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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

Journal Archives

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.”


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 [the Islamic State, aka IS or ISIS], 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."


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

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 08:18 AM (16 replies)
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