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|When you talk about the effectiveness of American imperialism, you highlight the fact
that part of the reason it's so effective is because it has been able to be largely invisible, and
it has been invisible, you point out, through, I think, two mechanisms, one, that it trains the
elites in other countries in order to manage affairs on behalf of American imperialism, and also
because it disseminates, through popular media, images of America that in essence -- I'm not sure you
use this word exactly -- indoctrinate or brainwash a population into allowing them to believe that
America is instilled with values that in fact it doesn't have, the ability of imperialistic forces
to supposedly give these values to the countries they dominate.
I mean, that is a kind of a raison d'être for economic and even military intervention, as we saw in Iraq, in planning democracy in Baghdad and letting it spread out across the Middle East, or going into Afghanistan to liberate the women of Afghanistan. That, as somebody who spent 20 years on the outer edges of empire, is a lie.
We will define "fifth column" as the "transnational" part of national elite along the lines of "The Revolt of the Elites" theory. There are other definitions. For example
The fifth column is the people in positions of power, who act in the interests of another state, and they are used as a tool to achieve foreign state political goals,"
Modus operandi of the US imperialism (which of course never calls itself imperialist state) was always to install some puppets/controlled government as away to rule a vassal state without making it outright colony. So they polishing fifth column concept to perfection, providing strong ties of part of the elite via education in US universities, via their technological achievements, via advertizing of American way of life and export of American culture and first of all Hollywood films and via their multinationals, many of them have world recognizable brands. As Merkel told US congress during her recent visit to the USa one of her dreams when she was young and living in German Democratic Republic was to get a pair of American jeans. This is how neoliberalism operated as well. It relies less of direct military intervention and more of putting nations into debt slavery. The contry is controlled by its own fifth column -- a tiny strata of "globalised" elite
Previous consensus was that the national elite generally shares the idea that the society in which they live works best when all members of society can engage in upward mobility and improve their status via education and entrepreneurship. If there are adequate upward mobility channels, then most members of society perceive themselves as belonging to the same team and care about ensuring that that this team succeeds.
But in the new "internationalized" world dominated by transnational corporations, the notion that a company or corporate executive of transnational corporation or a professional (for example, IT professionals) working in such a corporation is bound by an allegiance to their country of origin and work for its benefit is passé.
Such elite is leaching the country using stronger neoliberal states as "protection racket" and hiding their stolen money in London, Zurich and New Your with full knowledge of their criminal behaviour (and often support as they represented interests of multinational in their native country) by government of such neoliberal states. London generally contains the most interesting and disgusting collection financial criminals from Russia which amazingly after crossing the border escaping prosecution instantly became freedom fighter.
The elites of today are more bound to one another and in case of executives to the transnational corporations they serve more to the country where this international corporation reside, then to country where they reside. And this effect is not limited to executives. For example many programmers read almost exclusively the US computer journals and media and that naturally affects their "social affiliation". This was true even in the time of the USSR, when access to foreign magazines was extremely difficult.
Also the fact that the greed on neoliberal oligarchy (especially financial) is just overwhelming and the possibility to get higher salary (sometimes in convertible currency) decimates all other considerations such as patriotism and moral obligations. Amorality became a norm and Randism became a new ideology of elite.
In a sense prols -- people outside the elite -- became just tools, not compatriots and their standard of living means nothing. Ukraine is a pretty telling example of such a country.
The term Lumpenbourgeoisie is somewhat similar to the term "fifth column":
Lumpenbourgeoisie is a term used primarily in the context of colonial and neocolonial elites in Latin America, which became heavily dependent and supportive of the neocolonial powers.
It is a hybrid compound of the German word Lumpen (rags) and the French word bourgeoisie.
Lumpenbourgeoisie is a term most often attributed to Andre Gunder Frank in 1972 to describe a type of a middle class and upper class (merchants, lawyers, industrialists, etc.) one that has little collective self-awareness or national economic base and who supports the colonial masters.
Frank writing on the origins of the term noted that he created this neologism lumpenbourgeoisie from lumpenproletariat and bourgeoisie because while the Latin America's colonial and neocolonial elites were similar to European bourgeoisie on many levels, they had one major difference. This difference was their mentality of the Marxist lumpenproletariat, the "refuse of all classes" (as described in Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon) easy to manipulate to support the capitalist system, often turning to crime.
Similarly, the colonial elites would—while not involved in crime activities — hurt local economy by aiding the foreign exploiters. Foreign colonial powers want to acquire resources and goods found in the colonies, and they find this facilitated with incorporation of the local elites into the system, as they become intermediaries between the rich colonial buyers and the poor local producers.
The local elites become increasingly reliant on the system in which they supervise gathering of the surplus production from the colonies, taking their cut and before the remaining goods are sold abroad.
Frank termed this economic system lumpendevelopment and the countries affected by it, lumpenstates.
As Christoper Lasch pointed out in his groundbreaking book: "[T]he new elites, the professional classes in particular, regard the masses with mingled scorn and apprehension."
In 1994, Lasch had come to believe that the economic and cultural elite of the United States, who historically has insured the continuity of a culture had lost faith in the traditional values (which that organized the country culture since its inception), and replaced then with unrestrained greed . He saw a threat to the continuation of Western civilization was not a mass revolt as envisioned by the pro-communist New Left of the 1960's, but a rejection of its liberal and pluralistic values by the educated elite. (see Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult)
In the process of throwing off elements of traditional morality, transnational elite adopted Nietzschean "Übermensch" mentality (typically in the form of Objectivism). They also have mastered the art of the shameless transgression of authority for their own enrichment. This tendency was amplified by computer revolution. Computers dramatically increased the capability of transnational corporations making possible growth far beyond that was possible before them.
They also enabled "hacking" of monetary system to the extent that was not possible in 1920, although financial elite were always capable to find a sure way to a steal from other strata of society . Distinctions between white-collar jobs and blue-collar jobs have become increasingly arbitrary.
Playing with financial flows as if they are computer game lead to high levels of unemployment, which can no longer be regarded as aberrational, but due to labor arbitrage and dramatically improved communications became a necessary part of the working mechanisms of modern capitalist mode of production.
At the same time the key component of the traditional meaning of the term "fifth column" is preserved and the definition given by Wikipedia is fully applicable:
A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within. A fifth column can be a group of secret sympathizers of an enemy that are involved in sabotage within military defense lines, or a country's borders.
A key tactic of the fifth column is the secret introduction of supporters into the whole fabric of the entity under attack. This clandestine infiltration is especially effective with positions concerning national policy and defense.
From influential positions like these, fifth-column tactics can be effectively utilized, from stoking fears through misinformation campaigns, to traditional techniques like espionage.
The term originated with a 1936 radio address by Emilio Mola  , a Nationalist General during the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War. As his army approached Madrid, a message was broadcast that the four columns of his forces outside the city would be supported by a "fifth column" of his supporters inside the city, intent on undermining the Republican government from within (see Siege of Madrid).
The term was then widely used in Spain: Ernest Hemingway elected it as a title for his only play, which he wrote in Madrid while the city was being bombarded; the play was published in 1938 in his book The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories.
The class and social structure of xUUSR space has undergone profound transformation in recent decades as each nation has been incorporated into global financial system. As a result national elites have been split into two parts:
The key way of recruiting fifth column in xUSSR region was and still is cash. NGOs simply buy people. They were successful in Ukraine, Serbia and Georgia, although they fail to create a critical mass in Russia in 2011-2012. But even a failure in Russian White Revolution was not a failure, but a successful intermediary stage of building "fifth column" or how it was aptly called them "rent-a-revolution" crowd. That suggest that the next round of color revolution for Russia lies ahead.
After all defeated troops learn fast -- that the rule. That includes so called "mercenaries" (aka people who bought Mercedeses on US grant money ;-)
Just the existence of this crowd and strong constant flow of dollars to sustain their activities makes operation of government much more difficult and opportunities to engage the state in the USA sphere of influence stronger. Remember Russian vote on Libya during Medvedev's presidency. This was not just a significant USA diplomatic success, this was also a sign the USA can create the internal pressure on Medvedev's government via financed and controlled the fifth column in Russian society. With the neoliberalism as still an official Russian economic development paradigm, this is as easy as spilling sand on the gears. So money work beautifully in any case and provided a huge return on investment. That's my point.
They already created strong comprador lobby in Russian language press, especially Internet press. And this "Media fifth column" do have influential spokesmen, unconditional support of Western press, martyrs for the cause such as permanent hunger striker Udaltsov, Magnitsky, Khodorkovsky, Pussies, etc. Self quote:
So “Vy Zhertvoyu Pali V Bor’be rokovoi” theme is pretty current for Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and similar personalities and that’s how they are and will be depicted in western MSM.
And they have their own political network which includes set of parties with open globalist agenda such as Union of right-wing forces.
Moreover they successfully emulate Trotskyite tactics of political struggle. Taking into account that huge parts of the damage the Yeltsin did was not undone and some figures of the "family" (aka chubaisyata :-) are still present on the political scene (Anatoly Chubais himself, Kudrin, and possibly Medvedev himself). Actually the role of Medvedev in all this Browder-Magnitsky Gasprom stocks swindle is unclear to me.
I think we need to agree that they are really dangerous and tenacious "enemies of the state" using old terminology ;-).
And should be treated with due respect. I would not say that they are currently winning, but there are far from being completely defeated either.
In a way Foreign Agents Registration Act is too weak a law to stop activity of fifth column. It is necessary and strong pill that can diminish the inflammation, but it is not enough.
Something else is needed, and first of all ideological alternative to neoliberalism.
Mar 28, 2019 | mondoweiss.ne
'New York Times' reports that Jewish donors shape Democrats' regressive position on Israel US Politics Philip Weiss on 15 Comments
This weekend the New York Times breaks one of the biggest taboos , describing the responsibility of Jewish donors for the Democratic Party's slavish support for Israel. Nathan Thrall's groundbreaking piece repeats a lot of data we've reported here and says in essence that it really is about the Benjamins, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said so famously. The donor class of the party is overwhelmingly Jewish, and Jews are still largely wed to Zionism– that's the nut. Though that party is breaking up. Thrall's labors are minimized by the New York Times with the headline "The Battle Over B.D.S.," but his message is that the progressive base has a highly-critical view of Israel that the leadership has refused to reflect, and that's about to change. We're inside the tent. The party is going to have to reflect pro-Palestinian positions. Ben Rhodes tells Thrall that the moment of overcoming the fear of the pro-Israel lobby (as the Cuba fear was overcome) is about to happen.
The article is a thorough-going rebuke of every journalist and former official (Daniel Shapiro, former ambassador under Obama, for instance, as well as the Forward and the Times opinion writers) who says that money is not at the root, or very near the root, of Democratic Party support. So let's follow the money, and review the money quotes. Deep into his piece, Thrall explains why progressives aren't being heard. Megadonors.For all the recent tumult over Israel in Washington, the policy debate remains extremely narrow Despite pointed critiques of American support for Israel by representatives like Betty McCollum of Minnesota, [Rashida] Tlaib and Omar, there is little willingness among Democrats to argue publicly for substantially changing longstanding policy toward Israel.As we reported from Ben Rhodes's book, Rhodes tells Thrall that donors forced Obama to hew to the Netanyahu line.
In part, some Hill staff members and former White House officials say, this is because of the influence of megadonors: Of the dozens of personal checks greater than $500,000 made out to the largest PAC for Democrats in 2018, the Senate Majority PAC, around three-fourths were written by Jewish donors. This provides fodder for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and for some, it is the elephant in the room. Though the number of Jewish donors known to prioritize pro-Israel policies above all other issues is small, there are few if any pushing in the opposite directionAccording to Ben Rhodes, a former deputy national-security adviser and one of Obama's closest confidants, several members of the Obama administration wanted to adopt a more assertive policy toward Israel but felt that their hands were tied. "The Washington view of Israel-Palestine is still shaped by the donor class The donor class is profoundly to the right of where the activists are, and frankly, where the majority of the Jewish community is." Peter Joseph, an emeritus chairman of the center-left Israel Policy Forum, told me that the views of major Democratic Jewish donors could act as a check on the leftward pull by progressive voters who are strongly critical of Israel: "I can't imagine that mainstream Democratic Jewish donors are going to be happy about any Democratic Party that is moving in that direction."Off the record, people go further. The Obama administration didn't just support the occupation, it kept supporting it right up till the November 2016 election so that Hillary Clinton wouldn't lose donors. We reported as much at the time.Another former member of the Obama White House, who asked not to be named, fearing professional retaliation, said that concerns about donors among Democrats dominated not just "what was done but what was not done, and what was not even contemplated." Even the timing of the administration's policies toward Israel was dictated by domestic politics. Faced with a 2016 United Nations Security Council resolution condemning settlements, the Obama administration abstained (effectively supporting the resolution), but only after having signaled it would not consider backing any resolution before November. "There is a reason the U.N. vote did not come up before the election in November," the former official said. "Was it because you were going to lose voters to Donald Trump? No. It was because you were going to have skittish donors. That, and the fact that we didn't want Clinton to face pressure to condemn the resolution or be damaged by having to defend it."Everyone knows this math. And the Democrats fear they'll lose all their money.What worries establishment Democrats, the former official added, is that the partisan divide over Israel will concretize -- with Republicans defined as pro-Israel, Democrats defined as anti-Israel -- and that the party coffers will empty. Joel Rubin, a deputy assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in the Obama administration, former political director at J Street and a founding board member of the centrist Jewish Democratic Council of America, agreed: "The fight over Israel used to be about voters. It's more about donors now."Thrall says the Democratic Party leadership is perfectly happy with AIPAC, but he leaves out what we reported here: the extent of the reliance on Jewish donors is "gigantic" and "shocking," according to insiders JJ Goldberg and the head of Emily's List, and AIPAC gets to script congressional campaigns on their middle east positions before the candidates can raise money from the Jewish community. We always said Sanders could be better on Palestine because he avoided the donor class of the Democratic party. Rhodes agrees."If you don't rely on a traditional fund-raising model, then you have more freedom on these types of issues," Rhodes said. "You're not worried about the one-hour phone call that you're going to have to do after the presidential debate with a really angry donor."The key element here is, older Jewish donors are conservative about Israel. A former Clinton campaign official:"There's no major donor that I can think of who is looking for someone to take a Bernie-like approach." And whereas none of the most liberal Jewish donors have threatened to withdraw support because a candidate was too pro-Israel, pro-Israel donors and PACs have a history of financing opposition to candidates deemed unfriendly. Haim Saban, one of Hillary Clinton's top five donors in 2016, has financed opponents of Democratic candidates critical of IsraelSadly the Jewish community is largely supportive of Israel, as Thrall shows. By and large, American Jews are Zionists. Trump's horrors in the Middle East are OK by them.In the same [Mellman] poll -- conducted after the United States closed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, appointed a fund-raiser for the settlements as U.S. ambassador and cut humanitarian aid to Palestinians -- roughly half of American Jews said they approved of President Trump's handling of relations with Israel. On what is considered the most divisive issue in U.S.-Israel relations, the establishment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a November 2018 post-midterm election poll of more than 1,000 American Jews that was commissioned by J Street, the pro-Israel lobby aligned with Democrats, found that roughly half said the expansion of settlements had no impact on how they felt about Israel.Those Jews are conservative compared to the base, which is increasingly people of color and real progressives.Members of the Democratic Party's progressive activist base, by contrast, find themselves light years from their representatives in Washington.And any declension in US support is seen as alienating the donor class.Joel Rubin said: "The problem for center-left groups that are more critical of Israel is that the Jewish donor class is comfortable with current U.S. policies. They just don't like Trump on other issues." In October, just weeks before the 2018 midterm election, as the Democratic leadership was working to take back the House, a Democratic staff member, who asked not to be named for fear of professional retaliation, told me that it was important to retain the support of all major donors, not just the most liberal ones.Thrall shows that fear of losing donors played a role when the University of Michigan student body passed a narrow divestment measure last fall– to divest only from companies doing business in the occupation -- and still the administration said No way.
Referring to two of the largest Jewish donors to Democrats, on opposite ends of the political spectrum, the staff member said: "Our members need George Soros and Haim Saban. And they need everything in between."Michigan's administration quickly issued a statement that it would not appoint a committee to investigate divestment. A month later, the board of regents released a letter backing the decision. (The two regents who didn't sign it were the only people of color on the board.) Like many large American universities, the University of Michigan has extensive research partnerships with Israeli universities. And many of its institutes and buildings are named after alumni donors who have contributed large sums to Israel or pro-Israel groups.
Lara Friedman of Foundation for Middle East Peace and formerly of Peace Now continues to blaze a trail by honestly describing the intolerance in the Jewish community for debate of Israel. That community has pushed the anti-BDS legislation."The American Jewish community, which is broadly speaking liberal, has allowed itself in the name of defending Israel and fighting B.D.S. to become the leading edge of illiberalism by pushing legislation to curb free speech."OK now let's get to some of the good news here. Thrall's overall point is that the battle is breaking out, thanks to those women of color in the House and the progressive base.As the Democratic Party is pulled toward a more progressive base and a future when a majority of the party will most likely be people of color, tensions over Israel have erupted. In the past several months, a fierce debate over American support for Israel has periodically dominated the news cycle and overshadowed the Democrats' policymaking agenda.BDS is gaining ground. Israel knows it.Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, told me, "Despite the overwhelming support for Israel in the U.S., we see that the attempt to delegitimize Israel is gaining ground, especially among extreme left-wing marginal groups."When have you ever seen such a fair assessment of BDS in the Times?Instead of tying itself to a specific outcome, the B.D.S. movement insisted on these three principles, which could be fulfilled any number of ways: two states, one state with equal individual rights, a confederation with equal collective rights.This is a simple turn by Thrall on why Zionism is racist at its core.Following the 1948 war, which erupted after the United Nations announced its plan to partition Palestine into two states, the Jews who fled could return; Palestinians could not.Here's another great moment, brilliant reporting.I asked [Zionist Organization of America's Morton] Klein why he believed it was "utterly racist and despicable," as he put it, for [Richard] Spencer to promote a state for only one ethnic group but not racist for Israel to do so. "Israel is a unique situation," he said. "This is really a Jewish state given to us by God." He added, "God did not create a state for white people or for black people."Thrall says Israel is Jim Crow society thru and thru.
Senator Charles Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, similarly told the Aipac conference in 2018: "Of course, we say it's our land, the Torah says it, but they don't believe in the Torah. So that's the reason there is not peace."Currently, hundreds of Israeli towns have admissions committees that can bar Palestinian citizens from living in them based on "social suitability." (It's illegal for people to be excluded on the basis of race, religion or nationality, but the rubric of "social suitability" permits the rejection of applicants who are not Zionist, haven't served in the army or don't intend to send their children to Hebrew-language schools.)And that's why MD Rep. Donna Edwards and two white congressional colleagues locked arms and sang We Shall Overcome in apartheid Hebron:
More than 900 towns in Israel contain no Arab families, according to Yosef Jabareen, a professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Palestinian schools can lose government funding if they commemorate the Nakba, the displacement of Palestinians in 1948. Israeli law forbids citizens to obtain citizenship or permanent residency for Palestinian spouses from the West Bank and Gaza.Edwards and her colleagues looked up to see garbage-filled nets hanging above their heads, put up to catch trash thrown by Israeli settlers. "We had never seen anything like that," she told me recently. "Hebron is the place where I think you can see in the most frightening way what the injustice is, where you have people on one side of the street who live one way and people on another side of the street living another way. And streets that some people can cross and walk on, but other people cannot. To me, it looked like the stories that my mother and my grandmother told me about living in the South."The great news at the end of the article. Edwards et al are taking over the party. Thrall cites Electronic Intifada's influence, and Jewish Voice for Peace, and IfNotNow too.Politicians speaking on Israel-Palestine used to worry primarily about attacks from pro-Israel media and activist groups; now progressives are starting to feel some heat from the pro-Palestinian side.But it's over. All the anti-Omar stuff of recent weeks is just the froth on the wave. Jim Zogby got slamdunked on the platform in 2016 by the Clintonites. But that wont' happen again.James Zogby says that standing for Palestinian rights is guaranteed to be a major topic in the 2020 election: "It's a smell-test issue. If you go to young people, they know you stink if you don't talk about it right." A senior Democratic staff member on Capitol Hill told me: "People like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Bernie Sanders have opened the floodgates on this issue. It may be painful for the party as we move in a more progressive direction. But we'll come out in a better place -- a more moral and evenhanded place -- in the end."This piece is going to resonate for weeks. It's going to come under fierce attack. Because it's huge, and it's calm and factual. It doesn't say a word about Christian Zionists because they don't have influence in the Democratic Party. And Thrall did the shrewd thing of avoiding the word "lobby." I guess it's been anathematized, but that's what this article is about. That and race. People of color are driving this change. They are going to be punished. Betty McCollum doesn't get taken to the woodshed for calling it apartheid, but one county west, Ilhan Omar is going to be primaried next year.
About Philip Weiss
Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.Donald March 28, 2019, 5:03 pmbcg March 28, 2019, 6:25 pm" This piece is going to resonate for weeks. It's going to come under fierce attack. Because it's huge, and it's calm and factual. It doesn't say a word about Christian Zionists because they don't have influence in the Democratic Party. "
Wrong. Read it again. He focuses mostly on the struggle within the Democratic Party so he doesn't say much about them, but he does say that they are among the most pro-Israel groups, but are also mostly Republican voters.
I just read it again and I think your characterization of the piece as "mostly on the struggle within the Democratic Party" is flat out wrong – it covers that but a lot else as well. It's a big sprawling piece that covers campus politics, the human rights situation is Israel, the political temperature in the American Jewish community, the whole anti-semitism debate in the U.S. and so on. I take the last paragraph as support for Phil's assertion that the piece will have an impact:
During his introduction of Sanders, King spoke of the Vermont senator's family members murdered in the Holocaust, and how coming of age in these circumstances "gave Bernie a deep sense of right and wrong." King said: "He has always rejected the status quo. He spoke out against apartheid in South Africa, when -- crazily -- that was an unpopular thing to do. And even today," King added, "he speaks out against apartheid like conditions in Palestine, even though it's not popular." The crowd erupted in cheers.
Misterioso, March 29, 2019, 8:54 am @beg, et alDonald, March 29, 2019, 2:53 pm
Where it really counts, in the minds and hearts of young Americans, Palestinians have the momentum and support for "Israel" is in free fall.
Tikun Olam, March 8/19
"Israel Lobby and Pro-Israel House Democrats Tried to Excommunicate Ilhan Omar, They Failed"
By Richard Silverstein
... ... ...
"The 2018 Congressional election marked a watershed, sweeping a new progressive class into office. Most prominent among them were Reps. Rashid Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, women who challenged the system, incumbents, and the Democratic machine to win sweeping victories on truly progressive platforms. Their Middle East agenda was particularly forthright, and therefore shocking: they opposed U.S. aid to Israel, supported BDS and a one state solution (AOC has not expressed herself as explicitly on these issues, but presumably shares many of her colleagues' views).
"Anyone who knows the Israel Lobby knew that the other shoe was bound to drop. They just didn't know when. And it didn't take long. Both Tlaib and especially Omar have been outspoken on Israel-Palestine since their elections. And their markedly pro-Palestine views have rapidly become grist for the anti-Semitism mill churned by the Lobby and its water-carriers in Congress.
"First, of course there was the famous 'Benjamins' tweet in which Omar noted that members of Congress were obedient to the Lobby because of the hundreds of millions it raises and distributes to loyal pro-Israel candidates. But somehow, noting that the Lobby derived its power from money morphed into outright anti-Semitism. The way this happened was instructive: there is, of course, an ancient anti-Semitic trope that Jews are rich and use their wealth to control the finance, banking, entertainment, and the media sectors, etc. That of course, has nothing to do with the true statement that the Lobby raises and distributes massive lucre to its favored candidates. A reasonable person can see the difference between these two concepts.
"But the Lobby plays a game of smoke and mirrors. It sees a clear statement attacking it and manages through a bit of hocus-pocus to transform it into a classic anti-Semitic charge, when in actuality there is absolutely no connection.
"Now, the Lobby has done it again after Omar gave a talk at a Washington DC bookstore in which she criticized those in Congress and the Lobby who had a foreign allegiance: 'I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is O.K. for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.'
"By this, of course she meant that groups like Aipac and their Congressional sponsors who take their marching orders either from Israel directly, or who conceive their agenda totally with Israel and its interests in mind. They may believe that the interests of the U.S. and Israel are the same; and that therefore they are not betraying U.S. interests. But anyone who believes that the interests of one of the greatest powers on earth is the same as that of a small Middle Eastern theocratic state is either terribly naïve or worse.
"After Omar's statement, the Lobby went into Defcon mode. The attack was launched by Eliot Engel, a veteran of the New York Democratic machine, who attacked the Somali-American Congresswoman:
"Pro-Israel Jews like Engel are particularly exercised by the implication of dual loyalty. That is, that pro-Israel Jews are more loyal to Israel than America. An especially apt historical phrase connoting dual loyalty is the term 'Israel Firster.' It was not invented by an anti-Semite or white supremacist. But rather by the dean of American Jewish historians, Abe Sachar, the first president of Brandeis University.
And he used the term to deride precisely the figures Omar is now attacking: a powerful Lobby and its apologists who put Israel before all else. This is a passage from the 1961 American Jewish Yearbook:
"American Jews continued to object to Israel's claim that a genuine Jewish life was possible only in Israel. Abram L. Sachar, president of Brandeis University, at the biennial convention of JWB [Jewish Welfare Board], declared on April 2, 1960 that among Jews there is no room 'for Israel Firsters whose chauvinism and arrogance find nothing relevant or viable in any area outside of Israel.'"
"The NY Times headline about the speech said Sachar derided the 'dogma of Israel.' If American Jews can quarrel over the meaning and primacy of Israel in Jewish life, why would we deny Arab American the same right, considering that their Palestinian sisters and brothers are under the boot heel of Israeli Occupation?
"It would not be so bad if Israel was a democratic, secular nation like the U.S. and most western democracies. Then at least there would be a confluence of interests and values. But Israel is no longer a democracy. Instead it has become a theocracy, run by fundamentalist extremists bent on holy war with the Muslim world. Israel's interests are diverging from those of the democratic west more than ever. And this fissure can only continue to widen as Israel sinks ever deeper into mass murder, Occupation and oppression. Israel's interests and America's are no longer the same. Not even close. That little sliver of daylight which presidents used to boast about not existing when it came to Israel and U.S. interests: it's now a wide-open expanse of sky.
"Apparently, Congress has not yet read the memo. It is sunk in old ways and habits. The smell of greenbacks remains too enticing to resist. But the old ways are dying. The election victories I referenced above testify to that more strongly than a $100-million Sheldon Adelson donation.
"That's why the anti-Semitism fire-drill convened by the Democratic Congressional leadership was initially so infuriating. It decided to take Omar to the woodshed and whip her by passing a resolution denouncing anti-Semitism by its members. This represented the Democratic Party eating its young. Nancy Pelosi, at the goading of Engel, Nita Lowey and other pro-Israel members, tabled a pointless resolution. It would have forced members to swear allegiance on pain of getting a public spanking like Omar. The final wording never ended up referring directly to Omar. But the message was clear: shut up on the subject or the Party caucus will exact a toll."
"think your characterization of the piece as "mostly on the struggle within the Democratic Party" is flat out wrong – it covers that but a lot else as well. "
That's true. It is one of the best pieces I have ever seen in this subject. I am not knocking the piece -- I am correcting Phil. Thrall doesn't write much about why Republicans support Israel, where Christian Zionists are a major factor. Phil claimed he didn't say anything about Christian Zionists when he actually did. Phil didn't notice that because to the extent the piece was about political parties in the US, it focused on the Democrats where Christian Zionists are not very important. Also, Phil likes to downplay the role of Christian Zionists, while others who feel uncomfortable talking about Jewish donors ( fearing the antisemitism charge) like to emphasize them. The truth is that they are both important in why the US supports Israel.
Liberal Christian guilt about anti-Semitism also plays a role.
If Thrall were writing about the political right he would have to say a lot about how many on the Christian Right see Israel as a central element in their belief on how the world was going to end. He would be writing about Hal Lindsay's books and later the "Left Behind" series and how on the secular level American rightwingers sometimes see Israel as a bastion of "Western civilization" surrounded by the heathens. Of course some of that last part overlaps with what Israel supporters in the Democratic Party think.
Kratoklastes , March 30, 2019, 8:19 pmTerryHeaton March 29, 2019, 10:56 am
That included both Jews and Muslims who were tortured on the rack, also known as the auto-da-fe
I realize this is a bit of a nitpick, but the auto-da-fé was the final public confession prior to execution – it had nothing whatsoever to do with any specific instrument of torture.
The fact that nobody in the entire editorial process noticed this obvious screwup, speaks volumes about the lack of standards (and the lack of knowledge of European history) in the modern print media.
Given that the author was using the Inquisition as a rhetorical device, it would have been nice if he didn't come away from the attempt looking like an ignoramus.
The truth is the GOP's courting of the donor class comes from the same motivation – the counting of the donor Benjamins. The difference is they can better hide their support (of Zionism) under banners of defense, business, and righteousness.
My one beef with Mondoweiss is that you regularly downplay the role of American Evangelical Christianity in the oppression of the Palestinians.
I think it's at the very top of the list, for Jewish Zionists simply don't have the numbers to win what is essentially a public relations war for control of the Middle East. Right-wing Christianity – especially those who espouse Dominionist beliefs – will tolerate ANY form of behavior that fits their views of Biblical prophecy. Absent these believers, who honestly don't give a crap about Israel's behavior, the hue and cry of anti-semitism is the only weapon the Zionists have.
Trump plays to this crowd with his actions in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Finally, this "donor class" could hardly match the daily U.S. gift of $10 million, so the pitch they make is to American taxpayers, although nobody ever talks about that.
Keith , March 29, 2019, 6:21 pm
TERRYHEATON- ". I think it's at the very top of the list, for Jewish Zionists simply don't have the numbers to win what is essentially a public relations war for control of the Middle East."
Well, you would say that wouldn't you? Miss the 700 club do you? The reality is that Evangelical Christian support for Israel and Zionism didn't really take off until the late 1970s as a consequence of Israeli PM Menachem Begin's recruitment of their support. This was well after Israel and Zionism had firmly established itself following the 1967 six day war. Zionism and Israel is an overwhelmingly Jewish project, Christian Zionists little more than opportunistic camp followers. The Christian Zionist leadership has taken advantage of the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon of Jewish Zionist power. While these Christian Zionists may be numerous, they lack the access to the corridors of power comparable to the Jewish Zionists, although their alliance with Jewish Zionism has improved their status.
Phil is correct to downplay the power of the Christian Zionists. They have negligible effect upon the policies of either Israel or the American Jewish Zionists, pats on the head notwithstanding. Their power lies more in supporting the rightward drift in American politics.
TerryHeaton, March 30, 2019, 10:01 am
Keith, thanks for the input. If you've read my book, then you already know my feelings about The 700 Club and Pat Robertson. Sadly, Christian Zionists are not at all merely clinging to right-wing beliefs. They started many of them. In fact, that's what we did at The 700 Club. Rather, they're waiting and hoping for the return of Jesus Christ, who will then, the thinking goes, elevate them and bring peace for 1,000 years. So their support of Israel is from their interpretation of scripture, and that's a powerful force that permits them to look the other way whenever Israel's behavior is questioned. They don't care, because they have their eyes on what they view as a bigger prize. Pro-Israel forces in the U.S. would never get their way without the blind support of this massive group of citizens.
genesto, March 29, 2019, 12:28 pm
'Senator Charles Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, similarly told the Aipac conference in 2018: "Of course, we say it's our land, the Torah says it, but they don't believe in the Torah. So that's the reason there is not peace."' Damn, and I thought that the reason there was no peace was because of the oppressive, prison-like conditions of the Palestinian people under Occupation.
Thanks, Chuck, for the enlightenment! Boy, do I feel dumb now!!
eljay, March 29, 2019, 1:22 pm
@ genesto: 'Senator Charles Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, similarly told the Aipac conference in 2018: "Of course, we say it's our land, the Torah says it, but they don't believe in the Torah. So that's the reason there is not peace."' ||
So according to Mr. Schumer's "logic" any lack of peace with Muslims isn't the fault of Muslims – it's the fault of non-Muslims (including Jews) who do not believe in the Qur'an.
genesto, March 29, 2019, 5:17 pm
Very good! Unfortunately, logic was never a strong point among the Zionists.
Schumer, the self-proclaimed shomer (guardian) of the state of Israel in the Congress (Did someone say dual loyalty???), somehow manages to be both humorous and frightening at the same time. Nice trick, if you can do it.
eljay , March 29, 2019, 5:41 pm
Very good! Unfortunately, logic was never a strong point among the Zionists.
I agree. They are, however, very good at redefining perfectly good English words.
Schumer, the self-proclaimed shomer (guardian) of the state of Israel in the Congress (Did someone say dual loyalty???)
Ms. Omar didn't; nevertheless, he seems to be doing his best to earn the accusation.
James Canning, March 29, 2019, 5:24 pm
Of course it is "all about the Benjamins". Contending to the contrary is simply silly. One might well add that BDS can be viewed as a good thing for Israel, and in that country's true best interests.
Kratoklastes, March 30, 2019, 8:53 pm
There's little point analysing this nonsense in terms of what is or isn't silly. After all, the entire shebang is predicated on an idea that is breathtaking in its silliness: in a nutshell it's this –
A collection of primitive Bronze Age fictional gibberish can confer land titles over bits of the Middle East, to its adherents – even to adherents with absolutely no ancestral connection to the land.
It's absolutely no coincidence that Herzl and his mob could not get any rabbi west of Lviv to endorse their nonsense: the rabbis of all genuine centres of scholarship repudiated the Zionist project as an abomination.
So Herzl etc just kept going further East until they found someone theologically illiterate enough to give a rabbinical imprimatur, and hence a veneer of intellectual respectability, to their project.
It's an indictment on the Polish rabbinate that they signed off on such an obvious apostasy it would have been nice if Herzl etc had really had to go full retard and end up relying on a Chinaman (a Kaifeng) – but if that's what it would have taken at the time, they would have done so.
(I'm an atheist, so I reject the idea that a project is validated if some religio-dipshit whackball waves some magic words at it but Herzl's project wanted a religious imprimatur).
Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Paul , says: March 12, 2019 at 8:38 am GMTThe new congresswoman Ilhan Omar is experiencing what happens to one who will not grovel before the Zionist Lobby and its Washington henchmen.Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: March 12, 2019 at 9:05 am GMTIs there any other nation that wields such a stranglehold on any other as Israel does the United States? Is there any other nation that has so completely surrendered its sovereignty to another as has the United States to Israel. Does any other country (size of Israel) strike fear and dread into the hearts of its lawmakers to the point of complete serfdom as Israel does the US? Can any other country allow any foreign country to override its head of state to address lawmakers as Israel has done to the US in the case of Obama, despite his complete servility to Israel, thereby rendering himself a victim of dual abuses: racism and disregard of American sovereignty? Has any other country sacrificed so many of its citizens for wars on behalf of any other country as we have done for Israel? Can any other country receiving billions of dollars of taxpayers money in aid and military hardware shamelessly call the shots as Israel does with America, with America not as much as questioning orders from Israel? Can we realistically celebrate Independence Day with so much fanfare when another country has us so completely by the balls as to make a mockery of the word "independence". Can any country strip any other of its sovereignty as Israel has done to the US, including undermining its constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, with our total collusion? Having raised all these questions, can there be realistic grounds for hoping for a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, short of a comprehensive revolution that would rehabilitate a nation led by quislings into one of principled men and women?EliteCommInc. , says: March 12, 2019 at 10:08 am GMTAllow me to state for the record . . .TimeTraveller , says: March 12, 2019 at 10:10 am GMT
anyone here who chooses to hate me. I recognize that that you have the right to do so. And that that right s Constitutionally protected. You are entitled to your feelings.
What I must object to and call into question is your attempt to engage in acts that in any threaten, thwart, disrupt my right as a US citizen to access every aspect of what is guaranteed to me by the US constitution. That includes manufacturing false claims to undermine the same.
I will defend your right to your feelings and your right to express them in a manner in accordance with the first amendment. I cannot support acts that deprive myself my constitutional rights in any manner.
I am not a promoter of hate, but I certainly recognize the right that people have for their feelings and the desire to one's express them.jacques sheete , says: March 12, 2019 at 11:47 am GMT
[Bret Stephens] attributes to her "insidious cunning" and "anti-Jewish bigotry" observing how "she wraps herself in the flag, sounding almost like Pat Buchanan when he called Congress "Israeli-occupied" territory."
If what Rep. Omar said wasn't too different from what Mr. Buchanan said previously, why haven't we heard a peep out of him on this issue?
The silence is deafening.JC , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm GMT
a liar and a hypocrite, and that alone should disqualify them for office.
Where the bleep have you been, Pardner? You got that exactly backwards; mendacity and hypocrisy are mandatory minimum qualifications for the positions.
Ms. Omar is dis qualified because she is honest enough to speak the truth.
Now, go learn to shoot straight before shooting off yer mug, and you can start with this,
I must take issue with your observation that Mr. Truman is an habitual liar, not because I disagree with you, but because I disagree with your manner in presenting it as a derogatory statement. Is not the ability of lying necessary to political leadership ?
-EUSTACE MULLINS, In Our Readers' Opinion, The American Mercury, November 1951, pp. 51-54
And this, which illustrates several points regarding politicians, their characteristics and motives.:
Two candidates for political office in a debate
No, Cleon, little you care for his reigning in Arcadia, it's to pillage and impose on the allies at will that you reckon; you wish the war to conceal your rogueries as in a mist, that Demos may see nothing of them, and harassed by cares, may only depend on yourself for his bread. But if ever peace is restored to him, if ever he returns to his lands to comfort himself once more with good cakes, to greet his cherished olives, he will know the blessings you have kept him out of, even though paying him a salary; and, filled with hatred and rage, he will rise, burning with desire to vote against you. You know this only too well; it is for this you rock him to sleep with your lies.
– Aristophanes, The Knights, 424 BC
Do you really believe Ms. Omar is rocking us to sleep with her lies about Israel?until there is a much larger block of anti israel congresspeople nothing is going to change. What is the USs interest? They sure are not interested in making things better for the majority/middle class. All the while continuing to enrich the already too wealthy ever more. Media is a lying POS and yet people still watch Fox or Cnn or msnbc. All of them produce nothing but propaganda garbage. Unfortunately, it seems like most in the USA just don't care. In Venezuela look at the protesters the US media sets up and/or loves so much, try that in the USA and you'll end up in jail.Anon23 , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMTFor me, Ilhan Omar's statements were the most exciting political event in decades. I'm not surprised that she is being punished, but the viciousness of the attacks have certainly gone up a notch.anarchyst , says: March 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
America's big mistake: allowing all the media to congeal into one big bullhorn that is controlled by Jewish interests. As long as they control the media there will be no national debate of zionist power in America.
Another great article by Giraldi. He is consistently the most forceful and articulate writer regarding the subversion of America's national interests to Israel.As much as I despise Omar's politics, in this case she is right to expose the dirty politics that Israel uses on it's "friend and ally" the United States of America.DESERT FOX , says: March 12, 2019 at 1:44 pm GMT
AIPAC is the most powerful foreign lobby in the United States and has done more to influence and damage the American political process than just about any other lobby. It is a loosely-guarded secret that, in order to garner jewish support, prospective politicians must sign a loyalty oath promising support for Israel. This, in itself is un-American and borders on treason. Failure to sign the loyalty oath almost always assures a political death. AIPAC will spend millions to elect a candidate as long as he "toes the Israeli line".
Remember the USS Liberty (GTR-5), the American naval vessel that was deliberately attacked with massive loss of American lives (an act of war) by "our friend and ally" Israel on June 8, 1967. If I had my way, Israel would have been turned into a "glass parking lot" on June 9, 1967.
As an aside, we must constantly hit our politicians with charges of treason, citing the "loyalty oaths" to Israel that almost all of them have signed.Dual citizens of Israel are through out the US government and have given America unending wars and debt and an unconstitutional FED and IRS. No dual citizen from any nation should be able to hold office in any government or state or county or city government in the US, no one can serve two masters and citizens of Israel serve Israel and that is why America has been at war for 18 years and counting in the Mideast!APilgrim , says: March 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm GMTNo government official, for ANY NATION, should have dual citizenship.
No one with Caliphate, or Communist sympathies, should serve in high-level positions.
Dual Citizens should be driven from the land.
Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Bardon Kaldian , says: March 12, 2019 at 7:34 p m GMTThere you are:
Israel was everywhere at the Jewish day school I attended in New York. The Israeli and American flags were proudly displayed together, no matter that I, like the majority of my classmates, was not Israeli.
This alone might be innocuous, a loose cultural affinity that would be familiar in a French or German language academy. But in Jewish day school life, outright political mobilization for Israel and its policies was a requirement.
Every year we would be "strongly encouraged" to attend the Salute to Israel parade on New York's Fifth Avenue. Teachers were marshals, and mocking stories about pro-Palestinian activists were exchanged in class the following day.
One year, we were outright required to join a protest in support of Israel, during the school day, at the United Nations.
This school-mandated allegiance seeped into even the most casual conversations. I remember once debating with my group of friends whether we'd rather serve with the Israeli Defense Forces or the U.S. military. Even though all of us, and our parents, were born and raised in the United States, we were unanimous: we'd rather fight for Israel.
With any other cultural group in America, for any other country, these statements would be shocking. After all, when was the last time you heard of an Italian-American birthright trip to Sicily? But for American Jews, the centrality of allegiance to Israel in our communal organizations is the norm.
Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Wizard of Oz , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm GMTThere is one big omission in your article PG. If you read more than the tweet from Rep. Juan Vargas that you linked aswayfarer , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:17 am GMT
"Questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable."
you must have been pleased by the deluge (maybe hundreds) of Tweets uniformly condemning him and including many from people claiming believably to be Jews.
BTW Australia doesn't allow dual citizenship by its national MPs and senators and has had in the last few years a previously unparalleled spate of challenges to members already seated in Parliament. The courts have interpreted the constitutional provision strictly and MPs whose Italian born mothers filled in a form which gave them Italian citizenship without their knowledge have been caught (or at least been taken to court).
I would tend to argue that dual citizenship should be declared but that it is up yo the voters to decide whether they want to be represented by someone who isn't only an Australian. There are counterarguments however and avoidance of America's Israel First situation is certainly one of them."Undercover Footage Zionists Don't Want You to See!"AnonFromTN , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm GMT
It is simple, really. The US needs a law prohibiting anyone with dual citizenship to hold public office. Stated allegiance to any other country should be treated as high treason, which it is. However, I don't see Congress doing any of this: we all know what happens when the improvements in henhouse safely is in the hands of foxes.Ilyana_Rozumova , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:51 pm GMTAnyway All US political system is running on bribery. So the bribery is legal and cannot be tackled.jo6pac , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:57 pm GMT
The only way to go is to distinguish the bribery and divide it into two groups.
Patriotic bribery and non patriotic bribery.https://prepareforchange.net/2018/06/22/89-of-our-senators-and-congress-hold-dual-citizenship-citizenship-with-israel/Ilyana_Rozumova , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:10 pm GMT
No comment neededHere is a funny thing!!!!!!!!!Ilyana_Rozumova , says: March 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm GMT
The Arabs have a proper English word for bribery: Backshish.
1 It is done in the back, so nobody sees it.
2 Shish means you should be quiet about it.What bribery you may ask.renfro , says: March 12, 2019 at 5:56 pm GMT
So what are those prepayed trips to Israel where the Congress people are treated as kings, and they have chance to make love to the Jewish wall of the temple. They stick their wishes written on paper into crevices of the wall. (Not too many records if the wall did take care of their wishes.}
... ... ...@AnonFromTN You dont have to be a dual citizen be a traitor.JoaoAlfaiate , says: March 12, 2019 at 6:03 pm GMT
So what the US needs is an amendment to the Constitution expanding the definitions of treason and subversion to better reflect the modern day realities of our political system.
Perhaps suggest to the Magnificent Three that they put forth a bill calling for that.If you have any doubts about the accuracy of this article and whether Rep. Omar has been telling the truth, just ask yourself:the grand wazoo , says: March 12, 2019 at 7:02 pm GMT
How many of our Solons and senior members of the Executive Branch attend the annual AIPAC gathering?
How many Congress critters take money from pro israel PACs?Another Phil Geraldi gem.
What makes this piece meaningful is he is 100% correct. Representative Ilhar Omar should be applauded for her bravery. She truly is courageous, as she not only risks her political career but also her life. And by doing so she leaves open the door for others to follow. We'll soon see how serious the Zionists take this matter.
JFK called for AIPAC to register as a foreign agent, however sense his murder not one politician has ever mentioned it again. I think this says a lot about how much influence that particular lobby has. Too much.
Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Parasitic caste watch , says: March 12, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMTDual loyalty is a fuzzy term. Why not go back to the tried-and-true fifth column? These domestic Zionazis are Israel's fifth column. They constitute the vanguard of an international, and their program is clearly shown here:Johnny Walker Read , says: March 12, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT
Israel leads a counterrevolutionary plan and conspiracy for bad-faith subversion of all your human rights including your human right to peace. Israel's existence depends on domestic Apartheid, totalitarian repression in client states such as the US, and continual threats to peace worldwide. The government of Israel has forfeited its sovereignty by shirking its responsibility to protect with the crime against peace of aggression and the crime against humanity of extermination. In consequence, it must give way to a free Palestine.
The only way you're going to shake off Israel's fifth column is end Israel. You've got to do to Israel what we did to South Africa."No politician can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve America and Israel."renfro , says: March 12, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT
My translation of Matthew 6:24@jo6pac There are 40 Jews in the house and senate .that is not 89% of the total 500 congressmen and senators.Grigor , says: Website March 12, 2019 at 6:51 pm GMT
Crap claims like this are actually harmful to the effort to get the Jewish Fifth Column and Israel out of the US because the lie will be pointed out and much fun made of the nutcases by the uber Jews.
Stick to facts .the facts are bad enough.Duel citizenship is only acceptable if one citizenship is from where you were born, over which you had no choice, and the other is where you have chosen to live, made your home, and become a citizen thereof. Two citizenship by choice is a sham: getting the benefactors of one but maintaining your loyalty to another.
Jan 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,
In the America of today social justice warriors virtue signaling their tolerance for others have been repeatedly and quite often exposed for the bigots, sexists, and racists that they really are.
"Those whom the gods are about to destroy, they first make mad ..."
MaF , 4 minutes ago link
Why even bother going? These "Women's Marches" are a joke and half the time forces an area of a city to shutdown and "accomodate" then.
Aug 09, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info
Most Americans would be shocked if they knew how many foreign citizens are in our federal government -- and at what levels. They don't know because the mainstream media (or the conservative media, for that matter) almost never talks about it. It is one of the biggest secrets in Washington, D.C.
Back in 2015, Michael Hager wrote a very important missive that appeared in The Hill . Hager said:
The Biblical injunction that "No one can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24) doesn't apply to nations. Almost half of the world's countries, including the U.S., recognize dual citizenship -- even when they don't encourage it for the complicated legal issues it often raises.
For example, one who obeys a requirement to give allegiance to a country or votes in a foreign election may be regarded as having renounced citizenship in the other country. What happens when the legal claims of one country conflict with those of the second country? Which of the two countries has an obligation to assist a dual national in distress?
Until the Supreme Court decided otherwise in the 1967 case of Afroyim v. Rusk , a U.S. citizen who voted in a political election in a foreign state would forfeit his or her U.S. citizenship. From that point on, dual citizens have maintained their right to vote and hold public office without penalty.
Anyone can become a dual citizen, even members of Congress, high court judges and top officials of the executive branch. There's no law or regulation against it. Nor are they required to disclose such dual citizenship.
So what's the problem?
Dual citizenship in the United States poses a hitherto unappreciated issue for policy-level members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The divided national loyalties of dual citizens can create real or apparent conflicts of interest when such legislators, judges or senior officials make or speak out on policies that relate to their second country.
The potential damage to our democracy is the greater when such potential conflicts of interest are concealed in undisclosed dual citizenship.
The lack of transparency regarding citizenship erodes trust in government, raising credibility doubts where there should be none, and allowing some apparent conflicts of interest to continue undetected.
When a senator, representative or senior U.S. official speaks out, submits bills or determines policy on an issue of importance to a foreign country of which that member or official (or judge) has the tie of citizenship, their constituents and the U.S. public at large should at least be able to assess whether such views or actions are influenced by the divided loyalty.
Since they don't involve national loyalty, religion and ethnicity seldom raise conflict issues. Moreover, they are generally matters of public record.
By contrast, dual citizenship creates conflict of interest through divided loyalties. Thus it would seem reasonable to require that dual citizen members of Congress, the judiciary and the executive be required to renounce citizenship in another country as a condition of public service.
Yet the media and government watchdog organizations have largely ignored the potential conflict of interest inherent in dual citizenship. Why the neglect of this issue? Shouldn't members of Congress (and federal judges and executive branch officials) at least be required to disclose their citizenship in another country?
Even if our legal system continues to allow dual citizens to serve in high positions of the U.S. government, it should require them to recuse themselves from participating in decisions or policy debates that relate to their second country.
As a first step, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress should begin to include citizenship (along with the current listings of party breakdown, age, occupations, education, Congressional service, religion, gender, ethnicity and military service) in its published profiles of each new Congress.
Americans can then decide whether our legislators (and possibly federal judges and senior government officials as well) should be required to renounce their citizenship in another country as a condition of public service.
The U.S. Department of State -- Bureau Of Consular Affairs, "Dual Nationality," official web page says:
Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries, and either country has the right to enforce its laws. It is important to note the problems attendant to dual nationality. Claims of other countries upon U.S. dual-nationals often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other.
Yet, there are probably hundreds (we really don't know the true number, because as Hager notes, they are not required by law to declare their foreign citizenship) of foreign citizens serving in our federal government. And will you be shocked to learn that almost all of them -- if not ALL of them -- are citizens of ONE foreign country? Take a wild guess which country that is. You're right. ISRAEL.
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In my research for this column (which was not exhaustive), I found over 100 members of the U.S. government who are known to be dual U.S.-Israeli citizens. Here is a short sample list (compiled from public documents):
He was the 2nd United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2005 – 2009), serving under G.W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act, Federal Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2003 – 2005) and United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division (2001 – 2003).
Chertoff's father was Rabbi Gershon Baruch Chertoff (a Talmud scholar and the former leader of the Congregation B'nai Israel in Elizabeth, New Jersey). His mother was Livia Chertoff (née Eisen), an Israeli citizen who worked for the Mossad.
Researcher and investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn (author of the blockbuster book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ) writes this about Chertoff:
As Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Dept. of Justice, Chertoff personally supervised and controlled the entire FBI non-investigation of 9-11. Chertoff is the responsible person for the obstruction of justice and blocking access to the evidence since September 11, 2001.
Chertoff is the co-author, along with Viet Dinh, of the USA PATRIOT Act, signed into law on October 26, 2001. As head of the Justice Department's criminal division, he advised the Central Intelligence Agency on the legality of torture techniques in coercive interrogation sessions.
From 2001 to 2003, he headed the criminal division of the Department of Justice, leading the prosecution against terrorist suspect Zacarias Moussaoui. In this role, Chertoff was central in creating the 9-11 myth by providing the list of the 19 Arab suspects and supervising the FBI's confiscation of evidence and the non-investigation of 9-11.
He served as the 81st Attorney General of the United States (2007 – 2009) under President G.W. Bush; he was the 2nd Jewish U.S. Attorney General. He served for 18 years as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (1987 – 2006), 6 of those years as Chief Judge (2000 – 2006).
Mukasey was the judge in the litigation between developer Larry Silverstein and several insurance companies arising from the destruction of the World Trade Center. He was a major proponent of G.W. Bush's efforts to expand executive powers in the name of national security. He was especially outspoken in his support for the USA Patriot Act.
Perle served as the 1st Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs under President Ronald Reagan. He began his political career as a senior staff member to Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson on the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 1970s. He served on the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee from 1987 to 2004 (chairman 2001 – 2003) under the Bush Administration before resigning due to conflicts of interest.
A very likely Israeli government agent, Perle was expelled from Senator Jackson's office in the 1970's after the National Security Agency (NSA) caught him passing highly-classified (National Security) documents to the Israeli Embassy.
He has been involved with neocon think tanks including:
·The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) Board of Advisors
·The Center for Security Policy (CSP)
·The Project for the New American Century (PNAC)
·The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)
Perle was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group until December 2015. He is a self-described neoconservative. He co-authored the book An End To Evil: How To Win The War On Terror with fellow neoconservative David Frum in 2004. The book is regularly used as a defense of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and outlines important neoconservative ideas, including ways to abandon all Israeli-Palestinian peace processes, invade Syria and implement strict US domestic surveillance.
Perle is also "an ardent Zionist, a personal friend of [former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon, head of Hollinger Digital, part of the group that publishes the Daily Telegraph in Britain, a board member of the Jerusalem Post, a resident 'fellow' of the American Enterprise Institute and ex-employee of the Israeli weapons manufacturer Soltam." Jensen, H. (2002, October 7). Pre-Emption, Disarmament Or Regime Change? Part III. Retrieved August 1, 2018, from www.antiwar.com/orig/jensen1b.html .
Over the years, Perle has been known by the nickname "Prince of Darkness." He is a major player in the Israel lobby.
Perle's connections with former Vice President Dick Cheney run deep, as both are members of the board of advisors to JINSA, along with National Security Adviser John Bolton and Douglas Feith. Under the auspices of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, Perle and Feith worked together in 1996 as advisers to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There they devised the war to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq and the removal of as many Palestinians as possible from their homes and properties in the Israeli occupied territories.
Wolfowitz is a political scientist and diplomat who served as the 10th President of the World Bank from 2005 to 2007 (and resigned under pressure from World Bank members over a scandal involving his misuse of power), United States Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001 – 2005) under G.W. Bush and United States Ambassador to Indonesia (1986 – 1989) under Ronald Reagan and G.H.W. Bush. Like Perle, Wolfowitz came from the Jewish think tank JINSA. He was the number two leader within the G.W. Bush administration, planning and implementing the Iraq War.
Born to a Jewish family in Philadelphia, PA, Feith attended Harvard University and Georgetown University Law Center. After graduation, he worked for three years as an attorney with the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Feith also came from the Jewish think tank JINSA.
In the Reagan Administration, he worked at the White House as a Middle East specialist for the National Security Council and then served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy.
Feith served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the G.W. Bush administration from 2001 to 2005. His appointment was facilitated by connections he had with other neoconservatives, including Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. In that position, he helped devise the U.S. government's strategy for the war on terrorism and contributed to the plans for the Afghanistan and Iraq war campaigns.
He is closely associated with the extremist group the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which even attacks Jews that don't agree with its extremist views. Feith frequently speaks at ZOA conferences.
Feith co-founded a small Washington DC law firm, Feith & Zell, which only has one international office: in Israel. Feith supervised the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, a group of policy and intelligence analysts created to provide senior government officials with raw intelligence, unvetted by the intelligence community. The office was responsible for hiring Lawrence Franklin, who was later convicted along with AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) employees Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman for passing classified national defense information to an Israeli diplomat, Naor Gilon.
Kissinger was the 56th United States Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977 under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He was Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from January 1969 until November 1975 under Nixon and Ford. He was appointed by President Reagan to chair the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America in July 1983 until 1985. He served as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 1984 to 1990 under Ronald Reagan and G.H.W. Bush. He was a member of the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy of the National Security Council and Defense Department from 1986 to 1988. And he served as a member of the Defense Policy Board from 2001 to 2016 (under Richard Perle). Henry Kissinger -- a prominent member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission -- has been a close personal advisor to every President from John F. Kennedy to Donald Trump.
Bolton is the current National Security Advisor to President Trump. He was the interim U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2005 – 2006) under G.W. Bush. From 1989 to 1993, under G.H.W. Bush, he was Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. He held positions in the United States Agency for International Development and as Assistant Attorney General under Ronald Reagan (1985 – 1989). One of the most hawkish of war hawks, he aggressively supported and helped plan military action and regime change in Iraq and Libya and is now doing the same thing in Syria and Iran.
Additional Israeli citizens serving in high level U.S. government positions include:
- Janet Yellen – Federal Reserve Chair
- Stanley Fischer – Federal Reserve Vice-Chair
- Lincoln Bloomfield – Assistant Secretary of State
- Daniel Kurtzer – Ambassador to Israel
- Cliff Sobel – Ambassador to the Netherlands
- Stuart Bernstein – Ambassador to Denmark
- Nancy Brinker – Ambassador to Hungary
- Frank Lavin – Ambassador to Singapore
- Ron Weiser – Ambassador to Slovakia
- Martin Silverstein – Ambassador to Uruguay
- Jay Lefkowitz – Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council
- Ken Melman – White House Political Director
- Brad Blakeman – White House Director of Scheduling
I found 14 current and former U.S. senators who are dual U.S.-Israel citizens including:
And I found 32 current or past members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are dual U.S.-Israel citizens including:
As I said, I have been able to identify well over 100 high-level members of the U.S. government who are citizens of Israel. And for the sake of this column, I tried to find U.S. government officials who were dual citizens with other countries, and I couldn't find any. Not one! I am not saying there aren't any; I'm just saying I couldn't find any. (I am not including those who were born on foreign soil to American parents. That is a completely different category.)
Remember what the U.S. State Department official website under the category of "Dual Citizenship" said:
Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country . They are required to obey the laws of both countries, and either country has the right to enforce its laws. It is important to note the problems attendant to dual nationality. Claims of other countries upon U.S. dual-nationals often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. [Underlines added]
The U.S. government is awash with foreign citizens -- Israeli citizens. And if you don't think that Israel is exerting tremendous influence over the decisions, policies and wars of the United States, you are hopelessly naïve.
It is absurd that people who are citizens of foreign nations would be allowed to hold public office in the United States -- or, at the very least, would not be required by law to disclose those foreign citizenships and recuse themselves from any vote or decision involving the countries in which they hold citizenship, as Michael Hager opined above. Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Michele Bachmann were right to renounce their foreign citizenships (Canada and Switzerland respectively), albeit they both served several years in Congress as dual citizens and both surrendered their foreign citizenships only after receiving media backlash for it during their respective presidential campaigns.
And the presence of a large network of Israeli citizens serving in the U.S. government should also inspire people to read Christopher Bollyn's new book referenced above, The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East .
I guarantee you that once you read Bollyn's book, you will be able to better understand how the presence of a large network of Israeli citizens serving as officials within the U.S. government has been able to shape America's foreign policy and take our country into perpetual war.
This quote is taken from the book's back cover:
The government and media have misled us about 9/11 in order to compel public opinion to support the War on Terror.
Why have we gone along with it? Do we accept endless war as normal? Are we numb to the suffering caused by our military interventions?
No. We have simply been propagandized into submission. We have been deceived into thinking that the War on Terror is a good thing, a valiant struggle against terrorists who intend to attack us as we were on 9/11.
Behind the War on Terror is a strategic plan crafted decades in advance to redraw the map of the Middle East. 9/11 was a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims in order to start the military operations for that strategic plan. Recognizing the origin of the plan is crucial to understanding the deception that has changed our world.
This book is the one book you must read in 2018. It dispels the myths and destroys the lies about 9/11 and America's "War on Terror." READ THIS BOOK!
Order Christopher Bollyn's new blockbuster book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East here: The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
Jul 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.orgThe USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin by Dan Corjescu
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
-- Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"
There are many modern myths. One of them is about the events of 1989 as being the culmination of a grand historical struggle for freedom and liberty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For years prior to 1989 the West through a combination of both legal business and criminal activity had interpenetrated the Communist elites with lucrative deals and promises of all kinds.
This situation was even more pronounced in "non-aligned" Yugoslavia who for years had maintained CIA and American and West European business contacts.
In effect, the "cold war" witnessed a rapid convergence between the economic and power interests of both Western and Communist elites.
The "Communists" (in name only of course) quickly realized the economic benefits available to them through at times open at times clandestine cooperation with Western business/criminal interests.
Eventually, Communist elites realized that they had an unprecedented economic opportunity on their hands: state privatization made possible, in part, with active Western participation.
For them, "Freedom" meant the freedom to get rich beyond their wildest dreams.
And the 1990's were just that. A paradise for thieving on an unimaginable scale all under the rubric of the rebirth of "capitalism and freedom".
The true outcome of that decade was that the old communist elites not only retained their social and political power behind the scenes; they also were able to enrich themselves beyond anything the communist dictatorships could ever hope to offer them in the past.
Yes, the price was to give up imperial, national, and ideological ambitions. But it was a very small price to pay; since the East European elites had ceased to believe in any of those things years earlier.
The only firm belief they still held was the economic betterment of themselves and their families through the acquisition by any means of as many asset classes as possible. In effect, they became the mirror image of their "enemy" the "imperialist capitalist West".
This was not a case of historical dialectics but historical convergence. What appeared as a world divided was actually a world waiting to be made whole through the basest of criminal business activity.
But being clever thieves they knew how to hide themselves and their doings behind superficially morally impeccable figures such as Vaclav Havel and Lech Wałęsa, to name just a few. These "dissidents" would be the faces they would use to make a good part of the world believe that 1989 was a narrative of freedom and not outright pubic theft which it was.
Yes, people in the east, even in Russia, are freer now than they were. But it should never be forgotten that the events of 1989/1990 were not even remotely about those revolutionary dreams.
It was about something much more mundane and sordid. It was about greed. It was about the maintenance of power. And finally it was about money.
How deep has the Western nexus of power and wealth gone into the heart of the East? So far indeed that one can easily question to what extent a country like Russia is truly a "national" state anymore and rather just a territory open to exploitation by both local and global elites.
For that matter, we can ask the same question about the USA.
... ... ...
Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile , November 5, 2017 at 5:13 am
-- Maxikins, soon you'll be sleeping with the president of Russia.
-- Ksyush, but are you sure that Putin will want to sleep with me?
Knomore , October 31, 2017 at 2:20 pm
A sardine is hauled in and the big fish swim away. This story seems to suggest either massive chutzpah on the part of the Clinton campaign or stupidity fueled by desperation.
That they would allow Mueller's investigation to go forward when they were sitting on a mountain of graft, collusion and other malfeasance (i.e., uranium sold to Russia for among other things half a million straight into Billl's pocket) all of it, really quite amazing.
We got two uniformly bad candidates in the 2016 elections, both of whom were/are ardent supporters of Israel. How did that happen?
And Paul Manafort was indicted for supposedly establishing a relationship with a foreign government that was not covered by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Speaking of FARA, when is someone in the US government or the totally corrupted and bought-off US Congress going to demand that Israel and AIPAC be registered under FARA? And then: When will investigations begin into some of the truly treasonous acts and legislation shepherded by this foreign agent called AIPAC: -- like its interference with Free Speech protections in the US Bill of Rights, and this latest: Something about residents of some town in Texas forced to sign a loyalty pledge in support of Israel in order to receive funds to rebuild their stricken landscape ??? Is Israel putting up the money for disaster relief projects in America? If so, how did this come about?
Nov 08, 2015 | zeroanthropology.net
If the present provides a hint of what it is to come, the nastiest, ugliest, and bloodiest wars to be fought this century will be between states opposed to continued US dominance, and the force multipliers of US dominance. We see the outline of sovereign self-defense programs that take diverse forms, from the banning of foreign funding for NGOs operating in a state's territory, controlling the mass media, arresting protesters, shutting down CIA-funded political parties, curtailing foreign student exchanges, denying visas to foreign academic researchers, terminating USAID operations, to expelling US ambassadors, and so forth. In extreme cases, this includes open warfare between governments and armed rebels backed by the US, or more indirectly (as the force multiplier principle mandates) backed by US allies. US intervention will provoke and heighten paranoia, stoking repression, and create the illusion of a self-fulfilling prophecy that US interventionists can further manipulate, using logic of this kind: they are serial human rights abusers; we therefore need to intervene in the name of humanity. There will be no discussion, let alone admission, that US covert intervention helped to provoke repression, and that the US knowingly placed its "force multipliers" on the front line. "Force multipliers" also requires us to understand the full depth and scope of US imperialism comprising, among other things: entertainment, food, drink, software, agriculture, arms sales, media, and so on.
Yet, in the end, we are still left with a basic question: What is a force multiplier? There are even more answers to this question than there are persons answering it. Beyond the most basic definition in physics, we see a proliferation of examples of force multipliers, reflecting a weak pseudo-science that reifies actual policies, offering mixed results in practice. Given the scientistic and positivist approach that achieved hegemony during the Cold War in US universities and the military, the conceptualization of force multipliers reveals familiar problems arising from the naturalization of social phenomena, of "man" as "molecule" of society. As an impoverished form of political science, one that is formulaic, mechanical, utilitarian, and ideologically-driven, the force multiplier idea nonetheless poses difficult anthropological questions about the agency of others.
My hope was that military writers did not choose to write "force multipliers" because candidly calling them "quislings," "shills," "dupes," "pawns" or "suckers" would have been too "politically incorrect," or would have validated older, Cold War-era accusations of the US supporting "stooges," "lackeys," "cronies," "henchmen," "running dogs," or "lap dogs". In other words, my hope was that this was not yet another imperial euphemism. Regardless of the intentions behind the terminology, whether conscious or not, the basic idea of using humans as a form of drone , one that is less expensive yet more precise and in less need of constant guidance, seems to be the persisting feature of the force multiplier concept.
If the concept is not a mere euphemism, then there is still an absence of sound theorization of force multipliers on the part of the Pentagon, and by that I mean that while an inchoate lexical infrastructure exists consisting of nested synonyms derived from the natural sciences, there is little more than crude utilitarianism and functionalism to hold the terms together. Some may wish to retort, "then that is the theory" by noting the presence of functionalist assumptions and premises derived from rational-choice theories. However, the presence of theory should also involve the process of theorization, which entails questioning, revising, and exposing one's assumptions to a dialogue with other theories and with facts that appear to challenge the validity of the theory.
There may be a lot of real-world destruction by the US military and intelligence apparatus, but there is no winning as such!the absence of theorization is killing the imperial political and security structures, but their exposure to critical theories will only hasten their defeat. No wonder then that so many right-wing "pro-military" columnists in the US routinely scoff at and dismiss "post-colonialism"!theirs is a hegemony in trouble, turned narcissistic: unable to find their mirror image in many sectors of the social sciences and humanities, they resort to angry triumphalism and cyclical repetition of the same failed "solutions," repeated over and over again. On the other hand, they can find their mirror-image in academia, and particularly anthropology, in other ways: many US anthropologists' convoluted (meta)theoretical fumblings, obfuscated by pretentious language whose deliberate lack of clarity masks deep confusion and bewilderment, stands out particularly in the cases of topics which are "new," such as democracy or globalization. In this sense, both the US military and US anthropology in some quarters share in common a proliferation of theoretical-sounding rhetoric and a lack of scientific theory. Not coincidentally, both also share an apparent aversion to even saying the word "imperialism". One might detect a certain decadence in imperial intellectual life, of which the force multiplier theoretical pretense is but one small example.
Clearly there are numerous examples of agents serving as "force multipliers," and almost as clear is the absence of theorization, let alone reason for imperial elites to feel confident about success when the political, economic, and cultural projects they represent are domestically bankrupt and alienating. Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, and "winning hearts and minds," certainly did happen in some places and to some extent, which gives partial weight to the "force multiplier" idea at the core of these processes. However, on the whole, counterinsurgency programs have been defeated in Afghanistan just as in Vietnam before.
Nov 07, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
Dean | Nov 6, 2016 11:06:56 AM | 89jfl @85jfl | Nov 6, 2016 3:37:54 PM | 96
He is one of the 5th column "Atlanticists" that want Russia in the western orbit and that can only happen with it on its knees groveling.
Here is an article that explains the internal politics better:
"...when Putin came to power in 1999-2000 he inherited a system completely designed and controlled by the USA. During the Eltsin years, Russian ministers had much less power than western 'advisers' who turned Russia into a US colony. In fact, during the 1990s, Russia was at least as controlled by the USA as Europe and the Ukraine are today. And the results were truly catastrophic: Russia was plundered from her natural wealth, billions of dollars were stolen and hidden in western offshore accounts, the Russian industry was destroyed, a unprecedented wave of violence, corruption and poverty drowned the entire country in misery and the Russian Federation almost broke up into many small statelets. It was, by any measure, an absolute nightmare, a horror comparable to a major war. Russia was about to explode and something had to be done.
Two remaining centers of power, the oligarchs and the ex-KGB, were forced to seek a solution to this crisis and they came up with the idea of sharing power: the former would be represented by Anatolii Medvedev and the latter by Vladimir Putin. Both sides believed that they would keep the other side in check and that this combination of big money and big muscle would yield a sufficient degree of stability.
I call the group behind Medvedev the "Atlantic Integrationists" and the people behind Putin the "Eurasian Sovereignists". The former wants Russia to be accepted by the West as an equal partner and fully integrate Russia into the AngloZionist Empire, while the latter want to fully "sovereignize" Russia and then create a multi-polar international system with the help of China and the other BRICS countries.
What the Atlantic Integrationists did not expect is that Putin would slowly but surely begin to squeeze them out of power: first he cracked down on the most notorious oligarchs such as Berezovskii and Khodorkovskii, then he began cracking down on the local oligarchs, gubernatorial mafias, ethnic mobsters, corrupt industry officials, etc. Putin restored the "vertical [axis]of power" and crushed the Wahabi insurgents in Chechnia. Putin even carefully set up the circumstances needed to get rid of some of the worst ministers such as Serdiukov and Kudrin. But what Putin has so far failed to do is to
Reform the Russian political system
Replace the 5th columnists in and around the Kremlin
Reform the Russian economy"
@85 deanjfl | Nov 6, 2016 5:56:12 PM | 100
Yes. I'm a little shy of the Saker, though. He has his own enthusiasms. I agree that the Russian Central Bank is a knot that needs to be untied ... but what central bank isn't?
Somebody - the poster by that 'original' name - posted a link to How Harvard Lost Russia , detailing the corruption of the Harvard team sent to Russia to 'help' after the collapse. I view Medvedev and 'Atlanticist' cronies as of the same ilk.
There was an amazing 'report' by Medvedev, printed at the Kremlin site, of the corruption entailed in the last Russian election, all against his party, of course. I wonder if that isn't how Medvedev himself didn't get his seat?
The Anti-Empire Report #146Piotr Berman | Nov 6, 2016 7:45:20 PM | 102
"The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful." Vice-President Dick Cheney – West Point lecture, June 2002
Still on course ...
I think that Putin is not so much a neo-liberal - you cannot be serious ... 'if you are to believe Western press' - as buried under the snow-job of Western 'economics'. They give Nobel Prizes for Western economic snow, and he's not the only one intimidated by it, the only one who still believes 'There Is No Alternative'. The Chinese are on the same page ... they seem to be enjoying it, though.
Raqqa is in dispute. Mike Whitney agrees with you . I wait to see ...
Harvard team sent to Russia to 'help' after the collapse...james | Nov 6, 2016 8:35:58 PM | 105
History repeats itself. First as a tragedy, and then as a farce. Western (and Polish) expert help reforming the economy of Ukraine. Polish detractors wonder if even the Volhynia massacres justify this kind of retribution.
@103 dh.. wait! annie applepants and her dork husband to the rescue... or, dang - that didn't work... have to find some other stooges for the empire..james | Nov 6, 2016 8:38:28 PM | 106
for anyone who missed all that, here is john helmers last article on the crazy couple who tried to conquer poland with neo con stupid-ness..
May 17, 2015 | sputniknews.com
A sinister atmosphere surrounds the Clinton Foundation's role in Ukrainian military coup of February 2014, experts point out.
It has recently turned out that Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, a vocal proponent of Ukraine's European integration, made huge contributions to the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary Clinton was the US Secretary of State. Although the foundation swore off donations from foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton was serving as a state official, it continued accepting money from private donors. Many of them had certain ties to their national governments like Viktor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian businessman and ex-parliamentarian.
Remarkably, among individual donors contributing to the Clinton Foundation in the period between 1999 and 2014, Ukrainian sponsors took first place in the list, providing the charity with almost $10 million and pushing England and Saudi Arabia to second and third places respectively.
It is worth mentioning that the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation alone transferred at least $8.6 million to the Clinton charity between 2009 and 2013. Pinchuk, who acquired his fortune from a pipe-making business, served twice as a parliamentarian in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada and was married to the daughter of ex-president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.
Although the Clinton's charity denies that the donations were somehow connected with political matters, experts doubt that international private sponsors received no political support in return. In 2008 Pinchuk pledged to make a five-year $29 million contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative in order to fund a program aimed at training future Ukrainian leaders and "modernizers." Remarkably, several alumni of these courses are current members of Ukrainian parliament. Because of the global financial crisis, the Pinchuk Foundation sent only $1.8 million.Experts note that during Mrs. Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, Viktor Pinchuk was introduced to some influential American lobbyists. Curiously enough, he tried to use his powerful "friends" to pressure Ukraine's then-President Viktor Yanukovych to free Yulia Tymoshenko, who served a jail term.
Viktor Pinchuk has always been one of the most vocal proponents of Ukraine's European integration. In 2004 Pinchuk founded the Yalta European Strategy (YES) platform in Kiev. YES is led by the board including ex-president of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. According to the website of the platform, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Kofi Annan, Radoslaw Sikorski, Vitaliy Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Petro Poroshenko and other prominent figures have participated in annual meetings of YES since 2004.
No one would argue that proponents of Ukraine's pro-Western course played the main role in organizing the coup of February 2014 in Kiev. Furthermore, the exceptional role of the United States in ousting then-president Viktor Yanukovich has also been recognized by political analysts, participants of Euromaidan and even by Barack Obama, the US President.
Experts note that after the coup, the Ukrainian leadership has actually become Washington's puppet government. Several foreign citizens, including American civilian Natalie Jaresko, Lithuanian investment banker Aivaras Abromavicius and Georgia-born Alexander Kvitashvili have assumed high posts in the Ukrainian government. It should be noted that Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine's Financial Minister, have previously worked in the US State Department and has also been linked to oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.
So far, experts note, the recent "game of thrones" in Ukraine has been apparently instigated by a few powerful clans of the US and Ukraine, who are evidently benefitting from the ongoing turmoil. In this light the Clinton Foundation looks like something more than just a charity: in today's world of fraudulent oligopoly we are facing with global cronyism, experts point out, warning against its devastating consequences.Read more: http://sputniknews.com/analysis/20150323/1019905665.html#ixzz3YT3FykcI
See also: US Intelligence Services Behind 2014 Ukraine Coup – EU Parliament Member
Oct 24, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Dear Stooges, I'm having a flame war with a youtuber, called him some bad names, so I'm committed to crushing him. He claims SAA are incompetents who extort bribes from Syrians. I called for evidence, he links to this https://citeam.org/here-s-why-assad-s-army-can-t-win-the-war-in-syria/
Now I ask you, does the author, Mikhail Khodarenok, Gazeta.ru's military observer, a retired colonel, qualify as kreakl? Or anyways, as someone enamored of the United Shits, or ? How would Stooges-in-the-know characterise him? He's obviously at odds with the present Russian leadership, from my tiny perspective. BTW, kreakl, returned one google hit, a rap album by Zippy Kid. Did I mispell the word? Or, is that the confection of one of our resident russophones, known only to us?
marknesop , September 26, 2016 at 10:28 amThat's our term; we adopted it spelt with a 'k', like the Russian alphabet, in which there is no mistake what sound it makes. It is a portmanteau of 'creative class', but previous users dubbed it 'creacle'. We decided to use the 'k' because 'c' also has a soft sound in English, while it is only a soft sound in Russian and represents the 's'.Special_sauce , September 26, 2016 at 10:46 amhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH-TiaIxyeU hilarious Requiem for the Creative ClassJen , September 26, 2016 at 5:03 pmWhile you're engaged in World War III against the youtuber, you'll need sustenance to keep going so here is some nice refreshment from Andrey Filatov's Youtube channel.et Al , September 26, 2016 at 11:40 am
BTW who's the youtuber? He may be someone we've all come across in the past.We really need our own Kremlin Stooge range and rank of Kreals ( a la Russe of course), and maybe some mockups (see below). The bottom rung could simply be called 'Kreakl', the second from top rung 'Golden Kreakl' and the top run 'Platinum Kreakl'. We'd have to populate the list with suitable personalities. Maybe we should also have 'Kreaklites', people who are not full 'Kreakl' but lean that way?marknesop , September 26, 2016 at 11:56 am
http://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.Mb90cc77f0a5e3bf059957c7ab388fd01H0&pid=15.1Not to mention the 'Rice Kreakl', similar to the 'Rice Christian'; someone who pretends to be devout when it is feeding him. Stanislav Belkovsky typifies this class, as he will say anything so long as it brings him attention, money or both.Moscow Exile , September 26, 2016 at 12:07 pmmarknesop , September 26, 2016 at 12:14 pm
Long live our Creative Class!
The iPad is the Kreakl's weapon
What a prick on the receiving end of a lot of pricks! That was before he stitched his gob up and before his pièce de ré·sis·tance , namely nailing his ball-bag to Red Square.
Mother of God drive out Putin! © Pussy Riot lyrics
Yeah, her defence efforts didn't do the "Punk-Rock feminist performance artistes" much good.
Fuck off, Kreakl!
(Stylised Moskal Vatnik doing the fucking off)Astounding how much Ryzhkov resembles a monkey in that first shot.Special_sauce , September 26, 2016 at 12:46 pm
They are so copying us.Thanks ME, more ordnance!Moscow Exile , September 26, 2016 at 1:10 pmPlenty more ammo here --Moscow Exile , September 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm
The Russia that we lost
What a lovable drunken bastard Yeltsin was!marknesop , September 26, 2016 at 4:46 pm
Tweet from a suffering Kreakl , Svetlana Morozova:
Sometimes I do not manage to get the express at Pavlovsky Posad, so then I board a normal commuter train - and realize how much I hate the Russian people. The day following such a journey, I suffer because of this loathing. . If you could just see such a parade of monsters! What types there are that wander around the carriages, offering with their vile voices all sorts of trash… [She is talking about vendors that offer goods for sale on the commuter trains - ME] And straight away there come the beggars with dogs, about whom I have written so much … and I give them some kopecks … Who do we write articles for? We write about scams and questionable banks, about books and films, about education and travel - but for whom?? And the people spit out their sunflower seeds, guzzle their beer out of cans and rest their tatty heads against those of their neighbours. I HATE THEM .She should ride the bus in many western cities, full of young yobs who curse appallingly in a normal conversational voice regardless of who is nearby, because it's such fun to be outrageous – she'd probably like that, it's freedom. The Russian government should notify her that she has ten days to sell her belongings, and then put her free of charge on a one-way trip to Chicago – hey, how bad can it be? The President comes from there. Just roll her out on the tarmac, and turn around and come back. She'd probably have a job by next week with the Jamestown Foundation or the Heritage Institute or one of those the-people-are-rising-against-Putin think
Friction is now between global financial elite and the rest of us, The Guardian:
... ... ...
But the standard explanation, as well as the standard debate, overlooks the increasing concentration of political power in a corporate and financial elite that has been able to influence the rules by which the economy runs. ...
Dan Kervick said...
"This means that the fracture in politics will move from left to right to the anti-establishment versus establishment."
I think this is probably right, but the established parties are doing their best to prevent it. Each of them has an interest in continuing to divide people along various cultural, religious and ethnic identity lines in order to prevent them from achieving any kind of effective solidarity along class lines.
Anyway, I fear we may be headed toward a turbulent and very unpleasant future.
Kenneth D said...
"Rethinking the Global Political Economy" By Jeff Faux April 24, 2002
In most cases, international agreements are negotiated by elites that have more in common with each other than with working people in the countries that they represent. As a retired U.S. State Department official put it to me bluntly a few years ago, "What you don't understand," he said, "is that when we negotiate economic agreements with these poorer countries, we are negotiating with people from the same class. That is, people whose interests are like ours – on the side of capital."
Accordingly, the fundamental purpose of the neo-liberal polices of the past 20 years has been to discipline labor in order to free capital from having to bargain with workers over the gains from rising productivity.
But labor is typically at a disadvantage because it usually bargains under conditions of excess supply of unemployed workers. Moreover, the forced liberalization of finance and trade provides enormous bargaining leverage to capital, because it can now threaten to leave the economy altogether.
Moreover, unregulated globalization in one stroke puts government's domestic policies decisively on the side of capital. In an economy that is growing based on its domestic market, rising wages help everyone because they increase purchasing power and consumer demand – which is the major driver of economic growth in a modern economy. But in an economy whose growth depends on foreign markets, rising domestic wages are a problem, because they add to the burden of competing internationally.
Both the international financial institutions and the WTO have powers to enforce protection of investors' rights among nations, the former through the denial of financing, the latter through trade sanctions. But the institution charged with protecting workers' rights – the International Labor Organization (ILO) – has no enforcement power.
"... Buried inside the annual report for Third Way is a revelation that the group relies on a peculiar DC consulting firm to raise half a million a year: Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart. Peck Madigan is no ordinary nonprofit buckraiser. The group is, in fact, a corporate lobbying firm that represents Deutsche Bank, Intel, the Business Roundtable, Amgen, AT&T, the International Swaps & Derivatives Association, MasterCard, New York Life Insurance, PhRMA and the US Chamber of Commerce, among others. ..."
Isn't "Third Way" a Euphemism for Fifth Column?
The "Washington Wire" blog at the resolutely non-partisan Wall Street Journal features an article about "a new 52-page report from centrist Democratic think tank the Third Way" that warns against populist, redistributionist messages.
Who is this Third Way? According to Wikipedia: "The board of the Third Way is made up almost entirely of investment bankers and other Wall Street executives." Wikipedia cites as their source a Nation article from 2013, "GOP Donors and K Street Fuel Third Way's Advice for the Democratic Party."
Buried inside the annual report for Third Way is a revelation that the group relies on a peculiar DC consulting firm to raise half a million a year: Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart. Peck Madigan is no ordinary nonprofit buckraiser. The group is, in fact, a corporate lobbying firm that represents Deutsche Bank, Intel, the Business Roundtable, Amgen, AT&T, the International Swaps & Derivatives Association, MasterCard, New York Life Insurance, PhRMA and the US Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Dec 05, 2012 | The New York Times
ATHENS - A dynamic entrepreneur, Lavrentis Lavrentiadis seemed to represent a promising new era for Greece. He dazzled the country's traditionally insular business world by spinning together a multibillion-dollar empire just a few years after inheriting a small family firm at 18. Seeking acceptance in elite circles, he gave lavishly to charities and cultivated ties to the leading political parties.
But as Greece's economy soured in recent years, his fortunes sagged and he began embezzling money from a bank he controlled, prosecutors say. With charges looming, it looked as if his rapid rise would be followed by an equally precipitous fall. Thanks to a law passed quietly by the Greek Parliament, however, he avoided prosecution, at least for a time, simply by paying the money back.
Now 40, Mr. Lavrentiadis is back in the spotlight as one of the names on the so-called Lagarde list of more than 2,000 Greeks said to have accounts in a Geneva branch of the bank HSBC and who are suspected of tax evasion. Given to Greek officials two years ago by Christine Lagarde, then the French finance minister and now head of the International Monetary Fund, the list was expected to cast a damning light on the shady practices of the rich.
Lavrentis Lavrentiadis embezzled money from a bank he controlled, prosecutors say
Instead, it was swept under the rug, and now two former finance ministers and Greece's top tax officials are under investigation for having failed to act.
Greece's economic troubles are often attributed to a public sector packed full of redundant workers, a lavish pension system and uncompetitive industries hampered by overpaid workers with lifetime employment guarantees. Often overlooked, however, is the role played by a handful of wealthy families, politicians and the news media - often owned by the magnates - that make up the Greek power structure.
In a country crushed by years of austerity and 25 percent unemployment, average Greeks are growing increasingly resentful of an oligarchy that, critics say, presides over an opaque, closed economy that is at the root of many of the country's problems and operates with virtual impunity. Several dozen powerful families control critical sectors, including banking, shipping and construction, and can usually count on the political class to look out for their interests, sometimes by passing legislation tailored to their specific needs.
The result, analysts say, is a lack of competition that undermines the economy by allowing the magnates to run cartels and enrich themselves through crony capitalism. "That makes it rational for them to form a close, incestuous relationship with politicians and the media, which is then highly vulnerable to corruption," said Kevin Featherstone, a professor of European Politics at the London School of Economics.
This week the anticorruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Greece as the most corrupt nation in Europe, behind former Eastern Bloc states like Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. Under the pressure of the financial crisis, Greece is being pressed by Germany and its international lenders to make fundamental changes to its economic system in exchange for the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy.
But it remains an open question whether Greece's leaders will be able to engineer such a transformation. In the past year, despite numerous promises to increase transparency, the country actually dropped 14 places from the previous corruption survey.
Mr. Lavrentiadis is still facing a host of accusations stemming from hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made by his Proton bank to dormant companies - sometimes, investigators say, ordering an employee to withdraw the money in bags of cash. But with Greece scrambling to complete a critical bank recapitalization and restructuring, his case is emblematic of a larger battle between Greece's famously weak institutions and fledgling regulatory structures against these entrenched interests.
Many say that the system has to change in order for Greece to emerge from the crisis. "Keeping the status quo will simply prolong the disaster in Greece," Mr. Featherstone said. While the case of Mr. Lavrentiadis suggests that the status quo is at least under scrutiny, he added, "It's not under sufficient attack."
In a nearly two-hour interview, Mr. Lavrentiadis denied accusations of wrongdoing and said that he held "a few accounts" at HSBC in Geneva that totaled only about $65,000, all of it legitimate, taxed income. He also sidestepped questions about his political ties and declined to comment on any details of the continuing investigation into Proton Bank.
Sitting in the office of his criminal lawyer last month, relaxed, smiling and dressed in a crisp blue suit and red-and-blue tie, Mr. Lavrentiadis said he found it puzzling that he had been singled out in reports about the Lagarde list when other powerful figures appeared to evade scrutiny.
"My question is, 'Why me?' " he said. "I'm the scapegoat for everything."
In the interview, Mr. Lavrentiadis depicted himself as an outsider and upstart, an entrepreneur in a small country dominated by old families who frown on newcomers. "I am not from a third-generation aristocratic family," he said repeatedly.
Indeed, by some lights, Mr. Lavrentiadis fell in part because he rose too quickly and then failed to secure enough of the right friends to protect him, a perception he did not dispute.
Dec 02, 2010 | huffingtonpost.com
Crossposted with TomDispatch.com.
There is a war underway. I'm not talking about Washington's bloody misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, but a war within our own borders. It's a war fought on the airwaves, on television and radio and over the internet, a war of words and images, of half-truth, innuendo, and raging lies. I'm talking about a political war, pitting liberals against conservatives, Democrats against Republicans. I'm talking about a spending war, fueled by stealthy front groups and deep-pocketed anonymous donors. It's a war that's poised to topple what's left of American democracy.
The right wing won the opening battle. In the 2010 midterm elections, shadowy outside organizations (who didn't have to disclose their donors until well after Election Day, if at all) backing Republican candidates doled out $190 million, outspending their adversaries by a more than two-to-one margin, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. American Action Network, operated by Republican consultant Fred Malek and former Republican Senator Norm Coleman, spent $26 million; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plunked down $33 million; and Karl Rove's American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS shelled out a combined $38.6 million. Their investments in conservative candidates across the country paid off: the 62 House seats and six Senate seats claimed by Republicans were the most in the postwar era -- literally, a historic victory.
Knocked out of their complacency, no longer basking in the glow of Barack Obama's 2008 victory, wealthy Democrats are now plotting their response. Left-wing media mogul David Brock plans to create an outside group dubbed American Bridge in response to Rove's Crossroads outfits that will fight in the trenches of 2012 campaign spending. Many more outfits like Brock's will surely follow, as liberal and centrist Democrats brace for a promised $500 million onslaught by the Chamber of Commerce and others of its ilk.
Even the Obama administration, which shunned outside groups in 2008, has opened the door to a covert spending war. The Democrats will now fight fire with fire. "Is small money better? You bet. But we're in a fucking fight," Democratic strategist and fundraiser Harold Ickes told me recently. "And if you're in a fistfight, then you're in a fistfight, and you use all legal means available."
The endgame here, of course, is nonstop war. No longer will outside groups come and go every two years. Now, such groups will be running attack ads, sending out mailers, and deploying robo-calls year-round in what is going to become a perpetual campaign to sway voters and elect friendly lawmakers. "We're definitely building a foundation," was how American Crossroads president Steven Law put it.
This is what nowadays passes for the heart and soul of American democracy. It used to be that citizens in large numbers, mobilized by labor unions or political parties or a single uniting cause, determined the course of American politics. After World War II, a swelling middle class was the most powerful voting bloc, while, in those same decades, the working and middle classes enjoyed comparatively greater economic prosperity than their wealthy counterparts. Kiss all that goodbye. We're now a country run by rich people.
Not surprisingly, political power has a way of following wealth. What that means is: You can't understand how the rich seized control of American politics, and arguably American society, without understanding how a small group of Americans got so much money in the first place.
That story begins in the late 1970s and continues through the Obama years, a period in which American policy has been so skewed toward the rich that we're now living through the worst period of income inequality in modern history. Consider the statistics: 50 years ago, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans accounted for one of every 10 dollars of the nation's income; today, it's nearly one in every four. Between 1979 and 2006, the average post-tax household income (including benefits) of the wealthiest 1 percent increased by 256 percent; the poorest households saw an increase of 11 percent; middle class homes, 21 percent, much of which was due to the arrival of two-job families.
Tax guru David Cay Johnston recently crunched new Social Security Administration data and discovered an even starker divide. On the one hand, the number of Americans earning a steady income declined by 4.5 million between 2008 and 2009, and the average wage in the U.S. dipped by 0.6 percent, to $39,269. On the other hand, the average wage among Americans earning more than $50 million per year skyrocketed from $91 million in 2008 to $519 million in 2009. Those multimillionaires take home more in one week -- about $10 million -- than most Americans make in a lifetime.
Harvard University economist Lawrence Katz put the situation Americans now find themselves in this way:
Think of the American economy as a large apartment block. A century ago -- even 30 years ago -- it was the object of envy. But in the last generation its character has changed. The penthouses at the top keep getting larger and larger. The apartments in the middle are feeling more and more squeezed and the basement has flooded. To round it off, the elevator is no longer working. That broken elevator is what gets people down the most.
Let's call those select few in the penthouse the New Oligarchy, an awesomely rich sliver of Americans raking in an outsized share of the nation's wealth. They're oil magnates and media tycoons, corporate executives and hedge-fund traders, philanthropists and entertainers. Depending on where you want to draw the line, they're the top 1 percent, or the top 0.1 percent, or even the top 0.01 percent of the population. And when the Supreme Court handed down its controversial Citizens United decision in January, it broke the floodgates so that a torrent of anonymous donations from this oligarchic class could flood back down from the heights and inundate the political lands below.
"The Thirty-Year War"
How did we get here? How did a middle-class-heavy nation transform itself into an oligarchy? You'll find answers to these questions in Winner-Take-All Politics, a revelatory new book by political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. The authors treat the present figures we have on American wealth and poverty as a crime scene littered with clues and suspects, dead-ends and alibis.
Unlike so many pundits, politicians, and academics, Hacker and Pierson resist blaming the usual suspects: globalization, the rise of an information-based economy, and the demise of manufacturing. The culprit in their crime drama is American politics itself over the last three decades. The clues to understanding the rise of an American oligarchy, they believe, won't be found in New York or New Delhi, but on Capitol Hill, along Pennsylvania Avenue, and around K Street, that haven in a heartless world for Washington's lobbyists.
"Step by step and debate by debate," they write, "America's public officials have rewritten the rules of American politics and the American economy in ways that have benefited the few at the expense of the many."
Most accounts of American income inequality begin in the 1980s with the reign of President Ronald Reagan, the anti-government icon whose "Reaganomics" are commonly fingered as the catalyst for today's problems. Wrong, say Hacker and Pierson. The origins of oligarchy lay in the late 1970s and in the unlikely figure of Jimmy Carter, a Democratic president presiding over a Congress controlled by Democrats. It was Carter's successes and failures, they argue, that kicked off what economist Paul Krugman has labeled "the Great Divergence."
In 1978, the Carter administration and Congress took a red pen to the tax code, slashing the top rate of the capital gains tax from 48 percent to 28 percent -- an enormous boon for wealthy Americans. At the same time, the most ambitious effort in decades to reform American labor law in order to make it easier to unionize died in the Senate, despite a 61-vote Democratic supermajority. Likewise, a proposed Office of Consumer Representation, a $15 million advocacy agency that was to work on behalf of average Americans, was defeated by an increasingly powerful business lobby.
Ronald Reagan, you could say, simply took the baton passed to him by Carter. His 1981 Economic Recovery and Tax Act (ERTA) bundled a medley of goodies any oligarch would love, including tax cuts for corporations, ample reductions in the capital gains and estate taxes, and a 10 percent income tax exclusion for married couples in two-earner families. "ERTA was Ronald Reagan's greatest legislative triumph, a fundamental rewriting of the nation's tax laws in favor of winner-take-all outcomes," Hacker and Pierson conclude.
The groundwork had by then been laid for the rich to pull definitively and staggering ahead of everyone else. The momentum of the tax-cut fervor carried through the presidencies of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and in 2000 became the campaign trail rallying cry of George W. Bush. It was Bush II, after all, who told a room full of wealthy donors at an $800-a-plate dinner, "Some people call you the elites; I call you my base," and who pledged that his 2001 tax cuts would be a boon for all Americans. They weren't: according to Hacker and Pierson, 51 percent of their benefits go to the top 1 percent of earners.
Those cuts will be around a lot longer if the GOP has its way. Take Republican Congressman Dave Camp's word for it. On Nov. 16, Camp, a Republican from Michigan, said the only acceptable solution when it came to the Bush-era tax cuts was not just upholding them for all earners, rich and poor, but passing more such cuts. Anything in between, any form of compromise, including President Obama's proposal to extend the Bush cuts for the working and middle classes but not the wealthy, was "a terrible idea and a total non-starter."
Why should you care what Dave Camp says? Here's the answer: In January, he's set to inherit the chairman's gavel on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the body tasked with writing the nation's tax laws. And though most Americans wouldn't even recognize his name, Camp's message surely left America's wealthy elites breathing a long sigh of relief. You could sum it up like this: Fear not, wealthy Americans, your money is safe. The policies that made you rich aren't going anywhere.
Tear Down This Law
Where rewriting the tax code proved too politically difficult, demolishing regulations worked almost as well. This has been especially true in the world of finance. There, a legacy of deregulation transformed banking from a relatively staid industry into a casino culture, ushering in an era of eye-popping profits, lavish bonuses, and the "financialization" of the American economy.
April 6, 1998: it's a useful starting point in the story of financial deregulation. On that day, two well-known Wall Street denizens, Citicorp and Travelers Group, agreed to a historic $140-billion merger. The deal required much lobbying, but eventually the chiefs of these banks won an exemption from the Glass-Steagall Act, the New Deal-era law walling off commercial banks from riskier investment houses. The resulting institution, dubbed Citigroup, would be the largest supermarket bank in history, a marriage of teller windows and trading desks, customer banking and high-stakes investing -- all suddenly under one deregulated roof. It would prove an explosive, if not disastrous, mix.
The merger stirred visions of a future in which the U.S. would dominate the planet financially. All that stood in the way was undue regulatory red tape. At least that's the way free marketeers like then-Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas saw it. Gramm, who as an aide to presidential candidate John McCain infamously called America a "nation of whiners," was, in fact, the driving force behind two of the most influential pieces of deregulation in recent history.
In 1999, President Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a bevy of deregulatory measures that obliterated Glass-Steagall. In December of the following year, Gramm quietly snuck the 262-page Commodity Futures Modernization Act into a massive $384-billion spending bill. Gramm's bill blocked regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from cracking down on the shadowy "over-the-counter derivatives" market, home to billions of dollars of opaque financial instruments that would, years later, nearly demolish the American economy.
As presidents, both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush wrapped their arms around financial deregulation. As a result, in a binge of financial gluttony, Wall Street grew fat in ways never previously seen. Between 1929, the year the Great Depression began, and 1988, Wall Street's profits averaged 1.2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product; in 2005, that figure peaked at 3.3 percent as industry bonuses soared ever-higher. In 2009, bad times for most Americans, bonuses hit $20 billion. So much wealth in so few hands. Nothing explains the rise of the new American oligarchy more starkly.
Of course, it's not just what politicians did that helped create today's oligarchy, but what they failed to do. A classic example: In the 1990s, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), a private American accounting regulator, set its sights on a loophole big enough to drive a financial Mack truck through. Until then, stock options included in executives' skyrocketing pay packages -- potentially worth tens of millions of dollars when exercised -- were valued at zero when issued. That's right: zero, zilch, nada. When FASB and the SEC tried to close the loophole, however, big business leapt to its defense. An avalanche of money went into the pockets of an army of K Street lobbyists and leviathan business trade associations. In the end, nothing happened. Or rather, everything continued happening. The loophole remained.
Citizen United's Brave New World
Hacker and Pierson ably guide us through 30 years of "winner-take-all" policymaking, politicking, and -- from the point of view of the wealthy -- judicious inaction. They offer an eye-opening journey across the landscape that helped foster the New Oligarchs, but one crucial vista appeared too late for the authors to include.
No understanding of the rise of our New Oligarchs could be complete without exploring the effects of the Supreme Court's January Citizens United decision, which set their power in cement more effectively than any tax cut ever could. Before Citizens United, the rich used their wealth to subtly shape policy, woo politicians, and influence elections. Now, with so much money flowing into their hands and the contribution faucets wide open, they can simply buy American politics so long as the price is right.
There's no mistaking how, in less than a year, Citizens United has radically tilted the political playing field. Along with several other major court rulings, it ushered in American Crossroads, American Action Network, and many similar groups that now can reel in unlimited donations with pathetically few requirements to disclose their funders.
What the present Supreme Court, itself the fruit of successive tax-cutting and deregulating administrations, has ensured is this: that in an American "democracy," only the public will remain in the dark. Even for dedicated reporters, tracking down these groups is like chasing shadows: official addresses lead to P.O. boxes; phone calls go unreturned; doors are shut in your face.
The limited glimpse we have of the people bankrolling these shadowy outfits is a who's-who of the New Oligarchy: the billionaire Koch Brothers ($21.5 billion); financier George Soros ($11 billion); hedge-fund CEO Paul Singer (his fund, Elliott Management, is worth $17 billion); investor Harold Simmons (net worth: $4.5 billion); New York venture capitalist Kenneth Langone ($1.1 billion); and real estate tycoon Bob Perry ($600 million).
Then there's the roster of corporations who have used their largesse to influence American politics. Health insurance companies, including UnitedHealth Group and Cigna, gave a whopping $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber to kill the public option, funneling the money through the industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans. And corporate titans like Goldman Sachs, Prudential Financial, and Dow Chemical have given millions more to the Chamber to lobby against new financial and chemical regulations.
As a result, the central story of the 2010 midterm elections isn't Republican victory or Democratic defeat or Tea Party anger; it's this blitzkrieg of outside spending, most of which came from right-leaning groups like Rove's American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It's a grim illustration of what happens when so much money ends up in the hands of so few. And with campaign finance reforms soundly defeated for years to come, the spending wars will only get worse.
Indeed, pundits predict that spending in the 2012 elections will smash all records. Think of it this way: In 2008, total election spending reached $5.3 billion, while the $1.8 billion spent on the presidential race alone more than doubled 2004's total. How high could we go in 2012? $7 billion? $10 billion? It looks like the sky's the limit.
We don't need to wait for 2012 to arrive, however, to know that the sheer amount of money being pumped into American politics makes a mockery out of our democracy (or what's left of it). Worse yet, few solutions exist to staunch the cash flow: the DISCLOSE Act, intended to counter the effects of Citizens United, twice failed in the Senate this year; and the best option, public financing of elections, can't even get a hearing in Washington.
Until lawmakers cap the amount of money in politics, while forcing donors to reveal their identities and not hide in the shadows, the New Oligarchy will only grow in stature and influence. Left unchecked, this ultimate elite will continue to root out the few members of Congress not beholden to them and their "contributions" (see: Wisconsin's Russ Feingold) and will replace them with lawmakers eager to do their bidding, a Congress full of obedient placeholders ready to give their donors what they want.
Never before has the United States looked so much like a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.
Andy Kroll is a reporter in the D.C. Bureau of Mother Jones and an associate editor at TomDispatch.com. You can email him at akroll (at) motherjones (dot) com.
June 12, 2015 | Antiwar.com
We need full disclosure from public officials...
A brouhaha erupted when Diane Rehm, of National Public Radio, confronted Bernie Sanders during an interview with an allegation that's been making the rounds on the Internet for years: "Now, you're a dual citizen of Israel," she averred. Startled, he replied:
"Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I'm an American. I don't know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. I'm an American citizen, period."
He claimed to be "offended" by Rehm's assertion, although I don't know why anybody would be: after all, what's wrong with being a dual citizen of Israel, or of any other country?
Ms. Rehm issued an official apology, in which she regretted not posing a question rather than making an assertion – and that underscores the problem with the whole issue of public officials holding dual citizenship: they aren't required to disclose it. Rehm says she brought it up in the first place because of a Facebook comment, which referenced a list of alleged dual US-Israeli citizens in Congress. None of these lists, however, are sourced, a fact the research-challenged Rehm failed to notice. It's virtually impossible to source such information, however, unless members of Congress are forthcoming with it – which they aren't.
So why is this even an issue? Writing in The Hill, L. Michael Hager,of the International Development Law Organization, had a good answer:
"Anyone can become a dual citizen, even members of Congress, high court judges and top officials of the executive branch. There's no law or regulation against it. Nor are they required to disclose such dual citizenship.
"So what's the problem?
"For most dual citizens, having the benefits of citizenship in two countries (including expedited immigration) outweigh the costs (which may include tax obligations to both countries).
"Yet dual citizenship in the United States poses a hitherto unappreciated issue for policy-level members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The divided national loyalties of dual citizens can create real or apparent conflicts of interest when such legislators, judges or senior officials make or speak out on policies that relate to their second country.
"The potential damage to our democracy is the greater when such potential conflicts of interest are concealed in undisclosed dual citizenship.
"Current entries on the Internet contain a number of undocumented assertions as to which members of Congress and senior officers are dual citizens. Without reliable data, however, Americans can only speculate on which senators and representatives may have divided national loyalties.
"The lack of transparency regarding citizenship erodes trust in government, raising credibility doubts where there should be none, and allowing some apparent conflicts of interest to continue undetected."
So what's the solution? Hager suggests 1) Dual citizens in Congress should recuse themselves from voting on issues where a conflict of interest might arise, e.g. a dual citizen of, say, Liberia, should not be voting on whether to increase aid to that country. And 2) The Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress ought to publish this information, along with all the other facts they routinely gather – party affiliation, age, ethnicity, gender, etc. – about every member of each new Congress.
The Rehm-Sanders controversy was a good opportunity for Israel's American amen corner to make the usual disingenuous claims about the supposedly rising tide of anti-Semitism, claiming Israel was once again being unfairly singled out for special attention and that to even raise the question amounted to peddling The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the public square. The irony is that even as the Rehm controversy was breaking another story was breaking: Israel's spying on the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. That very morning the Wall Street Journal was reporting that the Israelis had infiltrated some very sophisticated malware – a virus – into the computers at the hotels where the negotiations were taking place:
"[T]he virus was packed with more than 100 discrete 'modules' that would have enabled the attackers to commandeer infected computers.
"One module was designed to compress video feeds, possibly from hotel surveillance cameras. Other modules targeted communications, from phones to Wi-Fi networks. The attackers would know who was connected to the infected systems, allowing them to eavesdrop on conversations and steal electronic files.
"The virus could also enable them to operate two-way microphones in hotel elevators, computers and alarm systems. In addition, the hackers appeared to penetrate front-desk computers. That could have allowed them to figure out the room numbers of specific delegation members."
All very James Bond, but then again the Israelis are a formidable foe and they're deadly serious when it comes to penetrating the secrets of their "friends" as well as their enemies. What's in question, however, is who's a friend and who's an enemy: in their eyes, it's no longer very clear.
Increasingly isolated internationally, as well as increasingly hostile to the United States – Israeli bigwigs openly booed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in Jerusalem the other day – Israel's political class (and Israeli society in general) have taken a very sharp rightward turn. A virulent form of ultra-nationalism dominates Israeli politics these days, and anti-Americanism is on the rise. After all, these are a people who named a public square in Jerusalem – overlooked by the American consulate – after Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy imprisoned for life in the United States for stealing US secrets.
And that calculated insult occurred in 2007, right before then President George W. Bush – surely one of the most pro-Israel presidents in American history – was scheduled to visit. Since then, the tension between Washington and Tel Aviv has increased a hundred-fold.
So Israel isn't being picked on for no good reason. Indeed, the Israelis have targeted the US and its allies, not only accusing them of "appeasing" Iran but also penetrating their security and industrial systems. According to Wired, the reach of the Israeli super-virus extended worldwide, extending to:
"[A]n international gathering for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. The focus in this case may have been on the scores of VIPs who attended the event, including presidents and prime ministers….
"In addition to all of these targets, Symantec uncovered victims in the UK, Sweden, Hong Kong and India. Notably, it found telecom victims in Europe and Africa, an electronics firm in South East Asia, and multiple infections in the US, including one organization where developers working on mobile platforms were infected. Some of the infections dated back to 2013 … "
America's "special relationship" with Israel has soured for a two reasons: 1) Our security interests, once aligned during the cold war era, have diverged, and 2) The political environment in Israel has undergone a radical transformation.
Furthermore, none of this was avoidable. Although the Israel lobby would like us to forget it, the United States and the Jewish state are separate countries, with inevitably disparate interests. And those interests underwent a significant shift with the end of the cold war and the beginning of the "age of terrorism," as it might be termed. It became necessary for Washington to forge a closer relationship with Middle Eastern states other than Israel, i.e. Israel's traditional adversaries. We see this playing out now as Iran takes on ISIS and a Washington-Tehran rapprochement is in the works.
Inside Israel, another shift was taking place: the inherent logic of that settler colony's origins was pushing it on a course that didn't allow for any compromise with its indigenous Arab population. Reduced to helotry, and radicalized by their predicament, the Arabs revolted – and the subsequent Israeli backlash changed the political landscape forever.
Aggressive Israeli spying on – and in – the US is not a "conspiracy theory," it's a reality, and the danger it poses is heightened by the presence of a powerful lobby that seeks to deny and/or excuse that aggression at every turn. No responsible American observer can look on it with indifference, and measures must be taken to counteract it, just as we would seek to obstruct similar intrusions by, say, China or Russia.
As for the issue of dual citizenship, particularly involving federal officials and specifically members of Congress, the direct relation of this matter to our national security is underscored by the case of Jane Harman. While serving in Congress, Harman was caught out by the National Security Agency having a conversation with an Israeli official in which she agreed to intercede on behalf of two AIPAC lobbyists who had been brought up on espionage charges. Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two longtime members of the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, had been accused of procuring sensitive information purloined from the Pentagon on Israel's behalf.
Harman was angling, at the time, to chair the House Intelligence Committee, and the New York Times reported that "One official who has seen transcripts of several wiretapped calls said she appeared to agree to intercede in exchange for help in persuading party leaders to give her the powerful post." Those transcripts, according to the official, revealed that the Israeli caller "promised her that a wealthy California donor – the media mogul Haim Saban – would threaten to withhold campaign contributions to Representative Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who was expected to become House speaker after the 2006 election, if she did not select Ms. Harman for the intelligence post."
Rather than run for reelection under this cloud, Harman retired from Congress.
Israel represents a danger to the national security of this country: this is an incontrovertible fact, and no amount of "anti-Semitism"-baiting is going to obscure it. And that danger is growing, as the story of the Israeli spy-virus makes all too clear.
In this context, dual US-Israeli citizenship among federal employees – including members of Congress – is a legitimate concern, and not only for law enforcement but also for voters. Just as a candidate for federal office must reveal the sources of their campaign funds, so they ought to be required to disclose their allegiance to a foreign government – no matter what country is involved.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I've written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.
Terje, June 12, 2015 at 7:30 amMy attempt for the figurine :)
Sergei Guriev is the only Russian attending the Bilderberg summit, June 9th-14th in Austria.
He has the usual Soros and Khodorkovsky connections. (I don't think Google is correct when they list his fortune as 3.5 billion USD.) I presume he will advice the Atlanticist elite on how to proceed against Russia.
On this (Soros-sponsored) website
"With the fund amounting to only about 6% of GDP, Russia can maintain a 3.7% deficit for less than two years before it either has to withdraw from Ukraine to gain relief from Western sanctions, or undertake a major – and, for Putin, politically dangerous – fiscal adjustment."
And another revealing piece in the Washington Post, splattered with wishful sentences like
"The Kremlin has no credible financial plan beyond 2016 except for hoping for oil prices to recover."
"regime survival" "widespread panic and the collapse of the regime. "
"At some point, this regime will have to go"
"the best scenario one can hope for is some form of transitional government that would provide certain guarantees to the outgoing elites and oversee new elections."
"The West should get prepared now for sudden and turbulent change in Russia."
I'm guessing it is close to what he has presented at the Bilderberg meeting, and might give some indicators on what the western elites plan for Russia in the next future (coup d'etat?).
Macedonia has just neutralised an armed group whose sponsors had been under surveillance for at least eight months. By doing so, it has prevented a new attempt at a coup d'État, planned by Washington for the 17th of May.
The aim was to spread the chaos already infecting Ukraine into Macedonia in order to stall the passage of a Russian gas pipeline to the European Union.
Voltaire Network | Damascus (Syria) | 23 May 2015The Kumanavo affair
On the 9th of May, 2015, the Macedonian police launched a dawn operation to arrest an armed group which had infiltrated the country and which was suspected of preparing a number of attacks.
The police evacuated the civilian population before launching the assault.
The suspects opened fire, which led to a bitter firefight, leaving 14 terrorists and 8 members of the police forces dead. 30 people were taken prisoner. There were a large number of wounded
Not a terrorist act, but an attempted coup d'État
The Macedonian police were clearly well-informed before they launched their operation. According to the Minister for the Interior, Ivo Kotevski, the group was preparing a very important operation for the 17th May (the date of the demonstration organised by the Albanophone opposition in Skopje).
The identification of the suspects has made it possible to determine that they were almost all ex-members of the UÇK (Kosovo Liberation Army) .
- The headquarters of the armed group in Kumanovo, after the assault.
Among them were :
• Sami Ukshini, known as " Commandant Sokoli ", whose family played a historic rôle in the UÇK.
• Rijai Bey, ex-bodyguard of Ramush Haradinaj (himself a drug trafficker, military head of the UÇK, then Prime Minister of Kosovo. He was twice condemned for war crimes by the International Penal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia, but was acquitted because 9 crucial witnesses were murdered during the trial).
• Dem Shehu, currently bodyguard for the Albanophone leader and founder of the BDI party, Ali Ahmeti.
• Mirsad Ndrecaj, known as the " NATO Commandant ", grandson of Malic Ndrecaj, who is commander of the 132nd Brigade of the UÇK.
The principal leaders of this operation, including Fadil Fejzullahu (killed during the assault), are close to the United States ambassador in Skopje, Paul Wohlers.
- Fadil Fejzullahu, one of the leaders of the armed group, killed during the assault, with his boss, the United States ambassador in Skopje, Paul Wohlers.
Paul Wohlers is the son of US diplomat Lester Wohlers, who played an important part in Atlantist propaganda, and directed the cinematographic service of the U.S. Information Agency. Paul's brother, Laurence Wohlers, is presently an ambassador in the Central African Republic. Paul Wohlers himself, an ex-Navy pilot, is a specialist in counter-espionage. He was the assistant director of the United States Department of State Operations Center (in other words, the service for the surveillance and protection of diplomats).
- Although Macedonia is not a member of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg was " following " the police operation in Kumanovo.
To eliminate any doubt about the identity of the operation's sponsors, the General Secretary of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, intervened even before the assault was over - not to declare his condemnation of terrorism and his support for the constitutional government of Macedonia, but to paint a picture of the terrorist group as a legitimate ethnic opposition : " I am following the events in Kumanovo with deep concern. I would like to express my sympathy to the families of those who were killed or wounded. It is important that all political and community leaders work together to restore order and begin a transparent investigation in order to find out what happened. I am calling for everyone to show reserve and avoid any new escalation of violence, in the intersts of the nation and also the whole region. "
You would have to be blind not to understand.
- When he was the governor of the Stroumitsa region, Zoran Zaev was accused of having favoured the construction of a commercial centre, and arrested for corruption. His party left the Parliament as a show of support for him. Finally, he was pardoned by the President of the Republic, Branko Crvenkovski, who then took leadership of his party. He was elected President of the SDSM in June 2013.
In January 2015, Macedonia foiled an attempted coup d'état organised for the head of the opposition, the social-democrat Zoran Zaev. Four peole were arrested, and Mr. Zaev had his passport confiscated, while the Atlantist press began its denunciation of an " authoritarian drift by the régime " (sic).
Zoran Zaev is publicly supported by the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Holland. But the only trace left of this attempted coup d'état indicates the repsponsibility of the US.
On the 17th May, Zoran Zaev's social-democrat party (SDSM)  was supposed to organise a demonstration. It intended to distribute 2,000 masks in order to prevent the police from identifying the terrorists taking part in the march. During the demonstration, the armed group, concealed behind their masks, were supposed to attack several institutions and launch a pseudo-" revolution " comparable to the events in Maidan Square, Kiev.
This coup d'État was coordinated by Mile Zechevich, an ex-employee of one of George Soros' foundations.
In order to understand Washington's urgency to overthrow the Macedonian government, we have to go back and look at the gas pipeline war. Because international politics is a huge chess-board on which every move by any piece causes consequences for all the others.
The gas war
- The gas pipieline Turkish Stream was intended to pass through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia in order to supply the European Union with Russian gas. On the initiative of Hungarian President Viktor Orbán, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of each of the countries concerned met on the 7th April in Budapest to coordinate their position facing the United States and the European Union.
The United States have been attempting to sever communications between Russia and the European Union since 2007. They managed to sabotage the projet South Stream by obliging Bulgaria to cancel its participation, but on the 1st December 2014, to everyone's surprise, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a new project when he succeeded in convincing his Turkish opposite number, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to sign an agreement with him, despite the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO . It was agreed that Moscow would deliver gas to Ankara, and that in return, Ankara would deliver gas to the European Union, thus bypassing the anti-Russian embargo by Brussels. On the 18th of April 2015, the new Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsípras, gave his agreement that the pipeline could cross his country  . As for Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, he had already conluded discrete negotiations last March . Finally, Serbia, which had been a partner in the South Stream project, indicated to the Russian Minister for Energy Aleksandar Novak, during his reception in Belgrade in April, that Serbia was ready to switch to the Turkish Stream project .
To halt the Russian project, Washington has multiplied its initiatives :
in Turkey, it is supporting the CHP against President Erdoğan, hoping this will cause him to lose the elections;
in Greece, on the 8th May, it sent Amos Hochstein, Directeur of the Bureau of Energy Ressources, to demand that the Tsípras government give up its agreement with Gazprom;
it plans – just in case – to block the route of the pipeline by placing one of its puppets in power in Macedonia;
and in Serbia, it has restarted the project for the secession of the small piece of territory - Voïvodine - which allows the junction with Hungary .
Last comment, but not the least: Turkish Stream will also supply Hungary and Austria, thus ending the alternative project negotiated by the United States with President Hassan Rohani (against the advice of the Revolutionary Guards) for supplying them with Iranian gas .Thierry Meyssan
Russian Fifth Columnists working with Brown Moses and NATO .
Apparently the Fifth Columnists have taken to snooping around graveyards, looking for evidence to hand over to NATO, of Russian servicemen dying in Ukraine civil war.
[May 03, 2015] How U.S. Journalists Inflame Middle East Sectarianism - e.g. Liz Sly
May 03, 2015 | moonofalabama.org
Sectarianism in the Middle East is regularly inflamed by the Sunni Salafi/Wahhabi groups and countries in the Middle East. It is directed against all other strains of Islam as well as against all other religions.
But as the "western" governments and media favor the Saudi Arabian side and often denigrate the "resistance" side, be it Shia, Sunni or whatever else, they insist that it is the Shia side that is preaching sectarianism. One can often experience this with reports on speeches of Hizbullah leader Nasrallah who is always very careful to not ever use sectarian language. When Nasrallah condemns Takfiri terrorists like AlQaeda and the Islamic State as non-Muslim and calls them the greatest danger to Sunnis, Shia and Christians alike the "western" media like to report that he warns of Sunnis in general and is thus spreading sectarianism.
Many such reports come from "western" reporters who are stationed in Beirut, speak no Arabic and depend on the spokespersons and translators in the offices of the Saudi-Lebanese Sunni leader Hariri. For an ever growing collection of typical examples see the Angry Arab here and here.
The finding of non-existent sectarian language in "resistance" leaders' communications and the emphasizing of it has been internalized by "western" reporters. You can clearly see the process in the exemplary Twitter exchange copied below.
Liz Sly is the Middle East correspondent for the Washington Post in Beirut and does not speak Arabic. Elijah J. Magnier is Chief International Correspondent for the Kuwaiti TV station AL RAI. He speaks Arabic and has covered the war on Iraq and other wars on the ground for decades.
The issue at hand is a defense bill in front of the U.S. Congress which refers to Sunni militia, Kurds and other groups in Iraq as distinguished "countries" which are to be armed separately from the state of Iraq. "Divide and rule" writ large. Many Iraqi politicians including the Prime Minister have spoken out against it. The Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr warned of the consequences should the bill go through which he says would include an unleashing of his troops against U.S. interests.
Notice how Liz Sly insist on a sectarian aspect/intent in Sadr's proclamation even when there clearly is none. She keeps in insisting on it even after she gets pointed to an official denial of any sectarian intent by a Sadr spokesperson. The exchange:Liz Sly 17h17 hours ago
Moqtada Sadr to the US: if you arm Iraq's Sunnis, we will fight Americans in Iraq. https://twitter.com/jihadicas/status/593512749235249152 …
Elijah J. Magnier 8h8 hours ago
@LizSly Moqtada didn't say that https://twitter.com/EjmAlrai/status/593324552437903360 …
Liz Sly 6h6 hours ago
@EjmAlrai Didn't mean literally fighting US troops, but to fight against US presence in Iraq. Presumably would hit embassy, personnel etc?
Elijah J. Magnier 6h6 hours ago
@LizSly U r right as Moqtada said he will fight USA in Iraq and abroad but didn't say if Sunni are armed.
Elijah J. Magnier 5h5 hours ago
@LizSly "We shall hit US interest in Iraq & abroad, as possible, ', if US approves supporting each religion independently",
Liz Sly 5h5 hours ago
@EjmAlrai Right, he means if Sunnis are armed directly by the US under that weird bill
Elijah J. Magnier 5h5 hours ago
@LizSly I spoke to S. Ali Seism who said it is not directed to Sunni but 2 all religions (incl Kurds) as there are more than Sunnis in Iraq.
Elijah J. Magnier 5h5 hours ago
@LizSly In fact the communique' doesn't say in any line the word "Sunni" but "all religions".
Liz Sly 5h5 hours ago
@EjmAlrai The bill is aimed at arming Sunnis and my tweet makes it clear Muqtada is against the US arming Sunnis, not against arming them
Elijah J. Magnier 5h5 hours ago
@LizSly Moqtada communique' clearly didn't mention Sunni: "Not arming religions": Fayli, Turkman, Sunni, Shia, Yazidi... Feel free.
Liz Sly 5h5 hours ago
@EjmAlrai Ok, but it's clear he's against a bill whose goal is to permit the US to directly arm Sunnis, not eg Fayli. As are many Iraqis.
The last paragraph of Sadr's statement says:American should know that if it wants to exacerbate sectarian sentiment, we would continue to tread on the path of national unity. Let sectarianism fall out of existence! This is the very sectarianism that seeks to create [artificial] borders.
The U.S. Congress introduces a law that would exacerbate sectarianism in Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr responses with a statement explicitly speaking out against sectarianism. Liz Sly insist that it is therefore Sadr who is playing a sectarian card.
Is this insistence by Liz Sly on sectarian "Shia leader Sadr is against Sunnis" justified by anything but sly, willful exaggeration, and even falsification, of what Sadr wrote? Who is the sectarian here?
Posted by b at 11:24 AM | Comments (54)
Mike Maloney | Apr 30, 2015 11:56:41 AM | 1Amer | Apr 30, 2015 3:03:25 PM | 2
Another good example of this is the NYT story from yesterday, An Eroding Syrian Army Points to Strain, about various religious sects and ethnic groups in Syria losing confidence in the SAA. Penned by Anne Barnard and Eric Schmitt, it is clearly a CIA-sponsored tale, built mostly out of quotes from an anonymous "Syrian with security ties."
The chief target of the anonymous source's ire is of course Hezbollah.james | Apr 30, 2015 3:39:11 PM | 4
Non-sectarian nature of the resistance...This point needs to be made over and over again.
Funny that this Scott Horton interview from 2 days ago focuses exact same point about Syrian government as in reality non-sectarian and pluralistic: http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/04/28/42815-brad-hoff/
Based on bizarre story of military vet moving to live in Syria: https://medium.com/@BradRHoff/a-marine-in-syria-d06ff67c203cKerKaraje | Apr 30, 2015 4:04:42 PM | 5
thanks b. given the background on this, i'm inclined to believe it's intentional. or is it that it fits with the constant mantra on the problem in the middle being one of sectarian conflict that the usa and the west want to always present?
@2 mike. thanks more of the same bs from the same sources, in this case cia, although i they aren't referenced in the article.. nyt - cia/blackhouse mouthpiece..Wayoutwest | Apr 30, 2015 5:03:43 PM | 7
The "Hooligan theory"...
"It is extremely delusional and childish to assume that tens of thousands of well-armed and battle-hardened Jihadists who have gotten accustomed to roaming their (and other people´s) country to kill "infidels", "apostates", "traitors" (e.g. fellow Sunnis who fight in the Syrian army) or simply "Shabiha" (a derogatory expression used to defame and dehumanize all kind of Sunni and non-Sunni militias and civilians who reject the rebels) would lay down their weapons and re-enter their ordinary civilian life on the day the Syrian government falls and Assad is killed..."Deebo | Apr 30, 2015 5:20:57 PM | 8
Al Sadr and his Iranian allies don't want any US involvement in Iraq. He certainly doesn't want the Kurds armed by anyone for obvious reasons and the Sunni tribes are considered a possible threat especially because they remember how Sadr's Mahdi Army carefully planned and viciously executed the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad's Sunni civilian population. Actions speak much louder than words.
Nasrallah has to carefully chose his words because the Shia are a minority in Lebanon but again actions are more telling than words. Hezbollah attempted to overthrow the government of Lebanon to create a Shia led Islamic Republic which I think is still their goal.jfl | Apr 30, 2015 6:34:50 PM | 10
I wonder what would happen if the media started talking about US support for Jewish terror groups ???
@ WOW as per usual your talking shit. Maybe you should ask sadr about his father and unclear death, while their killers were at the time roaming around free under US protection, kinda the same as KSA now
I really do admire your methods of being a paid propagandist -- Whether your in India or Tel Aviv or receive your pay checks from them, you really do have a way of talking doo doo
Yes maybe you should ask the nuns of maloola that your friends Way Out West seemed to have forgotten about if Hezbollah wants a Islamic Republic
You clearly are a Zionist because you seem to know enough about the Middle East, yet those who know as "much" as you so would not generally distort the truth unless they had an agenda, and most people who tread your path and masturbate heavily Iran Syria Hezbollah are generally yids
Sorry dude u have been exposed
I also wonder if Israel will comply with UNIFIL new resolution demanding they withdraw from all Lebanese territory and stop violating its air space
Israel sure is a funny country shame they cant beat a "rag tag" militia lolJen | Apr 30, 2015 7:19:59 PM | 11
' sly, willful exaggeration, and even falsification ' is the basis for the US aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine ... the issue is not so much the sly exaggerators and falsifiers in the government ... all 546 of those at the top are owned lock, stock and barrel by the aggressors, and so, of course, are their mouthpieces and hired hands ... but us, zombified cogs on the wheels of imperial slaughter, sitting on our thumbs and switching from cnn, to foxx, to msnbc eating popcorn and the 'news' along with. At what point do you call our self-delusion willful, and how long ago was that point passed?
The only people among us asserting ourselves are Americans of color, who've been pinched, lynched, and gunned down in the streets long enough. For far too long, of course, but now, with a black president and successive attorneys general leading the charge against them, black Americans have given up all hope of help from above/outside their own ranks.
White/Black - Sunni/Shia - Xtian/Muslim ... divide, devastate and destroy worldwide. The US is as monstrous in 2015 as Germany was in 1935, but no one seems to notice. And the EUnuchs, Israel and the KSA are filling in for Italy and Japan.Virgile | Apr 30, 2015 8:44:33 PM | 12
I see this tweet exchange between Sly and Magnier as an example of Sly having been told by her employer (and probably the US govt through its embassy) to ratchet up the Sunni / Shia sectarian divide whenever and wherever possible. In addition Sly seems quite brainwashed and primed to see sectarianism even where it doesn't exist. This would explain her idiotic responses to Magnier's tweets.
The US govt is using identity politics as part of its "divide and rule" strategy to set different religious and ethnic groups at one another's throats. To their credit, people like Moqtada al Sadr and Sheikh Hassan Nasrullah among others recognize that this strategy encourages tensions between and among various groups leading to continuous instability, turbulence and chaos that the US and other foreigners can use to their advantage.
The Western media is also at fault for deploying to the Middle East and other areas around the world as foreign correspondents people who have no background knowledge or understanding of the peoples, languages and cultures in the areas they have to report on.Lone Wolf | Apr 30, 2015 10:59:21 PM | 15
Liz Sly and Ann Barnard are the mini-version of the notorious Judith Miller, the NYT journalist that has been the promoter of lies that lead to the Iraq war.
Judith Miller was on Israel payroll. Whose payroll Liz Sly and Ann Barnard are on?mcohen | May 1, 2015 7:33:08 AM | 20
Thanks for yet another enlightening post about the inner workings of the so-called MSM. Their efforts to reproduce a narrative that combines official government views with those of the WaPo's editorial board are truly pathetic.
why do we not hear from liz sly herself... hey liz what do you think of these allegators made against you in this article by the blogger
i await your reply
Good try, but no cigar. You will wait until hell freezes over. She cannot step down from her clay feet pedestal to answer a commoner's question. No sir. She would be fired if she does for violation of...submission.
Hezbollah attempted to overthrow the government of Lebanon to create a Shia led Islamic Republic which I think is still their goal.
This time, Way-out-there outdid himself, his ignorance about Hezbollah, Lebanon and the Shia, of galactic proportions.
I see this tweet exchange between Sly and Magnier as an example of Sly having been told by her employer (and probably the US govt through its embassy) to ratchet up the Sunni / Shia sectarian divide whenever and wherever possible. In addition Sly seems quite brainwashed and primed to see sectarianism even where it doesn't exist. This would explain her idiotic responses to Magnier's tweets.
Bingo. Great summary of the whole guacamole. Thanks.mcohen | May 1, 2015 7:57:01 AM | 21
Re: lone wolf.15
.....this chick has got the goods....British intellectuality and all
liz sly and emma sky........
..wondered what happened to the biographer....maybe she got the cigar
lol?.......league of liarsfarflungstar | May 1, 2015 12:26:13 PM | 25
emma sky wrote this in 2014.....now petraeus is back in iraq looking almost a year later and .....and .......and liz on the sly is tweeting about ........not sure what .....anyone understand this stuff,
there is so many billions up for grabs the whole thing looks like one big criminal exercise.....
one thing is for sure ....sectarianism is just a cover, surely a religion would not stoop this low
In his June 19 statement, U.S. President Barack Obama said,
"Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq's future. Shia, Sunni, Kurds -- all Iraqis -- must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence."
Obama is right to pressure Iraqi politicians to form a new government, rather than insisting that they support Maliki. He correctly recognized that any military options would be effective only if they were in support of an overall political strategy that a new broad-based government agreed to.
The United States has a key role to play in helping broker a new deal among the elites that creates a better balance among Iraq's communities. A new broad-based Iraqi government will need to win back the support of Sunnis against ISIS -- and the Obama administration should be prepared to respond positively to requests for assistance to do so.Lone Wolf | May 1, 2015 7:34:26 PM | 38
From Feb 22 - old news, I know:
General Clark reveals that Daesh is an Israeli project
"General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Commander of NATO, told CNN that the Islamic Emirate ("Daesh") had been "created by our friends and allies to defeat Hezbollah."
General Clark thus clearly put into question the responsibility of Israel.
Since 2001, General Clark has been the spokesman for a group of senior officers opposed to Israeli influence on the foreign policy of the United States, its aggressive imperialist developments and the remodeling of the "Greater Middle East". He had opposed the deployment of troops in Iraq, and wars against Libya and against Syria." (With accompanying video).
Some reminder regarding pretend-journalists/model-type cupcakes you may wanna put the boots to (well not Emma Sky) slanting stories to influence people to believe that USSA, Israel and KSA ONLY are fighting ISIS, Daesh, ISIL, Al-Qaeda, whatever name their bosses want to give them this week.
Selling lies thru their fascist party dolls taking pouty selfies on the side.guest77 | May 1, 2015 8:43:15 PM | 40
Even Wikipedia had to give in and publish a marginal note about "Israeli censorship" (sure, they don't call it lies.) FYI.
2006 Lebanon War"...Hezbollah rocket attacks also targeted and succeeded in hitting military targets in Israel. The Israeli military censorship was, however, very strict and explicitly forbade Israel-based media from reporting such incidents. The war time instruction to media stated that "The Military Censor will not approve reports on missile hits at IDF bases and/or strategic facilities." A notable exception was the rocket attack 6 August, on a company of IDF reservists assembling in the border community of Kfar Giladi, which killed 12 soldiers and wounded several others. Initially Israel did not confirm that the victims were military but eventually relented..."
So? Figures lie and liars figure...Lone Wolf | May 1, 2015 11:28:10 PM | 44
In fact the subject of this post and that of the last Ukraine famine post are very similar. It is the same game being played, with many of the same methods. Make no mistake: given its position so far from.the consequences of sparking these deep-seated ethnic conflicts, the sheer fact of any fighting, no matter what the outcome, is a "victory" for.our cynical masters. Nothing new - similar games were.played in Nicaragua w the Miskito (sorry for spelling). Its quite remarkable display the.power.to split people and turn them against one another. People w/ hundreds of years of peaceful coexistence.Martin | May 2, 2015 8:18:24 AM | 49
...It's been evident for some months that Israel was trying to turn Hizbullah's flank.
Good point. No better proof can be found of the proxy links between ISIS and Israel than ISIS drive into the Qalamoun Mountains. mcohen@30, 34 is way off line with his opinions about Hezbollah's "miscalculations." Just recently, Syria's Defense Minister visited Iran and got all the support Syria needs, and more to continue its existential fight against the Axis of Terror, US/Israel/KSA et al.
- Tehran, Damascus Coordinate Anti-Terrorism Efforts in Syria
- Syrian Defense Minister Vows Continued Battle against Terrorism
- DM: Syria Planning to Intensify Anti-Terrorism Drive
- DM: Iran to Stand against All Security Threats in Region
The war on Syria has geopolitical repercussions beyond the region, and neither Iran, nor Iraq, or Russia will allow the fall of Assad. Hezbollah will not allow the taqfiris control of the Qalamoun and surroundings, for obvious strategic reasons; ISIS would have direct access to the Bekaa Valley. Iran will not permit the taqfiris to succeed in their efforts to drive a strategic wedge against Hezbollah, which will expose Syria's northern front and Lebanon; Iraq cannot afford losing Syria to the taqfiris and get surrounded by a hostile sea of Sunnis, and Russia will support Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah efforts to avoid cutting Syria in two on a SW/NE axis, that will effectively isolate the port of Tartus, Russia's naval base on the Mare Nostrum.
Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah is not a man prone to miscalculations, whether political or military and he learns from his mistakes. For example, he admitted the Israeli response to the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldiers that ignited the 2006 Summer War, was a surprise for Hezbollah, which didn't expect such a reaction, even though Israel had concrete plans after getting kicked out of southern Lebanon in 2000, to bomb Lebanon as a punishment for not disarming Hezbollah. Hezbollah intervention in Syria, after Nasrallah deemed the taqfiris an "existential threat" for the Shiites and Lebanon has been confirmed correct by later developments.Jesrad | May 2, 2015 8:02:41 PM | 51
Washington Post is making laugh of itself:
"If what is happening in Baltimore happened in a foreign country, here is how Western media would cover it:
International leaders expressed concern over the rising tide of racism and state violence in America, especially concerning the treatment of ethnic minorities in the country and the corruption in state security forces around the country when handling cases of police brutality. The latest crisis is taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, a once-bustling city on the country's Eastern Seaboard, where an unarmed man named Freddie Gray died from a severed spine while in police custody.
Black Americans, a minority ethnic group, are killed by state security forces at a rate higher than the white majority population. Young, black American males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than white American males.
The United Kingdom expressed concern over the troubling turn of events in America in the last several months. The country's foreign ministry released a statement: "We call on the American regime to rein in the state security agents who have been brutalizing members of America's ethnic minority groups. The equal application of the rule of law, as well as the respect for human rights of all citizens, black or white, is essential for a healthy democracy." Britain has always maintained a keen interest in America, a former colony.
Palestine has offered continued assistance to American pro-democracy activists, sending anti-tear-gas kits to those protesting police brutality in various American cities. Egyptian pro-democracy groups have also said they will be sharing their past experience with U.S.-made counter-protest weapons.
A statement from the United Nations said, "We condemn the militarization and police brutality that we have seen in recent months in America, and we strongly urge American state security forces to launch a full investigation into the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. There is no excuse for excessive police violence." The U.N. called on the United States to make a concerted effort to make databases of police violence public to improve transparency and cut down on corruption in the justice system.
International analysts predict the seeds of a so-called "American Spring," fomented by technology. "It's amazing what social media is doing for the cause of justice in America," said a political rights analyst based in Geneva. "The black youth of America are showing what 21st-century civil rights activism looks like, using technology, social media and a decentralized organizing strategy to hold authorities accountable and agitate for change. These kids represent what modern-day freedom fighting looks like. The revolution will be tweeted, Periscope-d and Snapchatted."
Local leaders in the American township of Baltimore imposed a state of martial law this week after peaceful protests turned violent. In response, countries around the world have advised darker-skinned nationals against non-essential travel to areas noted for state violence against unarmed people of color, especially in recent hot spots such as New York, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Ohio, California, Michigan, Virginia and now Maryland.
International human rights groups have appealed to the global community to facilitate asylum for America's ethnic black minorities. When asked whether the European Union was willing to take on more black refugees risking their lives in fleeing American state violence, an E.U. human rights spokesman said: "More black refugees? We are dealing with our own Mediterranean crisis, so now is not really a good time for that for us. Furthermore, we believe in American solutions to American problems." The African Union has not responded to requests for comment.
American government officials took to state media, characterizing the protesters as "thugs," a racially coded word increasingly used to describe black males in America. Commentators in national media have frequently compared the protesters and riots to various characters and events from the popular television series "The Wire," set in early-2000s Baltimore.
America's ethnic blacks have been displaced from many of their communities due to a phenomenon experts on the region call "gentrification," when wealthier residents move into a lower-income area. Baltimore is no exception to this trend, with some areas seeing home values rise as much as 137 percent after corporate dollars move in on opportunities in poverty-stricken areas.
Resident Joe Smith, a member of the white majority ethnic group, said outside of a brand-new Starbucks near Baltimore's Inner Harbor, "I don't know why these blacks are destroying their own communities. Why don't these people follow Martin Luther King's example? Those guys got it good from the police back then too, but they didn't try to rise up and fight back and make everyone uncomfortable, you know?"
The media in Mordor has been all "sectarianism" all the time, since late 2003. They needed an explanation for the ongoing violence in Iraq, besides "guerilla war", which was completely unacceptable with an election approaching.
So they invented the nonsense that the Iraqis were attacking themselves and the noble Orcs were desperately trying to prevent it. I think the nonsense was that al-Ciada was targeting the anti-occupation Arabs to provoke a civil war thereby forcing the occupation to continue since they were 'winning' and about to leave. Apparently al-ciada hadn't heard about the permanent bases. This protection conveniently involved treating the Arab population like the Palestinians and putting them under guard behind concrete and barbed wire wherever possible.
Why the pro-occupation Kurds didn't need to be forced into dozens of bantustans, was something I've never seen asked by anyone. That the Iraqi population was heavily intermarried and had never had a 'civil war' or any history of 'sectarian violence' was also deemed not newsworthy.
After 10+ years of even the 'alternative' media repeating this garbage it has become accepted as fact among the limited portion of the population who are even vaguely aware of the endless colonial wars.
[Apr 18, 2015] Vladimir Putin's phone-in with Russia – as it happened
Difficult time for Hillary bots. Botswana61 even complained: "How come that posters who clearly hate The Guardian and its editorial policy keep coming back to its portal day after day".
Apr 18, 2015 | The Guardian
Colin Robinson -> tigi , 18 Apr 2015 17:13
"He is an evil monster" Calling any human being a "monster" is demonisation.
popsiq , 18 Apr 2015 17:12John Smith -> Mike_UK , 18 Apr 2015 16:38
EUkrainians need to spend less time making fun and more time trying not to destroy their country.
F*cking yourself is neither productive or fun. If you can get it on video it will sell on the US market.
You can continue with you crap but no one with a brain and a little effort to inform himself/herself wouldn't buy it.
fairandreasonabletoo -> MoonbaseAlpha, 18 Apr 2015 16:23
What will be funny is when your "military advisers" start coming home in pieces because the Kiev hill billies they are training can't cut it in the field….
fairandreasonabletoo , 18 Apr 2015 16:18fairandreasonabletoo -> AlfredHerring , 18 Apr 2015 16:14
Just for some balance you understand…….theres waaaay too much pro (and distorted ) nonsense coming from pro Kiev elements within the Guardian.
These kind of owls perhaps?
Keep smoking the bowl/pipe guy…..my money is on the Kremlin for this gig….
Enjoy your moon howling……..
AmounRah -> tigi , 18 Apr 2015 16:02
Accorddiinnggg tooooooo....??? Oh, that's right. The headlines.
I love how Putin morphed within the past 2 years.
I mean there he was...no one knew about him....he didn't bother anyone, he was never a terrorist and there was never Russian aggression....
Now, all of a sudden, when he is talking about dropping US$ and pushing BRICS, he is a terrorizing nazi Kremlin KGB monster.
Give me a break.
Rainmaker21 -> MoonbaseAlpha , 18 Apr 2015 15:49
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: It's far simplier to demonise Putin than to come up with informed analysis
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=44f_1428812523#ftIF0ftW4Wf8bR1w.99
Rainmaker21 , 18 Apr 2015 15:48
This video should tell you all you need to know about the lies of the Kiev regime- Video Shows the Beautiful Terrorists the US Financed the Ukrainian Nazi National Guard Battalions To Kill. When you see them you will realize that you have been lied to all along.
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c64_1427739018#CbBUfqSPfkXjaibZ.99
retsdon -> MaoChengJi , 18 Apr 2015 15:22
...incidentally, is it normal for the guardian now to cooperate openly with RFE/RL, cold-war propaganda tool of the US government? ..... How long has this been going on?
Good question. The really big change occurred after MI5 smashed the Guardian's computer hard drives with sledge hammers.
Nobody from the Guardian was ever charged under Official Secrets legislation, and the Guardian never sought any redress or compensation for the damage.
It's not rocket science.
Sarah7 -> MentalToo , 18 Apr 2015 14:56
Kremlin Troll Army Myth Deconstructed
Anyone arguing against stereotyping of Russia, its leader and its policies, who substantiates his or her argument with solid reasoning and historical or contemporary fact, must be paid by the Russian government:
A few days ago, I was thinking that I might do a post on the bellyaching and caterwauling from the Russophobes about Moscow's supposed army of "paid trolls," who are reimbursed by the Russian government for clogging western comment threads with fallacious arguments and childish insults which detract from – or derail entirely – thoughtful and informative commentary, often ridiculing the post itself in the bargain.
Read on and follow the links to the related pieces quoted therein for a fuller discussion.
Kremlin trolls? Actually, there is much less there than meets the eye -- that is, for those still capable of seeing with some degree of clarity.
nnedjo -> Botswana61 , 18 Apr 2015 14:32Listen, Botswana, who authorized you to be attorney for The Guardian editorial policy. You have enough of your Swahili media in Botswana, so go there to play the role of an attorney.:-)
How come that posters who cleary hate The Guardian and its editorial policy keep coming back to its portal day after day
Mike_UK -> todaywefight , 18 Apr 2015 14:08
Odessa = Was that after Russian's invaded Crimea and Luhansk?
Was that more Russian's chancing their arm at starting civil war in Odessa?
Who left theie Molotov cocktails on the stairwells of the buiding they were in?
HollyOldDog -> MichaelMorin , 18 Apr 2015 13:03
While trying to peer into the mists on misinformation from Kiev, I use this test to verify the truth.
If it looks like a Duck,swims like a duck and Quacks like a duck then in all probability its a duck
Or you might prefer the Elephant test but this reserved for legal cases.
MaoChengJi -> Botswana61, 18 Apr 2015 12:47HollyOldDog -> Botswana61, 18 Apr 2015 12:41
Botswana, dear, you sound agitated and disoriented. Relax, take it easy. There's nothing more important than your health, believe me.
German and Poland brown coal open cast sites. The Brussels is going to take them to the cleaners over the huge pollution this will cause. Polish farmers are already Upset as the will lose 1000 hectares of their farm land - this is probably why they are going to Brussels to protest. EU countries are no longer free to make their own decisions that have the potential to harm the environment and increase the threat of Global Warming - on this point ' are we not all in it together'.
nykstys -> uracan , 18 Apr 2015 12:40
It's not going to happen- Lithuania has no money for that, just about have enough wherewithal to ran charitable APC from 60 and 70.... but from what I hear munitions production ramped up to resupply koshermafia entrenched in Ukraine. Bizarre as French keep saying.:)
HollyOldDog -> Botswana61, 18 Apr 2015 12:27
I noticed that 2 bits of your info was incorrect Cuba has been released from the debt it owes to Russia and that Russia is welcome to invest in Cyprus (South), Cyprus (North ) is awaiting confirmation from Turkey.
Rationalizing Lunacy The Policy Intellectual as Servant of the State
March 9, 2015 | naked capitalism
Yves here. Andrew Bacevich excoriates policy intellectuals as "blight on the republic". His case study focuses on the military/surveillance complex but he notes in passing that the first policy intellectuals were in the economic realm. And we are plagued with plenty of malpractice there too.
by Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations emeritus at Boston University's Pardee School of Global Studies. He is writing a military history of America's War for the Greater Middle East. His most recent book is Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country. Originally published at TomDispatch
Policy intellectuals - eggheads presuming to instruct the mere mortals who actually run for office - are a blight on the republic. Like some invasive species, they infest present-day Washington, where their presence strangles common sense and has brought to the verge of extinction the simple ability to perceive reality. A benign appearance - well-dressed types testifying before Congress, pontificating in print and on TV, or even filling key positions in the executive branch - belies a malign impact. They are like Asian carp let loose in the Great Lakes.
It all began innocently enough. Back in 1933, with the country in the throes of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first imported a handful of eager academics to join the ranks of his New Deal. An unprecedented economic crisis required some fresh thinking, FDR believed. Whether the contributions of this "Brains Trust" made a positive impact or served to retard economic recovery (or ended up being a wash) remains a subject for debate even today. At the very least, however, the arrival of Adolph Berle, Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and others elevated Washington's bourbon-and-cigars social scene. As bona fide members of the intelligentsia, they possessed a sort of cachet.
Then came World War II, followed in short order by the onset of the Cold War. These events brought to Washington a second wave of deep thinkers, their agenda now focused on "national security." This eminently elastic concept - more properly, "national insecurity" - encompassed just about anything related to preparing for, fighting, or surviving wars, including economics, technology, weapons design, decision-making, the structure of the armed forces, and other matters said to be of vital importance to the nation's survival. National insecurity became, and remains today, the policy world's equivalent of the gift that just keeps on giving.
People who specialized in thinking about national insecurity came to be known as "defense intellectuals." Pioneers in this endeavor back in the 1950s were as likely to collect their paychecks from think tanks like the prototypical RAND Corporation as from more traditional academic institutions. Their ranks included creepy figures like Herman Kahn, who took pride in "thinking about the unthinkable," and Albert Wohlstetter, who tutored Washington in the complexities of maintaining "the delicate balance of terror."
In this wonky world, the coin of the realm has been and remains "policy relevance." This means devising products that convey a sense of novelty, while serving chiefly to perpetuate the ongoing enterprise. The ultimate example of a policy-relevant insight is Dr. Strangelove's discovery of a "mineshaft gap" - successor to the "bomber gap" and the "missile gap" that, in the 1950s, had found America allegedly lagging behind the Soviets in weaponry and desperately needing to catch up. Now, with a thermonuclear exchange about to destroy the planet, the United States is once more falling behind, Strangelove claims, this time in digging underground shelters enabling some small proportion of the population to survive.
In a single, brilliant stroke, Strangelove posits a new raison d'être for the entire national insecurity apparatus, thereby ensuring that the game will continue more or less forever. A sequel to Stanley Kubrick's movie would have shown General "Buck" Turgidson and the other brass huddled in the War Room, developing plans to close the mineshaft gap as if nothing untoward had occurred.
The Rise of the National Insecurity State
Yet only in the 1960s, right around the time that Dr. Strangelove first appeared in movie theaters, did policy intellectuals really come into their own. The press now referred to them as "action intellectuals," suggesting energy and impatience. Action intellectuals were thinkers, but also doers, members of a "large and growing body of men who choose to leave their quiet and secure niches on the university campus and involve themselves instead in the perplexing problems that face the nation," as LIFE Magazine put it in 1967. Among the most perplexing of those problems was what to do about Vietnam, just the sort of challenge an action intellectual could sink his teeth into.
Over the previous century-and-a-half, the United States had gone to war for many reasons, including greed, fear, panic, righteous anger, and legitimate self-defense. On various occasions, each of these, alone or in combination, had prompted Americans to fight. Vietnam marked the first time that the United States went to war, at least in considerable part, in response to a bunch of really dumb ideas floated by ostensibly smart people occupying positions of influence. More surprising still, action intellectuals persisted in waging that war well past the point where it had become self-evident, even to members of Congress, that the cause was a misbegotten one doomed to end in failure.
In his fine new book American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity, Christian Appy, a historian who teaches at the University of Massachusetts, reminds us of just how dumb those ideas were.
As Exhibit A, Professor Appy presents McGeorge Bundy, national security adviser first for President John F. Kennedy and then for Lyndon Johnson. Bundy was a product of Groton and Yale, who famously became the youngest-ever dean of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, having gained tenure there without even bothering to get a graduate degree.
For Exhibit B, there is Walt Whitman Rostow, Bundy's successor as national security adviser. Rostow was another Yalie, earning his undergraduate degree there along with a PhD. While taking a break of sorts, he spent two years at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. As a professor of economic history at MIT, Rostow captured JFK's attention with his modestly subtitled 1960 book The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto, which offered a grand theory of development with ostensibly universal applicability. Kennedy brought Rostow to Washington to test his theories of "modernization" in places like Southeast Asia.
Finally, as Exhibit C, Appy briefly discusses Professor Samuel P. Huntington's contributions to the Vietnam War. Huntington also attended Yale, before earning his PhD at Harvard and then returning to teach there, becoming one of the most renowned political scientists of the post-World War II era.
What the three shared in common, apart from a suspect education acquired in New Haven, was an unwavering commitment to the reigning verities of the Cold War. Foremost among those verities was this: that a monolith called Communism, controlled by a small group of fanatic ideologues hidden behind the walls of the Kremlin, posed an existential threat not simply to America and its allies, but to the very idea of freedom itself. The claim came with this essential corollary: the only hope of avoiding such a cataclysmic outcome was for the United States to vigorously resist the Communist threat wherever it reared its ugly head.
Buy those twin propositions and you accept the imperative of the U.S. preventing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, a.k.a. North Vietnam, from absorbing the Republic of Vietnam, a.k.a. South Vietnam, into a single unified country; in other words, that South Vietnam was a cause worth fighting and dying for. Bundy, Rostow, and Huntington not only bought that argument hook, line, and sinker, but then exerted themselves mightily to persuade others in Washington to buy it as well.
Yet even as he was urging the "Americanization" of the Vietnam War in 1965, Bundy already entertained doubts about whether it was winnable. But not to worry: even if the effort ended in failure, he counseled President Johnson, "the policy will be worth it."
How so? "At a minimum," Bundy wrote, "it will damp down the charge that we did not do all that we could have done, and this charge will be important in many countries, including our own." If the United States ultimately lost South Vietnam, at least Americans would have died trying to prevent that result - and through some perverted logic this, in the estimation of Harvard's youngest-ever dean, was a redeeming prospect. The essential point, Bundy believed, was to prevent others from seeing the United States as a "paper tiger." To avoid a fight, even a losing one, was to forfeit credibility. "Not to have it thought that when we commit ourselves we really mean no major risk" - that was the problem to be avoided at all cost.
Rostow outdid even Bundy in hawkishness. Apart from his relentless advocacy of coercive bombing to influence North Vietnamese policymakers, Rostow was a chief architect of something called the Strategic Hamlet Program. The idea was to jumpstart the Rostovian process of modernization by forcibly relocating Vietnamese peasants from their ancestral villages into armed camps where the Saigon government would provide security, education, medical care, and agricultural assistance. By winning hearts-and-minds in this manner, the defeat of the communist insurgency was sure to follow, with the people of South Vietnam vaulted into the "age of high mass consumption," where Rostow believed all humankind was destined to end up.
That was the theory. Reality differed somewhat. Actual Strategic Hamlets were indistinguishable from concentration camps. The government in Saigon proved too weak, too incompetent, and too corrupt to hold up its end of the bargain. Rather than winning hearts-and-minds, the program induced alienation, even as it essentially destabilized peasant society. One result: an increasingly rootless rural population flooded into South Vietnam's cities where there was little work apart from servicing the needs of the ever-growing U.S. military population - hardly the sort of activity conducive to self-sustaining development.
Yet even when the Vietnam War ended in complete and utter defeat, Rostow still claimed vindication for his theory. "We and the Southeast Asians," he wrote, had used the war years "so well that there wasn't the panic [when Saigon fell] that there would have been if we had failed to intervene." Indeed, regionally Rostow spied plenty of good news, all of it attributable to the American war.
"Since 1975 there has been a general expansion of trade by the other countries of that region with Japan and the West. In Thailand we have seen the rise of a new class of entrepreneurs. Malaysia and Singapore have become countries of diverse manufactured exports. We can see the emergence of a much thicker layer of technocrats in Indonesia."
So there you have it. If you want to know what 58,000 Americans (not to mention vastly larger numbers of Vietnamese) died for, it was to encourage entrepreneurship, exports, and the emergence of technocrats elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Appy describes Professor Huntington as another action intellectual with an unfailing facility for seeing the upside of catastrophe. In Huntington's view, the internal displacement of South Vietnamese caused by the excessive use of American firepower, along with the failure of Rostow's Strategic Hamlets, was actually good news. It promised, he insisted, to give the Americans an edge over the insurgents.
The key to final victory, Huntington wrote, was "forced-draft urbanization and modernization which rapidly brings the country in question out of the phase in which a rural revolutionary movement can hope to generate sufficient strength to come to power." By emptying out the countryside, the U.S. could win the war in the cities. "The urban slum, which seems so horrible to middle-class Americans, often becomes for the poor peasant a gateway to a new and better way of life." The language may be a tad antiseptic, but the point is clear enough: the challenges of city life in a state of utter immiseration would miraculously transform those same peasants into go-getters more interested in making a buck than in signing up for social revolution.
Revisited decades later, claims once made with a straight face by the likes of Bundy, Rostow, and Huntington - action intellectuals of the very first rank - seem beyond preposterous. They insult our intelligence, leaving us to wonder how such judgments or the people who promoted them were ever taken seriously.
How was it that during Vietnam bad ideas exerted such a perverse influence? Why were those ideas so impervious to challenge? Why, in short, was it so difficult for Americans to recognize bullshit for what it was?
Creating a Twenty-First-Century Slow-Motion Vietnam
These questions are by no means of mere historical interest. They are no less relevant when applied to the handiwork of the twenty-first-century version of policy intellectuals, specializing in national insecurity, whose bullshit underpins policies hardly more coherent than those used to justify and prosecute the Vietnam War.
The present-day successors to Bundy, Rostow, and Huntington subscribe to their own reigning verities. Chief among them is this: that a phenomenon called terrorism or Islamic radicalism, inspired by a small group of fanatic ideologues hidden away in various quarters of the Greater Middle East, poses an existential threat not simply to America and its allies, but - yes, it's still with us - to the very idea of freedom itself. That assertion comes with an essential corollary dusted off and imported from the Cold War: the only hope of avoiding this cataclysmic outcome is for the United States to vigorously resist the terrorist/Islamist threat wherever it rears its ugly head.
At least since September 11, 2001, and arguably for at least two decades prior to that date, U.S. policymakers have taken these propositions for granted. They have done so at least in part because few of the policy intellectuals specializing in national insecurity have bothered to question them.
Indeed, those specialists insulate the state from having to address such questions. Think of them as intellectuals devoted to averting genuine intellectual activity. More or less like Herman Kahn and Albert Wohlstetter (or Dr. Strangelove), their function is to perpetuate the ongoing enterprise.
The fact that the enterprise itself has become utterly amorphous may actually facilitate such efforts. Once widely known as the Global War on Terror, or GWOT, it has been transformed into the War with No Name. A little bit like the famous Supreme Court opinion on pornography: we can't define it, we just know it when we see it, with ISIS the latest manifestation to capture Washington's attention.
All that we can say for sure about this nameless undertaking is that it continues with no end in sight. It has become a sort of slow-motion Vietnam, stimulating remarkably little honest reflection regarding its course thus far or prospects for the future. If there is an actual Brains Trust at work in Washington, it operates on autopilot. Today, the second- and third-generation bastard offspring of RAND that clutter northwest Washington - the Center for this, the Institute for that - spin their wheels debating latter day equivalents of Strategic Hamlets, with nary a thought given to more fundamental concerns.
What prompts these observations is Ashton Carter's return to the Pentagon as President Obama's fourth secretary of defense. Carter himself is an action intellectual in the Bundy, Rostow, Huntington mold, having made a career of rotating between positions at Harvard and in "the Building." He, too, is a Yalie and a Rhodes scholar, with a PhD. from Oxford. "Ash" - in Washington, a first-name-only identifier ("Henry," "Zbig," "Hillary") signifies that you have truly arrived - is the author of books and articles galore, including one op-ed co-written with former Secretary of Defense William Perry back in 2006 calling for preventive war against North Korea. Military action "undoubtedly carries risk," he bravely acknowledged at the time. "But the risk of continuing inaction in the face of North Korea's race to threaten this country would be greater" - just the sort of logic periodically trotted out by the likes of Herman Kahn and Albert Wohlstetter.
As Carter has taken the Pentagon's reins, he also has taken pains to convey the impression of being a big thinker. As one Wall Street Journal headline enthused, "Ash Carter Seeks Fresh Eyes on Global Threats." That multiple global threats exist and that America's defense secretary has a mandate to address each of them are, of course, givens. His predecessor Chuck Hagel (no Yale degree) was a bit of a plodder. By way of contrast, Carter has made clear his intention to shake things up.
So on his second day in office, for example, he dined with Kenneth Pollack, Michael O'Hanlon, and Robert Kagan, ranking national insecurity intellectuals and old Washington hands one and all. Besides all being employees of the Brookings Institution, the three share the distinction of having supported the Iraq War back in 2003 and calling for redoubling efforts against ISIS today. For assurances that the fundamental orientation of U.S. policy is sound - we just need to try harder - who better to consult than Pollack, O'Hanlon, and Kagan (any Kagan)?
Was Carter hoping to gain some fresh insight from his dinner companions? Or was he letting Washington's clubby network of fellows, senior fellows, and distinguished fellows know that, on his watch, the prevailing verities of national insecurity would remain sacrosanct? You decide.
Soon thereafter, Carter's first trip overseas provided another opportunity to signal his intentions. In Kuwait, he convened a war council of senior military and civilian officials to take stock of the campaign against ISIS. In a daring departure from standard practice, the new defense secretary prohibited PowerPoint briefings. One participant described the ensuing event as "a five-hour-long college seminar" - candid and freewheeling. "This is reversing the paradigm," one awed senior Pentagon official remarked. Carter was said to be challenging his subordinates to "look at this problem differently."
Of course, Carter might have said, "Let's look at a different problem." That, however, was far too radical to contemplate - the equivalent of suggesting back in the 1960s that assumptions landing the United States in Vietnam should be reexamined.
In any event - and to no one's surprise - the different look did not produce a different conclusion. Instead of reversing the paradigm, Carter affirmed it: the existing U.S. approach to dealing with ISIS is sound, he announced. It only needs a bit of tweaking - just the result to give the Pollacks, O'Hanlons, and Kagans something to write about as they keep up the chatter that substitutes for serious debate.
Do we really need that chatter? Does it enhance the quality of U.S. policy? If policy/defense/action intellectuals fell silent would America be less secure?
Let me propose an experiment. Put them on furlough. Not permanently - just until the last of the winter snow finally melts in New England. Send them back to Yale for reeducation. Let's see if we are able to make do without them even for a month or two.
In the meantime, invite Iraq and Afghanistan War vets to consider how best to deal with ISIS. Turn the op-ed pages of major newspapers over to high school social studies teachers. Book English majors from the Big Ten on the Sunday talk shows. Who knows what tidbits of wisdom might turn up?
[Mar 24, 2015] The West has no respect for Russian liberals or kreaklies
To be a Russian liberal or kreakly to have a fanatical belief that the West is right all the time and on everythingWarren March 23, 2015 at 4:28 pmThe West has no respect for Russian liberals or kreaklies. The moment a Russian liberal or kreakly steps out of line or fails to sing from the same hymn sheet they will be ostracised and labelled a Putin/Kremlin lackey.
To be a Russian liberal or kreakly is to be a member of a religion, to be a believer in "Westernism" as Karlin coins it. Russian liberal or kreakly is a lay person who has no right to question or challenge the high priests of Westernism, to do so is heresy and will condemn you to become a benighted undemocratic uncivilised Russian heathen again.
The treat of Gorbachev and Solzhenitsyn by the Western media is evidence that the West has no respect for any Russian political figure or dissident that goes off message and goes off the reservation.
Russian liberals and kreaklies only function is to denigrate their own country and people incessantly. If a Russian liberal or kreaklies, dares to defend the Russian perspective or interests, then they cease being a liberal or a kreakly.
To be a Russian liberal or kreakly to have a fanatical belief that the West is right all the time and on everything.
[Feb 10, 2015] No subject
February 10, 2015 | arvegger
Я вот тоже не понимаю, как это работает. Обстреливают люди артиллерией мирные города.
Месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
Второй месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
Третий месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
Четвертый месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
Пятый месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
Шестой месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
Седьмой месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
Восьмой месяц обстреливают. Разрушаются дома, гибнут люди, либералы пишут про то, как кровавый режим убивает прекрасную летчицу-мать маленьких детей...
И тут прилетает хрень с неустановленной траекторией. И внезапно раздается АААААА! ВЫ УБИЛИ 5 ЧЕЛОВЕК!!!
И весь мир вздрагивает от этого ААААА. Такая у него акустика.
Это сработает в Вашингтоне, в Брюсселе. А здесь, господа, все это было бы очень интересно, если бы на Донбассе не ловили ваши диверсионные группы.
Как только либерал слышит, что убийцы могут быть из своих, на него нисходит невозмутимость. И он снова начинает перечислять раны умученной Савченко - медийного Христа наших политубогих.
[Feb 08, 2015] Remarks at the Congress of Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia
Russia revolt against neoliberal empire with the capital is Washington...
[Feb 07, 2015] President of Russia
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN:
... ... ...
Finally, about a war waged against this country. Fortunately, there is no war. Let us not pay too much attention to this. There is, however, an attempt to restrain our development by different means, an attempt to freeze the world order that has taken shape in the past decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with one single leader at its head, who wants to remain an absolute leader, thinking he can do whatever he likes, while others can only do what they are allowed to do and only if it is in this leader's interests. Russia would never agree to such a world order.
Maybe some like it, they want to live in a semi-occupied state, but we will not do it. However, we will not go to war with anyone either, we intend to cooperate with everyone. The attempts made, including through the so-called sanctions, do not make anyone happy in the final count, I believe. They cannot be effective when applied to such a country as ours, though they are doing us certain harm. We have to understand this and enhance our sovereignty, including economic sovereignty. Therefore, I would like to call on you to show understanding of what is going on and to cooperate with the state and the Government.
... ... ...
Someone also said a 'spectre of recession' is roaming the world. As we all know, it used to be the 'spectre of communism', and now it is a 'spectre of recession'. Representatives of our traditional confessions say it is enough to turn to God and we would not fear any spectres. However, a popular saying tells us that God helps him who helps himself. Therefore, if we work hard and retain a responsible attitude to our job, we will succeed.
Thank you very much.
As John Kerry Questions Official Story of JFK Killing, Thom Hartmann Discusses Legacy of Secrecy
Interesting details in view of John Kerry statement...
[Jan 20, 2015] One year after Maidan, Ukraine turns into Nazi, US-obedient puppet state
Pro-Russian view on EuroMaidan events...
21.11.2014 | pravda.ru
Maidan in Ukraine started a year ago. Now it is time to look back and see how it started and what it led to. Pravda.Ru interviewed the leader of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Natalia Vitrenko, about the events which marked the beginning of the civil war, the social and economic disaster and the collapse of Ukraine.
"One year after Maidan, what, in your opinion, were the aspirations of the Ukrainian people, who toppled Yanukovych? What are the results of the Ukrainian revolution? Has anything been done?"
"The fact is that the people were called to come to Maidan. Large protests started on November 23, 2013, when people demanded Yanukovych should sign the association agreement with the EU. Before November 2013, the Party of Regions together with Communists and the Litvin Bloc had the majority in the parliament. For 2.5 years, those parties were maintaining public psychosis in the country about the need to join the European integration. They were the prime initiators of the European integration. On 1 July 2010, they adopted the law about the foundations of domestic and foreign policy. Article 11 of the law said that Ukraine would be integrated into European space, that the goal of Ukraine was to become a EU member.
"The administration of President Yanukovych, above all, the head of administration, Sergei Levochkin, was monitoring the situation on television. They did not allow hosts on the country's most popular talk shows who would advocate for a different course for Ukraine - the course for integration with Russia. The research on Ukraine's integration into the Customs Union showed excellent prospects for Ukraine. I myself was making those calculations - two respectable economic institutions were working on that - the Russian and the Ukrainian academies of sciences engaged. The calculations convincingly showed all benefits from the integration of Ukraine in the East.
"As for calculations of benefits from Ukraine's integration into the European Union, no one has seen them. Without any arguments, they would be broadcasting psychosis from morning till night on all radio and TV channels. And, of course, the orange associations - the Tymoshenko bloc and Our Ukraine - would only nod to the majority of deputies. They had been doing this since 2010.
"Russia was watching all that favorably. United Russia had cross-party co-operation agreements with the Party of Regions, the Communist Party. Russia was showing absolutely no impact outhouse political forces. We were fighting against the policy of European integration, but all were pulling Ukraine into Europe. Our party and several others would be subjected to obstruction, because we were defending and defend a completely different vector of integration.
Suddenly, on November 21, Azarov's government decided to suspend the signing of the association agreement. I knew that the decision was taken after the government and the president were introduced to calculations of the economic disaster in Ukraine, about the inevitability of default, in case Ukraine had signed the agreement on association. Ukraine has nothing to enter the free trade zone with the EU. Ukrainian products are uncompetitive on the European market. When the government made that decision on November 21, it produced a shock in the camp. Two days later, opponents came to their senses and called people to gather on Maidan.
"Kiev residents came, students came, people from Western Ukraine were brought too, who understand nothing, but can frantically yell that all they need is Europe. Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, Tyagnibok and Poroshenko started flaming Maidan up. They showered people with promises that Ukraine would receive unprecedented benefits from the association with Europe, that Ukraine would be a civilized European country, where all rights and freedoms would be ensured and guaranteed. That means a sharp rise in wages, pensions and social benefits in accordance with all European standards.
"The people, of course, succumbed to that pressure. Imagine that they have been listening to all that propaganda for 2.5 years, and then Maidan confirmed all that too. Therefore, most people in Ukraine believeв that Ukraine must sign this agreement. They assumed that Yanukovych would be their prime enemy, if he refused to sign the agreement.
On November 29, when it became clear that Yanukovych did not sign it, Yatsenyuk, Tyagnibok and Klitschko were ready to dissolve Maidan because they were confused. They thought think that their pressure would be decisive. Nevertheless, Yanukovych did not sign the papers. After they returned from Brussels, they gathered on Maidan and announced that everyone should go home for the time being.
They started to remove the stage and the sound equipment, when the second scenario started working. Later it became known that this scenario had been prepared in advance by the presidential administration. The scenario was about the use of Berkut fighters to put up a New Year tree, but they use well-prepared militants to attack Berkut fighters. As a result, the protesters clashed with Berkut. At night, all national TV channels of Ukraine were filming all that on the square. They were filming the episodes that would be very good for the USA, as the entire scenario had been agreed with Washington and Brussels. At first, all instructions were coming from the US Embassy in Ukraine.
"They were filming how Berkut fighters were beating students, children, but they did not show how the protesters were throwing rocks at Berkut soldiers, how they would set soldiers ablaze. On the basis of this footage that produced a bombshell effect, people started coming to Maidan. On December 1, a massacre occurred on Bankovaya Street. There were militants wielding chains, bats, Molotov cocktails and boulders. Militants started taking administrative buildings in Kiev. Nineteen administrative buildings were seized, the center of Kiev was seized too.
The capital was paralyzed. But Yanukovych was instructed not to touch the peaceful protesters, as they said. The West wanted to see the resistance growing. It was growing in waves, because Maidan did not have the support of the majority of the people. On January 19, militants attacked the Berkut fighters, who were defending the government quarter. Car tires were burning in the street, on European Square and Kreshchatik Street.
Maidan was ideologized, it was a Russophobian, Nazi Maidan that was rigidly following the direction against Russia. For Ukrainians, Russia is the enemy, "Glory to the nation, death to the enemy" - that was the directive. This hatred was infecting more and more people.
Anti-Maidan could not oppose anything. As a result, on February 18, the Verkhovna Rada was attacked. On February 20, they were already armed. Maidan activists obtained weapons after they captured military and police arms caches.
"On February 21, Yanukovych signed an agreement with Maidan leaders. Three Foreign Ministers of European countries: Germany, France and Poland acted as guarantors of the agreement. I listened to the press conference of the German Minister for Foreign Affairs with his Russian counterpart Lavrov. He looked disgraceful. When he was asked why he did not observe the execution of that agreement, he suddenly said that it was because Yanukovych had fled the country. What did Yanukovych have to do with it? To hell with him, I am sorry about the country and the people.
"The agreement stipulated for the disarmament of all illegal armed groups and the creation of the government of national consent. Nothing was done. As a result of the armed neo-Nazi putsch, the new government was formed. MPs were mocked and humiliated, and the Parliament was eventually reformatted and start serving the neo-Nazi coup. In violation of the Ukrainian constitution, Yanukovych was suspended from power, and the parliament speaker was given an opportunity to become acting president.
"That is, they started doing what they wanted, and the US and EU were condoning that. They wanted that in Ukraine, they did it and got it. The only thing that they did not anticipate was the protest in the Crimea and in the Donbas. The Crimea saw the essence of this revolution, heard those slogans - "Muscovites on knives!" and realized that Ukraine would be for Ukrainians. Of course, they all went to the referendum and voted to pull out from that Ukraine. And then the Donbass rebelled against Kiev too. The people of Donbass identify themselves as members of the Russian world. They also understood that as long as Ukraine was going to be for Ukrainians, then they would be killed. They understood that Ukraine would be built into NATO.
If Ukraine was going to become Europe's servant, it would break economic and industrial ties with Russia, and the Donbass would be left with nothing, because the Donbass was tied to Russia up whole.
Donbass realized that it was doomed either way. That is why the uprising began in the region. Ukraine faced a civil war. According to experts' estimates, over 40 thousand people have been killed, including the rebels, the Ukrainian military and civilians. Two million refugees. Hundreds of thousands of wounded, shell-shocked ... Many return from the zone of the so-called anti-terrorist operation to Ukraine as mentally ill individuals. Children are deeply traumatized. The gene pool of the nation was generally undermined. This is what Maidan has done to Ukraine.
"Where are their successes? They signed the association agreement, and it was ratified in September. Where is the money that Europe promised? 30-40 billion euros. Ukraine begged to receive $6 billion from the IMF and the World Bank, another 900 million euros came from Europe and that was it. Our people die. In hospitals, there are no medications, patients do not receive any food. Last week in Kiev, they stopped giving bread to patients. That's what the United States and Europe have done. And, of course, they have put Ukraine in a position when the authorities are only interested in war. We are all sitting on a powder keg; every day we wait what provocation Ukraine would arrange to draw Russia into the war to start Third World War. The are the results of Maidan.
"According to President Poroshenko, the planned reforms, not less than 60, will embrace all areas of life, from public utilities to courts. Are there any reforms being conducted now?"
"They launched lustration. I do not know in which way it can relate to European values, when they fire people from jobs - specialists, professionals - they throw people in garbage cans. This is something barbarous, shameful, ape-like behaviour. They unfold reforms and say that they will reduce the amount of taxes. How are they going to do that? Whose shoulders will carry the burden of these taxes? We can not expect anything good from this government, no reforms whatsoever, because it is oligarchs that rule Euromaidan. They fund volunteer battalions and the new parliament.
They do not worry about the fate of the people. They will enhance exploitation and amass their fortunes. This is the essence of their reforms. They say that they will start an education reform, but at the same time they zombify children with ideas of neo-Nazism. They plant seeds of hatred to other nations, civilizations, primarily Russia. They hammer into children's heads the idea that Ukrainians originate from a super-ancient civilization. These reforms are a disaster for Ukraine.
"They allow to use the Russian language on the level of private, personal communication; they root it out from Ukraine. They will undoubtedly continue to struggle with dissent. Already today, the parties and movements that protect other ideology can not hold their own peaceful public actions. We could not take part in the elections, because we were openly threatened with violence, beatings and death. Ukraine is taking the shape of a Nazi state with totalitarian dictatorship - an ardent enemy of Russia and a very comfortable obedient puppet of the United States."
"Why is there no progress in investigating high-profile cases?"
"Because for the current authorities, the truthful results on the investigation of the Boeing tragedy, shootings on Maidan and other cases would mean the end. After all, no matter how they try to hide it, all paths in those cases lead to him. Irrefutable facts show that Porubiy was commanding the snipers on Maidan. More than 80 people were killed at once at his command. When the people saw the dead bodies, it produced an immediate effect, and they went on a desperate attack on the government. That's why they needed the snipers and deaths on Maidan. The downing of the Boeing was needed to shift the blame on Russia and the militia of the Donbass. But they failed."
"A year ago, on Kiev Maidan, people were protesting and even dying for Europe. A few months after winning the "revolution of dignity," Ukraine has not gotten any closer to Europe. On the contrary, Ukraine has slipped down to the level of Africa," this is what TV presenter of a Lviv channel, Ostap Drozdov said. The average pension in Ukraine after the "revolution of dignity" makes up 50 euros. This is the level of Africa. Do you agree with this opinion?"
"I agree that after Maidan, Ukraine has gone decades and even centuries back. We now have the power of barbarians, who do not recognize the rule of law, who trample on the Constitution, violate laws, refuse to fulfill international obligations. Poroshenko's decree from 4 November is a bright example of that. One should introduce international sanctions against Poroshenko's Ukraine. Otherwise, it is impossible to bring to reason the man, whose power destroys all norms of law. But Europe is silent, the international community is silent under the thumb of the US - they are fine and satisfied with it. They are satisfied with the jungle in the middle of Europe, on the territory of Ukraine."
Interviewed by Lyuba Lulko
Read the original in Russian
[Jan 20, 2015] Ukraine Goes to War – and Always Will as Long as Maidan Holds Power
Jan 20, 2015 | network54.com
... ... ...
Previously, back in September, I discussed the Minsk Protocol in detail here, where I said
"…..the Protocol is in my opinion a total red herring. The Protocol is not a contract or treaty. There is no court or tribunal that will arbitrate on the meaning of its words. All the sides will construe it as they wish. The junta will not of course construe it as I have done and nor will its western backers even though my interpretation is undoubtedly the correct one. The junta will continue to call the NAF (the "Novorossian Armed Forces" - AM) "terrorists" and will continue to deny they are the representatives of the Donbas whether they win the election or not. Certainly the junta will not recognise an election the NAF wins or any declaration of independence the NAF makes. For what it's worth in my opinion there is little chance of the terms of such an election being agreed upon or such an election taking place whilst the Donbas remains part of the Ukraine".
Every word in this paragraph has come true. The Ukrainian government still refuses to recognise the Donbass leaders Zakharchenko and Plotnisky as the representatives of the people of the Donbass even though their signatures are on the Minsk Protocol, which the Ukrainian government negotiated with them and itself signed. Elections in the Donbass did take place in November but as I predicted the Ukrainian government did not agree their terms. The Ukrainian government still calls Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky and the other Donbass leaders "terrorists".
The reason I was able to make that prediction in September with such confidence and why that prediction has in every respect come true, is because the nature of the Ukrainian government allowed for no other.
The basic truth about the crisis in Ukraine and why there is a war there - the one that many people especially in the West refuse to acknowledge - is that the faction that seized power in Ukraine through the February 2014 coup is structurally incapable of negotiation or compromise with those it considers its opponents.
I discussed the nature of this faction when I discussed the results of the elections in Ukraine last November. Briefly, the whole purpose of the February coup was so that the faction in Ukraine that holds power now could achieve the unrestricted dominance of Ukrainian society which is its only way of making true its vision of a unitary, monolingual, monocultural Ukraine that is forever distanced from Russia.
Given the diversity of Ukrainian society, it cannot compromise with its opponents since were it to do so that would jeopardise the entire project that is the reason for its existence and the justification for its hold on power. That is why it acted in February to eliminate from Ukrainian political life the faction that had held power in Ukraine before and why it remains committed to eliminating its opponents in the Donbass now.
It is also incidentally the reason for the repeated attacks on the Lenin statues discussed by Paul Robinson here. Given the regime's overriding, aggressive drive to reshape Ukraine in its own image, it cannot tolerate the existence of these statues precisely because so many Ukrainians adhere to them and by doing so hold fast to a different vision of Ukraine from the one the regime has. The very reason why Robinson says it is a mistake to attack these statues is therefore for the regime a compelling reason to destroy them. The statues have to be eliminated from Ukraine just as opponents who think of Ukraine differently must be.
It is this drive - not Russia's actions - which is why Ukraine is in a state of perpetual war and crisis and why atrocities like the 2nd May 2014 Odessa fire can happen without being properly investigated or the perpetrators brought to account.
Though the Maidan regime is deeply divided and factionalised, its drive to remake Ukraine and to eliminate all opponents of its vision, is the common denominator of all its factions. As factional differences intensify as the economic situation deteriorates, fulfilment of the drive through war increasingly becomes the way the regime retains coherence, making a renewal of the war inevitable.
What this means in practice is that negotiations between the Ukrainian government and the Donbass as a route to peace in Ukraine are all but impossible. As Yanukovych repeatedly discovered during the Maidan crisis (see our discussion of his ouster here), any attempt to achieve a compromise is bound in the end to fail since the Maidan movement which holds power in Ukraine now is structurally unable to compromise.
ThatJ, January 20, 2015 at 11:25 amUkraine Goes to War – and Always Will as Long as Maidan Holds Power
as Alexander Mercouris writes for Russia Insider
Here some excerpts:
"The basic truth about the crisis in Ukraine and why there is a war there – the one that many people especially in the West refuse to acknowledge – is that the faction that seized power in Ukraine through the February 2014 coup is structurally incapable of negotiation or compromise with those it considers its opponents.
"… the whole purpose of the February coup was so that the faction in Ukraine that holds power now could achieve the unrestricted dominance of Ukrainian society which is its only way of making true its vision of a unitary, monolingual, monocultural Ukraine that is forever distanced from Russia.
"Given the diversity of Ukrainian society, it cannot compromise with its opponents since were it to do so that would jeopardize the entire project that is the reason for its existence and the justification for its hold on power. That is why it acted in February to eliminate from Ukrainian political life the faction that had held power in Ukraine before and why it remains committed to eliminating its opponents in the Donbass now.
"… Though the Maidan regime is deeply divided and factionalised, its drive to remake Ukraine and to eliminate all opponents of its vision, is the common denominator of all its factions. As factional differences intensify as the economic situation deteriorates, fulfillment of the drive through war increasingly becomes the way the regime retains coherence, making a renewal of the war inevitable.
"What this means in practice is that negotiations between the Ukrainian government and the Donbass as a route to peace in Ukraine are all but impossible. … any attempt to achieve a compromise is bound in the end to fail since the Maidan movement which holds power in Ukraine now is structurally unable to compromise."
[Jan 16, 2015] Don't worry. The authorities will quickly explain to you freedom of speech means but putting you in jail if you uttered something stupid by Olga Tukhanina
Neoliberal Empire is so close in spirit to late USSR that closeness of event strikes everybody. As in cult soviet satirical film "Kin-DZA-DZA: "You now find yourselves in cells, because you say things without thinking, and think about things that you should not think at all". If Kafka were alive, these days he would have definitely died again. The only thing unclear whether from laughing or from envy. Although it can be both.
"No respectable publication in the citadel of the free world reprinted the cartoons"
The associated Press reported from Paris that after the most massive in the history of mankind demonstrations in defense of freedom of speech, 54 people were arrested for wrong words which supposedly demonstrate hate and support of terrorism. Then the arrests continued, and now the number of arrested exceeded sixty people.
Among them is the famous comedian Dieudonne Mbala Mbala. The funny thing is that this comic was ideologically close ally of cartoonists from Charlie Hebdo . It now looks as if cartoonists, who were perished were Communists, and so far tot he left the Chairman of communist Party of Russia Gennady Zyuganov on their background looks like obnoxious right-wing conservative.
The absurdity of what is happening, when in support of freedom of speech can immediately arrest the person just saying something politically incorrect, and put him in jail for six months, it has become evident even for selected Russian neoliberals. They, however, try to cal concern by saying that those events happened in backward France, and that's why Obama did not fly to the largest demonstration fro the freedom of speed in world history.
However, in the citadel of the free world, where freedom of speech is protected by a separate amendment to the Constitution, for some reason no respectable publication reprinted the cartoons.
Talking about large multinationals, it's funny that on the English version of the Apple website, for example, there were no words in support of the victims, but on the French page sacramental Je suis Charlie was hanging. Looks like variant of support of freedom of word with severely restricted export channels
Within the neoliberal worlds almost nobody is supposed by those inconsistencies. They explain that freedom of speech includes the freedom to criticize and make fun of all religions. And believers must bow their heads and endure. But hate speech is a completely different matter, it is about inciting hatred and ethnic strife. and you can be jailed for such an action.
Let's try to give a Russian example of such a behaviour. it looks like this: when satirist Shenderovich rhetorically asks the priest why he did not learned anything from the events of the twenties, this is a freedom of speech. But when the Shenderovich asked why Jews learned nothing from events of 30th, this is hate speech and anti-Semitism. Here Article 282 of Russian Criminal codex might be applicable.
For a normal person it is extremely difficult to understand nuances of interpretation of the subtle difference between free speech" and "hate speech" in the neoliberal world. But neoliberals suck the right interpretation with their genetically modified neoliberal milk. Such an interpretation looks as following "Freedom only for the free men, and all the barbarians mouth should be closed".
For anybody who lived in Brezhnev's USSR it looks like ideological poles of modern world are just reverse poles that existed 40 years back. Now we can understand why the US and Western European citizens were so stunned by absurdity of Soviet propaganda and millions of people who on May 1 come to street to march for Freedom of people from exploitation, against oppression and for personal liberties including the freedom of word. Under the strict guidance of the party and government.
There were also a lot of talk about the "freedom of the word" in late USSR, and you really can criticize decadent West as much as you can, but openly criticizing Soviet regime could easily get you a jail term for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda. However, I will make a special reservation: the Soviet Union was my homeland. and despite all the shortcomings and broken economic model life for ordinary people in late USSR was very good. We have had something that today can be found nowhere - there was no unemployment, no homeless children, no crime, and for children especially it was a great environment to grow up.
However, I repeat, the public Communist rituals looked f*cking ridiculous. But at the same time Soviet people have perfect understanding of of this situation and everybody felt that the system was completely rotten from inside and that communist ideology is no longer viable. In the 70s the Soviet ideology lost any hold of people minds. Ideology of Neoliberal Empire in Europe is still relatively new and smell with flesh layer of "free markets" utopia paint and new level of neoliberal hypocrisy after the events of 2008. It still hold minds by a lot of Western European lemmings.
It's pretty telling that Neoliberal Empire strikes former citizens of the USSR as ideological reincarnation of "Brezhnev USSR" in all its rotten ideological glory and absurdity. But it's still relatively clean on the streets of Western capitals (but not New York). And infrastructure is still relatively in order. And people have rather high standard of living. But the real situation with the "freedom of the word" is exactly like in the cult Soviet satirical film "Kin-DZA-DZA": "You now find yourselves in cells, because you say things without thinking, and think about things that you should not think at all". And it is this parade of hypocrisy that we observe right now. There are powerful and corrupt guys who define in what cases "freedom of word" is applicable and when it is not. And you need to obey. Or...
But, of course, what Russian people living under authoritarianism can understand in Western European events. Those savages in work robes as neoliberal journalists from "Echo of Moscow" would characterize us. And after such a characterization, the journalist from "Echo of Moscow" will go to have one or two Americano, and is not afraid of being arrested and jailed for some time for inciting hatred and enmity. He is serving the right boss, for the right convertible currency, so why should he/she? Exactly like in "Kin-DZA-DZA". In other words, not everybody can pretend that "We are Charlie" in this neoliberal world. Only selected few.
[Jan 05, 2015] 2014: The Year Propaganda Came Of Age by Raúl Ilargi Meijer
"Ukraine defines 2014 as the year western propaganda came into its". In a sense exceeding the achiventb of Nazy Germany and the USSR.
December 27, 2014 | www.ronpaulinstitute.org
From just about as early in my life as I can remember, growing up as a child in Holland, there were stories about World War II, and not just about Anne Frank and the huge amounts of people who, like her, had been dragged off to camps in eastern Europe never to come back, but also about the thousands who had risked their lives to hide Jewish and other refugees, and the scores who had been executed for doing so, often betrayed by their own neighbors.
And then there were those who had risked their lives in equally courageous ways to get news out to people, putting out newspapers and radio broadcasts just so there would be a version of events out there that was real, and not just what the Germans wanted one to believe. This happened in all Nazi - and Nazi friendly - occupied European nations.
The courage of these people is hard to gauge for us today, and I'm convinced there's no way to say whom amongst us would show that kind of bravery if we were put to the test. I certainly wouldn't be sure about myself.
Still, without wanting to put myself anywhere near the level of those very real heroes - please don't get me wrong about that - that's not what I mean, I was thinking about them with regards to what is happening in our media today. I've mentioned before that I don't think Joseph Goebbels had anything on US and European media today.
That propaganda as a strategic and political instrument has been refined to a huge extent over the past 70-odd years since Goebbels first picked up on Freud's lessons on how to influence the unconscious mind, and the "mass-mind," as a way to "steer" an entire people, not just as a means to make them buy detergent. These days, the media can make people believe just about anything, and they have the added benefit that they can pose as friends of the people, not the enemy.
But there is a reason why such a large "industry" has developed on the web with people writing articles that don't say what the mass media say. That reason is, obviously, first and foremost that not everybody believes whatever they are told. The problem is equally obvious: not nearly enough people are being reached to make a true difference, and to question the official narratives.
I have no claim to fame outside of the appreciation I get from, first, my readers and, second, from my colleagues and peers. I get a lot of both, and I thank you for that, but this certainly is not about me. If anything, it's about trying to live up to the desire for truth in the face of odds squarely stacked against it, and against the people I try to reach out to. Trying to do just 0.1 percent of what the WWII underground press was about.
A few days ago, I wrote in About That Interview :The FBI claims they are certain the hackers are North Korean, but they have provided no proof of that claim. We have to trust them on their beautiful blue eyes. I think if anything defines 2014 for me, it's the advent of incessant claims for which no proof - apparently - needs to be provided. Everything related to Ukraine over the past year carries that trait. The year of 'beautiful blue eyes', in other words. Never no proof, you just have to believe what your government says.And that truly defines 2014 for me. A level of propaganda I don't recognize, and I don't think I've ever seen before. 2014 has for me been the year of utter nonsense. To wit, it just finished in fine form with a 5 percent US GDP growth number, just to name one example. Really, guys? 5 percent? Really? With all the numbers presented lately, the negative Thanksgiving sales data - minus 11 percent from what I remember - the so-so at best Christmas store numbers to date, shrinking durable goods in November and all? Plus 5 percent?
It really doesn't matter what I say, does it? You have enough people believing ridiculous numbers like that to make it worth your while. After all, that's all that counts. It's a democracy, isn't it? If a majority believes something, it becomes true. If you can get more than 50 percent of people to believe whatever you say, that's case closed.
With well over 90 million working age Americans counted as being out of the labor force, and with 43 million on food stamps, you can still present a 5 percent GDP growth number, if only you can get a sufficiently large number of people to believe. And you do, I'll give you that. As far as the media goes, we have achieved the change we can believe in. We may not have that change, but we sure do believe we have, don't we? And isn't that what counts? Are congratulations in order?
Well, not where I'm at, they're not. I should do a shout out to the likes of Zero Hedge, Yves Smith, David Stockman, Wolf Richter, Mish, Steve Keen, Jim Kunstler, and so many others, we're a solid crowd by now even if we're neglected, and please don't feel left out if you're not in that list, I know who you are. The problem is, we're all completely neglected by the mass media, even though there are a ton of very sharp minds in this "finance blogosphere." And perhaps we should make it a point to break through that ridiculous black-out in 2015.
2014, in my eyes, has been the year of propaganda outdoing even its own very purpose, and succeeding too. We are supposed to be living in a time of the best educated people in the history of mankind, and everyone thinks (s)he's mighty smart, but precious few have even an inkling of a clue of what transpires in the world they live in. Talk about a lost generation. Or two.
We really need to question the value of higher education, if all we get for it is a generation of people so easily duped by utter blubber. What do they teach people at our universities these days? Certainly not to think for themselves, that much is clear. And then what is the use? Why spend all that time raising an entire generation of highly educated pawns, sheep, and robots? I can think of some people liking that, but for society as a whole, it's devastating if that's all higher education is.
And if you would like to raise doubts here, the very existence of finance blogosphere I mentioned before is proof that we indeed have raised a generation of sheep. If we had functioning media, there'd be no need for that blogosphere. We are the people who keep on pointing out where the mass media fail, let alone the politicians, simply by being there and being supported to the extent we are by the few people who escape the sheep mentality.
But that's not nearly enough. Journalists, reporters, whatever they call themselves, working for Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC, etc. should at the very least quote Zero Hedge on a daily basis, and Mish, and Steve, and Yves, and perhaps even me - though it's fine if they continue to ignore me, as long as they give the rest their rightful place.
There are many people in the blogosphere who are many times smarter than the people who write for the mass media, and that's a very simple and hardly disputable fact that needs to be recognized. When you read something in your paper or at your online news provider, it should be second nature to ask yourself: but what would Tyler Durden say, or the Automatic Earth, or Naked Capitalism, or David Stockman?
But we're nowhere near that, are we? We've been fooled with economic stats for years, not just in the US, not even just in the west, but all over, they all grabbed on to the potential of providing people with numbers that have little to do with reality, but that simply feel good. Or even just look good.
Still, boy, have we been, and are being, fooled. Then again, most of you wouldn't know, would you? We people tend to discount the future, to see today as more important than tomorrow, and in the same manner we find our children's future much less important than our own. Because that feels good too. If we are comfy right now, screw them. Not that we'd ever put it into those terms.
But you know, that's really all old hack by now. 2014 brought us a whole other class of nonsense. And we swallowed it all hook line and entire sinker.
2014 gave us Ukraine. And you just try and find anyone today who doesn't think Vladimir Putin is and was the evil genius mind behind the whole thing, including the 4500+ people who died there over the past 10 months. Why is it so hard to anyone who doubts that narrative? Because our media told us Putin is the bogeyman. And "we" never asked for any proof. That is, except for those of us in that same blogosphere.
Meanwhile, round after round of sanctions against Russia have been set up and activated by EU and US, causing hardship for both Russian people and European businesses. But why, what exactly is Putin allegedly guilty of?
The US/EU installed a government in Kiev in February (yeah, yap about it), which is still in place, with a bunch of US citizens recently added for good measure - and for profit. The chocolate prince president was indeed elected months later, but the prime minister - "Yats" - was handpicked by America, and is still, amazingly, in place. That's the same government that had it own army murder thousands of its own citizens, and not a thing has been resolved so far.
The whole thing came to a head when MH17 was shot down over the summer. That too was blamed on Putin. Or was it? Well, not directly, nobody said Putin ordered that plane to be shot. Nor did anyone say Russia shot it. There is the accusation that Russian speaking Ukrainian "rebels" did it, but proof for that was never provided in the six months since the incident. And there must be a "best before" date in there somewhere.
Is it possible the "rebels" did it? We can't exclude it, but that's for the same reason we can't exclude the option that little green Martians did it: we don't know. But even then, even if they did, there's the question whether that would have been on purpose. Which seems really stretching it: nothing they want would be served by shooting down a plane full of European, Malaysian and Australian holiday goers.
But here we are: no proof and layer upon layer of sanctions. And nary a voice is raised in the west. If one is, it's to denounce the Russians as bloodthirsty barbarians. Even though there is no proof they did anything other than protecting what they see as their own people. Something we all would do too, no questions asked.
Ukraine defines 2014 as the year western propaganda came into its own. Not just fictional stories about an economic recovery anymore, no, we had our politico-media establishment ram an entire new cold war down our throats. And we swallowed it whole. We may have had a million more years of higher education than our parents and grandparents, but we sure don't seem to have gotten any smarter than them.
There is a lot of information out there, written by people inspired by things other than monetary incentives or job security or anything like that -people who simply want to get information out that your trusted media won't give you anymore than Goebbels' media did in occupied Europe in the 1940s. And you don't even have to risk your lives to access that information. All you have to do is to get off your couch.
The Automatic Earth is but a small part of a very valuable and fast growing resource that warrants a lot more attention than it's been receiving to date. A reported 5 percent US GDP growth print is one reason why, the entire Ukraine fantasy story is another. The blogosphere is full of functioning neurons, which is more than you can say for your papers and online MSM.
As far as media is concerned, 2014 has been downright scary in its distortion of reality. Let's try and move 2015 a little bit closer towards what's actually happening.
Reprinted with permission from The Automatic Earth.
[Dec 19, 2014] Paul Krugman Putin's Bubble Bursts
Krugman is such a neoliberal stooge...
December 18, 2014
The Crazy US 'Group Think' on Russia
Congress has voted to up the ante in the showdown with Russia over Ukraine, embracing a new Cold War and the neocon scheme for "regime change" in Moscow. But – amid the tough-guy-ism – there was little consideration of the risks from destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia.
By Robert Parry
Has anyone in Official Washington thought through the latest foreign policy "group think," the plan to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia? All the "smart" people, including the New York Times editors, are rubbing their hands with glee over the financial crisis being imposed on Russia because of the Ukraine crisis, but no one, it seems, is looking down the road.
This reckless strategy appears to be another neocon-driven "regime change" scheme, this time focused on Moscow with the goal to take down Russian President Vladimir Putin and presumably replace him with some U.S. puppet, a Russian-speaking Ahmed Chalabi perhaps. Since the neocons have never faced accountability for the Iraq disaster – when the conniving Chalabi was their man – they are still free to dream about a replay in Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.
However, as catastrophic as the Iraq War was especially for Iraqis, the new neocon goal of Russian "regime change" is far more dangerous. If one looks at the chaos that has followed neocon (and "liberal interventionist") schemes to overthrow governments in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine and elsewhere, what might the risks be if such political disorder was created in Russia?
Since the neocon plans don't always work out precisely as they dream them up at Washington think tanks or at the Washington Post's editorial board, what are the chances that some radical Russian nationalist might emerge from the chaos and take command of the nuclear launch codes? As much fun as the Washington tough guys and gals are having today, the prospects for thermo-nuclear war might not be as pleasing.
And, does anyone really think that cooler heads in Official Washington would prevail in such a crisis? From what we have seen over the past year regarding Ukraine – not to mention other international hot spots – it seems that the only game in town is to swagger around, as pumped up as Hans and Franz, just not as amusing.
You see, the Russians have already experienced what it is like to comply with U.S. economic edicts. That was tried during the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union when experts from Harvard University descended on Moscow with "shock therapy" for the post-communist society. What happened was that a handful of well-connected thieves plundered the nation's resources, making themselves into billionaire oligarchs while President Boris Yeltsin stayed drunk much of the time and many average Russians faced starvation.
A key reason why Putin and his autocratic style have such a strong political base is that he took on some of the oligarchs and restructured the economy to improve the lives of many Russians. The neocons may think that they can oust Putin through a combination of economic pain and information warfare but there is a deep understanding among many Russians what a repeat of the Yeltsin years would mean.
So, even a "successful regime change" could end up with a more radical figure in charge of Russia and its nuclear arsenal than Putin. But that is the course that Official Washington has chosen to take, with Congress almost unanimously approving a package of harsher sanctions and $350 million in arms and military equipment for Ukraine to wage its "anti-terrorism operation" against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
There is some irony here in that just as President Barack Obama finally begins to lift the ineffective, half-century-old U.S. embargo against Cuba, the U.S. Congress and the entire mainstream U.S. news media have jumped on another high horse to charge off against Russia, imposing new economic sanctions and dreaming of another "regime change."
The promiscuous use of sanctions – as part of "regime change" strategies – has become almost an addiction in Washington. One can envision some tough-talking U.S. diplomat confronting the leaders of a troublesome nation by going around the room and saying, "we sanction you, we sanction you, we sanction you."
Beyond the trouble that this pathology creates for American businesses, not sure whether they're stumbling over one of these sanctions, there is the backlash among countries increasingly trying to circumvent the United States in order to deny Washington that leverage over them. The long-run effect is surely to be a weakening of the U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy.
However, in the meantime, U.S. politicians can't seem to get enough of this feel-good approach to foreign disputes. They can act like they're "doing something" by punishing the people of some wayward country, but sanctions are still short of outright war, so the politicians don't have to attend funerals and face distraught mothers and fathers, at least not the mothers and fathers of American soldiers.
In the past, sanctions, such as those imposed on Iraq in the 1990s, took a fearsome toll, killing some half million Iraqi children, according to United Nations estimates.
Another example of how the sanctioning impulse can run amok has been U.S. policy toward Sudan, where leaders were sanctioned over the violence in Darfur. The United States also supported the secession of oil-rich South Sudan as a further penalty to Sudan.
But the U.S. sanctions on Sudan prevented South Sudan from shipping its oil through pipelines that ran through Sudan, creating a political crisis in South Sudan, which led to tribal violence. The U.S. government responded with, you guessed it, sanctions against leaders of South Sudan.
So, now, the U.S. government is back on that high horse and charging off to sanction Russia and its leaders over Ukraine, a crisis that has been thoroughly misrepresented in the mainstream U.S. news media and in the halls of government.
A False Narrative
Official Washington's "group think" on the crisis has been driven by a completely phony narrative of what has happened in Ukraine over the past year. It has become the near-monolithic view of insiders that the crisis was instigated by Putin as part of some diabolical scheme to recreate the Russian Empire by seizing Ukraine, the Baltic states and maybe Poland.
But the reality is that the crisis was initiated by the West, particularly by Official Washington's neocons, to pry Ukraine away from the Russian sphere of influence and into Europe's, a ploy that was outlined by a leading neocon paymaster, Carl Gershman, the longtime president of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy.
On Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post and pronounced Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step toward toppling Putin and putting down the resurgent and willful Russia that he represents.
Gershman, whose NED is financed by the U.S. Congress to the tune of about $100 million a year, wrote: "Ukraine's choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."
In other words, from the start, Putin was the target of the Ukraine initiative, not the instigator. Beyond Gershman's rhetoric was the fact that NED was funding scores of projects inside Ukraine, training activists, supporting "journalists," funding business groups.
Then, in November 2013, Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych balked at an association agreement with the European Union after learning that it would cost Ukraine some $160 billion to separate from Russia. Plus, the International Monetary Fund was demanding economic "reforms" that would hurt average Ukrainians.
Yanukovych's decision touched off mass demonstrations from western Ukrainians who favored closer ties to Europe. That, in turn, opened the way for the machinations by neocons inside the U.S. government, particularly the scheming of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, the wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan.
Before long, Nuland was handpicking the new leadership for Ukraine that would be in charge once Yanukovych was out of the way, a process that was ultimately executed by tightly organized 100-man units of neo-Nazi storm troopers bused in from the western city of Lviv. ["NYT Discovers Ukraine's Neo-Nazis at War."]
The violent overthrow of President Yanukovych led to resistance from south and east Ukraine where Yanukovych got most of his votes. Crimea, a largely ethnic Russian province, voted overwhelmingly to secede from the failed Ukrainian state and rejoin Russia, which had been Crimea's home since the 1700s.
When Putin accepted Crimea back into Russia – recognizing its historical connections and its strategic importance – he was excoriated by Western leaders and the mainstream U.S. media. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton likened him to Hitler, as the narrative took shape that Putin was on a premeditated mission to conquer states of the former Soviet Union.
That narrative was always fake but it became Official Washington's conventional wisdom, much like the existence of Iraq's WMD became what "everyone knew to be true." The "group think" was again so strong that not even someone as important to the establishment as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger could shake it.
In an interview last month with Der Spiegel magazine, Kissinger said that "The annexation of Crimea was not a move toward global conquest. It was not Hitler moving into Czechoslovakia."
The 91-year-old Kissinger added that President Putin had no intention of instigating a crisis in Ukraine: "Putin spent tens of billions of dollars on the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The theme of the Olympics was that Russia is a progressive state tied to the West through its culture and, therefore, it presumably wants to be part of it. So it doesn't make any sense that a week after the close of the Olympics, Putin would take Crimea and start a war over Ukraine."
Instead Kissinger argued that the West – with its strategy of pulling Ukraine into the orbit of the European Union – was responsible for the crisis by failing to understand Russian sensitivity over Ukraine and making the grave mistake of quickly pushing the confrontation beyond dialogue.
Kissinger's remarks – though undeniably true – were largely ignored by the mainstream U.S. media and had little or no impact on the U.S. Congress which pressed ahead with its legislation to expand the anti-Russia sanctions, which – along with declining energy prices – were contributing to a severe economic downturn in Russia.
The New York Times' editors spoke for many in their celebration over the pain being inflicted on Russia. In an editorial entitled "The Ruble's Fall and Mr. Putin's Reckoning," the Times wrote:
"The blame for this [economic calamity] rests largely with the disastrous policies of President Vladimir Putin, who has consistently put his ego, his territorial ambitions and the financial interests of his cronies ahead of the needs of his country. The ruble fell as much as 19 percent on Monday after the Central Bank of Russia sharply raised its benchmark interest rate to 17 percent in the middle of the night in a desperate attempt to keep capital from fleeing the country.
"Since June, the Russian currency has fallen about 50 percent against the dollar. Because Russia relies heavily on imported food and other goods, the decline in its currency is fueling inflation. Consumer prices jumped 9.1 percent last month compared with a year earlier and also increased 8.3 percent in October.
"Russia's immediate problems were caused by the recent collapse of global crude oil prices and the financial sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe in an effort to get Mr. Putin to stop stirring conflict in Ukraine. But the rot goes far deeper. …
"Mr. Putin has taken great relish in poking the West. Now that he is in trouble, the rest of the world is unlikely to rush to his aid. On Tuesday, a White House spokesman said that President Obama intends to sign a bill that would authorize additional sanctions on Russia's energy and defense industries. That bill would also authorize the administration to supply arms to Ukraine's government.
"The sensible thing for Mr. Putin to do would be to withdraw from Ukraine. This would bring immediate relief from sanctions, and that would ease the current crisis and give officials room to start fixing the country's economic problems. The question is whether this reckless leader has been sufficiently chastened to change course."
But the reality has been that Putin has tried to keep his distance from the ethnic Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, even urging them to postpone a referendum that revealed strong support for the region's secession from Ukraine. But he has faced a hard choice because the Kiev regime launched an "anti-terrorist operation" against the eastern region, an offensive that took on the look of ethnic cleansing.
The Ukrainian government's strategy was to pound eastern cities and towns with artillery fire and then dispatch neo-Nazi and other extremist "volunteer battalions" to do the dirty work of street-to-street fighting. Amnesty International and other human rights groups took note of the brutality inflicted by these anti-Russian extremists....
Who is next as a victim of the "Gold billion"
December 19, 2014 | matveychev-oleg.livejournal.com
Don't look for friends in the camp of the camp of world's oligarchic bastards, there cannot be such people there. They will bever allow you into the ranks on world elite on equal terms. they will use you, rob you and then throw away, as they did Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein, the leaders of Yugoslavia and many others.
Those cases should seve a strong warning for every admirer of the principles of Western democracy. The last week the West began to signal that it is ready to continue dialogue with Moscow. That, on Thursday the head of the European Parliament Martin Schulz told at the press conference . Earlier, Pope Francis spoke about the intention to meet with the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill, speaking for peace in Ukraine. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev offers his help to start a dialogue between Russia and the United States.
They are now in a hurry,. because the time has come to pay for Ukraine, which is torn to pieces; the economy collapsed, after the coup, when to power came a neofascist regime. there is a civil war at the East now. Who will pay for the chaos and mayhem, they inflicted on Ukraine?
Washington never pays for its pogroms, and the European Union has already splurged, and is not going to continue to spend money. Because of this, they began to look to the East, and sent messengers. But while they are holding out one hand for a peaceful handshake, the West is always holding a grenade in the other hand.
The actions of Washington is a perfect example of this. Ukraine demostrate perfectly well the long-established pattern, namely to choose the victim, buy or cooopt part of the elite, then to stage a coup ("color revolution"), or at attack the state. In any case the the state is plunged into chaos, and then wither away, leaving others to clean up the mess.
They always acted this way before, and they want to continued to act the same way now. the target of the "color revolutions" are always countries, which experience rapid ecopnomic growth (see below reference data for countries where there color revolutions were staged).
The economy of those countries, where the "color revolutions" were successful, was applied a crushing blow that has set the country back decades ago.
Especially remarkable is the fact that after the end of the cold war with the USSR Washington's activity did not decrease.
Compare three maps.
On the first map you can see countries, where during the cold war, American intelligence agencies have organized coups (the list is based on the book by William bloom's "Killing hope: U.S. military intervention and the CIA after the Second world war."
The coups of the cold war"
On the second map you can see supported by the West color revolution of the twenty-first century, which include the "colored revolutions", the "Arab spring" and other coups (beige - country, where attempts failed; brown - country, which is in the stage of the collapse or a period of long-term destabilization after the color revolution or other type of coup).
Unrest and revolution of the XXI century
And finally, on the third - you can see the countries of the "Golden billion", not affected by the revolutions.
The countries of the "Golden billion"
Given that the cold war lasted for more than 40 years, and the time period from the "bulldozer revolution" in Yugoslavia to Euromayday is just 13 years - it is easy to see that in the XXI century, the United States began to crave for conflicts, much more then during the period of confrontation with the USSR.
Sowing on the same territory chaos and leaving her in the lurch, Washington instantly begin to search for a new victim. And in order to avoid the explositon of the affected country they try to engage various negotiators. Those are going to Moscow, Beijing, sometimes to Brussels and other Europeian capitals. They propose let start a dialogue. Because plunged into chaos territory need someone to pay for the restoration. But right now nobody beleaves Washington any longer such negotiators are hard to find. The bench is nearly empty.
GDP, where Washington organized the "colored revolutions", according to the World Bank
Serbia. GDP Yugoslavia has increased from $14.6 billion (1970) to $90,5 billion (1989). The West has provoked the collapse of the country. In 2000 there was a "bulldozer revolution in Serbia and overthrow Slobodan Milosevic.
Georgia. GDP increased from $2.8 billion (1999) to $4 billion (2003). In the 2003 "rose revolution" that overthrew President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia.
Ukraine. GDP grew from $31 billion (in 2000) to $65 billion (2004). In 2004 it was subjected to "orange revolution". Growth stopped.
Kyrgyzstan. GDP has grown from $ 1.2 billion (1999) to $ 2.2 billion (2004). In the 2005 "Tulip revolution", in which Askar Akayev was overthrown.
Uzbekistan. GDP increased from 9.5 billion (2002) to 14.3 billion (2005). In 2005 there was an attempt to overthrow President Islam Karimov.
Lebanon. GDP increased from 2.8 billion (1990) to 22 billion dollars (2005). In 2005 "cedar revolution", which resulted in a change of political regime.
Belarus. GDP increased from 14.5 billion (2002) to 37 billion dollars (2006). In 2006 there was an attempt to stage a color revolution.
Moldavia. GDP grew from $ 1.7 billion in 1999 to USD 6 billion (2008). In 2009 there was a "purple revolution", which resulted in the parliamentary elections and the resignation of President Vladimir Voronin.
Tunisia. GDP increased from 14.5 billion in 1993 to 44 billion dollars (2010). In 2011 - "Jasmine revolution", the result of which was the overthrow of President Ben Ali.
Egypt. GDP increased from 36 billion dollars (1991) to 236 billion (2011). In 2011, the "Lotus revolution, which ousted Hosni Mubarak.
Libya. GDP increased from 19.8 billion (2002) to 75 billion dollars (2010). In 2011, the "Arab spring", which ended in the overthrow of M. Gaddafi.
Syria. GDP grew from $ 10 billion in 1994 to 74 billion dollars (2011). In 2011, the West has unleashed a civil war.
Iraq. GDP grew from us $ 10 billion (1997) to 25 billion dollars (2000). In 2003 as a result of the military invasion of Saddam Hussein was overthrown, and in 2005 the "purple revolution" has completed the change of political regime.
Russia. GDP increased from 196 billion (1999) to 1899 billion dollars (2011). In late 2011 - early 2012 - the attempt to stage "white revolution" was launched.
Ukraine. GDP grew from 117 billion (2009) to 176 billion (2012). In 2013 - Euromayday (military coup).
Myanmar. GDP grew in the early 2000s with the pace of 12%-13% per year. In 2007-- an attempt to to stage "saffron revolution".
Iran. GDP grew from $ 60 billion in 1993 to 362 billion dollars (2009). In 2009 an attempt to stage so called "green revolution".
China. GDP increased from 440 billion dollars in 1993 to 7332 billion dollars (2011). In 2011 attempt of "Jasmine revolution" in 2014 Hong Cong umprella revolution. Both unsuccessful.
Thailand. GDP has increased from $ 39 billion (1985) to 273 billion dollars (2008). In 2008-2010 performance of the red shirts.
Venezuela. GDP increased from 84 billion (2003) to 438 billion (2013). In 2013 to attempt of an overthrow of a political regime after the death of Hugo Chavez.
[Dec 18, 2014] Putin press conference: 'economy will rebound within two years'
Shawn Walker commentary is along State Departments talking points, as usual. You can read Shaun Walker's news wrap here. If you need details read the English translation of the conference. It is available in English from President of Russia website. Actually it is pretty unusual for a leader of country to take questions from the audience and answer them for three hours.
Dec 18, 2014 | The Guardian
I will give just one example how they twist the meaning of answers:
10.16am GMT05:16- Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) December 18, 2014
Q: Where does opposition finish and 5th column start? A: It's v difficult to answer that. I'm being honest. Because the border is subtle.
Real Putin's answer:N. GALIMOVA: Good afternoon, Vladimir Vladimirovich! (Natalia Galimov, "Газета.Ru").
Speaking to the Federal Assembly after the referendum in Crimea, You used the expression: a "fifth column" and "national traitors" - You did not named anyone specifically, but from this time the term "fifth column" again became active in the political lexicon. Those who support you now call "fifth column" people who disagree with the government. Whom were you referring to when he talked about "national traitors", "fifth column", and where for you the opposition ends and the "fifth column" starts? And finally, do you feel personally responsible for the return of this term, which only adds to public hostility and division?
No, I do not feel any responsibility in this regard. And all my actions are intended to unite our society, not divide it. If you believe that (and I believe you, probably, so probably are more sensitive to this label), I should be more careful in their public statements, I'll think about it. But trying to put a gloss on everything infinitely is impossibletoo, we sometimes need to call things by their proper names.
The issue is extremely complex. I say quite frankly, I find it difficult to answer your question because the line is very thin. It is difficult, perhaps, to give a scientific definition, where it the opposition ends and the "fifth column" begins.
This year we all (our Year of culture 2014) celebrated the anniversary of Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, our great poet. We all remember his lines, how about the battle of Borodino he wrote: "Let's die defending Moscow, like our grandfathers died!" But he wrote and others: "farewell, unwashed Russia, a country of slaves, the country of nobles. An you, blue uniforms, and you, the people who are loyal to them" He was the opposition? Of course, there was opposition. After all, if you know, I'm sure many here know, when he wrote "On death of a poet" on the death of Pushkin, one of the relatives came to his home, saw what he wrote, and asked him to soften the text of the poem.
He was so outraged that not only did not follow the recommendation, he made it more sharp and wrote in the end: "And you can't wash away all your black blood the poet righteous blood!" He, of course, was in the opposition to power, but I think he was a patriot. This is a very fine line. He was an officer who was a very brave officer, the officer who went under the bullets fire for the interests of the country.
Incidentally, in the last film of Nikita Sergeyevich Mikhalkov we see the same type of officers. When they brought the matter to its logical conclusion - undershed the revolution, then the revolutionaries drowned them all. And I am nor sure that, if they returned to the point where they started, would they act the same for the destruction of the Russian state, as they did.
In a way I think that the line between opposition and a "fifth column" is internal. It is difficult to see it externally. What is the essence of it? The opposition, even very harsh, it is ultimately is ready to fight for their homeland till the bitter end. A "fifth column" are those people, who do what is dictated by the interests of another state. They are used as a tool to achieve foreign power to achieve unacceptable to our people policy objectives.
[Dec 06, 2014] The Forgotten Coup by JOHN PILGER
October 23, 2014 | CounterPunch
Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had "reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution". Whitlam ended his nation's colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported "zones of peace" and opposed nuclear weapons testing.
Although not regarded as on the left of the Labor Party, Whitlam was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride and propriety. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country's resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to "buy back the farm". In drafting the first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, his government raised the ghost of the greatest land grab in human history, Britain's colonisation of Australia, and the question of who owned the island-continent's vast natural wealth.
Latin Americans will recognise the audacity and danger of this "breaking free" in a country whose establishment was welded to great, external power. Australians had served every British imperial adventure since the Boxer rebellion was crushed in China. In the 1960s, Australia pleaded to join the US in its invasion of Vietnam, then provided "black teams" to be run by the CIA. US diplomatic cables published last year by WikiLeaks disclose the names of leading figures in both main parties, including a future prime minister and foreign minister, as Washington's informants during the Whitlam years.
Whitlam knew the risk he was taking. The day after his election, he ordered that his staff should not be "vetted or harassed" by the Australian security organisation, ASIO – then, as now, tied to Anglo-American intelligence. When his ministers publicly condemned the US bombing of Vietnam as "corrupt and barbaric", a CIA station officer in Saigon said: "We were told the Australians might as well be regarded as North Vietnamese collaborators."
Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, a giant vacuum cleaner which, as Edward Snowden revealed recently, allows the US to spy on everyone. "Try to screw us or bounce us," the prime minister warned the US ambassador, "[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention".
Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, "This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House. … a kind of Chile [coup] was set in motion."
Pine Gap's top-secret messages were de-coded by a CIA contractor, TRW. One of the de-coders was Christopher Boyce, a young man troubled by the "deception and betrayal of an ally". Boyce revealed that the CIA had infiltrated the Australian political and trade union elite and referred to the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, as "our man Kerr".
Kerr was not only the Queen's man, he had long-standing ties to Anglo-American intelligence. He was an enthusiastic member of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom, described by Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal in his book, 'The Crimes of Patriots', as, "an elite, invitation-only group… exposed in Congress as being founded, funded and generally run by the CIA". The CIA "paid for Kerr's travel, built his prestige… Kerr continued to go to the CIA for money".
When Whitlam was re-elected for a second term, in 1974, the White House sent Marshall Green to Canberra as ambassador. Green was an imperious, sinister figure who worked in the shadows of America's "deep state". Known as the "coupmaster", he had played a central role in the 1965 coup against President Sukarno in Indonesia – which cost up to a million lives. One of his first speeches in Australia was to the Australian Institute of Directors – described by an alarmed member of the audience as "an incitement to the country's business leaders to rise against the government".
The Americans and British worked together. In 1975, Whitlam discovered that Britain's MI6 was operating against his government. "The Brits were actually de-coding secret messages coming into my foreign affairs office," he said later. One of his ministers, Clyde Cameron, told me, "We knew MI6 was bugging Cabinet meetings for the Americans." In the 1980s, senior CIA officers revealed that the "Whitlam problem" had been discussed "with urgency" by the CIA's director, William Colby, and the head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield. A deputy director of the CIA said: "Kerr did what he was told to do."
On 10 November, 1975, Whitlam was shown a top secret telex message sourced to Theodore Shackley, the notorious head of the CIA's East Asia Division, who had helped run the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile two years earlier.
Shackley's message was read to Whitlam. It said that the prime minister of Australia was a security risk in his own country. The day before, Kerr had visited the headquarters of the Defence Signals Directorate, Australia's NSA where he was briefed on the "security crisis".
On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal "reserve powers", Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister.
The "Whitlam problem" was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence.
John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com
[Oct 08, 2014] How Chinese authorities try to extinguish color revolution fire in Hong CongUnrest in Hong Kong are declining. On Monday, the part of the fence was dismantled, the main government complex resumed its work. Protesters with umbrellas behave peacefully and do not interfere with civil servants getting in/out of work; the number of activists on the streets has decreased dramatically:
Of course, it's too early to say "Done". As recently as last winter EuroMaidan a few times almost completely faded, but then petrol to sustain fire was injected again and again; in the end all this ended with national socialist revolution and Anti-Russian course for Ukraine as well as the rapid destruction of economy, and civil war at the East. However, the initial success of China authorities is obvious, and if the organizers of "umbrella Maidan" will not be able to inject new resources and money into the protest and/or organize a serious provocation along the class like of sharpshooter from the roof, Hong Kong might soon return to a normal life.
Let's see what methods the China used in response to the orange infection.
1. As we remember the significant contribution to EuroMaidan was transportation by buses of residents of Western regions of Ukraine into Kiev. In Hong Kong this trick failed. China has established a tight cordons on the border of Hong Kong - tourists who looks like potential street fighters and coordinators tourists were turned back. Buses with armed bits and fittings gull of young aggressive young people had no chance to get into the area of unrest.
2. China has carefully worked the Hong Kong professors, who trying to repay the US grants by droving students to the streets. Dismissal, conversations with the Chinese KGB, check about the payment of taxes from money from grants make this method of generating the crowd from university students by-and-large closed. Similar problems were created for all American NGOs.
Yanukovich during his time in power did not managed to close this channel of feeding of Maidan via "pre-paid" university professors, and NGOs has almost diplomatic immunity status in Ukraine. At the end he almost paid with his life for that.
3. A dangerous groups that could take on the role of storm troopers for insurgents - such as radical environmentalists were placed under administrative arrest and could not participate in the riots.
4. Around the Maidan was organized by the cordon of police, who did not give peaceful protesters the ability to smuggle to the place of unrest Molotov cocktails and such. Those who were caught were packed into police car and removed.
5. China found for local Poroshenko, who fanned the Maidan through his media resources, some very convincing words. Jimmy Lai for a couple of days disappeared from the public view, and when he returned, his revolutionary enthusiasm had sharply diminished.
6. Chinese media together were explained to local residents that because of protests big business and big money will move to other cities. which gladly will cease the opportunity to take over Hong Kong financial hub. For residents of Hong Kong this is a very troubling prospect: at least in terms of higher unemployment and lower wages. At this point many will not be able to pay their mortgages and other loans.
Explanations had its effect - CNN reports that the locals became really aggressive toward protesters. Quote:
Talks planned as Hong Kong protest numbers shrink - CNN.com
The news of official talks comes as a dwindling number of pro-democracy demonstrators continue to cling on to their protest sites in key areas of the tightly packed city. As their numbers wane, so does patience of some of their fellow citizens.
"At first, I supported them, but then I started to think they are being selfish because they block the roads -- and that's wrong," said Virginia Lai, who has sold newspapers from a stall in the busy district of Mong Kok for 45 years.
Lai says her business is down 30% and getting worse. The student-led demonstrators are camped out at a major intersection in the neighborhood, which witnessed violent clashes between protesters and their opponents over the weekend.
At the moment on the streets of Hong Kong are still about 300 protesters:
As we know from previous color revolutions experience, hardcore protesters themselves usually do not disperse voluntarily: they sit until the last, waiting for the moment when the police begin to disperse them. How will China to solve the problem is unclear.
However, we can already say that Americans have faced this time with an intelligent and cold-blooded enemy: the enemy, who had carefully studied all of their previous games, and provided a strong response to each standard course of manuals.
Perhaps, in the place of the Americans, I would think not even about Hong Kong, but about Texas and Washington. In the U.S., more than enough smoldering conflicts that an experienced player will be able, with a little luck to inflate to a full-scale protest. and amount of armed people could make it problematic for policy to crash.
Who is ready to fight with Russia by Valintin Kasatonov
16 july 2014 | svpressa.ruUkraine became a kind of "litmus test", which revealed the weakness of our own economic and political system. If Russia today never happened what happened with Ukraine in our eyes, this does not mean that all is well in the "Russian Kingdom". Tomorrow it could happen to us. Soon all not on the Maidan and on Bolotnaya square. And then grow into a civil war with no predictable consequences.
We talked about the fact that the events in Ukraine is the inevitable result of the fact that there for two decades "Nezalezhnosti formed capitalism is a "colonial", "oligarch", "comprador" etc. Key role in the development of events in Ukraine are the local oligarchs. Regardless of how soon will the events develop around Ukraine, the assets of Ukrainian oligarchs (both domestic and foreign) when saving rate of the country to the West sooner or later will fall under the control of the transnational banks and transnational corporations. That is the goal of the plans of the so-called "European integration" of Ukraine, developed in the Brussels and Washington. It is interesting, what to expect Ukrainian oligarchs?
Who's in the house (i.e. Ukraine) host, we clearly saw in December 2013, when an official in the state Department Victoria Nuland was called on the carpet first Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, gave him acceleration and demanded to "restore order". The command was given to all oligarchs, and they zabegaev as scalded cockroaches, began to prepare the Maidan.
But perhaps in Russia we have a different social model? - No, all the same colonial, oligarchic and comprador capitalism. Only in a few softened version. Last but not least, due to more skillful maneuvering our power and ability of the first persons of the state (first of all, the President) to negotiate with the oligarchs. But all this is not trustworthy.
Today we are not only difficult to help our brothers in Ukraine, but even to protect themselves. Quite often in our media recently began to speak about "fifth column" in Russia. Even President V.V. Putin recently used the term. In his speech to the Federal Assembly in March of this year, he said:
"Western politicians scare us not only sanctions but the exacerbation of the internal problems. I would like to know what they mean: the actions of some of the fifth column, various national-traitors, or expect to worsen the socio - economic situation in Russia, and thus to provoke discontent of the people? Consider such allegations as irresponsible and obviously aggressive, and will be suitable to react to this".
From our point of view - a threat for Russia from the "fifth column" today, more real and dangerous than the threat of direct military intervention, economic sanctions and the activities of Western intelligence services. I would like to note that our media use the term "fifth column" in the singular. Actually we have many such "fifth column". Actually "the fifth column" - the many-headed Hydra. The theme of the "fifth column" is very complex and diverse. In this publication I just want to make an inventory of goals "Hydra". In my estimation, these goals are not less than seven. Briefly list them.
1. Offshore aristocracy (OA) is a narrow group of people that formal considered to be "citizens of the Russian Federation", and in fact are "non-residents", as their capital, assets, the assets are located outside the country. OA is present in government, business, media, army and special services. The example of Ukraine shows that for the sake of their assets abroad, offshore aristocracy ready to execute any commands from there." Of course, we are far from the illusion that all the Subversion and all armed activities in the areas of interests of Washington will Finance local offshore aristocracy. But it can act also as a mediator, with which Washington is convenient to carry out such funding.
In particular, there is a suspicion that the Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky funds created paramilitary units (thrown on suppression of DND and LNR) is not out of pocket. This oligarch is a "window"through which money Washington transferred to private military structures. First, Washington transfers funds to offshore accounts Kolomoisky, and then they are transferred to accounts of the oligarch in Ukraine. We have no confidence that in Russia today there is their "Kolomoisky, which also receive money from Washington through their offshore structures and thus are involved in subversive activities against Russia.
2. Foreign capital in the country. First, foreign companies and banks - perfect "wallet" to Finance any subversive acts in the country. Second, foreign companies and banks by a team of Financial international may destabilize the economic, political and social situation in the country. It is enough to recall such a "minor" incident, as blocking of operations with plastic cards Russian subsidiaries of international corporations. There's nothing surprising, as these corporations are closely associated with the American special services. We should not have illusions that the Western banks and companies in other sectors such relationships do not have. In the West have long been constructed very hard "power vertical", about which our textbooks "market economy" keep complete silence.
3. The media, which are financed from abroad or from internal sources, controlled by the West. Unfortunately, until now our government didn't even begun serious discussions to be put under effective control of the media, under Russian jurisdiction. The events in Ukraine "highlighted" these anti-Russian media, however, they continue to operate.
4. Part of the enormous army of immigrants. Among them there are many people who came to Russia not only (and not so much) to work, how to perform a special mission. Many of them have military training and are ready for the team to participate in hostilities.
5. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Even after the adoption in the Russian Federation law on foreign agents, many of the NGOs continue to be foreign agents, without declaring it. There are numerous financial schemes to circumvent the requirements of this law.
6. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) as a special extra-territorial formation. In the law on the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, which was developed without the involvement and influence of Western "experts", stipulates a special status of the Bank of Russia.
7. Russian banks, which this year have to reckon with the requirements of American law FATCA. They even officially will be referred to as "tax agent" of the United States. There is no need to say that as long as our banks will make payments in dollars, they will remain on the "hook" of Washington, because all of us dollar transactions take place through the banking system of the United States.
Of course, I name only the most important heads of Hydra called "fifth column". There are others. They all hid. But have not disappeared. Just look at the "offshore aristocracy". She, despite repeated demands to fight offshore, have not disappeared. There is only a certain rearrangement and relocation of its foreign assets. But the assets remain outside Russia (with some exceptions). If we don't want that, so we began the war on the Ukrainian scenario, we need to immediately start work on neutralization of this many-headed Hydra. And to beat all the heads. According to indirect data, even in the agenda of our security Council issue a "fifth column" touched on only briefly.
In the State Duma, judging by names being prepared and adopted laws, this problem is not felt by the deputies. After a stormy debate in the State Duma concerning financed from abroad NGOs enthusiasm of the people's representatives on the front against the "fifth column" significantly diminished. For a start, you should at least try to pay more attention to the publications on the topic of the "fifth column" of the theme in our media, unfortunately, is marginal.
Expert: These people are the fifth column
April 13, 2014 | Vzglyad
People in social networks directly say that this category of citizens is the fifth column , the newspaper said political scientist Oleg Matveychev . He was commenting on the past in Moscow march for freedom of speech , which is not collected and thousands of people, although organizers expect 50,000 participants.
"With the number of rally organizers claimed up to 50 thousand people gathered on the avenue Sakharov less than one thousand people , including members of the media and bloggers " - said the source RIA "Novosti" .
"They are fighting for their freedom, not for freedom of speech for all"
Despite the fact that the designated theme of the meeting was freedom of speech , he added , the organizers of the event did not allow individual members of the media . According to ITAR -TASS, the rally was attended by activists of various political forces , " movement" Solidarity "," Libertarian Party " RPR Parnassus , " Party on December 5 , "" The Progress Party . "
The rally took place peacefully. Scene on the screen was the inscription: " In an era of total lies to tell the truth - it is revolutionary -- " But media people almost was not. The crowd saw the chief editor of "Echo of Moscow" Alexei Venediktov and oppositionist Ilya Yashin . Someone hung a banner " Freedom to the prisoners on May 6 ." Several participants raised the Ukrainian flag . At one point there were imperial flags and anarchists flag .Technical .
Apr. 13th, 2014 at 3:04 PM
That started in the afternoon - a highly unusual .
Maybe like " reconnaissance " to identify ETA as preparation for a night assault , and maybe svidetestvovat on the desperate situation in the leadership of the attackers . And for the same helicopters fly.
In principle , well- prepared ambush can put immediately to half of the " specialists " - immediately decides everything the way it is organized by the defenders - even if you're " cat " , though " gray stone " - in the first few seconds when everything is solved , it provides no advantages. T get into - and find yourself in A & P I have loved, but there needs a high degree of mutual understanding and coordination , otherwise their own shooting.
Now , armor has an advantage only in the open field against the " tegmental " checkpoint . In the village the same city walls of the houses have the same function as armor , and at a distance of throw bottles with " cocktail " - and at vulnerable.
" Right sector" - good only as SD and provocateurs (which they , in principle, are). " National Guard " - a fake . Worthless human materyal .
Yes and how many of them there just in the end? Can gather yes drive a couple of hundred at best , young punks and Nerds older . Preparation of low morale turns into trash " Uncle , do not beat ." Hundred or specialists who are able to collect Avakov uboltat yes - against them may well survive mensheee number of specialists on the other hand, dismissed and " switched to the side." Certain number of mercenaries there - these , by subordination and linguistic , technical and other problems may act , perhaps, only in isolation and narrowly postalennye problem . Also the question , more neutralized (if there are) professionalnymi volunteers and PMC opposing party.
Well, communication, night sights , VU, " needle " - " Boom " yes heavy machine guns and grenade launchers , helicopters and armored vehicles neytraldizuyuschie - question , as I understand it - open.
I would say that , from a technical point of view, the uprising (and it already uprising ) have a chance.
It is important to play your cards wisely , it is important to maintain the chain of events on Human Settlements , winning space and time . ZADOLBALI APCs on their cities and villages ride .
That is now available opinion.Among posters : "Hitler kaputt", "Life has become very Kiselevo ", " Stop lying ", "Moscow fascism", " God Save the Ukraine " and others.
This rally was attended by writer Dmitry Bykov , a lawyer Vyacheslav Makarov , journalist Kara-Murza ( Jr. ) , politician Ilya Konstantinov, as well as some former defendants in the case of riots of May 6, 2012, which then fall under the amnesty. The event was directed by Alexander Ryklin .
Because of the rally traffic on Sakharov Avenue was blocked . police helicopter hovered over the Avenue.
Professor HSE Oleg Matveychev believes that those who came to this rally , characterizes pure example of " Fifth Column. "Aliens Among Us ", the poster which was previously posted under the windows of the radio station" Echo of Moscow " reflects this view. As he noted:
"As a result of the Crimean and Ukrainian events in Russia there was a definite turning point in mind. If before people who openly with ultra-pro-western views , could masquerade as those who have a keen sense of justice, but now all the masks dropped
Now it is quite difficult to conduct the same propaganda . They often meet with rebukes . People in social networks directly say that this category of citizens is a fifth column , "
It the manifestation of double standards typical for this group that the organizers of the rally have not allowed some journalists to cover the event. As Professor HSE Oleg Matveychev note, if those people were assigned to moderating soem media outlet this outlat will a singlepoint of view, the one that they think is right. "It just shows that talk about freedom of speech freedom of speech imply a freedom for only a certain category of people. They are fighting for their personal freedom and not freedom of speech for all of us ", - said the analyst.
Russian makes moves against neoliberal fifth column
Apr 12, 2014 | NYTimes.com
Xenophobic Chill Descends on Moscow by DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
"Some Western politicians are already threatening us not just with sanctions but also the prospect of increasingly serious problems on the domestic front," the president said in his speech announcing plans to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation. "I would like to know what they have in mind exactly: action by a fifth column, this disparate bunch of 'national traitors,' or are they hoping to put us in a worsening social and economic situation so as to provoke public discontent?"
... ... ...
At Mr. Putin's direction, a committee led by his chief of staff is developing a new "state policy in culture." Widely expected to be enacted into law, the proposed cultural policy emphasizes that "Russia is not Europe" and urges "a rejection of the principles of multiculturalism and tolerance" in favor of emphasizing Russia's "unique state-government civilization," according to Russian news accounts that quoted a presidential adviser on culture, Vladimir Tolstoy.
... ... ...
And in a statement last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned its citizens not to travel to countries that have extradition treaties with the United States, saying that the Obama administration "is trying to make a routine practice out of 'hunting' for Russian citizens in third countries with the goal of their subsequent extradition and conviction in the U.S. on the basis of, as a rule, questionable charges."
In some cases, the xenophobic language has been accompanied by an intensified crackdown on political opponents and also on some media outlets that do not strictly toe the Kremlin line.
... ... ...
A previously unknown group called Glavplakat published a statement on its website taking responsibility for the banner outside the bookstore, and it promised additional street art in support of its antitraitor mission.
"Many films have been shot, many books have been written about how aliens have secretly captured the earth masking themselves as earthlings," the group wrote. "At the time, no one suspects that they are others, enemies. For now we have not encountered real aliens. However, the 'fifth column' of national traitors in Russia has unfortunately become an incontestable reality."
The group added, "In fact these are the very 'others.' Pretending that they act in the interests of Russia and our citizens, they serve the interests of completely different 'civilizations.' "
... ... ...
The banner did not last long. It was removed by midmorning. It was also far from clear that Moscow was ready to give up its globalist tendencies for insular nationalism.
[Feb 24, 2014] Lubi druzi (good friends) are back
February 24, 2014 | The Guardian
NYC123 -> Spiritus De VeritasUkraine's new interior minister, Arsen Avakov:Rob Purcell
Arsen Avakov in his younger years was prosecuted in Kharkov for running pedophilia ring with little boys but case has been squashed.
And now Wiki:
"Avakov was charged on 31 January 2012 with illegally transferring land and he was put on the international wanted list of Interpol on 21 March 2012. He was detention in Frosinone (Italy) late March 2012. A Italian court placed Avakov under house arrest as a preventive measure on 12 April 2012. After in October 2012 he was elected into the Ukrainian parliament he return to Ukraine on 11 December 2012. On 10 December 2012, a Court ruling canceled Avakov's restriction measure in the form of detention and a warranty for Avakov'a arrest, as Avakov was elected as a people's deputy.'
So welcome in new Free and Democratic Ukraine the best which Western taxpayers'
Now the Ukraine and its its politically restful, ambitious and impoverished population are the EU's problem.
Whereas before the EU was agitating for a revolt against Russian domination, they seemed to have changed their tune a bit. They are now urging 'cooperation'. Might have something to do with a new found realization of the possibility of being solely left with an expensive and demanding albatross weighing them down even further.
What do you think the populations of EU countries will think about their new family members? The EU has plenty 39;s) money for them, but not for older family members, apparently. It seems the EU didn't have enough problems already, it had to take some more from other countries.
What happens if the EU can't meet the Ukrainian population's high expectations? Well, Putin is always there ready to welcome them back into the Russian fold, although perhaps not under such generous conditions as pertained previously.
"We have seen the expert evaluations of Susan Rice, which are based on repeated US military interventions in multiple places around the world, especially where the US administration is of the opinion that the norms of Western democracy are in danger or ruling regimes begin too clearly 'to get out hand'.
We consider that the current presidential adviser will give this kind of advice about the error of using force to the US leadership in the event of a decision about a new intervention."
This is classic! Despite the rightward nature of the present Russia government, how can one not admire them? The world has become a terrible place since the US was able to impose the regime of baling out the bankers who destroyed the economy. Spending many billions or trillions to impose regime change all over the world while gutting the pensions and benefits of workers. Imploring other nations to be 'democratic' while spying on all the communications of US citizens and citizens all over the world. One could go on for a month but the Russians are once again standing alone......
emorat -> burghead
already you are hearing triumphant western "leaders" talking about a "eurasian spring"
because they have learned nothing from libya or egypt
cjv123 -> burghead
The "Arab Spring" was wildly successful in the eyes of the Guardian and other Western media opinion framers. Secular dictators were replaced with Sunni Islamist terrorists loyal to the Saudis who call London their true home.
Happy to see Tymoschenko out of jail and good riddance Yanukovitch. Yet more regime change from the US of anything but democracy.
The fascist party supported by the US has won the day through armed insurrection. How many police shot by sniper fire ?? Ukrainians have a right to be worried.
Hitler came to power under similar circumstances, financed by the same country financing the Ukrainian far right. Good luck Ukraine !
Here is the interactive map of what Ukrainians are calling, tongue-in-cheek, "Leninopad" (Leninfall):
And a compilation video from a few days ago:
hfakos -> Chukuriuk
The geniuses also keep bringing down monuments dedicated to the Soviet Soldier (presumably several million Ukrainians as well). But this minor fact won't enter the Western record. I wonder when Sikorski will tweet about it.
He did not care about the Ukrainian citizens murdered under the orders of their Kremlin puppet.
Alexander Bach -> IrishAndy
Those who think Yanukovich is a Kremplin puppet, have you ever asked yourself, why did he negotiate with EU about that notorious association agreement for so long, before he unexpectedly refused to sigh it?
If he really were a puppet, he wouldn't even start to discuss it, would he?
Actually Yanukovich thought he was a smart ass, and tried to sell his signature to one side or another. His problem is that he is a dull ass. So dull that now he really has to mind his ass, literally
The West has invented a new form of military. The present method of warfare is to have a military made up of mercenaries out of uniforms who give the appearance of being the locals in revolution and trained like once notorious French Foreign Legion. ...
How will EU deal with a fascist uprising? If the EU is democratic (which it's not) and will not acknowledge their is a NeoNazi element out of control, then the argument for a Europe wide referendum on EU membership is imperative
THX010101 -> KingRolo
The whole EU project, since its inception, has been a pseudo-fascist project in some respects, through the consolidation and solidification of State and corporate power. In this case it a super-State or a transnational State.
As I read in this paper several years ago (I believe), the Gestapo and Germany's top financiers and industrialists from the IG Farben collective, chaired a conference in 1944 to discuss the issue of 'how can to win the peace once we have lost the war'. Their conclusion was the Europaische Wirthschaft Gemeinschaft or the European Economic Community, which later became the European Union. Look at the role of the influential Bilderberg Group for their role in this sordid affair.
....but money from where?
Its virtual money, the amount is typed and recorded by IMF bank of Ukraine peer to peer network
Its made real by the promise of the Ukraine govt to legislate the debt over to the taxpayers in its country .
The virtual loan computer credits are never created and are repaid by downsizing the economy selling some off to pay the real interest attached to the virtual loan
numinous -> efreelittlehelps
The loans are fake money created at the stroke of a key - but they must be repaid in real money, earned by Ukrainians through their hard work and toil, and in state assets to be privatised.
Neoliberalism in action. Financial wars of aggression and conquest.
PascalDAngelo -> numinous
If the loans are not real money, then why would the Ukrainians want them? There is no advantage to the EU or U.S. in increasing the present austerity in Ukraine. That will only increase instability.
Let us hope the Ukrainians are shrewd enough to get a good deal. So far they appear to be pretty shrewd.
edwardrice -> numinous
Turkeys voting for xmas except Ukrainians didn't vote for this.
Anti-Yanukovych protesters stand guard in front of the house of parliament in Kiev on 24 February, 2014.
Alternative caption for the photo: Neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs outside Parliament making sure the MPs inside do as they are told.
Democracy Now interview, University of Rhode Island professor Nicolai Petro:
it's pretty much a classical coup, because under the current constitution the president may be-may resign or be impeached, but only after the case is reviewed by the Constitutional Court and then voted by a three-fourth majority of the Parliament. And then, either case, either the prime minister or the speaker of the Parliament must become the president. Instead, that's not what happened at all. There was an extraordinary session of Parliament, after-it was held after most members were told there would be no session and many had left town. And then, under the chairmanship of the radical party, Svoboda, this rump Parliament declared that the president had self-removed himself from the presidency.
"The situation here in Kiev is now being described by many as a witchhunt"
From a very interesting live report from Kiev on Russia Today.
Footage of rallies in Eastern Ukraine with a sign being held saying "Stop Ukranian Nazism", of snipers (not police) inside a building, of a physical assault inside parliament, etc.
Ukraine turmoil LIVE UPDATES
The reporter Egor Pisunov says about 500 Party of Regions offices have been torched down. He says also:
"In several Eastern Ukrainian town, the attempts to hold rallies in support of Maidan have been foiled by local residents.(...) We're even getting reports that in some parts of the Crimea, volunteers turn up and are pretty much preparing to fight any oppositional forces if they enter the republic,"
The opinions of two RT analysts in the report:
- "At the moment the situation in Kiev is controlled by radical people with arms who are pursuing a very very radical agenda."
- "A new regime has taken shape really quickly. It has nothing to do with democracy".
And please (some of you) don't bother commenting this with the "from Putin's press release" line.
[Jan 25, 2014] China's princelings storing riches in Caribbean offshore haven World news By James Ball and Guardian US Interactive Team
More than a dozen family members of China's top political and military leaders are making use of offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, leaked financial documents reveal.
The brother-in-law of China's current president, Xi Jinping, as well as the son and son-in-law of former premier Wen Jiabao are among the political relations making use of the offshore havens, financial records show.
[Jan 17, 2014] Dances with hungry wolfs
I can't judge the quality and importance of new laws. Yanukovich demonstrated absolute legal nihilism by passing the law which provides amnesty to participants of Maidan. Also none of current laws are in force and if so, what is the importance of new laws and what they change if current laws are not working? Looks like Yanukovich is more worried about his clan capitals then the country. But this interview by Oleg Tsaryov is something different from a typical comprador position of Party of Regions (which almost all voted for amnesty). Hard pressure and inconvenient sharp questions for more then an hour from pretty professional fifth column agents, who are outrages by the possibility of losing their plush salaries. My God, this was a pressure of the level at which Bill O'Reilly look like a petty and somewhat shy school bully in comparison with those wolfs of media business. Looks like "grant eaters" who feel threat to their hard currency income flows instantly turn into very dangerous and very hungry wolfs. List listen to the interview... No matter how you judge the new laws, this guy really fought like a lion against pack of wolfs exited by the possibility of losing their hard currency flows.
Jan 17, 2014
Очень длинная беседа.
Не всякому хватит времени выдержать столько, да еще и на двух мовах.
Я выдержал, так ведь я в материале и ловлю контексты.
Так, - на всякий случай, - дублирую аннотацию из Ютуба.
К ней, как говорится, ни убавить, ни прибавить.Tags:
"Сотрудники американского "Громадского" ТВ, журналистами их не назовёшь, для очередной травли, пригласили в студию депутата Олега Царёва. 2,5 часа прямого эфира, получая указания по ноутбукам, ведущие выполняли заказ своих американских хозяев - морально уничтожали народного депутата...
Схема простая - увести человека от привычной формы общения, наброситься всей стаей на одного и не связными вопросами, подборкой выборочных фактов, мешая ему отвечать на вопросы, превратить диалог фактически в судебный процесс, на котором приглашённый гость должен быть выставлен, как подсудимый, виновный в совершённом преступлении.
Тема беседы при этой схеме не имеет значения.
Так ведущие "Громадского" поступают со всеми кого им заказывают их владельцы.
Для этих целей и был создан данный информационный канал. О журналистской этики, морали, чести и человеческом достоинстве сотрудников этого канала и речи не идёт.
Хотя и не удивительно, предателями всегда становились "моральные уроды" из разных слоёв общества..."
От себя: все, что за истекшие два месяца я узнал о ранее почти неизвестном мне депутате Царёве, говорило о том, что Олег Анатольевич честный, умный и сильный человек.
Но даже не представить не мог, насколько умный и настолько сильным. Сто пятьдесят две минуты с секундами выстоять один на один против стаи бойцовых псов на их территории и, более того, победить - это дорогого стоит.
Это, скажу я вам, куда выше депутатского уровня.
[Dec 09, 2013] Vladimir Putin dissolves Russia's RIA Novosti
Nice new term "fifth columnists. "...
...some pro-Kremlin journalists praised the reshuffle as a long-overdue move against fifth columnists.
"The destruction of RIA Novosti is a welcome step from Putin. The systemic nest of anti-Russian information forces has been destroyed," Maxim Shevchenko, a pro-Kremlin TV host, tweeted.
Employees said they were given no warning of the announcement, and that they were waiting to hear if they would be fired or hired into the new agency.
From my perspective, from online, the copy-and-pasted articles, quoted directly from Western media, did very often times contain language inappropriate for one to use to speak about oneself, such as Russians about Russia. There would be anti-Russian and anti-Soviet jokes and language too subtle for everyone to notice, and they do get published via RIA online all the time. It does not look good and you cannot take it seriously, though it is not usually intentional. I hope we will see all straight up reporting and no sensationalised nonsense from now on.
[Apr 08, 2013] Yanis Varoufakis: While Waiting for Cyprus' Godot….
Here are some unedited thoughts I just shared with the BBC's Radio 4 on Cyprus while we are all waiting for the new deal to shape up:
Cyprus' banking sector must shrink. As did Ireland's, the hard way. What is essential, as every Irishman and woman will tell you, is that the politicians do not load up the weaker citizen's/taxpayers' shoulders with enormous debts on behalf of bankers that refuse to wither.
Every bailout agreement, beginning with Greece's in May 2010, seems less logical and more toxic than the previous one. The culmination was of course Cyprus this past week. Think about it: In one short week, Europe has managed:
- To put in jeopardy the hitherto sacrosanct concept of state guaranteed deposit insurance
- The monetary integrity of the Eurozone
- The European Union's single market principle according to which capital controls are a no-no.
If only the agreement reached at last June's EU Summit to de-couple the banking crisis from the public debt crisis had been implemented, we would not be having this conversation now.
The Cyprus debacle is the homage that denial of the systematic nature of the euro crisis pays to a systemic crisis.
Cyprus parliamentarians offered the Eurozone a reprieve from the stupidest and most potentially destructive Eurogroup decision since this Crisis began three years ago. It now remains to be seen whether, scared by the sound of their own NO, they will now succumb to an even less rational deal.
By Yanis Varoufakis, Professor of Economics at the University of Athens. Cross posted from his blog.
You know, I was talking to a Canadian politilogue, Peter Dale Scott, earlier today, and he was telling me some stuff about politics around those parts in the Americas that would really blow the mind of the average clueless American. I know I was flabbergasted.
For example, did you know that the "unofficial" government in the United States - the "deep state" (CIA, NRO, NSA, DIA, DEA, NED, USAID, etc.), in collusion with that country's military sector and the transnational banking cartel, is a lot more powerful than the "official" government there? And to use a euphemism of a Pakistani fellow I was talking with the other day, if the United States legislature failed to do what the triumvirate of US deep state, the US military sector (both private and public), and transnational banking cartel instructed it to do, then it would be "cleaned". In his own words: "We are heading towards an international new order where the power of the state will be totally in hands of a corrupt mafia, who will usurp all human rights on pretext of controlling terrorism…. The boomerang will come back and as they say the wheel turns !" http://nsnbc.me/2013/02/01/the-volatility-of-gas-geo-politics-and-the-greater-middle-east-an-interview-with-major-agha-h-amin-2/
I think this accounts for the surprising pattern of unanimous votes there against rank and file Americans that have occurred over the past 35 years, and also likely means that any actions going forward by the sock-puppet government of the United States will be at the direction of the actual governing institutions of that particular state. Which is not to say that that is necessarily a bad thing, at least for the 1%, the neoliberals and neoconservatives. I'm just pointing out that unless you happen to be talking to people who are from the region and are somewhat politically connected, you might not have any idea what is really going on there.
The Dork of Cork:
This is not a mistake.
Capital controls within the Euro on a island be it Cyprus today or Ireland in the future is a very effective measure for core Euro and chief IMF shareholders ( the banks which control the western treasuries )
Core Europe needs basic (energy resources). If Cypriots or Irish fight for the last Euro in the company store the oil they once burned will flow elsewhere.
Thats the point of this.
I have kept saying for some time now. The Irish are worth more dead then alive.
March 24, 2013 at 8:43 am
What is it going to take to wake up the rank and file of Ireland, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, etc. to a very simple reality: They're being colonized? We've seen this movie before. It's what Hannah Arendt called "continental imperialism."
And it is all facilitated by a small group of privileged elites who hail from within the colonized nations. The relationship between inside colonizer and outside colonizer that exists in neo-colonialism is explained by Carlos Fuentes as follows:
In the phase immediately after independence, Britain managed Latin America's foreign trade; in the latter part of the nineteenth century, the United States came to be the principal partner. However, they employed the same instruments of economic power, namely favorable agreements for their merchants, loans and credits, investment, and the handling of the export economy… A highly privileged local minority served as intermediaries, both for these exports and for the imports of manufacured European and North American goods, which were in demand among the urban population in the interior…
Large haciendas, intensive exploitation of minerals and cheap labor forces proliferated. Was this what independence was all about - land and mine owners profiting handsomely while the majority remained impoverished?
– CARLOS FUENTES, The Buried Mirror
For an excellent contemporary analysis of the same phenomenon there's Ljubiša Mitrović's "THE NEW BOURGEOISIE AND ITS PSEUDO-ELITE IN THE SOCIETIES OF PERIPHERAL CAPITALISM":
Following the neoliberal ideology and concept of development (characterized by market fundamentalism, monetarist economic policy, privatization, liberalization, deregulation, Washington Agreement), the forces of the global capitalism, whose agents are the leading countries of the world centre and the USA, TNCs and the financial bank bourgeoisie, have imposed the neoliberal ideology of dependent modernization on the countries of the semiperiphery and the periphery.
Here's how Mitrović describes the role of the inside colonizers:
Comprador bourgeoisie is the upper layer of the bourgeois class… It is a tycoon group ruthlessly led by its interests. It posits its own interests over general social ones. It is not national in character and is socially irresponsible. It is a blind servant of foreign capital, ruthless in the exploittaion of the domestic workforce and dictatorial in relation to its fellow countrymen. Its homeland is where its interests are. It is the agent of the megacapital in the function of global economy. It is a "Trojan horse" of the foreign TNCs in Serbia and the region. Its god is the god Mammon, the capital. Its aim is to amass capital, and it puts profit above individuals. It is a predatory class of the nouveau riche and often bon vivant and parasitic upstarts. It is a peculiar jet-set of bandit economy.
[Mar 02, 2013] ROBERT HUNZIKER - The New Transnational Elite by ROBERT HUNZIKER
August 8, 2012
The world's epicenter of capitalism is the United States, and its reach/power/influence circumnavigates the globe. The elites of the capitalist class are no longer tied to territoriality or driven by national competition. "U.S. capitalism has expanded its reach by morphing into a Transnational Capitalist Class." according to William Robinson (Univ. of Calif.) Global Capitalism and 21st Century Fascism, Aljazeera, May 2011.
The driving force that binds together this elite cadre is free market capitalism; it is the heartbeat of a worldwide network of capitalists that thrive off profits and wealth creation. Their nonpareil world order is driven by money which equates to success, power, collegiality, and increasingly, as this new world order coalesces into the most formidable political entity in the history of humankind, democratic nation-states lose the legacy of the Age of Enlightenment, which played such a major role in the French Revolution (1789-99) and the American Revolution (1775-83), contributing to the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the U.S. Bill of Rights (1791)… stripping away national identities.
The notion that a company or corporate executive or wealthy entrepreneur is bound by an allegiance to their country of origin is passé. The elite capitalists of today are bound to one another, not to countries. They meet at the same conferences, like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, or the The Bilderberg Group annual geopolitic forum, or in Asia it is the Boao Forum on China's Hainan Island each spring, or the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival, or Herb Allen's Sun Valley gathering for media moguls, or the Google Zeitgeist conference, all defining the characteristics of today's plutocrats; they are forming a global community, and their ties to one another are increasingly closer than their ties to the multitudes back home.
They attend the same operas and polo matches, stay at the same 5-star hotels, lease the same private jets, dine at the same 5-star restaurants, meet Bono, and ceaselessly travel the globe together, with homes on every continent, residing wherever the weather is seasonally most favourable. Their allegiances extend well beyond the borders of their nation-states of origin, and they could care less about the various underling classes of society in any particular country where they do business.
This new global elite, according to Chrystia Freeland (Global Editor at Large, Reuters, who traveled with, and mingles with, the elites), The Rise of the New Global Elite, Atlantic Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2011: "Perhaps most noteworthy, they are becoming a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home. Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today's super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves."
This federation of convenience by the global elite is a lingering problem for the lower classes in America. The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world's largest hedge funds told Chrystia Freeland that his firm's investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today's economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn't really matter. "His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that's not such a bad trade." Notice the CEO's reference to "not such a bad trade" as representative of free market lingo, i.e., "trade." Everything is measured in trade terms, like statistics… if you look in the mirror, you'll see the reflection of a commodity.
This viewpoint is typical of how the global ruling class thinks, and proof positive of it is reflected in today's politics in America. The right wing embodies this same viewpoint by striving to strip the federal government of public welfare services, privatizing governmental assets, and undercutting benefits to society at large, especially via manipulation of the federal tax code. This same occurrence is happening in real time right now in Greece, Spain, and Portugal as the cadre of elite technocrats out of Brussels, de facto capital of the EU, dictate nation-state policies to those three forlorn countries. The world's elites love hard times/recessions because of the set up. It makes it easier for them to strip away government largess via austerity programs that they force upon governments, and it allows for undercutting the wages of average citizens as well as dismantling of governmental regulations. This, in turn, prompts protestors to congregate in the streets of capital cities, but over time, the capitalist class waits them out, temporarily residing in one of their homes elsewhere, away from danger, and with time on their side, the capitalists win.
Upon reading Chrystia Freeland's article in Atlantic Magazine, one comes away with the impression the elite capitalists look down with disdain upon the masses of people, expressing a contempt for those in society who do not have the personal merit to rise to the occasion of wealth and power. Meritocracy is their biblical source, not equality and fraternity. These are hackneyed terms from 'America of old' and no longer applicable in the new technologically enhanced world, which itself is the major source of many of the new self-made wealthy.
This global ruling class controls the levers of an emergent trans-national state apparatus of global decision-making and orders emanate from the IMF, World Bank, the EU, and the WTO. The ruling bloc of this world order consists of chieftains of global corporations and financial conglomerates, major players in the dominant political parties of the world, media conglomerates, and technocratic elites.
Several thousand people, who all play in the same sandbox, control the world of finance and politics, similar to the faceless/nameless/shameless fictional elites in the TV series The X-Files. In that series, the 'Smoking Man' is the only personality from amongst the elite cadre that is recognized on an on-going basis; he is C.G.B.Spender, the public face of the "Syndicate," which is a shadow government and highly secretive organization. As the Smoking Man says, "If people were to know of the things that I know… it would all fall apart." Similarly, one wonders what those 'things' are in today's world, and there are definitely cracks in the veneer of this new capitalistic world order.
For example, "Market capitalism has proven to be a remarkable engine of wealth creation, but if it continues to function in the next 25 years as it has in the past 25, we are in for a violent ride or, worse, a serious breakdown in the system itself. That sounds dire, and it is," Global Capitalism at Risk. What are you Doing About it? by Joseph L. Bower, Herman B. Leonard, and Lynn S. Paine, Harvard Business Review, Sept. 2011. This article co-written by three professors at Harvard University pinpoints a festering problem that may be impossible to address because, as the article goes on to relate: "The leaders we talked to identified various forces that could severely disrupt the global market system in the decades ahead… these forces arise from multiple sources. Some are fueled by negative consequences of the market system and feedback into it in disruptive ways. Others arise from sources external to the system. Still others relate to…." Frankly, the multiplicity of the financial problem is the problem! The world of finance is a mind-boggling complexity of derivatives overlying derivatives superimposed upon CMOs interlocking with CDSs and residing within the depths of major brokerages and banks, deep in their vaults for nobody to see in full living color. The legendary investor Sir John Templeton summed up the financial monster in two words, writing a memorandum to close friends and family before his death, as he anticipated the future, "Financial Chaos." World banking/finance is a multi-headed hydra monster of global proportions that may bring the world of capitalism down to its knees, prompting police state intervention to maintain social order. The early stages of this phenomenon have already appeared, and historians may one day earmark the summer of 2007 as the start of the Age of Financial Calamity!
According to William Robinson: Transnational capital has been able to break free of nation-state constraints to shift the correlation of class and social forces worldwide sharply in its favour and to undercut the strength of popular and working class movements around the world. One new structural dimension of 21st century global capitalism is a dramatic expansion of the global superfluous population or that portion marginalized and locked out of productive participation … constituting some one-third of humanity. The need to assure the social control of this mass of humanity living in slums gives a powerful impetus to neo-fascist projects and facilitates the transition from social welfare to social control, otherwise known as police states. Over time, this system becomes ever more violent and the ability of economic power to determine electoral outcomes opens the door for 21st century fascism to emerge without a rupture in electoral cycles and/or a constitutional change.
The door for 21st century fascism has more than opened. It has been blown off the hinges starting with the U.S. Patriot Act, which act violates the U.S. Constitution and which act was rammed down the throats of the U.S. Congress, whose members did not even read the document, by the Bush Administration, implying that any members who voted against the hurried-bill would be blamed for any further attacks at a time when the nation was braced for a second attack.
Another example of impending fascism occurred when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which act negates the writ of habeas corpus, the most powerful cornerstone of civil rights since the Magna Carta. Subsequently, May 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest overruled the domestic military detention provisions of the act, an act that was roundly supported by Democrats and Republicans.
This is a clear, and extremely troubling, clarion call for how far legislators will go to strip U.S. citizens of their rights. According to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, "American individual liberties are being stripped away." The elites contend the negation of individual rights is foisted upon the government in order to maintain civil order, and their lackeys in Congress take bait with open-arms.
As transnational capitalism gains momentum, the chieftains of major U.S. international corporations feel less, and less, empathy towards their homeland and more akin to a world-state wherein the entire planet is their haunt. Their quest for profits dictates a worldly view that brushes aside nation-state regulations that interfere with profits, and their disdain for the peoples of any given nation-state leads to statist political leanings, meaning a concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a centralized government for control of individual nation-states whilst worldwide trade is subjected to free market capitalism. This course of action is already evident in Europe where nation-states like Portugal are being dictated to by a centralized body of technocrats, the EU. Likewise, this is happening in America where the Central Bank has become dictator of the markets whilst the global corporations on the Dow Jones Industrial Average carry on in their own markets around the world, splashing strong profits, in part, because of neoliberal tendencies that discriminate between which nation-states offer the cheapest labor and the weakest regulations. The common denominator of global corporations is cheap labor; they hover like bees around the queen wherever cheap labor is to be found.
As a result of an assortment of extremely powerful economic and political forces intertwined within transnational capitalism, it is reasonable to assume the various classes in American society will continue to experience a significant downgrade of lifestyle as the transnational capitalists comb the world for the cheapest labor and the loosest regulations.
In time, America itself will become a target for transnational capitalists' manufacturing plants & facilities as American wages and benefits continue to stagnate and as right-wingers attack governmental regulations and privatize government assets.
Read more: http://prn.fm/2012/08/08/robert-hunziker-transnational-elite/#ixzz2MKrzC3Ia
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
[Sep 19, 2012] Natalia Zubarevich – The Four Russias
There is an interesting analogy between Libya and Russia: in both cases opposition fights for getting oil rent. As part of comprador alliance with the West. That is essentially the real goal of Russian opposition, not all this democratization and fighting with corruption smoke screen.
September 18, 2012 | Da RussophileRobert:These Russian liberals seem to fall into a category of liberal I've encountered elsewhere – people who are progressive in some ways, more educated (often far more so) and more enlightened than their countrymen, but at the same time completely unable to understand:
- that they have their own snobberies and prejudices ;
- that they are where they are as a result of social advantage just as much as ability ;
- that the economics they propound favor (and are seen as favoring) them, not everybody ;
- that there is a huge link between social division and prejudice, which their economics foster rather than ameliorate ;
- that if you weaken labour organization and socialist politics, it's not liberalism which fills the gap ;
- that if progressive social ideas are linked to fuck-you economics, and are seen as being propounded by a superior elite, then you are asking for what you get, which is an alliance between the resentful proletariat and the cynical wealthy.
That they can't grasp any of these is precisely because of their monumental self-regard and sense of superiority.
And that sense of superiority is often all too plain to see. Chirikova is on record as calling the vast majority of Russians that do not go on protest marches and who seem to her to all be unquestioning supporters of United Russia and Putin as быдло – cattle, a herd, a bovine mob. Other "liberal" opposition leaders in Russia also seem to look down on the millions who are not educated and upwardly aspiring as feckless, vodka besotted couch potatoes.
Latynina, columnist for Novaya gazeta, Moscow Times et al. has even questioned the wisdom of allowing the hoi-poloi the right to vote.
Strategic Dialogue Libya after Gaddafi FPIF
Ty vinovat uz tem chto hohesa mne kushat.
If one surveys the history of international relations, great powers have regularly meddled in the internal politics of other countries, in order to obtain strategic or economic benefits. It is only common sense that they would seek such benefits, and there is no reason to assume Libya will be any exception to this basic trend. Indeed, Libya's vast oil reserves, which are the ninth largest in the world, would constitute a rich prize for the Western states, and for private interests within those states
In surveying past interventions in Vietnam, Chile, Congo, Italy, Haiti, Iraq, Iran, or numerous other targets, we see that the United States has a long history of meddling, for self-interested reasons, and then lying to the public about it. Indeed, the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy were largely created for the purpose of meddling. France and Britain too have extensive histories of intervention, with unpleasant results.
One senses that Bérubé would like to flush this history down the proverbial memory hole, along with other inconvenient facts; including the Western intimacy with the Gaddafi dictatorship, which endured up until the revolts against him, beginning less than one year ago.
Color Revolution for Russia by Daniel McAdams
December 2, 2011 | LewRockwell.com
Reaction in the Western press to reports that Russian authorities have investigated the activities of the Russian NGO "Golos, the Regional Civic Organization in Defense of Democratic Rights and Liberties," was predictable: Putin was "trying to gag election monitors" and, as expected, we read that the "US condemns Russia's 'harassment' of monitor group".
The Russian electoral authorities found that Golos had violated Russia's election laws by publishing polls in the "quiet period" immediately preceding parliamentary elections and fined the organization just under $1,000 for the violation. Russian lawmakers have also accused Golos and several other political opposition friendly NGOs of receiving funding from foreign sources for their political activities, which would be against Russian law (as foreign funding of US elections would be against US law).
The organization, we read, was "the country's main non-government election watchdog," so of course it having been "gagged" on the eve of parliamentary elections was ominous and troubling to the Western press. US-regime friendly (and George Soros-funded) Human Rights Watch complained that Golos was the "victim of a smear campaign."
Major Western media outlets once again trotted out the old "Russia just cannot help its authoritarian tendencies" reporting on the event, with the Reuters report adding that "The complaint echoed Vladimir Putin's speech on Sunday at his United Russia party congress, where he accused foreigners of funding his political opponents in what reminded some of the anti-Western rhetoric that marked his 2000-08 presidency."
But what of the claims by politicians and voters' rights groups that foreign funded NGOs were inciting another "Orange Revolution" in Russia?
A perusal of Golos's own website (Google's translation features helps non-Russian speakers) lists its foreign partners being the US "regime change" specialists National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), two of the major US sponsors of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia, among other adventures.
USAID is also listed as a "partner" organization to Golos, with whom it "works to decrease the number of violations, especially administrative abuses, in election campaigns." Apparently violations committed by the organizations it funds are OK, however. To make an omelet, NGOs must break a few eggs.
The National Endowment for Democracy's own website advertises openly that it provided "independent" NGO Golos with a generous grant in the 2010–2011 cycle to:
"...carry out a detailed analysis of the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 election cycles in Russia, which will include press monitoring, monitoring of political agitation, activity of electoral commissions, and other aspects of the application of electoral legislation in the long-term run-up to the elections. GOLOS will hold local and national press conferences and publish reports on its findings, as well as provide detailed methodological advice to its monitors and other monitoring agencies."
Not to be outdone, the US government-funded National Democratic Institute proudly admits that "since 2000, NDI has worked with GOLOS...[to] provide...ongoing consultation and training for the organization's regional partners."
Are Russians "paranoid" to be wary of US government funding of domestic Russian NGOs through its most notorious "regime change" and "color revolution" specialists? Would Americans be similarly "paranoid" if they found out that a Russian or Chinese government-funded "NGO" with a track record of internal subversion and fomenting revolutions was funding political organizations in the United States? Why is it OK if the US does it to others, but outrageous and threatening if it is done to us?
Destroying the concept of national sovereignty in the rest of the world will come back to haunt the United States. Interventionism is a virus that we cannot hope to spread worldwide yet quarantine just outside our own shores.
UPDATE: Could US criticisms of Russia on the eve of elections somehow be related to Russia's surprisingly firm stance in favor of its ally Syria as NATO and its corrupt puppets in the Arab League prepare a Libya-style "liberation"?
Washington's "Fifth Column" in Russia by Hans-Werner Klausen, Germany
Chess champion Gary Kasparov, his comrades and supporters in the west
Defiance of all rules on sovereignty
"A strange practice has developed in international relations since Washington, relying on "freedom and democracy", set up a number of foundations and think tanks in order to intervene in the internal affairs of foreign countries in defiance of all the rules on sovereignty."
Peter Scholl-Latour: Russland im Zangengriff, Putins Imperium zwischen Nato, China und Islam, ISBN 10: 35-490726-51, p. 110
Ever since the murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the mysterious death of the former secret service office Litvinenko, the western media have turned up the heat in their campaign against the Russian president Vladimir Putin that has never actually ceased since the arrest of the oligarch Chodorkovski in autumn 2003.
For many commentators there can be no doubt: The Kremlin is to blame. Peter Scholl-Latour is one of the few who raise his voice in protest, pointing out that while Putin might be a Chekist, he isn't stupid. Politkovskaya was murdered immediately before Putin's visit to Germany, with Litvinenko following immediately before the summit between Russia and the EU. There is no doubt that these deaths did not benefit Putin. As part of the anti-Russian campaign, considerable publicity was given to a rather disappointing anti-Putin demonstration on 16 December 2006 in Moscow (attracting just over 2,000 protesters, not exactly impressive in the light of the 18 million inhabitants of the Moscow region), with its most prominent speaker, the chess player Gary Kasparov. For this reason, it is appropriate to look eastwards.
Anger of the western imperialists at collapse of oil deal
The campaign against Russia began with the arrest of Chodorkovski. Rainer Rupp in the "Junge Welt": "The vehemence of the vicious propaganda campaign against Putin reflects the anger of the western imperialists that he thwarted their plans to acquire Russian raw materials cheaply. Ever since Putin prevented the fraudster and Yukos boss Michail Chodorkovski from selling the oilfields grabbed by the overnight billionaire (roughly one half of the Russian oil reserves) to the west in a gigantic deal, the fronts have been clear.
Following the wild privatisation orgies under US fan Boris Yeltsin, Putin has since taking power gradually returned the Russian resources to state control. The western imperialists are furious at this suppression of capitalist 'human rights', and so they take every opportunity to sell Chodorkovski and now Litvinenko to the western public as martyrs and victims of 'Putin the Terrible'. "("Junge Welt", 20.12.2006)
Neocon attack on Russia
On 28 September 2004 an open letter was published by 115 Europeans and Americans against Putin's policies. The signatories included neocons, liberal imperialists and greens.1 In December 2004, Washington succeeded in making further progress in drawing a circle around Russia with the "Orange Revolution" in Kiev. On 12 August 2005, the then director for Russia and Foreign Programmes of the Carnegie Foundation (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Anders Aslund (who also signed the open letter of 28 September 2004) a report entitled "Putin's Decline and America's Response". This sets out recommendations for the US administration basically suggesting that the US should finance a further revolution, this time in Russia. "The US should insist on effective international monitoring of elections. … The best monitors have proven to be nongovernmental organisations. … The US can assist in setting up independent exit polls for elections. The most effective protests in the region have been those led by student activist organisations such as Otpor in Serbia, Kmara in Georgia, Subr in Belarus and Pora in the Ukraine. Their techniques are well-known and can and should be disseminated in Russia."2 The neocon ideologist Robert Kagan (cofounder of the neocon central organ Weekly Standard and of the Project for the New American Century) is, incidentally, employed at the Brussels office of the Carnegie Foundation (one of the financiers of NGOs). Kagan's wife Victoria Nuland was deputy advisor for national security in the office of Vice President Cheney from 2003 to 2005, and has been US ambassador to the Nato since 2005. Her official biography states: "A career Foreign Service Officer, she was Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Cheney from July 2003 until May 2005 where she worked on the full range of global issues, including the promotion of democracy and security in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Lebanon and the broader Middle East."3
Russian support for US interests
In November 2005, the US Congress approved four million dollar in the 2006 budget for the development of political parties in Russia. It's hardly surprising in the light of this decision and the Aslund report that the Russian Duma adopted a new law on improving the monitoring of NGO activities at the end of 2005.
Aslund identified the former prime minister Michail Kasyanov as his ideal candidate for a leading role in the movement against Putin. Kasyanov, a man with excellent contacts to Yeltsin and oligarchs such as Beresovski and Chodorkovski's deputy Leonid Nevzlin, was prime minister from January 2000 to February 2004. In 2005 he announced that he intended to stand in the presidential elections in 2008. Kasyanov founded his own party, the Popular Democratic Union, and formed an alliance with the United Popular Front of the former world chess champion Gary Kasparov. The Heinrich-Böll Foundation, generally favourable to the anti-Putin opposition, wrote about Kasyanov: "In the eyes of most people, his image continues to be closely linked with the economic crisis and corruption of the Yeltsin presidency."4
Gary Kasparov (who describes himself as a "Russian citizen and cosmopolitan") is the only personality in the pro-west anti-Putin opposition who enjoys nationwide popularity. Most liberal politicians did everything they could to make themselves unpopular during the Yeltsin era. In contrast, Kasparov, born in 1963 in Baku on the Caspian Sea as Garik Weinstein, is only known as a chess genius. Kasparov, who in 2004 predicted the inevitability of a crisis in the system in the Ukraine in 2006, has his own political organisations with the "All Russian Civic Congress" and the "United Civic Front". The liberal politician Irina Chakamada, presidential candidate in 2004, is also a member of the Civic Congress. In the meantime, the leaders of the established liberal parties – the Union of Right Forces (SPS) and the Yabloko Party (under Grigori Yavlinski) – have not shown any inclination to acknowledge Kasparov as their new leader. Instead, Kasparov has other comrades.
Kasparov – US citizen and member of neocon think tanks
Kasparov, who holds both US and Russian nationality, urged the exclusion of Russia from the G8 summit on 16 December 2006. Similar demands had previously been raised by the neocon "Prince of Darkness" Richard Perle and the neocons' favourite senators Jon McCain and Joseph Lieberman. On 2 December 2006, Kasparov published an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Chessboard Endgame. Obsessed with Iraq, we've lost sight of the rest of the world" (the "we" means the USA).5 In it, Kasparov urged Washington to take a harder line against Russia, and on the Iraq war said "However, if you attack Iraq, the potential to go after Iran and Syria must also be on the table." – the same war propaganda as can be heard from Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, William Kristol or Frank Gaffney.
Kasparov is allied with the neocons not only in ideology but also in organisational terms. He is a member of the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) of the militarist think tank Center for Security Policy (CSP) led by Frank Gaffney (protégé of Richard Perle). The Council's members include politicians, neocon intellectuals, former government officials, retired generals and admirals (most of them no doubt linked to the military and industrial complex by consultancy contracts), and representatives of the armaments industry. Its honorary chairmen are the Republican Senator Jon Kyl (a friend of the Christian right) and James Woolsey (2002 to 2005 chairman of the board of the "human rights organisation" Freedom House, Vice president of consultants Booz Allen Hamilton [one of the largest government contractors], proponent of the "4th World War", head of the CIA from 1993 to 1995.6 As head of Freedom House, Woolsey had been one of the men behind the Orange Revolution.
Manipulators of the "revolutions" in Belgrade, Tiflis und Kiev
Shortly before the G8 summit, Kasparov and Kasyanov organised an anti-Putin conference in Moscow under the name Drugaya Rossia (Other Russia), attended by western diplomats and representatives of well-known western organisations (Council on Foreign Relations, National Endowment for Democracy, Project on Transitional Democracies, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Carnegie Foundation etc.). Bruce Jackson of the Project on Transitional Democracies (one of the most important figures in the neocon and militarist networks and, like Kasparov, a member of the National Security Advisory Council at the CSP) organised an address of solidarity by western personalities for the conference.7 The conference was sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED, a "private" organisation financed from the US budget, as independent of the US government as the Comintern was of the Soviet Union) and by the Soros Foundation. Both bodies were supporters of the "revolutions" in Belgrade, Tiflis und Kiev. The conference was attended by neither the leaders of Jabloko and the Union of Right Forces nor those of Syuganow's Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Instead there came the leader of the National Bolshevist Party of Russia (NBP), Edward Limonov (whose party flag recalls that of the Nazis, except that the white circle in the red flag contains not a swastika but a hammer and sickle), and anti-semites such as Victor Anpilov of the Stalinist Trudovaya Rossia or Sergei Glazev (former chairman of the Rodina Party). This variegated crowd indicates the desperate situation of Kasparov, Kasyanov and their western supporters. Men like Bruce Jackson, Richard Holbrooke from the Council on Foreign Relations, Carl Gershman from the National Endowment for Democracy or Reinhard Bütikofer from the Greens, who participated in the conference, would in better days certainly never have sat at the same table as Limonov or Anpilov. Limonov's National Bolshevists (who use provocation to attract the necessary publicity) were responsible for the stewards at the conference and intoned their favourite chant "Stalin-Beria-Gulag".
March of the political valuta prostitutes
A comprehensive alliance spanning from Kasparow to Limonow and Anpilow was brought about by the Druggaja Rossija Conference, albeit without the Alliance of the right-wing forces or Jawlinskis Jabloko. The Kasparow-Kasjanow-Limonow-Anpilow-Alliance (Wladimir Ryshkow from the small Republican Party of Russia also joined in) organized the "March of the Discontented." With barely 2,000 participants it was cordoned off by 8,000 members of the Security Forces. Members of the Russian Youth Movement organized a counter protest march. They displayed a banner reading: "We greet the March of the Valuta Prostitutes". They also used other means in their attempt to disrupt the march. National Bolsheviks, who at the end of the rally, in violation of police regulations, tried to march through the city center, were arrested. The rally, which was to take place from 12 noon until 2 p.m., lasted exactly one hour, i.e. from 12.30 until 1.30.
The Western Media raised their voices against the huge police presence and the arrests made on December 16th. We should remind ourselves that Liminow's National Bolshevik Party was often referred to as the neo-nazi or extreme right-wing party in the German Media, and that Liminow's supporters seeking to draw attention to themselves, indulged in militant activities and used methods familiar to the western neo-nazi scene, as well as to the so-called autonomous group scene. In addition, Liminow as well as Anpilow campaigned for resorting to violence to overthrow the government.
Were the autonomous block, the neo-nazis, or the Stalinists to join forces in Germany, how would the government react? Having asked this questions, it needs to be answered.
Prevent import of rotten fruit
The campaign against Chodorkowski by the Russian government was at that time an effective blow. Kasparow's big campaign on the other hand was a flop, and the crisis he prophesized for 2006 didn't come about. Wladimir Putin's political agenda underlies the national interest of his country. The majority of Russians are aware of this, and for this reason they stand behind their president.
Since Putin came to power, the Russian economy has continued to improve. Unemployment figures are lower than in Germany.
Wages and salaries are increasing, and in contrast to the Jelzin era, they are paid out. The oil fields as well as the gas supplies are once more under Russian ownership, and in other strategically important branches of the national economy the state has strengthened its position. Agricultural land is under Russian ownership and can only be leased. It cannot be purchased by companies. Russia has modern weapons and has freed itself of foreign debt. Furthermore, it has a considerable amount of reserve assets. The Kremlin doesn't adhere to Washington's demands in foreign affairs issues, it pursues its own interests. Russia doesn't need "democratizing" by the US or EU-NGOs.
A "democracy" according to the aims of The National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, George Soros, various Think Tanks, or the German political parties trust funds would give criminal oligarchs and western banks and large corporations the freedom to plunder Russia and its people.
The Russians already experienced that type of "democracy" under Jelzin. If Washington fails to force Russia to change its political course, Kasparow and Kasjanow, together with their western supporters, will make further attempts to destabilize Russia's undertakings. They can rest assured their attempts will meet the approval of the green do-gooders in Germany.
The oranges in the Ukraine have proved to be foul fruit and it would be wise for Russia's political leaders in charge of national security issues if they could prevent the import of this type of foul fruit.
1 An Open Letter to the Heads of State and Government of the European Union and Nato, http://www.newamericancentury.org/russia-20040928.htmDifferent Tools to Promote "Democracy"
3 Source: Biography, Victoria Nuland, United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato), http://nato.usmission.gov/Bio/Ambassador_Nuland.htm
6 List of members of the National Security Advisory Council at the CSP: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=nsac,
List of former members who held government offices under George W. Bush http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=nsac-gvtsvc
7 An Open Letter to the G-7-Leaders "The Other Russia", http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/2006/07/18/leader, List of forthcoming participants of the conference "Drugaja Rossija", http://www.theotherrussia.ru/eng/list/. See also: Justin Raimondo: Russia's Fifth Column. An unnatural alliance: Russian ‚liberals, commies, and neo-Nazis unite against Putin, antiwar.com/justin/
Source: www.berlinerumschau.com, 21 december 2006
The United States gives high priority to helping democracy and human rights advocates in Europe and Eurasia succeed and consolidate their successes. The United States continued to engage governments of the region toward this end, often with other democratic allies and in multilateral forums, and employed a variety of tools to deliver tangible support to democracy and human rights efforts in 2006. These tools included training for officials, media, democratic parties, and NGO advocates; monitoring of elections and criminal justice proceedings; capacity building of civil society groups and government structures; and technical and legal assistance, grants, and exchanges. […] , elections were an intensive focus of U.S. support during the past year. The United States promoted democratic political processes and the administration of fairly-contested elections by, for example, supporting political party development in Belarus, empowering voters' groups – including women activists and youth – in Serbia, and assisting international election monitoring efforts in Ukraine. In preparation for Armenia's elections in 2007 and 2008, the U.S. supported efforts to improve election systems, update voter lists, educate the public on voting and democratic principles, and strengthen political parties. The United States is providing similar support, through political party training, training for mass media representatives on covering political issues, and voter education initiatives, in support of free and fair elections in Russia for the Duma in December 2007 and for president in March 2008.[…] The United States also provided technical assistance and grant support to Russian civil society groups, NGO resource centers, think tanks, labor unions, and watchdog organizations to sustain their active participation in society.
Source: Extract from Europe and Eurasia in Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006, released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the U.S. Department of State, April 5, 2007NGOs as a Device for Foreign States
Wladimir Putin: In Russia, the non-governmental organizations are in operation. Indeed we have introduced a new governmental system for them. There is little difference between our system and that in place in other countries. For the time being we have had no comment from the non-governmental organizations themselves. We actually didn't refuse anyone permission to register. There were two or three cases with formal issues, and these non-governmental organizations are working on correcting their byelaws etc. When it came down to it, nobody was rejected. Everyone is contributing and will also continue to do so.
What are our major concerns? I can tell you and I believe it's easy to comprehend. If these non-governmental organizations are basically financed by foreign governments, we view this as a device for foreign powers to impose their political agenda on our country. That's the first thing. Secondly, there are rules and regulations in every country for the financing of an election campaign. Via the non-governmental organizations, the financing comes from government sources in foreign countries.
How does this work? Is this a normal democracy in any way?
It's a latent type of financing, concealed from society. What is democratic about it? Can you answer that question? No. You can't. And you will never find an answer. Because this isn't democracy, but the influencing of one state by another.
We are interested for the people of Russia to take care of their own interests, and for them to criticize the authorities and to help find their mistakes, and to rectify political policies according to the interest of the people. That is, without doubt, our goal.
And we will support the Russian people and the non-governmental organizations.
Source: The Discussion following Putin's speech at the Security Conference in Munich on the 10th February 2007.
Translated by Novosti, published 14 February, 2007The US-American Revolution-Limited Liability Company
Almost unanimously, the world paid homage to the rebellion of a young East European nation that not only wanted to free itself of the shackles of its own tyrants and exploiters, but above all, it also wanted to break free from the Putin lobby interfering in its affairs.
It's nothing short of a miracle that night after night this huge gathering remained steadfast and strong in their attempt to bring their noble ideals to the forefront, despite having to contend with inadequate food supplies and bitterly cold temperatures.
Surprisingly, Western TV cameras avoided filming the 1500 heated tents, where warm meals were distributed free of charge. Reporters were reluctant to mention the dubious, if not shady activities involved, including bribery, in the time and effort required to raise money. Money which in turn was used to strengthen the backbone of the organized frenzy.
Deprived of this type of background information, it was many months before newspaper readers, not to mention TV viewers, were informed by way of detailed and exemplary reports in renowned newspapers about the schemes of the American donation organizations – institutes, foundations and government bodies who made no attempt to conceal their subversive meddling.
At this point in time, information was also brought to light on what Spiegel magazine termed Revolutions Ltd., an international squad deployed by the US Secret Service to dispose of "uncooperative" regimes.
Source: Peter Scholl-Latour, Russland im Zangengriff, Putins Imperium zwischen Nato, China und Islam, p.386
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America's Global Fifth Column by Justin Raimondo -- Antiwar.com
Washington's "Fifth Column" in Russia
- "The Saturnalia" ǢBKLYN ŁCA ŶBEIJING: 5th Column Ministry of Info, 1900
- "The German Fifth Column in Poland" London: Polish Ministry of Info, 1941
- "Fifth Column at Work" by Bohumil Bilek, description of German minority in Czechoslovakia, London, Trinity, 1945.
- "The German Fifth Column in the Second World War" Jong, Louis de New York Fertig, 1973
- "The Fifth Column, and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War" New York Scribner, 1969
- Dr. Seuss Goes to War: World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel, a selection with commentary by Richard Minnear (New Press, 2001; ISBN 1-56584-704-0).
- "Sixth Column" by Robert A. Heinlein (Street & Smith Publications Inc, 1949; ISBN 978-0-671-65374-3).
-  See also
- Some think that the term was coined by nationalist general José Enrique Varela : see WP es articles "José Enrique Varela" & "Quinta columna (in which is quoted as a source Mikhail Koltsov's "Spanish Civil War Diary")
- fifth column. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 14, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9034225
- The Fifth Column and Forty-Nine Stories. The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
- According to WP es article "Manuel Valdés Larrañaga" : Larrañaga, the then head of the Falange Española for Madrid lead his movement (which was the angular stone of the Quinta Columna) from his cell in the Cárcel Modelo, thanks to condoning anarchist jailers
- Martin, Terry (1998). "The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing". The Journal of Modern History 70 (4), 813–861.
- "North Koreans in Japan have long been vilified as a communist fifth column" (Hans Greimel, "Test sparks N. Korea Backlash in Japan", Associated Press dispatch, October 24, 2006 )
- "... they hurl accusations against us, like that we are a 'fifth column.'" (Roee Nahmias, "Arab MK: Israel committing 'genocide' of Shiites", Ynetnews August 2, 2006)
- "... a fifth column, a league of traitors" (Evelyn Gordon, "No longer the political fringe", Jerusalem Post Sep 14, 2006)
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