The United States has employed «shock and awe» techniques - described by Pentagon policy documents as the use of «spectacular displays of force» to intimidate an opponent - against the civilian population of the St. Louis, Missouri suburb of Ferguson, just a stone’s throw from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The police use of shock and awe tactics followed street protests after the police shooting death of an 18-year old black teen, Michael Brown. According to a private autopsy, Brown, an African-American, was shot six times, including twice in the head, by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson... Based on the actions of the St. Louis County police and their cache of Pentagon weapons, as well as their Israeli and Blackwater training, the next dead U.S. citizen – African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, or otherwise – could be found lying in a pool of his or her own blood, drawn by a militarized police officer, from the Jersey shore to the streets of Los Angeles.
Brazil’s scheduled October presidential election was seen as a virtual cake walk for incumbent President Dilma Rousseff. That was until a plane crash killed Rousseff’s rather lackluster opponent, economist and former governor of Pernambuco, Eduardo Campos. On August 13, it was reported that the plane carrying Campos, a Brazilian pro-business centrist presidential candidate who was running third behind the more conservative Social Democratic Party candidate Aecio Neves, an economist and champion of austerity, crashed into a residential area of Santos in Sao Paulo state, Brazil...
...Opposition to the introduction of sanctions by Brussels against Russia will primarily arise in those countries in which Russia is relatively dominant in foreign trade compared to the US (there are 12 such countries in the EU). At the same time, Washington's political dominance in some of these countries will exacerbate the socio-political situation. Public opinion polls in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, for example, show that the vast majority of respondents are opposed to their country's involvement in sanctions, and, since Brussels started going along with US sanctions, the percentage of respondents in favour of their country's withdrawal from the European Union has begun to rise.
In speaking of the economic war started by the West against Russia, it has been pointed out that on the European front of this war, new disproportions leading to a significant asymmetry are inevitably emerging within the European Union. Only the foreign trade ‘heavyweights’ represented by a small group of European countries could inflict serious damage on Russia. The backbone of this group is made up of Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy. But a Russian retaliation would cause, and is already starting to cause, the greatest damage to other EU member countries...
The issue of the trade and economic war between the West and Russia instigated by Washington has intensified in recent days. The United States is unable to conduct a trade and economic war against Russia by itself, since trade volumes between Russia and America are relatively modest. In 2013, US imports from Russia amounted to $11.2 billion, while exports from the US to Russia amounted to $16.5 billion. Accordingly, America’s share of Russian exports last year was 2.5 per cent, and its share of imports was 6.0 per cent. In 2013, the US ranked just 20th on the list of Russia’s trade partners. But the share of countries in the European Union, made up of 28 countries, last year reached 50 per cent of Russia’s foreign trade turnover. In other words, Washington is unable to unleash an economic war against Russia without its European allies...
The European Commission has formed a group to assess the losses inflicted by Russian food embargo. The overall damage could be 12 billion euros. The EU has only 400 million euros earmarked for compensation.
Brussels obediently followed the US policy on Ukraine and received a sensitive retaliatory blow against its agricultural sector as a result.
According to Ric Spooner, Chief Market Analyst for CMC Markets in Australia, the Russian ban on agricultural products from the European Union, Norway, the United States and Australia will knock out other markets’ prices while exporters will be looking for new markets. This is a tough situation for the European Union but it has to reap what it sows.
Foodstuffs have become an acute issue recently. The US and the EU oppose the Russia’s independent policy towards Ukraine. Russia has taken retaliatory steps in response to the sanctions imposed unilaterally by the West, including the one year ban on importing food from the countries that joined the sanctions. The decision opens new opportunities before the Russian agricultural producers and new importers. Latin America is an alternative. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay will soon start to export all kinds of meat, fish and other ocean products, fruits and milk. Brazilian farmers are happy. Russia has been the main importer of their beef, pork and poultry. After the decision of Rostekhnadzor (the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) at least 90 Brazilian meat producers got access to Russia and the Customs Union.
Israel’s offensive against HAMAS in the Gaza Strip is stymied. The operation Protective Edge has produced no results. With 2 thousand civilians dead and hundreds of houses demolished not a single mission is accomplished; no matter experts believe that Tsahal is the strongest Middle East force. The HAMAS leadership and armed formations command have suffered no losses; Israelis prefer not to remember their own first statements about complete elimination of the group. HAMAS still has the major part of its missiles stockpile intact. The missiles’ range covers the larger part of Israel, including Ben Gurion international airport. The network of tunnels dug under the territory of the Strip was partly destroyed and, probably, rapidly restored. Reaching the first densely populated areas Tsahal suddenly stopped and even pulled back…
Some time ago Kharkiv was leading the civil protest against the Kiev junta. Now it appears to fall silent forever. The city is often called the second capital of Ukraine and it may launch a new wave of protests, something the new regime is really afraid of. Late on April 8 almost 70 anti-Maidan protesters were arrested to face politically motivated trials in July. Today those who aspire to become part of Europe make dissenters face trials. The political opposition should be quelled by doing away with those who disagree. Now they try to install this kind of order throughout the whole Ukraine.
The West’s Ukraine policy has the same drawback as its approaches to the settlement of other international issues. When it comes to words Western politicians appear to understand the need to take into consideration the interests of all parties involved.
But practice is different. When it comes to deeds Western leaders take a unilateral approach fully relying on Kiev which is under their control. They do utmost to guarantee its undisputable victory as the war proceeds in the eastern part of the country. This is not the right policy for finding solutions to the problems; it creates ground for other conflicts to follow shaking the whole world order. A seeming victory would be illusory and unstable.
...In the 23 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russians have been of the opinion that Washington, not the Soviet government, was the party to be trusted in the Cold War. What the Russian government has learned recently is that Washington cannot be trusted and that the Soviet government’s suspicions of the West were very well founded. Kiev’s military assault on eastern and southern Ukraine is not going to stop because Europeans finally see the light and object. Europeans not only stood aside for 13 years while Washington bombed civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and organized outside forces to attack Syrians, while isolating Iran for military attack, but also actively participated in the attacks. Europe has stood aside while Israel has massacred Palestinians on numerous occasions. For Russia to rely on Europe’s moral conscience is to rely on something that does not exist...
Paul Craig ROBERTS
The Honorable Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. As a presidential appointee to a secret committee, he played a role in the Reagan / Gorbachev negotiation of the end of the Cold War. In 1961 Roberts was a member of the US/USSR student exchange program. In 1989 and 1990, Roberts addressed the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow on the subject of liberty. His book, Alienation and the Soviet Economy (1971 and 1990) is widely accepted as the explanation of the ideological origin and failure of the Soviet economy. Roberts was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and Scripps Howard News Service.
He has had many university appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University where his colleagues were Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and James R. Schlesinger.