Category Archives: Russia

Pentagon Concludes America Not Safe Unless It Conquers the World

By Paul Craig Roberts
July 10, 2015
Counter Punch

War-USA-400x293The Pentagon has released its “National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015,” June 2015.

The document announces a shift in focus from terrorists to “state actors” that “are challenging international norms.” It is important to understand what these words mean. Governments that challenge international norms are sovereign countries that pursue policies independently of Washington’s policies.  These “revisionist states” are threats, not because they plan to attack the US, which the Pentagon admits neither Russia nor China intend, but because they are independent.

Be sure to grasp the point: The threat is the existence of sovereign states, whose independence of action makes them “revisionist states.”  In other words, their independence is out of step with the neoconservative Uni-Power doctrine that declares independent action to be the right of Washington alone. Washington’s History-given hegemony precludes any other country being independent in its actions. By definition, a country with a foreign policy independent of Washington is a threat.

The Pentagon’s report defines the foremost “revisionist states” as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. The focus is primarily on Russia. Washington hopes to co-op China, despite the “tension to the Asia-Pacific region” that China’s defense of its sphere of influence causes, a defense “inconsistent with international law” (this from Washington, the great violator of international law), by turning over what remains of the American consumer market to China.  It is not yet certain that Iran has escaped the fate that Washington imposed on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, and by complicity Palestine.

The Pentagon report is sufficiently audacious in its hypocrisy, as all statements from Washington are, to declare that Washington and its vassals “support the established institutions and processes dedicated to preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty, and furthering human rights.”  This from the military of a government that has invaded, bombed, and overthrown 11 governments, murdering and displacing millions of peoples,  since the Clinton regime and is currently working to overthrow governments in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina.

In the Pentagon document, Russia is under fire for not  acting “in accordance with international norms,” which means Russia is not following Washington’s leadership and behaving as a vassal, which is the behavior to which the Uni-Power is entitled

In other words, this is a bullshit report written by neocons in order to foment war with Russia.

Nothing else can be said about the Pentagon report, which  justifies war and more war until no one exists.  Without war and conquests, Americans are not safe. This path to nuclear Armageddon is being drilled every day into the heads of Americans and Washington’s vassals in Europe by the Western presstitute media. “War makes us safe!”

Washington’s view toward Russia is the same as Cato the Elder’s view toward Carthage. Cato the Elder finished his every speech on any subject in the Roman Senate with the statement “Carthage must be destroyed.”

This Pentagon report tells us that war with Russia is our future unless Russia agrees to become a vassal state like every country in Europe, and Canada, Australia, Ukraine, and Japan.  Otherwise, the neoconservatives have decided that it is impossible for Americans to tolerate living in a world in which countries make decisions independently of Washington.  If America cannot be The Uni-Power dictating to the world, better that we are all dead.  At least that will show the Russians.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

Ukrainian Government Acknowledges that Some of Its Leaders Are Nazis

By Eric Zuesse
July 06, 2015
Global Research

 

Azov-Ukraine-1“The Ministry of Justice Acknowledges UNA-UNSO Collaborated with Nazis,” and reported that,

“Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice has officially recognized that the members of the Ukrainian nationalist organization UNA-UNSO fought on the side of Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War.” It went on to note that, “On May 22 of last year, the State Registration Service renamed the party of UNA-UNSO as the Right Sector Party, which is led by Dmitriy Yarosh.”

Yarosh was appointed by the U.S.-organized Ukrainian coup in February 2014 to serve as the active head of the Security Bureau of Ukraine, working directly under the newly appointed Chief of State Security, Andrei Parubiy, who had co-founded Ukraine’s other nazi party, the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine. The SNPU had already changed its name in 2004 to “Freedom” or “Svoboda,” on the advice of the U.S. CIA, because a name patterned after the National Socialist Party of Germany wouldn’t look good in the U.S. But inside Ukraine, Yarosh’s people were bold about their anti-Russian nazism, and even proud to be teaching it in the new regime’s public schools.

Parubiy had been the “Commandant of Maidan,” who organized the Maidan demonstrations against Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych, with the assistance of the U.S. State Department and CIA. The U.S. Embassy was already actively preparing this coup by no later than early 2013.

Whereas Yarosh provided the forces that brought down the Yanukovych government, Parubiy, as the person who had organized the Maidan demonstrations, set things up so that Yarosh’s snipers would be able to operate in such a way that Yanukovych would be blamed for the bloodshed — such as by obtaining the Security Bureau of Ukraine uniforms for Yarosh’s snipers to wear, and by clearing the buildings that they needed to be firing from.

At the end of the coup, on 25 February 2014, Yarosh met in a Kiev restaurant with the other founder of the SNPU (“Svoboda”) party, Oleg Tyagnibok, in order to discuss “Our goals are the same. We both stand for Ukraine without Yids and Katsaps (Russians derogatory). You’ll help me, I’ll help you.” Etc. Ironically, all of Ukraine’s nazis work under far-right Jews, such as Victoria Nuland, of the U.S. State Department. All of them are focused on destroying Russians — it’s the cause that unites them — and receiving their appointments from Jews makes them internationally acceptable as being not ‘really’ nazis (since the West accepts hatred of Russians, which are Obama’s targets).

Already, Obama’s manager for the coup, Victoria Nuland, had, on February 4th, told the U.S. Ambassador, “I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the… what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know.” That appointment of Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the new Prime Minister dashed Tyagnibok’s hope of receiving an official appointment. As for Yarosh,here was his response when Tyagnibok suggested that Yarosh might do better in politics than he himself, because Tyagnibok was already publicly on record as being anti-Semitic, but Yarosh was not (both men knew that wanting to kill all Russians was okay in the USA but that wanting to kill all Jews was not; and whereas both men were publicly on record for wanting to kill all Russians, Yarosh had never spoken publicly about ‘Yids’):

“Go into politics. You have a lot of support.

D.Yarosh: Politics? Why? So I can wear a beautiful jacket? I already have the power. Gone are the times when we indulged slingshotting. Now I have so many weapons that it will be enough to break all kinds of ‘internal occupants’. If my guys have the SBU, I will bring order to the ‘katsapschine’ (East Ukraine derogatory [for the region where ethnic Russians predominate]) and in the Crimea. Katsaps will flee Sevastopol voluntarily. I’ll cause the earth to burn under their feet.”

So: Yarosh ended up commanding the paramilitaries for such operations as the massacre of regime-opponents inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building on 2 May 2014, and the subsequent ethnic cleansing operation in Ukraine’s former Donbass region, whose voters had voted over 90% for Yanukovych. That ethnic cleansing operation was called by the regime the “Anti Terrorist Operation” or “ATO.”

On 20 June 2015, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko petitioned the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to declare the overthrow of Yanukovych to have been a coup, because he was now afraid that Yarosh would do the same to him that he had earlier done to Yanukovych — and which Yarosh has repeatedly threatened to do to him. However, the U.S. is not supporting another Ukrainian coup. The U.S. does, however, continue to give encouragement to Ukraine’s nazis, in other ways, so as not to antagonize them.

The purpose of President Obama in Ukraine is to weaken Russia. Ukraine’s nazis are determined to destroy Russia (which has always been their chief objective), and Obama needs their continued support in order for his Ukrainian plan to succeed. The economic sanctions against Russia are an important part of that plan.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

US military strategy for world domination targets Russia and China

By Patrick Martin
July 2, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

unclesam_lind_pdThe US Department of Defense made public Wednesday its 2015 National Military Strategy, a 24-page document that outlines the perspective of the Pentagon for future military operations. The document makes for chilling reading.

“Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield. They will have increasing implications to the US homeland.” So declares the foreword by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The report singles out four countries as potential targets for US military action: Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. Three of the four possess nuclear weapons, and Russia and China have the second- and third-largest stockpiles, trailing only the United States itself.

Nuclear war is part of the Pentagon playbook. One passage reads: “In the event of an attack, the US military will respond by inflicting damage of such magnitude as to compel the adversary to cease hostilities or render it incapable of further aggression. War against a major adversary would require the full mobilization of all instruments of national power …” [Emphasis added]

The last phrase suggests the restoration of the draft to dragoon the manpower required to fight a war with Russia or China.

The report begins by dividing the world’s nation-states into two categories: “Most states today—led by the United States, its allies, and partners—support the established institutions and processes dedicated to preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty and furthering human rights. Some states, however, are attempting to revise key aspects of the international order and are acting in a manner that threatens our national security interests.”

This categorization of countries is ludicrous. In the pursuit of its interests, Washington routinely flouts the authority of international institutions and violates international law, including the Geneva Conventions. As for “preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty and furthering human rights,” ask the tortured peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and eastern Ukraine about the consequences of US invasions, bombings and drone strikes, CIA subversion, and proxy wars and civil wars instigated and backed by Washington.

The Pentagon separates the world into two camps, those who kowtow to America, the dominant world power, and those who dare to oppose, in some fashion or other, the American imperium.

Russia “does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals,” it states. Iran is “pursuing nuclear and missile delivery technologies” and is a “state-sponsor of terrorism.” North Korea threatens its neighbors through “pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technologies.” China’s actions “are adding tension to the Asia-Pacific region.”

The hypocrisy almost boggles the mind! None of the four accused countries is actually engaged in a war with anyone, while the United States is currently waging war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, conducts drone missile strikes in a half dozen other countries, and deploys military forces in more than 100 countries around the world.

The Pentagon document admits, “None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies.” But it continues, “Nonetheless, they each pose serious security concerns …”

The report points indirectly to the content of these “concerns.” It declares, “The United States is the world’s strongest nation, enjoying unique advantages in technology, energy, alliances and partnerships, and demographics. However, these advantages are being challenged.”

The Pentagon equates peace, democracy, human rights, etc. with what it calls “a rules-based international order advanced by US leadership.” This is a euphemism for US imperialist hegemony over the entire planet, where Washington makes the rules and everyone follows, or else.

The American ruling class is acutely aware that its power is declining relative to rival powers, particularly China, and that US military superiority is itself threatened by the decline in the world economic position of US capitalism and growth of internal social antagonisms, which make it more difficult to sustain overseas military interventions.

The document declares, “We support China’s rise and encourage it to become a partner for greater international security,” and then proceeds to outline the US strategy to economically and militarily encircle the country. It states: “[W]e will press forward with the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, placing our most advanced capabilities and greater capacity in that vital theater. We will strengthen our alliances with Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. We also will deepen our security relationship with India and build upon our partnerships with New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.”

American military operations over the past decade have been focused on what the report terms “violent extremist networks,” or VEOs, the new Pentagon term for terrorist groups, including ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban in Afghanistan and various other Islamist groups across the Middle East and North Africa.

“But today, and into the foreseeable future,” the report continues, “we must pay greater attention to challenges posed by state actors.” Moreover, “future conflicts between states may prove to be unpredictable, costly, and difficult to control.”

The report sums up, “Today, the probability of US involvement in interstate war with a major power is assessed to be low but growing. Should one occur, however, the consequences would be immense.”

This is a declaration that the prospect of a US war with China or Russia is increasing, even though the result of such a war would be devastating, both to the countries involved and to the whole of humanity, which would face nuclear extinction.

The perspective outlined by the Pentagon document may be mad, envisioning as it does a world war between nuclear-armed powers, but this madness is rooted in very real, objective conditions. It is the outcome of the global crisis of the capitalist system. The most toxic expression of this crisis is the drive of US imperialism to maintain its position of world dominance by military means.

The same crisis, however, creates the conditions for the international working class to impose its solution, upon which the fate of human civilization depends. That solution is world socialist revolution.

 

 

Financial Bombshells: Greece and JPMorgan

By Bill Holter
July 02, 2015
Global Research

 

GRTV: Mutual Indebtedness: Euro Titanic has Hit the IcebergNot that almost any and all news today is enough to make you scratch your head, two pieces of news yesterday were bombshells!  I am talking about Greece’s stance of staying IN the Eurozone and the Zerohedge article regarding JPMorgan “cornering” the global commodity markets.

Let’s first start with Greece, who could have seen this one coming?  They are taking the stance “Greece and ONLY Greece” can decide if they leave the EU.  Greece Threatens ‘Unprecedented’ Injunction Against EU To Block Grexit  I believe this is correct, there is no law allowing the EU to kick someone out.  The only way an exit can occur is if a nation decides to leave.  This is incredibly interesting because Greece can default and put a moratorium on payments yet remain as a Euronation.  I guess you might call it “squatter’s rights”, they stay …but don’t pay.  Before going any further, I do understand Greece originally entered the EU “fraudulently” and with well cooked numbers.  As I understand it, “too bad so sad” it is water under the bridge, was not caught upon their entrance and cannot be used to negate their inclusion now.

What is extremely interesting is this: the Greek debt has already been largely offloaded onto the balance sheet of the ECB.  This was done to try to insulate private bank balance sheets from the risk of default and thus being underfunded.  But a fork in the road now exists, as I understand it, if Greece leaves then the debt goes back to the original banks who own the debt.  If Greece stays, the debt will stay on the ECB’s balance sheet.  Do you see the ramifications?  If Greece leaves, we have a banking failure through Europe ... but if they stay then the ECB eats the losses.  Thinking this through, if Greece stays they will effectively force a mass printing by the ECB to cover up the losses.  This will effectively dilute the euro and certainly hamper the ECB’s ability to function as they desire.

Call me crazy but I don’t think this is by any mistake at all.  This is a financial chess match where Mr. Tsipras/Varoufakis and Vladimir Putin are using great gamesmanship.  I believe it was decided Greece will stay, not pay ..and watch the ECB/Eurozone suffer with this.  Eventually Greece will leave but that will be AFTER the fire and AFTER the smoke clears.  I also believe a pipeline deal through Greece is a foregone conclusion and as this whole thing plays out, Europe will become “closer” to Russia, China, India and the BRICS  …which means what exactly?  They will be further away from the U.S.!!!  This is not rocket science, we are watching socialists who have legally hacked into one of the West’s “cars” … and have the ability to control it!  They can start it, stop it, make it go right, left or even just turn it off!  Maybe I am giving too much credit and this was just a coincidence, I highly doubt it!  To top this strategy off, I still believe we will be served a “truth bomb” by Mr. Putin which will effectively cut the dollar off at the knees!

The other head scratcher is the revelation JP Morgan has cornered the commodity markets

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-29/jpm-just-cornered-commodity-derivative-market-and-time-we-have-proof .

Before starting on this one, let me say there are many moving parts and unknowns (probably designed this way).  I have queried my mentor and spoken with Jim, I have spoken to several others whom I respect and value their opinions.  Though the takeaway was by no means unanimous, the following is my personal opinion.

To set the stage, it must be understood the U.S. is at WAR, a financial war where the survival of the dollar is at stake.  We watched late last year and early this year where huge pressure was put on the price of oil.  This I believe was done to pressure Russia as energy is their biggest export.  Oddly enough, Russia and our “ally” Saudi Arabia just signed six deals last week.  We do not even know what these deals were but a good speculation is Saudi Arabia is moving toward Russia and away from the U.S..  Remember, the Saudis are the cornerstone underlying the petrodollar.  Gold and silver have also been pressured at every turn over the last four years and in particular the last 12 months.

I assume JP Morgan and the Fed are one and the same.  There have been stories JPM has amassed 350 or more ounces of silver.  We also know China/Russia/India have been huge buyers of gold.  We now know JPM has increased their derivatives by over $3 trillion in just one quarter.  It is obvious to me, they are the ones sitting on the paper prices of gold and silver.  This would make sense for the Fed to attack the metals and thus support the dollar.  In fact, standard procedure in any war is to strengthen your currency while weakening your opponents.  I believe the neocons know the bottom of our “gold barrel” is close at hand, they have decided to go all in on price suppression knowing full well “contracts were made to be broken” (defaulted on).

 

Bill Holter

Holter-Sinclair collaboration

Comments welcome!  bholter@hotmail.com

US, NATO powers intensify preparations for nuclear war

By Thomas Gaist
June 26, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

25a0a-war-looms-for-obama-in-iran-syria-and-north-korea-img_The NATO military alliance is preparing to implement a more aggressive nuclear weapons strategy in response to alleged “Russian aggression,” according to NATO sources cited by the Guardian Wednesday evening.

Proposed changes include provisions for greater involvement of nuclear forces in ongoing NATO military exercises along Russia’s borders and new guidelines for nuclear escalation against Russia, according to the NATO officials.

The alliance’s nuclear doctrine has been the subject of quiet, informal discussions “on the sidelines” of the ongoing NATO summit. The new policies will be formally articulated and confirmed at an upcoming conference of the alliance’s Nuclear Planning Group, which was rescheduled for an earlier date this week as word got around about the secretive planning.

“There is very real concern about the way in which Russia publicly bandies around nuclear stuff. So there are quite a lot of deliberations in the alliance about nuclear weapons,” an unnamed NATO diplomat told the Guardian.

The claim that discussion about a revision of nuclear weapons policy is in response to Russian aggression turns reality on its head. In the aftermath of the US and NATO-backed coup in Ukraine last year, the major imperialist powers have engaged in a relentless militarization of Eastern Europe, including the establishment of a rapid reaction force of 40,000 troops.

This week, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the US would permanently deploy tanks, military vehicles and other equipment to countries bordering Russia. There are also ongoing discussions about directly arming Ukraine, beyond the extensive assistance the right-wing government already receives.

NATO is now planning to respond to any attempt by Russia to maintain or counter US imperialism’s aggressive moves in Eastern Europe with even more massive military response, including nuclear weapons.

An indication of the thinking of NATO strategists was provided by a report in the Financial Times. In the event of a conflict involving one of the Baltic countries, “Russia might…accuse the alliance of escalating the conflict and threaten to use intermediate range nuclear weapons.” The Times quotes Elbridge Colby, of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS): “NATO does not need a total nuclear rethink. But it needs to be realistic about how it would respond and willing to show Putin that he would not get away with it.”

This scenario builds on allegations from the US that Russia has violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), allegations that the Russian government has denied. US officials have stated that the Pentagon is preparing to launch preemptive attacks against missiles or other targets in Russia, including with nuclear weapons, in response to Moscow’s alleged violation of the treaty.

The announcement of major revisions to NATO’s nuclear strategy came just days after the publication of an extensive report, “Project Atom: Defining US Nuclear Strategy and Posture for 2025-2050,” by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The main portions of the report were authored by a career US government strategist and senior CSIS analyst, Clark Murdock, a man who previously worked in high-level strategy jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the US Air Force and the National War College. The report included contributions from a large team of researchers and experts, including panels from the CNAS and the National Institution for Public Policy (NIPP).

The thrust of the CSIS analysis is that the US must make its nuclear arsenal easier to use in a war with Russia, China or some other power. The military must adopt “a US nuclear strategy designed for twenty-first century realities,” based on new generations of tactical warheads and delivery systems.

More advanced tactical nuclear weapons will enable Washington to threaten and launch small nuclear wars, without being “self-deterred” by concerns that its actions would lead to a nuclear holocaust, the CSIS report argues.

“The United States needs to develop and deploy more employable nuclear weapons,” the CSIS wrote, including “low collateral damage, enhanced radiation, earth penetration, electromagnetic pulse, and others as technology advances.”

Such advances, the report argues, are the only way to counter the erosion of American technological superiority by the growth of the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals, together with the addition of as many as nine new governments to the “nuclear club.”

Under the “Measured Response” theory advocated by the CSIS and Murdock, these types of highly mobile nuclear strike forces could engage in “controlled nuclear operations,” firing “low yield, accurate, special effects” nukes against enemy targets without leading to a full-scale nuclear war.

By “forward deploying a robust set of discriminate nuclear response options,” the US could launch tactical nuclear strikes “at all rungs of the nuclear escalation ladder,” Murdock wrote.

Such “small-scale” nuclear conflicts would inevitably claim tens, if not hundreds of millions of lives, even assuming they did not escalate into a global nuclear war.

The continental US, according to this theory, would be protected from the consequences of regional-scale nuclear warfare by the deterrent effect of Washington’s huge arsenal of high-yield strategic weapons. Any “controlled” nuclear conflicts started by the US government, moreover, would not involve nuclear operations targeting or launched from North America.

“The US homeland would not be engaged in the US response to a nuclear attack on a regional ally,” the CSIS wrote.

In barely veiled language, CSIS is suggesting that the US should utilize allied and client governments as staging areas and arenas for “controlled” atomic warfare.

As the product of collaboration between an extensive network of ruling-class policy theorists, such proposals are extremely ominous and represent a grave warning to the international working class.

There have been other calls for a significant expansion of US nuclear weapons capacity. In comments to the Atlantic Council earlier this week, US Congressman Mac Thornberry, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called for a “national conversation about building new nuclear weapons.”

“That’s something we haven’t been able to even have a conversation about for a while, but I think we’re going to have to,” Thornberry declared.

Late last year, the Obama administration announced plans for a $1 trillion, three-decades-long upgrade of nuclear weapons capability.

In the writings of the CSIS and the other discussions within the state apparatus, there is a degree of insanity. The strategists of American imperialism are coldly calculating the best tactics for waging and winning nuclear war. Yet this insanity flows from the logic of American imperialism and the drive by the financial aristocracy to control—ever more directly through the use of military force—the entire world.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister: GMOs Will Not be Tolerated

By Christina Sarich
June 26, 2015
Natural Society

 

gmo_sign_Crops_735_350Russian President, Vladimir Putin has led a strong stance against biotech and their cultivation of GM crops in his country. Now, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, has announced at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Russia WILL NOT use GM crops to boost agricultural production.

Dvorkovich stated that the good quality of the soil across Russia’s land will allow the country to use other technological advances in agriculture, but GMOs won’t be one of them.

“Russia has chosen a different path. We will not use these [GM] technologies,” he said.

Due to Russia refusing GM seed, Russian products will be “one of the cleanest in the world,” according to Dvorkovich.

This proves that Putin wasn’t blowing hot air when he stated that Russia must protect its citizens from over-consumption of products containing genetically modified organisms in 2014.

Putin believes that he can keep GMOs out of the country, even while staying in compliance with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) commandments. In a meeting addressing the members of the Board of the Russian Federation Council he stated:

“We need to properly construct our work so that it is not contrary to our obligations under the WTO. But even with this in mind, we nevertheless have legitimate methods and instruments to protect our own market, and above all citizens.”

Arkady Dvorkovich
Arkady Dvorkovich

The VP of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, Irina Ermakova, has said:

“It is necessary to ban GMOs, to impose moratorium (on) it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed. It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop it from spreading. ”

Bill Gates and George Soros purchased 900,000 and 500,000 shares of Monsanto, respectively, in 2010.

NATO announces expansion of military force targeting Russia

By Niles Williamson
June 25, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

russia_wants_war_NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels Wednesday and Thursday agreed to the enlargement of the organization’s Response Force to 40,000 troops from the current level of 13,000. On Tuesday, ahead of the meeting, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the positioning of hundreds of American tanks, military vehicles and heavy artillery pieces in the Baltic States as well as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

This buildup of troops and military equipment is part of a long-term reorientation of NATO directed against Russia. There is only one conclusion the Kremlin can draw from such threatening and aggressive measures: Washington and its European allies are preparing to go to war against Russia. Moscow is undoubtedly preparing accordingly.

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spelled out the implications of the US-NATO policy at the conclusion of NATO war games in Poland last week, declaring: “The peaceful period after the Second World War is over. We cannot defend our European way of life if we don’t do more for our defense.”

The international working class should take this statement as a dire warning. If the post-World War II period of peace is over, the build-up to World War III has begun.

At the opening of the Brussels meeting on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg disingenuously declared that NATO was not seeking “confrontation,” adding that “we do not want a new arms race.” He claimed the expanding deployment of NATO forces in Eastern Europe was purely a defensive response to Russian “aggression” in Ukraine.

“We are carefully assessing the implications of what Russia is doing,” he said, “including its nuclear activities.”

Stoltenberg called on alliance members to meet pledges made at the NATO summit in Wales last September to increase their defense budgets to two percent of gross domestic product (GDP). NATO released figures Monday indicating that the majority of member states are falling far short of the two percent threshold. The report stated that overall defense spending by NATO will fall by 1.5 percent in 2015 to $893 billion. The United States, Poland, Estonia, Great Britain and Greece are the only countries in the alliance that will meet the two percent goal.

The expansion of the Response Force is one of numerous initiatives agreed to at the Brussels meeting. The defense ministers finalized plans to establish six new NATO command centers, to be located in Lativa, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

According to Stoltenberg, the new centers, each initially staffed by 40 people, will facilitate strategic planning, military exercises and the deployment of the newly formed 5,000-strong Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). This rapid deployment force will be tasked with mobilizing against Russia within days, once it is called upon to do so.

On Monday, US Defense Secretary Carter announced that Washington would contribute bombers, fighter jets, surveillance drones, Special Operations troops and other military resources to the VJTF.

The defense ministers also agreed to grant the supreme allied commander of NATO forces in Europe, US General Phillip Breedlove, authority to deploy troops on much shorter notice in order to facilitate the operations of the VJTF.

The Brussels meeting highlighted the mounting danger of the conflict with Russia escalating into a nuclear war. The assembled ministers held sideline discussions over NATO’s nuclear strategy in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recently announced plan to add 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to the country’s stockpile and US accusations that Moscow has violated the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The Guardian quoted an anonymous official as warning that Russia’s statements had lowered “the threshold when it comes to nuclear weapons.” The official added that NATO was “closely examining it carefully as part of the overall examination of Russia’s activities in Europe and how we at least in NATO must unfortunately react.”

A meeting of NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group is expected to take place later this year. According the Guardian, among the issues to be discussed is an “enhanced role for nuclear weapons in NATO military exercises.”

US Ambassador to NATO Doug Lute told reporters, “There is a general assessment under way in Washington, and a parallel assessment here in NATO, to look at all the possible implications of what Russia says about its nuclear weapons… and what we actually see on the ground in terms of development and deployment.”

In testimony earlier this month, Robert Scher, the US assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities, Defense Secretary Carter’s key nuclear policy aide, told Congress that the Pentagon was considering a variety of options for responding to alleged violations of the INF treaty, including preemptive missile strikes against Russia.

Speaking of recent statements from Moscow, Ivo Daalder, former US ambassador to NATO, said, “It should scare people. Now we are in a situation where it’s not inconceivable that there might be a military confrontation, and this kind of bluster contributes to the possibility of miscalculation.”

Lukasz Kulesa, research director for the European Leadership Network, told the Wall Street Journal that NATO should rein in its public rhetoric, but escalate behind-the-scenes maneuvers such as flying nuclear-capable B-52s over the Baltic states.

“This is a way to signal back to Russia that the United States is also capable of delivering a nuclear blow,” Kulesa said.

Last week, as part of the annual Sabre Strike military exercises, a US B-52 was flown over Latvia for the first time. It dropped dummy bombs in an air strike called in by Latvian soldiers. The strike was carried out in Adazi, less than 200 miles from the Russian border.

US paratroopers taking part in the Sabre Strike exercises practiced seizing airfields in Lithuania and Poland.

Has Washington Gone Looney Tunes?

By F. William Engdahl
June 22, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

P434234234Given a series of recent speeches by leading US officials and actions, the question must be frankly posed: Has Washington gone collectively looney tunes? Even as the governments of the EU are moving to buck US pressures and ease the sanctions, the Obama Administration seems intent on marching in the direction of a nuclear confrontation with Russia. As the ancient Greek expression puts it, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad…” The following recent developments fit that pattern quite nicely, thank you.

On June 5, Ashton Carter, the neo-conservative Obama Defense Secretary gave clear indications he is prepared to be far more provocative against Russia than his fired predecessor, Chuck Hagel. Carter convened a special meeting in Stuttgart, Germany of two dozen US military leaders and US Ambassadors in Europe at the headquarters of US European Command. He told them, “We have something that has taken a sad turn recently, which is Russia.”

That in itself was not so notable as were the reports that the neo-con US Defense Secretary, “Ash”—that is his nickname, appropriately enough—Carter discussed at the Stuttgart meeting returning US short-range nuclear missiles to European NATO countries to target Russia.

On June 7, just two days after Carter’s Stuttgart remarks, UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, told the press that the UK might again place American nuclear missiles on British soil because of what he termed “heightened tensions” with Russia. The Foreign Secretary said there were “worrying signs” about the increased activity of Russian forces and that the UK would “consider the pros and cons of taking US intermediate-range weapons.”

The UK Telegraph reported that Ash Carter was considering unilaterally abrogating a Cold War-era treaty with Russia’s predecessor, the Soviet Union, and re-deploying nuclear-capable missiles in Europe.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Hammond went on to reveal what a psychologist might clinically call paranoid schizophrenia. First he sounded the war drums, declaring boldly, “We have got to send a clear signal to Russia that we will not allow them to transgress our red lines.” The last NATO politician to foolishly talk about red lines was US President Barack Obama in Syria in 2013 and that nearly landed the US in a Middle East conflagration so dangerous that his own generals reportedly threatened to resign. Then, in the next breath, Hammond the tough guy talking about re-stationing US intermediate-range nuclear missiles on UK soil, blurts out, “At the same time, we have to recognize that the Russians do have a sense of being surrounded and under attack and we don’t want to make unnecessary provocations.”

Does that mean the UK will only make “necessary” provocations? Indeed, the intellectual and moral quality of western politicians in the last decades has become laughable.

Neither Britain nor France, both NATO countries with nuclear arsenals, signed the 1987 INF Treaty, something Moscow at the time vehemently protested.

Germans agree US Pershing II missiles

In 1983 the German Bundestag agreed to allow the deployment of American Pershing II middle-range nuclear missiles on German territory, at the same time the Reagan Administration announced it was initiating an anti-ballistic missile defense system, later dubbed Star Wars. Both decisions led to a state of extreme military tensions between the Warsaw Pact and NATO until the USA and Soviet Union agreed to sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in December 1987 which provided for destruction of all middle range weapons on both sides.

Significantly, that was one year after Washington and Saudi Arabia had deliberately collapsed the price of crude oil to well below $10 a barrel, devastating the Soviet hard currency dollar budget that was essential to obtain technologies to counter the US Star Wars and other NATO military threats.

Now Washington seems to be saying, to quote the words of the great New York Yankees baseball catcher, Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” But 2015 is not at all the same world as 1983, and the Russian Federation, especially in de facto alliance with China and others, is not the bankrupt Soviet Union of 1983.

NATO to take Kaliningrad?

It seems that the Pentagon is considering far more mad moves than merely returning mid-range nuclear missiles to Europe. According to hackers who managed to enter the system of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, that tiny Baltic country is getting ready to militarily annex Russia’s Kaliningrad region. It reads like a fantastic rewrite of the 1950’s Peter Sellers satire film, The Mouse that Roared, with Lithuania cast in the role of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, declaring war this time, not on the United States, but on the Russian Federation.

Kaliningrad is a Russian Oblast today of some 960,000 ethnic Russian inhabitants. It became part of the Soviet Union in 1945, at the Potsdam Conference, when the US and British Governments agreed to the transfer to the Soviet Union of the city of Koenigsberg, renamed Kaliningrad, and the area adjacent to it.

Because of Washington’s eastward expansion of NATO after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, Kaliningrad is situated now between NATO members Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. Because it is the only Russian Baltic Sea port “ice-free” all year round, it plays a vital strategic role in harboring the Russian Baltic Naval Fleet and three Russian air force bases.

When the Bush Administration announced it was stationing US missiles in Poland in 2007 as part of its upgraded Ballistic Missile Defense deployment, tensions between Moscow and Washington reached a break point, as Russia threatened to station nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, a threat dropped in 2009 as a response to Obama’s feint, called “reset.” For NATO, using tiny Lithuania today as her proxy, to seize Kaliningrad, would amount to a declaration of nuclear war against Russia.

According to Lithuanian news portal Delfi, the hacked documents of the Lithuanian Defense Ministry reveal that ongoing NATO maneuvers in the region would provide the cover for the surprise attack. Right now some 2,100 soldiers from nine NATO member states part of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) are taking part in military exercises in northwestern Poland. Later this summer, NATO’s “Allied Shield” will be also held in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, involving 15,000 troops from 19 NATO member states and three partner nations, including Sweden, later this month.

Who violates INF?

Moscow accuses Washington of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty by placing missile defense launchers in Poland and Romania, capable of firing Tomahawk thermonuclear cruise missiles at Russian and Belarus targets.

To cover over the brazen US INF violations, Ash Carter claims the Obama Administration “suspects” Russia has tested ground-launched cruise missiles with a range that is not allowed by the INF treaty. Testing missiles, even if true, and Washington has produced no proof, is a far cry from deploying nuclear-capable missiles in Poland and Romania and to planning the invasion by NATO of one of Russia’s prime military enclaves, Kaliningrad.

The so-called Russian INF Treaty violations that are being used as a pretext for Washington to again place intermediate-range missiles in Europe, aimed at Russian targets, were supposedly committed by Moscow in 2008, according to New York Times reports. But it was only in 2013, just prior to their launching Maidan Square protests that led to the Washington coup d’etat in Ukraine, did the US State Department even raise the possibility of violation. Then it was only in July, 2014 when, according to the New York Times, that US President Obama had written a letter to President Putin accusing Russia of those 2008 testing violations.viii

The leak of the letter at the time, July, 2014, fit conveniently with the Obama Administration demonization of Putin’s Russia. The NATO Supreme Commander, US General Philip M. Breedlove stated in April 2014 that the alleged 2008 Russian “violation” required a response. “A weapon capability that violates the INF, that is introduced into the greater European land mass, is absolutely a tool that will have to be dealt with. It can’t go unanswered.”

Little wonder Russian analysts accuse Washington of setting loose a propaganda barrage, blaming Russia for violations, so that they could justify returning their nuclear missiles to European NATO and Asia where they would target both Russia and China.

Mad, heated-up people in Washington, London and elsewhere in NATO are literally playing nuclear “chicken.” Are the Poles, Lithuanians, Germans and British that stupid that they cannot see the larger consequences of the Washington NATO game? Or are they that suicidal? After all, it is they who would become a thermonuclear ash-heap, not the United States. Just as it has been the German and other EU economies which have suffered massively under US-imposed Russia sanctions.

How ridiculous this all is. Roaring mad mice streaming out of the cracks in the august edifices of Washington and London and Vilnius, squeaking and running about in a mad frenzy. It’s Looney Tunes rebaked in Washington these days. But Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat did a better job than these guys.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

“Human rights” imperialism in Ukraine

By Patrick Martin
June 12, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

ukraine-usa

Image from: Oriental Review

In remarks delivered Wednesday and Thursday, representatives of the Obama administration and the Ukrainian government have sought to stoke up a new Cold War atmosphere against Russia, while proclaiming the right-wing regime in Kiev, brought to power by US and European imperialism in a coup spearheaded by neo-fascist groups, as the front line of the “free world.”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk set the tone in meetings Wednesday in Washington with Vice President Biden at the White House, and with the editorial board of the Washington Post, where he denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin and alleged Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.

“Putin is playing with the far-right nationalistic sentiment that still exists in Russia,” Yatsenyuk declared—this from a representative of a government that is the distillation of “far-right nationalistic sentiment” in Ukraine. Only last month, the Kiev regime banned the display of Soviet-era military decorations and awards for those who fought in the Red Army against Hitler’s invasion of the USSR, while declaring that the Ukrainian anti-communists who collaborated with the Nazis and slaughtered Jews and Poles were the true national heroes.

Yatsenyuk told the Post editors that Ukraine, while not a member of NATO, had become NATO’s front line against Russia. “If we fail, this will be a failure of the entire free world,” he said.

The Post responded with an editorial Thursday demanding US military aid to Ukraine and criticizing Obama because “The president has ceded leadership on the issue to Germany and France and overridden those in his administration and Congress who support arms deliveries.”

Yatsenyuk’s theme was then taken up by Samantha Power, the Obama administration’s own ambassador to the United Nations, in an hour-long speech in Kiev yesterday, delivered to an audience of rabid Ukrainian nationalists. Power is the personification of “human rights” imperialism, having first come to public notice as a critic of the Clinton administration’s refusal to intervene in the Rwandan genocide of 1994—a slaughter that was bound up with the rivalry between French and American imperialism in the region.

Power, an Obama foreign policy aide for a decade, is identified with campaigns for US intervention in Sudan under the pretext of preventing genocide in Darfur, as well as similar efforts in central Africa, Libya, Syria, Nigeria and now Ukraine. Like all defenders of US imperialist interests, Power maintains a crass double standard where the crimes of US allies are concerned (to say nothing of the crimes of US imperialism itself in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries). She has shown no outrage over mass slaughters by Israel in Gaza or by Egyptian military dictator al-Sisi, and she supports the ongoing campaign of starvation and bombing by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Even by these standards, Power’s speech in Kiev Thursday was remarkable for its duplicity and hypocrisy. She denounced as “myths” the well-grounded contention of Russian officials that “the Maidan protesters were pawns of the West,” and that “Euromaidan had been engineered by Western capitals in order to topple a democratically-elected government.”

In fact, State Department official Victoria Nuland boasted that her agency had bankrolled the Ukrainian movement against the pro-Russian elected president Viktor Yanukovych. She was recorded discussing with the US ambassador to Kiev plans to make “Yats”—as she then referred to opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk—the leader of a new pro-American government.

Power declared that the Maidan movement was directed against “the concentration of power in the hands of a few oligarchs,” while avoiding any mention of the Ukrainian president who came to power as a consequence: billionaire Petro Poroshenko, known as the “chocolate king,” who personifies the corrupt oligarchy whose grip on Ukraine has only been strengthened.

Turning to the current political crisis in Ukraine, provoked by massive cuts in social spending and living standards demanded by the country’s creditors, including the IMF, EU and United States, Power declared that this was the fulfillment of the Maidan movement of 2013-2014. “It is about moving from demanding change to actually making change,” she declared. “You are still living in the revolution.”

Power’s suggestion that Ukrainians continue to “make change” came only days after the eruption of mass protests against US-backed austerity measures and dictatorial measures adopted by its puppet government in Kiev. There are reports of widespread draft refusal by Ukrainian youth who do not want to be forced into the military to fight their neighbors in the east. Last week, moreover, an LGBT pride parade was assaulted by far-right militias allied with the government.

One can easily imagine what the US reaction would be if these events had taken place in Russia. They would be the occasion for a massive media-orchestrated campaign. Since they occurred in Ukraine, however, they were ignored by the media, while the US presses ahead with its war plans.

Power’s entire speech, along with the statements of Yatsenyuk and the Washington Post, turn reality on its head. In the Orwellian world of the strategists of the American ruling class, a right-wing regime installed by an imperialist-backed putsch and facing deep popular opposition at home is a beacon of the “free world,” and the relentless militarization of Eastern Europe by the US and its NATO powers is a necessary response to “Russian aggression.”

All of this serves as the preparation for an even more bloody military escalation. From the beginning, the operation in Ukraine was intended to lay the groundwork for war against Russia.

These plans are now entering a new phase. Earlier this week, the G-7 powers met to denounce Russian “aggression” and declare their readiness to implement new sanctions. And behind the scenes, the US is developing plans to reintroduce nuclear missiles in Europe and launch preemptive strikes under the pretext of alleged Russian violations of a nuclear weapons treaty.

Behind its increasingly threadbare and naked propaganda, American imperialism is preparing a global catastrophe.

 

 

War on Donbass Resumes, Western Media Remains Silent

By Eric Draitser
June 11, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

1513490The recent shelling of Donetsk and surrounding areas, carried out by Kiev’s military forces, has effectively ended the ceasefire and whatever illusions still remained of the Minsk 2 agreements. While there had been instances of violence before that of recent days, the level of intensity and bloodshed has undoubtedly escalated.

Although the Ukrainian military and Nazi paramilitary units have been targeting civilians – a flagrant war crime by any measure – there is a near total media blackout in the West. Meanwhile, the United States continues to argue that the “overwhelming majority of ceasefire violations” are as a result of anti-Kiev rebel activity, despite providing no evidence to substantiate these utterly false claims. Indeed, in the midst of an ongoing bloody war waged by Kiev against the people of Donbass, Washington continues to hold up President Poroshenko and his government of oligarchs and fascists as a force for peace.

Kiev Ratchets up the War, Rebels Respond

Despite droning propaganda to the contrary, the reality is that Kiev’s forces have ended the ceasefire and resumed shelling of civilian and military targets. As of June 9, 2015, there have been dozens of accounts of Kiev attacking the city of Donetsk and smaller towns at or near the contact line (the separation zone agreed to during the Minsk negotiations.) The important point is that these attacks have been ongoing, and are not merely the resumption of hostilities in the last week.

Despite its unwillingness to publicly acknowledge and condemn the actions, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has in fact documented a staggering number of ceasefire violations by Kiev’s forces. According to OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) summary table of ceasefire operations on April 23, 2015 for instance, the observers documented that a majority of the uses of heavy artillery came from Kiev-controlled territory, and that any uses outgoing from rebel-controlled territory were, according to the timeline, retaliatory strikes. In fact, a close examination of the timeline reveals that nearly all of the early morning shelling was outgoing from Kiev-controlled territory, suggesting that Ukrainian military forces initiated shelling and then came under fire later in the day.

Of course, one should be careful to draw too many conclusions from the incomplete OSCE data as the scope is limited, and the SMM has been reticent to assign blame or responsibility to Kiev’s forces, even in instances where their aggression is blatant. Earlier in April, Ukrainian military and/or paramilitary forces shelled Donetsk City Clinical Hospital No. 21 where, luckily, no patients were injured as the building hit was not in use. As journalist Roger Annis reported after returning from Donetsk in April, “Due to the escalation of shelling in the past several weeks, adults and children are once again spending nights underground in dank and cramped basement shelters. We toured one neighbourhood near the shattered Donetsk airport as shells were falling a few kilometers away. The resumption of daytime shelling is new.

But of course, despite the repeated violations of the ceasefire agreement, the last several days have seen a significant escalation, one that has effectively ended the ceasefire and renewed the active engagement phase of the war.

There are scattered reports of significant casualties throughout the Donetsk region as the Ukrainian military and Nazi paramilitaries commence both renewed shelling and advances beyond the contact line. Last week there were numerous instances of shelling in Donetsk, including on June 3 when at least five civilians were killed, and 24 others wounded. In the aftermath of the shelling, the Chief Doctor at the Petrovksy District Hospital, Igor Rutchenko, said that patients had to be evacuated due to persistent shelling from Ukrainian military forces as the injured were rushed to the facility.

On the morning of June 5th, according to eyewitness accounts in the town of Maryinka, “a 52-year-old man was at home…when a group of Ukrainian troopers entered the yard – about eight men…The troopers started to inspect the [passport] documents, and then the [man] emerged out of the cellar. The Ukies pointed at him their machine guns at once and opened fire…He died from the injuries on the spot.” Such flagrant war crimes – summary executions in wartime – go entirely unreported in the western media.

Emotionally powerful video has emerged from Donetsk in recent days showing the results of shelling of residential homes and businesses. According to Eduard Basurin, spokesman for the Donetsk People’s Republic, “The Ukrainian forces’ most intensive attack was against the village of Shirokino. More than 150 82 mm and 120 mm shells were fired.” That such a level of shelling was initiated and sustained indicates the increased level of aggression by Kiev’s military.

But here, there must be an important point noted. While the anti-Kiev side continues to report civilians being killed by shelling and other means, there are no such equivalent reports from Ukraine’s military. In fact, as noted by Reuters, Kiev’s military spokesman Andriy Lysenko stated that, “Three Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and four others wounded in attacks by pro-Russian separatists in the east over the past 24 hours.

Note the difference here. While in Donetsk, it is civilians being killed by Ukrainian military, Kiev can report no such equivalent carnage on its side. Indeed, it seems that all casualties on the Kiev-controlled side of the contact line have been military casualties, while on the rebel side it is both militia and civilian casualties. This simple fact, entirely omitted from the western narrative, is indicative of the nature of the conflict. Moreover, the false equivalence presented by that same media is disingenuous to say the least.

Framing the Narrative of War and “Peace”

The coverage of the conflict in eastern Ukraine has been bad from the beginning. However, the omission of facts, and the clearly distorted coverage, has taken on a new level of insidiousness and dishonesty in recent days. Even in the scant attention that Kiev’s escalation does get in western media, it is not called what it is: aggression by Ukraine’s military.

Take for example the June 8, 2015 article from US government propaganda mouthpiece Voice of America, entitled In Donetsk, Frequent Shelling Fuels Distrust. Already from the title, one is struck by a clear obfuscation, namely that “distrust” is engendered by shelling, but no mention of whose shelling or whose distrust. Indeed, throughout the entire article, there is not a single mention of shelling committed by Kiev’s forces. Rather, one encounters phrases such as “many tend to blame authorities in Kyiv” – a clear evasion of the far more direct, far simpler, and far more accurate statement “Kiev is to blame” or “shelling by Kiev forces.” But of course, the purpose here is not to inform, but rather to absolve the Ukrainian military of direct responsibility for war crimes, and instead paint Russia as the aggressor, despite the facts.

Reading carefully this article, one is struck by the multiple images of women and children taking shelter in basements, pleading with media to tell their stories, pleading with the Ukrainian government to stop the shelling. The piece highlights multiple women with families who have been displaced and victimized by Ukrainian military attacks, and yet, conspicuously no mention of the phrase “attacks by Ukrainian military” or any variation on that. One could be forgiven for thinking that the bombardment of these women’s homes was a mere act of God, rather than a deliberate shelling of civilians.

Even when the victims are quoted blaming the authorities in Kiev, the article frames this as merely their “opinions.” However, VoA goes to great lengths to devote the entire last section of the article to one resident of Kramatorsk who claims to have seen “a couple Russian troops here when it all began,” as if to suggest that an unverifiable alleged eyewitness account from more than a year ago somehow justifies the aggression against the women highlighted in the previous section. This is a deliberate propaganda ploy used by VoA as an indirect legitimization and justification of the aggression as being defensive in the face of “Russian troops.”

Just a small sampling of other media outlets, ones not directly tied to the US Government in the way that Voice of America is, reveals the explicit and implicit bias in the reporting. Take for instance the headline from the International Business Times, Ukraine Military Fires 150 Mortar Shells At Donetsk Rebels, Russian News Media Claims, which is embedded with a clear bias. The phrase “Russian News Media Claims” is designed to discredit the very fact that is being reported as it relies on a deeply rooted mistrust of any information reported by Russian media, a mistrust skillfully cultivated and promoted by western media.

What is conveniently left out is the fact that it is only Russian media that is reporting on the shelling by Kiev. Therefore, any reportage at all would, by definition, have to be “claimed by Russian media.” The idea is to both report what is happening, and to discredit it at the same time. Such dishonesty is par for the course when it comes to media coverage of this war.

The narrative of the war is replete with such dishonest reporting. Sadly, however, the dishonesty and utter callousness goes much deeper than that, to the very language employed and public relations campaign utilized to whitewash the egregious crimes of Kiev.

In September 2014, in the midst of ongoing aggression against Donetsk and Lugansk by Ukrainian military forces, President Poroshenko was in Washington addressing the US Congress and receiving praise from President Obama. As Obama stated:

I want to commend President Poroshenko for having helped to not only broker a cease-fire, but also to push through some very difficult legislation that can improve the perception in eastern Ukraine that they are fully represented and that they are able to determine many of their local affairs in a way that gives them confidence. And those were not easy laws that President Poroshenko passed, but I think they indicated his commitment to an inclusive Ukraine — his commitment to a Ukraine that has decentralization and empowers local communities…I have great confidence that President Poroshenko is balancing a lot of different variables here in a very difficult situation.  But he’s the right man for the job…And so, President Poroshenko, congratulations on the excellent work that you’ve done.  You have a strong friend not only in me personally, but I think, as you saw in Congress today, you have strong bipartisan support here in the United States. 

There is, of course, no mention of any of Poroshenko’s egregious war crimes, including the admission by his very own Colonel-General of the Ukrainian Officer Corps Vladimir Ruban, who admitted just two weeks earlier not only the deliberate shelling of civilians in Donetsk by Ukrainian military, but attempted to justify it by suggesting that “Maybe they fully deserved it…They understand that they’re being shelled. And it’s one thing when some operative, mobile mortar groups drive around and shell the city, you can say there that it’s some third provocative party. But when regions of the airfield, the airport are being hit by artillery systems, nobody will say here that it’s the separatists shelling themselves.” So, President Obama praises Poroshenko as “the right man for the job” while commanders who report to him directly openly admit committing horrific war crimes.

In this light, the recent rumors circulating online that the United States would like to use its influence to pressure the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to award the 2015 prize to Poroshenko are indeed troubling, if not laughable. While the reports, including the letter purporting to be from Volodymyr Groysman, Chairman of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament), cannot be verified as being authentic, they are certainly believable given both the praise that Poroshenko has received from Washington, and the complete disregard for actual peace shown by the Nobel committee in the past.

It should be remembered that Obama himself is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, despite having a record of having initiated or expanded a number of separate wars (Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, etc.), utilizing a kill list to select targets for assassination by drone in places like Pakistan and Somalia, and having supported tacitly or overtly many other wars (Yemen, Gaza, etc.). So while there is no confirmation as to the veracity of the letter, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the US, with its complete disregard for actual and objective notions of peace, would perhaps push the Peace Prize to a war criminal.

To paraphrase the great political economist and philosopher Karl Marx, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” While undoubtedly true, the war on Donbass is, in fact, both tragedy and farce simultaneously. While there is an unfolding human tragedy in Donetsk, Maryinka, and other cities and towns, the media coverage remains farcical.

Perhaps this is the greatest tragedy of all from the region. For while men, women, and children suffer, and families are torn apart, the western media continues to openly distort reality, transforming it into a farce. Sadly, no one with a shred of humanity could possibly be laughing.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.