Russia’s occupation of Ukraine: a historical and centuries-old process | Ukraine Today .org

https://ukrainetoday.org/2020/11/13/russias-occupation-of-ukraine-a-historical-and-centuries-old-process/

the Security Forum’s co-chair Oksana Syroyid laid out an essential introduction to Russia’s war against Ukraine — that is, the centuries-old struggle of Russia to access warm-water ports. It is through this prism that the current war against Ukraine — and Russia’s attempts to resurrect its former empire altogether — should be viewed.

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict reaches back to the times when Ukraine emerged on the world map. In fact, it had started long before Russia established itself as a state.

(BEIJING, China.) JUST IN: Bans more Australian timber, saying that customs officials discovered pests in logs but flatly denies there is a coordinated action against Australian products amid tensions between the two countries according to RT News #AceNew…

Comment by tonytran2015: An accute exporter would know what to sell and to whom. Australia now looks like addicted to Chinese money.

https://acenewsservices.com/2020/11/12/beijing-china-just-in-bans-more-australian-timber-saying-that-customs-officials-discovered-pests-in-logs-but-flatly-denies-there-is-a-coordinated-action-against-australian-products-amid-tensions/

#AceNewsReport – Nov.12: The General Administration of Customs in China has informed Canberra’s agriculture department that “all export of logs from the state of Victoria are suspended as of 11 November,” Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said on Thursday: The timber suspension follows the detection of bark beetle in logs exported from Victoria this year, Littleproud said, and there is also concern “around the effectiveness of fumigation treatments on shipments of bushfire-affected logs for export.”……..Victoria’s agriculture minister, Jaclyn Symes, explained that “if bark beetle is present it is a legitimate reason to suspend trade.” Quarantine issues should be addressed “as quickly as possible,” she added:

Why is Russia accused of undermining the US by not recognizing its election results before Americans themselves call a winner? — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

https://www.rt.com/russia/506355-kremlin-staying-silent-biden-victory/

The same people who spent four years accusing Russia of interfering in America’s internal affairs are now attacking Moscow for not meddling. It’s another curious case of something previously described as ‘Russophrenia’.

Russia has explained that it will hold off congratulations to Biden until the US election has been officially called, or his rival Donald Trump concedes. You may think this is a reasonable approach to demonstrate respect for the democratic process amid a contested election. But you would be wrong according to the Western mainstream media, which explains this is an effort by authoritarian leaders to keep their man in Washington.

It is also apparently evidence of Moscow supposedly still supporting Trump and Putin fearing that the morally righteous Biden will hold the evil Russians accountable yet again. No matter that the US State Department, long America’s primary ‘democracy promotion’ vehicle, has reminded foreign leaders that the count has yet to be completed.

The narrative of Russiagaters in the media immediately collapses once you factor in how China and Mexico have also indicated they will wait for the official election results. Trump started a trade war and a Cold War against China and his principal foreign policy objective has been to curb the rise of China.

Beijing will undoubtedly celebrate once Trump departs the White House, while Mexico has also been in the crosshairs of Trump’s economic nationalism, immigration policy, and foreign policy. Polls compiled by the Pew agency have found that Mexicans are the most critical of Trump with six percent expressing confidence for Trump in 2018, and eight percent in 2020. Are the Chinese and Mexicans also supporting Trump by holding off congratulations to Biden?

The interest in Moscow’s decision

What explains the media obsession with Russia holding off its congratulatory remarks to Biden? Is the media exploring it from a foreign policy perspective to assess future US-Russian relations under a Biden presidency? No. Much like Russiagate, this is all about domestic American politics.

If the election outcome was not contested, the media would not likely care if Russia congratulated Biden. However, the Republicans are supporting investigations into alleged voter fraud, and the failure of Russia to recognize a Biden win can be framed as a common cause between Republicans and Russia against America.

Former US Ambassador to Russia and leading Russiagate conspiracy theorist Michael McFaul sees yet another conspiracy in Putin’s failure to congratulate Biden, and suggests that Americans doubting the legitimacy of Biden are playing into the hands of the Russians.

Another Russian conspiracy to destroy America?

What is Moscow achieving by not recognizing Biden? After four years of checking under the bed for Russians, these accusations only need to rest on innuendos, and they collapse once articulated.

One can make a reasonable argument that Russia would benefit from a divided America. Much like the West attempting to sow divisions within Russia, it could be beneficial for Moscow to have divisions in an America that casts Russia as the principal enemy that must be confronted. However, how do delayed congratulations sow divisions in the US?

The failure to obtain Russia’s blessing and support is presented by the liberal political-media class as a badge of honor that proves the anti-Russian credentials of Biden. The Republicans are for the same reason not using Russia’s delayed congratulations to advance the legitimacy of their efforts to investigate alleged election fraud.

The entire media coverage of Russia’s lack of congratulations is indeed intended to do the exact opposite – to heighten the legitimacy of Biden as the opponent of authoritarians.

Russian efforts to exit American domestic politics

When Trump ran in 2016 on a foreign policy platform of “getting along with Russia,” Moscow was understandably optimistic as Russophobia is usually a symbol of virtue in Washington. What Moscow failed to appreciate is that Trump inadvertently drew a target on Russia by making it a pawn to de-legitimize Trump.

As confirmed by CIA Director John Brennan’s notes to President Obama, Hillary Clinton concocted Russiagate “to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.” The attempts to portray every populist referendum and election victory as a grand Russian conspiracy mostly serve the purpose of de-legitimizing these political groups at home. Trump’s election did not result in reaching a mutually acceptable post-Cold War settlement with America, instead, Russia had to play the villain in US politics.

Russia has been used for the past four years to question the legitimacy of Trump. The Biden-Trump presidential debate became a competition over which one is the most belligerent towards Russia. Eager to exit American domestic politics, Moscow has avoided making statements on the US election and waited for the Americans to decide the winner before congratulating anyone.

However, this time the ‘Russian conspiracy against America’ is supposedly refusing to recognize the election results before the Americans do so.

Respecting US democracy

Moscow’s patience in terms of holding off congratulations should be interpreted as an effort to respect the democratic institutions of America, and its own normal protocols. There is no history of the Kremlin congratulating a US election winner before their opponent concedes.

Foreign leaders traditionally congratulate the winner immediately after election day. This was, however, not a traditional election. Due to Covid-19 and the large number of mail-in ballots, there was a clear break from the tradition of declaring a winner on election night. The media has for months been cautioning that it could take weeks to declare a winner this time, yet the same media now sees a conspiracy.

The break from the traditional election format augments uncertainty in a deeply divided nation. Speculation about voter fraud, either real or imagined, was predictable as the stakes are high and trust is low. The antidote to uncertainty and division is surely a commitment to transparency and the pursuit of objective facts.

Luckily, America has these mechanisms in place. A non-partisan assessment of the voter fraud allegations is important to strengthen the unity of the country, trust in democratic processes, and the legitimacy of the Biden presidency. So why is Russia accused of undermining America by not recognizing the election results before the Americans themselves?

Trump wanted to stop the counting and declare victory when he expected that illegal votes were counted, while the Democrats want to declare victory before the investigation into voting irregularities is held. The US should solve disputes around its election process and not drag the rest of the world into its domestic politics. After four years of Russiagate, is it too much to ask that Moscow be allowed to stay out of America’s internal affairs?

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Communist Chinese paper fears “final madness” of Trump admin: Gordon Chang with Ezra Levant – Wake Up To The Truth

https://jonsnewplace.wordpress.com/2020/11/11/communist-chinese-paper-fears-final-madness-of-trump-admin-gordon-chang-with-ezra-levant/

… In response to Ezra’s question about whether Trump would declassify information that would “shock Americans” as to the degree to which the Chinese Communist Party is infiltrating schools, politics and more, Gordon comments:

“There’s always been suggestions — and we’ve heard these for the last couple of months — about declassifying some of that information, and I think Trump could very well do that.

“…once it’s out in the public domain, you can’t reclassify it.”

Australia On Edge Over “Deeply Troubling” Reports China Placed Import Bans On 7 Commodities

https://nationandstate.com/2020/11/09/australia-on-edge-over-deeply-troubling-reports-china-placed-import-bans-on-7-commodities/

Australia says it’s continuing to monitor what top officials have said are “deeply troubling” signs that China is actively initiating trade disruptions as retaliation amid downward spiraling relations between the two major trade partners...

Melbourne man becomes first charged under foreign interference laws – ABC News

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-05/first-person-charged-foreign-interference-laws/12852974

… The 65-year-old Melbourne man who has become the first

person charged in Australia under foreign interference laws is a
prominent member of Victoria’s South-East Asian Chinese community and
belongs to groups connected to China’s overseas influence efforts.

Don’t Forget Trump’s Deal with the CIA on the JFK Records | Aletho News

https://alethonews.com/2020/08/18/dont-forget-trumps-deal-with-the-cia-on-the-jfk-records/

Since the order was issued early in the Trump regime, no doubt he felt confident that there would be no adverse political consequences flowing from his order. But now that Trump is engaged in a heated race with Joe Biden, he ought to be called upon to explain and justify his order for continued secrecy in an assassination that took place almost six decades ago...

Vienna shooting: Austria hunts suspects after ‘Islamist terror’ attack – BBC News

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54788613

Austrian police are searching for at least one suspect after a multiple gun attack in the capital, Vienna, that killed four people.

Seventeen
other people were wounded – some seriously – after gunmen opened fire
at six different locations in the city centre on Monday evening.
One attacker was shot dead by police, officials said…

China Is Stealing Border Land From Tiny Nepal To Build Military Bases

https://nationandstate.com/2020/11/02/china-is-stealing-border-land-from-tiny-nepal-to-build-military-bases/

China Is Stealing Border Land From Tiny Nepal To Build Military Bases Tyler Durden Mon, 11/02/2020 – 21:00 China is again being accused of a blatant landgrab along the disputed Himalayan high altitude border region not far from where Chinese and Indian Army troops previously clashed. This time it’s the country of Nepal that has accused China…