russia Have a close look at the picture at the top of the article and it supports your statement “It would be equivalent to the Monty Python series if it wasn’t so serious”
I also enjoyed reading the comments to the article.

Normski
Member
Normski

The UK Government, security services and military seriously over estimate their capabilities if the UK goes to war with Russia!. The UK is little more than a “sitting duck” for Russian missiles and could be wiped off the map in minutes – and I’m a Brit!

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“Cyber weapons are seen as a potential deterrent and a way to avoid a direct military confrontation.”

What planet are these idiots from to think that such an action would not IMMEDIATELY be responded to by Russia with CONVENTIONAL/NUKE weapons???

The mere THREAT of such actions are breaking International Law and ARE A DECLARATION OF WAR!

Billy Shears
Guest
Billy Shears

This is the tail wagging the dog. Russia seems to be the perennial enemy of the Western Deep State apparatchiks, no matter the country. Sure makes you wonder why? All Wars are Banker’s Wars.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Just posted this reply, on the wrong article, so apologies for repeating it. British troops also recently held their biggest military exercise in 10 years, which included six navy ships and more than 5,000 troops in the Omani desert, to prepare for a confrontation with unconventional Russian forces like those used in Crimea. Cyber weapons are seen as a potential deterrent and a way to avoid a direct military confrontation… Russia held an exercise with 300,000 Forces (the UK has only around 125,000 serving military personnel). 36,000 land vehicles, including tanks and air defence systems. 1,000 military aircrafts, plus, 80… Read more »

dennis morrisseau
Guest

Britain is quite aggressive for a runt of a country with an Old Hag queen and a scarecrow harpy PM……seems to me.

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

Why doesn’t the United States, United Kingdom and NATO just come right out and hold a International Press Conference and declare open war on Russia and China. I say just bring it on so they United States, United Kingdom and NATO can start filling body bags with their military personal and civilians they murder along the way and stop all this dancing around with this News Media Propaganda crap. They have been pushing this for years now. The United States and the United Kingdom has been trying to overthrow the Russian Government since 1946/48 when they got their butt hurt… Read more »

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

OMG, the bad bad Russians have purchased Facebook ads again….a national emergency…. all out cyber war.

Klink
Guest
Klink

How do you prepare for annihilation >

7.62x54R
Guest
7.62x54R

Quartz.com- Isn’t that Bellingcat’s site?

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

More Skirpal news. The second suspect has been ‘identified’ as a gru medic. The BS gets deeper.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

It all comes back to ‘Russia Gate’, including the UK involvement. Just listening to the BBC Headlines, who are running with the social media, Belingcat story. Since when did we get rid of our intelligence services, to replace them with ‘social media’? Why do those that fund the White Helmets, contribute to the BBC? The Final Truth Of Russia-Gate… ‘… But of course the Washington Post knows perfectly well which other governments would have reason to raise “concerns” to the White House. It’s clear from the public record that the following “allies” have rendered the “Resistance” essential assistance at one… Read more »

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The mainstream media does not want you to think [Video]

It is difficult to tell if recent reports like this really represent a realization for the media, but this interview rings true nonetheless.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Several recent stories on Fox, Breitbart, and here on The Duran all address the increasingly obvious bias of the mainstream media with regard to news reporting. We discussed on The Duran how Chris Wallace of Fox News refused to hear details from White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller about why the recently declared National Emergency is in fact legitimate.

This piece revealed that the media is very actively trying to control and direct what information they want the public to hear, rather than truly reporting the news, or interviewing people to get their takes on things, and to perhaps fully interview all sides in a controversy and then let the American public decide for themselves what to think.

This used to exist in more gentlemanly debate programs in some fashion, such as with the TV debate program Point Counterpoint, but now, the bias of the reporter or of the network is the primary operator in determining the outcome of the interview, rather than the information that is available about the story.

This has helped create a news and information culture in the United States that is truly insane. As examples, consider these paraphrased headlines, all occurring within the last few years:

All of these are probably familiar to most readers. Many of them are still repeated and acted on as if they were real. But the articles we linked to behind most of these ledes are examples of the disproof, usually 100% disproof, of these. They are hoaxes, or reports built on circumstantial evidence without any proof, or in the worst cases, pure slander and propaganda.

One reporter for CBS news, 60 Minutes anchor Lara Logan, discussed this in an interview with retired Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, for his own podcast program, which was picked up by the MediaIte website. The video of her interview is quite lengthy but starting at about 02:14:00 there is a particular segment that the MediaIte writers called to attention. We include this segment in the video.

PARENTAL ADVISORY: The video is unrestricted in regards to language and there is some profanity. Parents, please listen first before letting your children watch this video.

A major point Mrs Logan makes here is that 85% of the employ of the mainstream media in the USA consist of registered Democrats. She also speaks forcefully against the use of stereotypes, and suggests the best place to start is actual facts. This means that most journalists are coming into this work with a bias, which is not set aside for the sake of the facts of the story.

Probably the most key point comes at 2:18:20 in the video is how Lara Logan is taught the way to discern whether or not someone in journalism is lying to you:

“Someone very smart told me a long time ago, that, ‘how do you know you are being lied to?’, ‘how do you know you are being manipulated?’, ‘how do you know there is something not right with the coverage?’, when they simplify it all, and there is no gray. There is no gray. It’s all one way.

“Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it is probably not. Something is wrong.”

Lara Logan then pointed out the comparison of the mainstream media’s constant negative coverage of President Trump against the reality of his work, that, regardless of one’s own personal bias, it does not match that everything the President does is bad. She also highlighted the point that one’s personal views should not come into how to report a news story.

Yet in our days, it not only comes into the story, it drives the narrative for which the story just becomes an example of “proof” that the narrative is “true.” 

Tucker Carlson talked vividly about the same characteristic on his program Monday night on Fox News.

He points out that the 3,000 yearly shooting in Chicago get very little news coverage, but that is because these are not as “useful” as the Jussie Smollett story is.

This is an example of using an event or a person’s actions to satisfy a politically biased propaganda narrative, rather than report the news.

This is not occasional, as the list of news headlines given above show. This is a constant practice across most of the mainstream media. Probably no one who gives interviews on the major networks is exempt, for even Mr. Carlson often resorts to cornering tactics when interviewing liberals in an apparent attempt to make the liberal look ridiculous and the point of view he espouses to look vindicated through that ridiculousness.

While this is emotionally invigorating for the Carlson fan who wants to see him “eviscerate” the liberal, it is very bad journalism. In fact, it is not journalism at all; it is sensationalism in a nasty sense.

It also insults the viewer, perhaps without them knowing it, because such reporting is the same as telling the viewer “WE ARE IN CONTROL!” and that the viewer must simply go along with the narrative given.

It is very bad when what should be information reporting, policy discussion, or debate becomes infected with this. Ideas, the product of (hopefully) rational and discursive reasoning, are pushed aside by pure emotion and mass sensationalism. Put metaphorically, it is the new look of bread and circuses, keeping the masses entertained while anything else might be happening.

Sometimes the motive for this is not so sinister. After all, we have a 24 hour news cycle now. In the 1970’s we didn’t. And in those times, the calibre of news reported was much higher. Reporting was far more careful. The Pulitzer Prize winners  Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did their incredible exposé on the doings of President Richard Nixon under the directorship of the Washington Post editor, which demanded triple-checking of everything, making sure that all information was factual, accurate and genuine. While the story was indeed sensational, more importantly, it was true.

Now we have a lot of sensation, but very little to zero truth. As an example, every one of the ledes linked above is not proven to be true, in fact the truth in many of these stories is the opposite of what the headline says.

This would not be much of a problem if the media lies were not absorbed and reacted on by their readers, listeners and viewers. But the fact is that there are a significant number of consumers of mainstream media news that do react to it. The Covington High School incident showed this in perhaps the most frightening way, with open calls for violence against teenagers and high school students, requested by professionals, people that are supposed to be adults, such as Kathy Griffin, Reza Aslan, and GQ writer Nathaniel Friedman, who called for these kids to be “doxxed”, which as we reported, is an action that can be deadly.

We are in the times where the love of many has gone cold, and all is about expediency and selfishness. While there are a few outlets and a few journalists that still retain interest in recording and disseminating the truth, the reality is that most of what is out there is tainted by the drive for attention and sensationalism.

The media that engages in such behavior is actually hurting people, rather than informing and helping them.

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Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order

China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Fortunately the world today is very different from that of 2003, Washington’s decrees are less effective in determining the world order. But in spite of this new, more balanced division of power amongst several powers, Washington appears ever more aggressive towards allies and enemies alike, regardless of which US president is in office.

China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States. To succeed in this endeavor, they use a hybrid strategy involving diplomacy, military support to allies, and economic guarantees to countries under Washington’s attack.

The United States considers the whole planet its playground. Its military and political doctrine is based on the concept of liberal hegemony, as explained by political scientist John Mearsheimer. This imperialistic attitude has, over time, created a coordinated and semi-official front of countries resisting this liberal hegemony. The recent events in Venezuela indicate why cooperation between these counter-hegemonic countries is essential to accelerating the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar reality, where the damage US imperialism is able to bring about is diminished.

Moscow and Beijing lead the world by hindering Washington

Moscow and Beijing, following a complex relationship from the period of the Cold War, have managed to achieve a confluence of interests in their grand objectives over the coming years. The understanding they have come to mainly revolves around stemming the chaos Washington has unleashed on the world.

The guiding principle of the US military-intelligence apparatus is that if a country cannot be controlled (such as Iraq following the 2003 invasion), then it has to be destroyed in order to save it from falling into Sino-Russian camp. This is what the United States has attempted to do with Syria, and what it intends to do with Venezuela.

The Middle East is an area that has drawn global attention for some time, with Washington clearly interested in supporting its Israeli and Saudi allies in the region. Israel pursues a foreign policy aimed at dismantling the Iranian and Syrian states. Saudi Arabia also pursues a similar strategy against Iran and Syria, in addition to fueling a rift within the Arab world stemming from its differences with Qatar.

The foreign-policy decisions of Israel and Saudi Arabia have been supported by Washington for decades, for two very specific reasons: the influence of the Israel lobby in the US, and the need to ensure that Saudi Arabia and the OPEC countries sell oil in US dollars, thereby preserving the role of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

The US dollar remaining the global reserve currency is essential to Washington being able to maintain her role as superpower and is crucial to her hybrid strategy against her geopolitical rivals. Sanctions are a good example of how Washington uses the global financial and economic system, based on the US dollar, as a weapon against her enemies. In the case of the Middle East, Iran is the main target, with sanctions aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from trading on foreign banking systems. Washington has vetoed Syria’s ability to procure contracts to reconstruct the country, with European companies being threatened that they risk no longer being able to work in the US if they accept to work in Syria.

Beijing and Moscow have a clear diplomatic strategy, jointly rejecting countless motions advanced by the US, the UK and France at the United Nations Security Council condemning Iran and Syria. On the military front, Russia continues her presence in Syria. China’s economic efforts, although not yet fully visible in Syria and Iran, will be the essential part of reviving these countries destroyed by years of war inflicted by Washington and her allies.

China and Russia’s containment strategy in the Middle East aims to defend Syria and Iran diplomatically using international law, something that is continuously ridden roughshod over by the US and her regional allies. Russia’s military action has been crucial to curbing and defeating the inhuman aggression launched against Syria, and has also drawn a red line that Israel cannot cross in its efforts to attack Iran. The defeat of the United States in Syria has created an encouraging precedent for the rest of the world. Washington has been forced to abandon the original plans to getting rid of Assad.

Syria will be remembered in the future as the beginning of the multipolar revolution, whereby the United States was contained in military-conventional terms as a result of the coordinated actions of China and Russia.

China’s economic contribution provides for such urgent needs as the supply of food, government loans, and medicines to countries under Washington’s economic siege. So long as the global financial system remains anchored to the US dollar, Washington remains able to cause a lot of pain to countries refusing to obey her diktats.

The effectiveness of economic sanctions varies from country to country. The Russian Federation used sanctions imposed by the West as an impetus to obtain a complete, or almost autonomous, refinancing of its main foreign debt, as well as to producing at home what had previously been imported from abroad. Russia’s long-term strategy is to open up to China and other Asian countries as the main market for imports and exports, reducing contacts with the Europeans if countries like France and Germany continue in their hostility towards the Russian Federation.

Thanks to Chinese investments, together with planned projects like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the hegemony of the US dollar is under threat in the medium to long term. The Chinese initiatives in the fields of infrastructure, energy, rail, road and technology connections among dozens of countries, added to the continuing need for oil, will drive ever-increasing consumption of oil in Asia that is currently paid for in US dollars.

Moscow is in a privileged position, enjoying good relations with all the major producers of oil and LNG, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, and including Iran, Venezuela and Nigeria. Moscow’s good relations with Riyadh are ultimately aimed at the creation of an OPEC+ arrangement that includes Russia.

Particular attention should be given to the situation in Venezuela, one of the most important countries in OPEC. Riyadh sent to Caracas in recent weeks a tanker carrying two million barrels of oil, and Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has taken a neutral stance regarding Venezuela, maintaining a predictable balance between Washington and Caracas.

These joint initiatives, led by Moscow and Beijing, are aimed at reducing the use of the US dollar by countries that are involved in the BRI and adhere to the OPEC+ format. This diversification away from the US dollar, to cover financial transactions between countries involving investment, oil and LNG, will see the progressive abandonment of the US dollar as a result of agreements that increasingly do away with the dollar.

For the moment, Riyadh does not seem intent on losing US military protection. But recent events to do with Khashoggi, as well as the failure to list Saudi Aramco on the New York or London stock exchanges, have severely undermined the confidence of the Saudi royal family in her American allies. The meeting between Putin and MBS at the G20 in Bueno Aires seemed to signal a clear message to Washington as well as the future of the US dollar.

Moscow and Beijing’s military, economic and diplomatic efforts see their culmination in the Astana process. Turkey is one of the principle countries behind the aggression against Syria; but Moscow and Tehran have incorporated it into the process of containing the regional chaos spawned by the United States. Thanks to timely agreements in Syria known as “deconfliction zones”, Damascus has advanced, city by city, to clear the country of the terrorists financed by Washington, Riyadh and Ankara.

Qatar, an economic guarantor of Turkey, which in return offers military protection to Doha, is also moving away from the Israeli-Saudi camp as a result of Sino-Russian efforts in the energy, diplomatic and military fields. Doha’s move has also been because of the fratricidal diplomatic-economic war launched by Riyadh against Doha, being yet another example of the contagious effect of the chaos created by Washington, especially on US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Washington loses military influence in the region thanks to the presence of Moscow, and this leads traditional US allies like Turkey and Qatar to gravitate towards a field composed essentially of the countries opposed to Washington.

Washington’s military and diplomatic defeat in the region will in the long run make it possible to change the economic structure of the Middle East. A multipolar reality will prevail, where regional powers like Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran will feel compelled to interact economically with the whole Eurasian continent as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The basic principle for Moscow and Beijing is the use of military, economic and diplomatic means to contain the United States in its unceasing drive to kill, steal and destroy.

From the Middle East to Asia

Beijing has focussed in Asia on the diplomatic field, facilitating talks between North and South Korea, accelerating the internal dialogue on the peninsula, thereby excluding external actors like the United States (who only have the intention of sabotaging the talks). Beijing’s military component has also played an important role, although never used directly as the Russian Federation did in Syria. Washington’s options vis-a-vis the Korean peninsular were strongly limited by the fact that bordering the DPRK were huge nuclear and conventional forces, that is to say, the deterrence offered by Russia and China. The combined military power of the DPRK, Russia and China made any hypothetical invasion and bombing of Pyongyang an impractical option for the United States.

As in the past, the economic lifeline extended to Pyongyang by Moscow and Beijing proved to be decisive in limiting the effects of the embargo and the complete financial war that Washington had declared on North Korea. Beijing and Moscow’s skilled diplomatic work with Seoul produced an effect similar to that of Turkey in the Middle East, with South Korea slowly seeming to drift towards the multipolar world offered by Russia and China, with important economic implications and prospects for unification of the peninsula.

Russia and China – through a combination of playing a clever game of diplomacy, military deterrence, and offering to the Korean peninsula the prospect of economic investment through the BRI – have managed to frustrate Washington’s efforts to unleash chaos on their borders via the Korean peninsula.

The United States seems to be losing its imperialistic mojo most significantly in Asia and the Middle East, not only militarily but also diplomatically and economically.

The situation is different in Europe and Venezuela, two geographical areas where Washington still enjoys greater geopolitical weight than in Asia and the Middle East. In both cases, the effectiveness of the two Sino-Russian resistance – in military, economic and diplomatic terms – is more limited, for different reasons. This situation, in line with the principle of America First and the return to the Monroe doctrine, will be the subject of the next article.

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Nearly assassinated by his own fighters, al-Baghdadi and his caliphate on its last legs (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 178.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how the Islamic State has been rapidly losing territory over the last two years in Syria and Iraq, due to efforts by Russian and Syrian forces, as well as the US and their Kurdish allies.

The jihadist caliphate has lost most of its forces and resources, leading it to go into hiding.

Al-Masdar News is reporting that Daesh* leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reportedly attacked in a village near Hajin by some of the terrorist organisation’s foreign fighters in an apparent coup attempt, The Guardian reported, citing anonymous intelligence sources. Baghdadi reportedly survived the alleged coup attempt, with his bodyguards taking him into hiding in the nearby desert.

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Meanwhile European leaders are shocked at US President Trump’s ISIS ultimatum. Via Zerohedge

After President Trump’s provocative tweets on Sunday wherein he urged European countries to “take back” and prosecute some 800 ISIS foreign fighters as US forces withdraw from Syria, or else “we will be forced to release them,” the message has been met with shock, confusion and indifference in Europe. Trump had warned the terrorists could subsequently “permeate Europe”.

Possibly the most pathetic and somewhat ironic response came from Denmark, where a spokesperson for Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Copenhagen won’t take back Danish Islamic State foreign fighters to stand trial in the country, according to the German Press Agency DPA“We are talking about the most dangerous people in the world. We should not take them back,” the spokesperson stressed, and added that the war in Syria is ongoing, making the US president’s statement premature.

Germany’s response was also interesting, given a government official framed ISIS fighters’ ability to return as a “right”.  A spokeswoman for Germany’s interior ministry said, “In principle, all German citizens and those suspected of having fought for so-called Islamic State have the right to return.” She even added that German ISIS fighters have “consular access” — as if the terrorists would walk right up to some embassy window in Turkey or Beirut!

Noting that the Iraqi government has also of late contacted Germany to transport foreign fighters to their home country for trial, she added, “But in Syria, the German government cannot guarantee legal and consular duties for jailed German citizens due to the armed conflict there.”

France, for its part, has already agreed to repatriate over 130 French Islamic State members as part of a deal reached in January with US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are holding them, after which they will go through the French legal system. However, French Secretary of State Laurent Nuñez still insisted that the west’s Kurdish allies would never merely let ISIS terrorists walk out their battlefield prisons free.

“It’s the Kurds who hold them and we have every confidence in their ability to keep them,” Nuñez told French broadcaster BFMTV on Sunday. “Anyway, if these individuals return to the national territory, they all have ongoing judicial proceedings, they will all be put on trial, and incarcerated,” he said, in comments which appeared to leave it up to others to make happen.

And representing the Belgian government, Justice Minister Koen Geens charged Trump with blindsiding his European allies with the demand, which included Trump underscoring that it is “time for others to step up and do the job” before it’s too late. “It would have been nice for friendly nations to have these kinds of questions raised through the usual diplomatic channels rather than a tweet in the middle of the night,” Geens said during a broadcast interview on Sunday, according to the AFP.

Meanwhile in the UK the issue has recently become politically explosive as debate over so-called British jihadist bride Shamima Begum continues. The now 19-year old joined Islamic State in 2015 after fleeing the UK when she was just 15. She’s now given birth in a Syrian refugee camp and is demanding safe return to Britain for fear that she and her child could die in the camp, so near the war zone.

Conservatives in Britain, such as Interior Minister Sajid Javid have argued that “dangerous individuals” coming back to the UK from battlefields in the Middle East should be stripped of their British citizenship. He said this option has already been “so far exercises more than 100 times,” otherwise he also advocates prosecution of apprehended returning suspects “regardless of their age and gender.”

Identified as French nationals fighting within ISIS’ ranks, via Khaama press news agency

The UN has estimated that in total up to 42,000 foreign fighters traveled to Iraq and Syria to join IS — which appears a very conservative estimate — and which includes about 900 from Germany and 850 from Britain.

SDF leaders have previously complained about the “lack the capacity” for mass incarceration of ISIS terrorists and the inability to have proper battlefield trials for them. Recent estimates have put the number of ISIS militants in US-SDF battlefield jails at over 1000, though Trump put the number at 800 in his tweet.

However, even once they do return to Europe it’s unclear the extent to which they’ll be properly prosecuted and locked in prison by European authorities.

For example, another fresh controversy that lately erupted in Britain involved a 29-year old UK woman who traveled to join ISIS, and was convicted for membership in a terrorist group upon her return to Britain. She was jailed on a six year sentence in 2016, but is now already walking free a mere less than three years after her conviction.

 

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