Eurasia...the new center of global power

The Future Visible In St Petersburg

By Pepe Escobar at Asia Times and Information Clearing House.

The unipolar model of the world order has failed.
- Vladimir Putin, St Petersburg, May 22 

- In more ways than one, last week heralded the birth of a Eurasian century. Of course, the US$400 billion Russia-China gas deal was clinched only at the last minute in Shanghai, on Wednesday (a complement to the June 2013, 25-year, $270 billion oil deal between Rosneft and China's CNPC.)

Then, on Thursday, most of the main players were at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum - the Russian answer to Davos. And on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, fresh from his Shanghai triumph, addressed the participants and brought the house down.

It will take time to appraise last week's whirlwind in all its complex implications. Here are some of the St Petersburg highlights, in some detail. Were there fewer Western CEOs in town because the Obama administration pressured them - as part of the "isolate Russia" policy? Not many less; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley may have snubbed it, but Europeans who matter came, saw, talked and pledged to keep doing business.

And most of all, Asians were ubiquitous. Consider this as yet another chapter of China's counterpunch to US President Barack Obama's Asian tour in April, which was widely described as the "China containment tour". [1]

On the first day at the St Petersburg forum I attended this crucial session on Russia-China strategic economic partnership. Pay close attention: the roadmap is all there. As Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao describes it: "We plan to combine the program for the development of Russia's Far East and the strategy for the development of Northeast China into an integrated concept."

That was just one instance of the fast-emerging Eurasia coalition bound to challenge the "indispensable" exceptionalists to the core. Comparisons to the Sino-Soviet pact are infantile. The putsch in Ukraine - part of Washington's pivot to "contain" Russia - just served to accelerate Russia's pivot to Asia, which sooner or late would become inevitable.

It all starts in Sichuan

In St Petersburg, from session to session and in selected conversations, what I saw were some crucial building blocks of the Chinese New Silk Road(s), whose ultimate aim is to unite, via trade and commerce, no less than China, Russia and Germany.

For Washington, this is beyond anathema. The response has been to peddle a couple of deals which, in thesis, would guarantee American monopoly of two-thirds of global commerce; the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - which was essentially rebuked by key Asians such as Japan and Malaysia during Obama's trip - and the even more problematic Trans-Atlantic Partnership with the EU, which average Europeans absolutely abhor (see Breaking bad in southern NATOstan, Asia Times Online, April 15, 2014). Both deals are being negotiated in secret and are profitable essentially for US multinational corporations.

For Asia, China instead proposes a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific; after all, it is already the largest trading partner of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

And for Europe, Beijing proposes an extension of the railway that in only 12 days links Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, to Lodz in Poland, crossing Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. The total deal is the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe network, with a final stop in Duisburg, Germany. No wonder this is bound to become the most important commercial route in the world. [2]

There's more. One day before the clinching of the Russia-China gas deal, President Xi Jinping called for no less than a new Asian security cooperation architecture, including of course Russia and Iran and excluding the US. [3] Somehow echoing Putin, Xi described NATO as a Cold War relic.

And guess who was at the announcement in Shanghai, apart from the Central Asian "stans": Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and crucially, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The facts on the ground speak for themselves. China is buying at least half of Iraq's oil production - and is investing heavily in its energy infrastructure. China has invested heavily in Afghanistan's mining industry - especially lithium and cobalt. And obviously both China and Russia keep doing business in Iran. [4]

So this is what Washington gets for over a decade of wars, incessant bullying, nasty sanctions and trillions of misspent dollars.

No wonder the most fascinating session I attended in St Petersburg was on the commercial and economic possibilities around the expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), whose guest of honor was none other than Li Yuanchao. I was arguably the only Westerner in the room, surrounded by a sea of Chinese and Central Asians.

The SCO is gearing up to become something way beyond a sort of counterpart to NATO, focusing mostly on terrorism and fighting drug trafficking. It wants to do major business. Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers, and sooner rather than later will be accepted as full members.

Once again that's Eurasian integration in action. The branching out of the New Silk Road(s) is inevitable; and that spells out, in practice, closer integration with Afghanistan (minerals) and Iran (energy).

The new Crimea boom

St Petersburg also made it clear how China wants to finance an array of projects in Crimea, whose waters, by the way, boasting untold, still unexplored, energy wealth, are now Russian property. Projects include a crucial bridge across the Kerch Strait to connect Crimea to mainland Russia; expansion of Crimean ports; solar power plants; and even manufacturing special economic zones (SEZs). Moscow could not but interpret it as Beijing's endorsement of the annexation of Crimea.

As for Ukraine, it might as well, as Putin remarked in St Petersburg, pay its bills. [5] And as for the European Union, at least outgoing president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso understood the obvious: antagonizing Russia is not exactly a winning strategy.

Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, has been one of those informed few advising the West about it, to no avail: "Russia and China are likely to cooperate even more closely ... Such an outcome would certainly benefit China, but it will give Russia a chance to withstand US geopolitical pressure, compensate for the EU's coming energy re-orientation, develop Siberia and the Far East, and link itself to the Asia-Pacific region." [6]

On the (silk) road again

The now symbiotic China-Russia strategic alliance - with the possibility of extending towards Iran [7] - is the fundamental fact on the ground in the young 21st century. It will extrapolate across the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Of course the usual shills will keep peddling that the only possible future is one led by a "benign" empire. [8] As if billions of people across the real world - even informed Atlanticists - would be gullible enough to buy it. Still, unipolarity may be dead, but the world, sadly, is encumbered with its corpse. The corpse, according to the new Obama doctrine, is now "empowering partners".

To paraphrase Dylan ("I left Rome and landed in Brussels"), I left St Petersburg and landed in Rome, to follow yet another episode in the slow decadence of Europe - the parliamentary elections. But before that, I was fortunate to experience an aesthetic illumination. I visited a virtually deserted Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where two dedicated, extremely knowledgeable researchers gave me a private tour of some pieces belonging to arguably the most outstanding collection of Asian manuscripts on the planet. As a serial Silk Road traveler fanatic, I had heard about many of those documents, but I had never actually seen them. So there I was, on the banks of the Neva, a kid in a (historical) candy store, immersed in all those marvels from Dunhuang to Mongolia, in Vedic or Sanskrit, dreaming of Silk Roads past and future. I could stay there forever.

Notes: 1. China Thwarts U.S. 'Containment' With Vietnam Oil Rig Standoff, Forbes, May 8, 2014.
2. Le president chinois appelle la Chine et l'Allemagne - construire la ceinture economique de la Route de la Soie (in French), Xinhua, March 30, 2014.
3. China calls for new Asian security structure, Washington Post, May 21, 2014.
4. Russia plans to build up to eight new nuclear reactors in Iran, Reuters, May 22, 2014.
5. Naftogaz Debt to Gazprom Stands at $4 Bln - EU Energy Commissioner, Ria Novosti, May 28, 2014.
6. See here.
7. China, Iran and Russia: Restructuring the global order, Al Jazeera, May 20, 2014.
8. In Defense of Empire, The Atlantic, March 19, 2014.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

(Copyright 2014 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd.

Nazi banker Ukraine and Russia's strategic options.

Ukraine Situation Report : Poroshenko's Weird War
Ukraine SITREP
By The Saker at Information Clearing House.

Introduction: the broader background to the Ukrainian crisis

Before looking at the latest developments in the Ukraine, I think that it is important to at least mention two major developments involving Russia.  First, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have signed the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and they will soon be joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.  Second, China has officially called for a new security alliance with Russia and Iran thereby proving that all the naysayers who said that China did not really mean it to form an alliance with Russia were plain wrong.  As I mentioned it in a previous SITREP the scope and nature of the recent economic agreements between Russia and China already constituted what I called a crypto-alliance and now we see the first official move by China to drop the 'crypto' part of it.  Again, this is truly a major tectonic shift in world politics and, arguable, the creation of the most powerful coalition of countries in history.  The title of Godfather of this new coalition should really go to the USA and Barak Obama who by his amazingly arrogant and hostile policies towards both China and Russia has greatly contributed to the forging of this alliance.

This process is far from over, by the way.  Not only are there discussions to expand the BRICS to other countries (like Argentina), the SCO or CSTO could also be expanded to include countries such as Iran or Pakistan.  AS for the Eurasian Economic Union, it will eventually morph into a single political entity, a Eurasian alliance which could include China in economic and/or security agreements.


The entire Eurasian landmass is slowly but inexorably becoming integrated into a zone free from AngloZionist control and free of the dollar.  The writing is on the wall for the AngloZionist Empire.

Latest developments in the Ukraine

The Ukrainian offensive has seen yet another dramatic escalation with, for the first time, the use of "Grad" multiple rocket launchers on the city of Slaviansk.  At least one Ukrainian helicopter, reportedly carrying a general and 12 other people, has been shot down by the Novorossia Defense Forces (NDF).  Sporadic artillery fire, at times intensive, has been heard through the night and casualties continue to be brought into the local hospitals.  Several Ukrainian units have put down their weapons and basically surrendered to the NDF.  In Sebastopol special headquarters have been set up to deal with the flow of incoming refugees.  In Kiev the Parliament is considering declaring martial law which would basically give unlimited power to the junta and suspend most civil rights.

There are two ways to look at these events.  You could say that a lot happened, there is an escalation taking place, people on both sides die, helicopters got shot down, units are refusing to obey criminal order, etc.  But you could also say that from a purely military point of view absolutely nothing happened at all.  Think of it this way:

What have we seen since the junta began its terror operation in Novorossiia?  Slaviansk and Kramatorsk have been besieged and shelled.  The junta forces have seized the airports near Slaviansk/Kramatorsk and Donetsk.  That's it.

Now let me immediately dispel the notion that these airports are somehow strategically important.  They are not.  Normally, in most military conflicts, airports are very important objects, especially their runways and radars.  But in this case the seizure of the Slaviansk/Kramatorsk and Donetsk airports has not been followed by any use of them by the junta, if only because there is way too much combat still taking place around them to make their use safe.  Besides, what need is there for airports when everything can be reached by road anyway? What about denying the use of this airport to either the NDF or the Russians should they decide to intervene?  Well, the NDF has no air assets at all, as for the Russians they sure don't need an airport to land an Airborne Regiment, Brigade or even Division.   So why did the junta decide to commit its best forces to seize these airports?  Simple - because they are not cities.  Or, put differently, because they are located outsides cities.  The fact is that the junta simply does not have the forces needed to occupy and control any city, so this is why they go for objectives which are outside cities.

Petr Poroshenko has announced that what the junta calls the "anti-terrorist operation" should not last for weeks, but only hours.  So this begs the question: if the entire mix of junta forces (military + death-squads) have not succeeded in taking either Slaviansk (hab: 130'000)or Kramatorsk (hab: 165'000), what are their chances to take Donetsk (hab: 1'000'000)?  Zero, of course.  And even less than zero if that is to be done in a matter of a few days and hours.

So what is the point of all this?

Is it that the political leaders and the junta are simply stupid or completely miss-informed?

No, it's not that simple.  For one thing, to speak of a "junta's strategy" or "Poroshenko's strategy" is plain wrong as this accepts they myth that that is an independent government in the Ukraine.  There is none.  Truly, all the decisions are taken by Uncle Sam and his representatives in Kiev and the so-called authorities are just the USA's collaborators who simply take orders form their boss.  And for all their sins, the folks in DC are neither stupid not poorly informed.  So what is their strategy in this frankly weird civil war?

Ideally, the first objective of the AngloZionists would be to trigger a Russian military intervention in protection of Novorossiia.  That would re-create the kind of Cold War tensions these folks are so nostalgic for.  It would give a justification for the existence of NATO and, if played well, it could even result in NATO and Russian forces looking at each other across the Dniepr river.  Not only would such a situation be a dream come true for the US military-industrial complex, it would make it possible for the USA to achieve one of its most important strategic objective: to keep Europe colonized and to prevent any chance of its integration with the East.  Far from being stupid, this strategy is nothing short of brilliant as it gives Putin only two choices: if Russia does not intervene Putin will look weak, indecisive, or even like a traitor to the Russian people, but if Russia does intervene, then Putin will be called the "New Hitler" or "New Stalin", a crazed Russian nationalist hell-bent on re-building the Soviet Union and crushing the freedom-loving Europeans under his tanks.  Are these cliches?  Yes, of course, but they will be used.  So for Putin its "damned if you do, and damned if you don't".

Second option: to wear down the NDF to the point where they will eventually surrender.  Not very likely, but in theory possible.  Should that happen, this could be presented as a double victory for Poroshenko: he crushed the "terrorists" and he "deterred the Russian Bear".  Again, this is a lot of whishful thinking, but in theory the US might see that as a unlikely but possible outcome.

Option three: the old US strategy of "what I cannot have, I burn down".  Basically, the strategy here is to destroy and damage as much of Novorossiia as possible, making a recovery as long and costly as possible.  This is also a lesson to all those who dare defy the Empire: you disobey and we will make you pay.

Russian options:

As I mentioned above, Russia really has very few options to chose from.  Any direct Russian intervention in the Ukraine - which in military terms would be a no-brainer - would have huge political consequences for the future of Europe's stability.  In essence, by not intervening Russia is denying the USA the Cold War v2 it wants so badly.  Should Russia intervene, and that is very possible, it would mean that the Kremlin accepts that the real price of its intervention is a long term re-submission of all of Europe to US interests.

Russia does, of course, have the option of covertly assisting the NDF and there is no doubt in my mind that it is already doing it, but this can only be done in a very careful and remote manner in order to avoid giving the US any proof of covert support.  Still, advanced anti-air and anti-tank weapons are clearly shown on some videos which shows that somebody is helping the resistance.

Russia has also begun leaking information about the Ukrainian units involved in terror operations against the people of the Donbass.  For example, Russian TV has announced yesterday that the following units have been involved in the bombing of the Donetsk airport: the 299 Tactical Aviation Brigade from Nikolaev (Su-25) and the 40th Aviation Brigade from Vasilkovo (MiG-29) who use the Ivan Kozhedub Air Force University of Kharkov (Mi-24; Mi-8) as a combat operations basis.  Russian bloggers have also leaked the photos and names of the pilots involved.

Russian jurists have created special legal companies who take the testimony of the Ukrainians whose civil or human right have been violated by the junta to file lawsuits in Ukrainian courts.  Of course, the Ukrainian courts are fully expected to reject the complaint at which point the Russian can then file their lawsuits at the European Court of Human Rights.

The good news for Russia is that there is no way that the Junta can take Donetsk or Lugansk.  And even if junta forces did enter these cities they would not be able to control them.  The Russian military strategists understand that very well.  After all, the Russians have more urban combat experience than any army in the world: during WWII the Soviet forces liberated 1200 cities form the German Army and that experience has been studied over and over again in the Russian military academies. Furthermore, while currently only a minority of the man of combat age in the Donbass have joined the NDF, the constant shelling and terror of the junta's assault is motivating more and more of them to join the resistance.

Time is on the side of Novorossiia and of Russia.

My own feeling is that Poroshenko will soon fold and announce some kind of "peace initiative" which would probably not involve a complete withdrawal of junta forces from Novorossiia as demanded by  the local authorities, but it will include a "suspension" of combat operations.  Poroshenko - who is most definitely not a dumb man - knows that he absolutely must sit down and begin negotiating with the Russian and he also knows that the Russians simply cannot negotiate with him as long as active combat operations continue.  I cannot prove that, but I believe that Poroshenko himself already understands all this and that what is happening now is that he is trying to convince the US of the need to accept the facts on the ground.  Right now, Poroshenko can hide behind the tiny figleaf excuse that he has not been formally inaugurated, but that pretext will vanish pretty soon (on June 7th) and I suspect that as soon following his inauguration he will announce some kind of peace initiative.

Until then, the Russians will have to wait and grind their teeth at the news of every atrocity committed by the junta's neo-Nazi death-squads.  Payback time will come, but the first priority will have to be to deny the AngloZionists the Cold War they are so desperately trying to trigger..


Modi's ball

Modi has two options. 

He can continue using Pakistan as a source through which he mobilizes the Hindu extremists, and thus his vote bank.

Or he can choose to be a true national statesman and force through greater India Pakistan cooperation for a win win situation, which turns a historical rut free chapter.

MERE lecturing and GRANDSTANDING against failed state Pakistan is WORTHLESS.

May be a grand bargain can be offered to desperate failed state Pakistan.

Failed State Pakistan is not one unitary state, that is effectively managed under the iron fist of one absolute ruler. 

Pakistan contains the all powerful military with its 1,100,000 personnel 1,000,000 reserves and 500,000 trained Jihadis. The military is greatly influenced by the USA/UK who train senior members of the armed forces. The Pakistan military thus naturally articulate the geo-politics of these two Western powers. The USA pours $ billions in aid to the country to CONTROL and MANAGE the Pakistan military, and certain bureaucrats. This generates CORRUPTION in the country and a failed state situation. ALL terrorism inside Pakistan are caused by the Pakistan military as it performs its Gunga Din duty of serving Western Imperialist designs in Pakistan and the neighborhood. 

The British created the ISI in 1948, and it was headed by a British officer from 1948--56, and probably into 1959 after the first official military coup of 1958, though it is believed the initial unofficial coups took place in 1951, 1952, 1954 with British direction from behind the scenes, thus at each stage subverting the weak civilian governments.

The British created Pakistan using Jinnah a British agent, and the Muslim League which they also created in 1905 in Dhaka to weaken the Congress Movement. Pakistan through the nature of its birth and its British colonial mid wife is thus the designed designated regional spoiler of South Asia.

Through such policies from the USA/UK and through the Punjab dominated military, Pakistan is now a failed state with 190 million desperate people.

The strategy of the BJP in such a situation is to separate and understand the true nature of the Pakistan military, and the civilian politicians and deal with them based on their own agenda's.

1. India must cease lecturing Pakistan, where civilian governments have no CONTROL over security.

2. Sign significant trade deals with Pakistan, which benefit the civilian governments....get an FTA going as soon as possible.

3. Provide loans/aid to Pakistan for development.....a real gesture of faith and friendship beyond mere words, and outdo the Chinese/USA in this area.

MOST terrorism in India is caused by Indians. Though terrorism is not the main problem in India. There is Naxal terrorism, and there is Hindu terrorism, and finally separatist terrorism. It is more than likely that 26/11 was caused by the Siv Sena/RSS the main controlling agencies in Mumbai, along with Jews and the CIA...David Headley being the American agent mastermind. The purpose is divide and rule, and to ensure a BJP success in the upcoming elections immediately after 26/11....and a confrontation with Pakistan, dragging in China.

Was the Meme of ISI terrorism used to help the BJP win this election, in South India when the results seemed not so certain?

Maybe Modi knows a bit about such fascist tactics.

Sharif should have been met a day after his inauguration by Modi and given more than just 45 minutes. Modi should have offered Sharif substantial offers in trade at a minimum, rather than just lecture him on how Pakistan must behave. 

The BJP's policies must be more SOPHISTICATED beyond giving Pakistan empty threats and lectures on their conduct. Pakistan is hapless and run by a corrupt Punjabi military who do not think twice about massacring millions of their own people, and waging perpetual jihad against their own country for the sake of foreign imperialist entities. The BJP has to be BIG ENOUGH to understand such realities.


Narendra Modi talks tough on 26/11 trial, terrorism with Nawaz Sharif



Dealing with the CORE ISSUES of the state immediately.

It is encouraging that the new BJP government, somewhat constrained by SC time limits is going to have its first big cabinet meeting about the alleged $2 trillion---$8 trillion offshored money in the 70 odd tax havens around the world. Notably Switzerland...which allegedly alone holds $1.5 trillion, followed by Mauritius, London.....and so on.

This heinous habit has developed at the behest of British colonialism, and a lack of respect and faith in the Indian state.

Obviously tracking down the big names is important.....but hopefully not based on caste, creed and political inclination. But the black money cannot all belong to billionaires.....and will include a wide range of people from POLITICIANS of all parties; bureaucrats; business people; Mafia. All must be pursued for the sake of unearthing criminal networks, and economic sabotage.

1. Why is India potentially the biggest nation with off shore accounts? What is the psychological cultural reason?

2. Why don't these criminal elements or the legitimate elements have enough confidence to invest/keep the money in India, a relatively stable developing country.

3. What is the source of the corruption culture in India that felicitates such a massive damaging exodus of money from India?

4. What is the role of Western neo-liberal economic policies introduced by the IMF since 1991, which encourages Indians to make their money move out of India?

5. Will the BJP government turn a blind eye to big business houses who have funded the BJP to look seriously into their black money accounts.

6. What is the basic system which allows black money to flow out of India....the networks that operate with NRI's.

It is good that the new BJP government is heading in the direction of serious government/governance, tackling head on the big issues that vex India, rather than slide into meaningless gimmickry and sloganism.

Gimmickry, speeches and sloganism are cheap, empty and easy.

Solving the big structural problems of the state much harder. This area requires focus and sheer hard work.

The returned money should be invested in INDUSTRY and INFRASTRUCTURE which puts money into the pockets of the aam admi, and creates sorely needed jobs for the on going rural urban flight as 75% of Indians will live in cities by 2050............rather than just dumped on the forex.


First Cabinet move: SIT on black money

By Times of India

The first cabinet meeting of the Modi government on Tuesday decided to constitute a special investigative team (SIT) to dig out black money. The SIT will be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, M B Shah. The decision on the SIT is in compliance with the Supreme Court directive on black money.

The vice chairman of the SIT will be another former SC judge, Arijit Pasayat. It will be assisted by the Revenue Secretary, directors of CBI, IB, RAW and ED, the CBDT Chairman and an RBI deputy governor. The government was given a week by the SC to set up an SIT.

Briefing the media on the cabinet meeting, law and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "In the first Cabinet of the new government...in the light of the directions of the SC, we have constituted an SIT for unearthing black money... This was an important issue for us."

A press release added, "The SIT has been charged with the responsibility and duties of investigation, initiation of proceedings and prosecution in cases of Hasan Ali and other matters involving unaccounted money."

Prasad said the quick move to set up the SIT "indicates the commitment of the new government to pursue the issue of black money." He added, "Tomorrow is the last date (for setting up of SIT), therefore the very first agenda in accordance with its policy commitment was to have this very high-profile SIT."

According to a press release, other members of the SIT are Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau, Director General of Revenue Intelligence, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Director of the Research and Analysis Wing and a Joint Secretary in the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

The SIT will also work out a comprehensive action plan to create an institutional structure that would enable the country to fight the battle against unaccounted money. It would report on the status of its work to the court from time to time, the statement added. 


Mother Russia accommodating into a changing world order.


I don't see why its a fiasco. Russia must always make clever business deals which benefit the country and the people in the long term. Its is painfully obvious that cross border business deals must be done in order to make Russia more prosperous.
That such a process additionally benefits China strategically and economically, insulated by any blockages in the sea lanes.
It is only a fiasco in the sense that Putin, the KGB mafia enforcer brought in by the Jewish Russian oligarchs ( Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) to enforce the 'new normal' in neo-liberal feudal Russia, and as someone who fawned about the WEST so obviously, with visits to GW Bush's ranch....gazing into each others eyes.... should NOW reinvent himself as a Russian patriot WHO MUST prevent USA/NATO/EU imperialist expansion into his country.
He is now inaccurately called the New Hitler, by the likes of Hilary Clinton and pedophile Prince Charles/Jimmy Savile. Putin must be doing something good........though it would be encouraging to see Russia's population increase, from the current Jewish instigated decline, and the Russian middle class to expand from the current 15--20% of population.

The Great Western Gas Fiasco

By Eric Margolis
at Information Clearing House 
– Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin usually wears a perfect poker face. But last week in Shangahi, the icy-cold Russian president came awfully close to bursting into a big grin.

And why not? Putin had just stolen a march on his western rivals. The US-British attempt to wound Russia’s economy and punish Putin for disobedience had just blown up in their red faces.
 After 20 years of difficult talks, Russia and China had just signed a huge deal that called for Russia to export 38 billion cubic meters of gas worth some $400 billion to China. The agreement begins in 2018 and will involve one of the globe’s largest engineering projects that links Russia’s remote gas fields to China’s pipeline system.
In addition, China will invest at least $20 billion in Russian industry and boost imports of Russian products, notably military systems. China will become Russia’s largest trade partner.
This was not the much ballyhooed “pivot to Asia” that President Barack Obama expected. It is, however, the long-dreaded embrace between the Chinese dragon and Russian bear that has given western strategists the willies. 
One must suspect that the recent fracas in Ukraine was the last straw that pushed China to make a strategic alignment with Russia. Until now, the two great powers had quietly cooperated, not always without problems. Thanks to all the bluster and sabre-rattling from the US and its allies over Eastern Europe and the South China Sea, China decided to deepen and expand its entente with Moscow.
The Republicans in the US Congress who have been beating the war drums and calling for Obama to get tough with Russia (whatever that means) now share blame for pushing Moscow into China’s arms. All perfectly predictable and perfectly dumb. A diplomatic fiasco of the first water.
Russia has thus given its economy a big boost and made western sanctions look inconsequential. Chinese funds will allow cash-strapped Russia to modernize its oil and gas industry. The new gas pipelines will be a major economic boost for Russia’s distressed eastern regions and Siberia. 
If the gas deal works and prospers, it will serve as a template for heightened Sino-Russian cooperation in military projects, such as fifth generation fighter aircraft, missile systems, naval forces and advanced electronics. Until today, Russia had been reluctant to share more advanced military systems with China because of China’s copying of Russian technology, then refusing to pay adequate royalties.
For China, the deal offers many advantages. China has been energy deficient for years. Beijing desperately needs to find new energy sources to fuel its growing economy. Russian gas offers a clean alternative to the filthy coal China has used for power and heat. Estimates are that a switch to gas will reduce air pollution by at least 25% in China’s northern cities, maybe much more. Having gasped for air through numerous Beijing nights, I fully appreciate what this means.
Russia has long been reluctant to cooperate too closely with China on Far East industrial projects. Russians have little love for China – or “Kitai” – because China evokes memories of the Mongol-Tatar invasions that ravaged large parts of Russia for hundreds of years. Distrust and even straight out dislike is wired into the mentality of many Russians. During the 19th century, Russia joined the western powers and Japan in raping China.
.(Russia has heavily invested into Chinese industry especially in the 1950's handing over 'turn key plants' and weapon systems design and production....early PLA equipment come from Russia CLEARLY, until ideological schism divided Khruschev's Russia from Maoist China.....so the writer is inaccurate in making such claims.
The Chinese STATE, and the Chinese people have never massacred ethnic Russians, and vice versa. But I FULLY appreciate that racism is never wrapped in sophistication and education.
From personal experience, in Russia for some 'Tartar' can mean anybody with a slight brown skin, or oriental features.....Central Asians including Afghans, Indians, Iranians and Arabs.
The 'Great Migrations' from the East started with the Huns after 400 AD....then the Slavs who came from Siberia from 800 AD....then the Pechenegs, Polovisti, then finally the Mongol Tartars hordes from 1240 AD onwards creating the Golden Horde. 

Non of these races above are Chinese. Indeed many of them devastated China first before they turned their attentions on Russia.

These are Ural-Altaic Uiger races closely linked to the Turkic family---hybrid races where Eastern/Northern Iranians mixed with East Asian people through the intercourse of raid and trade...700---600 BC. But not Chinese.
Russia never 'raped' or devastated China )
Demography lies at the heart of Russia’s fears of China.
Russia’s far eastern regions, with the vital port of Vladivostok, has only 7.4 million citizens. Ten times as many Chinese lived just across the border in the northeast region known as the “Dongbei.” This highly strategic region and Manchuria became an arena of conflict at the end of the 19th century between Russia, Japan, and China, leading to the bloody 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War, the first big, modern war of the 20th century.  
Some 1.5 million Chinese infiltrate annually over the Russian border and settle illegally, producing a situation akin to that between the US and Mexico. Fears are expressed in Moscow that the 2 million illegal Chinese settlers in Russia’s Far East may one day expand to 20 or 30 million, outnumbering Russian inhabitants.  
When I was invited in 1980 by Chinese military intelligence to “exchange views” in Beijing, I cheekily asked how long it would take for the Chinese Army to take Vladivostok. After a long, uncomfortable silence, a general spat out, “one week.”  
Russia still holds vast tracts of land seized in the mid 1800’s from China. 
.(Not so fast Mr. Jewish writer. China controls vast tracts of land that were legitimately invaded not so long ago...300 years ago which are inhabited by non-Chinese/Han people. Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Sinkiang. International law recognizes China's control to these areas. 

LIKEWISE.......Russia after the defeat of the Kazan Tartars in 1572 expanded East for historical reasons. Russia legitimately conquered these areas, and is recognized as such by international law. No doubt Chinese historians may produce ancient maps showing this and that part of Eastern Siberia belonging to China but this is worthless and counter-productive.
The Scythian Empire stretching from East Siberia to the Danube 800--200 BC.
Iranian people, AND thus Russian people, and the Russian state have been in these parts of the world for thousands of years, and not a mere 200 years ago....as the writer of this article states inaccurately.  
Russia as a civilization has existed for 3000 years rooted in the Iranian people who evolved in the steppes over 10,000 years in the Sintashta-Petrovka culture.  Russia WAS NOT merely created when the Slavs invaded the land 1200 years ago or when Kievan Rus state was established. It is much older than this.
Beijing and Moscow will have their work cut out to resolve lingering disputes and build mutual respect and trust. There is a big deficit on both sides right now.  
 (According to the writer's wishful thinking, but not in current reality)
Today, China’s growing energy imports are very vulnerable to interdiction. The US and lately India have the capability to block inbound Chinese oil tankers and maritime cargo exports, either of which would shut down China’s major industries. Key choke points would be the inner and outer island chains of the South and North China Seas, and the narrow Malacca Strait. 
India’s new aircraft carriers and submarines are being specifically built to interdict China’s oil imports. Pipeline oil from Russia would be secure from most attacks and offer China its long-sought energy security.
(This assumes Indian strategists believe that antagonizing India's biggest trading partner (China) is somehow more important, than securing good relations with all of India's neighbors based on peace and security. It assumes that Indian security exists like failed state Pakistan, as Gunga Din annexes to Western Imperial designs.....I have argued for 10 years against a costly big blue water navy for India, sexy as it may seem. Maybe for the first time India will have a caste Hindu Defence Minister from North India...who is actually qualified in security matters...is a civilian...and the BJP is not scared the beejeezes out of him. Traditionally Indian defense secretaries Fernandes (Ignominious strip searched in the USA as a minister of defense) and Anthony have been low caste converts with no stature, because both the Congress and BJP needed to loot for their election coffers, and they needed an outsider, low stature type to allow for the looting in the MOD. Maybe things will change now.)
This new deal is so good on many levels that old fears and mistrust must yield to its logic.
Most important, the Sino-Russian energy deal may further alter the world’s balance of power to the East. Russia and China working in tandem could offset the great power and wealth of the US and its rich allies. It is a major geopolitical event. 
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia. http://ericmargolis.com  
Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2014


Rothschilds puppets--two sides of the same banker coin

The writer rather hopefully, naively appeals to one crook to de-link from another crook, without understanding their common Jewish heritage which cements their covert relationship, and their inter-linking criminal background. In such a scenario appealing merely to good Tory values and common sense will not work since they have none, for what is undoubtedly one of the worst and least popular Tory leaders in history.


David Cameron's Friendship with Tony Blair is Starting to do Serious Damage
Refusal to countenance serious investigation into British crimes and atrocities, apparently to protect Tony Blair, will damage David Cameron's own reputation and that of the country too.

By Peter Oborne at the Telegraph and Information Clearing House. 

- It has been obvious for a while that some kind of private understanding exists between David Cameron and Tony Blair. In numerous ways, our current Prime Minister has modeled his premiership on the former’s. The two men talk regularly, and their conversations range far wider than official conversations about Tony Blair’s role as Middle East envoy. 
I understand Mr Blair gave advice to David Cameron ahead of the British intervention in Libya that dislodged Colonel Gaddafi. He has visited David Cameron at Chequers.
There is also a strategic dimension to the friendship. Baroness Thatcher sabotaged John Major’s 1997 election campaign by letting it be known that it was safe to vote for Tony Blair. Some Tory strategists believe that the same trick could be played with Mr Blair (no great admirer of Ed Miliband) ahead of 2015. 
So Mr Cameron needs Tony Blair or, to be strictly accurate, thinks that he does. Equally, Tony Blair needs David Cameron. Mr Blair has now been envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, the organization that is trying to mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace, for nearly seven years, during which time his achievements have been minimal. There is pressure for his removal and British support is crucial. (Mr Blair’s decision to prop up President Putin over Ukraine, which surprised many observers, has also shored up his position because Russia is one of the four members of the Quartet.)
More important still is the former prime minister’s business empire. The British Government could pull the plug on Tony Blair Associates overnight with just an official hint in the right places that it disapproved of the lucrative but controversial advisory network, but has chosen not to do so. 
The most urgent issue of all concerns Tony Blair’s reputation. Only one prime minister since the Second World War has left office in disgrace. That was Sir Anthony Eden after the failed seizure of the Suez Canal in 1956. The damage was inflicted not by the military fiasco (though that was bad enough) but by the later revelation that Sir Anthony had lied to parliament about the secret dealing with France and Israel ahead of the invasion.
The parallels between Suez and Iraq are fascinating. Mr Blair has consistently denied that he made any commitments to President Bush, insisting that he kept an open mind about the invasion right up to the last minute. There have, however, been persistent claims that Mr Blair effectively gave the US president a “blank cheque”, saying that Britain would go to war come what may. The correspondence and private conversations between Bush and Blair still exist, so it should be relatively simple for the Chilcot inquiry to establish the truth. Mr Blair, however, is reportedly seeking to block the publication of these conversations.
The ultimate decision lies, however, with the Prime Minister, who therefore bears his share of the responsibility for the four-year delay in the publication of the Chilcot report. Last weekend Mr Cameron was finally drawn into the open, stating that he “hoped” the Chilcot report would be out by the end of this year, words that inspire little confidence. 
We now come to an even more serious subject: British involvement in torture of terrorist suspects and the abuse of prisoners. Something changed after Tony Blair became prime minister. In 1990, just ahead of the first Gulf War, Margaret Thatcher sent a message through Whitehall banning the use of information obtained through torture. Two decades later Tony Blair’s government allegedly relaxed the ban, with wretched consequences. The evidence of British involvement during Iraq was sufficiently horrifying for David Cameron (and Nick Clegg) to demand a full investigation. 
To his credit, the Prime Minister did indeed order an inquiry under Sir Peter Gibson. Sir Peter’s investigations came to a close, however, after a discovery in Tripoli showed that British intelligence had helped Colonel Gaddafi’s regime abduct two Libyan dissidents (along with their families), who were brought home and tortured. 
This find led to a Scotland Yard investigation that, two years later, has made no visible progress. According to the latest reports, Britain is now making strenuous efforts to ensure that all mention of this country’s involvement is expunged from the 6,300-page Senate Intelligence committee report into torture carried out by CIA interrogators. Most troubling of all are the allegations that British soldiers breached the Geneva Conventions, which outlaw inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners, on a large scale in the wake of Tony Blair’s 2003 invasion. Hundreds of Iraqis have come forward with claims that they were illegally detained or tortured by British forces.
The MoD’s response to these allegations has been reminiscent of News International’s response to the early allegations of phone hacking. Celebrities and other victims were bought off with expensive out-of-court settlements while the Murdoch papers carried on insisting they had done nothing wrong. By 2011 the United Kingdom had settled more than 200 claims of mistreatment at a cost of some £14 million, with many more waiting in the wings.
There has been one conviction, a corporal who received a one-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to the inhumane treatment of detainees. Meanwhile, the Justice and Security Act, which effectively prevents victims bringing claims of torture against the British government, has become law. 
Ministers furiously insist that the claims are vexatious – and with some justice. In March a public inquiry into allegations that soldiers had murdered Iraqi prisoners and mutilated their bodies collapsed after the most important claims were shown to be false. Nevertheless, the contrast with 1991, when Iraqi prisoners were as a whole treated with exemplary care and compassion, is striking. It is obvious to any reasonable observer that something went very wrong at the time of the Iraq invasion.
When David Cameron and Nick Clegg formed the Coalition in 2010, they had an opportunity to address the legacy of the 2003 Iraq invasion. They have not done so, and now they have paid the price. Last week the International Criminal Court sensationally announced a “preliminary examination” of allegations that British troops have committed war crimes.

The ICC only ever investigates allegations of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide. It only intervenes when a nation is unable or unwilling to investigate wrong-doing. This is the first time that any Western nation has been the object of this kind of ICC attention. Britain now finds itself in the company of such places as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic and Colombia. 
David Cameron’s hands are clean with regard to Iraq. In many ways his desire to protect the reputation of British soldiers, intelligence officers and politicians is honorable. But in the long term his refusal to countenance serious investigation into alleged British crimes and atrocities will damage his own reputation. That, of course, is a matter for the Prime Minister alone. Very much more important, his inertia is starting to inflict serious damage on the reputation of Britain.
© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2014


Nazi Banker Ukraine


Ukraine’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Reality

The horrendous fire in Odessa, killing dozens of ethnic Russians protesting against the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev, has lurched the country closer to full-scale civil war and disrupted the American media’s efforts to deny the existence of pro-regime neo-Nazis.

By Robert Parry at Information Clearing House.
- As much as the coup regime in Ukraine and its supporters want to project an image of Western moderation, there is a “Dr. Strangelove” element that can’t stop the Nazism from popping up from time to time, like when the Peter Sellers character in the classic movie can’t keep his right arm from making a “Heil Hitler” salute.
This brutal Nazism surfaced again on Friday when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons.
“Burn, Colorado, burn” went the chant.
As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS,” a reference to the Ukrainian nationalist army that fought alongside the German Nazi SS in World War II, killing Russians on the eastern front.
The death by fire of dozens of people in Odessa recalled a World War II incident in 1944 when elements of a Galician SS police regiment took part in the massacre of the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, which had been a refuge for Jews and was protected by Russian and Polish partisans. Attacked by a mixed force of Ukrainian police and German soldiers on Feb. 28, hundreds of townspeople were massacred, including many locked in barns that were set ablaze.
The legacy of World War II – especially the bitter fight between Ukrainian nationalists from the west and ethnic Russians from the east seven decades ago – is never far from the surface in Ukrainian politics. One of the heroes celebrated during the Maidan protests in Kiev was Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose name was honored in many banners including one on a podium where Sen. John McCain voiced support for the uprising to oust elected President Viktor Yanukovych, whose political base was in eastern Ukraine.
During World War II, Bandera headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-B, a radical paramilitary movement that sought to transform Ukraine into a racially pure state. OUN-B took part in the expulsion and extermination of thousands of Jews and Poles.
Though most of the Maidan protesters in 2013-14 appeared motivated by anger over political corruption and by a desire to join the European Union, neo-Nazis made up a significant number. These storm troopers from the Right Sektor and Svoboda party decked out some of the occupied government buildings with Nazi insignias and even a Confederate battle flag, the universal symbol of white supremacy.
Then, as the protests turned violent from Feb. 20-22, the neo-Nazis surged to the forefront. Their well-trained militias, organized in 100-man brigades called “the hundreds,” led the final assaults against police and forced Yanukovych and many of his officials to flee for their lives.
In the days after the coup, as the neo-Nazi militias effectively controlled the government, European and U.S. diplomats scrambled to help the shaken parliament put together the semblance of a respectable regime, although four ministries, including national security, were awarded to the right-wing extremists in recognition of their crucial role in ousting Yanukovych.
Seeing No Nazis
Since February, virtually the entire U.S. news media has cooperated in the effort to play down the neo-Nazi role, dismissing any mention of this inconvenient truth as “Russian propaganda.” Stories in the U.S. media delicately step around the neo-Nazi reality by keeping out relevant context, such as the background of national security chief Andriy Parubiy, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991, blending radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy was commandant of the Maidan’s “self-defense forces.”
When the neo-Nazi factor is mentioned in the mainstream U.S. press, it is usually to dismiss it as nonsense, such as an April 20 column by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof who visited his ancestral home, the western Ukrainian town of Karapchiv, and portrayed its residents as the true voice of the Ukrainian people.
“To understand why Ukrainians are risking war with Russia to try to pluck themselves from Moscow’s grip, I came to this village where my father grew up,” he wrote. “Even here in the village, Ukrainians watch Russian television and loathe the propaganda portraying them as neo-Nazi thugs rampaging against Russian speakers.
“‘If you listen to them, we all carry assault rifles; we’re all beating people,’ Ilya Moskal, a history teacher, said contemptuously.”
In an April 17 column from Kiev, Kristof wrote that what the Ukrainians want is weapons from the West so they can to go “bear-hunting,” i.e. killing Russians. “People seem to feel a bit disappointed that the United States and Europe haven’t been more supportive, and they are humiliated that their own acting government hasn’t done more to confront Russian-backed militants. So, especially after a few drinks, people are ready to take down the Russian Army themselves.”
Kristof also repeated the U.S. “conventional wisdom” that the resistance to the coup regime among eastern Ukrainians was entirely the work of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, Kristof wrote, “warns that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. But the chaos in eastern cities is his own creation, in part by sending provocateurs across the border.”
However, when the New York Times finally sent two reporters to spend time with rebels from the east, they encountered an indigenous movement motivated by hostility to the Kiev regime and showing no signs of direction from Moscow. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Another NYT ‘Sort of’ Retraction on Ukraine.”] 

Beyond the journalistic risk of jumping to conclusions, Kristof, who fancies himself a great humanitarian, also should recognize that the clever depiction of human beings as animals, whether as “bears” or “Colorado beetles,” can have horrendous human consequences as is now apparent in Odessa.
Reagan’s Nazis
But the problem with some western Ukrainians expressing their inconvenient love for Nazis has not been limited to the current crisis. It bedeviled Ronald Reagan’s administration when it began heating up the Cold War in the 1980s.
As part of that strategy, Reagan’s United States Information Agency, under his close friend Charles Wick, hired a cast of right-wing Ukrainian exiles who began showing up on U.S.-funded Radio Liberty praising the Galician SS.
These commentaries included positive depictions of Ukrainian nationalists who had sided with the Nazis in World War II as the SS waged its “final solution” against European Jews. The propaganda broadcasts provoked outrage from Jewish organizations, such as B’nai B’rith, and individuals including conservative academic Richard Pipes.
According to an internal memo dated May 4, 1984, and written by James Critchlow, a research officer at the Board of International Broadcasting, which managed Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, one RL broadcast in particular was viewed as “defending Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the SS.”
Critchlow wrote, “An RL Ukrainian broadcast of Feb. 12, 1984 contains references to the Nazi-oriented Ukrainian-manned SS ‘Galicia’ Division of World War II which may have damaged RL’s reputation with Soviet listeners. The memoirs of a German diplomat are quoted in a way that seems to constitute endorsement by RL of praise for Ukrainian volunteers in the SS division, which during its existence fought side by side with the Germans against the Red Army.”
Harvard Professor Pipes, who was an informal adviser to the Reagan administration, also inveighed against the Radio Liberty broadcasts, writing – on Dec. 3, 1984 – “the Russian and Ukrainian services of RL have been transmitting this year blatantly anti-Semitic material to the Soviet Union which may cause the whole enterprise irreparable harm.”
Though the Reagan administration publicly defended Radio Liberty against some of the public criticism, privately some senior officials agreed with the critics, according to documents in the archives of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. For instance, in a Jan. 4, 1985, memo, Walter Raymond Jr., a top official on the National Security Council, told his boss, National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, that “I would believe much of what Dick [Pipes] says is right.”
What the Reagan administration apparently didn’t understand three decades ago – and what the U.S. State Department still has not seemed to learn today – is that there is a danger in stirring up the old animosities that divide Ukraine, east and west.
Though clearly a minority, Ukraine’s neo-Nazis remain a potent force that is well-organized, well-motivated and prone to extreme violence, whether throwing firebombs at police in the Maidan or at ethnic Russians trapped in a building in Odessa.
As vengeance now seeks vengeance across Ukraine, this Nazi imperative will be difficult to hold down, much as Dr.
Strangelove struggled to stop his arm from making a “Heil Hitler” salute.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.