Russia’s Gazprom deal with Germany for mutual benefit cuts through US-NATO propaganda

As Russia looks at long-term relationships and partnerships, not subjugation, certainly not aggression, Washington resolutely refuses to “get it” because it wants to be the center of the universe.

U.S. and many NATO alliance leaders seem to have the maturity of spoiled two-year-old brats. The dangerous thing is they have weapons of mass destruction at their fingertips and little scruples, morals, common sense, emotional balance, humility, or again, maturity to deal with anything other than their immediate desires. Alcoholics Anonymous calls this syndrome King Baby.

The world is at a very perilous crossroads. The United States sees itself as indispensable and exceptional, is prepared to take no prisoners, can justify any action, and has a history of savagery. The American public is willing to be hoodwinked repeatedly, unwilling to strip the massive budgets from the Pentagon and NSA, and though they may feel one way privately, is generally unwilling to put shoe leather to pavement to demonstrate publicly or take risks. Because of this, one must step very carefully.

Global Research, July 03, 2015
CounterPunch 29 June 2015

Here’s the scoop: Two days before the swaggering Sec-Def touched down in Germany, Gazprom announced that it was putting the finishing touches on a massive deal that would double the amount of Russian gas flowing to Germany via a second Nord Stream pipeline. The shocking announcement made it look like the clueless Carter had no idea what was going on and that his efforts to isolate Russia were a complete flop. And, make no mistake; the deal is huge, big enough to change the geopolitical calculus of the entire region. Robert Morley explains what’s going on in a recent article at The Trumpet:

“Once this pipeline is finished, almost all of Eastern Europe can be completely cut out of the gas picture. There will be no need for any gas to transit through Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Belarus, Hungary or Slovakia.” (Gazprom’s Dangerous New Nord Stream Gas Pipeline to Germany, The Trumpet)

Yep, Ukraine is out and Germany’s in, which means that Washington’s plan to extend US hegemony by driving a wedge between Russia and Europe is down the plughole.

Judo expert Putin has done it again; he waited until the eleventh hour to pull the rug out from under the blustery Carter, and now he’s sitting back enjoying the show. Is it any wonder why Carter’s been running around Europe with his hair on fire? Here’s more from the same article:

“Think of the huge leverage this will give Russia…..Germany may not have much in the way of natural resources of its own, but with Russia’s help, it is becoming an energy hub of Europe! Increasing quantities of Russian gas are flowing through Germany before being distributed to countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Britain. In this way Germany leverages the power of Russia. Western Europe also is becoming dependent on Germany for gas supplies too…

Don’t let the current conflict in Ukraine cloud what is happening. Germany and Russia have a history of secret cooperation—even when headline conflict appears to indicate otherwise. That Germany and Russia would push through such a deal when the West is supposedly sanctioning Russia for its actions in Ukraine speaks volumes.” (“Gazprom’s Dangerous New Nord Stream Gas Pipeline to Germany”, The Trumpet)

Talk about sour grapes! The author would like you believe that US motives in Europe are pure as the driven snow, but are they? Is Washington really afraid of Russian aggression or are they trying desperately to keep the unipolar model intact by separating Germany and Russia? Isn’t that what the sanctions are all about? STRATFOR CEO George Friedman summed up it up perfectly in a recent speech he gave at The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs. He said:

“The primordial interest of the United States, over which for centuries we have fought wars–the First, the Second and Cold Wars–has been the relationship between Germany and Russia, because united there, they’re the only force that could threaten us. And to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

Bingo. This is Washington’s strategy in a nutshell, preventing German industry from linking up with Russia’s vast natural resources. That’s the lethal combo that will lead to an integrated Eurasian free trade zone that will dwarf US GDP and put an end to the empire. So don’t believe the baloney about “Russian aggression”. What Washington really cares about is an economic rival that could leave it in the dust. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen when Germany becomes Moscow’s biggest gas station.

Naturally, the Gazprom news left Carter in a bit of a crabby mood, which may explain why he’s been dragging himself from one Capital to the next issuing terse warnings to Putin while promising NATO more weapons, more troops, more joint-maneuvers, and more missiles. And for what? To stop the Cossacks from sweeping across the Steppe and into Baltics? Be serious. Putin’s not going to invade Europe. He wants their business, that’s all. Like we’ve been saying from the beginning; Putin just wants to makes some dough. He wants to pull his economy out of recession, and, yes, beef up Gazprom’s profits. Is there a problem with that?

Nope. In fact, that’s the way the US used to do things, y’know, before they decided it was easier to just blow up stuff and steal whatever they could.

But all this whining about Putin is ridiculous, don’t you think? So he sells gas to Europe. So what? Get over it. No one likes a whiner.

The US did everything in its power to sabotage South Stream, and they succeeded too. Score one for Team USA. But did they really think it would end there? Did they really think that that Putin would just fold his tent and go home for a good cry? Did they really think he was going to walk away from his biggest trading partner and move on to China?

Of course not. Any fool could have seen this coming, so why was the Pentagon caught flatfooted? Don’t they have anyone on the payroll who can figure out stuff like this or are they too busy with their damn wargames? And why is Carter talking about tanks and missiles systems when US trade reps should be looking for ways to cut a deal? Isn’t that the way capitalism is supposed to work or has the US degenerated to the point where it has to incinerate anyone it can’t compete with? It’s pathetic! Here’s a clip from Carter in Europe:

“One of [Putin’s] stated views is a longing for the past and that’s where we have a different perspective on the world and even on Russia’s future, Carter said. “We’d like to see us all moving forward, Europe moving forward, and that does not seem to be his stated perspective.”

C’mon, Carter. Can’t you just man-up and admit the US can’t compete anymore so you’ve decided to start a war instead. Is that so hard to say?

Of course Carter has made every effort to sweep the Gazprom story under the rug and pretend that nothing has happened, but anyone who follows these things can figure it out. The fact is, he got his clock-cleaned by Putin, and not just once either. There was another bombshell on Wednesday that just added a little icing to the cake. Check this out from Oil Price.com:

“Russia’s state-run gas company Gazprom says it has taken a step toward building the Turkish Stream pipeline by securing permission from Ankara to begin surveying waters of the Black Sea for the offshore leg of the project…..Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, says he expects Ankara and Moscow will sign an agreement to build Turkish Stream by the end of June.” (Controversial Gazprom Pipeline Clears Hurdle, Oil Price)

That’s what you call the double whammy! Now Putin’s going to be pumping gas into Europe from both directions leaving Uncle Sam out in the cold. Can you feel those Russian pincers starting to tighten around Europe? Now you can understand why Carter’s been running around Europe with his knickers in a twist; it’s because his glorious divide and conquer strategy just exploded in his face. His only option now is to scrap Plan A altogether and go back to drawing board. What a freaking disaster.

There’s another story that broke during Carter’s euro-junket that’s also worth mentioning. This is from Bloomberg:

“Ukraine will miss a bond coupon payment in July, setting off a default on about $19 billion of debt, as a standoff with creditors shows no sign of abating, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc…

Ukraine is giving creditors a few weeks to accept a proposal that includes a 40 percent writedown to principal before it imposes a debt moratorium, a person familiar with the talks said on June 19.

“Ukraine will not make the July 24 coupon payment and, as a result, will enter into default at that point,” Matheny said of his base-case scenario in the report. “We do not expect the ad hoc committee to accept Ukraine’s latest restructuring proposal.” (Goldman Sees Ukraine Default in July as Debt Standoff Holds, Bloomberg)

Ukraine is busted, are you kidding me? The country that was so critical to US plans for luring Putin into a Vietnam-type quagmire, is headed for bankruptcy? So all that work was for nothing–toppling the government, arming the Nazis, fomenting a civil war, incinerating buildings full of civilians in Odessa, shooting down commercial airliners, and plunging the state into Somalia-like chaotic abyss? It was all just a big miscalculation, a boo-boo; is that it?

Can you see why the United States can’t be trusted as “the guarantor of global security”? Washington destroys everything it touches with its wrecking ball foreign policy; Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria. Now it’s destroyed Ukraine. Who’ll be next?

Putin has done us all a favor by throwing a wrench in Washington’s plans and helping to bring the era of imperial overreach to a swift and merciful end. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.

Way to go, Vladimir.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

http://www.globalresearch.ca/putin-gobsmacks-uncle-sam-again/5460115

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“Five seconds to midnight” — America’s dangerous nuclear posturing against Russia

Global Research, June 26, 2015
RT 23 June 2015

We all remember how, in early June, President Putin announced that Russia would deploy more than 40 new ICBMs “able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems.”

Oh dear; the Pentagon and their European minions have been freaking out on overdrive ever since.

First was NATO Secretary-General, Norwegian figurehead Jens Stoltenberg, who condemned it as “nuclear saber rattling.

Then there’s Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, the head of US Global Air Strike Command – as in the man responsible for US ICBMs and nuclear bombers – at a recent briefing in London; “[They’ve] annexed a country, changing international borders, raising rhetoric unlike we’ve heard since the cold war times…

That set up the stage for the required Nazi parallel; “Some of the actions by Russia recently we haven’t seen since the 1930s, when whole countries were annexed and borders were changed by decree.”

At His Masters Voice’s command, the EU duly extended economic sanctions against Russia.And right on cue, Pentagon supremo Ashton Carter, out of Berlin, declared that NATO must stand up against – what else – “Russian aggression” and “their attempts to re-establish a Soviet-era sphere of influence.

Bets are off on what this huffin’ and puffin’ is all about. It could be about Russia daring to build a whole country close to so many NATO bases. It could be about a bunch of nutters itching to start a war on European soil to ultimately “liberate” all that precious oil, gas and minerals from Russia and the Central Asian “stans”.

Unfortunately, the whole thing is deadly serious.

Get your tickets for the next NATO movie

Vast desolate tracts of US ‘Think Tankland’ at least admit that this is partly about the exceptionalist imperative to prevent “the rise of a hegemon in Eurasia.” Well, they’re not only “partly” but totally wrong, because for Russia – and China – the name of the game is Eurasia integration through trade and commerce.

That condemns the “pivoting to Asia”, for the moment, to the rhetorical dustbin. For the self-described “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” Obama administration – and the Pentagon – the name of the game is to solidify a New Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Black Sea and cut off Russia from Europe.

So it’s no surprise that in early June, the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, in itself a think tank, hired another think tank, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) to churn out – what else – a bunch of war games.

CEPA happens to be directed by A. Wess Mitchell, a former adviser to former Republican presidential candidate and master of vapidity Mitt Romney. Mitchell – who sounds like he flunked history in third grade – qualifies Russia as a new Carthage; “a sullen, punitive power determined to wage a vengeful foreign policy to overturn the system that it blames for the loss of its former greatness.

Russian intelligence is very much aware of all these US maneuvers.So it’s absolutely no wonder Putin keeps coming back to NATO’s obsession in building a missile defense system in Europe right at Russia’s western borderlands; “It is NATO that is moving towards our border and we aren’t moving anywhere.”

NATO, meanwhile, gets ready for its next super production; Trident Juncture 2015, the largest NATO exercise after the end of the Cold War, to happen in Italy, Spain and Portugal from September 28 to November 6, with land, air and naval and special forces units of 33 countries (28 NATO plus five allies).

NATO spins it as a “high visibility and credibility” show testing its “Response Force” of 30,000 troops. And this is not only about Russia, or as a rehearsal in pre-positioning enough heavy weapons for 5,000 soldiers in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

It’s also about Africa, and the symbiosis NATO/AFRICOM (remember the “liberation” of Libya?) NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Breedhate, sorry, Breedlove, bragged, on the record, that, “the members of NATO will play a big role in North Africa, the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa.”

Feel the love of my S-500

As far as Russia is concerned, all this warmongering hysteria is pathetic.

Facts: under Putin, Russia has actively rebuilt its strategic nuclear missile force. The stars of the show are the Topol M – an ICBM which zooms by at 16,000 miles an hour – and the S-500 defensive missile system, which zooms by at 15,400 miles an hour and effectively seals off Russian airspace.

Russian intelligence identified as early as the dawn of the new millennium that the weapons of the future would be missiles; not clumsy aircraft carriers or a surface fleet which can easily be smashed by top-class missiles (as the new SS-NX-26 anti-ship, Yakhont missile which zooms by at 2.9 Mach).

The Pentagon knows it – but hubris dictates the “we’re invincible” posing. No, you’re not invincible; silent Russian submarines offshore the US could engage in a nuclear turkey shoot knocking out every major American city in a few minutes with total impunity. In only fifteen years Russia has jumped two generations ahead of the US on missiles and may be on the verge of a first strike nuclear capacity, while the US can’t retaliate because the Pentagon can’t get through the S-500s.

Public opinion in the US doesn’t know any of this – so what’s left is posturing. We’re back to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey spinning the US is “considering” deploying land-based missiles – with nuclear warheads – that could reach Russian cities across Eurasia.

This does not even qualify as a childish – and unbelievably dangerous – provocation. These missiles will be useless. The US has submarine-based missiles available, and they cannot get through Russian defenses either; the S-500s will do the job. So if the Pentagon and NATO really want war, wait until next year or 2017 max – with ‘The Hillarator’ or Jeb “I’m not Bush” at the White House – when the S-500 deployment will be completed.

A Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launcher with a transport. (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)

Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launcher with a transport. (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)

Putin knows extremely well how dangerous is this posturing. That’s why he emphasized that the US unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty – which established that neither the US nor the USSR would try to neutralize each other’s nuclear deterrence by building an anti-missile shield – is pushing the world towards a new Cold War; “This in fact pushes us to a new round of the arms race, because it changes the global security system.

Washington unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty during the “axis of evil” Dubya era, in 2002. The pretext was that the US needed “protection” from rogue states, at the time identified as Iran and North Korea. The fact is this cleared the Pentagon to build a global anti-missile system directed against – who else – the only true “threats” against the hegemon; BRICS members Russia and China.

Terminator Ash on a roll

Under neocon Ash Carter – compared to whom Donald Rumsfeld barely qualifies as Cinderella – the Pentagon wants to go Terminator all the way.

“Options” being considered against Russia are an offensive missile shield across Europe to shoot Russian missiles (totally useless against the Topol M); a “counterforce” (in ‘Pentagonese’) that implies pre-emptive non-nuclear strikes against Russian military sites; and “countervailing strike capabilities”, which in ‘Pentagonese’ means pre-emptive deployment of nuclear missiles against targets – and cities – inside Russia.

So we’re talking about the unthinkable here; a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia. There’s only one scenario if that happens; a full-scale nuclear war. The mere fact that this is considered an “option on the table” reveals everything one needs to know about what passes for “foreign policy” in the heart of the Indispensable Nation.

In Iraq, a pre-emptive strike – although non-nuclear – was “authorized” based on non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). So the whole planet knows the ‘Empire of Chaos’ is capable of fabricating any pretext. In the case of Russia, the Pentagon may play ‘Ultimate Terminator’ all they want, but it won’t be a walk in the park; after all in less than two years Russian airspace will be effectively sealed by the S-500s.

Beware of the ‘Shock and Awe’ you want. Still, no chance the Pentagon will take Putin seriously (Ash Carter, on the record, is a sucker for regime change.) Recently, the Russian President couldn’t be more explicit; “This is no dialogue. It’s an ultimatum. Don’t speak the language of ultimatums with us.”

MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – is way over. It kept a somewhat uneasy peace during seven decades of Cold War. Cold War 2.0 is as hardcore as it gets. And with all those Breedhate Strangeloves on the loose, nuclear madness is now at five seconds to midnight.

 The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Pentagon says U.S. will provide weapons and NATO commandos to attack E. Ukraine self-defense forces

By Kurt Nimmo
Infowars, June 22, 2015
Posted on Global Research, June 23, 2015

Pentagon boss Ashton Carter has announced the United States “will contribute weapons, aircraft and forces, including commandos, for NATO’s rapid reaction force” to defend against “Russia from the east and violent extremists from the south,” according to the Associated Press.

Carter did not specify who the “extremists from the south” are, but a recent NATO military exercise in Poland left little doubt.

During the largest maneuver by NATO since the end of the Cold War, a rapid reaction force in Poland staged a mock raid in the fictional country of Botnia.

From Deutsche Welle:

“Birdman” is the name that maneuver planners have given the opponent in the Bothnian enemy camp. He must be retrieved from a wooden house in the middle of the military training grounds in the forest. Stationed in the nearby village of “Alpha” are his followers, armed militiamen, who have begun to destabilize the region in southwestern Poland.

The scene is recognizable as it is loosely based on the situation in eastern Ukraine, except this time, a NATO member has been threatened by “little green men”. After all, the planners want to make the situation as lifelike as possible.

On Sunday a senior Pentagon official told the media Carter and the United States will urge NATO allies to “dispose of the Cold War playbook” in an effort to counter “hybrid warfare,” in short the ongoing effort in Eastern Ukraine to resist the coup government in Kiev.

“Carter … will really push the alliance to think about new threats, new techniques, urge them to kind of dispose of the Cold War playbook and think about new ways to counter new threats,” the official said.

On Monday in Munster, Germany, Carter said the United States “will contribute intelligence and surveillance capabilities, special operations forces, logistics, transport aircraft, and a range of weapons support that could include bombers, fighters and ship-based missiles” for the effort.

The Pentagon has yet to reveal the number of troops that will participate in the battle against “extremists.”

The announcement coincides with the defection of a onetime aide to the Ukrainian defense minister to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. Alexander Kolomiyets took a wealth of classified intelligence information along with his family, according to the Sputnik News.

The US-installed coup government in Kiev has suffered a number of humiliating defeats in Eastern Ukraine as it attempts to assert its control over the area.

“The initial attempts of the Kiev regime and its CIA backers to subjugate east Ukraine by sheer military terror, relying on fascist militias and select units of the Ukraine army that it considered to be reliable, have failed. Popular opposition and covert Kremlin support for east Ukrainian forces has sufficed to defeat those units that Kiev could throw against the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Alex Lantier wrote in February.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-will-provide-weapons-for-nato-commandos-to-attack-ukrainian-separatists/5457606

Obama refuses to rule out arming Kiev following talks with Merkel

The volume increases on the war talk. What will happen in Minsk? Who will pressure Obama to take lethal weapons off his options list, and to admit there has been no Russian invasion of Ukraine?

The White House phone number for making comments is 1-202-456-1111.

From World Socialist Web Site
by Patrick Martin and Barry Grey, February 10, 2015

At a joint White House press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, President Barack Obama made clear he was considering authorizing the dispatch of advanced weapons to the US- and NATO-backed regime in Kiev, to be used against pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

Obama indicated that he would wait to see the results of talks set for Wednesday in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President François Hollande and Merkel before making a decision on sending US arms to Kiev. The talks are aimed at brokering a new cease-fire agreement between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists following the collapse of an agreement reached last September.

At the press conference following talks with Merkel, Obama said:

“If, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options. What other means can we put in place to change Mr. Putin’s calculus? And the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options being examined.”

Obama then added, “I want to emphasize that a decision has not yet been made.”

The US president left open the sending of weapons such as antitank missiles and armored vehicles to the Kiev regime, which has lost territory in the east of the country to rebel forces in recent weeks, despite warnings from prominent officials and some newspapers internationally that doing so could dramatically escalate the conflict and trigger a military conflict between NATO and Russia, with the possibility of a nuclear Third World War.

Merkel and the leaders of Britain and France have made clear in recent days that they oppose a US move to directly arm Kiev. Instead, they call for tougher economic sanctions combined with increased NATO military forces in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe to compel Moscow to accept the transformation of Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, into a staging ground for US and European imperialist moves to reduce Russia to a semicolonial status.

In her remarks, Merkel indicated her opposition to the dispatch of American weapons to Ukraine, saying, “I don’t see a military solution to this conflict.” But she stressed that Europe and the US were united in backing the Ukrainian regime, which came to power last February in a US- and German-backed coup led by fascist militias, and forcing Russia to end its support for pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Luhansk and other Russian-speaking regions.

“On certain issues we may not always agree,” she said, suggesting that Germany would continue to back the US-led offensive against Russia even if Washington decided to arm the Kiev government.

Obama, for his part, seemed to echo Merkel, saying there “may be some areas where there are tactical differences” while the US and Europe remained united in basic strategy and goals.

US military and civilian officials, including some within the Obama administration, are pushing for a decision to begin sending heavy arms to Kiev. At the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, US Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s military commander, said sending weapons to help Ukrainian forces crush the separatists should not be ruled out.

At a Senate confirmation hearing last week, Obama’s choice to become the next defense secretary, Ashton Carter, said he would be inclined to back Ukraine with American arms.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko triggered the latest crisis in eastern Ukraine by ordering an offensive by Ukrainian military forces, including some battalions of neofascist “volunteers.” It is inconceivable that he would have done so without Washington’s approval.

The Russian-backed forces routed the invaders around the Donetsk airport and have pressed a counterattack, taking control of an additional 500 square kilometers of territory and threatening the town of Debaltseve, which sits on the main road between Luhansk and Donetsk. As many as 3,000 Ukrainian troops are trapped in the town and could be forced to surrender.

Washington, NATO, the European Union and the media have portrayed the fighting in eastern Ukraine as a Russian invasion, although the vast majority of combatants are drawn from the Donbass region, where most people are Russian speakers and the government in Kiev is widely hated.

Obama repeated the claims of “Russian aggression” at the onset of his joint press conference with Merkel, saying that “Russian forces continue to operate” in Ukraine, “training separatists and helping to coordinate attacks.”

Last week’s sudden trip by Hollande and Merkel to Kiev and Moscow, setting the stage for Wednesday’s summit in Minsk, appeared to be driven by concern that a US decision to provide billions in weapons to Ukraine was imminent and could escalate the crisis enormously.

A top official of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe told journalists at the Munich conference that he feared weapons deliveries would turn the crisis into an “existential conflict for Russia against NATO.”

Similar concerns were expressed in the American media, albeit by a small minority in the US national security establishment. The New York Times published an op-ed Monday by Professor John Mearsheimer under the headline “Don’t Arm Ukraine,” which asked rhetorically whether the United States would accept Canada or Mexico joining a hostile military alliance.

Even the rabid anti-Russian publicist Anne Applebaum, a Washington Post columnist, expressed concern about “a new World War” emerging from the Ukraine crisis, although she offered the lesser evil of “a new Cold War” in which NATO would “build a Berlin Wall around Donetsk in the form of a demilitarized zone and treat the rest of Ukraine like West Germany.”

 

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/10/merk-f10.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-refuses-to-rule-out-arming-kiev-following-talks-with-merkel/5430577