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The Failure Of This Week's US-NATO-Russia Meetings Make War More Likely

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In the late 1990s the US military-industrial-media complex lobbied the Clinton administration to extend NATO. The sole purpose was to win more customers for US weapons. Russia protested. It had offered to integrate itself into a new European security architecture but on equal terms with the US The US rejected that. It wanted Russia to subordinate itself to US whims.

Since then NATO has been extended five times and moved closer and closer to Russia's border. Leaving Russia, a large country with many resources, outside of Europe's security structure guaranteed that Russia would try to come back from the miserable 1990s and regain its former power.

In 2014 the US sponsored a coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, Russia's neighbor and relative, and installed its proxies. To prevent an eventual integration of the Ukraine into NATO Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine. As long as the Ukraine has an internal conflict it can not join NATO.

In 2018 the Trump administration withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty which had been created under the Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan to eliminate nuclear missiles in Europe. Now the US made plans to station new nuclear missiles in Europe which would threaten Russia. These required a Russian response.
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After The Bear Showed Its Teeth The Ukraine Filed For Peace?

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First the Ukraine said it would use force to recover the renegade Donbass region as well as Crimea. It then moved heavy troops towards the contact lines. The ceasefire at the contact line was broken multiple times per day. Several Ukrainian soldiers died while attempting to remove a minefield in preparation of an attack.

It became clear that a war in Ukraine's east was likely to soon braek out. A successful war would help Ukraine's president Zelensky with the ever increasing domestic crises. A war would also give the US more influence in Europe. The US and NATO promised "unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty”.

Russia gave several verbal warnings that any Ukrainian attack on the renegade provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk or Crimea would cause a serious Russian intervention. There was never a chance that the US or NATO would intervene in such a war. But it was only after Russia started to move some of its troops around that sanity set in. It dawned on the Ukrainian leadership that the idea of waging war against a nuclear armed superpower was not a good one.
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How 'Western' Media Select Their Foreign Correspondents

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Did you ever wonder why 'western' mainstream media get stories about Russia and other foreign countries so wrong?

It is simple. They hire the most brainwashed, biased and cynical writers they can get for the job. Those who are corrupt enough to tell any lie required to support the world view of their editors and media owners.

They are quite upfront about it.

Here is evidence in form of a New York Times job description for a foreign correspondent position in Moscow...
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Iraq's Resistance Reveals How US Troops Will Be Removed From Its Country

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Yesterday the US attacked five sites in Iraq and killed 3 Iraqi soldiers of the 19th Division, two policeman and a civilian. The strikes came after some 10+ rockets, fired by unknown people, had hit the joint base Camp Tali and had killed 2 US and one British soldiers.

Today the US received the revenge for its strikes.

The US Central Command had argued that the "defensive precision strike" against the five sites created deterrence i.e. they would prevent other attacks:
We believe that this is going to have an effect on deterring -- on deterring future strikes of this nature. We've seen in the past what happens when you don't respond. Now people know that we're not going to -- we're not going to tolerate these direct attacks on American or coalition service members, and we're willing and able to respond.
Even hawkish analysts find that the argument is nonsense.
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Iran Counters EU Threat Of Snapback Sanctions

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US President Donald Trump wants to destroy the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has threatened the EU-3 poodles in Germany, Britain and France with a 25% tariff on their car exports to the US unless they end their role in the JCPOA deal.

In their usual gutlessness the Europeans gave in to the blackmail. They triggered the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the deal. The mechanism foresees two 15 day periods of negotiations and a five day decision period after which any of the involved countries can escalate the issues to the UN Security Council. The reference to the UNSC would then lead to an automatic reactivation or "snapback" of those UN sanction against Iran that existed before the nuclear deal was signed.

Iran is now countering the European move. Its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that Iran may leave the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) if any of the European countries escalates the issue to the UNSC
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The Murder Of Qassem Soleimani Will Deter No One

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The Trump administration sees the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani as a form of deterrence not only with regards to Iran but also towards Russia, China and others. That view is wrong.

The claim that the murder of Soleimani was necessary because of an "imminent threat" has been debunked by Trump himself when he tweeted that 'it doesn't really matter' if there was such a threat or not.

In a speech at the Hoover Institute Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the assassination was part of a new deterrence strategy. As Reuters reported:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said Qassem Soleimani was killed as part of a broader strategy of deterring challenges by US foes that also applies to China and Russia, further diluting the assertion that the top Iranian general was struck because he was plotting imminent attacks on US targets.
In his speech at Stanford University's Hoover Institute, Pompeo made no mention of the threat of imminent attacks planned by Soleimani.

The speech itself, headlined The Restoration of Deterrence: The Iranian Example, makes that less explicit as Reuters lets it appear...
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Impeachment Theater

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Ukrainegate is the new Russiagate. The "whistleblower complaint" is the new "dirty dossier." The 'former' MI6 spy Christopher Steele wrote the dossier. The current CIA spy Eric Ciaramella wrote the "complaint":
Federal documents reveal that the 33-year-old Ciaramella, a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia “collusion” investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. 

Further, Ciaramella (pronounced char-a-MEL-ah) left his National Security Council posting in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media. He has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

'He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,' said a former NSC official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Also, Ciaramella huddled for 'guidance' with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, including former colleagues also held over from the Obama era whom Schiff’s office had recently recruited from the NSC. Schiff is the lead prosecutor in the impeachment inquiry.

And Ciaramella worked with a Democratic National Committee operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, inviting her into the White House for meetings, former White House colleagues said. The operative, Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American who supported Hillary Clinton, led an effort to link the Republican campaign to the Russian government. 'He knows her. He had her in the White House,' said one former co-worker, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.
The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake.
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When Ukraine's Prosecutor Came After His Son's Sponsor Joe Biden Sprang Into Action

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There are some serious questions around the Biden family involvement in the Ukraine that the media have not picked up on.

The first regards the ownership of the company which hired Joe Biden's son Hunter for an exorbitant amount of money while Joe Biden ran the US Ukraine policy.

The second question is about the firing of the Viktor Shokin, the former Prosecutor General of the Ukraine. Trump accuses Joe Biden of having intervened in favor of his son's sponsor to get Shokin fired. The timeline below supports that assertion.

At Naked Capitalism Yves Smith reposted a 2014 piece by Richard Smith who at that time looked into the Hunter Biden appointment to the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas producer. Yves writes...
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