May, 2016 Russia


By Paul Craig Roberts

"Information Clearing House" - The Saker reports that Russia is preparing for World War III, not because Russia intends to initiate aggression but because Russia is alarmed by the hubris and arrogance of the West, by the demonization of Russia, by provocative military actions by the West, by American interference in the Russian province of Chechnya and in former Russian provinces of Ukraine and Georgia, and by the absence of any restraint from Western Europe on Washington’s ability to foment war.

Russia's Mariinsky Theatre orchestra performs at the amphitheatre in the Syria's historic city of Palmyra [Reuters]

James Denselow
A good means of predicting what Moscow's next steps in the Syria conflict is to listen to what Russian political and military leaders say and prepare for the opposite. While other actors on this most bloody of stages have been characterised by their preference for short-term tactics, the Russians have long had a strategy for their involvement in the country.


By Pepe Escobar

 "Information Clearing House" - "RT" - So foreign ministers from the 28 NATO member-nations met in Brussels for a two-day summit, while mighty military power Montenegro was inducted as a new member.

 

Demonizing Russia , By AFP

 "Information Clearing House" - "AFP" - BRUSSELS: NATO foreign ministers met on Thursday to finalize the alliance’s biggest military build-up since the end of the Cold War to counter what they see as a more aggressive and unpredictable Russia.

 

It has been six years since the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara ship that was aiming to reach the Gaza coast in May 2010.In the wake of the Mavi Marmara crisis, Turkey and Israel relations rapidly worsened; both countries withdrew their ambassadors and cut diplomatic ties. Turkey's downing of a Russian jet along the Syrian border on November 24, 2015 has forced Ankara to adjust its foreign policy and address its energy security issues. The crisis between Turkey and Russia firmly highlighted the dependence of Turkey on Russian energy resources.

 

Propaganda Alert

By RT

"Information Clearing House" - "RT" - NATO’s former deputy military chief in Europe says his book, a fictional story which describes a nuclear war with Russia over the Baltic nations taking place in 2017, is based on an “entirely plausible” scenario.

By Jonathan Marshall

The Obama administration poked Russia in the eye again by activating a missile defense site in Romania while building up NATO forces on Russia’s borders, acts that could escalate toward nuclear war, notes Jonathan Marshall.

Strangelove-Warroom

MICHAEL KOFMAN

A revanchist Russia and vulnerable Baltic states are on the minds of America’s defense establishment. After Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s trip to Europe to oversee the change of command at European Command (EUCOM), it’s become clear according to senior defense officials that the plan is to transition the role of the command from “reassurance to deterrence.” U.S. military presence is returning in force to Europe in search of that old familiar conventional deterrence in the face of Russian aggression.

A boy rides a bicycle near damaged buildings in the rebel held area of Old Aleppo, Syria [REUTERS]

Marwan Bishara

"The most dangerous place here is the hospital. You arrive, and it's the first thing they tell you: if you want to feel safe, stay at the front," wrote the Italian journalist Francesca Borri in the opening of her book, Syrian Dust, reporting from the heart of the battle for Aleppo.


Project Syndicate, Anders Aslund
MOSCOW – Russia’s economic prospects are looking increasingly grim. Last year, plunging energy prices and international sanctions contributed to a 3.7% fall in GDP. Real wages in the country plummeted by around 10%. This year, the negative trend is expected to continue. In 2016, public spending on education and health care is slated to decline by 8%.


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

Washington and Moscow have made dramatic progress over the last few days in marathon telephone talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on ending the war in Syria. Russia agreed for the first time to discuss the possibility that Syrian President Bashar Assad will step down, and the conditions under which such a process will take place, according to DEBKAfile's intelligence sources.


BY ALTAY ATLI 
ISTANBUL–Many business centers, hospitals, shopping malls and five-star hotels in Moscow as well as signature buildings like the Federation Tower, Evolution Tower and the International House of Music were built by Turkish contractors. But not a single structure built by them has come up there since last November.

 Image: Khamenei inspects the Quran Putin gave him. Khamenei.ir.

Khamenei thinks America is up to no good, yet has a naively positive view of Putin's Russia.
Akbar Ganji

Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated that the United States is Iran’s enemy that cannot be trusted, and that wishes to topple the Islamic Republic and dominate Iran again. Since last year’s nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany), Khamenei has repeatedly claimed that Iran has carried out its obligations under the agreement, whereas the U.S. has done so only “on paper.”


By Gilbert Doctorow

The U.S. government doesn’t want to admit that its heady “unipolar” days are over with Russia no longer the doormat of the 1990s, but Washington’s arrogance risks war, even nuclear annihilation, explains Gilbert Doctorow.