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Prof. Mark Almond: Ukraine Protestors May Topple Government

RPI Academic Advisor Mark Almond was interviewed on RT today about the intensifying conflict in Ukraine. Prof. Almond is a long-time expert on the "color revolutions." As he points out in the interview, protestors in Ukraine are using a well-known template for color revolutions used with success, "in Serbia in 2000 and in Georgia in 2003: storm public buildings, hope to face a demoralized government." Read the transcript of Prof. Almond's interview here and watch the video below.
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You Cannot Negotiate With Iran?

You cannot negotiate with Iran. That is what they told us for years. The Iranian leadership is too fanatical, they are not rational actors, they are “not like us.” One US official even recently said that deception is part of the Iranian DNA. But just over a week ago negotiations between the five permanent UN Security Council Members plus Germany and the Iranians produced an historic agreement that may be first step toward a new era in US relations with the Middle East.

As Middle East expert Eric Margolis pointed out this week, for Iran’s major concessions it will only receive “$7 billion – of its own money, which has been frozen abroad by US-led sanctions.” That sounds like quite a bit of compromise for such a “fanatical” country.
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Syria’s Mother Agnes Mariam: In Her Own Words

Mother Agnes Church

American national security journalist Jeremy Scahill and leftist British columnist Owen Jones announced recently that they would not share a platform with a Palestinian-Lebanese nun at the Stop The War Coalition’s November 30 UK conference.

Neither Scahill nor Jones provided any reason for their harsh “indictment” of Mother Agnes Mariam, who has worked tirelessly for the past few years on reconciliation in war-torn Syria, where she has lived for two decades.

The journalists – neither of whom have produced any notable body of work on Syria – appear to have followed the lead of a breed of Syria “activists” who have given us doozies like “Assad is about to fall,” “Assad has no support,” “the opposition is peaceful,” “the opposition is unarmed,” “this is a popular revolution,” “the revolution is not foreign-backed,” “there is no Al Qaeda in Syria,” “the dead are mostly civilians,” and other such gems.

For some of these activists, anything short of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s departure is no solution of any kind. Mother Agnes Mariam, whose Mussalaha (Reconciliation) movement inside Syria works specifically on mediation, dialogue, and the promotion of non-violence, is unmoved by black-and-white solutions: Reconciliation, after all, is a series of political settlements forged on both local and national levels. There are only compromises there, not absolute gain. She doesn’t actually care who leads Syria and who wins or loses, providing the choice comes from a Syrian majority.
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Iran Gets Short End Of The Nuclear Deal

Iran Surrounded

After all the gnashing of teeth, beating of breasts and tearing of hair coming from Israel and its American supporters, you’d think last week’s nuclear deal in Geneva has opened the way for Iran to become a mighty nuclear weapons power.

Nonsense. Coolly examined, Tehran came off with the short end of the stick at the so-called P5 + 1 big power talks in Geneva. Here’s why:

Bowing to intolerable sanctions and economic warfare from the US, Tehran agreed to limit uranium enrichment to only 5% (over 80% is needed to make a nuclear weapon). This low level is sufficiently only for power generation. Iran is to stop enriching to 20%, the level needed for medical isotopes.

Iran further agreed to halt construction of its Arak heavy water reactor that could eventually produce plutonium, a key nuclear weapons fuel. Tehran agreed not to build any new nuclear facilities, including next generation centrifuges, and grant daily access to UN nuclear inspectors at its top-secret Nantaz and Fordow plants. It will provide design plans for its Arak reactor.
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The National-Security State’s Dangerous China Taunt

B52

It didn’t take long for the U.S. national-security state’s “pivot” toward Asia, after its disastrous 12-year foray into the Middle East, to produce a new crisis for Americans. In response to China’s decision to implement a new air zone involving a long territorial dispute with Japan over a group of islands, the U.S. military sent two B-52 bombers flying over the zone to test China’s resolve, proving that China is just a “paper tiger” given that it didn’t shoot the planes out of the sky.

It was a childishly dangerous taunt. What would have happened if China had shot down the planes? Then what? Would the U.S. national-security state have stood idly by, thereby exposing itself to being accused of being a paper tiger? I don’t think so. To show its resolve, the U.S. government would have had to retaliate with some sort of bombing campaign against China.

Don’t forget, after all, that under our system of government the president can now send the entire nation into war without a congressional declaration of war.
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Ukraine Refused to Sign EU's ‘Suicide Note’

EU Expansion

This is an excerpt from RPI Academic Advisor John Laughland's recent RT interview. -ed.


Joining an old European geopolitical and ideological project would have been catastrophic for the Ukrainian economy, political expert John Laughland told RT, noting that it was actually the EU, not Russia, blackmailing Ukraine into signing a suicide note.

RT: The European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says Ukraine's U-turn is indeed a major disappointment. Who is the biggest loser here - Ukraine or the EU?

John Laughland: The biggest loser here is the EU because the EU has conceived this Association Agreement, like all the other agreements that it tries to sign with the former Eastern European states, as a geopolitical project. It is very important to understand that in the midst of all the accusations against Russia it is actually the EU which sees Eastern expansion as a geopolitical and indeed an ideological project.
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On Being Thankful...For State Violence?

When people ask me which of the books I have written was my favorite, I respond with my first one: Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival. In it, I analyze how institutions – i.e., organizations that have become ends in themselves – have a need to structure our thinking and our behavior in order that we may dedicate our lives to their purposes. Political systems are the most pervasive and vicious expressions of this syndrome, but other institutions have learned to play this same game. The modern corporate-state is the most apparent example, wherein business corporations have managed to convince most Americans that their interests are synonymous with those of the nation-state. The song from the musical Li’l Abner reminds us that “What’s good for General Bullmoose is Good for the U.S.A.”

The entertainment industry, the mainstream media, schools, churches, foundations, and other permanent organizations have, with but few exceptions, climbed aboard the bandwagon of corporate-state-collectivism to extoll the virtues of a society structured around the principle of state-directed violence. So widespread is the practice that most people hardly recognize it.
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The Globalization of NATO: Military Doctrine of Global Warfare

NATO

The world is enveloped in a blanket of perpetual conflict. Invasions, occupation, illicit sanctions, and regime change have become currencies and orders of the day. One organization – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – is repeatedly, and very controversially, involved in some form or another in many of these conflicts led by the US and its allies.

NATO spawned from the Cold War. Its existence was justified by Washington and Western Bloc politicians as a guarantor against any Soviet and Eastern Bloc invasion of Western Europe, but all along the Alliance served to cement Washington’s influence in Europe and continue what was actually America’s post-World War II occupation of the European continent.

In 1991 the raison d’être of the Soviet threat ended with the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Nevertheless NATO remains and continues to alarmingly expand eastward, antagonizing Russia and its ex-Soviet allies. China and Iran are also increasingly monitoring NATO’s moves as it comes into more frequent contact with them.
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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congress Can Cut the NSA Budget

Judge Andrew Napolitano, an RPI Advisory Board member, explains on Fox News last week that the US Congress can restrain the National Security Agency's mass spying by cutting the NSA's budget. "The recourse is to persuade Congress to clip the NSA's wings by taking some of its budget away from it—and that almost happened a few months ago, and it may happen after the first of the year," says Napolitano.
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