Archives for category: international law

Jews in the News

“We have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy. It’s not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks, comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior” -Mel Brooks, 21 September 2017

Now, this preceding famous Jew’s quote via an anti-anti-Semitic website…

Jews_in_the_News - 1

…is linked to Breitbart:

Jews_in_the_News - 1 (1)

So, I already should be confused; Bannon’s allegedly anti-Semitic website (which has at least one ‘self-hating Jew’ columnist) gets a bone toss from an anti-anti-Semitic watchdog while the (accused) anti-Semitic Breitbart and Bannon are roundly warned against by The Times of Israel. Jesus! Could Mel Brooks sort that with comedy?

Mel Brooks very much appreciates the court jester tradition, a tradition under assault from all directions.

Now, what brought out this rant is, former Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie “of Jewish descent” Plame is racked and pilloried for ‘tweeting’ former CIA officer Phil Giraldi’s column at Unz Review: America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars

What we have here is similarly ludicrous to my introduction; A Jew, Ron Unz, is providing a platform, the Unz Review, to an accused anti-Semite, Phil Giraldi, and when Valerie Plame points to Giraldi lambasting the same ‘usual suspects’ unloaded on by famous self-hating Jew Glenn Greenwald…

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…the press unloads on Plame with what amounts to a ‘journalistic’ rapid fire cannon (HERE, HERE and the academic ‘usual suspect’ HERE.)

‘The Hill’ includes this language:

“The article the former CIA operative linked to argues that the neoconservative foreign policy establishment is largely beholden to American Jews with an attachment to Israel. The article’s author, Philip Giraldi, says American Jews shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions related to Middle East policy”

Glenn Greenwald might argue it is the WRONG Jews allowed to make foreign policy. And that’s where Giraldi ‘stepped on his dick’ (a military expression) and I suspected from the moment I saw the title of his article he’d get blasted, because Giraldi didn’t (and mostly doesn’t) give attention to the manifold traps, where if you’re not watching where you walk, the all-encompassing term ‘Jew’ can lead to; because the word Jew is sort of like the La Brea tar-pit of nouns: whether self-hating Jews, apostate Jews, kinda Jews (not of a Jewish mother, also known as wild oats Jews), agnostic Jews, atheist Jews, Marxist Jews, Reform Jews, Reform-Jews-aren’t-Jews-Jews (hyper-Orthodox Israeli Rabbinate designated Jews), quit screwing over the world Jews (also known as Tikkun Olam Jews), Jews screwed over our world Jews (Sephardic Jews), waiting to be saved from themselves Jews (Bibi Netanyahu and his ilk), evangelizing Jews (also known as Jews for Jesus or cover for MOSSAD assassin Jews), J Street Jews, AIPAC Jews, neocon Jews, neo-liberal Jews (Soros), Jews on the Left, Jews on the right, stand up, sit down, Fight! Fight! Fight! It’s a pity Celebrity Death Match never pitted Glenn Greenwald against Alan Dershowitz, it’d be platinum at youtube:

As much as I’d have preferred a ‘Perfected Jew’ Ann Coulter versus ‘Kinda Jew’ Gloria Steinem death match (with no survivor), there’s no authentic center survives in today’s politically correct world lamented by a real hero: Mel Brooks (may he forever be blessed for Blazing Saddles.)

This brings us back to Giraldi and his ‘platform’ run by Ron Unz. Why is it ‘mainstream’ media fries Plame over Giraldi but neglects to mention Unz is Jewish? Is it because,  example given, Unz Review also hosts ‘Über-Zionist’ and historical revisionist Llana Mercer who states:

“Libertarians err in mistaking the 2,000-year-old Jewish right to the land for a biblically-based, religious claim. The claim is first and foremost historical, although naturally, the Hebrew community’s claim to its ancient homeland can’t be reduced to a title search at the deeds office. Jewish rights to Israel proceed from the original ownership of the land: The original and rightful owners were Jews. The fact that they were killed and exiled by the Romans doesn’t nullify their ownership”

Setting aside the upcoming potential evidence for hypocrisy, in case where Llana doesn’t seem to have read Jewish history from whence Israel had been created by exterminating the Canaanites, this recalls cartoonist Stan Lynde’s joke attributed to a Crow tribal chief:

“This has been Crow land from time immemorial, it was always Crow land, there has never been a time it was not Crow land, that is, ever since we took it from the Shoshones!

Considering:

Canaanite is by far the most frequently used ethnic term in the Bible. In the Book of Joshua, Canaanites are included in a list of nations to exterminate, and later described as a group which the Israelites had annihilated”

One would think a Jew, that is Llana Mercer, would get her own book right, what a shame Louis Black didn’t notice her commonality with certain televangelist Christians:

In fact Israel’s right to exist as a modern state is due solely to certain United Nations acts Arab states are bound by for the very fact the Arab states joined the United Nations and contracted themselves to the western standard of international law. Certainly a case of ‘it sucks for Palestinians’ (particularly going to the Israeli middle finger put to subsequent UN acts) but that’s the shit which actually matters.

And so it is, relating to Plame read Giraldi, an act worthy of politically correct firing squad, no one in ‘mainstream’ notes Ron Unz is a Jew who hosts a Paleo Zionist (read pro-Israel propagandist) who deliberately doesn’t get her history right. Mainstream press would leave the impression Giraldi is hosted by an anti-Israel/anti-Semitic website.

Now again back to Giraldi: I read Giraldi because he’s a spook. Likely Plame read Giraldi because she’s a spook. Now, if Greenwald, far out on the liberal-left, and Giraldi, far out on the conservative-right, finger the same neocons who happen to be Jews, that should inform you they’re onto something. Would it matter if Giraldi were anti-Semitic in the case of his noticing an accurate fact? Or does the fact die to conform Plame to a politically correct history of events? Considering the media phenomenon of ‘hasbara‘ and certain outcome in western press resembling this, professional spy Giraldi’s accusations against western media should merit further investigation:

“Hasbara is a form of propaganda aimed at an international audience, primarily, but not exclusively, in western countries. It is meant to influence the conversation in a way that positively portrays Israeli political moves and policies, including actions undertaken by Israel in the past”

Meanwhile, let’s look at a couple cases of historical, however highly politically incorrect, exemplary causes of anti-Semitism:

The Nakba

“For refugees, camps were shelters for the reconstruction of personal and social life, but were also seen as sites of great political significance, the material testimony of what was destroyed and ‘all that remains’ of more than four hundred cities, towns and villages forcefully cleansed throughout Palestine in the Nakba of 1947-9. This is the reason refugees sometimes refer to the destruction of camps as ‘the destruction of destruction.’ The camp is not a home, it is a temporary arrangement, and its destruction is but the last iteration in an ongoing process of destruction.

“This rhetoric of double negation – the negation of negation – tallies well with what Saree Makdisi, talking about the Israeli refusal to acknowledge the Nakba, has termed ‘the denial of denial’, which is, he says, ‘a form of foreclosure that produces the inability – the absolutely honest, sincere incapacity – to acknowledge that denial and erasure have themselves been erased in turn and purged from consciousness.’ What has been denied is continuously repeated: Israel keeps on inflicting destruction on refugees and keeps on denying that a wrong has been done” –Eyal Weizman: ‘The Least Of All Possible Evils’ (Humanitarian Violence From Arendt To Gaza)

Following on this preceding act, Cairo’s Sephardic Jewish population dropped from 75,000 to less than 100. The Arab world had become anti-Semitic practically overnight (overlooking oxymoron in the term anti-Semitic, Arabs are a Semitic people.)

Meanwhile, about the time indigenous Jews had been abandoning the Arab world on account of blow-back due  to ‘Jewish State’ behavior, Alan Ginsberg had revolted conservative America with exploits disgustingly glorified, in detail, by Jack Kerouac in his ode to debauchery ‘On the Road.’ Ginsberg, his behavior lauded by the New York Times via Kerouac and subsequently his own ‘howl‘, is the one American responsible for more USA anti-Semitism than the entirety of whatever other reasons exist taken together. How this shit is generated and real, is buried within political correctness. Never did a ‘free press’ fuck over more people who happen to be Jews, by generating hate at a single pop with glorifying the personage of Ginsberg, but HEY! that’s ‘free speech’ in America.

If my despise for Ginsberg is anti-Semitic (as a non-Jew, am I entitled to hate a single Jew?), then not only is Giraldi anti-Semitic but so would be Paleo-Zionist Llana Mercer.

If you care to wade through the sewer of anti-Semitism in  the comments at Giraldi’s columns at Unz Review, you’ll see Giraldi, on occasion, show his temper at anti-Semitic accusations, and also you’ll notice those comments bashing the anti-Semite morons who cling to Giraldi’s work like flies attracted to stink, are also allowed to post.

Whether Giraldi is an anti-Semite is probably a matter of interpretation. He doesn’t do well at separating out Jews of differing persuasions is the kinder interpretation, as his terminology is often all too inclusive. But this kinder interpretation could be correct. A big step he could take in the right direction would be to clean up his ‘forum’ (article comments) with disallowing the hate-mongers’ posts. But then, that’s an ‘in principle’ violation of ‘free speech’ in the conservative American tradition. An ACLU case of  ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ or ‘it sucks for Phil.’

Insofar as Ron Unz, a read through a chapter of his American Pravda reveals a self-honesty rare in today’s world; leading one to possibly understand his willingness to entertain spooks, kooks and pukes from across the spectrum of what would otherwise be largely suppressed voices. Clearly, Unz coined the term ‘American Pravda’ for a reason. Beyond this, there are numerous innate political enemies juxtaposed at the Unz Review and that should speak to something.

At the end of the day (and hopefully not the world), Jews are like anyone else; there are good and bad among them, they have their bright and they have their ugly. That just makes us all equal in a geopolitic where everyone uses everyone and certainly the Israelis both use and get used (too willingly) in concert with those Christian Zionist allies fully intending at the end, all Jews will be either converted or dead and a crusader banner flying from the Temple Mount. That’s amazing to me but nobody seems to have a trademark protection on self destructive behaviors.

I have to close this diatribe, and considering the underlying current of the entire business has to do with 3rd parties allegedly fighting Israel’s wars, with spooks in the spotlight, I’ll close with an Israeli spook:

“I am a humbler man today than I was in the 1970s when I joined Israeli intelligence. I’ve learned the hard way that everyone makes mistakes, some of them so big that they are irrevocable. I’ve also changed my view of Israel and the Jewish people. When I was young, I shared with many Israelis a deep nationalistic feeling — the self-righteous and arrogant belief that we were right and everyone else was wrong, that it was more important for Jews and Israel to survive than others, that we were — as the Bible says — the chosen people. I still believe that Jews are chosen. But no longer can I accept the premise on which the Iranian arms deals were based: ‘Better that their boys die than ours.’ People are people. We are all chosen”Ari Ben-Menashe

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Giraldi’s rebuttal to the controversy in ‘mainstream’ (external link)

Related at this site:

Christian anti-Semitism

Friedman and the ‘Narrative’

Comic story of a ‘kinda Jew’ girlfriend

On Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer and pick for ambassador to Israel, Friedman could be described as so ultra-right, he’s to the right of Netanyahu:

“There has never been a “two-state solution” – only a “two-state narrative.” The former never existed because a “solution” to the Israel-Palestinian dispute would have required, as a threshold matter, that Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish state, renounce terrorism, discontinue anti-Israel incitement in their schools and abandon their desire to flood Israel with so-called “refugees” from other countries who never spent a day of their lives in Israel”David Friedman

Like most people, to a greater or lesser degree, Friedman sees his world through a self-serving prism.  The first sentence of his short paragraph is refreshingly straightforward. The remainder of the paragraph is notable for its stunning hypocrisy. Let’s examine the first sentence, first, and then have at the rest of the story.

The ‘two-state’ narrative has always been a lie. It’s not only a case of ‘actions speak louder than words’, but the driving idea of a ‘Greater Israel’ is behind the Israeli intransigence in negotiations (or better said, avoidance of negotiations) towards a so-called ‘two-state’ solution (which under Israeli diktat would be no solution at all.) It is combined social and cultural psychology demands (or drives) the Jewish state towards a ‘Greater Israel.’ This demand is embedded in the mythology of history where ‘Samaria’ and ‘Judea’ are, at one time or another in ancient past linked, aligned with, or integrated to the historical Kingdom of Israel, having little to do with the fact of modern Israel.

According to the Oxford:

Samaria |səˈme(ə)rēə|
1 an ancient city in central Palestine, founded in the 9th century bc as the capital of the northern Hebrew kingdom of Israel. The ancient site is situated in the modern West Bank, northwest of Nablus.
2 the region of ancient Palestine around Samaria, between Galilee in the north and Judaea in the south.

Judaea |jo͝oˈdēə, -ˈdāə|
the southern part of ancient Palestine that corresponds to the former kingdom of Judah.

This next pretty much nails it:

roman_judea-jpg-1

“The term Judea as a geographical term was revived by the Israeli government in the 20th century as part of the Israeli administrative district name Judea and Samaria Area for the territory generally referred to as the West Bank”

A state does not give the names of one’s historical mythology to an area except that state intends to assert sovereignty over the same. Prior to this, Judea had last been the name of the area under Hadrian’s rule, changed shortly after the era of Agrippa II, the last Roman approved ‘Herodian’, or ‘titular’ king of the Jews, who were NOT a sovereign people.

The so-called ‘two-state’ solution was, and always had been, a geopolitical lie. The purpose of that lie has been, and always had been, to satisfy political correctness relating to international law. The USA and it’s Christian Zionist cohorts never dared to support the annexation of the West Bank as a matter of stated policy, because to do so would be to openly support a rogue state in its transgressions (if a rogue state is to be defined as a state in persistent violation of international law.) This is the purpose the ‘two-state’ geopolitical lie has served, as a cover story that buys time towards implementing the inevitable ‘Greater Israel.’

Inevitable? The USA supported Friedman’s Israel is a nuclear armed state aggressively colonizing the West Bank (with Friedman’s staunch support.) There will be a Greater Israel or there will be mushroom clouds, or perhaps both. People who embrace myths of history are not particularly rational people and Israel is not a particularly rational state:

“For refugees, camps were shelters for the reconstruction of personal and social life, but were also seen as sites of great political significance, the material testimony of what was destroyed and ‘all that remains’ of more than four hundred cities, towns and villages forcefully cleansed throughout Palestine in the Nakba of 1947-9. This is the reason refugees sometimes refer to the destruction of camps as ‘the destruction of destruction.’ The camp is not a home, it is a temporary arrangement, and its destruction is but the last iteration in an ongoing process of destruction.

“This rhetoric of double negation – the negation of negation – tallies well with what Saree Makdisi, talking about the Israeli refusal to acknowledge the Nakba, has termed ‘the denial of denial’, which is, he says, ‘a form of foreclosure that produces the inability – the absolutely honest, sincere incapacity – to acknowledge that denial and erasure have themselves been erased in turn and purged from consciousness.’ What has been denied is continuously repeated: Israel keeps on inflicting destruction on refugees and keeps on denying that a wrong has been done” –Eyal Weizman: ‘The Least Of All Possible Evils’ (Humanitarian Violence From Arendt To Gaza)

Which brings us to the rank hypocrisy going to the conclusion of Friedman’s small paragraph. If there were Jews who were enslaved or fled Roman rule, there were many, many more who stayed in what was no longer ‘Judea’ but what became Roman ruled Palaestina, renamed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Where are those ancient Jewish people’s descendants today? They’re in Palestine and they’re called Palestinians. The inconvenience for the modern Ashkenazi is, most of these indigenous people had, with passing time, converted to Islam.

Imagine your rural family’s city dwelling uncle Mordecai’s entire neighborhood (Jerusalem) had been convicted of treason by the Roman state and their daughters were consequently enslaved and removed to Italy and surrounding area. Now, some 1,800 or so years later, Mordecai’s and his neighbors’ descendants show up and demand you give them your farm as their rightful inheritance because you are no longer Jewish. That’s what historical myths do to people.

This goes to the most crass aspect of Friedman’s hypocrisy when he had stated his conclusion to the Palestinians demand of a right to return:

“…their desire to flood Israel with so-called “refugees” from other countries who never spent a day of their lives in Israel”

So tell me, David Friedman (this is a rhetorical question), exactly what do your words describe better than Uncle Mordecai’s (put any European nationality here) neighborhood’s progeny descending on Palestine?

There is, after all, an experience shaping the Palestinian point of view.

As I bail out of the game, here is the gift of all (or nearly all) of the ronaldthomaswest.com articles in a single page of links; beginning with stories of travels through India, then, my personal life adventures largely centered in Native America, if only because I believe this is my most under-appreciated work and deserves greater exposure. Following these accounts are things I personally find interesting, next are external links to books authored by myself and then my satire. Lastly, scroll down to find that work I most detest, the work which had inspired the satire (a sort of therapy) – to discover the real evils of geopolitics.

My Madcap Adventure (tales of a journey to India)

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 1 From Indian country to India

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 2 New Delhi, round one

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 3 On character

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 4 Into the Himalayan foothills

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 5 Sanarth & the Buddha

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 6 Varanasi part one

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 7 Varanasi part two

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 8 Varanasi part three

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 9 Katmandu

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 10 Trisuli River

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 11 Chitwan National Park

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 12 Katmandu reprise

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 13 Back to Hotel Imperial

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 14 The riots begin

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 15 To the Taj Palace Hotel

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 16 Out of Delhi!

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 17 Cairo-London-New York

My Madcap Adventure, Episode 18 Aftermath

My Madcap Adventure, Epilogue (Notes) corrections/disclaimers

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Life in Indian Country:

Life in Blackfoot Country Learning to go hungry

Keeping a Pipe On forgotten knowledge

Pipe Maker A story with a moral

The Novice A story with a moral

The Stick Game Native quantum mechanics (the witches)

The Legend of the Blackfoot Titan Mik-api

Happy the Indian Guide Indian stereotypes

Raven and Thunder Blackfoot Law of Matriarchy

Strawberry Medicine Men and a Stellar Jay

Napi in the New Age A ‘red apple’ story (satire)

Essay on Native American Humor Why I’m not politically correct

Junípero Serra On house breaking dogs (Catholic style)

The DIA and Shamanism Failed exploitation of indigenous knowledge

Native Americans and Race Race is BS to authentic Indians

Michele Bachmann & Wild Indians Satire

Apple Indians & Anthropology Anthropology as a faith-based initiative

Modern Indian Society A short history of cultural transition

Losers A Native perspective of Plato & western science

The Legacy of Russell Means ‘think twice’

New Age Homicide for $MONEY$ ‘think thrice’

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Just stuff:

Nixtamal

Condensed for the Absolutely & Truly Dense

Thomas Paine

French Peacekeepers

Raphael’s Paradox

Brownie, a Weimaraner A folk story

Original Sin is a Hate Crime Abuse of women & nature

The Gospel According to Ronald On the historical Jesus

To Forgive is a Crime To excuse the inexcusable

Ron’s Conspiracy Theory Cosmology is the conspiracy

You’ve Got Apes! European cultural mentality

A Spy in the House of the Unloved Refuting Anias Nin

A Coward Called Machismo Observations on Machismo

How I rose from the dead (40 years after)

The More Important Blessing Quotes

Mr Chan A true story of real charity

Bruno the Bear Animal stereotypes

Recreating a Hot Spring in Your Bathtub A memory of Yellowstone

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My Books (external links)

Penucquem Speaks 30 years life with Blackfeet Indians

Napi Mephisto on cross-cultural encounters

Queer Chicken Dinner refuting Jack Kerouac

Cosmos & Consciousness on reality

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The Satires

March of the Tickle Dicks pictorial

The Logic Behind The American Vote thumbnail satire

Moot Court The Donald vs Ted Cruz

Whereas the Enemy of Your Friend is Your Favorite F**K

Urolagnetics On Scientology

Junípero Serra On house breaking dogs (Catholic style)

MERGE On Chomsky’s theory

People Who Behave As Stupid As They Look Uh-huh

Who Punked the Cardinal? On Vatican Fashion

Opus Dei creavit monitor lacertae Charlie Hebdo & satire

Alfreda Bikowski & the Definition of Stupid Only at the CIA

Obama’s Speech at Queensland Parody

Liberals On multiculturalism

Obama’s Speech to Skull & Bones A parody of his UN address

Teleprompter Forget it, you don’t want to go there

Thuck Norris Rated ‘S’ for SICK (parental advisory)

Democracy Now! State secrets & the war in Liberacestan

Michele Bachmann & Wild Indians Kerouac in drag

Dick Cheney’s Rottweiler Dog butt-sniffing rituals

Maison de l’Histoire de France Fellatio, Sarkozy & French history

The Great Phuc Uuus Massacre Propaganda trained CIA lizards

Bozo’s Handcock U Speech George Bush & Tony Blair in love

My Life as a Joke Personal Ad (women only please)

The Pachuco Stare Decisis SCOTUS = SCROTUM

The Moron Bernard-Henry Lévy He truly is a moron

How Jesus Gets Kicked Out Of Heaven Naughty George Carlin

NOT My Last Tango in Paris The NSA & cyanide suppositories

Demons Anonymous Addiction to destructive fantasies

Saint Chester Prince of the Church & patron saint of boys

A Conversation With Jon Stewart Barack Obama is a White man!

Scooby Doo is Lyndon LaDouche ‘Rut a retard’

Saki & Barf: killer women of the State Department Just rude

Salinas vs Texas U.S. Supreme Court self inflicted lawyer joke

Life’s Little Surprises A devil teaches law

Happy the Indian Guide On stereotypes

Napi in the New Age A ‘red apple’ Indian story

Mother’s Day and Male Dopes Moms & cannabis

Breakfast at a Pizzaria The German ‘I hate my life’ philosophy

Our Gang rascals too big for their breeches

World Cup Scribbles Rabies & dog muzzles

English Football International competition

Sardonism Adults Playing Cowboys and Indians

The Gospel According to Ronald On the historical Jesus

The Islamic State for Dummies The K.I.S.S. principle

NATO’s Three Chihuahuas Small dog syndrome

Essay On Native American Humor ‘Napi Eats His Butt’ (Best satire)

Perverts of Western Philosophy Locke to de Sade (and more)

A Cheesey Detective Story (the short lived series)

Episode 1

Episode 2

Guest Satire:

Raghead Political satire by Bill Purkayastha

Admiral John Kirby Comedy straight out of the Pentagon

About Clowns DJ Rankin

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The NAZI Meme

Deep State I

Deep State II

Deep State III

Deep State IV

Deep State V

Deep State VI

Hillary Clinton in Four Short Paragraphs

Intelligence Agencies & Wikipedia

The CIA And Nonviolent Resistance

God’s Chosen is a Dumb Idea 

The Secret Team is The Family

Profits of War

Fear of Minor Debris

The Alpha Chronology

Reorganizing Murder Incorporated 

Square Pegs in Round Holes:

“We Tortured Some Folks”

Fear of Minor Debris

Intelligence Agencies & Wikipedia

Laura Poitras’ Myopia

Death of a MOSSAD Agent

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On Ukraine:

Denial

Stratfor Chief

Winning Ugly

Reuters & A Fixed Verdict

Kiev’s Nazis

Black Boxes, Dark Arts & Geopolitics

If Russia Were To Back Down on MH 17 ?

Elliot Higgins on MH 17

Poison Fruit Encore 1

Obama’s Ukraine

The New Great Game

USAID & Chevron

Victoria Nuland’s Wedding

Germany’s Martyrs of the Maidan

John Kerry’s neo-nazi snipers

The CIA and a Liar’s Fastrack

Dominionism’s Fingers in Kiev

The Washington Post & Double Think

The Disinformation Nation

The Ascension of The Morons

Poison Fruit Encore 2

People Who Behave As Stupid As They Look

Admiral John Kirby

Mutti, Piggies and the Minsk Peace Accord

The Intercept Takes A Dive 

The Intercept Takes A Dive Episode 2

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Related stuff:

What Do Putin’s Adviser’s Know? You can listen right here

Sergei Lavrov’s UN Speech Russia’s Foreign Minister on 27 Sept 2014

Putin’s Speech of 24 October 2014 Sane by comparison with NATO

Tactical Nuclear Weapons for Dummies Pentagon fantasies

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Arab Spring:

Overview

Egypt Round Two

Syria Part One

Syria Part Two

Syria Part Three 

Syria Part Four

The Islamic State for Dummies

NATO, God & Military Mafia

Western Democracies, Salafist Militia & Syria 

Litmus Test

Lies by Omission

Friday the 13th in Paris

The Real Intelligence on Our Leaders

Whereas the Enemy of Your Friend is Your Favorite F**K

Letter to Doctors Without Borders 

NATO’s Most Censored Story

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Other stuff:

Parting Shot On media

Throwing Stones From Glass Houses Social-political commentary

Vice and MI6

Seymour Hersh & Mythology

Machine Pistol

Fletcher Prouty and the Secret Team (Today)

Defense One Zero Hedge Drinks The Kool Aid

Médecins Sans Frontiéres

USAID in Central Africa

Reuters & A Fixed Verdict

Truth Jockeys

Why NSA Wants Your Metadata

Farewell to the Black White-Man

Boris Nemtsov

Chevron & USAID

Alfreda Bikowski & the Definition of Stupid

Paranoia of Dianne Feinstein

In the Shoes of an Insurgent

Square Pegs in Round Holes

Metadata & Panorama

Reorganizing Murder Incorporated

Votes and Vanishing Acts

Poison Fruit

The Left’s Anti-Federalist Urban Legend

CIA vs JFK

The Navy Yard Reporting Smells Wrong

MOSSAD and Jews for Jesus

“We Tortured Some Folks”

Hillary Clinton in Four Short Paragraphs

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Mojahedin-e-Khalq

Military Sock Puppets, NSA Trolls & CIA Shills

CIA & The Media

WikiLeaks & Spy Agencies

Noteworthy Information Operations

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More stuff:

Throwing Stones From Glass Houses

Why the FBI Will Never Investigate the Biggest Criminals

CIA and Public Relations

VICE & The CIA

Greek Tragedy

Winning Ugly

Truth Jockeys

Greek Hubris

How To Make Powerful Enemies In Four Short Paragraphs

People Too Stupid to Understand They’re Stupid

Holocaust & Narrative Perversion

See’s Sampler

Stupid is as Stupid Does

NATO’s Three Chihuahuas

Evil Cynics, Stooges & Dupes

Empire & Blow-back

Erik Prince & Pedophile Priests

The NSA’s Egregious Liar

Robert Seldon Lady, CIA Slime-Bag

Cheap Tricks for Jesus

The Economics of Moonshine Whiskey

Celebrating the Anti-Christ

Enlightenment: The Automated Death Machine

Napi Mephisto

Snowden & Snooping

Uncle Sam, Dominionist Puppet

Of Nukes, Courage and Cowards

Outline of a Snowden Legal Defense

Color of Law, Star Chamber, FISA & PRISM

The Greatest Criminal Endeavor

Our Vital National Interests

How to Make Powerful Enemies in Three Short Paragraphs

How to Make Powerful Enemies In a Few Paragraphs

If  The Left Are Sheep, The Right Are Fish

The (No) ‘Establishment’ Clause

North Carolina’s 2nd Secession From the Union

EXBERLINER (1)

EXBERLINER (2)

EXBERLINER (3)

EXBERLINER (4)

Post Modern Teutonic Vision

The USA vs The Teutons

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A little more about books:

GLADIO

Profits of War

Invective

David Ignatius’ Body of Lies

John Le Carre’s A Delicate Truth

Robert Littell’s The Company

No Snowflake in an Avalanche

Dirty Wars

Should I be a Spy Novelist?

To The Far Right Christian Hater

A Report to an Academy

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My blog had begun attracting readers in mid 2014, when I’d been giving it real attention for several months. This upcoming week of 21 March 2016, coinciding with withdrawing from giving ronaldthomaswest.com sustained attention, it will pass the 100,000 hits mark (it stands at 99,685 as I write this.)

Hardly some mega-phenomena but not bad either. Now, it’s just another internet archive –

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S1

All original material copyright Ⓒ 2015 by Ronald Thomas West: For profit & mass paper media redistribution prohibited

 

This letter was rejected at President Mattarella’s email. Apparently ordinary mortals are not allowed to contact him except by physical post, which is how the letter and supporting documents reached him (on 5 February 2016 according to delivery confirmation, since this letter had been first posted here.) However news of the subject may have preceded his receipt of the mail as the letter DID go through via email to the offices of the concerned Italian prosecutors, as well to the over seventy Italian members of European Parliament. The English text follows the Italian:

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Egregio Presidente della Repubblica,

Questa mia lettera é per informarLa di fatti poco conosciuti che riguardano la carriera criminale di Sabrina De Sousa, una donna che certamente non merita una Grazia da Lei.

Sono un ex investigatore anti-corruzione adesso in esilio volontario da ormai otto anni. I miei problemi iniziarono quando scoprì un complotto criminale interno al Governo degli Stati Uniti a favore di Chevron, un’investigazione che porta alla luce i nomi di John Yoo, Jay Bybee e infine Condoleeza Rice. Incontrai Sabrina De Sousa alla fine del mio primo anno di esilio in Germania, a Wiesbanen nell’estate del 2008, a quel tempo collaboravo non ufficialmente con la polizia tedesca che monitorava la mia situazione per portare alla luce un complotto con il fine di assassinarmi. Le circostanze del mio incontro con De Sousa coincidono con un fallito tentativo di rapirmi molto simile al rapimento in pieno giorno di Abu Omar.

La vigliaccheria istituzionale delle autorità tedesche, in pieno possesso di informazioni riguardanti questi fatti e molto più, che rifiutarono di agire o riconoscere e perseguire gli autori di diversi tentativi di assassinarmi e/o rapirmi, è inconcepibile.

Non ci sono dubbi che questo abuso istituzionale sia dovuto a pressioni politiche da parte degli USA. Le chiedo di non seguire questo esempio, di essere al di sopra delle parti e resistere a eventuali pressioni di graziare questi criminali parte di un’organizzazione clandestina di sicari degli Stati Uniti.

Lo Stato di diritto sta subendo una continua erosione che richiede uomini di forte principio morale che ne pongano fine.

Che speranze hanno i nostri figli e nipoti se noi tollereremo questo impero di odierni criminali di stampo Gladio?

La risposta è nessuna.

“Le chiedo rispettosamente di negare fermamente e incondizionatamente ogni richiesta di Grazia a Sabrina De Sousa da parte degli USA o di cedere a loro pressioni”.

Ho disposto affinché questa mia lettera venisse tradotta in italiano. Le fornirò separatamente documentazione in inglese a prova della veridicità di queste informazioni e della mia persona insieme a ulteriori chiarimenti.

Ringraziando per la cortese attenzione, colgo l’occasione per porgerLe i miei distinti saluti,

Ronald Thomas West

http://www.ronaldthomaswest.com

English original:

Dear Mr President Mattarella

This letter is to inform yourself of little known facts concerning the career criminal Sabrina De Sousa; a woman most undeserving of a pardon by your office.

I am a former anti-corruption investigator now in self-exile for eight full years. My problem stems from having discovered a criminal ring working the inside of United States government for Chevron Corporation, an investigation that turns up the names John Yoo, Jay Bybee and ultimately, Condoleezza Rice.

It was at the end of my first year of life in exile I had encountered Sabrina De Sousa at Wiesbaden, Germany, summer of 2008. At this time I was in informal (unofficial) cooperation with German police, who were monitoring my circumstance, at my request, concerning criminal parties determined to assassinate myself. My encounter with De Sousa coincided with a circumstance where I managed to evade a trap nearly identical to the abduction of Abu Omar off the street in broad daylight.

The immense institutional cowardice of the German authorities, in possession of full knowledge of this and much more, officials who have sat on and refused to acknowledge and prosecute the several attempts at murder and/or kidnap of myself, is unconscionable. No doubt this institutional malfeasance is due to political pressures brought by the USA.

I am asking you to be different. To stand up and refuse any pressures to pardon the criminals of what amounts to an executive assassination ring of the United States. The rule of law has been in a serious state of deterioration and requires men of principled stance to end this erosion.

If we are to countenance what amounts to an empire of contemporary Gladio criminals, what hope will we hand to our children and grandchildren? The plain answer can only be “none.”

I respectfully request any USA pressures to pardon Sabrina De Sousa be refused politely but also refused firmly and refused unconditionally.

I have arranged to have this letter translated to Italian. I will separately provide English language references testifying to my character and veracity, as well some certain further information.

With kindest regards

Ronald Thomas West

http://www.ronaldthomaswest.com

**

Three reference letters, two from well known attorneys and one from a contact inside the German Federal Parliament, as well, an unredacted copy of the ‘Alpha Chronology‘ are included in the appended materials provided to the Italian President and prosecutors –

*

S1

Related:

The DeSousa Clan of India

VICE & The CIA

Robert Seldon Lady, CIA Slime-Bag

The Alpha Chronology

APEC-SUMMIT

ALEXANDER KADOBNOV/AFP/GettyImages

 

“if someone is not happy with our stance, they could find a better option than declaring us an enemy every time. Would not it be better to listen to us, to critically reflect on what we say, to agree to something and to look for a common solution?” -Vladimir Putin, 5 January 2016

Vladimir Putin’s interview with [German newspaper] Bild:

Bild: Mr President, We have just marked the 25th anniversary of the end of the Cold War. Last year, we witnessed a great number of wars and crises across the world, something that had not happened for many years. What did we do wrong?

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: You have started just with the key question. We did everything wrong from the outset. We did not overcome Europe’s division: 25 years ago the Berlin Wall fell, but Europe’s division was not overcome, invisible walls simply moved to the East. This created the foundation for mutual reproaches, misunderstanding, and crises in the future. Many people, including in the Federal Republic [of Germany], criticise me for my well-known speech at the Munich Conference on Security. But what was so unusual that I said?

After the Berlin Wall fell, there were talks that NATO would not expand to the East. As far as I remember, the then Secretary General of NATO, national of the Federal Republic Manfred Woerner said that. By the way, some German politicians of that time gave warnings and proposed their solutions, for example, Egon Bahr.

You know, before meeting with German journalists I, naturally, thought that we would anyway come to the issue you have touched upon now, so I took archived records of talks of that period (1990) between Soviet leaders and some German politicians, including Mr Bahr. They have never been published.

Bild: Are these interviews?

Vladimir Putin: No, these are working discussions between German politicians Genscher, Kohl, Bahr and Soviet leadership (Mr Gorbachev, Mr Falin, who, I think, headed the International Division of the Central Committee of the Communist Party). They have never been made public. You and your readers will be the first to learn about this talk of 1990. Look what Mr Bahr said: “If while uniting Germany we do not take decisive steps to overcome the division of Europe into hostile blocs, the developments can take such an unfavourable turn that the USSR will be doomed to international isolation.” That was said on June 26, 1990.

Mr Bahr made concrete proposals. He spoke about the necessity to create a new alliance in the centre of Europe. Europe should not go to NATO. The whole of Central Europe, either with East Germany or without it, should have formed a separate alliance with participation of both the Soviet Union and the United States. And then he says: “NATO as an organisation, at least its military structures must not extend to include Central Europe.” At that time, he already was the patriarch of European politics, he had his own vision of Europe’s future, and he was telling his Soviet colleagues: “If you do not agree with it, but on the contrary agree with NATO’s expansion, and the Soviet Union agrees with it, I will never come to Moscow again.” You see, he was very smart. He saw a deep meaning in that, he was convinced that it was necessary to change the format radically, move away from the times of the Cold War. But we did nothing.

Bild: Did he come to Moscow again?

Vladimir Putin: I do not know. This talk took place on February 27, 1990. This is a record of the conversation between Mr Falin representing the Soviet Union and Mr Bahr and Mr Voigt representing German politicians.

So what has actually happened? What Mr Bahr had warned about – that’s what has happened. He warned that the military structure – the North Atlantic Alliance – must not expand to the East. That something common, uniting the whole of Europe must be created. Nothing like that has happened; just the opposite has happened what he had warned about: NATO started moving eastwards and it expanded.

We have heard a thousand times the mantra from our American and European politicians, who say: “Each country has the right to choose its own security arrangements.” Yes, we know that. This is true. But it is also true that other countries have the right to make decisions to expand their own organisation or not, act as they consider appropriate in terms of global security. And leading NATO members could have said: “We are happy that you want to join us, but we are not going to expand our organisation, we see the future of Europe in a different way.”

In the last 20–25 years, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union when the second centre of gravity in the world disappeared, there was a desire to fully enjoy one’s sole presence at the pinnacle of world fame, power and prosperity. There was absolutely no desire to turn either to international law or to the United Nations Charter. Wherever they became an obstacle, the UN was immediately declared outdated.

Apart from NATO’s expansion eastwards, the anti-ballistic missile system has become an issue in terms of security. All this is being developed in Europe under the pretext of addressing the Iranian nuclear threat.

In 2009, current President of the United States Barack Obama said that if Iran’s nuclear threat no longer existed there would be no incentive for establishing the ABM system; this incentive would disappear. However, the agreement with Iran has been signed. And now the lifting of sanctions is being considered, everything is under the IAEA control; first shipments of uranium are already being transported to the Russian territory for processing, but the ABM system is being further developed. Bilateral agreements have been signed with Turkey, Romania, Poland, and Spain. Naval forces that should operate as part of missile defence are deployed in Spain. A positioning area has already been created in Romania, another one will be created in Poland by 2018; a radar is being installed in Turkey.

We strongly objected to developments taking place, say, in Iraq, Libya or some other countries. We said: “Don’t do this, don’t go there, and don’t make mistakes.” Nobody listened to us! On the contrary, they thought we took an anti-Western position, a hostile stance towards the West. And now, when you have hundreds of thousands, already one million of refugees, do you think our position was anti-Western or pro-Western?

Bild: As far as I understood, you have summed up the mistakes made by the West with regard to your country. Do you believe that Russia on its part has made any during these 25 years?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, it has. We have failed to assert our national interests, while we should have done that from the outset. Then the whole world could have been more balanced.

Bild: What you just said, does that mean that starting from 1990–1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all the years after it, Russia has failed to clearly assert its national interests?

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely.

Bild: We know that you have special attitude towards Germany. Ten years ago in an interview given to us on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II you said: “Russia and Germany have never been so close to each other as they are now.”

What do you believe has been left of that closeness to this day?

Vladimir Putin: Our relations are based, most importantly, on mutual attraction of our peoples.

Bild: So nothing has changed in this respect?

Vladimir Putin: I think, no. Despite all the attempts (you and your colleagues have been making) to upset our relations using mass media and anti-Russia rhetoric, I believe that you have failed to do this to the extent that you wanted to. Of course, I do not mean you personally. I refer to the media in general, including German ones. In Germany, the media are under a strong foreign influence, first and foremost from the other side of the Atlantic.

You have said that I have summed up everything that we see as the mistakes made by the West. That was far from everything, I have named but a few most important points. After the Soviet Union collapsed, equally adverse processes emerged inside Russia itself. Those included a drop in industrial production, the collapse of social system, separatism, and the most evident onslaught of international terrorism.

Certainly, we are responsible, there is no one but us to blame. At the same time, for us it was an obvious fact that the international terrorism was also used as a means of fighting against Russia, while everyone either turned a blind eye on that or provided support to terrorists (I refer to political, information, financial or in some cases even armed support to the actors fighting against the Russian state). Certainly, at that moment we realised that discussions and geopolitical interests are completely different things.

As for the Russian-German relations, indeed, they reached an excellent level in 2005, and would have developed successfully further. The trade turnover between our two countries grew to over $80 billion.

In Germany, a huge number of jobs were created thanks to Russian-German cooperation. We tried to prevent negative developments in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, together.

We made major steps in furthering our energy cooperation. A lot of German entrepreneurs opened businesses in Russia, and thousands of enterprises were established. Exchanges between our citizens expanded, and humanitarian contacts developed. The Petersburg Dialogue public forum was also established at that time.

As I have said, our trade turnover used to reach $83–85 billion, and in the first months of 2015 it fell by half. I believe as of the end of the year it will stand at about $40 billion, at 50 percent of what it was. Nevertheless, we maintain relations, and the Federal Chancellor and I meet regularly at various events. I think, I met her seven times, and had 20 telephone conversations with her in 2015. We still hold reciprocal Years of the Russian Language and Literature in Germany and Years of the German Language and Literature in Russia. This year is to be the year of youth exchanges. So the relations are still developing, thank God, and I hope they will develop further. We will overcome the difficulties we are facing today.

Bild: If I got you right, NATO should have told the East European states there and then that it would not admit them? Do you believe NATO could have survived that?

Vladimir Putin: Certainly.

Bild: Yet this has been set forth in the NATO Charter.

Vladimir Putin: The Charter is written by people, isn’t it? Does the Charter say that NATO is obliged to admit everyone who would like to join? No. There should be certain criteria and conditions. If there had been political will, if they had wanted to, they could have done anything. They just did not want to. They wanted to reign.

So they sat on the throne. And then? And then came crises that we are now discussing. If they had followed the advice the old wise German, Mr Egon Bahr gave them, they would have created something new that would unite Europe and prevent crises. The situation would have been different, there would have been different issues. Perhaps they would not have been that acute, you see.

Bild: There is a theory saying that there are two Mr Putins: the first one was young pre-2007 Mr Putin who showed solidarity with the United States and who was friends with Mr Schroeder, and then, after 2007, another Mr Putin came. Back in 2000 you said, “We should have no confrontations in Europe, we should do everything to overcome them.” And now we have found ourselves in such confrontation.

May I ask you a straightforward question? When we are going to have the first Mr Putin back?

Vladimir Putin: I have never changed. First, I still feel young today. I was and I continue to be Mr Schroeder’s friend. Nothing has changed.

My attitude to such issues as the fight against terrorism has not changed either. It is true, on September 11 I was the first to call President Bush and express my solidarity. Indeed, we stood ready to do everything to combat terrorism together. Not so long ago, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, I called and then met the President of France.

If anyone had listened to Gerhard Schroeder, to Jacques Chirac, to me, perhaps there would have been none of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, as there would have been no upsurge of terrorism in Iraq, Libya, or other countries in the Middle East.

We are faced with common threats, and we still want all countries, both in Europe and the whole world, to join their efforts to combat these threats, and we are still striving for this. I refer not only to terrorism, but also to crime, trafficking in persons, environmental protection, and many other common challenges. Yet this does not mean that it is us who should agree with everything that others decide on these or other matters. Furthermore, if someone is not happy with our stance, they could find a better option than declaring us an enemy every time. Would not it be better to listen to us, to critically reflect on what we say, to agree to something and to look for a common solution? That was what I referred to at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in New York.

Bild: I would like to express the view that today the fight against Islamic terrorism is such an acute issue that it could bring Russia and the West back together in this fight, but the problem of Crimea arises. Is Crimea really worth putting cooperation with the West at stake?

Vladimir Putin: What do you mean when you say ‘Crimea’?

Bild: Redrawn boundaries.

Vladimir Putin: And what I mean is people – 2.5 million of them. These are the people that were frightened by the coup; let’s be frank, they were worried by the coup d’état in Ukraine. And after the coup in Kiev – and it was nothing but a coup d’état, no matter how the extreme nationalist forces, the forces that were coming to power at that moment and largely stayed there, tried to sugar it up – they just began to openly threaten people. To threaten Russians and Russian-speaking people living in Ukraine and in Crimea in particular, because it was more densely populated by Russians and Russian-speaking than other parts of Ukraine.

What was our reaction? We did not make war, nor did we occupy anyone; there was no shooting, no one got killed during the events in Crimea. Not a single person! We used the Armed Forces only to stop more than 20,000 Ukrainian service members stationed there from interfering with the free expression of will by the residents of Crimea. People came to the referendum and cast their vote. They chose to be part of Russia.

Here is a question: what is democracy? Democracy is the will of the people. People voted for the life they wanted. It is not the territory and borders that I am concerned about but the fates of people.

Bild: But borders are a component of the European political order. You have previously said that this is actually very important, including in the context of the NATO expansion.

Vladimir Putin: It is important to always respect international law. In Crimea, there was no violation of international law. Under the United Nations Charter, every nation has the right to self-determination. Concerning Kosovo, the UN International Court of Justice ruled that, when it comes to sovereignty, the opinion of the central government can be ignored. If you are a serious periodical that is honest with its readers, find the transcript of the statement made by the German representative in the International Court of Justice in the archives and cite it. Take the letter, which I believe was written by the US Department of State, or the statement made by the British representative. Find them and read them. Kosovo declared its independence, and the whole world accepted it. Do you know how it in fact happened?

Bild: After the war?

Vladimir Putin: No, it was done by a decision of the Parliament. There was even no referendum held.

What happened in Crimea? Firstly, the Crimean Parliament was elected in 2010, that is when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. This fact I am talking about is extremely important. The Parliament that had been elected while Crimea was part of Ukraine met and voted for independence and called a referendum. Then the citizens voted at the referendum for reunification with Russia. Moreover, as you pointed out quite correctly, the events in Kosovo took place after several years of war and the de-facto intervention by NATO countries, after the bombing of Yugoslavia and missile strikes targeting Belgrade.

Now I want to ask you this: if the Kosovans in Kosovo have the right to self-determination, why don’t the Crimeans have the same right? If we want the relations between Russia and our friends and neighbours in Europe and around the world to develop in a positive and constructive manner, at least one condition must be observed: we need to respect each other, each other’s interests and follow the same rules instead of constantly changing them to suit someone’s interests.

You asked me if I was a friend or not. The relations between states are a little different from those between individuals. I am no friend, bride or groom; I am the President of the Russian Federation. That is 146 million people! These people have their own interests, and I must protect those interests. We are ready to do this in a non-confrontational manner, to look for compromise but, of course, based on international law, which must be understood uniformly by all.

Bild: If, as you say, there was no violation of international law in Crimea, how can you explain to your people that because of that step the West, including at Ms Merkel’s initiative, imposed sanctions against Russia that the Russian population is now suffering from?

Vladimir Putin: You know, the Russian people feel in their hearts and understand in their minds very well what is happening. Napoleon once said that justice is the embodiment of God on earth. In this sense, the reunification of Crimea with Russia was a just decision.

As to the reaction of our western partners, I believe that it was wrong and it was not aimed at supporting Ukraine but at suppressing the growth of Russia’s capabilities. I believe that this should not be done and this is the main mistake; on the contrary, we need to use each other’s capabilities for mutual growth, to address common issues together.

You have mentioned sanctions. In my view, this was a foolish decision and a harmful one. I have said that our turnover with Germany amounted to $83–85 billion, and thousands of jobs were created in Germany as a result of this cooperation. And what are the restrictions that we are facing? This is not the worst thing we are going through, but it is harmful for our economy anyway, since it affects our access to international financial markets.

As to the worst harm inflicted by today’s situation, first of all on our economy, it is the harm caused by the falling prices on our traditional export goods. However, both the former and the latter have their positive aspects. When oil prices are high, it is very difficult for us to resist spending oil revenues to cover current expenses. I believe that our non-oil and gas deficit had risen to a very dangerous level. So now we are forced to lower it. And this is healthy…

Bild: For the budget deficit?

Vladimir Putin: We divide it. There is the total deficit and then there are non-oil and gas revenues. There are revenues from oil and gas, and we divide all the rest as well.

The total deficit is quite small. But when you subtract the non-oil and gas deficit, then you see that the oil and gas deficit is too large. In order to reduce it, such countries as Norway, for example, put a significant proportion of non-oil and gas revenues into the reserve. It is very difficult, I repeat, to resist spending oil and gas revenues to cover current expenses. It is the reduction of these expenses that improves the economy. That is the first point.

Second point. You can buy anything with petrodollars. High oil revenues discourage development, especially in the high technology sectors. We are witnessing a decrease in GDP by 3.8 percent, in industrial production by 3.3 percent and an increase in inflation, which has reached 12.7 percent. This is a lot, but we still have a surplus in foreign trade, and the total exports of goods with high added value have grown significantly for the first time in years. That is an expressly positive trend in the economy.

The reserves are still at a high level, and the Central Bank has about 340 billion in gold and foreign currency reserves. If I am not mistaken, they amount to over 300. There are also two reserve funds of the Government of the Russian Federation, each of which amounts to $70 to $80 billion. One of them holds $70 billion, the other – $80 billion. We believe that we will be steadily moving towards stabilisation and economic growth. We have adopted a whole range of programmes, including those aimed at import replacement, which means investing in high technologies.

Bild: You have often discussed the issue of sanctions as well as the issue of Crimea with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. Do you understand her? Do you trust her?

Vladimir Putin: I am certain that she is a very sincere person. There is a framework within which she has to work but I have no doubt that she is sincere in her efforts to find solutions, including to the situation in southeast Ukraine.

You spoke of sanctions. Everyone says that the Minsk Agreements must be implemented and then the sanctions issue may be reconsidered. This is beginning to resemble the theatre of the absurd because everything essential that needs to be done with regard to implementing the Minsk Agreements is the responsibility of the current Kiev authorities. You cannot demand that Moscow do something that needs to be done by Kiev. For example, the main, the key issue in the settlement process is political in its nature and the constitutional reform lies in its core. This is Point 11 of the Minsk Agreements. It expressly states that the constitutional reform must be carried out and it is not Moscow that is to make these decisions.

Look, everything is provided for: Ukraine is to carry out a constitutional reform with its entry into force by the end of 2015 (Paragraph 11). Now 2015 is over.

Bild: The constitutional reform must be carried out after the end of all military hostilities. Is that what the paragraph says?

Vladimir Putin: No, it is not.

Look, I will give you the English version. What does it say? Paragraph 9 – reinstatement of full control of the state border by the government of Ukraine based on the Ukrainian law on constitutional reform by the end of 2015, provided that Paragraph 11 has been fulfilled, which stipulates constitutional reform.

Consequently, the constitutional reform and political processes are to be implemented first, followed by confidence building on the basis of those reforms and the completion of all processes, including the border closure. I believe that our European partners, both the German Chancellor and the French President should scrutinise these matters more thoroughly.

Bild: Do you think this is not so?

Vladimir Putin: I think they have a lot of problems of their own. But if we are addressing this matter then we must scrutinise it. For example, it says here that changes to the Constitution should be permanent. The Ukrainian Government introduced the law on the special status of those territories, a law that had been adopted earlier, into the transitional provisions. But this law, which they incorporated in the Constitution, was adopted for the duration of three years only. Two years have already passed. When we met in Paris, both the German Chancellor and the French President agreed that this law should be changed and included in the Constitution on a permanent basis. Both the President of France and the Chancellor of Germany confirmed that. Moreover, the current version of the Constitution has not even been approved and the law has not become permanent. How can demands be made on Moscow to do what in fact must be done inline with the decisions of our colleagues in Kiev?

Bild: What is your attitude towards the Federal Chancellor now? You said some time ago that you admired many of her personal qualities. How do things stand now?

Vladimir Putin: When did I say that?

Bild: That you respect her.

Vladimir Putin: I feel the same way now. I have already said that she is very sincere and highly professional. In any case, I think the level of trust between us is very high.

Bild: Let me ask you a personal question. When the Federal Chancellor visited you in Sochi in January 2007, did you know that she was afraid of dogs?

Vladimir Putin: No, of course not. I did not know anything about that. I showed her my dog because I thought she would like it. I told her so later and apologised.

Bild: Mr President, will you take any steps to re-establish the G7 format as the G8?

And another question: what did you think when the US President said that Russia is a regional power?

Vladimir Putin: I did not think anything in particular. Every individual, all the more so the President of the United States, is entitled to his or her own opinion on anything, on partners and on other countries. That is his own opinion, as I also know his opinion that the American nation, the United States is unique. I cannot agree with either of those opinions.

Let me clarify a few things about Russia. First, we do not claim the role of a superpower. This role is very costly and it is meaningless. Our economy is fifth or sixth in the world in terms of volume. It may have moved down to a lower place at present taking into account the economic difficulties I have mentioned but we are confident that we have very good development prospects and potential. We occupy, roughly, the sixth place in the world in terms of purchasing power parity.

If we say that Russia is a regional power, we should first determine what region we are referring to. Look at the map and ask: “What is it, is it part of Europe? Or is it part of the eastern region, bordering on Japan and the United States, if we mean Alaska and China? Or is it part of Asia? Or perhaps the southern region?” Or look at the north. Essentially, in the north we border on Canada across the Arctic Ocean. Or in the south? Where is it? What region are we speaking about? I think that speculations about other countries, an attempt to speak disrespectfully about other countries is an attempt to prove one’s exceptionalism by contrast. In my view, that is a misguided position.

Bild: And what about the G8?

Vladimir Putin: We planned to host the G8 summit in 2014. I think Russia never became a full-fledged G8 member, since there were always separate negotiations between foreign ministers of the other seven countries. I would not say that this mechanism is useless. Meetings, discussions, seeking solutions together are always beneficial.

I believe that Russia’s presence was useful, since it provided an alternative view on some issues under discussion. We examine pretty much the same issues within the G20, APEC in the East and within BRICS. We were ready to host the G8 summit in 2014. It was not us who did not go somewhere; other countries did not come to Russia. If our counterparts decide to come for a visit, they will be most welcome, but we have not booked any tickets yet.

Bild: What do you think about the possibility of re-establishing cooperation, if not within the G8, then, perhaps, with NATO? There was the Russia-NATO Council after all, and you conducted joint military exercises. Is there a chance to re-establish such cooperation or should we forego the prospect altogether?

Vladimir Putin: At the outset, the idea of creating the Council was actively supported, if not initiated, by Mr Berlusconi, the former Prime Minister of Italy, and I believe it was in Italy that we signed the document on establishing the Russia-NATO Council. It was not Russia that cut off cooperation through the G8 or the Russia-NATO Council. We are willing to interact with everyone, once there is a matter for common discussion. We think that there is one, but a relationship can be happy only when the feeling is mutual. If we are not welcome as partners, that is fine with us then.

Bild: Regrettably, at the moment the Russia-NATO relations are at the stage of confrontation, rather than cooperation. Turkish military forces have downed a Russian aircraft, and Russian and Turkish warships are reported to come dangerously close to one another all the more often. Do you think that such developments may at a certain point cause an escalation from a cold war to actual hostilities?

Vladimir Putin: Turkey is a NATO member. However, the problems that have emerged have nothing to do with Turkey’s NATO membership; nobody has attacked Turkey. Instead of trying to provide us with an explanation for the war crime they committed, that is, for downing our fighter jet that was targeting terrorists, the Turkish government rushed to NATO headquarters seeking protection, which looks quite odd and, in my view, humiliating for Turkey.

I repeat, NATO has to protect its members from attack, but nobody has attacked Turkey. If Turkey has vested interests elsewhere in the world, in the adjacent countries, does it mean that NATO must protect and secure these interests? Does it mean that Germany, as a NATO member, must help Turkey to expand into neighbouring territories?

I hope that such incidents will not cause large-scale hostilities. Of course, we all realise that Russia, once under threat, would defend its security interests by all available means at its disposal, should such threats against Russia arise.

Bild: Now let’s turn to Syria, if you do not mind.

We say that we are tackling common challenges there. This is the joint fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. However, some people in the West say that Russian military forces in Syria are fighting the anti-Assad rebels, rather than ISIS. What would be your response to the allegations that Russia is hitting the wrong targets?

Vladimir Putin: They are telling lies. Look, the videos that support this version appeared before our pilots even started to carry out strikes against terrorists. This can be corroborated. However, those who criticise us prefer to ignore it.

American pilots hit the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, by mistake, I am sure. There were casualties and fatalities among civilians and doctors. Western media outlets have attempted to hush this up, to drop the subject and have a very short memory span when it comes to such things. They mentioned it a couple of times and put it on ice. And those few mentions were only due to foreign citizens from the Doctors Without Borders present there.

Who now remembers the wiped out wedding parties? Over 100 people were killed with a single strike.

Yet this phony evidence about our pilots reportedly striking civilian targets keeps circulating. If we tag the “live pipelines” that consist of thousands of petrol and oil tankers as civilian targets, than, indeed, one might believe that our pilots are bombing these targets, but everyone is bombing them, including the Americans, the French and everyone else.

Bild: However, it is clear that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is carrying out strikes against his own population. Can we say that al-Assad is your ally?

Vladimir Putin: You know, this is a rather subtle issue. I think that President al-Assad has made many mistakes in the course of the Syrian conflict. However, don’t we all realise full well that this conflict would never have escalated to such a degree if it had not been supported from abroad through supplying money, weapons and fighters? Tragically, it is civilians who suffer in such conflicts.

But who is responsible for that? Is it the government, which seeks to secure its sovereignty and fights these anti-constitutional actions, or those who have masterminded the anti-government insurgency?

Regarding your question if al-Assad is an ally or not and our goals in Syria. I can tell you precisely what we do not want to happen: we do not want the Libyan or Iraqi scenario to be repeated in Syria. I have to give due credit to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and I told him this myself, because had he not taken on the responsibility, demonstrated fortitude and brought the country under control, then we might have witnessed the Libyan scenario in Egypt. In my view, no effort should be spared in strengthening legitimate governments in the region’s countries. That also applies to Syria. Emerging state institutions in Iraq and in Libya must be revived and strengthened. Situations in Somalia and other countries must be stabilised. State authority in Afghanistan must be reinforced. However, it does not mean that everything should be left as is. Indeed, this new stability would underpin political reforms.

As far as Syria is concerned, I think that we should work towards a constitutional reform. It is a complicated process. Then, early presidential and parliamentary elections should be held, based on the new Constitution. It is the Syrian people themselves who must decide who and how should run their country. This is the only way to achieve stability and security, to create conditions for economic growth and prosperity, so that people can live in their own homes, in their homeland, rather than flee to Europe.

Bild: But do you believe al-Assad is a legitimate leader if he allows the destruction of his country’s population?

Vladimir Putin: It is not his goal to destroy his country’s population. He is fighting those who rose up against him with deadly force. And if the civilians suffer, I think that the primary responsibility for this is with those who fight against him with deadly force as well as those who assist armed groups.

As I have already said, though, this does not mean that everything is all right out there and that everyone is right. This is exactly why I believe political reforms are needed so much there. The first step in that direction should be to develop and adopt a new Constitution.

Bild: If, contrary to expectations, al-Assad loses the elections, will you grant him the possibility of asylum in your country?

Vladimir Putin: I think it is quite premature to discuss this. We granted asylum to Mr Snowden, which was far more difficult than to do the same for Mr al-Assad.

First, the Syrian people should be given the opportunity to have their say. I assure you, if this process is conducted democratically, then al-Assad will probably not need to leave the country at all. And it is not important whether he remains President or not.

You have been talking about our targets and means, and now you are talking about al-Assad being our ally. Do you know that we support military operations of the armed opposition that combats ISIS? Armed opposition against al-Assad that is fighting ISIS. We coordinate our joint operations with them and support their offensives by airstrikes in various sections of the frontline. This is hundreds, thousands of armed people fighting ISIS. We support both the al-Assad’s army and the armed opposition. Some of them have publicly declared this, others prefer to remain silent, but the work is on-going.

Bild: Finally, I would like to touch upon a topic that has never come up before, that is the rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as if Syria was not enough. Does it mean that this rift can lead us to a very grave conflict?

Vladimir Putin: It hampers the efforts to settle the Syrian crisis and the fight against terrorism, as well as the process of halting the inflow of refugees to Europe, that much is certain.

As for whether this will lead to a major regional clash, I do not know. I would rather not talk or even think in these terms. We have very good relations with Iran and our partnership with Saudi Arabia is stable.

Of course, we regret that these things happened there. But you have no death penalty in your country, right? Despite a very hard period in the 1990s–early 2000s, when we were fighting terrorism in Russia, we abolished the death penalty. And there is no death penalty in Russia at present. There are certain countries that use the death penalty – Saudi Arabia, the United States and some others.

We regret this has happened, especially given that the cleric had not been fighting against Saudi Arabia with lethal force. Yet it is true that an embassy attack is a totally unacceptable occurrence in the modern world. As far as I know, the Iranian authorities have arrested several perpetrators of the assault. If our participation in any form is needed, we are ready to do everything possible to resolve the conflict as soon as possible.

Bild: One last question, Mr President.

During the preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, there was heavy criticism in the West of democratic development and human rights situation in Russia. Do you expect similar criticism to arise again during the preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

I think the Russian language is more extensive than German. (Noting the long translation of the question from German into Russian.)

Vladimir Putin: I would say the German language is more precise.

The Russian language is more diverse, more elegant. However, such genius minds as, say, Goethe make the German language sound very elegant and beautiful. One can feel its beauty only in German, and to be able to feel it one needs to understand it.

As far as democracy is concerned, the ruling classes usually talk about freedom to pull the wool over the eyes of those whom they govern. There is nothing new about democracy in Russia. As we have already identified, democracy is the rule of the people and the influence of the people over the authorities. We have learned very well the lesson of one-party rule – that of the Communist Party (CPSU). Therefore, we made our choice long ago and we will continue developing democratic institutions in our country. At present, 77 political parties can take part in parliamentary elections in Russia. We have come back to direct gubernatorial elections.

We are advancing the instruments of direct democracy, meaning various public organisations, and will continue to do so. There can be no identical clichés in democracy – be it American, European (German), Russian or Indian. Do you know that twice in American history the President was elected by the majority of delegates representing the minority of voters? Does it mean the absence of democracy? Of course not. But it is not the only or the most important problem. One of the European leaders once told me: “In the United States it is impossible to run for presidency without a few billion dollars in your pocket.”

Now, regarding the parliamentary system of democracy.

I am repeatedly asked: “How long have you been President?” But in a parliamentary democracy, the person number one is the Prime Minister, who can head the Government an unlimited number of times.

We have returned to direct elections of regional heads. In some countries, however, heads of regions are appointed by the central government. I am not sure, I may be wrong, it is probably better to leave it out or to double-check it, but, as far as I know, that is the case in India.

We still have a number of problems to solve before people feel confident that they have real influence over the authorities and that the authorities respond to their demands. We are going to work towards improving our instruments.

As for the attempts to use sport in political rifts and political competition, I believe that is a huge mistake. That is what stupid people do. If problems arise, particularly at the interstate level, sport, art, music, ballet and opera are the very means that should bring people closer together rather than divide them. It is vital to foster this role of art and sport rather than belittle and suppress it.

Bild: Thank you, Mr President, for a wonderful and very detailed conversation.

It is a pleasure to see former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, will be going to jail for corruption. A rare event outside of coup governments jailing or killing their predecessors as an insurance policy. Insofar as comparisons respecting ‘democracy’ and the ‘rule of law’ in relation to impunity, this recalls Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzalez indicted by a Texas grand jury for racketeering and outcome where Cheney didn’t even bother to send a lawyer (he apparently only needed make a phone call, at most) to get the indictment thrown out… it was dismissed with a warning from the judge to the prosecutor to “never” pursue the case again. By comparison, Israeli justice looks pretty good just now with Olmert reporting to Israel’s penal system for incarceration. Even if he gets the ‘country club’ detention, it still says something.

On account of Bibi & company’s rank criminal behaviors, many people from the outside tend to forget Israelis are not entirely made up of dyed in the wool miscreants and it’s always been a habit of people in the west to throw stones from their glass houses, we see this quite a lot in relation to the Israelis. Would I like to see certain Israeli figures jailed for crimes against the Palestinians? Sure. Will that happen? It doesn’t seem likely, but it seem just as unlikely we will see the likes of Bush and Blair jailed for crimes against the Iraqis resulting in perhaps as many as a million collateral deaths due to infrastructure destruction resulting in loss of clean water and consequent disease, among other problems.

Democracy is a beast in its own right where too often it is sociopaths are those most motivated to rise & rule. And when they do, whether Bibi (with an assist from the Americans) outsourcing his assassinations of Iranian scientists to Mojahedin-e-Khalq utilizing hostages & blackmail, or Obama meeting with John Brennan on “Kill List Tuesdays” when deciding who will live or die in a regime of extrajudicial assassinations, it’s clearly a hard fact one is no superior to the other in relation to the rule of law.

Then, we can look at the institutions of law by comparison. In the USA, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts appoints judges to the extra-constitutional FISA court and no one utters a word about it, not so much as any pointed criticism from any fellow Supreme Court justice, nothing from the bar association head, no senator, NO SINGLE PERSON of significance in the machine stands up and says one word. It can’t hurt to mention here Chief Justice Roberts is only once removed from Dick Cheney; Robert’s champion for his nomination and confirmation to the United States Supreme Court had been Cheney’s Vice Presidential legal counsel Shannen Coffin (a close personal friend of Roberts.)

In Israel, on the other hand, rather than a totally co-opted (corrupted) Supreme Court, you have a court that is undermined and often ignored by corrupt politicians (and in some cases my recollection is, by the military.)

The sharp prejudice we see is hardly fair to Israel by comparison to say, Britain or the USA. All are criminally corrupt. All struggle with similar democratic issues. If the shrill left in the USA can be safely ignored (those few sane persons surviving on the right may as well have drowned for all the opportunity they have to be heard), in Israel sane voices are simply not reported on outside of domestic audience. Hardly balanced or fair, but other than to those engaged in self-deceits, life has never been balanced or fair:

“Both the elves and the reindeer made another accusation against Claus: that he discriminated in favor of children from rich families, who invariably got better and more expensive gifts than those of poor families, no matter how good or bad they’d been” (credit to ‘Bill the Butcher’)

My point is, in matters of corruption and relevant impunity, we’re all more or less equal. Olmert goes to jail, that’s a positive, but Bibi’s history is to ignore and undermine the Israeli Supreme Court. In the USA? No one goes to jail and the Supreme Court appears to be in the pocket of the criminal regime when upholding the ‘national security’ and ‘state secrets’ doctrines which determine the most egregious crimes will never be heard before a competent jurisdiction. And no one challenges the criminally complicit chief justice who appoints judges to a patently unconstitutional FISA institution based on color of law usurping constitutional principles.

On top of it all, it seems doubtful democracy can be salvaged in a scenario where the populaces are becoming so radicalized, demagogues bring the greatest appeal to those who’ve yet to disengage (tune out) on the right, or in the alternative, the majority on the left are so self deceived they hold up a 70 years old serial killer of entire nations as the model choice for a first female president (following on the extrajudicial assassinations by the first ‘Black’ or ‘nobel drone’ president who has always been more culturally European than anything else.)

I would offer the following quote to describe the self-deceits of western populace generally…

“Their judgment was based more upon blind wishing than upon any sound pre-vision; for it is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy” -Thucydides

…aside from those Christian supremacist and other knee-jerk anti-Semites who’re actually somewhat a step lower than use of ‘sovereign reason’ in their employ of self-deceits:

“You can’t convince a chimpanzee to give you a banana with the promise it will get 20 more bananas in chimpanzee heaven. It won’t do it. But humans will” -Yuval Noah Harari

Prognosis for 2016

Worst case scenario

Picture this: Saudi Arabia leads an invasion from the south into Iraq, Turkey from the north into Syria, with USA/NATO backing on the pretext of putting down Islamic State. A large contingent of Daesh is evacuated through Turkey. The Erdogan criminal syndicate funnels the larger portion of ISIS fighters east to initiate operations in Russia’s sphere. However a not insignificant number will, nevertheless, find their way west. This will open opportunity for the NATO deep state apparatus to consolidate a police state and pursue eliminating secular, liberal democratic principles with a likely low intensity guerrilla warfare developing throughout Europe. A second 9/11 type false flag, possibly nuclear, is brought off in attempt by rogue religious right generals at the Pentagon to rule with martial law.

Russia doesn’t dare roll over in the meanwhile, and there is real possibility of escalation to tactical nuclear weapons use when protecting Russian assets in Syria together with upholding the Syrian-Iranian buffer states against NATO and their proxies’ empire expanding east and whatever follows that is likely even less pretty, with a paranoid Israel sitting on the sidelines with nuclear armed missiles targeting all parties.

A reasonable estimation would be, with possible/probable outbreak of WW III, there is a solid chance there will be no next ‘President of the United States.’ That system becomes entirely co-opted. It’s only a matter of when, and under what circumstance, NATO’s deep state perpetrators decide to step out of the shadow to rule openly. Meanwhile, in Europe, democratic institutions are being led like lambs to sacrifice with current developments… and there is (to now) no sign of correcting course back into line with the rule of law. We don’t see 1) sight and 2) courage in any of those holding the necessary positions to force a correction away from a fascist future; with dwindling opportunity with each day that passes.

Best case scenario

An asteroid impact ends the experiment called Western Civilization and attending European cultural mentality before Western Civilization ends all advanced life forms on the planet. Ten thousand years into the future, a mummified Richard Dawkins’ corpse is discovered in the cafeteria at the CERN archaeological site. People marvel at the crude purpose of the Large Hadron Collider, a pointless knowledge quest for ego’s sake, and the destructive nature of the grid used to power it. Shortly after, it is discovered the culture which had created CERN originally derived from a cult practicing ritual cannibalism called ‘Communion’ and the priesthood of a subsequent religion named ‘Empiricism’ applied this cannibalistic attitude to their relationship with the environment sustaining them. The mystery villain of the Anthropocene era’s onset had been solved: Plato.

You all have a lovely 2016

Mephisto

Social-political commentary by Mephisto

I don’t know who are the strategists for the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity but I’ll say this about their ‘open letter’ (pasted in, below) demanding USA Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lay out the facts concerning the Ghouta, Syria, sarin gas attack:

Asking Kerry to come clean on Ghouta is like appealing to Foghorn Leghorn to properly identify a chicken. Asking Lavrov to confront the Obama administration with the facts is demanding his boss, President Putin, surrender applying ‘realpolitik’ in his dealings with the USA which seems nearly as unlikely. Why not hit home with the evidence (it’s out there) at German parliament, the office of the German federal prosecutor and office of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court with an online writing campaign? The German political establishment is sensitive to the issue of gassing people, the German people are not (yet) entirely a flock trained to stay within the electric fence of the official positions set out by their leadership and German intelligence has been demonstrably complicit in the attempted overthrow of Assad.

Open letters are a joke. What is needed is a deluge of letters demanding accountability; effectively hammering at either there is a rule of law or there is not a rule of law, while putting what are supposed to be accountable institutions on the spot:

Send a Letter

If ‘Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity’ would get behind the (above linked) letter campaign or do something similar themselves, they’d quit looking like the current edition of ‘Meet the Fockers

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MEMORANDUM FOR: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Sarin Attack at Ghouta on Aug. 21, 2013

In a Memorandum of Oct. 1, 2013, we asked each of you to make public the intelligence upon which you based your differing conclusions on who was responsible for the sarin chemical attack at Ghouta, outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013. On Dec. 10, 2015, Eren Erdem, a member of parliament in Turkey, citing official documents, blamed Turkey for facilitating the delivery of sarin to rebels in Syria.

Mr. Kerry, you had blamed the Syrian government. Mr. Lavrov, you had described the sarin as “homemade” and suggested anti-government rebels were responsible. Each of you claimed to have persuasive evidence to support your conclusion.

Neither of you responded directly to our appeal to make such evidence available to the public, although, Mr. Lavrov, you came close to doing so. In a speech at the UN on Sept. 26, 2013, you made reference to the views we presented in our VIPS Memorandum, Is Syria a Trap?, sent to President Obama three weeks earlier.

Pointing to strong doubt among chemical weapons experts regarding the evidence adduced to blame the government of Syria for the sarin attack, you also referred to the “open letter sent to President Obama by former operatives of the CIA and the Pentagon,” in which we expressed similar doubt.

Mr. Kerry, on Aug. 30, 2013, you blamed the Syrian government, publicly and repeatedly, for the sarin attack. But you failed to produce the kind of “Intelligence Assessment” customarily used to back up such claims.

We believe that this odd lack of a formal “Intelligence Assessment” is explained by the fact that our former colleagues did not believe the evidence justified your charges and that, accordingly, they resisted pressure to “fix the intelligence around the policy,” as was done to “justify” the attack on Iraq.

Intelligence analysts were telling us privately (and we told the President in our Memorandum of Sept. 6, 2013) that, contrary to what you claimed, “the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was not responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21.”

This principled dissent from these analysts apparently led the White House to create a new art form, a “Government Assessment,” to convey claims that the government in Damascus was behind the sarin attack. It was equally odd that the newly minted genre of report offered not one item of verifiable evidence.

(We note that you used this new art form “Government (not Intelligence) Assessment” a second time – again apparently to circumvent intelligence analysts’ objections. On July 22, 2014, just five days after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, after the media asked you to come up with evidence supporting the charges you leveled against “pro-Russian separatists” on the July 20 Sunday talk shows, you came up with the second, of only two, “Government Assessment.” Like the one on the chemical attack in Syria, the assessment provided meager fare when it comes to verifiable evidence.)

Claims and Counterclaims

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013, President Obama asserted: “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the [Syrian] regime carried out this attack [at Ghouta].”

Mr. Lavrov, that same day you publicly complained that U.S. officials kept claiming “’the Syrian regime,’ as they call it, is guilty of the use of chemical weapons, without providing comprehensive proof.” Two days later you told the U.N. General Assembly you had given Mr. Kerry “the latest compilation of evidence, which was an analysis of publicly available information.” You also told the Washington Post, “This evidence is not something revolutionary. It’s available on the Internet.”

On the Internet? Mr. Kerry, if your staff avoided calling your attention to Internet reports about Turkish complicity in the sarin attack of Aug. 21, 2013, because they lacked confirmation, we believe you can now consider them largely confirmed.

Documentary Evidence

Addressing fellow members of parliament on Dec. 10, 2015, Turkish MP Eren Erdem from the Republican People’s Party (a reasonably responsible opposition group) confronted the Turkish government on this key issue. Waving a copy of “Criminal Case Number 2013/120,” Erdem referred to official reports and electronic evidence documenting a smuggling operation with Turkish government complicity.

In an interview with RT four days later, Erdem said Turkish authorities had acquired evidence of sarin gas shipments to anti-government rebels in Syria, and did nothing to stop them.

The General Prosecutor in the Turkish city of Adana opened a criminal case, and an indictment stated “chemical weapons components” from Europe “were to be seamlessly shipped via a designated route through Turkey to militant labs in Syria.” Erdem cited evidence implicating the Turkish Minister of Justice and the Turkish Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation in the smuggling of sarin.

The Operation

According to Erdem, the 13 suspects arrested in raids carried out against the plotters were released just a week after they were indicted, and the case was closed — shut down by higher authority. Erdem told RT that the sarin attack at Ghouta took place shortly after the criminal case was closed and that the attack probably was carried out by jihadists with sarin gas smuggled through Turkey.

Small wonder President Erdogan has accused Erdem of “treason.” It was not Erdem’s first “offense.” Earlier, he exposed corruption by Erdogan family members, for which a government newspaper branded him an “American puppet, Israeli agent, a supporter of the terrorist PKK and the instigator of a coup.”

In our Sept. 6, 2013 Memorandum for the President, we reported that coordination meetings had taken place just weeks before the sarin attack at a Turkish military garrison in Antakya – just 15 miles from the Syrian border with Syria and 55 miles from its largest city, Aleppo.

In Antakya, senior Turkish, Qatari and U.S. intelligence officials were said to be coordinating plans with Western-sponsored rebels, who were told to expect an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development.” This, in turn, would lead to a U.S.-led bombing of Syria, and rebel commanders were ordered to prepare their forces quickly to exploit the bombing, march into Damascus, and remove the Assad government.

A year before, the New York Times reported that the Antakya area had become a “magnet for foreign jihadis, who are flocking into Turkey to fight holy war in Syria.” The Times quoted a Syrian opposition member based in Antakya, saying the Turkish police were patrolling this border area “with their eyes closed.”

And, Mr. Lavrov, while the account given by Eren Erdem before the Turkish Parliament puts his charges on the official record, a simple Google search including “Antakya” shows that you were correct in stating the Internet contains a wealth of contemporaneous detail supporting Erdem’s disclosures.

Mr. Kerry, while in Moscow on Dec. 15, you said to a Russian interviewer that Syrian President Assad “has gassed his people – I mean, gas hasn’t been used in warfare formally for years – for – and gas is outlawed, but Assad used it.”

Three days later The Washington Post dutifully repeated the charge about Assad’s supposed killing “his own people with chemical weapons.” U.S. media have made this the conventional wisdom. The American people are not fully informed. There has been no mainstream media reporting on Turkish MP Erdem’s disclosures.

Renewed Appeal

We ask you again, Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov, to set the record straight on this important issue. The two of you have demonstrated an ability to work together on important matters – the Iran nuclear deal, for example – and have acknowledged a shared interest in defeating ISIS, which clearly is not Turkish President Erdogan’s highest priority. Indeed, his aims are at cross-purposes to those wishing to tamp down the violence in Syria.

After the shoot-down of Russia’s bomber on Nov. 24, President Vladimir Putin put Russian forces in position to retaliate the next time, and told top defense officials, “Any targets threatening our [military] group or land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed.” We believe that warning should be taken seriously. What matters, though, is what Erdogan believes.

There is a good chance Erdogan will be dismissive of Putin’s warning, as long as the Turkish president believes he can depend on NATO always to react in the supportive way it did after the shoot-down.

One concrete way to disabuse him of the notion that he has carte blanche to create incidents that could put not only Turkey, but also the U.S., on the verge of armed conflict with Russia, would be for the U.S. Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign Minister to coordinate a statement on what we believe was a classic false-flag chemical attack on Aug. 21, 2013, facilitated by the Turks and aimed at mousetrapping President Obama into a major attack on Syria.

One of our colleagues, a seasoned analyst of Turkish affairs, put it this way: “Erdogan is even more dangerous if he thinks that he now has NATO license to bait Russia — as he did with the shoot-down. I don’t think NATO is willing to give him that broader license, but he is a loose cannon.”

FOR THE STEERING GROUP, VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer

Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)

Scott Ritter, former Maj., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Robert David Steele, former CIA Operations Officer

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

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Spy
A Spy vs Spy notation by Ronald
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