U.S. admits big loss in Syria: leaked Kerry recordings expose fear of Russian victory

October 3, 2016 – Fort Russ –
Ruslan Ostashko, PolitRussia – translated by J. Arnoldski –
Introduction by J. Arnoldski: On September 30th, 2016, the New York Times published an article entitled “Audio Reveals What John Kerry Told Syrians Behind Closed Doors” which presented a series of leaked recordings of discussions between John Kerry and Syrian opposition representatives on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. In these leaked audio samples, Kerry is heard expressing frustration with being outmaneuvered by Russian diplomacy and nervously attempting to explain the crisis of the US’s game plan for Syria in light of recent developments. In the following commentary, Russian political analyst Ruslan Ostashko explores just why this leak has appeared now and how it bears on the domestic and geopolitical situation of the US…
 
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Anyone who follows geopolitics is periodically plagued by bouts of insatiable curiosity. One really wants to know just what is being said behind closed doors during negotiations deciding the fate of the world.
Retelling news from different sources is, of course, interesting, but not the point. And waiting for memoirs, which are filled with lies anyway, is long and boring. Sometimes we have the delight of published WikiLeaks that give us the opportunity to spy on American diplomatic mail and the results of the private conversations of American diplomats and their pocket politicians, but this is also not quite what is needed.
Very, very rare are those leaks that allow one to really see through the diplomatic smokescreen. The New York Times’ leak of conversations between Kerry and representatives of the so-called Syrian opposition is one of these rare finds.
Our media have picked up only a few elements in this leak which, undoubtedly, are pleasant for us, but these are not even the most important. 
Yes, during his talk with his Syrian puppets, Kerry complained of “cunning” Russian diplomats, which very much pleased the Russian foreign ministry.
Yes, Kerry acknowledged the possibility of Assad participating in presidential elections in Syria despite the State Department’s official position that Assad must leave and never return to Syrian politics.
This is all very good, very nice, and really is an extra reason to point a finger at the absurdity of the official American position and make fun of American propaganda. But the most important part of this leak is something else.
Let’s ask ourselves two questions: Who did this leak? Why did a top American newspaper, and not RT, first publish this incriminating recording? 
Here begins to spin the quite interesting story which I have mentioned many times. We are witnessing a very intense conflict between the CIA and Pentagon or, if you wish, between the moderate and radical parts of the American elite. This conflict sometimes manifests itself in an intricate way. In this specific situation, it turns out that the leak’s orchestrators aimed at Kerry, but ended up hitting the whole USA.
The most likely scenario behind the appearance of the recorded conversations is such: representatives of the Syrian opposition are very frustrated that the US never started bombing Damascus, so they decided to record talks with Kerry during which he explained that everything is bad, that the Russians have tricked him, and thus offered dozens of reasons why the “US Secretary of State has ditched the Syrian opposition and caved in to the Russians.”
The New York Times as a newspaper is the official mouthpiece of the Clintonoids and all the American hawks. That it happily published this leak hints that such a position of the American diplomatic leadership is a disgrace for the US and that things were never and never could have been so bad under Clinton. As a result of this special operation, Kerry’s reputation has been dealt a serious blow and the American hawks have scored extra points in the fight for influencing the minds of American citizens and the undecided part of the American elite. 
All of this would be good, but the entire world is watching this showdown and drawing different conclusions. Here are the conclusions that beg themselves: 
1. Now the US really wants to, but effectively cannot influence the situation in Syria. No one believes in Obama’s peaceful intentions, and this means that there can only be one explanation: the Americans are afraid to engage in a real military conflict with Russia. For the Americans, this is a minus, just as it is a plus for our reputation.
2. The American elite have reached such a point in their internal confrontation that they no longer hesitate to sacrifice the interests of the country in order to spite their competitors in internal political struggles. 
This is a very important milestone. From the point of view of old civilizations, such as the Chinese, this is a clear sign that the American Empire is nearing its end and should be treated accordingly.
Now the Americans are trying to arrange another media and diplomatic show around the offensive of Syrian troops and the bombing of Aleppo. They are trying to put maximum media and diplomatic pressure on Russia. But since Kerry’s leaked confessions, no one will take this seriously.
The Americans have run out of tools for directly influencing the situation in Syria, and their opinion should be ignored. By spreading media and diplomatic noise, they are trying to hide the fact that they have already reconciled with the fact that Assad is going to continue to lead Syria and that the Russian army is going to continue to use Syrian bases. All that is left is to squeeze them to recognize this not only on the sidelines of the UN, but officially.
I think that our air force can handle this task. 
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Ukraine declares resumption of war against Donbass

By  Eric Zuesse
Posted on RINF.com, March 18, 2015

On Wednesday, March 18th, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine — who was selected for that post by Victoria Nuland of the U.S. State Department on 4 February 2014, 18 days before the U.S. coup that installed him into this office — told his cabinet meeting, “Our goal is to regain control of Donetsk and Lugansk.” Those are the two districts comprising Donbass, the self-proclaimed independent region of Ukraine, which now calls itself “The People’s Republic“ and sometimes “Novorossiya,” and which rejects the coup and its coup-imposed Government.

That Government of Ukraine is run by Yatsenyuk and the people whom he selected. Ukraine also has a President, who is elected by voters in the northwest of Ukraine, where the coup-government is accepted; but, since the coup, the Government has actually been run by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, who is entirely dependent upon the United States Government and its subordinates (such as the IMF and NATO, in both of which the U.S. has veto-power) in order to obtain the financial and military support necessary to keep him in office

Yatsenyuk announced there: “Adequate financial resources are available,” to retake Donbass. Those “resources” came largely from the IMF, and from the United States, all with loans to the bankrupt Ukrainian Government. So that the investors will be paid the principal plus the extremely high interest on these junk-loans that are backed by their governments, Western taxpayers will ultimately be, basically, donating to Franklin Templeton, and to George Soros, and to the other financiers who are buying the Ukrainian Government bonds that purchase those weapons and military trainers to conquer the residents of Donbass. The Ukrainian Government officially calls these residents ‘Terrorists,’ and the military operation to conquer them they call the ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ or “ATO” for short. They call their troops who are doing the killing there, “punishers,” which the residents of northwestern Ukraine take to mean punishers of terrorists. The residents in northwestern Ukraine see only television that is broadcast on stations that are owned by Ukrainian, European, and American, oligarchs. For example, one of these stations is Hromadske TV, which was founded with money from the Dutch Government, the U.S. Government, and George Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation. It has, on occasion, presented ‘experts’ who call for exterminating at least 1.5 million of the residents in Donbass. So, this is how the support of the residents in Ukraine’s northwest for the “ATO” is being maintained. The residents in Donbass have also been called “subhumans” by Yatsenyuk himself.

At this cabinet meeting, Yatsenyuk additionally announced that resumption of the war would be rushed: “We need to move the funding for the purchase of new equipment and weapons from the third and fourth quarter to the first and second quarter,” he told his cabinet.

At this same cabinet meeting, the Minister of Defense, Stepan Poltorak, announced that, to date, 100 contracts for military equipment have been signed, and soon there will be 160. He also said: “Just in the last week alone, factories brought in about a thousand pieces of equipment for repair.”

Yatsenyuk told his cabinet that, “We will fight using all methods and techniques for the resumption of peace and regaining control of Donetsk and Luhansk region.” By ‘resumption of peace,’ he meant resumption of control over Donbass. “Peace” is the term he uses to mean control. In other words: until the Yatsenyuk Government wins, there will continue to be war in Donbass, “using all methods and techniques” to achieve his (that is, America’s) victory in subduing the residents there. This subduing means exterminating some, and driving the others out; so that, in either case, they won’t become voters in future Ukrainian elections. The last time that these people voted in a Ukrainian election was 2010, when they voted 90% for Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom Obama overthrew. Without that 90% vote, Yanukovych wouldn’t have been elected. Obama consequently doesn’t want them voting in any future Ukrainian election. That’s the reason why they’re being bombed — to get rid of them.

On March 17th, Ukraine’s parliament, the Rada, voted to declare Donbass to be “temporarily occupied territory,” until the residents there are conquered. The day before that, the figurehead President of Ukraine had presented to the Rada a draft resolution proposing to solve the problem of the resistant Donbass with a resolution he published on his website on March 14th saying that the region has “special status,” and temporary self-government, but this proposal wasn’t the one the Rada passed. The President nonetheless declared that his terminology was somehow law from the moment it had been published on his website.

U.S. President Obama wants the war resumed as quickly as possible, but Angela Merkel and other European leaders have urged that it not be resumed at all. Consequently, there is a split in the Western alliance about this matter. Apparently, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk has determined that he now has enough weapons and loans to be able to resume the war very soon, until final victory.

Obama, evidently, is determined to finish the job that he started with his coup. It was bloody, but the follow-through will need to be far more so. And he has the full support of the U.S. Congress, and of the major think tanks, to continue this until victory. EU nations that don’t like it — well, Obama’s agent controlling Ukraine said famously, on 4 February 2014, “F—k the EU.”

Many European leaders don’t want to be involved in a war against Russia. However, on March 12th, Yatsenyuk said “Ukraine is in a state of war with … the Russian Federation.” That is the service he is providing to Barack Obama, and to the 98%+ of the members of the U.S. Congress who likewise want this war: Ukraine has become the proxy state for America’s war against Russia.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

 

Kiev Ambassador on German TV: Neo-Nazis are part of armed forces

Goes further and says there are no right-wingers currently serving in Ukrainian Parliament

From Russian Insider, February 24, 2015
By Damir Marinovic
http://russia-insider.com/en/tv_ukraine/2015/02/19/3638
Video is available at link.
Transcript is below.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk (Western Ukrainian from Lvov), made a shocking statement on Günther Jauch’s TV show, one of the most popular political talk shows in Germany.

Answering the question about the large presence of “strange people with SS insignia” in the Ukrainian Army, Melnyk admitted that Azov and Right Sector neo-Nazis are part of the Ukrainian armed forces, that they are controlled and coordinated by Kiev’s pro-Western regime and that without them “the Russian army” would advance much further.

Let’s now carefully analyze his statement:

“Since the last elections there is not a single far right party in our Parliament. And this is important fact”

He is dead wrong on this. Extreme right-wing populist Lyahsko, of the Radical Party, entered the Parliament and is a member of the ruling coalition. Both leaders of Right Sector, Interpol-wanted Dmytro Yarosh and Borislav Bereza, were directly elected in their electoral districts and are currently serving as MPs.

Furthermore, white power Nazi and Azov de-facto leader Andriy Biletsky was also directly elected as an MP and is part of a coalition with Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front party. Next to Biletsky, Andriy Parubiy, founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine is a MP and deputy chairman of the Ukrainian Rada (parliament).

New democracy requires new symbols (neo-Nazi flags) for kids in school

So the far right elements are very much present in the Parliament and unfortunately not only in the UkrainianRada, but also in other important institutions. It seems that the whole Ukrainian political spectrum move radically to the right and one can argue whether there are any center-of-left leaning parties present in the current parliament?

Let’s continue with his statement:

“When we were attacked by the Russians last year, we hardly had an army. And that’s why there were a lot of people, volunteers, who were prepared to fight for their country, and they are doing it.”

Nonsense (the part about Russia attacking Ukraine is of course baseless. If Ukraine was invaded, why don’t they provide evidence, or declare war?) We can all clearly remember spring of the last year when many regular Ukrainian army units refused to wage a war against civilians who disagreed with Kiev’s coup d’etat and Maidan revolution. The bloody civil war started only after the new regime manage to consolidate itself, formed, equipped and trained the National Guard units and volunteer battalions composed of far right/neo-Nazi volunteers.

Now comes to most shocking part of his statement:

“These (neo-Nazi) units are fighting together with our army, with the National Guard and other units, and they are coordinated and controlled by Kiev. That’s why there exists no danger that they do something on their own, beyond they have coordinated with the army commanders”.

It is hard to comprehend that the ambassador of a “young democracy” and potential EU member is openly admitting that they are coordinating and controlling neo-Nazis in their war against their own citizens. It is even more unbelievable that at the eve of celebrating 70th anniversary of defeating Nazis in Second World War, we have neo-Nazis as part of armed forces of an European country.

There is one Ukraine and… one Adolf Hitler

It is not a secret that the Neo-Nazi Azov battalion officially became special military unit of Ukraine’s Ministry of the Interior and it is under its control. “Moderate” Poroshenko even decorated them for valor.

However, it is hard to agree with the statement that Kiev regime can fully control volunteer battalions. That was the reason the ambassador tried to change the subject and start questioning authenticity of the photo when he was once again asked to reaffirm that these neo-Nazi extremists are not doing anything wrong.

Just yesterday (19 February 2015), Semenchenko, commander of the Donbass battalion, announced the creation of an independent headquarters for eleven volunteer battalions, to counter Ukraine’s regular army “Generalstab”.

Yarosh’s Right Sector units and Azov battalion announced that their military units have rejected the recent Minsk deal and that they will continue with active fighting in the East according to their own plans. That’s the reason there are still heavy fights in Shirokino near Mariupol between the Azov battalion and Donetsk forces.

 

In one of the Amnesty’s reports, it is indicated that Kiev has loose regulation on volunteer groups and its “members… act with virtually no oversight or control”.

There are also reports that Poroshenko family had to flee the country since there was apparently ultimatum of the Right Sector to Poroshenko, that he “would suffer the same fate as Gaddafi” because of the Debaltseve humiliation.

Whoever think they can control Nazi marauders and other far-right bloodthirsty loonies should get ready for a nasty surprise.

The ambassador finished his statement with a very important notion:

“Without them (neo-Nazis) the Russian army would have advanced much further. That’s why they are part of this picture. Without these units, it would be much more difficult to defend ourselves.”

I would completely agree with the ambassador reasoning if there was no nonsense about the “Russian army”. This regime can survive and defend itself only with the help of neo-Nazis militants and radicals. This is of course excluding their Western sponsors. If there was no “helping hand” from neo-Nazis and the West this war would be long time over.

It’s a very tricky and risky game the Kiev regime is playing. On the one hand they are heavily dependent upon neo-Nazi volunteer battalions for their survival; on the other hand neo-Nazi militants can easily overthrow the president and government in Kiev.

Finally, if Kiev says it is controlling neo-Nazi battalions, shouldn’t they be held responsible for the crimes committed by them? There are numerous reports about war crimes of nationalist volunteer battalions, even according to the Amnesty International and Human Right Watch. It’s obvious that Ukrainian neo-Nazi marauders are not afraid of potential criminal proceedings against them since “full immunity” is a part of the deal they have with the Kiev regime.

Transcript

Question:

Mr. Ambassador,
But do you always know what strange people are sometimes fighting on your side?
There are obviously far right radical unions wearing SS runes
Here we can see “Azov” battalion and there’s a swastika.
Do you always know who is on your side, who is fighting on your side?Do you have them under control?

Answer:

As far as radicals are concerned,
Since the last elections, there isn’t a single far right party in the Parliament.
And this is an important fact.
And as far as the volunteer battalions that you’ve mentioned, I can only say one thing
When we were attacked by the Russians last year, we have hardly any army.
And that why there were a lot of people, volunteers, who were prepared to fight for their country and they are doing it.

Question:

The Right Sector, and those we’ve seen in the photo – the “Azov” army.
But there are thousands of fighters.
It is not just a couple of stragglers.

Answer:

These unions are fighting together with our army, with the National Guard and other units, and they are coordinated and controlled by Kiev.
That’s why there exists no danger that they do something on their own, beyond what they have coordinated with the army commanders.

Question:

So they are under your control?
Can you bet your right arm that they are doing nothing wrong.

Answer:

This photo…I have seen it already.
But we can’t verify it and prove if it is true or not.
If there really were this flag.
But as I have said before, I’d like to clarify once again,
There units are coordinated by the general staff in Kiev.
They are also part of our defense forces.
Without them, the Russian Army would have advanced much further.
That’s why they are part of this picture.
Without these units, it would be much more difficult to defend ourselves.

Source:
http://russia-insider.com/en/tv_ukraine/2015/02/19/3638

http://www.globalresearch.ca/kiev-ambassador-to-germany-neo-nazis-are-part-of-our-forces-without-them-russia-would-have-defeated-us/5433051

 

 

Minsk-2 Preliminary Analysis

Posted on Fort Russ
2/12/2015

Minsk-2: Withdrawal of Forces and Autonomy for the Donbass.
By Russkiy Malchik

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Information is still scarce. We have seen the main principles which were clear. But it’s obvious that they spent 16 hours discussing not the basic principles but the details. It is the details that are the core of the peace plan.

Unfortunately neither Poroshenko nor other leaders signed the joint declaration, and the “Collection of Measures” were signed only by the members of the contact group, namely LPR/DPR, Kuchma in Kiev’s name, OSCE, and Zurabov. That list likewise contains 13 points with fairly general formulations, which will require further clarification. But there are also specifics that have been published and by which we can assess how the negotiations went and what kind of compromise was reached.

The first has to do with the withdrawal of heavy weapons under OSCE control. The conditions are rather odd: it specifies a distance of 50km (for cannon) or 140km (for rocket artillery), from the actual line of the front as of midnight, February 15, and for the militia from the September 19 line [the line of demarcation from Minsk-1].

This means that both sides should leave their positions, creating a huge belt (100-300km) without weapons, de facto up to the borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Which leads to the following question: who will control it? This is the key question. So far there are no clear answers. But considering that the issue of peacekeepers was frequently brought up, this is who they have in mind. It is not for nothing that the Donbass representatives said that they will accept only Russian and Belarusian peacekeepers. Kiev, on the other hand, does not want peacekeepers, but if it does agree it will want NATO troops. So there is a big question mark here.

The second interesting provision is this. In the paragraph 11 which concerns Ukraine’s constitutional reform, which is to be implemented by the end of 2015, there is a provision which includes the main provisions of the law on the “Special Status of Lugansk and Donetsk Region”, which read as follows:

–Immunity from punishment, prosecution, or discrimination for individuals which participated in the events that took place in various parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions (this amounts to legalizing all combatants).

–The right to language self-determination.

–The participation of local self-government in the nominating process for the office of prosecutor general and the courts in the regions (LPR and DPR de-facto control over the legal and law enforcement systems).

–The central government shall enter into agreements with the local self-government concerning economic, social, and cultural development of the regions (Kiev will enter into agreements with Donetsk and Lugansk concerning all crucial aspects of the joint economy).

–The government supports the socio-economic development of the separate regions (Kiev will partially finance the reconstruction of Lugansk and Donetsk, and guarantees the fulfillment of social obligations).

–The central government shall facilitate cross-border cooperation between the several districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions with regions of the Russian Federation (Kiev will not oppose the cooperation between Lugansk, Donetsk, and Russia).

–The establishment of people’s militia in accordance with local government decisions in order to maintain public order in the several regions (the militia becomes a law enforcement organization, all power institutions remain under the control of the current leadership).

–The authority of the local authorities and officials from special elections that were designated by the Verkhovna Rada in accordance with this law, cannot be invalidated before their terms run out (this guarantees the rights of the current DPR and LPR government until they are re-elected as part of the process of forming local self-government through new elections).

As a result, Donbass receives widespread autonomy within the framework of nominally unitary Ukraine. This is the compromise which satisfied Putin after the 16-hour Minsk marathon. Moreover, France and Germany guarantee the re-establishment of the Donbass banking system, and will reach an agreement with Russia concerning the rules concerning the free trade zone between EU, Russia, and Ukraine, while taking into consideration the special status of Donbass.

The third detail pertains to border control. Here the language is extremely clear. The border between Ukraine and Russia will be re-established only after Ukraine carries out constitutional reforms, which implies autonomy (self-government, people’s militia, cross-border cooperation with Russia). In other words, once Kiev gives Donbass control over its own territory, then the border shall be re-established…but will remain under militia control.

To sum up this quick analysis based on still-incomplete information one can say the following: in purely diplomatic sense, Russia scored a success, forcing Kiev and the West to accept a painful and temporary, but real compromise. It is based on freezing the military conflict and the autonomy of the Donbass while nominally preserving Ukraine’s borders. In practice we are talking about reformatting Ukraine from a unitary into a federal state, regardless of Poroshenko’s denials. If the Galicia banderites realize this, they’ll start screaming about “Poroshenko’s treason.”

Of course, the implementation of the agreement is another question. The fact that neither Poroshenko nor European leaders signed it does not make it easier. On the other hand, Hollande’s and Merkel’s wishes are more than real, so it will fall to them to compel Kiev to implement the “Collection of Measures.” The only other option is a complete defeat for Ukrainian forces. To which Putin merrily alluded when he mentioned Debaltsevo—either you come out with your hands up, or you’ll continue to get killed.

The Minsk peace plan from February 12 does not solve the problem (and it could not solve it), but creates the possibility to delay the war until the end of 2015. With one condition: that Kiev and Washington accept the federalization of Ukraine. If not, the war will come to Kiev.

J.Hawk’s Comment:  The biggest factor here is whether the Ukrainian military is up to the task of continuing the fighting. If it is, if Poroshenko believes its forces have been sufficiently restored, the fighting will resume. However, the Ukrainian military took a heavy beating in the last months’ fighting and it will find it difficult to replace the lost equipment. Mobilization is unpopular, and there is little chance that NATO will rearm Ukraine. Last but not least, there is also the IMF and its stringent conditions on government spending that come as part of its bailout packages. Yaresko had already announced that Ukraine’s budget will have to undergo significant changes in order to accommodate the IMF. It’s difficult to see what else in that budget could be cut aside from the defense spending. Hollande and Merkel are not stupid, they’ve seen enough of Poroshenko to know what he is capable of, so therefore they will most likely act through the IMF to reduce Ukraine’s ability to wage war.

So overall this is a better agreement than Minsk-1, though not as good one as might have been reached should the Ukrainian military first suffered a catastrophic defeat. The fact that Novorossia will continue to enjoy unimpeded contact with the Russian Federation is also a major plus–Minsk-1 agreement called for the border control to be returned to Ukraine. 

But in the meantime Novorossia continues to exist and to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, though it is not likely that its authority will spread all the way to the borders of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, even though Minsk-2 does not appear to contain any language concerning demarcation lines.   The above, of course, assumes that there will be a ceasefire at midnight of February 15, and there might not be one. Minsk-2 says nothing about Debaltsevo, which means the Ukrainian side will continue its attempts to break into or out of the encirclement. If the ceasefire goes into effect as of the 15th with the Ukrainian forces still trapped in Debaltsevo, they will have no choice but to surrender their weapons and depart. Poroshenko cannot allow that to happen, so the fighting could well continue. One can always perpetrate a “false flag” attack or two as an excuse for breaking the ceasefire…

 

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/02/minsk-2-preliminary-analysis.html