As I wrote two weeks ago, the Syrian crisis is only in its beginning stages. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/04/17/crisis-beginning-stages/ The assault on Syrian military positions last night, apparently a US/Israeli operation, is evidence that the crisis continues to develop. https://www.timesofisrael.com/resonant-syria-strike-suggests-coordinated-us-israel-message-to-russia-and-iran/
There are four mutually reinforcing causes of the crisis:
(1) Israel’s ability to use the US government to eliminate foes in the Middle East that are obstacles to Israel’s expansion. Israel has Syria and Iran targeted, because the two governments supply the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which has twice driven Israel out of Israel’s attempted occupation of southern Lebanon, whose water resources Israel covets. Continue reading
Russian-language signposts have been erected in several regions of Pakistan, and Russia has appointed an honorary consul for the Pakistani city of Peshawar, following up on the bolstering of bilateral relations and the increased Russian presence in Pakistan.
During the Soviet Union’s decade-long occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-89, Pakistan helped the United States funnel weapons and fighters to help the internationally-backed mujahedin battling Soviet forces. Continue reading
Iran has achieved milestones of leverage and influence that rival any regional power in the past half-century. While there are limits to how far it can extend its authority, Tehran’s rapid rise poses new challenges to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia as it undermines their previous dominance. How far can Tehran extend its reach?
BAGHDAD; AND KABUL, AFGHANISTAN—With opulent furnishings and the finest cut-crystal water glasses in Baghdad, the new offices of the Iranian-backed Shiite militia exude money and power – exactly as they are meant to. At one end of the meeting room is a set built for TV interviews, with gilded chairs and an official-looking backdrop of Iraqi and militia flags, lit by an ornate glass chandelier. Continue reading
A retired CIA officer reportedly working with Blackwater founder Erik Prince to pitch the White House on a global, private spy networkwhich as we reported yesterday would allow the White House to circumvent and counter “deep state enemies” within U.S. intelligence agencies, is said to have made the stunning claim that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster worked with the NSA to perform surveillance on Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Steve Bannon and others, according to a report in The Intercept. Continue reading
Lowe and behold the ‘islamic NATO’ discussed in the previous posts:
Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth” as officials from 40 Muslim countries gathered Sunday in the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance.
“In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination” among national authorities, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defence minister, said in his keynote address to the gathering in Riyadh.
“This ends today, with this alliance.” Continue reading
BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO(Own report) – Nearly five years after the European military mission was launched in Mali, experts are describing the country’s situation as a disaster and warning against Berlin and Paris’ further militarization of the Sahel. Mali “has never” seen “such a level of violence” as “currently,” says a former French diplomat. The regional conflicts cannot be solved militarily, explained the International Crisis Group, a pro-western think tank, using the example of a Burkinabe province at the border with Mali, where, even though it was possible to suppress jihadi unrest, for the time being, the conflict can again flare up at any time, because the reasons for the unrest have not been dealt with. Nevertheless, the German government supports the creation of an intervention force of the “G5 Sahel” group of countries, which launched its first military operation yesterday. Despite the disastrous consequences of militarization, the Bundeswehr is using the Mali mission as the focus of its PR campaign.
According to a new report, the Russian government is providing $2.5 million a month to the Taliban to fund “anti-NATO” operations in Afghanistan. Continue reading
The divorce is nearly over—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday his country no longer needs the U.S. Continue reading
In The Possessed, Dostoyevsky has his character Shatov exclaim:
If a great people does not believe that the truth is only to be found in itself alone (in itself alone and exclusively); if it does not believe that it alone is fit and destined to raise up and save all the rest by its truth, it would at once sink into being ethnographical material, and not a great people…
Put another way, if a nation has confidence in itself, it continues as a viable political entity. Once it loses that, it lacks cohesion and becomes only a collection of random people living together. Continue reading
DOZENS of rockets have been fired at Kabul Airport, Afghanistan as US Defence Secretary James Mattis and NATO General Jens Stoltenberg arrived.
Explosions were reported at Kabul Airport as NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg and US General James Mattis landed in Afghanistan.
There have been reports of upto 30 rockets hitting the airport this morning. Continue reading
Over the weekend Russia made a point of revealing another of their post-Cold War EW (electronic warfare) aircraft. This one is called the Il-22PP and described as an airborne electronic jammer that can block all manner of signals but particularly the digital ones (like Link 16) favored by Western warplanes. The Il-22PP was also described as being able to protect itself from anti-radiation missiles, like the American AGM-88. Since late 2015 Russia has revealed (to the public) the existence of other post-Cold War electronic warfare aircraft by using them in Syria or over Ukraine. Not so the Il-22PP, at least not yet. Continue reading
WASHINGTON >> As the Fourth of July approaches, the idea that democracy is the highest political calling of mankind once again hangs poignantly in the philosophical air.
We fret over problems here at home. We shake our heads over warring political parties, our vulgarized public culture and a billionaire class that thinks it should inherit the country all by its rich little 1 percent self.
But when we look at America’s foreign policy since World War II we should be most soberly gripped by a contradiction in thinking that could be leading us disastrously into the last hours of empire.
The House Armed Services Committee is currently reviewing a classified report it ordered last year on restarting production of the F-22 Raptor, according to a spokesperson for the committee.
“I can confirm that we received the report and are reviewing it,” HASC spokesman Barron Youngsmith told UPI, declining to comment further due to the classified nature of the review. Continue reading
The replacement for the American global hegemony is all there. The alternative global infrastructure is built and only a switch needs to be flipped on. The only questions remaining are when and how America will be replaced as a global leader.
The last thirty days have shown another kind of world that is engaging in cooperation, dialogue and diplomatic efforts to resolve important issues. The meeting of the members of the Belt and Road Initiative laid the foundations for a physical and electronic connectivity among Eurasian countries, making it the backbone of sustainable and renewable trade development based on mutual cooperation. A few weeks later, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Astana outlined the necessary conditions for the success of the Chinese project, such as securing large areas of the Eurasian block and improving dialogue and trust among member states. The following AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) meeting in ROK will layout the economical necessities to finance and sustain the BRI projects.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have many common features, and in many ways seem complementary. The SCO is an organization that focuses heavily on economic, political and security issues in the region, while the BRI is a collection of infrastructure projects that incorporates three-fifths of the globe and is driven by Beijing’s economic might. In this context, the Eurasian block continues to develop the following initiatives to support both the BRI and SCO mega-projects. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO) is a Moscow-based organization focusing mainly on the fight against terrorism, while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a Beijing-based investment bank that is responsible for generating important funding for Beijing’s long-term initiatives along its maritime routes (ports and canals) and overland routes (road, bridges, railways, pipelines, industries, airports). The synergies between these initiatives find yet another point of convergence in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Together, the SCO, BRI, CTSO, AIIB, and EEU provide a compelling indication of the direction in which humanity is headed, which is to say towards integration, cooperation and peaceful development through diplomacy. Continue reading