Tag Archives: Ukraine Coup

An American Oligarch‘s Dirty Tale of Corruption

By F. William Engdahl
June 12, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

soros1_1496566bRarely does the world get a true look inside the corrupt world of Western oligarchs and the brazen manipulations they use to enhance their fortunes at the expense of the public good. The following comes from correspondence of the Hungarian-born billionaire, now naturalized American speculator, George Soros. The hacker group CyberBerkut has published online letters allegedly written by Soros that reveal him not only as puppet master of the US-backed Ukraine regime. They also reveal his machinations with the US Government and the officials of the European Union in a scheme where, if he succeeds, he could win billions in the plunder of Ukraine assets. All, of course, would be at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and of EU taxpayers.

What the three hacked documents reveal is a degree of behind-the-scene manipulation of the most minute details of the Kiev regime by the New York billionaire.

In the longest memo, dated March 15, 2015 and marked “Confidential” Soros outlines a detailed map of actions for the Ukraine regime. Titled, “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine,” the memo from Soros calls for steps to “restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement.” To do the restoring, Soros blithely notes that “General Wesley Clark, Polish General Skrzypczak and a few specialists under the auspices of the Atlantic Council [emphasis added—f.w.e.] will advise President Poroshenko how to restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement.”

Soros also calls for supplying lethal arms to Ukraine and secretly training Ukrainian army personnel in Romania to avoid direct NATO presence in Ukraine. The Atlantic Council is a leading Washington pro-NATO think tank.

Notably, Wesley Clark is also a business associate of Soros in BNK Petroleum which does business in Poland.

Clark, some might recall, was the mentally-unstable NATO General in charge of the 1999 bombing of Serbia who ordered NATO soldiers to fire on Russian soldiers guarding the Pristina International Airport. The Russians were there as a part of an agreed joint NATO–Russia peacekeeping operation supposed to police Kosovo. The British Commander, General Mike Jackson refused Clark, retorting, “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you.” Now Clark apparently decided to come out of retirement for the chance to go at Russia directly.

Naked asset grab

In his March 2015 memo Soros further writes that Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s “first priority must be to regain control of financial markets,” which he assures Poroshenko that Soros would be ready to assist in: “I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement.”

He also calls on the EU to give Ukraine an annual aid sum of €11 billion via a special EU borrowing facility. Soros proposes in effect using the EU’s “AAA” top credit rating to provide a risk insurance for investment into Ukraine.

Whose risk would the EU insure?

Soros details, “I am prepared to invest up to €1 billion in Ukrainian businesses. This is likely to attract the interest of the investment community. As stated above, Ukraine must become an attractive investment destination.” Not to leave any doubt, Soros continues, “The investments will be for-profit but I will pledge to contribute the profits to my foundations. This should allay suspicions that I am advocating policies in search of personal gain. “

For anyone familiar with the history of the Soros Open Society Foundations in Eastern Europe and around the world since the late 1980’s, will know that his supposedly philanthropic “democracy-building” projects in Poland, Russia, or Ukraine in the 1990’s allowed Soros the businessman to literally plunder the former communist countries using Harvard University’s “shock therapy” messiah, and Soros associate, Jeffrey Sachs, to convince the post-Soviet governments to privatize and open to a “free market” at once, rather than gradually.

The example of Soros in Liberia is instructive for understanding the seemingly seamless interplay between Soros the shrewd businessman and Soros the philanthropist. In West Africa George Soros backed a former Open Society employee of his, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, giving her international publicity and through his influence, even arranging a Nobel Peace Prize for her in 2011, insuring her election as president. Before her presidency she had been well-indoctrinated into the Western free market game, studying economics at Harvard and working for the US-controlled World Bank in Washington and the Rockefeller Citibank in Nairobi. Before becoming Liberia’s President, she worked for Soros directly as chair of his Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon’s new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to “protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights.”

Naftogaz the target

The Soros memo makes clear he has his eyes on the Ukrainian state gas and energy monopoly, Naftogaz. He writes, “The centerpiece of economic reforms will be the reorganization of Naftogaz and the introduction of market pricing for all forms of energy, replacing hidden subsidies…”

In an earlier letter Soros wrote in December 2014 to both President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Soros openly called for his Shock Therapy: “I want to appeal to you to unite behind the reformers in your government and give your wholehearted support to a radical, ‘big bang’ type of approach. That is to say, administrative controls would be removed and the economy would move to market prices rapidly rather than gradually…Naftogaz needs to be reorganized with a big bang replacing the hidden subsidies…”

Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization “big bang.”

The Puppet-Master?

The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation’s Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine’s independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.

Soros’ foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department. In 2004 just weeks after Soros’ International Renaissance Foundation had succeeded in getting Viktor Yushchenko as President of Ukraine, Michael McFaul wrote an OpEd for the Washington Post. McFaul, a specialist in organizing color revolutions, who later became US Ambassador to Russia, revealed:

Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same.

Soros shapes ‘New Ukraine’

Today the CyberBerkut hacked papers show that Soros’ IRF money is behind creation of a National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree from Poroshenko which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine’s legislature. Soros writes, “The framework for bringing the various branches of government together has also emerged. The National Reform Council (NRC) brings together the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, the Rada and its committees and civil society. The International Renaissance Foundation which is the Ukrainian branch of the Soros Foundations was the sole financial supporter of the NRC until now…”

Soros’ NRC in effect is the vehicle to allow the President to override parliamentary debate to push through “reforms,” with the declared first priority being privatization of Naftogaz and raising gas prices drastically to Ukrainian industry and households, something the bankrupt country can hardly afford.

In his letter to Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk, Soros hints that he played a key role in selection of three key non-Ukrainian ministers—Natalia Jaresko, an American ex- State Department official as Finance Minister; Aivras Abromavicius of Lithuania as Economics Minister, and a health minister from Georgia. Soros in his December 2014 letter, referring to his proposal for a “big bank” privatization of Naftogaz and price rise, states, “You are fortunate to have appointed three ‘new Ukrainian’ ministers and several natives (sic) who are committed to this approach.”

Elsewhere Soros speaks about de facto creating the impression within the EU that the current government of Yatsenyuk is finally cleaning out the notorious corruption that has dominated every Kiev regime since 1991. Creating that temporary reform illusion, he remarks, will convince the EU to cough up the €11 billion annual investment insurance fund. His March 2015 paper says that, “It is essential for the government to produce a visible demonstration (sic) during the next three months in order to change the widely prevailing image of Ukraine as an utterly corrupt country.” That he states will open the EU to make the €11 billion insurance guarantee investment fund.

While saying that it is important to show Ukraine as a country that is not corrupt, Soros reveals he has little concern when transparency and proper procedures block his agenda. Talking about his proposals to reform Ukraine’s constitution to enable privatizations and other Soros-friendly moves, he complains, “The process has been slowed down by the insistence of the newly elected Rada on proper procedures and total transparency.”

Soros suggests that he intends to create this “visible demonstration” through his initiatives, such as using the Soros-funded National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine’s legislature.

George Soros is also using his new European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank to lobby his Ukraine strategy, with his council members such as Alexander Graf Lambsdorff or Joschka Fischer or Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, not to mention former ECB head, Jean-Claude Trichet no doubt laying a subtle role.

George Soros, now 84, was born in Hungary as a Jew, George Sorosz. Soros once boasted in a TV interview that he posed during the war as a gentile with forged papers, assisting the Horthy government to seize property of other Hungarian Jews who were being shipped to the Nazi death camps. Soros told the TV moderator, “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets–that if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would.”

This is the same morality apparently behind Soros’ activities in Ukraine today. It seems again to matter not to him that the Ukrainian government he helped bring to power in February 2014 US coup d’etat is riddled with explicit anti-semites and self-proclaimed neo-Nazis from the Svoboda Party and Pravy Sektor. George Soros is clearly a devotee of “public-private-partnership.” Only here the public gets fleeced to enrich private investors like Mr. Soros and friends. Cynically, Soros signs his Ukraine strategy memo, “George Soros–A self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine, March 12, 2015.”

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”.

 

Poll finds mass opposition in Europe to war drive vs. Russia over Ukraine

By Alex Lantier
June 11, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

The findings of a poll published yesterday by the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center, showing broad opposition in Europe to a NATO war with Russia, underscore the anti-democratic character of the US-led war drive against Russia over Ukraine.

The poll was formulated to elicit answers as favorable as possible to US and NATO policy, particularly in regard to a possible war with Russia. The poll questionnaire did not once raise that Russia and NATO both have nuclear weapons, or inquire about the respondents’ willingness to risk nuclear war. As a result, the poll vastly underestimates public opposition to war.

The main question on war was whether NATO member states should fight a defensive war against Russia, if Russia “got into a serious military conflict with one of its neighboring countries that is our NATO ally.” In such a situation, Article 5 of the NATO Charter on collective self-defense would require all NATO member states to declare war on Russia.

Despite having framed the question in a manner intended to elicit support for such a supposedly defensive war, the Pew poll found broad opposition among Europeans. Fifty-eight percent of Germans, 53 percent of the French population and 51 percent of Italians opposed fighting even a defensive war with Russia to protect a NATO member.

This is not, however, the character of the war that now threatens to erupt. NATO is not playing a defensive role in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member state. The Ukrainian crisis erupted after the US and the European powers backed a fascist-led putsch against a pro-Russian government in Kiev in February 2014, bringing to power an ultra-right regime that launched a civil war against pro-Russian areas of eastern Ukraine. With US and Russian missile forces on heightened alert and NATO land, air and naval forces engaged in continuous exercises on Russia’s borders, the world stands on the verge of a catastrophic war provoked by Washington and its European allies.

Popular sentiment emerged most clearly when the Pew poll inquired about initiatives NATO is threatening to pursue in Ukraine. Asked about NATO arming the Kiev regime against Russia, a policy being pushed by the Obama administration, majorities or pluralities opposed the measure in every European country surveyed except Poland, where 50 percent supported arming Kiev.

Fully 77 percent of Germans opposed NATO arming Kiev, versus only 19 percent who supported it. The poll found 65 percent opposition versus 22 percent support in Italy, 66 versus 25 percent in Spain, 59 versus 40 percent in France, and 45 versus 42 percent in Britain.

Opposition within Germany, where the government, the media and sections of academia have been waging a relentless propaganda campaign in support of militarism, was particularly strong. A mere 38 percent of Germans said Russia was a danger to NATO member states on its borders, and only 29 percent blamed Moscow for the violence in Ukraine.

These findings constitute a devastating indictment of last year’s Kiev putsch and the ensuing US-led war drive against Russia, which have been backed by governments across Europe. While workers are kept in the dark about the true dangers of a war that they do not want, NATO is pressing ahead with reckless policies overwhelmingly rejected by the European population.

The findings of the Pew poll among Ukrainians expose the claims of Washington and the European imperialist powers that they are supporting Ukraine against Russia in order to defend a nascent democratic regime threatened by Russian aggression. The Kiev regime is imposing brutal austerity measures demanded by the Western banks and using increasingly authoritarian and violent means to suppress internal opposition among Ukraine workers.

Kiev’s war against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, fought with the aid of the CIA and various fascistic militias, is being carried out in flagrant disregard of the wishes of the Ukrainian people. According to the Pew poll, more than twice as many Ukrainians want to settle the conflict with the separatists through negotiations (47 percent) than with force (23 percent).

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s policies on these issues are widely unpopular, with 57 percent of the population opposing both his handling of the eastern Ukraine conflict and his posture toward Russia.

The domestic policies of the Kiev regime are no less unpopular. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s disapproval rating is 60 percent.

With the Ukrainian currency in a state of collapse, waves of mass layoffs taking place, and the government hiking the prices of key utilities, the Pew poll shows 94 percent of the people viewing Ukraine’s economic situation as “bad.” Fifty-five percent of Ukrainians have concluded that the Kiev regime does not respect personal freedoms.

The Pew poll also interviewed Russian respondents, finding a surge in distrust towards NATO, seen as a threat by 81 percent of Russians, as well as general hostility towards Obama (86 percent negative) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (66 percent). While Putin’s opposition to NATO’s intervention in Ukraine has boosted his approval ratings to 88 percent, there is broad distrust of the oligarchic regime he leads, which emerged from the restoration of capitalism in the USSR. Some 69 percent of Russians and 34 percent of Ukrainians said in the poll that the dissolution of the USSR was bad for their country.

The results of the Pew poll underscore the disastrous political implications of the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, nearly a quarter century ago. Combined with the collapse and plundering of Soviet industry, the dissolution of the USSR geo-strategically crippled Russia, throwing open vast areas of the former Soviet Union to NATO’s reactionary intrigues. Above all, the emergence of a criminal oligarchy ruling Russia weakened the opposition that had existed in the international and particularly the European working class to imperialist threats against the USSR.

The preparation of the NATO powers for an all-out war with Russia that could incinerate the planet is colliding with deeply rooted anti-war sentiment in Europe, the United States and worldwide. The very fact that the Pew poll was commissioned is itself a sign of mounting concern in ruling circles internationally over mass opposition to war.

The ruling elites of the imperialist countries have made clear, however, that they intend to ignore popular sentiment and proceed with their campaign against Russia. The New York Times, in its report on the Pew poll, presented the mass opposition to war as a “challenge” to US and NATO war plans that needs to be overcome.

It cited former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder, who called for continued propaganda in support of military action against Russia, saying that, “it will take a serious effort by the alliance to convince its public of the need to prepare for, deter, and, if necessary, respond to a Russian attack.”

The Times added that, “public opinion is not always decisive in shaping NATO policy.” It continued: “President Ronald Reagan managed to win sufficient European backing to deploy Pershing II and ground-launched cruise missiles on the [European] Continent despite a substantial peace movement.”

The Times’ reference to the US deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe during the 1980s is particularly significant. US officials are now discussing escalated missile deployments in Europe and the possibility of launching pre-emptive missile strikes against targets inside Russia.

Washington Blows Itself Up With Its Own Bomb

By F. William Engdahl
May 24, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

34275444These are sad days in Washington and Wall Street. The once unchallenged sole Superpower at the collapse of the Soviet Union some quarter century ago is losing its global influence so rapidly that most would not have predicted anything comparable six months ago. The key actor who has catalyzed a global defiance of Washington as Sole Superpower is Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President. This is the real background to the surprise visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Sochi to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then a four hour talk with “Satan” himself, Putin.

Far from a “reset” try, Washington’s hapless geopolitical strategists are desperately trying to find a better way to bring the Russian Bear to her knees.

A flash back to December 2014 is instructive to understand why the US Secretary of State holds out an apparent olive branch to Russia’s Putin at this juncture. At that point, Washington appeared about to pin Russia to the ground, with its precision targeted financial sanctions and its deal with Saudi Arabia to collapse oil prices. In mid-December the Ruble was in free fall against the dollar. Oil prices were similarly plummeting down to $45 a barrel from $107 only six months earlier. As Russia is strongly dependent on oil and gas export revenues for its state finances, and Russian companies held huge dollar debt obligations abroad, the situation was bleak as seen from inside the Kremlin.

Here fate, as it were, intervened in an unexpected way (at least by the USA architects of the financial warfare and oil collapse strategy). Not only was John Kerry’s September 2014 deal with ailing Saudi King Abdullah delivering heavy pain in the Russian finances. It was also threatening an explosion of an estimated $500 billion in high-risk-high-yield “junk” bonds, debt that the US shale oil industry had taken on from Wall Street banks in the past five years to finance the much-touted US shale oil revolution that briefly propelled the USA ahead of Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer.

US strategy backfires

What Kerry missed in his clever Saudi horse trading was the sly double agenda of the Saudi royals. They had earlier made clear they did not at all want their role as world premier oil producer and market king to be undercut by an upstart US shale oil industry. They were happy to give Russia and also Iran pain. But their central aim was to kill the US shale oil rivals. Their shale projects were calculated when oil was $100 a barrel, less than a year ago. Their minimum price of oil to avoid bankruptcy in most cases was $65 a barrel to $80 a barrel. Shale oil extraction is unconventional and more costly than conventional oil. Douglas-Westwood, an energy advisory firm, estimates that nearly half of the US oil projects under development need oil prices greater than $120 per barrel in order to achieve positive cash flow.

By end of December a chain-reaction series of shale oil bankruptcies threatened to detonate a new financial tsunami at a time the carnage from the 2007-2008 securitization financial crisis was anything but resolved. Even a few high-profile shale oil junk bond defaults would have triggered a domino-style panic in the US $1.9 trillion junk bond debt market, no doubt setting off a new financial meltdown that the over-stressed US Government and Federal Reserve could scarcely handle. It could have threatened the end of the US dollar as global reserve currency.

Suddenly in the first days of January, IMF head Lagarde was praising Russia’s central bank for its “successful” handling of the ruble crisis. The US Treasury Office of Financial Terrorism quietly eased off on further attacks on Russia while the Obama Administration pretended it was “World War III as usual” against Putin. The US oil strategy had inflicted far more damage on the US than on Russia.

USA Russia policy failure

Not only that. Washington’s brilliant total war strategy against Russia initiated with the November 2013 Kiev EuroMaidan coup d’etat has become a manifest, utter failure that is creating the worst imaginable geopolitical nightmare for Washington.

Far from reacting as a helpless victim and cowering in fear before the US efforts to isolate Russia, Putin initiated a brilliant series of foreign economic, military and political initiatives that by April added up to the seed crystal of a new global monetary order and a new Eurasian economic colossus to rival US sole superpower hegemony. He challenged the very foundations of the US-dominated dollar system and her global world order everywhere from India to Brazil to Cuba to Greece to Turkey. Russia and China signed mammoth new energy deals that allowed Russia to redirect its energy strategy from the west where the EU and Ukraine, both under strong Washington pressure, had sabotaged Russian EU gas deliveries via Ukraine. The EU, again under intense Washington pressure threw one monkey wrench after another into Gazprom’s South Stream natural gas pipeline project to southern Europe.

Rather than be defensive, Putin shocked the EU during his visit to Turkey and meeting with President Erdogan when he announced on December 1 that he had cancelled Gazprom’s South Stream project. He announced he would seek an agreement with Turkey to deliver Russian gas to the Greek border. From there, if the EU wants the gas they have to finance their own pipelines. The EU bluff was called. Their future gas needs were more remote than ever.

The EU sanctions on Russia also backfired as Russia retaliated with a ban on EU food imports and a turn to Russian self-sufficiency. And billions of dollars of contracts or exports from German firms like Siemens or France’s Total were suddenly in limbo. Boeing saw large aircraft orders to Russian carriers cancelled. Russia announced it was turning to national suppliers in production of critical defense components.

Then Russia became an “Asian” charter member of China’s remarkably successful new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) designed to finance its ambitious New Silk Road Economic Belt high-speed rail network across Eurasia into the EU. Rather than isolate Russia, US policy backfired badly as, despite strong pressures, US staunch allies including Britain, Germany, France and South Korea all rushed to join the new AIIB.

Further, at their May meeting in Moscow, China’s President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin announced that the China silk road rail infrastructure would be fully integrated with Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, a staggering boost not only to Russia but to Eurasia into China, a region containing the majority of the world’s population.

In short, by the point John Kerry was told to swallow hard and fly to Sochi, hat in hand, to offer some kind of peace pipe to Putin, US leading circles, the American Oligarchs had realized their aggressive neo-conservative warhawks like Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland of the State Department and Defense Secretary Ash Carter were propelling the creation of a new alternative world structure that could spell the ruin of the entire post-Bretton Woods Washington-dominated Dollar System. Oops.

In addition, by forcing her European “allies” to toe the US anti-Putin line, to the severe detriment of EU economic and political interests, alone her vigorous participation in the New Silk Road Economic Belt project and the economic boom in investment that will bring with it, Washington’s neo-conservatives have managed also to accelerate a probable parting of the ways between Germany, France and other Continental European powers to Washington.

Finally, as the whole world (including even Western anti-Atlantists) came to view Putin as the symbol of resistance to the American dominance. This perception first emerged at the time of the Snowden story but has solidified after the sanctions and blockade. Such perception, by the way, plays a significant psychological role in the geopolitical struggle – the presence of such a symbol opens up novel venues in the fight against the hegemony.

For all these reasons, Kerry was clearly sent to Sochi to sniff out possible soft points for a renewed assault in the future. He told the rogue US-backed lunatics in Kiev to cool it and respect the Minsk cease-fire accords. The demand came as a shock in Kiev. US-installed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told French TV, “Sochi is definitely not the best resort and not the best place to have a chat with Russian president and Russian foreign minister.”

At this juncture the only thing clear is that Washington has finally realized the stupidity of its provocations against Russia in Ukraine and globally. What their next scheme will entail is not yet clear. Clear is that a dramatic policy shift has been ordered on the Obama administration from the highest levels of US institutions. Nothing else could explain the dramatic shift. If sanity replaces the neo-con insanity remains to be seen. Clear is that Russia and China are resolute about never again leaving themselves at the mercy of an incalculable sole superpower. Kerry’s pathetic attempt at a second Russia “reset” in Sochi will bring Washington little at this point. The US Oligarchy, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet put it, is being “hoist with their own petard,” as the bomb maker blows himself up with his own bomb.

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”.

Heading Towards “Financial Maidan” in Ukraine? Inflation, Rampant Unemployment, Human Misery

By Stephen Lendman
May 23, 2015
Global Research

 

petro-poroshenko-209x300Ukraine’s economy is a sinkhole of economic Depression. It’s teetering toward collapse.

Its Q I GDP plunged 17.6% year-over-year. It’s down 6.1% from Q IV 2014. Ten of the last 11 quarters saw economic contraction. Kiev depends on outside aid to keep operating.

Inflation is out-of-control. The Financial Times reported it reaching 61% in April. Its hryvnia currency is headed toward becoming worthless toilet paper. It’s worth less than 5 cents to the dollar. Adjusted for its decline, real inflation tops 270% year-over-year.

Living standards are plunging. Poverty is a growth industry. So are unemployment,  underemployment and human misery.

Most Ukrainians struggle to get by. They can’t make ends meet. Skyrocketing prices makes basic goods and services unaffordable.

IMF diktats exacerbate already untenable conditions. They include laying off government employees, wage cuts, abolishing pensions for some retired workers, freezing them for others, and major cuts in other social benefits en route to eliminating them altogether – a prescription for economic collapse and perhaps Maidan II.

Corruption is out-of-control. Grand theft is standard practice. Government, military and business officials are on the take. Lucrative schemes are created to plunder the state budget.

Ordinary Ukrainians suffer hugely. An billionaire oligarch class amassed enormous wealth – gotten the old-fashioned way by stealing it.

At the same time, millions of dollars are spent daily waging war on Donbass. Ukraine budgeted $5.4 billion for so-called defense and national security at a time it’s bankrupt and can’t pay creditors.

previous article discussed its declared debt moratorium – a step toward default except for IMF loans.

Growing numbers of Ukrainians are justifiably angry. Intermittent protests erupted since late last year – the latest this week.

Crowds demonstrated outside parliament in Kiev. They burnt tires. They tried breaking into the building. Clashes with police erupted. Arrests and injuries followed.

Ukrainians are angry over economic crisis conditions affecting them hugely – including soaring prices, rising unemployment, poverty or sub-poverty wages for workers lucky to have jobs, lost social benefits, unchecked rampant corruption, and regime officials doing nothing to alleviate things responsibly.

At the same time, taxes are rising, hiked gas prices are unaffordable for millions, and tuition fees were imposed for the first time.

Protesters oppose regime cost-cutting measures. They want legislation regulating bank credit and deposits. They want refunds on depreciated deposits in banks hard hit by economic crisis conditions.

They demand legislation allowing loan repayments at the same exchange rate in place when gotten – 5 hryvnas to the dollar instead of over 20 currently.

Parliament so far failed to pass legislation mandating it – or anything else helping ordinary people.

They demand National Bank of Ukraine chairman Valeriya Hontareva resign. They want prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and finance minister Natalya Yaresko replaced.

“Out with the gang,” protesters shouted. Some vowed to stay the course until their demands are met.

During a December 2014 anti-regime demonstration, one participant said “(i)f our demands are ignored, we are ready to take radical measures.”

“We are addressing you, the servants of the people. You have already done everything, so that we don’t have anything more to lose.”

Viktor Medvedchuk is a former Leonid Kuchma regime head of presidential administration. He heads the Ukrainian Choice political organization. He opposes EU membership. Putin is his daughter Darina’s godfather.

Months earlier, he said Kiev “authorities have failed to learn anything from the Maidan. The government and the people are again on the opposite sides of the barricades.”

Moscow-based Institute for Social and Political Research Sergey Markov believes Kiev won’t let protests reach critical mass.

Legislation passed late last year permits “isolat(ing) trade union leaders and organizers of protests from society, while the protests will be suppressed violently,” he said.

Police states operate this way. Polls show growing dissatisfaction with Poroshenko.

Kiev-based Center for Social and Labor Research sociologist Volodymyr Ischenko says “(m)any people are starting to speak quietly about the idea of another Maidan – maybe not at the senior political level, but by regular people in everyday discussions.”

“The economy will deteriorate more and we are about to see huge energy price increases. This will affect not just the poor but the middle class as well, and the question is how long society will tolerate this?”

The ingredients for social upheaval are evident. Another Maidan may be just a matter of time – with perhaps no better outcome next time than in February 2014.

US-Russia Relations: Is Washington Coming To Its Senses? Regime Change is Needed in America

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
May 16, 2015
Paul Craig Roberts

 

BRITAIN-G8-SUMMITThere is much speculation about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s rush visit to Russia in the wake of Russia’s successful Victory Day celebration on May 9.  On May 11, Kerry, who was snubbing Russia on the 9th, was on his way to Russia, and Putin consented to see him on May 12.

As time passes we will find out why Kerry was snubbing Putin on May 9 and 3 days later was criticizing Washington’s puppet regime in Ukraine.  For what is known at this time, a possible explanation is that Washington is coming to its senses.

If you watched the 1 hour 20 minute video of the Victory Day Parade, you are aware that the celebration sent a powerful message.  Russia is a first class military power, and Russia is backed by China and India, whose soldiers marched with Russia’s in the parade.

So, while the increasingly irrelevant West, absorbed in its own self-importance, snubbed the celebration of the victory that the Red Army gave them over Hitler, the three largest countries in the world were present united.  Russia has the largest land mass, and China and India, also large land masses, have the world’s largest populations.

The celebration in Moscow made it clear that Washington has failed miserably to isolate Russia.  What Washington has done is to make the BRICS more unified.

With the President of China sitting at the right hand of Putin, the celebration also made it completely clear even to the morons in the Obama regime that Washington is no longer the Uni-power.

Consider now the impact on Washington’s vassal states in Europe, the crux of the American Empire.  Europeans are aware that two of the most powerful military states in history did not survive their invasions of Russia. Napoleon lost the Grande Army in Russia, and Hitler lost the Wehrmacht in Russia. It has dawned on Europeans that they are being shoved into conflict with Russia in the interest of Washington’s claim to be the World Hegemon. Europeans are accustomed to obey Washington, but when it came to being forced into conflict with Russia, Europeans began to express dissent. Signs of an independent European foreign policy appeared with Merkel and Hollande’s meeting with Putin to resolve the Ukrainian crisis orchestrated by Washington.

Faced with the failure of its policy of isolating Russia and the emergence of an independent foreign policy in Europe, Washington sent Kerry as a supplicant to Putin to work out a way to de-escalate the Ukrainian crisis. Putin being a peacemaker will permit Washington to save face. But this will not please the neoconsevatives or the military/security complex. The former are invested heavily in claims of Amerika Uber Alles, and the latter are lusting for the abundant revenues from a new cold, or hot, war.

Obama, Kerry, and Cameron have to become magicians.  They have to transition from demonizing Putin to working with him.

Having failed with force against Russia, the West is now employing seduction.  If Western peoples hope to escape from the Police State that Washington has imposed on the entire Western World, we must pray that Putin does not fall for the seduction.

There is no world leadership in the West. There is only selfishness and hubris.  Western “leadership” is exploitative.  The West loots the non-West and is now turning on itself with its looting of Ireland and Greece, with Italy, Spain, and Portugal the next targets for looting. The American public itself has been looted of its jobs and career aspirations.

The Western model of “democratic capitalism” turns out to be neither democratic nor capitalist, but a form of fascism ruled by an oligarchy. The United States is where regime change is most badly needed.

Neo-Nazi Kamikaze Trained by NATO in Ukraine

By Konrad Stachnio
May 10, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

7DA57E31-8C48-4C77-BE7D-24FBFE2480AB_mw1024_n_sSome time ago I wrote that since the Comrades from volunteer battalions in Ukraine suffered from a shortage of weapons, they began to produce their own weapons in cottage factories and workshops. There is even an instructive movie about this on the internet. However at this point they do not have to do that because weapons will be sponsored by European taxpayers as the IMF has sent 1 billion dollars to Ukraine.

The U.S. also announced its plan to spend $ 19 million to train The National Guard of Ukraine.The money for this comes from the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF) requested by the Obama administration in the fiscal 2015 budget to provide training and gear for the armed forces of American allies worldwide.

In fact, I must agree that the currently created Ukrainian Army may be one of the best in Europe, according to what Ukraine’sChief of General Staff – Viktor Muzhenko said.

Now we can see a significant increase in the level of professionalism of the Ukrainian Army. Now we can say without any exaggeration that the Armed Forces of Ukraine become one of the strongest armies in Europe.

Hardly any European army has on board such extremists like those from the Right Sector, the Misanthropic Division and the Azov Battalion – who enjoy the fact that they could die at the front for the great Ukraine.

We can all look at the genocide of Palestinians at the hands of the Jews and feel for the parents’ pain at having a child blown to bits by a missile or chemical attack but personally I would never give aid nor visit in relief efforts to the Palestinian people.

Does this make me cold hearted?

No, it’s simply not of my racial interest to do so.

Building the wall on the border with Russia is the task (from the Kiev’s point of view) of the closer alignment of the country to the EU and NATO. Probably it is that kind of ‘democracy’ as in case of Israel’s policy in relation to ‘bricked up’ Palestinians. In terms of bricking up and genocide, Ukrainian Comrades will scarcely leave us no illusions, which was reflected in the quote a few lines above.

Perhaps walling off the residents of Donbass has something to do with the idea of a Ukrainian MP, Anton Gerashchenko, the adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, who urged the US to strike Donbass from the Black Sea. Such location and isolation could help carry out genocide (which the Misanthropic Division mentions in relation to the fencing off Palestinians) all the so-called terrorists in Donbas who have nowhere to run from the bombs would quickly incorporate those ‘European values’.

It is quite possible that fencing off Donbass also has something to do with the new ‘pro-European’ projects of Poroshenko. The text of the bill submitted by the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, was published on the website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The draft law provides for the introduction of compulsory labor for the working age population (point 2), allows for the forced expropriation (point 3), prohibits assemblies (Section 4) and the activities of political parties as well as gaining control over the media.

The chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) also keeps us informed about the fact that Ukrainians have a long and proven European tradition.

Valentyn NALYVAICHENKO, SBU doesn’t have to invent anything new – it is important to implement the traditions and methods of the work of the Security Service of OUN-UPA in the 1930’s-1950’s.

Given the above-mentioned, after the isolation of Donbass to efficiently introduce ‘European values’, the Ukrainian side can also start firing white phosphorus in the direction of the walled off Donbas, the prohibited weapon the US and the Israeli army are equipped with. It would probably help execute genocide of which we read on the Misanthropic Division site.

The fact that young Ukrainian extremists subordinate to Yarosh dream to move to Kiev is not kept secret.

We have among us radicals who are already shouting ‘let’s do it now!’ – especially the youth, which has taken a breath of this spirit of freedom, and now they are ready, at a moment’s notice, to take the parliament, the presidential administration, to kick everyone out of there, said Dmytro Yarosh

This dream may come true with a sufficient number of well-trained and keen Comrades. It is worth noting that in according to a journalist Thomas Eipeldauera the Misanthropic Division is a subgroup of the Social-National Assembly, the Right Sector wing. This formation is currently dealing with the co-ordination of European volunteers in the Azov Battalion. There are dozens of fascists from all over Europe. The fighters are recruited mainly from Croatia and France, but also from Italy, Sweden and Germany.

The Misanthropic Division ideology is partially taken from National Socialism, some of its elements come from Germanic Mythology. Among them there is a widespread cult of death and murder.

From the site of the MD,

As National Socialists we consider pacifism as a disease of the spirit, part of a dying people and cowardly individuals.

As Travis Bickle, in the movie Taxi Driver said, we desire that “one day a rain sweep and clean all the scum off the streets.” We want to be part of that rain.

MD is the only structure that has its elements in war scenarios, namely in Ukraine, where tens of MD members defend the right of Ukrainian folk to fight for the building of a nationalist social state.

According to Thomas Eipeldauer “Misanthropic Division is a subgroup of the Social-National Assembly, the Right Sector wing.

The dream of the Aryan Ukraine for many of these lunatics may come true judging by what Ukrainian billboards call for “Open the magic world of the national-liberation war for yourself!”

In this magic world of the national-liberation the US military training that was carried out on April, 20th is surely of some help. This date seems not to be coincidental – I mean Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Judging by whom Americans will be training, the date is very adequate.

Now, we (the Volunteer Corps) are training under the NATO standards (here means the standards of military exercises). The lack of bureaucracy gives us maximum mobility. We are not perfect, but still much more efficient than the regular army. We would have already outnumbered the Armed Forces, if only we had sufficient quantities of weapons (laughs). I know many commanders and servicemen, who would immediately join our cause, if we could provide them with weapons.

We hired instructors from all over the place. Our army did not fight, while theirs did –in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and so on. Our fighters are well provided, as far as helmets, body armor, and so on. We get support from volunteer organizations. If we become dependent on state tenders, it will ruin the whole model. Said Jarosh

In this context, the question of any ceasefire in Ukraine is a joke. The issue is now of a different kind: whether the same scenario of the ‘democratic process’ lead by the neo-Nazi extremists now will be played on the Northern Front i.e.Latvia.

Judging by the statements of the Chairman of Stratford, George Friedman, or those of Dr. Brzezinski and the transports of the U.S. troops heading for the Baltic countries, mainly to Latvia, this should be taken into account that the Northern Front may soon be activated.

Konrad Stachnio is an independent Poland based journalist, he hosted a number of radio and TV programs for the Polish edition of Prison Planet, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Obama’s Petulant World War II Snub of Russia’s V-Day Commemoration

By Ray McGovern
Global Research, May 10, 2015
Consortium News

 

gmo_putin_russia_735_350 (1)Russia celebrated the Allied victory over Nazism on Saturday without U.S. President Obama and other Western leaders present, as they demean the extraordinary sacrifice of the Russian people in winning World War II – a gesture intended to humiliate President Putin, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

President Barack Obama’s decision to join other Western leaders in snubbing Russia’s weekend celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe looks more like pouting than statesmanship, especially in the context of the U.S. mainstream media’s recent anti-historical effort to downplay Russia’s crucial role in defeating Nazism.

Though designed to isolate Russia because it had the audacity to object to the Western-engineered coup d’état in Ukraine on Feb. 22, 2014, this snub of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – like the economic sanctions against Russia – is likely to backfire on the U.S. and its European allies by strengthening ties between Russia and the emerging Asian giants of China and India.

Notably, the dignitaries who will show up at this important commemoration include the presidents of China and India, representing a huge chunk of humanity, who came to show respect for the time seven decades ago when the inhumanity of the Nazi regime was defeated – largely by Russia’s stanching the advance of Hitler’s armies, at a cost of 20 to 30 million lives.

Obama’s boycott is part of a crass attempt to belittle Russia and to cram history itself into an anti-Putin, anti-Russian alternative narrative. It is difficult to see how Obama and his friends could have come up with a pettier and more gratuitous insult to the Russian people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel – caught between Washington’s demand to “isolate” Russia over the Ukraine crisis and her country’s historic guilt in the slaughter of so many Russians – plans to show up a day late to place a wreath at a memorial for the war dead.

But Obama, in his childish display of temper, will look rather small to those who know the history of the Allied victory in World War II. If it were not for the Red Army’s costly victories against the German invaders, particularly the tide-turning battle at Stalingrad in 1943-1944, the prospects for the later D-Day victory in Normandy in June 1944 and the subsequent defeat of Adolf Hitler would have been much more difficult if not impossible.

Yet, the current Russia-bashing in Washington and the mainstream U.S. media overrides these historical truths. For instance, a New York Times article by Neil MacFarquhar on Friday begins: “The Russian version of Hitler’s defeat emphasizes the enormous, unrivaled sacrifices made by the Soviet people to end World War II …” But that’s not the “Russian version”; that’s the history.

For its part, the Washington Post chose to run an Associated Press story out of Moscow reporting: “A state-of-the-art Russian tank … on Thursday ground to a halt during the final Victory Day rehearsal. … After an attempt to tow it failed, the T-14 rolled away under its own steam 15 minutes later.” (Subtext: Ha, ha! Russia’s newest tank gets stuck on Red Square! Ha, ha!).

This juvenile approach to pretty much everything that’s important — not just U.S.-Russia relations — has now become the rule. From the U.S. government to the major U.S. media, it’s as if the “cool kids” line up in matching fashions creating a gauntlet to demean and ridicule whoever the outcast of the day is. And anyone who doesn’t go along becomes an additional target of abuse.

That has been the storyline for the Ukraine crisis throughout 2014 and into 2015. Everyone must agree that Putin provoked all the trouble as part of some Hitler-like ambition to conquer much of eastern Europe and rebuild a Russian empire. If you don’t make the obligatory denunciations of “Russian aggression,” you are called a “Putin apologist” or “Putin bootlicker.”

Distorting the History

So, the evidence-based history of the Western-sponsored coup in Kiev on Feb. 22, 2014, must be forgotten or covered up. Indeed, about a year after the events, the New York Times published a major “investigative” article that ignored all the facts of a U.S.-backed coup in declaring there was no coup.

The Times didn’t even mention the notorious, intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in early February 2014 in which Nuland was handpicking the future leaders, including her remark “Yats is the guy,” a reference to Arseniy Yatsenyuk who – after the coup – quickly became prime minister. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

Even George Friedman, the president of the Washington-Establishment-friendly think-tank STRATFOR, has said publicly in late 2014: “Russia calls the events that took place at the beginning of this year a coup d’état organized by the United States. And it truly was the most blatant coup in history.”

Beyond simply ignoring facts, the U.S. mainstream media has juggled the time line to make Putin’s reaction to the coup – and the threat it posed to the Russian naval base in Crimea – appear to be, instead, evidence of his instigation of the already unfolding conflict.

For example, in a “we-told-you-so” headline on March 9, the Washington Post declared: “Putin had early plan to annex Crimea.” Then, quoting AP, the Post reported that Putin himself had just disclosed “a secret meeting with officials in February 2014 … Putin said that after the meeting he told the security chiefs that they would be ‘obliged to start working to return Crimea to Russia.’ He said the meeting was held Feb. 23, 2014, almost a month before a referendum in Crimea that Moscow has said was the basis for annexing the region.”

So there! Gotcha! Russian aggression! But what the Post neglected to remind readers was that the U.S.-backed coup had occurred on Feb. 22 and that Putin has consistently said that a key factor in his actions toward Crimea came from Russian fears that NATO would claim the historic naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea, representing a strategic threat to his country.

Putin also knew from opinion polls that most of the people of Crimea favored reunification with Russia, a reality that was underscored by the March referendum in which some 96 percent voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

But there was not one scintilla of reliable evidence that Putin intended to annex Crimea before he felt his hand forced by the putsch in Kiev. The political reality was that no Russian leader could afford to take the risk that Russia’s only warm-water naval base might switch to new NATO management. If top U.S. officials did not realize that when they were pushing the coup in early 2014, they know little about Russian strategic concerns – or simply didn’t care.

Last fall, John Mearsheimer, a pre-eminent political science professor at the University of Chicago, stunned those who had been misled by the anti-Russian propaganda when he placed an article in the Very-Establishment journal Foreign Affairs entitled “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault.”

You did not know that such an article was published? Chalk that up to the fact that the mainstream media pretty much ignored it. Mearsheimer said this was the first time he encountered such widespread media silence on an article of such importance.

The Sole Indispensable Country

Much of this American tendency to disdain other nations’ concerns, fears and points of pride go back to the Washington Establishment’s dogma that special rules or (perhaps more accurately) no rules govern U.S. behavior abroad – American exceptionalism. This arrogant concept, which puts the United States above all other nations like some Olympian god looking down on mere mortals, is often invoked by Obama and other leading U.S. politicians.

That off-putting point has not been missed by Putin even as he has sought to cooperate with Obama and the United States. On Sept. 11, 2013, a week after Putin bailed Obama out, enabling him to avoid a new war on Syria by persuading Syria to surrender its chemical weapons, Putin wrote in an op-ed published by the New York Times that he appreciated the fact that “My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust.”

Putin added, though, “I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism,” adding: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. … We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

More recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov drove home this point in the context of World War II. This week, addressing a meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe, Lavrov included a pointed warning: “Today as never before it is important not to forget the lessons of that catastrophe and the terrible consequences that spring from faith in one’s own exceptionalism.”

The irony is that as the cameras pan the various world leaders in the Red Square reviewing stand on Saturday, Obama’s absence will send a message that the United States has little appreciation for the sacrifice of the Russian people in bearing the brunt – and breaking the back – of Hitler’s conquering armies. It is as if Obama is saying that the “exceptional” United States didn’t need anyone’s help to win World War II.

President Franklin Roosevelt was much wiser, understanding that it took extraordinary teamwork to defeat Nazism in the 1940s, which is why he considered the Soviet Union a most important military ally. President Obama is sending a very different message, a haughty disdain for the kind of global cooperation which succeeded in ridding the world of Adolf Hitler.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. A specialist on Russia, he served as chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch during his 27 years as a CIA analyst. He now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Modern Ukraine RIP (Born 1991- Died 2014)

By Tomasz Pierscionek
May 10, 2015
Global Research

 

ukraine-carThere are times when the media run by the global elite lets the truth slip out at little. In March 2015 leading US business magazine Forbes revealed that Crimeans prefer to be part of Russia rather than rejoin Ukraine, as shown by repeated polls some of which were conducted by Western institutions. As expected, Forbes couched the information in a headline suggesting that there must have been some Russian aggression: “One year after Russia Annexed Crimea, locals prefer Moscow to Kiev”. To be fair, the article then opens with the words:

“The U.S and European Union may want to save Crimeans from themselves. But the Crimeans are happy right where they are”.

But perhaps an alternate headline could read: “One year after a US sponsored coup in Ukraine, things are not going to plan”  Perhaps Putin’s ‘annexation’ of Crimea  helped the local population avoid the fate suffered by their fellow citizens in Donetsk and Lugansk who were repeatedly bombed and shelled following Porosheko’s order to unleash the Anti Terrorist Operation. Crimea remains unscathed.

Following the collapse of the USSR, Russia self esteem declined during the Yeltsin era. But now Russia is starting to again play an ever increasing role on the world stage. Russia’s mere existence poses a threat to US hegemony by way of its reluctant to acquiesce to the whims of the self-anointed world policeman. Also, the vast natural resource reserves that Russia possesses are needed to throw global capitalism a lifeline as it faces terminal decline. Hence, the need to surround Russia with NATO bases and attempt to, by all means possible, overthrow Putin and replace him with another Yeltsin.

One can also understand Russia’s paranoia. Russia was attacked twice by Germany within 27 years, on the latter occasion the invading forces were assisted by Ukrainian Banderists. Consider too the aggression from Japan in WW2 as well the invasion by multiple nations following the 1917 Russian revolution who sought to strangle the revolutionary ideas represented by fledgling socialist state. During the cold war, the US was arguably responsible for the lion’s share of aggression or ‘brinkmanship’. Yet, in the eyes of the West, Russian remains the villain.

In December 1991, the people of Ukraine voted to become independent of the USSR. Polarising inequalities, corruption and a resurgence of Ukrainian nationalism (at least in certain parts of the country) followed. The Ukraine of 1991 no longer exists, having been riven apart by civil war, economic collapse and a loss of democracy.

Crimea voted to join Russia after the US orchestrated coup in February 2014. The eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk followed suit but paid a heavy price in blood. Talk of secession has since appeared in the regions of Kharkov and Odessa, despite the presence of the increasingly repressive Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and allied paramilitaries.

Recently Standard and Poors downgraded Ukraine’s credit rating for the fifth time since 2013. An article published on a Ukrainian news website in February was titled: “Some experts say: If you can, you must leave [the country]”.

That article later discusses the effects of the high inflation and currency depreciation, describing how in Western Ukraine pensions and the minimum wage have sunk to the equivalent of $36.5 and $47 a month respectively. The article points out that the World Bank sets the absolute poverty threshold level at less than $1.25 a day. Economist Aleksandr Okhrimenko later states that with an average monthly salary of around $150 (130 Euros), Ukraine’s standard of living ranks below that of Tajikistan, Kyrgystan and well below Bulgaria (the EU’s poorest member). Thus Ukraine’s standard of living is now on a similar level to that of Senegal or Nepal. All the while, the Ukrainian currency, the Hryvnia, continues to decline. If Ukraine’s chances of joining the EU were slim in 2013, they are now vanishingly small. Another article states that the average retirement pension in Ukraine now amounts to 1600 Hryvnya (about 65 Euro) per month.”

After being pushed into civil war by the US and supported, mostly, with words only, the pawns leading the coup in February 2014 can survive only through an IMF lifeline. Additionally, Ukraine reportedly owes the ‘aggressor’ Russia $2.5 billion for gas that it has continued to deliver throughout the course of the ‘invasion’ (but for how much longer).

With the cream of the heavy industries in the Donbass lost through secession or destroyed by its own artillery shells it looks increasingly unlikely that the wheels which came off Western Ukraine’s economy will be reattached in the foreseeable future, let alone set in motion to create sufficient wealth to pay off the IMF debt. The IMF will, for a time, continue demanding massive restructuring such as widespread privatisation and massive increases in utility bills. When the people of Ukraine have nothing else left to give, the IMF will become reluctant to throw good money after bad knowing there will be no return on their investment. Russia too will not continue supplying gas for free. When Western money and Eastern gas cease to flow, which of Kiev’s nationalists and Western lovers will then pick up the tab?

If a prize existed to recognise the gratuitous destruction caused to one’s nation in the shortest space of time, surely Poroshenko, Yatsenkuk, Timochenko and their cliques could be in the running. They have succeeded in creating a record downturn in Ukraine’s fortunes. In just a single year, they have managed to turn a country with a shaky economy struggling to keep out of recession, though nevertheless a functioning one with a bourgeoise democratic system, into a dysfunctional state with a third world economy: an unenviable disaster zone plagued by civil war, fascism, and poverty. Whilst Putin is to blame for all this, or at least that is what we are repeatedly told, those who clamour loudest about patriotism and nationalism in Kiev have done the most damage to their nation.

However, the leaders could not have done it alone. The cosmopolitan urban dwellers and the wealthier and more ambitious sections of Ukrainian society sold their souls to find the pot of gold at the end of the EU rainbow. Now they face tears and disappointment. Those students and petty bourgeoisie of the Euromaidan movement who took to Maidan nezalezhnosti in November 2013, helped sell and dismember their nation through their naivety and greed. Instead of the democracy for which they sold their souls, they have found disappointment and destitution. In seeking economic freedom, they helped awaken the nationalist beast. Their dogmatic perseverance led to hundreds if not thousands of young Ukrainian men killing thousands of their former countrymen and women in the east of the country. Due to the stiff resistance of the self-defence forces in Donetsk and Lugansk, Poroshenko and his allies were increasingly forced to rely on gangs of paramilitary forces that include unashamed neo-nazi elements to implement their own version of the Shock and Awe. The mood of the population can be judged by the lack of willing young men heeding the draft call. Reportedly, the 4th wave of military mobilisation to have occurred in a year was a massive failure as many young men refused to report for military service. Many Ukrainians have fled abroad to avoid fighting for the Kiev cabal, a large number of these escaped to Russia, the aggressor.Indeed this must be the only time in recent history that a large number of military aged males flee to the ‘aggressor’ state for safety from their own government.

Due to the political passivity of the Communist Party of Ukraine and without a solid political party or movement offering a socialist alternative, in February 2014 the Euromaidan liberals were quickly swept aside by armed far right organisations. The working class of Ukraine, the unemployed, the retired, those who fought fascism in the 1940s, have been betrayed.

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SALVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

RIP Ukraine 1991-2014

Dr Tomasz Pierscionek is editor of the London Progressive Journal