21:27 [Antiwar.com] (E)
Jason Ditz - Iran restarted enrichment at the underground Fordow site overnight on Wednesday, and on Thursday US officials were accusing Iran of preparing a “nuclear breakout” situation the international community must unite against. The concept of the “nuclear breakout” has always been ill-defined, but rests on the notion that at some point Iran would have such a substantial civilian nuclear program that it would be tantamount to an irreversible military program. Though it’s not clear that’s even theoretically possible, as nations like Canada and Japan have never been accused of approaching a “breakout” despite huge nuclear programs, attaching the label to Iran has been popular with US hawks and Israel.
13:47 [CTGM] (E)
Chan Tong-kai, the suspected murderer from Hong Kong accused of killing his girlfriend over a year and a half ago while on holiday in Taiwan, was released from prison on October 23 after serving time for money-laundering charges on the same day that the city`s fugitive bill is planned to be formally withdrawn. This controversial case exposed a loophole in the Special Administrative Region`s law that prevents the municipality from extraditing him to Taiwan to face justice for the crime that he`s accused of committing and reportedly confessed to while in custody.
13:43 [One World] (E)
The popular observation that India`s refusal to join RCEP amounts to a geopolitical blunder overlooks the very distinct possibility that this probably wasn`t a mistake at all, but a preplanned move to justify the country`s ongoing pro-American pivot, albeit at the expense of its regional influence though with the added "benefit" of becoming the US` strategic beachhead in the South Eurasian Rimland.
9:01 [One World] (E)
The visit of new Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to Moscow from 5-7 November along with a 50-member military-technical business delegation will continue the trend of improving Russian-Indian defense ties after their comparative weakening over the past few years, though this must be balanced with improved Russian-Chinese connectivity through the Eurasian Union`s planned integration with the Belt & Road Initiative via the proposed vision of N-CPEC+ otherwise Beijing might understandably come to believe that improved Russian-Indian defense ties are aimed at countering its growing military capabilities and thus risk inadvertently triggering a security dilemma.
8:13 [American Herald Tribune] (E)
There is a certain irony in President Donald Trump’s frequently expressed desire to withdraw from the endless wars that have characterized the so-called “global war on terror” initiated by George W. Bush in 2001. The problem is that Trump has expressed such sentiments both when he was running for office and also as recently as last week without actually doing anything to bring about change. In fact, the greatly ballyhooed “withdrawal” from Syria turned out to be more like a relocation of existing military assets, with soldiers moving from Syria’s northern border to take up new positions to continue control of the Iraqi oil fields in the country’s southeast.
11:32 [Asia Times] (E)
What happened in Geneva this Wednesday, in terms of finally bringing peace to Syria, could not be more significant: the first session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. The Syrian Constitutional Committee sprang out of a resolution passed in January 2018 in Sochi, Russia, by a body called the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. The 150-strong committee breaks down as 50 members of the Syrian opposition, 50 representing the government in Damascus and 50 representatives of civil society. Each group named 15 experts for the meetings in Geneva, held behind closed doors.
16:58 [Pakistan Politico] (E)
Russia recently came out in partisan support of India over Kashmir, which confirmed the “bait theory” explaining the RussianPakistani rapprochement as of late. It also represented the first time since the end of the old Cold War that Russia openly contradicted China on a serious international issue. Recently, the Indian Ambassador to Russia proclaimed that both Great Powers are “global partners”, which might actually be more than just hyperbole if one takes the time to think about the full geostrategic potential of their bilateral ties. Considering that Russia so openly took India’s side on Kashmir diplomatically “balancing” China, it cannot be discounted that the Eurasian-wide expansion of the Russo-Indian Strategic Partnership might also serve to geo politically and economically “balance” the People’s Republic all across the super continent.
16:55 [Consortium News] (E)
The presidential election in Argentina was no less than a game-changer and a graphic lesson for the whole Global South. It pitted, in a nutshell, the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP. Neoliberalism was represented by Mauricio Macri: a marketing product, former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, fanatic of New Age superstitions, and CEO obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western mainstream media as the new paradigm of a post-modern, efficient politician.
12:36 [Mint Press News] (E)
von Alan Macleod - Judging by the minimal impact of the news, there will likely be few consequences for those who suppressed information and misled the world, nor for those who called for war on the basis of it, their assertions proving, once again, disastrously wrong. Douma, Syria, April 2018.
12:35 [Zero Hedge] (E)
By Caitlin Johnstone - You wouldn’t know it from today’s news headlines, but there’s a major scandal unfolding with potentially far-reaching consequences for the entire international community. The political/media class has been dead silent about the fact that there are now two whistleblowers whose revelations have cast serious doubts on a chemical weapons watchdog group that is widely regarded as authoritative, despite the fact that this same political/media class has been crowing all month about how important whistleblowers are and how they need to be protected ever since a CIA spook exposed some dirt on the Trump administration.
8:24 [Asia Times] (E)
A graphic illustration that serious business will proceed as usual is being offered this week by a forum, “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay: New Horizon for China’s Reform and Opening Up of One Country, Two Systems”. The Greater Bay Area is essentially the integrated vision for one of China’s three, key 21st century development nodes, centered on the south: the other ones are around Shanghai and Beijing.
8:22 [Indian Punchline] (E)
Evidently, in the geopolitics of Syrian oil, US, Turkey and the Kurds can have “win-win” partnership, which in turn can also provide underpinning for an enduring political reconciliation between Turks and Kurds. Trump said Washington is mulling over Syria’s oil reserves. Meanwhile, he’s put across a tantalising proposition for Erdogan to ponder over. It demands a leap of faith on Erdogan’s part, but it could be rewarding.
9:49 [CNBC] (E)
President Donald Trump makes a statement from the White House on the situation in Turkey and Syria. Trump announced that the ceasefire has held and combat missions have ended between the two countries. "Big success on the Turkey/Syria Border," he said on Twitter.
8:35 [Moon of Alabama] (E)
Trump policies, especially in international relations, are getting sabotaged or co-opted by the Borg, the unelected establishment in the various departments and think tanks. This is a dangerous phenomenon that, more or less, hinders every elected president, especially those who want to make peace. It should be resisted. The people in leading positions of the executive work "at the pleasure of the president". Their task is to execute his policies. When they refrain from doing so or implement their own preferences they create a mess.
8:00 [Club Orlov] (E)
The recent history with the Syrian Kurds has shown that the United States can betray absolutely anyone, regardless of personal relationships or official promises and guarantees. It’s nothing personal, you know, strictly business… For example, what do the Ukrainians have in common with the Syrian Kurds? At first glance, their people, geography and history are completely different. But then what about the panicked tweets from former Ukrainian foreign minister Pavel Klimkin, in which he wonders in forlorn trepidation whether the US can betray the Ukraine just as it has betrayed its key ally in Syria. But what about the endlessly promised eternal friendship?
19:59 [Asia Times] (E)
The negotiations in Sochi were long – over six hours – tense and tough. Two leaders in a room with their interpreters and several senior Turkish ministers close by if advice was needed. The stakes were immense: a road map to pacify northeast Syria, finally. The press conference afterwards was somewhat awkward – riffing on generalities. But there’s no question that in the end Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan managed the near impossible.
14:39 [Elija J. Magnier] (E)
In the first week of the month of October the US informed Turkey and Russia of its intention to withdraw from north-east Syria (NES). Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan pulled out a plan prepared over a year ago to move forces into NES and take control of cities like Manbij, Ain al-Arab and Ras al-Ayn: an area 440 kilometres long and 35 kilometres wide. The US central command and the Russian military command, as well as other countries including Syria, were informed of the Turkish intention to move forward to fill in the gap.
12:01 [Indian Punchline] (E)
The US objectives range from Trump’s compulsions in domestic politics to the future trajectory of the US policies toward Syria and the impact of any US-Turkish rapprochement on the geopolitics of the Syrian conflict. Meanwhile, the US-Turkish joint statement creates new uncertainties. The two countries have agreed on a set of principles — Turkey’s crucial status as a NATO power; security of Christian minorities in Syria; prevention of an ISIS surge; creation of a “safe zone” on Turkish-Syrian border; a 120-hour ceasefire (“pause”) in Turkish military operations leading to a permanent halt, hopefully.
10:51 [RT] (E)
Much to Washington’s dismay, China is gaining further momentum in the Indo-Pacific region. As the US president pretends to deploy a hands-off approach to the Middle East, expect China’s gains to fare in the news more often. The reason the US might be (at least, on the face of it) caring less about the Middle East and the situation in Syria is that Washington has a new priority theater it is allocating its time and resources to focus on: the Indo Pacific. In that vein, you may start to notice that China and its relationship to the Pacific region is starting to make headlines again.
9:44 [Elija J. Magnier] (E)
Turkish forces invaded north-east Syria (NES) only when it had coordinated with the US to define the red line of the invasion. Moreover, both superpowers, the US and Russia, protected Turkey by blocking an EU-drafted UN resolution to halt the Turkish advance. Turkey refused to allow the US to arm, train and give an independent state to the Syrian Kurds on the Turkish borders and simultaneously keep Turkey as an ally. President Donald Trump had no choice but to accept Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s position over that of the Kurdish separatists. Russia considered the Turkish presence in NES much easier to deal with than the US forces and the disillusionment of the Kurds with their US mentor worth allowing President Erdogan’s operation.
9:42 [Elija J. Magnier] (E)
In the Levant, the US has dramatically failed to reach its objectives, but it has succeeded in waking Russia from its long hibernation, to challenge the US unilateral hegemony of the world and to develop new forms of alliance. Iran has also challenged the US hegemony incrementally since the 1979 “Islamic Revolution”. Iran has planned meticulously, and patiently built a chain of allies connecting different parts of the Middle East. Now, after 37 years, Iran can boast a necklace of robust allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan- who are all ready, if necessary, to take up arms to defend Iran. Iran, in fact, has greatly benefited from US mistakes.
22:18 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
Moscow has managed to maintain contacts with all parties in the conflict, even in spite of its stance against partition and illegal foreign presence. Trilateral talks between Iran, Turkey and Russia occurred in Astana at Moscow’s urging. Putin managed to bring together in Sochi the Syrian government and opposition groups to discuss the future of Syria. In Geneva, Moscow mediated between Damascus and the international community, shielding Syria from the diplomatic skulduggery of the US and other enemies of Syria.
17:36 [Tass] (E)
The world is now faced with the effects of this "shortsighted policy," the Russian foreign minister said
11:14 [RT] (E)
Russia`s President Vladimir Putin sat down with three Arab-language media, including RT Arabic, to discuss Russia`s policies and ties in the Middle East and beyond, as well as a looming arms race with the US and NATO`s expansion. In advance of his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates Vladimir Putin answered questions from Al Arabiya senior presenter Mohammed Tomaihi, Sky News Arabia senior presenter Mohannad Khatib and RT Arabic Public and Political Programmes Department Head Salam Musafir. This is the full video and transcript of the interview. Key excerpts are available here, here and here.
9:37 [Paul Craig Roberts] (E)
The Open Skies Treaty allowed the US and Russia to overfly each other’s territory in order that there could be mutual assurance that one country or the other wasn’t building up forces for attack. If Washington withdraws from the treaty, which seems in the cards, tensions and uncertainties between the two major nuclear powers will increase. In no way is this a good thing. The American military/security complex wants the tensions to increase, because this makes the orchestrated “Russian Threat” even larger and leads to a larger budget and more profits and power for the US military/security complex. The military/security complex about which President Eisenhower warned us, to no effect, has been highly successful in dismantling the arms control agreements made between past US and Russian leaders. This has raised the profits of the US military/security complex at the expense of the security of the world.
9:29 [New Eastern Outlook] (E)
Despite the fact that Turkey has been defying the US as of recently with regard to its purchase of Russian S-400 missile system, the US president has finally conceded to its NATO partner’s long-standing demand of invading northern Syria and wipe out the Kurdish militias. This is a critical decision since Kurdish militias were the main US ground allies in the war against the Islamic State in Syria. With the US now abandoning its only ground ally in Syria, a policy shift is in the air, a change that might ultimately go to Syria’s benefit. While we shall come to this point later, what is pertinent here to discuss is the factor that led the US to change its erstwhile position vis-à-vis Kurds.
23:46 [ZeroHedge] (E)
The treasury secretary further promised that any additional Turkey sanctions would be "very powerful" — this as the Pentagon in its own briefing on the same day tried to push back against the idea that the US had "authorized" Erdogan`s military operation, or that it had "abandoned" the Kurds.
20:01 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
The issue of the United States waging what seems to be a global war by way of sanctions rarely surfaces in the western media. The argument being made by the White House is that sanctions are capable of putting maximum pressure on a rogue regime without the necessity of having to go to war and actually kill people, but the reality is that while economic warfare may seem to be more benign than bombing and shooting the reality is that thousands of people die anyway, whether through starvation or inability to obtain medicines. It is often noted that 500,000 Iraqi children died in the 1990s due to sanctions imposed by the Bill Clinton White House and current estimates of deaths in Syria, Iran and Venezuela number in the tens of thousands.
19:14 [Press TV] (E)
Russian and the United States have used their veto power at the United Nations Security Council to vote down a European statement against Turkey`s invasion of northern Syria.
13:26 [Club Orlov] (E)
International politics is a daunting subject for many. Understanding what is happening requires knowledge of history, firsthand experience with various countries and cultures, some understanding of foreign languages (since the information that’s available in English tends to be incomplete and slanted in a particular direction) and much else. But there is another approach that can produce good results even for a seven-year-old: reading facial expressions and body language of world leaders.
9:31 [Eric Margolis] (E)
“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.” Napoleon Bonaparte France’s future emperor never saw China, but he was wise enough to understand its immense latent strength and future importance. Two centuries after making this prediction, China has proved the Corsican correct. Last week, China feted the 70th anniversary of the Communist takeover of the mainland. It was a gala demonstration of the nation’s military and social power. I recall watching the 60th anniversary celebration in Hong Kong and wondering at how amazingly far China had come since I first went there in the early 1980’s.
9:28 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
There is a strong current of change affecting the international political arena. It is the beginning of a revolution brought on by the transition from a unipolar to multipolar world order. In practice, we are faced with the combination of several factors, including the application of US tariffs on Chinese exports, Washington’s sanctions on Iran, US energy self-sufficiency, the vulnerability of Saudi industrial facilities, and Iranian capabilities for resisting US attacks, as well as its exportation of large quantities of gas and oil to China. Everything converges on one factor, namely, the looming decline of the US dollar as the global reserve currency
17:07 [Moon of Alabama] (E)
The Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke yesterday at the yearly Valdai Discussion Club meeting in Sochi. A video with English translations and excerpts of the transcript are here. With regards to the global system Putin made an interesting historic comparison: in the 19th century they used to refer to a “Concert of Powers.” The time has come to talk in terms of a global “concert” of development models, interests, cultures and traditions where the sound of each instrument is crucial, inextricable and valuable, and for the music to be played harmoniously rather than performed with discordant notes, a cacophony. It is crucial to consider the opinions and interests of all the participants in international life. Let me reiterate: truly mutually respectful, pragmatic and consequently solid relations can only built between independent and sovereign states.
10:02 [Khamenei] (E)
The members of the High Council of the Commanders of the IRGC met with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces— Ayatollah Khamenei— this morning October 2, 2019. In this meeting, the Supreme Leader stressed that the policies of the United States to pressure Iran have miscarried and said: The Americans failed in their Maximum Pressure policy. They assumed if they apply the policy of Maximum Pressure on Iran, Iran would accept to compromise with them. To this moment, by God’s grace and power, they learned Maximum Pressure only afflicted themselves with problems.
11:38 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
We all can be only too aware of the so-called ‘culture wars’, which are rending Britain, the US and Europe apart. We can see plainly this fracture, around which are arranged the two warring armies: On one side fly the banners of the Enlightenment ideal of ‘incontrovertible’ reason, from which the leap the idols of technology, of cosmopolitan homogeneity – and too, the ‘progressive agenda’: i.e. the embrace of human rights, rights of immigration, diversity, ecology and gender politics. And on the other front, those like Philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder, who considered the great imperialists such as Charlemagne — the “villains of history” who “stomped out native cultures.”
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