Foreign students face mass DEPORTATIONS from US if their universities switch to online-only classes


07-07-20 07:07:00,

US immigration authorities have warned foreign students at colleges offering online-only courses that they must transfer to schools with in-person classes or face deportation. The rule has students and many professors up in arms.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ended the temporary exceptions it granted foreign students during the spring semester, leaving some students whose schools have gone online-only for fall facing removal from the country – or stranded back home. The loophole had permitted non-immigrant student visa holders to stay in the US while taking online courses due to the coronavirus epidemic, which forced universities to shut down on short notice, but while the pandemic lingers, ICE’s largesse does not.

Under the new rules, non-immigrant foreign students attending colleges that are offering only online courses for the fall semester must change schools or leave the country. “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings,” the notice, posted on the ICE website on Monday, warned.

Those students seeking to reenter the US for the fall semester will be denied visas if their school is offering solely online courses, ICE, which administers the US’ student visa program, added. However, they can come back if the school switches to in-person classes – and indeed they must come back if that happens, or risk losing their student visa for good.

While foreign students attending colleges that offer part-online “hybrid” classes may take more than one online course, they have to jump through a number of certification hoops with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which will presumably be keeping a close eye on them. Students have just 10 days to notify the program if they switch to online-only courses (and presumably start the process of leaving the US before ICE catches up with them).

What if students are going back to countries without good internet connection? Or where the time difference makes it difficult to join classes online? This makes it so difficult for these students to continue to get the education they paid for.

— Miriam Abaya (@AbayaMiriam) July 6, 2020

The notice didn’t go over well on social media, where many pointed out that these students had paid to study in the US and many came from countries where internet connections were spotty,

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British foreign secretary accused of hypocrisy for praising UN ‘values’ despite UK treatment of Assange


26-06-20 06:00:00,

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has provoked anger after lauding the UK’s role in the United Nations and its commitment to the “values” of the organization, with many disagreeing and pointing to the treatment of Julian Assange.

Raab posted on social media on Friday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the birth of the UN, when 50 nations, including the UK, came together to sign the Charter.

The foreign minister said: “Since then, we have played a crucial role in the @UN and remain committed to upholding its values.”

75 years ago, the 🇬🇧 alongside 49 other nations signed the @UN Charter 🇺🇳. Since then, we have played a crucial role in the @UN and remain committed to upholding its values. From #coronavirus to #climatechange, international collaboration is key to addressing global issues. #UN75

— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 26, 2020

The minister’s virtuous tone riled many on Twitter, with critics accusing Raab of double standards – and even of being “deluded.”

The case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose treatment at Belmarsh Prison has amounted to “torture” according to UN Rapporteur Nils Melzer, was highlighted as an example of the UK’s double standards.

One commenter sarcastically remarked: “Fantastic news. When are you going to stop the persecution and torture of Julian Assange?” Another accused Raab and the UK government of “repeatedly ignoring” UN recommendations when it comes to the detained Australian publisher.

I don’t think so Mr Raab your government has ignored its international obligations repeatedly ignoring UN opinions and recommendations in the Julian #Assange case! Your government is torturing him!

— Emmy Butlin (@greekemmy) June 26, 2020

Mark Curtis, editor of Declassified UK, hit out at Raab for “mind-numbing” “doublethink,” in professing his support for the UN and its “principles.”

When it comes to criticism from UN officials, Britain has a track record of refusing to apologize. In 2019, responding to UN poverty envoy Dr Philip Alston’s assessment that levels of child poverty in the UK were “not just a disgrace,

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German Foreign Policy Is a CIA Front – Global Research


13-05-20 05:30:00,

On March 30 Germany declared the important Lebanese political group, Hezbollah, to be a “terrorist” organization and banned it from German soil. By doing so it gratuitously increased the tension in the eastern Mediterranean and exposed Berlin’s lack of credibility on the world stage.

Is it really in Germany’s interest to destabilize a region that has already been crippled by multiple wars? On the surface Germany doesn’t appear to have a stake in the politics of Lebanon. Indeed, from whatever angle the situation is viewed from, Germany qua Germany doesn’t have a meaningful stake in Lebanon. Yet Berlin is assaulting the sovereignty of this small Mediterranean nation that means no harm.

Hezbollah is an organization that forms 10% of the current Lebanese parliament and is a significant part of Lebanon’s governing coalition. Because of its commitment to international justice, Hezbollah is, in fact, Lebanon’s most recognizable political group. And that’s the point. Hezbollah’s successful efforts to defend the sovereignty of Lebanon in the past decades, and the sovereignty of Syria in recent years, is a problem for that power which aims to destroy the sovereignty of both Lebanon and Syria. However, that power isn’t Germany, so what then explains Berlin’s hostility towards Beirut?

Germany is doing someone’s bidding. Germany’s problem is that it’s foreign policy is stuck in the late 20th century. At present, Germany’s political structure is stuck in post World War Two Europe. Ever since the Nazis were defeated in 1945, Germany has been a cutout. To begin with, it was either a Soviet or an American cutout. But when the Soviets had the decency to exit Germany in “1989”, the Americans remained. As a consequence, in the 21st century German independence is still an aspiration rather than a reality.

According to Deutsche Welle (DW), in 2019 there were “roughly 38,600” American soldiers based in Germany. “This is…more military personnel than the US keeps in any other country except Japan.” In other words, whether it likes it or not, Germany is a key part of American geopolitics. As DW explains:

“Germany’s strategic importance for the US is reflected by the location of US European Command (EUCOM) headquarters in the southwestern city of Stuttgart, from which it serves as the coordinating structure for all American military forces across 51 primarily European countries.”

And the purpose of EUCOM?

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Warns UN’s Push For Mass Migration Threatens “Whole Of Humanity”


14-02-20 09:01:00,

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjárt warns that the United Nations is spending money on facilitating a program of mass migration that threatens the “whole of humanity.”

Instead of spending money on counter-terrorism, the UN is funding programs that encourage people to leave their homelands and head to western countries, Szijjártó told a conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

This mass migration process poses “a very serious threat to the whole of humanity,” said Szijjártó.

We call on the UN to include in its budget counter-terrorism … and to spend less on migration,” the minister told the conference, which was organized by the UN.

Passed in 2018, the UN Compact on Migration is not legally binding, but governments are under international pressure to follow its mandates.

British MEP Janice Atkinson warned that the pact could lead to Europe being flooded with 59 million new migrants within the next 6 years.

Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff also said that the pact would grease the skids for laws that would criminalize criticism of mass immigration as hate speech.

French generals who signed an open letter accusing President Macron of “treason” for committing France to the pact were later hit with disciplinary action.

While Britain and numerous other western countries signed the migration pact, the United States refused to do so.

A 2001 United Nations document entitled ‘Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?’ outlined a plan to flood America and Europe with hundreds of millions of migrants in order to maintain population levels.

Under the most severe scenario, large numbers of migrants will be required to “maintain the potential support ratio” (of a population) at the highest level.

In the case of the United States, under the most extreme scenario, the report states, “It would be necessary to have 593 million immigrants from 1995 to 2050, an average of 10.8 million per year.”

“By 2050, out of a United States total population of 1.1 billion, 775 million, or 73 per cent, would be post 1995 immigrants or their descendants,” adds the report.

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Assassination Is Not a Foreign Policy – Global Research


06-01-20 10:36:00,

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the
copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]

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The Logic of US Foreign Policy


22-12-19 08:08:00,

Published: May 2018; Updated: December 2019
Languages: German, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian

How can US foreign policy be explained in a systematic and rational way? The following chart – based on a model developed by political science professors David Sylvan and Stephen Majeski – reveals the longstanding imperial logic behind US diplomatic and military interventions around the globe.

 Click to enlarge 🔎

Due to its economic and military supremacy, the Unites States has been assuming the role of a modern empire since the Second World War and especially since 1990. This status implies a very specific and genuinely imperial logic of action for its foreign policy (see figure above).

The central distinction (#1 in the figure above) from the perspective of an empire is that between client and non-client states. The concept of the client state dates back to the time of the Roman Empire and denotes states that are basically self-governing but nevertheless align their foreign and security policy and their succession of government with the empire.

In the case of existing client states (left side of the diagram), the empire has to decide between routine administration (B – e.g. Switzerland and Austria), military or non-military (e.g. economic) support (D to I – e.g. Colombia and Pakistan), or an attempt to replace unacceptable client governments demo­cra­tically or militarily (A – e.g. Greece 1967, Chile 1973). In certain cases, a client government can no longer hold on to power despite imperial support and must be dropped or the client state has to be abandoned altogether (C, F, G – e.g. South Vietnam 1975 or Iran 1979).

In the case of non-client states (right side of diagram), the situation is quite different. If a region newly comes into the empire’s sphere of influence, the empire will first attempt to acquire its members peacefully as client states (J). This was the case, e.g., in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States after 1990.

The eastern expansion of NATO (CFR/NATO)

If, on the other hand,

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Russia’s Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East: President Putin’s Interview with Arab Media – Global Research


15-10-19 08:17:00,

President Putin gave an extensive interview to Arab media before departing for Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but it’s useful to highlight some of the most relevant parts in case interested observers don’t have the time to watch it in full or skim through the transcript since the Russian leader powerfully refutes the Alt-Media narrative that his country is supposedly “allied” with the Resistance against the GCC and “Israel”.

President Putin’s extensive interview that he gave to Arab media before departing for the Gulf is extremely informative in that it authoritatively reveals the true nature of Russia’s foreign policy towards the region, which debunks many of the Alt-Media Community’s dogmas such as the popular one that Moscow is supposedly “allied” with the Resistance against the GCC and “Israel“. It’s therefore of the utmost importance that as many people became aware of what he said as possible, hence the need to highlight some key parts of his interview in case interested observers don’t have the time to watch it in full or skim through the transcript on the official Kremlin website. What follows is bullet point summaries of the main ideas that the Russian leader was trying to convey, after which relevant quotes are referenced in order to support the above-mentioned claim:

Russia Isn’t A Partisan Player In Regional Affairs, But A “Balancing” Force That Refuses To Take Sides:

“Russia will never be friends with one country against another. We build bilateral relations that rely on positive trends generated by our contacts; we do not build alliances against anyone…we will do everything in our power to create the right conditions for positive change.

Still, Russia Doesn’t Believe That Its Envisaged Role Entails “Mediating” Between Rival Parties:

“The role of mediator is not a rewarding one. I believe that our partners in Iran and Saudi Arabia do not need any mediation. Since we maintain very friendly relations with all the countries in the region, including Iran and the Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, we could certainly help relay some messages between the parties, so they could hear each other’s position. But since I personally know the leaders of these countries,

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Syria must be free of foreign military presence, Russia should also leave if Damascus no longer needs its help – Putin


12-10-19 11:54:00,

The territorial integrity of Syria must be fully restored and all foreign forces should withdraw, including Russia if Damascus decides it doesn’t need Moscow’s help anymore, according to President Vladimir Putin.

“All the forces deployed illegitimately inside any sovereign state – in this case Syria – must leave,” Putin said in a joint interview with RT Arabic, UAE-based Sky News Arabia, and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya broadcasters.

This is true for everyone. If Syria’s new legitimate government chooses to say that they have no more need for Russia’s military presence, this will be just as true for Russia.

Meanwhile, Moscow’s stance on the settlement in Syria remains unchanged and was already relayed to its partners Iran, Turkey and the US, the president noted. “Syria must be free from other states’ military presence. And the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic must be completely restored.”

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from border areas in northeastern Syria, saying it was time to “get out of ridiculous endless wars.”

Also on
‘Time to get out of these ridiculous endless wars’: Trump orders US pullback from Syrian border before Turkish operation begins

Unlike the Russian military, which arrived in the country at an invitation of the government in Damascus, US forces have been in Syria illegally since 2016. The Syrian government has repeatedly blasted the American military presence as a violation of its sovereignty.

Putin was also asked about Moscow’s attitude towards NATO’s eastward expansion and buildup near Russian borders.

“We are not happy about it… and voiced our concerns,” he replied.

Claims that Russia “has nothing to fear” and that NATO “does not have belligerent intentions” shouldn’t be taken for granted as long as “the North Atlantic Treaty remains in place, in particular, Article Five… which guarantees military support to other members.”

Also on
Russia opposes new NATO-like military blocs in the world – Putin

During the interview, the Russian leader decried attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf,

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US Foreign Policy Is A War On Disobedience – Caitlin Johnstone – Medium


08-07-19 07:56:00,

Caitlin Johnstone

In an excellent new essay titled “We’re Not the Good Guys — Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?”, Tom Engelhardt criticizes the way western media outlets consistently describe the behavior of disobedient nations like Iran as “aggressions”, but never use that label for the (generally antecedent and far more egregious) aggressions of the United States.

“When it comes to Washington’s never-ending war on terror, I think I can say with reasonable confidence that, in the past, the present, and the future, the one phrase you’re not likely to find in such media coverage will be ‘American aggression,’” Engelhardt writes. He then asks a very fair question:

“So here’s the strange thing, on a planet on which, in 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to 149 countries, or approximately 75% of all nations; on which the U.S. has perhaps 800 military garrisons outside its own territory; on which the U.S. Navy patrols most of its oceans and seas; on which U.S. unmanned aerial drones conduct assassination strikes across a surprising range of countries; and on which the U.S. has been fighting wars, as well as more minor conflicts, for years on end from Afghanistan to Libya, Syria to Yemen, Iraq to Niger in a century in which it chose to launch full-scale invasions of two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), is it truly reasonable never to identify the U.S. as an ‘aggressor’ anywhere?”

In other words, does it really make sense for any nation to be able to take over the world and then look up with Bambi-eyed innocence saying “I was attacked! Completely out of the blue!” whenever any government pushes back on this? If you ask the empire’s narrative makers, the answer is a resounding yes.

This important discrepancy is as close as we’ll ever get to an honest admission from the political/media class that they consider empire-building and endless war to be normal, and any opposition to it freakish. All nations are meant to submit to America’s use of military and economic force upon them, and if they don’t, that’s “aggression”. The official position of the political/media class is that the US is a normal nation with the same rights and status as any other,

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UK Foreign Secretary Defends Torturing Journalists, Then Says We Must Protect Journalists


02-06-19 09:14:00,

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has just given a speech extolling the virtues of a free media, praising the journalists who’ve been brave enough to expose the truth about wicked governments in the face of tyrannical oppression. While he was preparing to give this speech, without any indication of any self-reflection at all, he defended the torture of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

After news broke that UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer had found that Julian Assange has been the victim of psychological torture for years, Hunt, who is gunning to become the UK’s next Prime Minister, accused him of interfering in British affairs and making “inflammatory statements”.

“This is wrong,” Hunt tweeted. “Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice. The UN Special Rapporteur should allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.”

“With all due respect, Sir: Mr Assange was about as ‘free to leave’ as a someone sitting on a rubber boat in a shark pool,” Melzer replied. “As detailed in my formal letter to you, so far, UK courts have not shown the impartiality and objectivity required by the rule of law.”

This is wrong. Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice. The UN Special Rapporteur should allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.

— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) May 31, 2019

Hours after his defense of the torture of a journalist who exposed the truth about the malfeasance of a powerful government, Hunt was giving a speech at the World News Media Congress in Glasgow, praising journalists who expose the truth about the malfeasance of powerful governments.

If you want to stare aghast at some of the most appallingly cartoonish hypocrisy from a western politician you’ll ever see, I highly recommend clicking this hyperlink and reading through the transcript of Hunt’s speech in the context of what he just said about Assange.

Hunt decried the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ignoring the inconvenient fact that his own government had just been found guilty of participating in the brutal torture of a far more impactful journalist spanning many years.

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Foreign backed terrorism in Iran: Part two – US/Israeli backed insurgency and separatism in western Iran | The Vineyard of the Saker


19-04-19 06:54:00,

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

In the previous article, we examined the prevalence of US/Israeli backed terrorism in eastern Iran where Baluchi Salafists have received arms and funding from the CIA and Mossad. In this second part of the article series we will examine the US/Israeli support for terrorists and separatists in western Iran among the Kurdish ethnic group.

The Kurdish situation in western Iran

The Kurdish question in Iran is a long running one that stretches back to the WWII era. While Kurdish revolts occurred already during the 1920s these were not motivated out of nationalist sentiment but rather out of tribal opposition to the monarchy’s attempts to centralize the state of Iran. The Qajar dynasty and later the Pahlavi dynasty attempted to consolidate power around Tehran in a time when the Iranian nation was fragmented into areas of tribal and ethnic influence. Simko Shikak was one of the powerful Kurdish chieftains that with Ottoman backing led the first revolt in 1918, against the Qajar dynasty, as the Ottoman’s were fierce rivals of the severely weakened Iranian state, attempted to gain influence over western Iran. Another reason for the Ottoman involvement was motivated by the slaughter of the large Iranian Armenian population in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. But it was not only the Ottomans that backed these separatist tribal ambitions as Tehran repeatedly called out British influence and support for the tribal rebellions. The British role was mainly motivated by their desire to remove the Qajar dynasty from power and install a new Shah that they could more easily control, thus also triumphing over the Russian Empire in the struggle for influence over Iran.

British intervention in Persia was at its height during the coup d’etat of 1921. Although the coup itself was executed by Persians, it received vital assistance from, and was probably actually initiated by, certain British military officers and officials in Iran, most importantly Major-General Sir Edmund Ironside, Commander of Norperforce, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Smyth, who was unofficially and “almost secretly” attached to the Cossacks at Qazvin, and Walter A Smart, the Oriental Secretary.

After the coup, Reza Shah Pahlavi, the new Shah of Iran ultimately crushed the Kurdish tribal rebellion and the subsequent ones imitated during 1929 and 1941.

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Foreign backed terrorism in Iran: Part one -US/Israeli backed Salafists in Iran | The Vineyard of the Saker


08-04-19 06:07:00,

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

While terrorism is a phenomenon most of us have come in touch with during our lifetime, much of the coverage is shadowed by terrorism in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, where US backed terrorist groups have wreaked havoc in devastating the wars that have plagued these countries.

Nonetheless, terrorism is widespread across the region, even in Iran. Due to Iran’s relatively strong internal stability, terrorist groups have been unable to catch major headlines in the Islamic Republic as terrorist groups often conduct hit and run attacks or the occasional kidnappings of young drafted border guards and soldiers near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border areas as well as across Iran’s western borders towards Iraq. Some groups are motivated by separatist goals, while others are driven by religious extremism. In this first part I will cover terrorism across Iran’s eastern borders, one that is driven by the Salafist ideology.

Iran has been familiar with terrorism for many decades through the Saddam Hussein-backed “People’s Mujahideen”, a strange group of “Marxist-Islamists” who waged war on their own country in an attempt to grab power, shortly after the Islamic Revolution. During Saddam’s 8 year war on Iran they were backed and armed by Iraqi security forces, often resorting to terrorist attacks, killing many innocent people in the process. While this group was effectively defeated, it has nonetheless survived as it was sheltered by the Saddam regime and recently have found refuge in Albania. I will come back to this group later.

Since the 9/11 attacks when Al-Qaeda became a household name, Takfiri groups have become increasingly widespread in the Middle East and central Asia. Many Takfiri groups have found their haven in neighbouring Pakistan which they use as a home base to launch cross border attacks on Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistan’s government and security apparatus are known to support Takfiri groups across the region, at the behest of Washington, a fact that former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf admitted to.

Pakistan is home to multiple Saudi funded so called Madrasas, terrorist recruitment centres focused on brainwashing young men into joining militant groups with similar ideologies such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. For decades, since the days of the Soviet-Afghan war, Islamabad has used terrorism as a tool for its foreign policy towards its neighbours.

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New Zealand’s Foreign Policy Comes Home. Close Partnership with NATO – Global Research


20-03-19 12:49:00,

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, doesn’t know why someone would want to shoot dead 49 Muslims in her country. “There is no place in New Zealand, for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence”, she said, in “an emotional” press conference, last Friday. She’s wrong. There is a place in New Zealand for such acts. And her foreign policy sanctions them.

In a cheerful press conference, in Brussels, on January 25, this year, Ardern reaffirmed New Zealand’s “close partnership” with NATO. Standing alongside NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, Ardern stated that New Zealand “sought to play its role and part [alongside NATO] in the defense of values and norms, we hold dear”. These values include, she added, “democracy, human rights, vital freedoms” and a “rules based order”. She forgot to mention another key norm, which she and her NATO partners embrace: killing Muslims in large numbers.

According to the website of the New Zealand Army:

“the NZDF [New Zealand Defense Forces] has contributed to international military efforts in Afghanistan since 2001.”

And today, among other things, the NZDF contributes “two headquarters staff officers supporting NATO’s Resolute Support mission”.

In Iraq, today, there are “NZDF staff officers working at the headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve In Baghdad”. And their job is to “coordinate military efforts in Iraq and Syria”.

NZDF “officers are [also] stationed in headquarters in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain”. The headquarters of what? The website doesn’t specify, but we can surmise that these command centers are controlled by NATO forces.

And in the Arabian Gulf and around the Horn of Africa “NZDF personnel are also embarked on UK and Australian Navy ships”.

Meanwhile in Mali, “a senior NZDF officer [recently] assumed the role of Chief Military Intelligence Officer (U2)” in the foreign force that is currently occupying that country.

And the icing on this poisonous NZDF cake, is the fact that:

“a NZDF National Planning Element and operational support has been based at the United States Central Command in Florida since 2003. They perform liaison and planning functions.”

In short: New Zealand, today, is making war throughout the Muslim world. Jacinda Ardern,

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John Bolton Is the Real Foreign Policy President of th US. He’s Playing Trump Like a Fiddle


18-03-19 02:31:00,

Curt Mills reports on Bolton’s extensive and expanding influence in the Trump administration:

But in the meantime, in return for his occasional, minor humiliation, Bolton enjoys wide-ranging authority to craft the national security policy of the United States, behind the scenes. He’s the contra Mattis; instead of resigning in moral protest, Bolton wears the mask of obsequiousness, while subtly nudging a reluctant president toward a more tough-minded line.

We have seen how Bolton has been able to delay and even partially undo one of the president’s initial decisions in Syria (all the while emphasizing that the president’s decision was being faithfully carried out), and his fingerprints are all over the demise of the INF Treaty. Now we are starting to see the same thing happen with North Korea policy. Bolton’s combination of shameless flattery of the president and relentless promotion of hard-line policies threaten to usher in one or more foreign policy debacles in the remaining years of the Trump presidency.

The National Security Advisor is horrible at his official job of organizing and running a competent policy process, but he has been able to exploit the ensuing dysfunction to advance his own agenda. He will rarely contradict Trump in public, and even when he does he will deny that he is doing it, and that affords him the luxury of being to craft his own foreign policy with as little input from the rest of the administration as possible. The predictable result is an increasingly confrontational and reckless set of policies. Because he doesn’t advertise his influence and consistently minimizes his role in public statements, he avoids wounding Trump’s vanity and secures his ability to lead Trump where he wants him to go. Judging from Bolton’s record, that means new wars and explicit policies of regime change.

Likewise, there was an important detail in this article on Bolton and the National Security Council that merits a few comments:

But before he resigned, the defense secretary wrote a sharply worded letter to Bolton, insisting that the paucity of meetings was crippling the policy process. Mattis was particularly upset that not a single principals committee meeting had been held to discuss U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, the INF[bold mine-DL].

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Russia’s foreign debt at decade low, as economy shifts away from neo-liberal order (Video)


27-01-19 09:53:00,

Authored by Brian Cloughley via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

In 2007, when making a speech during his bid for the presidency of the United States, the late Senator John McCain spoke about Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons’ programme and when questioned as to whether there might be US reaction to such allegations responded by singing “That old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran… bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb.”

This jovial retort about killing people by bombing them was not surprising to those who remembered that during the US war on Vietnam McCain was shot down on a mission to bomb a power generation plant in Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, in the course of the entrancingly-named Operation Rolling Thunder.  If he hadn’t been shot down before he released his bombs there would almost certainly have been civilian casualties and deaths. Power stations in cities are not manned by soldiers, after all, and around the Hanoi plant there were houses that would doubtless be struck by errant bombs.

But who cares about civilians who are killed or maimed in bombing or rocket attacks?

In Syria, for example, in October 2018 “the US-led coalition was responsible for 46% of civilian casualties from all explosive weapon use in Syria.”  And in November Reuters reported that “At least 30 Afghan civilians were killed in US air strikes in the Afghan province of Helmand, officials and residents of the area said on Wednesday, the latest casualties from a surge in air operations aimed at driving the Taliban into talks.”

Forbes records that “the US has never dropped as many bombs on Afghanistan as it did this year. According to U.S. Air Forces Central Command data, manned and unmanned aircraft released 5,213 weapons between January and the end of September 2018. The UN announced that the number of civilian casualties in the first nine months of 2018 is higher than in any year since it started documenting them in 2009.”  On January 25 Defense Post reported that “Afghanistan is investigating reports that at least 16 civilians including women and children were killed in an airstrike in southern Helmand province,

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Zum Council on Foreign Relations


17-12-18 01:39:00,

Professor Stephen F. Cohen, einer der führenden Russland-Experten der USA und von 1978 bis 2018 selbst Mitglied im Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), sprach in einem Interview mit The Nation über die Bedeutung des CFR für die Gestaltung und Darstellung der US-Weltpolitik. Cohen verließ den CFR 2018 aufgrund dessen zunehmend konfrontativer Strategievorgaben bezüglich Russland.

»The importance of the CFR is not easily exaggerated. As its activities, history, self-proclamations, and Wikipedia entry make clear, it is not an ordinary “think tank.” Founded nearly a century ago, headquartered lavishly in New York City with a branch in Washington, with almost 5,000 current carefully selected members and considerable annual revenue, its aura, exceedingly influential journal Foreign Affairs, and elite members have long made the CFR America’s single most important non-governmental foreign-policy organization — certainly for politicians, business executives, media leaders, academics, and others involved in the shaping of US foreign policy. Almost all of them aspire to CFR membership or its imprimatur [approval] in one way or another. () For decades, the CFR’s primary functional role has been, through its journal, website, featured events, and multiple weekly membership sessions, to define the accepted, legitimate, orthodox parameters of discussion about US foreign policy and related issues. () So the CFR really is what the Sowjets used to call the very top-level of the Nomenclatura.«


»Die Bedeutung des CFR ist nicht leicht zu übertreiben. Wie seine Aktivitäten, seine Geschichte, seine Erklärungen und sein Eintrag in der Wikipedia verdeutlichen, ist es kein gewöhnlicher „Think Tank“. Gegründet vor fast einem Jahrhundert, mit Hauptsitz in New York City und einer Niederlassung in Washington, mit derzeit fast 5.000 sorgfältig ausgewählten Mitgliedern und beträchtlichen jährlichen Einnahmen, haben die Aura, die äußerst einflussreiche Zeitschrift Foreign Affairs und die Elite-Mitglieder den CFR längst zur wichtigsten nichtstaatlichen außenpolitischen Organisation der USA gemacht – sicherlich für Politiker, Geschäftsleute, Medienvertreter, Akademiker und andere, die an der Gestaltung der US-Außenpolitik beteiligt sind. Fast alle von ihnen streben auf die eine oder andere Weise eine Mitgliedschaft oder die Zustimmung des CFR an. () Seit Jahrzehnten besteht die wichtigste funktionale Rolle des CFR darin, durch seine Zeitschrift, seine Website, seine exklusiven Veranstaltungen und seine zahlreichen Mitgliedersitzungen die akzeptierten, legitimen und orthodoxen Parameter der Diskussion über die US-Außenpolitik und damit zusammenhängende Fragen zu definieren.

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Trump Foreign Policy: Doing the Same Thing and Expecting a Different Result – Global Research


04-12-18 04:19:00,

After a week of insisting that a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina was going to happen, President Trump at the last minute sent out a Tweet explaining that due to a Russia/Ukraine dispute in the Sea of Azov he would no longer be willing to meet his Russian counterpart.

According to Trump, the meeting had to be cancelled because the Russians seized three Ukrainian naval vessels in Russian waters that refused to follow instructions from the Russian military. But as Pat Buchanan wrote in a recent column: how is this little dispute thousands of miles away any of our business?

Unfortunately it is “our business” because of President Obama’s foolish idea to overthrow a democratically-elected, pro-Russia government in Ukraine in favor of what his Administration believed would be a “pro-Western” and “pro-NATO” replacement. In short, the Obama Administration did openly to Ukraine what his Democratic Party claims without proof the Russians did to the United States: meddled in a vote.

US interventionism in Ukraine led to the 2014 coup and many dead Ukrainians. Crimea’s majority-Russian population held a referendum and decided to re-join Russia rather than remain in a “pro-West” Ukraine that immediately began discriminating against them. Why would anyone object to people opting out of abusive relationships?

What is most disappointing about President Trump’s foreign policy is that it didn’t have to be this way. He ran on a platform of America first, ending foreign wars, NATO skepticism, and better relations with Russia. Americans voted for this policy. He had a mandate, a rejection of Obama’s destructive interventionism.

But he lost his nerve.

Instead of being the president who ships lethal weapons to the Ukrainian regime, instead of being the president who insists that Crimea remain in Ukraine, instead of being the president who continues policies the American people clearly rejected at the ballot box, Trump could have blamed the Ukraine/Russia mess on the failed Obama foreign policy and charted a very different course. What flag flies over Crimea is none of our business. We are not the policemen of the world and candidate Trump seemed to have understood that.

But now Trump’s in a trap. He was foolish enough to believe that Beltway foreign policy “experts” have a clue about what really is American national interest.

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Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

21-10-18 12:59:00,

On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.


Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.


Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,” said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran”

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews | The Vineyard of the Saker

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews | The Vineyard of the Saker

19-10-18 08:05:00,

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews, Moscow, October 16, 2018

Question: The issue of Russia’s financial contribution to the Council of Europe has long been on the agenda after Russia’s voting right was suspended. How important is the Council of Europe to Russia? What, in your view, is the likely solution to this impasse?

Sergey Lavrov: The Council of Europe is going through a serious crisis and not because Russia suspended its contribution more than a year ago but due to the reasons you mentioned: because Russia was denied the right to vote. This happened in 2014 as punishment for the free expression of will by Crimea residents, who voted in favour of reintegration with Russia at a referendum. This punishment was imposed on the members of parliament that were elected by the population of Russia and sent as a delegation to the Council of Europe.

The sanctions imposed in 2014 became tougher in 2015. As a result, the Russian members of parliament were stripped of all rights whatsoever and were only allowed to be present at the meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and listen to anti-Russia statements without having an opportunity to answer, which is, strictly speaking, regular practice in any normal parliament where, even if tensions are running high, it is always possible to answer and compare different positions. Our members of parliament were denied this right for three years even though from 2014 until 2017 we made the required contributions. In so doing, we warned that this could not go on forever because without due representation at the assembly and without the opportunity to state its position it would be unwise for Russia to pay for Russophobic activities; the same goes for any other country that might end up in a similar situation for that matter. So we warned everyone that we would be forced to suspend our contributions at some point. We did this in the summer of 2017, making it clear that as soon as the rights of our members of parliament at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe were unconditionally and fully reinstated, we would immediately pay our debts.

I want to stress that our decision on this point has worked. Many sensible MPs and functionaries in the Council of Europe have become aware of the seriousness of the situation.

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Soros Ran US Foreign Policy on Post-Coup Ukraine

Soros Ran US Foreign Policy on Post-Coup Ukraine

08-06-18 04:18:00,

Soros Ran US Foreign Policy on Post-Coup Ukraine
Soros Ran US Foreign Policy on Post-Coup Ukraine

A tranche of some 2500 Internal documents, mostly Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point files, as well as pdf files, from George Soros’s Open Society Foundation (OSF) network of non-governmental organizations, which were obtained from the group «DC Leaks», shows that Soros and his advisers lorded over US policy toward Ukraine after the 2014 coup supported by Soros and the Obama administration ousted the democratically-elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and his government. The leaked Soros documents describe how the OSF and Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), based at 46 Artema Street in Kiev, worked with the US State Department after the 2014 so-called «Euromaidan» themed revolution to ensure that a federalized Ukraine was not in the picture.
In addition to George Soros (identified as «GS» in the leaked OSF documents, others involved in the Ukrainian coup planning included US ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt; David Meale (Economic Counselor to Pyatt); Lenny Benardo (OSF); Yevhen Bystrytsky (Executive Director, IRF); Oleksandr Sushko (Board Chair, IRF); Ivan Krastev (Chairman, Centre for Liberal Studies, a Soros- and US government-influenced operation in Sofia, Bulgaria); Sabine Freizer (OSF); and Deff Barton (Director, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Ukraine). USAID is a conduit for the Central Intelligence Agency. Soros was present at a post-coup meeting on March 21, 2014 that involved US support for the «New Ukraine». One document describes the «New Ukraine» as a key measure to «reshapes the European map by offering the opportunity to go back to the original essence of European integration».
Soros pushed for sanctions against Russia for refusing to recognize the coup-installed government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, which included neo-Nazis, and rejected a federalized Ukraine that would grant self-government to the Russian-speaking eastern Donbass region. In effect, Soros vetoed a proposal by Pyatt to negotiate a proposal made by Russian Foreign Minister that would grant autonomy to eastern Ukraine within a federalized Ukraine. Soros rejected the proposal because he believed it would grant Russia too much influence in Ukraine. Although Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland did not attend the March 21 meeting, she remained close to Pyatt and Yatsenyuk, who she affectionately called «Yats».  » Lees verder

Russian Foreign Ministry: Skripal poisoning hoax ‘designed to justify growing defense spending of NATO’

Russian Foreign Ministry: Skripal poisoning hoax ‘designed to justify growing defense spending of NATO’

04-04-18 08:08:00,

US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S.

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“US Foreign Policy Is the Greatest Crime Since WWII,” Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

“US Foreign Policy Is the Greatest Crime Since WWII,” Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

14-02-18 03:18:00,

This week, the present US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, during his trip to five Latin American nations, made headlines world wide when he made the following barely veiled threatening statement, “In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad, and the leadership can no longer serve the people.” and shortly afterward referring to the elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro added, 

“If the kitchen gets a little too hot for him, I am sure that he’s got some friends over in Cuba that could give him a nice hacienda on the beach and he could have a nice life over there.”

There are few countries in Latin America that have not experienced the USA both secretly and overtly backing a right wing military government coup.[1]

The US Secretary of State’s criminally insane back handed remarks favoring a civil war, with all the probable loss of lives a civil war would bring, seems to fit as appropriate within a US foreign policy of world domination.  Human suffering has never been of any  consequence to the financial interests of that 1/10 of 1 per cent of Americans who, to one degree or another, rule us all.

That is the way it has been since the end of the Second World War, a war made possible by US investments and joint ventures in the rearming of Nazi Germany,[ 2] a war that made the USA rich and the first all powerful single superpower.  

Now that China is about to replace the USA as the most powerful economy in the world,[3] maybe the days of such arrogance from a US Secretary of State are numbered, though the all powerful criminal media owned by the US military industrial complex would have us think otherwise. The CIA overseen mainstream media is preparing its audience for a probable future ‘necessary’ war with US designated ‘adversaries’ Russia and China. 

However, although ‘Might makes right!’ might continue to prove to be axiomatic and to assure US capability to make war whenever and wherever, there is a countering ultimate truth that whoever has the most money can buy the most guns.

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