Mês: setembro 2018

Russia and Brazil

A Tale Of Two Countries In Crisis   Kenneth Rapoza Nov. 8, 2017   Russia and Brazil have a lot in common. It’s not something to brag about. Both are blockbuster commodity exporters. They have a penchant for big government. Even their airports have that same doorbell chime before public announcements are made. Both are dealing with a serious political crisis, and corruption is endemic in the system.  One is in slightly better shape than the other. Ten months ago, I traveled to Brazil for a month, visiting my old home in Sao Paulo, and saw an entire region reeling from back-to-back years of recession and political crisis. Brazil was a complete mess, I wrote. For the political class, it is even more of a mess now. The country’s president, Michel Temer, is without a doubt the least popular leader in the Americas, if not the whole world. Brazilian life has deteriorated in cities like Salvador and Rio de Janeiro where violent crime is rising. Last year was the worst year on record for homicide. Over 14 million people are out of work. Unemployment is near an all-time high at 13.6%. Brazil’s crisis is a crisis created by its political establishment. Its biggest state-run company, oil giant Petrobras, and its private contractors colluded in milking the government for private gain and political influence. Brazil has been greatly embarrassed by this. “The...

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Regime Change in the District of Columbia

Making Quagmires in Syria Is a Step Towards ‘Regime-Change’ in DC   Alastair Crooke Aug. 12, 2018   The US administration has stopped the dithering, David Ignatius wrote on 30 August: It now insists that it has ‘enduring interests’ in Syria, beyond killing Islamic State terrorists — and “that it isn’t planning to withdraw its Special Operations forces from northeastern Syria, anytime soon”. “Right now”, one administration official told Ignatius, “our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime], until we get what we want”. The US, it seems, switched policy in mid-August, (away from the Helsinki understandings of July, reached between Presidents Trump and Putin), to a quest for somehow retrieving maximum leverage over the ultimate stages of the Syrian civil war. It represents, apparently, a last-ditch attempt to impose the US will over the Syrian warscape – through keeping the jihadist ‘card’ in Idlib in play, as leverage over any political transition; and similarly, by holding on to the Kurdish ‘PKK stick’ in north-east Syria, as leverage over Turkey and to contain Iran. We are, indeed, seeing a 180° degree turn: Pompeo’s new Syria envoy, James Jeffry, has made that crystal clear: “Now”, he said, “the United States will not tolerate ‘an attack – Period”. (Referring to the imminent offensive on the Jihadi enclave, in Idlib Province.) “Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation” he said. “You add to...

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Metaphysics and Anguish

The Metaphysics to Our Present Global Anguish   Alastair Crooke Aug. 20, 2018   James Jatras, a former US diplomat poses a highly pertinent question in his piece Lenin Updated: Firstly, he says, President Trump meets with President Putin and appears to make some progress in easing bilateral tensions. “Immediately all hell breaks loose: Trump is called a traitor. The ‘sanctions bill from hell’ is introduced in the Senate, and Trump is forced onto the defensive”. Next, Senator Rand Paul goes to meet with Putin in Moscow, Jatras notes. Paul hands over a letter from the US President proposing moderate steps towards détente. Rand Paul then meets with, and invites Russian Senators to Washington, to continue the dialogue: “Immediately all hell breaks loose. Paul is called a traitor. The state Department ‘finds’ the Russians guilty of using illegal chemical weapons (in UK) … and imposes sanctions. Trump is forced even more on the defensive.” Clearly, from the very outset, Trump has been “perceived by the globalist neo-liberal order as a mortal danger to the system which has enriched them” Jatras observes. The big question that Jatras poses in the wake of these events, is how could such collective hysteria have blossomed in to such visceral hostility, that parts of the ‘Anglo’ establishment are ready to intensify hostilities toward Russia – even to the point of risking “a catastrophic, uncontainable [nuclear] conflict”. How...

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Reply to Roberts

Russia as a Cat   Andrei Martyanov Sep. 4, 2018   Before I proceed in addressing some issues that Paul Craig Roberts raised in his article, partially addressed to me and Andrei Raevsky (aka Saker), I want to express my profound admiration for Dr. Roberts and his courageous civic position and his real, not for show, American patriotism. It is an honor and a privilege to be engaged in conversation with such an esteemed person, even when I disagree with him in some aspects of geopolitical reality when related to, the now official, Cold War 2.0 between the United States and Russia, and Russia’s posture in this conflict. Dr Roberts writes: As I have made the same points, I can only applaud Martyanov and The Saker. Where we might differ is in recognizing that endlessly accepting insults and provocations encourages their increase until the only alternative is surrender or war. So, the questions for Andrei Martyanov, The Saker, and for Putin and the Russian government is: How long does turning your other cheek work? Do you turn your other cheek so long as to allow your opponent to neutralize your advantage in a confrontation? Do you turn your other cheek so long that you lose the support of the patriotic population for your failure to defend the country’s honor? Do you turn your other cheek so long that you...

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Cold War 2

Provocations Have A History of Escalating Into War   Paul Craig Roberts Aug. 31, 2018   Can War Be Avoided and the Planet Saved?   The Russian Government and President Putin are coming under pressure not from US sanctions, which are very good for Russia as they force Russia into independence, but from Russian patriots who are tiring of Putin’s non-confrontational responses to Washington’s never-ending insults and military provocations. Russian patriots don’t want war, but they do want their country’s honor defended, and they believe Putin is failing in this job. Some of them are saying that Putin himself is a West-worshipping Atlanticist Integrationist. This disillusinonment with Putin, together with Putin’s endorsement of raising the retirement age for pensions, a trap set for him by Russia’s neoliberal economists, have hurt Putin’s approval ratings at the precise time that he will again be tested by Washington in Syria. In many columns I have defended Putin from the charge that he is not sufficiently Russian. Putin wants to avoid war, because he knows it would be nuclear, the consequences of which would be dire. He knows that the US and its militarily impotent NATO allies cannot possibly conduct conventional warfare against Russia or China, much less against both. Putin also undersrtands that the sanctions are damaging Washington’s European vassals and could eventually force the European vassal states into independence that would...

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