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Name: Catherina
Gender: Female
Member since: Mon Mar 3, 2008, 02:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,289

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

+1. In late 2012 the EU classified Svoboda as neoNazis. This year they're suddenly acceptable

Texts adopted
Thursday, 13 December 2012 - Strasbourg

European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2012 on the situation in Ukraine

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;


From your article

According to the Nation, the Svoboda Party wants to ban abortion, gun control, foreigners’ adoption of Ukrainian children, and “the Communist ideology.” It has organized violent attacks on gay pride events.

Party leader Oleh Tyanhybok, a member of Parliament, routinely trashes “the Kikes” and calls for the liberation of Ukraine from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” He idolizes the OUN. “They did not fear,” he declared in 2004, “but took up their automatic rifles, going into the woods to fight Muscovites, Germans, Jewry and other filth which wanted to take away our Ukrainian nationhood. It’s time to give Ukraine to the Ukrainians.”

Tyanhybok visited Germany in 2010 to stand in solidarity with John Damanjuk, the Ukrainian-American convicted of abetting mass murder in death camps in Poland. Around that time close aide Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn established a think tank originally called “the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.”



In this photo taken Aug. 19, 2007 soccer fans show German Nazi flag with a swastika during an Ukrainian League Championship soccer match between Dynamo Kyiv and Karpaty in Kiev, Ukraine. Kiev and Warsaw on Tuesday May 29, 2012 decried a BBC report that portrayed Ukrainian and Polish soccer fans as racist ahead of next month's European championship as unfair, vowing that all foreign guests would be safe to attend matches in the two Eastern European countries.


Ukrainian newspaper depicts Africans and Arabs as monkeys groping woman

A local newspaper in the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil illustrated its front-page story on Tuesday with a photomontage of monkeys groping a woman to depict African and Arab men who had allegedly gotten into a bar fight. Our Observer, a Congolese student living in Ternopil, tells us this has deeply upset African students at his university, who he says are frequently the target of racist attacks.

Nova Ternopil's article explains that police had to intervene after an African man and an Arab man got into a fight involving a woman at a local bar on the weekend. The headline reads, “Arabs and negroes fight over our prostitutes.” The photomontage shows two monkeys groping a white woman in the foreground. In the background, a group of black men are sitting around a table, having a drink. According to our Observer, the men pictured are students at a local university and had nothing to do with the alleged incident.



Ukrainian soccer fans dress up in KKK outfits outside of opponent’s bus (Nov 2013)


In favor of 50% pension cuts? Hell no.

Of course not which is why this put up job isn't going to go as smoothly as our media pretends.

Here are few pictures of the first time they cut SOME pensions in 2011 as dictated by the IMF.

Thousands protest pension and benefits cuts in Ukraine
Tuesday Sep 20, 2011 8:32 AM

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.

Protesters stand in front of Ukrainian parliament after their clash with police in Kiev, Ukraine, on September 20. 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.

Relatives of the 1979-89 Soviet Afghan war victims react as they take part in a protest rally against Ukrainian authorities' initiative to cut social benefits near the Parliament headquarters in Kiev on September 20. Hundreds of Ukrainians, mostly veterans of the 1979-89 Soviet Afghan war protesting against plans to cut their payouts and subsidies, tried to storm into the parliament building and scuffled with police on Tuesday.


They've been at this IMF Western takeover since the break of the Soviet Union. So people know. This is why they refused to wait for the whole country to weigh in with real elections and they went for the putsch instead. Similar to the Bush 2000 coup in the US. Ukraine's working class is vehemently opposed to this Austerity neoDemocracy.

Ukraine to cut large pensions as part of reform
June 1, 2011

Ukraine has redrafted a pension reform bill with the aim of cutting large payouts already assigned to a number of pensioners, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tigipko said on Wednesday. The aim of the move is to share the pain of pension reform more equitably and defuse public discontent that some better-off current pensioners are being treated too generously compared to others.

The move could help the former Soviet republic's government to win parliamentary approval for the law, unlocking access to a frozen $15 billion International Monetary Fund facility and starting a long overdue reform of the crumbling pension system.

President Viktor Yanukovich's government had promised the IMF to pass the law by the end of last year but missed the deadline after public criticism of the proposed reform which would raise the retirement age for women by five years to 65.


Separately, Yanukovich on Wednesday sacked Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Tikhonov who was responsible for utilities. Raising energy prices for households is another step agreed under Ukraine's IMF programme that the government has so far been hesitant to implement.


If at first you don't succeed, try try again eh? This time they're going straight for a 50% cut in all worker pensions. From $160 to $80 a month. And Yanukovich, for the IMF increased the retirement age for women from 55 to 60 yrs old but that wasn't good enough for the IMF and this new gang is raising it to 65. They even demanded that Ukraine switch to pension privatization which Yanukovich refused.


More importantly, the IMF provided guidance for macroeconomic policy and used its leverage on Ukraine to implement painful austerity measures. Yet, because the government was unable to implement long-awaited reforms in the energy sector, for instance, and because it continued to make populist decisions, such as implementing wage and pension increases despite the fund’s warnings, the IMF suspended the program in the fall of 2009.


Pension reform was initially included in President Yanukovych’s reform agenda. It provided for several changes to the pension system, including an increase of the minimum required insurance period from five to fifteen years, the gradual increase of the pension age for women from 55 to 60 years old, and the increase of the qualification period for receiving full pension benefits by ten years. The same provisions were included in the Letter of Intent and Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies that was signed by Prime Minister Azarov and sent into the IMF on July 16, 2010.9 The government promised to enforce these changes by the end of December 2010.


An IMF mission visited Kyiv on November 3–15, 2010 to conduct discussions on the first review under its Stand-by Arrangement with Ukraine. It became clear during the review that without pension reform, the government would not receive the next disbursement. The draft of the pension reform law was then submitted to the parliament on December 13, 2010 (as stipulated in a second Letter of Intent dated December 10, 2010), but in the best Ukrainian political tradition, the text was not made available to the general public. Sergey Tigipko, vice prime minister responsible for social reforms, refused to explain the main provisions of the document and stressed that the public discussion of the pension reforms would be conducted when they were considered in the parliament. Some politicians and experts had concerns that the government would not fulfill its obligations to the IMF and would not increase the retirement age because it was such a sensitive issue.

Eventually, the Ukrainian government put pension reform on hold, and as a result the IMF suspended its program in the spring of 2011. The draft of the pension reform law was resubmitted to the parliament in June 2011. On July 8, the parliament voted for the reform bill and President Yanukovych signed it into law on September 9.



The fury of Ukranian workers over the IMF concessions Yanukovych made before he said fuck no, changed his mind and took Russia's $15 Billion deal is nothing compared to what's coming when they see what the putsch gang in Kiev will do, with no foot-dragging and without even the benefit of referendums or elections- just a putsch. No successful Eastern European government has ever been asked to impose a dramatic austerity and reform program prior to democratic elections. This is a total put job. And its very said to see some of the people wailing the loudest about how the Bush administration destroyed our social programs cheering for even worse to be done to the Ukrainian people.

It is true that Ukrainian households need to be weaned off absurdly large energy subsidies, which amounted to 7.5% of GDP in 2012. But, in a cold country where most of the population needs heating subsidies to survive and massive investments are required to increase energy efficiency, abruptly withdrawing support to households is politically unfeasible. No government that cuts heating subsidies suddenly will survive. The subsidies must be phased out and compensated by targeted cash benefits – the Ukrainian government estimates that it will cost €100 billion ($139 billion) to fix its energy policy – and these reforms need to be enacted after the upcoming election.

In addition, one-third of official income in Ukraine comes from government “transfer” payments of various sorts, but mainly pensions paid to elderly women, given that the country’s men rarely live much beyond the official retirement age. These women often use their pensions to subsidize their children and grandchildren. As a result, a majority of the country benefits from government transfer payments, and many households cannot do without them.

Yet cutting them ahead of the election – or announcing sharp cuts – is exactly what the IMF wants and what the interim Ukrainian government plans to do; in the words of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “We don’t have any other options.” Yatsenyuk may be willing to sign away his political future, but the West should not let him do it. Not now.

The IMF and Western governments need to give Ukraine some breathing room. Ukraine’s economy was growing rapidly in the years before the global financial crisis, driven by exports of basic industrial goods, such as steel. Any emergency financial package must enable the government to survive through the May election and signal a commitment to reviving economic growth.


I'm sorry this was so long.

+1 It's the US refusing to talk unless Russia accepts the Putschists in Kiev as a starting pt

and Russia refuses that as a starting point. What you said. So we're stuck. Some diplomacy.

March 11, 2014 in Nation/World
Russia, rejecting U.S. proposal, will offer own Ukraine crisis plan

KIEV, Ukraine – Russia said Monday it is drafting counterproposals to a U.S. plan for a negotiated solution to the Ukraine crisis, denouncing the new Western-backed government as an unacceptable “fait accompli” and claiming that Russian-leaning parts of the country have been plunged into lawlessness.


In a televised briefing with President Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said proposals made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are “not suitable” because they take “the situation created by the coup as a starting point,” referring to the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Referring to a document he received from Kerry explaining the U.S. view of the situation in Ukraine, Lavrov said: “To be frank, it raises many questions on our side.” “Everything was stated in terms of allegedly having a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and in terms of accepting the fait accompli,” he said.

Lavrov said Kerry delayed a visit to Moscow to discuss the situation, and Russia had decided to prepare new proposals of its own, though he did not say what they were.

But in Washington, State Department officials said that it was Russia’s refusal to discuss the American proposals that was hurting prospects for a negotiated solution – in particular, the idea of direct talks between Russian officials and those of the new Ukrainian government.



Russia: Legitimizing Ukraine Coup No Place to Start
Moscow working on counterproposals for ending crisis as it rejects US framework that backs government characterized 'bandits' by ousted president
- Jon Queally, staff writer

The media framing around the Ukraine crisis has itself become a dominant part of the story, as Russia and the U.S. square off over their diametrically opposed narratives that are creating very real challenges when it comes to generating a workable settlement deal.


Taking a hard stance against the U.S. government's frame on Tuesday, former CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman says that the U.S. media is much too pliant when it comes to accepting the White House perspective while ignoring important historical context for the Ukraine crisis. Writing at Consortium News, Goodman explains why the U.S. position is so deeply flawed:

In the Crimean crisis, President Obama seems to be unnecessarily accommodating the right-wing criticism of his administration from politicians and pundits instead of finding a diplomatic solution to the current imbroglio. If the United States offered guarantees against the further expansion of NATO and invited Russia to take part in a multilateral economic aid program for beleaguered Ukraine, then it is possible that President Vladimir Putin would find a way to lower the Russian military presence in the Crimea.

In the meantime, the U.S. reliance on modest military steps, travel bans and economic sanctions will not bring any favorable change to the situation on the ground in Crimea. These steps will only worsen the crisis in the Ukraine and ensure that the United States and Russia cannot discuss important geopolitical matters on arms control and disarmament, nonproliferation and counter-terrorism, which finds them essentially in agreement.


Deeds to property and real estate ownership on the Crimean peninsula issued by the Ukrainian government will be reissued for free, Pri

Not just the NED. And it's goes back years.

That figure of "1 million protesters" comes from a NYT estimate, this being the NYT that would estimate anti-Iraq war protests at 10,000. AP estimated 300,000. CNN and RT estimated 100,000.

I can't condense years of NED involvement for you but I'll leave you with Vicktoria Nuland's recent admission that we poured $5 Billion into Ukraine, for this outcome, and this article from our early days of the 'Orange Revolution' that the Ukranian people repudiated at the polls a few years later. The NDI is part of the NED.

Victoria Nuland quote at an event sponsored by Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Monsanto:
"Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine."

Video here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024611355#post3

Robert Parry discusses the NED's involvment in his recent and excellent article "A Shadow US Foreign Policy".

Here's the 2004 article about the Orange Revolution.

US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev

Ian Traynor
The Guardian, Friday 26 November 2004

With their websites and stickers, their pranks and slogans aimed at banishing widespread fear of a corrupt regime, the democracy guerrillas of the Ukrainian Pora youth movement have already notched up a famous victory - whatever the outcome of the dangerous stand-off in Kiev.

Ukraine, traditionally passive in its politics, has been mobilised by the young democracy activists and will never be the same again.

But while the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.


Officially, the US government spent $41m (£21.7m) organising and funding the year-long operation to get rid of Milosevic from October 1999. In Ukraine, the figure is said to be around $14m.


Freedom House and the Democratic party's NDI helped fund and organise the "largest civil regional election monitoring effort" in Ukraine, involving more than 1,000 trained observers. They also organised exit polls. On Sunday night those polls gave Mr Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed.


In Belarus, President Lukashenko won, so the response was minimal. In Belgrade, Tbilisi, and now Kiev, where the authorities initially tried to cling to power, the advice was to stay cool but determined and to organise mass displays of civil disobedience, which must remain peaceful but risk provoking the regime into violent suppression.



Libya key source for illicit arms, fueling conflicts: U.N. envoy

Source: Reuters

Libya key source for illicit arms, fueling conflicts: U.N. envoy

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS Mon Mar 10, 2014

(Reuters) - U.N. experts say Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles, which have been trafficked to at least 14 countries and are fueling conflicts on several continents, Rwanda's U.N. envoy said on Monday.


"The panel noted that the control of non-state armed actors over the majority of stockpiles in Libya as well as ineffective border control systems remained primary obstacles to countering proliferation and that Libya had become a primary source of illicit weapons, including MANPADs," Gasana told the council.

"The panel furthermore noted that investigations relating to transfers to 14 countries reflected a highly diversified range of trafficking dynamics; and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and insecurity - including terrorism - on several continents," he said.


The rebels have seized three ports and partly control a fourth in the OPEC member country. Officials said on Monday that Libya's parliament has ordered a special force to be sent within one week to "liberate" all rebel-held ports.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/10/us-libya-crisis-un-idUSBREA291OV20140310

MANPADS or MPADS) (man-portable air-defense systems) are shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).

Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry

Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry
Resource scarcity, competition to dominate Eurasian energy corridors, are behind Russian militarism and US interference

Russia's armed intervention in the Crimea undoubtedly illustrates President Putin's ruthless determination to get his way in Ukraine. But less attention has been paid to the role of the United States in interfering in Ukrainian politics and civil society. Both powers are motivated by the desire to ensure that a geostrategically pivotal country with respect to control of critical energy pipeline routes remains in their own sphere of influence.


But US efforts to turn the political tide in Ukraine away from Russian influence began much earlier. In 2004, the Bush administration had given $65 million to provide 'democracy training' to opposition leaders and political activists aligned with them, including paying to bring opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko to meet US leaders and help underwrite exit polls indicating he won disputed elections.


What direction might that be? A glimpse of an answer was provided over a decade ago by Professor R. Craig Nation, Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, in a NATO publication:

"Ukraine is increasingly perceived to be critically situated in the emerging battle to dominate energy transport corridors linking the oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian basin to European markets... Considerable competition has already emerged over the construction of pipelines. Whether Ukraine will provide alternative routes helping to diversify access, as the West would prefer, or 'find itself forced to play the role of a Russian subsidiary,' remains to be seen."

A more recent US State Department-sponsored report notes that "Ukraine's strategic location between the main energy producers (Russia and the Caspian Sea area) and consumers in the Eurasian region, its large transit network, and its available underground gas storage capacities", make the country "a potentially crucial player in European energy transit" - a position that will "grow as Western European demands for Russian and Caspian gas and oil continue to increase."

Ukraine's overwhelming dependence on Russian energy imports, however, has had "negative implications for US strategy in the region," in particular the strategy of:

"... supporting multiple pipeline routes on the East–West axis as a way of helping promote a more pluralistic system in the region as an alternative to continued Russian hegemony."


Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is a bestselling author, investigative journalist and international security scholar. He is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, and author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization among other books. He writes for the Guardian on the geopolitics of environmental, energy and economic crises on his Earth insight blog


Hoping to Isolate Russia, US Woos China on Ukraine

Source: ABC News

WASHINGTON March 10, 2014 (AP)

By MATTHEW LEE and JULIE PACE Associated Press
Associated Press

The Obama administration is stepping up its attempts to court China's support for isolating Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine.

With official comments from China appearing studiously neutral since the Ukraine crisis began, President Barack Obama spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping late Sunday in a bid to get Beijing off the fence.

The call was their first known conversation since Russian forces took control of Ukraine's pro-Moscow Crimea region. It came amid signals that Russian President Vladimir Putin was hardening his position on Crimea, which is due to vote on joining Russia this weekend in a referendum the U.S. and its allies have vowed not to recognize.

In making his case, Obama appealed to China's well-known and vehement opposition to outside intervention in other nations' domestic affairs, according to a White House statement.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-obama-china-agree-ukraine-sovereignty-22847822

Preparing the Ground for NATO (Ukraine) - William Blum

Preparing the Ground for NATO

by William Blum / March 8th, 2014


When it gets complicated and confusing, when you’re overwhelmed with too much information, changing daily; too many explanations, some contradictory … try putting it into some kind of context by stepping back and looking at the larger, long-term picture.

The United States strives for world domination, hegemony wherever possible, their main occupation for over a century, it’s what they do for a living. The United States, NATO and the European Union form The Holy Triumvirate. The Holy Triumvirate has subsidiaries, chiefly The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, International Criminal Court … all help to keep in line those governments lacking the Holy Triumvirate Seal Of Approval: the IMF, WB, and WTO impose market fundamentalism, while foreign leaders who act too independent are threatened with being handed over to the ICC for heavy punishment, as the United States imposes sanctions on governments and their leaders as only the King of Sanctions can, lacking any sense of hypocrisy or irony.

And who threatens United States domination? Who can challenge The Holy Triumvirate’s hegemony? Only Russia and China, if they were as imperialistic as the Western powers. (No, the Soviet Union wasn’t imperialistic; that was self-defense; Eastern Europe was a highway twice used by the West to invade; tens of millions of Russians killed or wounded.)

Since the end of the Cold War the United States has been surrounding Russia, building one base after another, ceaselessly looking for new ones, including in Ukraine; one missile site after another, with Moscow in range; NATO has grabbed one former Soviet Republic after another. The White House, and the unquestioning American mainstream media, have assured us that such operations have nothing to do with Russia. And Russia has been told the same, much to Moscow’s continuous skepticism. “Look,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO some years ago, “is this is a military organization? Yes, it’s military. … Is it moving towards our border? It’s moving towards our border. Why?” <1>

The Holy Triumvirate would love to rip Ukraine from the Moscow bosom, evict the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and establish a US military and/or NATO presence on Russia’s border. (In case you were wondering what prompted the Russian military action.) Kiev’s membership in the EU would then not be far off; after which the country could embrace the joys of neo-conservatism, receiving the benefits of the standard privatization-deregulation-austerity package and join Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain as an impoverished orphan of the family; but no price is too great to pay for being part of glorious Europe and the West!

The Ukrainian insurgents and their Western-power supporters didn’t care who their Ukrainian allies were in carrying out their coup against President Viktor Yanukovych last month … thugs who set policemen on fire head to toe … all manner of extreme right-wingers, including Chechnyan Islamic militants <2> … a deputy of the ultra-right Svoboda Party, part of the new government, who threatens to rebuild Ukraine’s nukes in three to six months. <3> … the snipers firing on the protestors who apparently were not what they appeared to be – A bugged phone conversation between Urmas Paet, the Estonian foreign minister, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, reveals Paet saying: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.” <4> … neo-Nazi protestors in Kiev who have openly denounced Jews, hoisting a banner honoring Stepan Bandera, the infamous Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on February 24 that Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman advised “Kiev’s Jews to leave the city and even the country.” Edward Dolinsky, head of an umbrella organization of Ukrainian Jews, described the situation for Ukrainian Jews as “dire” and requested Israel’s help.

All in all a questionable gang of allies for a dubious cause; reminiscent of the Kosovo Liberation Army thugs Washington put into power for an earlier regime change, and has kept in power since 1999.

The now-famous recorded phone conversation between top US State Department official Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to the Ukraine, wherein they discuss which Ukrainians would be to Washington’s liking in a new government, and which not, is an example of this regime-change mentality. Nuland’s choice, Arseniy Yatseniuk, emerged as interim prime minister.

The National Endowment for Democracy, an agency created by the Reagan administration in 1983 to promote political action and psychological warfare against states not in love with US foreign policy, is Washington’s foremost non-military tool for effecting regime change. The NED website lists 65 projects that it has supported financially in recent years in Ukraine. <5> The descriptions NED gives to the projects don’t reveal the fact that generally their programs impart the basic philosophy that working people and other citizens are best served under a system of free enterprise, class cooperation, collective bargaining, minimal government intervention in the economy, and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free-market economy is equated with democracy, reform, and growth; and the merits of foreign investment in their economy are emphasized.

The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities. Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” <6>

NED, receives virtually all its financing from the US government, but it likes to refer to itself as an NGO (Non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO. Its long-time intervention in Ukraine is as supra-legal as the Russian military deployment there. Journalist Robert Parry has observed:

For NED and American neocons, Yanukovych’s electoral legitimacy lasted only as long as he accepted European demands for new “trade agreements” and stern economic “reforms” required by the International Monetary Fund. When Yanukovych was negotiating those pacts, he won praise, but when he judged the price too high for Ukraine and opted for a more generous deal from Russia, he immediately became a target for “regime change.”

Thus, we have to ask, as Mr. Putin asked – “Why?” Why has NED been funding 65 projects in one foreign country? Why were Washington officials grooming a replacement for President Yanukovych, legally and democratically elected in 2010, who, in the face of protests, moved elections up so he could have been voted out of office – not thrown out by a mob? Yanukovych made repeated important concessions, including amnesty for those arrested and offering, on January 25, to make two of his adversaries prime minister and deputy prime minister; all to no avail; key elements of the protestors, and those behind them, wanted their putsch.

Carl Gershman, president of NED, wrote last September that “Ukraine is the biggest prize”. <8> The man knows whereof he speaks. He has presided over NED since its beginning, overseeing the Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003), the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004), the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon (2005), the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (2005), the Green Revolution in Iran (2009), and now Ukraine once again. It’s as if the Cold War never ended.

The current unbridled animosity of the American media toward Putin also reflects an old practice. The United States is so accustomed to world leaders holding their tongue and not voicing criticism of Washington’s policies appropriate to the criminality of those policies, that when a Vladimir Putin comes along and expresses even a relatively mild condemnation he is labeled Public Enemy Number One and his words are accordingly ridiculed or ignored.

On March 2 US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine (Crimea) and threatened economic sanctions. “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.” <9>

Iraq was in the 21st century. Senator John Kerry voted for it. Hypocrisy of this magnitude has to be respected.

POSTSCRIPT: Ukraine’s interim prime minister announced March 7 that he has invited the NATO Council to hold a meeting in Kiev over the recent developments in the country. “I invited the North Atlantic Council to visit Kiev and hold a meeting there,” Arseny Yatsenyuk said during a visit to Brussels, where he met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU officials. “We believe that it will strengthen our cooperation.”


1. Guardian Weekly (London), June 27, 2001
2. RT television (RT.com, Moscow/Washington, DC), March 1, 2014
3. Deputy Mikhail Golovko, RT, March 1, 2014
4. RT, March 5, 2014, “The EU’s Ukraine policy and moral bankruptcy”; the phone conversation is believed to have taken place February 26.
5. NED 2012 Annual Report
6. Washington Post, September 22, 1991
7. Victoria Nuland, speaking at the National Press Club, Washington, DC, December 13, 2013
8. Washington Post, September 26, 2013
9. “Face the Nation”, CBS, March 2, 2014

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/03/preparing-the-ground-for-nato/ (Thanks dipsydoodle)

US Provokes Russia, Acts Surprised to Get a Nasty Reaction

US Provokes Russia, Acts Surprised to Get a Nasty Reaction

How crazy will Americans get over Ukraine?

by William Boardman / March 5th, 2014

If too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there’s a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons. Everyone in power knows that’s a potential reality, but the urge to demagogue the Russians is presently overwhelming honesty and caution.

Ukraine is NOT a real place. Ukraine has never been a real place, not in the sense that Madascar or Cuba are both undeniably real places with real edges. Ukraine has no real edges, just lines on a map imposed by some treaty or army over the past several thousand years. To speak, as the more pompous do, of Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” is to speak of an imaginary construct, useful for blurring people’s minds for political purposes.

Ukraine in recent years has been what the power brokers of the disintegrating Soviet Union decided to let it be in 1991. Ukraine has no coherent history as a nation. First inhabited some 44,000 years ago, most of the region’s history is as occupied territory.

Russia’s history of maintaining a military presence in Crimea is older than United States history. The Russian Black Sea Fleet has been based in Sevastopol in Crimea continuously since 1783. For the Russians, this is a crucial warm water port, currently leased from Ukraine till 2042.

To understand what this means to the Russians, it probably matters more to them than the United States would care if the Cubans decided to threaten the Naval Base at Guantanamo, and we know that wouldn’t have a happy ending.


Read more>> http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/03/us-provokes-russia-acts-surprised-to-get-a-nasty-reaction/

Adding another pic that goes well with this article

Senate Ukraine Draft Measure Said to Include IMF Change

Source: Bloomberg

By Kathleen Hunter 2014-03-10T16:04:11Z

Senate Democrats may boost International Monetary Fund resources in an aid package they’re preparing for Ukraine, potentially setting up a dispute with the U.S. House.

The IMF assistance, requested by President Barack Obama and the Treasury Department, is included in a draft version of Ukraine aid legislation, said a congressional aide who spoke on condition of anonymity because the measure isn’t yet public.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, is crafting the measure with the panel’s top Republican, Bob Corker of Tennessee, to rebuke Russia for its incursion into Ukraine and to assist the Ukrainian government. The committee is scheduled to vote on the measure tomorrow.


The U.S. is delaying implementation of a 2010 agreement by all IMF member countries to double the fund’s lending capacity to about $733 billion. The plan would give emerging markets such as China more clout at the institution, which was set up at the end of World War II to help ensure the stability of the global monetary system.


Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-10/senate-ukraine-draft-measure-said-to-include-imf-change.html
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