Putin Warns US: Hands Off Venezuela

Source:  RT
January 24 2019

Rick Sanchez reports on the latest developments in Venezuela’s intensifying political crisis. Then RT America’s Dan Cohen reports on the increasingly shrill back-and-forth between Washington and Caracas as well as Russian voices joining the mix, with President Putin denouncing the present US interference in Venezuela as “a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.”

Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

Source:  Black Agenda Report
March 15 2018

going down with the bad ship.jpgGoing Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

“All that it can offer to the emerging nations of the world is a bad example and the threat of annihilation.”

There is no mystery to the ideological collapse of U.S. ruling class politics under late stage capitalism and imperial decline. Simply put, the corporate duopoly parties have nothing to offer the masses of people except unrelenting austerity at home and endless wars abroad. A shrunken and privatized Detroit serves as the model for U.S. urban policy; Libya and Syria are the scorched-earth footprints of a demented and dying empire. The lengthening shadow of economic eclipse by the East leaves the U.S. Lords of Capital with no cards left to play but the threat of Armageddon.

As China reclaims its historic place at the center of the earth, alongside the huge and heavily armed landmass of Russia, Washington flails about in a frenzy of firewall-building, buying time with the blood of millions, hoping to somehow preserve its doomed hegemony. But the “exceptional” superpower has no Marshall Plan to rescue itself from the throes of systemic decay, and all that it can offer to the emerging nations of the world is a bad example and the threat of annihilation. Its own people tire of the “Great Game,” finally realizing that they are the ones who have been played.

“Washington flails about in a frenzy of firewall-building, buying time with the blood of millions.”

George Bush drawled the “last hurrah” of empire with his declaration of “Mission Accomplished,” 15 years ago — and was quickly contradicted. With the failure in Iraq, the pretense of “spreading democracy” came ingloriously undone. A refurbishing of the imperial brand was attempted, with a bright and shiny new face – a Black-ish one — plus a new logo to justify invasion and regime-change: “humanitarian” intervention. But Obama’s assault on Syria revealed that the U.S. and its junior partners could only project power in the region through an alliance with Islamic jihadist terror. The architects of the War on Terror were, in fact, the godfathers of al Qaida.

“Do you realize now what you’ve done?” Vladimir Putin demanded of the Americans, at the United Nations, in 2015. “It is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one’s service in order to achieve one’s own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them.”

The U.S. and its junior partners could only project power in the region through an alliance with Islamic jihadist terror.”

Washington’s jihadist strategy has rapidly unraveled ever since. The empire was unmasked in the world’s most public forum, revealing the utter depravity of U.S. policy and, more importantly, the weakness of Washington’s position in the region. The mighty fortress of global capital, the self-appointed defender of the world economic “order,” was revealed as, not just in collusion with head-chopping, women-enslaving, sectarian mass-murdering terrorists, but militarily dependent on the very forces it claims to wage a twilight, “generational” battle to destroy. The U.S. has been spouting The Mother of All Lies, and most of humanity knows it. Deep down, most Americans suspect as much, too.

With its intervention in Syria as a stalwart foe of jihadism and in defense of the principle of national sovereignty, Russia spoke the language of international law and morality, presenting a fundamental challenge to U.S. imperial exceptionalism. By deploying his forces against Washington’s jihadist proxies, in a region infested with American bases, Putin put muscle behind his call for a “multi-polar” world order.

China understands clearly that the ultimate U.S. aim is to block China’s access to the region’s energy and markets, at will. Beijing has praised Russia’s military role in the war, and stood with Moscow in vetoing western Security Council resolutions targeting Damascus. China routinely joins with Russia – and most other nations on the planet — in pursuit of a more “multi-polar world.”

“Putin put muscle behind his call for a “multi-polar” world order.”

The U.S. now uses the desperate Kurdish militia as surrogates in Syria, in an attempt to justify its presence in the country, while continuing to arm, finance and train other “rebel” groups, reportedly including former ISIS fighters. The U.S. has always avoided targeting the al Qaida affiliate in Syria, formerly known as the al Nusra Front — which, with ISIS on the run, remains the most effective anti-government force in the country.

The Trump administration declares that it will remain in Syria for the foreseeable future — without even a fig leaf of legal cover. Although there is now no possibility for a jihadist victory, Washington seems intent on drawing out the war as long as possible. The truth is, Washington doesn’t know how to extricate itself, because to do so would amount to yet another admission of defeat, and lead quickly to the dissolution of the jihadist networks the Pentagon has so long cultivated.

Withdrawal from Syria — and, sooner rather than later, from Iraq, whose parliament this month called for a timetable for U.S. forces to vacate the country — would totally unravel U.S. strategy to dominate events in the oil-rich region. Obama launched the jihadist war against the Syrian government in 2011 to force his way into the country. ISIS’s seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, gave the U.S. the opportunity to return to that country, militarily. There will be no third chances, in Syria or Iraq.

“Washington doesn’t know how to extricate itself, because to do so would amount to yet another admission of defeat.”

The American people will not stand for another such adventure. They feel tainted by the experience in both Syria and Iraq, and don’t trust what their government says about the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in the Arab world. If only for reasons of racism, they want out.

Everyone smells U.S. defeat, inside and outside the empire. It is a stink that only Americans that were conscious in the Vietnam era can remember. It makes folks anxious — like the loss of a cocoon. Just as whites reaped a “psychological wage ” from Jim Crow privileges, according to W.E.B. Dubois, even if they were poor, so do citizens of empire feel psychological benefits, even when the cost of the war machine is impoverishing the country. U.S. politics in the era of imperial decline will be nasty, stupid, petty and racist — just as we are already experiencing. There must be scapegoats for the national de-exceptionalization. The Russians fit the bill, for now, and so does anybody that talks like a Russian, or a Chinese — for example, people that would like to live in a “multi-polar world.”

Do not expect the Republicans or the Democrats to make any sense of a world of diminishing empire. The duopolists are incapable of seeing any future beyond their rich patrons’ vision –- and the rich have no vision beyond continued accumulation of wealth, which requires a harsher and harsher austerity.

Most dangerous, they cannot imagine a world in which they are not on top. We will have to fight to keep them from blowing us all up, in rich man’s despair.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com .

Cuba takes centre-stage at the 19th World Festival (Photos)

Source:  TeleSUR
October 22 2017

Russia Hosts the World Festival of Youth and Students

IN PICTURES: More than 20,000 young people from 150 countries are attending the event in Sochi.

The festival has as its theme, “For peace, solidarity and social justice, we struggle against imperialism. Honoring our past, we build the future!”

During the week-long event, discussions are focusing on global political issues, ranging from the fight against xenophobia in the United States to student movements, as well as health and education.

The World Federation of Democratic Youth founded the gathering to combat fascism and imperialism after World War II.

cuba takes centre stage in russia.jpgThis year’s WFYS is dedicated to Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, for his “legacy, and contributions to … such festivals and the defense of their founding principles,” said Radio Havana.Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 2.jpgCuban delegate Rafael Bogonin said, “At a time when Latin American countries are facing a resurgence of hegemonic capitalism, Cuba stands out as a beacon of hope, an example for revolutionary youth”Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 3.jpgYouth enjoy the many cultural events. Sochi Jazz and the People’s Artist of Russia will also perform.Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 4.jpgSingers from Cuba entertain the youth participants as part of the evening events at the WFSY.

cuba takes centre stage in russia 5.jpgPeople from 150 countries are taking part in the event.Photo:Reuters

cuba takes centre stage in russia 6.jpgRussia’s President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the festival in Sochi.Photo:Reuters

‘Who’s funding this?’ CIA & MI5 whistleblowers question credibility of Panama Papers coverage

Source:  RT
April 7 2016

While neither Vladimir Putin nor any members of his family were mentioned in the Panama Papers leak, most Western media chose to break the story with the Russian president’s photo. Former US and UK intelligence officers told RT this is no coincidence.

putinphobia.jpg

Ray McGovern, a former CIA officer, told RT that the fact that the Western media has been using Putin as the “face” of the Panama Papers leak can be easily explained by looking at the people and organizations behind these news outlets.

“Everyone in corporate press is controlled by corporations that profit on wars and have an interest in creating tensions – all these people in the Western press, like the Guardian, are blackening Putin [for being] a designated villain here. Curiously, his name is not in these documents,” Ray says.

panama 1

Russian investigators to launch criminal probe after Panama data leak

He also claims that the way the story was presented demonstrates “a complete lack of standards on the part of the Western media.”McGovern believes it was “a major mistake made by the leaker” to hand the documents over to the corporate media, instead of leaking them to trusted independent journalists.

There is always an agenda behind what is presented

“It seems the Western press has lost all sense of fairness. This would be humorous if it weren’t so serious. It seems even if Vladimir Putin was seen walking on water, the report in the Western media would come out as ‘Putin doesn’t know how to swim,’” McGovern said.

Annie Machon, a former MI5 agent, advised being cautious when reading news in the MSM, as there is always an agenda behind what is presented in those publications.

“It’s always worth taking a step back from whatever you read in the media – and seeing who’s funding this, what are the corporate interests behind what is being published in this particular outlet.”

“RT gets slated for that, and I think most western outlets could also be slated for the same reasons. The BBC is state funded, Fox News is corporate funded – there is always going to be some sort of agenda behind any editorial decisions on any medium there,” she stressed.

Machon also suggests that the journalists who broke the story concerning the Panama Papers leaks lost control of the story as they tried to maximize its impact to make it “breaking.”

 

“The Guardian still has this ‘how to hide your billions offshore’ and a video with Putin and his family.  I understand that journalistic organizations want to maximize the impact – they should – but you can maximize it and then minimize it by dragging it up too long. It’s interesting that the press seems to have a certain agenda and yet the [primary] interest is the corruption of their leaders.”

Meanwhile, both experts question the speed with which the information contained in the papers is being released, calling on the news outlets to make all of the information public instead of holding on to it, creating a mystery where there shouldn’t be one.

The corporate media

“There is an obligation for the people who hold these documents to release the full text. I would caution people that the main points are not out [yet] – all we see so far is what the corporate media selected for us to see, while certainly [there are] people in the US who do not want [everything] released until after the presidential primaries,” McGovern stressed.

According to Machon, now that the media has “made a splash,” it must put all the information out for everyone to research, which she says is what “crowdsourcing journalism, crowdsourcing democracy” is really about and what is, in her opinion, what the global community needs.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Putin Forces Obama to Capitulate on Syria

Source:  Counterpunch
October 21 2015

by MIKE WHITNEY

Vladimir PutinThe Russian-led military coalition is badly beating Washington’s proxies in Syria which is why John Kerry is calling for a “Time Out”.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for an emergency summit later in the week so that leaders from Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan could discuss ways to avoid the “total destruction” of Syria. According to Kerry, “Everybody, including the Russians and the Iranians, have said there is no military solution, so we need to make an effort to find a political solution. This is a human catastrophe that now threatens the integrity of a whole group of countries around the region,” Kerry added.

“Time out”

Of course, it was never a “catastrophe” when the terrorists were destroying cities and villages across the country, uprooting half the population and transforming the once-unified and secure nation into an anarchic failed state. It only became a catastrophe when Vladimir Putin synchronized the Russian bombing campaign with allied forces on the ground who started wiping out hundreds of US-backed militants and recapturing critical cities across Western corridor. Now that the Russian airforce is pounding the living daylights out of jihadi ammo dumps, weapons depots and rebel strongholds, and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is tightening their grip on Aleppo, and Hezbollah is inflicting heavy casualties on Jabhat al Nusra militants and other Al Qaida-linked vermin; Kerry’s decided it’s a catastrophe. Now that the momentum of the war has shifted in favor of Syrian president Bashar al Assad, Kerry wants a “Time out”.

A body blow

Keep in mind, that Putin worked tirelessly throughout the summer months to try to bring the warring parties together (including Assad’s political opposition) to see if deal could be worked out to stabilize Syria and fight ISIS. But Washington wanted no part of any Russian-led coalition. Having exhausted all the possibilities for resolving the conflict through a broader consensus, Putin decided to get directly involved by committing the Russian airforce to lead the fight against the Sunni extremists and other anti-government forces that have been tearing the country apart and paving the way for Al Qaida-linked forces to take control of the Capital. Putin’s intervention stopped the emergence of a terrorist Caliphate in Damascus. He turned the tide in the four year-long war, and delivered a body-blow to Washington’s malign strategy Now he’s going to finish the job.

Putin is not gullible enough to fall for Kerry’s stalling tactic. He’s going to kill or capture as many of the terrorists as possible and he’s not going to let Uncle Sam get in the way.

These terrorists–over 2,000 of who are from Chechnya–pose an existential threat to Russia, as does the US plan to use Islamic extremists to advance their foreign policy objectives. Putin takes the threat seriously. He knows that if Washington’s strategy succeeds in Syria, it will be used in Iran and then again in Russia. That’s why he’s decided to dump tons of money and resources into the project. That’s why his Generals have worked out all the details and come up with a rock-solid strategy for annihilating this clatter of juvenile delinquents and for restoring Syria’s sovereign borders. And that’s why he’s not going to be waved-away by the likes of mealy-mouth John Kerry. Putin is going to see this thing through to the bitter end. He’s not going to stop for anyone or anything. Winning in Syria is a matter of national security, Russia’s national security.

Hillary Clinton

Here’s Kerry again: “If Russia is there to help Assad find a way to a political solution as well as to fight Daesh (ISIS) and extremism, then there is the possibility of a very different path.”

Putin has offered solutions from the very onset, it was Washington that rejected those remedies. Putin supported the so called Geneva communique dating back to 2012. In fact, it was then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who threw a wrench in the proceedings by demanding that Assad not be part of any transitional governing body. (Note: Now Obama has caved on this demand.) Russia saw her demand as tantamount to regime change, which it was since Assad is the internationally-recognized head of state and fully entitled to be a part of any transitional government. US rejectionism sabotaged efforts for internationally-monitored “free and fair multi-party elections” and ended any chance for a speedy end to the war. Washington was more determined to get its own way (“Assad must go”) than to save the lives of tens of thousands of civilians who have died since Clinton walked away from Geneva.

And now Kerry is extending the olive branch? Now Washington pretends to care about the “total destruction” of Syria?

President Assad

I’m not buying it. What Kerry cares about is his hoodlum “head-chopper” buddies that are being turned into shredded wheat by Russian Daisy Cutters. That’s what he cares about. Take a look at this from RT:

“Syrian President Bashar Assad “does not have to leave tomorrow or the next day,” the US State Department (spokesman Mark Toner) has stated. Washington allows that Assad may take part in transitional process, but can’t be part of Syria’s next government…

“… this isn’t the US dictating this. This is the feeling of many governments around the world, and frankly, the majority of the Syrian people,” Toner said.

When asked to clarify “how long” the State Department thinks the transition process could take, Toner failed to give an exact time period.

“I can’t put a timeframe on it. I can’t say two weeks, two months, six months,” he said, adding that the US is looking for “a political resolution to the conflict.”…

Toner then admitted that the US is still in the “process to start the process,” stressing that this was “an urgent issue” that “has gone on too long.” (‘Assad doesn’t have to leave tomorrow, can be part of transitional process’ – US State Department”, RT)

“A process to start the process”?? Hello?

Toner is backpeddling so fast he’s not even sure what he’s saying. Clearly, the administration is so flustered by developments on the ground in Syria, and so eager to stop the killing of US-backed jihadis, that they sent poor Toner out to talk to the media before he’d even gotten his talking points figured out. What a joke. The administration has gone from refusing to meet with a high-level Russian delegation just last week (to talk about coordinating airstrikes in Syria), to completely capitulating on their ridiculous “Assad must go” position today. That’s quite a reversal, don’t you think? I’m surprised they didn’t just run a big white Flag up over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. while the Marine Band played Taps.

Washington’s plan

But don’t think that this latest humiliation will derail Washington’s plan for destroying Syria as a functioning, sovereign state and carving it into a million powerless statelets that pose no threat to Big Oil’s pipeline corridors, or US military bases, or Israel’s sprawling Zionist Valhalla. Because it won’t. That plan is still right on track despite Putin’s efforts to crush the militants and defend the borders. The latest iteration of the Syria dissolution strategy was articulated by Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass who said:

“….the United States and others should pursue a two-track policy. One track would channel steps to improve the balance of power on the ground in Syria. This means doing more to help the Kurds and select Sunni tribes, as well as continuing to attack the Islamic State from the air.

Relatively safe enclaves should emerge from this effort. A Syria of enclaves or cantons may be the best possible outcome for now and the foreseeable future. Neither the US nor anyone else has a vital national interest in restoring a Syrian government that controls all of the country’s territory; what is essential is to roll back the Islamic State and similar groups.

The second track is a political process in which the US and other governments remain open to Russian (and even Iranian) participation. The goal would be to ease Assad out of power and establish a successor government that, at a minimum, enjoyed the support of his Alawite base and, ideally, some Sunnis.” (Testing Putin in Syria, Richard Haass, Project Syndicate)

Topple Assad and partition the country. Destroy Syria once and for all. That is Washington’s operating strategy. It’s a plan that was first proposed by Brooking’s analyst Michael O’Hanlon who recently said:

“…a future Syria could be a confederation of several sectors: one largely Alawite (Assad’s own sect), spread along the Mediterranean coast; another Kurdish, along the north and northeast corridors near the Turkish border; a third primarily Druse, in the southwest; a fourth largely made up of Sunni Muslims; and then a central zone of intermixed groups in the country’s main population belt from Damascus to Aleppo…

Under such an arrangement, Assad would ultimately have to step down from power in Damascus… A weak central government would replace him. But most of the power, as well as most of the armed forces. would reside within the individual autonomous sectors — and belong to the various regional governments…

American and other foreign trainers would need to deploy inside Syria, where the would-be recruits actually live — and must stay, if they are to protect their families. (Syria’s one hope may be as dim as Bosnia’s once was, Michael O’ Hanlon, Reuters)

Once again, the same theme repeated: Topple Assad and partition the country. Of course, the US will have to train “would-be recruits” to police the natives and prevent the buildup of any coalition or militia that might threaten US imperial ambitions in the region. But that goes without saying. (By the way, Hillary Clinton has already thrown her support behind the O’Hanlon plan emphasizing the importance of “safe zones” that could be used to harbor Sunni militants and other enemies of the state.)

John “Wacko” McCain has been the most strident proponent of the plan to break up Syria. Here’s part of what he said on the topic:

“We must act now to defend civilian populations and our opposition partners in Syria….we must establish enclaves in Syria where civilians and the moderate opposition to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and ISIS can find greater security. These enclaves must be protected with greater American and coalition airpower and likely foreign troops on the ground. We should not rule out that U.S. forces could play a limited role in this ground contingent…

“We must back up our policy in ways that check Putin’s ambitions and shape his behavior. If Russia attacks our opposition partners, we must impose greater costs on Russia’s interests — for example, by striking significant Syrian leadership or military targets. But we should not confine our response to Syria. We must increase pressure on Russia elsewhere. We should provide defensive weapons and related assistance to Ukrainian forces so they can take a greater toll on Russian forces.” (The Reckless Guns of October, Daniel Lazare, Consortium News)

Sure, let’s Kick-off World War 3. Why not?

The man should be in a straitjacket not fulminating on the floor of the Congress.

The entire US political establishment supports the removal of Assad and the breaking up of Syria. Kerry’s sudden appeal for dialogue does not represent a fundamental change in the strategy. It’s merely an attempt to buy some time for US-backed mercenaries who are feeling the full-brunt of the Russia’s bombing campaign. Putin would be well-advised to ignore Kerry’s braying and continue to prosecute his war on terror until the job is done.

(Note: As this article was going to press, the Turkish Daily Zaman reported that: “….the US and several European and Gulf states…have agreed to a plan under which Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad will remain in power for the next six months during a transition period….Turkey has abandoned its determination [to get rid of Assad] and has agreed on an interim period with Assad in place,” former Foreign Minister Yaşar Yakış told Today’s Zaman on Tuesday….If the Syrian people decide to continue with Assad, then there is not much Turkey can object to.” (Report: Turkey agrees to Syria political transition involving Assad, Today’s Zaman)

This story has not yet appeared in any western media. Obama’s Syrian policy has completely collapsed.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Source:  Putin Forces Obama to Capitulate on Syria  Counterpunch

World BRICS Group Launches $100 Billion Currency Pool

Source:  TeleSUR
8 July 2015

brics leadersThe BRICS group has just taken a major step towards creating alternatives to existing international financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF. The central banks of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa officially agreed to invest US$100 billion in a joint currency pool Tuesday.

Participants in the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting. | Photo: RIA Novosti

Participants in the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting. | Photo: RIA Novosti

Funding will be delivered by the end of July

The BRICS group of nations — an acronym that stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — signed a deal pledging the funding will be delivered by the end of July, which could be used in financial emergencies. Any member state facing dire financial circumstances would be able to access the reserves.

According to a statement from Russia’s central bank, the deal was inked following a meeting of member state finance ministers and central bank heads in Moscow. The largest contribution to the reserve was made by China, which pledged US$41 billion. Brazil, Russia and India pitched in US$18 billion each, while the remaining US$5 billion was contributed by South Africa, according to a press release from the official BRICS website.

Creation of financial agreements independent of the IMF and World Bank

The agreement came on the eve of a meeting between BRICS heads of state in Russia this week. The currency pool is the latest step toward the bloc’s long-term plans to create their own financial agreements to wean themselves off dependency on existing international financial institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Along with establishing the currency pool, current BRICS chair Russia says it hopes to see the emergence of a “full-fledged” New Development Bank, with the bank fully functional by the end of 2015.

The New Development Bank will be more democratic than the IMF

First launched in July 2014, the NDB remains embryonic, though BRICS leaders have long stated plans to develop the bank to rival the IMF. Proponents argue the NDB is more democratic than the IMF. While the IMF assigns member votes based on capital share, the NDB grants each member state a single vote. Unlike the IMF, no country has veto power at the NDB. Russia also says it hopes to use its term to prioritize joint infrastructure projects and promote global security.

RELATED: BRICS Represents Political and Economic Alliance

Putin: We support the peaceful settlement of international conflict

“Aware of the past’s tragic lessons, the BRICS countries consistently support peaceful settlement of international conflicts and condemn any attempts to use force and pressure or intervene in sovereign countries’ internal affairs,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this year.

“Overall, Russia’s presidency is committed to taking the BRICS partnership to a new, higher level. I am sure that this is in the interests not only of people in the BRICS countries but all around the world,” he added.

Source:  World BRICS Group Launches $100 Billion Currency Pool  TeleSUR

RELATED:  Greece Invited to Join BRICS New Development Bank

Washington Wages War on International Soccer

Source:  Global Research

May 28, 2015

Is there more to what’s going on than meets the eye? In January 2011, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly MutkoSepp Blatter and Russian Sports minister Vitaly Mulko (photo) signed a declaration on Russia’s official status as 2018 World Cup host nation.

At the time, Vladimir Putin said Russia would “use the experience…already gained in preparing for the Sochi Olympics in 2014.”

Blatter expressed “certain(ty) that the World Cup (would) be held at the highest level and…turn into a truly magnificent event.”

After Russia won bid, influential US senators wrote Blatter 

Russia won out over Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. It plans to host the event in 13 cities. It intends making it first-class world event.

In April, 13 US influential senators wrote Blatter “strongly encourag(ing)” him to replace Russia with another host country,” saying:

US concerned over bolstering the prestige of Putin’s government

“Allowing Russia to host the FIFA World Cup inappropriately bolsters the prestige of the Putin regime at a time when it should be condemned and provides economic relief at a time when much of the international community is imposing economic sanctions.”

FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer responded, saying:

“History has shown so far that boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation are not the most effective ways to solve problems.”

The World Cup “can achieve positive change in the world, but football cannot be seen as a solution for all issues, particularly those related to world politics.”

Blatter said “the World Cup in Russia will be able to stabilize all the situation in this region of Europe that is suffering now.”

A thinly veiled scheme against Russia?

Vladimir PutinIs charging 14 current and former FIFA officials with various criminal offenses a thinly veiled scheme to continue bashing and trying to isolate Russia?

Everything done so far failed. Master chess player Putin outmatches his US counterpart. However charges against current and former FIFA officials are resolved, expect Russia to remain 2018 World Cup nation likely matching its successful 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Palestinian Football Association want Israel suspended

Another issue is Israel. Palestinian officials want it suspended from FIFA participation because of systematically violating Palestinian footballer rights – including harassment, travel restrictions, lawless arrests, and other racist apartheid actions.

Last March, the Palestinian Football Federation (PFA) submitted a motion to FIFA calling for Israel’s suspension until it complies with the following conditions:

  • letting football participants and all equipment related to the sport  move freely in, out and within Palestine;
  • no longer obstruct or otherwise prevent the building and maintenance of Palestinian football facilities;
  • banning football clubs in illegal Israeli settlements from Israeli Football Federation (IFA) competitions;
  • requiring IFA to take firm action to eliminate racist, apartheid practices within its own leagues; and
  • requiring IFA to recognize the PFA as the sole governing body for football within Palestine.

These conditions address longstanding grievances – so far without resolution. Palestinian officials say suspending Israel is needed to change things.

Washington targets FIFA

Instead of going after war criminals, CIA and Pentagon torturers, banker mega-crooks, other corporate thieves, corrupt politicians on the take, dirty cops, and other major US offenders demanding prosecution, Washington targeted the Zurich, Switzerland-based International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) outside its jurisdiction.

It’s pressuring Swiss authorities to extradite FIFA officials to America to face criminal corruption charges.

The timing of the indictments and arrests wasn’t coincidental – two days before FIFA’s annual general meeting with its officials in one place at a luxury Zurich hotel.

Blatter is up for reelection. So far he’s not charged. According to US officials, he’s not cleared yet. Whether what’s ongoing affects his reelection remains to be seen.

A 47-count indictment charges 14  individuals with racketeering, bribery and more

A 47-count indictment charges 14  individuals with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and money laundering among other offenses as part of “a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer,” according to the Justice Department.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said “(t)he indictment spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.”

“Today’s action makes clear that this Department of Justice intends to end any such corrupt practices, to root out misconduct, and to bring wrongdoers to justice – and we look forward to continuing to work with other countries in this effort.”

America and Switzerland have an extradition treaty. A Swiss judge will decide what happens next. Even if extradition is ordered, individuals affected can appeal.

So-called “dual criminality” is a requirement many countries observe – namely that crimes alleged by one nation are recognized as such by the other before extradition can be considered.

The legal process in this case is expected to take months to work its way through Switzerland’s judicial process – maybe much longer if appeals are made.

Some earlier cases dragged on for years. If extradition is rejected, Washington would likely issue so-called “red notices” to authorities in other countries – meaning individuals charged would risk arrest and extradition to America if they travel abroad.

According to international law experts, Switzerland is one of the world’s toughest places to win extradition cases – especially on tax related charges.

Some high-profile individuals successfully contested US extradition requests – notably film director Roman Polanski.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry responded sharply to Washington’s indictments – saying it extended its legal authority improperly “far beyond its borders.”

Illegal extraterritorial use of US law

“Without going into the details of the accusations…this is clearly another case of illegal extraterritorial use of US law.”

“We hope that this will not in any way be used to cast a shadow on the international football organization as a whole and its decisions.”

“Once again we are calling on Washington to stop attempts to make justice far beyond its borders using its legal norms and to follow the generally accepted international legal procedures.”

Putin called FIFA indictments “an obvious attempt to spread (US) jurisdiction to other states (and) prevent Mr. Blatter’s reelection…which is a gross violation of the principle of functioning international organizations.”

“(T)he United States has no relation to” FIFA affairs. The individuals charged “are not US citizens, and if some event has taken place, it happened not on US soil…”

FIFA and Olympic competition are more about profiteering, exploitation and corruption than sport. Yet little is done to change things.

So why now? Why target FIFA – especially at this time? Draw your own conclusions.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. 

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Source:  Washington Wages War on International Soccer  Global Research

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