Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hinter den Terror-Milizen US-Schreckensherrschaft im Visier
Von Luz María De Stéfano Zuloaga de Lenkait
Die Redaktion der Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) und insbesondere der SZ-Journalist Paul-Anton Krüger erkennen die Schuld, ja die Verantwortung von ausländischen Mächten, die bei den Terror-Attentaten in Syrien am Werk sind, nämlich Saudi-Arabien, die Türkei und Katar. Die Öffentlichkeit ganz Deutschlands und Europas kennt auch die kriminelle Verwicklung dieser Staaten in den Terror, der Syrien seit Jahren verwüstet. Deswegen ist der Untertitel „Syriens Regime sieht ausländische Mächte am Werk“ zum sachlichen Artikel Paul-Anton-Krügers vollkommen unangebracht und begrenzt: Nicht nur die syrische Regierung, sondern alle europäischen Kanzleien und an erster Stelle das State Department und das Pentagon wissen ganz genau, wie perfid sie in die Zerstörung Syriens verwickelt sind, nämlich Hand in Hand mit terroristischen und extremistischen Gruppierungen aller Art, die sie mit Waffen und Geld unterstützen. In diesem Zusammenhang hat Damaskus nach den jüngsten Anschlägen, die 150 Tote verursachten, den Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen (UN) eingeschaltet, wie Paul-Anton Krüger berichtet. („Strippenzieher des Terrors – Syriens Regime sieht ausländische Mächte am Werk“ von Paul-Anton Krüger, SZ, 25.5.) Bezeichnenderweise wurde diese wichtige Nachricht in ARD-Tagesschau und ZDF-Heute unterschlagen. Im Schreiben an den UN-Sicherheitsrat hat die syrische Regierung konkret Saudi-Arabien, die Türkei und Katar für solche kriminellen Untaten verantwortlich gemacht. mehr...

Kerry Saudi Appeal Lets Terror Mask Slip by FINIAN CUNNINGHAM

Kerry Saudi Appeal Lets Terror Mask Slip
24.05.2016 | OPINION

Ahead of further international negotiations in Vienna this week on the Syria conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a telling preliminary visit to Saudi Arabia. The top American diplomat met with King Salman on May, 15, the day before the Vienna talks opened, urging the Saudis to support the tortuous ceasefire in Syria.

From Western news media reportage, such as this one from Reuters, one would never guess the sinister role played by Saudi Arabia and its Washington patron in the five-year Syrian war. Indeed, quite the opposite is inferred by vapid reports on how Kerry, along with Russia’s Sergey Lavrov and others, is convening talks in Vienna to «end the conflict». Kerry the unstinting diplomat for Middle East peace. How dashing! How noble!
The Vienna summit hosted by the International Syria Support Group includes the United Nations, the US, Russia, China, the European Union, Iran and Saudi Arabia among other Middle East states.
So why, it begs to be asked, should Kerry preface his meetings in the Austrian capital with an additional special visit to Saudi King Salman. The entreaty from the American diplomat is a giveaway about the deeper role played by both the US and Saudi Arabia in the Syrian crisis, which has resulted in more than 250,000 deaths and millions of refugees.
Christian Science Monitor, an American news outlet, headlined Kerry’s stopover with King Salman thus: «Kerry in Saudi Arabia for mideast talks».
How blandly uninformative can you get? The boring words suggest the Secretary of State was calling with the Saudi monarch in his Jeddah palace for nothing more exciting than a cup of tea.
Beneath the mundane headline, however, the Christian Science Monitor’s report, based on Associated Press copy, goes on to hint at the real purpose for the urgent American appeal to the House of Saud.
It said: «Kerry is trying to shore up the shaky truce in Syria, which has been fraught with violations on both sides… The situation [in Syria] has been further complicated by the intermingling of some western and Arab-backed rebels with groups such as the al-Qaida [sic] affiliate, known as the Nusra Front, which the UN has designated a terrorist organization and therefore not covered by the truce. Saudi Arabia and the US have rejected attempts by Russia to get those rebels placed on the UN terrorist list».
In the US government-owned Voice of America news outlet, the Secretary of State’s trip to Saudi Arabia is reported in the following insipid way: «Kerry, trying to shore up support for the shaky ceasefire in Syria, met with Saudi King Salman, whose country has been a key supporter of rebels [sic] fighting to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad».
Despite the circumlocution of such Western media reports, one can still deduce that both the US and Saudi Arabia are sponsoring illegally armed groups that are integrated with terrorist organizations, for the objective of regime change against a sovereign state. In short: criminal conspiracy and covert war.
Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar ash-Sham, the groups that are euphemistically «intermingled» with known al-Qaeda-affiliated terror groups Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State, are reported to have carried out massacres around Syria’s key battleground city of Aleppo. Both militia are also reported to have used banned chemical weapons to commit atrocities.
Yet these are the same groups that the United States, Britain and France refused to designate as terror groups after blocking a Russian resolution at the UN Security Council last week.
A US spokesperson at the UN told Agence France-Presse that if these groups were proscribed then the ceasefire in Syria would collapse. That startling admission unwittingly reveals that the cessation of hostilities is dependent on al-Qaeda-linked insurgents. In other words, there are no «moderate rebels» that Washington and its Western allies keep asserting. If putative «moderates» were a credible force, then why does the ceasefire depend on the participation of extremist groups?
Of course, for anyone with an informed view of the Syrian conflict, this terrorist delineation is nothing new. Outside of the Western media whitewashed fantasy, it is well understood that the US and its NATO allies have been prosecuting a covert war for regime change in Syria, along with key regional terror sponsors in the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.
John Kerry said that there are no «strategic differences» between the US and Saudi Arabia over Syria. The differences, he said, are «tactical».
Washington and its Western partners want political negotiations in Vienna and Geneva in order to achieve the strategic aim of ousting the Syrian government. No doubt to be replaced by a pro-Western puppet regime. The tactics here are political means.
Whereas the politically backward Saudi regime – a semi-feudal absolute monarchy – appears to be unable to extricate itself from the tactic of using terrorist proxies to achieve regime change. The same can be said for the Turkish regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which is a major source of fighters, weapons and cross-border oil smuggling to fund the covert war in Syria.
What Washington is evidently concerned about is that if the ceasefire in Syria collapses entirely, then the Syrian government forces supported by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah will inflict even greater losses on the regime-change mercenaries.
The US is counting on the ceasefire as a political bargaining position from which it can demand «political transition» in Syria, or more prosaically, «regime change». A ceasefire gives the so-called Syrian opposition – a US and Saudi-backed exile ragtag group called the High Negotiations Committee – a negotiating berth.
Without a ceasefire and with the eventual military defeat of the foreign-backed terror mercenaries across Syria, the political negotiations will only serve to bolster and vindicate the Syrian government and its international allies in Russia and Iran.
The legal position of the Syrian government and its allies is correct. The UN Security Council resolution 2254 passed in December excludes al-Qaeda-linked terror groups from ceasefire and any kind of political engagement. The American, British and French sleight of hand is the pretense that Saudi-backed Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar ash-Sham extremists are somehow not affiliated with al-Qaeda.
But the involvement of all these groups in breaching the ceasefire tentatively brokered by Washington and Moscow on February 27 is proof of their logistical integration. There are recent reports of deadly feuding between Jaysh al-Islam and Jabhat al-Nusra in suburbs around the capital Damascus. Nevertheless, such rivalries do not negate their common terrorist ideology and tactical role that these groups play in the foreign-sponsored conspiracy for illegal regime change in Syria.
The Western media project the ridiculous image of John Kerry as a peace tribune, shuttling to «shore up peace» in Syria.
The blunt, vile truth is that Kerry is on a mission to salvage Washington’s rabid dogs of war in Syria. Washington needs the ceasefire, not primarily to end violence, but rather to expedite its political tactic for regime change.
Veiled threats of a Plan B – direct American military intervention for regime change in Syria – are too much of a risk. Especially given the danger of a wider conflict with Russian forces. Washington probably doesn’t have the stomach for it either.
At this point in the geopolitical game, Washington is gambling on the political tactic. But from its cynical perspective, the Saudis and Turks are problematic because both of these terror sponsors are undermining the ceasefire cover with which Washington is using to push the political means for regime change.
That’s why Kerry was groveling before the Saudi King ahead of the new round of talks in Vienna. It’s not a stretch to paraphrase Kerry as saying to this royal host: «Please, please your majesty, you must call off our terrorist proxies. Please, please your majesty, give our political tricks a chance to succeed in getting rid of Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies».
Washington and the House of Saud are both up to their necks in terrorist sponsorship in the destruction of Syria. That’s what the real story is, despite Western media fawning and omissions.
One partner-in-crime just happens to be a little more practical than the other. But given the House of Saud’s notorious stupidity, Washington’s machinations in Syria are liable to get a royal flush down the toilet.

Silencing America as it prepares for war

Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention.  The great counter revolution had begun.
The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America’s victims in faraway places.
“We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don’t you forget it.”  So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.
The millions of Vietnamese who died and were maimed and poisoned and dispossessed by the American invasion have no historical place in young minds, not to mention the estimated 60,000 veterans who took their own lives. A friend of mine, a marine who became a paraplegic in Vietnam, was often asked, “Which side did you fight on?”
A few years ago, I attended a popular exhibition called “The Price of Freedom” at the venerable Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The lines of ordinary people, mostly children shuffling through a Santa’s grotto of revisionism, were dispensed a variety of lies: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved “a million lives”; Iraq was “liberated [by] air strikes of unprecedented precision”. The theme was unerringly heroic: only Americans pay the price of freedom.
The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington’s boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal – Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.
The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it “never happened …Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. It didn’t matter … “. Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called “a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”
Take Obama. As he prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. He is “cool”. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.
In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernising” America’s doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”.
James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said:
[One] great myth we’re seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who’s trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He’s the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He’s committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that’s attached to actual policy. It isn’t.
On Obama’s watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature – when all Chinese were banned from the United States – but the media warriors are working on it.
Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has mentioned any of this. There is no risk and no danger for the United States and all of us. For them, the greatest military build-up on the borders of Russia since World War Two has not happened. On May 11, Romania went “live” with a Nato “missile defence” base that aims its first-strike American missiles at the heart of Russia, the world’s second nuclear power.
In Asia, the Pentagon is sending ships, planes and special forces to the Philippines to threaten China. The US already encircles China with hundreds of military bases that curve in an arc up from Australia, to Asia and across to Afghanistan. Obama calls this a “pivot”.
As a direct consequence, China reportedly has changed its nuclear weapons policy from no-first-use to high alert and put to sea submarines with nuclear weapons. The escalator is quickening.
It was Hillary Clinton who, as Secretary of State in 2010, elevated the competing territorial claims for rocks and reef in the South China Sea to an international issue; CNN and BBC hysteria followed; China was building airstrips on the disputed islands. In its mammoth war game in 2015, Operation Talisman Sabre, the US practiced “choking” the Straits of Malacca through which pass most of China’s oil and trade. This was not news.
Clinton declared that America had a “national interest” in these Asian waters. The Philippines and Vietnam were encouraged and bribed to pursue their claims and old enmities against China. In America, people are being primed to see any Chinese defensive position as offensive, and so the ground is laid for rapid escalation. A similar strategy of provocation and propaganda is applied to Russia.
Clinton, the “women’s candidate”, leaves a trail of bloody coups: in Honduras, in Libya (plus the murder of the Libyan president) and Ukraine. The latter is now a CIA theme park swarming with Nazis and the frontline of a beckoning war with Russia. It was through Ukraine – literally, borderland — that Hitler’s Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, which lost 27 million people. This epic catastrophe remains a presence in Russia. Clinton’s presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world’s ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close.
Sanders, the hope of many young Americans, is not very different from Clinton in his proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He backed Bill Clinton’s illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama’s terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq. He has nothing to say on the drumbeat of threats to China and the accelerating risk of nuclear war. He agrees that Edward Snowden should stand trial and he calls Hugo Chavez – like him, a social democrat – “a dead communist dictator”. He promises to support Clinton if she is nominated.
The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.
“Only Donald Trump has said anything meaningful and critical of US foreign policy,” wrote Stephen Cohen, emeritus professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, one of the few Russia experts in the United States to speak out about the risk of war.
In a radio broadcast, Cohen referred to critical questions Trump alone had raised. Among them: why is the United States “everywhere on the globe”? What is NATO’s true mission? Why does the US always pursue regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine? Why does Washington treat Russia and Vladimir Putin as an enemy?
The hysteria in the liberal media over Trump serves an illusion of “free and open debate” and “democracy at work”. His views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief  of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy: such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin’s gulag.
This presidential campaign may not be about populism but American liberalism, an ideology that sees itself as modern and therefore superior and the one true way. Those on its right wing bear a likeness to 19th century Christian imperialists, with a God-given duty to convert or co-opt or conquer.
In Britain, this is Blairism. The Christian war criminal Tony Blair got away with his secret preparation for the invasion of Iraq largely because the liberal political class and media fell for his “cool Britannia”. In the Guardian, the applause was deafening; he was called “mystical”. A distraction known as identity politics, imported from the United States, rested easily in his care.
History was declared over, class was abolished and gender promoted as feminism; lots of women became New Labour MPs. They voted on the first day of Parliament to cut the benefits of single parents, mostly women, as instructed. A majority voted for an invasion that produced 700,000 Iraqi widows.
The equivalent in the US are the politically correct warmongers on the New York Times, the Washington Post and network TV who dominate political debate. I watched a furious debate on CNN about Trump’s infidelities. It was clear, they said, a man like that could not be trusted in the White House. No issues were raised. Nothing on the 80 per cent of Americans whose income has collapsed to 1970s levels.  Nothing on the drift to war. The received wisdom seems to be “hold your nose” and vote for Clinton: anyone but Trump. That way, you stop the monster and preserve a system gagging for another war.
John Pilger is an internationally renowned investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. His latest film is The War on Democracy. His most recent book is Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire (2006). Read other articles by John, or visit John's website.
This article was posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2016 at 6:12am and is filed under Afghanistan, China, Culture, Drones, Elections, Empire, Fascism, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Media, Militarism, NATO, Obama, Politics, Propaganda, Russia, Syria, Terrorism (state and retail), Ukraine, United Kingdom, Viet Nam, Weaponry, Whistleblowing.http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/05/silencing-america-as-it-prepares-for-war/

Nein zur aktuellen Nuklearbedrohung Russlands aus der US-Kommandozentrale Ramstein

Großdemo gegen US-Basis Ramstein: Rainer Rupp im RT-Interview mit dem Vorsitzenden des Deutschen Freidenker-Verbandes 
Von der US-Kommandozentrale in Rheinland-Pfalz wird sowohl der US-Dohnenkrieg geführt als auch die neue nukleare Bedrohung gegen Russland gesteuert. Rainer Rupp im Gespräch mit dem Bundesvorsitzenden des Deutschen Freidenker-Verbandes Klaus Hartmann über die Kampagne "Stopp Ramstein", geplante Aktionen im Juni 2016 sowie die Initiative "Deutschland raus aus der NATO – NATO raus aus Deutschland“. 
In der Kampagne „Stopp Ramstein“ arbeiten einige Dutzend lokale und bundesweite Organisationen der Friedensbewegung zusammen. Im Rahmen dieser Kampagne rufen Sie dazu auf, sich an den mehrtägigen Aktionen rund um die US-Air Base zu beteiligen, die mit einer 12 Kilometer langen Menschenkette von Kaiserslautern zur Air Base am Samstag, dem 11. Juni 2016, als Höhepunkt enden sollen. Warum ausgerechnet Ramstein?
Die US-Airbase in Ramstein repräsentiert fast alle Friedensbedrohungen, denen wir heute ausgesetzt sind: Von hier starten die NATO-Bomber zu ihren völkerrechtswidrigen Angriffskriegen. Hier ist die operative Kommandozentrale für alle bisherigen und auch künftig geplanten Überfälle in Europa oder Mittelost. Hier ist die Zentrale für den Drohnenkrieg der USA: Die Drohnenpiloten sitzen weit weg in ihren antiseptischen Büros und drücken am PC auf den Knopf, aber damit die Drohnen zielgenau ihre Mordopfer finden, die der Friedensnobelpreisträger Obama wöchentlich aussucht, braucht es Ramstein. Hier steht die Relaisstation, die den gestarteten Drohnen den aufgrund der Erdkrümmung erforderlichen „Dreh“, verpassen, damit sie „erfolgreich“ den Tod bringen können.
„Von deutschem Boden soll nie wieder Krieg ausgehen“ – das versicherte die Bundesregierung feierlich zum Abschluss des 2+4-Vertrages, der den Zusammenschluss mit der DDR bewirkte. Von Ramstein, und das liegt zweifelsohne auf deutschem Boden, geht täglich Krieg aus, in Ramstein wird dieses Versprechen jeden Tag gebrochen. Ramstein hat also einen hohen Symbolwert für die Frage „Krieg oder Frieden“, deshalb ist es der geeignete Ort, um gegen die wachsende Kriegsgefahr zu demonstrieren.
Stichwort „wachsende Kriegsgefahr“: die scheint Vielen nicht bewusst zu sein, wenn man sich anschaut, wie viele Menschen für den Frieden auf die Straße gehen. Ist die Warnung mehr als Alarmismus, wie sehen Sie die reale Gefahr? Und wie viele Menschen erwarten Sie in Ramstein am zweiten Juni-Wochenende?
Bei der ersten Ramstein-Demo der Kampagne im September 2015 waren wir 1.500, jetzt erwarten wir einige Tausend mehr. Grund zum Optimismus gibt besonders, weil sich in der betroffenen Region die Stimmung dreht und unsere Forderungen auf Zustimmung stoßen. Wir betrachten „Stopp Ramstein“ als längerfristige Kampagne, wir kommen wieder, bis unsere Forderungen erfüllt sind: Zuerst muss die Relaisstation für den Drohnenkrieg geschlossen, schließlich die komplette Air Base aufgelöst werden.
Die Rede von der wachsenden Kriegsgefahr ist keineswegs eine Floskel. Die USA und die NATO-Mächte führen einen „Regime Change“-Krieg nach dem anderen, angefangen von der Zerschlagung Jugoslawiens, über den Irak und Libyen, die Aggressionen gegen den Libanon, Syrien und in der Ukraine. Das setzt sich fort mit den Provokationen im südchinesischen Meer bis zu den Putschversuchen gegen linke Regierungen in Südamerika. Man muss nur genau zuhören: Im Juli 2015 hat Deborah James, administrative Chefin der US-Luftstreitkräfte, „Russland als größte Bedrohung“ bezeichnet; General Dunford, Generalstabschef der US-Streitkräfte, nannte Russland und China eine „größere Bedrohung für die USA als die Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat (IS)“; General Milley, Generalstabschef der US-Armee, sieht in Russland eine „absolute existenzielle Bedrohung für die USA“. Der bisherige NATO-Oberbefehlshaber General Breedlove nannte Russland eine „langfristige existenzielle Bedrohung“; sein Nachfolger General Scaparrotti, hält Russland für den „größten Feind der USA“.
Der Oberbefehlshaber eines Militärbündnisses, das sich schrankenlos ausdehnt, meint passenderweise, man müsse „Putin in die Schranken weisen“. NATO-Generalsekretär Stoltenberg verkündet, dass die NATO „im Osten Europas vorrücken“ müsse, mit einer „Kette von neuen Hauptquartieren“. Stoltenbergs Vorgänger Rasmussen macht den Anfang und schlägt sein neues Hauptquartier in Kiew auf, wo er gerade als Spezialberater von Präsident Poroschenko angeheuert hat.
Geht es bei den aggressiven Tönen um mehr, als um verbales Säbelrasseln?
Ständig kreuzen US-Kriegsschiffe vor Russlands Küsten, US-Kampfflugzuge trainieren nahe der russischen Grenze, eine US-Militärparade fährt bis 300 Meter an die Grenze heran, Manöver finden in Permanenz statt, „Trident Juncture 2015“ mit 35.000 Soldaten ist das größte seit 2002. Aber es geht nicht nur um Manöver: Fast unbemerkt hat sich im NATO-Jargon wieder das Wort „Abschreckung" eingebürgert, und der soll die Stationierung von je einem Bataillon mit Panzern in den drei baltischen Staaten und in Polen dienen. "Vorgelagerte Präsenz" wird das genannt. Das Verbot der dauerhaften Truppenstationierung gemäß der NATO-Russland-Grundakte versucht die Allianz mit dem Trick zu umgehen, dass die Truppen wie ein Wanderzirkus ständig „rotieren“. In norwegischen Höhlen werden Waffen für 15.000 Soldaten eingelagert. Auf 3,4 Milliarden Dollar wurde der Pentagon-Etat für die Präsenz in Osteuropa vervierfacht.
Der bisherige Höhepunkt der NATO-Aufrüstung ist aber das Aegis-System. Es handelt sich um ein Raketenabschusssystem, das bisher auf vier US-Schiffen installiert wurde, die in der Ostsee, im Mittelmeer und im Schwarzen Meer unterwegs sind, das aber auch landgestützt, nämlich demnächst in Polen stationiert wird, und soeben am 12. Mai 2016 auf dem Luftwaffenstützpunkt Deveselu in Rumänien eingeweiht wurde.
Zunächst angekündigt unter dem irreführenden Namen „Raketenabwehrschild“ sollte es iranische Angriffe abwehren, doch auch nach dem Übereinkommen mit dem Iran wird das Projekt unbeirrt weiter betrieben. Irreführend ist die Behauptung, es handele sich um ein defensives System, denn wenn es nach einem US-Atomraketenüberfall einen russischen Gegenschlag unmöglich machen soll, dann wollen sich die USA die „ungestrafte Erstschlagsfähigkeit“ verschaffen. Aber noch gravierender ist, dass die Aegis-Senkrechtstartanlagen auch atomare Marschflugkörper abschießen können – Mittelstreckenraketen also, die nach dem INF-Vertrag seit 1987 verboten sind. Und das ist das Dramatische: Wir kehren zurück zur Situation Anfang der 1980er Jahre, als Hundertausende gegen die neuen Atomraketen auf die Straße gingen, 30 Jahre danach wird das Verbot ausgehebelt, und niemand scheint es zu bemerken! Hier hat die Aufklärungsarbeit besonders linker Parteien und Organisationen offenkundig erhebliche Defizite! Und wir kommen wieder nach Ramstein zurück: Die Kommandozentrale für Aegis sitzt in Ramstein!
Freidenker und Arbeiterfotografie haben die Initiative „Deutschland raus aus der NATO – NATO raus aus Deutschland“ gestartet. Nicht alle Linken sind begeistert, manche sehen „Antiamerikanismus“ am Werk, oder sie fürchten - mit stark verengtem Blickwinkel als hätten wir noch 1914 und unter totaler Verkennung der realen Machtverhältnisse -  dass der Hauptfeind des Weltfriedens im eigenen Land steht und eine Verharmlosung des deutschen Imperialismus.
Beim Vorwurf „Antiamerikanismus“ muss ich lachen. Wir arbeiten eng mit Bürgern der USA zusammen. Sie sind unsere Freunde. Wir bekämpfen die kriminellen Kriegstreiber in der US-Regierung und ihre europäischen Erfüllungsgehilfen, auch in Berlin. Soviel zum Antiamerikanismus. Und nun zum Vorwurf der angeblichen Verharmlosung des deutschen Imperialismus: Wir kommen gerade vom Abschluss einer mehrwöchigen Mahnwache am Fliegerhorst Büchel, wo die USA ihre modernisierten 20 Atomraketen lagern. Seit Jahrzehnten ist es das Bestreben des deutschen Imperialismus, eine Mitverfügungsgewalt über Atomwaffen zu erreichen, und das Eintrittsticket dazu ist die NATO. Bei einem NATO-Austritt wäre Schluss damit, und das bedeutet nicht Stärkung, sondern Schwächung auch des deutschen Imperialismus.
Die Kritik an der Forderung ist an Absurdität nicht zu überbieten, sie ist ein Zwecklüge der sich früher selbst als „antideutsch“, heute „antinational“ bezeichnenden Pentagonfreunde, also den deutschen Brüdern und Schwestern der US-amerikanischen Neocons. Sowohl Büchel wie auch Ramstein müssten dicht machen, wenn die Bundesregierung den Truppenstationierungsvertrag kündigen würde – was sie mit Zwei-Jahres-Frist kann! Das muss das Ziel der Mehrheit unserer Bürger werden. Und das wäre es längst, wenn ihnen bewusst wäre, welchen Gefahren sie durch die aggressive US-Präsenz ausgesetzt sind.
Deshalb müssen wir weiter aufklären und ich lade die Leser und Leserinnen von RT Deutsch ein, am Freitag, dem 10. Juni, an spannenden Vorträgen und Workshops teilzunehmen, u.a. mit Willy Wimmer (Versöhnungskirche in Kaiserslautern, Leipziger Str. 1), und am Samstag, 11. Juni mit uns zu demonstrieren und sich in die Menschenkette für den Frieden einzureihen: Auftaktkundgebungen Kaiserslautern Hauptbahnhof 11.00 bis 13.00 Uhr, Landstuhl Stadthalle und in Ramstein-Miesenbach 11.30 bis 13.30 Uhr sowie die Abschlusskundgebung in der Nähe der Air Base gegen 15.30 Uhr, bei der u.a. Oskar Lafontaine und ein ehemaliger US-Drohnenpilot sprechen. Mehr Information über Ablauf und Organisation kann man im Internet unter ramstein-kampagne.eu oder auf der Webseite des Deutschen Freidenkerverbands  finden.
Herr Hartmann, Ich danke Ihnen für das Gespräch und wir sehen uns in Ramstein wieder.
Petition an die EU: Sanktionen gegen Syrien aufheben
Appell hoher christlicher Würdenträger aus Syrien, unter ihnen der griechisch-orthodoxe Erzbischof von Aleppo, mit der Forderung, die Sanktionen gegen das arabische Land unverzüglich aufzuheben. Inzwischen fand sie mehr als 4.300 Unterstützer: 
2011 hat die Europäische Union beschlossen, Wirtschaftssanktionen gegen Syrien zu verhängen. Die EU stellte sie als »Sanktionen gegen Persönlichkeiten des Regimes« dar. Tatsächlich verhängte sie gegen das ganze Land ein Ölembargo, eine Blockade jeglicher Finanztransaktionen und ein Handelsverbot für sehr viele Güter und Produkte. Diese Maßnahmen sind immer noch in Kraft. Dagegen wurde 2012 aufgrund einer schwer verständlichen Entscheidung das Ölembargo für die Regionen aufgehoben, die von der bewaffneten und dschihadistischen Opposition kontrolliert werden. Dadurch sollen offenkundig den sogenannten revolutionären Kräften und der Opposition wirtschaftliche Ressourcen zur Verfügung gestellt werden. 
In diesen fünf Jahren haben die Sanktionen gegen Syrien dazu beigetragen, die syrische Gesellschaft zu zerstören: Sie lieferten sie dem Hunger, Epidemien und Elend aus und arbeiten somit den Milizen von Fundamentalisten und Terroristen, die heute auch in Europa zuschlagen, in die Hand. Die Sanktionen vergrößern die Schäden durch den Krieg, der bereits zu 250.000 Toten, sechs Millionen Binnenvertriebenen und vier Millionen Flüchtlingen geführt hat. 
Die Situation in Syrien ist verzweifelt: Es fehlt an Lebensmitteln, es herrscht eine große Arbeitslosigkeit, medizinische Behandlungen sind unmöglich geworden, Trinkwasser und Strom sind rationiert. Dazu kommt, dass das Embargo die Syrer, die sich bereits vor dem Krieg im Ausland niedergelassen haben, daran hindert, ihren Verwandten oder Familienangehörigen im Heimatland Geld zu überweisen. Selbst Nichtregierungsorganisationen, die Hilfsprogramme durchführen möchten, können ihren Mitarbeitern in Syrien kein Geld schicken. Firmen, Stromwerke, Wasserwerke, und Krankenhäuser sind gezwungen zu schließen, weil sie keine Ersatzteile und kein Benzin bekommen können. 
Heute sehen die Syrer nur eine Möglichkeit für das Überleben ihrer Familien: die Flucht aus ihrem Land. Aber auch diese Lösung stößt auf nicht wenige Schwierigkeiten und führt zu hitzigen Auseinandersetzungen innerhalb der Europäischen Union. Es kann nicht sein, dass die Flucht die einzige Lösung ist, die die internationale Gemeinschaft diesen Menschen in ihrer Not noch lässt. 
Wir unterstützen deshalb alle Initiativen humanitären Charakters und alle Initiativen für den Frieden von seiten der internationalen Gemeinschaft, insbesondere die schwierigen Verhandlungen in Genf. In der Erwartung und der Hoffnung, dass sie nach so vielen bitteren Enttäuschungen ein konkretes Ergebnis bringen, fordern wir, dass die Sanktionen, die im tagtäglichen Leben jedes Syrers zu spüren sind, unverzüglich aufgehoben werden. Ohne konkrete Anstrengungen für die Menschen, die heute unter den Folgen des Embargos leiden, kann es nicht zu dem ersehnten Frieden kommen. Die Auswirkungen des Embargos lasten auf dem ganzen Volk. 
Das Gerede über die Kriegsflüchtlinge aus Syrien sieht nach purer Heuchelei aus, solange man gleichzeitig diejenigen, die in Syrien bleiben, weiter aushungert, ihnen die medizinische Versorgung, Trinkwasser, Arbeit, Sicherheit und die elementarsten Rechte verweigert. 
Wir wenden uns deshalb an die Abgeordneten und Bürgermeister jedes Landes, damit die Bürger der Europäischen Union (bis heute absolut unwissend) über die Ungerechtigkeit der Sanktionen gegen Syrien informiert werden und die Sanktionen endlich Gegenstand einer ernsthaften Debatte und entsprechender Beschlüsse werden. 
Georges Abou Khazen, Apostolischer Vikar von Aleppo 
Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Kustos emeritus des Heiligen Landes 
Josef Tobji, Erzbischof der Maroniten von Aleppo 
Boutros Marayati, Armenischer Bischof von Aleppo 
Die Schwestern der Kongregation des heiligen Josef der Erscheinung des Krankenhauses »Saint Louis« von Aleppo 
Ordensgemeinschaft der Trappistinnen in Syrien 
Dr. Nabil Antaki, Arzt in Aleppo von der Ordensgemeinschaft der Gesellschaft Maria 
Die Schwestern der Kongregation der immerwährenden Hilfe – Zentrum für Minderjährige und Waise von Marmarita 
Pater Firas Loufti, Franziskaner 
Jean-Clément Jeanbart, griechisch-orthodoxer Erzbischof von Aleppo 
Jacques Behnan Hindo, syrisch-katholischer Bischof von Hassake – Nisibi 
Mtanios Haddad, Archimandrit der katholisch-melkitischen Kirche 
Hilarion Capucci, emerit. Erzbischof der melkitischen griechisch-katholischen Kirche 
Ignaz Youssef III Younan, Patriarch der unierten syrisch-katholischen Kirche von Antiochien 
Georges Masri, Prokurator beim Heiligen Stuhl der syrisch-katholische Kirche 
Gregor III Laham, Patriarch der melkitisch griechisch-katholische Kirche 

Mitte Mai erschien auf der Petitionsplattform Change.org unter dem Titel »Basta sanzioni alla Siria e ai Siriani« der Appell hoher christlicher Würdenträger aus Syrien

Übersetzung aus dem Italienischen: Bernd Duschner 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Russian President Wraps Up Visit to Greece

Russian President Wraps Up Visit to Greece
ALEX GORKA | 30.05.2016 | WORLD

Russian President Vladimir Putin has just wrapped up a working visit (May 27-28) to Greece in the context of the votive Greece-Russia Year 2016.

Military guard was at the airport to greet the Russian leader in a welcoming ceremony – an unusual sign of special respect in view it was not an official, but a working visit.
F-16 fighters flew overhead as Vladimir Putin was met by Defense Minister Panos Kammenos.
This is the first time the Russian President visited the country in 10 years. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Moscow for talks with Putin twice last year, in April and June, ahead of his re-election in September. Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos visited Russia in January.
President Putin's trip to Greece is also his first visit to the EU this year. He attended the global climate talks in Paris at the end of 2015. Greece has kept close relations with Moscow even after the EU imposed economic sanctions in the summer of 2014 in response to Crimea becoming part of Russia and the tensions over Ukraine’s crisis.
The visit concluded with signing a number of bilateral agreements, including the Political Declaration for Greek-Russian dialogue on international and regional issues of mutual interest, the Declaration of Partnership for Modernization (on economic cooperation), as well as a number of cooperation agreements at ministerial level.
Mr Putin was accompanied by a delegation of ministers and businessmen whose companies either already operate in, or are interested in Greece. These include Gazprom’s Chairman Alexei Miller, Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin, and Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov.
Trade and economy topped the agenda. Russia is one of Greece's main trading partners, but business has been hit by the sanctions and drop in commodity prices. In 2015 trade between the two countries fell by 33.7 percent to about $2.8 billion. Ninety percent of that loss was exports from Russia to Greece. Russian imports from Greece decreased by 54 percent and amounted to $229.4 million. During the visit, Russian President openly expressed his country’s interest in taking part in the potential privatization of Greek rail assets and the port of Thessaloniki, a major gateway into the Balkans. Greece and Russia have made float the idea of Athens participating in a pipeline project that would bring Russian gas into Europe via Greece. «The issue of our energy resources being carried through southern corridors to the countries of the European Union is still on the agenda», Putin noted.
He said that Russia could also help Greece upgrade its transport infrastructure and made a reference to Russian Railways (RZD) which is interested in buying the country's railway operator TRAINOSE and its second biggest port in Thessaloniki. RZD is one of eight companies shortlisted for the acquisition of a 67 percent stake in the port where final bids are expected at the end of September. Russian Rosneft and Greek Hellenic Petroleum SA signed a contract on oil supplies from Russia to Greece. The agreement will bring cooperation with the Greek partners to a new level as it lays the basis for direct contracts with Hellenic Petroleum on supplies of oil and oil products to Greek refineries. The signing ceremony was held after the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and in their presence.
Vladimir Putin said he hopes that Russian-Greek relations will not depend on time-serving trends in domestic politics and the projects that were agreed on during the visit will be implemented. «I’m pleased to say that in Russia and Greece the question of developing interstate ties has acquired a supra-political nature and is independent of current political trends», Putin said at a meeting with the leader of the country’s largest oppositional conservative party New Democracy Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The President and Prime Minister exchanged views on current international and regional issues. Mr Putin's visit comes as the EU leaders are to discuss next month whether to renew sanctions on Russia's banking, defense, and energy sectors that expire in July. British Prime Minister David Cameron said on May 27 that the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) economic powers had agreed that sanctions imposed against Russia must be extended next month. Nevertheless, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on May 27 floated the possibility of a «step-by-step» reduction of EU sanctions against Russia «if there is progress on implementing peace accords on Ukraine».
Russia has imposed countersanctions against the West, including a ban on agricultural produce. Russia said on May 27 it plans to extend its embargo on Western food products by a year and a half. The extension of the embargo, which was due to expire in three months, appears intended to ratchet up pressure on Brussels.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras criticized what he branded a vicious circle of sanctions imposed on Russia. «We have repeatedly said that the vicious circle of militarization, of Cold War rhetoric and of sanctions is not productive. The solution is dialogue», he emphasized.
The Russian President used the occasion to warn the US and NATO to stop setting missile systems near Russia, and added that Moscow feels threatened and is ready to retaliate. Some elements of the US missile shield are being installed in Poland and Romania.
«If yesterday people in these areas of Romania simply didn’t know what it means to be in the crosshairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security», he said, adding that the same will happen in Poland. «We won’t take any action until we see rockets in areas that neighbor us», he stressed.
The Russian President noted that the argument that the project was needed to defend against Iran makes no sense, since an international deal has been reached to curb its nuclear program.
The Greek Premier said, the close ties his country holds with Russia can help promote relations between Russia and the EU, as well as Russia and NATO.
«Everyone recognizes that there cannot exist a future for the European continent with the European Union and Russia at loggerheads», Mr Tsipras said.
«Improving relations with Russia on multiple levels is a strategic choice», Tsipras noted«Of course ... when the disagreements exceed our powers, we can act a positive influence within the EU and NATO».
Particular emphasis during the talks was given to cultural and humanitarian cooperation, including in the context of the reciprocal Year of Greece and Year of Russia, which started in January 2016, and the celebrations in 2016 of 1,000 years of Russian presence on the holy Mount Athos. The Russian President visited the autonomous Orthodox Christian monastic community of Mount Athos, joined by the head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.
* * *
The importance of the visit should be viewed in a broader context. In early May Japan’s Prime Minister visited Russia – a breakthrough in the Russia-G7 relations. The Japanese leader consulted Moscow on major international issues before he hosted the G7 summit on Kashiko Island (Ise-Shima) on May 26-27.
The Greek government held talks with Russia at the top level before the EU summit in late June.
Actually, Russia is always consulted before major meetings of world leaders take place. Despite the restrictive measures imposed under the pressure of the United States, G7 member-states maintain an intensive dialogue with Moscow. The same way, despite the EU leadership’s position, the bloc’s member countries continue to maintain close relations with Russia discussing prospective cooperation in the hope that the restrictive measures will be lifted soon as an obstacle artificially created to serve nobody’s interests. Greece has stated plainly it opposes the sanctions.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

PEPE ESCOBAR Target Russia. Target China. Target Iran

Target Russia. Target China. Target Iran
 28.05.2016  OPINION 

Not a day goes by without US Think Tankland doing what it does best; pushing all sorts of scenarios for cold – and hot – war with Russia, plus myriad confrontations with China and Iran. 
That fits into the Pentagon’s Top Five existential threats to the US, where Russia and China sit at the very top and Iran is in fourth place – all ahead of «terrorism» of the phony Daesh «Caliphate» variety. 
Here I have come up with some concise realpolitik facts to counterpunch the hysteria – stressing how the Russian hypersonic missile advantage renders useless the whole construct of NATO’s paranoid rhetoric and bluster. 
The US Aegis defense system has been transferred from ships to land. The Patriot missile defense system is worthless. Aegis is about 30% better than the THAAD system; it may be more effective but their range is also limited. 
Aegis is not a threat at all to Russia – for now. Yet as the system is upgraded – and that may take years – it could cause Russia some serious concern, as Exceptionalistan is increasingly pushing them eastward, so near to Russia’s borders. 
Anyway, Russia is still light-years ahead in hypersonic missiles. The Pentagon knows that against the S-500 system, the F-22, the awesomely expensive F-35 and the B-2 stealth airplanes – stars of a trillion-dollar fighter program – are totally obsolete. 
So it’s back to the same old meme: «Russian aggression», without which the Pentagon cannot possibly fight for its divine right to be showered with unlimited funds
Washington had 20,000 planners at work before WWII was ended, focused on the reconstruction of Germany. Washington had only six after the destruction of Iraq in 2003’s Shock and Awe. 
That was no incompetence; it was «Plan A» from the get-go. The former USSR was deemed a mighty threat at the end of WWII – so Germany had to be rebuilt. Iraq was a war of choice to grab oil fields – mixed with the implementation of hardcore disaster capitalism. No one in Washington ever cared or even wanted to rebuild it. 
«Russian aggression» does not apply to Iraq; it’s all about Eastern Europe. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov anyway has made it clear that the deployment of the Aegis will be counterpunched in style – as even US corporate media starts to admit that the Russian economy is healing from the effects of the oil price war. 
Take a look at my liquid asssets
Here my purpose was to show that China is not a House of Cards. Whatever the real Chinese debt to GDP ratio – figures vary from as low as 23% to 220% – that is nothing for an economy the size of the Chinese, especially because it is entirely internally controlled. 
China keeps over $3 trillion in US dollars and other Western currencies in reserves while it gradually delinks its economy from the real House of Cards: the US dollar economy. 
So under these circumstances what does foreign debt mean? Not much. China could – although they don't do it yet – produce more yuan and buy back their debt, as much as the US with quantitative easing (QE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) as it asks certain 'favorite countries' (strong NATO supporters) to produce more than their share of euros. 
And yet Beijing doesn't really need to do this. China, Russia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and what's left of the BRICS (Brazil is on hold until at least 2018) are slowly but surely forging their own internal currency and currency transfer system (in China and Russia it works already internally) to sideline SWIFT and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). 
When they are ready to roll it out for the rest of the world to join them, then US dollar-based foreign debt will be meaningless. 
US Think Tankland, as usual, remains clueless. As one of my Chinese sources explains, «whenever a Western big mouth mentions China's debt ‘problem’ they quote a figure that seems to come out of thin air, and it includes all debts, central, provincial, city government levels, estimated all corporate debts, loans from banks outside China. Meanwhile, they compare this total number in China with those of Western countries and Japan's central government debt alone».
The source adds, «China is operating with a balance sheet of the equivalent to $60 trillion. Loans from external sources is in the $11 trillion range while cash and equivalent is in the $3.6-4 trillion range. All this cash – or very liquid asset – is the biggest discretionary force in the hands of China's leaders while nothing worth mentioning is in the hands of any other Western government».
Not to mention that globally, Beijing is betting on what the World Economic Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution. China is already the central hub for global production, supply, logistics and value chain. Which leads us to One Belt, One Road (OBOR); all roads lead to the Chinese-driven New Silk Roads, which will connect, deeper and deeper, China’s economy and infrastructure all across Eurasia. OBOR will simultaneously expand China’s global power while geopolitically counterpunching the so far ineffective «pivot to Asia» – Pentagon provocations in the South China Sea included – and improving China’s energy security. 
Sanctions, like diamonds, are forever 
Another major Exceptionalistan fictional narrative is that the US is «worried» about the inability of European banks to do business in Iran. That’s nonsense; in fact, it’s the US Treasury Department that is scaring the hell out of any European bank who dares to do business with Tehran. 
India and Iran have struck a $500 million landmark deal to develop the Iranian port of Chabahar – a key node in what could be dubbed the New India-Iran Silk Road, connecting India to Central Asia via Iran and Afghanistan. 
Immediately afterwards the US State Department has the gall to announce that the deal will be «examined» – as the proverbial Israeli-firster US senators question whether the deal violates those lingering sanctions against Iran that refuse to go away. This happens in parallel to a mounting official narrative of «unrest» contaminating former Soviet republics in Central Asia – especially Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. CIA-paid hacks should know those sources of unrest well – as the CIA itself is fomenting it. 
India doing business with Iran is «suspicious». On the other hand, India is more than allowed to formalize a historic military cooperation deal with the US hazily dubbed the «Logistics Support Agreement»  (LSA) – according to which the two militaries may use each other’s land, air and naval bases for resupplies, repairs and vaguely-defined «operations». 
So it’s all hands on deck all over Exceptionalistan to counter Russia, China and prevent any real normalization with Iran. These localized offensives – practical and rhetorical – on all fronts always mean one thing, and one thing only; splitting and fracturing, by all means necessary, the OBOR Eurasian integration. Bets can be made that Moscow, Beijing and Tehran simply won’t be fooled.