Member since: Tue Feb 9, 2010, 11:51 PM
Number of posts: 2,839
Number of posts: 2,839
Long time reader on DU and liberal/progressive. Up until recently I have not posted a lot. But I am very concerned about the situation in Ukraine and the people there. Liberals need to understand what is really happening, because Ukrainians are in a very dangerous situation and the geopolitical thing (US/Russia) is actually distracting from the realities that Ukrainians are facing on the ground there. So I have been posting a fair amount about that situation.
We restarted the Cold War: The real story about the NATO buildup that the
New York Times won’t tell you
Our leaders and media push time-worn nonsense about American innocence, while taking aggressive moves.
Patrick L. Smith
Vladimir Putin, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (Credit: Reuters/RIA Novosti/Jonathan Ernst/Photo montage by Salon)
Have you picked up on the new trope du jour? We are all encouraged to bask in our innocence as we lament the advent of a new Cold War. The thought has been in the wind for more than a year, of course, at least among some of us. But we witness a significant turn, and I hope this same some of us are paying attention.
As of this week, leaders who know nothing about leading, thinkers who do not think and opinion-shaping poseurs such as Tom Friedman are confident enough in their case to sally forth with it: The Cold War returns, the Russians have restarted it and we must do the right thing—the right thing being to bring NATO troops and materiel up to Russia’s borders, pandering to the paranoia of the former Soviet satellites as if they alone have access to some truth not available to the rest of us.
James Stavridis, the former admiral and NATO commander, quoted in Wednesday’s New York Times: “I don’t think we’re in the Cold War again—yet. I can kind of see it from here.”
I can kind of see it, too, Admiral, and cannot be surprised: NATO has missed the Cold War since the Wall came down and the Pentagon’s creature in Europe commenced a quarter-century of wandering in search of useful enemies. At last, the very best of them is back.
The theme of new Russian aggression sounded over the past couple of months reeked of orchestration from the first, as suggested in this space when it was first sounded. It was too consistent in language, tone and implication, whether it came from the Pentagon, NATO or Times news reports—which are, naturally, based on Pentagon and NATO sources.
Anything counted: Russia’s military exercises within its own borders were aggressive. Russian air defense systems on its borders were aggressive. Russia’s military presence in Kaliningrad, Russian territory lying between Lithuania and Poland, was an aggressive threat.
Posted by newthinking | Wed Jul 1, 2015, 05:31 AM (7 replies)
Posted by newthinking | Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:26 AM (7 replies)
Biting Satire about western government and media reporting from the German comedy program "Die Anstalt". The program was actually banned at one point (then brought back due to pressure of the German people).
Of course be sure that subtitles are on if you do not know German.
Posted by newthinking | Fri Jun 19, 2015, 07:01 AM (2 replies)
From an excellent discussion/article at The Nation Magazine site"
Posted by newthinking | Wed Jun 10, 2015, 05:54 AM (6 replies)
We are the propagandists: The real story about how The New York Times and the White House has turned truth in the Ukraine on its head
A sophisticated game of manipulation is afoot over Russia: power, influence and money. U.S. hands are not clean
Posted by newthinking | Tue Jun 9, 2015, 07:49 AM (21 replies)
US Special Forces Are Operating in More Countries Than You Can Imagine
The Nation Magazine
What do you know about the special forces carrying out a secret war in more than half the nations on the planet?
A US Special Forces trainer supervises a military assault drill in Sudan in 2013. (Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)
Despite its massive scale and scope, this secret global war across much of the planet is unknown to most Americans. Unlike the December debacle in Yemen, the vast majority of special ops missions remain completely in the shadows, hidden from external oversight or press scrutiny. In fact, aside from modest amounts of information disclosed through highly-selective coverage by military media, official White House leaks, SEALs with something to sell and a few cherry-picked journalists reporting on cherry-picked opportunities, much of what America’s special operators do is never subjected to meaningful examination, which only increases the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences.
Posted by newthinking | Mon Jun 8, 2015, 04:17 AM (3 replies)
The Future of a Failed State
Nations like Haiti don’t “fail” because of their people, but because they’ve been relentlessly exploited by the more “developed” world.
(Bettmann / Corbis / AP)
How does a state fail?
It’s a question you can’t help asking yourself as you make your way in Haiti, through the chaos left by four severe tropical storms in 2008 and the destruction wrought by the 2010 earthquake—some of which is still evident on the streets of Port-au-Prince today, five years later. It’s not just the unrebuilt infrastructure that raises this question, but also the human and political waste caused by so many years of corrupting collaboration with the United States, the United Nations and outside nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
A state doesn’t fail because of some innate inferiority in its people. I make this obvious point only because people who don’t know Haiti often try, as subtly as they know how, to claim this is the case. They’re wrong: a state fails because of its history.
Haiti from its inception has been a peculiarly globalized entity. The slavery with which the French colony enriched itself was a global labor and agricultural phenomenon, bringing people from Africa to the Americas in order to serve as free labor on plantations owned by Europeans. Haiti’s revolution, too, was a global phenomenon, linking those same three continents. Haiti’s early debt was global; its economics under slavery and, later, the US occupation were global as well—and still are.
Many readers of The Nation may know something of the remarkable history of this country, since the magazine has been following it for more than a century. But for those of you coming to it cold: Haiti had unbelievably promising beginnings. Though tarnished by centuries of slavery, the country was the creation of some of the great geniuses of the 1700s. But the enormous potential of these singular men was destroyed by France, which kidnapped and killed some of Haiti’s ablest leaders, most notably Toussaint Louverture. In 1825, a scant two decades after Haitian independence was declared, France demanded an indemnity of 150 million francs (roughly estimated at $20 billion in today’s dollars) for the property lost by French plantation owners during the quite bloody, quite fiery revolution—one that Haiti had won.
Posted by newthinking | Mon Jun 8, 2015, 04:16 AM (3 replies)
(Note: This has now been passed and is no longer in draft)
Vladimir Putin calls Ukraine fascist and country’s new law helps make his case
Ukraine bans Soviet symbols and criminalizes sympathy for communism
New laws also honor controversial nationalist groups that committed ethnic cleansing or allied with the Nazis for part of second world war
Two new laws that ban communist symbols while honoring nationalist groups that collaborated with the Nazis have come into effect in Ukraine, raising concerns that Kiev could be stifling free speech and further fragmenting the war-torn country in the rush to break ties with its Soviet past.
Posted by newthinking | Tue May 26, 2015, 10:58 AM (10 replies)
Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy
The creator of PGP has moved his mobile-encryption firm Silent Circle to Switzerland to be free of US mass surveillance. Here he explains why
When Philip Zimmermann was campaigning for nuclear disarmament in the 1980s, he kept an escape plan in his back pocket. The inventor of the world’s most widely used email encryption system, Pretty Good Privacy – more commonly known as PGP – was ready to move his family from Colorado to New Zealand at a moment’s notice.
Posted by newthinking | Tue May 26, 2015, 10:45 AM (6 replies)
Security forces in Odessa arrest 30 more Bessarabia People’s Rada activists
According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the activists staged a meeting calling for peace and formation of cultural autonomy within Ukraine
ODESSA, April 17. /TASS/. Police in Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea, on Thursday arrested 30 more activists of the People’s Rada of Bessarabia, including member of the presidium of this public organization Vera Shevchenko. According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the activists staged a meeting calling for peace and formation of cultural autonomy within Ukraine.
They also protested against the arrests of their fellow activists, among them the organization’s leader Dmitry Zatuliveter. "He disappeared immediately after the rada’s foundation conference that was held on April 6. We are very much concerned about Dmitry’s health and life, we are totally against the use of unauthorized methods of influence with regard to him, including force and, possibly, psychotropic agents," Shevchenko told reporters. Zatuliveter’s relatives and friends believe that he may be held by Ukrainian law enforcers, she added.
According to local media, the organization’s members detained by police were subjected to lengthy interrogations and intimidations by Ukraine’s Security Service officers.
Bessarabia is a region in south-eastern Europe between the Black Sea and the Danube, the Dniester and the Prut rivers. The Odessa region bordering the unrecognized Transdniestria Republic occupies part of Bessarabia.
Posted by newthinking | Sat May 23, 2015, 03:15 PM (3 replies)