Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Alleged Plan B

Posted: September 19, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

by: Lech Biegalski

 

Partition of Syria has always been plan „A” for the US. Now, it has been renamed as Plan „B”, but it still is the same plan. The US wants to control the NE part of Syria for two, and only two reasons:

1.That’s where the Syrian oil and gas deposits are located;
2.That’s where the projected new pipelines, connecting the Gulf States through Turkey to Europe, are to merge.

 

Map A: The oil corridor between Oman and Turkey

 

Map B: Oil and natural gas deposits around Baku

 

The situation in Syria is part of the attempt, by the West, to control crude oil and natural gas reserves, as well as to control pipeline corridors connecting Arab and Azerbaijani oil and gas fields with Europe. These projected pipelines are planned by American oil companies. On their side are the producers (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Azerbaijan) as well as the transit countries (Turkey, Ukraine). This explains why the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar support terrorists attempting to destabilize Syria.

https://regionpojezierze.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/rurociagi1.jpg?w=640&h=480

In map C, the blue lines represent existing and projected Russian pipelines, the red lines represent the existing and projected Western pipelines.

(Please see the Updates at the bottom of this article for new developments)

One look at Map C, above, shows that projected pipeline corridors from Azerbaijan have to run through Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, with Ignushetia, Dagestan and Chechnya, then through Crimea, Ukraine and Moldova. There was a big push by the West to incite color revolutions, armed rebellions, regime changes and wars along this route in order to control these pipeline corridors. All these „revolutions”, „rebellions”, and wars were not a coincidence. They happened along these pipeline corridors for a reason.

Pipelines running from the Arab countries on both sides of Persian Gulf have to tap into the reserves in Yemen, Oman, U.A.E., Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, before entering Turkey on their way to Europe. And this explains why we have war in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, as well as pressure on Iran. Now, (June 2017), also pressure on Qatar.

Russia has invested a lot of money into its existing pipelines to Europe and Russia does not want to lose the European energy markets. Therefore, Russia is blocking the western projected Baku pipelines along the Georgia-Chechnya-Dagestan-Ignushetia-South Ossetia-Abkhazia-Armenia line, then on the line of Crimea-Doneck-Luhansk-Kharkiv, with some attempts to secure its interests in Moldova. It is also blocking the Persian Gulf pipelines in Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

Now, look at maps A and C, above, and locate the huge crude oil i natural gas deposits along the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, mainly in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, as well as in Uzbekistan. If only these energy resources could be sold and shipped eastward, to India and China, somebody would make a lot of money, again. To achieve this goal, that somebody needs to run pipelines through Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and yes, through Afghanistan and Pakistan. Isn’t it a lucky coincidence that in those countries, along these projected pipeline corridors, we also had a series of color revolutions, a putsch in Pakistan, and a major war in Afghanistan, where we now have US military bases making sure that the project runs smoothly?

There is no mystery about it, it’s realpolitik and lots of money are involved. Color revolutions and armed rebellions just don’t happen because the people have had enough of the existing regimes. Wars don’t happen to „help the poor Afghani women” or to „protect civilians.” They are carefully planned and manufactured, usually from abroad and always for economic objectives.

In short, Russia is attempting to protect the existing status quo, while the US and its allies are trying to change it. This is why the US and its allies must organize revolutions, rebellions, and wars, and must break international law, employ proxies, and sponsor terrorists. Russia, on the other hand, uses international law to prevent changes and defend its interests.

The name of the game is who is going to sell oil and natural gas to Europe, who the transit countries are going to be, and who is going to run and control the pipelines. The NE corner of Syria is what the Americans want to control, as this is where the two pipelines running from the Persian Gulf are to merge. It also contains the Syrian deposits of oil and natural gas.

In NE Syria, the US forces are enlarging a small rural airstrip near Rmaylan, establishing military bases, and concentrating their ground troops. Terrorists sponsored by the US and their allies attempt to carve out NE Syria by developing strongholds along the Euphrates River (Jarbulus, Manbij, Sarrin, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zur). This is also where the US is planning some kind of Kurdish entity, of course with a government friendly to Washington and its plans.

Such is the real truth. It’s the gas, the oil, and the pipelines. And lots of lettuce. The rest of the story is a smoke and mirrors, diversion, and propaganda.

 

Major Russian gas pipelines (click to enlarge)

Yamal – Europe pipeline

Nord Stream

South Stream

Nabucco and South Stream pipelines

 

 

 

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George Soros’s worst nightmare is about to become a reality in a key European country – France.

Francois Fillon, former French prime minister and member of Les Republicains political party, delivers his speech after partial results in the second round for the French center-right presidential primary election in Paris, France, November 27, 2016.

In an interview to Le Monde, the likeliest winner of the coming presidential election Francois Fillon called NATO’s promise in 2008 to take in Georgia and Ukraine as “irresponsible.” For Soros, who in his recent article saw Europe as a battleground for a Manichean fight between “democrats” and “dictators,” this must be a sure sign of “Europe falling under the influence of Vladimir Putin.”

In reality, Russia’s hopes for France are much more modest. They are nothing like the monsters which Mr. Soros creates in his imagination. Contrary to the fake generalizations in the mainstream press, Russia has been looking for understanding not so much in the so called far-right parties inside the EU countries as in the established “center” of European politics. Francois Fillon and his Gaullist party The Republicans represent exactly that – the moderate “right of center” in the French politics.

In the years that followed the worsening of relations with the West after the Kiev coup in 2014, Russia invited even the former president Nicolas Sarkozy, the main architect of the Western intervention in Libya, to several forums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The aim was not “to dominate Europe,” but to find in France a minimally sensible politician, who would not see Russia as a “clear and present danger” (a preferred expression of French Russophobes). Finding such politicians in France would set a stage for a dialogue – an antonym to Mr. Soros’s “color revolutions,” touted by the Western media and despised by the people in the “revolutionized” countries, from Syria and Serbia to Georgia and Ukraine.

This aim of a dialogue could not be achieved through the cruel and duplicitous Sarkozy, who only advised Russia to remove its countersanctions against Western foodstuffs “in a gesture of goodwill.” (Many a previous gesture of this kind from Russia did not deter NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders or any other hostile moves from the US and the EU.) But Russia suddenly found a lot of sympathy among the less elitist French politicians, who represented the pragmatic interests of French business, and not the imperial designs of “spreading democracy” around the globe.

In April 2016, the French parliament, the National Assembly, recommended the lifting of sanctions against Russia.

And now Francois Fillon, an unexpected winner of the primaries in the French rightist party The Republicans, is voicing similar ideas about EU-Russian relations in general. To an unbiased observer, these truths are simple enough to be coming out of the mouth of babes, but for the mainstream media they are dangerous heresies.

“Has the West always been a reliable partner for Russia?” Fillon asked himself rhetorically during a recent interview to Le Monde daily. “Didn’t we deceive Russia on Libya, on Kosovo, on the economic partnership with the EU?”

Despite his previous characterizations of Russia as a “dangerous” country, Fillon obviously went beyond the limits of the European mainstream on Russia when he called NATO’s invitation for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO in future “irresponsible.”

“Why did we need to deploy anti-missile defense right near the Russian border? We made a lot of mistakes,” Fillon said in that same interview.

Instead of countering Mr. Fillon by arguments, French politicians and mainstream media prefers “trolling” him by alleging he has “personal connections” to Russia. So far, the only revealed connections were Mr. Fillon’s two visits to Russia in the framework of the Valdai Discussion Club (an organization bringing together people with all kinds of views on Russia, including some very critical ones). Also, Fillon and Putin were prime ministers of France and Russia respectively in 2008-2010 and as such they exchanged a few friendly messages. So much for “personal connections.”

This, however, did not deter Alain Juppe, Fillon’s rival during the primaries of the French right, to “warn” his adversary against “excess of vodka during his meetings with Putin.”

This cheap insult, however, did not play well with voters, who preferred Fillon to Juppe, making the former prime minister the main candidate of the center-right Republicans.

The lesson also did not go down well with Manuel Valls, the former Socialist prime minister, who is going through the leftist primaries right now in the hope of challenging Fillon later this year during the presidential election. Valls said he would “defend France against both the United States of Trump and Putin’s Russia” if elected the president.

Will Russophobia play out for Mr. Valls? There is a strong doubt about this. Valls has already lost the first tour of Socialist primaries to the little known “red and green” candidate Benoit Hamon.

“People like Valls just don’t understand that there is a certain fatigue about business as usual in Europe, and Russophobia is a part of the business as usual there,” said Gevorg Mirzayan, a specialist on foreign relations at the Institute of US and Canada in Moscow.

Hopefully, the Russophobic part of the business as usual will come to an end. Russia wants only as much as that – and legitimately.

The US Army will deploy to Europe several units in support of NATO’s Ukraine-focused Operation Atlantic Resolve.
 The US Army will deploy to Europe several units in support of NATO’s Ukraine-focused Operation Atlantic Resolve, the Army said in a press release Thursday.
“The Department of the Army announced today the deployment of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division with approximately 1,750 soldiers and the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division with roughly 4,000 soldiers to Europe this winter in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve,” the release stated.
The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade is headed to Germany and the 3rd Armored Brigade will operate throughout Poland and the Baltic states.
Russia has repeatedly warned that in amassing troops and military equipment as well as conducting exercises on its borders, the United States and NATO are engaging in aggression that could disturb regional and global stability.
China is boosting its railway projects as part of its comprehensive One Belt, One Road initiative; while some experts point to the fact that maritime transportation remains relatively cheaper than railroad transits, others draw attention to geostrategic goals pursued by Beijing.

Transporting China’s goods to Europe by rail is more expensive than sending them by sea; however, China is investing in the development of land routes to Europe through Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia pursuing certain geostrategic goals, Ivan Zuenko, a research fellow at Far Eastern Federal University, writes in his article for Carnegie Moscow Center.

According to Zuenko, although trains deliver goods from China to Asia and Europe faster than cargo ships, the cost of railway transportation remains relatively high.
For instance, the academic notes, it costs about $6,000 to deliver a container from China to Europe by train, six times more expensive than to transport the same container via sea lanes.
Zuenko also draws attention to the fact that the cargo flow via land corridors amounts to just 1-2 percent of overall freight traffic.
However, Beijing is increasing its investment in railway transportation, developing new land routes and indemnifies state companies exploiting Eurasian railroads against losses as part of its comprehensive One Road, One Belt initiative.
For instance, in the first half of 2015 the Department of Transportation of the city of Wuhan transferred almost $4.5 million to compensate a state-owned company using the train route Wuhan-Xinjiang — Europe for losses, Zuenko remarks, adding that similar mechanisms are being implemented in other regions of China.
“If for some reasons Beijing stops subsidizing land logistics, the prospects of its further development would become bleak,” the scholar believes.
However, Chinese media outlet Global Times argues that the railway represents a viable option for modern supply chain.
“Due to the supply glut in the global shipping industry, shipping companies have actually slowed down their ships to cut costs, with many ships spending two months at the sea. More time at sea means companies will have to maintain larger inventories, which freezes up more of their assets and shortens the shelf life of their goods,” the media outlet explained.
The media outlet pointed out that information technology has drastically changed the way modern trade works, stressing that it is now characterized by “smaller orders, multiple dispatches and high delivery frequencies.”
For his part, John D. Schulz of Logistics Management magazine emphasizes that “the new Silk Road promises to shave weeks and perhaps thousands of dollars off each shipment, both ways, from Western Europe to China and Hong Kong. Currently by ocean that 28,000-mile round trip typically takes upwards of 30 days.”
What lies at the root of China’s One Belt, One Road strategy?
According to Zuenko, there are at least four reasons why Beijing is developing the land logistics in Eurasia.
First, the Chinese leadership is trying to overcome a temporary slowdown in the country’s economy by engaging local companies in infrastructure projects; second, Beijing is expanding its sphere of influence in the continent; third, China is interested in developing its poor western peripheries; and, finally, a network of Eurasian railroads may mitigate the potential risk of the US blocking China’s sea trade.
Indeed, global intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor) noted in its 2015 analytical report that “in the case of a war between the United States and China, many US strategists favor imposing a distant blockade of Chinese waters.”
“China’s economy is dependent on foreign trade, 90 percent of which travels by sea,” the report stressed; “The strategy behind the Belt and Road Initiative is to diversify transit lines, thereby mitigating China’s vulnerability to external economic disruption.”
The forecast takes on a new significance in the light of the US’ pressure imposed on China in the South China Sea.
In his interview with Sputnik, Mathew Maavak, geostrategic analyst and doctoral candidate in Security Foresight at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), underscored that China’s land routes, running through Russia, Mongolia and the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will ensure trade security and cultural exchange between the countries along the “silk roads.”
“To ensure geo-economic autarky, the RIC nations [Russia, India, China] should prioritize trade routes within their borders — to the extent possible. The safest trade routes in the near-future would look something like the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor,” Maavak told Sputnik.

Despite claims that Western sanctions against Russia are working, Russian counter-sanctions on Europe are proving to be even more effective and if any Western policymaker still harbors the thought of cornering or containing Russia, it should be obvious that Russia is too big and savvy for that, according to a Malaysia-based political analyst.

Malaysia-based political analyst Bunn Nagara, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Malaysia) has provided his analysis on the overall effect of the anti-Russian sanctions and Russia’s counter-measures on Europe.

“Even though Western sanctions are often said to work on Russia, Russian sanctions on Europe are proving to be even more effective,” Bunn Nagara states in his article for the Malaysian daily The Star Online.

The political analyst further notes that Western skepticism is rising regarding the utility of sanctions against Russia having any effect.

First, he cites as an example the recent thaw in relations between Moscow and Turkey, which was hit hard by Russia’s punitive measures following the downing of Russia’s fighter jet in Syria.

The price of “Russian sanctions against Turkey over a range of industries, from food and apparel to travel, construction and energy, was estimated at $10bln (RM40.2bln) or more,” he says, adding that it prompted Recep Tayyip Erdogan to seek a personal meeting with his “friend Vladimir”.

However there are other NATO member states, which are seeking rapprochement with Moscow.

Polish farmers and horticulturists protest in Warsaw
Polish farmers and horticulturists protest in Warsaw

Nagara notes that NATO has revived its idea ofa NATO-Russia Council and is eager to see it meet in Russia again; however Moscow now says that it would only do so on the condition that the talks respected Russia’s national interests.

Among the European states, Greece and Italy were hit particularly hard. Greek and Cypriot officials visited Moscow last year, while Austrian and Hungarian leaders did so earlier this year.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced Italy’s intention to enhance economic ties with Russia. He also expressed hope that EU-Russia relations would improve.

In early June, French lawmakers voted 302 to 16 to lift sanctions against Russia. Moscow’s counter-sanctions had also hit a range of French industries and hurt the country’s economy.

French livestock farmers gather near burning palettes to protest falling prices near at a toll booth on the autoroute in Ancenis, western France, January 27, 2016
French livestock farmers gather near burning palettes to protest falling prices near at a toll booth on the autoroute in Ancenis, western France, January 27, 2016

“German businesses have been at least as concerned about the impact of sanctions against themselves,” the political analyst says, adding that “no less than the German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister have been floating the prospect of rolling back sanctions against Russia.”

Another example of the Western eagerness to restore relations with Russia is their attitude towards St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) which was held in the mid-June.

“For the past two years, Western attendance at the SPIEF was low to nil. As two-way sanctions bit deep, Western businesses could stand it no longer and returned to the forum in hopes of getting back to business as usual,” he notes.

US officials tried to persuade American business leaders to stay away again but failed, he further adds. Bosses of US corporations like ExxonMobil joined their European counterparts in Russia again this year.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission has also visited the forum despite the pressure from the US, what came as the highest-level visit by an EU official since 2014.

Farmers and dairy farmers from all over Europe take part in a demonstration outside an European Union farm ministers emergency meeting at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium September 7, 2015.
Farmers and dairy farmers from all over Europe take part in a demonstration outside an European Union farm ministers emergency meeting at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium September 7, 2015.

At the events in St. Petersburg Italian Prime Minister Renzi actively encouraged joint ventures between Italy and Russia. Italian and Russian companies signed business deals even as he spoke.

Besides, the analyst says, late last month, Putin was in Slovenia, an EU and NATO member, calling for closer Russia-EU relations. Western media saw it as a test of EU resolve.

Two days later, Hungary said Russia was no threat to NATO countries. Slovakia added that sanctions against Russia should be removed.

Meanwhile, Russia has turned Eastwards, he further notes.“Days after the SPIEF, Putin was in New Delhi on the sidelines of this year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Tashkent,” he says.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Putin for Russia’s support and pledged as chair of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) to maintain the momentum that Russia had begun, he adds.

“Within hours, Putin was in Beijing, observing that Russia and China would continue coordinating their largely common positions on international platforms like the UN, the SCO and BRICS.”

This visit, just prior to Hangzhou summit, touched on diplomatic, political and economic interests. It involved 50 documents covering 58 business projects valued at $50 bln (RM201bln), with Russia’s oil and gas sector prominent.

Already, 12 of the projects are said to be underway. Among those still to begin is a joint venture in aviation to produce passenger jets that could rival Boeing and Airbus.

Notably, he points out, Russia and China have now agreed to expand mutual payments in their respective national currencies rather than the dollar.

“In apparently taking a cue from this move, Erdogan has suggested to Putin that trade between Turkey and Russia be in their own currencies rather than the dollar,” he notes.

All the above, the author concludes keeps Russia “ahead of the curve in the sanctions game.”

Evidently, traditional “weapons” like sanctions and military preparedness cannot work fully as intended, he says.

Diplomatic ploys and political gambits can be at least as important.

It is however hard with “a country the size and economic weight of Russia.”

“If any Western policymaker still harbors the thought of cornering or containing Russia, it should be obvious that Russia is too big and savvy for that,” he states.

Adding that the Western leaders should have understood by now that President  Putin “would not be the first to blink”.

The leading Danish newspaper Politiken has analyzed Russo-European relations, and concluded that Europe has missed its chance to revive close and respectful ties with Russia due to its arrogant, provocative bullying advocated by the US.

“If Western Europe is striving for peace and stability, it should not interfere in the sphere of interests of the superpower to its East,” says the recent article in Politiken.

The outlet further states that Russia holds a special status and as such should be granted certain leeway in its geopolitical ‘neighborhood’. Other superpowers simply demand such flexibility as the most natural thing in the world, it adds.It cites as an example the US, with its Monroe Doctrine, which stated that any efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression necessitating US intervention.

The newspaper states that there is no “Russian Monroe Doctrine,” however there is the “very extensive experience” gained by Moscow over the last 300 years. This, it contends, underscores that if you give Russia certain liberties in the region which is now Poland, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Belarus and Ukraine, it will become a stable and constructive player in European politics, just as the US in the Western hemisphere.

The newspaper also cites as an example the Congress of Vienna (1814-1915), which endeavored to establish a peace plan for Europe and resize the main European powers “so that they could balance each other out and remain at peace.”

It says that if not for Russia’s advocacy at that time, Denmark would have been “deleted from the political map”.

Despite any claims which emerge from time to time, Politiken says, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Russia had ever wanted to expand beyond its national neighborhood and subdue any territory within Western Europe up to the Atlantic Ocean.

Suggestions to the contrary are merely geopolitical fantasies made up by paranoid Americans, who insist that Russians are the only Europeans whom they really respect and treat as equals, it says.

Their contention, according to the newspaper, is that the Russian nation is their mirror image and thus it can’t be stopped until it reaches the Ocean.

The reality of the matter is quite the opposite: the Soviet Union voluntarily returned the Danish Island of Bornholm back to Denmark in 1946, claiming nothing in return, after its brief occupation in May 1945, when Soviet troops landed there to defeat the German garrison which captured the island in 1940.

No nation in the world, the outlet says, could have prevented the Soviet Union from staying on Bornholm forever at that time, it notes.

In the very same manner, the Russians had withdrawn from different parts of Norway which they had taken just before the end on the Second World War, it relays.

Problems with Russia only occur when a foreign power encroaches upon its neighboring areas, just as countries can’t expect to get away with interfering in US interests in Cuba, Mexico or elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere, including Greenland.

Interference into Russia’s geopolitical neighborhood was exactly what Western Europe, with the help of the US, has been largely practicing since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Instead of cautiously waiting as the wounded, giddy, but by no means vanquished superpower regained its balance amid the sudden independence of neighboring states like Belarus and Ukraine, Europe rushed to embrace the Baltic countries, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.Some of them were first included into NATO and then the EU. TEurope then was at one point openly toying with the idea of linking both Belarus and Ukraine to NATO and the EU.

Thus due to its incredibly arrogant, bullying and provocative policy, Western Europe had missed its historic opportunity to restore the respectful, close and trusting relationship with the great power to its East as it did back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Doing so would have absolutely been possible after the collapse of the Soviet Union back in 1991.

It would have prepared Europe for the day, which everyone knew would come, when the United States is no longer prepared to deploy large forces in Europe, and Western Europe is left to face the Russians alone, it concludes.

Instead, deprived of any idea of Russia’s historic role in Europe and convinced of the notion that weapons and soldiers are the only solution to any foreign policy issue, Western Europe had failed to remain on guard.

Instead of acting in its own interests, it had led its people into a political quagmire which threatens to engulf them all.

Michael Hudson says that the US-led confrontational approach of NATO with Russia is driving European countries to consider disbanding or leaving the military alliance due to increased security risks
By Michael Hudson

Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Washington.
President Obama met with NATO leaders in Warsaw last weekend to what seemed like a restatement of vows to protect Europe. Let’s take a listen to what the president had to say.

BARACK OBAMA: In this challenging moment, I want to take this opportunity to state clearly what will never change. And that is the unwavering commitment of the United States to the security and defense of Europe, to our transatlantic relationship, to our commitment to our common defense. Throughout my time in office, one of my top foreign policy priorities has been to strengthen our alliances, especially with NATO. And as I reflect on the past eight years, both the progress and the challenges, I can say with confidence that we’ve delivered on that promise. The United States has increased our presence here in Europe. NATO is as strong, as nimble, and as ready as ever.

DESVARIEUX: So ready that the president will be sending 1,000 troops to Poland as one of four battalions that are being sent to countries bordering Russia. But what is really at the heart of this matter? Are these just tactics by the U.S. leading to an escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russia? And what role should NATO be playing in maintaining a balanced Europe?
Now joining us to help us answer these questions is our guest, Michael Hudson. Michael is a Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He’s also the author of many books, including his latest, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy. Thank you so much for joining us, Michael.

MICHAEL HUDSON: It’s good to be here.

DESVARIEUX: So, Michael, we just heard President Obama pledging his allegiance to protecting Europe. Does Europe really need protecting, though?
HUDSON: Well, as soon as Obama made those words, there was a fury of European statements saying that Obama and NATO was making Europe less secure. The French prime minister, Francois Hollande, says that we don’t need NATO. NATO has no role to play in our Russian relations. That leaders of the two major German parties, both the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, said that NATO was warmongering. Gorbachev came out and said the world has never been closer to nuclear war than it is at present. William Perry, the former head of the Pentagon in the mid-90s, said that NATO was threatening and trying to provoke atomic war in Europe.
And one of Russia’s leading military strategists said here’s what the problem is: NATO wants to move bombers and atomic weapons right up to the border of Russia. That means that if they launch over us, we have only a few seconds to retaliate. President Putin a little while ago had given a speech saying that Russia doesn’t really have a land army. In fact, today, no country in the world, in the Northern Hemisphere, at least, has a land army that can invade anywhere. Try to imagine America being invaded by Canada, or by Mexico on its borders. You can’t imagine it. Impossible. No democracy can afford a land army anymore because the costs are so high that the costs of mounting a land war will just impoverish the economy.
As a matter of fact, what NATO is trying to do is to goad Russia into building up an army so it can undercut its economy by diverting more and more resources away from the economy towards the military. Russia’s not falling for it. Putin said that Russia has no intention of mounting a land army. It is unthinkable that it could even want to invade the Baltics or Poland. But Putin did say we have one means of retaliation, and that’s atomic bombs. Atomic weapons are basically defensive. They’re saying, we don’t need an army anymore. Nor does any country need an army if they have an atomic weapon, because if you attack us we’ll wipe you out. And we’ll be wiped out, too, but you’re never going to be able to conquer us. And no country, really, can conquer any other country. Russia can’t conquer Europe.
So the effect, Putin and the Russian leaders have said, look, if they suppose that an American plane goes a little bit off, like, you know, the ships try to provoke things, we don’t know whether it’s an atomic attack at all. We can’t take a risk. If there’s a little bit of a movement against us, we’re going to launch the hydrogen bombs, and there goes Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Brussels. That’s why you’re having all of these warnings. And Europe is absolutely terrified that Obama is going to destabilize. And even more terrified of Hillary getting in, who’s indicated she’s going to appoint a superhawk, the Cheney protege Flournoy, as Secretary of Defense, and appoint Nuland, Victoria Nuland, as Secretary of State.
And all throughout Europe–I’ve been in Germany twice in the last two months, and they’re really worried that somehow America is telling Europe, let’s you and Russia fight. And basically it’s a crisis.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. Michael, I want to get back to your point about how we’re seeing this narrative develop about a potential nuclear war on the horizon. And it seems like it’s quite real. This is not just conjecture, here. We have U.S. and Russia’s military forces warning that a nuclear war is nearer than ever before.
So let’s talk about interests, here. On either side, let’s be as specific as possible, and call a spade a spade. In whose interest is it to keep up this narrative? Because I’m sure there are people not just in the United States that profit from this, but also in Russia. Can you speak to that?

HUDSON: Well, one of the points made at the NATO meetings was NATO urged countries not to rely on Russian weaponry. There was an insistence by Obama that the NATO countries spend 2 percent of their GDP on NATO, on arms, mainly by buying arms from American military manufacturers, Raytheon, Boeing and the others.
Now, look at what’s happening in Europe. It’s not even growing 2 percent because of the austerity that’s being imposed on it. So 2 percent is the entire annual economic growth in Europe. This large amount has to be spent on American arms. So it turns out that this sabre-rattling to Russia merely means, is a means of obliging the European countries to pay the United States arms manufacturers for goods, and to basically hold you up, Europe up for ransom, saying if you don’t be a part of this, we’re not going to defend you, and Europe is saying, well you know, we really don’t need defense. We’d rather have an economic relationship with Russia. Especially the Germans say, we don’t want the sanctions. The Italians say, we don’t want the sanctions. We don’t want you to make money off Russia. Buy from us, not from Russia. Buy your agricultural goods and your other goods from us, from countries in the dollar orbit, not from the Russian orbit.
And that, essentially, is what Obama meant by the reset. It meant a new Cold War, but the essence of the Cold War is to fight in the new way, which is a financial war, with the military only being a kind of catalyst for the financial warfare between the United States on the one hand. And it’s now–the first effect of the reset–was to drive Russia into an alliance with China. And now, NATO may be overplaying this right-wing hand so much that it’s driving Germany and Italy and France out of NATO. That is the effect this is–what it’s doing is rather effective.

DESVARIEUX: Michael, what about on the Russian side? There are interests that are encouraging this reset?

HUDSON: They had hoped that the reset would mean a winding down of military. Russia would like to use, every country would like to use more of its resources for the domestic economy, not for the military overhead. And in a way, America is trying to force Russia to spend more on overhead as part of its economic warfare with Russia.
This is Brzezinski’s plan in Afghanistan, you know, way under the Carter administration. If you can force Russia to pay more for its military to defend Afghanistan, then its economy would buckle and you’ll have discontent there. And then the Americans can come in and promote nationalist and other localist breakups, and try to break up Russia just as America is trying to push a breakup of China as a long-term strategy. And this is going–there’s no way that this cannot backfire on the United States.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. Let’s talk about what everyday people could do to move away from accepting this narrative, or move away from this potential reset that President Obama is proposing? What policy decisions could be made to de-escalate this tension?

HUDSON: Essentially to dissolve NATO, which France has been pushing now for many years. There’s no need for NATO now that there’s no threat of any military invasion anymore. Remember after World War II, NATO was put up when there was a thought that, well, the first idea is European countries should never go to war with each other again. There will never be war between France, Germany, Italy. That’s been solved. There’s no way in which European countries would go to war.
The second thing was, well, what if Russia would re-invade like it did when it fought against Hitler? Well, there’s no danger of Russia invading anymore. In fact, in 1990, when the Soviet Union broke up, the Ukraine passed a resolution that it wanted to remain neutral and benefit from its sort of neutral pivot between Russia and Europe. And the United States put $5 billion into Ukraine, and spurred a lot of nationalist revolution. And so it took the United States 20 years to turn that around and to somehow break up this neutrality.
So the U.S. strategy is to prevent neutrality. Europe’s economic interest is to achieve neutrality with Russia, and have economic unity so that there’s little chance of any confrontation with Russia as there is among the European countries themselves.