Thursday, July 19, 2018

"Authoritarian Gold Bugs" Strike Again! Venezuela & Turkey Cooperate

 Authoritarian Gold bugs is a reference to this previous post:
As reported for years at this blog. The US has been targeting Turkey. 
Turkish leadership knows this and has taken a number of measures to protect the country.

One such example of this move to self defense from potential US attacks is rather obvious in the purchase of the Russian S-400.
"This weapon will be used against Turkey in case of possible hostilities. So if the US does not plan to attack Turkey or support those who intend to attack it, they don't need to be afraid of the S-400 deal. If the American goal is to deprive Turkey of the defense system and attack it, then this is a completely different matter," Bozkurt concluded.

As has been previously explained:

- Turkey did not participate in the US sanctions scheme against Iran. 
- Which raised the ire of US officials resulting in the Halkbank kangaroo court case. 
- With the Magnitsky name being bandied about as an excuse to justify sanctions against Turkey.
If you're following the bouncing ball.... Magnitsky bounces to Bill Browder. 
Bill Browder was mentioned most recently at the Helsinki summit by Putin. 
Putin spoke of Bill Browder - Browder being the impetus for the Magnistsky act and all those sanctions against Russia- Putin mentioned how much money he was able to extract from Russia inappropriately-
I've covered the issues regarding the Halkbank show trial. The fact that Turkey and Iran still traded despite the US edict to ostracize, wage economic warfare against, Iran. Even though Turkey did nothing illegal, as was all previously written about here at the blog.

Most recently:
Brief detour: Aren't show trials just the greatest!  Undertaken to influence. To manage perception. Having nothing to do with justice

Presently we see and can read about this same circumvention of sanctions  playing out again in relation to US sanctions against Venezuela- And Turkey, again, ignoring US edicts, is processing Venezuelan gold at the request of Venezuela's government. These two nations are working together to assist one another from being stymied by empire America's war making.

US Sanctions Venezuela, yet again!
— The Trump administration placed new sanctions on Venezuela on Monday, seeking to block President Nicolás Maduro from selling off government debt to enrich himself the day after he claimed victory in what the United States government called a “sham” election in his crisis-ridden country.
The sanctions imposed Monday, the third round that Mr. Trump’s administration has placed on Venezuela, are intended to stop Mr. Maduro and his government from using a strategy they have pursued to raise cash.
  Being fully aware that sanctions are simply another form of warfare- we have to realize that the US is waging war against Venezuela. As usual. No different then the sanctions against Russia or Iran or Syria or whatever other nation the US has in it's sights.
 Venezuela is a resource rich nation. And it's resources are it's own. Which is why the US has had such a huge problem with this nation state. 


Below is an interview with President Maduro via Daily Sabah

In an interview, Maduro answered Daily Sabah's questions regarding the July 15 coup attempt and talked of mutually beneficial relations between Turkey and Venezuela.
DAILY SABAH: First of all, welcome to Turkey, we are extremely happy to have you here. Can you share with us how you feel about being here today?

PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO: Hola. We're building very close relations with Turkey, we admire your history and your culture. Together we've been able to devise a map of a cooperation that will be mutually beneficial. Venezuela wants peace, development and mutual benefit.

DS: July 15, the anniversary of the failed coup attempt is here, so what do you feel? We know that you are very outspoken about this issue. What do you think about what happened in Turkey two years ago?

NM: President Erdogan has been the victim of a coup d'état, which was very similar to coup d'états we've gone through in Latin America. In the same manner that we have denounced and we have defeated coup attempts in Latin America. The first day after the attempt, we expressed our total solidarity with President Erdogan. There should never ever be a new attempt to trouble the life of the people because we believe that the people say the last word in democratic societies. So we need to reiterate that we need to have a free, independent and peaceful path for the people for them to be able to progress.

DS: How about Turkey-Venezuela bilateral relations? Which particular areas need to be improved between the two countries in the near future?

NM: We may progress in the production economy in oil and various fields. We are open to development. We have already started in the commercial field, because Turkey is a first rate supplier of raw materials that Venezuela needs. The other fields are refining and processing gold. Venezuela has certified reserves. Currently Venezuela has certified what could become the first largest gold reserve in the world.
Venezuela has gold and oil. Lots of gold and oil Turkey has the tools to refine and process gold.
Likewise, the same goes for the supply of oil and anything related to energy as well as in air transportation and tourism. We are already working in many other areas that are moving forward and they are doing great. Turkey also can benefit from petro cryptocurrency launched by Venezuela. Petro cryptocurrency can be used in foreign trade and investments. This will benefit Turkey and improve our economic ties.

DS: Beyond political and economic ties, you are really engaged with Turkish culture. Where does your special interest in Turkish culture and, in fact, popular culture, comes from?

I am very much aware of the history of Turkey. It is a wonderful history. Today, President Erdogan somehow summarized the history of Turkey during the inauguration ceremony. Each person should be very proud of Turkish history. There should be a very wide dialogue of civilizations and different cultures that we can meet with each other in diversity.

DS: Turkish people, especially on social media, follow you very closely. You share many things about popular Turkish culture, especially about the well-acclaimed historical TV series, "Resurrection: Ertugrul."

Ertugrul! My wife and I, we love this historic series regarding Turkey. We never miss an episode of Ertugrul. Never.

DS: Why do you prefer to watch Dirilis instead of watching let's say "Vikings?" I mean why do you prefer to Turkish historical figures and heroes over others?

You're right I do prefer them over others. Because in that series, there are many values that are conveyed. Also, the series has a spectacular quality of production and the actors and actresses are perfect in their roles.
DS: Gracias, thank you so much. Thanks for your time.
Turkey and Venezuela have positive relations and are willing to work together, peacefully.
Turkey is processing Venezuelan gold because Switzerland would comply with US edicts.
So much for the concept of the neutral nation of Switzerland?! 

Venezuela says it is refining gold in Turkey following sanctions
  Venezuela’s central bank this year began refining gold in Turkey following a wave of international sanctions that have left it unwilling to carry out such operations in Switzerland, the country’s mining minister said on Wednesday.
The central bank for several years has been buying gold from small miners in the south of the country and refining it to be used as monetary gold to shore up its international reserves that have tumbled as the country’s socialist economy implodes.
“This is an agreement established with Turkey and the Venezuelan central bank,” said Victor Cano in a press conference. “It’s being done by allied countries because imagine (what would happen) if we sent gold to Switzerland and we are told that it has to stay there because of sanctions.”

Imagine what would happen to Venezuela's gold if the Swiss got their hands on it. Surely it would go the way of Libya's gold/wealth. All stolen. 

You do all recall that Libya's wealth was held for 'safe keeping' by loving humanitarian bankers who wanted only to help the Libyan people? NOT!

RT : Some €10 billion of Libyan government funds, frozen as part of sanctions against the late Muammar Gaddafi’s inner circle, has mysteriously disappeared from a Belgian bank somewhere between 2013 and 2017, according to local media. 

James Rickards, senior managing director at Tangent Capital Rickards Says Libya's Gold Bullion May Never Be Found


I'm thinking Venezuela is trying to avoid having their assets go missing. Libya was unable to avoid this fate.

Oh and btw: I don't believe that NATO  is unaware of where all that Libyan gold has gone to.
It's was surely spirited away.

Interesting too is that Turkey has repatriated it's gold from the US.
Lest their assets go missing as well?
I'd say so. 

Ankara has decided to bring back all its gold stored in the US Federal Reserve, according to Turkish media. In recent years, Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, and 28.7 tons was brought back from the US last year.
Turkey’s gold reserves are estimated at 564 tons and are worth about $20 billion, Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported. This makes Ankara the 11th largest gold holder, behind the Netherlands and ahead of India. The reports come at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken a tough stance against the US currency.


 Gold Bug Authoritarians hailing from Venezuela, Turkey, Russia. All three caught in US cross hairs. All wishing to avoid the fate of Libya. Banker plunder coming on the heels of a NATO military intervention

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Israel’s Implausible, Dark Night & Torches, Heist of Iranian Nuclear Secrets

National Post
“Last year, the spies began planning a heist that one senior Israeli intelligence official said bore a strong resemblance to George Clooney’s adventures in “Oceans 11.”
 This absurd tale is the reason, so we’re told, that Trump was convinced to pull out of the JCPOA/P5+1.
 It’s so Hollywood. The whole narrative. Complete with the above reference to George Clooney’s Oceans 11. But not the new all girl one cause that one is supposed to be a stinker. 

 After reading just two paragraphs, just the two opening paragraphs, recalling this so called dramatic heist. I was completely skeptical.


The first two paragraphs via the National Post
“TEL AVIV, Israel — The Mossad agents moving in on a warehouse in a drab commercial district of Tehran, Iran, knew exactly how much time they had to disable the alarms, break through two doors, cut through dozens of giant safes and get out of the city with a half-ton of secret materials: six hours and 29 minutes.

The morning shift of Iranian guards would arrive around 7 a.m., a year of Israeli surveillance of the warehouse had revealed, and the agents were under orders to leave before 5 a.m. to have enough time to escape. Once the Iranian custodians arrived, it would be instantly clear that someone had stolen much of the country’s clandestine nuclear archive, documenting years of work on atomic weapons, warhead designs and production plans”
Netanyahu's big diagram for his big expose

“The morning shift of Iranian guards would arrive around 7 a.m.”

I really had trouble believing that there would only be a morning/day shift of guards on the job guarding such precious and secret materials.  Yet, that’s what we’re supposed to believe

“ Once the Iranian custodians arrived it would be instantly clear that someone had stolen .....”

So no Iranian guards at work guarding the country’s alleged super duper clandestine nuclear archives over night? When any would be spies would have the benefit of the dark and a lack of people out and about necessitating the presence of guards, much more then through the day time!

No sooner had I finished read the excerpts above when it seemed most probable the rest of the story is bogus.
It feels like a rehash of something I’ve heard or read previously? Possibly more then one time?


"Netanyahu says his government has obtained “half a ton” of secret Iranian documents proving the Tehran government once had a nuclear weapons program."
 
As if the absurd idea of Iranian guards not working a night shift to protect these alleged state secrets isn’t enough- there’s still more silliness to confront. 
Consider the fact that this type of operations runs counter to usual Mossad ops

“In most Mossad operations, spies aim to penetrate a facility and photograph or copy material without traces.”

Instead we’re supposed to believe that the superspooks fled with half a ton of old documents!
“There is no way to independently confirm the authenticity of the documents, most of which were at least 15 years old”
 “The Israelis hand-picked the documents shown to the reporters, meaning that exculpatory material could have been left out”
The Israeli’s hand picked, for the media show, documents that have no provenance.
“For all the cinematics of the raid, the immediate aftermath was absent much drama. There was no chase, said Israeli officials, who would not disclose whether the documents left by land, air or sea —“

At this point in the presented narrative, I’m thinking no one gave chase because these agents were never in Iran for this raid.
“At exactly 7 a.m., as the Mossad expected, a guard arrived and discovered that the doors and safes were broken.”

At exactly 7:00 am as the Mossad had expected a guard arrived ? How is this known?
Was someone left behind to keep watch? That’s not indicated in the recount. The report reads as if everyone left with their 1000 lb load of papers.

Finally:
“The Iranians have maintained that the entire trove is fraudulent — another elaborate scheme by the Israelis to get sanctions reimposed on the country.”
I would tend to agree with the claim that the entire trove of unverifiable documents is fraudulent. And this cinematic drama is a really bad story. Thumbs down!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Trump/Putin Press Conference: NO Deal!


Yup, I watched and took notes.
Trump was, surprisingly, diplomatic. Well spoken. Not verbose or brash.
Putin, via a translator, was his usual self. Which means he spoke much as he does, every time I’ve watched/listened to him speak previously-
Putin and Trump were both pragmatic.


Putin spoke of first steps. Fine tuning dialogue.
Apparently the START treaty was discussed. IMF. No weapons in space.
Putin favoured continued cooperation between Russia and US.
Treaty of ‘74 was mentioned wrt Golan 

Which suggests Putin is ok with Syria and Israel maintaining the status quo regarding Golan.
Resolution 338 was also mentioned by Putin 

Putin mentioned North Korea, as well as broaching the p5+1 or JCPOA. He stated Iran became the most controlled nation on the planet. Putin talked trajectory of growth- restoration of cooperation etc

Trump talked about Israel a bit too much.
His first concern when Syria was brought up was for Israel. 

Then for civilians.
His priorities are very clear!
Trump will continue pressuring Iran- No Iranian involvement in Syria
As for Ukraine? - Putin stated Trump made very clear his stance on Crimea. Which was Russia’s annexation illegal. 

Russia doesn’t see it that way. Elections. Referendum and mostly everyone is Russia there anyway.
Trump brought up pipelines transiting Ukraine- Putin said they could work that out that so long as the US genuinely works on the agreement made at Minsk. (Dispute to be settled through Minsk)


I’ve got about 8 small note pages of notes, so above is a brief synopsis of the press conference


Of special interest:  Putin spoke of Bill Browder - Browder being the impetus for the Magnistsky act and all those sanctions against Russia- Putin mentioned how much money he was able to extract from Russia inappropriately- Trump said nothing. 

There was NO agreement regarding Iran or the JCPOA. There was clearly no agreement regarding the Iran issue as it relates to Syria either. There was NO agreement with regard to Crimea. In other words there was NO Grand Deals made! Not that I expected anything like that to actually occur.

Conclusion? Russia and the US remain far apart on a number of very important issues.
HELSINKI, July 16. /TASS/. A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump has been going on for two hours. The two leaders are meeting tete-a-tete behind closed doors, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene.

The Russian and US leaders began the talks with exchanging brief greetings. The Russian president said he would like to discuss relations between Russia and the US and global issues with the US counterpart. For his part, the US president noted the two countries have "a great opportunity together." "I think we will end up with an extraordinary relationship," he noted.

The one-on-one meeting is expected to continue with the participation of delegation members, and the two leaders will tell reporters about its results at a news conference.

Related Posts

where it was suggested:

There will be no grand deal on Syria, Ukraine or Crimea. 
To my way of thinking all those claims presented by the always managing your perception media have been little more then unadulterated, Grade A, stinking piles of distractionary dung! 


UPDATE July 17/2018:

Transcript of the Putin/Trump press conference including Q & A afterwards
via NPR

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Brazen Israeli Airstrikes North of Nairab Airport Aleppo, Syria. Warning Turkey?

 Quite the northern locale strike into Syrian territory for Israel- But what else can be expected of Israel? Other then brazen war making activity?
And surely the US was completely aware and on board with this attack, right before the Helsinki summit. I've no doubt of that!
sputnik
Israel has conducted a rocket strike on Syrian military positions north of Nairab airport in Aleppo, local media reported Sunday night.
The strike by Israeli armed forces on Syrian military position caused material damage, Reuters reported, citing Syrian state media.
Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quotes a military source as saying that Israel had struck Syrian military positions north of the airport in Aleppo. Several reports on social media say that several aircraft took part in the strike, which according to those reports lasted up to 10 minutes.
daily mail

Syrian state media accused Israel of bombing a military position in Aleppo province late Sunday in what would be a rare Israeli attack so far north in the war-ravaged country.
Citing a military source, state news agency SANA said the missile attack hit near a strategic air base.
"The Zionist enemy (Israel)... targeted with its missiles one of our military positions north of the Neirab military airport, but the damage was only material," SANA said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said it had recorded a wave of blasts around Neirab on Sunday night.
"They were caused by a missile attack, suspected to have been carried out by Israel, targeting positions held by Syria's regime and its allies at the Neirab airport and around it," the Britain-based monitor said.
rt
Syrian military positions near Aleppo airport have come under a missile strike, state media reports, blaming Israel for the attack.
The strike targeted “one of our military positions north of the airport in Aleppo,” a military source told the Syrian Arab News Agency, stressing that the damage from the aggression was “limited to material.”
The source denounced the raid as a “desperate attempt to support the defeated terrorist groups” in Daraa and Quneitra, where the Syrian army is actively working to defeat them. Furthermore, the publication accused the IDF of being “directly involved” in raising the morale of militants from al Nusra and other terrorist groups.

So. I'm making a pot of sage/ lemon balm tea and I'm thinking why so far north in Syria?
And then it hit me! Today is the two year anniversary of the USrael backed coup on Turkey.
Which has me wondering if there is a message to Syria and Turkey, both, with these airstrikes. 

Israel warns Turkey: Stop impeding Israel 2.0 aka Rojova/Kurdistan 

UPDATE July 16/2017:

I checked the location of the Israeli airstrikes- Just north of Nairab Airport in Aleppo- not to far from Aleppo's commercial airport- Wanting to know how close the strikes were to Turkish occupied Syrian territory? Using google maps, the distance to travel from the Nairab airport to Jarabulus is about 50 minutes via car- 

Jarabulus is located on the western banks of the Euphrates- occupied by Turkish forces- Impeding the expansion of Israel 2.0, aka Kurdistan ,in it's desired plan to get to the Mediterranean.
Jarabulus (Arabic: جرابلس‎ / ALA-LC: Jarābulus; Turkish: Cerablus, Aleppo dialect: Jrāblos), is a Syrian city administratively belonging to Aleppo Governorate. Jarabulus, also known as Jerablus, lies on the western bank of the river Euphrates

Turkey marks 2nd anniversary of thwarting violent coup- Today July 15/18
With prayers and other events, Turkey on Sunday commemorated the second anniversary of thwarting a coup against the Turkish president and the government that left nearly 290 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Israel is big on anniversary dates. 

Israel wants Israel 2.0 because it's greater Israel, by another name. 

The US is happy to help.

Turkey's holding up the plan.

The date and location of the strike seems designed to message Turkey, Syria, Russia and Iran



Helsinki Dog & Pony Show: Putin/Trump Summit

My thoughts?

 Like any/every other dog and pony show this alleged summit is going to be all show and no substance at all!

The NGO's will steal the day.  They've got protests all ready to go. They'll get the majority of the news coverage. They'll blather on about human rights etc., All of it meaningless of course, but, it's what NGO's exist to do! 

Trump and Putin will be derided. For perception management purposes.

 The idea of Trump 'bull in the china' demeanor is pushed so when the desired war worsens or expands, everyone will go- oh that Trump he's so irrational- He's so erratic
That meme is reinforced constantly. That's not an apology for the man because he does thrive on that concept. However, that is the idea behind the promotion of Trump as a one man wrecking crew.

Contrary to the 'wrecking ball' rhetoric at the most recent NATO summit, reality was, Trump did as every American leader has in the past- He used NATO, as the tool it was designed specifically for,  keeping Germany down and Russia out!
While 'encouraging' the EU to toe the line. The is a classic NATO, led by the US, stance.

Flashback to West Unhinged Over Turkish Referendum
- Keep in mind that NATO was created, as stated by the very first secretary General of NATO General Ismay, "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down"
From my reading today and yesterday Putin will be in attendance in Helsinki, as will Sergey Lavrov, in hopes of some sort of meeting of the minds. There will be NO meeting of the minds.  Not in a big picture sort of way. There can't be.  Because the US has all sorts of designs on Russia. They've long had a plan to destroy Russia and believe they are closer to this goal. 
If one has this mindset, which the US political class does, nothing can or will be accomplished.

There will be no grand deal on Syria, Ukraine or Crimea.  

To my way of thinking all those claims presented by the always managing your perception media have been little more then unadulterated, Grade A, stinking piles of distractionary dung!  

 If any type of  grand deal is made. Which is highly doubtful.
 It will be reneged on in short order 
As mentioned in- RAND: Time To Make A Deal on Syria? Like Pompeo's Offer To Iran? 

Small arrangements may be made. Deals worked out? Like giving a free pass for Usrael's terrorists aka 'white helmets' Reportedly discussed at the recent NATO meeting.
West Scrambling to Find Options to Pull White Helmets Out of Syria – Reports

Several NATO countries have discussed the possibility of evacuating the White Helmets from Syria, specifically from Daraa province, with US President Donald Trump, CBS News reported, citing an anonymous US official. According to the media outlet, western countries are afraid that Damascus could "assassinate" the NGO's members as it advances through Daraa province.
"They are promising no retribution on anyone in the southwest but nobody trusts or believes that," the source told CBS.
Hope to be wrong. Hope that the US and Russia make some real moves towards peacefully resolving a number of on going struggles
But no breath holding for me!

hattip to YaYa for directing me to this interview with Sergey Lavrov. 
He is always excellent. Thoughtful and informed.
RT

 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Germany is "totally controlled by Russia" Trump Says Regarding Northstream

CNBC
Ahead of a NATO meeting, the president blasted the German government on Wednesday for backing the new natural gas pipeline link from Russia to Germany.
Cause you German folk are supposed to freeze in the dark! I'm being sarcastic 
In launching the fresh attack against Germany, Trump waded into a long-running debate about energy security that has split the European Union
Germany is 'totally controlled' by Russia, Trump says from CNBC.



Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline project slated to transport natural gas from eastern Russia to northern Germany, where it would link up with infrastructure that carries fuel to Western Europe. It would run 1,200 kilometers, mostly under the Baltic Sea along the existing Nord Stream pipeline: hence the name Nord Stream 2.
Russian gas giant Gazprom is building Nord Stream 2. Five European companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and Wintershall, are shouldering half the cost of financing the project.

Why is Nord Stream 2 controversial?

Some European countries oppose Nord Stream 2, arguing that it increases Europe’s dependence on Russia and poses threats to their national security. The opposition comes primarily from the Baltic states and former Soviet satellite nations, including Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Nord Stream is controversial because the US makes it that way!
There is not one person saying "I don't want heat for my home"


Where does the United States stand?

President Barack Obama opposed Nord Stream 2 and President George W. Bush came out against the original Nord Stream prior to its completion in 2011
That policy has carried over into the Trump administration. 
Hence the controversy

Greece Expels Russian Diplomats at the Behest of Washington

sputnik

The expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Greece is unfounded and could seriously damage bilateral relations, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"Washington… is behind the anti-Russian decision of the government of Greece," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the Greek side had provided no justification for the expulsion of the Russian diplomats from Greece, emphasizing that Moscow considers the incident absolutely groundless.
"We consider this action to be absolutely unreasonable, not confirmed by facts from the Greek side, which runs counter to the nature of our bilateral relations and is capable of inflicting serious damage," the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier in July, the newspaper Kathimerini reported that Greece had opted to expel two Russian diplomats and ban two more from entering the country over illegal actions against the country’s national security.
Greece such a good NATO toady