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Media hysteria over ‘Russian spy ship’ off US coast, but ignores provocations against Russia

When the US threatens Russia with missile carrying warships off the coast of its former capital, nobody bats an eye, but when Russia sends one ship, everybody loses their minds

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CNN recently reported on a Russian spy ship 100 miles off the coast of the Carolinas with all the fearmongering and hysteria you’ve come to expect.

“Outfitted with a variety of high-tech spy equipment and designed to intercept communications signals, the Viktor Leonov was observed operating in the Caribbean last week, a US defense official told CNN…The Russian ship routinely performs this mission. The ship sailed along the east coast of the United States in February and March of last year, lingering in international waters just off the coast of US naval installations.” The report said

After noting the ship has a history of sailing in the vicinity of Naval installations, CNN goes on to assure readers that:

“Two US military officials said the Russian ship is being tracked by the destroyer USS Cole and other naval assets”

Already one can infer from the report it was intended to convey two things:

  1. That Russians regularly sail dangerous spy ships in US waters. Even though the report admits the ship was in international waters, it quickly brushes over that crucial detail, showing that the message is to propagate the idea that Russians are endangering US shores.
  2. To assure readers of US strength (even if Russia has no intentions of threatening the US).

These agendas work in tandem: “Look at the big scary Russians! Don’t worry, we are really tough! We spend more on our military (while lagging behind in unimportant issues such as education) than the top ten countries put together! But our military is STILL underfunded! Remember to support your Neo-Con candidates…because we don’t have enough wars, and there are enemies everywhere!”

The report relies on the condition that most Americans are too stupid to read alternative media, or to pay attention to the military adventurism and provocative moves of their own state, let alone possess the critical thinking skills to question why the US has an unprecedented hundreds of military bases around the world, and if that could cause other powers to feel threatened.

As a matter of fact, the entire Mainstream Media relies on the assumption that the following statement is true.

This is because the moment one begins questioning the narratives presented to them, as well as their own biases, and begins to see the world from the perspective of another nation, they immediately inhale a massive Redpill which opens their eyes to reality.

The reality is the presence of Russia spy ships is precipitated by the vastly superior capacity and gleeful sabre-rattling for aggression the US arrays against Russia on a daily basis.

Before we even begin to discuss the ways the US passive-aggressively has threatened Russia, let’s realize the massive difference in military budgets the two countries have.

If one does their own research i.e. simply google “US military budget vs the World”, they can find the US has been consistently dwarfing not only Russia, but indeed the rest of the WORLD in military spending.

The US is actually more threatening to Russia if it performs a certain provocative action, than Russia would be to the US if she performed the exact same action. The reason for that is not a double standard, but entirely based on the massive disparity in the Military budget; when a nation has such a massive budget, any threat they make is magnified by the difference in the budget. For example, if China were to threaten Buhtan, that threat would be a lot more dangerous to Buhtan than it would be to China if Buhtan had made the same threat. While Russia is a superpower, the US outspends the world on weapons, and that disparity is a potential threat in and of itself.

While spending does not directly equal strength, and Russia is more than capable of defending the Motherland, one can already see the narrative that the US has an underfunded military and that Russia and China are dangerous to them doesn’t hold water.

If Russia is truly threatening the US with their budget far more than thrice as small, then the US needs to rethink what they are spending that budget on. The buttom line is Russia can not expected to react to provications from such a massive war machine laying down. Russia means no threat to anyone, she merely disires to protect herself.

Image result for look where russia put their country our military bases

One of the many ways they waste money is the maintenance of over 800 foreign military installations which house their war machine, as they cry they aren’t protected enough. Along with a fraction of the budget, who wants to guess how many bases Russia has on foreign soil.

Nine; Russia has a grand total of nine bases outside the countries borders, and they’re all located in the near abroad. The distance between the massive Russian borders and these bases almost entirely located within the former Soviet Union is a fraction of the distance between the US and its foreign bases.

One can also infer simply from that fact, that if the Soviet Union was thousands of kilometers from US soil (excluding Alaska), then these Russian bases in the former Soviet Union are also thousands of kilometers from US soil. The same can not be said for the US bases, many of which are located within striking distance of Russia. It is from these bases the US regularly deploys their military in provocative actions against Russia.

Image result for american soldiers ivangorod

In the photo above, US soldiers in Estonia display an American flag literally a stone throw away from the Russian border, with the medieval Russian fortress of Ivangorod behind them in Russia. Imagine the outrage if Russian soldiers stood at the US-Mexican border with a Russian flag.

This is merely a microcosm of how the US behaves towards Russia. While American patriots may be understandably upset to find an alleged foreign spycraft in their waters, they must take an honest look at how their country behaves towards others.

As a matter of fact, the Journal of Strategic Culture has already reported on American naval provocations in Russian territorial waters, using warships far more dangerous than a “spy ship”.

The Navy Times argues that “While President Trump has expressed interest in repairing US relations with Russia, some analysts say the U.S. must step up its aerial and maritime patrols in response to Russia’s own increase of deployed naval forces in the Black Sea. The increasing prevalence of tension and danger in the area signal that it might be time to get tough.”

So the Pentagon is getting tough and records that since the middle of last year the guided missile destroyers USS Carney and USS Porter conducted five “maritime security operations” in the Black Sea, and the guided missile cruiser USS Huế City held exercises with the Ukrainian navy ship Balta.

According to the US Navy the USS Carney “is equipped with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry systems. She is fitted with missiles that reach extended ranges. Land attack cruise missile strike capability is provided by Tomahawk missiles, which are launched from the MK 41 Vertical Launching System. Additionally, Carney has Harpoon anti-surface missiles.” It’s just the sort of warship that contributes to an atmosphere of stability and security.

It has escaped the notice of the Pentagon and its sub-office in Brussels that Russia has a Black Sea coastline of 800 kilometres, excluding Crimea, and has every right to regard that area as home waters — just as it has every right to sail in and fly over the Baltic.

The USS Carney has also been spotted off Russia’s Baltic coast, near Saint Petersburg, Putin’s hometown and the former capital of the Russian Empire. Russia will only naturally begin reacting with reciprocal actions if US ships keep sailing so obviously into her waters. The report raises a good reminder that one must consider context…the black sea is in Russia’s backyard, whereas the US is at the other end of the world. The report also shows the arrogance and bias of the Mainstream Media’s cheerleading department, based on how they frame the actions of US ships compared to Russian ones.

“US destroyer races to Russia-dominated Black Sea to ‘ensure security and stability’.” The US Navy Times joined in by announcing that “US Navy ruffles Russian feathers in the Black Sea” and Stars and Stripes reported the US 6th Fleet’s Captain Tate Westbrook as saying that “US ships will continue to enter the Black Sea and work with our allies and partners to ensure maritime security and stability,” but nobody gave an example of insecurity.

So Russians are expected to view the encroachment upon their waters of a country which dwarfs the world in military spending, which has been openly hostile towards Russia for the past several decades, as a peacekeeping mission. NATO expanded eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union, whereas the Russian borders if anything shrunk; NATO has been involved in brutal wars in the Middle East and Yugoslavia, and Russia is supposed to view this expansion as security? How would you feel if an old enemy who constantly threatened you years ago, began approaching you with heavy artillery and machine guns, and protested against your defensive posturing by claiming you were both now friends. This is what NATO encroachment feels like for Russia.

The current US defense secretary Mad-Dog Mattis once claimed: “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.” and yet Russia is expected to view the US as peaceful responsible partners, and the world is expected to see Russia as a violent dangerous state.

There is a massive double standard here. If US ships are in Russian waters, they must be doing good deeds out there, keeping everyone safe, certainly posing no threat to Russia, or even more arrogantly, they are there to make sure the Russians don’t dare threaten their neighbors, whereas the presence of Russian ships near the US waters is a clear sign of aggression and dastardly deeds.

One can only hope the double standard is obvious at this point.

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Trump Demands Tribute from NATO Vassals

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO are a captive audience.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Regardless of whether one loves or hates President Trump at least we can say that his presidency has a unique flavor and is full of surprises. Bush and Obama were horribly dull by comparison. Trump as a non-politician from the world of big (real estate) business and media has a different take on many issues including NATO.

Many, especially in Russia were hoping that “The Donald’s” campaign criticism of NATO would move towards finally putting an end to this anti-Russian alliance, which, after the fall of Communism really has no purpose, as any real traditional military threats to Europe have faded into history. However, Trump as President of the United States has to engage in the “realpolitik” of 21st century America and try to survive and since Trump seems rather willing to lie to get what he wants, who can really say which promises from his campaign were a shoot and which were a work.

So as it stands now Trump’s recent decision to maintain and build US/NATO bases across the world “and make country X pay for it” could mean anything from him trying to keep his campaign promises in some sort of skewed way, to an utter abandonment of them and submission to the swamp. Perhaps it could simply be his business instincts taking over in the face of “wasteful spending”. Making allies have to pay to have US/NATO forces on their territory is a massive policy shift that one could only predict coming from the unpredictable 45th President.

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO (and other “allies”) are a captive audience, especially Germany, Japan and South Korea, which “coincidentally” are the first set of countries that will have to pay the “cost + 50%” to keep bases and US soldiers on their soil. Japan’s constitution, written primarily by American occupation forces forbids them from having a real military which is convenient for Trump’s plan. South Korea, although a very advanced and wealthy nation has no choice but to hide behind the US might because if it were to disappear overnight, then Gangnam would be filled with pictures of the Kim family within a few weeks.

In the past with regard to these three countries NATO has had to keep up the illusion of wanting to “help” them and work as “partners” for common defense as if nuclear and economic titan America needs countries like them to protect itself. Trump whether consciously or not is changing the dynamic of US/NATO occupation of these territories to be much more honest. His attitude seems to be that the US has the possibility to earn a lot of money from a worldwide mafia-style protection scam. Vassals have no choice but to pay the lord so Trump wants to drop the illusions and make the military industrial complex profitable again and God bless him for it. This level of honesty in politics is refreshing and it reflects the Orange Man’s pro-business and “America will never be a socialist country” attitude. It is blunt and ideologically consistent with his worldview.

On the other hand, one could look at this development as a possible move not to turn NATO into a profitable protection scam but as a means to covertly destroy it. Lies and illusion in politics are very important, people who believe they are free will not rebel even if they have no freedom whatsoever. If people are sure their local leaders are responsible for their nation they will blame them for its failings rather than any foreign influence that may actually be pulling the real strings.

Even if everyone in Germany, Japan and South Korea in their subconscious knows they are basically occupied by US forces it is much harder to take action, than if the “lord” directly demands yearly tribute. The fact that up to this point US maintains its bases on its own dime sure adds to the illusion of help and friendship. This illusion is strong enough for local politicians to just let the status quo slide on further and further into the future. Nothing is burning at their feet to make them act… having to pay cost + 50% could light that fire.

Forcing the locals to pay for these bases changes the dynamic in the subconscious and may force people’s brains to contemplate why after multiple-generations the former Axis nations still have to be occupied. Once occupation becomes expensive and uncomfortable, this drops the illusion of friendship and cooperation making said occupation much harder to maintain.

South Korea knows it needs the US to keep out the North but when being forced to pay for it this may push them towards developing the ability to actually defend themselves. Trump’s intellectual “honesty” in regards to NATO could very well plant the necessary intellectual seeds to not just change public opinion but make public action against US/NATO bases in foreign countries. Japan has had many protests over the years against US bases surging into the tens of thousands. This new open vassal status for the proud Japanese could be the straw to break the camel’s back.

Predicting the future is impossible. But it is clear that, changing the fundamental dynamic by which the US maintains foreign bases in a way that will make locals financially motivated to have them removed, shall significantly affect the operations of US forces outside the borders of the 50 States and make maintaining a global presence even more difficult, but perhaps this is exactly what the Orange Man wants or is just too blind to see.

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High-ranking Ukrainian official reports on US interference in Ukraine

It is not usually the case that an American media outlet tells the truth about Ukraine, but it appears to have happened here.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Hill committed what may well have been a random act of journalism when it reported that Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Hill.tv’s reporter John Solomon that the American ambassador to that country, Marie Yovanovitch, gave him a “do not prosecute” list at their first meeting.

Normally, all things Russia are covered by the American press as “bad”, and all things Ukraine are covered by the same as “good.” Yet this report reveals quite a bit about the nature of the deeply embedded US interests that are involved in Ukraine, and which also attempt to control and manipulate policy in the former Soviet republic.

The Hill’s piece continues (with our added emphases):

“Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,” Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

“My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime,” he continued.

Indeed, the Prosecutor General appears to be a man of some principles. When this report was brought to the attention of the US State Department, the response was predictable:

The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, “an outright fabrication.” 

“We have seen reports of the allegations,” a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. “The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects.”

This is an amazing statement in itself. “Our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer”? Are Americans even aware that their country is spending their tax dollars in an effort to manipulate a foreign government in what can probably well be called a low-grade proxy war with the Russian Federation? Again, this appears to be a slip, as most American media do a fair job of maintaining the narrative that Ukraine is completely independent and that its actions regarding the United States and Russia are taken in complete freedom.

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that “the situation was actually rather strange” and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but “never received.”

“At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,” he said. “At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy.”

“Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts,” he said. “The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general’s office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem.”

“The portion of the funds, namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General’s office. But we have never received it,” he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who was at the time House Rules Committee chairman, voiced concerns about Yovanovitch in a letter to the State Department last year in which he said he had proof the ambassador had spoken of her “disdain” for the Trump administration.

This last sentence may be a way to try to narrow the scope of American interference in Ukraine down to the shenanigans of just a single person with a personal agenda. However, many who have followed the story of Ukraine and its surge in anti-Russian rhetoric, neo-Naziism, ultra-nationalism, and the most recent events surrounding the creation of a pseudo-Orthodox “church” full of Ukrainian nationalists and atheists as a vehicle to import “Western values” into a still extremely traditional and Christian land, know that there are fingerprints of the United States “deep state” embeds all over this situation.

It is somewhat surprising that so much that reveals the problem showed up in just one report. It will be interesting to see if this gets any follow-up in the US press.

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President Putin’s anti-fake news law is brilliant, but the West makes more

Western media slams President Putin and his fake news law, accusing him of censorship, but an actual look at the law reveals some wisdom.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The TASS Russian News Agency reported on March 18th that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law intended to block distorted or untrue information being reported as news. Promptly after he did so, Western news organizations began their attempt to “spin” this event as some sort of proof of “state censorship” in the oppressive sense of the old Soviet Union. In other words, a law designed to prevent fake news was used to create more fake news.

One of the lead publications is a news site that is itself ostensibly a “fake news” site. The Moscow Times tries to portray itself as a Russian publication that is conducted from within Russian borders. However, this site and paper is really a Western publication, run by a Dutch foundation located in the Netherlands. As such, the paper and the website associated have a distinctly pro-West slant in their reporting. Even Wikipedia noted this with this comment from their entry about the publication:

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists including Izvestia columnist Israel Shamir, who in December 2014 called it a “militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia”.[3] In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[14]

This bias is still notably present in what is left of the publication, which is now an online-only news source. This is some of what The Moscow Times had to say about the new fake news legislation:

The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers have criticized the legislation for its vague language and potential to stifle free speech.

The legislation will establish punishments for spreading information that “exhibits blatant disrespect for the society, government, official government symbols, constitution or governmental bodies of Russia.”

Insulting state symbols and the authorities, including Putin, will carry a fine of up to 300,000 rubles and 15 days in jail for repeat offenses.

As is the case with other Russian laws, the fines are calculated based on whether the offender is a citizen, an official or a legal entity.

More than 100 journalists and public figures, including human rights activist Zoya Svetova and popular writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, signed a petition opposing the laws, which they labeled “direct censorship.”

This piece does give a bit of explanation from Dmitry Peskov, showing that European countries also have strict laws governing fake news distribution. However, the Times made the point of pointing out the idea of “insulting governmental bodies of Russia… including Putin” to bolster their claim that this law amounts to real censorship of the press. It developed its point of view based on a very short article from Reuters which says even less about the legislation and how it works.

However, TASS goes into rather exhaustive detail about this law, and it also gives rather precise wording on the reason for the law’s passage, as well as how it is to be enforced. This law is brilliant, for it hits the would-be slanderer right where it counts – in the pocketbook.

We include most of this text here, with emphases added:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on blocking untrue and distorting information (fake news). The document was posted on the government’s legal information web portal.

The document supplements the list of information, the access to which may be restricted on the demand by Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies. In particular, it imposes a ban on “untrue publicly significant information disseminated in the media and in the Internet under the guise of true reports, which creates a threat to the life and (or) the health of citizens, property, a threat of the mass violation of public order and (or) public security, or the threat of impeding or halting the functioning of vital infrastructural facilities, transport or social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy, industrial or communications facilities.”

Pursuant to the document, in case of finding such materials in Internet resources registered in accordance with the Russian law on the mass media as an online media resource, Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies will request the media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to the corresponding websites.

Based on this request, Roskomnadzor will immediately notify the editorial board of the online media resource, which is in violation of the legislation, about the need to remove untrue information and the media resource will be required to delete such materials immediately. If the editorial board fails to take the necessary measures, Roskomnadzor will send communications operators “a demand to take measures to restrict access to the online resource.”

In case of deleting such untrue information, the website owner will notify Roskomnadzor thereof, following which the media watchdog will “hold a check into the authenticity of this notice” and immediately inform the communications operator about the resumption of the access to the information resource.
The conditions for the law are very specific, as are the penalties for breaking it. TASS continued:

Liability for breaching the law

Simultaneously, the Federation Council approved the associated law with amendments to Russia’s Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulates liability in the form of penalties of up to 1.5 million rubles (around $23,000) for the spread of untrue and distorting information.

The Code’s new article, “The Abuse of the Freedom of Mass Information,” stipulates liability for disseminating “deliberately untrue publicly significant information” in the media or in the Internet. The penalty will range from 30,000 rubles ($450) to 100,000 rubles ($1,520) for citizens, from 60,000 rubles ($915) to 200,000 rubles ($3,040) for officials and from 200,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($7,620) for corporate entities with the possible confiscation of the subject of the administrative offence.

Another element of offence imposes tighter liability for the cases when the publication of false publicly significant information has resulted in the deaths of people, has caused damage to the health or property, prompted the mass violation of public order and security or has caused disruption to the functioning of transport or social infrastructure facilities, communications, energy and industrial facilities and banks. In such instances, the fines will range from 300,000 rubles to 400,000 rubles ($6,090) for citizens, from 600,000 rubles to 900,000 rubles ($13,720) for officials, and from 1 million rubles to 1.5 million rubles for corporate entities.

While this legislation can be spun (and is) in the West as anti-free speech, one may also consider the damage that has taken place in the American government through a relentless attack of fake news from most US news outlets against President Trump. One of the most notable effects of this barrage has been to further degrade and destroy the US’ relationship with the Russian Federation, because even the Helsinki Summit was attacked so badly that the two leaders have not been able to get a second summit together.

While it is certainly a valued right of the American press to be unfettered by Congress, and while it is also certainly vital to criticize improper practices by government officials, the American news agencies have gone far past that, to deliberately dishonest attacks, based in innuendo and everything possible that was formerly only the province of gossip tabloid publications. The effort has been to defame the President, not to give proper or due criticism to his policies, nor credit. It can be properly stated that the American press has abused its freedom of late.

This level of abuse drew a very unusual comment from the US president, who wondered on Twitter about the possibility of creating a state-run media center in the US to counter fake news:

Politically correct for US audiences? No. But an astute point?

Definitely.

Freedom in anything also presumes that those with that freedom respect it, and further, that they respect and apply the principle that slandering people and institutions for one’s own personal, business or political gain is wrong. Implied in the US Constitution’s protection of the press is the notion that the press itself, as the rest of the country, is accountable to a much Higher Authority than the State. But when that Authority is rejected, as so much present evidence suggests, then freedom becomes the freedom to misbehave and to agitate. It appears largely within this context that the Russian law exists, based on the text given.

Further, by hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook, rather than prison sentences, the law appears to be very smart in its message: “Do not lie. If you do, you will suffer where it counts most.”

Considering that news media’s purpose is to make money, this may actually be a very smart piece of legislation.

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