(This will be a copy/paste post in the main, given the dueling voices and media narratives. And of course Obama finally reached the conclusion that ‘the coalition partners against ISIL need both Putin and Rouhani, but he’s gotta smack Putin around as he (ahem) accepts the inevitable. Hollande and Merkel had already backed off their ‘Assad must go now! positions. I’ve bolded a few sentences along the way.)
The photo was a bit surprising to me in that clearly, Barack loathes Vladimir. Is it personal or based on Imperial realpolitik? Is his hatred tinged with fear, and if so, which order of fear? If looks could kill…
From RT, and I’ll paste in all of it. One needn’t unduly lionize Putin to know how much truth he spoke, and grasp the extent of his past fruitful diplomatic efforts.
“The export of so-called ‘democratic’ revolutions has continued, but has unleashed poverty and violence instead of the triumph of democracy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said addressing the UN General Assembly.
Attempts to push for changes in other countries based on ideological preferences have led to “tragic consequences and degradation rather than progress,” said Putin in his speech to world leaders and policy makers gathered at the UN General Assembly’s anniversary 70th session in New York on Monday.
“We should all remember what our past has taught us,” Putin said. “We, for instance, remember examples from the history of the Soviet Union.”
It seems however that some are not learning from others’ mistakes, but keep repeating them, he said, adding that “the export of so-called ‘democratic’ revolutions continues.”
“I cannot help asking those who have caused this situation: Do you realize now what you have done?” he asked. “But I am afraid the question will hang in the air, because policies based on self-confidence and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.”
He cited the example of revolutions in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where people have wished for change. However, instead of reforms and the triumph of democracy and progress “we’ve got violence, poverty and social disaster, and human rights, including the right to life, to which no weight is given.”
“Rather than bringing about reforms, aggressive foreign interference has resulted in the brazen destruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself,” he said.
A single center of domination emerged in the world after the Cold War era ended, Putin stated. Those who were at the “top of this pyramid” were tempted to think that “if they were so strong and exceptional, they knew what to do better than others.”
“Therefore they do not have to reckon with the UN, which instead of automatically authorizing, legitimizing the necessary decisions often creates obstacles or in other words ‘stands in the way’.”
Power vacuums in the Middle East or regions of North Africa have led to the emergence of lawless areas which immediately started to be filled with extremists and terrorists, Putin said.
Islamic State militants (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), who gained a foothold in Iraq and Syria, are now seeking to dominate the whole of the Islamic world, he said.
“[Islamic State] ranks include former Iraqi servicemen who were thrown onto the street after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many recruits also come from Libya – a country whose statehood has been destroyed as a result of gross violations of UNSC resolution 1973.”
Some of the extremists have defected from the ‘moderate’ opposition in Syria, which has been supported by some Western states, he stressed.
“First, they are armed and trained and then they defect to the so-called Islamic State. Besides, the Islamic State did not just come from nowhere. It was also initially forged as a tool against undesirable secular regimes,” he explained.
He described it as “hypocritical and irresponsible” to turn a blind eye to the channels through which terrorists are financed while making declarations about their threat to the whole world.
“We believe that any attempts to play games with terrorists, let alone arm them, is not only short-sighted, but ‘fire hazardous.’ This may result in a global terrorist threat increasing dramatically and engulfing new regions of the world,” he said.
“We think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces who are valiantly fighting terrorism face to face,” he said.
“We should finally acknowledge that no one but President Assad’s armed forces and Kurdish militia are truly fighting Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria,” he added.
Russia has been providing military-technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other states who lead the fight against terrorism in the region, he noted.
Putin proposed the joining of efforts and the creation of a broad international coalition against terrorism. He proposed discussions at the UNSC about a resolution aimed at coordinating forces to confront IS and other terrorist organizations, based on the principles of the UN Charter.
‘Final solution to refugee crisis is recovery of Middle East’
If a comprehensive strategy of political and economic stabilization of crisis-struck countries is developed, then there will be a hope of tackling the problem of the refugee crisis, Putin stated.
“The flow of people who were forced to leave their homeland has literally flooded the neighboring countries and then Europe,” he said calling it a “new painful migration of peoples.”
He stressed that the fundamental solution to the refugee crisis is rooted in restoring statehood where it has been destroyed, strengthening government institutions where they are weak and providing comprehensive assistance to the peoples’ countries of origin.
‘Ukraine’s territorial integrity cannot be ensured by arms’
Cold War thinking and the desire to explore new geopolitical areas are still present among some in the international community, said Putin.
“First they continued their policy of expanding NATO,” he said. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, “they offered post-Soviet countries a false choice – either to be with the West or with the East. Sooner or later the logic of confrontation was bound to spark off a grave geopolitical crisis. This is exactly what happened in Ukraine where the discontent of the population with the current authorities was used and a military coup was orchestrated from the outside that triggered civil war as a result.”
Putin once again called for the full implementation of the Minsk accords brokered by the Normandy Four in February. He said that the accords will guarantee Ukraine’s development “as a civilized state.”
“Ukraine’s territorial integrity cannot be ensured by threats and the force of arms. What is needed is the genuine consideration of the interests and rights of people in the Donbass region, [and] respect for their choice.”
From the WaPO:
“In his speech, Obama took direct aim at Russia’s military buildup in Syria as well as its support for Ukrainian separatists, saying, “We are told that such retrenchment is required to beat back disorder, that it’s the only way to stamp out terrorism, or prevent foreign meddling.
“But I stand before you today believing in my core that we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backward. . . . And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.”
Beyond the barbs, the two raised the prospect of cooperating more closely on fighting Islamist terrorists and brokering a political solution in Syria, where war has raged for 4 1/2 years. Obama and Putin — who opened their first extended, formal meeting in two years with a stiff handshake before the cameras — remain divided over Assad, whom Obama wants ousted and Putin continues to back.
“The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict,” Obama said in his 42-minute speech. “But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo. . . . And so Assad and his allies cannot simply pacify the broad majority of a population who have been brutalized by chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing.”
Obama and Putin also offered differing accounts of what had transpired in Ukraine, where Russia has annexed Crimea and backed separatists in the country’s southeast.
Although Putin devoted the bulk of his speech to Syria and terrorism, he repeated Russia’s charge that the overthrow of Ukraine’s government early last year was “orchestrated from outside.” He said Russia would adhere to the Minsk agreements, once they gave adequate representation to the legitimate demands of eastern Ukraine separatists that Moscow has backed.
Obama, however, said the West would continue to impose economic sanctions on Russia unless it reversed course. “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated.”
From the Paper of Record:
“President Obama made a forceful defense of diplomacy and the system of rules represented by the international body, but in a veiled reference to Mr. Putin, he warned that “dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world.”
“The Obama administration would like to find a way to link arms with Russia on a diplomatic process and not have to tackle some of the less palatable issues like creating safe areas in Syria,” said Andrew S. Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “But the only road map Putin laid out today was a fuzzy concept of a grand coalition to fight terrorism arm in arm with Bashar al-Assad, the very man the Americans say is the source of the problem.”
After the Russians surprised the Obama administration by deploying warplanes, tanks and marines at an airfield near Latakia, Syria, the White House agreed to hold military-to-military talks to ensure against any accidents leading to a confrontation. But the larger hope, as Secretary of State John Kerry made clear on Sunday, was that the two sides might work out a common political strategy on Syria.”
Then lists of things about which Putin hadn’t offered detailed plans….
‘Obama admits mistakes in Libya, says West should have done more’ (Reuters)
Oh…I reckon you did plenty; it was just all FUBAR. And no, Reuters; there are far more that two sides fighting for supremacy (and oil) there. What happened to Gadaffi’s horde of gold bars, by the by? Did Hillary Clinton use it all to set up Libya’s Central Bank?
This is too creepy for even moderately sentient beings, but here’s the Chocolate Puppet:
‘Ukrainian president mocks Putin in front of United Nations’ at the WaPO.
“The Russian delegation was not present in the General Assembly Hall for Poroshenko’s speech, an apparently deliberate boycott. On Monday, the Ukrainian delegation pointedly left the hall when Russian President Vladimir Putin started speaking.”
“How can you urge an anti-terrorism coalition if you inspire terrorism right in front of your own door? How can you talk peace and legitimacy if your policy is war via puppet government? How can you speak for freedom for nations if you punish your neighbor for this choice? How can you demand respect for all if you don’t have respect for anyone?”
Bryan MacDonald said, writing about the Ukraine flag wavers at the back of the hall, and Poroshenko’s speech:
“Nobody seemed to pay them the slightest attention. One man picked his nose. So did a woman nearby. Other delegates fixed their gaze on the real action below. Eventually, two officials arrived and ejected the group.
No matter how Kiev tries to spin the incident, it was a humiliation. Pitiful in the extreme. Barack Obama had earlier attempted to gently draw a line under the miserable Ukrainian situation which has dogged East-West relations for almost two years now. Poroshenko’s sad stooped walk betrayed the fact that he knew it. The attempts to rage against the dying of the light only made the spectacle more lousy.”
Straight to the key theme of the Imperialist-in-Chief: Michael Hudson’s ‘Orwell at the UN: Obama Re-Defines Democracy as a Country That Supports U.S. Policy
“In his Orwellian September 28, 2015 speech to the United Nations, President Obama said that if democracy had existed in Syria, there never would have been a revolt against Assad. By that, he meant ISIL. Where there is democracy, he said, there is no violence or revolution.
This was his threat to promote revolution, coups and violence against any country not deemed a “democracy.” In making this hardly-veiled threat, he redefined the word in the vocabulary of international politics. Democracy is the CIA’s overthrow of Mossedegh in Iran to install the Shah. Democracy is the overthrow of Afghanistan’s secular government by the Taliban against Russia. Democracy is the Ukrainian coup behind Yats and Poroshenko. Democracy is Pinochet. It is “our bastards,” as Lyndon Johnson said, with regard to the Latin American dictators installed by U.S. foreign policy.”
Now I’d assumed that the Guardian had been showing a bit of jocularity in ‘When Putin met ‘Obama – diplomacy decoded by the Russian internet’; From Twitter bingo to a feast of photoshops, how a frosty encounter by two of the world’s most powerful men was portrayed on social media’
But on closer look, it doesn’t seem to be so. “Netizens tried to push #Putinpeacemaker to the top of the trending charts, and for some, there was no doubt about who would come out of the negotiations as victor.”
The Tweet at the top of the page when I’d first peeked in was none other than the rabid Chris Miller, editor of the Kyiv Post, saying:
@ChristopherJM Sep 28 Russian internet troll army working overtime with #PutinPeacemaker hashtag ahead of Putin’s #UNGA70 speech today.
If it’s a troll army, one might think there’d be more than thirty or forty tweets (including more dissenters like Sputnik, Pyatt, than Putin supporters). Now one might conclude that this is a bit of a jest, no?
At TRNN: ‘Is Obama Fighting ISIS, Assad or Russia?; Prof. Sabah Alnasseri of York University says Obama speech at the UN pushes anti-ISIS forces towards Russian strategy. (I haven’t read or watched yet.)
from the interview:
“ALNASSERI: Right. And I mean, what again President Obama forgot to mention, the involvement also of the U.S. supporting Syria, Iraq, and Egypt in attacking Yemen. And again, creating chaos there, actually empower al-Qaeda in Yemen just like attacking in Syria and opposing the Assad government empowers the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra and all these extremist groups. So their policies in the region creating what the American would term creative chaos, in Libya and Iraq, in Yemen, in Syria, et cetera.”
Coalition bombing of Yemeni civilian numbers are staggering by now, and Saudi Arabia is doing USian “double taps” at weddings and other gatherings.
And according to the US, Russian planes bombed ‘positions’ in Syria last night.