By Wayne Madsen
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
The United States and its closest allies have attempted to isolate Russia and President Vladimir Putin from the world stage. As a result of Western support for the Ukrainian regime that came to power through violence in Kiev, actions taken by Western powers against Russia have included expelling Russia from the G-8 of capitalist powers, the freezing of the assets of Russian government officials and Russian banks, and imposing travel bands on Russian citizens.
However, Putin has check-mated U.S. President Barack Obama in the American president’s own backyard. Obama’s defenders fancy their president as a master of «11-dimensional chess». However, what is transpiring in Brazil at the summit of the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa has shown the world that it is Putin, not Obama, who is the master of 11-dimensional chess. In fact, Obama could never even make it to the chess board.
Putin is visiting Brazil where he is participating in the 2014 summit in the city of Fortaleza. The BRICS summit comes as members of the Obama administration, including neo-cons like Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, have instituted plans for increased sanctions against Russia, bringing them to the level as those directed against Iran, Syria, and Cuba.
Putin and his BRICS colleagues will sign an agreement in Fortaleza on establishing a BRICS development bank that will help bypass the neo-cons’ attempt to isolate Russia from international banking networks. Any strengthening of sanctions in the same manner that U.S. sanctions have been imposed by Washington on Iran, Syria, and Cuba runs the risk of punishing Brazilian, Indian, Chinese, and South African banks and other corporations, something that could land the Obama administration in hot water before the World Trade Organization court that rules against trade practices that violate WTO regulations.
The legacy of the Obama administration is that its Cold War-era policies directed against Latin America have permanently ended America’s long-standing political and economic domination of the Western Hemisphere. Obama put the final nail in the arcane Monroe Doctrine that stipulated the United States would bar non-Western Hemisphere nations, including the powers of Europe, from intervention in the Americas. The interventionist policies in countries like Venezuela and Honduras carried out by Nuland’s fellow neocon ideologue Roberta Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, have resulted in a large contingent of Latin American leaders in joining Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the other BRICS leaders in Brazil for a summit where the United States will not have a seat at the table. In fact, the United States and its imperialistic policies will be a major subject in Brazil, a country that has seen its telecommunications, including the private calls and e-mail of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff routinely spied upon by the U.S. National Security Agency.
Putin is making the most of his six-day visit to Latin America. He forgave Cuba’s debt to Russia while visiting Havana and also stopped in Nicaragua and Rio de Janeiro. While in Cuba, Putin met with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul Castro, Cuba’s president, two leaders who continue to infuriate the neo-con and right-wing power centers of Washington. Putin also attended the final game of the World Cup in Rio. Russia is the host of 2018 World Cup. Putin also visited Argentina where he signed a deal on nuclear energy. The interest of Iran, Argentina, Nigeria, Syria, and Egypt in joining BRICS may soon see the group’s acronym become «BRICSIANSE». Such a development would triumph the nations of the world that refuse to take orders from Washington and the presence of Syria would spell ultimate defeat of the Obama doctrine of «R2P», or «Responsibility to Protect» pro-U.S. and Western intelligence agency-financed opposition leaders intent on replacing anti-American governments with pro-U.S. regimes. Syria joining BRICS as a full or associate member would drive a stake through the heart of R2P.
The Obama administration could not convince a single South American leader to avoid the BRICS summit in Brazil. In fact, two of the South American leaders sitting down with Putin, Xi, Rousseff, and the other leaders in Brazil, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse, have been the subject of CIA- and State Department-linked destabilization efforts and sanctions threats. Also in attendance at BRICS are Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar, Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, and Uruguay’s President José Mujica. America’s sanctions against Russia and its saber-rattling against China on behalf of Japan and the Philippines have fallen on deaf ears in South America. The teenager-like antics of Nuland, Jacobson, along with those of U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, are sure to be discussed in sideline gossip by the leaders gathered in Fortaleza.
The presence of President Santos of Colombia is particularly noteworthy. Santos recently defeated a right-wing candidate supported by the same Obama administration’s interventionists who have helped disrupt the economy of Venezuela. The losing candidate, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, had the full support of Santos’s right-wing and pro-Israeli/pro-U.S. predecessor Alvaro Uribe. Recent disclosures have shown that Uribe instituted an NSA-like national communications surveillance system aimed at his opponents. Zuluaga’s ties with the same elements who are trying to depose Maduro in Venezuela have not been lost on Santos. He continues to engage in peace negotiations in Havana with left-wing DARC guerrillas and improve ties with Venezuela much to the chagrin of the CIA operatives who live in splendor in the Miami area of Florida.
While in Rio, Putin managed to cast off U.S. efforts to isolate him internationally by meeting with Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in addition to Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Gabon’s President Ali Bongo, and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel and Rousseff have much in common as both had their personal cell phone conversations monitored by NSA, a fact that Putin, who has provided asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was likely sure to have mentioned in passing.
The only attempt the United States could make to have any Latin American officials criticize contact between Western Hemisphere leaders and Putin was to arrange for Trinidad opposition leader Keith Rowley to condemn his country’s prime minister’s private trip to Brazil. Rowley criticized Persad-Bissessar and her grandson for meeting with Putin and other leaders in Rio because the trip was made during a labor dispute involving Trinidad’s immigration department. The power of Washington to influence events in the Western Hemisphere has truly plummeted to new depths.
The agenda of the BRICS nations is as diversified as that of any G-7 meeting, no longer called G8 after Russia was expelled. On the BRICS summit agenda are trade, development, macroeconomic policy, energy, finance, terrorism, climate change, regional security, drug smuggling and trans-border crime, industrialization of Africa, and, kin what should serve as a wake-up call to Wall Street, the World Bank, European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other tools of western capitalism, international financial institution (IFI) reform.
The security operations by BRICS in Afghanistan stand to replace those of the United State after the withdrawal of its troops from that country. Russia has led BRICS efforts on dealing with money laundering and cross-border crime and it has drawn the participation of Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in its efforts. Observers from Mongolia and Armenia also joined the talks. In the area of security, synergism is apparent between the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that brings Russia and China into a common security policy with central Asian states like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Russia and China appear determined that Ukraine and Georgia will be the «line in the sand» for any further encroachments by George Soros- and CIA-led «R2P» revolutions in the Eurasian space. It is also clear that Putin outsmarted Obama in his own backyard.
“Quartermass” (1979) (aka “The Quartermass Conclusion” and “Quartermass IV” is the fourth and final production written by Nigel Kneale featuring the character of Bernard Quartermass, a British space program scientist who seems to encounter extraterrestrial life forms on a regular basis.
In this last chapter of his story, Quartermass is struggling as a grandfather in post-collapse London desperately searching for his missing granddaughter. At the same time, he investigates an unusual signal from space and a cult-like nomadic community of young people traveling to various neolithic sites. Quartermass ultimately connects the various plot lines into a seemingly logical narrative, but the story is made more interesting if interpreted as a once-brilliant man’s descent into madness as he attempts to make sense of a decaying and chaotic society, inexplicable cosmic events, the loss of his relationship with his granddaughter and a vast generation gap. Though the film is stylistically dated and obviously low budget, it’s worth watching for its intelligent but deeply pessimistic screenplay and parallels with other dystopian visions.
Source: New Eastern Outlook
With Kiev’s forces being encircled and decimated in eastern Ukraine, western Ukrainians in Kiev protesting the war, and US sanctions receiving global ridicule as feckless - the downing of a Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner with over 280 on board in eastern Ukraine – allegedly shot down over a conflict zone – will undoubtedly be exploited by NATO to vilify Kiev’s opponents, particularly fighters in the east and Russia who NATO accuses of “destabilizing eastern Ukraine.”
Preceding the downing of Malaysian flight MH17, just hours beforehand, Ukraine claimed Russia had shot down one of its SU-25 ground attack aircraft. The BBC’s article, “Ukraine conflict: Russia accused of shooting down jet,” stated that:
A Ukrainian security spokesman has accused Russia’s air force of shooting down one of its jets while it was on a mission over Ukrainian territory.
Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, said an Su-25 ground attack plane was downed on Wednesday evening.
Russia’s defence ministry called the accusation “absurd”, Russian state media reported.
Rebels in eastern Ukraine say they shot down two Su-25 jets on Wednesday.
Ukraine also alleges rockets were fired at its forces from Russian territory.
While the weapon systems used to down the Ukrainian SU-25′s were not mentioned, previous aircraft lost to separatists in eastern Ukraine were most likely hit by Igla man-portable anti-air systems. The downed 777 was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet – unreachable by the Igla system. To down it would require a sophisticated weapon system most likely inaccessible to eastern Ukrainian fighters. This was confirmed by the regime in Kiev itself. New York Daily News reported in an article titled, “Malaysia Airlines plane feared shot down in Ukraine near Russian border,” that:
Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, said on Facebook that the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, reported Interfax, a Ukranian news agency.
The Buk system is maintained by both Russia and Ukraine. Russia would most likely not supply the sophisticated weapon system to fighters in Ukraine even if it were backing them militarily, because it would be nearly impossible to prevent its use or abuse from being traced directly back to Moscow. Ukrainian Buk systems, had the regime in Kiev lost control of one or more, should have been reported missing and international precautions taken to divert vulnerable aircraft around the conflict zone.
US Senator John McCain, who had been standing in Kiev on stage with Neo-Nazis of the Svoboda Party shortly before they overthrew the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych, stated in an NBC interview:
“To leap to conclusions could be very embarrassing and really inappropriate until we have more information,” he told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “But there have been, as you mentioned, previous incidents of shot down of Ukrai
nian aircraft. This was an airliner headed towards Russian air space. And it has the earmarks, and I’m not concluding, but it has the earmarks of a mistaken identification of an aircraft that they may have believed was Ukrainian.
“If that’s true, this is a horrible tragedy event which was certainly unanticipated by anybody, no matter who they are,” he said. “And there will be incredible repercussions if this is the case. Exactly what those will be will have to be determined by how we find out who was responsible.”
McCain added, “If it is a result of either separatists or Russian actions mistakingly believing that this was a Ukrainian warplane, I think there’s going to be hell to pay and there should be.”
McCain never mentioned what should or could happen if it was the regime he helped put into power that was responsible for downing the airliner.
With the most likely weapon system responsible being the Buk launcher, and the regime in Kiev ascertaining so quickly how the plane was downed and who was responsible, it is now up to Kiev to explain how a Buk system ended up in the hands of separatists and why they would have fired at a plane flying at 33,000 feet heading toward the Russian border at speeds consistent with an airliner.
The remote possibility that separatists obtained a sophisticated Buk anti-air missile system, was able to maintain and operate it, failed to identify the Malaysian 777, and exercised the poor judgement to fire on it – would make the tragedy a catastrophic case of mistaken identify – for the separatists have no conceivable reason to fire on a Malaysian passenger liner – and absolutely nothing to gain by doing so.
However, for the regime in Kiev facing decimated and unraveling military forces in the east, growing dissent in the west, and Western sponsors who are unable to materialize any form of meaningful aid militarily, economically, or politically – shooting down a civilian airliner and blaming it on the separatists could unite public opinion and the leadership of European nations behind NATO and the US for a more direct intervention on behalf of Kiev and change the tide of what is now a battle they will otherwise inevitably lose.
The West is already working hard to set the stage for such a scenario. The BBC in an article titled, “Malaysia airliner crashes in east Ukraine conflict zone,” stated that:
Sir Tony Brenton, a former UK ambassador to Russia, told BBC News it would not be a huge surprise if suspicion initially fell on the rebels.
“That would be very damaging both for them and for their Russian supporters,” he said.
“The Russians have undoubtedly been supplying them with weapons, almost certainly with anti-aircraft weapons, so Russia would very likely be implicated and that would raise the volume of international criticism of Russia.”
Only the West and their proxies in Kiev would stand to benefit from this – and commentators like Tony Brenton and the BBC intentionally prey on the ignorance of their audience in hopes that they don’t know the difference between the Igla systems separatists most likely have, and the Buk system they most likely don’t have or are unable to operate.
This is the second Malaysian 777 to be lost under extraordinary circumstances this year. Malaysian flight MH370 disappeared in March, 2014, and has yet to be found despite unprecedented international search efforts.
In the RT timeline of the event, the following report was posted:
13:07 GMT: Ukraine’s traffic controllers ordered the Boeing-777 to lower by 500 meters when the aircraft entered Ukrainian airspace, says a statement on the Malaysia Airlines official website.
“MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft (10,660 meters) throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the ‘optimum’ altitude. However, an aircraft’s altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft (10,058 meters).”
Related Article: Obama Definitely Caused the Malaysian Airliner to Be Downed
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