Putin Tells It Like It Is

A Note from Paul Craig Roberts:

At the final plenary session of the 12th Annual Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club on October 22, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that Washington relies not on diplomacy, discussion, and compromise, but on lies and coercion and treats its allies not as allies but as vassals. Putin described the folly of Washington’s plan to “fight terrorism” while using the terrorists to overthrow governments that refuse to be Washington’s vassals.

Every time I read a Putin speech, I encounter a highly intelligent and moral person who is trying to lead the world to peace and away from war.

20:45
Sochi

This topic of this year’s Valdai conference is Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow’s World. In the period between October 19 and 22, experts from 30 countries have been considering various aspects of the perception of war and peace both in the public consciousness and in international relations, religion and economic interaction between states.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to greet you here at this regular meeting of the Valdai International Club.

It is true that for over 10 years now this has been a platform to discuss the most pressing issues and consider the directions and prospects for the development of Russia and the whole world. The participants change, of course, but overall, this discussion platform retains its core, so to speak – we have turned into a kind of mutually understanding environment.

We have an open discussion here; this is an open intellectual platform for an exchange of views, assessments and forecasts that are very important for us here in Russia. I would like to thank all the Russian and foreign politicians, experts, public figures and journalists taking part in the work of this club.

This year the discussion focusses on issues of war and peace. This topic has clearly been the concern of humanity throughout its history. Back in ancient times, in antiquity people argued about the nature, the causes of conflicts, about the fair and unfair use of force, of whether wars would always accompany the development of civilisation, broken only by ceasefires, or would the time come when arguments and conflicts are resolved without war.

I’m sure you recalled our great writer Leo Tolstoy here. In his great novel War and Peace, he wrote that war contradicted human reason and human nature, while peace in his opinion was good for people.

True, peace, a peaceful life have always been humanity’s ideal. State figures, philosophers and lawyers have often come up with models for a peaceful interaction between nations. Various coalitions and alliances declared that their goal was to ensure strong, ‘lasting’ peace as they used to say. However, the problem was that they often turned to war as a way to resolve the accumulated contradictions, while war itself served as a means for establishing new post-war hierarchies in the world.

Meanwhile peace, as a state of world politics, has never been stable and did not come of itself. Periods of peace in both European and world history were always been based on securing and maintaining the existing balance of forces. This happened in the 17th century in the times of the se-called Peace of Westphalia, which put an end to the Thirty Years’ War. Then in the 19th century, in the time of the Vienna Congress; and again 70 years ago in Yalta, when the victors over Nazism made the decision to set up the United Nations Organisation and lay down the principles of relations between states.

With the appearance of nuclear weapons, it became clear that there could be no winner in a global conflict. There can be only one end – guaranteed mutual destruction. It so happened that in its attempt to create ever more destructive weapons humanity has made any big war pointless.

Incidentally, the world leaders of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and even 1980s did treat the use of armed force as an exceptional measure. In this sense, they behaved responsibly, weighing all the circumstances and possible consequences.

The end of the Cold War put an end to ideological opposition, but the basis for arguments and geopolitical conflicts remained. All states have always had and will continue to have their own diverse interests, while the course of world history has always been accompanied by competition between nations and their alliances. In my view, this is absolutely natural.

The main thing is to ensure that this competition develops within the framework of fixed political, legal and moral norms and rules. Otherwise, competition and conflicts of interest may lead to acute crises and dramatic outbursts.

We have seen this happen many times in the past. Today, unfortunately, we have again come across similar situations. Attempts to promote a model of unilateral domination, as I have said on numerous occasions, have led to an imbalance in the system of international law and global regulation, which means there is a threat, and political, economic or military competition may get out of control.

What, for instance, could such uncontrolled competition mean for international security? A growing number of regional conflicts, especially in ‘border’ areas, where the interests of major nations or blocs meet. This can also lead to the probable downfall of the system of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (which I also consider to be very dangerous), which, in turn, would result in a new spiral of the arms race.

We have already seen the appearance of the concept of the so-called disarming first strike, including one with the use of high-precision long-range non-nuclear weapons comparable in their effect to nuclear weapons.

The use of the threat of a nuclear missile attack from Iran as an excuse, as we know, has destroyed the fundamental basis of modern international security – the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The United States has unilaterally seceded from the treaty. Incidentally, today we have resolved the Iranian issue and there is no threat from Iran and never has been, just as we said.

The thing that seemed to have led our American partners to build an anti-missile defence system is gone. It would be reasonable to expect work to develop the US anti-missile defence system to come to an end as well. What is actually happening? Nothing of the kind, or actually the opposite – everything continues.

Recently the United States conducted the first test of the anti-missile defence system in Europe. What does this mean? It means we were right when we argued with our American partners. They were simply trying yet again to mislead us and the whole world. To put it plainly, they were lying. It was not about the hypothetical Iranian threat, which never existed. It was about an attempt to destroy the strategic balance, to change the balance of forces in their favour not only to dominate, but to have the opportunity to dictate their will to all: to their geopolitical competition and, I believe, to their allies as well. This is a very dangerous scenario, harmful to all, including, in my opinion, to the United States.

The nuclear deterrent lost its value. Some probably even had the illusion that victory of one party in a world conflict was again possible – without irreversible, unacceptable, as experts say, consequences for the winner, if there ever is one.

In the past 25 years, the threshold for the use of force has gone down noticeably. The anti-war immunity we have acquired after two world wars, which we had on a subconscious, psychological level, has become weaker. The very perception of war has changed: for TV viewers it was becoming and has now become an entertaining media picture, as if nobody dies in combat, as if people do not suffer and cities and entire states are not destroyed.

Unfortunately, military terminology is becoming part of everyday life. Thus, trade and sanctions wars have become today’s global economic reality – this has become a set phrase used by the media. The sanctions, meanwhile, are often used also as an instrument of unfair competition to put pressure on or completely ‘throw’ competition out of the market. As an example, I could take the outright epidemic of fines imposed on companies, including European ones, by the United States. Flimsy pretexts are being used, and all those who dare violate the unilateral American sanctions are severely punished.

You know, this may not be Russia’s business, but this is a discussion club, therefore I will ask: Is that the way one treats allies? No, this is how one treats vassals who dare act as they wish – they are punished for misbehaving.

Last year a fine was imposed on a French bank to a total of almost $9 billion – $8.9 billion, I believe. Toyota paid $1.2 billion, while the German Commerzbank signed an agreement to pay $1.7 billion into the American budget, and so forth.

We also see the development of the process to create non-transparent economic blocs, which is done following practically all the rules of conspiracy. The goal is obvious – to reformat the world economy in a way that would make it possible to extract a greater profit from domination and the spread of economic, trade and technological regulation standards.

The creation of economic blocs by imposing their terms on the strongest players would clearly not make the world safer, but would only create time bombs, conditions for future conflicts.

The World Trade Organisation was once set up. True, the discussion there is not proceeding smoothly, and the Doha round of talks ended in a deadlock, possibly, but we should continue looking for ways out and for compromise, because only compromise can lead to the creation of a long-term system of relations in any sphere, including the economy. Meanwhile, if we dismiss that the concerns of certain countries – participants in economic communication, if we pretend that they can be bypassed, the contradictions will not go away, they will not be resolved, they will remain, which means that one day they will make themselves known.

As you know, our approach is different. While creating the Eurasian Economic Union we tried to develop relations with our partners, including relations within the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. We are actively working on the basis of equality in BRICS, APEC and the G20.

The global information space is also shaken by wars today, in a manner of speaking. The ‘only correct’ viewpoint and interpretation of events is aggressively imposed on people, certain facts are either concealed or manipulated. We are all used to labelling and the creation of an enemy image.

The authorities in countries that seemed to have always appealed to such values as freedom of speech and the free dissemination of information – something we have heard about so often in the past – are now trying to prevent the spreading of objective information and any opinion that differs from their own; they declare it hostile propaganda that needs to be combatted, clearly using undemocratic means.

Unfortunately, we hear the words war and conflict ever more frequently when talking about relations between people of different cultures, religions and ethnicity. Today hundreds of thousands of migrants are trying to integrate into a different society without a profession and without any knowledge of the language, traditions and culture of the countries they are moving to. Meanwhile, the residents of those countries – and we should openly speak about this, without trying to polish things up – the residents are irritated by the dominance of strangers, rising crime rate, money spent on refugees from the budgets of their countries.

Many people sympathise with the refugees, of course, and would like to help them. The question is how to do it without infringing on the interests of the residents of the countries where the refugees are moving. Meanwhile, a massive uncontrolled shocking clash of different lifestyles can lead, and already is leading to growing nationalism and intolerance, to the emergence of a permanent conflict in society.

Colleagues, we must be realistic: military power is, of course, and will remain for a long time still an instrument of international politics. Good or bad, this is a fact of life. The question is, will it be used only when all other means have been exhausted? When we have to resist common threats, like, for instance, terrorism, and will it be used in compliance with the known rules laid down in international law. Or will we use force on any pretext, even just to remind the world who is boss here, without giving a thought about the legitimacy of the use of force and its consequences, without solving problems, but only multiplying them.

We see what is happening in the Middle East. For decades, maybe even centuries, inter-ethnic, religious and political conflicts and acute social issues have been accumulating here. In a word, a storm was brewing there, while attempts to forcefully rearrange the region became the match that lead to a real blast, to the destruction of statehood, an outbreak of terrorism and, finally, to growing global risks.

A terrorist organisation, the so-called Islamic State, took huge territories under control. Just think about it: if they occupied Damascus or Baghdad, the terrorist gangs could achieve the status of a practically official power, they would create a stronghold for global expansion. Is anyone considering this? It is time the entire international community realised what we are dealing with – it is, in fact, an enemy of civilisation and world culture that is bringing with it an ideology of hatred and barbarity, trampling upon morals and world religious values, including those of Islam, thereby compromising it.

We do not need wordplay here; we should not break down the terrorists into moderate and immoderate ones. It would be good to know the difference. Probably, in the opinion of certain experts, it is that the so-called moderate militants behead people in limited numbers or in some delicate fashion.

In actual fact, we now see a real mix of terrorist groups. True, at times militants from the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Al-Qaeda heirs and splinters fight each other, but they fight for money, for feeding grounds, this is what they are fighting for. They are not fighting for ideological reasons, while their essence and methods remain the same: terror, murder, turning people into a timid, frightened, obedient mass.

In the past years the situation has been deteriorating, the terrorists’ infrastructure has been growing, along with their numbers, while the weapons provided to the so-called moderate opposition eventually ended up in the hands of terrorist organisations. Moreover, sometimes entire bands would go over to their side, marching in with flying colours, as they say.

Why is it that the efforts of, say, our American partners and their allies in their struggle against the Islamic State has not produced any tangible results? Obviously, this is not about any lack of military equipment or potential. Clearly, the United States has a huge potential, the biggest military potential in the world, only double crossing is never easy. You declare war on terrorists and simultaneously try to use some of them to arrange the figures on the Middle East board in your own interests, as you may think.

It is impossible to combat terrorism in general if some terrorists are used as a battering ram to overthrow the regimes that are not to one’s liking. You cannot get rid of those terrorists, it is only an illusion to think you can get rid of them later, take power away from them or reach some agreement with them. The situation in Libya is the best example here.

Let us hope that the new government will manage to stabilise the situation, though this is not a fact yet. However, we need to assist in this stabilisation.

To be continued.

Source: Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

10 things about Gaddafi & Libya they don’t want you to know

Ruling the country for for 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa.So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV Gaddafi did some powerful things that were not very reminiscent of a vicious dictator.

Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about…

Muammar Gaddafi Libya

1. In Libya a home is considered a natural human right

In Gaddafi’s Green Book it states: ”The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others”. Gaddafi’s Green Book is the formal leader’s political philosophy, it was first published in 1975 and was intended reading for all Libyans even being included in the national curriculum.

2. Education and medical treatment were all free

Under Gaddafi’s reign Libya could boast one of the best healthcare services in the Arab and African world. Also if a Libyan citizen could not access the desired educational course or correct medical treatment in Libya they were funded to go abroad.

3. Gaddafi carried out the worlds largest irrigation project

The largest irrigation system in the world also known as the great manmade river was designed to make water readily available to all Libyan’s across the entire country. It was funded by the Gaddafi government and it said that Gaddafi himself called it ”the eighth wonder of the world”.

4. It was free to start a farming business

If any Libyan wanted to start a farm they were given a house, farm land and live stock and seeds all free of charge.

5. A bursary was given to mothers with newborn babies

When a Libyan woman gave birth she was given 5000 (US dollars) for herself and the child.

6. Electricity was free

Electricity was free in Libya meaning absolutely no electric bills!

7.  Cheap petrol

During Gaddafi’s reign the price of petrol in Libya was as low as 0.14 (US dollars) per litre.

8. Gaddafi raised the level of education

Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. He bought that figure up to 87% under his rule with 25% earning university degrees.

9. Libya had It’s own state bank

Libya was the only country in the world to have a bank owned by the state meaning they were able to give loans to citizens at zero percent interest by law and they had no external debt.

10. The gold dinar

Before the fall of Tripoli and his untimely demise Gaddafi was trying to introduce a single African currency made of gold. Following in the foot steps of the late great pioneer Marcus Garvey who first coined the term ”United States of Africa”. Gaddafi wanted to introduce and only trade in the African gold Dinar  – a move which would have thrown the world economy into chaos.

The Dinar was widely opposed by the ‘elite’ of today’s society and who could blame them. African nations would have finally had the power to bring itself out of debt and poverty and only trade in this precious commodity. They would have been able to finally say ‘no’ to external exploitation and charge whatever they felt suitable for precious resources. It has been said that the gold Dinar was the real reason for the NATO led rebellion, in a bid to oust the outspoken leader.

SEE ALSO: The truth about Gaddafi and Libya (watch and learn)

Libya before and after

Source: 10 things about Gaddafi they don’t want you to know

NEO – US blockade of Syria – the first war crime

Who can save us if we are all too busy, and when so many of our institutions collectively oppose us?

By  Christopher Black, … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

[ Editor’s note: Christopher Black, international criminal lawyer, focuses on the Western and NATO wars of aggression in Ukraine and Syria, pointing out that the public is complicit in such crimes against humanity since they turn their backs to it.  That is a bit harsh in a way, and then not. The public push back in it is nil, but then what can it really do?

The distinction between NATO and the major Western combatants has become purposely blurred. Anything that NATO cannot do at a particular time due to a temporary technicality can be done by one of the member countries. NATO can then be brought in later down the road to drag the member countries along, including the unwilling.

The NATO coalition has taken on a life of its own, and despite most of its funding, equipment and especially its reserves being American, the average taxpayer has no more control over what it does than the man in the moon. This is no accident, as these complex international coalitions are designed to free them from public input and influence through a very long chain of command.

Mr. Black’s article got lost in the shuffle after our VT trip to Syria, due to our being buried under when we got back, and the Russian war drums beating for the starting of their counter terrorism effort in Syria. But I wanted to go back and still run this piece, as getting the legal side of the Syrian war from a criminal attorney versus a commentator should be part of our information mix to our readers.

The charade of the Western coalition against ISIL has been exposed for all to see. Once again, I have to use one of my favorite lines, “Never has so little been owed by so many to so few”, than this Western coalition and the NATO command. More and more, people, including many in the military and Intel community, are beginning to view them in a surprising new light… as major national security threats in themselves. And to make it even worse, we actually get charged for their services.

Right now, we don’t see much we can do to roll back the disconnect between us and them, as we could be viewed as an occupied people in terms of how little control we have over what they do. The whole area of international affairs could be put into that category, like the super trade bill that is being pushed upon us in total secrecy.

When Jimmy Carter said that we don’t really have much of a democracy any more, that did not generate even a whimper among the grassroots folks. Who can save us if we are all too busy, and when so many of our institutions collectively oppose us? Jim W. Dean ]

____________

– First published  …  September 24, 2015 –

Will we ever stop fighting the wars of these Satanist banksters?

The news that the United States asked both Greece and Bulgaria to block Russian flights over their airspace headed for Syria is a logical extension of the criminality of the aggression against Syria being conducted by the NATO powers and their allies in the region.

The NATO alliance has been conducting a war of aggression against Syria since 2011 when it succeeded in destroying Libya and it was responsible for the waves of humanity who fled the NATO bombing and who now flee the Takfiri militants NATO used as their auxiliaries.

These actions are clearly war crimes of the highest order, contemptuous violations of the UN Charter, international law and of all morality. The resulting misery of the peoples of the countries under attack, who are forced to flee and become refugees in the heart of the very alliance that is attacking them, is beyond words.

The images bombard us daily. But the images are not placed in the western media to create a call for peace in the region. Instead, as we see from the recent statements of the British, French and American leaders, they are used to manipulate the emotions of the citizens of the NATO countries to justify a call for more military aggression against Syria which will create more misery, more death and more refugees.

That the flood of stories in the western press about the Syrian refugees is being used as a propaganda tool to is easy to see when we compare the situation regarding refugees from Libya and Ukraine. The Libyan people have been fleeing the hell that NATO created for four years now, with thousands of people arriving in Europe, mostly on the shores of Italy.

NATO edit2

But there has been no call to attack the vicious thugs that NATO installed in place of the progressive socialist Libyan Republic; no call to bring back the civilized society that existed before Gaddafi was brutally murdered by the same forces; no call for regime change in Tripoli. Instead, chaos and gangsterism prevail, and all is well.

In Ukraine over a million people have fled the Kiev junta’s massive armed attacks on its own people — the type of attacks that NATO countries alleged Gaddafi had used on his own people to justify their attack on Libya.

The US puppets in Kiev have used bombing raids on civilians, white phosphorus shells, cluster bombs and other banned weapons, and they have used them not on military targets of the people’s resistance forces but on civilian houses, shops, schools, hospitals, power stations and other civilian infrastructure. Food and medical supplies are blockaded.

The people of the Donbas are under siege. All these actions are war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Yet the western media says not a single word about them. There is no call from Washington or London or Paris or Ottawa to bomb Kiev and remove Poroshenko. Instead they supply him and his Nazi friends with weapons, supplies and money and send in their own forces to assist in these criminal attacks.

The double standards applied and the deep hypocrisy and cynicism displayed by the NATO governments and the western news media that provide the information flow to the people, must shake anyone’s belief in the viability of western civilization.

In stark contrast, Russia has taken in over a million refugees so far from Ukraine without complaint while the EU countries argue bitterly amongst themselves as to who should take the refugees they have created and while they fan the flames of xenophobia among their own populations.

But then the motivations are completely different. The Russians want to help the people being attacked by NATO and its puppet regime in Kiev. The Europeans only want to use the refugees as a means of creating hysteria in Europe so that their people will support a combined NATO attack on Syria.

Firebombing of a civilian population

Since these EU countries in one way or another support the forces attacking Syria they are responsible under international law for receiving and caring for the refugees they have created. They must follow certain humane standards in the treatment of them, but instead we see images of them being fed like animals or being kicked and tripped up by the very media sent to report on the crisis.

But now the situation has escalated further with the United States demanding that Greece and Bulgaria block relief supplies from Russia from using their air space, an attempt to completely block these supplies. Greece has found the courage to refuse the request. Bulgaria to its shame has decided to lick their boots.

The Americans try to justify their demand by claiming that some of those flights are used to deliver military supplies to Syria. Yes, and so what? Russia has every right to support the Syrian government in its fight against the NATO-Saudi, Israeli auxiliaries who are fighting in Syria under the acronyms ISIS or ISIL or Al Qaeda and has been openly doing so since the beginning.

There is no UN-approved arms embargo against Syria and the United States and its allies are daily dropping supplies to these same groups and have let it be known that their special forces are operating on the ground alongside those forces.

Just the other day another story broke of the Israeli Army airlifting wounded from these groups for treatment in Israeli occupied zones and one must wonder if those selectively helped are not indeed Israeli special forces themselves.

The Americans and Bulgarians are not just worried about more Russian military supplies from being delivered. They also want the Syrian people to experience the maximum state of misery and despair to punish them for their support of their government and to try to force them to turn against it.

Indeed, the Russian and Syrian governments affirm that many of those flights are delivering much needed humanitarian relief including medical supplies, generators for hospitals, food, tents for internal refugees, and related supplies to relieve the distress of the Syrian people in the face of the American provoked attacks on them.

War crimes

One has to ask, where are the American and European relief supplies for the Syrian people? Where are the ships and planes that should be carrying the same supplies the Russians are delivering?

If they had delivered them and if they had insisted that the attacks on Syria stop there would not be any refugees. But they want the refugees to generate war propaganda and so they do not want relief supplies to get through.

The attempt to blockade the delivery of humanitarian assistance amounts to a war crime under international law, including the the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles and the Statute of Rome that sets out the definitions of war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

The attempted blockade of humanitarian assistance constitutes murder, inhuman treatment, collective punishment, an action designed to bring about the physical destruction of the population and the nation, and other related crimes committed against the Syrian civilian population.

Every European leader who takes part in this criminal conspiracy should be charged with war crimes. The American president should be Number One in the dock.

But international criminal law continues to be administered by criminals and we watch with disbelief the complete silence of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court who sits in her office in The Hague and twiddles her thumbs while Damascus, Aleppo and Donetsk burn. The cartloads of the dead overflow the cemeteries. The misery of the living mounts.

The hope that is left for peace and security, even for a little kindness in this life, drips out of our veins with every drop of blood shed by the victims of these NATO wars. It is very easy to despair. I despair. But we must resist. We must demand these wars stop.

We must stop sitting around facebooking and surfing the internet, get out of these artificial worlds they have built to turn us into zombies of the living and get back on the streets where we still count, where they still fear us and where we can shout our demands so loud they will shake the walls of the state itself.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

___________

 

Source: NEO – US blockade of Syria – the first war crime