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Name: Catherina
Gender: Female
Member since: Mon Mar 3, 2008, 02:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,318

About Me

\"Indeed, in my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan – when much of the government’s modern propaganda structure was created – there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets. But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of “propaganda” when their accounts – though surely not perfect – are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing. There’s also the added risk that this latest failure by the U.S. press corps is occurring on the border of Russia, a nuclear-armed state that – along with the United States – could exterminate all life on the planet. The biased U.S. news coverage is now feeding into political demands to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s coup regime. The casualness of this propaganda – as it spreads across the U.S. media spectrum from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times – is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet.\" Robert Parry, Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass, April 16, 2014 http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/16-6

Journal Archives

Happy Yipee Yehey! 50-80% gas increases, pension cuts, wage cuts, Greece-style depression

From your link

"the government said it had agreed to raise the price of gas to the domestic consumer - a long-standing demand by the Fund - by more than 50 per cent from May 1."

This was an unpopular condition for IMF aid that Yanukovich had refused before he was ousted last month.

(Arseny Yatseniuk) said, warning that the price Ukraine will pay for Russian gas supplies was expected to rise by nearly 80 percent from April to $480 per 1,000 cubic metres.


The spending cuts will no doubt come out of government job reductions and wage cuts for remaining government workers. It will also undoubtedly include deep cuts to the pension system affecting all retirees, which some estimate will mean cuts in pensions by up to 50% by 2016. It is possible that the $4.5 to $9 billion in government deficit reduction over the next 1 to 2 years will mean sales tax hikes for consumer households as taxes are cut for businesses, since the IMF statement of March 27 also calls for “measures to facilitate VAT (value added tax) refunds to businesses”.

In its March 27 statement the IMF has not spelled out the required job, wage, and pension cuts specifically. It is clearly waiting for the Ukrainian interim government to inflict those economic wounds on itself and the Ukrainian people, following which the IMF Management and Executive Board will approve the offered deal.


Related: Who Benefits From Ukraine’s Economic Crisis? (Hint: Not Average Ukrainians)

Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq

Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq
'In order to not appear hypocritical, Obama rewrites history around Iraq War while denouncing Russia'
- Jon Queally, staff writer

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

President Barack Obama delivers a speech Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels. (Reuters)

President Obama is on the receiving end of scorn for remarks made during a high-profile speech in Brussels on Wednesday in which he defended the U.S. invasion of Iraq in an attempt to chastise Russia for recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine.

Speaking to the international community about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and fending off repeated accusations that the U.S. has lost its moral authority given the invasion of Iraq and other breaches of international law in recent years, Obama said:

Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.

But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.

But instead of tamping down accusations of hypocrisy, Obama inflamed it.

Responding to the speech on FireDogLake, DSWright shot back: "Worked within the international system? So if Russia had gone to the UN to get a resolution, failed, then annexed Crimea it would have been OK?"

Reaction on Twitter was swift—and among those with a seemingly better memory of the devastation caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq than the president—fierce:

tony_hartin @tony_hartin

#Obama says "invasion" of #Crimea worse than invasion of #Iraq. 1 million people died in Iraq due to US. How many died in Crimea? #Ukraine
2:33 PM - 26 Mar 2014

Magpie V @i_magpie

"#Obama: #Iraq invasion wasn't as bad as #Russia of #Ukraine as US didn't take territory" just destroyed it & killed & displaced millions.
12:36 PM - 26 Mar 2014

Kevin Gosztola @kgosztola

In order to not appear hypocritical, Obama rewrites history around Iraq War while denouncing Russia http://fdl.me/1o1J8Yb
12:56 PM - 26 Mar 2014

Ross Caputi and Matt Howard, members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, spoke with Common Dreams by phone and said that President Obama's argument was both weak factually and morally. As it happens, both IVAW members were together in Washington, DC on Wednesday, organizing an evening event focused on the devastating impacts of the Iraq War—both for veterans like themselves and the Iraqi civilian population—when they heard news about what the president had said.

"What President Obama said is false," said Caputi. "The U.S. did not attempt to work within the international system. We acted unilaterally, without the approval of the UN Security Council."

Howard said the president's narrative on the events that led up to the Iraq invasion, inside or outside the context of Ukraine, was simply "not grounded in reality."

"We went from one lie, which was weapons of mass destruction, to another lie which was liberation and freedom," said Howard. Citing the devastation cited by Iraqi civil society allies, especially women in the country, he continued, "This idea that Iraq is somehow better off or that the U.S. waged a so-called 'Good War' is ridiculous."

In addition, argued Caputi, the U.S. did make very real and successful attempts to gain access to Iraqi resources, namely through the writing of the new Iraqi Constitution and aspects of the so-called "Bremer Orders," referring to Paul Bremer who was the U.S.-appointed Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq during the aftermath of the 2003 invasion. Those efforts "privatived Iraq's formally nationalized energy resources," paving the way for foreign oil companies, including those from U.S., to gain coveted access to Iraq oil and gas fields.

The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim also made note of this false assertion by Obama regarding Iraqi "resources," writing:

In fact, the U.S. forced Iraq to privatize its oil industry, which had previously been under the control of the state, and further required that it accept foreign ownership of the industry. The effort to transfer the resources to the control of multinational, largely U.S.-based oil companies has been hampered in part by the decade of violence unleashed by the invasion.

Obama's assertion also hinges on how broadly one construes the word "our." Taxpayers on the one hand are worse off, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have added $2 trillion to the national debt, according to one study. But contractors reaped tremendous gains, and Halliburton -- a company often associated with the invasion, of which former Vice President Dick Cheney served as CEO -- saw its stock price surge from under $10 a share to over $50, before falling along with the rest of the market in 2008. (It has since recovered.)

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Tight on the Right: Germany's NPD Maintains Close Ties to Svoboda

Tight on the Right: Germany's NPD Maintains Close Ties to Svoboda

By Steffen Winter

Because of Svoboda's significant support, it was part of negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the crisis in Ukraine in February. Here, US Secretary of State John Kerry takes part in a meeting with opposition leaders, including Svoboda party head Oleh Tyahnybok (second from right).

Germany shuns the right-wing extremist party NPD at home. But even though the Ukrainian nationalist party Svoboda maintains tight links to the NPD, it has received indirect support from Berlin.


Given such ties, it is astounding that Germany has approached the Ukrainian right-wing extremists in a manner that would be unthinkable with the NPD. On April 29, 2013, for example, Germany's ambassador in Kiev met with Svoboda's parliamentary floor leader Oleh Tyahnybok. During the meeting, Berlin has insisted, the ambassador exhorted Tyahnybok to respect the inviolability of human dignity and human rights.

Though Svoboda maintains ties with the NPD, Germany's ambassador to Kiev has met with the right-wing extremist party's leader Oleh Tyahnybok.


Honoring the SS

Even the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) has supported the party. GIZ oversaw a project for the "formation of administrative capacities in the public financing sector." Svoboda parliamentarians took part in two trips to Berlin in 2013 in conjunction with the project.

One prominent party member even gave an interview in early May 2013 to the NPD publication Deutsche Stimme. In an interview conducted by senior NPD member Jens Pühse, Ternopol Mayor Sergei Nadal was asked why Svoboda supports the recognition of descendants of former members of the Ukrainian 14th Division of the Waffen SS as national heroes. "These Ukrainian heroes must be honored irrespective of what has been written about them in the history books of those peoples who were once our enemies," Nadal answered.

Germany's Interior Ministry has also taken note of the Svoboda-NPD connection. In response to a parliamentary query from the Left Party, the ministry noted that the NPD had established a department tasked with maintaining contact with right-wing extremist organizations in Eastern Europe. The German government, the ministry said, considers Svoboda to be a "right-wing populist and nationalist party" which represents "in part right-wing extremist positions." The party, for example, organized a rally to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the 14th Waffen SS Division.

Svoboda, meanwhile, has established chapters in Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich....


It's a good thing some people in Germany still recognize a Wolfsangel swastika when they see it and a centrist paper like Spiegel is sounding a faint alarm.

A poster for Patriots of Ukraine – the paramiltary wing of Svoboda. The first leader of the organization was Andriy Parubiy, who's now the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine

Libya is a disaster we helped create. The west must take responsibility

Libya is a disaster we helped create. The west must take responsibility
Who could object to the removal of Colonel Gaddafi? But what has happened since shames western interventionists

Owen Jones
The Guardian, Monday 24 March 2014

t's called the pottery store rule: "you break it, you own it". But it doesn't just apply to pots and mugs, but to nations. In the build-up to the catastrophic invasion of Iraq, it was invoked by Colin Powell, then US secretary of state. "You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people," he reportedly told George W Bush. "You will own all their hopes, aspirations and problems." But while many of these military interventions have left nations shattered, western governments have resembled the customer who walks away whistling, hoping no one has noticed the mess left behind. Our media have been all too complicit in allowing them to leave the scene.


Today's Libya is overrun by militias and faces a deteriorating human rights situation, mounting chaos that is infecting other countries, growing internal splits, and even the threat of civil war. Only occasionally does this growing crisis creep into the headlines: like when an oil tanker is seized by rebellious militia; or when a British oil worker is shot dead while having a picnic; or when the country's prime minister is kidnapped.


Some human rights abuses began in the tumultuous days that followed Gaddafi's removal, and were ignored by the west. Ever since the fall of his dictatorship, there have been stories of black Libyans being treated en masse as Gaddafi loyalists and attacked. In a savage act of collective punishment, 35,000 people were driven out of Tawergha in retaliation for the brutal siege of the anti-Gaddafi stronghold of Misrata. The town was trashed and its inhabitants have been left in what human rights organisations are calling "deplorable conditions" in a Tripoli refugee camp. Such forced removals continue elsewhere. Thousands have been arbitrarily detained without any pretence of due process; and judges, prosecutors, lawyers and witnesses have been attacked or even killed. Libya's first post-Gaddafi prosecutor general, Abdulaziz Al-Hassadi, was assassinated in the town of Derna last month.

But it is the militias that filled the post-Gaddafi vacuum who represent the greatest threat to Libyans' human rights and security. "Libya has been sitting on the international community's back burner as the country has slipped into near chaos," warns Human Rights Watch. In an attempt to integrate militias into the state machinery, the weak central government pays 160,000 members of these often violent gangs $1,000 a month and charges them with upholding authority.



Instead of taking any responsibility, the same war hawks just move on to the next country, squawking about democracy and human rights, without even an apology.

How many more countries? How much more death?

Then the former Fox intern tried to drag Ron Paul into it lol

RT fans will also find this interview with former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, which was conducted by Wahl. It’s titled, “Ron Paul: US Shouldn’t Meddle in Ukraine.” Said Paul in the interview, “I don’t think we have any business there. The Europeans are involved, the Russians are involved.” But Paul said some things that we didn’t get to see, Wahl said on Wednesday night in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “The only question that I asked — I asked many questions. I asked about the Russian intervention, you know, he has a very anti-intervention approach. I asked him in the wake of escalation by the Russian military how long — you know, how should we respond to this, how should the U.S. respond to this? And that question was cut out of the interview.”


But Paul contradicts her ridiculous claim

Ron Paul on Liz Wahl’s claim: What RT reported was exactly what I said

Former US Congressman Ron Paul responds to allegations voiced by the channel’s ex-host Liz Wahl that RT censored his interview, in which he criticized foreign intervention in Ukraine.

“The programming yesterday, as all other ones, I thought was very fair. I listened to the replay of the whole thing,” Paul said on his official online channel on March 6.

“I didn’t think it was slanted in any way. I thought what they reported was exactly what I said,”
he added.

The former presidential candidate was addressing the allegations made by RT’s ex-presenter Liz Wahl, who publicly resigned on March 5 following her interview with Ron Paul. Wahl cited the Russian channel’s “censorship” of her interview with Ron Paul as one of the reasons for her resignation.

Wahl’s “questions were all legitimate,” Paul reiterates. “I would say that it essentially all got in there in a fair and balanced manner but she implied they edited something I said that might have benefited her position. I don’t recall any of that. I thought the report and the essence of what they put on TV was exactly the message I was trying to get out.



Liz Wahl needs to go back to FOX where she can pound the war drums for her neocon buddies. Is it any wonder RT demoted this drama queen before? It's too bad they lifted that demotion and put her on the air. No one had even heard of her until her little neocon splash.

James Kirchick is PNAC through and through. Why look! Here he is, James Kirchick, at PNAC.2 listed under STAFF right above the

Board of Directors

Eric Edelman
Robert Kagan
William Kristol
Dan Senor


That Robert Kagan, co-founder of PNAC sure does get around! Between his marriage to Victoria Nuland, current Assistant Secretary of State who's involved up to her neck in the Ukraine putsch, and having Kirchick as his lackey, he sure does get around.

Two Neocons (Kirchik, Lake) and a Fox Intern (Liz Wahl). My oh my.

Truthdig article: How Cold War-Hungry Neocons Stage Managed RT Anchor Liz Wahl’s Resignation


Located in an office in Washington D.C.’s Dupont Circle, FPI exists at the physical heart of the neoconservative movement. Its office is, in fact, the same space listed as the home of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a Likud-oriented public relations group that wields Israel as a political wedge issue, routinely attacking Obama for being insufficiently supportive of Netanyahu’s policies and baselessly trashing Occupy Wall Street as a haven for anti-Semites.

Among ECI’s advisers is Michael Goldfarb, the 33-year-old founder of The Washington Free Beacon, a neoconservative online journal that churns out a relentlessly pro-Israel narrative, advocating war on Iran while vigorously defending Adelson against his detractors. At the same time, Goldfarb has worked as a lobbyist for D.C.-based Orion Strategies. And it was through that lobbying firm that he cultivated Kirchick and a cadre of neoconservative writers to generate commentary promoting the aims of the Republic of Georgia, a foreign client under the control at the time of the U.S.-oriented government of Mikheil Saakashvili.


Kirchick’s zealous participation in a public relations campaign sponsored by a foreign government did not deter him from publishing a piece attacking U.S. lobbying firms ginning up PR on behalf of Russia. Any sense of irony was superseded by the single-minded determination to bring simmering tensions between Washington and Moscow to a boiling point. Thanks to the growing authoritarian tendencies of Putin, that goal appeared more achievable by the day.


Wahl expressed her outrage at co-workers, often berating them, according to her former colleagues, and by “screaming” at management. She was ultimately suspended without pay for her unprofessional behavior, they told us, and demoted from anchor to correspondent until her duties were restored this past January. A review of RT America’s YouTube page shows that Wahl did not appear at the anchor desk during the latter half of 2013.


READ MORE: http://www.truthdig.com/report/page4/how_cold_war-hungry_neocons_stage_managed_liz_wahls_resignation_20140319


Venice votes to split from Italy as 89% of the city's residents opt to form a new independent state

Source: Daily Mail

- Wealthy residents are opposing high taxes which support poorer south
- Venice gets 21 billion euros less in grants than it gives in taxes per year
- Overwhelming 89 per cent majority voted to break away from Italy
- Activists have been working with SNP and attended rallies in Scotland

By Hannah Roberts In Rome


Venetians have voted overwhelmingly for their own sovereign state in a ‘referendum’ on independence from Italy.


The proposed ‘Repubblica Veneta’ would include the five million inhabitants of the Veneto region and could later expand to include parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.


Organisers said that 2.36million, 73 per cent, of those eligible to take part voted in the poll, which is not recognised by the Rome government.

The ballot also appointed a committee of ten who immediately declared independence from Italy. Venice may now start withholding taxes from Rome.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2586531/Venice-votes-split-Italy-89-citys-residents-opt-form-new-independent-state.html

Michael Hudson: Ukraine, Austerity….Again? (excellent discussion)

"We're dealing with a new kind of a class war...(too long to transcribe). The IMF is in a new class war and it's almost as if Ukraine was militarily invaded except Finance now does what the military used to do. It's Finance that grabs property, it's Finance that grabs the land, it's Finance that comes in and levies a tribute by saying the Ukrainians have to now pay taxes to pay the IMF for the money it's given the Kleptocrats to say we're going to join Europe instead of Russia because it means billions of dollars in our pockets." (minute 6:45)

Ukraine, Austerity….Again?
March 17, 2014
By Michael

An interview with WBEZ on the one-sided view of economic reform.

WBEZ writes:

Both the U.S. and the E.U. have pledged aid packages to help Ukraine’s new government stabilize the country’s economy. The IMF also has a team on the ground in Ukraine, currently analyzing the country’s debt crisis. They expect to make recommendations for reforms that are required for Ukraine to secure an IMF loan. But, not everyone agrees that austerity and cuts in wages and government subsidies are good for Ukraine. Michael Hudson, professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of The Bubble and Beyond, weighs in on the debate.

AUDIO of "What will aid packages and austerity do to Ukraine's economy?" here: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/138085737&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true

Excellent video. Highly, highly recommended.

Koko! I was just coming to post this. This is a must-listen for people who don't support how the IMF rapes and plunders countries.

I foresee that in less than a year, we'll be on Europe's shitlist for dragging them into this mess, even though their own greed is to blame and they chose to go along. Ukraine owes Russia about 26 Billion- guess who's going to pay for that? The US, the German and the British taxpayers. That's not even the worst. We're going to pay this just to shoot ourselves in the foot, destroy our environment and raise gas prices on ourselves.

Their discussion of how this will affect taxpayers in the US is important too. It's sordid how almost none of the facts they're discussing made it to US news.

Hudson is one of the best, most accurate economists alive. Ignore him at your own peril.

Not just no but hell no. Hillary, Mar '14: 'Let's Be Clear,' Military Option for Iran 'on the Table'

Clinton: 'Let's Be Clear,' Military Option for Iran 'on the Table'
Likely presidential candidate calls Israeli government policies exemplary as she receives lifetime achievement award from American Jewish Congress
- Jon Queally, staff writer

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks after receiving the American Jewish Congress' lifetime achievement award on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in New York. Clinton spoke at the group’s gala and emphasized the longstanding relationship between the United States and Israel, and also spoke about the negotiations process with Iran. (Photo: Jin Lee, AP)

Commenting on the ongoing talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations over the nation's nuclear program and ongoing western sanctions, former Secretary of State and likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a largely pro-Israel crowd on Wednesday that she is "personally skeptical" of Iran's stated commitments and that, in her eyes, "all options"—including military ones—should be part of U.S. policy towards Tehran if talks fail.

“Let’s be clear,” she said, “every other option does remain on the table.”

Two days of negotiations between Iran, the US, Russia, China, UK, France, and Germany concluded in Vienna on Wednesday with progress, but no final settlement as of yet. Some diplomats leaving the latest round expressed optimism about prospects for a final deal. But Clinton, from her vantage in New York, expressed her continued doubts that diplomatic efforts can succeed.

“The odds of reaching that comprehensive agreement are not good,” Clinton said. “I am also personally skeptical that the Iranians would follow through and deliver. I have seen their behavior over the years. But this is a development that is worth testing.”

According to the Washington Post:

In a 30-minute address at an American Jewish Congress gala — where she was honored with a lifetime achievement award by actress Julianna Margulies and serenaded at the dinner table by Israeli singer Liel Kolet — Clinton presented herself as a tough defender of Israel in the Senate and at the State Department.

“When Americans of all faiths look at Israel, we see a homeland for a people long oppressed and a democracy that has to defend itself at every turn,” Clinton said. “In Israel’s story, we see our own.”

Clinton described in detail her role in shaping the country’s policies with regard to Iran from the earliest days of the Obama administration. This is likely to be a focus of her forthcoming memoir, due out this spring, which she teased in a separate speech earlier Wednesday.

Citing the group's website, the Associated Press describes the the American Jewish Congress is "an association of Jewish Americans seeking to defend Jewish interests through public policy advocacy, using diplomacy, legislation and the court system."

Though undeclared, Clinton remains the likely frontrunner as the next presidential candidate for the Democratic party, holding commanding leads in all polling on the subject thus far.

Though she has largely demurred from speculation about her possible candidacy, the publication of her upcoming memoir is expected to begin the groundwork for her positioning.

Long known as a hawk on foreign policy issues, Clinton's vote in favor of the invasion of Iraq under President George W. Bush is largely credited as the issue that lost her the primary race against then Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, as he cast himself as the anti-war candidate in contrast to her record.

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