Interview with German MP Sahra Wagenknecht (VIDEO)

From Sophie Co. — RT

December 4, 2016

https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/369194-germany-merkel-public-discontent/video/

With Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential race putting the prospects for transatlantic cooperation in jeopardy, EU leaders are now bracing for change. With Washington promising to focus on internal affairs, Berlin may now have to play the lead among its Western allies. Angela Merkel is planning to run for a fourth term as German Chancellor, and is seen by many as a beacon of stability in turbulent times. But as the country struggles with an influx of refugees, and public discontent grows, will non-establishment candidates be able to take on Germany’s ruling party? We ask the parliamentary leader of the Left Party – Sahra Wagenknecht.

Sophie Shevardnadze: Chancellor Angela Merkel will be running for a fourth term, but in regional elections, Merkel’s CDU party has suffered defeat. Will the Germans vote for the stability that comes with Merkel, or will they vote for change?

Sahra Wagenknecht: I wouldn’t say that Chancellor Merkel represents stability. Merkel has brought even greater social inequality to our country. There are a lot of people who feel that politicians have abandoned them, that we are moving away from democracy. But the problem is, there are no strong candidates within the Social Democratic Party, so the risk is quite real that Chancellor Merkel will remain in office for another four years. I think that most people in this country do not want things to “stay the same”.

SS: There is growing support in your country for the Eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany – AfD. Do they stand any real chance of becoming part of the coalition government and influencing public policy?

SW: Well, I don’t think Alternative for Germany will become part of the next government. But you’re right, Alternative for Germany is, indeed, becoming stronger. It has made some very significant gains in recent regional elections, but not so much because people support the position of the AfD – it is chiefly because they were disappointed with the other parties.

It looks to them as if politicians don’t really care about their interests, and so many believe that by choosing Alternative for Germany they can express their anger, their frustration, and protest. In other words, for many people, a vote given to Alternative for Germany is a way to express their disappointment, not a sign that they wholeheartedly support the idea of AfD defining Germany’s politics. I don’t see them achieving that much, but I fear that they will have a much stronger representation in the next Bundestag.

SS: Der Spiegel wrote that during his visit to Berlin, the outgoing American President Barack Obama personally led the campaign in support of Merkel. Can Merkel be considered a successor to American policies in Europe?

SW: Well, she has always been a very successful proponent of American policy. She always believed that her function is to acknowledge and recognise American hegemony, the hegemony of the United States, meaning that it should ALWAYS be recognised. We do not know of any case in which Merkel has raised any objections against American policy, including military action both with NATO and without it.

I mean the military action that took place under American leadership, and in which Merkel played her part, and, therefore, Germany did, too. The most recent example of this is Syria. So, there has always been a close relationship between Chancellor Merkel and Obama and, unfortunately, she has never said anything critical with regards to the United States. When German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed a different view, for example, when he criticised NATO maneuvers in Eastern Europe, in those cases, of course, Mrs. Merkel always kept silent. There has always been a kind of alignment with the United States, as well as a need for American approval.

SS: According to the New York Times, Angela Merkel is the Liberal West’s Last Defender. If Trump focuses on America’s domestic issues, will Berlin become a beacon for the West? Maybe it’s time for Merkel to become the “Leader of the Free World”?

SW: I have no idea what “the free world” means. I mean, lately, America has been engaged in many military operations in violation of international law. They have not been defending freedom and democracy; they have been using their drones in war zones to kill people, which is a gross violation of international law. So I wouldn’t use such terms lightly.

I also don’t think we should be praising Angela Merkel too much. Germany today should not be pursuing hegemonic goals. On the contrary, many European countries feel that the EU nations are disconnected because Chancellor Merkel is acting on her own again and again without consulting her European partners, so they are not happy about it. So I believe it would be a mistake for Germany to pursue hegemony today.

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U.S. House of Representatives quietly passes bill targeting “Russian propaganda” websites

Global Research, December 03, 2016
Zero Hedge 2 December 2016

On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news”, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

A quick skim of the bill reveals “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries”,  whose Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:

  • Establishment or funding of a front group.
  • Covert broadcasting.
  • Media manipulation.
  • Disinformation and forgeries.
  • Funding agents of influence.
  • Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
  • Assassinations.
  • Terrorist acts.

As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.

Curiously, the bill which was passed on November 30, was introduced on November 22, two days beforethe Washington Post published its Nov. 24 article citing “experts” who claim Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump get elected.

As we reported last week, in an article that has been widely blasted, the WaPo wrote that “two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.”

The newspaper cited PropOrNot, an anonymous website that posted a hit list of alternative media websites, including Zero Hedge, Drudge Report, Activist Post, Blacklisted News, the Ron Paul Report, and many others. Glenn Greenwald penned an appropriate response two days later in “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group.”

PropOrNot has pushed a conspiratorial thesis, without any actual proof, that the listed websites have been either used directly or covertly by the Russians to spread propaganda.

While the bill passed the House with a sweeping majority, it is unknown if and when the bill will work its way through the Senate and be passed into law, although one would think that it has far higher chances of passing under president Obama than the President-Elect. It is also unclear if it will be used to shut down websites anonymously characterized as “useful idiots” or subversive elements used in disseminating supposed Russian propaganda.

Those interested can read the full “H.R. 6393: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017″ at the following location” bill that may soon proclaim much of the internet to be criminal “Russian propaganda” at the following link.

DPR forces beat back Ukrainian offensive on southern front

From Fort Russ

November 26, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna reports – translated by J. Arnoldski –
Active hostilities broke out this morning near the residential area of Sakhanka. This has been reported by a representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s operational command from the scene of events. 
The Ukrainian armed forces and volunteer battalions, including no less than three platoons and supported by artillery, attempted to go on the offensive from the direction of Dzerzhinskoye (called Azov in Ukraine). 
 
 
The attack was repulsed by the armed forces of the DPR and the enemy lost no less than 5 soldiers and 8 wounded. A UAF APC was also hit. 
Fighting also erupted near Shirokino, where the Ukrainian side attempted to attack the DPR’s positions on the southern front. The operational command of the DPR reported: “At 10:00 on November 26th, the enemy, with forces of up to three platoons of personnel and supported by armored vehicles under the cover of 82mm and 122mm mortar fire from Shirokino, attempted to attack our positions near the village of Vodyanoe. Over the course of the firefight, the enemy was stopped and driven back to their original positions.” 
The escalation of fighting began yesterday after Ukrainian Interior Minister Avakov’s statement that Kiev’s occupation forces could seize Donbass in two years. This is not the first unsuccessful attempt by Kiev to break through the DPR’s line of defense on the southern front in recent time. On November 23rd, 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 7 were wounded in a similar unsuccessful attempt. 

Aleppo offensive: SAA liberates half of E. Aleppo, water supply to residents restored

From Fort Russ

November 28, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna – translated by J. Arnoldski –
The Syrian army has just taken complete control over the Sheikh Khader and Sheikh faris districts of Aleppo. Engineering units have begun de-mining the neighborhoods.
“The Syrian army and its allies have liberated more than 20 out of the 45 square kilometers of Eastern Aleppo and taken the huge square of blocs east of the city. The SAA already controls almost half of the entire territory of eastern Aleppo,” the press service of the Lebanese Resistance, Hezbollah, has reported in addition to publishing fresh maps.
 

 

 
In the districts taken by the army, sweeping operations and non-intensive firefights are still ongoing. Most likely, a portion of militants were unable to flee the seized districts along with the bulk of bandits.
Another important victory has since been reported: SAA units attacking from two sides have finally met at and retaken the most important water pumping station, Suleiman al-Halabi.
 
 
The Syrian Arab Republic’s army has thus liberated the largest water station and its massive water action pumps. Now the problem of the city’s water supply can be resolved, and water will be provided to residents’ apartments 24 hours a day. Earlier, the militants controlling the pumping station blocked the water flow and threatened to blow it up to blackmail the government. 
Technicians have already begun repairing the station to restore it to full operation. 

Russia: USA supports chemical weapons (VIDEO)

From Fort Russ

November 27th, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
Various – Translated by Inessa Sinchougova

The West’s fake wars in the Middle East are nothing new, but it is not well known that during the Clinton presidential campaign, a Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist by the name of Seymour Hersch released a terrifying article – “Whose Sarin?” While it was largely swept under the rug by mainstream media, the findings confirm that Hillary Clinton not only knew of the rebels’ posession of chemical weapons in Libya, but that she authorised their use, in her capacity as Secretary of State. Later, the same kind of weapons would be blamed on Assad in Syria, in order to topple his government.

Based on Mr Lavrov’s press conference in recent days, it is evident that US funded chemical weapons use in Syria continue to this day.

NATO force on Russian border ‘not a threat in any way’ – U.S. State Department

From RT

November 22, 2016

© Ints Kalnins
© Ints Kalnins / Reuters

Washington has expressed discomfort over Russia’s deployment of Iskander missiles and air defenses in Kaliningrad, saying that NATO is a “defensive alliance”and is not threatening Moscow. Meanwhile, more tanks and troops are being deployed to the Baltics.

“NATO is a defensive alliance, it’s always been a defensive alliance, it will remain a defensive alliance,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday. “There is no reason why Russia should view NATO in any way, shape or form as a threat.”

On Sunday, NATO kicked off “Iron Sword 2016”exercises in Lithuania, the largest such maneuvers to date, involving 4,000 troops from across the alliance. The exercises in 2015 and 2014 involved 2,500 and 2,000 troops, respectively.

“There is no reason for anybody in Russia to feel threatened by NATO’s military activities or preparations.” Kirby continued. “In terms of recent months and years, there would have been no reason for NATO to advance and commit additional capabilities on the European continent – including American capabilities – had it not been for Russia’s move in Ukraine.”

This is in line with NATO’s official position that military activities in eastern Europe were a defensive response to alleged Russian “aggression” in Ukraine. NATO said Russia was responsible for “annexing” Crimea from Ukraine. The region voted to join the Russian Federation in March 2014, following the coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

Moscow responded to the recent NATO build-up by announcing it would deploy S-400 air defense systems and “Iskander” missile launchers to Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave containing almost one million inhabitants sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

“Russia is doing all that is necessary to protect itself amid NATO’s expansion toward its borders,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters at the Kremlin on Tuesday. “The alliance is a truly aggressive bloc, so Russia does what it has to do. It has every sovereign right to take necessary measures throughout the territory of the Russian Federation.”

‘Russia is doing all that is necessary to protect self’ – Kremlin spokesman on deployment of missiles in Kaliningrad http://on.rt.com/7vt8 

Photo published for Russia has right to defend against ‘aggressive’ NATO – Kremlin on Baltic missile placement — RT News

Russia has right to defend against ‘aggressive’ NATO – Kremlin on Baltic missile placement — RT News

Russia has the right to protect itself against NATO’s eastward expansion, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on the deployment of Russian ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad Region….

rt.com

NATO’s military drill on Russia’s border comes amid preparations to permanently station 4,000 alliance troops in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, a decision made at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July.

A quarter of the force would be composed of US troops currently based in Germany, who would relocate to Poland. A 1,000-strong German-led force equipped with tanks would be deployed in Lithuania in February for the first time since WWII. The remaining 2,000 British and Canadian troops would be stationed in Estonia and Latvia.

READ MORE: Germany to send modern tanks to Russian border – Defense Ministry

NATO has accused Russia of “aggressive military posturing” over reports that missiles would be deployed in Kaliningrad, while on Monday Kirby called for Moscow to “refrain from words or deeds that are inconsistent with the goal of promoting security and stability.”

Kosovo: An evil little war (almost) all US candidates liked (Op-Edge) http://on.rt.com/7822 

Established in April 1949 – six years before the Warsaw Treaty Organization – NATO ensured a permanent US presence in western Europe during the Cold War. After the dissolution of both the WTO and the Soviet Union, NATO expanded both its boundaries and its mission. On March 12, 1999, the alliance admitted the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. Twelve days later, NATO attacked Yugoslavia. After a 78-day bombing campaign, alliance troops were allowed occupy the Serbian province of Kosovo as “peacekeepers.”

Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states joined the alliance in March 2004, putting NATO on the shores of the Black Sea and on the western border of the Russian Federation. In March 2011, NATO launched an intervention in Libya, aiding the rebels that overthrew the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

https://www.rt.com/usa/367860-russia-missiles-nato-defensive/

History: How Britain protected Ukraine’s Waffen-SS Galitsia Division in the wake of World War II

Global Research, November 21, 2016
Slavyangrad.org 20 November 2016

Amid the continued support given to the fascist politicians and military of Ukraine by western governments, many people are asking how such a betrayal of the sacrifices of the Allies in World War Two could take place. However, what most people are unaware of, in large part due to an ever-more corrupted media, is that these governments have a shocking history of protecting the perpetrators of some of the most terrible crimes of that war. One of the most egregious examples of this practice of shielding war-criminals from justice was confirmed in 2005 with the declassification of British Home Office papers showing that the British government protected at least 8,000 members of the Waffen-SS Galitsia Division from the justice that awaited them in the Soviet Union.

When Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers in May 1945, the 14th Waffen-SS ‘Galitsia’ Division, made up of Ukrainian volunteers, continued to retreat westward from their positions in Austria in order to avoid capture and punishment by the advancing Red Army. The Division—approximately 10,000 soldiers—ultimately chose to surrender to British and American forces and was briefly sent to an internment camp in Spittal an der Drau, Austria. The British government, in contravention of the agreements made at the Yalta Conference, refused to repatriate the Galitsia Division to the Soviet Union, instead transferring them to another internment camp in Bellaria-Igea Marina, in northern Italy. It was here that a troika of prominent Ukrainian fascists—Mykola Lebed, Father Ivan Hry’okh and Bishop Ivan Buchko—persuaded the Vatican to intercede on behalf of the soldiers, whom Bishop Buchko described as “good Catholics and fervent anti-communists.”

Galitsia Division troops interned at Rimini, Italy

As a result of this intercession, the British and American authorities overseeing the internment camp remained steadfast in their refusal to abide by their obligation to repatriate the soldiers to the Soviet Union. One of the principal British proponents of the decision not to repatriate the Galitsia Division was Major Denis Hills. Major Hills was keen on protecting these soldiers, and despite admitting that he “knew about the SS”, he said the army “was not interested in war crimes.”

According to British academic, Stephen Dorril, in his book M16: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Major Hills was a self-described fascist and a staunch anti-communist who took it upon himself to ensure that the Galitsia Division would be transferred to Britain. Hills personally advised the head of the Division, Major Yaskevycz, to instruct his men that when questioned by the Soviet repatriation commission they must lie and insist that they were forced to serve alongside the Nazis and were not by any means volunteers. As a result of this, and due to British fears that improved relations between Italy and the Soviet Union could result in repatriation, the decision was made on April 1st, 1947, to relocate at least 8,000 members of the Galitsia Division to Britain.

Troops of Galitsia Division being transported to Britain

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