An amazing week has turned to an amazing month – heartfelt thanks for all those who made this possible (UPDATED 10x)

Dear friends,A little less than one month ago, I published a small announcement here entitled “This has been a really amazing week for me – many thanks to you all!!” in which I mentioned that my article about Russia and the USA had been picked up and even translated by several websites and that I would now write an occasional column for the Asia Times.  To my absolute amazement the

Greenpeace vs Russia – the relevant context and the real issues

Last month I wrote an article about the real reasons behind the Greenpeace action in the Russian Arctic in which I mentioned several examples of the surge in Arctic related activities initiated under Vladimir Putin: A few years ago, a Russian submarine placed a Russian flag on the North Pole as a clear sign that Russia was claiming its share of the polar resources. Needless to say, the US, Canada

Barak Obama: hated, despised and humiliated both at home and abroad

These are bad times for Barak Obama, and humiliations seems to fall upon him every day.  Yesterday it what a double-whammy: first NBC and the WSJ announced that Obama’s approval rating were at a historical low and then Forbes announced that Obama’s most hated adversary, Vladimir Putin, had displaced him in the Forbes world’s most powerful person list and was now the most powerful person on the planet, followed by

Has Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan gone completely insane?

(Originally written for the Asia Times) All signs are showing that the otherwise secretive Saudi regime is angry.  Very, very angry.  Not only did the KSA refuse to take a seat at the UNSC, but now the Saudi spy chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, appears to be threatening the USA with a “major shift” in “relations with the United States in protest at its perceived inaction over the Syria war and

This has been a really amazing week for me – many thanks to you all!!

Wow!  This has been quite a week for me.  It all began soon after I published my rather long analysis “1993-2013: is the twenty years long “pas de deux” of Russia and the USA coming to an end?” which I wrote last Friday and published on Saturday morning.  The funny thing is that I had originally only intended to deal with the issue of “Putin and public opinion at home

A little reminder from Roger Waters

I am going to be gone for the next day (diving in some nice coral reefs!), but since at least one dimwit managed to accuse me of wanting to “destroy the planet with pollution” because of my post about the latest Greenpeace stunt I have decided to post this little reminder by Roger Waters, my absolute favorite composer and singer, about the world we live in: See you all on

UNSC Resolution 2118 – a half-full glass?

I have carefully parsed UNSC Res 2118 and while I did not find any great surprises in its contents, I would qualify it as a half-full glass, meaning that while this resolution does not fix any of the issues which I had identified in the Kerry-Lavrov agreements (see here, here, here and here), it at least does not exacerbate them either and that, in itself, is definitely a plus.   Why?Because

Security Council requires Scheduled Destruction of Syria’s Chemical Weapons, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2118 (2013)

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York Security Council requires Scheduled Destruction of Syria’s Chemical Weapons, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2118 (2013) Deeply outraged by the use of chemical weapons on 21 August in a Damascus suburb, as concluded by a United Nations investigation team, the Security Council this evening endorsed the expeditious destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons programme, with inspections to begin by 1 October, and agreed

Further signs that the insurgency is falling apart while the Syrian military is getting stronger and stronger

Great news from Syria today: eleven Islamist rebel groups in Syria have announced they do not recognise the authority of the main opposition alliance, the National Coalition, that is the formula chosen by the BBC.  The BBC does not explain why the National Coalition is the “main” opposition alliance, but it does add that the “Istanbul-based Western-backed National Coalition was formed in November 2012 and is recognised by more than

Russia is sending the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleev to the Red Sea to shadow the USS Nimitz

I am continuing to track the movements of the Russian Navy ships not out of a sudden passion for naval warfare, but because I was taught many years ago already that surface fleet movements are the “body language” of big states (submarines are always covert).  In this case, looking at what the Russian navy does tells us a lot about what it thinks is, or might, be happening.  Today I

Lavrov: US blackmails Russia over Syria’s entry into the OPCW and demands Chapter VII Resolution at UNSC

RT reports:The US is pushing Russia into approving a UN resolution that would allow for military intervention in Syria, in exchange for American support of Syria’s accession to OPCW, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.“Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical

Russia officially confirms that the heavy missile cruiser Variag will join the Russian Navy task force in the Mediterranean

So far, this was only an unconfirmed rumor but now it has received an official confirmation:  heavy missile cruiser Variag will join the Russian Navy task force in the Mediterranean where he will replace the Moskva.  In other words, the Russians want to keep a heavy missile cruiser on station for the foreseeable future.  The rotation of heavy amphibious assault ships is continuing (see here for context).The Saker Heavy missile

Syria: Whodunit?

by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich The long anticipated UN inspectors report confirmed the use of chemical weapons on August 21, 2013 in the Ghouta area of Damascus. The investigators report provided “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent Sarin were used”. Warmongers were quick to pounce on the use of rockets as evidence that the Assad government was responsible. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov was quick to

Russia and the Arab and Islamic world – let us set the record straight, ok? (-: Saker venting warning :-)

 For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. H. L. Mencken Yesterday, Masoud posted a comment which I think deserves a separate post as an answer.  Here is the comment in full: The answer to the mystery of why the resolution seems so lopsided is simple: Russia is simply doing what it always does. I don’t believe Russia is interested in the primacy of

The recent Kerry-Lavrov agreement – discussion part III (UPDATED!)

Before I begin this third installment of our collective analysis of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement I would ask everybody who has not already done so to first visit the blog of Alexander Mercouris and check out his excellent analysis of this agreement here: http://mercouris.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/the-lavrov-kerry-agreement/.  Since Alexander’s reply to my initial analysis is the longest one I will also begin by replying to what he wrote.  I will then turn to the

The recent Kerry-Lavrov agreement – discussion part II

I want to begin this post by sincerely thanking everybody who has contributed comments to the topic of the recent Kerry-Lavrov agreement.  This is an important moment in the Syrian conflict and, I would even argue, possibly a crucial moment in US-Russian relations, and to have differences of opinion on this issue is not only normal, it is inevitable.  One way or another, this agreement will have momentous consequences because

The US-Russia agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons – deal in full

Note: having read the actual full text of this agreement (thanks Robert!!) I have to say that it is even worse than what I feared.  I simply do not have the time to lay out my arguments before tomorrow evening.  That is also when I will reply to the numerous and interesting comments disagreeing with my view.  BTW – I sincerely thank you all for your comments, it is precisely