Saturday, November 10, 2012

Maliki, Bout and Petraeus - all translated into plain language

Three things this morning:

1) Iraq cancels a 4.2 billion dollars Russian arms deal, alleging that there are allegations of possible corruption.

2) US denies Russian request for the extradition of Viktor Bout.

3) David Petraeus resigns are Director of CIA following the FBI's discovery of his extra-marital affair.

Now in translation:

In the first case we have something totally unheard of: the cancellation of a major weapons deal only one month following its signature.  This is unheard of not only because no responsible country would ever act in such a flimsy way, but also because the excuse is particularly ridiculous: it is well-known every single major international arms deal involves kickbacks, and big ones at that, for some key players.  This does not depend on the countries involved - everybody plays by the same rules.  The same goes for any major energy deal, or major construction project.  What has really happened here is crystal clear: the USA has vetoed this arms deal and Maliki caved in.  What is remarkable here is that Russia (under Medvedev) agreed to cancel the same of S-300 SAMs to Iran under US pressure, only to be "thanked" now with this US veto.  Bottom line: the Obama administration seems to be hell-bent on making relations between Russia and the USA as bad as possible.

The second case, in stark contrast to the first one, is purely symbolic.  The entire "Viktor Bout the Merchant of Death" is a US fabrication cooked up with the sole purpose to show the planet (and Russia) that the USA can do whatever the hell it wants with a Russian citizen and that there is nothing Moscow can do about it.  It would have cost nothing to let the man go now, but instead Uncle Sam as thrown Victor Bout in a dungeon located as far as possible from any Russian consular representation (the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois).  Yet another sign that the Obama administration seems to be hell-bent on making relations between Russia and the USA as bad as possible.

In the third case, we have a major development masquerading as some trivial extra-marital infidelity issue.  "The Director of the CIA is forced to resign because the FBI uncovered that he has had a lover".  Does that make sense to you?  Think about it: how does the FBI work for?  The Department of Justice or, in other words, for the Executive Branch, aka the White House and the Presidential administration.  For the FBI to dare investigate the emails of the DCIA without a direct Presidential order is unthinkable.  Thus, in reality, what happened is this: Obama kicked Petraeus out.  Why?  Well, I cannot say for sure, but I remember that Admiral Fallon - truly a top notch officer - called Petraeus "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" because the main characteristic of Petraeus was his abject subservience to his political bosses and his willingness to parrot whatever the hell the current administration would say.  Maybe now that he has been reelected Obama does not need a spineless sycophant in his corner?

It looks to me like the USA and Russia are both preparing for some type of confrontation and that they are both quite committed to what looks to me like a collision course.