LAKE SELIGER Russia (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia’s armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”
Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate. Continue reading
Paul Goble, a specialist on international broadcasting and the propaganda war being waged over Ukraine, writes that “…as effective as [Vladimir] Putin’s disinformation campaign has been inside Russia, it has been even more successful beyond that country’s borders.” One problem, he says, is that the Western media treat Putin’s lies as just another point of view.
Another problem is that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media, seems to be completely clueless as to how to win the information war and make sure truth triumphs over lies.
Concerning the role played by the Western media, Goble contends that “…many Western outlets report what Moscow ‘says,’ while describing any Ukrainian government statement as ‘claims.’ Invariably, doing so is called objectivity but in fact it is anything but. Instead, it gives an opening to governments like Putin’s, which are prepared to lie and to spread their lies widely, confident that what they say, however untrue or outrageous, will be reported.”
This is one reason why the idea that Ukraine shot down the Malaysian plane, thinking it was Putin’s jet, has gotten so much attention in the West. It gets picked up as just another point of view, even though it is a blatant lie and was designed as such. Russia has a propaganda channel, Russia Today (RT), which broadcasts this disinformation inside the U.S. on a regular basis.
Showing his own receptivity to Russian propaganda, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul went on a new conservative news channel, Newsmax TV, to suggest that the government of Ukraine had shot the plane down. The former Republican congressman has been a regular guest on RT, and has wandered far from the days when he claimed to be an anti-communist.
Goble says many in the West fall victim to Moscow’s lies, “either out of a confusion between balance and objectivity, a conviction that all governments lie and that no one should be surprised, or a commitment to maintaining good relations with the Russian government no matter what it does.” It is not clear what motivates Ron Paul, but his acceptance of the Kremlin point of view makes a mockery out of his proclaimed devotion to liberty around the world. Continue reading
Today is the 75th anniverary of the non-aggression pact between the Hitler and Stalin, the latter becoming (after Hitler attacked Stalin on June 22, 1941) the member of the “Big Three” known as “Uncle Joe.” In the commemorative essays discussing the twin dictators’ earlier alliance of August 23, 1939, which would be followed by Hitler and Stalin’s conquest of Poland the following month, the pact’s secret protocol that divided the nations of central and Eastern Europe between them is also mentioned. I have yet to see, however, any discussion of how that secret protocol became known to the public.
There, in a Nuremberg prison yard, a German defense lawyer by chance overheard top Nazis (von RIbbentrop and Goering) discussing the contents of the still-secret protocol, which offered evidence of Stalin’s guilt in committing “conspiracy to wage aggressive war,” one of the key charges against the German high command. With Stalin trying to blot out his alliance with Hitler from the record — with full support of his British and American allies — how did the secret protocol ever come to the world’s attention?
… Even to participate in these trials, the Western Allies had to overlook Stalin’s crimes and pretend they had not taken place within the timeline of the war whose very outbreak was precipitated by the infamous 1939 Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact negotiated by German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov. After all, the Nazis and Soviets had begun World War II together as allies with the invasion of Poland. The Germans invaded Poland from the west on September 1, 1939—a well-known date—and the Red Army invaded from the east on September 17, 1939. Continue reading
With military application of this technology today, the world’s most powerful navies could be rendered useless. As so little is known about what the PLA, one of the most secretive militaries, they also might not be far off from even having one with military application. Some nations also fake test failures in order to lull their adversaries into a false sense of security.
China has moved a step closer to creating a supersonic submarine that could travel from Shanghai to San Francisco in less than two hours.
New technology developed by a team of scientists at Harbin Institute of Technology’s Complex Flow and Heat Transfer Lab has made it easier for a submarine, or torpedo, to travel at extremely high speeds underwater.
Li Fengchen, professor of fluid machinery and engineering, said the team’s innovative approach meant they could now create the complicated air “bubble” required for rapid underwater travel. “We are very excited by its potential,” he said.
Water produces more friction, or drag, on an object than air, which means conventional submarines cannot travel as fast as an aircraft.
However, during the cold war, the Soviet military developed a technology called supercavitation, which involves enveloping a submerged vessel inside an air bubble to avoid problems caused by water drag. Continue reading
In a retired shore station for transpacific communications cables on the western coast of Vancouver Island sits a military computer in a padlocked cage.
It’s the sort of cage you might otherwise use to lock up automatic rifles or expensive electronics at a big box store, but this cage is protecting data—classified signals intelligence gathered from underwater microphones called hydrophones that sit on the ocean floor. These hydrophones are part of an undersea Internet-connected scientific research network of sensors and video cameras called NEPTUNE, operated by the nonprofit group Ocean Networks Canada. Much to the delight of researchers world-round, the hydrophones record the distinct sounds of whale songs, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. But to the chagrin of the United States and Canadian militaries, they detect the passing movements of military submarines through the Juan de Fuca Strait, too.
And so, on occasion, someone in a nearby Canadian military base, sometimes by U.S. request, will push what I like to imagine is a big red button, and the hydrophones deep off the coast of Vancouver Island effectively go dark—hydrophone data is re-routed from NEPTUNE’s scientists and researchers to the computer in the locked cage. Continue reading
They want names to be able to either eliminate or minimize compromises to their own operations at home.
The Fourth Reich is regaining its grip not only on itself, but the entire European front. Soon enough, NATO will get the boot and you will see a European Army forming.
Sound laughable? Two years ago here it was mentioned Germany would rise again. Look where we are now: In the rise process. A few more people see it than the previous years while the majority are still blind to what’s directly under their noses.
Europe has been anchored to Germany once again, and not the other way around. If they will boldly fly military helicopters over US embassy consulates in Germany, they will indeed take whatever else they can. History does indeed repeat itself.
German authorities have asked that foreign embassies and consulates on German soil officially disclose the names of their personnel involved in intelligence work.
German newsmagazine Der Spiegel said that the German Foreign Office has been systematically contacting consular authorities from every foreign nation located in Germany. In each case, the foreign consular representatives have been issued formal requests to release “through official diplomatic channels” an exhaustive list of names of their intelligence operatives operating in Germany under diplomatic cover. Continue reading
Russia will revive the Cold War-era Intervision Song Contest this October, according to July 25 reports.
Intervision was first established back in 1977 as a direct rival to the Europe-oriented Eurovision Song Contest. Few people in the participating Soviet nations had private telephones, so Intervision’s television viewers would turn on their house lights if they liked a certain song, or off if they didn’t. The state energy company would then record the size of each power spike, and report the results to the television company to determine points for each contestant. As the Soviet Union began to weaken in the early 1980s, Intervision was discontinued.
Now, Putin is reviving this relic of the Soviet Union’s “glory days,” as he recently has with so many others including a military prep fitness program, the “Hero of Socialist Labor” award, and a grip on domestic media that would earn a hat tip from Comrade Stalin himself.
All these moves serve Putin’s general purpose of resuscitating the Soviet Empire. But this latest one—reviving the song contest—also serves another specific purpose. Continue reading
Lest we also forget the quote in Pravda where Putin reportedly said Russian nuclear missiles were already reinstalled in Cuba.
- Facility at Lourdes was the largest Russian listening post abroad
- It was mothballed in 2001 after relations with the U.S. warmed
- But relations with the West have deteriorated amid the Ukraine crisis
- Moscow has also shown a new interest in Latin America and Cuba
- Last week, Russia agreed to write off 90 per cent of Cuba’s debt
Russia has agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on America, it was reported today.
Moscow-based daily Kommersant claimed Russia and Cuba have struck a deal ‘in principle’ after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week.
Citing several sources within Russian authorities, the respected daily wrote: ‘The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday. Continue reading
Klaus Scharioth, Berlin’s former ambassador to the US, tells DW why Germany’s expulsion of the top CIA official was right and why the current crisis is the biggest challenge yet for transatlantic ties.
Klaus Scharioth served as Germany’s ambassador to Washington from 2006 to 2011. He is currently dean of the Mercator College for International Affairs in Germany and professor of practice at Tuft University’s Fletcher School in the US.
DW: Berlin’s decision to publicly ask the head of the CIA in Germany leave the country is unprecedented in German-American relations and has triggered a major debate. Was the move justified or overblown?
I think it was a measured response. I believe there had to be a response because what happened is really an espionage overreach which you don’t have among friends. And therefore I believe the response was measured. Continue reading
It may be hard for some to believe, given the endless attacks on the Jewish state today, that in the not-too-distant past, Israel was as beloved as it is now widely reviled. More remarkable, it was especially loved on the left, where now it is scorned. The process by which Israel turned from paragon into pariah is the subject of Joshua Muravchik’s well-argued new book Making David into Goliath.
All this changed in the aftermath of the Six Day War. Muravchik documents the wide sympathy in Europe as well as in the United States—including in the media—which Israel enjoyed immediately prior to the war. At that time, it looked as if Israel might be annihilated by its Arab neighbors, who made no secret of their intention to rid the world of the Jewish State.
But when, to general amazement, Israel defeated the Arab armies and captured lands previously held by Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, it overnight became the ruler of millions of Arabs. The Arabs would take advantage of this, setting in motion a redefinition of the conflict. No longer was it tiny Israel against a vast Arab world. “Now it was Israel versus the homeless Palestinians. David had become Goliath,” Muravchik states. Continue reading
Fresh revelations of ongoing United States’ spying on Germany’s leadership have left the German leaders and people furious. It is at the point of becoming a game-changing event in German-U.S. relations.
In an article titled “The German-American Breakup,” the Los Angeles Times wrote, “[W]ith the fresh revelation that the cia recruited an intelligence official as a spy, and the possibility of a second spy in the Defense Ministry, the fury is reaching a tipping point. U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson was called on the carpet by the German Foreign Office on July 4 about the first incident. On Thursday, Germany ordered the cia station chief in Berlin to leave” (July 10; emphasis added throughout).
This is the type of embarrassing diplomatic reprisal reserved for rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea—not for the world’s supposed superpower. Continue reading
In an interview, outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discusses Germany’s postwar tradition of pacificism and his belief the country is now ready, and indeed has the responsibility, to take on a greater role in global affairs.
SPIEGEL: Twenty-five years after reunification and almost seven decades after the end of World War II, has Germany become a country just like every other in terms of security policy?
Rasmussen: Germany is a normal country today, with the kinds of rights and duties other countries have. That’s why Germany should play an important role in foreign and security policy, be it in the EU, NATO or in international politics.
SPIEGEL: So he spoke directly to your heart when German President Joachim Gauck recently called for a more active German foreign policy, military means included?
Rasmussen: I don’t want to interfere with a domestic German debate. But I do very much agree with the position expressed by the German president. I welcome this debate. And not only as NATO secretary general, but also as the former prime minister of Denmark, the small neighbor country once occupied by Germany. Germany needs this debate. I can understand Germany being very cautious when it comes to international military deployments because of its past. But the time has come in Germany for this debate. Europe is ready for it, too. The goal should be to develop a common understanding for how Germany’s new role might look. Continue reading
TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) – Japan on Tuesday vowed to make a stern protest to China after a regional Chinese newspaper printed a map of the country with mushroom clouds hovering over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and accused the Japanese of wanting war again.
The neighbours have a long history of tense relations. Beijing bristles at Japan’s inability to properly atone for its invasion of China before and during World War Two, and its occupation of large parts of the country.
The newspaper, the weekly Chongqing Youth News from the southwestern city of Chongqing, printed the picture in its latest edition, Chinese media reported, though it appeared later to have been removed from the paper’s website version. Continue reading
With the United States committing national suicide, NATO on the brink of crumbling (one Ukraine-Russia war away where it purposely won’t get invovled, breaking its reliability) and a regional Islamic caliphiate taking over the Middle East with its eyes now set on Rome, we’re now looking at the staging ground for the Biblically prophecisied King of the North (Germany via a new United States of Europe) versus the King of the South (likely Iran) wars. It’s, like in WWII, where the Vatican worked hand-in-hand with European governments, Germany (King of the North) in this case, which will also resurrect the world’s last great empire — a new Holy Roman Empire. A few people might look at this and laugh, but today’s jokes are tomorrow’s reality. The buildup and developments are documented on this site which shows a clear trend an direction to come.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State stretching across Iraq and Syria, has vowed to lead the conquest of Rome as he called on Muslims to immigrate to his new land to fight under its banner around the globe.
Baghdadi, who holds a PhD in Islamic studies, said Muslims were being targetted and killed from China to Indonesia. Speaking as the first Caliph, or commander of the Islamic faithful since the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, he called on Muslims to rally to his pan-Islamic state.
“Those who can immigrate to the Islamic State should immigrate, as immigration to the house of Islam is a duty,” he said in an audio recording released on a website used by the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
“Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state. Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims.
“This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.” Continue reading
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defense policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major step away from post-war pacifism and a big political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The change will significantly widen Japan’s military options by ending the ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack. It will also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations and “grey zone” incidents short of full-scale war, according to a draft government proposal made available to reporters. Continue reading