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Focus: Russia - Nov 29, 2016


Note: The next US Secretary of State should be one who has a deep knowledge of Russia, willing to engage in friendly talks with Moscow and build a partnership to foster world peace and security. In my opinion Russia is right in Syria, Ukraine and with regard to NATO.


11 NATO states take part in massive ‘Iron Sword’ drills in Lithuania - RT News


New Cold War: US Marines' war games on Norway-Russia border - CNN.com


VIDEO: US Marines in Lithuania - Exercise Iron Sword 16 - YouTube


German president visits NATO command center, reassures eastern members of Berlin's commitments, questions Trump campaign comments - DW.COM


Britain expects Donald Trump to 'stand up' to Russia and not treat it 'as any kind of equal partner’, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon warns - telegraph.co.uk


Britain to send troops to Poland as NATO deployment against ‘increasing Russian aggressiveness’ - news.com.au


NATO should be acting as a bridge between Baltics & Russia, defuse tension: UK Tory MP - RT UK


France says lifting sanctions on Russia would be counterproductive - Reuters


Italian minister would welcome more openness to Russia from U.S. - Reuters


Peace talks in Minsk end without agreement, both Ukraine and Russia hardened their positions and there was no political agreement on holding local elections in Donbass - Reuters


Russian Senator warns Ukraine against missile-firing exercise in Crimea airspace - TASS


Does NATO need Montenegro? How does this tiny Balkan nation contribute to NATO’s collective security? The short answer is: It doesn’t. - The National Interest


Arms expert Joe Cirincione op-ed: Trump should halt US missile-defense plans in Europe - Defense One


GOP supporters of better Cuba relations warn Trump not to let Russia, China step in. - McClatchy DC


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Russia fully deploys 2 new divisions near Western border - The Washington Post


Russia to deploy S-400 and nuclear-capable Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad as "countermeasures" to NATO expansion - CBS News


Putin's robo-tank: New weapon is deployed to the Polish border to protect Russia's missile launchers from attack - Daily Mail Online


Moscow offered NATO to hold consultations on military flights over Baltic sea but the bloc refused - Sputnik


NATO drills in Georgia negatively affect regional safety: Russia Foreign Ministry - Sputnik


No sign of NATO giving up myth of 'Russian threat' in policymaking: Envoy - Sputnik


Russian diplomat says spending so much time on Russia-NATO Council agenda is pointless - TASS


Russia, Uzbekistan sign treaty on military-technical cooperation - TASS


Armenia is literally joining forces with Russia - Foreign Policy


Russia eyes supplying military hardware to the Philippines - ABC News


Philippines foreign affairs secretary: Duterte to visit Russia in 2017 - CNN Philippines


Libyan commander Haftar visits Russia to ask for help: 'We hope we will eliminate terrorism with your help in the nearest future' - Reuters


Russian top diplomat Lavrov praises Libyan army for its role in protecting state’s independence - TASS


VIDEO (Russian/Arabic): Lavrov and Libyan Marshal Haftar laud strong bilateral ties - YouTube


Putin orders mobile hospitals to be sent to residents of Aleppo, Syria - RT News


Russia to send 100,000 tons of wheat in humanitarian aid to Syria - THE DAILY STAR


Turkey entered Syria to end al-Assad’s rule: President Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish parliament endorse ratification of the Turkish-Russian stream pipeline deal - Sputnik


Turkish premier to visit Russia on December 6-7 - TASS


Are relations between Pakistan and Russia beginning to thaw? - Daily Mail Online


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


How I Produce Fake News for Russia

Apparently I've written "fake news" on behalf of Russia without ever receiving a dime from Russia or realizing what I was doing. It took the intrepid reporting of the Washington Post to alert me to what I have been engaged in. My "fake news" has been published in at least 18 Russian propaganda outlets included on the Washington Post-endorsed Enemies List.

They are ahtribune.com, off-guardian.org, opednews.com, antiwar.com, beforeitsnews.com, blackagendareport.com, ronpaulinstitute.org, rt.com (that one is actually Russian), consortiumnews.com, countercurrents.org, counterpunch.org, globalresearch.ca, truth-out.org, truthdig.com, informationclearinghouse.info, washingtonsblog.com, mintpressnews.com, and nakedcapitalism.com.

Since everything I write is also at davidswanson.org it's a safe bet that that's a Russian propaganda site as well, even though I hadn't realized it.

Focus: Secretary of State Candidate Dana Rohrabacher - Nov 24, 2016


Note: Dana Rohrabacher is my pick among the current Secretary of State Candidates.


Dana Rohrabacher op-ed: Why is America restarting the cold war with Russia? This is belligerent nonsense, a stunning and total failure of vision - National Interest


VIDEO: Rep. Rohrabacher opposes the new cold war on Russia and the 'Ukraine Support Bill', Mar 2014 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher: Russia and the US need to work together to defeat the radical Islamic terrorism, Apr 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher grills U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power on Ukraine, Jun 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Rep. Rohrabacher questions administration on TPP trade deal, Jun 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Senator Rohrabacher: Assad was never a threat to United States, Feb 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Dana Rohrabacher questions Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the genocide of Christians in the Middle East, Feb 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Subcommittee Chairman Rohrabacher's opening statements on Turkey’s democratic decline, Jul 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Rohrabacher at House Foreign Relations Committee on the Gulen movement and the July coup attempt in Turkey, Oct 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Rohrabacher on basic human rights violations in Turkey, Nov 2016 - YouTube


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

 

 

Obama: I Hope Trump Can Stand up to Russia - Nov 17, 2016

 

Obama: I hope Trump can stand up to Russia 'where they are deviating from our values and international norms’ - CNBC


VIDEO: Obama urges Trump to ‘stand up' to Russia - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Read President Obama’s comments urging Donald Trump to stand up to Russia - TIME


VIDEO: Full press conference by Barack Obama and Angela Merkel following meeting - YouTube


Obama, Angela Merkel issue joint op-ed responding to Donald Trump - CBS News


Op-ed by President Obama and Chancellor Merkel: The future of transatlantic relations - whitehouse.gov


In private meeting, Euro diplomats beseech Trump team to uphold transatlantic pacts - Foreign Policy


NATO general says Trump not serious about abandoning treaty - The Washington Post


Democratic Senator Cardin’s op-ed: The United States needs to hold Russia accountable for its aggression - The Washington Post


Kremlin: Obama team trying to damage ties with Russia - ABC News


Philippines’ Duterte: 'If China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I will be the first to join’ - FT.com

 

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US condemns Russia and Syria as Aleppo offensive escalates, Moscow claims not bombing Aleppo but al Qaeda in Idlib - CBS News


Russia launches multiple air attacks on militant targets in Syria: defence ministry - Reuters


Long-range bombers from an air base in southern Russia strike Syria for 1st time in a year, US officials say - Fox News


State Dept spokesman dismisses question from Russia Today on Syria, says won’t treat it like other media, later a State Dept official apologized - RT News


VIDEO: State Department spokesman gets into heated exchange over Syria with Russia Today reporter - YouTube


VIDEO: Anti-Russian hysteria pervading political circles: British Conservative Party MP Kawczynski - YouTube


Donald Trump striking a Syria deal with Russia would be ‘most disastrous step possible’, Saudi Arabian prince warns - The Independent


Former head of the Turkish military see Syria hopeful opening in Trump’s outreach to Moscow - Washington Times


Turkey′s NATO officials seek asylum in Germany amid Erdogan crackdown - DW.COM


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Focus: Congress, Trump and Russia - Nov 16, 2016


Lawmakers move to restrain President-elect Trump on Russia - The Washington Post


GOP foreign-policy power brokers in Congress could foil Trump on Russia, Syria, and other top security issues - Foreign Policy


Statement by McCain on U.S.-Russia relations: Another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people - mccain.senate.gov


Top Republicans don't know where Trump will be on Ukraine - The Weekly Standard


Top Senate Democrat Cardin challenges Trump on Russia: In interview he lays out a foreign policy platform for the incoming Congress - al-monitor.com


House passes sanctions on anyone who provides the Syrian government with financial, material or technological support - The Washington Post


NSA head: Dem hacks were a conscious effort by Russia - TheHill


Washington Post editorial: The United States is giving Putin the green light for atrocities - The Washington Post


Influential conservative think tank Heritage Foundation says Russia — not ISIS — is greatest threat - Washington Examiner


Heritage Foundation 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength: scores security threats worldwide, the global operating environment, and U.S. military power - heritage.org


Transatlantic Forum on Russia: Event will be webcast live from this page on Nov 17 - Center for Strategic and International Studies


European leaders, NATO caution Trump on warming relations with Russia - The Washington Post


NATO says Crimea still a concern, day after Trump-Putin call - nation.com.pk


Ex-Nato leaders call for extraordinary meeting with Trump, warn US president-elect against deal with Putin that would cede Crimea - The Guardian


Ukraine President asks Trump to help counter ‘Russian aggression’ - WSJ


Putin pulls Russia out of International Criminal Court day after report on Crimea annexation - Fox News


Two-thirds of Russians want Putin to remain president after 2018: study - RT Russian politics


Le Pen says 'world peace' would gain from a Trump-Putin-Le Pen trio - Reuters

 

Russian sanctions cost Italy €7bn and up to 200,000 jobs: Italian MP - RT Business


Italian M5S movement ‘against NATO's creeping policy' of nearing Russian border - Sputnik


Philippine President wants to be friends with Trump, Putin - ABC News


Trump-led US could become Syria’s ‘natural ally’ if it fights terrorism: Assad - RT News


Full text of President Bashar al-Assad interview given to RTP TV - Syrian TV

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Note on Russia and the next Secretary of State - Nov 15, 2016


The next Secretary of State should understand the positive role that Russia is playing not only in the crucial existential fight against terrorism (if Islamic State gets chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, they will use them) but also as a force of peace and stability in the world. Russia has a formidable military which has not being engaged in recent past wars therefore not affected by combat fatigue unlike the U.S military. Russia military should not be underestimated and threatened like Rudy Giuliani did in a recent interview: "Russia thinks it's a military competitor, it really isn’t, it's our unwillingness under Obama to even threaten the use of our military that makes Russia so powerful.” John Bolton expressed the same line: "Well, I think relations are very unsatisfactory, largely due to the behavior of Russia...I think he [Trump] is going to be a strong leader, I think that will have two dramatic impacts on Putin. Number one, it'll make him a lot more hesitant to try and extend Russian influence, and two, what may seem paradoxical but what I think is true, it'll make Putin more inclined to cooperate.” Putin will not desist because Ukraine and Syria are Russia’s strategic and security interests. Plus Russia has the backing of China in international conflicts.


Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine because of their hystorical relationship and economic cooperation and because there is the presence of a sizeable Russian speaking population in Ukraine: according to 2001 census they are 29.3 percent of the total population. In some Eastern regions they are the majority. In Crimea they are 77 percent. This Russian speaking population has close economic, cultural and family ties with Russia. The European Union proposed to Ukraine the Association Agreement without taking into consideration the Russian interests and rejecting trilateral talks between Ukraine, the EU and Russia.


In Syria, Russia is opposing well-armed jihadist groups who threaten the lives of the people, the fabric of the society and its State institutions and impede a political solution leading to democratic elections. Russia has been accused to prop up the Assad government but the ouster of Assad, which has been demanded by the past US administration, would throw the country in a state of chaos with no central authority and with militias holding the real power.

The choice this year is easy: Why No Leftist, Progressive or Liberal Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

By Dave Lindorff

 

            With one week to go in this year’s presidential election -- an astonishing and depressing contest in which the two least-liked and least-trusted candidates in history are the two choices put up by our two main political parties -- it’s time to look at why left and liberal people should not vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn't

By David Swanson, originally published by the Fairbanks Alaska Daily Miner

I would not rank Vladimir Putin high on a list of leaders. If I lived in Russia I'd be working for major reforms in my government, just as I'm doing where I do live, in the United States. I regularly go on Russian media and criticize the Russian government. Russia is illegally and immorally bombing people in Syria, just as the United States is doing in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.

But there are Putin Halloween masks for sale in U.S. stores. Time magazine has Putin on the cover accusing him of trying to damage U.S. elections. A Google search for "Hitler Putin" brings back 11 million results. This demonization of a foreign leader should frighten us more than that leader himself.

Wars do not only kill, if they kill at all, a foreign leader. But they do kill large numbers of children, grandparents, mothers, and fathers. They enrage people, endanger us, damage the natural environment, justify the removal of our rights, and divert unfathomable resources from areas where they could have done a world of good.

The actual Adolph Hitler had no plans or ability to invade the United States and was defeated primarily by Russians who lost at least 27 million lives in the process. For over 70 years, since the end of World War II, the United States has bombed dozens of nations, and in every case that I am aware of U.S. officials have labeled a targeted individual "Hitler."

In May the Politico newspaper reported on Pentagon testimony in Congress to the effect that Russia had a superior and threatening military, but followed that with this: "'This is the "Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling" set in the Army,' the senior Pentagon officer said. 'These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There's a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock."

Politico then cited a less-than-credible "study" of Russian military superiority and aggression and added: "While the reporting about the Army study made headlines in the major media, a large number in the military's influential retired community, including former senior Army officers, rolled their eyes."

The United States has overseen the expansion of NATO to Russia's border. The buffer zone of the last Cold War is gone. U.S./NATO missile bases are now in Romania and being built in Poland. The U.S. has organized in Eastern Europe the largest military exercises seen there since World War II. The U.S. role in supporting a violent coup that created an anti-Russian government in Ukraine was exposed before the coup. When the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, the U.S. media characterized Russian actions that resulted in total casualties of zero as "an invasion of Ukraine."

Without presenting us with any evidence, the U.S. government has accused Russia of shooting down an airplane, of exposing the corruption within the Democratic National Committee (shouldn't we be grateful?), and of somehow sabotaging the upcoming U.S. election. Every atrocity committed by Russia or Syria in Syria is big news. Every U.S. atrocity there is a yawn.

The stakes are high every time the United States overthrows a government. The disasters of Iraq and Libya have fueled the current catastrophes in those countries and Syria and around the region. But the stakes are higher when the United States and Russia confront each other. These are nuclear nations. Russia has announced that it is considering re-opening a base in Cuba. The Cuban Missile Crisis, in case anyone has forgotten, was one of the many times since the creation of nuclear weapons that humanity has come close to intentionally or accidentally destroying itself.

The nukes are of far greater strength now. And our understanding has grown of how a limited nuclear war anywhere on earth would create a crop-destroying nuclear winter followed by mass starvation. We don't need to take this sort of risk. To avoid it we need to turn away from war. And that means we need to stop using human rights abuses by targeted governments as excuses to bomb people.

We should protect human rights through leadership by example and consistent application of the rule of law. Doing so would then open the United States up to the possibility of opposing human rights abuses by some of the nasty governments that it props up and sells or gives weapons to, beginning perhaps with Saudi Arabia, a monarchy that makes Vladimir Putin look like Mohandas Gandhi.

David Swanson is speaking at the University of Alaska Schaible Auditorium at 7 p.m. on October 22nd. His books include War Is A Lie and War Is Never Just. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Focus: United States and Russia - Oct 10, 2016


Russia says U.S. actions threaten its national security, Lavrov: 'Russophobia now lies at the heart of U.S. policy' - Reuters


Russian Foreign Minister says US is not fighting Al-Nusra in Syria - Sputnik


Mikhail Gorbachev warns world is at 'dangerous point' amid US-Russian face off over Syria - Telegraph


Russia to build permanent Syrian naval base in Tartus, eyes other outposts - Reuters


Russia to equip navy base in Syria’s Tartus with air defense, anti-sub systems - Sputnik


Russia sends cruise missile ships to Mediterranean - IHS Jane's 360


Russian parliament ratifies indefinite deployment of air force in Syria - Sputnik


Exclusive: Russia builds up forces in Syria, Reuters data analysis shows - Reuters


How scary is the Russian S-400 SAM?, It is the most capable and lethal long-range air defense missile system on the planet - Fighter Sweep


Not by stealth alone: Russian Corvettes to get ability to shoot down enemy jets - Sputnik


New Russian radars give the Pentagon headaches even before being fully deployed - Sott.net

 

Russia, China quickly forming ‘strategy of synergy' in Syria - Sputnik


India to propose to BRICS states creation of fund to restore Syria - Sputnik


Saudi Arabia, Qatar slam Egypt for supporting Russia's proposal for Syria truce - Egypt Independent


Egypt 'ready to agree' new Russian air base on coast - Middle East Eye

 

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At debate Trump, Clinton Spar on Russia As Moscow Ties Crumble - defensenews.com


VIDEO: Clinton: 'What is at stake here is the ambitions and the aggressiveness of Russia’; Trump: 'I think it would be great if we got along with Putin so we could fight ISIS together' - YouTube


U.S. government officially accuses Russia of hacking campaign to interfere with elections - The Washington Post


U.S. army chief issues stark warning to potential enemies, including Russia and China: ‘We will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before' - Military.com


Army chief: U.S. army’s dominance is being challenged by a belligerent Russia and rising China, Future war is ‘almost guaranteed’ - Association of the United States Army


VIDEO: U.S. army chief threatens war with Russia - YouTube


U.S. army leaders warn about Russia's bold moves in information warfare in a bid to to both degrade U.S. military power and damage its democratic institutions - nationaldefensemagazine.org


Army Secretary: Drawdown, Russia and ISIL stretch us ‘very thin' - newsmax.com


Experts: 'Prospects low' for direct US-Russia war, but ‘clashes possible in third states' - Sputnik


Russian experts: Words of US generals on war with Russia shouldn’t be taken seriously - TASS


The US air force just dropped two fake nukes, The tests in the Nevada desert come as tensions rise with Russia - Defense One


War hawks: US think tank already planning 10 ‘killer weapons’ of a US-Russia war - Sputnik


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

We got 8 years of change, but not much hope: President Barack Obama’s Crappy Legacy

By Dave Lindorff

 

Barack Obama came into the White House on a wave of passionate new voters, many of them black or young and white, becoming the nation's first black president and promising a new era of "hope and change."

US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing

By Dave Lindorff

 

If the danger of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian disinformation propaganda campaign out of the Pentagon and promoted by the US corporate media weren't so serious, the effort itself might be laughable. I did laugh,

Focus: United States and Russia - Sept 7, 2016


Ash Carter: Russia sowing seeds of global instability through coercion and aggression - The Washington Post


VIDEO (Full speech): Ash Carter: Russia’s aggression and ISIL’s barbarism are robust challenges for U.S. - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


TRANSCRIPT: Secretary of Defense Speech at the University of Oxford - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


Trump campaign slams Defense Secretary Ash Carter's attack on Russia - newsmax.com


Trump blasts Clinton as 'trigger-happy', says her legacy in Iraq, Libya and Syria 'has produced only turmoil and suffering and death’ - POLITICO


TRANSCRIPT: Trump's speech: 'We want to achieve a stable, peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground...This will require rethinking the failed policies of the past - Washington Examiner


POLL: Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 19 points among military, veteran voters - Washington Times


Tim Kaine: Hillary Clinton plans to strengthen European Allies against Russia - Sputnik


Hillary Clinton suggests alleged Russian hacking is designed to help Trump, says the Republican nominee has 'allied himself with Putin's policies' - NBC News


Clapper: Russians hack U.S. computer networks 'all the time' - POLITICO


Guccifer 2.0 denies Russian involvement in hack of Democratic Party - WSJ

 

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U.S., Russia divided on way forward in Syria: State Department - Reuters


Foreign Ministry statement: Russia expresses "grave concern” about the advance of Turkish troops in Syria - MFA Russia on Twitter


Turkey ready to join US in capturing Raqqa from ISIS: Erdogan - Business Insider


Turkey seeks to establish ‘safe zone’ along Syrian border - FT.com


White House dismisses Turkey's suggestion for Syria no-fly zone - Daily Sabah


Boris Johnson insists Russia should end ‘indefensible’ support for Assad regime in Syria - The Independent

 

UK Foreign Office spent £1m on US lobbying on behalf of Syrian opposition - The Independent


Syrian opposition unveils road map for transition: Assad must go after six months, adding it will reject any US-Russia deal that strays from its terms - Al Jazeera


Text of the Syrian opposition transitional plan - mailchimp.com


Iraq Shite militia says it has dispatched more than 1,000 fighters to join battle for Syria's Aleppo - Reuters


VIDEO: Saudi Arabia FM's thoughts on fresh attempt to end Syria conflict - BBC News


Ukraine's president Poroshenko warns that a full-scale invasion from Russia could be on the horizon, with Europe powerless to fight the Kremlin's ‘aggression' - Daily Mail Online


President Poroshenko: Our strategic goal is NATO membership - Official website of the President of Ukraine


Poroshenko: Loss of Russian market has cost Ukraine $15 billion - UPI.com


Ukraine's alleged pro-Russian Inter TV burned, picketed - UPI.com


Pentagon head Ashton Carter to meet with Ukrainian partners in London - uatoday.tv


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

 

But, Mr. Putin, You Just Don't Understand

Once in a while one of the videos somebody emails me a link to turns out to be well worth watching. Such is this one. In it a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union tries to explain to Vladimir Putin why new U.S. missile bases near the border of Russia should not be understood as threatening. He explains that the motivation in Washington, D.C., is not to threaten Russia but to create jobs. Putin responds that, in that case, the United States could have created jobs in peaceful industries rather than in war.

Putin may or may not be familiar with U.S. economic studies finding that, in fact, the same investment in peaceful industries would create more jobs than does military spending. But he is almost certainly aware that, in U.S. politics, elected officials have, for the better part of a century, only been willing to invest heavily in military jobs and no others. Still, Putin, who may also be familiar with how routine it has become for Congress members to talk about the military as a jobs program, appears in the video a bit surprised that someone would offer that excuse to a foreign government fixed in U.S. sights.

Timothy Skeers who sent me the video link commented: "Maybe Khrushchev should have just told Kennedy he was just trying to create jobs for Soviet citizens when he put those missiles in Cuba." Imagining how that would have played out may help people in the United States to grasp how their elected officials sound to the rest of the world.

That one main motivation for U.S. military expansion in Eastern Europe is "jobs," or rather, profits, is almost openly admitted by the Pentagon. In May the Politico newspaper reported on Pentagon testimony in Congress to the effect that Russia had a superior and threatening military, but followed that with this: "'This is the "Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling" set in the Army,' the senior Pentagon officer said. 'These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There's a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock."

Politico then cited a less-than-credible "study" of Russian military superiority and aggression and added:

"While the reporting about the Army study made headlines in the major media, a large number in the military's influential retired community, including former senior Army officers, rolled their eyes. 'That's news to me,' one of these highly respected officers told me. 'Swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles? Surprisingly lethal tanks? How come this is the first we've heard of it?'"

It's always the retired officials speaking truth to corruption, inlcuding retired Ambassador Jack Matlock in the video. Money and bureaucracy are euphemized as "jobs," and their influence is real but still explains nothing. You can have money and bureaucracy promote peaceful industries. The choice to promote war is not a rational one. In fact, it is well described by a U.S. writer in the New York Times projecting U.S. attitudes onto Russia and Putin:

"The strategic purpose of his wars is war itself. This is true in Ukraine, where territory was a mere pretext, and this is true of Syria, where protecting Mr. Assad and fighting ISIS are pretexts too. Both conflicts are wars with no end in sight because, in Mr. Putin's view, only at war can Russia feel at peace."

This was, in fact, how the New York Times reported last October on the event from which the video linked above is taken. (More here.) I condemn the Russian bombing of Syria all the time, including on Russian media on almost a weekly basis, but if there is a nation that is always at war it is the United States, which backed a right-wing anti-Russia coup in Ukraine and now refers to the Russian response as irrational war-making.

The wisdom of the New York Times writer, like the wisdom of Nuremberg, is selectively applied in a hostile manner, but still wise. The purpose of war is indeed war itself. The justifications are always pretexts.

Focus: Trump, Clinton and Russia - July 31, 2016

 

Trump says not wrong a good relationship with Russia: 'If our country got along with Russia, that would be a great thing’ - Indian Express


Trump says he may let Russia keep Crimea: 'the people of Crimea...would rather be with Russia than where they were [Ukraine]' - CBS News


VIDEO: Donald Trump on Russia, NATO, Ukraine and Crimea - YouTube


Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump has 'absolute allegiance to Russian wish-list foreign policy' - Washington Times


Clinton says Russian intelligence services hacked DNC, 'For Trump to encourage that and praise Putin...raises national security issues' - Reuters


VIDEO: Hillary: 'Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin' - Breitbart

 

VIDEO: Sessions: 'Trump is right' - we need to end this cycle of hostility with Russia - Breitbart


VIDEO: Russia expert Stephen Cohen: Trump wants to stop the new cold war, but the America media just doesn't understand -  RealClearPolitics


Top spy DNI James Clapper: Despite intelligence war with Russians, 'I don't think we're quite ready' to blame them for DNC hack - POLITICO


VIDEO: James Clapper comments on DNC hack - YouTube


CIA chief John Brennan: People 'jumping to conclusions' over Russia hacks - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: CIA Director Brennan on hacks of campaigns & elections - YouTube


Assange refuses to say if Russia behind DNC hack - Washington Examiner


Is D.N.C. email hacker a person or a Russian front? Experts aren’t sure - The New York Times

 

NSA whistleblowers doubt DNC's claim of Russian role in damaging e-mail leaks - thenewamerican.com


No, We don’t know yet that Russia is behind DNC email hacks. Here’s Why. - LawNewz


Who hacked the DNC? Jeffrey Carr, author of Inside Cyber Warfare, shows that the identification of the hacker groups as Russian state actors is based on arbitrary definitions - Antiwar.com


Jeffrey Carr: Can facts slow the DNC breach runaway train? - Medium


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: NATO and Russia - July 9, 2016


NATO leaders meet to deal with Russia threats from east, Islamic terrorism from south - US News


NATO approves buildup in eastern Europe at Warsaw summit - Stripes


U.S. sending 1,000 rotating troops to Poland, building radar systems in Germany and Turkey, moving drones to Italy - usatoday.com


Britain commits 650 troops to Nato’s Baltic forces to counter Vladimir Putin - telegraph.co.uk


Trudeau pledges troops, frigate and jets as NATO faces off against Russia - CTV


NATO takes over U.S.-built missile shield, amid Russian suspicion - Reuters


NATO agrees to ensure freedom of movement of troops, equipment amid Russia's alleged aerial denial capabilities' development - Sputnik


New chess game between NATO and Russia, Moscow’s investment in ‘access denial’ military systems calls into question the Alliance’s ability to defend Baltics — and divides it politically - POLITICO


According to NATO statistics, the U.S. spent an estimated $650 billion on defense last year, more than double the amount all the other 27 NATO countries spent between them - GantNews.com


Fact sheet: U.S. contributions to NATO capabilities - whitehouse.gov


Compendium of defence expenditures of NATO countries (2009-2016) - NATO

 

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Obama urges NATO to stand firm against Russia despite Brexit - Reuters


Obama op-ed: America’s alliance with Britain and Europe will endure - FT.com


Obama: U.S. to be lead nation for enhanced NATO presence in Poland - U.S. Department of Defense


Kerry says U.S. will remain firm on Russia sanctions - rferl.org


Merkel: Russia's actions have deeply disturbed our eastern allies and require a clear reassurance of their safety - spacewar.com


Kremlin says NATO talk of Russian threat absurd, short-sighted - Reuters


Kremlin spksm Dmitry Peskov's in no doubt about NATO threat: "If it walks like a dog, smells like a dog, barks like a dog, then it's a dog.” - Steve Rosenberg on Twitter


Russia vows to ‘do anything’ for Black Sea balance despite NATO plans - newsweek.com


Putin increases Russian Armed Forces’ organic strength to 1.885 million - TASS

 

Russian media unhappy with NATO summit - BBC News


Stoltenberg: NATO-Russia Council may meet at ministerial level, after meeting at the level of ambassadors on July 13 - TASS


Stoltenberg: NATO’s door remains open to Ukraine, Georgia - Ukrinform News


‘No to militarism!’ Anti-war activists mirror NATO meeting in Warsaw with own summit - RT News


Trump’s Russia adviser criticizes U.S. for ‘hypocritical focus on democratization…and regime change”’ - The Washington Post


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Russians Ask “Why Do You Demonize Us When We Are So Much Like You?”

By Ann Wright

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Photo of Russian kids attending a youth camp called Artek in Crimea.  Photo by Ann Wright

Some Reflections from our Recent Trip to Russia

By David and Jan Hartsough

We have recently returned from a two week citizen’s diplomacy peace delegation to six cities in Russia under the auspices of the Center for Citizen Initiatives.

Our trip included visits with journalists, political leaders, teachers and students, doctors and medical clinics, veterans of past wars, representatives of small businesses and nongovernmental organizations, youth camps, and home visits.

Since David’s earlier visits to Russia over the past fifty-five years, much has changed. He was struck by how much new building and construction has taken place, and the “westernization” of clothing, styles, advertising, automobiles and traffic, as well as global corporations and private companies and stores.

Some of our reflections include:

  1. Danger of US and NATO military exercises on Russian border, like a game of nuclear chicken. This could very easily escalate into nuclear war. We must wake up the American people about the danger and encourage our government to move away from this dangerous posturing.
  1. We need to put ourselves in the Russians’ shoes. What if Russia had military troops, tanks and bomber planes and missiles on the US border in Canada and Mexico. Wouldn’t we feel threatened?
  1. Russian people don’t want war and want to live in peace. The Soviet Union lost 27 million people in World War II because they were not prepared militarily. They will not let that happen again.   If attacked, they will fight for their Motherland. Most families lost family members in WWII, so war is very immediate and personal. In the siege of Leningrad between two and three million people perished.
  1. US and NATO must take the initiative and show a commitment to living in peace with the Russians and treat them with respect.

Trashing Clinton in the Times: Is Sanders’ End Game to Sell Out His ‘Political Revolution’ or to Take It to November?

By Dave Lindorff

 

            What is Bernie Sanders up to?

 

            I sure don’t know, and I’m sure that Hillary Clinton and her campaign managers are wondering too.

Focus: Russia - June 21, 2016


Germany's foreign minister accuses NATO of ‘warmongering' over Russia, criticizes military exercises in Eastern Europe - RFERL


NATO’s chief brushes aside comments from Germany’s foreign minister saying both military, political approach needed toward Russia - RFERL


U.S. Navy officials say European exercises not 'sabre-rattling', but necessary steps to deter aggressive Russian maritime expansion - Reuters


US Nato general fears rapid Russian troop deployments - BBC News


NATO targets Russia ‘threat' in July summit - Daily Express


German foreign minister suggests European split over Moscow, Merkel ally rebuffs his NATO criticism - NASDAQ.com


Russia won’t be invading NATO countries, Germany shouldn’t help start a new arms race: former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder - RT News


NATO launches anti-submarine warfare exercise in Norwegian Sea - NATO


NATO jets in Baltics scrambled twice last week to escort Russian warplanes - baltictimes.com


NATO battalions on Russian borders could easily grow into larger contingent: Russian analyst - Sputnik


Defense secretary Carter hails US alliances amid Trump criticism that the U.S. 'cannot afford to police the entire world’ - TheHill


Pentagon chief Carter: 'Next month when I accompany President Obama to the NATO Summit in Warsaw, we all need to do more to deter and defend against Russian aggression' - Sputnik


Carter confirms new NATO battalions on eastern flank - IHS Jane's 360


Is the Pentagon hyping the Russia threat? Some officials are inflating it in an effort to boost the Defense Department’s budget - The American Conservative


Joe Biden rips Donald Trump's foreign policy: 'Embracing Putin at a time of renewed Russian aggression I believe will call into question America's longstanding commitment to Europe' - CNN


Top Russian politician hails Trump’s Washington invite of Putin as ‘common sense' - newsweek.com


She isn’t president yet, but Russia already hates Hillary Clinton - Observer

 

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EU to extend Russia sanctions until the end of the year, divided over next steps - Reuters


European ministers wrestle with future of Russia sanctions - WSJ


Likely sanctions renewal on Russia welcomed by US allies - defensenews.com


US senators press EU to renew Russian sanctions - defensenews.com


NATO's Stoltenberg: EU sanctions on Russia should remain - Reuters


Germany's Steinmeier favors gradual phasing-out of Russia sanctions - Reuters


Time to send ‘strong signal of accommodation’ to Russia and gradually lift sanctions: Austrian FM - RT News


Germany supports Russia's initiative on Nord Stream-2: Russian Energy Minister - TASS


Putin seeks to include China, India, Iran in fledgling Eurasian Union - Forbes


China, Russia expected to sign multibillion dollar high-speed rail deal during Putin’s visit to Beijing - South China Morning Post


Moscow starts developing heavy engine for joint Chinese-Russian airliner - TASS

 

Work on Russian-Chinese heavy helicopter autonomous from 3rd countries: deputy PM - TASS


Putin said to weigh $11-billion Rosneft sale to China, India - worldoil.com


Key economic policy players in the rival Kremlin camps - Daily Mail Online


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Focus: Russia - June 18, 2016


Putin calls on Europe to improve ties despite sanctions, 'we are willing to meet our European partners halfway' - AP


Putin: Russia ready to lift sanctions first, if certain that EU will follow suit - RT News


Russian economy overcomes recession: Putin - RT Business


Putin repeats praise of Trump for his comments on improving relations between Russia and the US, says he's a 'bright' person - POLITICO


VIDEO (and transcript): Putin speech at the Plenary session of St Petersburg International Economic Forum - President of Russia


VIDEO: Putin talks to world news agencies at St. Petersburg Economic Forum - YouTube


Putin hosts top EU official for talks in rare visit, Juncker says EU-Russia ties not broken beyond repair and must be mended - AP


Speech by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum - europa.eu


U.S. State Dept official confident EU will continue to back Russia sanctions, 'this is the price we all need to pay if we're to successfully resist Russian aggression' - rferl.org


VIDEO: U.S. State Dept official confident EU will continue to back Russia sanctions - YouTube


Ukraine furious over remarks on Russia by U.N. chief Ban - Reuters


Western leaders, CEOs visit Russia amid sanctions fatigue - AP


Calls for EU-Russia free trade agreement echo at St. Petersburg Forum - Sputnik


Italian leader Renzi wants to boost ties with Russia, says Europe and Russia share same values - ABC News


Foreign investment in Russia doubles despite sanctions, West Europeans lead - Russia Beyond The Headlines


To the first, the spoils - Western investors venture back to Russia - Reuters

 

----------------------------------------------------

Russia assails NATO's move to deploy troops near its border - AP


NATO military rotation in Eastern Europe poses threat to Russia: Envoy - Sputnik


NATO war games In Poland get Russia's attention - NPR


Russia's position regarding missile defense, NATO ignored: Putin - Sputnik


Russian lawmaker says US missile defense system deployment in Japan to affect security - TASS


Russia to watch US and NATO military activities in Black Sea: Grushko - TASS


US to Russia: We're staying in the Black Sea - Business Insider


‘I don’t need war’: Bulgarian PM rules out joining NATO flotilla in Black Sea - RT News


NATO watches warily as Russia conducts snap combat readiness test - Sputnik

 

-----------------------------------------------

Putin: New elections, not forced regime change, key for ending Syrian civil war - Fox News


Putin hopes US can convince Syrian opposition to talk with Damascus  -Sputnik


Russia failed to heed U.S. call to stop targeting Syrian rebels: U.S. - Reuters


Lavrov accuses US of sparing al-Qaeda's branch to topple Assad - Telegraph


State Department officials call for U.S. military action against Assad regime - CNNPolitics.com


Obama, despite dissent on Syria, not shifting toward strikes on Assad - Reuters


Diplomats’ dissent on Syria is a signal to their former boss Hillary Clinton - Bloomberg Politics


Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir rips White House on Syria - CNNPolitics.com


Erdogan sends letter to Putin, hopes for improved ties with Russia - Sputnik


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

 

Gorbachev Disagrees With Obama on Nukes

Mikhail Gorbachev and Barack Obama have radically different views on what is involved in doing away with nuclear weapons.

Reading Gorbachev's new book, The New Russia, is a bit disappointing, but it contains some key insights. It may also be a cure for insomnia; it's no page turner. It's part decades-long diary and travelogue, part petty self-aggrandizement (by someone in no need), and part ill-informed conservatism.

Gorby claims that Obama "honoured his promise to withdraw from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan." In fact, both are still raging, the never completed withdrawal from Iraq fell wildly short of the campaign-promise schedule, and Obama actually promised to escalate in Afghanistan, which he did, tripling the U.S. presence and making that war primarily his own in terms of deaths, days, and dollars. The fact that smart well-informed people abroad, like Gorbachev, fall for common U.S. myths is an indication of how very difficult foreign relations can be.

Why go to Russia?

By Kathy Kelly

Since 1983, Sharon Tennison has worked to develop ordinary citizens’ capacities to avert international crises, focusing on relations between the U.S. and Russia. Now, amid a rising crisis in relations between the U.S. and Russia, she has organized a delegation which assembled in Moscow yesterday for a two week visit.  I joined the group yesterday, and happened to finish reading Sharon Tennison’s book, The Power of Impossible Ideas, when I landed in Moscow.

An entry in her book, dated November 9, 1989, describes the excitement over the Berlin Wall coming down and notes that “Prior to the Wall’s removal, President Reagan assured Secretary General Gorbachev that if he would support bringing down the Wall separating East and  West Berlin, NATO would not move ‘a finger’s width’ closer to Russia than East Germany’s border. With this assurance Gorbachev gladly signed on.

Building Bridges of Peace instead of Fear-Citizen Diplomacy with Russia

By Ann Wright
 
I just flew across 11 times zones--from Tokyo, Japan to Moscow, Russia.  
 
Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, nearly twice as large as the United States and has extensive mineral and energy resources, the largest reserves in the world. Russia has the world's ninth largest population with over 146.6 million people. The population of the U.S. of 321,400,000 is more than twice as large as Russia's.  
 
I haven't been back to Russia since the early 1990s when the Soviet Union dissolved itself and allowed 14 new countries to be created from it.  At the time I was a U.S. diplomat and wanted to be a part of the historic opening of U.S. Embassies in one of the newly formed countries.  I asked to be sent to a new country in Central Asia and soon found myself in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 

Why I am Going to Russia

By David Hartsough

The US and Russian governments are pursuing dangerous policies of nuclear brinkmanship. Many people believe we are closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuba missile crisis in 1962.

Thirty-one thousand troops from the US and NATO countries are engaged in military maneuvers on the Russian border in Poland - together with tanks, military planes and missiles. The US has just activated an anti-ballistic missile site in Romania which the Russians see as part of an American first strike policy. Now the US can fire missiles with nuclear weapons at Russia, and then the anti-ballistic missiles could shoot down Russian missiles shot toward the west in response, the assumption being only the Russians would suffer from nuclear war.

A former NATO general has said he believes there will be nuclear war in Europe within a year. Russia is also threatening use of its missiles and nuclear weapons on Europe and the US if attacked.

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Tick... Tick... Tick...

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Lessons for Peace from Back in the USSR

In the early 1980s almost nobody from the United States traveled to the Soviet Union or vice versa. The Soviets wouldn't let anybody out, and good Americans were disinclined to visit the Evil Empire. But a woman in California named Sharon Tennison took the threat of nuclear war with the seriousness it deserved and still deserves. She got a group of friends together and asked the Russian consulate for permission to visit Russia, make friends, and learn.

Russia said fine. The U.S. government, in the form of the FBI and USAID, told them not to go, warned that they would not be permitted to move freely once there, and generally communicated that they, the U.S. government employees, had internalized their own propaganda. Tennison and company went anyway, had a wonderful experience, and spoke at events with slide shows upon their return, thus attracting many more people for the next trip.

Now it was Tennison's turn to brief the flabbergasted and ignorant U.S. government staff who had virtually no actual knowledge of Russia beyond what she gave them. This was back in the day when President Ronald "Is this a film or reality?" Reagan said that 20 million dead Americans would be acceptable in a war. Yet the so-called intelligence so-called community didn't know its assets from its elbows. War as a "last resort" was being considered without having considered literally any other resorts. Someone had to step in, and Sharon Tennison decided she'd try.

Those first trips took courage, to defy the U.S. government, and to operate in a Soviet Union still monitored by a nasty KGB. But the Americans went with friendship, were generally permitted to go wherever they wanted, and encountered friendship in return. They also encountered knowledge of cultural differences, the influences of history, political and social habits both admirable and lamentable. They became, in fact, a bridge between two worlds, experts on each for the other.

They expanded their work as Gorbachev came to power and the USSR opened up. They hired staff and opened offices in both countries. They sponsored and facilitated all variety of exchanges from art schools to Rotary clubs to police officers to environmentalists. They began bringing Russians to the United States as well as the reverse. They spoke all over the United States, even -- in some examples Tennison gives in her book The Power of Impossible Ideas -- converting gung-ho members of the U.S. weapons industry into volunteers and staff (in one case a man lost his job at General Dynamics as penalty for associating with them, but this freed him to more closely associate).

Focus: NATO and Russia - May 13, 2016


New US missile defense system Aegis Ashore goes live in Russia's back yard - CBS News


NATO press release: Key missile defence site declared operational - NATO


VIDEO: NATO Secretary General at inaugural ceremony of Aegis Ashore, Romania - NATO


VIDEO: Joint press Conference following the Aegis Ashore ceremony - NATO


New NATO supreme commander vows tough line on Russia, says alliance should arm Ukraine - AFP


Commander: NATO needs to be ready to fight Russia ‘tonight' - The Daily Caller


Permanent US armored force in Europe would better deter Russia: NATO commander - Reuters


The U.S. Army’s war over Russia, group of dissenters say they’re overreacting to get a bigger share of the defense budget - POLITICO


Chuck Hagel to next US President: Talk to Putin, Former Defense Secretary warns against ‘cold war buildup’ as NATO deploys in Europe’s eastern flank - atlanticcouncil.org


Poll shows Americans say the U.S. 'should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own', but Washington wants to intervene... everywhere - The Daily Caller


POLL: Key findings on how Americans view the U.S. role in the world - Pew Research Center

 

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Russia calls new U.S. missile shield in Romania a ‘direct threat' - NBC News


Russia rejects US claims about ‘threat’ of Iran’s missiles - Tasnim News Agency


Russia is taking countermeasures against US missile defense in Europe: Kremlin - TASS

 

Russian media: 5 reasons why US antimissiles in Europe threaten Russia - RT News


Putin: Russia to encourage defense industry enterprises - TASS

 

Putin to hold third meeting on development of Russian defense sector - TASS

 

Putin ally accuses new NATO general of stoking ‘war hysteria' - newsweek.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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