Fearful that the re-election of Donald Trump would lead to a renewed push for strategic collaboration between the United States and Russia, geopoliticians based in London are escalating regime change operations against both countries. They are doing so knowing that the most recent provocations could trigger a war between the two nuclear superpowers. A shooting war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, sanctions against officials in Belarus, and the claim that Putin tried to assassinate opposition figure Navalny, using the chemical weapon Novichok—allegedly confirmed by the British chemical weapons lab at Porton Down—are part of a coordinated operation designed to destabilize Moscow, possibly leading to regime change there.
At the same time, renewed anti-Russian stories are proliferating in the U.S. anti-Trump media, even as more evidence is being declassified which shows that there never was Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the fabricated charge underlying the whole Russiagate fairy tale. These stories continue to build the narrative that Russia is engaged in operations to aid Trump in his 2020 campaign, and that Trump is therefore turning a blind eye toward ongoing Russian threats to the U.S., as well as to governments in Europe.
Such charges have become a central theme of the campaign of Trump's 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, and are constantly repeated by surrogates for him such as House Speaker Pelosi and Charles Schumer, the Democratic Minority leader in the Senate. Among the most preposterous is that Russia is paying bounties to the Taliban to kill Americans in Afghanistan, a story in the New York Times designed to smear Russia, while sabotaging Trump's efforts at securing an end to the war there, and bringing U.S. troops home.
While this article will focus primarily on the drive to encircle Russia, in the coming weeks we will continue to show that the same forces engaged in the geopolitical assault against Russia are frantically escalating their attempt to remove Trump. Their goal in launching these dangerous initiatives is to prevent President Trump from fulfilling his repeated pledge to "end the endless wars", in part by developing a collaborative relationship with Russia and President Putin. Success in fulfilling this pledge would mean an end to the post-Cold War global order, which was designed by the City of London and its American counterparts—particularly among operatives of the Bush and Obama intelligence, diplomatic and military teams—to protect their hopelessly bankrupt, neoliberal financial system. Preserving this order depends on continuing and expanding the wars launched by the Bush and Obama regimes,
"LITTLE WAR" BETWEEN AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA
Fighting has broken out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The two are formerly part of the Soviet Union on Russia's southwestern border, while also sharing borders with Turkey and Iran. Turkey is accused of sending troops and arms to aid Azerbaijan, as well as sending in Islamic mercenary forces backed by Turkey from Syria. Russia, which has in the past maintained good relations with both countries, is playing a mediating role. But, with Russian forces stationed in Armenia, the fighting could devolve into a proxy war between NATO and Russia, as Turkey is a member of NATO. The presence of Syrian Islamic mercenary forces in the region is a direct provocation to Moscow, after Russia played the leading role in defeating ISIS and Al Qadea in Syria.
Following consultation among leaders of the Minsk Group, a call was issued by Presidents Putin, Macron and Trump for a "cessation of hostilities". Though there has been talk in Brussels of putting more pressure on Turkey to disengage, the European Union's Eastern Partnership has in the past undertaken activities targeting Azerbaijan and Armenia, as part of a longer-term plan to bring the two into membership in NATO and the EU. This would be in keeping with the agenda set forth by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who stated she wished to make the EU into a "geopolitical commission." This fits with the broader strategy of NATO and the EU of "containing" Russian influence in both eastern Europe and the Trans-Caucasus region, by encircling it with the alliance's military forces, while stirring up opposition inside Russia.
CHATHAM HOUSE AND REGIME CHANGE IN BELARUS
The destabilization of Belarus, following charges of election fraud against its leader, Alexander Lukashenko in the August 9 vote, escalated with the announcement on October 2 of sanctions by the EU against 40 officials of the nation. This follows a previous declaration of sanctions by the UK and Canada, and increasing pressure on President Trump to join with his western "allies." On September 25, Biden accused Trump of "silence" in the face of "violent actions by the dictator Lukashenko." Not surprisingly, Biden said he "sides with the demonstrators", who are carrying out what he called "peaceful expressions of freedom."
The vote on August 9 may have served as a trigger for regime change, but the seeds were planted long before. At the heart of this drive has been the notorious British intelligence institution known as Chatham House, the home base of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA). Chatham House grew out of the imperial operation headed by Lord Milner called the Round Table, which included hard-core imperialists such as Cecil Rhodes, as well as "liberal imperialists," who had gathered around Sidney and Beatrice Webb's "Coefficients". Milner played a leading role in implementing British imperial policy at the end of the 19th century, through his sponsorship of what became known as "geopolitics." He was a member of Prime Minister Lloyd George's cabinet during World War I, from 1916 to November 1918, when the RIIA was established, along with its U.S. sister organization, the Council on Foreign Relations.
A summary of some of the conferences and papers of Chatham House and related agencies shows its role in provoking the present crisis:
1. A paper released in March 2017 proclaimed that the EU and NATO "must be fully prepared when Belarus must choose between East and West." This was followed two months later by a research paper on the "inherent weakness of the Eurasian Economic Union," of which Belarus was a member, identifying the likelihood of future grievances within the population against the Lukashenko government;
2. A conference on November 25, 2019 titled, "Is Anything Changing in Belarus?"
3. An article in the Economist, a mouthpiece of the City, on July 30, 2020—before the election—titled "The right way to get rid of President Lukashenko."
4. A Chatham House forum on August 12, 2020, days after the election, on the theme "Belarus Policy: Time to Play Hardball."
5. September 10, 2020—A recipe for regime change titled, "Seven Ways the West Can Help Belarus", which outlines "the key steps that governments, international institutions and NGOs can take to bring an end to the suffering of the Belarus people." These steps mirror the operation launched to bring about regime change in Ukraine in the February 2014 "Maidan coup." It calls for no recognition of Lukashenko; "be present on the ground", as in the case of U.S. regime change actor Victoria Nuland in Kiev; offer a package of "economic support"—like the IMF "reform package" that devastated the economy of Ukraine?; finally, adoption of "political and economic sanctions", which betrays the hypocrisy of the whole project, i.e., their claim they want to "end the suffering" of the people.
6. September 11, 2020—a paper, "A Deeper Look at the Protests in Belarus."
7. A seminar on September 29, "Crisis in Belarus: What Is at Stake?"
The most recent example of the efforts to apply the "lessons" of Ukraine to Belarus is a seminar scheduled for October 2, "Is the Western Response Toward Belarus Appropriate and Effective?" Among the speakers listed is George Kent, Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs. Kent played a leading role in the Ukrainian regime change coup, and was featured in making the case before the U.S. Congress which led to the impeachment of President Trump over the fake charges against him related to Ukraine. In his testimony, Kent defended the role of former Vice President Biden in the Ukraine coup. Biden was the point man for the Obama administration in Ukraine.
NATO is using the crisis in Belarus to build up its presence in the Baltic countries bordering Russia, reinforcing positions in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. They are claiming they must protect the Suwalki Gap, a 65 kilometer corridor which connects Russian territory in Kaliningrad, with Belarus. A Times of London article from September 8, 2018 identified this corridor as "Moscow's Invasion Route to Europe", and various think tankers from Poland and Lithuania said NATO fears that if Russia takes control of the corridor, it will cut off the Baltic states from NATO—therefore, it must be defended, to protect against a possible Russian invasion!
One analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, Wojciech Lorenz, said a Russian deployment of troops there "could further increase the Kremlin's ability to intimidate NATO's eastern members." He added that the Russian support for Lukashenko comes from a fear that a successful "popular democratic uprising" in Belarus could become "a model for the Russians to overthrow Putin."
The opposition to Lukashenko, gathered around Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya, has formed a government-in-exile, and produced a plan, which calls for bringing Belarus into NATO by 2025, and the EU by 2030. It claims that, in this way, Belarus can help deal with "the aggressive foreign policy from Russia."
LONDON'S AMERICAN ALLIES
The geopolitical allies of the City in the U.S. are on the same page when it comes to exerting pressure on Moscow, as they drive to remove Trump from office. A report from the RAND Corporation in April 2019, "Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground", specifies taking measures "that could exploit Russia's actual vulnerabilities and anxieties as a way of stressing Russia's military and economy and the regime's political standing at home and abroad."
While every effort is being made to keep a serious approach to U.S.-Russian relations out of the presidential campaign, it is evident that those committed to maintaining the present geopolitical order fear the prospect of convening a summit, which would include minimally Presidents Trump and Putin. Topics which the two have been discussing via phone include renewing a major nuclear arms agreement, and coordinated efforts to address the crises stirred up from the Middle East through the Trans-Caucasus and Eurasia. This includes explicitly a joint campaign against Islamic terrorists, including those which received logistical support and training by CIA and contract forces, deployed to aid them by the Obama administration.
Plans for a meeting between the two at the September United Nations General Assembly meeting were cancelled, due to concerns over COVID19, but likely also as an aftermath of the provocation involving suspicions over the alleged poisoning of Navalny. The dangerous events of the last weeks in Russia's near-abroad make it more urgent than ever that a summit take place at once, before the U.S. election on November 3. Were such a summit to occur, the subsequent collaboration would likely include a full exposure and accounting of the death toll and destruction caused by the deadly interventions launched by the Bush and Obama administrations—something the never-Trump crowd would do anything to prevent!