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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

The neolibs and neocons are in fine bipartisan company together

Who is McCain to parade around the world as if he's Secretary of State, stirring up trouble, promising arms to rebels right and left and then getting Congress to deliver cash on his promises?

Is there any reason there are so many neocons in the current state department? Why was Victoria Nuland appointed Assistant Secretary of State? Why was her husband, PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan, appointed to the State Department's Foreign Affairs Policy Board under this administration?

The neocons are just tickled pink at how they've roped the Democratic Party into pursuing their goals for them. Here's what the same Robert Kagan has to say about that during an interview:

In a much-noted passage in his State of the Union address, Obama echoed Kagan’s argument that America, despite a decade of war and a near-bankrupt economy, is not a declining or foolish power but the world’s indispensable nation. “Anybody who says America is in decline doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” Obama declared after making a point of letting Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin know he had recommended Kagan’s thesis (as excerpted in the New Republic) to his advisors. Kagan also serves on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, whose agenda is “shaped by the questions and concerns of the Secretary.”

At the same time, Kagan’s bona fides as a Republican hawk are indisputable. He got his start in the State Department under Reagan and wrote with Bill Kristol in 1996 “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy,” the foundational document of modern Republican foreign policy. Unsurprisingly, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. He serves on the board of directors of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a conservative think tank that routinely finds fault with Obama’s leadership. Kagan now advises Romney, saying he has met regularly with the candidate over the years, most recently for a few hours last summer. Bipartisanship in U.S. foreign policy is alive and well — with a neoconservative flavor.

“I actually believe in a bipartisan foreign policy, not for its own sake,” Kagan tells Salon, “but because I think there actually is a bipartisan consensus on foreign policy. There are plenty of neoconservatives in the Obama administration and there were plenty in the Clinton administration, if you would define ‘neoconservative’ as I would. What’s lost on people not in Washington is how close this community really is.”


These people need to be pushed off the stage.

What is there not to laugh at there? The sanctions are a joke. The State Dept needs better help.

Of course they're laughing. Putin's probably laughing the loudest that, at worse, this would only help identify any Russian officials who still have assets abroad because they'd be criminals under Russian law.

Law prohibiting Russian officials owning assets abroad comes into force
Published time: May 08, 2013

The ban on Russian government officials possessing foreign assets has come into force after President Putin signed the laws. Officials can now be dismissed if they hold overseas accounts and other financial instruments.

Top state officials at different levels – from heads of country’s biggest corporations like Gazprom or Lukoil to the bosses of the country’s key state bodies like the Central Bank, can be punished if they, or their spouses or underage children, have any sort of financial asset abroad.

The law aims to provide better national security, as well as spur investment in the domestic economy and fight corruption, according to Kremlin website. It applies to people “who are duty-bound to take decisions concerning sovereignty and national security of the Russian Federation.”


Wednesday's signing of the law leaves 3 months for Russian officials to dispose of all their bank holdings, bonds, shares and any other financial instruments. Property, however, remains untouched by the ban, provided officials declare them and explain how they obtained the money for the purchase.

Some officials chose to prepare well beforehand, with Russian billionaire Senator Suleiman Kerimov moving his business assets to a Swiss – registered charitable fund. First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov was also among the “early birds”, as he has started to transfer his offshore assets from a family trust in the British Virgin Islands back to Russia.



Back to the original point of your article, rec'd.

On Democracy and Orchestrated Overthrows in Venezuela and Ukraine

On Democracy and Orchestrated Overthrows in Venezuela and Ukraine
by Howard Friel

U.S. Senator John McCain, center, with Oleh Tyahnbok, head of the far-right Svoboda Party on the right, during a pro-European Union rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut stands second from left. (AP)

On April 11, 2002, the democratically elected president of Venezuela was overthrown by a group of military officers who installed a prominent Venezuelan businessman as president. The Bush administration announced that day that it supported the coup. Two days later, on April 13, the lead editorial in the New York Times announced that it also supported the coup, claiming that it was a victory for “Venezuelan democracy”:

With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona…. Rightly, (Chávez’s) removal was a purely Venezuelan affair.

Since nearly every state in Latin America, from Mexico to Chile, denounced the coup and criticized the Bush administration for supporting it, the Times’ editorial backing the coup was to the right of every official statement given by every government throughout the Western hemisphere.

The Times’ editorial also accepted the claim made by Venezuelan military plotters and the Bush administration that Chávez had resigned. However, when Chávez returned to power on April 14 — after only three days and following mass protests and a counter-coup to reinstall the elected president — it was clear that Chávez had not resigned, and that the Times’ April 13 editorial, in addition to supporting a military coup, had misreported an important fact pertaining to the status of the elected Venezuelan president.

In a tight spot due to the quick reversal, the Times’ editorial page withdrew its support for the coup in an April 16 editorial, and reversed its claim that Chávez had resigned:

In his three years in office, Mr. Chávez has been such a divisive and demagogic leader that his forced departure last week drew applause at home and in Washington. That reaction, which we shared, overlooked the undemocratic manner in which he was removed. Forcibly unseating a democratically elected leader, no matter how badly he has performed, is never something to cheer.

Thus, the Times’ changed “yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chávez” (the April 13 editorial) to “forcibly unseating a democratically elected leader” (the April 16 editorial), and changed “democracy is no longer threatened” thanks to the coup to “we … overlooked the undemocratic manner in which (Chávez) was removed.”

The claim in the April 13 editorial that “(Chávez’s) removal was a purely Venezuelan affair” is also of interest, given the long history of U.S. interventionism in Latin America. In fact, an April 16 front-page story by Christopher Marquis in the Times reported that “senior members of the Bush administration met several times in recent months with leaders of a coalition that ousted the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, for two days last weekend, and agreed with them that he should be removed from office.”

The next day, April 17, Marquis reported that “a senior (Bush) administration official (Otto Reich) was in contact with the man (Pedro Carmona) who succeeded Mr. Chávez on the very day he took office,” and that “Mr. Carmona, who heads Venezuela’s largest business association, was one of numerous critics of Mr. Chávez to call on (Bush) administration officials in recent weeks. Officials from the White House, State Department and Pentagon, among others, were hosts to a stream of Chávez opponents, some of them seeking help in removing him from office.”

And on April 25, Marquis reported: “In the past year, the United States channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to American and Venezuelan groups opposed to President Hugo Chávez, including the labor groups whose protests led to the Venezuelan president’s brief ouster this month.”

The assertion by the Times that Carmona was “a respected business leader” was a flattering description of someone who had just come to power without any constitutional authority as a result of a military coup that had overthrown the elected president. Moreover, the editorial page published this benign portrait of the illicitly installed president of Venezuela in its April 13 editorial; that is, after Carmona had “dissolve the National Assembly and fire(d) all members of the Supreme Court” at 5:45 p.m. the previous day, according to an account of events published by the Times. So many Venezuelans were offended by Carmona’s behavior that “the respected business leader” was driven from power almost before the ink had dried on the Times’ April 13 editorial, and fled the country a short time later.

Furthermore, the “senior administration official” who “was in contact” with Carmona “on the very day he took office” as the new Venezuelan president, as reported on April 17 in the Times, was Otto Reich, who, in the 1980s, ran a secret propaganda operation inside the United States — the Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD) — in support of the Reagan administration’s efforts to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. A government investigation declared that Reich’s domestic propaganda operation was illegal under U.S. law, and the U.S. Congress reportedly closed it down. (After his engagement in the illegal OPD campaign inside the United States, Reich became U.S. ambassador to Venezuela from 1986 to 1989.)

Also, on April 25, two weeks after the short-lived military coup against Chávez in Venezuela, Marquis reported: “In the past year, the United States channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to American and Venezuelan groups opposed to President Hugo Chávez, including the labor groups whose protests led to the Venezuelan president’s brief ouster this month. The funds were provided by the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit agency created and financed by Congress. As conditions deteriorated in Venezuela and Mr. Chávez clashed with various business, labor and media groups, the endowment stepped up its assistance, quadrupling its budget for Venezuela to more than $877,000.”

In a report issued by the State Department’s inspector general (as requested by Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd), Clark Kent Irvin, the department’s IG at the time, found that the National Endowment for Democracy, through the American Center for International Labor Solidarity — one of four core NED grantees — awarded $150,000 to a group called the Confederation of Venezuelan Workers to “promote democratic reforms at all levels of government.” In his April 25 piece, Marquis reported: “The Confederation of Venezuelan Workers led the work stoppages that galvanized the opposition to Mr. Chávez. The union’s leader, Carlos Ortega, worked closely with Pedro Carmona Estanga, the businessman who briefly took over from Mr. Chávez, in challenging the government.”

Irvin also reported that the NED had awarded $340,000 to the International Republican Institute (IRI) — another core grantee — to “encourage the development of democratic structures and practices” in Venezuela, and “to develop … civil society groups and individual citizens that demonstrate a willingness to interact with political parties in planned activities.”

On April 12, 2002, the day after what seemed at that moment to be a successful coup in Venezuela, the head of the IRI, George Folsom, issued a public statement supporting the coup: “Last night, led by every sector of civil society, the Venezuelan people rose up to defend democracy in their country.... The (International Republican) Institute has served as a bridge between the nation’s political parties and all civil society groups to help forge a new democratic future, based on accountability, rule of law and sound democratic institutions. We stand ready to continue our partnership with the courageous Venezuelan people.”

On April 25, the Times reported that “in an interview, Mr. Folsom said discussions at the Institute on Venezuela involved finding ways to remove Mr. Chávez by constitutional means only.” This claim that NED-funded groups sought to remove Chávez from power — but only “by constitutional means” and “legal means” — was prominently featured in Irvin’s IG report without challenge, despite substantial evidence gathered by Irvin himself in the very same report of a U.S.-engineered coup.


Pursuant to this brief case study, subtract Venezuela, add Ukraine, and the coup in Kiev of February 2014 — from the perspective of NED-financed groups in Ukraine – looks pretty much like the coup in Caracas of 2002. For example, according to an NED document, the NED awarded $3.3 million in grants to a number of organizations in Ukraine for 2012. This included $380,000 to the International Republican Institute, the same NED core grantee that was involved in “finding ways to remove Mr. Chávez (from power) by constitutional means only.”

Furthermore, the chairman of the board today of the International Republican Institute is Senator John McCain. In a visit to Ukraine in February (last month), McCain gave a speech in Kiev, during which he said: “We have to side with the protesters and the power has to be dispersed from the hands of (Ukrainian president Viktor) Yanukovych.” What was that supposed to mean, if not a call of support, issued on Ukrainian soil, from the chairman of the International Republican Institute for the overthrow of the elected president of Ukraine? Imagine a high-ranking official from another country, in a speech in Washington, D.C., calling for the overthrow of an elected American president? And if McCain was willing to issue such statements in public, what was he willing to say privately in any discussions with the IRI?

In a truly mad encore on March 14, courtesy of the op-ed page of the New York Times, McCain advocated “sanctioning Russian officials, isolating Russia internationally, and increasing NATO’s military presence and exercises on its eastern frontier,” in addition to “boycotting the Group of 8 summit meeting in Sochi and convening the Group of 7 elsewhere.” The Times’ opinion-page assisted McCain’s belligerence by adding the subtitle: “John McCain on Responding to Russia’s Aggression.”

Neither the Times nor McCain mentioned that the senator from Arizona, who a month earlier appeared to call for the ouster of Ukraine’s president, is chair of the NED-funded Republican International Institute, which admitted in 2002 that it was involved in the overthrow of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, and which is currently the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars of NED funds for its operations in Ukraine, whatever those might be.

In short, the essence of the NED enterprise itself almost certainly violates the customary international law norm of non-intervention, given its overall interventionist orientation, which features the neo-liberalization of foreign countries and the destabilization and overthrow of foreign governments.

Finally, who in the United States oversees the NED? Not President Obama, who shows no intention of checking even the publicly known outrages of the NSA and CIA, let alone the mostly unknown ones of the NED. Not the Democrats or Republicans in Congress, who in 1983 created the NED “to promote democracy” abroad. Not the federal judiciary, needless to say. And not the press; surely not the New York Times, which, without Christopher Marquis, who died of AIDS in 2005, hasn’t employed anyone since who has shown an interest in shedding any light on the activities of the NED, certainly not in Venezuela and Ukraine today.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.


The sanctions are a joke. The State Dept really needs better help. Russia WELCOMES those sanctions

I suspect Putin welcomes the West's help in identifying any Russian officials who still have assets abroad because they'd be criminals under Russian law.

Law prohibiting Russian officials owning assets abroad comes into force
Published time: May 08, 2013

The ban on Russian government officials possessing foreign assets has come into force after President Putin signed the laws. Officials can now be dismissed if they hold overseas accounts and other financial instruments.

Top state officials at different levels – from heads of country’s biggest corporations like Gazprom or Lukoil to the bosses of the country’s key state bodies like the Central Bank, can be punished if they, or their spouses or underage children, have any sort of financial asset abroad.

The law aims to provide better national security, as well as spur investment in the domestic economy and fight corruption, according to Kremlin website. It applies to people “who are duty-bound to take decisions concerning sovereignty and national security of the Russian Federation.”


Wednesday's signing of the law leaves 3 months for Russian officials to dispose of all their bank holdings, bonds, shares and any other financial instruments. Property, however, remains untouched by the ban, provided officials declare them and explain how they obtained the money for the purchase.

Some officials chose to prepare well beforehand, with Russian billionaire Senator Suleiman Kerimov moving his business assets to a Swiss – registered charitable fund. First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov was also among the “early birds”, as he has started to transfer his offshore assets from a family trust in the British Virgin Islands back to Russia.



Back to the original point of your article, rec'd.

Excellent article. Have to post more of this.


Though I’m told the Ukraine crisis caught Obama and Putin by surprise, the neocon determination to drive a wedge between the two leaders has been apparent for months, especially after Putin brokered a deal to head off U.S. military strikes against Syria last summer and helped get Iran to negotiate concessions on its nuclear program, both moves upsetting the neocons who had favored heightened confrontations.


If not for Putin, the neocons – along with Israel and Saudi Arabia – had hoped that Obama would launch military strikes on Syria and Iran that could open the door to more “regime change” across the Middle East, a dream at the center of neocon geopolitical strategy since the 1990s. This neocon strategy took shape after the display of U.S. high-tech warfare against Iraq in 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union later that year. U.S. neocons began believing in a new paradigm of a uni-polar world where U.S. edicts were law.


The Rise of Obama

The neocons were dealt another setback in 2008 when Barack Obama defeated a neocon favorite, Sen. John McCain. But Obama then made one of the fateful decisions of his presidency, deciding to staff key foreign-policy positions with “a team of rivals,” i.e. keeping Republican operative Robert Gates at the Defense Department and recruiting Hillary Clinton, a neocon-lite, to head the State Department.

Obama also retained Bush’s high command, most significantly the media-darling Gen. David Petraeus. That meant that Obama didn’t take control over his own foreign policy.

Gates and Petraeus were themselves deeply influenced by the neocons, particularly Frederick Kagan, who had been a major advocate for the 2007 “surge” escalation in Iraq, which was hailed by the U.S. mainstream media as a great “success” but never achieved its principal goal of a unified Iraq. At the cost of nearly 1,000 U.S. dead, it only bought time for an orderly withdrawal that spared Bush and the neocons the embarrassment of an obvious defeat.


Obama also found a surprising ally in Putin after he regained the Russian presidency in 2012. A Putin adviser told me that the Russian president personally liked Obama and genuinely wanted to help him resolve dangerous disputes, especially crises with Iran and Syria.


For instance, Secretary of State Kerry came close to announcing a U.S. war against Syria in a bellicose speech on Aug. 30, 2013, only to see Obama pull the rug out from under him as the President worked with Putin to defuse the crisis sparked by a disputed chemical weapons attack outside Damascus. )

Similarly, Obama and Putin hammered out the structure for an interim deal with Iran on how to constrain its nuclear program. But when Kerry was sent to seal that agreement in Geneva, he instead inserted new demands from the French (who were carrying water for the Saudis) and nearly screwed it all up. After getting called on the carpet by the White House, Kerry returned to Geneva and finalized the arrangements.(See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Saudi-Israel Defeat on Iran Deal.”)

Unorthodox Foreign Policy


But Obama’s hesitancy to explain the degree of his strategic cooperation with Putin has enabled Official Washington’s still influential neocons, including holdovers within the State Department bureaucracy, to drive more substantive wedges between Obama and Putin. The neocons came to recognize that the Obama-Putin tandem had become a major impediment to their strategic vision.

Without doubt, the neocons’ most dramatic – and potentially most dangerous – counter-move has been Ukraine, where they have lent their political and financial support to opposition forces who sought to break Ukraine away from its Russian neighbor.

Though this crisis also stems from the historical division of Ukraine – between its more European-oriented west and the Russian-ethnic east and south – neocon operatives, with financing from the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other U.S. sources, played key roles in destabilizing and overthrowing the democratically elected president.

NED, a $100 million-a-year agency created by the Reagan administration in 1983 to promote political action and psychological warfare against targeted states, lists 65 projects that it supports financially inside Ukraine, including training activists, supporting “journalists” and promoting business groups, effectively creating a full-service structure primed and ready to destabilize a government in the name of promoting “democracy.” (See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Shadow US Foreign Policy.”)

State Department neocons also put their shoulders into shoving Ukraine away from Russia. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan and the sister-in-law of the Gates-Petraeus adviser Frederick Kagan, advocated strenuously for Ukraine’s reorientation toward Europe.

Last December, Nuland reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve “its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion.” She said the U.S. goal was to take “Ukraine into the future that it deserves,” by which she meant into the West’s orbit and away from Russia’s.

But President Yanukovych rejected a European Union plan that would have imposed harsh austerity on the already impoverished Ukraine. He accepted a more generous $15 billion loan from Russia, which also has propped up Ukraine’s economy with discounted natural gas. Yanukovych’s decision sparked anti-Russian street protests in Kiev, located in the country’s western and more pro-European region.

Nuland was soon at work planning for “regime change,” encouraging disruptive street protests by personally passing out cookies to the anti-government demonstrators. She didn’t seem to notice or mind that the protesters in Kiev’s Maidan square had hoisted a large banner honoring Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.

By late January, Nuland was discussing with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt who should be allowed in the new government.

“Yats is the guy,” Nuland said in a phone call to Pyatt that was intercepted and posted online. “He’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy you know.” By “Yats,” Nuland was referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister — and who was committed to harsh austerity.

As Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. McCain cheered the demonstrators on, the street protests turned violent. Police clashed with neo-Nazi bands, the ideological descendants of Bandera’s anti-Russian Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi SS during World War II.

With the crisis escalating and scores of people killed in the street fighting, Yanukovych agreed to a E.U.-brokered deal that called for moving up scheduled elections and having the police stand down. The neo-Nazi storm troopers then seized the opening to occupy government buildings and force Yanukovych and many of his aides to flee for their lives.

With these neo-Nazis providing “security,” the remaining parliamentarians agreed in a series of unanimous or near unanimous votes to establish a new government and seek Yanukovych’s arrest for mass murder. Nuland’s choice, Yatsenyuk, emerged as interim prime minister.

Yet, the violent ouster of Yanukovych provoked popular resistance to the coup from the Russian-ethnic south and east. After seeking refuge in Russia, Yanukovych appealed to Putin for help. Putin then dispatched Russian troops to secure control of the Crimea. (For more on this history, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Cheering a ‘Democratic’ Coup in Ukraine.”)

Separating Obama from Putin

The Ukraine crisis has given Official Washington’s neocons another wedge to drive between Obama and Putin. For instance, the neocon flagship Washington Post editorialized on Saturday that Obama was responding “with phone calls” when something much more threatening than “condemnation” was needed.

It’s always stunning when the Post, which so energetically lobbied for the U.S. invasion of Iraq under the false pretense of eliminating its (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction, gets its ire up about another country acting in response to a genuine security threat on its own borders, not half a world away.

But the Post’s editors have never been deterred by their own hypocrisy. They wrote, “Mr. Putin’s likely objective was not difficult to figure. He appears to be responding to Ukraine’s overthrow of a pro-Kremlin government last week with an old and ugly Russian tactic: provoking a separatist rebellion in a neighboring state, using its own troops when necessary.”

The reality, however, appears to have been that neocon elements from within the U.S. government encouraged the overthrow of the elected president of Ukraine via a coup spearheaded by neo-Nazi storm troopers who then terrorized lawmakers as the parliament passed draconian laws, including some intended to punish the Russian-oriented regions which favor Yanukovych.

Yet, besides baiting Obama over his tempered words about the crisis, the Post declared that “Mr. Obama and European leaders must act quickly to prevent Ukraine’s dismemberment. Missing from the president’s statement was a necessary first step: a demand that all Russian forces – regular and irregular – be withdrawn … and that Moscow recognize the authority of the new Kiev government. … If Mr. Putin does not comply, Western leaders should make clear that Russia will pay a heavy price.”

The Post editors are fond of calling for ultimatums against various countries, especially Syria and Iran, with the implication that if they don’t comply with some U.S. demand that harsh actions, including military reprisals, will follow.

But now the neocons, in their single-minded pursuit of endless “regime change” in countries that get in their way, have taken their ambitions to a dangerous new level, confronting nuclear-armed Russia with ultimatums.

By Sunday, the Post’s neocon editors were “spelling out the consequences” for Putin and Russia, essentially proposing a new Cold War. The Post mocked Obama for alleged softness toward Russia and suggested that the next “regime change” must come in Moscow.

“Many in the West did not believe Mr. Putin would dare attempt a military intervention in Ukraine because of the steep potential consequences,” the Post wrote. “That the Russian ruler plunged ahead shows that he doubts Western leaders will respond forcefully. If he does not quickly retreat, the United States must prove him wrong.”

The madness of the neocons has long been indicated by their extraordinary arrogance and their contempt for other nations’ interests. They assume that U.S. military might and other coercive means must be brought to bear on any nation that doesn’t bow before U.S. ultimatums or that resists U.S.-orchestrated coups.

Whenever the neocons meet resistance, they don’t rethink their strategy; they simply take it to the next level. Angered by Russia’s role in heading off U.S. military attacks against Syria and Iran, the neocons escalated their geopolitical conflict by taking it to Russia’s own border, by egging on the violent ouster of Ukraine’s elected president.

The idea was to give Putin an embarrassing black eye as punishment for his interference in the neocons’ dream of “regime change” across the Middle East. Now, with Putin’s countermove, his dispatch of Russian troops to secure control of the Crimea, the neocons want Obama to further escalate the crisis by going after Putin.

Some leading neocons even see ousting Putin as a crucial step toward reestablishing the preeminence of their agenda. NED president Carl Gershman wrote in the Washington Post, “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

At minimum, the neocons hope that they can neutralize Putin as Obama’s ally in trying to tamp down tensions with Syria and Iran – and thus put American military strikes against those two countries back under active consideration.

As events spin out of control, it appears way past time for President Obama to explain to the American people why he has collaborated with President Putin in trying to resolve some of the world’s thorniest problems.

That, however, would require him to belatedly take control of his own administration, to purge the neocon holdovers who have worked to sabotage his actual foreign policy, and to put an end to neocon-controlled organizations, like the National Endowment for Democracy, that use U.S. taxpayers’ money to stir up trouble abroad. That would require real political courage.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.


And some in our party are cheering this, cheering those who hurt our country the most. Choosing neocons over Obama's obvious strategy of trying to work with Putin, something which was made obviously clear when Obama returned from his unscheduled meeting with Putin during the G-20 and put the breaks of the neocon's Syria madness.

The answer to the question is that they won't be able to if Democrats wake up but right now too many people are missing the nuances of this thing, thanks to our rotten, complicit media, and carrying water for the neocons.

CrossTalk: Crimea Votes! with George Galloway, Michael Hughes and Dmitry Babich

Another excellent episode

Igor Mazur, hater supreme, of Abkhazia and Chechnya fame, is not a little lamb

Taras Berezovets, quoted in your article, is a lying asshole. Pravij Sector has over 9000 members that the EU know of with a caveat that that's a minimum figure because these guys don't exactly come out to be counted. 9000 known members for an organization that just sprung up in late November 2013. And that's just Pravij Sector without counting Svoboda, White Hammer or the more extreme groups like Spilna Sprava (who call themselves the SS Stormtroopers) and number in the thousands. Who is this guy trying to fool?

15 years from now they'll come screaming that we need to go fight the fascists there, just like the little stunt they pulled after they financed Al Qaeda and feted them as "Freedom Fighters". Fuck em. We've seen this play too many times, including with the real Nazis.

People can't say they're not warned.

Ukraine / 21-02-2008
Ukraine – second antisemitic broadcast in a month on Ukrainian television network


For the second time this month, the Ukrainian cable channel Antenna broadcast antisemitic statements. On February 13, the political analyst Igor Mazur spoke on the "Events, Facts, Commentary" program on the subject of Ukraine's partial rehabilitation of nationalists who fought against the USSR during World War II, some on the side of Nazi Germany. Reacting to a press conference in Moscow the day before, during which speakers blasted the Ukrainian government's recent actions on this issue, Mr. Mazur reportedly said that, "The kike-lovers and other freaks gathered in Moscow" and criticized Ukrainian politicians who "for the kike's money" betray their nation. "The task that the Jews have is not to allow the foundation of truly independent and strong states in Europe by healthy national forces," Mr. Mazur reportedly concluded. "Otherwise, their power will come to an end."
Source: www.fsumonitor.com

Date: February 21, 2008


Kerry: Congress MUST include IMF Reforms in Ukraine Aid Package (to screw the working class)

Kerry: Congress Risks Sending Wrong Message to Ukraine
Argues IMF reforms sought by administration must be included.

By Stacy Kaper. March 13, 2014


"We must have IMF reform," he said at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the State Department and Foreign Operations budget. "It would be a terrible message to the Ukraine not be able to follow through," on boosting the fund's lending capacity.

Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy, who chaired the hearing, argued it was important for the Senate to understand which version of Ukraine aid the president wanted to sign--the House-passed bill that authorizes $1 billion in loan guarantees, or the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's version, which would include IMF reform and sanctions against Russia.


Kerry argued the IMF piece is critical.

"The IMF is the tool that helps to bring countries into alignment on their transparency, accountability in their reforms, their market economy, all of the things that are in our interests," he said. "I could not underscore more Sen. Graham, the importance of what you are saying and the importance of following through."



There's that transparency again!

Economy in doldrums, the Kiev junta is urgently reviving cooperation with the International Monetary Fund. On March 4 a team from the IMF was in Kiev to study the books and consider a loan. Kiev hopes to get the first $3 billion in a month. Yatsenyuk rushed to assure the West that Ukraine is ready to meet all the conditions put forward by the Fund. One can imagine how badly it is going to hurt common people.

* * *

Some conditions are already known: to raise the male retirement age by two years and make it three years more for women, to eliminate special pension benefits for scholars, state employees, heads of state enterprises, to limit pensions for those who continue to work having reached the retirement age and the military commissioned officers will retire at 60. The IMF wants the government to do away with child care, things like a baby bonus (a government payment to parents of a newborn baby), gratuitous lunches and free textbooks. Unemployment benefits will be paid out only after six months of uninterrupted work, sick-list benefit will go down to 70% of salary with the compensation counted only from the third day of sick absence. Minimum living wage hikes will be frozen. Municipal enterprises will have to pay 50% more for gas while the price will be increased twofold for private consumers. There will be a 40% rise of electricity costs while utilities payments will go up along with the gas hikes.

Ukraine is to do away with benefits and raise transport taxes by 50% increasing the petrol excise by 60 euros. The simplified taxation system for entrepreneurs will be curtailed, probably to make businessmen happy, while pensioners will be done a favor by having value-added taxes raised for pharmacies pushing up medicine prices by 20 %.

The IMF conditions are going to strike agriculture. Western creditors demand to rescind the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land, the value-added tax easing law for those who reside in rural areas and also subsidies for pork and chicken meat producers. Besides, the International Monetary Fund wants Ukraine to privatize all coal mines and completely abrogate state subsidies for them. Transport, as well as housing and communal services benefits are to be revoked.



The retirement age in Ukraine was 60 for men and 55 for women. In 2011, they raised it to 60 for women (raised by six months every year for the next 10 years) and 62 for men.

2011-07-13 By raising the retirement age for women Kyiv fulfilled one of the key demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but they are still to reform the pension system.

The most significant modifications are the following: within five years (in intervals of six months each year, starting from 1 September 2011) to raise the retirement age for women from 55 to 60 and within four years (in intervals of six months each year, starting from 1 January 2013) to raise the retirement age for men working as civil servants – from 60 to 62. Moreover, the law increases the number of years worked required to obtain a minimal pension from 20 to 30 years for women and from 25 to 35 years for men. Also the maximum value of the pension was limited to ten times the equivalent of the subsistence minimum and the value of the pension for civil servants was reduced. Salaries from the last three years of work were designated as the basis for calculating pensions, not from the final year as it had been previously. The increase in the years of work required to entitle somebody to a pension and the broadening of the basis for calculating pensions will lead to a lower value of the newly established pensions.


Read that part closely because the same things have been happening in the US for years except that we're not putting 2+2 together and understanding that this is a global attack on the working class and huge transfer of OUR money into THEIR pockets.

The IMF wants that retirement age raised to 65 for both now.

Here's what happened when Yanukovich increased the retirement age in 2011. The people said NO. They rebelled against the cuts Yanukovich was making for the IMF deal and that's when Yanukovich turned to the much more generous package Russia offered and that didn't meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs or come off the backs of the poor.

Tuesday Sep 20, 2011

Protesters clash with police in front of Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, September 20. More than 10,000 people, among them Afghanistan war veterans, demonstrated in the Ukrainian capital Kiev to protest proposed benefit cuts, with some of the marchers attempting to break police cordons around the national parliament building. Veterans of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power accident also participated in the street protests. Like Afghanistan war veterans, Ukraine's Chernobyl victims face reduced pensions and medical payments if parliament passes a cost-cutting bill currently under debate. Protesters shouted ‘Shame’ along with insults, as police struggled to keep demonstrators from overturning barriers. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials have said cash-strapped Ukraine must reduce numbers of people receiving social payments and the size of those payments, to obtain further IMF financing.


And that was just the beginning because the IMF wants those pensions privatized, it wants for-profit reforms in medical care and education, and social support programs, you know, like free daycare.

SOUND FAMILIAR? Recognize any global patterns?

Here's our new foreign policy:

Step 1: Destroy a country economically and if necessary militarily or by coup.
Step 2: Send in the vultures to *reconstruct* what was destroyed in the first step, with loans to put the entire population of that country in debt for generations
Step 3: Rinse and repeat with every country you can intimidate at the barrel of a gun

And who's subsidizing this? We are. WE who are having our own benefits cut so our government can write checks to a putsch government in Ukraine to hand over to the IMF that's making them cut their people's pensions and social services too.

What a scam.

It's all going to the same banking cartel that's squeezing our country dry and the same little people who are being squeezed dry here are having the money from our pensions and social services stolen to pay these banks to squeeze little people in other countries dry.

Democracy pffffft. This has nothing to do with democracy or human rights.

Merkel never said Putin is unhinged. Germany was not pleased with that White House BS


As for the German chancellory, it's not exactly endorsing the Times's account. Die Welt, the German newspaper, reported that "The chancellery was not pleased with the reporting on the conversation. They claim that what the chancellor said was that Putin has a different perception on Crimea, which is why she is pushing for a fact finding mission on the matter."

Government spokesman Jens Alberts told Claudia Himmelreich, a McClatchy special correspondent, exactly what the government said on Monday: no comment on the contents of the chancellor's confidential phone conversations -- with either Putin or Obama. In defining the German view, Alberts said he would "not dwell on reports and rumors of someone claiming she possibly said this or that. However, what is undisputed is that President Putin has a completely different view of the situation and the events on Crimea than the German government and our western allies."

A different view. Obviously. But unhinged?

So if Merkel didn't portray Putin as unhinged, why would the unknown Obama aide tell the New York Times she did? Because in the world of propaganda, successfully portraying your adversary as being crazy, without any rational backing to his actions, makes it unnecessary to try to understand the complexities or sensitivities of the issues. If Putin is crazy, then that's enough. We needn't think any further about what he has to say. And if the New York Times says he's crazy, that's good enough for the dozens of reporters who've come along since, repeating the comment to their millions of viewers and readers as if it was a confirmed statement.



and not just dozens of reporters either, thousands of propagandists followed suite.

European Parliament resolution of 13 Dec 2012 on the elections in Ukraine and the danger of Svoboda

European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2012 on the elections in Ukraine and the danger of Svoboda:

8. Is concerned about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda Party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada; recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles and therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party;


People who put capital and profit over human lives have never balked at forming associations with fascists, nazis or the worst scum of the earth to justify their profit.

History just repeats itself.

So now in Ukraine far-right/neo-Nazi parties control the positions of Defense Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, National Security Adviser, Deputy National Security Adviser, and Attorney General. Those are some of the most important positions in any country. But according to the OP, there's no need to worry because it's just a small handful of people or something like that.
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