Thursday 7th of July 2022

after years of being pushed around by the US hegemony…..

The Spectator (Australia) published an article in 2014 about PUTIN WANTING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.... with a cartoon of Putin that was a pisstake from the movie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.... Gus Leoniksy, cartoonist since 1951, has modified this illustration to represent "reality"... The Spectator article was (is) rubbish of course. Russia, China and many other countries are sick of being told what to do by the USA. THE US ARE THE ONES WHO WANT TO OWN AND CONTROL THE WORLD and this has been known since 1917/1919.... (see the HEARTLAND)

So Russia has a decent way to "ignore" the USA, a way which pisses off the USA... 

 

By Pepe Escobar

June 18 2022

 

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum  has been configured for years now as absolutely essential to understand the evolving dynamics and the trials and tribulations of Eurasia integration.

St. Petersburg in 2022 is even more crucial as it directly connects to three simultaneous developments I had previously outlined, in no particular order:

First, the coming of the “new G8” – four BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), plus Iran, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, whose GDP per purchasing parity power (PPP) already dwarfs the old, western-dominated G8.

Second, the Chinese “Three Rings” strategy of developing geoeconomic relations with its neighbors and partners.

Third, the development of BRICS+, or extended BRICS, including some members of the “new G8,” to be discussed at the upcoming summit in China.

There was hardly any doubt President Putin would be the star of St. Petersburg 2022, delivering a sharp, detailed speech to the plenary session.

Among the highlights, Putin smashed the illusions of the so-called ‘golden billion’ who live in the industrialized west (only 12 percent of the global population) and the “irresponsible macroeconomic policies of the G7 countries.”

The Russian president noted how “EU losses due to sanctions against Russia” could exceed $400 billion per year, and that Europe’s high energy prices – something that actually started “in the third quarter of last year” – are due to “blindly believing in renewable sources.”

He also duly dismissed the west’s ‘Putin price hike’ propaganda, saying the food and energy crisis is linked to misguided western economic policies, i.e., “Russian grain and fertilizers are being sanctioned” to the detriment of the west.

In a nutshell: the west misjudged Russia’s sovereignty when sanctioning it, and now is paying a very heavy price.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressing the forum by video, sent a message to the whole Global South. He evoked “true multilateralism,” insisting that emerging markets must have “a say in global economic management,” and called for “improved North-South and South-South dialogue.”

It was up to Kazakh President Tokayev, the ruler of a deeply strategic partner of both Russia and China, to deliver the punch line in person: Eurasia integration should progress hand in hand with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Here it is, full circle.

Building a long-term strategy “in weeks”

St. Petersburg offered several engrossing discussions on key themes and sub-themes of Eurasia integration, such as business within the scope of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); aspects of the Russia-China strategic partnership; what’s ahead for the BRICS; and prospects for the Russian financial sector.

One of the most important discussions was focused on the increasing interaction between the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN, a key example of what the Chinese would define as ‘South-South cooperation.’

And that connected to the still long and winding road leading to deeper integration of the EAEU itself.

This implies steps towards more self-sufficient economic development for members; establishing the priorities for import substitution; harnessing all the transport and logistical potential; developing trans-Eurasian corporations; and imprinting the EAEU ‘brand’ in a new system of global economic relations.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk was particularly sharp on the pressing matters at hand: implementing a full free trade customs and economic union – plus a unified payment system – with simplified direct settlements using the Mir payment card to reach new markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Persian Gulf.

In a new era defined by Russian business circles as “the game with no rules” – debunking the US-coined “rules-based international order” – another relevant discussion, featuring key Putin adviser Maxim Oreshkin, focused on what should be the priorities for big business and the financial sector in connection to the state’s economic and foreign policy.

The consensus is that the current ‘rules’ have been written by the west. Russia could only connect to existing mechanisms, underpinned by international law and institutions. But then the west tried to  “squeeze us out” and even “to cancel Russia.” So it’s time to “replace the no-rules rules.” That’s a key theme underlying the concept of ‘sovereignty’ developed by Putin in his plenary address.

In another important discussion chaired by the CEO of western-sanctioned Sberbank Herman Gref, there was much hand-wringing about the fact that the Russian “evolutionary leap forward towards 2030” should have happened sooner. Now a “long-term strategy has to be built in weeks,” with supply chains breaking down all across the spectrum.

A question was posed to the audience – the crème de la crème of Russia’s business community: what would you recommend, increased trade with the east, or redirecting the structure of the Russian economy? A whopping 72 percent voted for the latter.

So now we come to the crunch, as all these themes interact when we look at what happened only a few days before St. Petersburg.

The Russia-Iran-India corridor

A key node of the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC) is now in play, linking northwest Russia to the Persian Gulf via the Caspian Sea and Iran. The transportation time between St. Petersburg and Indian ports is 25 days.

This logistical corridor with multimodal transportation carries an enormous geopolitical significance for two BRICs members and a prospective member of the “new G8” because it opens a key alternative route to the usual cargo trail from Asia to Europe via the Suez canal.

 

The INSTC corridor is a classic South-South integration project: a 7,200-km-long multimodal network of ship, rail, and road routes interlinking India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia all the way to Finland in the Baltic Sea.

Technically, picture a set of containers going overland from St. Petersburg to Astrakhan. Then the cargo sails via the Caspian to the Iranian port of Bandar Anzeli. Then it’s transported overland to the port of Bandar Abbas. And then overseas to Nava Sheva, the largest seaport in India. The key operator is Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (the IRISL group), which has branches in both Russia and India.

And that brings us to what wars from now will be fought about: transportation corridors – and not territorial conquest.

Beijing’s fast-paced BRI is seen as an existential threat to the ‘rules-based international order.’ It develops along six overland corridors across Eurasia, plus the Maritime Silk Road from the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean, all the way to Europe.

One of the key targets of NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine is to interrupt BRI corridors across Russia. The Empire will go all out to interrupt not only BRI but also INSTC nodes. Afghanistan under US occupation was prevented from become a node for either BRI or INSTC.

With full access to the Sea of Azov – now a “Russian lake” – and arguably the whole Black Sea coastline further on down the road, Moscow will hugely increase its sea trading prospects (Putin: “The Black Sea was historically Russian territory”).

For the past two decades, energy corridors have been heavily politicized and are at the center of unforgiving global pipeline competitions – from BTC and South Stream to Nord Stream 1 and 2, and the never-ending soap operas, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipelines.

Then there’s the Northern Sea Route alongside the Russian coastline all the way to the Barents Sea. China and India are very much focused on the Northern Sea Route, not by accident also  discussed in detail in St. Petersburg.

The contrast between the St. Petersburg debates on a possible re-wiring of our world – and the Three Stooges Taking a Train to Nowhere to tell a mediocre Ukrainian comedian to calm down and negotiate his surrender (as confirmed by German intelligence) – could not be starker.

Almost imperceptibly – just as it re-incorporated Crimea and entered the Syrian theater – Russia as a military-energy superpower now shows it is potentially capable of driving a great deal of the industrialized west back into the Stone Age. The western elites are just helpless. If only they could ride a corridor on the Eurasian high-speed train, they might learn something.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

 

 

READ MORE:

https://thecradle.co/Article/columns/11928

 

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rimpac war games….

 

By Ann Wright
Common Dreams

 

While the world’s attention is focused on the brutal Russia-Ukraine conflict, half-way around the world, in the Pacific Ocean, competition/confrontation of the U.S. and NATO toward China and North Korea is taking an increasingly military turn.

The U.S. military’s Indo-Pacific command headquartered in Honolulu, Rim of the Pacific or RIMPAC 2022, military war games, will have 38 ships from 26 countries, four submarines, 170 aircraft and 25,000 military personnel practicing naval war maneuvers in the Hawaiian waters from June 29-Aug. 4.  Additionally, ground units from nine countries will come ashore on the islands of Hawai’i in amphibious landings.

Citizen Opposition 

Many citizens of the 26 RIMPAC countries do not agree with their country’s participation in the RIMPAC war games, calling them provocative and dangerous for the region.  

The Pacific Peace Network, with members from countries/islands across the Pacific including Guåhan, Jeju Island, South Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Philippines, Northern Mariana Islands, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Hawai’i and the United States, demand that RIMPAC be cancelled, calling the naval armada “dangerous, provocative and destructive.”

The network’s petition for cancellation of RIMPAC states that:

“RIMPAC dramatically contributes to the destruction of the ecology system and aggravation of the climate crisis in the Pacific region. RIMPAC war forces will blow up decommissioned ships with missiles endangering marine mammals such as humpback whales, dolphins and Hawaiian monk seals and polluting the ocean with contaminates from the vessels. Land forces will conduct ground assaults that will tear up beaches where green sea turtles come to breed.”

The petition rejects “the massive expenditure of funds on war-making when humanity is suffering from lack of food, water and other life-sustaining elements. Human security is not based on military war drills, but on care for the planet and its inhabitants.”

Other citizen groups in the Pacific region are adding their voices to the call to cancel RIMPAC. 

In its statement about RIMPAC, the Hawaii-based Women’s Voices, Women Speak declared that:

“RIMPAC causes ecological devastation, colonial violence and gun worship.  RIMPAC’s ship sinking, missile testing, and torpedo blasting have destroyed island ecosystems and disturbed sea creatures’ wellbeing. This convening of military personnel promotes toxic masculinity; sex trafficking and violence against local populations.”

In a June 14 opinion piece in The Honolulu Star Advertiser, the only state-wide newspaper in Hawai’i, three local activists with the Hawai’i Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines wrote: 

“We are one with the people of Hawaii in opposing the U.S.-led wars, for which Balikatan (U.S.-Philippine ground war maneuvers) and RIMPAC are warmups. As it is, our governments bring together the people of Hawaii and the people of the Philippines to prepare for war, death and destruction.

Military posturing in the Asia-Pacific also risks nuclear war and the potential extinction of the human species. We must instead work toward global cooperation to address the threats of climate change and biodiversity loss; to build toward peace, life and coexistence.”

The citizen’s petition to Cancel RIMPAC has individual signatures and organizational endorsers from around the world.

NATO Becoming a Pacific Military Force

This year’s RIMPAC includes military forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Forty percent of RIMPAC participants are either in NATO or have NATO ties. Six of the 26 RIMPAC countries are members of the NATO — Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, while four other participating countries are Asia-Pacific “partners” of NATO —Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. 

NATO military exercises throughout Europe, particularly on the border with Russia and the U.S. never-ending discussion about Ukraine’s possible membership in NATO (the door is never closed) were two major red lines the Russian government used to justify its war on Ukraine.

In the Pacific, NATO forces coming into the region greatly increase the tension with China and North Korea.

Marine Mammals Endangered 

 

Military naval events both in practice and in war are dangerous for humans … and for marine mammals. The Russian-Ukrainian war is the most recent example. Scores of dolphins have turned up dead on the coasts of the Black Sea from that war.

Research scientists suggest that dolphins may be dying in the Black Sea due to a large presence of Russian warships and Ukrainian responses to those ships disrupting the dolphins’ communication pattern.  

The “intense ship noise and low-frequency sonars” interfere with the dolphins’ main means of communication. Disruptive underwater noises may either have them end up losing their way in large fishing nets or around the Black Sea shores.”

According to a report by The Guardian, researchers believe that heightened noise pollution in the northern Black Sea caused by around 20 Russian navy vessels and ongoing military activities might have driven the dolphins south to the Turkish and Bulgarian coasts.

The Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TÜDAV) announced recently that more than 80 dolphins were found dead across the country’s western Black Sea coast, “an extraordinary increase” in the number of marine mammals found dead in a typical year.  A recent video from the Black Sea documents some of the 80 dead dolphins.

Several studies in the past have confirmed that military sonars are harmful to marine life and many militaries have adopted mitigating measures to protect wildlife.  Whales and dolphins have been killed in U.S. military war exercises by sonar and bombs.

In March 2000, the U.S. Navy admitted that its use of a high-intensity sonar system caused 16 beaked and minke whales to be stranded on beaches in the Bahamas shortly after U.S. Navy ships using high-intensity sonar had passed by. Six of the whales died and autopsies on the mammals revealed bleeding around the whales’ inner ears and in one instance in the brain.

Ten whales were pushed back into the sea but a decline in sightings of beaked whales led researchers working in the area to believe that many more may have died.

The Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) launched a series of investigations with the interim synopsis of the reports concluding that the bleeding was caused by sound waves produced by the high-intensity sonar.

With almost twice as many military ships (38) arriving in the Hawaiian waters than the Russian navy has in the Black Sea (20), the dangerous effects of the RIMPAC war maneuvers on dolphins, whales and fishes will be substantial.

Military Confrontation

The effect of the RIMPAC military war exercises on international relations in the Pacific region may also have dangerous, intended or unintended, consequences that could put the region into ever increasing military confrontation instead of dialogue.

We need only look to the horrific loss of life and destruction of cities, farms and infrastructure in Ukraine to imagine what would happen should an incident, accident or purposeful, trigger military responses in Asia.

Major cities in Asia — Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang and Moscow — could be targeted and destroyed by ballistic missiles from the U.S. and NATO.

In the United States, Honolulu, Hagatna-Guam, Washington, DC, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Houston could be targeted and destroyed by missiles from China, Russia and North Korea.

Cities in Europe — London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam — could be damaged or destroyed.

Military responses to perceived national security issues by any of the countries in the region whether it be North Korea, China, Russia or the United States will be disastrous for peoples over the entire planet.

We citizens must not let our governments continue confrontation instead of dialogue to resolve national security issues. The lives of people around the world are at stake. We must not let those who make money and political status out of war win again and start another horrific war for “peace.”

Ann Wright is a 29-year U.S. Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a colonel and a former U.S. diplomat who resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq.  She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia.  In December 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.  She is the co-author of the book Dissent: Voices of Conscience.

This article is from Common Dreams.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

 

 

 

READ MORE:

https://consortiumnews.com/2022/06/21/largest-us-naval-drills-in-pacific/

 

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If you know about the HEARTLAND, you would know about the RIMLAND.... The name RIMPAC is not idle....

 

 

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missing the point…..

In her analysis of what's happening, Monica Duffy Toft misses the point: PUTIN/RUSSIA ISN'T US/NATO: 

 

"America’s modern addiction to the big stick

 

The history of US interventions shows that Washington’s ‘first use’ policy of military force is a relatively recent phenomenon."

 

THIS IS BULLSHIT. The US has been using the "BIG STICK" since the French helped them out against the English. They even used the "BIG STICK" against the French in order to avoid paying the dues... Beyond this the BIG STICK was used by the USA with the Monroe Doctrine. then with the wars against Mexico et all.... The list is long BEFORE 1900... By 1917/1919, the USA devised the plan to destroy Russia and China to take over the HEARTLAND.  If you think I'm harping about this too much, THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE MATTER. the US is the aggressor in Ukraine, while Putin/Russia are defending their existence. THIS IS NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY BUT A STATEMENT OF FACTS.

 

The United States has always “‘suffered” from exceptionalism in its foreign policy, but for much of its nearly 300-year history, that exceptionalism led to a foreign policy of distance keeping; a sense that the United States should lead by example, intervening by means of armed force except as a last resort. This sense was aptly summed up in Theodore Roosevelt’s “speak softly and carry a big stick” aphorism.

That advice explains the long-delayed U.S. military interventions in the 20th Century’s two world wars — an experience that nudged the United States closer to the idea that its leadership should have a more robust military capability, especially the capability to deploy armed forces globally. But its overall grand strategy — containment — and its subordinate military intervention policy, remained fundamentally reactive. It was also tethered to economic and diplomatic tools, not pro-active and independent of trade, aid, and diplomacy, established institutionally through the “western liberal order.” 

Two watershed conflicts would change this. First, the Korean War led to a new understanding that major interstate war was too dangerous after the advent of thermonuclear weapons and their possession by the USSR. Second, the United States crept into a military intervention in South Vietnam which led to a fundamental reassessment of U.S. military intervention as a support of containment.

The Vietnam War (1965–73) led to a widening division in U.S. military capability between a conventional military with tanks, carrier task forces, combat aircraft (i.e. platform-centric) and something called “special operations forces” (SOF). This included the new Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon, Delta, and so on. That division has created bitter controversy to this day, as influential generals like Colin L. Powell argued that U.S. military intervention failures were due to the mis-application (over-application) of SOF abroad. 

In a still-influential 1992 essay in Foreign Affairs following the stunning success of the U.S. military against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq the year before, Powell argued that U.S. military power should only be used to fight and win the nation’s wars. Others — famously the late Secretary of State Madeline Albright — argued that the use of U.S. military capabilities like SOF made it possible to intervene militarily in the shadows, in limited ways, sparring with Powell. 

And in the 1990s, the U.S. military would be used to engage in operations other than war (such as counterterrorism, humanitarian intervention, nation building, and drug trafficking interdiction), thereby supporting important U.S. national security interests without risking escalation to interstate and possibly thermonuclear war.

The Military Intervention Project (MIP) at Tufts Fletcher School provides a comprehensive effort to document military intervention justifications and outcomes, enabling the data to referee between arguments for and against the use of U.S. armed forces abroad to represent its national security interests. By analyzing all U.S. military interventions since the founding of the United States in 1776, MIP can say whether Powell’s opponents have a stronger or weaker argument. It appears that their arguments were weaker.

As said, in the 1990s, the use of conventional U.S. military forces would be used to engage in a series of operations other than war to support U.S. interests overseas. However, just as the U.S. embarked on this set of operations, a good number of our adversaries set out to de-escalate their conflicts with the United States. Just consider the graphic below, which highlights U.S. engagements since the country’s founding. 

The left axis measures the level of use of force by the U.S. and adversaries (state and non-state actors) against whom we have engaged — from no usage to threat of use to the deployment of force to outright war. Notice how for most of American history, U.S. actions largely matched those of its adversaries. After 2001, this changed dramatically, with the U.S. ramping up its level of engagement at a time when its adversaries were trying to de-escalate. 

Adversaries i.e. al Qaeda and later ISIS, may have escalated for short periods after 9/11 and the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The U.S. military accordingly ramped up and succeeded in tamping down those threats, but nevertheless, Washington continued to actively project power overseas through 2017. At the very minimum this should have leveled off.

This raises the uncomfortable question of whether the U.S. needed to resort to force in many circumstances in the first place, and whether these escalations actually achieved what we needed to secure our interests. Given the failure in Afghanistan (and earlier in Vietnam), the answer seems to be unlikely. It’s clear that Powell was right when he said that the U.S. can’t be unilateralist because “the world is too complicated.”

Bluntly, since 9-11, U.S. military intervention abroad has come at an escalating cost to U.S. national, and national security interests.

MIP data also reveal that following the collapse of the USSR, the United States began increasingly leading with armed force abroad, rather than intervening militarily as a last resort, and in combination with trade, aid, and diplomatic tools. And crucially, it did so at a time when the stakes, in terms of national security narrowly defined, had never been lower. No one was coming to conquer us. No one was threatening to attack us with nuclear weapons. The peoples of Eastern Europe were free to choose their own destinies, and the United States remained the only powerful state with global reach; with the capability to deploy armed forces abroad in significant numbers quickly.

America appears to have become addicted to the over-use of the stick, and the under-use of leadership by example, trade and aid, and diplomacy. The results — as illustrated by the 2002 and 2003 U.S. military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively — have been disappointing at best, and generally left the U.S. worse off.

Today, U.S. power has been diminished in two ways. First, when other states are surveyed as to which country is most threatening to world peace and prosperity, the United States ranks number one. And along with the perception that the United States has become only a hammer which views the rest of the world as nails, there’s the problem that contemporary U.S. “leadership by example” has provoked others to pick up the pace of military interventions. 

Vladimir Putin’s Russian Federation is a case in point: if “power” and “leadership” mean military intervention, and Putin yearns for recognition as a U.S. equal in international affairs, it’s less surprising that since 2014 he’s authorized escalating use of military intervention to support his own power and, by extension, Russia’s reputation as a “great power.” His invasion of Ukraine in March is the apex of this approach.

If Putin could only look a little further, or analyze our MIP data, he’d also see that since World War II, achieving victory through military intervention has become much more difficult for major powers. Big sticks do not seem to be securing our interests. Rather we need a bit more diplomacy or speaking softly

 

READ MORE:

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/06/21/americas-modern-addiction-to-the-big-stick/

 

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CONTRARILY TO THE USA in Afghanistan, Putin/Russia is MILITARILY winning in Ukraine, albeit slowly and carefully. Should the West increase the sauce, then Russia will respond in kind. 

 

NOW:

US foreign policy critic Scott Ritter pointed out that far from achieving the Pentagon's stated aim of 'weakening' Russia, Washington's proxy war in Ukraine was gradually disarming the militaries of NATO member states.

Russian victory over Ukraine will spell the end of the US-led NATO alliance — so says a former UN weapons inspector.

Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer who was a leading critic of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, was interviewed for YouTube channel The Left Lens about the Russian special military operation to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" the Ukraine.

He said NATO's decision to stake its credibility on backing Kiev in a proxy war against Moscow — in the wake of its "humiliation" in Afghanistan — would prove unwise and fateful.

 

"NATO and the United States are facing the kind of moral and physical defeat at the hands of Russia that will probably mean the end of NATO," he told presenter Danny Haiphong in the video posted on Monday. "I don't think NATO survives this."

 

READ MORE:

https://sputniknews.com/20220621/defeat-in-ukraine-means-the-end-of-nato-former-un-weapons-inspector-says-1096518106.html

 

 

IT'S TIME FOR VOLODYMYR SHITHEAD TO MAKE A DEAL....

 

 

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