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another_liberal

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Member since: Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:13 PM
Number of posts: 8,213

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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

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Your cat will want to see this . . .

Posted by another_liberal | Thu Jun 25, 2015, 08:20 AM (8 replies)

Congress cuts funding to Ukrainian "Azov Battalion" fascists.

In a remarkable show of sanity the United States House of Representatives has passed legislation which denies funding for any training or equipping of the "Azov Battalion," a Kiev-supporting volunteer unit composed of fascists from the "Right Sector" political movement. This unit has been involved in some of the most intense fighting against separatists in Eastern Ukraine. It has also frequently been implicated in Ukrainian violations of the Minsk ceasefire agreements.



Azov battalion fighters in Kiev.


Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Strike Back: Azov Battalion Bashes US Congress

On Thursday, US lawmakers voted against providing training to one of Ukraine's notorious ultra-nationalist militia, the Azov Regiment, on the grounds that its fighters held neo-Nazi beliefs. The Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed the move saying it was better late than never. Moscow has persistently urged Western countries to open their eyes to the crimes Ukrainian ultra-nationalists have committed in the Donbass region and elsewhere.

Needless to say, Azov was outraged by the decision itself and the explanation US lawmakers provided. The group turned to Facebook to express the extent of its indignation. "We are extremely surprised and profoundly outraged by these remarks. Our battalion has always embraced patriotism and has never adopted other world ideologies," the militia said in a statement. And patriotism of a distinct but worrisome flavor it is. Take Azov's logo, for instance, which incorporates the Wolfsangel runic symbol, also known as a wolf's hook. The Wolfsangel was present on the insignias of several divisions of the Waffen-SS. Dutch Nazis also used it as a party insignia for a while.

If symbols are not deeds, then Azov's actions speak louder than words. Azov fighters are under investigation for attempting to commit terrorist acts and setting mosques in Crimea ablaze. The group has been actively engaged in stirring up discord in the Russian peninsula in an attempt to ruin intricate inter-ethnic relations there.

"It took US Congress over a year to see that the battalion is a band of sheer Nazis, sporting the emblem used by Hitler's SS and acting like vigilantes on an occupied territory," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. The next step, according to the diplomat, is to finally acknowledge that the 2014 coup in Kiev, Washington eagerly supported, "was carried out by the same Nazi thugs."


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150613/1023306657.html


Posted by another_liberal | Sat Jun 13, 2015, 12:53 PM (7 replies)

Kiev police forced to protect LGBT Pride marchers from Right Wing attacks.

These Right Wingers are from the organizations which maintain volunteer battalions involved in the fighting in the Donetsk and Mariupol sectors of the Donbas region. There are those in this country who think we should make modern weapons available to fascistic groups like these (after all, they have been the most willing of Ukraine's soldiers to actually fight, and we have supported even worse criminals). I wonder how much of our "non-lethal aid" has already gone to them?



Anti-gay protesters attack a policeman during the so-called Equality March, organized by a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, in Kiev, Ukraine, June 6, 2015. (Reuters)


Teargas, arrests & injuries: Far right attacks 2nd Kiev gay rights march

Up to 30 assailants who attacked a gay rights march in Kiev were arrested on Saturday as scuffles broke out between members of the Ukrainian LGBT pride march and their fiercely nationalist opponents.

The march of around 300 LGBT supporters reportedly lasted for only half an hour and came under attack despite the presence of police in riot gear. The attackers hurled flares, smoke bombs and teargas at the crowd walking along bank of the Dnipro River. Ten radicals, three law enforcement officers and four marchers have been injured, RIA Novosti reported. The Equality March is the fourth that the LGBT community intended to have in the Ukrainian capital, but only the second they actually managed to hold, the first taking place in 2013, when police ensured the safety of the participants.

Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko earlier advised that the event be canceled due to a threat of violence from the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) nationalist group which had threatened to disrupt the protest. But the organisers nonetheless decided to proceed with the "March of Equality."

"This march shows that we exist. We are fighting for equal rights that, unlike others in Ukraine, we currently lack," a 31-year-old woman told AFP. "I am very frightened," she said, adding: "But I am also very proud of myself - proud that I came out and so many people supported us."


Read more, and view video at: http://rt.com/news/265441-equality-march-gay-parade/

Posted by another_liberal | Sat Jun 6, 2015, 05:38 PM (0 replies)

Seventy years ago today . . .

Spring had reached the smoldering ruins of Nuremberg, Germany only shortly before his artillery battery did. I imagine it seemed the best Spring of his life, for he was young, the war was almost over, and he had survived. In fact, the last few days in Nuremberg he had been more of a tourist than a soldier in a conquering army. Though the city had largely been bombed into ruins several times over, there was still much to see. Especially stunning was the vast and nearly intact sports arena where the Nazi's had once held their infamous rallies. It was an epic moment to be an American soldier in occupied Germany.

That morning, however, he had an irresistible urge to find some real food. "Real" as in not the creamed-chipped beef on toast and powered egg substitute variety that was monotonously offered in the company mess. He wanted some fried eggs. Two of his friends borrowed a jeep and set off with him to find some black market eggs, "Real" eggs.

The streets of the city were full of people selling all kinds of things. Gold jewelry and family heirlooms were to be had for a few cigarettes, but almost nothing in the way of food was on offer. At last they were told by a helpful German civilian who knew some English that just a few miles outside the city was a farm whose owner could usually be convinced to sell a few eggs for a reasonable price. The man was kind enough to even sketch them a map with directions. Quickly they were on their way.

I have often wondered what they must have talked about on that drive into the Springtime German countryside. I guess they talked about what young American fighting men usually talk about, both then and today: The cars they had waiting back home, the girls they had waiting back home and the truly great plans they had for their futures. I like to think they were happy, laughing at each others' jokes and thinking how wonderful things would be as soon as they got back home.

They reached the farmstead just as directed and began to jump out of the jeep. He was just a couple of seconds slower getting out than were his two friends, those seconds were what saved his life. He was in the back as the three crossed a small foot bridge and a German machine gun began firing from the house. Hit by the first bursts, his two friends fell back against him, and the three tumbled into a shallow roadside ditch. His friends said nothing and did not move. They lay motionless on top of him, their blood slowly soaking his uniform.

How intently he must have listened to hear voices or footsteps coming toward them. But there was nothing to be heard except the normal sounds of a small country farm. No one came to check the bodies of the dead soldiers who lay on top of him. No one came to find him, and to finish him off. He lay there for hours. How long those hours must have been I can not begin to imagine.

Finally it became dark. Carefully, fearfully he chanced a movement and crawled out from under the weight of the dead men. In a near panic he hurriedly made his way back to his outfit and, covered in blood but physically unharmed, reported what had happened.

He had no way to know it, but that was the day Red Army soldiers were at last completing their costly conquest of Berlin, Hitler's Capital. It was also the day the German dictator shot and killed himself in his bunker there. One week later Nazi Germany officially surrendered, and World War II in Europe ended.



Posted by another_liberal | Thu Apr 30, 2015, 01:59 PM (0 replies)

It would seem war-mongers win again.

Looks like another win for fatcats of the military/industrial complex and the many war-mongers who love them so. Our increasing military activity in the Baltics and Eastern Europe has alarmed the Russian Federation sufficiently, and they are going to respond in kind with more military deployments and readiness exercises on their side of the border. If this madness of reciprocal escalation continues, soon all that will be needed is a single spark to set-off the conflagration. I guess that may be what our arms merchants and their pet generals think they want? Lets just hope they never find out how mistaken they truly are!



A Polish soldier stands in front of U.S., Polish and NATO flags (Reuters)


Moscow Will Respond to NATO Military Buildup Near Russia's Border - Lavrov


NATO military buildup near Russia's border does not contribute to the restoration of trust in the Euroatlantic space, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday. "We have confirmed our stance that military buildup near our border does not contribute to the restoration of trust in the Euroatlantic," the Russian foreign minister said during a news conference with his Spanish counterpart.

Lavrov added that "we are forced to react in an adequate way, but we are sure that these problems need to be solved through an equal dialog based on mutual respect."

Following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March 2014 and the start of an internal armed conflict in Ukraine’s southeast in April, NATO has been boosting its military presence near Russia’s borders, including in the Baltic states.

On February 5, NATO defense ministers agreed to set up a new high-readiness force dubbed Spearhead Force as part of the NATO Response Force. Altogether, the enhanced Response Force will be increased and count up to around 30,000 troops. The ministers also decided to establish six command and control units in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania tasked with “ensuring that national and NATO forces from across the Alliance are able to act as one from the start” if a crisis arises.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150310/1019290192.html

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Mar 10, 2015, 06:54 AM (62 replies)

The West's military imperialism is a danger to us all.

"We live in a world in which only interests and rights of the West are deemed legitimate, everyone else who fails to abide to the rules set by the West is portrayed as an evil dictator." I could not agree more, and I applaud the editors of Counterpunch for their courage in stating the facts so clearly.



American troops in Afghanistan listen to comments by departing Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, in December, 2014 (AP)


US, UK Imperial Ambitions Are Real Challenge World Needs to Contain



The West portrays Russia as a culprit for stirring up the conflict in Ukraine, however the truth is that all Russia did was simply dared to resist the American Empire, taking a stand against its hypocrisy, double standards, and complete lack of respect towards other countries and cultures, US monthly CounterPunch reported.

The last year coup in Ukraine was openly supported by the West. US Senator John McCain along with EU representative Catherine Ashton traveled to Ukraine personally to show their support and urge on the protesters in Kiev. Now, as a mental exercise, just imagine what the United States would have done if Russian officials traveled to Mexico or Canada and openly supported anti-US protests to topple their elected governments, replacing them with pro-Russian alternatives? The United States is a global hegemon with over 1,000 military bases and 11 navy battle carrier groups around the world and a military budget that exceeds budgets of all other industrialized nations combined.

The truth is that the challenge facing the world right now is how to deal with the United States and its imperial ambitions, rather than contain a made-up Russian threat. The Ukrainian crisis has once again shown that “we live in a world in which the West’s interests and rights are the only ones deemed legitimate”. The imperial hegemonic agenda of the United States and Britain is the root cause of the crises currently taking place in eastern Ukraine and the Middle East. American and British hypocrisy knows no borders, the US monthly said. How the United States and Britain who played central roles in diminishing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria into an abyss of carnage and savagery, could then make statements that Putin is a greater threat to Europe than the Islamic State?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, the man who dared to stand against the Western hypocrisy, is accused of “forging Russian Empire”, being compared to none other than Adolf Hitler and called a dictator who ought to be stopped. Downright ridiculous and hypocritical, CounterPunch says.



Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/world/20150309/1019245414.html



Posted by another_liberal | Mon Mar 9, 2015, 08:15 AM (21 replies)

Hasn't it been wonderful!

I have enjoyed the break from worrying so much about whether our nation would launch World War III over control of eastern Ukraine. For the last two weeks civil war on Russia's western border has appeared less and less likely to propel us into a nuclear conflict with our old cold war adversary. It is more likely to slowly become another pitiful monument to Western arrogance, ignorance and greed. While sad, that is the vastly preferable outcome.

And on top of everything else . . . Spring is nearly begun!



European Union Foreign Ministers pose for the media during their informal European Union Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting (Gymnich) in Riga March 6, 2015. (Reuters)


‘Give peace a chance, decide sanctions later’: EU split over extension, new Russia penalties


The latest EU meeting has shown that many of its members are in no rush to extend the sanctions which were imposed on Russia last year following a US example, or to exert any more pressure on Moscow, as long as the Minsk ceasefire agreement is holding. Most foreign ministers at the EU two-day meeting in the Latvian capital expressed hopes that the latest Minsk agreement would be a success, and there would be no need to impose further sanctions on Russia. The meeting had a format of an informal discussion, where the ministers touched the topics of the Minsk agreements and the OSCE mission in Ukraine, as well as the possible stepping up of pressure on Russia to “promote peace.”

Scheduled ten days before an official summit in Brussels, the meeting has shown that the EU can’t yet agree even on the automatic extension of existing sanctions – a move that some of the hawkish states have been actively promoting. “In my opinion, we must not make any other steps, we have to give peace a chance. The extension could take place, but only if there is no improvement of the situation,” Spanish FM Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said, expressing his views after the meeting , according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti. The Spanish FM is heading to Moscow, during which he will not only discuss the Ukrainian crisis, but will also meet with the Russian Energy minister.

Meanwhile, Italian FM Paolo Gentiloni told reporters the he sees “encouraging signals” on the ground in eastern Ukraine, and so “at the moment we don’t need either new sanctions or automatic renewals.” Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz shared the views of his Italian counterpart, saying that there is a “glimpse of hope” following the Minsk agreements: “We should do everything now to improve the situation and decide later whether that improvement really happened and we can reduce the sanctions, or, if we have to, extend them,” Kurz said.

Greece has also spoke out against any new sanctions as long as Russia supports the Minsk agreements, with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias saying the Greek experience suggests that “not every sanction is constructive” and can succeed. “We support sanctions that bring the other side to the negotiation table,” Kotzias told German ARD. “But we are against sanctions that are imposed simply because someone is angry.”

(snip)


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/238733-eu-ministers-russia-sanctions/


Posted by another_liberal | Sun Mar 8, 2015, 10:27 AM (0 replies)

Maybe it is all about the money and nothing much else?

Could it be that the whole media blitz panic about Russia taking over Europe country-by-country, and the new "Cold War" such fears seem to have inspired are just a cynical effort by arms makers (with their lobbyists and generals) to sell a lot weapons to people who need many other things far more than they do war-making equipment? I wonder if the poor and unemployed people of Greece and Spain think combating the supposed "Russian threat" is the first thing their money should go toward?



Eurofighter Typhoon.(Reuters)


‘All about money’: NATO spending debate focuses on ‘Russian threat.'


NATO member-states unwilling or unable to help boost the military spending are being accused of ignoring the “Russian threat,” that has re-emerged as the core of the alliance’s agenda to boost arms sales. A report saying one of major NATO funding contributors, the UK, could fail to fulfil the commitment to spend 2 percent of its GDP on the alliance in 2015 came as a bombshell for some of the West’s military elite. The head of the US army, General Raymond Odierno, told the Telegraph he was “very concerned” about Britain’s possible defense cuts. “Odierno warned that, while the US was willing to provide leadership in tackling future threats, such as Russia and ISIL , it was essential that allies such as Britain played their part,” the British daily wrote.

Former MI6 chief, Sir John Sawers, called for a rise in defense spending, also mentioning the “threat” coming out of Russia “not necessarily directly to the UK, but to countries around its periphery. The level of threat posed by Moscow has increased and we have to be prepared to take the defensive measures necessary to defend ourselves, defend our allies - which now extend as far as the Baltic States and Central Europe,” Sawers said, according to the Guardian. Russia's Defense Ministry has consistently denied all reports of its personnel or hardware being involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, calling NATO's allegations “groundless.” Among “proof” of the “Russian aggression” there have been fake photos of the Russian tanks, which eventually turned out to have been taken in a different place at a different time, a supposed Russian airplane in British airspace, that turned out to be Latvian, and mysterious “Russian submarines” in Swedish waters - which never were found.

“Demonizing” Russia plays well into the hands of the military, believes former NATO intelligence analyst, Lt Cdr Martin Packard. “I think this is a period when everybody is trying to get more money out of their exchequers for upping the rearmament,” Packard told RT’s ‘In the Now’. “So that seems to be so in Britain, probably in America too. Military forces in a way need to have an enemy. It suits them to have an enemy.”

Germany does not feel like increasing the military budget at any cost. Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, has recently agreed there was a need to spend more on defense, but said that Berlin was not going to do it at least before 2017, Bild am Sonntag reported. Germany has earlier voiced its concern over increasing defense spending to 2 percent of GDP. "Germany believes that the 2 percent requirement is unsuitable as an assessment criterion to determine the loyalty of a member state to the alliance,” a German Defense Ministry spokesman said in the wake of NATO’s September summit in Wales. “We should talk less about percentages of defense budgets and and more about smart ways to obtain better capabilities."

(snip)


Read more, and view video, at: http://rt.com/news/236701-nato-baltic-boost-spending/

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 07:18 AM (16 replies)

Poll shows most Americans agree, "Don't arm the Kiev government!"

The American people are persistent. Despite a year worth of the most intense fear-mongering, pro-war mass media push since the run up to George W.'s Iraq invasion, they still want their leaders to understand one simple message: "It's all the wars you keep starting, Stupid!"



A Ukrainian soldier who fought at Debaldsevo leaves for home (Reuters)


According to a poll conducted by the US think tank Pew Research Center, more than half of US citizens oppose arms deliveries to Kiev.


MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some 53 percent of US residents are against sending weapons to Ukraine, according to a poll carried out by the US think tank Pew Research Center.

Last week, the US Senate urged Secretary of State John Kerry to provide Ukraine with "defensive" weapons. Kiev troops have been fighting independence militias in the country's South-East since April 2014. The West accuses Russia of providing military aid to the pro-independence fighters, which Moscow denies.

The number of those who oppose arms deliveries to Kiev decreased by 9 percent comparing to 2014, the think tank said. People, who favor US lethal support to the country, currently comprise 41 percent, comparing to 30 percent in April 2014, when Kiev's military assault on the South-East had just begun. Almost a half of those surveyed said they would like the United States to train Kiev’s soldiers, while 46 percent opposed the idea, the pollster said.

According to the February poll, which featured over 1,500 adults in the United States, some 70 percent of Americans have a negative opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with four in 10 surveyed expressing their view as very unfavorable. Every sixth person in the United States supports further anti-Russia sanctions, whereas 34 percent are against it, according to the poll.

(snip)


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/us/20150224/1018665925.html


Posted by another_liberal | Tue Feb 24, 2015, 07:26 AM (14 replies)

Exposing the West's "Reverse Blame" game.

Who is driving the current effort to blame the Russian Federation for Ukraine's crisis, and trying to cover-up their own complicity in the process? A group of prominent academics have pooled their thoughts and observations in a new book concerning who is driving the Ukrainian civil war, who stands to gain from promoting conflict with Russia and how Western Media is cooperating with their efforts.



U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, hands out food to pro-Western protesters in Kiev (AP Photo)


How 'Reverse Blame' Works: New Book on Ukraine Crisis Exposes US Geo-Scams


One year since the bloody uprising in Kiev, world’s leading political analysts look into the background of what grew into one of the gravest geopolitical crises; they've put their thoughts together in a book, “Flashpoint in Ukraine”, which, of course, went unnoticed by the US and European mainstream media. Sputnik got hold of one of the copies.

According to the accepted narrative of the Western mainstream media, the crisis begun when the so-called fresh-faced young pro-democracy activists overturned what they believed was a brutal Russian-backed dictatorship which stood in Ukraine's way, keeping it from joining the European family of nations and sharing in its prosperity. This led to the claimed Russia's incursion into Ukraine and what they called "its annexation of Crimea." However, 22 analysts with impeccable credentials were able to review the events that led up to the current crisis in Ukraine, and an entirely different story emerges.he authors reveal the true aims of the backers of the military conflict and what they were willing to do in order to achieve their goals.

In his chapter "The new Cold War’s Ukraine Gambit", Michael Hudson, a world-famous research professor of economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City explains what the conflict is actually all about. "The object is the same as that of military conquest: appropriation of land and basic infrastructure, and the rents that can be extracted as tribute," he writes. "In today’s world this is taken mainly in the form of debt service and privatization. That is how neoliberalism works, subduing economies by indebting their governments and using unpayably high debts as a lever to pry away the public domain at distress prices."

"It is what today’s New Cold War is all about. Backed by the IMF and European Central Bank (ECB) as knee-breakers in what has become in effect a financial extension of NATO, the aim is for US and allied investors to appropriate the plums that kleptocrats have taken from the public domain of Russia, Ukraine and other post-Soviet economies in these countries, as well as whatever assets remain."

(snip)


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/analysis/20150223/1018617115.html
Posted by another_liberal | Mon Feb 23, 2015, 08:39 AM (23 replies)
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