– Obama approved raising permissible levels of nuclear radiation in drinking water. Civilian cancer deaths expected to skyrocket

PEER — Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — is an exceptional organization. It protects whistleblowers and facilitates the release of government agency documents related to the public welfare and safety. They are heroes, operate on a shoestring budget, and are well worth financially supporting.

This information is from 2013 but very timely. Most people don’t know about this decision.

Global Research, September 19, 2014
Peer.org 14 April 2013
Rollback in Nuclear Radiation Cleanup

by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication as soon as today, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S population, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow cleanup many times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These guides govern evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.” The Obama administration blocked a version of these PAGs from going into effect during its first days in office. The version given approval late last Friday is substantially similar to those proposed under Bush but duck some of the most controversial aspects:

In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period;

  • In water, the PAGs punt on an exact new standard and EPA “continues to seek input on this.” But the thrust of the PAGs is to give on-site authorities much greater “flexibility” in setting aside established limits; and
  • Resolves an internal fight inside EPA between nuclear versus public health specialists in favor of the former. The PAGs are the product of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator is taken up this week by the Senate.
  • Despite the years-long internal fight, this is the first public official display of these guides. This takes place as Japan grapples with these same issues in the two years following its Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“This is a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace. If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy, then EPA is in for a long, dirty slog,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the EPA package lacks a cogent rationale, is largely impenetrable and hinges on a series of euphemistic “weasel words.”

“No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.”

Reportedly, the PAGs had been approved last fall but their publication was held until after the presidential election. The rationale for timing their release right before McCarthy’s confirmation hearing is unclear.

Since the PAGs guide agency decision-making and do not formally set standards or repeal statutory requirements, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund, they will go into full effect following a short public comment period. Nonetheless, the PAGs will likely determine what actions take place on the ground in the days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years following a radiological emergency.

Copyright Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) 2014

– On the NRC hormesis proceeding

From the Hemlock Tea Room and Ladies Emporium:

THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION HAS RECEIVED THREE PETITIONS TO RAISE ACCEPTABLE LEVELS OF RADIATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT BY 500%.

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT THINGS COULDN’T GET ANY CRAZIER, I READ THIS ON THE WEBSITE OF THE  FEDERAL REGISTER:

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of June, 2015.  For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Annette L. Vietti-Cook,   Secretary of the Commission.      

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/23/2015-15441/linear-no-threshold-model-and-standards-for-protection-against-radiation

“The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received three petitions for rulemaking (PRM) requesting that the NRC amend its “Standards for Protection Against Radiation” regulations and change the basis of those regulations from the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model of radiation protection to the radiation hormesis model. The radiation hormesis model provides that exposure of the human body to low levels of ionizing radiation is beneficial and protects the human body against deleterious effects of high levels of radiation.” 

YES, THESE “PETITIONERS” ARE TRYING TO CRAM IT DOWN AMERICANS’ THROATS THAT RADIATION IS GOOD FOR US, JUST LIKE THEY DID IN JAPAN!

WELL, JAPAN ALLOWED IT, EVEN FORCED IT ON THEIR CITIZENS.
JULY 31, 2015

“Nuclear plant workers in Japan will be allowed to be exposed to more than twice the current level of radiation in emergency situations, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s Radiation Council.

The radiation exposure limit will be raised from the current 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts in emergencies, the radiation council announced in a report released July 30.

The new cap will be activated from April 2016 after revisions to the nuclear reactor regulatory law and the Industrial Safety and Health Law.”

WHAT A COINCIDENCE, RIGHT?
JAPAN UPS THEIR LEVELS, WE UP OURS, EVERYBODY SEES AN ONCOLOGIST AND INSURANCE COMPANIES CANCEL POLICIES BEFORE THIS IS ENACTED!
WHAT A GREAT IDEA, YES?

NO!

I GUESS THE U.S. WANTS TO HELP OUT ITS BIG “TRADE PARTNER” BY FOLLOWING SUIT?

THIS IS NO JOKE, IT’S FOR REAL!

AND AMERICANS HAVE ONLY UNTIL SEPTEMBER TO LET THE NRC KNOW HOW WE FEEL ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL, THIS PETITION.

BACK TO THE NRC AT HOME:“The petitions were submitted by Carol S. Marcus, Mark L. Miller, and Mohan Doss (the petitioners), dated February 9, 2015, February 13, 2015, and February 24, 2015, respectively. 
These petitions were docketed by the NRC on February 20, 2015, February 27, 2015, and March 16, 2015, and have been assigned Docket Numbers. PRM-20-28, PRM-20-29, and PRM-20-30, respectively. 

[The petitioner suggests that “urgency of action on this petition” is necessary because “any potential future accident involving release of radioactive materials in the USA would likely result in panic evacuation because of the LNT—model-based cancer fears and concerns, resulting in considerable casualties and economic damage such as have occurred in Fukushima.” 

THERE IT IS AGAIN!
IT’S ALL ABOUT ECONOMIC IMPACT!
]

The NRC is examining the issues raised in these petitions to determine whether they should be considered in rulemaking. The NRC is requesting public comments on these petitions for rulemaking.”

BUT THERE IS MUCH MORE YOU SHOULD KNOW!
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.

In one of these “petitions” to raise civilian maximum radiation amount to 100 mSv per year, which is 500 percent more radiation than even nuclear workers are allowed, 

NO DIFFERENT ACCEPTABLE LEVELS WILL BE SET FOR CHILDREN OR PREGNANT WOMEN, EVEN THOUGH THE SCIENTIFIC/MEDICAL EVIDENCE THAT BOTH CHILDREN AND EVERY DEVELOPING EMBRYO/FETUS ARE FAR MORE SENSITIVE TO RADIATION AND MUCH MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ITS DEADLY EFFECTS!

IF ACCEPTED BY THE NRC, ALL HUMANS WILL BE ALLOWED THE SAME HIGHER LEVELS!

These are the 4 changes that petitioner Dr. Carol S. Marcus is recommending:

” (1) Worker doses should remain at present levels, with allowance of up to 100 mSv (10 rem) effective dose per year if the doses are chronic.

(2) ALARA should be removed entirely from the regulations. The petitioner argues that “it makes no sense to decrease radiation doses that are not only harmless but may be hormetic.”

[NOTE: ALARA is an acronym for As Low As Reasonably Achievable. This is a radiation safety principle for minimizing radiation doses and releases of radioactive materials by employing all reasonable methods.]

(3) Public doses should be raised to worker doses. The petitioner notes that “these low doses may be hormetic.
The petitioner goes on to ask, “why deprive the public of the benefits of low dose radiation?”


(4) End differential doses to pregnant women, embryos and fetuses, and children under 18 years of age. “

THIRD PETITIONER:
The petition for rulemaking was submitted by Dr. Mohan Doss, on behalf of Scientist for Accurate Radiation Information, and “supports and supplements” petition PRM-20-28. This petitioner provides additional information suggesting that “low-dose radiation reduces cancer risk” (i.e., has a hormetic [beneficial] effect) and suggests that the “LNT model is no longer justifiable.” 

SO WHAT IS THIS DAMNABLE “HORMETIC EFFECT” ?
LUDICROUS WON’T DESCRIBE IT, NOR WILL “BAT-GUANO INSANE”, NOR COUNTER-INTUITIVE…IT’S WAY BEYOND THOSE!


JUST A QUICK LOOK AT SOME OF THE PRODUCTS THEY ADVOCATE SHOULD CLUE YOU IN ON HOW WHACKO THEY REALLY ARE.

~ “MAGIC STONES” …ACTUAL RADIOACTIVE ROCKS.
~”Radium-containing “HEALTH ELIXIRS”, touted as magical remedies that promote health and prolong life by rejuvenating effects with a host of widespread benefits.”

~ RADON WATER! BATHE IN IT, THEY SUGGEST!

IF THE NRC ALLOWS THIS, IT FLIES AGAINST ITS OWN PAST STATEMENTS AND MORE STUDIES THAN WE CAN COUNT THAT MADE IT CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT ANY TINY RADIOACTIVE PARTICLE INSIDE A HUMAN (OR ANIMAL OR PLANT) BODY IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING CANCER, CELL DAMAGE, DAMAGE TO THE DNA, AND CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS IN THE UNBORN. 

WE’VE KNOWN FOR MANY CENTURIES THAT EVEN THE SUN’S IONIZING RAYS HAVE DAMAGING EFFECTS ON HUMAN BEINGS WHEN ONE IS OUTSIDE FOR LONG PERIODS.
SKIN CANCERS AND DEEP SUNBURNS THAT LEAVE SCARS ARE PRETTY DAMNED OBVIOUS, RIGHT?
BEING REPEATEDLY BAKED BY THE SUN HAS PREMATURELY AGED A LOT OF FOLKS AND WE KNEW THAT, TOO!

Hormesis Theory Claims That If An Acute Dose Of 
Radiation Does Not Kill You Quickly, Then It Is Good For You!

“The scientific research base shows that there is no threshold of exposure below which low levels of ionizing radiation can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial. The health risks – particularly the development of solid cancers in organs – rise proportionally with exposure” says Richard R. Monson, associate dean for professional education and professor of epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.”      

SOURCE: Vines, Vanee; Petty, Megan (2005-06-29). “Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation May Cause Harm”

 “Evidence for hormetic effects was reviewed, with emphasis on material published since the 1990 BEIR V study on the health effects of exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation.  At this time, the assumption that any stimulatory hormetic effects from low doses of ionizing radiation will have a significant health benefit to humans that exceeds potential detrimental effects from radiation exposure at the same dose is unwarranted.”      

SOURCE: Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2. National Academies Press. 2006. ISBN 978-0-309-09156-5.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that any amount of exposure to ionizing radiation is harmful. BUT THEY ALLOW MORE OF IT NOW IN OUR DRINKING WATER!

ADD THE ABOVE TO THE HUNDREDS OF STUDIES AND EVIDENCE WE’VE LINKED TO HERE IN THE TEA ROOM AND ANYONE CAN SEE THE “HORMETIC EFFECTS” OF ANY RADIATION ARE NEVER GOOD.

AS A RADIOLOGIST SAID TO ME A FEW YEARS BACK:
“WE CAN KILL THESE CANCER CELLS WITH RADIATION, BUT A FEW MONTHS OR YEARS FROM NOW, WHAT WE DO TODAY WILL BRING YOU BACK HERE FOR US TO TREAT THE MONSTER WE CREATE TODAY. IT’S THE RISK PATIENTS TAKE TO LIVE.”


HE WAS AN HONEST FELLOW.

HOW DUMB, HOW GULLIBLE DO THESE PETITIONERS AND THE NRC THINK AMERICANS ARE?

WELL, WE’RE ABOUT TO FIND OUT.
TIME IS SHORT FOR COMMENTS ON THIS, CITIZENS, SO HERE’S HOW TO GO LEAVE A FEW:
[http://tinyurl.com/NRCradiationrule]

YOUR CHOICE, AMERICA…ACCEPT NEW HIGHER LEVELS OR DON’T.

THE TEA ROOM WILL NOT, NO MATTER WHAT THE NRC DECIDES.

NONE OF US HAVE TO LIVE IN AMERICA, AFTER ALL.

– Alert: NRC “radiation is good for you” proceeding — Nov. 19 comment deadline,

Comment now. Government websites can get jammed with traffic during the last day. The deadline is November 19, 11:59 PM EST.

Search terms like NRC, hormesis, radiation exposure, rule, to find out what scientists and experts say about this.

“The scientific research base shows that there is no threshold of exposure below which low levels of ionizing radiation can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial. The health risks – particularly the development of solid cancers in organs – rise proportionally with exposure”
Richard R. Monson, associate dean for professional education and professor of epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.

There are also industry sites mocking health impacts and the need for safety rules.

The revised instructions on how to submit comments are below, together with information on the docket and links to additional documents.

To comment, there is a quick link on the page linked below http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRC-2015-0057-0086. You can also emailfax, and mail comments per the instructions below.

If you comment through the website, you can create an overview or summary document (5000 character limit), and attach a detailed letter and additional documentation in PDF format.

Include “Docket ID NRC-2015-0057” in your comment submission.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRC-2015-0057-0086

or
http://tinyurl.com/NRCradiationrule

Linear No-Threshold Model and Standards for Protection Against Radiation; Extension of Comment Period
ID: NRC-2015-0057-0086

This Proposed Rule document was issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

Agency

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Action

Petition for rulemaking; notice of docketing and request for comment; extension of comment period.

Summary

On June 23, 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requested public comment on three petitions for rulemaking (PRM) requesting that the NRC amend its “Standards for Protection Against Radiation” regulations and change the basis of those regulations from the linear no-threshold model of radiation protection to the radiation hormesis model. The public comment period was originally scheduled to close on September 8, 2015. The NRC is extending the public comment period to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit their comments.

Dates

The comment period for the document published on June 23, 2015, at 80 FR 35870, is extended. Comments should be filed no later than November 19, 2015. Comments received after this date will be considered, if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

Addresses

You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

Please include Docket ID NRC-2015-0057 in your comment submission.

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site:
    Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for
    Docket ID NRC-2015-0057.
    (Address questions about NRC dockets to
    Carol Gallagher;  telephone: 301-415-3463;
    email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov)
    (For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.)
  • Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov.
    If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us
    at 301-415-1677.
  • Fax comments to:
    Secretary,
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    at 301-415-1101.
  • Mail comments to:
    Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001,
    ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
  • Hand deliver comments to:
    11555 Rockville Pike,
    Rockville, Maryland 20852,
    between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays;
    telephone: 301-415-1677.

For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

For Further Information Contact

Solomon Sahle, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3781, email: Solomon.Sahle@nrc.gov.

Supplementary Information

  1. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments
  2. Obtaining Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0057 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site:
    Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0057.
  • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.
  • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
  1. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2015-0057 in your comment submission.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

  1. Discussion

On June 23, 2015, the NRC requested public comment on three PRMs, PRM-20-28, PRM-20-29, and PRM-20-30, requesting that the NRC amend its “Standards for Protection Against Radiation” regulations and change the basis of those regulations from the linear no-threshold model of radiation protection to the radiation hormesis model. The NRC is examining the issues raised in these PRMs to determine whether they should be considered in rulemaking.

The public comment period was originally scheduled to close on September 8, 2015. The NRC is extending the public comment period on this document until November 19, 2015, to allow more time for members of the public to submit their comments.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 17th day of August, 2015.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Annette L. Vietti-Cook,

Secretary of the Commission.

[FR Doc. 2015-20722 Filed 8-20-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P

 

Transcript of Vladimir Putin’s speech at the Valdai Club, October 22

President Putin’s speech was approximately 30 minutes long; the transcript is below is partial, only providing about 2/3 of it. The Kremlin website says “to be continued”, so hopefully the full transcript of his speech and answers to questions, as well as the remarks of the other speakers will be available soon. It would be helpful if names of the speakers are also listed, since the Valdai Club website does not have any information about the final panel or its moderator.

The video is translated into English, and some of the speakers speak English. The video is available here:
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548/videos
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548

This was a panel of speakers. In addition to President Putin, the other speakers were the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, the former President of the Czech Republic,  and former American ambassador Jack Matlock. The initial speaker is not identified, and the moderator is not identified other than being American.

The moderator, unfortunately, is a surprising and detracting choice from the overall discussion. A better choice would have been someone with an actual background in US foreign policy, from an independent point of view and with a respectful attitude. Anglo-American ignorance and bombast are so frequent in public, but there are other Americans who would have provided an intelligent and enlivening addition to the discussion and a humble attitude. A knowledge disconnect does not further the discussion. And it is a Russian forum, after all. Valdai cannot sabotage its own aims by attempting to dialogue with those whose heads are in the sand if it wants to maintain legitimacy, advance the cause of peace, and advance the discussion past what is already well known. When a transcript of the moderator’s remarks becomes available, it will be posted on this website, along with some easily available resources to provide background on why Russia and other countries are correct in their assessment of American threat.

After speakers’ remarks, questions from the moderator and from the audience start about 1:24.

From en.Kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the 12th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

This topic of this year’s Valdai conference is Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow’s World. In the period between October 19 and 22, experts from 30 countries have been considering various aspects of the perception of war and peace both in the public consciousness and in international relations, religion and economic interaction between states.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to greet you here at this regular meeting of the Valdai International Club.

It is true that for over 10 years now this has been a platform to discuss the most pressing issues and consider the directions and prospects for the development of Russia and the whole world. The participants change, of course, but overall, this discussion platform retains its core, so to speak – we have turned into a kind of mutually understanding environment.

We have an open discussion here; this is an open intellectual platform for an exchange of views, assessments and forecasts that are very important for us here in Russia. I would like to thank all the Russian and foreign politicians, experts, public figures and journalists taking part in the work of this club.

This year the discussion focusses on issues of war and peace. This topic has clearly been the concern of humanity throughout its history. Back in ancient times, in antiquity people argued about the nature, the causes of conflicts, about the fair and unfair use of force, of whether wars would always accompany the development of civilisation, broken only by ceasefires, or would the time come when arguments and conflicts are resolved without war.

I’m sure you recalled our great writer Leo Tolstoy here. In his great novel War and Peace, he wrote that war contradicted human reason and human nature, while peace in his opinion was good for people.

True, peace, a peaceful life have always been humanity’s ideal. State figures, philosophers and lawyers have often come up with models for a peaceful interaction between nations. Various coalitions and alliances declared that their goal was to ensure strong, ‘lasting’ peace as they used to say. However, the problem was that they often turned to war as a way to resolve the accumulated contradictions, while war itself served as a means for establishing new post-war hierarchies in the world.

Meanwhile peace, as a state of world politics, has never been stable and did not come of itself. Periods of peace in both European and world history were always been based on securing and maintaining the existing balance of forces. This happened in the 17th century in the times of the se-called Peace of Westphalia, which put an end to the Thirty Years’ War. Then in the 19th century, in the time of the Vienna Congress; and again 70 years ago in Yalta, when the victors over Nazism made the decision to set up the United Nations Organisation and lay down the principles of relations between states.

With the appearance of nuclear weapons, it became clear that there could be no winner in a global conflict. There can be only one end – guaranteed mutual destruction. It so happened that in its attempt to create ever more destructive weapons humanity has made any big war pointless.

Incidentally, the world leaders of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and even 1980s did treat the use of armed force as an exceptional measure. In this sense, they behaved responsibly, weighing all the circumstances and possible consequences.

The end of the Cold War put an end to ideological opposition, but the basis for arguments and geopolitical conflicts remained. All states have always had and will continue to have their own diverse interests, while the course of world history has always been accompanied by competition between nations and their alliances. In my view, this is absolutely natural.

The main thing is to ensure that this competition develops within the framework of fixed political, legal and moral norms and rules. Otherwise, competition and conflicts of interest may lead to acute crises and dramatic outbursts.

We have seen this happen many times in the past. Today, unfortunately, we have again come across similar situations. Attempts to promote a model of unilateral domination, as I have said on numerous occasions, have led to an imbalance in the system of international law and global regulation, which means there is a threat, and political, economic or military competition may get out of control.

What, for instance, could such uncontrolled competition mean for international security? A growing number of regional conflicts, especially in ‘border’ areas, where the interests of major nations or blocs meet. This can also lead to the probable downfall of the system of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (which I also consider to be very dangerous), which, in turn, would result in a new spiral of the arms race.

We have already seen the appearance of the concept of the so-called disarming first strike, including one with the use of high-precision long-range non-nuclear weapons comparable in their effect to nuclear weapons.

The use of the threat of a nuclear missile attack from Iran as an excuse, as we know, has destroyed the fundamental basis of modern international security – the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The United States has unilaterally seceded from the treaty. Incidentally, today we have resolved the Iranian issue and there is no threat from Iran and never has been, just as we said.

The thing that seemed to have led our American partners to build an anti-missile defence system is gone. It would be reasonable to expect work to develop the US anti-missile defence system to come to an end as well. What is actually happening? Nothing of the kind, or actually the opposite – everything continues.

Recently the United States conducted the first test of the anti-missile defence system in Europe. What does this mean? It means we were right when we argued with our American partners. They were simply trying yet again to mislead us and the whole world. To put it plainly, they were lying. It was not about the hypothetical Iranian threat, which never existed. It was about an attempt to destroy the strategic balance, to change the balance of forces in their favour not only to dominate, but to have the opportunity to dictate their will to all: to their geopolitical competition and, I believe, to their allies as well. This is a very dangerous scenario, harmful to all, including, in my opinion, to the United States.

The nuclear deterrent lost its value. Some probably even had the illusion that victory of one party in a world conflict was again possible – without irreversible, unacceptable, as experts say, consequences for the winner, if there ever is one.

In the past 25 years, the threshold for the use of force has gone down noticeably. The anti-war immunity we have acquired after two world wars, which we had on a subconscious, psychological level, has become weaker. The very perception of war has changed: for TV viewers it was becoming and has now become an entertaining media picture, as if nobody dies in combat, as if people do not suffer and cities and entire states are not destroyed.

Unfortunately, military terminology is becoming part of everyday life. Thus, trade and sanctions wars have become today’s global economic reality – this has become a set phrase used by the media. The sanctions, meanwhile, are often used also as an instrument of unfair competition to put pressure on or completely ‘throw’ competition out of the market. As an example, I could take the outright epidemic of fines imposed on companies, including European ones, by the United States. Flimsy pretexts are being used, and all those who dare violate the unilateral American sanctions are severely punished.

You know, this may not be Russia’s business, but this is a discussion club, therefore I will ask: Is that the way one treats allies? No, this is how one treats vassals who dare act as they wish – they are punished for misbehaving.

Last year a fine was imposed on a French bank to a total of almost $9 billion – $8.9 billion, I believe. Toyota paid $1.2 billion, while the German Commerzbank signed an agreement to pay $1.7 billion into the American budget, and so forth.

We also see the development of the process to create non-transparent economic blocs, which is done following practically all the rules of conspiracy. The goal is obvious – to reformat the world economy in a way that would make it possible to extract a greater profit from domination and the spread of economic, trade and technological regulation standards.

The creation of economic blocs by imposing their terms on the strongest players would clearly not make the world safer, but would only create time bombs, conditions for future conflicts.

The World Trade Organisation was once set up. True, the discussion there is not proceeding smoothly, and the Doha round of talks ended in a deadlock, possibly, but we should continue looking for ways out and for compromise, because only compromise can lead to the creation of a long-term system of relations in any sphere, including the economy. Meanwhile, if we dismiss that the concerns of certain countries – participants in economic communication, if we pretend that they can be bypassed, the contradictions will not go away, they will not be resolved, they will remain, which means that one day they will make themselves known.

As you know, our approach is different. While creating the Eurasian Economic Union we tried to develop relations with our partners, including relations within the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. We are actively working on the basis of equality in BRICS, APEC and the G20.

The global information space is also shaken by wars today, in a manner of speaking. The ‘only correct’ viewpoint and interpretation of events is aggressively imposed on people, certain facts are either concealed or manipulated. We are all used to labelling and the creation of an enemy image.

The authorities in countries that seemed to have always appealed to such values as freedom of speech and the free dissemination of information – something we have heard about so often in the past – are now trying to prevent the spreading of objective information and any opinion that differs from their own; they declare it hostile propaganda that needs to be combatted, clearly using undemocratic means.

Unfortunately, we hear the words war and conflict ever more frequently when talking about relations between people of different cultures, religions and ethnicity. Today hundreds of thousands of migrants are trying to integrate into a different society without a profession and without any knowledge of the language, traditions and culture of the countries they are moving to. Meanwhile, the residents of those countries – and we should openly speak about this, without trying to polish things up – the residents are irritated by the dominance of strangers, rising crime rate, money spent on refugees from the budgets of their countries.

Many people sympathise with the refugees, of course, and would like to help them. The question is how to do it without infringing on the interests of the residents of the countries where the refugees are moving. Meanwhile, a massive uncontrolled shocking clash of different lifestyles can lead, and already is leading to growing nationalism and intolerance, to the emergence of a permanent conflict in society.

Colleagues, we must be realistic: military power is, of course, and will remain for a long time still an instrument of international politics. Good or bad, this is a fact of life. The question is, will it be used only when all other means have been exhausted? When we have to resist common threats, like, for instance, terrorism, and will it be used in compliance with the known rules laid down in international law. Or will we use force on any pretext, even just to remind the world who is boss here, without giving a thought about the legitimacy of the use of force and its consequences, without solving problems, but only multiplying them.

We see what is happening in the Middle East. For decades, maybe even centuries, inter-ethnic, religious and political conflicts and acute social issues have been accumulating here. In a word, a storm was brewing there, while attempts to forcefully rearrange the region became the match that lead to a real blast, to the destruction of statehood, an outbreak of terrorism and, finally, to growing global risks.

A terrorist organisation, the so-called Islamic State, took huge territories under control. Just think about it: if they occupied Damascus or Baghdad, the terrorist gangs could achieve the status of a practically official power, they would create a stronghold for global expansion. Is anyone considering this? It is time the entire international community realised what we are dealing with – it is, in fact, an enemy of civilisation and world culture that is bringing with it an ideology of hatred and barbarity, trampling upon morals and world religious values, including those of Islam, thereby compromising it.

We do not need wordplay here; we should not break down the terrorists into moderate and immoderate ones. It would be good to know the difference. Probably, in the opinion of certain experts, it is that the so-called moderate militants behead people in limited numbers or in some delicate fashion.

In actual fact, we now see a real mix of terrorist groups. True, at times militants from the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Al-Qaeda heirs and splinters fight each other, but they fight for money, for feeding grounds, this is what they are fighting for. They are not fighting for ideological reasons, while their essence and methods remain the same: terror, murder, turning people into a timid, frightened, obedient mass.

In the past years the situation has been deteriorating, the terrorists’ infrastructure has been growing, along with their numbers, while the weapons provided to the so-called moderate opposition eventually ended up in the hands of terrorist organisations. Moreover, sometimes entire bands would go over to their side, marching in with flying colours, as they say.

Why is it that the efforts of, say, our American partners and their allies in their struggle against the Islamic State has not produced any tangible results? Obviously, this is not about any lack of military equipment or potential. Clearly, the United States has a huge potential, the biggest military potential in the world, only double crossing [translation on video: a double gameis never easy. You declare war on terrorists and simultaneously try to use some of them to arrange the figures on the Middle East board in your own interests, as you may think.

It is impossible to combat terrorism in general if some terrorists are used as a battering ram to overthrow the regimes that are not to one’s liking. You cannot get rid of those terrorists, it is only an illusion to think you can get rid of them later, take power away from them or reach some agreement with them. The situation in Libya is the best example here.

Let us hope that the new government will manage to stabilise the situation, though this is not a fact yet. However, we need to assist in this stabilisation.

To be continued.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548

Summary and excerpts of Vladimir Putin’s speech at Valdai Club, October 22, 2015

From Sputnik, 10-22-15

The 12th annual meeting of the club, titled “Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow’s World” takes place of October 19-22 in the southern Russia’s city of Sochi.

While speaking at Thursday’s session, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed a number of international issues.

Nuclear weapons

“The advent of nuclear weapons has made it clear that there can be no winners in a global conflict. There could be only one outcome — guaranteed mutual destruction,” Putin said during the annual Valdai International Discussion Club session.

“It turned out that the mankind, in an attempt to create more destructive weapons, has made ​​a big war meaningless. By the way, the generation of world leaders of the 50-60-70’s and even 80’s really considered the use of military force to be an exceptional measure,” the president added.

However, the restraining effect of nuclear weapons has been devalued in today’s world, he stressed.”Some may even have gained an illusion that in case of a world conflict, one side may emerge victorious without irreversible, unacceptable, as experts say, consequences for the winner,” Putin said.

Russia’s leader stressed that the dialogue on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty should be continued, but the United States’ withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty has made it difficult.

“Regarding the talks on strategic arms reduction, the dialogue must be continued. However, the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the treaty, which is the cornerstone in terms of the balance of forces of international security, from the ABM Treaty, has put the entire system in a very, very difficult situation,” Putin said.

Iranian Nuclear Deal

“Today the Iranian nuclear problem has been solved. As we have said, Iran poses no threat and has never posed any,” Vladimir Putin said.

The fundamental basis of the modern international security — the ABM Treaty — has been destroyed under the pretext of the nuclear missile threat from Iran, Putin told reporters.

“The reason, which has apparently urged our US partners to create a missile defense system, has disappeared,” he added.Iran’s alleged threat was an attempt to mislead the world and tip the balance of world powers, Russia’s President stated. [He said the system is aimed at Russia. He talked about the installation in Romania and construction of one in Poland that both threaten Russia]

It’s extremely dangerous to impose one’s will on geopolitical rivals and allies with Iran being an apt example, Putin stressed.

International relations

While discussing political, military and economic competition in the world, the Russian president stressed they must be in line with moral norms and rules.

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Meeting of Syrian President Assad with President Putin in Moscow October 20

From en.Kremlin.ru

President of Syria Bashar Assad made a working visit to Moscow on October 20. Russian-Syrian talks in narrow and expanded format with top Russian officials took place at the Kremlin.  With President of Syria Bashar al-Assad.

President of Syria Bashar al-Assad.
Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

Let me wish you a warm welcome to Moscow. Despite the dramatic situation in your country, you have responded to our request and come here to Russia, and we thank you for this.

We took the decision upon your request to provide effective aid to the Syrian people in fighting the international terrorists who have unleashed a genuine war against Syria. The Syrian people has been practically alone in putting up resistance and fighting these international terrorists for several years now, and has suffered great losses. Lately though, there have been some major positive results in this fight.

The attempts by international terrorists to bring whole swathes of territory in the Middle East under their control and destabilise the situation in the region raise legitimate concerns in many countries around the world. This is a matter of concern for Russia too, given that sadly, people from the former Soviet Union, around 4,000 people at least, have taken up arms and are fighting on Syrian territory against the government forces. Of course, we cannot let these people gain combat experience and go through ideological indoctrination and then return to Russia.

On the question of a settlement in Syria, our position is that positive results in military operations will lay the base for then working out a long-term settlement based on a political process that involves all political forces, ethnic and religious groups. Ultimately, it is the Syrian people alone who must have the deciding voice here.

Syria is Russia’s friend and we are ready to make our contribution not only to the military operations and the fight against terrorism, but also to the political process. We would do this, of course, in close contact with the other global powers and with the countries in the region that want to see a peaceful settlement to this conflict.

Once again, I wish you welcome, Mr President.

President of Syria Bashar al-Assad(retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President.

First of all, I want to express our tremendous gratitude to the Russian leadership and people for the help they are providing Syria. Thank you for supporting Syria’s unity and independence. Most important of all is that this is being done within the framework of international law.

I must say that the political steps the Russian Federation has been taking since the start of the crisis made it possible to prevent events in Syria from taking an even more tragic turn. If it were not for your actions and decisions, the terrorism that is spreading through the region now would have made even greater gains and spread to even wider territories. You have confirmed your course of action by joining in the military operations as part of a common front in the fight against terrorism.

Of course, we all know that any military action must be followed by political steps. Of course, our common goal is to bring about the vision the Syrian people have of their own country’s future.

We must be particularly aware that military strikes against the terrorists are essential above all because we must fight terrorism, and also because terrorism is a real obstacle on the road to reaching a political settlement. Of course, the entire nation wants to take part in deciding the country’s fate, and not just the government.

I want to thank the Russian people once more for the help you are giving Syria and express the hope that we will vanquish terrorism and continue working together to rebuild our country economically and politically and ensure peaceful life for everyone.

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu during Russian-Syrian talks.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50533