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Showing posts from March 11, 2014

'West Lie Machine, Incompetent and Bankrupt'

By Finian Cunningham

"Press TV" - The US spooks are on the defensive over escalating geopolitical tensions between America and Russia over Ukraine. This weekend, the leaders of the 6! or so US intelligence agencies are having to explain to their political masters why they are called "intelligence" given that they failed to foresee the Russian security measures that Moscow has deployed in Ukraine's southern Crimean Peninsula over the past week.

Now Washington is scrambling fighter jets to the Balkans and warships to the Black Sea in a desperate show of purposefulness, having been caught rudely asleep as the self-appointed global police thug.

So much for the $50-billion-a-year American spy industry, including the National Security Agency, which came to prominence this past year with revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden that the agency...[extracted] zillions of data from computers and phones in every country of the world.

Given the evident surprise in Washingto…

Putin Speaks

By Paul Craig Roberts



Americans have not experienced political leadership or an independent media for such a long time that they will be amazed at the straightforward answers from the Russian President and by media asking real questions, some of which show the influence of Washington’s propaganda.

Americans will also be struck by how greatly the facts of the Ukraine situation diverge from the constant stream of lies that flow from Washington, its European puppets, and presstitute media.

Putin’s calm leadership, the absence of provocative statements and threats, and his insistence on legality and will of the people stand in stark contrast to the West’s threats and support for violent overthrow of a democratically elected government. It is astonishing that the only leadership the world has comes from Russia, China, and three or four countries in South America. The Western world no longer has diplomatic capability. Instead, the Western world relies on propaganda, threats, force, and schem…

Russia's Cultural Influence in Former Soviet States

Former Soviet states are carefully monitoring the events in Crimea, which will decide March 16 whether it will be annexed by Russia. Like most states in Russia's periphery, Crimea has a substantial ethnic Russian population that Moscow can use to improve its geopolitical position.

In 2010, Russia expanded its defense doctrine to include a policy that protects ethnic Russians and Russian citizens beyond its borders -- a policy that was reinforced by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said his country's actions in Ukraine were meant to protect those citizens. Moscow has also made it easier for ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in other countries to gain Russian citizenship.

These moves have raised concerns in other former Soviet states. They are particularly worried that Russia could meddle in their affairs, as it did in Ukraine, under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians or Russian citizens. The Baltic states -- especially Latvia and Estonia, which have large Russian pop…

China Takes a Regional Approach to Economic Development

Chinese shoppers buy goods at a supermarket in Hefei, in central China's Anhui province, on Feb. 14. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


A potentially significant shift in China's domestic economic development is emerging as Beijing creates centrally coordinated regional economic zones encompassing multiple provinces with similar or potentially complementary industrial structures. This approach has emerged from the central government's struggle to negotiate and maintain relative parity among the often-conflicting interests of China's geographically, culturally and economically diverse regions.

Analysis


These zones take their cue from the Yangtze and Pearl River delta regions, which emerged as the country's major economic centers in the 1980s and 1990s largely because of state-led investment into cross-provincial transport and logistics infrastructure. This infrastructure then enhanced interprovincial trade and facilitated the formation of region-wide industrial supply cha…

Colombia's Elections Increase the Chances of a Peace Deal

A Colombian woman votes at a polling station in Toribio, Cauca department, on March 9. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The results of the March 9 legislative elections in Colombia have reduced the likelihood of congressional opposition to any eventual peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel group. The coalition led by President Juan Manuel Santos leads the vote tally for seats in both houses of Congress. The results will make it difficult for Colombia's conservative opposition, led by former president Alvaro Uribe, to derail any peace deal Santos brings to the legislature for approval.

Analysis


Santos' political coalition -- composed of the Social Party of National Unity, the Colombian Liberal Party and the Radical Change party -- secured 47 of the 102 seats in the upper house of the legislature. Uribe's conservative Democratic Center and the Colombian Conservative Party took 19 seats each. Santos' coalition achieved a…