First watch this:
Obama threatens Putin in extended phone call…
“That is a matter for Ukrainians to decide,” the official said. “We have always and will continue to support an inclusive process.”
Wow, what a short memory these idiots pretend to have. Just last month Victoria Nuland was bragging about overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine with “$5 billion” spent to “”take Ukraine into the future it deserves.” They backed Neo-Nazi thugs who firebombed and burned their way to a terror fueled victory.
Here Nuland and John McCain pose with a Ukraine Nazi thug, the recipient of US taxpayer graft and (ridiculous) political cover.
Russian news media, citing members of the armed opposition to Kiev, reported that several members of a pro-Russian militia had been injured at the airfield in firefights with the Ukrainian military. Later, Russian news media reported four fatalities in the vicinity of the airport.
I made a comment over at Huffington’s Propaganda Rag, and lo and behold it was instantly “deleted” by the website — before any human could have actually read it.
Is there anyone out there who still believes that Barack Obama, when he’s speaking about American foreign policy, is capable of being anything like an honest man? In a March 26 talk in Belgium to “European youth”, the president fed his audience one falsehood, half-truth, blatant omission, or hypocrisy after another. If George W. Bush had made some of these statements, Obama supporters would not hesitate to shake their head, roll their eyes, or smirk. Here’s a sample:
– “In defending its actions, Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent – an example they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country, just as they’re doing now. But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years.”
Most people who follow such things are convinced that the 1999 US/NATO bombing of the Serbian province of Kosovo took place only after the Serbian-forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic deportations of large numbers of people did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a reaction to it, born of Serbia’s extreme anger and powerlessness over the bombing. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, 1999, and the few days following. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:
… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would nowvent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation. [emphasis added]
On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that nature.
But the propaganda version is already set in marble.
– “And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized, not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. None of that even came close to happening in Crimea.”
None of that even came close to happening in Kosovo either. The story is false. The referendum the president speaks of never happened. Did the mainstream media pick up on this or on the previous example? If any reader comes across such I’d appreciate being informed.
Crimea, by the way, did have a referendum. A real one.
– “Workers and engineers gave life to the Marshall Plan … As the Iron Curtain fell here in Europe, the iron fist of apartheid was unclenched, and Nelson Mandela emerged upright, proud, from prison to lead a multiracial democracy. Latin American nations rejected dictatorship and built new democracies … “
The president might have mentioned that the main beneficiary of the Marshall Plan was US corporations , that the United States played an indispensable role in Mandela being caught and imprisoned, and that virtually all the Latin American dictatorships owed their very existence to Washington. Instead, the European youth were fed the same party line that their parents were fed, as were all Americans.
– “Yes, we believe in democracy – with elections that are free and fair.”
In this talk, the main purpose of which was to lambaste the Russians for their actions concerning Ukraine, there was no mention that the government overthrown in that country with the clear support of the United States had been democratically elected.
– “Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. … But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future.”
The US did not get UN Security Council approval for its invasion, the only approval that could legitimize the action. It occupied Iraq from one end of the country to the other for 8 years, forcing the government to privatize the oil industry and accept multinational – largely U.S.-based, oil companies’ – ownership. This endeavor was less than successful because of the violence unleashed by the invasion. The US military finally was forced to leave because the Iraqi government refused to give immunity to American soldiers for their many crimes.
Here is a brief summary of what Barack Obama is attempting to present as America’s moral superiority to the Russians:
The modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state … the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly … the people of that unhappy land lost everything – their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lying in wait for children to pick them up … a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again. … “It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003,” reported the Washington Post. (May 5, 2007)
How can all these mistakes, such arrogance, hypocrisy and absurdity find their way into a single international speech by the president of the United States? Is the White House budget not sufficient to hire a decent fact checker? Someone with an intellect and a social conscience? Or does the desire to score propaganda points trump everything else? Is this another symptom of the Banana-Republicization of America?
In 1933 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the Soviet Union after some 15 years of severed relations following the Bolshevik Revolution. On a day in December of that year, a train was passing through Poland carrying the first American diplomats dispatched to Moscow. Amongst their number was a 29 year-old Foreign Service Officer, later to become famous as a diplomat and scholar, George Kennan. Though he was already deemed a government expert on Russia, the train provided Kennan’s first actual exposure to the Soviet Union. As he listened to his group’s escort, Russian Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov, reminisce about growing up in a village the train was passing close by, and his dreams of becoming a librarian, the Princeton-educated Kennan was astonished: “We suddenly realized, or at least I did, that these people we were dealing with were human beings like ourselves, that they had been born somewhere, that they had their childhood ambitions as we had. It seemed for a brief moment we could break through and embrace these people.”
It hasn’t happened yet.
One would think that the absence in Russia of communism, of socialism, of the basic threat or challenge to the capitalist system, would be sufficient to write finis to the 70-year Cold War mentality. But the United States is virtually as hostile to 21st-century Russia as it was to 20th-century Soviet Union, surrounding Moscow with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members. Why should that be? Ideology is no longer a factor. But power remains one, specifically America’s perpetual lust for world hegemony. Russia is the only nation that (a) is a military powerhouse, and (b) doesn’t believe that the United States has a god-given-American-exceptionalism right to rule the world, and says so. By these criteria, China might qualify as a poor second. But there are no others.
Washington pretends that it doesn’t understand why Moscow should be upset by Western military encroachment, but it has no such problem when roles are reversed. Secretary of State John Kerry recently stated that Russian troops poised near eastern Ukraine are “creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine” and raising questions about Russia’s next moves and its commitment to diplomacy.
NATO – ever in need of finding a raison d’être – has now issued a declaration of [cold] war, which reads in part:
“NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday [April 1, 2014] reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the Alliance’s collective defence, agreed to further support Ukraine and to suspend NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia. ‘NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our territory and our people. And make no mistake, this is what we will do,’ NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. … Ministers directed Allied military authorities to develop additional measures to strengthen collective defence and deterrence against any threat of aggression against the Alliance, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. ‘We will make sure we have updated military plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,’ he said. NATO has already reinforced its presence on the eastern border of the Alliance, including surveillance patrols over Poland and Romania and increased numbers of fighter aircraft allocated to the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic States. … NATO Foreign Ministers also agreed to suspend all of NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia.”
Does anyone recall what NATO said in 2003 when the United States bombed and invaded Iraq with “shock and awe”, compared to the Russians now not firing a single known shot at anyone? And neither Russia nor Ukraine is even a member of NATO. Does NATO have a word to say about the right-wing coup in Ukraine, openly supported by the United States, overthrowing the elected government? Did the hypocrisy get any worse during the Cold War? Imagine that NATO had not been created in 1949. Imagine that it has never existed. What reason could one give today for its creation? Other than to provide a multi-national cover for Washington’s interventions.
One of the main differences between now and the Cold War period is that Americans at home are (not yet) persecuted or prosecuted for supporting Russia or things Russian.
But don’t worry, folks, there won’t be a big US-Russian war. For the same reason there wasn’t one during the Cold War. The United States doesn’t pick on any country which can defend itself.
Here is my response to the WP’s imperial weasel wording:
Translated to eliminate propaganda…
“CIA Conspiracy to Lie to Congress in Torture Cover-Up”
The Central Intelligence Agency has been caught in numerous felony violations in its ongoing cover-up of war crimes throughout the 2000s. President Obama continues to protect official torturers, and the agency has stonewalled the Senate Select Oversight Committee, a normally compliant co-conspirator. Torture has degraded the image of America around the world and many nations justifiably question America’s claims to democracy, freedom and even civilization and the rule of law.
Secretive, lawless agencies that torture with impunity are a clear and present danger to the republic, and this Constitutional crisis deserves full investigation and public action.
In the cse of Zubaydah, he provided evidence that he was working for Saudi state intelligence prior to his torture (or possibly afterward / competing accounts). This Saudi complicity in his actions was soon eliminated from the story after repeated torture leading critics to question if the purpose of the torture was to produce false testimony (videotapes of this Saudi link with phone numbers of three Saudi princes divulged by Zubaydah were destroyed illegally by CIA).
Further Saudi intelligence links to the September 11th attacks remain covered up by CIA and the administrations of George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama. Senator Bob Graham’s investigation into the San Diego hijacker cell showed clear Saudi Arabian material support to the hijackers. Further support in Sarasota Florida links the Saudi regime, an undemocratic monarchy, to the named 9/11 hijackers. These facts and the FBI investigations surrounding them remain redacted and somewhat hidden from public view. Such “aid and comfort” to the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks meets the Constitutional definition of “Treason.”
The Miami Herald:
“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states,”
So, is your US corporate lie machine telling you about what the people of the region actually want?
Are they showing how international observers watched the vote and found no problems?
Or is it a steady stream of hyper-nationalistic gibberish in defense of neo-nazi street gangs in Ukraine?
[Editor's Note: It all makes sense now. Condi Rice, Victoria Nuland, $5Bn invested to get US oil and gas companies into the Ukraine and overthrow its government.
“For example, [Rice's] steadfast belief that Ukraine “should not be a pawn in a great-power conflict but rather an independent nation” might have something to do with Chevron’s 50-year lease to develop Ukraine’s shale gas reserves.”
Ukranian protests in late 2013
Some say it’s about freedom and the right to self-determination. Some say it’s about standing up to aggression and halting a dictator’s march. Some say it’s about the future of everything—from Syria to North Korea to Iran’s nuclear program—and, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, it all stems from Obama’s failure to kill the people who killed Americans at Benghazi.
She penned a tension-filled op-ed on Ukraine for the Washington Post—the newspaper of broken records. Her nostalgic, “Baby, It’s a Cold War Outside” ditty on the “Ukrainian Problem” came just two days after a Teflon-coatedHenry Kissinger opined about the “art of establishing priorities” in his own Ukraine-themed op-ed for the Post.
As the world learned through painful experience, Condi Rice, much like Henry Kissinger, was all about establishing priorities. But now that she’s out of power, why should anyone waste any time considering Ms. Rice’s opinion about anything, much less about the “crisis” in Ukraine?
Like most American Exceptionalists, her bluster and posturing can be reverse-engineered to find the banal truth about U.S. foreign policy. For example, her steadfast belief that Ukraine “should not be a pawn in a great-power conflict but rather an independent nation” might have something to do with Chevron’s 50-year lease to develop Ukraine’s shale gas reserves.
When that lease was signed on November 5, 2013, it stoked Russian fears about losing its influence on, and a major gas market in, a former satellite. It also came on the eve of the much-disputed trade deal with the European Union that, once abandoned due to Russian pressure, led to the toppling of Ukraine’s government. Reuters characterized Ukraine’s “$10 billion shale gas production-sharing agreement with U.S. Chevron” as “another step in a drive for more energy independence from Russia.”
Of course, Ms. Rice knows something about driving for more energy. She sat on Chevron’s board of directors for ten years before resigning to become President Bush’s National Security Adviser in January of 2001. She was such a titanic figure at Chevron and so beloved by their corporate captains that they even named a 129,000-ton oil tanker “Condoleezza Rice.” Do people name tankers after people? People do!
But four months after leaving Chevron, they “quietly renamed” the tanker, apparently sensitive to the implication that she might prioritize their interests in places like Kazakhstan (a de facto dictatorship never targeted by American Exceptionalists) or the Caspian Sea (where Chevron is heavily invested) or Afghanistan (where they’ve long sought a pipeline from the Caspian region to the Indian Ocean).
In the case of Ukraine, Chevron’s deal continues a long tradition of intermarriage between “national” and corporate interests under the guise of national security. As the International Business Times stated immediately after the deal, “Chevron’s agreement with Ukraine was supported by the U.S. as part of its national security strategy to help reduce Russia’s hold on Europe and Kiev.” As quoted in the article, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said, “I’m very determined to cooperate with the Ukrainian government in strengthening Ukraine’s energy independence.”
That “cooperation” is couched in the language of “independence,” but it’s actually about shifting to financial interdependence with powerful, American corporate interests. It’s not about freedom or self-determination or human rights.
Since the U.S. proposed the Open Door Policy in China at the end of the 19thCentury, American “soft imperialism” has exploited resource opportunities for American corporate interests in dozens of “friendly” regimes—their commitment to freedom notwithstanding.
Whether it was oil in Iran, bananas in Guatemala or sugar-cane in Cuba, any move to close the door on U.S. business interests has traditionally been met with dire warnings about the dangers of isolationism and specious claims about America’s national interests, which, oddly enough, always seem to be located in another country.
Throughout the Cold War, those “endangered” national interests inspired CIA hijinks around the world. U.S. foreign policymakers supported regime change in places like Chile (calling Dr. Kissinger) and around Central America, and they doled out generous foreign aid packages to a motley crew of anti-communist “strongmen.” If push came to shove, the U.S. military might even get involved.
Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policy has been kicking open doors around the world and particularly around the edges of the former Soviet Union. Expansion of NATO and U.S. involvement in the former “Soviet Stans” around Afghanistan extended a semi-circle of U.S. military might around Russia. And the Ukrainian energy independence trumpeted by Ambassador Pyatt amounted to a declaration of economic warfare on Russia’s oil and gas-based economy. Like Condi Rice before him, Ambassador Pyatt’s well-established priority is to ensure that well-connected businesses get in on the ground floor.
Once on the ground floor, they need insurance—either from local clients or from a neighborhood patrol by U.S. forces. Perhaps that’s why Ms. Rice used her Ukraine op-ed as an opportunity to advocate leaving a permanent military force in Afghanistan. She doesn’t want to hear “talk of withdrawal from Afghanistan whether the security situation warrants it or not.” For her, nothing less than 10,000 troops will do. Otherwise, the U.S. is “not serious about helping to stabilize that country.”
Yet, one wonders if she—like all the professional hand-wringers, truculent think tankers, and once and future policymakers who’ve grandstanded on the showdown with Russia—isn’t quietly more concerned about something more basic than freedom, liberty and justice for all.
Perhaps the former Secretary of State, former Chevron big-wig and former oil tanker is more concerned with the ability of Chevron to realize its Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline dream. Her old cohorts practicing soft imperialism at the U.S. State Department have certainly been doing their part to help Chevron score that lucrative contract.
The banal truth is that America’s long-standing policy is to help people anywhere and everywhere when those people just so happen to be living on or near valuable resources. Unless, of course, it’s Bahrain, Nigeria, Kazakhstan or anywhere else repressive and corrupt governments are already interdependent upon U.S. corporate interests.
Former CNN reporter talks openly of censorship throughout the corporate media.
Imperial hypocrisy enters the Bush League:
“Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty… would be deeply destabilizing.”
-Barack Obama (2014)
“Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and trying to destabilize their country. And we will help them rid Iraq of these killers.”
-George W. Bush (2004)
“We’ve invested $5 billion… as we take Ukraine into the future it deserves.”
-Obama’s State Dept. Thug Victoria Nuland
In a recent Freedom of Information Act case(2) — a seemingly Orwellian “newspeak” name for a statute that actually exempts categories of documents from release to the public — a federal district court judge ruled against the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Times and the ACLU argued that documents regarding the practice of “targeted killing” of American citizens, such as the radical Sunni cleric Anwar Nasser al-Aulaqi were in the public’s interest and were being withheld improperly.
The government first refused to acknowledge the existence of the documents, but later argued that their release could harm national security and were therefore exempt from disclosure. The court, however, felt constrained by the law and “conclud[ed] that the Government [had] not violated the FOIA by refusing to turn over the documents sought in the FOIA requests, and [could not] be compelled . . . to explain in detail the reasons why [the Government's] actions do not violate the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
However, the judge also wrote candidly about her frustration with her sense that the request “implicate[d] serious issues about the limits on the power of the Executive Branch under the Constitution and laws of the United States,” and that the Presidential “Administration ha[d] engaged in public discussion of the legality of targeted killing, even of [American] citizens, but in cryptic and imprecise ways.” In other words, it wasn’t that she didn’t think that the public didn’t have a right to know — it was that she didn’t feel that she had the “legal” authority to compel disclosure.
This case, like too many others, presents a critical problem that can also be seen in several recent cases, including my court-martial. For instance, I was accused by the Executive branch, and particularly the Department of Defense, of aiding the enemy — a treasonable offense covered under Article III of the Constitution.
Granted, I received due process. I received charges, was arraigned before a military judge for trial, and eventually acquitted. But, the al-Aulaqi case raises a fundamental question: did the American government, and particularly the same President and Department, have the power to unilaterally determine my guilt of such an offense, and execute me at the will of the pilot of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle?
Until documents held by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel were released after significant political pressure in mid-2013, I could not tell you. And, very likely, I do not believe I could speak intelligently of the Administration’s policy on “targeted killing” today either.
There is a problem with this level of secrecy, obfuscation, and classification or protective marking, in that they supposedly protect citizens of their nation; yet, it also breeds a unilateralism that the founders feared, and deliberately tried to prevent when drafting the American Constitution. Now, we have a “disposition matrix,” classified military commissions, and foreign intelligence and surveillance courts — modern Star Chamber equivalents.
In front of a Chevron logo, no less, Obama State Department henchwoman Victoria Nuland brags about destabilizing the Ukraine. You can’t write this shit. Nuland is also famous for the “Fuck the EU” quote of last week, as she coordinated the new puppet leaders whom she expects to take over power in the nation of Ukraine.
“We’ve invested $5 billion…
…as we take Ukraine into the future it deserves.”