Over the last few years we have seen an increasing crescendo of Western media implicating Russia in wars of aggression, threats to its neighbours and more recently involvement in gas attacks in both Syria and now the U.K.
Russia as one of the major international suppliers of natural gas and oil , is like Iran ( and previously Iraq and Libya) , one of the few states not aligned to Western corporate interests. And like China, (a major oil importer) operates a defence arsenal -both conventional and nuclear, which is largely independent of Western suppliers.
After the breakup of the Soviet bloc in the 1990s, and the resultant Yeltsin years of asset stripping by newly emergent Russian “oligarchs” and Western companies, Russia under Putin has slowly regained some of the strengths it had acquired as a communist nation. But this time with a much stronger ethnic Russian flavour, as the Baltic states and many of the Eastern ‘Stans’ of Soviet times, devolved from the newly formed Russian Federation .
Western interests had intended that any Russian resurgence would be minimal and closely aligned to Western corporates. However President Putin’s presidency has had a strong focus on Russian nationalism, independence and self-reliance-all anathema to Western ‘think-tank” and government foreign policy planners..
With NATO pushing hard against Russian borders in the West, and the Polish and Baltic states electing ever more nationalist governments, Russia has responded with increasing its defence arsenal – both nuclear and conventional. The capabilities of many of these new weapons , like the Kalibr cruise missile and the newly announced Russian hyperspeed missiles have come as a surprise to Western defence analysts. Russia’s military successes in supporting the government of Syria against the Western and Gulf State supported jihadists attempting to overthrow the Syrian regime have also confounded Western military analysts. Russia’s brief war on its borders in Ossetia and in Georgia and its seizure of the Crimea and its centuries old Russian naval base there, after Western intervention in the Ukraine , also came as a surprise to those in the West who expected easy victories there.
However what is much more of a threat to Western interests than all of the above, is Russia’s capacity to be an overland ( and thus secure) conduit for China’s vast consumer production to Europe and beyond . Bizarrely though, it is the military and economic pressure by the West which has cemented the alliance between China and Russia and further enabled the “One Belt One Road” project . In addition, this reinvigorated Russo/Chinese alliance will ensure China’s access in the long-term to essential oil for its factories which is not at risk from maritime attack or blockade by the U.S. or its allies.
While Russian capacity to understand or even work as an equal partner with its ever-more-powerful eastern neighbour is currently limited- this China/Russia alliance has enormous future consequences for global trade and dominance ( should global warming and environmental destruction not impede or destroy world capacity for human ‘progress” in the meantime!)
While the U.S. remains the largest economic, and by far the largest military power in the world; that power is indisputably waning. Endless fruitless wars have drained its coffers, as well as inflicting enormous suffering on so many of the world’s populations. Rampant corruption at all levels of American society, but particularly in Washington, has left government and strategic vision entirely in the hands of greedy corporates, whose only ‘vision’ is more power and money for themselves. It’s strongest ally, the U.K. has long suffered from the loss of income from the colonial states it is now largely unable to ravage, but its moneyed classes hold still to a vision of a truly “Great” Britain. The “City of London” , the mercantile capital of the world in many respects, has reaped, and continues to reap, enormous profits from the largely illegal siphoning of capital from what were once the state enterprises of the Soviet Union into London’s coffers, via Russian ‘oligarchs‘ . The British press and politicians like to portray these “oligarchs’ as “Putin’s men” , whereas in most instances they are extremely anti-Putin because of Putin’s nationalist views and his desire for Russian money to stay inside Russia .
The recent Kemerovo mall fire tragedy in Siberia, with its obvious implications of corruption and negligence at the Siberian governorship level, will both require and assist Putin to further crack down on corruption in Russia.
Now, entrance the ‘Novichok’ affair…Moon of Alabama and Craig Murray, among many others, have effectively destroyed any argument by London’s ‘ruling classes’ , that this was indisputably a Russian government initiated nerve agent attempted murder of a Russian ex double agent and his Russian daughter. However what seems often missed in these accounts of the counter-arguments to the British Government’s spin on the attempted murders is the extraordinarily implausible likelihood that such nerve agent deaths would not only occur within a few kilometers of Britain’s only Chemical Weapons facility at Porton Down near Salisbury, (where disgusting and inhumane activities are carried out in the name of the Western world, and in direct contravention of the U.K.s obligations as a signatory to the UN Conventions on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons), but that a few weeks before, the BCC had aired a British /American spy drama called “Strike Back” in which Novichok was used by a disgruntled ex-Russian spy. The laws of probability say that those two events, and the actual attempted murders, cannot be coincidence. Now add in into the mix the current controversy over Facebook personal details being leaked to benefit Trump’s presidential campaign by SCL subsidiary , Cambridge Analytica. As Bella Caledonia notes: SCL is a very British company dedicated (and funded by the British Ministry of Defence) to manipulate public opinion in a multitude of foreign and domestic environments. There in Bella Caledonia’s post you will note that in 2005 SCL ” went public with a glitzy exhibit at the DSEI conference, the UK’s largest showcase for military technology. It’s ‘hard sell’ was a demonstration of how the UK government could use a sophisticated media campaign of mass deception to fool the British people into the thinking an accident at a chemical plant had occurred and threatened central London.” And the Novichok affair gets rather messier for Western ‘intelligence’ here..
As SCL notes on its website: ‘SCL is experienced in using data driven communication to achieve behavioral change in civilian groups. National programs across the spectrum from social programs, health campaigns, and educational initiatives can all be designed using advanced data analytics informed by our behavioral tools. SCL combines the micro-segmentation data from the target audience and combines it with behavioural profiles to increase the effectiveness of information campaigns.’
Hmmm- might a display of ‘novichok” in some quiet little British city be helpful in pushing the case that Russia ( and instrumentally Vladimir Putin) is indeed the demon we have always thought her to be? And here is the ‘proof’ in 5 slides that Her Majesty’s Government was able to persuade its NATO allies that Russia did indeed do the deed. Demonstrably we are indeed talking about totally incompetent UK politicians , defence planners and easily bought NATO allies here…
And finally, with the appointment of the psychopath John Bolton as the new U.S. National Security Advisor, whose only known diplomatic strategy is to kill people he doesn’t like in vast quantities, we have the capacity for those with very limited intellectual capacity to destroy the earth (in a nuclear armageddon) much earlier than planned….
And Country Joe’s song is just as relevant now as it was then in 1969…
Gareth Porter provides a possible alternative explanation as to why the purported Novichok nerve agent did not immediately kill the Skripal’s, as it should have done.