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What the Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan Is Really About and Why It’s Likely to Get Worse



#Preventing #Armenia #Azerbaijan #Worse

By Conor Gallagher

Ever because the breakup of the USSR, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave acknowledged as Azerbaijani territory by the worldwide group however principally populated by ethnic Armenians.

They fought a battle there two years in the past when Azerbaijan grabbed land in a six-week battle that led to roughly 7,000 deaths.

The present combating has little to do with Nagorno-Karabakh, nonetheless. These most up-to-date Azerbaijani assaults weren’t within the contested area, however had been directed primarily on the southern half Armenia, doubtless a primary attempt to attach the remoted Nakhchivan exclave to the remainder of Azerbaijan.

A part of the 2020 peace settlement referred to as for an financial hall between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan wedged between Armenia, Turkey, and Iran.

Location of South Caucasus Pipeline” through Wikimedia (Charles) Licensed CC BY 4.0

The route connecting the 2 components of Azerbaijan was to run alongside the borders of Armenia and Iran within the Zangezur Hall. Such a set-up can be a boon to Turkey however a serious blow to Iran, as it might sever its connection to Armenia. Tehran due to this fact opposes it, which is why Israel helps it.

The state of affairs is a headache for Russia, which maintains good ties with each Armenia and Azerbaijan, has 2,000 peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, and brokered the 2020 peace. The US would love for the battle to ignite to place extra strain on Russia.

Armenia is but to grant approval for the financial hall mission– doubtless as a result of a tough no from  Russia and Iran – and is facing the prospect of an tried colour revolution.

Azerbaijan and Turkey have grown impatient with Armenia dragging its ft and are doubtless seeking to benefit from Russia’s concentrate on Ukraine. Ankara and Baku will virtually actually proceed to push till Moscow says sufficient. The query then turns into whether or not they would cross Russia’s pink line.

With so many exterior gamers shoveling cash, mercenaries, and weapons into the cauldron, the state of affairs is unlikely to relax anytime quickly.

Whereas each Armenia and Azerbaijan obtain assist from the US and Russia, Baku additionally attracts in assist from Israel and an infinite quantity of assist from Turkey. Armenia has the backing of Iran.

Who would profit from financial corridors between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan?

  • Turkey, which might elevate its standing within the area by way of pipelines, commerce, and transportation routes ought to it have a extra direct path to Azerbaijan.
  • The EU, which might increase gasoline flows from Azerbaijan at a less expensive value.
  • Israel as a result of it harms Iran.
  • The US as a result of any upheaval there’s a headache for Russia.

Russia and Iran wish to keep the established order. Russia has peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, a army base in Armenia, and tries to keep up good ties with each Armenia and Azerbaijan. Iran advantages economically from the present association.

Let’s dive deeper into the pursuits and actions from the surface actors as they’re more likely to have the biggest roles in whether or not the delicate peace holds or the state of affairs continues to deteriorate.


As acknowledged above, Moscow wish to keep peace within the area and wish to keep away from selecting a facet. Present transit routes by the area south to Iran and to the Caspian area are essential for Russia, and any disruption can be a serious blow.

Armenia is a member of the Russian-led Collective Safety Treaty Group, however Moscow tries to placate each side throughout conflicts and chooses mediation efforts over any army response.

Russia wants Turkey to assist it bypass western sanctions, and Moscow additionally has deep economic interests within the Azerbaijani oil and gasoline trade.

Armenia, which is nearly utterly depending on Russia, sadly finally ends up because the regional punching bag.

Russia’s army base in northwestern Armenia hosts roughly 3,000 troops and is taken into account a significant curiosity. All indicators are Russia can be compelled to behave ought to Yerevan come underneath severe menace.

It’s extremely uncertain Azerbaijan and Turkey would push that far, jeopardizing their financial pursuits with Moscow and face a army response from the superior Russian facet.

The bigger menace to Russia that might require extra funding can be political upheaval in Armenia. Azerbaijani assaults are serving to to set the stage for efforts at simply that.

Opposition events, which assault the federal government for being weak on nationwide safety, have been pushing for regime change for months. The variety of protestors is debatable – Turkish and western media declare numbers within the hundreds whereas media in Armenia say the opposition is struggling to achieve traction.

However, the opposition is set. Artur Vanetsian, who headed Armenia’s Nationwide Safety Service from 2018-2019, leads one of many opposition events. He has insisted that is just the start:

“Every single day you’ll witness such actions throughout the nation,” he stated. “I’m certain that they are going to be coordinated and can ultimately become a strong motion.”

Sarcastically the continued protests have truly improved public opinion of the present authorities. The opposition positions itself because the nationwide safety faction (versus democracy) that has been superior because the finish of the 2020 battle, however to this point Armenians are refusing to equatine much less democracy with extra safety.

The US

Washington would love nothing greater than to pressure Russia to place out one other flame at its borders.

U.S. Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi “spontaneously” went to Armenia on September 17. Whereas asserting the plan she added that members of Congress “don’t prefer to be a goal” once they journey.

She presumably meant focused by Russia as this appears to be her new raison d’être of parachuting into the backyards of Russia and China to assist with destabilization efforts.

Pelosi met with Armenian leaders and condemned the Azerbaijani assaults. He go to comes at a time when many Armenians are pissed off that Moscow isn’t doing extra to again Armenia, which is a member of the Russian-led Collective Safety Treaty Group.

Following Pelosi’s go to, Azerbaijan’s Overseas Ministry said in an announcement that “unilateral steps and groundless statements serve to not strengthen the delicate peace within the area, however, somewhat to escalate stress.”

Protests in opposition to Armenia’s weak spot within the face of Azerbaijani assaults have been occurring in Armenia for months, however appear to be rising in depth. If the present authorities appears prefer it’s going to be toppled, Russia would have a option to both intervene or danger the battle getting out of hand. The Center East Institute:

The Republic of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Russia are all nicely conscious that the autumn of the Pashinyan authorities would possibly convey to energy somebody, like former President Kocharyan, who strongly opposes the Nagorno-Karabakh cease-fire settlement, peace talks between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey.

The US would love nothing greater than forcing Russia to become involved. Neocon assume tanks in Washington just like the RAND Company suggest doing precisely that.

Whereas Pelosi waxes on the US dedication to Armenia and wish for peace with Azerbaijan, the US State Division and Division of Protection proceed to ship Azerbaijan army assist. They accomplish that whereas ignoring a 1992 legislation that prohibits help, apart from specified assist for nonproliferation and disarmament, to Baku.

There are exemptions that require Congressional approval, however since 2014, the legislation has merely been ignored. In keeping with the Authorities Accountability Workplace the necessities for exemption haven’t been met and assist continues to movement regardless. The GAO report reads: “the businesses didn’t doc how they decided that their applications wouldn’t be used for offensive functions in opposition to Armenia.”


The higher hand that Azerbaijan enjoys in opposition to Armenia comes largely from in depth coaching, planning, and weapons from Turkey, which stays mortal enemies with Armenia due largely to the legacy of the Armenian genocide.

There are additionally allegations that Ankara has moved jihadist mercenaries from Syria and Libya to Azerbaijan and employed its F-16s in opposition to Armenia. Turkey denies each, although admits its F-16s are generally saved in Azerbaijan as a deterrent.

A direct reference to Azerbaijan can be a sport changer for Ankara growing its standing within the area immensely. Turkey and Azerbaijan are already engaged on an offshoot of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline to Nakhchivan from the japanese Turkish province of Igdir, basically routing the gasoline a whole bunch of miles round Armenia. After the conclusion of the 2020 Armenia-Azerbaijan battle, Turkey was ecstatic about all the advantages it might reap, including:

  • A gasoline pipeline from Baku to Turkey by the hall
  • Elevated leverage in negotiating gasoline costs with Iran
  • Resurrecting the Trans-Caspian pipeline and transporting that gasoline by Turkey to Europe
  • A logistics hall stretching to China
  • A railroad line from Turkey to Nakhchivan might make Turkey a regional transit hub.

Turkey’s formidable good points can be Iran’s loss as it might be eradicated as a intermediary wanted to bypass Armenia. From Al Monitor:

Iran earns a 15% commission from Azerbaijan’s gasoline provides to Nakhchivan. It serves additionally as a route for Turkish exports to Central Asia. A mean of about 12,000 Turkish vehicles use the route month-to-month, with Iran charging passage charges of as much as $800 for his or her 1,800-kilometer (1,120-mile) journey to the Turkmenistan border.

Naturally, Israel, which additionally depends on Azerbaijani oil,  is a fan. From 2016 to 2020 Tel Aviv accounted for 69 p.c of Azerbaijan’s main arms imports, together with loitering munitions (they’ve been likened to missiles that may hunt for a goal whereas directed from a management station).  The weapons gained notoriety within the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh Warfare.

Iran and Russia have proven no inclination to go together with Turkish and Azerbaijani plans for the hall, nonetheless. Moreover Turkey’s triumphant plans after the 2020 battle ignored the truth that most Caspian states had little have to ship gasoline west by Turkey; they had been trying East to China and already used Russian pipelines to ship marginal quantities of gasoline to Europe whose wants had been virtually fully met by Russia anyhow. After all, that’s now not the case.

The EU

French President Emmanuel Macron stood behind the rostrum on the Brussels Summit and condemned Azerbaijan for its assaults in opposition to Armenia and Turkey for sending jihadist fighters to hitch the battle. That was again in 2020.

On September 12, Azerbaijan announced it might improve pure gasoline exports to Europe this 12 months by 30 p.c.

The subsequent day, Azerbaijan launched an assault on Armenia. It’s been crickets from European leaders throughout the latest outbreak of violence.

The shift comes as energy-starved Europe turns to Baku for added provides. Azerbaijan has promised to up provides to a complete of 12 billion cubic meters this 12 months – a woefully insufficient complete as Russian provides totaled 155 bcm in 2021.

Any heavy combating within the area might put the EU’s power safety additional in peril. Throughout the 2020 battle, Armenia allegedly tried to assault a part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Azerbaijan that carries oil to Europe.

A pipeline by a Nakhchivan hall might assist enhance provides to Europe to upwards of 31 bcm, though that might be years away.

Sarcastically, as a result of its heavy investments within the Azerbaijani oil and gasoline sector, one of many greater beneficiaries of any Brussels-Baku offers can be Russia.

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Populations in Riskier Geographies



#Populations #Riskier #Geographies

Nice interactive from the Washington Post displaying the previous 50 years. Throughout that point, hundreds of thousands of individuals have moved into Hurricane alley — the route that seasonal storms ceaselessly take from the Caribbean up the coast.


Click on to see the time lapse.

Supply: Washington Post

The put up Populations in Riskier Geographies appeared first on The Big Picture.

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Neocons – Climate Zealots – Ukrainian Neo-Nazis



#Neocons #Local weather #Zealots #Ukrainian #NeoNazis

QUESTION: Martin, I’m now changing into confused as to who or what’s the instigator of the main world conflict that’s transpiring. You’ve gotten made the purpose that the Local weather Change Zealots and their claims to finish fossil fuels are the trigger for inciting WW III. Nevertheless, you will have additionally made claims that the Neocons within the Deep State and their hatred of Russia are the instigators of this similar battle. Are these two forces one and the identical or are they two totally different factions preventing for a similar final result?

Thanks for any clarification on this,


ANSWER: John McCain, who was the chief of the pack of Neocons, was selling Nuclear Power for local weather change to finish the US dependence on oil and that of Europe. McCain used local weather change to chop off Russia whose 50% of GDP was vitality. Thus, McCain may care much less concerning the local weather. He used it as a weapon in opposition to Russia.

McCain simply merely hated Russians and that was earlier than Putin as Politico documented again to 1996 – three years earlier than Putin. McCain used local weather change as a weapon to undermine Russia. We should perceive that there are Neocons in America, Russia, and China. They might be small in quantity, however they are usually very manipulative. What we’ve got is the Local weather Zealots who wish to finish all fossil fuels, the place their targets help the Neocons who wish to annihilate their enemies – Russia and China.

The knowledge that’s circulating is that the actual instigator behind the pipeline destruction was the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis. Putin on September seventh, 2022 threatened to show off the gasoline tied to lifting the sanctions. It was definitely not Russia who destroyed the pipeline for they now not have that menace to show it off. The Neo-Nazis have been supported by the Neocons from day one. The destruction of the pipelines benefited the Neo-Nazis for now they’ve eradicated any risk that the EU will agree and elevate the sanctions. Primarily based on their actions up to now, the knowledge pointing to them I consider makes them the most certainly actor.

The waters are actually polluted and the influence on fishing will likely be appreciable. This was not the brainchild of the Local weather Zealots but it sparks a couple of champaign toasts in celebration. Russia has come out and stated that the slaughter of civilians in Bucha was faux and propaganda. Primarily based upon data and perception, this was additionally a staged occasion by the Neo-Nazis. There are even movies confirming that that are within the possession of NATO. It doesn’t finish there. The Neo-Nazis shot down the Malaysian Flight M17 utilizing an previous BUK Russian missile that was now not in use in an effort to get the US to ship in troops claiming it got here from the Donbas. The Neo-Nazis are actually keen to do something to quench their thirst for the hatred of Russians.

The 2014 Bloodbath of Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Odessa the place they killed them grabbing them on the streets was a Neo-Nazi occasion. That was the turning level. It revealed that the Donbas needed to separate for the Neo-Nazis needed their loss of life, not their submission. That started the civil conflict. They set fireplace to the constructing and burned all of the Russian-speaking Ukrainians alive. For the primary time in historical past, an organized bloodbath of civilians was carried out and even filmed by quite a few folks. This has been documented in extraordinary element and the Neo-Nazis didn’t even concern of any adverse penalties in world opinion.

The Neo-Nazis have manipulated the information to foster hatred of all Russians. You see it in boards like on eBay how can any Russian be allowed to promote something? This is similar hatred that Hitler impressed in opposition to the Jews. You continuously demonize a gaggle and it really works. I personally knew folks there in Kyiv throughout Maidan. I additionally know folks personally from Donetsk. You can by no means deliver a easy bottle of Russian vodka to dinner in Kyiv – that was an insult.

Most don’t have any understanding of the hatred in that complete area. It was a Serb who assassinated the Archduke in 1914 and that single act resulted within the loss of life of about 7% of the whole world inhabitants throughout World Struggle I. These spouting out the hatred of Putin are merely brainwashed they usually higher flip and take a look at your loved ones for there are all the time extra civilians who die in these large-scale wars than troopers.

Earlier than the breakup of Yugoslavia, I used to be there and instructed how their opposition killed 600 and threw them and threw them in a mass grave. I believed I had missed one thing within the information. After I requested: When did this occur? I used to be anticipating a matter of days, however I used to be instructed: “Oh, about 500 years in the past.” I responded, oh sure – that one. The hatred runs so deep all through that area, it would by no means be resolved.

We’re solely concerned as a result of our Neocons hate Russians. The CIA protected the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis. They had been NEVER placed on trial just like the Germans ONLY as a result of they hated Russians. They’re nonetheless supported by the US Intelligence businesses simply as McCain would openly meet with the Neo-Nazis. We are actually paying the value for they’ve by no means been instructed that is even a violation of human rights. I help the frequent folks, not authorities propaganda from both facet. We’re the individuals who achieve completely NOTHING from conflict. The ONLY profit is to outlive – that’s it. So these cheering to unleash the canine of conflict, please, go volunteer to combat in Ukraine and put your actions the place your mouth is. It’s all the time simple to cheer on another person’s loss of life.

This will likely be a conflict to not finish all wars, however to finish civilization and our age of peace since World Struggle II.

Human nature can’t be modified. There’ll all the time be wars.

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Addiction Instead of Taxation | naked capitalism



#Dependancy #Taxation #bare #capitalism

By John McGregor, a translator and political violence researcher

The 2023 Irish funds will embrace a 50% enhance on the tax on a packet of cigarettes. The Irish Coronary heart Basis argued that the rise ought to have been increased to help within the battle in opposition to tobacco. Australian governments have proven an analogous dedication to crushing smoking by means of tax will increase over the past 20 years. While they’ve little doubt been efficient in dissuading some people who smoke, the continued utility of latest taxes signifies that a small share of the inhabitants, typically those that can least afford it, are burdened with sustaining fiscal income that governments have come to depend on.

By January 2022, excise and customs obligation on a person cigarette in Australia was roughly AUD 1.10; the value of the preferred 40-pack of cigarettes was roughly AUD 65.00. Whole taxes and duties account for over 75% of the ultimate value. In February 2010, excise and customs obligation on an individual cigarette was about AUD 0.26.

The will increase in duties have been so speedy that that whole income from cigarettes has elevated even because the variety of people who smoke has declined. This inverts the state of affairs previous to 2010, when a Treasury report famous:

As talked about above, regardless of this decline in per capita smoking charges, the excise income collected from tobacco is comparatively steady. That is because of the impact of this per capita decline being largely balanced by the speed of inhabitants progress and the indexation on tobacco excise…
Nevertheless, in actual phrases, tobacco excise could be seen to be in decline. Lastly, tobacco excise as a
proportion of presidency income can also be declining, from a excessive of two.7% to 1.6% in 2008/09.

By 2020, tobacco excise had change into the fourth largest individual tax collected by the federal authorities. In fact, meaning governments have been left disturbed by the declining smoking price despite the fact that it’s the public goal of the will increase in duties.

Tax will increase on tobacco are common, a comparatively uncommon politically acceptable method for governments to extend income. A big a part of their reputation, nonetheless, is derived from the truth that they disproportionately goal an more and more restricted pool of individuals. Data on the demographics of Australian people who smoke exhibits that this pool is commonly largely composed of those that have much less.

The most recent statistics present that 24.1% of unemployed individuals and 32.5% of individuals unable to work smoke, in comparison with 14.7% of employed individuals (and 4.7% of scholars). Folks in distant areas (23%) smoke at increased charges than individuals in main cities (12.6%). Single individuals with dependent youngsters (29.9%) smoke at greater than twice the speed of individuals in {couples} with dependent youngsters (12.2%). Over 40% of Aboriginal adults smoke. Increased ranges of formal schooling align with decrease charges of smoking.

When it comes to socioeconomic standing, 21.2% of probably the most deprived quintile smokes whereas solely 8.1% of the least deprived does so. JobSeeker, the welfare help for many unemployed Australians, was lately elevated to AUD 46.00 per day. This sum is already barely sufficient for anybody to dwell on and the 24.1% of unemployed individuals who smoke can be returning most of this again to the federal government (with a sizeable reduce for the worldwide tobacco corporations).

The federal government factors to the declining charges of smoking as a hit of the plan to proceed rising costs and but the mixed results of 20 years of anti-smoking campaigns have been most pronounced among the many most advantaged quintiles. Based on the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, the wealthiest quintile dropped from a price of 16.5% in 2001 to six.7% in 2019. The subsequent wealthiest quintile declined from 22% to 9.9% over the identical interval. Essentially the most deprived quintile went from 26% to twenty.5%.

Regardless of the rewarding outcomes by way of the general variety of people who smoke, it appears unlikely that the will increase in value are the best trigger for the decline if probably the most deprived group has proven the bottom change.

What could be seen is that the identical monetary burden is positioned onto an more and more smaller and fewer advantaged group of individuals. As an alternative of searching for extra income from worldwide companies, the extractive industries, or the wealthy, the federal government has come to depend on a piece of probably the most deprived for steady revenue.

Australian governments have beforehand thrown deprived and addicted individuals beneath the bus to lift simple income. As James Boyce explained in 2019:

Through the Eighties and early Nineties, state governments turned cash-strapped due to the abolition of varied taxes (together with dying and present duties), and burgeoning calls for on well being, schooling and neighborhood companies. Apart from resource-rich Western Australia (the place pokies are confined to the on line casino), governments turned to poker machines to assist resolve the income shortfall. Pokies had been launched into pubs and golf equipment not in response to public strain however regardless of it. In Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia the coverage change was opposed by a majority of the inhabitants. Their governments pressed on regardless.

The top outcomes of this mass liberalization of playing had been in fact felt extra acutely by socioeconomically deprived households. A 2017 study discovered that:

Gamblers residing in low-income households spent a a lot better proportion of their family’s whole disposable revenue on playing than high-income households (10% vs 1% on common) – this regardless of spending much less in precise greenback phrases ($1,662 vs $2,387).

Gamblers who had issues spent rather more of their households’ revenue on playing than different common gamblers, with these experiencing extreme issues in low-income households spending a mean 27% of their disposable family revenue on playing – equal to 4 instances their yearly family utility payments, or greater than half the grocery payments for that revenue group.

It’s clearly not simply authorities income that the gamblers fund, however complete segments of the sports activities and leisure trade. Even inside that part of the inhabitants that gambles, small subsections do a disproportionate quantity of playing. For instance, 20% of poker machine gamers make 80% of losses.

When the Australian Labor Occasion took energy earlier this 12 months, it pledged to uphold the deliberate tax cuts from the previous Liberal authorities. These revenue tax cuts will overwhelming favor higher income earners as they eradicate one tax bracket, decrease one other, and lift the thresholds. Whereas it was nonetheless in energy, the previous Liberal authorities launched a short lived reduce within the gasoline excise because of the current radical value will increase for petrol. Labor let this lapse after six months, as deliberate, arguing Australia couldn’t afford to lose the revenue.

Governments proceed to extend duties on tobacco as a part of publicized plans to decrease smoking charges. These insurance policies are, nonetheless, least efficient amongst the least advantaged segments of the neighborhood. Over time, the impact of those approaches is to push an more and more bigger share of the burden for presidency income onto a smaller, and extra deprived and addicted part of the inhabitants. When even these plans fall brief, Australian governments have even proven themselves keen to introduce new types of habit, corresponding to poker machines, to uphold their revenue with out rising company or revenue tax.

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