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Softpanorama Media Skeptic Bulletin, 2014

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[Dec 30, 2014] The Victory of 'Perception Management' by Robert Parry

Dec 30, 2014 |

To understand how the American people find themselves trapped in today's Orwellian dystopia of endless warfare against an ever-shifting collection of "evil" enemies, you have to think back to the Vietnam War and the shock to the ruling elite caused by an unprecedented popular uprising against that war.

While on the surface Official Washington pretended that the mass protests didn't change policy, a panicky reality existed behind the scenes, a recognition that a major investment in domestic propaganda would be needed to ensure that future imperial adventures would have the public's eager support or at least its confused acquiescence.

This commitment to what the insiders called "perception management" began in earnest with the Reagan administration in the 1980s but it would come to be the accepted practice of all subsequent administrations, including the present one of President Barack Obama.

In that sense, propaganda in pursuit of foreign policy goals would trump the democratic ideal of an informed electorate. The point would be not to honestly inform the American people about events around the world but to manage their perceptions by ramping up fear in some cases and defusing outrage in others – depending on the US government's needs.

Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia's supposed "aggression" in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by US neocons who helped create today's humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yet, many of these same US foreign policy operatives – outraged over Russia's limited intervention to protect ethic Russians in eastern Ukraine – are demanding that President Obama launch an air war against the Syrian military as a "humanitarian" intervention there.

In other words, if the Russians act to shield ethnic Russians on their border who are being bombarded by a coup regime in Kiev that was installed with US support, the Russians are the villains blamed for the thousands of civilian deaths, even though the vast majority of the casualties have been inflicted by the Kiev regime from indiscriminate bombing and from dispatching neo-Nazi militias to do the street fighting.

In Ukraine, the exigent circumstances don't matter, including the violent overthrow of the constitutionally elected president last February. It's all about white hats for the current Kiev regime and black hats for the ethnic Russians and especially for Putin.

But an entirely different set of standards has applied to Syria where a US-backed rebellion, which included violent Sunni jihadists from the start, wore the white hats and the relatively secular Syrian government, which has responded with excessive violence of its own, wears the black hats. But a problem to that neat dichotomy arose when one of the major Sunni rebel forces, the Islamic State, started seizing Iraqi territory and beheading Westerners.

Faced with those grisly scenes, President Obama authorized bombing the Islamic State forces in both Iraq and Syria, but neocons and other US hardliners have been hectoring Obama to go after their preferred target, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, despite the risk that destroying the Syrian military could open the gates of Damascus to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda's Nusra Front.

Lost on the Dark Side

You might think that the American public would begin to rebel against these messy entangling alliances with the 1984-like demonizing of one new "enemy" after another. Not only have these endless wars drained trillions of dollars from the US taxpayers, they have led to the deaths of thousands of US troops and to the tarnishing of America's image from the attendant evils of war, including a lengthy detour into the "dark side" of torture, assassinations and "collateral" killings of children and other innocents.

But that is where the history of "perception management" comes in, the need to keep the American people compliant and confused. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration was determined to "kick the Vietnam Syndrome," the revulsion that many Americans felt for warfare after all those years in the blood-soaked jungles of Vietnam and all the lies that clumsily justified the war.

So, the challenge for the US government became: how to present the actions of "enemies" always in the darkest light while bathing the behavior of the US "side" in a rosy glow. You also had to stage this propaganda theater in an ostensibly "free country" with a supposedly "independent press."

From documents declassified or leaked over the past several decades, including an unpublished draft chapter of the congressional Iran-Contra investigation, we now know a great deal about how this remarkable project was undertaken and who the key players were.

Perhaps not surprisingly much of the initiative came from the Central Intelligence Agency, which housed the expertise for manipulating target populations through propaganda and disinformation. The only difference this time would be that the American people would be the target population.

For this project, Ronald Reagan's CIA Director William J. Casey sent his top propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. to the National Security Council staff to manage the inter-agency task forces that would brainstorm and coordinate this "public diplomacy" strategy.

Many of the old intelligence operatives, including Casey and Raymond, are now dead, but other influential Washington figures who were deeply involved by these strategies remain, such as neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, whose first major job in Washington was as chief of Reagan's State Department Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America.

Now a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist at the Washington Post, Kagan remains an expert in presenting foreign policy initiatives within the "good guy/bad guy" frames that he learned in the 1980s. He is also the husband of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the overthrow of Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February amid a very effective US propaganda strategy.

During the Reagan years, Kagan worked closely on propaganda schemes with Elliott Abrams, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. After getting convicted and then pardoned in the Iran-Contra scandal, Abrams reemerged on President George W. Bush's National Security Council handling Middle East issues, including the Iraq War, and later "global democracy strategy." Abrams is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

These and other neocons were among the most diligent students learning the art of "perception management" from the likes of Raymond and Casey, but those propaganda skills have spread much more widely as "public diplomacy" and "information warfare" have now become an integral part of every US foreign policy initiative.

A Propaganda Bureaucracy

Declassified documents now reveal how extensive Reagan's propaganda project became with inter-agency task forces assigned to develop "themes" that would push American "hot buttons." Scores of documents came out during the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987 and hundreds more are now available at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

What the documents reveal is that at the start of the Reagan administration, CIA Director Casey faced a daunting challenge in trying to rally public opinion behind aggressive US interventions, especially in Central America. Bitter memories of the Vietnam War were still fresh and many Americans were horrified at the brutality of right-wing regimes in Guatemala and El Salvador, where Salvadoran soldiers raped and murdered four American churchwomen in December 1980.

The new leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua also was not viewed with much alarm. After all, Nicaragua was an impoverished country of only about three million people who had just cast off the brutal dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.

So, Reagan's initial strategy of bolstering the Salvadoran and Guatemalan armies required defusing the negative publicity about them and somehow rallying the American people into supporting a covert CIA intervention inside Nicaragua via a counterrevolutionary force known as the Contras led by Somoza's ex-National Guard officers.

Reagan's task was made tougher by the fact that the Cold War's anti-communist arguments had so recently been discredited in Vietnam. As deputy assistant secretary to the Air Force, J. Michael Kelly, put it, "the most critical special operations mission we have … is to persuade the American people that the communists are out to get us."

At the same time, the White House worked to weed out American reporters who uncovered facts that undercut the desired public images. As part of that effort, the administration attacked New York Times correspondent Raymond Bonner for disclosing the Salvadoran regime's massacre of about 800 men, women and children in the village of El Mozote in northeast El Salvador in December 1981. Accuracy in Media and conservative news organizations, such as The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, joined in pummeling Bonner, who was soon ousted from his job.

But these were largely ad hoc efforts. A more comprehensive "public diplomacy" operation took shape beginning in 1982 when Raymond, a 30-year veteran of CIA clandestine services, was transferred to the NSC.

A slight, soft-spoken New Yorker who reminded some of a character from a John le Carré spy novel, Raymond was an intelligence officer who "easily fades into the woodwork," according to one acquaintance. But Raymond would become the sparkplug for this high-powered propaganda network, according to a draft chapter of the Iran-Contra report.

Though the draft chapter didn't use Raymond's name in its opening pages, apparently because some of the information came from classified depositions, Raymond's name was used later in the chapter and the earlier citations matched Raymond's known role. According to the draft report, the CIA officer who was recruited for the NSC job had served as Director of the Covert Action Staff at the CIA from 1978 to 1982 and was a "specialist in propaganda and disinformation."

"The CIA official [Raymond] discussed the transfer with [CIA Director] Casey and NSC Advisor William Clark that he be assigned to the NSC as [Donald] Gregg's successor [as coordinator of intelligence operations in June 1982] and received approval for his involvement in setting up the public diplomacy program along with his intelligence responsibilities," the chapter said.

"In the early part of 1983, documents obtained by the Select [Iran-Contra] Committees indicate that the Director of the Intelligence Staff of the NSC [Raymond] successfully recommended the establishment of an inter-governmental network to promote and manage a public diplomacy plan designed to create support for Reagan Administration policies at home and abroad."

During his Iran-Contra deposition, Raymond explained the need for this propaganda structure, saying: "We were not configured effectively to deal with the war of ideas."

One reason for this shortcoming was that federal law forbade taxpayers' money from being spent on domestic propaganda or grassroots lobbying to pressure congressional representatives. Of course, every president and his team had vast resources to make their case in public, but by tradition and law, they were restricted to speeches, testimony and one-on-one persuasion of lawmakers.

But things were about to change. In a Jan. 13, 1983, memo, NSC Advisor Clark foresaw the need for non-governmental money to advance this cause. "We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding," Clark wrote. (Just five days later, President Reagan personally welcomed media magnate Rupert Murdoch into the Oval Office for a private meeting, according to records on file at the Reagan library.)

As administration officials reached out to wealthy supporters, lines against domestic propaganda soon were crossed as the operation took aim not only at foreign audiences but at US public opinion, the press and congressional Democrats who opposed funding the Nicaraguan Contras.

At the time, the Contras were earning a gruesome reputation as human rights violators and terrorists. To change this negative perception of the Contras as well as of the US-backed regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, the Reagan administration created a full-blown, clandestine propaganda network.

In January 1983, President Reagan took the first formal step to create this unprecedented peacetime propaganda bureaucracy by signing National Security Decision Directive 77, entitled "Management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security." Reagan deemed it "necessary to strengthen the organization, planning and coordination of the various aspects of public diplomacy of the United States Government."

Reagan ordered the creation of a special planning group within the National Security Council to direct these "public diplomacy" campaigns. The planning group would be headed by the CIA's Walter Raymond Jr. and one of its principal arms would be a new Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America, housed at the State Department but under the control of the NSC.

CIA Taint

Worried about the legal prohibition barring the CIA from engaging in domestic propaganda, Raymond formally resigned from the CIA in April 1983, so, he said, "there would be no question whatsoever of any contamination of this." But Raymond continued to act toward the US public much like a CIA officer would in directing a propaganda operation in a hostile foreign country.

Raymond fretted, too, about the legality of Casey's ongoing involvement. Raymond confided in one memo that it was important "to get [Casey] out of the loop," but Casey never backed off and Raymond continued to send progress reports to his old boss well into 1986. It was "the kind of thing which [Casey] had a broad catholic interest in," Raymond shrugged during his Iran-Contra deposition. He then offered the excuse that Casey undertook this apparently illegal interference in domestic politics "not so much in his CIA hat, but in his adviser to the president hat."

As a result of Reagan's decision directive, "an elaborate system of inter-agency committees was eventually formed and charged with the task of working closely with private groups and individuals involved in fundraising, lobbying campaigns and propagandistic activities aimed at influencing public opinion and governmental action," the draft Iran-Contra chapter said. "This effort resulted in the creation of the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Department of State (S/LPD), headed by Otto Reich," a right-wing Cuban exile from Miami.

Though Secretary of State George Shultz wanted the office under his control, President Reagan insisted that Reich "report directly to the NSC," where Raymond oversaw the operations as a special assistant to the President and the NSC's director of international communications, the chapter said.

"Reich relied heavily on Raymond to secure personnel transfers from other government agencies to beef up the limited resources made available to S/LPD by the Department of State," the chapter said. "Personnel made available to the new office included intelligence specialists from the US Air Force and the US Army. On one occasion, five intelligence experts from the Army's 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were assigned to work with Reich's fast-growing operation."

A "public diplomacy strategy paper," dated May 5, 1983, summed up the administration's problem. "As far as our Central American policy is concerned, the press perceives that: the USG [US government] is placing too much emphasis on a military solution, as well as being allied with inept, right-wing governments and groups. …The focus on Nicaragua [is] on the alleged US-backed 'covert' war against the Sandinistas. Moreover, the opposition … is widely perceived as being led by former Somozistas."

The administration's difficulty with most of these press perceptions was that they were correct. But the strategy paper recommended ways to influence various groups of Americans to "correct" the impressions anyway, removing what another planning document called "perceptional obstacles."

"Themes will obviously have to be tailored to the target audience," the strategy paper said.

Casey's Hand

As the Reagan administration struggled to manage public perceptions, CIA Director Casey kept his personal hand in the effort. On one muggy day in August 1983, Casey convened a meeting of Reagan administration officials and five leading ad executives at the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House to come up with ideas for selling Reagan's Central American policies to the American people.

Earlier that day, a national security aide had warmed the P.R. men to their task with dire predictions that leftist governments would send waves of refugees into the United States and cynically flood America with drugs. The P.R. executives jotted down some thoughts over lunch and then pitched their ideas to the CIA director in the afternoon as he sat hunched behind a desk taking notes.

"Casey was kind of spearheading a recommendation" for better public relations for Reagan's Central America policies, recalled William I. Greener Jr., one of the ad men. Two top proposals arising from the meeting were for a high-powered communications operation inside the White House and private money for an outreach program to build support for US intervention.

The results from the discussions were summed up in an Aug. 9, 1983, memo written by Raymond who described Casey's participation in the meeting to brainstorm how "to sell a 'new product' – Central America – by generating interest across-the-spectrum."

In the memo to then-US Information Agency director Charles Wick, Raymond also noted that "via Murdock [sic] may be able to draw down added funds" to support pro-Reagan initiatives. Raymond's reference to Rupert Murdoch possibly drawing down "added funds" suggests that the right-wing media mogul had been recruited to be part of the covert propaganda operation. During this period, Wick arranged at least two face-to-face meetings between Murdoch and Reagan.

In line with the clandestine nature of the operation, Raymond also suggested routing the "funding via Freedom House or some other structure that has credibility in the political center." (Freedom House would later emerge as a principal beneficiary of funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, which was also created under the umbrella of Raymond's operation.)

As the Reagan administration pushed the envelope on domestic propaganda, Raymond continued to worry about Casey's involvement. In an Aug. 29, 1983, memo, Raymond recounted a call from Casey pushing his P.R. ideas. Alarmed at a CIA director participating so brazenly in domestic propaganda, Raymond wrote that "I philosophized a bit with Bill Casey (in an effort to get him out of the loop)" but with little success.

Meanwhile, Reich's Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America (S/LPD) proved extremely effective in selecting "hot buttons" that would anger Americans about the Sandinistas. He also browbeat news correspondents who produced stories that conflicted with the administration's "themes." Reich's basic M.O. was to dispatch his propaganda teams to lobby news executives to remove or punish out-of-step reporters – with a disturbing degree of success. Reich once bragged that his office "did not give the critics of the policy any quarter in the debate."

Another part of the office's job was to plant "white propaganda" in the news media through op-eds secretly financed by the government. In one memo, Jonathan Miller, a senior public diplomacy official, informed White House aide Patrick Buchanan about success placing an anti-Sandinista piece in The Wall Street Journal's friendly pages. "Officially, this office had no role in its preparation," Miller wrote.

Other times, the administration put out "black propaganda," outright falsehoods. In 1983, one such theme was designed to anger American Jews by portraying the Sandinistas as anti-Semitic because much of Nicaragua's small Jewish community fled after the revolution in 1979.

However, the US embassy in Managua investigated the charges and "found no verifiable ground on which to accuse the GRN [the Sandinista government] of anti-Semitism," according to a July 28, 1983, cable. But the administration kept the cable secret and pushed the "hot button" anyway.

Black Hats/White Hats

Repeatedly, Raymond lectured his subordinates on the chief goal of the operation: "in the specific case of Nica[ragua], concentrate on gluing black hats on the Sandinistas and white hats on UNO [the Contras' United Nicaraguan Opposition]." So Reagan's speechwriters dutifully penned descriptions of Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua as a "totalitarian dungeon" and the Contras as the "moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers."

As one NSC official told me, the campaign was modeled after CIA covert operations abroad where a political goal is more important than the truth. "They were trying to manipulate [US] public opinion … using the tools of Walt Raymond's trade craft which he learned from his career in the CIA covert operation shop," the official admitted.

Another administration official gave a similar description to The Miami Herald's Alfonso Chardy. "If you look at it as a whole, the Office of Public Diplomacy was carrying out a huge psychological operation, the kind the military conduct to influence the population in denied or enemy territory," that official explained. [For more details, see Parry's Lost History.]

Another important figure in the pro-Contra propaganda was NSC staffer Oliver North, who spent a great deal of his time on the Nicaraguan public diplomacy operation even though he is better known for arranging secret arms shipments to the Contras and to Iran's radical Islamic government, leading to the Iran-Contra scandal.

The draft Iran-Contra chapter depicted a Byzantine network of contract and private operatives who handled details of the domestic propaganda while concealing the hand of the White House and the CIA. "Richard R. Miller, former head of public affairs at AID, and Francis D. Gomez, former public affairs specialist at the State Department and USIA, were hired by S/LPD through sole-source, no-bid contracts to carry out a variety of activities on behalf of the Reagan administration policies in Central America," the chapter said.

"Supported by the State Department and White House, Miller and Gomez became the outside managers of [North operative] Spitz Channel's fundraising and lobbying activities. They also served as the managers of Central American political figures, defectors, Nicaraguan opposition leaders and Sandinista atrocity victims who were made available to the press, the Congress and private groups, to tell the story of the Contra cause."

Miller and Gomez facilitated transfers of money to Swiss and offshore banks at North's direction, as they "became the key link between the State Department and the Reagan White House with the private groups and individuals engaged in a myriad of endeavors aimed at influencing the Congress, the media and public opinion," the chapter said.

The Iran-Contra draft chapter also cited a March 10, 1985, memo from North describing his assistance to CIA Director Casey in timing disclosures of pro-Contra news "aimed at securing Congressional approval for renewed support to the Nicaraguan Resistance Forces."

The chapter added: "Casey's involvement in the public diplomacy effort apparently continued throughout the period under investigation by the Committees," including a 1985 role in pressuring Congress to renew Contra aid and a 1986 hand in further shielding the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America from the oversight of Secretary Shultz.

A Raymond-authored memo to Casey in August 1986 described the shift of the S/LPD office – where Robert Kagan had replaced Reich – to the control of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, which was headed by Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, who had tapped Kagan for the public diplomacy job.

Even after the Iran-Contra scandal unraveled in 1986-87 and Casey died of brain cancer on May 6, 1987, the Republicans fought to keep secret the remarkable story of the public diplomacy apparatus. As part of a deal to get three moderate Republican senators to join Democrats in signing the Iran-Contra majority report, Democratic leaders agreed to drop the draft chapter detailing the CIA's domestic propaganda role (although a few references were included in the executive summary). But other Republicans, including Rep. Dick Cheney, still issued a minority report defending broad presidential powers in foreign affairs.

Thus, the American people were spared the chapter's troubling conclusion: that a secret propaganda apparatus had existed, run by "one of the CIA's most senior specialists, sent to the NSC by Bill Casey, to create and coordinate an inter-agency public-diplomacy mechanism [which] did what a covert CIA operation in a foreign country might do. [It] attempted to manipulate the media, the Congress and public opinion to support the Reagan administration's policies."

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

The ultimate success of Reagan's propaganda strategy was affirmed during the tenure of his successor, George H.W. Bush, when Bush ordered a 100-hour ground war on Feb. 23, 1991, to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait, which had been invaded the previous August.

Though Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had long been signaling a readiness to withdraw – and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had negotiated a withdrawal arrangement that even had the blessings of top US commanders in the field – President Bush insisted on pressing ahead with the ground attack.

Bush's chief reason was that he – and his Defense Secretary Dick Cheney – saw the assault against Iraq's already decimated forces as an easy victory, one that would demonstrate America's new military capacity for high-tech warfare and would cap the process begun a decade earlier to erase the Vietnam Syndrome from the minds of average Americans.

Those strategic aspects of Bush's grand plan for a "new world order" began to emerge after the US-led coalition started pummeling Iraq with air strikes in mid-January 1991. The bombings inflicted severe damage on Iraq's military and civilian infrastructure and slaughtered a large number of non-combatants, including the incineration of some 400 women and children in a Baghdad bomb shelter on Feb. 13. [For details, see's "Recalling the Slaughter of Innocents."]

The air war's damage was so severe that some world leaders looked for a way to end the carnage and arrange Iraq's departure from Kuwait. Even senior US military field commanders, such as Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, looked favorably on proposals for sparing lives.

But Bush was fixated on a ground war. Though secret from the American people at that time, Bush had long determined that a peaceful Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait would not be allowed. Indeed, Bush was privately fearful that the Iraqis might capitulate before the United States could attack.

At the time, conservative columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak were among the few outsiders who described Bush's obsession with exorcising the Vietnam Syndrome. On Feb. 25, 1991, they wrote that the Gorbachev initiative brokering Iraq's surrender of Kuwait "stirred fears" among Bush's advisers that the Vietnam Syndrome might survive the Gulf War.

"There was considerable relief, therefore, when the President … made clear he was having nothing to do with the deal that would enable Saddam Hussein to bring his troops out of Kuwait with flags flying," Evans and Novak wrote. "Fear of a peace deal at the Bush White House had less to do with oil, Israel or Iraqi expansionism than with the bitter legacy of a lost war. 'This is the chance to get rid of the Vietnam Syndrome,' one senior aide told us."

In the 1999 book, Shadow, author Bob Woodward confirmed that Bush was adamant about fighting a war, even as the White House pretended it would be satisfied with an unconditional Iraqi withdrawal. "We have to have a war," Bush told his inner circle of Secretary of State James Baker, national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and Gen. Colin Powell, according to Woodward.

"Scowcroft was aware that this understanding could never be stated publicly or be permitted to leak out. An American president who declared the necessity of war would probably be thrown out of office. Americans were peacemakers, not warmongers," Woodward wrote.

The Ground War

However, the "fear of a peace deal" resurfaced in the wake of the US-led bombing campaign. Soviet diplomats met with Iraqi leaders who let it be known that they were prepared to withdraw their troops from Kuwait unconditionally.

Learning of Gorbachev's proposed settlement, Schwarzkopf also saw little reason for US soldiers to die if the Iraqis were prepared to withdraw and leave their heavy weapons behind. There was also the prospect of chemical warfare that the Iraqis might use against advancing American troops. Schwarzkopf saw the possibility of heavy US casualties.

But Gorbachev's plan was running into trouble with President Bush and his political subordinates who wanted a ground war to crown the US victory. Schwarzkopf reached out to Gen. Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to make the case for peace with the President.

On Feb. 21, 1991, the two generals hammered out a cease-fire proposal for presentation to the NSC. The peace deal would give Iraqi forces one week to march out of Kuwait while leaving their armor and heavy equipment behind. Schwarzkopf thought he had Powell's commitment to pitch the plan at the White House.

But Powell found himself caught in the middle. He wanted to please Bush while still representing the concerns of the field commanders. When Powell arrived at the White House late on the evening of Feb. 21, he found Bush angry about the Soviet peace initiative. Still, according to Woodward's Shadow, Powell reiterated that he and Schwarzkopf "would rather see the Iraqis walk out than be driven out."

In My American Journey, Powell expressed sympathy for Bush's predicament. "The President's problem was how to say no to Gorbachev without appearing to throw away a chance for peace," Powell wrote. "I could hear the President's growing distress in his voice. 'I don't want to take this deal,' he said. 'But I don't want to stiff Gorbachev, not after he's come this far with us. We've got to find a way out'."

Powell sought Bush's attention. "I raised a finger," Powell wrote. "The President turned to me. 'Got something, Colin?'," Bush asked. But Powell did not outline Schwarzkopf's one-week cease-fire plan. Instead, Powell offered a different idea intended to make the ground offensive inevitable.

"We don't stiff Gorbachev," Powell explained. "Let's put a deadline on Gorby's proposal. We say, great idea, as long as they're completely on their way out by, say, noon Saturday," Feb. 23, less than two days away.

Powell understood that the two-day deadline would not give the Iraqis enough time to act, especially with their command-and-control systems severely damaged by the air war. The plan was a public-relations strategy to guarantee that the White House got its ground war. "If, as I suspect, they don't move, then the flogging begins," Powell told a gratified president.

The next day, at 10:30 a.m., a Friday, Bush announced his ultimatum. There would be a Saturday noon deadline for the Iraqi withdrawal, as Powell had recommended. Schwarzkopf and his field commanders in Saudi Arabia watched Bush on television and immediately grasped its meaning.

"We all knew by then which it would be," Schwarzkopf wrote. "We were marching toward a Sunday morning attack."

When the Iraqis predictably missed the deadline, American and allied forces launched the ground offensive at 0400 on Feb. 24, Persian Gulf time.

Though Iraqi forces were soon in full retreat, the allies pursued and slaughtered tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers in the 100-hour war. US casualties were light, 147 killed in combat and another 236 killed in accidents or from other causes. "Small losses as military statistics go," wrote Powell, "but a tragedy for each family."

On Feb. 28, the day the war ended, Bush celebrated the victory. "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all," the President exulted, speaking to a group at the White House. [For more details, see Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege.]

So as not to put a damper on the post-war happy feelings, the US news media decided not to show many of the grisliest photos, such as charred Iraqi soldiers ghoulishly still seated in their burned-out trucks where they had been incinerated while trying to flee. By that point, US journalists knew it wasn't smart for their careers to present a reality that didn't make the war look good.

Enduring Legacy

Though Reagan's creation of a domestic propaganda bureaucracy began more than three decades ago – and Bush's vanquishing of the Vietnam Syndrome was more than two decades ago – the legacy of those actions continue to reverberate today in how the perceptions of the American people are now routinely managed. That was true during last decade's Iraq War and this decade's conflicts in Libya, Syria and Ukraine as well as the economic sanctions against Iran and Russia.

Indeed, while the older generation that pioneered these domestic propaganda techniques has passed from the scene, many of their protégés are still around along with some of the same organizations. The National Endowment for Democracy, which was formed in 1983 at the urgingof CIA Director Casey and under the supervision of Walter Raymond's NSC operation, is still run by the same neocon, Carl Gershman, and has an even bigger budget, now exceeding $100 million a year.

Gershman and his NED played important behind-the-scenes roles in instigating the Ukraine crisis by financing activists, journalists and other operatives who supported the coup against elected President Yanukovych. The NED-backed Freedom House also beat the propaganda drums. [See's "A Shadow Foreign Policy."]

Two other Reagan-era veterans, Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan, have both provided important intellectual support for continuing US interventionism around the world. Earlier this year, Kagan's article for The New Republic, entitled "Superpowers Don't Get to Retire," touched such a raw nerve with President Obama that he hosted Kagan at a White House lunch and crafted the presidential commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of Kagan's criticism of Obama's hesitancy to use military force.

A New York Times article about Kagan's influence over Obama reported that Kagan's wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, apparently had a hand in crafting the attack on her ostensible boss, President Obama.

According to the Times article, the husband-and-wife team share both a common world view and professional ambitions, Nuland editing Kagan's articles and Kagan "not permitted to use any official information he overhears or picks up around the house" – a suggestion that Kagan's thinking at least may be informed by foreign policy secrets passed on by his wife.

Though Nuland wouldn't comment specifically on Kagan's attack on President Obama, she indicated that she holds similar views. "But suffice to say," Nuland said, "that nothing goes out of the house that I don't think is worthy of his talents. Let's put it that way."

Misguided Media

In the three decades since Reagan's propaganda machine was launched, the American press corps also has fallen more and more into line with an aggressive US government's foreign policy strategies. Those of us in the mainstream media who resisted the propaganda pressures mostly saw our careers suffer while those who played along moved steadily up the ranks into positions of more money and more status.

Even after the Iraq War debacle when nearly the entire mainstream media went with the pro-invasion flow, there was almost no accountability for that historic journalistic failure. Indeed, the neocon influence at major newspapers, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, only has solidified since.

Today's coverage of the Syrian civil war or the Ukraine crisis is so firmly in line with the State Department's propaganda "themes" that it would put smiles on the faces of William Casey and Walter Raymond if they were around today to see how seamlessly the "perception management" now works. There's no need any more to send out "public diplomacy" teams to bully editors and news executives. Everyone is already onboard.

Rupert Murdoch's media empire is bigger than ever, but his neocon messaging barely stands out as distinctive, given how the neocons also have gained control of the editorial and foreign-reporting sections of the Washington Post, the New York Times and virtually every other major news outlet. For instance, the demonizing of Russian President Putin is now so total that no honest person could look at those articles and see anything approaching objective or evenhanded journalism. Yet, no one loses a job over this lack of professionalism.

The Reagan administration's dreams of harnessing private foundations and non-governmental organizations have also come true. The Orwellian circle has been completed with many American "anti-war" groups advocating for "humanitarian" wars in Syria and other countries targeted by US propaganda. [See's "Selling 'Peace Groups' on US-Led Wars."]

Much as Reagan's "public diplomacy" apparatus once sent around "defectors" to lambaste Nicaragua's Sandinistas by citing hyped-up human rights violations now the work is done by NGOs with barely perceptible threads back to the US government. Just as Freedom House had "credibility" in the 1980s because of its earlier reputation as a human rights group, now other groups carrying the "human rights" tag, such as Human Rights Watch, are in the forefront of urging US military interventions based on murky or propagandistic claims. [See's "The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case."]

At this advanced stage of America's quiet surrender to "perception management," it is even hard to envision how one could retrace the many steps that would lead back to the concept of a democratic Republic based on an informed electorate. Many on the American Right remain entranced by the old propaganda theme about the "liberal media" and still embrace Reagan as their beloved icon. Meanwhile, many liberals can't break away from their own wistful trust in the New York Times and their empty hope that the media really is "liberal."

To confront the hard truth is not easy. Indeed, in this case, it can cause despair because there are so few voices to trust and they are easily drowned out by floods of disinformation that can come from any angle – right, left or center. Yet, for the American democratic Republic to reset its goal toward an informed electorate, there is no option other than to build institutions that are determinedly committed to the truth.

Reprinted with permission from


[Dec 29, 2014] Links for 12-29-14

Dec 29, 2014 | Economist's View

December 28, 2014

The Victory of 'Perception Management'

In the 1980s, the Reagan administration pioneered "perception management" to get the American people to "kick the Vietnam Syndrome" and accept more U.S. interventionism, but that propaganda structure continues to this day getting the public to buy in to endless war.
By Robert Parry

To understand how the American people find themselves trapped in today's Orwellian dystopia of endless warfare against an ever-shifting collection of "evil" enemies, you have to think back to the Vietnam War and the shock to the ruling elite caused by an unprecedented popular uprising against that war.

While on the surface Official Washington pretended that the mass protests didn't change policy, a panicky reality existed behind the scenes, a recognition that a major investment in domestic propaganda would be needed to ensure that future imperial adventures would have the public's eager support or at least its confused acquiescence.

This commitment to what the insiders called "perception management" began in earnest with the Reagan administration in the 1980s but it would come to be the accepted practice of all subsequent administrations, including the present one of President Barack Obama.

In that sense, propaganda in pursuit of foreign policy goals would trump the democratic ideal of an informed electorate. The point would be not to honestly inform the American people about events around the world but to manage their perceptions by ramping up fear in some cases and defusing outrage in others – depending on the U.S. government's needs.

Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia's supposed "aggression" in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by U.S. neocons who helped create today's humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yet, many of these same U.S. foreign policy operatives – outraged over Russia's limited intervention to protect ethic Russians in eastern Ukraine – are demanding that President Obama launch an air war against the Syrian military as a "humanitarian" intervention there.

In other words, if the Russians act to shield ethnic Russians on their border who are being bombarded by a coup regime in Kiev that was installed with U.S. support, the Russians are the villains blamed for the thousands of civilian deaths, even though the vast majority of the casualties have been inflicted by the Kiev regime from indiscriminate bombing and from dispatching neo-Nazi militias to do the street fighting.

In Ukraine, the exigent circumstances don't matter, including the violent overthrow of the constitutionally elected president last February. It's all about white hats for the current Kiev regime and black hats for the ethnic Russians and especially for Putin.

But an entirely different set of standards has applied to Syria where a U.S.-backed rebellion, which included violent Sunni jihadists from the start, wore the white hats and the relatively secular Syrian government, which has responded with excessive violence of its own, wears the black hats. But a problem to that neat dichotomy arose when one of the major Sunni rebel forces, the Islamic State, started seizing Iraqi territory and beheading Westerners.

Faced with those grisly scenes, President Obama authorized bombing the Islamic State forces in both Iraq and Syria, but neocons and other U.S. hardliners have been hectoring Obama to go after their preferred target, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, despite the risk that destroying the Syrian military could open the gates of Damascus to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda's Nusra Front.

Lost on the Dark Side

You might think that the American public would begin to rebel against these messy entangling alliances with the 1984-like demonizing of one new "enemy" after another. Not only have these endless wars drained trillions of dollars from the U.S. taxpayers, they have led to the deaths of thousands of U.S. troops and to the tarnishing of America's image from the attendant evils of war, including a lengthy detour into the "dark side" of torture, assassinations and "collateral" killings of children and other innocents.

But that is where the history of "perception management" comes in, the need to keep the American people compliant and confused. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration was determined to "kick the Vietnam Syndrome," the revulsion that many Americans felt for warfare after all those years in the blood-soaked jungles of Vietnam and all the lies that clumsily justified the war.

So, the challenge for the U.S. government became: how to present the actions of "enemies" always in the darkest light while bathing the behavior of the U.S. "side" in a rosy glow. You also had to stage this propaganda theater in an ostensibly "free country" with a supposedly "independent press."

From documents declassified or leaked over the past several decades, including an unpublished draft chapter of the congressional Iran-Contra investigation, we now know a great deal about how this remarkable project was undertaken and who the key players were.

Perhaps not surprisingly much of the initiative came from the Central Intelligence Agency, which housed the expertise for manipulating target populations through propaganda and disinformation. The only difference this time would be that the American people would be the target population.

For this project, Ronald Reagan's CIA Director William J. Casey sent his top propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. to the National Security Council staff to manage the inter-agency task forces that would brainstorm and coordinate this "public diplomacy" strategy.

Many of the old intelligence operatives, including Casey and Raymond, are now dead, but other influential Washington figures who were deeply involved by these strategies remain, such as neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, whose first major job in Washington was as chief of Reagan's State Department Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America.

Now a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist at the Washington Post, Kagan remains an expert in presenting foreign policy initiatives within the "good guy/bad guy" frames that he learned in the 1980s. He is also the husband of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the overthrow of Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February amid a very effective U.S. propaganda strategy.

During the Reagan years, Kagan worked closely on propaganda schemes with Elliott Abrams, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. After getting convicted and then pardoned in the Iran-Contra scandal, Abrams reemerged on President George W. Bush's National Security Council handling Middle East issues, including the Iraq War, and later "global democracy strategy." Abrams is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

These and other neocons were among the most diligent students learning the art of "perception management" from the likes of Raymond and Casey, but those propaganda skills have spread much more widely as "public diplomacy" and "information warfare" have now become an integral part of every U.S. foreign policy initiative.

A Propaganda Bureaucracy

Declassified documents now reveal how extensive Reagan's propaganda project became with inter-agency task forces assigned to develop "themes" that would push American "hot buttons." Scores of documents came out during the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987 and hundreds more are now available at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

What the documents reveal is that at the start of the Reagan administration, CIA Director Casey faced a daunting challenge in trying to rally public opinion behind aggressive U.S. interventions, especially in Central America. Bitter memories of the Vietnam War were still fresh and many Americans were horrified at the brutality of right-wing regimes in Guatemala and El Salvador, where Salvadoran soldiers raped and murdered four American churchwomen in December 1980.

The new leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua also was not viewed with much alarm. After all, Nicaragua was an impoverished country of only about three million people who had just cast off the brutal dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.

So, Reagan's initial strategy of bolstering the Salvadoran and Guatemalan armies required defusing the negative publicity about them and somehow rallying the American people into supporting a covert CIA intervention inside Nicaragua via a counterrevolutionary force known as the Contras led by Somoza's ex-National Guard officers.

Reagan's task was made tougher by the fact that the Cold War's anti-communist arguments had so recently been discredited in Vietnam. As deputy assistant secretary to the Air Force, J. Michael Kelly, put it, "the most critical special operations mission we have … is to persuade the American people that the communists are out to get us."

At the same time, the White House worked to weed out American reporters who uncovered facts that undercut the desired public images. As part of that effort, the administration attacked New York Times correspondent Raymond Bonner for disclosing the Salvadoran regime's massacre of about 800 men, women and children in the village of El Mozote in northeast El Salvador in December 1981. Accuracy in Media and conservative news organizations, such as The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, joined in pummeling Bonner, who was soon ousted from his job.

But these were largely ad hoc efforts. A more comprehensive "public diplomacy" operation took shape beginning in 1982 when Raymond, a 30-year veteran of CIA clandestine services, was transferred to the NSC.

A slight, soft-spoken New Yorker who reminded some of a character from a John le Carré spy novel, Raymond was an intelligence officer who "easily fades into the woodwork," according to one acquaintance. But Raymond would become the sparkplug for this high-powered propaganda network, according to a draft chapter of the Iran-Contra report.

Though the draft chapter didn't use Raymond's name in its opening pages, apparently because some of the information came from classified depositions, Raymond's name was used later in the chapter and the earlier citations matched Raymond's known role. According to the draft report, the CIA officer who was recruited for the NSC job had served as Director of the Covert Action Staff at the CIA from 1978 to 1982 and was a "specialist in propaganda and disinformation."

"The CIA official [Raymond] discussed the transfer with [CIA Director] Casey and NSC Advisor William Clark that he be assigned to the NSC as [Donald] Gregg's successor [as coordinator of intelligence operations in June 1982] and received approval for his involvement in setting up the public diplomacy program along with his intelligence responsibilities," the chapter said.

"In the early part of 1983, documents obtained by the Select [Iran-Contra] Committees indicate that the Director of the Intelligence Staff of the NSC [Raymond] successfully recommended the establishment of an inter-governmental network to promote and manage a public diplomacy plan designed to create support for Reagan Administration policies at home and abroad."

During his Iran-Contra deposition, Raymond explained the need for this propaganda structure, saying: "We were not configured effectively to deal with the war of ideas."

One reason for this shortcoming was that federal law forbade taxpayers' money from being spent on domestic propaganda or grassroots lobbying to pressure congressional representatives. Of course, every president and his team had vast resources to make their case in public, but by tradition and law, they were restricted to speeches, testimony and one-on-one persuasion of lawmakers.

But things were about to change. In a Jan. 13, 1983, memo, NSC Advisor Clark foresaw the need for non-governmental money to advance this cause. "We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding," Clark wrote.

As administration officials began reaching out to wealthy supporters, lines against domestic propaganda soon were crossed as the operation took aim not only at foreign audiences but at U.S. public opinion, the press and congressional Democrats who opposed funding the Nicaraguan Contras.

At the time, the Contras were earning a gruesome reputation as human rights violators and terrorists. To change this negative perception of the Contras as well as of the U.S.-backed regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, the Reagan administration created a full-blown, clandestine propaganda network.

In January 1983, President Reagan took the first formal step to create this unprecedented peacetime propaganda bureaucracy by signing National Security Decision Directive 77, entitled "Management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security." Reagan deemed it "necessary to strengthen the organization, planning and coordination of the various aspects of public diplomacy of the United States Government. "

Reagan ordered the creation of a special planning group within the National Security Council to direct these "public diplomacy" campaigns. The planning group would be headed by the CIA's Walter Raymond Jr. and one of its principal arms would be a new Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America, housed at the State Department but under the control of the NSC....

[Dec 21, 2014] Das Bild to FoxNews The Media and the Paranoid State by Ron Jacobs

November 4, 2014 | Sri Lanka Guardian

In 1975, West Germany was often under varying degrees of lockdown. Roadblocks were set up at autobahn exits and identification was checked; groups of heavily armed police were seen in city centers holding machine guns and looking menacing; and airports were under armed guard. The reason given for this military-like presence was the existence of a leftist terror group known as the Rote Armee Fraktion. While the State response was disproportionate to the actual strength of the group, one would never know this given the governmental response. Besides the ever-growing presence of police in the citizens' daily lives, there was also the creation of the Bundeskriminalamt, which was something like the 1970s German equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and today's Department of Homeland Security in the US. A powerful agency at its inception, its strength grew even more after the passage of the Radikalenerlass (Anti-Radical Decree) in 1972, which forbade civil employment for anyone the State considered to be linked to several primarily leftwing political organizations. The law, which reminded Germans of the Berufsverbot laws under Hitler, was opposed by a substantial percentage of the nation's residents and was the target of a concerted campaign by writers, artists and intellectuals to end it.

Another aspect to West Germany's political culture in the 1970s had to do with the activities of the media. During the decades after World War Two the best-selling newspaper in West Germany was Das Bild. This tabloid was published by the Springer publishing company, which was owned and managed by the right-winger Axel Springer. Das Bild's articles and editorials regarding the student movement, the counterculture, and various other manifestations of German society that did not agree with its publisher's worldview fanned the flames of the reactionaries in the country. The best comparison to today's media would be the news outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, with Fox News and the New York Post being the most like Das Bild. Among other charges, leftist radicals considered the paper to be partially responsible for the attempted assassination of Rudi Dutschke in Berlin in 1968.

Among the writers involved in the aforementioned campaign to abolish the Radikalenerlass was Heinrich Böll. Perhaps best known for his novels Billiards at Half-Past-Nine, The Clown and Group Portrait With Lady, Böll was a left-leaning Catholic from a pacifist family dedicated to freedom of expression and civil liberties. His works are examinations of how ordinary people deal with religious and political authoritarianism, war, terror and other manifestations of modern centralized society. His support for due process in the arrest and treatment of members of the Rote Armee Fraktion led to him being equated with the group by various elements of West Germany's media, government and the law enforcement establishment.

I recently watched the 1975 film made from Böll's novel The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum for the first time since its appearance in US theaters. Starring Angela Winkler as the film's primary character, the story centers on a young woman who works as a housekeeper for a well-established attorney and a rather conventional past. Divorced, quiet, with a sick mother, the only blemish on her otherwise pedestrian life involves an affair with a powerful businessman named Straubleber and her chance meeting with Ludwig Goettens, a fugitive German alleged to be a terrorist. It is the latter which gets her into trouble and the former that enhances the suspicion the security police have based their entire investigation, especially since she refuses to divulge the existence of the affair. Another element in her life is that her employer is an attorney who represents the businessman whose mistress she was.

While the story is a look at the conspiracy between the media and the modern national security state, its context is the broader and less specific conspiracy of capital and authoritarianism. Like his contemporaries in fiction and elsewhere, Böll's presentation makes clear that this authoritarianism is part of the western capitalist society as much as the more brutal form of authoritarianism was part and parcel of the Stalinist regimes to the East and the dictatorships of Spain, Portugal and Latin America. In The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, this link is represented in the personage of the executive and academic Straubleber.

Although the book is somewhat nuanced, examining Blum's somewhat sympathetic employers and the essentially authoritarian nature of Straubleber, the film focuses primarily on the press. While the interior security police are reprehensible as individuals and as an entity, it is the right wing and alarmist media who are the worst of the establishment criminals in this film. Besides seeing terrorism under every rock and in any unconventional human situation, its incapability of seeing the truth because of an ideologically driven agenda and ultimately petty understanding of human relationships is what makes it an effective tool of the State. When one adds an assumption of character based on the loosest of associations, the destruction of individuals becomes self-fulfilling. As the Blum character says in the film, the role of the media is "to rob innocent people of their honor." Indeed, it is not just the destruction of the privacy of the accused and their acquaintances by media outlets like these, but also their humanity and even their sanity that is at stake. Near the end of the film, driven to madness, Blum kills the news reporter whose stories have been the most damning of her. One wishes she had done the same to the much more dangerous national security state and its corporate sponsors.

If we fast forward to today, the parallels should be obvious. Although leftists are no longer the perceived threat they were in the period of Böll's book, followers of the Muslim religion are. In fact, the recent killings in Ottawa at the War Memorial and in the Houses of Parliament provide an excellent example of how the modern media establishment does its best to paint any unusual activity undertaken against government officials as Islamic terrorism. It wasn't but an hour or so after the US media got a hold of the story that reporters, newscasters and establishment "experts" were speculating as to the attacker's religious affiliation. Even after the only possible connection found to extreme Islamism was that the attacker was a Twitter follower of a radical Islamic preacher, the talking heads on FoxNews, CNN and even MSNBC were attempting to turn this inconsequential link into a terrorist conspiracy. As of this writing, nothing has come of this blatant manipulation of fear and truth.

Even more indicting are the numerous cases of entrapment of young men (some quite obviously emotionally disturbed) by state security agencies in Britain and the United States. Like the arrest of Katharina Blum in Böll's novel, these instances, some of which are documented in the Arun Kundnani's book The Muslims Are Coming! serve a dual purpose. Not only do they enhance the national security state secret police apparatus, they also help maintain a state of fear among the general population-a fear that encourages them to look the other way when rights are violated in the name of safety.

The role of media in any society is a more complex one than merely reporting the news. The overtly ideological reporting of organizations like FoxNews and the German Springer Publishing Group make this even clearer. The profitableness of these two corporations has convinced others to follow their lead, thereby shrinking the ideological spectrum of the mainstream press ever shorter.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground and Tripping Through the American Night, and the novels Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator's Tale. His third novel All the Sinners, Saints is a companion to the previous two and was published early in 2013.

[Dec 21, 2014] Ukraine forms 'ministry of truth' to regulate the media

The Guardian

annamarinja Oskar Jaeger 21 Dec 2014 10:42

You mean that the Ministry of Truth was set to propagate Lies in response to alleged lies? Thank you for clarification.

annamarinja Tanner2 21 Dec 2014 10:38

A voice from the ministry of truth. Decency be damned. Innocent people are dying but the CIA-trained brats want the civil war continue. The US neocons rejoice.

William Gruff 21 Dec 2014 10:26

Clearly Yanukovych allowed too much freedom of the press. The author even says so right in the above article.

That's obviously not a mistake Porky and Yats are going to make.

William Gruff 21 Dec 2014 10:23

"Ministry of Truth"? A fascist organization whose first order of business is to make sure nobody calls them fascist. Then they will make sure only the "truth" is published, with the "truth" being that Ukraine's "heroic" troops are being attacked by invisible Russians with atomic weapons and the rebels are shelling their own cities and killing their own supporters.

centerline 21 Dec 2014 02:48

Speaking of propaganda and media regulation, why has no mainstream western media reported on the secrecy agreement on the investigation of MH17.

An article in Counter Punch by Australian barrister James O'Neill who tried to obtain a copy under freedom of information.

The present writer wrote to DFAT on 21 August 2014 seeking a copy of the agreement of 8 August 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act. The department declaimed responsibility and said that they had passed my request on to the Attorney-General's Department. This was odd, but even odder was advice from the Attorney General that my request had been passed in turn to the Australian Federal Police who were the responsible body.

This must be the first time in Australian history since 1901 that negotiations and agreements between sovereign nations had been conducted on Australia's behalf by the Federal Police.

On 2 December 2014 the Australian Federal Police finally gave their decision on the FOI request. It was declined on the basis that disclosure of the document (which they acknowledged existed) under section 33 would, or could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to:

  1. (i) the security of the Commonwealth; or
  2. (ii) the defence of the Commonwealth; or
  3. (iii) the international relations of the Commonwealth.

The refusal also relied upon section 37(1)(a) of the Act which exempts a document if it could reasonably be said to prejudice the conduct of an investigation.

Thirdly, the Federal Police relied upon section 37(1) (c) where disclosure could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of a person.

The fourth ground of refusal was under section 37(2)(b) which exempts disclosure where it might reasonably be expected to prejudice an investigation by disclosing methods of investigation or detection of unlawful activity.

In the circumstances of this case it is very difficult to see how any of those provisions would apply. The agreement, it should be remembered, is to give any one of the four investigating countries a veto over publication of the results. A final report would be entitled to withhold details of the investigation that would truly prejudice matters of national security.

centerline 21 Dec 2014 02:39

Phrases such as 'Maidan coup', 'national guard punishers' and 'Kiev junta' have embedded themselves in the lexicon of inhabitants in the south and east

That has happened so no amount of US propaganda will change that.

midnightschild10 20 Dec 2014 23:02

A ministry for truth how interesting. They have so many options to choose from. For instance, if they use the US model, only those who promise to agree with and report stories the large corporations want them to report will get the job. Investigative reporters in the US are almost extinct. James Risen will go on trial in January for not divulging his sources regarding a failed CIA project. Obama has been after him since 2008. This is happening while the US decries the jailing of Aljazzera journalists by Egypt.

Another way may be the "Voldermort journalistic approach" in which a country which cannot be named, can have no negative things said about it. It's not really much of a puzzle, just look at what articles allow comments and which do not. Then you'll be able to figure out what news organizations follow this approach. This approach seems to be widely used.

Now, if the Department of Truth does not provide reports on the burning to death of separatists in Odessa, or the destruction of homes, hospitals and schools in Eastern Ukraine, you may see it as just another propaganda tool by Kiev. I am sure there are other "journalistic methods" that can be used, and in many cases the "truth" is what you make it.

Cirmic -> Oskar Jaeger 20 Dec 2014 22:33

So what do you call the removal of an elected government by lies and deception?
Those European 'leaders' who signed the papers for elections were basically committing fraud on a nation.
The Ukrainian coup was a nasty affair Oskar. Very nasty. The first time after the second world war when European nations openly backing killing civilians. D

manifestdestiny101 -> Janetspots 20 Dec 2014 14:47

Link here to a massive thread featuring loads of videos showing that the New Ukrainian government are indeed financing Nazi battalions and conducting fascist activities. Ukraine is officially a failed, fascist state.....thanks to the US's backing.

Graphic wanting: Videos include Ukrainian Nazis conducting torture. Killing civilians, dumping bodies, shelling schools and numerous other fascist activities.

Thread #1- Ukraines open support of Nazi battalions.

Thread #2- Ukraine- The rise of a US supported fascist state.

annamarinja -> royalcourtier 20 Dec 2014 14:11

Actually, Kiev Junta is made of people that were bought for services by the US State Dept. The Ukrainian "biomass" was sold to the highest bidder such as Biden and Monsanto. It is hard to discern anything patriotic in oligarch Yatz and in the new Ukrainian minster of finances, that lady that was caught on dishonest behavior in financial dealings in her native US.

Kiev Junta has betrayed the Maidan idealists and there is nothing can be done about that: the Junta will continue the State Dept. devised civil war. The US torturers (Brennan and other Cheney "graduates") will continue directing Junta's actions.

manifestdestiny101 20 Dec 2014 12:36

BBC story from December 13th, this past week, exposes Ukraines Poroshenkos support for Nazis.

Excerpt: Stonewalling was on full display after President Petro Poroshenko presented a Ukrainian passport to someone who, according to human rights activists, is a "Belarusian neo-Nazi".

The Ukrainian leader handed out medals on 5 December to fighters who had tenaciously defended the main airport in the eastern region of Donetsk from being taken over by Russian-backed separatists.

Among the recipients was Serhiy Korotkykh, a Belarusian national, to whom Mr Poroshenko awarded Ukrainian citizenship, praising his "courageous and selfless service".

The president's website showed a photo of Mr Poroshenko patting the shoulder of the Belarusian, who was clad in military fatigues.

Experts who follow the far right have strongly objected to President Poroshenko's decision.

They say Mr Korotkykh was a member of the far-right Russian National Unity party and also a founding member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Society (NSS) in Russia.

According to Ukrainian academic Anton Shekhovtsov, the NSS's main goal "is to prepare for a race war".

Mr Shekhovtsov said the Belarusian had been charged for involvement in a bombing in central Moscow in 2007, and was detained in 2013 in the Belarusian capital Minsk for allegedly stabbing an anti-fascist activist. He was later released for lack of evidence.

Even though the details involved accusations rather than facts, if true they were damning, said human rights activist Halya Coynash.

Top Ukrainian officials then rejected as defamatory any claims that Mr Korotkykh had neo-Nazi ties.

[Dec 12, 2014] War by Media and the Triumph of Propaganda

Dec 12, 2014 | CounterPunch Tells the Facts, Names the Names

... ... ...

The most effective propaganda is found not in the Sun or on Fox News – but beneath a liberal halo. When the New York Times published claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, its fake evidence was believed, because it wasn't Fox News; it was the New York Times.

The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia – when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.

This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington's military encirclement and intimidation of Russia is not contentious. It's not even news, but suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war.

And again, supposedly liberal media are the censors. Citing no facts, no evidence, one journalist identified a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine as the man who shot down the airliner. This man, he wrote, was known as The Demon. He was a scary man who frightened the journalist. That was the evidence.

Many in the western media haves worked hard to present the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

Forty thousand Ruskies were massing on the border, according to Breedlove. That was good enough for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Observer - the latter having previously distinguished itself with lies and fabrications that backed Blair's invasion of Iraq, as its former reporter, David Rose, revealed.

There is almost the joi d'esprit of a class reunion. The drum-beaters of the Washington Post are the very same editorial writers who declared the existence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction to be "hard facts".

"If you wonder," wrote Robert Parry, "how the world could stumble into world war three – much as it did into world war one a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire US political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats versus black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason."

In 1977, Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, revealed that more than 400 journalists and news executives worked for the CIA. They included journalists from the New York Times, Time and the TV networks. In 1991, Richard Norton Taylor of the Guardian revealed something similar in this country.

None of this is necessary today. I doubt that anyone paid the Washington Post and many other media outlets to accuse Edward Snowden of aiding terrorism. I doubt that anyone pays those who routinely smear Julian Assange – though other rewards can be plentiful.

It's clear to me that the main reason Assange has attracted such venom, spite and jealously is that WikiLeaks tore down the facade of a corrupt political elite held aloft by journalists. In heralding an extraordinary era of disclosure, Assange made enemies by illuminating and shaming the media's gatekeepers, not least on the newspaper that published and appropriated his great scoop. He became not only a target, but a golden goose.

... ... ...

This was John Pilger's address to the Logan Symposium, "Building an Alliance Against Secrecy, Surveillance & Censorship", organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, London, 5-7 December, 2014. Pilger can be reached through his website:

[Dec 10, 2014] The Death Of TNR Is Well Deserved

Dec 05, 2014 |

Some people mourn the death of The New Republic while claiming it was some kind of "liberal" magazine.

Since my first contact with TNR writing in the 1990s I have never experienced TNR as "liberal". It was a racist neocon rag written by overvalued white men who liked to hear themselves, and only themselves, talking. They reliably endorsed the worst possible policy on offer.

Some people agree with my take. And Billmon has, as always, some fitting and biting analysis.

Now would someone please take down the Washington Post or rebirth it as a somewhat serious newspaper?

PokeTheTruth | Dec 5, 2014 4:54:01 PM | 4

The New York Times is the grey lady of central government propaganda for the elitists and their realpolitik agenda. Its demise along with the Washington Post would be a welcomed breath of fresh air for truth and justice.


rufus magister | Dec 5, 2014 8:43:35 PM | 5

Your assessment of TNR as a "racist neocon rag... [that] reliably endorsed the worst possible policy on offer" is spot on. When Democrats sought cover for going along, they almost inevitably cited the "liberal" TNR in support.

and PTT at 3 -

I'm more familiar with the Times, and I don't see it as quite as bad.

But from what I see elsewhere of the WaPo it's definitely the Beltway Village Paper of Record. Could use it, but won't get the revamp.

The Grey Lady offers a little broader spectrum of elite opinion, and is a little more self-conscious. There was, e.g., that whole mea culpa about their Iraq coverage -- well after "Mission Accomplished" was declared, of course. Better late than never, I suppose....

But I do think the quality & independence of the NYT has declined, with it becoming painfully obvious with their coverage of Syria and Novorossiya.

As a matter of triage, I think the cable and network broadcasts are more pressing. Mass quantities of minds and mass misinformation is a powerful combo.

[Dec 09, 2014] Thoughts on economic diversity and liberal elitism - Inequality Matters

Second Best:

Thoughts on economic diversity and liberal elitism - Inequality Matters

'And because TNR, particularly back in the 80s and 90s, was so influential, that insularity had disastrous consequences for American liberalism. With the refreshing but rare exceptions of, say, a Tom Geoghegan or a Robert Kuttner, most writings in that magazine blithely championed the kinds of neoliberal economic policies that have brought devastation to working Americans. Trashing welfare, labor unions, and "entitlements" while cheerleading for privatization and "free" trade, the magazine that perennially policed the leftmost bounds of American political expression helped push the terms of the political debate ever rightward. It gave invaluable cover to the most economically regressive elements of the Democratic Party.'


Rich kid from Facebook replaces Rupert Murdoch as media kingpin wipeout artist for capitalist inequality.

Darryl FKA Ron said...

RE: thoughts on economic diversity and liberal elitism


The importance of having skin in the game: thoughts on economic diversity and liberal elitism

Posted by Kathleen Geier

The recent turmoil at the New Republic has got me thinking about elite domination of liberal institutions and politics. It is abundantly clear liberal/left media, institutions, and politics are overwhelmingly dominated by upper middle class/rich, Ivy-educated elites, this is a serious problem. This is because human beings' economic background and experiences shape their political views and priorities in profound ways. It is a universal truth, albeit not one universally acknowledged, that the more economically privileged you are, the less likely you are to support progressive economic policies.

Obviously, there are countless exceptions to this general rule. Of course many economically privileged people with elite educations have great politics, and it's just as true that many less affluent folks have awful politics. But there is overwhelming evidence that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to hold conservative views about economic policy, all else held equal. See two of the leading social scientists who have studied this subject, Leslie McCall and Martin Gilens, for more. Or check out the work of political scientist Nicholas Carnes, who has found that legislators from working class backgrounds are significantly more likely to vote against business interests and in favor of economic redistribution--a finding that holds true even when you control for party affiliation...


[They definitely are onto something here but need to put some more thought into it.

We naturally associate a self-serving status quo elitism with conservative thought, but it is really just about stratefied elitism. Get rid of all the conservatives and you are left with the same thing just bearing liberal aesthetics. The ideology may may have changes but the optics are much the same from where the working stiff sits.

People that are out to help you do not feel the need to listen to what you think. And everyone knows that elites are always right otherwise they would just be ordinary working stiffs.

You can't question that logic:<) ]

[Dec 08, 2014] Mass surveillance exposed by Snowden 'not justified by fight against terrorism' by Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent

From comments: "who but the most naive "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" morons ever believed that the fight against terrorism was the real premise for the surveillance state? This is, was and will only every be about one thing, maintaining social control..." MSM is also about maintaining social control... . Here is an apt characterization of BBC: "Editorially (and through superficial reporting) it looks increasingly like most US networks; superficial, uninformative and full of trite and extraneous items, which are usually reported in a patronising way."
December 8, 2014 | The Guardian

cephalus 8 Dec 2014 11:32

In our so-called responsible governments, Ministers no longer resign despite the massive foul-ups in their departments, PMs and Ministers no longer answer questions but refine insults and smart remarks, backbenchers build up their pensions and expense accounts but otherwise do bugger-all because they are told nothing except what to think and what to say by the PM's office, the police, secret police, surveillance and military apparatus grow, and grow and grow, and become more and more remote from any democratic oversight and accountability, and we get fed a ever more hyped diet of fear despite the fact that populations in the west have never been so safe and secure. Lots of whingeing over the loss of the welfare state but that's not all we lost.

We lost constitutional democracy, the rule of law, and public accountability. In the US, always the leader, any form of intelligent political discourse & civil rights are pretty much gone, too.

RScully -> RScully 8 Dec 2014 11:32

Governments hate dealing with problems. But they love addressing threats.

ewelthorpe dolly63 8 Dec 2014 13:11

Trying to watch the BBC News lately is pointless.

Editorially (and through superficial reporting) it looks increasingly like most US networks; superficial, uninformative and full of trite and extraneous items, which are usually reported in a patronising way.

What a shame for licence payers that we have to fund this pursuit to mediocrity.

mattijoon -> dolly63 8 Dec 2014 13:29

BBC is a propaganda channel. Always was.

[Dec 06, 2014] Psaki Caught on Hot Mic Admitting Egypt Talking Points Are 'Ridiculous'

Dec 04, 2014 |

State Department spokesperson and perennial question dodger Jen Psaki was caught admitting that her prepared 'line' on Egypt was "ridiculous" after a press briefing Monday.

After Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pressed her to comment on Egypt's decision to clear former President Hosni Mubarak of murder, Psaki gave one of her typical non-answers read straight from the page:

"Generally, we continue to believe that upholding impartial standards of accountability will advance the political consensus on which Egypt's long-term stability and economic growth depends," Psaki said.

Lee was astonished at the response, and took the opportunity to point out that the answer was meaningless.

"Wow, I don't understand that at all," Lee said. "What you said says nothing. It's like saying, 'We support the right of people to breathe.'"

Psaki declined to give any further comment to reporters during the briefing. However, as the lights dimmed, Psaki was exasperated and told Lee how she really felt, not realizing her microphone was still on.

"That Egypt line is ridiculous," Psaki said.

Lee can be heard laughing loudly right before the audio feed is cut off.

[Dec 05, 2014] New York Times propagandists exposed Finally, the truth about Ukraine and Putin emerges by Patrick L. Smith

Quote: "Interesting, first, that Kissinger gave the interview to a German magazine. Nobody in the American press would have dared touch such remarks as these - they cannot, having lied so long. "

Dec 03, 2014 |

NATO was the aggressor and got Ukraine wrong. Many months later, the media has eventually figured out the truth

Well, well, well. Gloating is unseemly, especially in public, but give me this one, will you?

It has been a long and lonely winter defending the true version of events in Ukraine, but here comes the sun. We now have open acknowledgment in high places that Washington is indeed responsible for this mess, the prime mover, the "aggressor," and finally this term is applied where it belongs. NATO, once again, is revealed as causing vastly more trouble than it has ever prevented.

Washington, it is now openly stated, has been wrong, wrong, wrong all along. The commentaries to be noted do not take on the media, but I will, and in language I use advisedly. With a few exceptions they are proven liars, liars, liars - not only conveying the official version of events but willfully elaborating on it off their own bats.

Memo to the New York Times' Moscow bureau: Vicky Nuland, infamous now for desiring sex with the European Union, has just FedExed little gold stars you can affix to your foreheads, one for each of you. Wear them with pride for you will surely fight another day, having learned nothing, and ignore all ridicule. If it gets too embarrassing, tell people they have something to do with the holidays.

O.K., gloat concluded. To the business at hand.

We have had, in the last little while, significant analyses of the Ukraine crisis, each employing that method the State Department finds deadly: historical perspective. In a lengthy interview with Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, none other than Henry Kissinger takes Washington carefully but mercilessly to task. "Does one achieve a world order through chaos or through insight?" Dr. K. asks.

Here is one pertinent bit:

KISSINGER. … But if the West is honest with itself, it has to admit that there were mistakes on its side. The annexation of Crimea was not a move toward global conquest. It was not Hitler moving into Czechoslovakia.

SPIEGEL. What was it then?

KISSINGER. One has to ask oneself this question: 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. So one has to ask oneself, Why did it happen?

SPIEGEL. What you're saying is that the West has at least a kind of responsibility for the escalation?

KISSINGER. Yes, I am saying that. Europe and America did not understand the impact of these events, starting with the negotiations about Ukraine's economic relations with the European Union and culminating in the demonstrations in Kiev. All these, and their impact, should have been the subject of a dialogue with Russia. This does not mean the Russian response was appropriate.

Interesting. Looking for either insight or honesty in Obama's White House or in his State Department is a forlorn business, and Kissinger surely knows this. So he is, as always, a cagey critic. But there are numerous things here to consider, and I will come back to them.

First, let us note that Kissinger's remarks follow an essay titled "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault." The subhead is just as pithy: "The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin."

Wow. As display language I would speak for that myself. And wow again for where the piece appears: In the September-October edition of Foreign Affairs, that radical rag published at East 68th Street and Park Avenue, the Manhattan home of the ever-subverting Council on Foreign Relations.

Finally and most recently, we have Katrina vanden Heuvel weighing in on the Washington Post's opinion page the other day with "Rethinking the Cost of Western Intervention in Ukraine," in which the Nation's noted editor asserts, "One year after the United States and Europe celebrated the February coup that ousted the corrupt but constitutionally elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, liberal and neoconservative interventionists have much to answer for."

Emphatically so. Here is one of vanden Heuvel's more salient observations:

The U.S. government and the mainstream media present this calamity as a morality tale. Ukrainians demonstrated against Yanukovych because they wanted to align with the West and democracy. Putin, as portrayed by Hillary Rodham Clinton among others, is an expansionist Hitler who has trampled international law and must be made to "pay a big price" for his aggression. Isolation and escalating economic sanctions have been imposed. Next, if Senate hawks such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham have their way, Ukraine will be provided with arms to "deter" Putin's "aggression." But this perspective distorts reality.

I can anticipate with ease a thoughtful reader or two writing in the comment thread, "But we knew all this already. What's the point?" We have known all this since the beginning, indeed, thanks to perspicacious writers such as Robert Parry and Steve Weissman. Parry, like your columnist, is a refugee from the mainstream who could take no more; Weissman, whose credentials go back to the Free Speech Movement, seems fed up with the whole nine and exiled himself to France.

Something I have wanted to say for months is now right: Thank you, colleagues. Keep on keeping on.

Also to be noted in this vein is Stephen Cohen, the distinguished Princeton Russianist, whose essay in the Nation last February gave superb and still useful perspective, a must-read if you propose to take Ukraine seriously and get beyond the propaganda. (Vanden Heuvel rightly noted him, too, wrongly omitting that she and Cohen are spouses. A report to the Ethics Police has been filed anonymously.)

These people's reporting and analyses require no imprimatur from the mainstream press. Who could care? This is not the point. The points as I read them are two.

One, there is no shred of doubt in my mind that the work of the above-mentioned and a few others like them has been instrumental in forcing the truth of the Ukraine crisis to the surface. Miss this not. In a polity wherein the policy cliques have zero accountability to any constituency - unbelievable simply to type that phrase - getting accurate accounts and responsibly explanatory copy out - and then reading it, equally - is essential. Future historians will join me in expressing gratitude.

Two, we have indirect admissions of failure. It is highly significant that Foreign Affairs and the Washington Post, both bastions of the orthodoxy, are now willing to publish what amount to capitulations. It would be naive to think this does not reflect a turning of opinion among prominent members of the policy cliques.

I had thought for months as the crisis dragged on, this degree of disinformation cannot possibly hold. From the Nuland tape onward, too much of the underwear was visible as the trousers fell down, so to say. And now we have State and the media clerks with their pants bunched up at their ankles.

The Foreign Affairs piece is by a scholar at the University of Chicago named John Mearsheimer, whose publishing credits include "Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics" and "The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy," the latter an especially gutsy undertaking. He is a soothsayer, and you find these people among the scholars every once in a while, believe it or not.

Mearsheimer was writing opinion in the Times with heads such as "Getting Ukraine Wrong" as far back as March, when the news pages were already busy doing so. In the Foreign Affairs piece, he vigorously attacks NATO expansion, citing George Kennan in his later years, when Dr. Containment was objecting strenuously to the post-Soviet push eastward and the overall perversion of his thinking by neoliberal know-nothings-read-nothings. Here is a little Mearsheimer:

… The United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia's orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU's expansion eastward and the West's backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine-beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004-were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine's democratically elected and pro-Russian president-which he rightly labeled a "coup"-coup-was was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.

Drinks for Mearsheimer, for his plain-English use of "coup" alone, any time the professor may happen into my tiny Connecticut village. It is an extensive, thorough piece and worth the read even if Foreign Affairs is not your usual habit. His conclusion now that Ukraine is in pieces, its economy wrecked and its social fabric in shreds:

The United States and its European allies now face a choice on Ukraine. They can continue their current policy, which will exacerbate hostilities with Russia and devastate Ukraine in the process - a scenario in which everyone would come out a loser. Or they can switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win.

Mearsheimer has as much chance of seeing this shift in policy as Kissinger has finding honesty and insight anywhere in Washington. One hope he is busy in other matters.

As to Dr. K., he reminds me at 90 of the old survivors of the Maoist revolution in China, the last few Long Marchers. They enjoy a certain immunity in their sunset years, no matter what they may say, and for this reason I have always appreciated meeting the few I have. So it is with Henry.

Did Washington in any way authorize Kissinger's interview, as it may have the Foreign Affairs piece, given the revolving door at East 68th Street? I doubt it. Did it know this was coming. Almost certainly. A nonagenarian, Henry still travels in high policy circles. His critique on Ukraine has been evident here and there for many months.

Interesting, first, that Kissinger gave the interview to a German magazine. Nobody in the American press would have dared touch such remarks as these - they cannot, having lied so long. And Kissinger understands, surely, that the Germans are ambivalent, to put it mildly, when it comes to Washington's aggressions against Russia.

I have been mad at Kissinger since throwing rocks at the CRS, the French riot police, outside the American embassy in Paris in the spring of 1970, when the U.S started bombing Cambodia. And I am not with him now when he asserts "the Russian response was not appropriate."

Why not? What was Putin supposed to do when faced with the prospect of NATO and the American Navy assuming privileges on the Black Sea? Was it appropriate when Kennedy threatened Khrushchev with nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis? Arming the contras? Deposing Arbenz? Allende? Let us not get started.

Here is the thing about Henry. European by background, he understands balance-of-power politics cannot be ignored. He understands that spheres of influence must be observed. (My view, explained in an earlier column, is that they are to be acknowledged but not honored - regrettable realities that our century, best outcome, will do away with.)

We reach a new moment in the Ukraine crisis with these new analyses from people inside the tent urinating out, as they say. I have hinted previously at the lesson to be drawn. Maybe now it will be clearer to those who object.

Whatever one may think of Russia under Vladimir Putin, it is secondary at this moment - and more the business of Russians than anyone else - to something larger. This is a non-Western nation drawing a line of resistance against the advance of Anglo-American neoliberalism across the planet. This counts big, in my view. It is an important thing to do.

Some readers argue that Putin oversees a neoliberal regime himself. It is an unappealing kind of capitalism, certainly, although the centralization of the economy almost certainly reflects Putin's strategy when faced with the need to rebuild urgently from the ungodly mess left by the U.S-beloved Yeltsin. See the above-noted piece by Stephen Cohen on this point.

For the sake of argument, let us accept the assertion: Russia is a neoliberal variant. O.K., but again, this is a Russian problem and Russians, not Americans, will solve it one way or the other - as they like and eventually. Important for us is that Putin is not pushing the model around the world, chest-out insisting that all others conform to it. This distinction counts, too.

Joseph Brodsky wrote an open letter to Václav Havel back in 1994, by which time the neoliberal orthodoxy and its evangelists were well-ensconced in Washington. The piece was titled "The Post-Communist Nightmare." In it Brodsky was highly critical of "the cowboys of the Western industrial democracies" who, he asserted, "derive enormous moral comfort from being regarded as cowboys-first of all, by the Indians."

"Are all the Indians now to commence imitation of the cowboys," the Russian émigré poet asked the new president of the (also new) Czech Republic.

I view the Ukraine crisis through this lens. A huge mistake has now been acknowledged. Now it is time: Instead of complaining about Putin and what he is doing to Russians every prompt given, like trained animals, now we must complain about what America proposes doing to the rest of the world, limitlessly.

Patrick Smith is the author of "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century." He was the International Herald Tribune's bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote "Letter from Tokyo" for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

[Dec 01, 2014] Putin blames EU as Russia abandons plans for South Stream gas pipeline by Shaun Walker

It's interesting to what extent content of Guardian correspondents correlate with Reuter, and the latter, in turn, with State Department talking points ;-). No there is nothing to quote here (and Shaun Walker is the last person, who can write something valuable about this complex subject as he does not have enough education to cover this topic), but readers comments , as usually, are pretty interesting. Guardian discussions in comments is usually much more interesting and informative then the articles and I generally stopped reading guardian articles that do not have a reader discussion. Not everybody is brainwashed :-)
Dec 1, 2014 19:39 |

Europe was raiding Gasprom and creating problems on all fronts for years. Russians offered gas, investment and a good diversion plan. Europe offered fuss and abuse.

Now EU left to deal with Ukraine over the transfers. The same story as with 15 bln cheap loan to Ukraine - they just could not believe it is a good deal and honest partnership choosing an expensive IMF loan conditioned by a war. Paranoia is not a good friend of business. EU will pay 3 times for liquid gas or pay for Ukraine endless stealing their gas. Two bad options instead of one good.

thingtwo 1 Dec 2014 19:37

Same old same old, centuries of strategy power games form our global leaders, resulting death and poverty starvation and wars, for the proletariat. Not at war then substitute, energy, currency, water, food, fear, ideology, religion territorial disputes etc for guns and bombs. America are the good guys, no it's Russia the USA's the problem, no it's China, Israel the PLO no it's the EU. Imagine if the planet was threatened by a common problem where all the major players had to cooperate, bigger than Ebola. We're F*********D.

A scientific theory is that we could farm cheap solar energy from the moon, cheap energy for the benefit of mankind. But it would require cooperation. F OFF! MY GOD, DO YOU WANT TO START WW3. We still live in F******G Dr Strangelove's land. One of the best films ever. Ye Haw!

Arcosanti skepticaleye 1 Dec 2014 19:34

They can't afford to be dependent upon someone as mercurial as Putin either. At least the price issue can be predicted.

irgun777 -> Arcosanti 1 Dec 2014 19:34

Putin was in power for long time . It was quiet , there was no " invasion " or " little green men " until Mrs Nuland decided to bake coockies for the snipers and cherry pick up nationalists .

BTW , the term " invasion " is kind of misleading given the 2000 miles border and the number of the Russian divisions who can be in Kiev quicker than we were In Baghdad .

hfakos -> NikoNista 1 Dec 2014 19:33

According to Wikipedia and the South Stream website Croatia is a partner. But I am happy to be corrected.

Standupwoman -> Arcosanti 1 Dec 2014 19:28

Of course he doesn't matter. That'll be why the US has been screaming and wailing about him non-stop for a year. It's why every western newspaper has been doing its best to demonize him, and there are more headlines devoted to him than anyone else in the world. It's why the last G20 summit will only be remembered for whether or not Putin stayed for dinner. It's why even a story about a tiger eating a goat is suddenly newsworthy if the tiger was once photographed with Putin.

It's why he's been voted Forbes' Most Powerful Person of the Year for two years running. It's why his image is everywhere, from a special cartoon exhibition in Russia to toilet paper in Ukraine. It's why the US and EU have been shrieking ever more shrilly 'Stop Putin! Stop Putin!' until they're frankly red in the face. Because he just doesn't matter.

There's only one person who sticks his hands in his pockets and says sniffily that a game doesn't matter - and that's the one who's losing it. Whoever that is, it certainly isn't Vladimir Putin.

Roodan -> Arcosanti 1 Dec 2014 19:24

I don't blame anyone in particular they are all as bad as each other, the history of the GFC did nit start with Russia. The continued pretence that it is all the fault of the bad Putin is just the most stupid thing I ever herd how this contest will turn out know one known. It not so much what might happen to the Russian economy it's more about what is happening to everyone else's economy it may be that "Russia isn't that big of an economy. It's collapse would be manageable."

Just the same the realities on the streets of European nations are still bad for the people who live there and that has nothing to do with Russian leadership and everything to do with our own and all the ranting about Putin wont fix that.

hfakos -> JonCymru 1 Dec 2014 19:23

We will still rely on Russian gas, but it will keep flowing through a bankrupt Ukraine, which will steal our paid-for gas, as she did in 2006 and 2009.

skepticaleye -> Arcosanti 1 Dec 2014 19:20

But poorer countries in Europe may not be able to afford the alternatives. Take the deal Putin gave Turkey for example. Even before the new discount, natural gas from Russia is already cheaper than the alternate sources that Turkey have.

irgun777 1 Dec 2014 19:18

" the European commission has said the pipeline needs to conform to European competition rules, and has put pressure on Bulgaria not to back the project in its current form. "

Bulgaria violates European competition rules ? Apparently , the project is in the Bulgarian
and the Russian national interests. Alternative supply to Europe is also in EU interest.
Who is pressuring EU to impose " competition rules " if there are no European competitors
between Russian and Bulgarian Black Sea coasts ?

NikoNista -> hfakos 1 Dec 2014 19:18

Nope, our government wasn't interested in South Stream.Our government is more interested in building LNG terminal on Krk.I just wonder why should anyone have interest in using it, since it can't be profitable.Not mentioning Krk is major tourist destination.

skepticaleye -> Tepluken 1 Dec 2014 19:17

The EU Commission has objections over the South Stream pipeline for a while now. And with the new Prime Minister of Bulgaria who wants to stop the pipeline project through his country, the South Stream's viability is shaky at best. Putin's statement wasn't a "retaliation" against the EU. It's merely stating a fait accompli, as there is no point for the Russians to pour money into the project.

hfakos -> AMArmy 1 Dec 2014 19:44

I didn't join it. And the current Hungarian government is against the sanctions as well, but as a periphery country its room for maneuver is limited. We have the same sovereignty as Bulgaria. However, even this very mild opposition is sacrilege in Western eyes. Try to find an article about Orban in the Western press that does not call him a dictator and Putin's Trojan horse.

The yanks denied visas to 6 Hungarian officials due to "corruption". The screw is also turned on Hungary. I expect that the next thing the holy EU will try do is to torpedo the contract we signed with Russia about the upgrade of our sole, Russian-designed, Russian-built, and Russian-supplied nuclear power plant in Paks. Which, incidentally, generates 40% of our electricity. You see, we are totally free in the EU.

hfakos -> skepticaleye 1 Dec 2014 19:54

Right. The German Herr Oettinger had a very nasty role in it. His hypocrisy wasn't lost on Hungarians. Somehow this great champion of Ukraine did not want to punish Putin by shutting down his own country's Russian gas pipeline. He apparently has multiple talents too, because after energy, he is now commissioner for the digital economy and society. Given Germany's meek response to wholesale NSA spying, this does not bode well for our civil rights. It is amazing how similar the current EU is to the Warsaw Pact and COMECON, what with the constant recycling of monumental political failures.

psygone -> Oskar Jaeger 1 Dec 2014 19:53

Under EU law, energy firms are not allowed to own both the fuel and its means of distribution in one bundle. They also have to let competitors use their pipelines to stop monopolies inflating prices.

South Stream simply contravened the law. Why Putin is blaming the EU is rather comical.

But to your point, there's another reason for all this whining from Putin. The same Gazprom analyst appeared on both Bloomberg and CNBC and he agreed the sanctions may have been a factor.

"By invading Crimea, Putin has created a major barrier for the South Stream project," said Mikhail Korchemkin

"Gazprom was unable to raise money for the project" after the sanctions went into place, he said.

And now it looks like Putin may have his hands already full with Turkey.

While Russia backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is really the most vocal critic of Russia at the UN for stalling on an international response to the war.

Greece is already against to any pipeline coming from Turkey as long it continues to occupy Northern Cyprus.

Gazprom (Russia) is becoming desperate for revenue - I'm not sure Putin has a Plan-B.

[Dec 01, 2014] Putin drops South Stream gas pipeline to EU, courts Turkey by Darya Korsunskaya

South Stream was "closed. This is it".
Dec 01, 2014 |


Even with Pressure from the New Roman Empire ( The USA ) ...the president of Russia continues to make agreements without starting Wars and removing sovereign governments. Looks like some countries still have democracy ...? Guess who?

Stevie Ray

Isn't it wonderful when the media is owned by the same oligarchs that own your government?

This means that there is no need for a fascist "Ministry Of Propaganda."

[Nov 30, 2014] Anne Applebaum Hates Your Opinion

Being a neocon propagandists pays really well: "A recent mandatory income declaration of her husband to the Polish government shows that her income has skyrocketed from $20,000 in 2011 to more than $800,000 in 2013."
Nov 30, 2014 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Neoconservative newspaper columnist Anne Applebaum is angry and upset. In the days when print was king, she could dash off her pro-war opinions and never have to worry about the common people taking apart her arguments. In those days only a very few would be dedicated enough to write a letter to the editor, and only a tiny fraction would be printed. All of them would be subject to approval by the newspaper editor, of course.

Thus, when she writes of "The Myth of Russia Humiliation," her readers take her to task. When she writes, in "War in Europe is not a hysterical idea," that Ukrainians and Europeans should "drop everything, mobilize, prepare for total war [with Russia] while still possible," readers overwhelmingly push back against her war propaganda. They write things like:
You and you family should go back to Poland where you belong.

Go fight the good fight and stop egging on America into a disastrous war for which it has no business.

Anne, I am sorry but you are dillusional, nuclear strikes?! Genocide, i do not think anyone in their sane mind would even think of it.. For now the only cleansing has been conducted by the Ukrainians.. 860 thousand fled to Russia that telsl you something.. Stop writing bad analysis and aggrevating the problem
The only raving lunatic is Anne Applebaum.

A preemptive nuclear strike against Warsaw for Russia to flex it's muscles? Please. The only way this scenario would be remotely possible is if we directly intervened, which is the course of action that the sociopath Anne Applebaum wants us to pursue in the first place.

As Counterpunch's Mike Whitney has recently written, the Western mainstream media's constant demonization of Russia and Vladimir Putin has fallen flat among readers, who increasingly challenge the editorial lines of these media outlets.

This greatly grieves Applebaum, whose latest column demands that negative comments be more heavily edited on the Internet.

Writes Anne:

Once upon a time, it seemed as if the Internet would be a place of civilized and open debate; now, unedited forums often deteriorate to insult exchanges.
Applebaum is particularly concerned that negative comments about her work are leading others to develop a negative opinion of her frequent calls for war with Russia:
Multiple experiments have shown that perceptions of an article, its writer or its subject can be profoundly shaped by anonymous online commentary, especially if it is harsh.
She is worried that negative comments under her pro-war articles may give the impression that her views are "controversial":
Online commentary subtly shapes what voters think and feel, even if it just raises the level of irritation, or gives readers the impression that certain views are 'controversial...'
To Applebaum, there is nothing controversial about calling for a nuclear war with Russia. Readers dare not think otherwise!

Her solution to the "problem" is to silence negative views, which she claims are all made by heavily-paid and well-organized Russian trolls.

Anne Applebaum urges speech restrictions by demanding that any commenter use his or her real name. "Too many people now abuse the privilege" of anonymity, she writes. "Sooner or later, we may also be forced to end Internet anonymity or to at least ensure that every online persona is linked back to a real person."

Interestingly, Applebaum demands transparency for everyone else while rejecting it for herself. A recent mandatory income declaration of her husband to the Polish government shows that her income has skyrocketed from $20,000 in 2011 to more than $800,000 in 2013. No explanation was given for this massive influx of cash, though several ventures in which she has a part are tied to CIA and National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated organizations. Could Applebaum be one of those well-paid propagandists about whom she complains so violently?

By the way, ever the apparatchik, Anne Applebaum blocks anyone from following her on Twitter who is critical of her work.

Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

[Nov 24, 2014] Vladimir Putin: I don't want to rule Russia for life

The article is regular Guardian junk and as such does not deserve quoting... Comments as always in Guardian are pretty enlightening. Actually i would say the level of commenters make then dangerous for the US ruling elite.
Nov 24, 2014 | The Guardian
Cirmic 24 Nov 2014 22:57

FACT, without Putin, Russia would be like Ukraine, a country ruled by oligarchs and exploited by the west. It was not Russia's fault that in Ukraine our democracy loving oligarchs employ private armies and live like kings in the middle ages.
FACT, Puin's honesty and straight talking driving more and more eastern Europeans back towards Russia. EG. Putin is much much more popular in Hungary than anybody else.
FACT, as the much anticipated 'better living standards' have never materialised in Eastern Europe, rather I would say they are more impoverished than under communism, people there don't have and 'unbreakable' bond towards the west. They are disappointed that after 25 nothing has improved. All we were needed is for new markets, to dump western products and chip in to NATO's ever increasing military spending.
FACT, the 'international community' is much more than US and its vassal states.
So, yes, Putin is popular, he will go down in history as one of the greatest leaders of the 21st century.

jqbonnard 24 Nov 2014 21:24

Ukraine: elections in Novorossia, half a year of Odessa tragedy, economic recession

On November, 2 in Donetsk and Lugansk republics were held the elections of representatives of executive and legislative powers. The last election is of very great importance to the processes in Ukraine. It legitimizes the authorities of LNR and DNR and gives their heads international acknowledgement, though minimal.
The great plus of this election was the invitation of European observers. And not the representatives of some marginal public organizations, but delegates from national and above-national legislative organs, who highly estimated the final results of voting. So, according to Euro parliament member Jean-Luke Schaffhausen, "the results of voting express real initiations of people". Ukrainian authorities have already stated that these observers are now persona non grata in Ukraine, but by this step they only stressed partial international legitimization of voting in republics.

At the same time in other Ukrainian region – Odessa were held mourning meetings in memory of victims in House of trade unions. The tragedy happened May, 2 2014.

This unprecedented in its violence crime, which was unanimously condemned by leaders of biggest countries, who demanded Kiev authorities hold fair investigation, but up to now this crime has been covered up. No one of criminals, whose torments of half-alive people were fixed in videos and photos, has been sentenced. Moreover, official Kiev constantly shows its unwillingness to fairly estimate outrageous massacre organized by neo Nazis who have been gaining more and more power.

In his recent speech in Odessa the President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko justified Odessa massacre and claimed that "Odessa paid high price on May, 2 for freedom and independence". And the fact that Odessa has been called since then "a Bandera city", according to him is "the biggest compliment"

The economy in Ukraine is close to disaster. Today 78 % of Ukrainians are below the breadline. And it is not a piece someone's fiction. The data are presented by UN. According to its experts, "this part of Ukrainians have consumer's basket lower than official border of poverty"
In Ukraine poverty has become a companion of educated and qualified people who have a regular job. According to Institute of demography and social investigations of Ukraine a quarter of Ukrainian population are below the breadline. One third of Ukrainians lack money to buy food, one more third – to buy clothes.

Though these authorities were elected by them, either were forced under the pressure of the same officials to make "their democratic choice".

Jacques Bonnard, Nyon, Switzerland

bobby_fisher 24 Nov 2014 21:15

Gosh, Putin spoiled the party again, trolls are going nuts.

1. Russia is not isolated (G7 is not the whole world of course).
2. Economic sanctions in the regime of non-isolation are meaningless.
3. Falling oil prices have nothing to do with sanctions, but have everything to do with Global economic slowdown, especially in China and the export policy of Saudi Arabia, whose main target is not Russia of course, but to crush US fracking industry (It will also kill Canadian oilsands in the process, no doubt about it).
So it is not going to the plan at all, we will see interesting standoff, who will blink first?
For some reason I don't think it will be russkies, Germans already cracking and the rest of EU will follow suit, and by EU I do not mean barking minions like Poland and Lithuania.

freedomcry -> Chirographer 24 Nov 2014

It's more complicated than that. It was always part of the Soviet doctrine that the "national republics" (both SSRs and ASSRs) could have special interests that the Soviet government had to take into account (per Lenin's formula of "national in form, Socialist in essence"), while any talk of Russian national interest in a Soviet domestic context would be viewed as anti-Communist and subversive. That's not to deny that a certain degree of Russian cultural hegemony did exist in the USSR, but only of the sort that seems impersonal and somehow ingrained. Anyone with a tangible and specific agenda that could remotely be accused of "Greater Russian chauvinism" would never be tolerated - and, in the Soviet political culture, such a thing was hard to imagine in the first place.

EugeneGur -> Oskar Jaeger 24 Nov 2014

if you think Herr Putin is such a good president of Russia, enjoy

Thank you for your kind permission. The only thing we expect of those living in "democracies" is to stay out of our business. You can change your presidents every 5 minutes, for all we care. We will also be deciding on our foreign policy and on what our near or far abroad is, thank you.
You don't even realize how ridiculous you all sound, do you?

unended -> alpamysh 24 Nov 2014

I don't care who the Russians elect. It's when their elected leader steals countries that we have a little heart-burn.

First, Putin stole nothing. If you want to make an allegation, it was the Russian government--not Putin, who is but one cog in the Russian government--which stole a country. Second, Russia did not steal any country. In fact, its actions were supported by a majority locally and saved a lot of lives. These facts are true whatever else you wish to say.

P.S., if you are talking about individuals, you are already distracted. But, then, I suspect you might be in the distraction business.

Roodan -> WisconsinRay 24 Nov 2014

the West is bent on "regime change"

[Nov 24, 2014] Sacre Bleu! What's Happening With The MISTRAL Ship "VLADIVOSTOK"?

Nov 18, 2014 |
Moscow Exile, November 23, 2014 at 10:31 am
Here's the Steinmeier -Spiegel interview:

Auseinandersetzung im Bündnis: Steinmeier gegen Nato-Mitgliedschaft der Ukraine

In a video clip insert there is a Spiegel version of events this past year in the Ukraine. The Spiegel tale runs as follows:

1. Peaceful protests on the Maidan against Yanukovich corruption.

2. Violence erupts when Yanukovich says no to EU association.

3. Protesters addressed by faction leaders that include extremists.

4. Government buildings torched.

5. Police shoot protesters.

6. Berkut responsible for deaths.

7. Extremists take on Berkut, adapting role of defenders of protesters.

8. Yanukovich deposed, Timoshenko freed.

9. Russia occupies the Crimea with troops and annexes the peninsula.

10. Factions in E. Ukraine occupy government buildings.

11. Kiev attempts to prevent secession of E.Ukraine.

12. Russian military convoys enter the Ukraine; Russian paratroopers found in the Ukraine (map shows place where paras found as being far from the frontier, near Poltava). The presence of other Russian troops in the Ukraine explained by claiming that they were taking vacation there.

13. Fighting in East intensifies. HR observers says civilians killed by government forces as a result of inaccurate bombing, whereas the separatists have murdered and tortured prisoners.

14. MH17. No one knows who is responsible, but on the day the Malaysian aircraft was downed separatists at first claimed that they had shot down a transport aeroplane.

15. Porky elected president.

16. Sanctions imposed on Russia.

17. Peace in the West, on the Maidan, where they had been fighting for democracy, but in the East the fighting continues.


Wicked, wicked Moskali!

That's as much as I remember after having only watched the video once.

Absolutely no mention of the referendum in the Crimea, of the fact that there was already, and legally, a Russian garrison there, and that the vast majority Crimeans voted for secession.

No mention either of referenda in E. Ukraine. And certainly no mention of extremists' incursions into E.Ukraine from almost the word go; of Kolomoisky and others' private "battalions" of fascists; of Banderites, of the open support and adulation of fascists in Galicia and the Western provinces; of the Western Ukrainians' immediate attempt after the ousting of Yanukovich from the rada to make the Russian language "unofficial" in the east.

A very, very, much doctored account of events in the Ukraine this past year.

kirill, November 23, 2014 at 11:39 am
I have noticed this trend over the last 30 years in the western media. The revisionism of history happens in real time. They do not even wait for the media consumers to forget. This indicates that the average media consumer is a brain dead retard who cannot remember what happened two days ago.

The mere fact that the boiler plate characterization of a "people power revolution" overthrowing "dictator" Yanukovich was accepted says it all about the level of the western masses. They will lap up whatever shit their governments and media dishes out to them. Sorry, but ignorance or "can't be bothered to pay attention" is not an excuse. If you do not care enough to notice the events in Ukraine, then you should not care enough to get your panties in a bunch over it now or any other period of time. The only conclusion from the media consumer response to the two bit propaganda, is that the consumer wants to hear such fairy tales. It is all infotainment. Simple things for simple minds.

et Al, November 23, 2014 at 11:58 am
This indicates that the average media consumer is a brain dead retard

I beg to disagree here. I think most media consumers rank what is going on in their day-to-day life as a lot more important that what they read going on far away about which there is nothing you can do. When do people go no the streets and protestst? Under fairly extreme circumstances, unless you are French… In modern democracies, the voter has been taught, and blindly accepts that once you have voted in your government and opposition, then Foreign Policy is solely in their hands until the next elections. Every now and then, i.e. quite rarely, people stop believing this, but it is still rare.

kirill says:

November 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I would love to have faith in the masses. But they are being dragged to war and none of them are resisting. Yes, there are people with a brain and awareness, but they are an irrelevant minority in a sea of sheeple.

November 24, 2014 at 4:49 am

True enough. People are idiotic enough to talk about things they don't know. They like to occupy the moral high ground and talk about savage terrorists. They don't have enough information. They don't think clear enough to comprehend the web of interests behind certain happenings. And if somebody knows enough and bothers to correct them, they label him as "conspirators" or "biased", even "brain-washed", but in general, they are brain-washed. But in the end: who cares? – says the public, until cheap commodities are available.

[Nov 22, 2014] Putin helps dig Wall Street Journal's grave

Nov 21, 2014 |

Why aren't more people amazed, and incensed, that the western mainstream media propaganda assault on Russia just never-let's-up? Yesterday the Wall Street Journal had the unmitigated audacity to headline their news "The Putin Body Count." Referring to the more than 4,000 dead in Ukraine we had a hand in, the newspaper breeches insanity, leading me to wonder; "will Vladimir Putin help dig western media's grave?

Let me repeat myself for effect here. The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal. Now growing up as a kid, I used to sit across from my dad as he read this financial newspaper, and the New York Times too. He was, you see, once Attorney General of the state of Georgia, so he had to be a voracious news consumer. Dad read everything from the Atlanta Journal to the TIME, keeping up with the latest news daily. Witnessing what's happened to American press these days though, it's no wonder the world's in a mess.

The story yesterday went something like this, the WSJ leads in:

"Russia's military assault on Ukraine threatens the survival of an independent state and peace in Europe. Often overlooked is what the invasion-and that's what it is even if President Obama and the Europeans are afraid to utter the "i word"-has meant for Ukrainians in lands taken by Vladimir Putin 's forces."

Is there a need for me, or for anybody for that matter, to point out Washington's part in the upheaval in Ukraine? Is there still anybody out there unclear as to the real causes of Ukrainian dissent? Barack Obama assaults the US constitution almost daily, and meanwhile his puppets in the EU cause their own people suffering on account of ridiculous sanctions. Is it me, or can anyone else hear the distinct sound of someone(s) laughing, the wringing of evil hands over the Cold War II?

Breaking news for you, my dear readership, the mighty Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdock (above), the media billionaire most adamant about getting Barack Obama into office. And since I've mentioned this kingpin of western media propaganda, it seems appropriate to ask the reader if he or she has knowledge of Murdock's investment interests? Or, do you realize he meets regularly with other players in the global energy and investment game, players like Saudi magnate Al-Waleed bin Talal (who's got a 1$ billion tied up in Citigroup)? Are you watching these movements, noticing how Washington meets with the same people Murdock and other western "oligarchs" do? These are questions you should be asking. Why Al-Waleed has even got an Islamic studies program of his very own at Harvard. Who says "money can't by you love?" If you're wondering about Saudi royalty's agenda here, just follow the money. This Wall Street Journal "suck up" to the Saudi prince spells Obama's latest agenda out. Read it and weep for Syria's Assad.

I quote from Matthew Kaminski from exactly one year ago:

"Mr. Obama's recent Hamlet act on Syria surprised and infuriated Riyadh. After the worst chemical-weapons atrocity of the war, the American leader heeded long-standing calls for military intervention, then hedged by asking for congressional approval, then nixed airstrikes in favor of a disarmament pact with Syria's Bashar Assad."

Secretary Kerry Meets With Foreign Minister al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia in Paris Before Joining Iranian Nuclear Negotiations in Vienna - State Department
Secretary Kerry Meets With Foreign Minister al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia in Paris Before Joining Iranian Nuclear Negotiations in Vienna – State Department

Bad Guys Hate Good Guys

Let's be clear on one thing, Vladimir Putin and Russia stand opposed to whatever shenanigans the US, UK, EU, Saudi Arabia, and other oil cartel leadership are up to. And the leadership of each of these hates Russia and Vladimir Putin for various reasons, all competitive. One does not have to know the "exact" wheeling and dealing going on to know billionaires only care about one thing. However sorted the quest for oil or arms dollars (or rubles) may be, it's what profit buys that dictates right or wrong for a people. Here on mother Earth, we've few examples today of how Saudi oil trillions, or Rupert Murdock wins have helped the so called "free people" of the west.

On the other hand, Vladimir Putin's quest to "surface" Russia as an economic power, it's revealed a lone superpower free of debt, and somehow clinging to traditional Russian values. In short, for the people he represents, Vladimir Putin is John Wayne on a white horse. And the western oligarchs hate his guts. A friend of mine who's prolific on social media said to me once recently; "We're not wearing the white hats in this one Phil." No kidding, American are stagnated, almost flat busted, robbed, abused, and manipulated, and worse, most do not even realize it. All one has to do is turn to France and Le Monde diplomatique , to get a perspective on what's really happening. Michael Klare writes:

"Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ukraine, the East and South China Seas: wherever you look, the world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts. At first glance, these upheavals appear to be independent events, driven by their own unique and idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely and they share several key characteristics - notably, a witch's brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that have been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy."

How does it feel, the itching sensation everything you're told by CNN, FOX, BBC, and all the US newspapers is false? Uncomfortable for many, I am sure. We're asked to believe (over and over) blatant misrepresentations, lies bought and paid for by the very people who profit from our loss. The curious among you might ponder, "Why would Saudi Arabia have a key role in Iran nuclear talks?" They were once described as "brotherly nations" back before Iran had blows with the US. Up until Mr. Putin stepped in on the US Syria intervention too, the only discord between the countries was trivial. The reason Saudi Arabia is interested now though, has more to do with Iran's natural gas resources than with Atomic bombs.

News flash: "Iran has twice as much natural gas as the United States and Saudi Arabia combined!"

Now we begin to see why the United States has shunned Iran for so many years. The philosophical and misleading notion Israel feared an Iran bomb, this was and is subterfuge. Sure Israel is paranoid, but American and Saudi billionaires invest in energy, airplanes, and not necessarily "kill all" A-bombs. Who is the good guy here? I'd say look at just "who" is condemning Vladimir Putin. Let me assist you.

Note Iran with Russia represents a huge competitor. Also note the significant Australian reserves, and think about Malaysian flight MH17. Wikipedia
Note Iran with Russia represents a huge competitor. Also note the significant Australian reserves, and think about Malaysian flight MH17. Wikipedia

A Genie War Bottle

What do Rupert Murdock, Dick Cheney, Michael Steinhardt, and Lord Jacob Rothschild all have in common? They're all associated with a venture called Genie Energy. This shale energy conglomerate has its drills in American shale exploitation, Israeli energy efforts (though the Israelis are lately angry at Genie), a direct competitor with Gazprom, especially if we look at their recent Mongolia exploration. So, what you have in a nutshell with Cheney and Murdock as energy advisors there, is a type of collusion, maybe worse. The connection, for you, in between "The Putin Body Count" and Rupert Murdock paid employees is well made now.

What's scarier (or should be) for you and me is the fact Murdock and the other media moguls in on this bash Putin campaign could care less what you think. Murdock, the western leadership in London and Washington, they've no fear or reproach even. The 1% has become so arrogant, so powerful, they fear not reprisal from the populace. Some would say the world going to hell in a hand basket, why it's all our fault! Here, here's where Rupert Murdock joined Genie Energy's advisory board.Now tell me the Wall Street Journal is unbiased! Go on, try.

Here is a quote from the 2010 press release from Genie, it is TELLING:

"Rupert Murdoch and Gene Renna obviously bring vast experience and immeasurable value to the Genie Strategic Advisory Board. Their legendary accomplishments and eminent characters speak for themselves," said Genie Energy Chairman Wes Perry. "Their decision to join Genie's Strategic Advisory Board speaks to the fundamental importance and urgency of our mission to rebalance global energy production markets. I join the other Board members in welcoming them and look forward to working with them."

Newscorp has a vested interest in what happens in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and in the United States especially. Newscorp and Murdock have helped "rebalance" the energy market. Let's not be naive. Those mentioned in opposition to Russia and Putin they are the bad guys. They're the bad guys because they're willing to ignite World War III in order to profit. They're the bad guys because they lie to Americans and Brits. They mislead us on a monumental scale the Nazis could not have dreamed of. They're the bad guys because they cheapen us, our values, and they lessen our lives. "How do the lessen our lives," you ask? I'll tell you.

The Obama administration is not the only guilty party where shafting the American people is concerned. Just about every politician in Washington (of not every single one) has been set in place by people like Murdock. We all know this instinctively, and from our forefathers. Politics has alway been about lying, backstabbing, and putting a hand in somebody else's pocket. It's just never been so blatant, unapologetic, and disastrous. For God's sake (as my dear departed Mom would say), Wall Street crushed the American economy, robbed Americans, then robbed them again via the administration, and nobody did a thing. The NSA shattered the Constitution of the United States of America, and got by with it.

I found this quote by one of the world's most interesting leaders of the past. Haile Selassie was Emperor of Ethiopia almost 5 decades, heir to a dynasty with traditions back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The quote below mirrors what many great leaders have said, but I use it for the purpose of revealing the evil humankind has suffered for eons.

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."

Here we are, silent but for a few, witnessing atrocities of immeasurable and wanton hurt, by the same evil. Not unlike Putin, Haile Selassie was revered as a savior by millions for his wisdom and courage. He was also imprisoned, dethroned, and his family murdered after a coup d'état' in the world's oldest monarchy. History recalls Haile Selassie (on the cover of TIME at right) as the single figure who defied fascism's grip on his people. Though Mussolini's Italy took Ethiopia, it was Selassie who galvanized and represented a people not defenseless against aggression. History may well tell of a Russian leader who defied an even more insidious takeover. For make no mistake, if not for Vladmir Putin not a Russian value would stand before rampant capitalism gone rabid.

How can I say this as an American? I've watched half a century men like Murdock bastardize my beloved country, that's how. I watched Bernard Kilgore's paper my Dad and his contemporaries counted on, turned to garbage since 2007.

[Nov 20, 2014] They and us

yalensis, November 19, 2014 at 4:16 am

At a round-table discussion of American tele-journalists, a journalist working for the TV channel owned by President Obama, explained why they are not allowed to report on anything that shows the American army in a bad light, for example, destroying civilian infrastructure.

Okay, that was a fake, now the real story:

At a round-table discussion of Ukrainian tele-journalists, a journalist working for the TV channel owned by President Poroshenko, explained why they are not allowed to report on anything that shows the Ukrainian army in a bad light, for example, destroying civilian infrastructure:

"I am not opposed to (our) propaganda, and I will explain why," declared Kristina Bondarenko, a journalist working for President Poroshenko's TV channel 5, "Sure, the media can report on (a soldier) getting drunk, that sort of thing. But just imagine what happens (if we were to report on shells falling) on some (civilian infrastructure), or something like that. Can you even imagine (that we would report something like that)? Can you imagine that (a channel like) CNN would report on that, if the Americans were to accidentally (bomb something)? I can't even imagine the possibility."

Arggggg! can these people not even imagine the possibility of a free press?

marknesop, November 19, 2014 at 11:26 am
It's funny how their artillery keeps accidentally hitting buildings it is pointed in the direction of. There must be something wrong with it, because you would never expect that to happen.

marknesop, November 19, 2014 at 11:46 am

Bloomberg's Russia coverage is starting to get almost as bad as Yahoo's. It is plain the west is determined to believe Russia is on the ropes and about to collapse, that just another week or two of pressure and holding firm to sanctions is going to be enough. The tipping point is near, just like it was in Iraq, which just goes to show you can't teach some people anything. Just like Charlie Brown, no matter how many times you pull the football away at the last second and make them fall on their ass, as soon as you hold out a football again they will go for it. I guess they have to keep up the happy talk so that the Europeans don't go wobbly. And if that's what they want to believe, fine – let them. Just like that ignorant fool La Russophobe: years of gabbling that Russia was sinking deeper and deeper into the slime, the level of depravity and corruption was steadily more and more unbelievable, the economy was crippled and sick beyond any hope of recovery…and then one day, suddenly, I'm shutting down this blog because Putin has won, because not enough people listened to my warnings. How do you possibly reconcile those two narratives?

Anyone who wishes to make major investment, financial or other economic decisions based on Bloomberg's advice is certainly welcome to do so. It will end in tears, which is why it should be called Serves You Right Tax.

I see they are trying once again to mobilize excitement for a Medvedev-vs.-Putin regime-change effort. I just have to shake my head in wonderment. Apparently what the voters in Russia think is not a factor at all.

[Nov 14, 2014] Russian RT news channel editor-in-chief accuses UK media regulator of censorship

Nov 14, 2014 |

Warren , November 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Russian RT news channel editor-in-chief accuses UK media regulator of censorship

World November 11, 14:26 UTC+3

"Just as we have launched our TV channel in Britain, they are threatening to revoke our license upon biased accusations," says Margarita Simonyan

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said on Tuesday accusations by a British media regulator Ofcom of the Russian channel's biased coverage of Ukraine amount to censorship.

"Just as we have launched our TV channel in Britain, they are threatening to revoke our license upon biased accusations. Democracy as it is," Simonyan wrote on her Twitter microblog on Tuesday.

"They believe our coverage of Ukraine was biased. We have found a ton of examples of the BBC bias on Ukraine and called Ofcom," she wrote, adding that the only answer was that the regulator does not oversee the BBC.

RT claims in particular refer to the BBC's coverage of Ukraine in the first week of March.
Simonyan said Ofcom has not even concealed that it is pressuring the Russian TV channel to change its editorial policy. "We will not change our editorial policy, despite the pressure," she said, adding that RT is the only source of alternative information for the British audience.

The UK communications authority published a bulletin on Monday saying that RT wants "to present the news from a Russian perspective" but all news must be presented with "due impartiality … in particular, when reporting on matters of major political controversy."
In late October, RT launched a news channel dedicated for the audience in the United Kingdom in an effort to "challenge dominant power structures in Britain by broadcasting live and original programming with a progressive UK focus."

Launched in December 2005, RT's network now consists of three global news channels broadcasting in English, Spanish and Arabic. RT UK's sister channel, RT America, airs from a studio based in Washington, DC.

[Nov 12, 2014] Russian news Our Exclusive Interview with German Editor Turned CIA Whistleblower

Oct 17, 2014 | Russia Insider
Fascinating details emerge. Leading US-funded think-tanks and German secret service are accessories. Attempted suppression by legal threats. Blackout in German media.

Scandal - Exclusive Fri, Oct 17

Eric van de Beek | 12867 9

These revelations, together with the Snowden uproar, will further decouple the US from Germany

Exclusively for RI, Dutch journalist Eric van de Beek interviews the senior German editor who is causing a sensation with his allegations that the CIA pays German media professionals to spin stories to follow US government goals.

We wrote about this two weeks ago, and the article shot up in views, becoming one of the most read articles on our site.

Udo Ulfkotte reveals in his bestseller Bought Journalists, how he was "taught to lie, to betray and not to tell the truth to the public."

The former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which is one of Germany's largest newspapers, was secretly on the payroll of the CIA and German secret service, spinning the news in a way that was positive for the United States and bad for its opponents.

In his latest interview, Ulfkotte alleges that some media are nothing more than propaganda outlets of political parties, secret services, international think tanks and high finance entities.

Repenting for collaborating with various agencies and organisations to manipulate the news, Ulkotte laments, "I'm ashamed I was part of it. Unfortunately I cannot reverse this."

Some highlights from the interview:

Here's more from the interview:


"Bought journalists", who are they?

"We're talking about puppets on a string, journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what's really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets."

And you were one of them, and now you are the first to blow the whistle.

"I'm ashamed I was part of it. Unfortunately I cannot reverse this. Although my superiors at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung approved of what I did, I'm still to blame. But yes, to my knowledge I am the first to accuse myself and to prove many others are to blame."

How did you become a bought journalist?

"It started very soon after I started working at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. I learned to regard luxury invitations as quite acceptable and to write positive articles in return. Later on I was invited by the German Marshall Fund of The United States to travel the United States. They paid for all my expenses and put me in contact with Americans they'd like me to meet. In fact, most journalists from respected and big media organisations are closely connected to the German Marshall Fund, the Atlantik-Brücke or other so-called transatlantic organisations. Many of them are even members or 'fellows'. I am a fellow of the German Marshall Fund. The thing is, once you're connected, you make friends with selected Americans. You think they are your friends and you start cooperating. They work on your ego, make you feel like you're important. And one day one of them will ask you 'Will you do me this favor' and then another will ask you 'Will you do me that favor'. Bye and bye you get completely brainwashed. I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the Bundesnachrichtendienst."

You said your superiors approved of that?

"They did. From my private point of view, in retrospective, they even sent me to spy. For instance in 1988 they put me on a plane to Iraq, where I traveled to the border with Iran. In those days Saddam Hussein was still seen as a good guy, a close ally to the US. The Americans supported him in his war against Iran. About 35 kilometers from the border, in an Iranian place called Zubaidad, I witnessed the Iraqis killing and injuring thousands of Iranians by throwing poison gas at them. I did exactly what my superiors had asked me to do. I made photo's of the gas attacks. Back in Frankfurt it appeared my superiors didn't show much interest in the atrocities I had witnessed. They allowed me to write an article about it, but they severely limited the size of it as if it wasn't of much importance. At the same time they asked me to hand over the photo's that I had made to the German association of chemical companies in Frankfurt, Verband der Chemischen Industrie. This poison gas that had killed so many Iranians was made in Germany."

What's your opinion on press trips? Journalists usually excuse themselves by saying they are perfectly able to follow their own judgment and that they don't commit themselves to anything or anybody.

"I've been on a thousand press trips and never reported bad about those who paid all the expenses. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. That's where corruption starts. And that's the reason why magazines like Der Spiegel don't allow their journalists to accept invitations to press trips unless they pay for their own expenses."

The consequences of becoming a whistleblower can be serious. Do you have any indications people tried to prevent the publication of your book?

"When I told the Frankfurter Allgemeine that I would publish the book, their lawyers sent me a letter threatening with all legal consequences if I would publish any names or secrets – but I don't mind. You see, I don't have children to take care of. And you must know I was severely injured during the gas attack I witnessed in Iran in 1988. I'm the sole German survivor from a German poison gas attack. I'm still suffering from this. I've had three heart attacks. I don't expect to live for more than a few years."

In your book you mention many names of bought journalists. How are they doing now? Are they being sacked? Are they trying to clear their names?

"No German mainstream journalist is allowed to report about the book. Otherwise he or she will be sacked. So we have a bestseller now that no German journalist is allowed to write or talk about. More shocking: We have respected journalists who seem to have gone deep sea diving for a long time. It's an Interesting situation. I expected and hoped that they would sue me and bring me to court. But they have no idea what to do. The respected Frankfurter Allgemeine just announced they will fire 200 employees, because they're losing subscribers very rapidly and in high numbers. But they don't sue me. They know that I have evidence on everything."

[Nov 6, 2014] ld woman is lying

Nov 6, 2014 |

According to the chancellor Merkel, elections held on Sunday in the separatist regions of Ukraine, strengthen Western leaders intention to maintain the sanctions regime.

"We want to lift the sanctions, but now is not the situation in which, in my opinion, this can be done," - said Angela Merkel, stressing that in the past controlled separatist territories do not vote in the spirit of the Minsk Agreement.

Old woman, who is most probably on tight leash of the US secret services is lying. No she nor the EU as a whole forces to lift the sanctions. Because sanctions were implemented by a powerful international financial group primarily against Europe. To disrupt the alliance between the Chinese manufacturers with European developers at the expense of the US. Because such an alliance creates problems for the United States and for status of the dollar as world reserve currency. So they are directed at the weakening, if not collapsing of the economy of the European Union.

[Oct 31, 2014] Ukraine votes in parliamentary election

Oct 26, 2014 |
811HHeLiBe, permalink

Let's hope this is an opportunity for Ukraine to throw off the yoke of subservience and move forward to achieve its full potential.

LeDingue -> HHeLiBe, permalink

The "full potential" you refer too has already been well sized up be western corporations like Monsanto and investors in fracking fronted by the likes of Hunter Biden.For ordinary Ukrainians the IMF imposed austerity, privatisations and a huge hike in domestic gas bills will drive up poverty, unemployment and extremist politics. The east lies in economic ruins, even now Kiev will not (or maybe cannot) call off the private militias or the Right Sektor National Guard. Perhaps not doing so is a political decision to disenfranchise Ukrainian Russians completely.

The "subservience" you refer to I suppose you mean as subservience to Russia. This is a simplistic received notion.

Oligarchy will be more entrenched and enriched after this election even than it was before. The only difference is that western corporations will now have carte blanche.Apparently it is normal, given that our media omit to even talk about it, that billionaire oligarchs can run their own private militias of extremist hooligans -- here is your new "subservience".

Porochenko and several others should face ICC investigation for crimes of mass murder and war crimes. But of course they won't, even as reports of indiscriminate shelling and rocketing of residential areas, of the use of cluster and phosphorous munitions are published, it merely gets a minor mention here.

The oligarchs and political middle managers will do very nicely. For the rest of Ukrainians, especially the Ukrainian Russians in the east hated by those who undoubtedly will form the incoming government, the future looks dark indeed: poverty, unemployment, ultranationalist violence ... and as for the "euro" in NED's "Euromaidan" campaign: it's as ashes in the mouths of all who were tricked into believing it, it never had any basis in reality.

HHeLiBe permalink

Another picture of brilliant future for bankrupt country under American guidance.Who is going to pay for the feast?

Canigou -> HHeLiBe, permalink

The "yoke of subservience" is to the U.S./EU/IMF, and no, that yoke will not be thrown off by this election.

There is a good article in the Boston Globe today, "Vote all you want -- the secret government won't change." The title says it all, and although it refers to U.S. elections, it surely will apply to this Ukrainian one too.

Marc de Berner, permalink

The coup that removed the legitimate government of Ukraine is now trying to legitimise itself with an election. The people of Crimea won't be voting because they have already voted. Their choice was to leave Ukraine to the fascists who staged the coup. They ard very happy to be part of Russia. As for the little bit of Ukraine that is under the control of Kiev. We in the Eu don't want you. Many of us EU citizens don't want you and your neo nazi policies. Take a look at the reality on the ground. Thw Republic of Donyets is here to stay. Your coup has divided the country into 3 separate parts. ..

duke_widin -> -> downthepublewis, permalink

your comment is over the top!

after 1500 dead ethnic Russians and over 1million fled from the Ukraine your troll friend in the White house is normally sending his drones to kill the leader and plains to bomb the people...

christopher22 -> downthepublewis, permalink

Disaffected Western Ukrainian perhaps ?

You will be pleased to know RT have put together a documentary about the downing of MH17 You should take a look at it - and maybe then you will realise what a shower of thugs you are throwing your weight behind

Novorossiya -> downthepublewis, permalink

"the hysterical rantings of the Russian village idiot after too many vodkas"

Why do I hate racist scum? and sympathizers of neo-nazis from Kiev and Lvov?.

precisely BECAUSE they are ignorant, prejudiced scum...

Dreikaiserbund -> Novorossiya , permalink

Why do I hate racist scum? and sympathisers of neo-nazis from Kiev and Lvov?. precisely BECAUSE they are ignorent, prejudiced scum...

Yet you use as an avatar a flag that bears a remarkable resemblance to the Confederate battle flag? Yes, I know it's the flag of 'Novorossiya' but 'New Russia' might want to pick a flag that doesn't have such racist overtones.

Nobul Dreikaiserbund, permalink

So you will be paying the glorious Ukraine's gas bills this winter?

Nobul downthepublewis, permalink

What were you doing in Donbass? A football thug, downing a few cheap vodkas, were you?

downthepublewis -> Nobul, permalink

You're preconceptions and prejudice betray your ignorance. In 2012 I worked on a UN project improving heating systems and insulation of schools in Lugansk, saving them over 300,000 euros per year in heating bills, and last year I worked for 1+1 on a documentary about the mining communities/industry.

downthepublewis -> Novorossiya, permalink

You obviously don't know the definition of 'racist', and you label all people who want a just, free and democratic Ukraine as 'neo-nazis'. Isn't tarring everyone with the same brush a classic example or prejudice? And of course it's a complete lie. By the way, it's called Lviv. You should go there sometime. It's really very lovely. See for yourself the people who live there. Then come back on here and call them 'neo-nazis'.

Nobul -> downthepublewis, permalink

Yes, I believe you, except the entire education budget of Luhansk Oblast was probably less than the 300,000 euros you claimed to have saved them from heating. And what a plumber doing for 1+1 documentary about the mining communities?

atozed -> Marc de Berner

Which particular policies are "neo-nazi"? The people of Crimea will not be voting in this particular election because they are being prevented from voting by the Russians occupying Crimea. Crimean Tatar activists are being harassed and arrested by the occupying authorities because they prefer for their (historical) homeland to be a part of the Ukraine. As for the "legitimate government" of the Ukraine being toppled by a coup, one should mention that Yanukovych and his cronies had transferred vast amounts of money from the state to their private accounts abroad (with the connivance of Western banks, of course) by fixing state business contracts. The question here is whether it is legitimate to stage an uprising against such a government rather than wait and vote in rigged elections which would be impossible to win. I say that it is legitimate to oust an increasingly corrupt and malign government when the chances of fair elections disappear.

Nobul -> downthepublewis, permalink

Accusing others of being Russian village idiots after too many vodkas (Guardian censors did not find this offensive) while your name is "down the pub Lewis" , lol, what s Freudian slip, lol(the censors found this offensive!)

Nobul -> atozed, permalink

The Crimeans never wanted to be part of Ukraine. It was "given" to the Ukraine SSR by a communist dictator without asking the people, the Crimeans had been voting for independence since 1991. for your information, the historic home land of the Crimean Tatars is Mongolia.

Doom Sternz, permalink

Americans offered financial and informational assistance in the making of the "right sector " a fully fledged political party. The U.S. proposed a form of the Ukrainian radical party with a political platform, party structure and network of branches throughout Ukraine.

The Right Sector is fascist neo Nazi party. They are the militia's that are committing mass murder, genocide, torture and rape in Ukraine.

Doom Sternz, permalink

Yep - and the separatists are angels who bring peace and love to all. Rank idiocy and exactly the sort of propaganda spewed by BOTH sides. So, when looking for facts, consider who prospers, who gains? Russia, Russia and Russia. That does not make their opponents innocent, but lets keep it real.

Doom Sternz -> srmttmrs

Ukraine is a rogue state. It was a violent, armed coup spearheaded by right sector militants that placed Yatsenyuk into power in the first place, along with the Neo-Nazi political front Svoboda, and paved the way for fraudulent elections that predictably yielded a pro-US-EU client regime. From fabricating an "invasion," to claims of "threatened" lives, to the labeling of Russians as "subhuman," Yatsenyuk has recited fully the script of Nazism used to justify its various historical crimes against humanity.

Its no coincidence that the CIA (a terror organisation) is in Kiev, its no coincidence that the Rand corporation have documented the necessary steps to commit genocide in the eastern federations prior to the events.Its no coincidence that Victoria Nuland indicated the US had invested $5 billion on a regime change in Ukraine, and its no coincidence that neo Nazi organisations were enlisted to action the ethnic cleansing.

After the Maidan the leaders of two right wing fascist organisation were rewarded with control of four ministries.

For example Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of the fascist Social National Party, which later changed its name to Svoboda became the new top commander of the National Defense and Security Council. (covering the military, police, courts and intelligence apparatus). Dmytro Yarosh, Right Sector commander is now second-in-command of the National Defense and Security Council.

Notice how they never talk about the Ukraine regular Army, its always Oligarch battalions, ie Azov Battalion etc, or they are Government militia's, these militia's are made up of Right Sector fascists. The regular Ukraine Army has been sidelined as it will not murder its own countrymen.

srmttmrs -> Doom Sternz, permalink

Like I said, who gains. Russia gets Crimea (massivly strategic value) and will absorb Ukraine over the next five years or so. I am sure Russia will hold War Crime Trials with predictable results.

Bud Peart, permalink

So I take it people in the regions engulfed in civil war wont be able to vote?

oleteo, permalink

The election campaign was doubtfull from the beginning in this country affected by the virus of neo-nazism in the form of russophobia

srmttmrs -> oleteo, permalink

So if I am opposed to the Putin regime and thus Russian foreign policy, I am a neo-nazi?? FFS.

Doom Sternz -> srmttmrs, permalink

Petro Poroshenko is a war criminal.

We all know that when Poroshenko committed to an illegal war against his fellow countrymen that there was never going to be a path back. He expected he would win and it did not concern him at all that he was committing crimes against humanity. He had no concerns about sending neo Nazi militia's to the east to murder his fellow countrymen. And his US masters demanded it.

Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are traitors of Ukraine.

HHeLiBe -> Doom Sternz, permalink

When Poroshenko won 55 percent of the Presidential vote outright it is a pretty safe bet that Ukrainians will vote in a West leaning Government.

oleteo -> Doom Sternz, permalink

The outcome will be the same because the Ukie politics are based on hatred and corruption,they are seeking what to ask and where like beggars

Davo3333 -> HHeLiBe, permalink

But the 55% was on a very low turnout and so support for him was way under 50%. This time the two eastern pro Russian republics which have effectively now succeeded from the Ukraine are no longer included in the Ukraine's voting figures so most of the remainder are voting to be able to one day join the EU, but in the meantime the EU is not prepared to give meaningful financial assistance to the Ukraine so there will be hard times for the Ukrainian people coming up in the near future. Look at the Poles who went to the UK in their hundreds of thousands and are now either on the dole or working on very low wages, That is what the Ukrainians can look forward to if they manage to get into the EU.

Dreikaiserbund, permalink

This is the best message that the people of Ukraine can send to Putin and his mercenaries.

Doom Sternz -> Dreikaiserbund, permalink

You are a fascist, no?

This is not of Russia's making, this is a US/NATO war against working class people in the Donbass. This election is a battle of the billionaires, nothing more.

A pro EU government is guaranteed because this fascist government rules with unmitigated brutality. If you stand up against them you get murdered.

oleteo -> Dreikaiserbund, permalink

You can say nothing for all people. Remember Georgia and what is there now. Where's American puppet-president? Wanted for crimes. Let's wait

ID075732, permalink

This vote is just grandstanding the failed politics of Ukraine's kleptocrat oligarchs, but the US and IMF need it to legitimise their continued meddling. I can't imagine much will change.

HollyOldDog -> Trudi Goater, permalink

A Right Sector spokesman interviewed on the BBC said that if he doesn't get what he and his compatriots want than dumping polliticians in dustbins will be replaced by hanging them from lampposts. Strike that country off my holiday list.

Nobul -> HollyOldDog, permalink

That's already pretty civilized for this lot, their grand daddies used to burn whole villages in barns.

LiBeRaCl, permalink

"Nuland's cookies" have totally ruined Ukraine. Ukrainians are hated by Russians for killing thier people in Donbass and sanctions after "Rescue Crimeans" operation. They are hated by most of Polish people for the Bandera flags (flags which were used on Maidan and during The Volyn' Massacre in which thousands of Polish children and women were tortured and killed by Ukrainians). They are hated by most of The Europeans who want to live in peace, because everyone can see that noting has changed inside the country - one oligarchic clan altered another, more radical one. Nowadays political establishment of Ukraine are suiciders - sooner or later they will be caught and sentenced, if not be able to escape to The US.

Nobul -> LiBeRaCl, permalink

The U.S. would only take in Yats and Porkie, the rest would have to hang from lamp posts on the Maidan.

moncur, permalink

Good luck to Ukraine. They will need it. An empty treasury, a defeated army, an aggressive neighbour next door. There is no justice in the world.

Dennis Levin -> moncur, permalink

You broke it. You fix it.

Doom Sternz, -> permalink

Its obvious that the Kiev fascist militia's continue to indiscriminately shell civilian populations against the Minsk agreement.

The Ukrainian army has been committing gross human rights violations against civilians in violation of the Geneva Convention. Specifically violations of Articles 3, 4, 5, 7 and 11 of the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of Article 3 of the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948.

Poroshenka is a war criminal.

Oskar Jaeger -> Doom Sternz, permalink

It is equally obvious that Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine continue attacking Ukrainian troops at or near the Donetsk airport, and have been doing it all along, disregarding the so-called ceasefire. Does the Geneva Convention even apply to armed terrorists?

Матвей Тарасов -> Oskar Jaeger, permalink

They defend their homes and their relatives against armed bandits. Does Geneva convention permit this?

LiBeRaCl -> skar Jaeger, permalink

According to Minsk Agreement Donetsk Airport down to Peski village should be under control of DNR, not Ukrainians. How about that? Who is responsible for not leaving the Airport? And who is responsible for civilian deaths after ceasefire caused by Ukrainian rocket system shellings?

Canigou, permalink

This election is like the band starting up a new tune on the Titanic as its starts to slide beneath the waves.

Yes, real change is coming soon to the Ukraine--- but in the form of no heating oil, no jobs, militias running amok, rampant inflation, savage IMF austerity, continued civil war, famine, more mayhem in the Rada and riots in the Maidan. It is too late to save the Ukraine. It's future will bring disintegration as a country and, for many people, regression to pre-industrial subsistence farming. The Haiti of Europe.

sodtheproles -> Canigou, permalink

Yet with a little goodwill and common sense it could have become the Switzerland of eastern Europe

Nobul -> sodtheproles, permalink

Yet good will and common sense are completely obscent in Kiev, Brussels and Washington.

Rich_N, permalink

Yet more elections and red tape? More squandering of public funds to appoint a bunch of pre determined cronies to positions where they can line their pockets from the state treasury (if there is anything left).

Maybe poroshenko's priorities should be ending the war by stopping his military cluster bombing cities in the east, trying to do something about the economy which is likely to see a double digit decline or at least try and arrange to restore the gas supply before winter by giving the Russians the money the eu gave him to pay his gas bills with! Or did he lose that somewhere?

Krustallos -> Rich_N, permalink

If you don't like Poroshenko I should have thought you would welcome an election as the best opportunity to get rid of him. Asking the Ukrainian people who they think should represent them actually seems like quite an important priority at the moment. Unless your agenda is to rebuild the Russian Empire I suppose.

Mo Moby -> Krustallos, permalink

Not when the fascists will come to power.

ToddPalant -> Krustallos, permalink

I wonder what your agenda might be. Since you are talking about "asking the people", they should have asked Ukrainians beforehand whether they would like their country to be sunk even further, all for the price for a long, very long wait for an unlikely EU invitation. Today's elections are not going to be democratic because parties have been made illegal, the opposition have been terrorized. In many electoral districts in Eastern Ukraine people will not be able to vote because the "authorities" claim they could not find enough people to man the election committees. As for my agenda, I believe in a multi polar world with the US, China and Russia in a political and military stalemate. Checks and Balances to avoid a monopolar global US superiority.

LiBeRaCl, permalink

The most clear and objective reflections of the Ukrainian Govt and Pres which came to power after Maidan are the laws issued by them. If you are really interested in Ukraine just go through the drafts of the laws. I wonder if you still will be supporting Maidaners after the reading.

madsttdk -> LiBeRaCl, permalink

I actually have. I suppose you are referring to the one that would ban Russian being taught in schools.

I agree. that was indeed a despicable move instigated by the die-hard nationalist in the Ukrainian Parliament. Fortunately, the moderates came to their senses and repealed that law. What other, if any, unfair or ill-conceived laws are you referring to?

Because it seems to me that there have been an awful lot of sense to the legislative work in the Ukrainain Parliament apart from that awful law denying Russian in schools.

I would love to know.

Jerome Fryer -> -> madsttdk, permalink

That law was not signed by the acting President, so didn't go into effect. But it was passed by the parliament. (It's a mystery why the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine became opposed to Kiev, eh?) It isn't about schooling, either, but about recognition of status as an official language.

LiBeRaCl -> madsttdk, permalink

There are dozens of such laws, but the most recent one is just a complete collapse of any concept of Law. I am talking about so-called "lustration law". It is a total farce by itself, but if you look into the exceptions you just won't believe that such laws are possible in principle in nowadays world. By this law the governing elite can dismiss any person from his position and the only thing why they can not be dismissed themselves by the same law is that there are exceptions written by their hads. Complete delirium.

kowalli, -> permalink

You will see bloodmess after elections, ukrainian-Nazi army will try again kill freedom fighters. Thanks to your western leaders civilians are dying now.

NKVDhunter -> kowalli, permalink

Thanks to Putin many Ukrainians have died. Without Russia's armed invasion, the deaths would not have happened.

GoodmansParadox -> NKVDhunter, permalink

West Ukraine has invaded East Ukraine. West Ukrainian militias are killing East Ukrainian civilians. There was no invasion by Russia.

Матвей Тарасов, permalink

About "democracy" elections. There are leaks of phone conversations between Zhvaniya and Kolomoyskiy/Korban about falsifying results. Just hear that.

Natalia Volkova, permalink

I got a surprise this morning, swedish newspaper DN published the article with a title:" Ukrainian populist stand out with violence and threats" (Ukrainsk populist sticker ut med våld och hot) about Lyashko.

Something is definitely going on, I think, at least in Sweden, they will avoid to shake hands with such person (but DN wrote he can be the next prime minister).

Kiselev -> Natalia Volkova, permalink

They have to. Because he is gay.

Natalia Volkova -> Kiselev, permalink

It'll be difficult, because they still trying to isolate Sverigedemokraterna(party, which got around 13% of votes at last Riksdag election)- And they are nothing in compare with Lyashko party.

Alexander Bach -> madsttdk, permalink

Good analysis. I must note here that not every election in Ukraine was admitted as fair in by the international observers. The presidential election in 2004 was declared fake and the west urged Ukraine to stick with the pro-western candidate Yushchenko. Who ended up with 5% support. As of freedoms in Russia you should take it into account that at the times when the west is happy with Russian elections the Russians themselves live in poverty and humiliation. Now that the Russians live probably better than ever the west is unhappy. You talk about freedom of speech in Russia but compare it to freedom of speech in Ukraine: the journalists being beaten and murdered, the channels are closed etc. What place does ukraine hold in the rating? As of the objectiveness of those ratings and generally the information presented to the western auditory here's a good example: a few weeks ago there was a marching in Moscow in support of the Ukrainian government, a few thousand participants. Have you seen that news in the western media? Me neither. I have checked all the MSM. I found a single sentence about it on the bbc inside an article about something else, and a little article on the cnn. That cnn article ended with the words that it's not clear it anyone was arrested or beaten (because no one was). These words give a hint why there's so little interest in the west: if the news shows that Putin is not prosecuting those who think different, you shouldn't know about it. Otherwise it will be everywhere

madsttdk -> Alexander Bach, permalink

Well,, actually I saw the demonstration on several news channels including CNN. So why you apparently have not been able to find it, I really do not know.

As far the 2004 elections in Ukraine goes, there were allegations of voting fraud. That led to an independent investigation by the OSCE, who subsequently deemed it had been well within acceptable standards.

Where are you getting your information from? Not Russian media, I hope.

Doom Sternz, permalink

US in Ukraine has declared war on Russia, they funded neo Nazi's in Kiev to overthrow a freely elected government and then went about blaming Russia for the destabilisation. As we know from past experience, Washington will pursue its strategy relentlessly while shrugging off public opinion, international law or the condemnation of adversaries and allies alike.

The pattern, of course, is unmistakable. It begins with sanctimonious finger-wagging, economic sanctions and incendiary rhetoric, and quickly escalates into stealth bombings, drone attacks, unlawful detention and torture, massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, millions of fleeing refugees, decimated towns and cities, death squads, wholesale human carnage, vast environmental devastation, and the steady slide into failed state anarchy; all of which is accompanied by the repetition of state propaganda spewed from every corporate bullhorn in the western media.

After all isnt this how it happened in Iraq, Libya, Afganistan, Syria etc etc etc

madsttdk -> Doom Sternz, permalink

Even if what you claim were even remotely connected to reality, how exactly does that justify Putins invasion, annexation and interference in a souvereign nation and the breaking ofg international law?

The "The US is bad" narrative is getting old. And besides, two wrongs can never make a right. That is a morally indefensible position. So Russia is - at best - no better

Mo Moby -> madsttdk, permalink

There is no invasion, annexation and interference in a sovereign nation and the breaking of international law. It's all in your muddled mind. ... and no need to thank me for pointing out your numerous spelling mistakes.

madsttdk -> Mo Moby, permalink

Oh Moby, you are wrong - so very wrong.

I apologize for the typos - it's pure sloppiness. I am watching a game.

Perhaps I should focus on one thing at the time - so as not to offend your spelling aestethics

ToddPalant -> NKVDhunter, permalink

Condolences to all Ukrainians who are "voting" at gunpoint today. R.I.P. for your young country that had the potential for a much better future. One day you'll understand that the murderers were those bearing gifts. IMF loans, fracking contracts, western "investments".

Doom Sternz, permalink

In Crimea democracy actually worked as intended. The people of Crimea are living in peace free of neo Nazi fascism. No one died and it was mostly peaceful, you have to admire the way Moscow did it. They supported democracy, the will of the people.

Its when democracy is subverted that people die, the people of the Donbass who held a plebiscite and are being denied democracy are being murdered by neo Nazi militia's in an attempt to subvert their free will.

It is the Wests fascism that is killing people, it is the Wests fascism that is denying people the freedom at the ballot box which according to the United Nations is every individuals basic right.

Stop the Genocide of the Donbass people. Recognise the will of the Donbass people and allow them to live in peace and be free of the fascists neo Nazi's in Kiev.

ToddPalant -> Doom Sternz, permalink

I do agree with the spirit of your post. Sure, the US standard practice since WW2, has been to employ fascist groups to overthrow legitimate governments in support of its "national interests". The sad thing for the Donbass area is that the present "leadership" is remotely controlled by certain Russian circles. These circles did not allow the military advance of the DNR and LNR when the situation turned in their favour. Neither did they allow the unification of the two entities under a uniform military and political leadership. The combatants on the ground who are a mixed group of socialists, nationalists and soldiers of fortune, bitterly complain about the situation as they are doing the fighting and the dying. They are accusing their political leaders of boycotting their efforts. It is painfully obvious that oligarchs from both Russia and Ukraine have a hand in this and do not really care about the deaths and the destruction. There will be plenty of business when the time of "reconstruction" comes. As things stand in the Donbass there is no viable future. As for the rest of Ukraine things got even worse. A police state run by private armies, terrorized citizens, terrorized opposition leaders, dramatically worsened job prospects, certainly no chance of anything close to a Democratic Election today. Another fine piece of work by the defenders of "democracy" and the "free world".

fritsd -> Doom Sternz, permalink

"Its when democracy is subverted that people die, (...)"


"(...) the people of the Donbass who held a plebiscite and are being denied democracy (...)"

That's so far off the truth as I understand it that it makes me sick.

As I read it (in the Western media) the people of the Donbass one morning had new leaders who took over their cities, and since then denied them the vote in the presidential election, and it wouldn't surprise me if the DPR and LPR leaders also denied them the vote in the Rada election today.

Yet, you call them "the people of the Donbass who held a plebiscite". I translate that in my language as "volksraadpleging". I don't remember that that has happened. In fact, the people of the Donbass have been intimidated (some election authorities beaten or murdered) so that they were *PREVENTED* from holding a plebiscite.

I rest of yur sentence reads "(...) are being murdered by neo Nazi militia's in an attempt to subvert their free will."I won't complain about your description of their current plight although I disagree. But the middle of the sentence was WAY off.

"Recognise the will of the Donbass people" Yes, but I have no idea how to do that. the DPR and LPR leaders are not going to step down voluntarily, and the Ukraine army is not the right agent to do it either. It will have to depend on the Donbass people themselves to get rid of their current oppressors.

ConradLodziak, permalink

This is shadow theatre to please the the interests of the US. Go ahead Ukraine - elect a neo-nazi parliament. Democracy my arse.

[Oct 31, 2014] Western media hysteria over Russia caused by East West divide

RT Op-Edge
Dear Russian people , do not give a sh... what west and USA say. America is empire of big lies. Just do your daily business . Living in west, I can confirm , people less and less know what is right for them. West is on very wrong path right now. People are weaker and weaker. They are betraying their values.Their goverments are slowly stripping them out of their freedoms while bombing another countries in name of freedoms. Do not copy west. Hold on and you will be stronger and they weaker.
hoyeru zaharia
to the obvious shill Christopher Larson:

latest lies about Russia:

  1. Russian army plane that turned out to be Latvian
  2. Russian submarine that turned out didnt exist.
  3. hackers that are working for Russian government( no proof presented)

If I was you'd I'd think twice before posting. You (USA/NATO/EU) are making yourself total fools. But that has never stopped you before

[Oct 30, 2014] Russian hackers: just another episode in the never-ending psych-op campaign being waged against Russia in the west

Fern , October 30, 2014 at 5:53 am
Terrific article, Mark. I'd missed this story but it does sound as though it's yet another episode in the never-ending psych-op campaign being waged against Russia in the west.

The story of Russian cyber attacks of one kind or another has been running for a while now – NATO's General Breedlove, carrying out his main mission of expanding his organisation's role in the world, was the first to posit the idea that a 'NATO for the 21st century' could see cyber attacks as a justification for invoking Article 5 of the NATO Charter – an attack on one is an attack on all – so the incremental build-up of Russia as the world's most devious hacker is probably serving this sort of purpose.

Back to Ukraine for a moment. An iconic Kiev cinema has been destroyed in an arson attack during a screening of an LGBT film. Fortunately, no-one was hurt. There seem to be two possible explanations for the incident – either a protest against the showing of this particular film or a shortening of whatever planning process operates in Kiev in order to realise the value of the site. It will be interesting to see whether the EU reacts to this.

ThatJ, October 30, 2014 at 6:36 am
In the long term, the EU and US will prefer the LGBT and other marginal freakish groups over nationalists.

However, instead of physical intimidation, the new coalition of AngloZionist-empowered marginal minorities will use the law to criminalize previously widely-held values and beliefs. This is usually done through "hate crime" laws - as if any crime toward a victim is done out of love…

Other means, such as the mainstream media and well-funded violent Trotskyite groups may be used against patriots as well, but this will take years, and like I said before, will only happen if the AngloZionists gain total control over Ukraine. As long as the country is hanging between the AngloZionists and Russia, the AngloZionists will use the shabbos goyim nationalists against the Moskali.

A certain Eugen Zelman is quoted is quoted in the article. Poor guy, he's just trying to spread some European values. Why do these people always find me?

Fern , October 30, 2014 at 6:23 am
A very good edition of RT's 'CrossTalk' on the Ukrainian elections. Peter Lavelle's guests are Nebojsa Malic, Eric Krauss and Dimitry Babich. At one point, Nebojsa sums up the choice voters faced as 'Oligarchs, Nazis and Nazi-Oligarchs' which sounds like it covers a lot of the bases.

[Oct 18, 2014] The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill by Mark Weiser

October 16, 2014 | Dissident Voice
The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There's one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they've been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that's contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this sudden revelation, as soon as the truth is realized, it's likely to provoke a profound and immediate sense of disbelief. Like emergency room personnel making insensitive jokes, laughter at some point becomes a self-defense mechanism for offsetting continuous parades of the absurd realities and outright horrors. This is all happening while the general population takes great pride in having a capitalist-democracy as their social-economic model for the stated purposes of providing equal rights, freedom, justice for all, and an all-inclusive participation in the political system. While in all truth, the capitalist-democracy in question has been corrupted directly by the legislation in place and the collective society's inability to keep the system working for its stated and intended purposes.

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In cases where the US government appears to act deceptively on its own behalf, we have the CIA's Operation Mockingbird, and the FBI's COINTELPRO as prime examples of programs designed specifically to manipulate public opinion and illegally interfere with the people's rights to free speech and assembly. With writers and editors of influential "news" sources on the government payroll as operatives, there is no better way to wage a propaganda war against the public's "constitutionally guaranteed" democratic rights. The CIA and FBI do not distort the truth and subvert Constitutional rights just for kicks; they are directly aiding and abetting those behind the scenes who have an agenda which is pure and simple - corporate profits. Our government representatives are essentially screened, groomed and "voted in" by huge campaign contributions derived from corporate profits, and ultimately the press is financed by those same corporations. And for their "investment in capital", the corporations are getting what they want in return. So when corporate and special interests influence the government and news media directly, while the US government also influences news networks directly on behalf of corporations, then public opinion regarding any important issue is essentially being manufactured and controlled to a very large degree by corporate and special interests. The plain truth is the government, news media, corporate and special interests are all in a symbiotic criminal relationship with the absolute bottom line being they are willingly and knowingly denying Constitutional rights to the American citizenry which, in some of these instances, makes all those in violation willing traitors as defined by US law. And no, a group of conspirators does not need be prosecuted and found guilty in a court of law to be living and breathing traitors…

To maintain corporate profits and our status as world champion capitalists requires the US to undemocratically wage wars for "protecting our self-interests" of continually acquiring and consuming resources. Capitalism demands resources, and in our case, "democratically" waged wars to obtain those resources, require a willing public to sacrifice blood and treasure towards that goal. It's all part of modern capitalism as practiced today - convincing the public, through deception, to sacrifice their blood and treasure to keep the whole system going for maximizing the bottom line of corporate profits. The beloved political-economic system keeps us addicted, enslaved and condemned to languish in a continuous cycle of acquisition through any means, including military aggression. After being manipulated by unpatriotic government officials and news networks to serve unpatriotic corporations and special interests, we believe we're being patriotic when waving our flags while we're actually throwing truth, freedom and democratic principles into the bin of the "Unnecessary and too Risky" for the powers that be. The entire system of control and manipulation is being run by less than one percent of the population for their guaranteed advantages, while on the other end, the system is rigged to keep the majority in perpetual servitude. And because American citizens are part of the system and contributing to it, in that sense they are an accessory to the crimes being committed against themselves.

The truth being known in all of this presents a danger for those who pull the strings keeping the slave camp operating, but so far, the propaganda campaigns have been successful in keeping the general public from recognizing the truth. When this reality is presented to the average America born citizen, chances are high they'll reflexively and automatically deny the truth as a form of self-defense. They simply don't want to accept the reality of their governments' betrayal, and many believe they're being patriotic by defending what they think America is, but again, they're defending lies when the truth is told. When people are held captive and trapped, hope and dignity can be cultivated through planned or spontaneous rebellion of one flavor or another - which might be the closest America will ever come to pulling itself up by the boot straps. But because roughly seventy percent of the general population doesn't think independently, they'll look to someone else or society in general when determining how to think and react; this fact is literally being banked on by those who mislead us through "our government" and "news media" while profiting at our expense and that of the entire world. If the prevailing winds, prevaricated by the government and news media, say there's no reason to rock the boat, then the majority will bow their heads and continue on as compliant slaves, just as we've seen over recent decades.

When it comes to obtaining foreign resources, America's "interests" often come at the expense of someone else. Converting a socialist leaning country, creating and aiding developing countries, or propping up dictators "friendly to western interests" can all work to enhance corporate profits with "privatizing the world" being part of the agenda. Under the table deals, coercion and outright military intervention, in any combination, are all being used to gain control of the world's resources. This is often done under the guise of the IMF, and World Bank, making loans to "help" developing countries. In all reality the IMF and World Bank are there to secure the rights to a country's natural resources, with the bottom line purpose again being corporate profits while having no concern for the indigenous people or anything else.

Corporate America is actively seeking to control water, farmland, mineral and energy rights all over the world. This all comes at the expense of human rights and lives, domestic and foreign. Very few, if any, of the ruling-class personally risk anything other than their personal integrity in these gambits. But everyday Americans, through propaganda, are persuaded to sacrifice their lives and tax money for use in the arsenal of weapons to beguile and wrestle the resources away from people in foreign lands. The powers that be are currently trying to tell the world we'll all be better off with rain water being corporately owned so they can charge human beings for being alive. Next on the agenda is privatizing sunshine which probably sounds absurd to everyone - just as the concept of owning land was incomprehensible to native Americans. Judging by the actions of the ruling-class and not their words, as long as they have enough slaves to manipulate, they don't care if American citizens or others must die so they can accomplish their primary goal of enriching themselves while controlling everything and everyone to that end. The wealthy and politically influential in the US are perfect examples of success in our overall corrupt capitalistic-democracy; while the rest of us are the epitome of failed dupes, having failed to exercise our democratic rights while being exploited. When summed up, the fact that Americans go along with all of this in the direction it's going, is ludicrous when considering the impact all of this is having on the earth's ecosystem (which can no longer be denied) - the ruling-class agenda is completely out of touch with reality - if the human race doesn't get it together soon, all those corporate profits will all be for naught anyway, and could possibly end up being what ends it all for the human race. We do enjoy our self-deceptions though, and denials of the truth, while as master escape artists acknowledging a destiny beyond our control we turn on our favorite televised entertainment as absolute proof.

Destiny is inevitable and unstoppable just like the need to show the world how powerful we were in 1945, by dropping atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima when the US had already known the Japanese were preparing to surrender. With special interests in mind, the US recognized ethnic cleansing of Palestinians as being legitimate starting before 1948 and continuing to this day. We can't leave out the CIA's roll in overthrowing democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 Iran, only to install a murdering tyrant so the corporation now known as British Petroleum would benefit at the expense of the Iranian people. We had the Vietnam duo, with Henry Kissinger aiding Nixon's treason, which ultimately cost one million Vietnamese lives, twenty thousand American lives and one hundred thousand Americans wounded. For authorizing the Watergate scandal, Nixon later received a pardon from his personally designated successor. The overthrow of democratically elected Salvador Allende in 1973 Chile was backed by Nixon's CIA which supported the brutally repressive regime of Augusto Pinochet. Another illegal Kissinger duet with Gerald Ford started in 1975 East Timor. Then came Ronald Reagan and the arms for hostages' deal which circumvented Congress to supply weapons to Reagan's murderous Contras. There was the "just say no to drugs" when Reagan's CIA aided importing crack cocaine with the profits also illegally supporting the Contras' killing machine. The Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s was our largest wealth redistribution up to that time, with many of the well-connected, including the Bush family, profiting at the expense of tax payer dollars. With the 2003 Iraq war being part of the neocon strategy for "securing the realm", America was led to war through lies and deceit while the defense contractors made huge profits from the death and destruction at tax payers' expense, which we'll still be paying for decades from now. The 2008 economic meltdown resulted from the biggest financial rip-off and redistribution of wealth in the entire history of mankind, and while there was plenty of criminal activity on record, there were no prosecutions among the Wall Street ring leaders who orchestrated those crimes. Ultimately, after the 2008 economic collapse, the redistribution of wealth to the well-connected banks and their already wealthy stock holders, was again put on the tab of tax-paying slaves.

Our government escapes the consequences of these realities by manipulating the truth with the well-oiled propaganda machine. And by allowing Wall Street bankers to keep what they stole, and the press having no interest in holding anyone accountable, it all works out to continue bribing politicians with more "investment capital" in the form of "campaign contributions" from those same banks – and the US keeps right on moving toward the goal of lording over the entire world. It's all just part of America doing business as usual, served up by corporate and special interests influencing the unpatriotic duo of US government and main-stream media networks to manipulate the American public into unwitting support for corporate fascism. By all means the illusion of equality, liberty and justice through a disingenuous capitalistic-democracy must be kept alive by our government and news media. If not for the illusion, who or what would run the show?

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[Oct 12, 2014] The Why are the media playing lapdog and not watchdog – again – on war in Iraq?

The Guardian
Fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The mainstream press just sold another American war.

But the mainstream US media plays the role of government lapdog more than watchdog.

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Obsessed with maintaining access to power, the mainstream media just keeps handing their megaphone to the powerful and self-interested. Rarely do we hear from people who opposed the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq or rightly predicted the chaos that would result from NATO intervention in Libya. The few anti-war voices who manage to slip into the dialogue are marginalized and later silenced.

Let's face it: fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The vicious Isis beheadings, discussed ad infinitum, attracted large audiences. So did talk about exploding toothpaste. People whipped into a state of fear always want to know more.

Sadly, the public is not getting what it deserves: a well-rounded debate about the pros and cons of military action. Why has a decade of support for the Iraqi army and years of covert CIA support for the Syrian opposition been so fruitless? How much might this intervention cost? (So far, the bill has been more than $1bn.) How will Middle East monarchies that funded extremists suddenly become exemplars of democratic values? What is the endgame in Syria? Will Bashar Assad still be in power? What are the unintended consequences of expanding American military action in the Middle East? (The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the US bombings already have attracted 6,000 more recruits to Isis.) And most important of all: what are the alternatives to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians? The voices of people proposing political solutions other than slaughter are the voices the public deserves to hear.

Wars usually start with overwhelming public approval once the White House and the national security apparatus get the media to beat the war drums. It's only after people tire of war that the media really begin to seek answers to questions that should have been asked before the bombs were launched.

But instead, once again, the US government and the US media establishment is embracing a military policy of airstrikes to strengthen local capacity despite a regional landscape – from Yemen to Libya – littered with the wreckage of this approach. Smoldering in the detritus of war is also the fourth estate.

GeorgeSherban, 10 October 2014 11:41am

To some extent, you could say that the motives of the US government are altruistic. Of course there will also be strategic reasons for intervening.

Whether it is adviseable or not is another matter.

Chanelle47 -> GeorgeSherban, 10 October 2014 12:00pm

Altruistic is the last thing they are. Why did the US launch an Iraq War 2.0 in the early 2000? At various points it was because Saddam cause 9/11, because of the Taliban, because of Al Qaida, because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (tee hee). Then, a couple of years in, it wasn't any of those things. It became about "sowing the seeds of democracy" in Iraq.

It was all bullshit. One thing you can be sure of: if a politician's lips are moving in regard to Iraq, Isis or terror then what is coming out is never the truth. Their buddies in The Press merely amplify, obfuscate and confuse as required and to order.

JOHNNYHEMISPHERE, 10 October 2014 11:43am

As a famous old man with a big beard once said.....

"The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it.

The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas."

KelvinYearwood -> JOHNNYHEMISPHERE, 10 October 2014 2:05pm

Well put.

The problem is that the liberal paradigm abstractly disconnects material production and intellectual production as though it is a given that the latter operates autonomously.

Hence, you get the question, why does the business media follow money and power?

Clearly intellectual production can act independently of the interests of material production as many independent and/or non-profit writers and organisations prove, but they do not have the means, the power, the scope and the reach to foreground these ideas in the arena of the dominant production of ideas.

Further, to enter the arena of the production of dominant ideas one has to not only have the abilities for such, but be amenable to a process of objective filtering, a priori expectations, values, assumptions entailing personal compromises to such an extent that one is barely human if one has reached a position of authority in the structure (if one was human to start with, that is).

UnironicBeard, 10 October 2014 11:46am

Maybe because the media is in bed with the politicians and arms manufacturers. There's certainly been a lot of propaganda flying around, particularly as the article says regarding Khorasan.

Still, looking at things from the other side of the fence, Isis certainly have a talent for bringing out the warmonger in virtually everybody. And if our intervention isn't very well thought through, perhaps that could be excused to a degree by the urgency of the situation

Zakida, 10 October 2014 11:47am
Like the US government and media, the UK government and media are all neocons now and they are bent on poisoning the rest of us with their neocon propaganda.

splodgeness , 10 October 2014 11:52am

Fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The mainstream press just sold another American war

Who are they selling it for?

JOHNNYHEMISPHERE -> splodgeness , 10 October 2014 12:05pm

Who are they selling it for?

the section of the 1% known as big oil and the Military Industrial Complex.....

In other words those who profit from the instability of the region.

joeomahoney , 10 October 2014 12:09pm
What short memories the Guardian has. It's embarrassing flag waving for Blair and its lack of critique in the Iraq War is still remembered by many of us with some shame.
SeeNOevilHearNOevil , 10 October 2014 12:16pm
You're missing the point that main stream media are not actual reporters especially in the US. They repeat government and hawkish politician talking points without any scrutiny.

For all intend and purpose they are a propaganda machine that showly herds the far from knowledgable average american into believing anything they want.

Even when confronted with the abuse of the government by E Snowden, they still managed to turn him into a villain and brush aside the revelations. If people act like sheep, they will be herded

Backbutton -> SeeNOevilHearNOevil, 10 October 2014 4:06pm
Good observation; these media are regurgitating reporters, not investigative reporters. They just package the drivel fed, not question.

That's one reason the American people are so easy misled by government, politicians and slick businesses, and treated as imbeciles. Deserving.

The progeny blames or thank their forefathers.

JOHNNYHEMISPHERE -> Meltingman, 10 October 2014 1:01pm

Back in the 1930's the left had real intellectuals who knew the only thing fascists would respond to was force.

If you can't see the difference between Nazi Germany (a huge industrial, educated country with the ability to manufacture its own war machine) and the Jihadis in the Middle East you are the deluded one.

Unfortunately today the left is over run with public school toffs and a pampered sheltered upbringing that makes them dangerously clueless.

Obviously you don't realize that many left wing intellectuals who chose to fight fascism in Spain were "public school toffs" like Eric Blair.

zelazny, 10 October 2014 2:18pm
"Why has the media pushed the Obama administration's war frame instead of playing the role of skeptic by questioning official assertions, insisting for corroboration on "anonymous leaks" and seeking alternative points of view?"

To a large extent because people like Medea Benjamin have turned the peace "movement" into a kabuki theater for publicity stunts, which history teaches have no effect and which the press mostly ignores.

Benjamin comes from wealth and this seems to make it impossible to call the actions of her social equals war crimes. Instead, she does gimmicky interactions with Obama, the current leading war criminal in office.

And we should not forget that the major writers in the major papers make good money and have stock based retirement plans, which expand with war because most of the stock portfolios have heavy investments in the military industrial complex companies, which have done extremely well over the last few weeks with replacement orders for missiles, drones, and other weaponry flooding in.

Backbutton -> zelazny , 10 October 2014 3:51pm
Don't spit into the soup, we all must drink. Plus we have families to support and need a job, so go with the flow.
jdanforth -> Backbutton , 11 October 2014 12:32pm
Excellent! You've captured the prevailing mentality of the entire mass of America's disappearing petty bourgeoisie -- professors, artists, journalists, lawyers, etc.
robtal , 10 October 2014 2:48pm
I don't like that we were whole scale lied to by Bush administration about Iraq. And no one who understands power every totally believes anything government mouths expel.
The enemy was in Afghanistan only. Now we have another problem primarily of our own making . ISIS is something that would likely never have happened if we had not invaded Iraq and created a power vacuum. But the new problem is here now and now we have a real self created enemy that is so extreme they cut peoples heads off with dull knives. Our corporate press who spins news like a runaway centrifuge plays a very large role in this. Saying the above, the way out is never avoid the problem but go directly into the fire or heart of it, now we have little choice. The only good if you can call it good is a lot of the world is with us on this one. We forgot the lessons of Vietnam already and Im sure we will forget the lessons of Iraq because corporate interests are the only ones Washington forwards. But we should never never never forget we created all these messes that must be cleaned up. And for that some day we will be taken down.

Cousin2 -> robtal , 10 October 2014 4:26pm

If you support military action against groups that behead people, then you support a US invasion of Saudia Arabia, where eight people were beheaded last month for "crimes" like "sorcery," right? Or is it only Western heads being cut off you are so concerned about, or heads being cut off by people who don't sell us oil?

The article is correct. US national security policy is more about who wins the next election rather than reasoned responses to actual threats. As long as this is so, the US will be at war somewhere, with someone.

BrainDrain59 -> Cousin2 , 10 October 2014 9:52pm
I agree with your general point, as you can see from my other posts here. But with this:

US national security policy is more about who wins the next election

I cannot agree. US national insecurity policy is driven by the needs of the kleptocracy that runs my f'd-up country and profits from its damned wars. Individual zillionaires may be R or D, but as a group they don't care which wins, because they own both parties.

[Oct 11, 2014] Corporate Media and Censorship In America

Oct 10, 2014 |
"Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know."

John F. Kennedy, The President and the Press, 27 April 1961

"There are men, now in power in this country, who do not respect dissent, who cannot cope with turmoil, and who believe that the people of America are ready to support repression as long as it is done with a quiet voice and a business suit."

John Lindsay

This link below is a fairly long and very interesting discussion of the recent crisis in the Ukraine, and what some of the bigger picture implications and reasons for it may be.

However, I am starting this video towards the end, so that you can hear one key point that Professor Stephen Cohen of Princeton makes that is in my opinion essential.

He states that there is no longer a place in the popular mainstream media for debate over the different positions and opinions on key policy questions outside of a narrow range of acceptable views as decided by a few major media outlets. If there is a dissenting view that is distasteful to the powerful interests that influence the government, they will not allow it to be heard or discussed rationally, except perhaps in a few scholarly journals out of the reach of most.

And in this I think he is absolutely correct. And it is not just about issues such as a new Cold War, but on a broad range of social and financial topics as well. Journalism as I once knew it no longer exists except in select locations on the Internet.

Staged discussions between paid 'strategists' from the two major political parties with commentary from a few corporate media representatives is not journalism, and does not provide the platform for the serious discussion of issues that affect all of us.

The seeds for the decline of American mainstream media were sown by the overturn in 1987 of the Fairness Doctrine which required broadcasters to air both side of controversial subjects, and not just the officially sanctioned sides of a carefully selected and phrased question or topic.

And the Communications Act of 1934 was further gutted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which permitted corporate conglomerates to acquire and establish powerful monopolies across the press, radio, and television.

I am finding too many cases where topics are being effectively censored by implicit agreement of the corporate media to either not cover a story, or to permit only certain aspects and views of an issue to be heard.

I am no big fan of the governments of either Russia or China. It is the oligarchs who like the way these statist governments operate, but only when they are making deals with them and getting their way. It was Bill Gates who came back from a tour of China in 2005 and praised this new kind of capitalism.

I have been to both Russia and China, and I prefer neither of those brands of oligarchy and monopoly in alliance with the State. And so I am concerned about the modern attraction by the powerful in the West to emulate them, to manage the news, to establish monopolies, and to hide behind secrecy as they engage in undemocratic backroom deals with powerful interests as a standard matter of doing the business of the nation.

This de facto censoring of the news in the West is not a healthy situation. And so we must get information about important topics where we can. The coverage of too many news topics, from Snowden to the financial crisis to the Ukraine, have been disgracefully one sided and carry the stink of propaganda wrapped in a press under the thumb of a few moneyed interests.

You may wish to listen to the entire interview which I found to be most interesting. Please click on the link below to start the interview at the point of discussing censorship.

Stephen Cohen, The New Cold War: It's Five Minutes to Midnight

[Oct 11, 2014] NATO's games with Ukraine bring world to 5 minutes before nuclear midnight by Stephen Cohen

Quote: "Let's talk about what sanctions mean first of all. It's an institutionalization of the new Cold War. Once the sanctions were enacted, it means formally, institutionally, in legislation, in presidential degrees from the American side - we're now in a Cold War. Remember something else. It is very easy to announce sanctions, very easy. Politically, it's popular: people say, "Oh, good, we now have punished Russia" - whether we have or not is another question. It is very hard to end sanctions. "
Oct 10, 2014 | RT SophieCo

The West and Russia cant seem to get over their differences, with the tensions between the Washington and Kremlin changing the stakes for the whole world. How far would this confrontation go? Is there another Cold War coming? And finally, will the world once again know the horror of a Nuclear War looming over the humanity?

We ask these questions to a prominent American scholar on Russian studies, Professor at New York University and Princeton University. Stephen Cohen is on Sophie&Co today.


The West and Russia can't seem to get over their differences, with the tensions between the Washington and Kremlin changing the stakes for the whole world. How far would this confrontation go? Is there another Cold War coming? And finally, will the world once again know the horror of a Nuclear War looming over the humanity?

We ask these questions to a prominent American scholar on Russian studies, Professor at New York University and Princeton University. Stephen Cohen is on Sophie&Co today.


Sophie Shevardnadze: Stephen, it's really great to have you back and to have you on our show once again. Now, you've called the current U.S.-Russia crisis "the most dangerous confrontation in many decades" - are we close to a war?

Stephen Cohen:Let me tell you what I think happened. We are in a new Cold War. In America, the policy-makers say it's not a Cold War, because they don't want to take a responsibility for it, because their policies, and not just recently, since the 99s, have led to Cold War. It began before, I think, the Ukrainian crisis, but what happened in Ukraine, is that about a year ago, in November 2013, there was a political dispute in Kiev, about whether Yanukovych will sign the agreement with the EU. That political dispute, after the coup in February became a Ukrainian Civil War, generally speaking between Kiev and the South-East of Ukraine. The Civil War then became what we call a "proxy war", with the U.S. and NATO supporting Kiev and Moscow supporting the eastern Ukrainian rebels. The danger is, and I think it continues even now, though some people think the ceasefire has averted the danger, but the ceasefire is not solid, we don't know if it's going to be here tomorrow or next week...the danger is that the proxy war would lead by accident or intention to the intervention of Russian military forces in the East and NATO forces in the West, and that would be the Cuban Missile Crisis.

SS: That's what I was going to ask you - is there really a realistic scenario in your head where U.S. and Russia could actually enter into direct military confrontation?

SC: Yes. I just explained it to you. If the war, the Civil war in Ukraine begins again, the military aspect of it, if the ceasefire fails, if, let's say, Kiev attacks the Donbas again...if Russia feels the need to help the Donbas militarily - it is being discussed in NATO, the possibility of NATO forces entering Western Ukraine. Now, what would that mean? You would have the America-led NATO forces in Western Ukraine, whether on the ground or in the air, it doesn't matter, Russian forces in the air or on the ground - and that would be a modern version of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now, I notice you're smiling, like I've said something fantastic, but we have to think the unthinkable, because who knew 2 years ago we were going to be in a completely….

SS: Well the unthinkable is nuclear weapons being involved - do you think that's a possibility as well?

SC: Well, let's look at what's happened. Russia has the doctrine; they've had it since the 99s, because Russian conventional forces are weaker than American-NATO conventional forces. Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons if Western conventional forces threaten the Russian state and Russia. Meanwhile, as was announced in the New York Times on the front-page, maybe 2 weeks ago, I forgot, that President Obama is about to sign a budgetary decree of what he calls a "major modernization" of our nuclear arsenal at the cost of $1 trln over 30 years. One trillion dollars is only the cost today, it doesn't include overrun inflation, and it's a fortune. Meanwhile, your government has been, quote, "modernizing its nuclear weapons" - but let's talk as adults, what does the word "modernization" means? It means buildup, so both sides are now building up their nuclear weapons, we're in a new Cold War, we're beginning a new nuclear arms race, and the danger is now immense - does that mean there's going to be war? No. The problem is to avert war you need leadership, political leadership, and the question of who's leading correctly and who's not is a political discussion, but the danger is there, absolutely 100%.

SS: There is another huge problem: between the two are the sanctions, the imposed sanctions. Now, Moscow insists that it did not help to push for a ceasefire over the situation in Ukraine in Minsk to actually stop the sanctions, but it helped it, because restoring peace in Ukraine is much more important for Russia. Then you have the West that's always tying sanctions to the agreement made in Minsk over Ukraine.

SC: Let's talk about what sanctions mean first of all. It's an institutionalization of the new Cold War. Once the sanctions were enacted, it means formally, institutionally, in legislation, in presidential degrees from the American side - we're now in a Cold War. Remember something else. It is very easy to announce sanctions, very easy. Politically, it's popular: people say, "Oh, good, we now have punished Russia" - whether we have or not is another question. It is very hard to end sanctions. Remember, Jackson-Vanik, was enacted in 1970s to force Jewish immigration, permit Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union. They only removed Jackson-Vanik a few years ago, long after the time when more Jews were coming from Israel back to Russia than wanted to leave Russia to go to Israel. Politically, and particular with the presidential campaign coming in America, which candidate is going to say 2 years from now: "Things are good with us and Russia, I propose removing the sanctions"? Not one. They'll think it's dangerous…

SS: Now, the Foreign Affairs committee in the U.S. is actually thinking of turning this who sanction-thing into part of law - that would obviously limit very much the American administration's capacity of cooperating with Russia…

SC: That's right. This law, by, what I call, the "war-party" in the Senate - it's not the whole Senate, it's the "war-party", Republican and Democratic - have been drafting a very harsh, Cold War law to punish Russia in many ways, and, moreover, make it possible to send American weapons to countries that are not members of NATO, but were former parts of the Soviet Union. They got a long list, not only Ukraine - this is a reckless, dangerous law, it's not clear if it will pass - some Senators are against it - but, in this political atmosphere, it might pass. Now, of course Obama could veto it - we don't know…

SS: Do you think he will be doing this? Because, like you've said, it would take forever to actually undo that afterwards?

SC: That's correct. Will Obama veto it? We don't know if it will get to Obama, it's got to go out of committee , then it's got to go to the full Senate, then it's got to get a majority, and then it's got to go to Obama, I don't know. We're not sure what Obama does from day-to-day, I mean, if he changes his mind... Now, if the Ukrainian Civil War begins again, if Kiev and the South-East begin fighting and shooting and shelling and what else, now, then I think Obama would sign it. But if the ceasefire and negotiations are unfolding - I don't think Obama would actually sign this. But the strange thing is, it needs to be explained, but I'm not sure I can completely, is why were new sanctions brought against Russia just as Putin and Poroshenko agree on a ceasefire and negotiations?

SS: And why the sanctions are tied into the agreement made in Minsk? Because the agreement is about the ceasefire, not about sanctions…

SC: That's right. They agreed in Minsk, Poroshenko and Putin, and the others, the Ukrainians, and the EU, that there would be a ceasefire and negotiations both about trade, but also about the new Ukraine, if there's going to be one. And suddenly, these sanctions were imposed. I think - I can't prove it – that this was a compromise between Chancellor Merkel and Germany, who has a softer approach towards Russia, wants to end this and get back to business as usual - and the war parties in NATO and Washington; and there was a compromise agreement, where the sanctions were something that Merkel agreed to in return for something she got.

SS: I'm sure you've heard about American vice-president speech at Harvard University, where he revealed that American leadership actually had to embarrass the EU into imposing sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. To me, it seemed like it came as surprise for the EU - do you think EU is really willing to hurt itself because America wants it to?

SC: I don't think, Sophie, that we can talk on these terms of singular entities. There are factions, there are groups. Roughly speaking, it's not entirely precise, there's a "war-party" in Washington, there's a "war-party" in NATO, in the EU, there's a "war-party" in Kiev, because Poroshenko is under attack in Kiev, because of the ceasefire, and - please, forgive me - there's a "war-party" in Moscow that feels that Putin should not have agreed to the ceasefire, that the rebels should have gone on and taken Mariupol, maybe Odessa and that he gave up too much in agreeing to end the fighting and so forth . So, you've got forces in Washington, Kiev, Europe and Moscow who want more war. Now, Merkel leads, in my analysis, the party that doesn't want more war, it wants this war ended, wants to get rid of it, wants to have some negotiations, and wants to EU end the sanctions or at least resume normal trade.

SS: Business as usual, yeah.

SC: Well, because… look, what is sanctions? We think we're punishing Russia - and we are, it's going to hurt Russia, there's no question; but look what's happening in Europe - European economy is down, Italian and French farmers are furious at their governments and the EU, because the Russian market is closed to them, there's too much whatever they produce - cheese, grapes, oranges, bananas - I don't know - but 40% of those goes to Russia and suddenly there's no Russian market. That means they have to cut their prices in Europe, there's too much supply, too low demand, they can't meet their costs, these people going to go out of business. Sanctions cut both ways.

SS: You've also said that the whole Ukrainian thing has split Europe into two.

SC: Three.

SS: Or three - so how are working out a single policy to actually patch things up?

SC: They aren't! You hear different voices...look, Merkel went, about a month ago or so, I forget, in August, I think to Kiev, and after talking to Poroshenko stands before the press and says "the war must end, there's no military solution, and there must be ceasefire negotiations." Poroshenko says: "I agree." Then Poroshenko comes to Washington couple of weeks ago, addresses Congress, and says "We must fight, give us weapons, we're fighting for democracy, we must defeat Russia". He's speaking out of both sides of his mouth because there's conflict in the West, and he's trying to play the middle game.

SS: But here's another thing. The most recent UN report on situation in Eastern Ukraine actually confirms that Kiev has violated ceasefire agreement, but this is obviously being ignored by the West and Kiev's government keeps on receiving aids and blessings…

SC: What we do know is this: there's been fighting for the Donetsk airport that never stopped, and suddenly it appears that Kiev shelled Donetsk and it did that on the day that school began, they shelled some schools. It's horrible...think of what's happened; let's open our minds to the tragedy. In November 2013 the EU told Yanukovich, then the President of Ukraine: "sign an agreement with us or go to Russia", and Putin said "why do they have to choose, let's have a three-way agreement of trade and financial aid to Kiev" - you remember that, it was very clear. Lavrov, Russian foreign office and everybody… and Europe said "No" and Washington said "No, we can't do that". Now, what's happened: near a year later, they ask Putin "please come to Minsk and discuss with Poroshenko Russia, Ukraine and Europe, the three-way deal." Four thousand people have died, one million people have been turned into refugees, the Donbas has been destroyed for the agreement that could have happened without one shot fired in November one year ago. Who's responsible for that? Historians will look back and ask, "Who is responsible for the deaths of those people, that destruction, those refugees, when the outcome was available in November 2013, with a little diplomacy." That is a collapse of diplomacy. Why did the West exclude Russia from the negotiations in November, that's the question. Do you know the reason why? What would think?

SS: What would you tell me?

SC: I think it was about NATO expansion, that trade agreement.

SS: Obviously, that's another huge topic, because many believe that NATO expansion is the main stumbling point between Russia and the West. Also, NATO strategy to actually move Ukraine out of Russia's orbit - it is a huge problem, for Russia. Should Russia consider NATO's actions in Europe as a threat?

SC: If I found out where you live and I came to your house, and I've sat out in front of your house with a lot of weapons, and I've said to you: "Sophie, I'm not here to harm you, this is good for you, this is security" – you'd be frightened and buy a few guns to protect yourself, obviously. Look, when NATO expansion began in 1990s, the late George F. Kennan, who was considered the wisest man in America about American-Russian relations, said "This is a terrible, reckless, stupid decision" and it will lead to a new Cold War. Twenty years later, George - I call him George, because we both were in Princeton together, we saw each other regularly - was correct, and he was not alone. I've said it, Jack Matlock who was Reagan's ambassador to the Soviet Union and Gorbachev… A lot of people warned that the expansion of NATO eastward was going to lead to a very bad situation.

SS: But was the expansion a deliberate idea, maybe, a deliberate act, with an eventual stand-off with Russia in mind?

SC: How can you expand a military alliance without a deliberate decision? It wasn't as if nobody was paying attention, and NATO was on wheels and just kind of drifted…Major decision was taken under Clinton to do it, and it was a catastrophically unwise decision, and not only because it led to conflict with Russia, but what it said to all these new countries in NATO that were part of the Soviet Block is that you don't have to have normal diplomatic relations with Russia, that the Baltics don't have to negotiate with Russia about the rights of Russian-speaking people there. You don't have to negotiate.. Georgia, who thought it was going to get into NATO one time - you don't have to negotiate, you can punch Russia in the nose and hide behind NATO. How much diplomacy is going on? Very little. That was one of the bad things about NATO expansion, it was the end of diplomacy between Eastern Europe and Russia. The expansion of NATO was done for one main purpose - to increase security in Europe. It did just the opposite.

SS: And NATO's chief keeps on saying - the new chief - that there's no contradiction between increased NATO presence in Eastern Europe and constructive relations with Russia…

SC: That's an ideology, that's not a reality. I mean, it's foolish, everybody else knows it isn't true. Russia is preparing for war, as NATO moves closer to Russia. And, by the way, remember something very important, which is often forgotten: missile defense. Russia's tried to compromise on where this missile defense would be located. Russia has proposed it to be joined, Russian-American. What did the U.S. do? They gave the missile defense project to NATO, so missile defense is now part of the NATO expansion. It's not just NATO bases coming towards Russia, it's the missile defense. Now, U.S. says the missile defense is not directed at Russia, but American scientists have said, in its fourth stage it will be able to strike down Russian missiles as the rise towards their ultimate trajectory. Now, that means that Russia will not have the deterrent and the nuclear peace that had been kept for 45 years, on this crazy theory - but it has worked until now - that we won't attack you because we know if we attack you, you will attack us and vice versa - missile defense could end that.

SS: Also, just recently, the U.S. has shipped tanks, soldiers, armored vehicles to the Baltic states - I mean, it's the first time since the end of the Cold War, that U.S. has shipped armed vehicles into Europe. What threat is that aimed at?

SC: Look, this is driven by the Ukrainian crisis. There's a theory in the West of what the meaning of Ukrainian crisis is - that the Ukrainian crisis was started by Putin - that isn't true, but that's believed, that's the ideology - and the Ukrainian crisis is only the beginning, that Russia, the Kremlin, Putin, Russian imperialism is going to move on to the Baltics, to Poland. It's all ridiculous, there's no evidence for it. But, there's been a group in NATO that for at least 15 years - you remember, there was an agreement between NATO and Moscow, that even if NATO would expand, there would be no NATO permanent military bases in these countries that came in closer to Russia - but there's been a group in NATO for years who wanted to do that, they've seized the Ukrainian crisis at the NATO Wales summit, month ago, to create this so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 men. What good are 4 thousand man against the Russian army? Zero, but there's a reason: there going to go bases, communication centers, barracks, air strips in Poland, in three Baltic countries, maybe in Romania - Romania hasn't quite agreed - and that would be not only NATO expansion politically, which is what it was previously, and now it's an actual military expansion. In addition, there is a plan, as you know, to build land-based missile defense installations in Poland and in those countries, so you're right, for the first time there's a military expansion of NATO, not just political, towards Russia - but it's not too late to stop it. It's not too late, if leadership does what leadership is supposed to do, if statesmen and women do what they are supposed to do - we can end this Ukrainian crisis and stop this military expansion of NATO, it's not too late, but it's five minutes to midnight.

SS: How hard is it for you to get your point across the American public when it comes to mainstream media, because, you know, you're always welcome here, at RT, but do you get a platform where you can talk and do you think you're getting your point across?

SC: Let me say a word about RT. Some people say if you go on RT it's unpatriotic - it's complete nonsense. It's just that they don't want to have a debate. In the U.S., I'm not alone, there's a very famous American professor John Mearsheimer in Chicago, who has published a big article in the most important American journal of the elite, "Foreign Affairs" with the title of which is something like "America caused the Ukrainian crisis" - it was a sensation. I've been arguing that for several months, I was very happy that professor Mearsheimer joined this debate. Jack Matlock, you remember who he is?

SS: Yeah, I've actually interviewed him recently.

SC: You know what Jack thinks. He agrees this was reckless, this was bad Western policy. Here's the problem - the three major opinion-shaping newspapers in the U.S., Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal do not actually…

SS: The New York times actually called you "dissenting villain" because of your views on Russia.

SC: When I was a kid, there was a saying "sticks and bones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me" - but names do hurt you, because they stigmatize you, they make people not invite you on mainstream television. The problem is that the Washington elite depends primarily on mainstream television and on the three newspapers: The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Our point of view never, since last February, when the crisis began, has appeared on their opinion pages, never. We've been excluded. Jack Matlock hasn't been there, professor Mearsheimer hasn't been there, my articles have been rejected. I've never seen this before in America, this is something very strange to me, because newspapers used to like controversy, but on this issue, they seem to have convinced themselves there's only one point of view.

SS: Alright, you've got about 90 seconds. Tell me, how does the situation affect the policy-making, decision-making, in the White House. Do you feel there's lack of expertise on Russia?

SC: Yes. We don't even know who advises Obama. In the past, we always knew to whom the President listens, even if those people were not in the government. But we know, for example, that probably among the wisest men about Russia today in the U.S. is Henry Kissinger. He's 92 years old - Obama hasn't talked to him.

SS: He has also actually said that demonizing Putin is not a policy.

SC: "It's an alibi for not having a policy." I think it's worse; it's an alibi for having a bad policy. I'll tell you what we do: I'm old, I've been through this before, I went through this in 70s… those of us who think as I do, we keep speaking out when we can, we're organizing, we try to talk to Senators and Congress people who are willing to listen to us. The problem is, most of them are Democrats and they don't want to come out against Obama, because there are Congressional elections coming in November. They don't want to do anything to be critical of Obama publicly, because the Democrats are having a hard time holding the Senate and the House. This is not about Russia, this is about our social welfare programs, our Supreme Court, about helping poor people, about social justice in America - it's a very important issue, I don't fault them. But, what I say to them: "Ok, after the elections I expect to see you on TV saying this Ukrainian crisis is a disaster and we are also guilty, not just Russia". We'll see if they say anything. What else can you do?

SS: Thank you very much, Stephen Cohen, very famous American scholar on Russian studies, thanks a lot for this interview.

Gary Seven

"We've been excluded. Jack Matlock hasn't been there, professor Mearsheimer hasn't been there, my articles have been rejected. I've never seen this before in America, this is something very strange to me, because newspapers used to like controversy, but on this issue, they seem to have convinced themselves there's only one point of view."

"We don't even know who advises Obama. In the past, we always knew to whom the President listens, even if those people were not in the government."

This is important b/c to me at least, it signals a new level gained in elitist message management. Before, you could have a "debate" within predetermined parameters of debate. Some of it actually made sense, but this new phase is now the full censorship mode in effect.

No debate of any type. I've seen it in many journals. Look how horribly you are treated by discussing any topic that suggests a conspiracy that is not sanctioned by the MSM or paints the establishment in a derogatory manner not acceptable by the elites.

MH17 is a in-your-face conspiracy that begs a real investigation yet, it is not to be discussed in the West outside of the usual Rebel bashing sort. It's all connected and we ignore it at our peril.

Maxim Wexler

"The expansion of NATO was done for one main purpose - to increase security in Europe." Security is secondary; the main purpose is to spread Chicken McNuggets east and take Russian resources west.

The Seething Anger of Putin's Russia

Quote: "In modern history, no U.S. administration has proved more inept at dealing with Russia." Despite typical for US MSMs large amount of neocon, Fox news inspired and absurd comments there are several commentators for this the Atlantic article well worth reading (see below)
The Atlantic

....The U.S. did not have to travel down this road, but it did, and there appears to be no way to turn back-or no way leaders in the West or Russia are prepared to take. The newly precarious state of affairs derives, in great measure, from a failure on the part of Western, and mostly American, leaders to understand Russia, which they should have tried to do, given its strategic importance, nuclear arsenal, continental dimensions, natural resources, and potential as a troublemaker-or dealmaker-in many troubled parts of the world. It also stems from America's refusal to recognize Russia's concern about the eventual expansion of NATO, a military bloc inherently inimical to it, into more terrain along its western border-terrain that is closer to Moscow than the Baltics. How would the United States react to a Russian incursion in the Western hemisphere? This is no hypothetical question. In 1962, President Kennedy took the world to the brink of atomic war to force the Soviet Union to withdraw its nuclear missiles from Cuba.

A deal ended that confrontation, and one is needed now. But to strike one, Western leaders would have to reassess their view of, and policies toward, Russia. Russia, for reasons of history, culture, size, and geography, is what it is: not Western, not Eastern, but sui generis, its own world. Predicating policy on the hopes of a peaceful uprising and the triumph of democracy here-or, conversely, on predictions of the country's collapse, with a new, West-friendly government emerging from the rubble-is futile. In the same vein, announcements of economic sanctions designed to make Russia "pay" for annexing Crimea or stirring up trouble in eastern Ukraine ring hollow to Russian ears.

And with good reason....

... In any case, Russia has set about decoupling from the West, concluding a major hydrocarbons deal with China, helping Iran weather the effects of Western sanctions, planning its own alternative to the interbank messaging service SWIFT, and establishing financial institutions to counter the World Bank and the IMF. It could at any moment derail the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan; the route home for American troops and materiel leads across Russia. Moscow cannot be bullied into changing course.

While Putin is undeniably popular in Russia now, I am not arguing that Russian democracy has survived. It has not. But Putin's icy demeanor, agate-blue eyes, and judo-trained physique all befit the current mood in Russia: seething anger over everything lost with the fall of the Soviet Union-superpower status, national pride, a generous social-welfare state, a low crime rate, and more. Democracy, barely tried in the 1990s, did not confer those things on Russia. Putin-plus high oil prices-did. Or such is the popular perception.

Whether or not Westerners agree with how Putin rose to power or rules today, they need to recognize that in the interests of peace and stability, Russia's interests have to count and be accommodated in some way. Russia must have a place at the table. The West did not exclude it (entirely) during the Cold War years. It cannot afford to do so now.

Nikita Glushkov -> Riley 1066

"He is this and that by definition" is, by definition, an example of crude partisan hackery. If you want to be taken seriously, at least attempt to back up your arguments with evidence. Questionable privatisation, corruption and cronyism is what happens when a given group of elites captures the apparatus of the state - these phenomena are found in every modern society and their presence is merely a matter of degree, and do not provide evidence of dictatorship, merely that people with power use it to enrich themselves and their friends. "Steals other peoples money regularly" - Which people and and on what occasions ? Evidence ?
By the way, in case you are trying, as your brethren often do, to canonize Khodorkovsky as a glorious freedom fighter, its worth reminding you that his wealth was ill-gotten during the Yeltsin years. Putins popularity is not a mystery - During his tenure, living standards for the majority of the population, especially the dozens of millions of people who live outside the big cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg have improved vastly, especially when compared with the 90s. People buy cars and consumer goods, take foreign vacations, etc. etc. etc. Putin's electorate is not located in the capital - thus the 60% with which he won the election is not unpredictable - those precentages represent the percentage of the population who have been the biggest beneficiaries of the Putin years.

If we conclude, as is obvious, that corruption and nepotism is a feature of all governments and the elites who man them, It becomes clear that is not corruption or nepotism that Washington and its lackeys are concerned about, but rather the unwillingness of Moscow to dance to Washington's tune.

Bulos Qoqish -> Nikita Glushkov

He's not a "dictator" in the strict sense of the word. But he IS a classic, far-Right, nationalist, jingoist, manipulative, corrupt demagogue, who cynically abuses mob hysteria (particularly on topics like "NATO encirclement", "support for our Russian-speaking brothers and sisters being 'oppressed' in places like Ukraine and the Baltic States", "re-building our military so we're feared by every other country", "Russia is favored by God, so says the Patriarch of Moscow" and most of all, homophobia) to advance his personal political popularity.

In other words, he's reading right from the U.S. Republican playbook, going at least as far back as Ronnie Rayguns. He's certainly learned from the best... hasn't he? All you right-wing Republicans and Tea Partiers should be proud. Congratulations, Dr. Frankenstein, the experiment was a success!

Bulos Qoqish -> Riley 1066

So there is absolutely NO justification -- of any type, under any circumstances, whatsoever -- for Russian "anger" with the West in general, or the United States in particular... do I have that right?

What typical, self-righteous, U.S. neo-con nonsense posturing.

IAF101 -> Riley 1066

Who are YOU to decide what is "legitimate" ? Who gave you that authority ??

What makes Obama "legitimate" ? What makes George W Bush "legitimate" ?? What makes Regan "legitimate" ??

Putin has higher approval ratings in Russia than Obama ever had in America today. What does that tell you ?

You or your country are not the sole arbiter of what's "legitimate", "just", "right" or wrong. First, hand over George W Bush to the ICC for War crimes trials for illegally invading Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo, rendition flights, waterboarding etc - THEN come and question Putin's legitimacy or Russia's "aggression".

Bulos Qoqish -> Riley 1066

Whatever you think of Putin personally (and as I have stated elsewhere, I think he's a cynical demagogue), his election as President of Russia (not to mention the election to the Duma), was far, FAR more "free and fair" than ANY national level American election, what with its gerrymandering, 2-party oligopoly, minority voter suppression, absurd over-representation of thinly-populated, rural, white, conservative jurisdictions (Montana gets the same number of Senators as California), antiquated "Electoral College" system, and, last but certainly not least, its grotesquely-inflated amounts of money spent by rich people and corporations to buy elections.

Don't like hearing that, my American friends? Don't like hearing the (true) statement that an average Russian, has far more say over his or her government, via elections, than does the average American?

Then SHUT THE F UP, go fix your system, clean it up, and THEN come back to me with your self-righteous accusations of "rigged Russian elections". Until you do that, don't you DARE lecture me (or any foreigner), about "democracy". You wouldn't know it, if it bit you on the leg.

Bulos Qoqish -> Riley 1066

How about "you're bluffing with a hand of deuces, pardner".

What's the matter?

I guess you're more comfortable debating people who don't know very much about how your country really works (as opposed to the propaganda version of it, that the U.S. nationalist Right, wants everyone else to believe in)? Are you maybe unprepared for a POV that doesn't come from, say, FOX (sic.) "News"?

Don't get me wrong. I have no special hate for the United States. There are many sensible, peaceful, reasonable Americans, some of whom are my friends. The American political system (while antiquated and grossly unrepresentative of the wishes of 90% of its voters), isn't hugely worse than equally-bad systems in some other so-called "Western Democracies". It's just that you then get up on this high horse and start calling yourself "exceptional".

It's drivel, and outside your country, we know it is. Before you take it upon yourself to try to fix Ukraine's (and Russia's... or Syria's... or Iraq's... or... "anyone's") problems, how about you fix up your own, and THEN come back and tell us how "perfect" and "exceptional" you are.

Bulos Qoqish -> Riley 1066

Ah, I see, I SEE -- everybody who disagrees with your U.S.-triumphalist, Russophobic POV is an "idiot"... do I have that right?

I guess the world must be just FILLED with "idiots", with all the "smart" people (like you) exclusively populating "God's 'exceptional' country"... right? (Funny, you know... from the way it looks out here, it seems much more like the other way around. Maybe that has to do with repeated street-level tests where the Average American voter can't place either Iraq, Ukraine, or -- for that matter -- even India, on a globe or map.)

Now as to your comments about the political situation in the United States and your supposed (I think, feigned... but as I don't know you personally, I'll have to give you the benefit of the doubt) abhorrence of the crew of right-wing lunatics (e.g. the Koch Brothers, FOX "News" and the whole lot of 'em) to whom I referred in an earlier posting.

Bulos Qoqish -> Riley 1066

To which "totalitarian friends" of mine do you refer, sir? If you had read any of my postings (I guess you're not much up on "reading", are you?), you'd have seen that I have roundly condemned Putin and his clique.

YOUR problem, sir, is that I condemn ALL totalitarians and authoritarians -- including the cruel, jingoistic, cynical, 2-party elite plutocracy and oligopoly that runs the United States. You're fine with people yelling at America's "devil figure of the week" (happened to be Putin a few weeks ago, this week it's ISIS, a few months ago it was Iran's leadership, next month it'll be someone different... names and faces change, but the song remains the same, because fundamentally it's an exercise in propaganda and media manipulation), but you get mad when I point the finger back at your own country.

Remember what they say about people who live in glass houses?

Bulos Qoqish -> Riley 1066

Are you hard of hearing? How many times do I have to (re)explain that I despise Vladimir Putin and his clique of crony-capitalist stooges?

The real reason you keep repeating nonsense like "you defend Putin" is that your simplistic, "four legs good, two legs bad", pro-American, anti-Russian propaganda narrative can't account for someone like me, who likes NEITHER Putin NOR his U.S. elite antagonists.

Well... too bad, squire. The world is a complex place and "the enemy of my enemy ISN'T (always) my friend". That's the truth, whatever you may be hearing back in "God's 'exceptional' country."

Srikanth -> Riley 1066

The western governments are just a power hungry, blood leeching community; first of all they should stop interfering in to issues of other countries -- in the name of humanitarian aid they should stop invading other countries...Western media - a propaganda machine, should stop spreading false news, they just brainwash ppl with false news. USA is the biggest dictator in the world, they try to dictate foreign policies of other nations, sanctions are their primary weapon, they are just bad !

I hope the power centre will move to Russia and Asia, so that there will be a power balance in this world....

Brendon Jaramillo -> Srikanth

cultural misunderstanding. we live on one planet. and win win situations do exist. if only russians werent so paranoid and understood economics.

Bulos Qoqish -> Srikanth

I agree with your depiction of the Western governments (and their motivations); but it's naive of you to think that Russia -- particularly under Putin or another leader cut from the same cloth -- would likely be any better. Historical precedent suggests otherwise.

The world doesn't NEED a "policeman". The world needs to enforce international law and stop larger powers from bullying smaller ones... whether that's the U.S. bullying (for example) Venezuela, or Russia bullying Ukraine.

Bulos Qoqish -> IAF101

"America seems to believe they can do anything without consequences."

Of course they do. They're "exceptional", you see.

Being "exceptional" means that America gets to do things (like, "kidnap helpless victims off the streets of foreign lands and spirit them away for torture and years of arbitrary confinement, in a world-wide Gulag of political prisons", "launch bombing raids against countries with which one is not at war", "invade and occupy other nations", "threaten first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear opponents", "ignore treaty obligations", "ignore U.N. resolutions", "apply its own domestic laws, extra-territorially, in other countries around the world", "exempt its soldiers and mercenaries from local laws, even when they rape and murder citizens of other countries", "violently intervene in the internal affairs of other nations", etc., etc. etc.) that -- if undertaken by ANY OTHER NATION -- would immediately have screams of outrage emanating from the Washington, D.C. plutocratic elite, along with demands for "America's young 'heroes' in the Armed Forces to 'teach this lawless enemy a thing or two' about the norms of international conduct" (the cruise missiles would be flying within the hour).

That this nonsense propaganda -- which IS the unquestioned state dogma of official Washington and the U.S. military-industrial plutocracy (including so-called "liberals" like Obama) -- is simply Soviet-style agitprop, is so painfully obvious as not to merit further elaboration. Any American politician who dares to suggest that the United States isn't, in fact, "God's 'exceptional' nation, mandated by the Lord Himself to divinely 'lead' the rest of the world to Truth, Justice and the American Way", will be immediately ruled out of contention (by the pundits of the elite media) for national public office -- particularly the Presidency. There is a level of monolithic elite agreement on this subject that rivals, for example, Soviet-era doctrine on "democratic centralism". The only real difference is what's on the flags, and the language that the propaganda is spoken in.

What worries ME, frankly, is that having become used to playing the "exceptional" card almost exclusively against weaker nations (or failed states) such as Iraq, Yemen and Serbia, the U.S. elite -- facing steady economic decline at home and needing something else to distract American workers from their falling standard of living -- will at some point think that they can get away with it, against a country that can and will call the U.S. elite's bluff. It might come in a confrontation with Russia over Eastern Ukraine, or possibly with China over the South China Sea. Maybe it will come somewhere that we can't yet imagine.

But when that day comes -- as surely it will, given the mindless, jingoistic belligerence, siege mentality, opportunism and cynicism of the U.S. military-industrial-plutocratic elite (and particularly, its Republican / Tea Party lunatic right wing fringe... these are guys who make Vladimir Putin look like Mother Theresa) -- I am really, really afraid of what might happen next.

After all... an "exceptional" nation, never backs down, after it has started a confrontation... does it?

Start digging your shelter.

David Giles -> MatterOverMind

Actually, you are completely wrong. The USA started the fire. First by starting a war against Gadaffi and overthrowing a long standing Russian ally. Then by training and arming Muslim Extremists in Jordan to launch an insurrection in Syria, then by using chemical weapons in Syria in an attempt to discredit Assad and justify direct American intervention. Remember Oclown's red line. Despite the massive howls of the American public against action in Syria, Oclown was going to bomb Syrian military forces anyways. That is until Russia moved their Black Sea Fleet out of Sevastopol Crimea into the Mediterranean in front of Syria and told the US that attacking Syria would mean war and quote from Putin and Medvedev "once wars start their is no telling where they can lead, nuclear war is possible".

Oclown backed down from attacking Syria. But in response to Russia's defense of Syria the USA CIA and State Department gave $5 billion dollars to criminal gangs in Ukraine to stage an uprising against the legitimately elected government of Ukraine. They then sent in their special forces snipers that they have used in several civil disturbances to cause them to get violent, Libya and Syria being two examples. The goal in toppling the Ukrainian government is multifaceted; the biggest prize being depriving Russia of the use of the navy base in Crimea. We know how that turned out NOT!

Other goals include capturing the newly discovered vast natural gas fields in Western Ukraine and developing those fields to supply Western Europe's energy needs. Doing this deprives Russia of much needed funds through the sale of their natural gas to Europe. Further, 90% of Russia's natural gas sales to Europe go through pipelines in Ukraine. Physically controlling these pipelines puts the West in a much stronger position to negotiate prices for Russian gas as the Western Ukrainian fields are brought on line. Or so they think.

The likely scenario is Russia is going to get really pissed and cut off the flow of gas right in the middle of winter. America will try and take up the slack by shipping liquified natural gas in tanker ships. Expect severe disruption of this attempt both in US and European ports.

In the meantime, Al-Maliki in Iraq was aligning with Iran and consequently Russia and refused to sign the status of forces agreement with Oclown. Because of ongoing failures in Syria, Oclown turned his ISIS creation loose on Iraq to disrupt and over turn the Al-Maliki government. It didn't matter to Oclown and the leaders in Washington that countless thousands have been brutally murdered by their ISIS puppet. Now using the pretext of combating their own creation they are again calling for bombing Syria and arming "moderate" rebels. However, the truth on the ground speaks volumes. ISIS is driving US military vehicles and using US made weapons. As soon as Congress passed the aid bill, just days ago, ISIS made huge advances in Syria. This is no coincidence as the US military and Intelligence Agencies had the weapons on site and ready for transfer before the bill was signed. That is why it only took days from signing the bill to ISIS gaining control of more cities in Syria.

What you really need to understand is what this is all about. BANKING and control of the worlds monetary system.

Every country the US invades or topples doesn't support the IMF and World Bank but are debt slaves to those institutions after invasion is complete. And many including Syria, Iraq, and Libya planned on a new gold standard that would undermine the US dollar's control of global oil markets.

Even in this article (a well written one), it mentions Russia's creation of alternatives to the IMF and World Bank. This is the real reason the West is trying to go to war with Russia. Putin has often openly spoke of combating a global evil, one out to control all nations and install a world government, an evil who's most public face is the IMF and World Bank. Putin is a religious man as is most of Russia today. It would not surprise me if they see Satan behind the West Globalist institutions, certainly Iran doesn't hesitate to say that is the case.

And while you may think that taking down these regimes is good and the US has peoples best interests at heart...and that we are the good guys. Look at the results of ALL of the Arab Spring. Look at our ally Saudi Arabia driving tanks into Bahrain to put down that countries democratic uprising. That western media neglected invasion of a sovereign nation by a totalitarian state to put down people demanding freedom and democracy, an invasion called for and supported by Washington because the people of Bahrain would tell the USA to get the F out of their nation and take their navy base with them if they ever had a voice.

Your simplistic view of the events transpiring in the world indicates you need to lay of the US MSM koolaid.

provocateur -> David Giles

Funny, most nations don't have a problem with the world bank..only backwards, intolerant, self important countries like Russia do. Whats that? They don't like dancing to the American's tune? Well build a better country and then you can call the shots. Until then, post rambling, incoherent nonsense (like your post) or kindly shut up. People realize how terrible this planet would be with Russia in charge.

Nikita Glushkov -> provocateur

Your comment provides an interesting insight into the American imperial psychosis - "Well build a better country and then you CAN CALL THE SHOTS." You literally are functionally incapable of concieving that other great powers are not motivated by a desire "to call the shots" everywhere in the world. You forget that Putin does not go on television talking about "Indispendible Russia Leadership, only about local Russian national interests. You forget that only in Washington do the power elites peddle self-serving propaganda about "American global leadership." It would be great if Washington stopped forcing itself down everyone's throats and focused it's interests on it's own immediate borders, but they aren't going to do that, are they ? They would rather send Mrs. Nuland of the State Department to stage right-wing coups in Kiev. We don't want to be in charge of the world, we want Washington to stop cocking it up in our local sphere of influence.

Funny, plenty of nations and international organization, especially those that represent developing economies, have problems with the World Bank, primarily because of it's promotion of the Washington concensus and conditional predatory lending that eviscerates pensions, social spending and domestic production and investment and perpetuates a vicious cycle of dependency whereby the developing world is forced to provide raw materials to the Western nations, who then create added value which the producers never see. It's really very simple.

provocateur -> Nikita Glushkov

Yeah yeah. Russia just wants everyone to get along in their multi-polar pinko paradise. The World Bank, and global economy in general is primarily an American institution as it is based on rampant capitalist ideals. You are clearly (and maybe rightfully so) frustrated at what you see as American hegemony in the financial arena. That's what happens when the state of California makes more money than 80% of the countries on Earth. As I said before, when poor, bullied Russia gets that kind of power, I wonder if you will still be whining?

Nikita Glushkov -> provocateur

What on earth are you blathering on about ? Did you bother reading my comment above at all ? We couldn't care less who "gets along" in a "pinko paradise" - we have always operated on the assumption that individual states engage in policy actions motivated by their proprietary interests and this ensures a durable, if imperfect balance of stability in the world system. Like I said, WE, unlike your people in Washington, don't presume that for some reason, we are fit to tell other states how to conduct their affairs near their borders. We couldn't care less which countries the World Bank is currently beggaring, as long as Washington keeps it various institutional attack dogs away from our doorstep. Why is that concept so hard for you to grasp ? The State of California makes more money than 80% of individual sovereign states ? - care to provide evidence for that fantastical claim ? Russia would have been "bullied" in this case if we allowed Obama to get away with Ukraine in one piece - as it is, our goal, guaranteed non-expansion of NATO, has been achieved at relatively little cost and the immediate threats to our national security have been brought under control. We don't have designs for global domination. because we operate under the assumption, unlike Washington, that it's an impossible goal. So, no, we won't acquire "that kind of power" (whatever that means) because acquiring "that kind of power" was never on the agenda to begin with - leave us alone in our backyard, and we won't bother you in yours. How difficult is that to wrap your head around ?

provocateur -> Nikita Glushkov

Just blindly assuming that I'm American because I dont agree with your tin foil hat theories. Im from England. Typical Russian flattering himself about how NATO wants to encircle your country. Only a Russian could not see the irony of a massive bloated nation crushing its neighbor and then making claims about how you are being "bullied." Also, LOL @ "world domination." Your paranoia is truly incredible.

Maybe the countries next to you are ASKING to join NATO because Russia is a deceitful menace to them? Isn't that more probable than whatever Nazi Alien Anti-capitalist rant you are spouting? Your writing doesn't do much to dismiss the widely held image of Russians as cabbage eating, drunken liars.

DrOph -> David Giles

I see where your heart is, which is nice. But your intel is all mixed up. The fact that this exchange has garnered so much attention (regardless of the poor perspectives they both offer) is a testament to the prevailing ignorance which reigns supreme in the world. Thank god nobody cares about comments. Read the article. This is a very well articulated and reasoned piece. Heed this warning, and check this hideous rashness

Bulos Qoqish -> David Giles

What I'd like to know is, "if a group of far-Left revolutionaries (including a large number of Trotskyists who were publicly pledging to 'cleanse Mexico of its filthy Jewish capitalist scum'), who were dissatisfied with the outcome of a recent election in Mexico and with the pro-American policies of the resulting Mexican government, started staging a series of violent street demonstrations in Zocalo Plaza -- thereby resulting (eventually) in the violent overthrow of the elected Mexican government, and its replacement by a far-Left successor regime far more friendly to Russia or Cuba... what would be the reaction of the United States?"

Because substitute "Mexico" for "Ukraine" and "United States" for "Russia", and there you have an EXACTLY parallel situation.

Yet America whines and shrieks about Russia's behavior. I would suggest that you Americans check the history books regarding your own track record, in Latin America, before you entertain us with your stupid posturing about "the awful Russians".

Nikita Glushkov -> SgtKonus

I'd wager it's because there cannot exist separate standards for the foreign policies of various great powers - unless said separate standards can be enforced. In a world of realist power politics, it is nonsensical and disingenuous for one power to attack another for not being moral, friendly, or nice, when the prevailing state of the world is one where being moral, friendly or nice will compromise your security and survival. Feel me ?

hailexiao -> Bulos Qoqish

If we instigated and supporteds separatist/US annexationist movements in Baja California and Coahuila, we would be in the wrong, just as Russia is in the wrong right now. Just because we won't do any better doesn't mean Russia or anyone who acts similarly isn't also wrong. Glass houses need to be broken by thrown rocks anywhere they exist without exception.

Bulos Qoqish -> hailexiao

Suppose "we" (by "we" I assume you mean "the United States"... remember, I'm not an American) did that (note that you are, here, disingenuously implying that ALL the separatist movements in Crimea and Ukraine were purely and simply created by the Russians, out of whole cloth, and that they have absolutely no popular support in places like Crimea or Donetsk... an assertion that is obviously false).

It would still not make America's likely reaction any different. So the entire point is irrelevant. The point IS, of course, that, in true, hypocritical "U.S. exceptionalist" style, all of the Russia-baiters on these forums are frothing at the mouth to denounce Russia for doing things that their own country also does (actually, does much worse), on a routine basis.

Whether or not this kind of nonsense propaganda is appealing to Americans, I can personally attest that it has ZERO credibility or traction, outside of "God's 'exceptional' country".

Nobody out here particularly likes Putin or his cynical tactics in Ukraine. But the United States comes into this dispute as a hopelessly tainted, discredited interlocutor. America's past track record of gross violations of international law and cavalier disregard for the rights of less powerful nations, disqualifies it from being a positive force not only in this dispute... but in ALL disputes.

Jack P -> David Giles

Cogent post. Thought I'd mention it because I've been through the ringers dealing with the drivel on the Russia-Ukraine situation, and commiserate. Apparently anarchists, communists, progressives, some libertarians like Ron Paul, socialists, syndicalists, and others are Putin trolls or Kremlin shills because they contradict the State Department party line. Better yet, Larry King,, Amy Martin on Breaking the Set, and economist Max Keiser are Putin trolls because they're on Russia Today. The brainwashed boneheadedness of many of these commentators is rather pathetic.

Hristo -> mtbr1975

First off. As everybody knows it started with a coup against the legit Ukrainian government. This coup was initiated and backed by US mainly and EU following the "bigger brother", cause this is what they best do. They are followers. Secondly the russian "invasion" actually never happened. It wasn't confirmed by any of the official observers. Ukrainian government came up with it cause they were ashamed of loosing to significantly smaller army. So they needed an explanation. And knowingly that the west is going to hope in the wagon for political reasons they invented the "russian invasion".

Hristo -> xi557xi

"an agent of irrational Russian behavior"

Wow finally you called somebody to come and help you with the writhing. Unfortunately for you it sounds, how to put it mildly - stupid. Send this person back home. You were doing better without him. Now some answers:
1. Russia proposed cheap gas and 15 billion USD loan to Ukraine. EU proposed-wait for it-nothing. Yanukovych of course the pragmatic he is new that it will take years for the Ukrainian economy to be able to integrate with EU. So he chose the logical one. That is the truth. Everything else is just your wet dreams.
2. It is good that you have evolved as a result of our discussion and now you acknowledge that there wasn't a Russian invasion. If there is (and this is a big if) any " Russian military officers, vehicles, weapons, equipment, and training involved" it is only fair since there are American such in Ukraine. Somebody's got to level the play field, eh
3. I don't know but I would guess that you do. Since the Dutch in their report didn't come with an answer either, one may suggest that you probably was the one shooting the plane, cause this is the only way to now with any certainty.

Jack P -> Kevin

"Supported various genocides such as Syria." That's a real howler. The anti-Syria jihadists - the origin of IS - was supported by US/NATO via Turkey and the CIA. Yeah, I'm sure that conflict had nothing to do with Georgia's independent policies that irked the kremlin" is a classic straw man argument. It doesn't refute that Georgia and Saakashvili, with arm stockpiles provided by the US, perpetrated the murderous assault on South Ossetia. Chechnya is Russian Federation land. And yes, there is evidence that Russia has shown itself to be "caring humanitarians." Witness the three aid convoys bringing food, water and other supplies to Eastern Ukraine. What exactly has Kiev brought to that region?

Bulos Qoqish -> MatterOverMind

"Appeasement". The standard, nonsense "nuclear weapon" used by the U.S. neo-con Far Right to shut off debate and stop any intelligent, reasoned, fact-based discussion of any topic that the Right doesn't want to examine.

How typically... "American".

Nikita Glushkov -> MatterOverMind

Yes, my man, a fine question. Let's examine the history, shall we ? At the end of the 80s, Gorbachev, bless his heart, decided to pretend that realist great power politics ceased to exist and decided to unilaterally surrended Soviet interests on out Eastern border. In return, his naive expectation was in the absence of a "threat", Washington and it's West European lackeys would do the same. in fact, Baker, then Bush Srs. Secretarty of State, told Gorbachev clearly that if he were to allow the reunification of Germany, NATO would not be advanced, and I quote here, "not even an inch to the East." We know very well with hingsight that those promises were shat upon - instead, we got a Clinton-manufactured war to dismantle Serbia and make Kosovo essentially a huge offshore US military base, we got pretty obvious NATO expansion, we got Bush-era attempts to place so-called ABM installations on our borders (Oh, don't pay any mind to the fact that there are outside your door, they are actually aimed at the Iranians. What, the Iranians have no long range missiles ? Oh well.) So don't give me Putin restablishing the Soviet empire shtick, it's just juvenile. Thoughout this crisis, we have made clear that we will be perfectly satisfied with a non-aligned, neutral Ukraine along the Finland model - because that is the only sitation that allows for the preservation of our security interests. Putin, unlike your people,


Russia, has always wanted to be part of Europe. St. Petersburg was a testament to that wish, a capital built in Europe and meant to impress Europe's then heads of state. (Royal Europe) but Russia was barely European mostly Asian. And it's early history was not civilized as was Europe. Millions of uneducated surfs wedded to the land, no hope of emancipation. After this emancipation in the revolution came an expanded more enlightened population, but also a feeling of national inferiority lingered. Everything had to be Russian and big, not the best, but the biggest. The communist system failed and this empathized their degree of sophistication in governing, manufacturing and arts. Yes, Americans managed to insult the Russians, but I think they would have never really integrated with the west, as this Raw Russian history would prevail and they would have turned away from the civilized west. They see the west as decadent, and reject principles we impose on them like the extreme degree's of free speech etc.

Putin is trying to build a Russia with more discipline and control then the west. Something like the US was in the 50's. It will be time that tells just what will come of it. Putin shows his citizens how he can thumb his nose at the EU and US and get away with it. And China is going right along with him. They are forming a new hemisphere more energetic and exciting, the west just isn't offering. The tables are turning way from he west and they know it. American leaders realize the same but don't know what to do. Cut debt??? I think the only thing the world knows universally, is American leadership has faltered and the world is in a mess or influx.

David Giles -> boca_grande

The Civilized West you mention created ISIS and is currently arming them despite that organizations brutal, murderous, genocidal behavior. They are doing this to take down nations that don't adhere to their banking systems. The great civilized west killing for money again. Russia has no desire to align with the godless, homo loving, baby killing west.
American leadership has not faltered, it has failed. It has failed to live up to its oath of office for over 100 years now, all selling out to the One World Government movement and betraying the American public and nation.

End the Federal Reserve, end fiat currency, end the license to steal and kill.

Jack P -> SgtKonus

Only partially true. The US/NATO was arming and training Al Nusra in Turkey to go into Syria. The CIA was also involved. Of interest is that well-known picture of McCain meeting with several of the "legitimate" opposition in Syria. Who's t he guy sitting across from McCain, front left (those who want to can easily find the pic). He ends up being the head of ISIS.

Jack P -> SgtKonus

Link to a treatment of McCain purportedly meeting the "legitimate Syrian opposition." The author of the commentary contacted the McCain camp wondering if he was meeting a later ISIS head. At first they said it wasn't the same person, to which the author asked for the name. They didn't provide it. So either it is a cover-up, or McCain and his camp didn't vet who he was meeting. In the case of the latter, it puts to shame the point that arms were being shipped to non-radical elements in Turkey and Syria.

Bob -> provocateur

Wow, you really are deluded. Well try then Saudi Arabia. How many be headings and stoning s have they performed this year? And this differs from ISIS how? And they are whose allies? This thing about Iraq's weapons is hog wash and just a phony alibi.

SWalkerTTU -> Laura

Maybe we should consider the policy of the Roman Empire, which Tacitus (I think?) sarcastically described as "They make a desert and call it peace."

Laura -> SWalkerTTU

What peace is, is a complex thing. If everyone is dead, that's pretty peaceful. If one side is cowed into silence, that's peaceful.

Jack P -> vkg123

Not deep in the woods at all. Given that there are Chechen separatist terrorists in the area who are going under the radar after Russia gaining control of the territory. Some of the volunteers who went to East Ukraine were formerly fighting the terrorists - or separatists however you want to look at it - in previous Chechen battle. Many of them went elsewhere, to places like Turkey and eventually where they gained US/NATO largesse.

In fact Right Sector thug Yarosh, currently in high position in the Kiev government, praised Right Sector Alexander Muzichko for his role in fighting against Russia in Chechnya. Muzichko is known for torture and murder of prisoners. That's the side that transmuted into the Syrian "opposition" and eventually the current ISIS.

[Sep 29, 2014] Obama Rewrites History at the UN by GARRY LEECH

Quote: "This is a shocking misrepresentation of the "facts," but one that is believable to most Americans because it is the tale we have been repeatedly fed by the corporate media". Imagine Washington's response if Russia were to politically intervene in Canada in order to install an anti-US government.

This week US President Barack Obama addressed the UN General Assembly and the unintended irony in his speech would be humorous if it were not so cruel-and dangerous. Obama touched on a variety of global issues from the Ebola epidemic to the Ukraine to the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS). So what was this unintended irony so prevalent in Obama's speech?

Well, here are a few choice nuggets for you to consider:

"We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort."

Obama neglected to note that the reason that the future may seem out of control is directly related to US interventionist actions in faraway regions such as Iraq and the Ukraine. The illegal and unilateral action-rather than a legal collective effort through the United Nations-to conquer and occupy Iraq lies at the root of the new US intervention in that country and in Syria.

"Russia's actions in Ukraine challenge this post-war order. Here are the facts. After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt President fled. Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed."

This is a shocking misrepresentation of the "facts," but one that is believable to most Americans because it is the tale we have been repeatedly fed by the corporate media. After being told by our political leaders and the corporate media at the time that the protests by the Euromaidan movement in Ukraine constituted a popular uprising, the events that followed laid bare that lie.

The Euromaidan movement represented a section of the Ukrainian population that was allied with US and EU interests. Furthermore, it was being supported by Washington long before the protests began in order to destabilize the country and overthrow the democratically-elected president because he was more closely-aligned with Russia than Western Europe. While Russia is undoubtedly meddling in the Ukraine, at least it is a neighbour with intimate and even ethnic ties to many Ukranians. Imagine Washington's response if Russia were to politically intervene in Canada in order to install an anti-US government.

WaPo Propaganda vs. McClatchy Journalism

September 24, 2014 |

Washington Post

At least on the first day of bombing, there was little public backlash, with virtually no outcry beyond a pro-Islamic State protest in Istanbul."


On Facebook, critics of the U.S. and its Arab allies, calling them "aggressors" and the "Crusade Coalition," dominated the postings Tuesday by almost 10 to 1.

Washington Post

The attacks against the Islamic State militants were openly welcomed by rebels who have fought for three years against the government of President Bashar al- Assad.


Raad Alawi, the commander of a smaller group of fighters, the Squadrons of Al Haq, told McClatchy he was very angry."Starting the war with the bombing of Nusra is an indication that this is a war against the revolution and not Daash," he said, using the pejorative Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. "Maybe next they will bomb the bases of the Free Syrian Army."
The Hazm movement, which also receives U.S. and international support, issued a statement condemning the airstrikes, the failure to consult the Free Syrian Army and the deaths of civilians.

Willy2 | Sep 24, 2014 4:00:22 PM | 11

Demian | Sep 24, 2014 5:51:37 PM | 21

@Willy2 #11:

As I recall, McClatchy was the only anglophone wire service which, during the run up to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, ran stories casting doubt on claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Lavrov tells Kerry a few home truths "In an interview given to the Russian Channel 5 prior to his meeting with US State Secretary John Kerry on Wednesday, Lavrov said that combating terrorism requires fighting terrorists everywhere, not classifying them as good because they're trying to topple a duly elected and legitimate leader that the sides making these classifications happen to dislike personally.
"According to this logic, the only bad terrorists are the ones who only kill U.S. citizens," he said, wondering how the Americans failed to see the terrorist threats before".

Posted by: harry law | Sep 24, 2014 6:06:56 PM | 23

Posted by: harry law | Sep 24, 2014 6:06:56 PM | 23

Please don't link to the truth it scares the sheeple;) The one thing I like most about Russian leaders is that if you didn't understand what they just said than your an idiot. Its to the point but Kerry will miss the whole thing spout off some insane BS as usual.

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 24, 2014 8:06:44 PM | 24

@jo6pac #24:
The one thing I like most about Russian leaders is that if you didn't understand what they just said than your an idiot.
Russian leaders don't do postmodernism, which Western elites have embraced. Postmodernism is a pseudo-left embellishment on the concept of doublethink. I can't think of a better recent example of doublethink than Obama's address to the UN General Assembly.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 24, 2014 8:52:30 PM | 25

Obama Speech At UN: Hypocrisy, Lies and Newspeak

Video and Transcript

"We fight for our ideals, and are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short. Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary."

Posted September 24, 2014

Note from Tom - ICH regulars, may wish to have a sick bag close at hand.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 25, 2014 5:55:56 AM | 38

Russia tops ISIS threat, Ebola worst of all? Lavrov puzzled by Obama's UN speech
Published time: September 24, 2014 21:47
Edited time: September 25, 2014 04:44 Reacting to the speech, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke with astonishment.

"We earned the second place among the threats to international peace and stability," Lavrov told journalists on the sidelines of the UN assembly.

Not only the ranking of international threats seemed bizarre to Lavrov, especially in the light of the current strikes in Iraq and Syria that bypassed the UN mandate, but also Obama's certainty that the world has become "freer and safer."

"I didn't understand whether he was serious or not and whether there was an Orwellian element in it. Because George Orwell invented the Ministry of Truth and it looks like this philosophy is lingering."

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 25, 2014 6:40:04 AM | 40

Seems like Obama's speech writer was able to smuggle in some truth
The brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq forces us to look into the heart of darkness

Heart of Darkness

The story is a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25, 2014 7:37:34 AM | 41

Fascinated that airstrikes in Syria targeted and destroyed/degraded "ISIS controlled oil fields" (which represent most of Syria's flagging oil industry) -- As far as I can tell Syria's oil industry was nationalized in the 1960's and I can find no evidence it was ever re-"privatized" (although foreign exploration resumed in the late 1970's and remains highly subsidized domestically (to keep prices down for the domestic market).

According to the BBC, this "blackmarket oil smuggling" has been in existence for decades and is low level and largely a "local market" so this may be another "strike" against terrorism that makes life even more bitterly difficult for the locals.

France reportedly bombed ISIS in Iraq (and Syria) -- allegedly in "retaliation" for the beheading of a "tourist" ... interesting precedent.

I'm guessing this will not increase Baghdad's popularity.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 25, 2014 8:19:43 AM | 43

[Sep 29, 2014] Syria/Iraq/Afghanistan: As Bad As a Crime, a Blunder by Eric Margolis

"Having nearly provoked war over Ukraine with nuclear-armed Russia, the Obama administration has now launched a full-scale crusade in Iraq and Syria against the evil Saracens of ISIS. ... The new plan seems to be: "Kill'em all and let God sort them out," a Vietnam-era slogan echoing the original from the Middle Ages."

Having nearly provoked war over Ukraine with nuclear-armed Russia, the Obama administration has now launched a full-scale crusade in Iraq and Syria against the evil Saracens of ISIS.

America's aerial might, including B-1 heavy bombers, is plastering ISIS miscreants. Washington's Arab allies and rightwing governments in Canada and Australia have joined the fray. The British will be next.

ISIS reserved particular venom for the French, referring to them as "dirty, spiteful" French (the Brits will love this one) whose warplanes joined the bombing crusade.

The new plan seems to be: "Kill'em all and let God sort them out," a Vietnam-era slogan echoing the original from the Middle Ages.

The real problem is that the White House's strategy looks like it's being run by two angry women, Susan Rice and UN ambassador Samantha Power. Neither they nor President Barack Obama seems to have any grasp of military or geopolitical strategy. It's amateur hour driven by a frenzy of alarmist hysteria from politicians and the media.

Iran's president put it perfectly when he called America's new Syria-Iraq a "blunder," adding "certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of madmen, who now spare no one."

While the US is cooking up a new, bigger mess in the Levant, the old mess in Afghanistan only gets worse. Last week, Washington's colonial bureau finally managed to cobble together a political deal in Afghanistan between two rivals for the presidency, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.

... ... ...

Taliban virtually eliminated Afghanistan's drug trade save in the region controlled by the Northern Alliance. Today, Afghanistan's drug production and exports have reached what the UN calls "record highs."

The US remains the proud owner of the world's leading producer of heroin. The drug lords that kept Karzai in power are all close US allies. But no one in Washington cares to talk about the dirty underside of Afghan politics or how its government runs on drug money. Foreign aid is the only other source of government income.

Most Pashtuns detest the suave Abdullah Abdullah and his fellow Tajiks. For their part, Tajiks look down on Pashtun as backwards mountaineers. Everyone mistrusts the minority Uzbek and Hazara, both of whom also collaborated with the US occupation or Iran.

Taliban, Afghanistan's most popular and authentic political movement, is predominantly Pashtun. Washington's refusal to talk directly to the demonized Taliban ensures that there will be no real political compromise in wretched Afghanistan, which has been at war for the past 35 years.

The half-forgotten Afghan War has cost the US close to 2,500 dead, 17,000 wounded and over $1 trillion. The "reconstructed" Afghan army will be as likely to collapse without direct US support as was Iraq's army, three divisions of which ran away at first contact with ISIS fighters.

So why does Washington keep pumping billions into Afghanistan, which has no oil? Because, in keeping with imperial logic and strategy, it remains the best pipeline route to export the oil riches of the Caspian Basin south to Karachi on the Arabian Sea. And because Afghanistan overwatches Central Asia, where China is increasingly active.

Lastly, because the mighty US military industrial complex cannot accept being defeated by Pashtun tribesmen. Nor can the American, Canadian, British and French politicians who sent their soldiers to fight and die in this useless war.

[Sep 29, 2014] Ron Paul: Obama Has Started 'Immoral and Illegal' War in Iraq and Syria
Obama's new wars in Iraq and Syria are totally immoral as well as illegal under US and international law, RPI Chairman Ron Paul told RT's Abby Martin yesterday. The idea that US force will solve the problem is also mistaken, he said. "US action will increase the violence," rather than reduce it, he added.

In a lengthy interview, broadcast on RT's popular "Breaking the Set" program, Dr. Paul wonders why the countries in the region, feeling the pressure from ISIS, do not get together to solve the problem.

Said Dr. Paul about US involvement in the fight:

Why should someone 6,000 miles away, that has been stirring this pot for so long, be the group that is going to bring everyone together and organize the fight?
The fearmongers who have terrified many Americans into supporting another war in the Middle East are "not concerned with the defense of America," said Ron Paul. But the weapons manufacturers are making out very well, with the US bombing its own weapons that have fallen into the hands of ISIS.

Watch the whole interview here:

The Chomsky Paradox


After a few years of publishing on the web to an audience of more than a million readers a month, it became clear to us that the old David v. Goliath struggle of left pamphelteers battling the vast print combines of the news barons is beginning to equal up. On a laptop's 12-inch screen CounterPunch stands as high as the New York Times or Rupert Murdoch, who shelled out $580 million for in 2006 when he belatedly realized the world had changed.

Jeff Bezos, the titan of Amazon, plunked down $250 million of the decrepit Washington Post. Why? Vanity? What's an oligarch without his own paper? The old newspaper empires are dying or dead.

Twenty years ago the Los Angeles Times was a mighty power. Today it totters from once savage cost-cut and forced retirement to the next. Will the broadsheets and tabloids vanish? Not in the foreseeable future, any more than trains disappeared after the advent of the Interstate system. A mature industry will yield income and attract investors interested in money or power long after its glory days are over. But it's a world in decline and a propaganda system in decay.

The left is so used to being underdogged that it is often incapable of greeting good fortune when it knocks at the door. Thirty years ago, many of the pieces we run daily in CounterPunch challenging the official nonsense peddled in the mass-market press, would have been doomed to small-circulation magazines or 30-second summaries on Pacifica radio. Thirty years ago, to find out what was really happening in Gaza, you would have needed a decent short-wave radio or a fax machine. Not any more. Now we can get a news report from Gaza or Ramallah or Oaxaca or Vidharba and have it out to a worldwide audience in a matter of minutes.

Naturally, the state doesn't like the loosening of control. Of course, it could start policing the Net more heavily and start taking down sites more often. Cost of access could shoot up. All of these things could happen and, absent resistance, may well happen. But right now there are new opportunities to be explored and turned, at last, to the advantage of radicals.

The American Conquest of Europe


Russia's President Putin is reported to have said in a conversation a while back that he could be in Kiev in two weeks. In our press, this was reported as yet more evidence of aggressive intentions, but, given even a moment's thought, that is a patently false interpretation. It is also further evidence, as if more were needed, of the level of desperation American propaganda around events in Ukraine has reached. It is almost as though America's intelligence/news media alliance started mimicking the almost forgotten Soviet apparatchiks of decades ago.

Yes, undoubtedly, the Russian military could be in Kiev in a couple of weeks. The very fact that they are not only shows what nonsense we hear from America and the coup-installed government in Ukraine. Clearly, Putin's words were to the effect, "I wouldn't have to tolerate the mess on our borders in Ukraine if I truly had aggressive intentions. For goodness sakes, use your brains, I could be in Kiev in two weeks."

This deliberate misinterpretation of a casual statement stands out for me as one of the most pathetic of many pathetic things coming from Western politicians and media. And it is deliberate, for if it were the truth that the intelligence service of a superpower could only interpret statements with such feeble understanding, the world would have entered a new era of extreme danger, with idiots advising the commander who has his finger on the launch button. But I know there's no genuine danger of that. The interpretation is intended only to shape American public opinion, never very well informed at the best of times. It's a sound bite not intended to provide real information, just a momentary association of something very negative with the name of Russia's president, indeed one of a stream of sound bites broadcast recently as though they meant something, as though they were news.

It is a classic method of propaganda, closely related to the technique in advertising of repeating a phrase or slogan or jingle over and over, no matter how silly its actual content is on analysis, and like all the best propaganda, it starts with a truth no matter how insignificant, incompletely reported, and removed from context. But there are two deeply concerning aspects to what otherwise would just be garbage. First, it flows from the writers and editors of what is supposed to be a free and open press, not advertising agencies trying to sell personal hygiene products, and thus demonstrates once more how meaningless is the term, "free and open press." When the American government has a point to make, even a point that is dishonest or silly, in supporting some ill-conceived and dangerous policy, the entire press instantly enlists to echo it across the land, offering saturation access to the public that could not be bought for millions of dollars. At least in matters of foreign affairs, American journalism does not exist outside the childish fantasies of young journalism students thinking they are going to dig for the truth and serve the right to know once they graduate. You know, the bilge about the press being the fourth branch of government, the tribune of the people, and keeping citizens informed.

But more worrying is why the government or the press in America wishes now to cast aspersions on one of the world's most important leaders? It has been more than three decades since Russia and the United States were commonly understood as enemies, each capable of obliterating the other. Why would anyone want to look backward to that? And why would anyone deliberately attack a man who has proved himself a sophisticated statesman, one whose words and behaviors show more consistency than those of any of our Western leaders, and especially president Obama who has not spent a day of his time in the White House without killing someone somewhere and surely has matched George Bush for lack of character.

Such cheap propaganda is symptomatic of aggressive intent. I believe the United States' establishment is starting to feel a new sense of its relative decline in the world, and it is desperate to shore things up by hurting new competitors. The so-called pivot towards China is one of its tactics, and the expansion of NATO right against the face of Russia is another. Both are provocative and risky. And I only wish the world could understand that the United States is not that far from being a de facto bankrupt. It has no money for anything except by the unsound and unethical practice of printing more of it, knowing its special position as a world reserve currency allows it to cheat holders of dollars around the entire planet with their devaluation. And devalue it will, sooner or later, effectively leaving most of the bill for its stupid wars to be paid by others.

Geography and many other factors, such as the distribution of energy and other natural resources, say that Russia and Europe are over the long term destined to be strong, natural economic partners. But the United States has been Europe's partner – indeed, a good deal more than a mere partner since WWII – and it does not like the prospect of Russia in any way displacing it. It is utterly backward thinking, but we are discussing brains driven by hormones here, not by logic or good will. I recall at an energy conference I attended during the Reagan era meeting a representative from the American State Department whose main message was that we had to stop Russian gas pipelines into Europe. As a believer in people freely buying what they need from others freely selling what they have, I didn't agree with him and said so, and the people of Europe clearly weren't convinced because many pipelines exist and many billions of cubic feet of gas flow.

The United States has taken every effort to get some return for its costly investment in a half-failed scheme to destabilize Ukraine, and with each deft move of Russia, it has played the old "look out for the commies" theme, just tarted up a bit so it doesn't seem laughably out of date. The combination of the expansion of NATO plus scare-mongering about Russia buys some time against what I believe is inevitable. And minds driven only by the hormonal impulse of being dominant – full-spectrum dominance is the grotesque Washington insider expression – are incapable of clearly analyzing a situation, regardless of their intelligence and technology and information resources. And they are certainly not capable of acting on behalf of the great basic principles of rights and freedoms with which they sloppily wallpaper their every public statement. They are blind to the chances they take, to the risks they expose all of us to, and to the damage they create for the happiness and prosperity of millions of people.

America's elaborate dirty tricks in Ukraine were intended to make Russia considerably less secure. You can almost imagine the buzz-cut thugs at Langley having a good laugh over expense-account steaks and martinis when they first thought they had succeeded, the laughter one expects from sociopathic American frat-boys who've just played a very dirty joke on someone, as by drugging some poor girl's drink at a party and raping her. Perhaps the intentions included a plan ultimately to base missiles in Ukraine near Russia's border, which would be a tremendously provocative act. Certainly it was hoped that gradually Ukraine would become more western-oriented, although the prospect for a poor country like Ukraine, one with shaky democratic credentials and not a good record in human rights, becoming in our lifetime full members of Europe is simply not in the cards. After all, the U.S. keeps pushing for Israel to become part of major European organizations, but that is too much even for some of America's yes-men in Europe to accept.

Accusing Russia of looking out for what's happening on her borders isn't an accusation, it's what all states do everywhere. Goodness knows the case of Cuba should provide perspective and food for thought. The United States has needlessly hurt that country for half a century with its embargo, many of the chief traditional products of Cuba having been things to satisfy the American markets, such as sugar and tobacco. But an embargo alone was never enough to secure the desired dominance. The United States invaded Cuba with a proxy army of Cuban refugees it trained, supplied, and paid. It tried to assassinate Cuba's leader, many, many times, and it periodically sent terrorist forces to blow or shoot up things in Cuba. Ships in ports were shot up, hotels were attacked, and an airliner full of people was bombed. When Cuba asked for the return of America's base at Guantanamo, a base only leased from Cuba originally under duress, the United States simply refused and still illegally occupies the land half a century later.

Of course, America was quite ready to hurl the world into nuclear war when it discovered that the Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba as a way both of protecting its ally against new invasions and as increased leverage in dealing with an often inflexible and aggressive United States. The missiles were provocative, but most thinking people felt they were not adequate cause for nuclear war. Fortunately, President Kennedy was able to stand up against the terrible pressures of the military-intelligence establishment and reach a negotiated settlement with Premier Khrushchev, an act which many believe, including this author, later cost him his life in Dallas. Well, all that gives you just some idea of how America responds to what it considers trouble or meddling, even a hundred miles from its border.

We hear the accusation that Russia arms the rebels in Ukraine, as well as the Assad government in Syria. My answer is that America, which spends as much on its military as all others on the planet combined, is also the world's largest arms dealer as well as a ready covert supplier to groups anywhere it deems as serving its interests, whether extremist groups, including ISIS, set up to destroy Syria or the Nazi-like groups affiliated with Ukraine's new government and employed in its coup. America runs a virtual conveyor belt of death machines and munitions to Israel to keep it well supplied in upsetting peace throughout the Mideast and suppressing millions of people it took prisoner half a century ago, a situation which has ranked in my view as the world's most dangerous until now. A great deal of the aggression and repression of Israel have to do with the fact that their best minds recognize the unfavorable situation into which they are locked: no population growth versus high population growth for Arabs, the most highly subsidized national economy in the world affording poorer prospects for most residents than their native places would, an interminable series of wars and repressions and acts which the world sees as atrocities, early dreams all soured by a sense of no way out, and perhaps a sense of having committed a colossal blunder in starting it all.

So in a very real sense, both America and Israel, unwilling or unable to deal with their tremendous problems in a statesmanlike, realistic, and enduring way, dance a hideous danse macabre, with the entire world forced to watch in fear and horror.

When you compare Europe today to, say, Europe of fifty years ago, something more than a little disturbing becomes apparent. Then, despite the height of the Cold War presumably giving reason for greater solidarity with America, there were many independent voices in Europe. France had a consistently strong and decisive voice, and it was determined not to be subservient to NATO. Britain, today perhaps the worst example of subservience to America in all things, also showed independence at critical points, as when it refused to send troops to the holocaust of Vietnam despite great pressure from President Johnson. Today, there are no independent voices, and despite the clear, long-term interests of Europeans in having good relations with Russia, we see country after country acquiesce to America's demands for destructive sanctions. Even Holland, a country we think of as fair and tough-minded, issued an interim report on the destruction of Malaysian Airlines' MH17 which told us nothing we already didn't know. That was clearly at the insistence of the United States, unwilling to see its proxy government in Ukraine revealed for the violent and incompetent operation that it is. NATO, an obsolete organization by any measure, has been expanded, serving primarily the interest of continued American hegemony in Europe, and America pushes the idea of every member spending more on its military. The United States also has Europeans committing to plainly idiotic purchases, as in buying the F-35, a plane one great American fighter jet designer called the worst ever conceived. The plane cannot ever do what it was supposed to do because it was foolishly commissioned to do a bit of almost everything, and the Pentagon wants as many others chipping in to subsidize the immense cost of salvaging something from the wreck. Perhaps the F-35 is emblematic of a conquered Europe, throwing away money on junk because America expects them to do so.

John Chuckman lives in Canada.

[Sep 27, 2014] German media"did not notice" burials in the Donbass following the U.S.

In the light of international developments, the German media demonstrates "selective empathy," says the website Propagandaschau. Tearful stories ARD and ZDF about war crimes and victims of armed conflicts only serve as an excuse for military intervention of the West. However, they ignore inconvenient or treat as having no political importance similar facts and events in Ukraine, such as the recently discovered mass graves in the East of Ukraine.

Authors of the website Propagandaschau not the first time noted peculiar to the German media "selective sympathy", using which such large public-law broadcasters as ARD and ZDF manipulate the audience. When it is the USA that is a target of a terrorist attack, the daily broadcast is interrupted by the emergency news release with direct interventions from the event, comments and interviews. If something similar happens in Russia, this event is covered in short newscasts, and the blame for the incident is often blamed on the Russian government.

The author emphasizes that the same thing is happening now. Fact of killing of civilians by "Kyiv junta" are suppressed. German media ignore the fact that the Ukrainian "justice" does not investigate the causes of the fire in the House of trade unions in Odessa. ARD does not report kidnapped and murdered Russian journalists. All because it does not fit into the political agenda, the purpose of which to represent Russia as the criminal. German viewer, explains the author, should not understand the logic of the actions of the Donetsk resistance fighters and especially he should be empathize them, as this will prevent the brainwashing of the image of "criminal Russia". War crimes are usually put in the air only to justify military intervention of the USA and their "political vassals, even if these actions violate international law", says Propagandaschau.

When a citizen of France hervé Gurgel gets captured and executed, ZDF and ARD resort to all available means of emotional manipulation, telling a detailed biography of the victim and lighting occurred in the most complete and expressive form. The viewer the impression that they would be willing to show the process of execution in detail, if they were not restrained by any moral and ethical taboos. These detailed reports were required to perform a specific political goal: to justify military bombing by Western countries of Syria and Iraq.

However, at the same time in the East of Ukraine were found mass graves of civilian that were tortured and killed by junta neo-Nazi. Including woman. Those evidence was transferred to the OSCE. There are visible signs of torture on the dead bodies, and two of them were even beheaded. A mass grave has dozens of corpses. But German media are silent. Apparently, for them it is an event of zero political importance.

[Sep 27, 2014] Conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and Gaza prove a turn-off for Today listeners

May be the real reason that listeners stopped tuning to BBC is blatant lies spread by BBC about the Ukrainian conflict...
Sep 27, 2014 |

The editor of BBC Radio 4's Today has said the programme needs to find new ways of covering "bad foreign news" stories after the summer of conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and Gaza proved a turn-off with listeners.

Jamie Angus said some listeners had stopped tuning in to Today and had told him they could not take any more of "this terrible thing that I can't influence".

noshtgchq, 27 Sep 2014 15:40

Guardian Pick

"The information war for Ukraine" - Satirical German program "Die Anstalt" (Eng Subs)

[Sep 25, 2014] High Cost of Bad Journalism on Ukraine by Robert Parry

September 22, 2014 |

By driving a wedge between President Obama and President Putin over Ukraine, America's neocons and the mainstream media can hope for more "shock and awe" in the Mideast, but the U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill, including $1 trillion more on nuclear weapons, writes Robert Parry.

The costs of the mainstream U.S. media's wildly anti-Moscow bias in the Ukraine crisis are adding up, as the Obama administration has decided to react to alleged "Russian aggression" by investing as much as $1 trillion in modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.

On Monday, a typically slanted New York Times article justified these modernization plans by describing "Russia on the warpath" and adding: "Congress has expressed less interest in atomic reductions than looking tough in Washington's escalating confrontation with Moscow."

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

But the Ukraine crisis has been a textbook case of the U.S. mainstream media misreporting the facts of a foreign confrontation and then misinterpreting the meaning of the events, a classic case of "garbage in, garbage out." The core of the false mainstream narrative is that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis as an excuse to reclaim territory for the Russian Empire.

While that interpretation of events has been the cornerstone of Official Washington's "group think," the reality always was that Putin favored maintaining the status quo in Ukraine. He had no plans to "invade" Ukraine and was satisfied with the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Indeed, when the crisis heated up last February, Putin was distracted by the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Rather than Putin's "warmongering" – as the Times said in the lead-in to another Monday article – the evidence is clear that it was the United States and the European Union that initiated this confrontation in a bid to pull Ukraine out of Russia's sphere of influence and into the West's orbit.

This was a scheme long in the making, but the immediate framework for the crisis took shape a year ago when influential U.S. neocons set their sights on Ukraine and Putin after Putin helped defuse a crisis in Syria by persuading President Barack Obama to set aside plans to bomb Syrian government targets over a disputed Sarin gas attack and instead accept Syria's willingness to surrender its entire chemical weapons arsenal.

But the neocons and their "liberal interventionist" allies had their hearts set on another "shock and awe" campaign with the goal of precipitating another "regime change" against a Middle East government disfavored by Israel. Putin also worked with Obama to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, averting another neocon dream to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

The Despised Putin

So, Putin suddenly rose to the top of the neocons' "enemies list" and some prominent neocons quickly detected his vulnerability in Ukraine, a historical route for western invasions of Russia and the scene of extraordinarily bloody fighting during World War II.

National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, one of the top neocon paymasters spreading around $100 million a year in U.S. taxpayers' money, declared in late September 2013 that Ukraine represented "the biggest prize" but beyond that was an opportunity to put Putin "on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

The context for Gershman's excitement was a European Union offer of an association agreement to Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych, but it came with some nasty strings attached, an austerity plan demanded by the International Monetary Fund that would have made the hard lives of the average Ukrainian even harder.

That prompted Yanukovych to seek a better deal from Putin who offered $15 billion in aid without the IMF's harsh terms. Yet, once Yanukovych rebuffed the EU plan, his government was targeted by a destabilization campaign that involved scores of political and media projects funded by Gershman's NED and other U.S. agencies.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, a neocon holdover who had been an adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, reminded a group of Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their "European aspirations." Nuland, wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan, also showed up at the Maidan square in Kiev passing out cookies to protesters.

The Maidan protests, reflecting western Ukraine's desire for closer ties to Europe, also were cheered on by neocon Sen. John McCain, who appeared on a podium with leaders of the far-right Svoboda party under a banner honoring Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. A year earlier, the European Parliament had identified Svoboda as professing "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views [that] go against the EU's fundamental values and principles."

Yet, militants from Svoboda and the even more extreme Right Sektor were emerging as the muscle of the Maidan protests, seizing government buildings and hurling firebombs at police. A well-known Ukrainian neo-Nazi leader, Andriy Parubiy, became the commandant of the Maidan's "self-defense" forces.

Behind the scenes, Assistant Secretary Nuland was deciding who would take over the Ukrainian government once Yanukovych was ousted. In an intercepted phone call with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland crossed off some potential leaders and announced that "Yats" – or Arseniy Yatsenyuk – was her guy.

The Coup

On Feb. 20, as the neo-Nazi militias stepped up their attacks on police, a mysterious sniper opened fire on both protesters and police killing scores and bringing the political crisis to a boil. The U.S. news media blamed Yanukovych for the killings though he denied giving such an order and some evidence pointed toward a provocation from the far-right extremists.

As Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said in another intercepted phone call with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Asthon, "there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition."

But the sniper shootings led Yanukovych to agree on Feb. 21 to a deal guaranteed by three European countries – France, Germany and Poland – that he would surrender much of his power and move up elections so he could be voted out of office. He also assented to U.S. demands that he pull back his police.

That last move, however, prompted the neo-Nazi militias to overrun the presidential buildings on Feb. 22 and force Yanukovych's officials to flee for their lives. Then, rather than seeking to enforce the Feb. 21 agreement, the U.S. State Department promptly declared the coup regime "legitimate" and blamed everything on Yanukovych and Putin.

Nuland's choice, Yatsenyuk, was made prime minister and the neo-Nazis were rewarded for their crucial role by receiving several ministries, including national security headed by Parubiy. The parliament also voted to ban Russian as an official language (though that was later rescinded), and the IMF austerity demands were pushed through by Yatsenyuk. Not surprisingly, ethnic Russians in the south and east, the base of Yanukovych's support, began resisting what they regarded as the illegitimate coup regime.

To blame this crisis on Putin simply ignores the facts and defies logic. To presume that Putin instigated the ouster of Yanukovych in some convoluted scheme to seize territory requires you to believe that Putin got the EU to make its reckless association offer, organized the mass protests at the Maidan, convinced neo-Nazis from western Ukraine to throw firebombs at police, and manipulated Gershman, Nuland and McCain to coordinate with the coup-makers – all while appearing to support Yanukovych's idea for new elections within Ukraine's constitutional structure.

Though such a crazy conspiracy theory would make people in tinfoil hats blush, this certainty is at the heart of what every "smart" person in Official Washington believes. If you dared to suggest that Putin was actually distracted by the Sochi Olympics last February, was caught off guard by the events in Ukraine, and reacted to a Western-inspired crisis on his border (including his acceptance of Crimea's request to be readmitted to Russia), you would be immediately dismissed as "a stooge of Moscow."

Such is how mindless "group think" works in Washington. All the people who matter jump on the bandwagon and smirk at anyone who questions how wise it is to be rolling downhill in some disastrous direction.

But the pols and pundits who appear on U.S. television spouting the conventional wisdom are always the winners in this scenario. They get to look tough, standing up to villains like Yanukovych and Putin and siding with the saintly Maidan protesters. The neo-Nazi brown shirts are whited out of the picture and any Ukrainian who objected to the U.S.-backed coup regime finds a black hat firmly glued on his or her head.

For the neocons, there are both financial and ideological benefits. By shattering the fragile alliance that had evolved between Putin and Obama over Syria and Iran, the neocons seized greater control over U.S. policies in the Middle East and revived the prospects for violent "regime change."

On a more mundane level – by stirring up a new Cold War – the neocons generate more U.S. government money for military contractors who bestow a portion on Washington think tanks that provide cushy jobs for neocons when they are out of government.

The Losers

The worst losers are the people of Ukraine, most tragically the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, thousands of whom have died from a combination of heavy artillery fire by the Ukrainian army on residential areas followed by street fighting led by brutal neo-Nazi militias who were incorporated into Kiev's battle plans. [See's "Ukraine's 'Romantic' Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers."]

The devastation of eastern Ukraine, which has driven an estimated one million Ukrainians out of their homes, has left parts of this industrial region in ruins. Of course, in the U.S. media version, it's all Putin's fault for deceiving these ethnic Russians with "propaganda" about neo-Nazis and then inducing these deluded individuals to resist the "legitimate" authorities in Kiev.

Notably, America's righteous "responsibility to protect" crowd, which demanded that Obama begin airstrikes in Syria a year ago, swallowed its moral whistles when it came to the U.S.-backed Kiev regime butchering ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine (or for that matter, when Israeli forces slaughtered Palestinians in Gaza).

However, beyond the death and destruction in eastern Ukraine, the meddling by Nuland, Gershman and others has pushed all of Ukraine toward financial catastrophe. As "The Business Insider" reported on Sept. 21, "Ukraine Is on the Brink of Total Economic Collapse."

Author Walter Kurtz wrote:

"Those who have spent any time in Ukraine during the winter know how harsh the weather can get. And at these [current] valuations, hryvnia [Ukraine's currency] isn't going to buy much heating fuel from abroad. …

"Inflation rate is running above 14% and will spike sharply from here in the next few months if the currency weakness persists. Real wages are collapsing. … Finally, Ukraine's fiscal situation is unraveling."

In other words, the already suffering Ukrainians from the west, east and center of the country can expect to suffer a great deal more. They have been made expendable pawns in a geopolitical chess game played by neocon masters and serving interests far from Lviv, Donetsk and Kiev.

But other victims from these latest machinations by the U.S. political/media elite will include the American taxpayers who will be expected to foot the bill for the new Cold War launched in reaction to Putin's imaginary scheme to instigate the Ukraine crisis so he could reclaim territory of the Russian Empire.

As nutty as that conspiracy theory is, it is now one of the key reasons why the American people have to spend $1 trillion to modernize the nation's nuclear arsenal, rather than scaling back the thousands of U.S. atomic weapons to around 900, as had been planned.

Or as one supposed expert, Gary Samore at Harvard, explained to the New York Times: "The most fundamental game changer is Putin's invasion of Ukraine. That has made any measure to reduce the stockpile unilaterally politically impossible."

Thus, you can see how hyperbolic journalism and self-interested punditry can end up costing the American taxpayers vast sums of money and contributing to a more dangerous world.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

[Sep 24, 2014] Russia planning to limit foreign ownership of its media by Roy Greenslade

Western owned media is a tool for implementing color revolutions and as such is a direct threat to sovereignty of any nation. Unfortunately... that means the USA is powerful force of spreading totalitarism on the planet as any government now understand the threat of color revolution pretty well and is forced to take defensive measures. Just like recently Russia -- the target of the next color revolution -- just did.
Sep 24, 2014 | The Guardian

Russian politicians are seeking to reduce western ownership of its media. The Financial Times reports that a bill to limit foreign investment in its media to 20% has received parliamentary support.

At present, foreign stakes in radio and television are capped at 50%, but no such restrictions have previously applied to print media.

Significantly, the proposal was supported by president Vladimir Putin's party, which suggests it has a strong chance of becoming law.

If it does, the shake-out would affect several of the world's leading media groups. They include Condé Nast, Disney, Bauer, Burda and German's Axel Springer. And Russia's leading business daily, Vedomosti, is part owned by the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Source: Financial Times

Selected Skeptical Comments

Clacko, 24 September 2014 9:55am

Fair enough, don't see why foreign media should own a country's media, especially when Western media loves to undermine Russia at any opportunity.
LeDingue -> Clacko, 24 September 2014 6:08pm
Given the role played by media with foreign sponsorship in Ukraine, to harness, propagandise and promote the Maidan protests - the "cover" for the coup d'etat - it is absolutely no surprise that Russia might take this defensive measure.

People in the Britain (or just England really) try not to talk about the direct personal role played by Rupert Murdoch, via his media, in pretty much deciding who will control parliament. For the last 35 years it has been possible to identify the winner of an upcoming election by looking at headlines in The Sun and spotting those small news stories about which politician has been "summoned" to Murdoch's yacht.

Obviously in Ukraine it was a more focussed and planned strategy to create multi-media platforms for what was a mass propaganda drive, EuroMaidanPR, InterpreterMag Kiev Post (in English) etc. Not only Ukrainians were the targets of this strategised propaganda but also the diaspora and us citizens of "Nato countries".

It looks like the "Maidan Moscow" plan of Western intelligence & their "pet" Russian oligarchs will not succeed, the RF government has already taken a variety of anti-subversion measures. Of course the media and internet are important "weapons" to seek to destabilise another country.

It won't stop the US trying of course....returning Russia to economic & political chaos is their objective, just like Bush1 in the 90s.

littlebigcoala, 24 September 2014 2:06pm
Russian politicians are seeking to reduce western ownership of its media. The Financial Times reports that a bill to limit foreign investment in its media to 20% has received parliamentary support.


what is % of foreign pownership in BBC,. CNN, ABC etc...I mean REAL foreign ownership as Murdoch as an Australian is hardly REAL ALLIEN for UK or USA....

LeDingue -> littlebigcoala, 24 September 2014 9:07pm
The arguments for "free market" private ownership of media as being beneficial for an open pluralist society, that some people make in complete ignorance of reality, are confounded when one observes two things:

-- the process of concentration through corporate acquisition

-- the overlap on corporate boards across companies (and sectors) of a relatively small number of people, their political connections and the "revolving door" covert corruption of legislature--private interests--regulatory bodies.

"Free market" is a confidence trick and a lie that conceals the reality of corporatism and oligarchy. This has corroded and hollowed out what is euphemistically still called "democracy" in the US, and increasingly in the UK.

"Foreign ownership" is a key tool to promote transnational corporatism and the media is one of the keys to controlling and manipulating populations into being blind to the confidence trick (and to corruption).

ijustwant2say, 24 September 2014 3:29pm
Another step towards Putin's total suffocation and control of the media in Russia. Once he invokes 'emergency powers' and shuts of the Internet he can do a 'China' and have almost total control.
LeDingue -> ijustwant2say , 24 September 2014 6:56pm
Whilst we're all so terribly concerned about the 14 year path of social development in Russia, from the very low base of chaos and kleptocracy of Yeltsin's era -- just 14 years --, one could also wonder about the concentration of media control in the US as well as their Patriot Act-NDAA provisions, not to mention the ever handy 'continuity of government' tool always handy. Oh, and the mass surveillance of the Echelon grid.

Suffocation and control indeed. US military grade anthrax, when needed to silence discussion of particular ideas, also proved exceptionally effective.

Mr. Russian, 24 September 2014 8:27pm
Russia finally acknowledged that MSM is used as weapons inside the country. Anyway, whoever wanted to read BBC in Russian will continue doing so and whoever was reading RT in English will do so as well.

[Sep 23, 2014] Russia and the Menace of Unreality by Peter Pomerantsev

Neoliberalism and by extension the USA elite now has problem selling its dirty propaganda... that means that Russia today has the edge, despite being a state owned outlet. For the same reason as Soviet people listen BBC and Voice of America, despite bothe being jammed. None of them assumed that they are telling truth. they just wanted alternative view to find the truth themselves. So Western readers now naturally gflock to Russia Today despite it being jammed and villified as in the article of Atlantic. But what it interesting that by trying to reveal the propaganda kitchen of Russia the author actually releavs the propaganda kitchen of Guardian, NYT and all Western MSM. That's probably one important vlue of the article, side effects probably unforseen by the auhtor ;-)
Sep 9, 2014 |

The United States, meanwhile, is struggling with its messaging to the outside world.

... ... ...

Now Russia is exporting its reality-reinventing model through the hundreds of millions of dollars that it spends on international broadcasters like the rolling, multilingual news channel RT (Russia Today). Domestically, RT helps convince Russians that their government is strong enough to compete with the CNNs of the world. In the United States, RT isn't taken too seriously (if the channel manages to sow some doubt among Americans, all the better in Moscow's view). But in Europe, Russian propaganda is more potent, working alongside the Kremlin's influence over local media as well as economic and energy pressures.

The situation is tensest in the Baltic countries, whose large Russian populations are serviced by Russian-language TV channels like the Latvia-based PBK, which receives Kremlin programs at very low rates. ''Huge parts of our population live in a separate reality created by Russian media," says Raul Rebane, an expert on propaganda in Estonia, where a quarter of the population is ethnic Russian. "This makes consensual politics impossible." In his research on how Bulgarian media covered the conflict in Ukraine, Christo Grozev, of the Bulgaria-based Risk Management Lab, found that the majority of the country's newspapers followed Russian rather than Ukrainian narratives about events such as the downing of Flight MH17. "It's not merely a case of sympathy or language," Grozev says. "The Russian media just tell more and better stories, and that's what gets reprinted." Organizations like the Ukraine-based have been working hard to expose disinformation in Russian and foreign media. But for every 'fake' they catch, Kremlin-allied news outlets produce a thousand more. These news organizations don't care if they're caught in a lie. They care only about clicks and being compelling.

As the Kremlin's propaganda campaign intensifies, the West is having its own crisis of faith in the idea of 'truth.'

Like its domestic equivalents, RT also focuses on conspiracy theories-from 9/11 truthers to the hidden Zionist hand in Syria's civil war. Western critics often snigger at these claims, but the coverage has a receptive audience. In a recent paper, "The Conspiratorial Mindset in the Age of Transition," which examined conspiracy theories in France, Hungary, and Slovakia, a team of researchers from leading European think tanks reported that supporters of far-right parties tend to be more likely than supporters of other parties to believe in conspiracies. And right-wing nationalist parties, which are often allied ideologically and financially with the Kremlin, are rising. In Hungary, Jobbik is now the second-largest political party. In France, Marine Le Pen's National Front recently won 25 percent of the vote in elections for the European parliament.

"Is there more interest in conspiracy theories because far-right parties are growing, or are far-right parties growing because more conspiracy thinking is being pumped into the information space?" asks Gleb Pavlovsky, a little wickedly.

The United States, meanwhile, is struggling with its messaging to the outside world. America is in an "information war and we are losing that war," Hillary Clinton told Congress in 2011, citing the success of Russian and Chinese media.

* * *

Just as the Kremlin's international propaganda campaign intensifies, the West is having its own crisis of faith in the idea of 'truth.' It's been a long time coming. Back in 1962, Daniel Boorstin, who would later serve as librarian of the U.S. Congress, wrote in The Image about how advances in advertising and television meant, "The question, 'Is it real?' is less important than, 'Is it newsworthy?' ... We are threatened by a new and a peculiarly American menace … the menace of unreality." By the 2000s, this idea had moved from the realm of commerce to the realm of high politics, captured in the now-legendary quote from an unnamed George W. Bush aide in The New York Times: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

The pressure on reality from capitalism and Capitol Hill coincides with an anti-establishment drive in the U.S. that likewise claims that all truth is relative. In a Prospect magazine review of Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide, for instance, George Packer writes, "Greenwald has no use for the norms of journalism. He rejects objectivity, as a reality and an ideal." (Similarly, RT's managing director once told me that "there is no such thing as objective reporting.") Examining the sins of omission, biased value judgments, and half-truths in Greenwald's book, Packer concludes that "they reveal a mind that has liberated itself from the basic claims of fairness. Once the norms of journalism are dismissed, a number of constraints and assumptions fall away." The ties that bind Greenwald and the Kremlin consist of more than a shared desire to ensure Edward Snowden's safety. In some dark, ideological wood, Putin the authoritarian gay-basher and Greenwald the gay, leftist-libertarian meet and agree. And as the consensus for reality-based politics fractures, that space becomes ripe for exploitation. It's precisely this trend that the Kremlin hopes to exploit.

Ultimately, many people in Russia and around the world understand that Russian political parties are hollow and Russian news outlets are churning out fantasies. But insisting on the lie, the Kremlin intimidates others by showing that it is in control of defining 'reality.' This is why it's so important for Moscow to do away with truth. If nothing is true, then anything is possible. We are left with the sense that we don't know what Putin will do next-that he's unpredictable and thus dangerous. We're rendered stunned, spun, and flummoxed by the Kremlin's weaponization of absurdity and unreality.

Peter Pomerantsev is a TV producer based in London. He is the author of a forthcoming study on Russia's weaponization of information, culture, and money, and a forthcoming book, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, about working inside Vladimir Putin's postmodern dictatorship.

Selected skeptical comments from

ThatJ , September 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

Russia and the Menace of Unreality
How Vladimir Putin is revolutionizing information warfare


Like its domestic equivalents, RT also focuses on conspiracy theories-from 9/11 truthers to the hidden Zionist hand in Syria's civil war. Western critics often snigger at these claims, but the coverage has a receptive audience. In a recent paper, "The Conspiratorial Mindset in the Age of Transition," which examined conspiracy theories in France, Hungary, and Slovakia, a team of researchers from leading European think tanks reported that supporters of far-right parties tend to be more likely than supporters of other parties to believe in conspiracies. And right-wing nationalist parties, which are often allied ideologically and financially with the Kremlin, are rising. In Hungary, Jobbik is now the second-largest political party. In France, Marine Le Pen's National Front recently won 25 percent of the vote in elections for the European parliament.

"Is there more interest in conspiracy theories because far-right parties are growing, or are far-right parties growing because more conspiracy thinking is being pumped into the information space?" asks Gleb Pavlovsky, a little wickedly.

The United States, meanwhile, is struggling with its messaging to the outside world. America is in an "information war and we are losing that war," Hillary Clinton told Congress in 2011, citing the success of Russian and Chinese media.

* * *

Just as the Kremlin's international propaganda campaign intensifies, the West is having its own crisis of faith in the idea of 'truth.' It's been a long time coming. Back in 1962, Daniel Boorstin, who would later serve as librarian of the U.S. Congress, wrote in The Image about how advances in advertising and television meant, "The question, 'Is it real?' is less important than, 'Is it newsworthy?' … We are threatened by a new and a peculiarly American menace … the menace of unreality." By the 2000s, this idea had moved from the realm of commerce to the realm of high politics, captured in the now-legendary quote from an unnamed George W. Bush aide in The New York Times: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

The pressure on reality from capitalism and Capitol Hill coincides with an anti-establishment drive in the U.S. that likewise claims that all truth is relative. In a Prospect magazine review of Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide, for instance, George Packer writes, "Greenwald has no use for the norms of journalism. He rejects objectivity, as a reality and an ideal." (Similarly, RT's managing director once told me that "there is no such thing as objective reporting.") Examining the sins of omission, biased value judgments, and half-truths in Greenwald's book, Packer concludes that "they reveal a mind that has liberated itself from the basic claims of fairness. Once the norms of journalism are dismissed, a number of constraints and assumptions fall away." The ties that bind Greenwald and the Kremlin consist of more than a shared desire to ensure Edward Snowden's safety. In some dark, ideological wood, Putin the authoritarian gay-basher and Greenwald the gay, leftist-libertarian meet and agree. And as the consensus for reality-based politics fractures, that space becomes ripe for exploitation. It's precisely this trend that the Kremlin hopes to exploit.

Ultimately, many people in Russia and around the world understand that Russian political parties are hollow and Russian news outlets are churning out fantasies. But insisting on the lie, the Kremlin intimidates others by showing that it is in control of defining 'reality.' This is why it's so important for Moscow to do away with truth. If nothing is true, then anything is possible. We are left with the sense that we don't know what Putin will do next-that he's unpredictable and thus dangerous. We're rendered stunned, spun, and flummoxed by the Kremlin's weaponization of absurdity and unreality.

kirill, September 14, 2014 at 10:49 am
The Atlantic is a piece of shit rag that I wouldn't wipe my ass with even if it was the only source of paper available. Its hilarious 2006 article on the state of Russia's economy was written as if Russia was still in 1996. The above piece of propaganda tries to smear RT as a conspiracy website. Sure thing there, lying fucks, if a TV station interviews more than just the establishment approved pundits then it must be a tin foil hat operation. Right.

Does anyone here think that the Peter Lavelle moderated talk show is a tin foil hat operation? Anyone sane would not. The Atlantic is caught in a paradox created by its own arrogant lying. The western media is repeating the brain dead propaganda of the war criminal Kiev regime like an echo chamber. Perhaps the appeal of RT may have something to do with people that have functional brains wanting to have real news reports and not regurgitated press releases.

marknesop, September 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm
George Packer is a malicious fool, and his stock in trade is deliberate misrepresentation: his indignation at Greenwald's alleged "rejection of objectivity" is the kind of jaw-dropping projection that regularly sees the western press pretend to virtue and support for freedom while it supports a government which murders its own citizens for the crime of claiming their right to self-determination. I don't need to spank him till he cries – someone has already eviscerated him, here.

The really comical irony, if irony can be said to be comical (and believe me, it is more often than is not) is that Max Weber's insight on ethical dilemmas – from which Packer draws heavily for his criticisms – almost eerily describes America's simplistic reasoning and the bad decisions it makes as a result of its deliberations; to wit, "a specific kind of unworldliness, which assumes that from good actions only good things come, and from evil actions only evil." Read Crooked Timber's critique – I think you will find yourself nodding along as I did.

colliemum, September 16, 2014 at 12:27 am
Re 'conspiracy theories' and 'far right parties' in Europe being close to the Kremlin or paid by Putin: that's a very interesting slur.
It seems to me that it's the Think Tanks which are succumbing to conspiracy theories, in order to smear further these 'far right' European parties. They can see full well that said parties, far from being 'far right', are an ever growing threat to the establishment parties in the EU. The establishment parties in most EU countries call themselves conservative or socialist or liberal, but except for their party colours there is no difference between their policies. The latest election results from Germany and Sweden show that these parties, now gaining a steady 10-13% of votes, are 'hoovering up' votes from all parties, or are 'poaching' votes from the establishment parties, in the words of German journalists.
Just as here in the UK, where UKIP is causing the collapse of the Liberal Democrats (coalition partner in the current government), so the German FDP, their liberal party, is nearing obliteration.
Note well: these parties are 'liberal' in the European sense, not in the US sense where liberal=left.
Thus it is no surprise to me to see this latest smear coming from those Think Tanks. They, after all, strive to keep the status quo, where across countries the politicians of the establishment parties are interchangeable and do what they're told by powerful international lobbies.
Us peasants and our new parties are a thorn in their flesh, and must be vilified by all and any means possible to save the status quo.

Mainstream Media Hypocrisy: 'Where Are the Antiwar Voices?' by Daniel McAdams

September 15, 2014 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

On CNN yesterday, the question was asked "where are the anti-war voices on TV?" I've pondered that question myself. Don't you remember, at the outset of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, the abundance of speakers who opposed these wars? You know, one major network had the popular "Lew Rockwell/Ron Paul Report," while another provided us with the "Justin Raimondo/Angela Keaton" panel discussion. Programs like these presented us with minds from across the political spectrum: Bob Higgs, Chris Hedges, Paul Craig Roberts, Amy Goodman, Tom Woods, Glenn Greenwald, John Pilger, Jim Bovard, Karen Kwiatkowski, Anthony Gregory, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom DiLorenzo, Jacob Hornberger, Laurence Vance, and . . . well, you'll recall the popularity of such people – and others of equal stature I have inadvertently overlooked – in their prime-time appearances on television.

You don't remember how their opinions dominated TV programming in those days? Have you forgotten how eager the networks – along with the Republican party – were to get Ron Paul to elaborate upon his opposition to war during political debates? Perhaps all of these people just got tired of discussing peace, their opposition to war, and decided to retire into lives of luxury provided by their erstwhile popularity.

I suppose that, if the "anti-war voices" no longer choose to appear on TV, the networks will have no alternative but to bring on retired generals and admirals, neocon activists, other representatives from the military-industrial complex, along with journalists and academics eager to suck up to the political establishment, to make up for the anti-war opinions the establishment is so eager to have presented to an inquiring public!

As an alternative, I would suggest that you – along with the CNN authorities that deigned to put this question on the screen – try looking at other channels for anti-war discussions. The Internet is the most fruitful source of varied opinions, but some cable channels provide alternatives to the propagandizing it has long been the purpose of the mainstream media to provide. Al Jazeera is one such choice, as is "Democracy Now," or what has become my favorite news channel, RT (or Russia Today).

Printed with permission from LRC Blog.

[Sep 08, 2014] Sidestepping Ukraine's 'N-Word' for Nazi By Robert Parry

September 6, 2014 | Consortiumnews

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media is hazing German Chancellor Merkel and President Obama for sidestepping the "I-word" – invasion – in reference to Russia and Ukraine. But the MSM goes mute on Ukraine's "N-word" for "Nazi" so as not to disrupt the pro-Kiev "group think," says Robert Parry.

The New York Times, in its ceaseless anti-Russian bias over the Ukraine crisis, now wants everyone to use the "I-word" – for "invasion" – when describing Russia's interference in Ukraine despite the flimsy supporting evidence for the charge presented by Kiev and NATO.

The evidence, including commercial satellite photos lacking coordinates, was so unpersuasive that former U.S. intelligence analysts compared the case to the Iraq-WMD deception of last decade. Yet, while ignoring concerns about the quality of the proof, the Times ran a front-page story on Friday mocking Western political leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama, for not uttering the "I-word."

The Times' article by Andrew Higgins essentially baited Merkel and Obama to adopt the most hyperbolic phrasing on the crisis or risk being denounced as weak. The Times couched its criticism of their "circumspect" language – or what it called "terminological fudges" – as a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the Times and other U.S. mainstream news outlets have engaged in their own "terminological fudges" regarding Ukraine's "N-word" – for Nazi – by hiding or burying the fact that the Kiev regime has knowingly deployed neo-Nazi militias to wage bloody street fighting against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

This grim reality has become one of the most sensitive facts that U.S. State Department propaganda and MSM coverage have sought to keep from the American people who surely would recoil at the notion of siding with modern-day Nazis. Yet, to fully understand the role of these neo-Nazi extremists, Americans would need a translator for the circumlocutions used by the Times and other U.S. news outlets.

Typically, in the U.S. press, Ukraine's neo-Nazis are called "nationalists," a term with a rather patriotic and positive ring to it. Left out is the fact that these "nationalists" carry Nazi banners and trace their ideological lineage back to Adolf Hitler's Ukrainian auxiliary, the Galician SS, and to Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose paramilitary forces slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Poles and Jews.

Other MSM references to the Nazis are even more obscure. For instance, the neo-Nazi militias are sometimes called "volunteer" brigades, which makes them sound like the Boy Scouts or the Rotary Club.

But usually there is just the simple omission of the Nazi "N-word." On Thursday, for instance, the Times published a contentious article critical of Putin's plan for resolving the Ukraine crisis while also noting that the peace talks faced obstacles from elements of both sides: "Moscow does not fully control the separatists; nor is it clear that Kiev can automatically rein in the armed militias it has unleashed alongside its military in the east."

Filtered out of that sentence was the "N-word." The reason that those "armed militias" might resist peace is because they consist of neo-Nazi ideologues who want a racially pure Ukraine. They are not reasonable people who favor living with ethnically diverse neighbors.

Ukraine's militias include openly neo-Nazi battalions such as the Azov brigade, which flies a version of the "wolfangel" banner that was favored by the Nazi SS. Azov leaders espouse theories of racial supremacy deeming ethnic Russians to be "Untermenschen" or subhumans.

Sidestepping the N-word

But the Times sidesteps the Nazi "N-word" because otherwise readers might start doubting the "white hat/black hat" narrative that the Times has spun since the beginning of the crisis last winter. Usually whenever Ukraine's neo-Nazis are mentioned, it is in the context of the Times dismissing their presence as a myth or as simply "Russian propaganda."

Other times, the reality is buried so deep in articles that very few readers will get that far. For instance, an Aug. 10 Times article by Andrew E. Kramer mentioned the emerging neo-Nazi paramilitary role in the final three paragraphs of a long story on another topic.

Given how extraordinary it is that armed Nazi storm troopers are being unleashed on a European population for the first time since World War II, you might have thought that the Times missed the lede. But the placement of this juicy tidbit fit with the newspaper's profoundly unprofessional treatment of the Ukraine crisis throughout.

You had to get to the third-to-the-last paragraph to learn: "The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat."

Then, the next-to-the-last paragraph told you: "Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag." [See's "NYT Discovers Ukraine's Neo-Nazis at War."]

The conservative London Telegraph provided more details about the Azov battalion in an article by correspondent Tom Parfitt, who wrote: "In Marinka, on the western outskirts [of Donetsk], the [Azov] battalion was sent forward ahead of tanks and armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian army's 51st Mechanised Brigade. …

"But Kiev's use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk 'people's republics', proclaimed in eastern Ukraine in March, should send a shiver down Europe's spine. Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf's Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites."

In interviews, some of the fighters questioned the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and acknowledged that they are indeed Nazis, a fact known by Kiev authorities, the Telegraph reported.

Andriy Biletsky, the Azov commander, "is also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly," according to the Telegraph article which quoted a recent commentary by Biletsky as declaring: "The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen." [See's "Ignoring Ukraine's Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers."]

Russian Claims 'Essentially True'

Recently at the port city of Mariupol, Foreign Policy's reporter Alec Luhn also encountered the neo-Nazis of the Azov and other Ukrainian government militias. He wrote: "Blue and yellow Ukrainian flags fly over Mariupol's burned-out city administration building and at military checkpoints around the city, but at a sport school near a huge metallurgical plant, another symbol is just as prominent: the wolfsangel ('wolf trap') symbol that was widely used in the Third Reich and has been adopted by neo-Nazi groups. …

"Pro-Russian forces have said they are fighting against Ukrainian nationalists and 'fascists' in the conflict, and in the case of Azov and other battalions, these claims are essentially true."

But this inconvenient truth is not something that the U.S. State Department and the mainstream U.S. press want you to know. Instead they have spun a false narrative that blames the entire Ukraine crisis on Russia's President Putin and his diabolical design to reclaim countries to his west for a revival of the Soviet Union.

The actual reality was that Putin wanted to maintain the status quo in Ukraine by supporting elected President Viktor Yanukovych. It was the West that stirred up trouble in Ukraine with neocon U.S. officials like Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain actively supporting a coup – spearheaded by neo-Nazi street fighters – that overthrew Yanukovych on Feb. 22.

After the coup, in recognition of the crucial role played by the neo-Nazis, they were given several ministries and their militias were later incorporated into the Ukrainian military for the offensive into eastern Ukraine to crush the uprising of ethnic Russians who had supported Yanukovych and favored closer economic ties to Russia. [See's "Ukraine's 'Dr. Strangelove' Reality."]

But that more nuanced narrative – recognizing the complicated reality of Ukraine's history and politics – would destroy the white hat/black hat storyline favored by the New York Times and the MSM, making the coup regime in Kiev the "good guys" and making Putin and the ethnic Russians the "bad guys."

To protect that narrative, everyone has to go silent on Ukraine's "N-word."

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

[Sep 08, 2014] The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis By Robert Parry

This is a must read for understanding of Guardian and other major Western MSM low level presstitutes behaviour and motives of their handlers...
September 3, 2014 |

Given the very high stakes of a nuclear confrontation with Russia, some analysts wonder what's the real motive for taking this extraordinary risk over Ukraine. Is it about natural gas, protection of the U.S. dollar's dominance, or an outgrowth of neocon extremism, asks Robert Parry.

A senior U.S. diplomat told me recently that if Russia were to occupy all of Ukraine and even neighboring Belarus that there would be zero impact on U.S. national interests. The diplomat wasn't advocating that, of course, but was noting the curious reality that Official Washington's current war hysteria over Ukraine doesn't connect to genuine security concerns.

So why has so much of the Washington Establishment – from prominent government officials to all the major media pundits – devoted so much time this past year to pounding their chests over the need to confront Russia regarding Ukraine? Who is benefiting from this eminently avoidable – yet extremely dangerous – crisis? What's driving the madness?

Of course, Washington's conventional wisdom is that America only wants "democracy" for the people of Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin provoked this confrontation as part of an imperialist design to reclaim Russian territory lost during the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. But that "group think" doesn't withstand examination. [See's "Who's Telling the Big Lie on Ukraine?"]

The Ukraine crisis was provoked not by Putin but by a combination of the European Union's reckless move to expand its influence eastward and the machinations of U.S. neoconservatives who were angered by Putin's collaboration with President Barack Obama to tamp down confrontations in Syria and Iran, two neocon targets for "regime change."

Plus, if "democracy promotion" were the real motive, there were obviously better ways to achieve it. Democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych pledged on Feb. 21 – in an agreement guaranteed by three European nations – to surrender much of his power and hold early elections so he could be voted out of office if the people wanted.

However, on Feb. 22, the agreement was brushed aside as neo-Nazi militias stormed presidential buildings and forced Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives. Rather than stand behind the Feb. 21 arrangement, the U.S. State Department quickly endorsed the coup regime that emerged as "legitimate" and the mainstream U.S. press dutifully demonized Yanukovych by noting, for instance, that a house being built for him had a pricy sauna.

The key role of the neo-Nazis, who were given several ministries in recognition of their importance to the putsch, was studiously ignored or immediately forgotten by all the big U.S. news outlets. [See's "Ukraine's 'Dr. Strangelove' Reality."]

So, it's hard for any rational person to swallow the official line that the U.S. interest in the spiraling catastrophe of Ukraine, now including thousands of ethnic Russians killed by the coup regime's brutal "anti-terrorist operation," was either to stop Putin's imperial designs or to bring "democracy" to the Ukrainians.

... ... ...

The Neocons' 'Samson Option'

So, while it's reasonable to see multiple motives behind the brinksmanship with Russia over Ukraine, the sheer recklessness of the confrontation has, to me, the feel of an ideology or an "ism," where people are ready to risk it all for some larger vision that is central to their being.

That is why I have long considered the Ukraine crisis to be an outgrowth of the neoconservative obsession with Israel's interests in the Middle East.

Not only did key neocons – the likes of Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. John McCain – put themselves at the center of the coup plotting last winter but the neocons had an overriding motive: they wanted to destroy the behind-the-scenes collaboration between President Obama and President Putin who had worked together to avert a U.S. bombing campaign against the Syrian government a year ago and then advanced negotiations with Iran over limiting but not eliminating its nuclear program.

Those Obama-Putin diplomatic initiatives frustrated the desires of Israeli officials and the neocons to engineer "regime change" in those two countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even believed that bombing Iran's nuclear plants was an "existential" necessity.

Further, there was the possibility that an expansion of the Obama-Putin cooperation could have supplanted Israel's powerful position as a key arbiter of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Thus, the Obama-Putin relationship had to be blown up – and the Ukraine crisis was the perfect explosive for the destruction. [See's "Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia."]

Though I'm told that Obama now understands how the neocons and other hardliners outmaneuvered him over Ukraine, he has felt compelled to join in Official Washington's endless Putin-bashing, causing a furious Putin to make clear that he cannot be counted on to assist Obama on tricky foreign policy predicaments like Syria and Iran.

As I wrote last April, "There is a 'little-old-lady-who-swallowed-the-fly' quality to neocon thinking. When one of their schemes goes bad, they simply move to a bigger, more dangerous scheme. If the Palestinians and Lebanon's Hezbollah persist in annoying you and troubling Israel, you target their sponsors with 'regime change' – in Iraq, Syria and Iran. If your 'regime change' in Iraq goes badly, you escalate the subversion of Syria and the bankrupting of Iran.

"Just when you think you've cornered President Barack Obama into a massive bombing campaign against Syria – with a possible follow-on war against Iran – Putin steps in to give Obama a peaceful path out, getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and Iran to agree to constraints on its nuclear program. So, this Obama-Putin collaboration has become your new threat. That means you take aim at Ukraine, knowing its sensitivity to Russia.

"You support an uprising against elected President Viktor Yanukovych, even though neo-Nazi militias are needed to accomplish the actual coup. You get the U.S. State Department to immediately recognize the coup regime although it disenfranchises many people of eastern and southern Ukraine, where Yanukovych had his political base.

"When Putin steps in to protect the interests of those ethnic Russian populations and supports the secession of Crimea (endorsed by 96 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum), your target shifts again. Though you've succeeded in your plan to drive a wedge between Obama and Putin, Putin's resistance to your Ukraine plans makes him the next focus of 'regime change.'

"Your many friends in the mainstream U.S. news media begin to relentlessly demonize Putin with a propaganda barrage that would do a totalitarian state proud. The anti-Putin 'group think' is near total and any accusation – regardless of the absence of facts – is fine."

Yet, by risking a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia - the equivalent of the old lady swallowing a horse – the neocons have moved beyond what can be described in a children's ditty. It has become more like a global version of Israel's "Samson Option," the readiness to use nuclear weapons in a self-destructive commitment to eliminate your enemies whatever the cost to yourself.

But what is particularly shocking in this case is how virtually everyone in U.S. officialdom – and across the mainstream media spectrum – has bought into this madness.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Mr. Putin's War-And Why He Continues to Deny It The National Interest by Steven Pifer

September 5, 2014 |
RMThoughts, September 4, 2014 9:18 PM
the Ukrainian army field care are just horrible - like amputations without anesthetic, and wounded soldiers being exploited to pay for supplies and care. If, as it appears likely, the real number of dead Kiev Junta soldiers is anywhere near the 30'000+ figure, then this is something absolutely unique in modern warfare.

The Junta forces were absolutely massacred in an horrible butchery which cannot completely be explained by the superb fighting skills of the Novorussians: clearly the Junta has used these forces as cannon fodder with not even a modicum of care, never mind support, for them. Yes, the Novorussians had morale, common sense, the Truth, history, decency, international law, covert support from Russia and whatever else on their side but that does not explain the mind-boggling casualty figures of the Ukrainian side.

In the middle of all of this, Poroshenko invented a new democracy tactic, dismissing Parliament to eliminate his opposition. This also killed any official calls for investigations into the ongoing strategy debacle. Entire brigades have started to desert now, with the Palace Guard special forces (who have not been fighting) being sent out to try to round them up

The Malaysian MH17 time bomb awaits its day of reckoning. Russia's UN ambassador Mr. Churkin has been taunting Kiev about when do they think they will be able to find and turn over the air traffic control tapes of that day. The US joined them as an accessory after the fact by withholding its own satellite images and communications intercepts, which everyone knows we have.

Kiev is walking the tightrope now. With their economy destroyed, they are hemorrhaging what money is left. They have not provoked the Soviet invasion that the US really wanted, in order to crank up the sanctions wars. And the EU people have now figured out that they were duped by the US - something their leaders should all resign for, because it was an astounding betrayal of their own people.

The Donetsk Forces are clearing the coastal area from the Russian border to Crimea. Mariupol is under siege now, with the oligarchs and big wigs having left the town to some sacrificial troops to hopefully get a massacre out of. With that port open, fuel supplies will be assured for Donetsk and Lughansk for the winter, with the Russian navy covering their backs to the sea. If Kiev thinks
it is going to play hardball, wait until it hears Old Man Winter laughing.

RMThoughts, September 5, 2014
of this fiasco, with the 1st and 17th Tank Brigades, 25th, 79th, and 95th Airborne Brigades and 80th Airborne Battalion, 24th, 28th, 30th, 51st, 72nd, 92nd, 93rd, and 128th Mechanized Brigades, the 19th Rocket Brigade, and the 11th, 26thm and 55th Artillery Brigades, and the 3rd and 8th Spetsnasz Regiments.

The only mostly intact units are the 17th and 92nd, which were not yet committed to the fight, and the Rocket and Artillery Brigades which don't go near the frontlines. If you can point to where the remaining units are functioning in full complement on the front, everyone would feel enlightened. Additionally, Kiev committed Interior Ministry National Guard and Border Guard and volunteer Battalion troops to the fight in strength of 10's of thousands. Remember that in total Kiev is on its 3rd mobilization of manpower.

So I personally believe that figures under 30k are EXTREMELY UNLIKELY TO BE TRUE and that the real result is over 40k. Also, it is well know that the Junta systematically inflates the number of KIA and prefers to speak of MIA or ever desertions.

smoothieX12, September 5, 2014 2:39 PM
Kiev's casualties have been high

Actually, the so called "second mobilization" was wiped out. The casualties are simply catastrophic, which even with the ratio of forces of 2 to 1 (in favor of Kiev's forces) does not allow to maintain even the semblance of the coherent front--hence the innumerable envelopments. If not for the relatively small number of rebels, those pockets would have been reduced much faster and mopping up would have proceeded with greater pace. Mass by itself doesn't matter much unless it is concentrated properly and is ably led--none of it is present in Kiev. The operations of the rebels (as I already stated many times) will be, if not already, studied in every serious military academy in the world. It will also give some people (mostly on the COIN side) some headache.

smoothieX12, September 5, 2014 1:58 PM
They made substantial progress retaking ground, reducing separatist-held territory by more than 50 percent

Mr. Ambassador here is, obviously, in dire need of taking some basic courses in military history and operational art. He would be strongly advised to get himself acquainted with the basics of military tactics and tactics of the combined arms operations (I can only dream about him reading Combat Manuals). Maybe then will he understand what are objectives in war, how attaining of military objectives corresponds with attainment of a political (strategic) ones. And if he thinks that "retaking ground" alone without maintaining combat cohesion of the units, let alone supporting their combat capability is OK, then he really needs to concentrate on his "diplomatic" job and abstain from making assessments on the "performance" of the so called Ukrainian Army. Any serious observer knew already in June that the so called "Anti-Terrorist Operation" of Kiev's forces was doomed. For once--the trend in the attrition was visible already then, the same as the utter demoralization of the army, not to speak about astounding incompetence of Ukrainian generals and their foreign handlers, who thought that they could go toe to toe with GOU GSh (Main Operational Directorate Of General Staff). I am not even talking about first-rate intelligence rebels were (and are) receiving. I'll give a hint: Chuikov's 62nd Army at Stalingrad. The second hint--avoidance by junta's troops a direct fire contact with rebels whenever they could.

[Sep 07, 2014] Vladimir Putin's 'unacceptable' action in Ukraine was predictable and provoked By Christopher Booker

06 Sep 2014 | 406 Comments

Nato leaders don't know what to do about Mr Putin and the civil war in Ukraine, and have been misreading this crisis since it began

It is always revealing when politicians tell us that something is "unacceptable". What they mean is that, although people might expect them to do something about it, they haven't got a clue what it is they can do. That was why, as the Western leaders gathered for that Nato summit in Wales, several, including David Cameron, told us that President Putin's intervention in Ukraine was "unacceptable".

The real problem here is not just that our leaders don't know what they can do about Mr Putin and that horrible civil war in Ukraine, which has already killed nearly 3,000 people and which the Russians seem to be winning hands down. It is that they and many others in the West have been misreading this crisis ever since it began at the start of the year.

It cannot be said often enough that what triggered the crisis was not Mr Putin's desire to restore the boundaries of the Soviet Union, but the ludicrously misguided ambition of the West to see Ukraine absorbed into the EU and Nato. There was never any way that either Mr Putin or all those Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine and Crimea were going to take kindly to seeing the country which was the cradle of Russian identity become part of a Western power bloc. Russia would be even less happy to see the only warm-water ports for its navy taken over by a military alliance that had been set up to counter Russia in the first place.

When 96 per cent of Crimeans democratically voted in March to join Russia, this was not, as Western politicians now tell us, because Mr Putin wanted to "annexe" their country. It was because the 82 per cent of them who speak Russian as their main language wanted to rejoin a country Crimea had been part of for two centuries.

Yet, at the very same time, the democratically elected government of Ukraine was being toppled by mobs of demonstrators in the streets of Kiev, many of whom were being paid from Brussels funds to shout "Europe, Europe" at Baroness Ashton, as she urged them to sign that "association agreement" which was the last step but one to Ukraine becoming a full member state of the EU.

That is why the EU, with America's backing, has been led by its own vainglorious delusions into the mess we see today. The Nato leaders know there is little they can usefully do about it. For months they have been talking about those "sanctions", while being only too uncomfortably aware that the EU depends on Russia for 30 per cent of the gas it needs to keep its cookers working and its lights on. Even when President Hollande of France was urging David Cameron all those months ago to slam the doors of the City of London on the Russian bankers and oligarchs who have £27 billion invested in the UK, we knew that Britain had £46 billion invested in Russia.

So our leaders sat round the table in that ghastly concrete hotel in Wales, prattling about ever more sanctions. They send their little "battle groups" to march round in circles in Poland. They huff and they puff about what is "unacceptable". But they know they dare not risk trying to blow the house down.

Meanwhile, Mr Putin and the Russians of Ukraine's industrial heartland do exactly what could have been predicted, as they fight to establish a semi-autonomous "buffer state" between Russia and the West.

Our leaders have been caught out by a crisis that anyone of intelligence should have seen coming, from the moment they so recklessly and unnecessarily set it on its way.

[Sep 05, 2014] The memo to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian "invasion."

ThatJ , September 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Ex-NSA Director, US Intelligence Veterans Write Open Letter To Merkel To Avoid All-Out Ukraine War

Alarmed at the anti-Russian hysteria sweeping Washington, and the specter of a new Cold War, U.S. intelligence veterans one of whom is none other than William Binney, the former senior NSA crypto-mathematician who back in March 2012 blew the whistle on the NSA's spying programs more than a year before Edward Snowden, took the unusual step of sending the following memo dated August 30 to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian "invasion."

yalensis , September 2, 2014 at 2:57 am
Wow! I really like these writers. They are writing with complete honesty, something you rarely see in American "patriots". The final paragraphs are really good, and give good solid advice to the imperialist leaders:

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

P.S. I especially like that phrase about Ukraine's "ragtag" army – usually it's the Rebels who are ragtags – LOL!

ThatJ, September 1, 2014 at 7:03 pm
This is actually a good report by CNN on the situation on the ground in Donetsk:

However I would say its unbiased tone has more to do with Diana Magnay's honesty than with CNN itself.

[Sep 05, 2014] The U.S. Owns the Narrative on Ukraine: Return of the Evil Empire by JASON HIRTHLER

September 01, 2014 |
You have to hand it to them. The United States media machine is unequaled at producing and disseminating misinformation. It begins in the bowels of the State Department or White House or Pentagon and is filtered out through the government's front organizations, otherwise known as Mainstream Media (MSM).

In 2014 the U.S. has succeeded in demonizing Vladimir Putin and Russia, precipitating a New Cold War that may yet become a hot one. The evil empire is back. The White House has made proficient use of mass media propaganda to get the job done. First, they've controlled the narrative. This is critical for two reasons: one, because it permits the White House to sweep the February coup in Kiev into the dustbin of American memory, never to be seen again. Second, it has allowed it to swiftly assert its claim that Russia is a dangerously expansionist power on the edges of a serene and peace-loving Europe. In other words, the omission of one fact and commission of another.

On the former front, by the State Department's own concession, it spent some $5 billion in Ukraine, fomenting dissent under the standard guise of democracy promotion. The myriad NGOs beneath the nefarious cloud of the National Endowment for Democracy are little more than Trojan horses through which the State Department can launch subversive activities on foreign turf. We don't know all the surely insidious details of the putsch, but there are suggestions that the violence was staged by and on behalf of the groups that now sit in power, including bickering neofascists that were foolishly handed the nation's security portfolio.

On the latter end, a frightful portrait of a revanchist Russia will be presented for public consumption. But consider the context before you consign Putin to the sordid annals of imperial tyrants. A belligerent superpower arrives on your doorstep by fostering a violent coup in a neighboring nation with the obvious intent of ensuring Kiev accepts an IMF deal rather than a better Russian one, and further that Ukraine become the newest and perhaps decisive outpost of NATO. Had you been in his shoes, would you have permitted an illegitimate, Western-infiltrated government to challenge the integrity of your Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol? Doubtful.

Crimeans swiftly organized a secession vote-swiftly denounced as fraud by Western media (with some credence, it should be added). Given their Russian ethnic profile and quite credible fears of oppression from Kiev, whose nationalist bully boys were already posturing about eviscerating Russian citizens rights, Russia's annexation of Crimea is certainly understandable to minds not saturated in Western propaganda.

And yet the majority of the West, meaning the U.S. and Europe, seem content with this narrative of a recrudescent Russian empire with imperial designs on Europe. The White House has successfully characterized Russia as the Slavic aggressor while sweeping NATO's undeniably hostile behavior beneath the rug of its false rectitude. Claims of the need to defend another nation's "sovereignty" are always a bit rich coming from the White House. Yet the rhetoric of outrage streams forth from Washington, and it sometimes seems the principal qualification for a high-level appointment in an American administration is the capacity for a blithe hypocrisy that brooks no irony.

This is no surprise. A sophisticated doctrinal system adept at manufacturing consent will succeed less by what it asserts than by what it leaves out. The facts omitted are always inconvenient ones. Among other missing pieces of the story currently being peddled by the MSM, is the issue of NATO's raison d'être, which vanished with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the dissolution of the USSR. No matter, it has swiftly refashioned its mandate into a rapid-reaction force ready to descend on flashpoints around the globe, like Serbia and Libya and Afghanistan. Despite promises to the contrary, it has essentially worked to bring all the former Warsaw Pact countries into its U.S.-dominated embrace. The goal is self-evident: put missiles on Russia's doorstep, the better to alienate Moscow from Berlin and ensure that Washington isn't left out in the cold by its rivals.

If recent history weren't sufficient to lay plain NATO's blueprint of aggression, consider the behavior of its chief spokesman, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a frothing hawk who yesterday announced plans for a large and permanent military presence in Poland and the Baltics. Ready with prefabricated war motifs, Rasmussen said the plan was to deploy, "…what I would call a spearhead within [a] response force at very, very, high readiness." He generously conceded that such a rapid response unit would require "supplies, equipment, preparation of infrastructure, bases, headquarters. The bottom line is you will in the future see a more visible NATO presence in the east."

Sounds like war footing. Sounds like chest-thumping, drum-beating posturing. Sounds like NATO baiting the Russia Bear. No doubt it hopes to lure Moscow into aggressive actions with which it can a) quickly smear Putin in the MSM, and b) use to rationalize a massive arsenal in eastern Europe.

Note that Rasmussen's pronouncement was no doubt timed to coincide with a tête-à-tête between Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk, Belarus. What purpose exactly did the stillborn summit serve, given the bellicosity emanating from Brussels by one of Ukraine's leading backers? One supposes the idea was to gain negotiating leverage, as if Russia hasn't been observing NATO's covetous moves for the last twenty years.

In a domestic context, this scenario might be described as entrapment. The West seems intent on manufacturing a conflict, if not a war, where none existed. Peace, described as elusive in the press, could be achieved in a matter of days if the White House were so inclined. Instead, it prefers escalation. And sooner or later, Russia will move more visibly to defend the eastern rebellion, stepping squarely into the trap. In fact, it may already have.

Yesterday NATO released U.S.-supplied satellite imagery supposedly showing Russian troops "establishing firing positions" inside eastern Ukraine, a claim instantly ridiculed by Moscow. Naturally, the imagery was obscure. Impossible to verify, but not hard to believe. Despite its own flood of propaganda, it would be credulous not to imagine the Russians supplying arms and tactical support to the so-called "pro-Russian insurgents" in the east. Nor would it be astonishing to see Russian troops cross the border. Again, the question arises: what would you do? Particularly given the Kiev-led brutality aimed at eastern "rebels"? Would you respond like Putin has, or rather more recklessly, perhaps like John F. Kennedy when he heard of Russian missiles in Cuba? Or imagine a pro-Russian Mexican government, installed by a Moscow coup, shelling pro-American citizens near the U.S. border. In imagining how Washington might respond, the words 'restraint' and 'judicious' don't come readily to mind.

Little if any coverage is given to another critical piece of real story, namely the obvious economic rivalry underlying the conflict. Ukraine is a major chip in the tussle for access to Black Sea resources, and for primacy in the provision of those resources to European homes. Likewise, the importance of channeling that access and supply through IMF-engineered loans, naturally denominated in dollars and central to the dollar's now-threatened role as the world's reserve currency.

Next, the false historical narrative will be distanced from the White House through internationalist channels which, although they are fronts for American power, will be perceived by many as independent judgments that happen to agree with the American assessment. U.S.-controlled NATO, the U.S.-dominated United Nations, and the U.S.-submissive EU will convene to censure Russia, ignore Kiev crimes against its own population, and clamor for more sanctions and a provocative NATO build-up in eastern Europe. Short shrift has been given to the news that the BRICS nations-representing some 40 percent of the world's population-have declined to join the West in its sanctions regime.

But such history-distant or near-is trampled underfoot, beneath the crushing weight of MSM misinformation, thanks to which we can expect millions of Americans to dutifully wave their star-spangled totems as our ships and drones and battalions reluctantly set off to defend our freedoms once more.

Jason Hirthler is a veteran of the communications industry. He lives and works in New York City and can be reached at

[Sep 05, 2014] The media establishment is populated by yes-men

yalensis , September 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Canadian so-called "political scientist" and "well-respected" analyst David Marples. THEN and NOW.

THEN (= August 22) , in other words, not much more than a week ago:

Slowly, the Ukrainian government's Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) is succeeding, as the anti-Kyiv insurgents are reduced to small areas within the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The future is far from clear since there is no guarantee that all the rebels will be captured and they appear to have ample weaponry at their disposal. Russia may or may not launch a full-scale attack, though it seems increasingly unlikely. Its leaders will clearly not be happy at the outcome and the failure of the Novorossiya vision embraced by some Russians and separatists.

NOW (= a couple of days ago):

One possibility-it will not appeal to the more nationalistically minded-is to cut losses and solidify what remains. Ukraine might agree to the Donbas' full autonomy or even independence-but not its joining Russia-provided that the latter (as well as the ATO) withdraw its troops and all aid to separatist forces, if the rest of the country were allowed by the West to take certain irrevocable steps.
And if Ukraine cannot be preserved in full, then by now it should be recognized what is needed to maintain what is left. It can no longer be attained, it seems, by means of peaceful diplomacy because its enemies do not recognize its right to exist. But if the West is unwilling to protect Ukraine, then the government in Kyiv's options are very limited as long as the current Russian leadership remains in place.

I can't believe this guy gets paid for his analysis and predictions. I was predicting this better than him even several months ago, and I HAVE NO FUCKING TRAINING IN THIS!

kirill, September 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm
This is par for the course. Daniel Jergin is infamous for his BS oil production and price forecasts but he keeps on racking in millions as a respected consultant and go-to pundit for the media. The media establishment is populated by yes-men.
apc27, September 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm
Spiegel in Germany speaks to the same audience as Guardian and Telegraph (though I do admit that the latter's comments section, probably due to a large presence of UKIP supporters, is a much welcomed haven of common sense) in UK and Wall Street Journal and New York Times in US. That is the pseudo-intellectual, ignorant, holier-than-thou, arrogant liberals (which is funny given Telegraph's and WSJ's supposedly conservative credentials) that are a minority in every country they are found, yet act as if they speak for all.

Most things are healthy in moderation, everything becomes poisonous in extreme and at the moment, both Europe and the world, suffers from the extreme Lack of German nationalism, not the excessive amount of it.

colliemum, September 1, 2014 at 10:49 pm
That's an interesting thought, about lack of German nationalism. It's been actively suppressed for the last 70 years, and I wonder if the close German neighbours on the continent would welcome it. I think that what is also lacking is German pride in their armed forces. Being peaceful is very well, but having the armed forces treated and behave like chocolate soldiers isn't it. Come to think of, it's not just the German Armed forces, it's others (Dutch, Italians, French) as well, given the reports from past conflicts in the Balkans and Afghanistan. But then again, I acknowledge that I may well be prejudiced … after all, I confess that I enjoy watching 'Trooping the Colour' …
yalensis, September 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm
Translation of Der Spiegel piece from German to English:

Ukraina – kaput.

colliemum, September 1, 2014 at 11:39 am
This is pretty good:

Paul , September 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm
Judah's reliability as a commentator on Russia is well displayed by the subtitle of his book 'Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin'.
Warren, September 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Ben Judah is a fucking arrogant self-absorbed cretin of the highest order – he thinks he is some sort of Russia, military, history, economics and geopolitical expert. His latest article is so full self-righteous BS, lies and hyperbole – I don't know how I manage to finish reading it. Judah writes like a A Level Government and Politics student.

Arm Ukraine or Surrender

MOSCOW - Russia and Ukraine are now at war. At least 2,200 people have died in the conflict; thousands more may die yet. The Western powers - America, Europe, NATO - now have no good options, but they cannot do nothing. President Vladimir V. Putin has left us with two dire choices, both fraught with risk: Either we arm Ukraine, or we force Kiev to surrender and let Mr. Putin carve whatever territories he wants into a Russian-occupied zone of "frozen conflict."

Warren , September 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm
Sean Thomas takes time to dismantle 1 retarded article by Ben Judah.

Mile-high apartments full of trillionaire villains and their hookers: London according to the New York Times

kirill, September 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm
Wouldn't get published if not for the mandatory drivel about "annexation" of Crimea. I guess having the clear majority vote for REUNIFICATION with Russia is the new definition of annexation. I guess Western Germany annexed Eastern Germany then. I would also call the US Civil War being an annexation of the Confederate states by the Union. But the latter is actually closer to physical reality since the implication of the word annexation is to "take something by force".
Warren, September 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm
Ben Judah is a fucking child that screams "Russia is bad, Putin is bad" – not doubt he will have a career in the Western media by peddling such drivel.
marknesop, September 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm
He eviscerated Judah. I stood up and saluted, I was that impressed. And he's right to point out that the New York Times is spiraling down and down into tabloid territory – it's turning into a real rag with no objectivity at all.
marknesop, September 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm
The single most consistent thing about American push politics in the last two decades has been their stubborn unwillingness to back away and cut their losses when the game is currently going against them, in the simpleminded belief that "exceptionalism" will see them through if only they hold firm just a little longer.

The second most-consistent thing is their tendency to wail about that stupid intransigence in editorials once the damage is done, and pretend that they never supported those interventions in the first place.

That's the one accolade I'll give Thomas Friedman – he acknowledged that he had been an idiot. It did nothing to prevent him from repeating the transformation again and again, but at least he acknowledged that he was totally wrong on Iraq. Well done, Thomas.

yalensis, September 2, 2014 at 2:31 am
Even CNN is singing a different tune now.
Watch this video – need to skip past an ad first.

The narrative below the video is the usual bullcrap about "Russian aggression" and how NATO has to send troops to stand up to the Bear, etc.
But the correspondent herself (don't know her name) is on the ground in East Ukraine, and instead of sticking to the narrative, she actually shows some of the victims of junta shelling, and includes a wounded lady crying out: "Poroshenko! Poroshenko! What have you done to us?"

And then, on today's story, CNN was talking "hopefully" about granting rebels autonomy but keeping them in a unified Ukraine.

These same rebels that, up until a week ago, CNN were calling terrorists and baby-killers ('cause, see, they shot down that plane, about which also nobody speaks any more).

Isn't it amazing how a few victories on the battlefield suddenly earn one instant Respect?

james@wpc, September 2, 2014 at 2:51 am
They are changing the narrative to one of 'federalization' because they are afraid of losing control of ALL of Ukraine. Mearsheimer started it with his piece in Foreign Policy a couple of weeks ago and the McGovern crowd are describing the Novorossians as "federalists" instead of "separatists".

"The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces."

This is another snow job softening up the punters out there for a softer landing.

yalensis, September 2, 2014 at 3:31 am
Yes, I read the Mearsheimer piece a week or so ago ; and it was the first, as Ostap Bender might say, "crack in the ice".

Mearsheimer is more subtle and more gentle than the McGovern people, but basically he is trying to tell the imperialist elite the same thing: that the gig is up; they tried; they lost. They need to look reality in the face and salvage what they can from Ukraine.

When I read it, I was thinking, "Ho hum, what's the big deal, Mearsheimer isn't saying anything new," but then I realized it wasn't so much what he was saying as WHOM he was saying it to.

james@wpc, September 2, 2014 at 3:48 am
"When I read it, I was thinking, "Ho hum, what's the big deal, Mearsheimer isn't saying anything new," but then I realized it wasn't so much what he was saying as WHOM he was saying it to."

Exactly, Yalensis. It was new to the Foreign Policy audience and the CFR are paying him to do it, too!

Obviously, the VIPS crowd at Consortium News are not addressing Merkel as she has her own intel agency to tell her much more than these "ex" spooks are going to publish in public. They have their channels to get to her in any case. Their usual audience is the Obama faithful who need something to hang onto. Notice how they represent Obama as maybe slightly incompetent or kept in the dark but never deliberately nasty.

In both cases, its "the opinion leaders" out there in punterland who are being addressed and given "the inside running" because they are smart enough to know where to go to get the 'good oil'.

Al, September 2, 2014 at 7:53 am
That's the difference between gods and mortals. When mortals f*&E up it is the mortals' fault. When gods f*&E up, it is still the mortals' fault because gods always have the last word… and get to eat the cake. This guy is treated like a god so he behaves like one.

The rest of us extremely keen amateurs simply won't do as we refuse to follow the script.

How can anyone, in good conscience, even read a western newspaper any more?

ThatJ, September 1, 2014 at 9:37 am
Putin said that if Russian troops were invading Ukraine, as claimed by the usual suspects, Russia could take Kiev in 2 weeks. Guess how the MSM is reporting the story? Look no further than the headlines:

Ukraine Crisis: 'If I Want, I Will Take Kiev in Two Weeks', Putin Warns EU's Barroso

Vladimir Putin: 'I Can Take Kiev In Two Weeks If I Want'

marknesop, September 1, 2014 at 10:15 am
How can anyone, in good conscience, even read a western newspaper any more?

I often wonder to what extent newspapers like Pravda were lies; I never read any of them, of course, and age and experience have taught me that things are seldom in fact as the west presents them in abstract. It's possible they had some delusional moments, and the remainder of their reporting was reasonable – I don't know. Whatever the case, someone mentioned the other day that we seem to be living in some bizarro-world where the western media has changed places with the idealized Pravda, and relentlessly hypes the state's ridiculous fabrications and falsehoods regardless of the fact that nobody has been able to show the spectral Russian army except for a dozen paratroopers from Pskov, who made no discernible contribution to the war effort.

yalensis, September 1, 2014 at 10:33 am
Soviet newspapers like "Pravda" did not actually print lies, to my knowledge.

I suppose one could say they lied by omission. They omitted a lot of news, they omitted any international news that might paint capitalism in a good light, and they omitted any domestic news that might paint Soviet government in a bad light, or was deemed to be sensationalistic. For example, murders and rapes, social unrest, ethnic strife, and things of that sort were not usually reported on. Pravda was also known for holding back on reporting industrial accidents and even natural disasters, until they had an editorial policy in place how to report them. They also did a lot of ideological spins but, to my knowledge, no outright lies. (If somebody has a counter-example, I would be willing to read it.)

Pravda also did not allow any opinions (in, say, op-eds), that went against Party policy. (Which is not unusual either since, technically, Pravda was the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party). Also, Pravda usually focused on boring domestic economic issues.

As far as I know, whenever Soviet papers reported on foreign affairs, for example, American imperialist war against Vietnam, they did not lie at all, and their assessments were right on the mark.

Moscow Exile, September 1, 2014 at 9:28 pm
I remember Soviet news consisting simply of endless production statistics and wonderful economic forecasts: there were no "human interests" stories and no commenting by newsreaders in the fashion everywhere in the West, where two readers turn to each other and express "wow" opinions.

I well remember first noticing a glaring example of this on the BBC years ago when a news reader (woman, black) stated something like: "In Saudi Arabia [looks directly at camera with expression of amazement] where women still do not have the vote, elections are taking place today".

yalensis, September 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm
This terrible practice comes from the corruption of American "morning news programs" where the anchors are supposed to be your substitute family and friends; and hard news is reduced to personal banter.
moscowexileM , September 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm
Long gone are the days when a BBC newsreader, dressed in regulation evening suit (this rule applied to both TV and radio newsreaders), serenely and articulately read the news using "Received Pronunciation" ("BBC" or "Oxford" English) thus:

This is the BBC Home Service. Here are the news headlines:

Early this morning at around 7:15, an unidentified man farted loudly on the upper deck of a 32 Liverpool bus. No passengers are reported to have been seriously injured…

September 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm
A classic example of western MSM. I saw another one today in the morning freebie paper that's given out all over London. It's seen by millions of commuters so its circulation is not negligible "Putin urges talks on Ukraine after EU sanctions threat". Which is not wholly false but fails to include that Putin has been 'urging talks on Ukraine' roughly everyday since the crisis began.

John "Scientology" Sweeney of the BBC tries to provoke Putin, but fails miserably

What a low life is that fat BBC slob ;-)

yalensis, September 1, 2014 at 4:54 am
Here is NBC News piece with Senior Propagandist Andrea Mitchell interviewing U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein.

[yalensis note:
Here is my transcription of the inteview, for those who don't speak English. In some cases, my comprehension of these ladies midwest dialect was not so good, so I was forced to paraphrase their words somewhat, as best I could:]

Andrea: "Is there any way to stop Vladimir Putin? This guy just can't be stopped. He's like some kind of Japanese super-monster like Godzilla or that giant turtle creature, he just rampages around the whole world destroying cities, and nobody can stop him. In short, is there ANYTHING we can do to stop Vladimir Putin?"

Diane: "I think there ought to be some direct discussions with Vladimir Putin. I don't care what kind of monster he is, you know what Eisenstein used to say: Moskva – bolshoi, Kazan – malenkiy. I mean, let's face it, we have to kiss Crimea good-bye. We need to send some people into his lair and actually talk to him. I hear he doesn't bite … a lot…. You know how talking works, right? You open your mouth and some words come out. Then the other person opens his mouth, and some words come out. It isn't a pleasant process, but sometimes it needs to be done that way… Let's face it, Vlad is on a high right now, and he is really enjoying this. Some people say sanctions bite. I dunno about that. The Russians are very brave and long-suffering people, hey, I read my Dostoevsky in college lit class, I know how emotional those guys get! And they're really tough, too, I mean they beat Napoleon and Hitler, and those guys were no pussies either… In summary, I don't think the sanctions are working, because Russian people are just laughing at us, and they support their boss. So, we have no choice except to talk to him."

More and more of late comments in British rags that portray the "terrorists" as clearly bloodthirsty killers acting on the Evil One's commands

Moscow Exile, September 1, 2014 at 4:14 am
I've noticed more and more of late comments in British rags that portray the "terrorists" as clearly bloodthirsty killers acting on the Evil One's commands, in that they rejected four "ceasefire" offers off Blessed-Be-The-Peacemakers Porky Poroshenko, which line is a result again of Western disinformation: that pig's "peace deals" were all demands that the anti-Kiev forces capitulate, namely a demand for unconditional surrender – followed, no doubt by processing in "filtration camps" and the likely deaths of many that had surrendered.
colliemum, September 1, 2014 at 6:41 am
Indeed – and it's exactly the same in the German papers. Here it is clear case of contributions not foaming at the mouth about Putin not being let through. The stupid censors do let the occasional complaint about posts not appearing through, and some posters have now taken to write that they can of course censor their post, but should at least read it first and ponder what is being said. These are allowed through – and yep, they're not by Putin-haters.
More and more, European MSM are curbing free speech by closing comments entirely, or deleting as they go along.
The only open one is BreitbartLondon – provided one doesn't fall foul of the quirks in the disqus software which doesn't 'allow' such bad words as fag, faggot, piss and similar scatological expressions – and of course the favourite English four-letter-word means an instant no-post.
yalensis, September 1, 2014 at 6:34 am
Right Sektor admits that they suffered "colossal" losses in Donbass.

But, as per usual, these guys, the flower of the Ukrainian people, can never admit that they are a bunch of bone-headed amateurs who tried to play professional soldier. Then discovered that fighting against real soldiers is not quite as easy as strangling and burning unarmed pregnant women in a trade-union building.

Being incapable of admitting responsbility for their deeds, they need to place the blame for their defeat on somebody else, and they have 2 candidates in mind:
(1) the Russian army, and
(2) the Ukrainian army "suits" who "betrayed" them.

Here are the words of Right Sektor warrior Andrei Denisenko, who is intent on giving the "Weeping Paratrooper" a run for his money:

"This night I could barely contain my tears, and ahead of me, on the steps of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Government building, I saw weeping Colonel V'acheslav Pechenenko. He (Pechenenko) related to me how the Russian interventionists shot up a column of our troops and volunteers in Putin's so-called 'humanitarian corridor', through which the tin soldiers of the General Staff had ordered the Ukrainian troops to move out of the Ilovaisk cauldron. Pechenko narrated how they (the Russians) shot at us like targets at a shooting range (…), after which the Russians combed the fields and finished off the heavily wounded…."

marknesop, September 1, 2014 at 9:17 am
That's a lie, and he knows it. Kiev was offered a humanitarian corridor on the condition they abandon their arms and walk out without them. Kiev ordered them to fight their way out. And all that stuff about Russians combing the fields to finish off the wounded exists only in his sick imagination. But of course the west will suck it up like custard, and it will go down in history as another example of the savage and barbaric Russian subhuman.
PvMikhail, September 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm
Here in Hungary they have already announced this scene. "Rebels broke their promise to release Ukrainian """"""""""""""""""""""""volunteers""""""""""""""""""""""" from the cauldrons under Ilovaysk and they MASSACRED them."

I am sick of this lying. They are achoing those banderist idiots without a brain.

kirill, September 1, 2014 at 3:29 pm
Well, boohoo hoo hoo. Poor "volunteers" who were busy slaughtering civilians for months with their insane random shelling of residential areas in every village, town and city. They got their just desserts.

I need to remind everyone what the USA did to retreating columns of Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait. It slaughtered them wholly. When I bring this point up in political discussions with some of my colleagues I get the BS excuse that nothing makes such attacks illegal. So, right back at you, sanctimonious west.

Moscow Exile, September 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm
No mention, I see, from sanctimonious bleeding hearts in the West that Ukrainian government forces are using Mariupol citizens as a "human shield", an accusation that was often directed at the "terrorists".
colliemum, September 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm
It is striking and very disturbing to see that the MSM across the EU, as if in unison, report only and exclusively what the Kiev regime's propaganda arm "reports", while at the same time misreporting and thwarting anything coming from Russia, or indeed anything Putin says.
Frankly, I have not seen anything like that except during the very darkest days of the Cold War.

[Sep 04, 2014] The Guardian view on Nato's choices in Ukraine and the Middle East | Jump to comments (218)
BarneyQ -> RosalinaChalmers , 03 September 2014 8:31pm
NATO countries gave birth to Isis with their illegal invasion.

Turkey a NATO country partitioned and occupied a European country, turkey to this day supports this illegal entity.

Turkey facilitates the ISIS.

NATO countries lied to the Security council then took sides in Libya.

NATO illegally partitioned Serbia

NATO has operated and probably still does operate a global torture network.

This same NATO is now huffing and puffing for what can only be hypocritical reasons.

igotthetaser -> PietPompies66 , 03 September 2014 8:30pm
> And what IS Iraq now?
Ruined by American invasion country.
When H. Clinton were asked about that, she said: "Iraq war was worth it".
I wish that bitch to be cold and dead among the Iraqi peaceful people killed by US (including her personally) will for nothing.
Oh, it's not nothing, it's all about oil.

As people joke:
CNN: Monday. Scientists found oil under Antarctic ice.
CNN: Tuesday. NATO wants to liberate Antarctic region and to end penguins' dictatorship.

Avenos , 03 September 2014 8:19pm
NATO bombed Yugoslavia (Serbia) in 1999. Remember Kosovo?
Tacty -> Avenos , 03 September 2014 8:21pm
you know, cnn said it was genocide so it must be true...cnn never lies, as well as other western media...they are all for piece in the world and they dont like to be warmongers...
qwertboi , 03 September 2014 8:31pm
Bad editorials based on bad intelligence producing bad propaganda.

"We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then - we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now.

"Photos can be worth a thousand words - they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analysing and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence.

"Suffice it to say that the images released by Nato on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine."

In an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, veteran US intelligence professionals urge her not to be swayed by dodgy evidence into backing conflict with Russia

Forthestate , 03 September 2014 8:32pm
It seems NATO can expand its sphere of influence without limit - a North Atlantic alliance currently operating in Afghanistan, for example - but any attempt to resist its advances, as in eastern Ukraine, where the majority appear to favour secession from Kiev, even if they don't want to be absorbed by Russia, is classified as aggression. It seems that freedom to choose is only an expression of democracy as long as you choose NATO.
qwertboi -> Forthestate , 03 September 2014 9:04pm

It seems that freedom to choose is only an expression of democracy as long as you choose NATO.

And its concomitant agents of control - the World Bank and IMF loans (as facilitated and enabled by the EU and its soon to be implemented TTIP).

The 1% now control everything - the content of the papers you read and the policies your democratically elected government pursues.

Forthestate -> qwertboi , 03 September 2014 9:06pm
Exactly. NATO is neo-liberalism's enforcer.
HolyInsurgent -> Forthestate , 04 September 2014 4:28am
@Forthestate -

NATO is neo-liberalism's enforcer.

Agreed. But NATO is not the only one. That is only one aspect of enforcement: military.

Neoliberalism is not just a mere economic ideology (as its apologists would like us to think) but the driving engine of the convergence of institutions, an entire philosophy. I see it as both the cause of and the convergence of institutions itself. Each facet is mutually enforcing of an ideology which runs counter to humanity's own long term interests. Religion is not always but can be used for destructive ends or maintaining obsolete beliefs or privilege (e.g. House of Lords) simply because they are traditional.

Big Brother=Neoliberalism=The Market (Financial Branch: corporate plutocracy, all financial institutions up to World Bank and IMF)=The Party (Political Branch: neoliberal governments)=Enforcement (Law Branch: police local to national, Military Industrial Complex [including NATO], court system and Beliefs Branch: education system, compromised science [disinformation], The Media/PROLEFEED [brainwashing and propaganda function], neoliberal thinktanks, lobbyists, bond rating agencies, religion [tribal beliefs and mythological narrative])

kennyboy , 03 September 2014 8:36pm
If the Ukranians can find a long term settlement against the wishes of Washington and their own fascists, there will be an awful lot of people with egg on their faces, including politicians and editors of the national press.

There are signs, most noticeably at the BBC, but also at the Graun that the media are rowing back from a position that has been ludicrously counter factual, but the politicians are still pushing an impossibilist agenda, in order to get political backing from their populations, to extend American hegemony up to Russia's borders.

It seems obvious that there is now a political battle between Poreshenko and whoever his backers are and Yats, who is "our"man, according to Nuland. Poreshenko's position is perilous, but if public opinion in Ukraine has turned against the war on its own citizens, his position may survive.

kennyboy -> CoinneachCathalBoid , 03 September 2014 9:54pm
I take it that you have no memory before 2014. Before Maidan, there was plenty of discussion in the media about the dangers of the various fascist and ultra nationalist groups in Kyiv. This was, of course before they became vital to the power games of Washington.

Unless you truly believe that western Ukranian opinion is absolutely 100% is of the same mind, then you must admit that there are different strands of opinion in the country. At the last election involving the whole country, they elected a crooked oligarch, just like all the other crooked oligarchs who have run Ukraine for their own benefit, but they did not vote for fascism. When Poreshenko was elected by Western Ukraine, the share of the vote for the Fascist and ultra nationalist parties was pitiful and yet by some magic process, they retained powerful positions in government, while the parliament has been dissolved as it didn't support the ultra right attempt to call the defenders of Donbass terrorists.

Dissolving parliament because it was acting as an opposition to Right sector and the other rightists and banning opposition political parties seems a pretty fascist thing to me.

Арарат Абдулхаков , 03 September 2014 9:23pm
the recipe for creating the Russian troops:

come to big city and every day it fired 3 times a day: after Breakfast, lunch and dinner from mortars, cannons, rocket launchers, aiming preferably in residential neighborhoods. After 3-4 months of shelling the city from out of nowhere appears the Russian army.

Why Russian? Everything is simple. Everyone knows that the dead child, the wife of the dissected fragments, parents buried alive under the rubble, destroyed the house - all of this nonsense and it doesn't matter, it cannot separate the true patriots. Therefore, the army, which appears after the shelling of cities, consists exclusively of Russians, at least so says Kiev.

umut gezer , 03 September 2014 9:29pm
The guardian editors suggest "we should arm the junta army". what do they mean by "we"? Who is "we"? Fucking disgrace!
RosalinaChalmers , 03 September 2014 9:43pm
Guardian says: "Arming up the Ukrainians is possible and perhaps should be done".

And I ask, to what end? More shelling and killing innocent civilians? Or to de-stabilize Russia in a proxy war on it's border? Because that would be an interesting goal for NATO, now wouldn't it?

Carl Jones, 03 September 2014 9:52pm

Okay....I admit that I have not ready this point, because it assumes that NATO and the NWO have options.

They don't. This is about the very bedrock of the West...its about the survival of the NY/City axis. This is about the very survival of Amerika and the UK as going concerns.

Russia and the BRICS are decoupling...They are walking away from the US dollar, they are refusing to pay the US extortion money, they won't be propping up the bankrupt US economy any longer...This is why they have it in for Putin.

Tacty , 03 September 2014 10:27pm
hard to argue...

AndreiLiberec , 03 September 2014 10:34pm

"It is a matter of picking out the precise bit of military power, or the precise bit of political manoeuvring"

Surely, there shouldn't be an "or" in that sentence. Please replace with an "and".

"In Ukraine, Nato countries see a former partner becoming an adversary"

Their own fault. Not least the new Russophobic Nato-countries (yes, I'm looking at you, Poland and Lithuania).

The expansion of Nato in the 90's and 00's might very well result in the demise or at least watering down of the alliance. Western Europe will hardly go to war for a cocky Baltic republic who's picking a fight with Russia (compare with Saakashvili's bullish Georgia 2008, believing the West would come to his aid; a glorious naivety made even more spectacular by the fact the he was the one who started the war).

RocketSurgeon , 03 September 2014 10:37pm
I disagree with this article. Ukraine attacked its own people after the eastern regions voted to become autonomous, within a Federal State of Ukraine. Its obvious that its own Army was not a willing butcher of its own people, and so many volunteers, including Neo Nazis were recruited from many NATO nations. So this whole mess was created by Ukraine, not Russia.
Ukraine has consistently resisted talks with the Pro-Russian Rebels. Till the Ukraine Army and its volunteers were routed on the Weekend. It seems more than 1,000 Ukraine soldiers were killed in these battles. Now the Ukraine Government have been told to face reality by NATO and the Eu and the US. I suspect that promises were made, and have since been withdrawn on the basis of Putin putting his foot down, and drawing the red line.
The US and NATO only attack weak countries with obsolete equipment. So I don't expect NATO or the US to attack Russia anytime soon.
As for ISIS, this was created, funded and trained by the US to fight in Libya and Syria. When Syria started to win, they went to Iraq. If the US were serious about ISIS, they would have been destroyed by now, and would have stopped been supplied and funded. So this is another fake war IMO.
I expect Putin to again put his foot down if/when the US says it "wants to bomb targets" in Syria.
fansince76 , 03 September 2014 11:12pm
Pity poor NATO, well that's enough of that load of horlicks.
NATO spends a trillion bucks a year on defence spending, more than all the other military budgets of the world. They represent nearly a billion people.
This editorial would like to present this over budgeted, warmongering bunch of lunatics as poor!
NATO cannot find any evidence of a Russian invasion since February of this year, but want us to take their word for it!
Fogh Rasmussen told his Danish parliament that he KNEW there were WMD's in Iraq, now he is telling us that there are Russian ground forces in Ukraine.

Why doesn't the editorial team ask him about that lie?

Afraid he will point out how many invasions you printed were happening, without any of it being true?

suzi , 03 September 2014 11:53pm
Recently I made some comment that ideally it would be good for our country to be on friendly terms with both Russia and the Ukraine and that I wasn't convinced that Mr Putin really resembled Hitler. So I was told that I was naive and a Putin supporter, which I am not.

Amongst all the accusations and counter-accusations, trolling and accusations of trolling, one thing seems clear; that the US supported a coup against an admittedly not-very-nice Ukrainian Government and the installation of a different not-very-nice Ukrainian Government. If this is so, then I have to ask, what gave the US the right to intervene in another country's affairs in this way? And is it then so surprising that Putin has reacted as he has done, given that he's the sort of person that he seems to be and given that a significant proportion of Ukrainians seem to want to align themselves with Russia? (And a significant proportion don't. Not justifying, just giving a reason.) Shouldn't we be trying to help find a solution rather than making threats and slapping on sanctions?

Some while back, John Pilger wrote an article suggesting that the US actually wanted a war with Russia. So the ideological conflict of the Cold War wasn't really so ideological but like all wars was about power and control? Who'd have thunk it? So the US wants more bases in Eastern Europe to deter a possible Russian threat? Well, perhaps they could save a bit of money by removing the ones that are still here in Britain nearly 70 years after the end of WWII. The ones that a US general once with commendable frankness, described as 'expendable.'

NotoBlair -> suzi , 03 September 2014 11:59pm
HAL911 -> NotoBlair , 04 September 2014 12:23am
JiminNH -> NotoBlair , 04 September 2014 3:13am
While you cheer those statistics, I note that the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and ECB are still on multi-year programs of quantitative easening (ie. printing money as fast as they can hit their computer keys) to prop up their banking system, causing new bubbles on the stock and real property markets, while the EU is in a deepening recession caused by the residue of the 2008 banking crisis combined with the sanctions and the tensions arising from Ukraine situation. In case you are not aware, sanctions hit both ways; just ask those Greek and Spanish farmers, and my guess is that the German industrial sector won't be far behind.

As usual, the US is more than happy, implementing the Wolfowitz Doctrine that does what we want to harm Russia, while war rages in Europe and your economy is about to land in the crapper too due to your governing elites foolishly abiding by Washington's dictates.

Maybe you forget that the flames of war were lit on your continent when the US and EU leaders put a match to the tinderbox of Ukraine by supporting western Ukrainians, spearheaded by extreme nationalists of questionable character, overthrew the democratically elected government and seized power in an entirely unconstitutional manner, and proceeded to put gas on that fire by supporting their military suppression of the inevitable backlash of the eastern Ukrainians who protested seeing the electoral victories they attained at the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 be reversed by the bullet.

In the meantime, which nations have been buying up all the gold in the world? Hint: their capital cities are Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi. When the next bubble pops don't be surprised to see a new gold backed currency come to fore in the world economy; it's unlikely to have a US president or queen on it.

RudolphS , 04 September 2014 12:36am
Boy, the enemies against U.S. and EU are certainly piling up. Russia, ISIS, Assad, China with its oil rigs in the south-sea... One wonders, does the West still find time, energy and finance to concentrate on domestic issues and problems? Because, lest they forget, that is the reason why our dear political leaders were voted in office for in the first place.
unaszplodrmann , 04 September 2014 1:02am

Nato countries see a former partner becoming an adversary

Partner? Such a conceited outlook, couched in the self-satisfied language of US diplomacy. Russia was defeated then forced to genuflect before trans-atlantic economic power. We repeated the mistakes of the Treaty of Versaille and now we must deal with a cynical, indignant Russia. NATO requires Russia to be a potential opponent in order to justify its existence and so Russia could never be considered a partner amongst equals. This editorial reads as if it were the product of a political think-tank rather than a news media outlet.

JiminNH -> nickpossum , 04 September 2014 3:20am
Well, considering the US national security strategy (the "Wolfowitz Doctrine") states that we will take any necessary steps to prevent any nation, or group of nations, to arise to a sufficient level of power of influence to prevent our unfettered hegemony in international affairs, perhaps Russia has a valid concern. (The word "hegemony" is actually in the documents!)

After all, the US was never invaded by Mongol hordes, Charles XII, Napolean or Hitler, was it?

And Russia hasn't built a ring of bases on the border of the US, has it?

RichardCrawford10 , 04 September 2014 1:36am
Why is everyone being so aggressive with Putin? Why should he have a collection of hostile gangsters running 'the Ukraine' on his borders? These great Ukrainian patriots seem to me to be either neo-Nazi idiots or fugitives from international arrest warrants. Yulia's mentor is doing time in a federal prison on some 200M dollar money laundering conviction, and someone needs to ask her how much money she made as fuel negotiator.

So, we see the Ukraine going from being a socialist country where,presumably, there were no millionaires to suddenly becoming a failed state led by dodgy millionaires, and we are supposed to commit our tax money and our young men to protecting these mobsters. Great.

Manolo Torres , 04 September 2014 1:45am
Here are some interesting views of NATO countries on the middle east that had to be taken into consideration, as expressed last week by the US, state department, it has a brilliant closure:

We believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya's democratic transition.

What is that? stupidity? the worst of jokes? or the kind of cynicism that should make us all storm the NATO headquarters?

Manolo Torres , 04 September 2014 1:45am
Here are some interesting views of NATO countries on the middle east that had to be taken into consideration, as expressed last week by the US, state department, it has a brilliant closure:

We believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya's democratic transition.

What is that? stupidity? the worst of jokes? or the kind of cynicism that should make us all storm the NATO headquarters?

TrueCopy . 04 September 2014 4:21am
About a year ago, few months before Meidan demonstrations, I read this article in Washington Post:

It is by Carl Gershman of National Endowment for Democracy. In it, he essentially argues, Russia and Putin are standing against us taking over Syria. He says, if we take former Soviet republics out of his hand, and then cause him problem internally in Russia he will be out of power. Then we can take over places like Syria with little effort. In his article he says the jewel in Putin's possession is Ukraine, we can take it from him.

Gershman is a neocon, his organization goes around the world causes problems for governments neocons don't like. They manufacure crises, their motto is Democracy, their aim is causing trouble and disharmony anywhere they have their cross hair on. Unfortunately, he is not the only person and his organization playing this game. His view of Middle East is many small states divided by religions and ethnicities all "democratic" thus friendly to the West. Meaning, small states at conflict with each other based on ethnicity and religion, which would all need to have a protector in Washington, and thus they would be unable or unwilling to cause problem for Israel.. This is the exact carbon copy of what Israel wants for the middle east.

These crowd who instigated the wars in the middle east, but have not been confronted at all, are still working their plans. This time they have gone so far as challenging Russia into a confrontation. For their nonsense and beliefs, they apparently don't even care to get close to a nuclear war. Their talking heads come on TV proposing arming Ukrainians and giving them intelligence so that they can kill Russian troops and thus when dead bodies pile up in Russia the people in Russia overthrow Putin. This came out of the mouth of William B. Taylor, former US ambassador to Ukraine, another neocon.

It is time to take the microscope off and look at what has happened in the past dozen years with a wide angle. The west needs to confront neocons, as we believe the muslim world needs to confront ISIS and Al Qaeda. A good start is with exposing these people publicly.

ID075732 , 04 September 2014 5:00am
The problem for Europe and by implication NATO, is that the civil war in Ukraine was instigated by the US fro geo-political purposes, to grab resources in Ukraine on Russia's boarder and so put impossible pressure on the real jewel in the crown.

Let's watch as this genocidal conflict, backed by the West continues. True to form the US will not want peace, as a peaceful solution poses problems for them, in terms of culpability.

While ever the MSM and Western politicians continue with this "with Putin it's personal" mindless reporting there will be no road map to peace and that road will remain closed. As we have seen many time the US agenda is about full spectrum dominance and aggression when it comes to the Global economy. Not peace.

fansince76, 04 September 2014 5:01am

"Although the rebels said they were local, they did not speak with local accents. Their kit looked new and included two modern Dragunov sniper rifles and two rocket-propelled grenade launchers."

The Guardian reporters are now local accent experts as well.

"Fighters from Mariupol's Azov battalion, volunteers with neo-Nazi leanings, said they would continue to follow orders from Kiev, but their uncompromising rhetoric suggested any deal between Poroshenko and Putin could test that loyalty."

The Guardian reporters interview neo-Nazi soldiers from Kiev, but have nothing to say about the refusal of these soldiers to take orders from their President!
Just like the Maidan political agreements which were first accepted by Klitchko and his buddies, before the neo-Nazis refused to accept that agreement.

Who is in charge of an independent brigade of Nazis fighting against a civilian population in East Ukraine?

[Sep 04, 2014] David Cameron and the cynicism of comparing Putin to Hitler by Owen Jones

Note the number of opnedly negative comments about Cameron in the selection below.

Sep 03, 2014 | | Jump to comments (1072)

Vladimir Putin is responsible for some awful human rights abuses in Ukraine, but Cameron drawing parallels to Hitler is a cheap, politically motivated shot

watccoe , 03 September 2014 11:41am

Putin is responsible for some awful human rights abuses in Ukraine, but Cameron drawing parallels to Hitler is a cheap, politically motivated shot

The rights and wrongs aside, I would expect any politician to take actions that are politically motivated.

earhole -> watccoe , 03 September 2014 12:10pm

The rights and wrongs aside, I would expect any politician to take actions that are politically motivated.

There is a difference between politics and party politics.
Politics has (or should have) the aim of doing the best for the country - party politics merely has the aim of winning next election.
What the PM is doing is the latter.

AuObserver , 03 September 2014 11:42am

As regards annexation of territory from a neighboring state it is historically accurate.

RobinWhitlock -> AuObserver , 03 September 2014 11:52am

No it isn't. Napoleon did the same thing but he didn't burn whole villages down while locking the residents in the barn or build huge concentration camps like Auschwitz... annexation of territory isn't an excuse for comparing Putin to Hitler, besides if he really wanted to annex the whole of Ukraine rather than just assisting the rebels he would have done it by now.

PrakashShah , 03 September 2014 11:42am

Given that Putin is engaging in his own version of blitzkrieg and lebensraum, I think the comparison is apt to an extent.

I think that the remarks might have been a little harsh but that Dave has brought it up, he might want to avoid the comparison to Chamberlain.

Lets see how far forward we have to go for Kristallnacht and camps being set up.

donkiddick -> PrakashShah , 03 September 2014 12:02pm

Given that Putin is engaging in his own version of blitzkrieg and lebensraum, I think the comparison is apt to an extent.

So, Desert storm, Shock and Awe, Drones and torture are just little spats of Western niceness?

MutantNinjaThinktank , 03 September 2014 11:43am

I agree the Hitler/Putin comparison is far-fetched; but how does Owen feel about the Jones/Orwell comparison?
Finn_Nielsen -> MutantNinjaThinktank , 03 September 2014 11:51am
"What has kept England on its feet during the past year? In part, no doubt, some vague idea about a better future, but chiefly the atavistic emotion of patriotism, the ingrained feeling of the English-speaking peoples that they are superior to foreigners. For the last twenty years the main object of English left-wing intellectuals has been to break this feeling down, and if they had succeeded, we might be watching the S.S. men patrolling the London streets at this moment. Similarly, why are the Russians fighting like tigers against the German invasion? In part, perhaps, for some half-remembered ideal of Utopian Socialism, but chiefly in defence of Holy Russia (the "sacred soil of the Fatherland", etc. etc.), which Stalin has revived in an only slightly altered form. The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions - racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war - which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action."

I can't imagine Owen Jones writing anything similar in a million years.

moneyallgone , 03 September 2014 11:44am

Comparing the events in Ukraine to those of 1938 that led to a world war isn't really comparing Putin to Hitler, is it?

But it makes for an eye-catching headline, I suppose.

james909 , 03 September 2014 11:44am

If Cameron was to use Nazi comparison' he could start by looking at the ConDem's treatment of the Disabled and Chronically sick I am sure IDS would love to set up a T4 camp.
It's a land grab by the Russian's to make sure NATO have no base's near it's borders. Made easier by what's going on with the I.S.more conflict in the area will just lead to more death's.
Let Russia and Ukraine sort it out it's not our or NATO's business.
Strummered , 03 September 2014 11:45am
Putin probably thinks it a compliment. He works in mysterious ways.
Gentblue -> Strummered , 03 September 2014 12:07pm
No. He (Putin) doesn't think it was a compliment. In fact he was absolutely furious about this. More Soviets died in WW2 than from any other country, including much of Vladimir Putin's family. The fact of the matter is that comparing his actions to Hitler was more effective than sending weapons to Ukraine. The Russians may still dream of the power and influence they wielded as the Soviet Union (especially when playing military games with their neighbours, trying to stop them from getting too big for their boots, joining the EU and thinking themselves better than Russians, like the Baltic States do) but most still do not want to be scum!

Being compared to Adolf Hitler is a more hurtful insult than being compared to Satan for even the most religious Russian.

Finn_Nielsen , 03 September 2014 11:49am

I'd put him in the Stalin camp, personally. He'd probably be quite chuffed with the comparison.

MacCosham -> Finn_Nielsen , 03 September 2014 12:38pm

Well, perhaps you are right - at the moment, he is doing as Stalin did when supporting the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. That is, indirectly helping the supporters of a legitimate government resisting a fascist regime that overthrew it.
splat64 , 03 September 2014 11:50am
Right wingers don't do nuance. They live in a black and very white world.
BeatonTheDonis -> Brouillard , 03 September 2014 11:57am

It is clear that Putin has expansionary tendencies - he is happy for countries to be independent only as long as they align with Russia, but if they don't he seeks to inflame political tensions and divide and conquer independent countries.

The EU and US weren't too happy when the Ukraine refused to align itself with them. They sought to inflame political tensions to the point of supporting a putsch with neo-Nazis providing the muscle. They've now divided the Ukraine and have a government in Kiev doing its economic bidding (slashing wages and pensions, increasing the price of energy).

JacktheNat , 03 September 2014 11:53am

David Cameron and the cynicism of comparing Putin to Hitler

Not so much cynicism, Owen, as stupidity.

And dangerous stupidity at that as veteran Washington reporter Bob Parry makes very clear here:

JamesValencia , 03 September 2014 11:54am

Owen's right: ridiculous and imflammatory comparisons. The sort of thing you might hear down the pub, late, not from the PM.
FrankTheFrank -> JamesValencia , 03 September 2014 12:15pm
Or from Prince Charles...
RichieJames , 03 September 2014 12:39pm

The difference with 1939 is that the west was arming Hitler. Most of the top US corporations were building the trucks and aircraft without which he could not have invaded Poland.

That is what made Hitler a powerful threat.

Don't make the mistake of thinking Hitler had today's German industrial colossus. He did not.

vrager , 03 September 2014 11:59am
It is time that Western governments stopped supporting Ukraine as its government is responsible for shelling and bombing its own citizens.

Putin is an opportunist and old fashioned Russian nationalist who doesn't like others poking around in Ukraine as most Russians think the Ukraine is part of Russia.

Western leaders denigrating Putin will achieve nothing. Sanctions will achieve nothing. Best to let Russia and Ukraine sort things out amongst themselves and if that means the Ukraine goes bust and the gas is cut off, sobeit. Until Ukrainian nationalists realise that they have to treat their Russian speaking citizens equally and with respect, those citizens will seek to leave Ukraine. Russia is Ukraine's major export market, so getting on the wrong side of Russia is plain stupid.

donkiddick , 03 September 2014 11:59am
On the eve of the Iraq war, Saddam Hussein was repeatedly compared to Hitler, with Donald Rumsfeld even casting George W Bush in the role of Winston Churchill.

The media abounded with such parallels in the build-up to the Iraq disaster, with one Telegraph article headlined "Appeasement won't stop Saddam any more than Hitler" and even suggesting Iraq could bomb Southampton. On either sides of his rapprochement with the west, Libya's Colonel Gaddafi faced the Hitler treatment, too.

How times change eh? 'Friends of the West' suddenly become our enemies, when they no longer have a use.

thejoshuatreat , 03 September 2014 11:59am
So, what are then the Ukranian government bombing their own civilian population??? That, err, includes many openly Nazi ministers.
CaltonHill , 03 September 2014 12:00pm

War between the west and Russia is clearly unthinkable, and only a negotiated settlement involving all parties in Ukraine can provide lasting peace.

In order to achieve this lasting peace, it is imperative that the wishes of the local population are actually listened to and acted upon. If that was the case, the rebels and Russia would immediately end their armed campaign. 70% of eastern Ukraine does not want independence - they want to remain a part of Ukraine. Even 58% of Russian speakers in the region do not want independence or to be part of Russia.

It is likely that the local population wants greater autonomy, but it is perfectly clear that they want that within in a peaceful, united Ukrainian nation to which they seem to feel they belong.

palindrome -> CaltonHill , 03 September 2014 12:04pm
That poll was carried out in May, before the government decided to murder 3,000 of their own citizens. I doubt those figures would be the same today.

Caldy1 , 03 September 2014 12:02pm

" According to David Cameron, the west risks "repeating the mistakes made in Munich in '38","

That would be the policy endorsed by the tories in the 1838 by-elections, described by their opponents as a 'vote for Hitler'?

"The campaign was intense and focused almost entirely on foreign affairs. Hogg supported Chamberlain's appeasement policy. Lindsay opposed appeasement; his campaigners used the slogan "A vote for Hogg is a vote for Hitler.",_1938

Blobby is risking the further enragement of his kipper tendency who seem somewhat enamoured of Pootee

Nigel Farage: I admire Vladimir Putin

Or, even worse for blobby, upsetting the owners of the 'heil' who shouted "Hurrah for the blackshirts!"

Poor blobby, he really needs a decent ventriloquist to operate his mouth

palindrome , 03 September 2014 12:02pm
Ukraine is just another regime change job. Unfortunately the media avoid at all costs to admit this because then it would become blindingly obvious that, as in Iraq and Libya, it is another failure of western policy.
emordnilap , 03 September 2014 12:05pm
Proof, if proof were still needed, that Cameron is utterly out of his depth and a serious international embarrassment.

Two days ago, ISIS were a "generational" threat, the worst ever faced. Now Putin is Hitler. These comments have all the in-depth aunderstanding, reasoned quality of zero-scoring sixth-form trolling on CiF.

Putin is a clever, effective, and dangerous chancer, but psychotic global threat he is not. A new form of "Cool War" scenario across Europe seems to be the likely outcome of recent US (via NATO) and Russian manoeuvrings. Stasis will be reached. Borders may be adjusted. Then again in another 30 years.

ISIS are a culturally-insular, defensive force. It's aggressive defence, to be sure, but they believe they are trying to protect Islam (and a particular selection of elements of broadly Middle Eastern culture) from outside interference. We must recognize them for what THEY think they are, and what we think "WE" are if we wish to find channels through which to avoid exacerbating global terrorist violence. Stealing (or perhaps "chaperoning") resources in territories claimed and run by other groups of people is probably not a useful way of doing this.

No easy answers, obviously. But we must ask meaningful questions before bombing, invading, and supporting the iniquitous regimes that provoke people - real, ordinary people - to turn to either "Russian-speaking militias", or "medieval theological zealots".

supnorm , 03 September 2014 12:11pm
So according to many of the comments here, it's okay for Obama and Cameron to intervene in Iraq because ISIS have killed few American and British citizens but Putin is not allowed to intervene in eastern Ukraine where mercenaries funded by the Ukrainian government and oligarchs have killed hundreds of ethnic Russians?
bartalk -> ChrisGrieve , 03 September 2014 12:22pm
Cameron being childish ... is he next going to call Putin fat or maybe ugly or maybe stupid ... wait and watch our childish leader.

Russia should be a close ally, they did a lot more for us that the USA did during WW2. Without Russia we would now be speaking German, without the USA's involvement the Germans would still have been defeated.

bartalk -> NLon55 , 03 September 2014 1:08pm
The German invasion of the Soviet Union caused a high rate of fatalities: 95 percent of all German Army casualties that occurred from 1941 to 1944, and 65 percent of all Allied military casualties from the entire war.

Let's repeat that; the Russians incurred two thirds of all allied casualties while causing 95% of all German casualties after 1941. I say it again, we could not have won the war without the Russians.

mikeypie12 , 03 September 2014 12:16pm

But let's not pretend Ukraine's government are champions of human rights either. According to Human Rights Watch, they have been using "indiscriminate rockets in populated areas" in violation of international humanitarian law.

When 'international humanitarian law' is also flouted - quite frequently in some cases - by the likes of the Chinese, US, Israel... who is actually enforcing this law or even respecting it? Anyone?

The World is run by hypocrites and tyrants. I am actually so weary of the massive amounts propaganda, lies, and hypocrisy in the media at this point that I'm actually struggling to care at all, about the seemingly endless atrocities being commited, daily. Any sense of anger at all of the lies, hypocrisy, the constant injustices being carried out are being whittled down to little more than a futile acceptance. Then, that's sort of the point of propaganda, isn't it?

Pagey , 03 September 2014 12:19pm
A man with a propaganda machine many have likened to Goebbels' criticising Putin?
Spicio , 03 September 2014 12:22pm
Who wouldn't make a 'land grab' if you saw your enemy getting closer? Stop being the enemy and you'll stop the land grab!
edwardrice -> VoccoGuardian , 03 September 2014 12:38pm

No mention of Putin's repeated Nazi references when characterising Kiev.

John McCain metes antisemitic Neo-Nazi Oleh Tyahnybok in Kiev.

the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists
Kiev throws paramilitaries – some openly neo-Nazi - into the front of the battle with rebels

charminggal , 03 September 2014 12:27pm
Cameron is a amateur dictator himself...puffing hot air onto flames just ignites the situation...comparing Mr a Putin to hitler that's inflammatory for a start...Cameron doesn't think before he opens his mouth.
edwardrice , 03 September 2014 12:28pm
Cameron is a clown, an embarrassment. He is not a statesman, he's a US neocon poodle.

Every enemy of the US is a new Hitler, every diplomatic effort to defuse a crisis created by the US is called ''appeasement''.

EU leaders are appeasing Washington and the Neocon loons. Enough!

edwardrice -> epgorrie , 03 September 2014 12:34pm

Ukraine has been one of the boldest moves of Putins reign

Enough of the loon conspiracy theories please!

The EU and US backed the coup in Kiev, NOT Russia.

But I'd love to know how you think Putin got Nuland to hand out cookies to the protesters or how he got John MaCain to stand on stage with and met a notorious Neo-Nazi.

The Vulcan mind meld?

epgorrie -> edwardrice , 03 September 2014 12:46pm
Wow you're really after a fair debate aren't you! Did you even read the comment?

I agree that the EU and US backed the coup in Kiev, my comment refers to the Russian involvement in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.
The west supporting a coup and Russia sending troops and weapons into the country are two very different things.

edwardrice -> epgorrie , 03 September 2014 12:56pm

But there is no evidence Russia has sent troops into Ukraine.

There is really nothing.

Russia has annexed Crimea but apart from that?

RedonBlue , 03 September 2014 12:29pm

Nothing tightens the sphincter of the British ruling class quicker than the Russian Bear on the prowl

angie11 , 03 September 2014 12:31pm

So the West vilifies Putin, slaps sanctions on him and his people, and threatens him.

With Netanyahu, who seizes land that is not his and is ILLEGAL, he is wined and dined.

With Netanyahu who has massacred thousands, he is given arms and support for same.

With Israel there is a deafening silence with regard to sanctions.

Yes, it seems clear that Cameron is another hypocritical sycophant of Netanyahu who behaves much more like the terrible Nazi.

FrakasWaldbrunn , 03 September 2014 12:31pm
Shalom. Everything around Ukraine is, lets say, not accurate, not accurate at all.

Beside Mr. Cameron, he is just talking as they always do. Talking, making air, being for nothing..
The Western MSM doing not much different when writing; "Ukraine and Russia reach permanent ceasefire.." and so on. How is that possible? The Ukraine is a conflict between interests of the EUS and some inside interests, and the people of Ukraine disagreed. It was never a war between Ukraine and Russia. It is a inside conflict initiated by the EUS to harm Asia and keep the US$ as world currency alive. End of story. Everything else is not true, simple it is.

dolly63 , 03 September 2014 12:32pm
Think you find that America and Britain has killed more innocent people since 1938 than Hitler ever did.
mikeypie12 -> Brandybaby , 03 September 2014 1:03pm
Well since World War 2, there was the disastrous partioning of India which left millions dead and displaced. Then there's Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and there's supporting and arming Israel in their apartheid and genocide, then there's the bombing of Libya, and continuining unabaited support for American foreign policy and their insidious drone campaigns etc, this country has some serious blood on its hands.
mjhunbeliever , 03 September 2014 12:38pm
The simple truth is that there is world campaign for the domination of all world resources, in the Ukraine once again Gas and Oil reserves are on the agenda.

Could Cameron's reference to Hitler also be a diversion for the real fascists that Cameron is supporting.

Europe were the first to back the Ukraine government irrespective of the kind of democracy it was.

There is a world power struggle happening and it as being wrapped up as defending people from tyrrany, which we all know is the last thing it is.

Putin is no better than Cameron and Vice Versa.

We need to reject all these politicians and look at what our needs are closer to home, setting a real example for the rest of the world to follow.

Vote, Left Unity, or Green, or NHA reject the rest.

Madryn , 03 September 2014 12:46pm
Born seven years after WWII, Vladimir Putin hardly can be a Nazi: his older brother died during the Siege of Leningrad (see
Vitold66 , 03 September 2014 1:05pm
Of course comparing Putin to Hitler is completely ridicules and self-serving propaganda, there is no question about that because the whole situation is completely and utterly different. (just a reminder to some of the history "buffs" here who think it works: Austria annexation was never challenge by the "west" or Austrian themselves thousands of them join the German army , Czechoslovakia was NOTHING like Ukraine, there was no puch that removed legitimate government , there was no riots or fighting between different fractions/nationalist, there was no civil war and 200.000 German refuges in Germany…. Just so we are on the same page)
But I think the problem is not in the propaganda against our "enemies" but rather in the fact that we (well…by "we" I mean western politicians and media….and public that follows these clown) can't no longer distinguish or compare our actions (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria,…etc;) to those that we oppose…. There is NEVER even an effort to measure others the same way we "measure" ourselves… WE are always RIGHT (even if we are utterly wrong) …THEY are always WRONG… and this is the bottom line … like in the Bible…you se the splinter in your opponent eyes but you don't see the ship mast in your own eye…with the "moral" highroad like that no wonder that the WEST lost it's ALL credibility in the world
DolleDolf -> Runesmith , 03 September 2014 1:34pm
But is Ukraine a country or simply a renegade province? It basically fell off the old SU when that was at its weakest. Certainly I have always considered places like Kiev and Kharkov and Odessa Russian. It is hardly like Portugal or Sweden which have been countries in the strict sense of the world for a historically prolonged time.

The same consideration holds true for Byelorussia.

Drawing a line in the sand and declaring Ukraine an independent country seems to have been an opportunity seized to further weaken the Old Enemy. Especially since that move would preclude that Old Enemy access to its Crimean seaports, a situation that Russia, understandably from its point of view, has now rectified. To then make overtures toward Ukraine, as in the Baltics, Georgia, Moldova, etc, holding the carrot of EU and NATO membership and, hooray, entry in the Euro, with all the unmentioned riches and bliss that that <ahem> would bring, was at best cynical as everybody knew that that was not going to happen.

The outcry over the 'invasion of a sovereign nation' that we have been hearing about strikes me as opportunistic and an attempt to make Putin look like, well, Hitler.

DrDel , 03 September 2014 1:06pm
More bluff and bluster from old windbag Cameron.

Does anyone think that Putin gives a toss what our PM thinks or says?

Not that I support Putin; just that Cameron is an arse and everyone knows it.

Vitold66 , 03 September 2014 1:07pm
Of course comparing Putin to Hitler is completely ridicules and self-serving propaganda, there is no question about that because the whole situation is completely and utterly different. (just a reminder to some of the history "buffs" here who think it works: Austria annexation was never challenge by the "west" or Austrian themselves thousands of them join the German army , Czechoslovakia was NOTHING like Ukraine, there was no putsch that removed legitimate government , there was no riots or fighting between different fractions/nationalist, there was no civil war and 200.000 German refuges in Germany…. Just so we are on the same page)

But I think the problem is not in the propaganda against our "enemies" but rather in the fact that we (well…by "we" I mean western politicians and media….and public that follows these clown) can't no longer distinguish or compare our actions (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria,…etc;) to those that we oppose….

There is NEVER even an effort to measure others the same way we "measure" ourselves… WE are always RIGHT (even if we are utterly wrong) …THEY are always WRONG… and this is the bottom line … like in the Bible…you se the splinter in your opponent eyes but you don't see the ship mast in your own eye…with the "moral" highroad like that no wonder that the WEST lost it's ALL credibility in the world

Hottentot , 03 September 2014 1:16pm
Owen article is very good

Cameron is a little boy, who needs to get his hands out of his trousers. He is trying to impress his over-lord Obama et al, who have caused this mess in the first place. What he has done is show how utterly childish undiplomatic and unprofessional he is. He is delusional if he thinks he holds a candle to Churchill, or that Nato can push Russia around.

henriettealkhouri , 03 September 2014 1:18pm
The Media has been awash with name calling and facts twisting to the extreme to serve their political masters.

Very few journalists, had the courage and the clarity of thought to speak the truth.

America and Brittain and the Israelis has done a lot worse than that,yet no one called Blair or Bush or Netanyaho a Hitler.All these countries claim to be the guardians of Human Rights,yet their history is full of Blood.It is time for these Politicians to look in the mirror,I wonder at ,what will they See ?

david119 , 03 September 2014 1:41pm
England and David Cameron could do with a lot more empathy.

England hasn't been invaded since 1688 whereas Russia has been ravaged by the Germans and French in comparatively modern times. Ukraine was until comparatively recently part of the same country as Russia. There is a substantial Russian minority in Ukraine and the current Ukraine Government contains some very unsavoury characters. It was Ukrainians not Russians who enthusiastically collaborated with the Nazis.

So I think England should imagine itself to have been brutally invaded as much as Russia and with a substantial alienated English speaking minority in France....

If Putin is a Nazi what about our friends in Saudi Arabia where people are regularly beheaded in public and women cannot even drive a car ? The Saudi whose citizens funded ISIS and religious schools and mosques that are an existential threat to this country. But we supply Saudi with the latest weapons and send Prince Charles off to sip tea with the reactionary tyrants that run the country.

England needs an urgent reality check. Putin is not our ideological enemy, the Saudi Royal family most definitely are.

[Sep 04, 2014] Opinion: High price for ceasefire in eastern Ukraine Europe by Ingo Mannteufel

DW advocates Drach nax Osten. Looks more hawkish then US press
Sep 03, 2014 | DW.DE
Poroshenko, a loser

The fact that Ukraine's Poroshenko seems ready to accept a ceasefire is understandable after recent days' events: the losses of Ukrainian government forces and the land gains made by the separatists, who seem to be supported even by regular army units from Russia, appear to have made Poroshenko realize that the military solution to the conflict he has been aiming for since late June has failed. The additional front line opened by Russia near Mariupol in the very south of the Donetsk region has increased pressure on Kyiv.

If there was a ceasefire, the bloodshed would end at last. But politically, Poroshenko and his government would take a high risk, just ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for October. Many Ukrainians would feel offended, resenting the ceasefire and the resulting de facto capitulation. That is particularly true for the many nationalist voluntary units who have seen big losses in their own ranks over recent days. It's hard to imagine that those forces, politically difficult to control, will follow the political logic of a ceasefire. Intense domestic tensions would be the result. In the elections, radical parties could make significant gains. A partisan war in eastern Ukraine can also not be excluded.

Another loser

The European Union, and above all Germany, have pushed for an end to the fighting for weeks, campaigning for a political solution. But if the situation turns into a frozen conflict there is a risk that parts of the Ukrainian society will turn their backs on Europe. For weeks, Ukrainians heard rumors of a deal between Berlin and Moscow, according to which Poroshenko would end the fighting, and virtually hand over Donetsk and Luhansk to the separatists. Many Ukrainians therefore feel betrayed by the EU and especially by Germany.

Several European countries share the impression that the EU's answer to Russian aggression against a neighboring country was not resolute enough. A frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine would cause long-lasting aftershocks in the European Union. Relations with Russia and with Ukraine are probably strained for years. Europe will not be able to return to the status quo before the conflict.

Ukraine the Ugly Truth


How Ukrainian authorities secure order and peace, Jen Psaki should ask the people of Donbass. But Western journalists prefer not to speak with the people living in the war zone. They avoid citing any word which could cast doubt on Kiev`s policy.

On the other hand, they easily rely on official Ukrainian sources and repeat their false, office-made "news" about Russian aggression and rebels killing their own population. Although only insane people would kill those who give them food and other support, a support essential to the Donbass guerillas, the myth about rebels killing their own families is still alive.

If Westerners could see what is really going on in Donbass, they would have a completely different picture. Plenty of videos can be found on various websites showing dead civilians, slaughtered by Ukrainian artillery or aviation. On the videos, survivors say clearly that people are being killed by Ukrainians from Kiev and not by the rebels. But pro-Kiev media and its Western allies turn a deaf ear to their sufferings.

After the Lugansk administration building was bombed by a Ukrainian aircraft on June 2, it became clear to all that the pro-Western government in Kiev was ready to cross the red line. Here is a video taken just after the bombing. Among the victims were several women and the video shows them still alive but mortally wounded.

On July 27, after the bombing of Gorlovka, there were as many as 30 corpses in the streets. Among them were a 23-year-old mother embracing her little daughter, as witnessed in this video. Here one can see the aftermath of the Ukrainian bombing of civilian neighborhoods near Lugansk on August 15: two old ladies torn apart by missiles from Kiev. Their companion tells the cameraman the details of their death: the women didn`t manage to reach the basement in time, where locals habitually hide from the "Ukrainian liberators".

Four days later a similar event took place: at least five residents of Makeevka near Donetsk were killed by Ukrainian bombs. Here are the victims of the Ukrainian bombing of Zugres, in the Donetsk region: a van full of corpses including a five year-old child. And here is the result of another bombing in Donetsk: women and children are regular victims of the Ukrainian army.

Such events have become part of everyday life for the inhabitants of Donbass. Independent cameramen are trying to bring the truth to the Ukrainian and Western public but this is no easy task.

Firstly, it is very difficult to publish the videos, because internet connection is now a luxury for Donbass. The Ukrainian army has destroyed not only electricity plants but water pipes and gas lines as well.

Secondly, Ukrainian forces are arresting journalists and people making videos, and treating them as criminals. Kiev has unleashed a real war against freedom of speech. Any video or text criticizing the Ukrainian government is considered as "support for Donbass terrorists." Making such videos means risking your life or freedom.

This affects journalists beyond Donbass as well. The Security Service of Ukraine (the equivalent of the American FBI) pays regular visits to intractable reporters and throws them in prison with no scruples. Recently my empty apartment in Kirovograd was visited by agents of the Security Service of Ukraine. I was lucky enough to be in Russia but my neighbors were questioned about me.

The desire to smash any kind of resistance in the country has become an obsession of the Ukrainian authorities. The declaration recently made by the head of Ukrainian Officers' Union, Evgeniy Lupakov, where he said he wanted to hang the "Donbass terrorists" on street poles, is of utmost importance and direst foreboding.

Ukraine Obama Doubles Down

Willy2 | Sep 3, 2014 4:05:02 PM | 16

No, I think the warhawks in the US can be satisfied. They may have lost a battle but it was only the first one in the new "Cold War". We will see more and more tensions between Europe and Russia. Putin will also get more paranoid when it comes to domestic issues. Precisely what the warhawks in the US want. More opportunity to foment more unrest in Russia.

Remember the appointment of Donald Tusk ? He will certainly have a major influence as well on European-Russian relations.

Demian | Sep 3, 2014 4:17:49 PM | 18

@remembererringgiap #15:

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault

Yes, this paper demolishes the case for the US and the EU backing the Kiev junta, from a point of view based on nothing but US interests and a realist view of international relations.

slothrop | Sep 3, 2014 4:52:13 PM | 34

Mearsheimer nails it, without unpleasantly fluffing Putin. See, b. Easy!

The only mistake is that the source of European economic instability is Merkel, Cameron, Draghi, and a little French guy, you know, the Neoliberal-socialist.

Posted by: really | Sep 3, 2014 5:00:34 PM | 36

I feel Russia is playing his cards close to the vest and letting the true aggressor which is kiev/USG/NATO just stomp around and act all bad, because he know it is really directed towards the USG/EU taxpayers . I think Putin understands that the west just wants a reason to ramp up defense spending and drive a wedge between RUSSIA-EU relations. And this is evident in the way USG/NATO is holding a "gun" to all its members to pony up their respective portions of GDP for that purpose, with most of that money if not all, going to US defense contractors coffers. The entire west manufactured ISIS threat, which is nothing but al qaeda, is another windfall to the MIC and intel complexes and resource battle. You see the western governments know that their QE bloated economies are mirages, all shiny and pretty on the top and rotted to the core on the bottom. And the western govts. really don't want to fix what they feel is not broken, let alone spend money on the 99%. So what better way to justify defense spending and distract a war weary public than ISIS and poking the Russian bear.

Does the USG/NATO really want to put boots on the ground in Ukraine and start a RUSSIA-NATO shooting war? I don't think so, it probably will be a dragged out proxy conflict which is a tragedy and unfortunate for the population of Ukraine. Eventually the country will be split.

If the USG is serious about starting a shooting war with Russia, NATO will vote that Ukraine be awarded full NATO status. Because if that were to occur, all the proxy bluffing, huffing, puffing and posturing would be over and the US population would likely find out what belligerant zero sum politics result in.

[Sep 03, 2014] Ukraine ceasefire live

Such comments as below in a conservative newspaper website suggest the State Department might be losing control over the narrative and can't play offence as successfully as it used to.
manufactureconcept, 15 minutes ago

The rebels should not accept a ceasefire until they have driven every last Ukrainian Neo-Nazi rat out of Eastern Ukraine and built borders to keep them out.

The unelected Ukrainian government have been bombing, shelling, slaughtering and threatening ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine with genocide for weeks and now have the front to complain that they are being fired upon when they are retreating?

They are only retreating because they don't have the upper hand any more.

If they could get away with it they would slaughter every ethnic Russian they could get their hands on. The Ukrainian Neo-Nazis are utter filth.

manufactureconcept, 23 minutes ago

The Ukrainian government has been using their Neo-Nazi thugs to bomb, shell, slaughter and threaten ethnic Russians with genocide for weeks.

Now they are getting a hiding from the rebels they are claiming they are victims, when the reality is they are vicious thugs who have slaughtered ethnic Russians in cold blood.

The EU are utter filth who are prepared to engage in mass slaughter in order to enforce their warped plan of European wide rule. They care about nothing but establishing EU rule as far into Eastern Europe as possible.

CommonSense033 -> manufactureconcept, 21 minutes ago

WOW. Russian propaganda dominating the page. How much do they pay you guys?

You want that Soviet Union back baaaaad, don't you.

wootendw -> CommonSense033, 17 minutes ago

If that's the best you can do, you should give up blogging.

Harry Meneely, 23 minutes ago

Who's the warmonger?
US has 726 military bases in 104 countries worldwide.
RU has 2 outside the Russian Federation.
You tell me.

wootendw, 23 minutes ago

Putting NATO troops in Ukraine, even for exercises, is an act of war. Putin should shut off the gas to Europe immediately and advise Russian expatriates to return before the USG-led West hurds them into internment camps.

Shane Ladd, 27 minutes ago

Let's pray that President Putin is successful. The world needs a counterweight to US aggression & EU greed.

David Lewis -> Shane Ladd, 24 minutes ago

It won't be a counterweight though will it, dummy. Russia is not socialist any more - it is a criminal conspiratorial kleptocratic fascist oligarchy.

jd71 -> David Lewis, 21 minutes ago

"criminal conspiratorial kleptocratic fascist oligarchy" sounds like you just described the USA

Newslight, 28 minutes ago

Hold on... the only military build up in Europe over the last twenty years is in NATO countries.

"The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total."

JBrown, 31 minutes ago

US Gov overthrows Ukrainian government with the help of neonazi militias, then says Russia is causing problems. #DERRRRRR

HerculesLoadmaster, 35 minutes ago

My country, the U.S., supported a coup in Ukraine. I am very sorry about our b@ast@rd president.

JBrown, 36 minutes ago

Nobel "Peace Prize" (Banker/MIComplex) winner "Bath House" Berry starting WW3. Good job, asclown!

Unca Mike, 38 minutes ago

No no no no Ukraine (Little Russia) was always part of Russia until very recently; this is essentially a civil war and we must stay out of it!

oddballs, an hour ago

Moscow claims ; we are not sending in our troops, Kiev says yes you are

What are we to believe?

The EU's own observatory body the OSCE say, our people in Ukraine have not seen any evidence that confirms Kiev's allegations.

If this ceasefire is true, its remarkable 'good news'.
The bad news is NATO needs this war, without it member states would cut back on defence spending.
As far as the war and the EU is concerned, they haven't got a clue, and follow the USA with their eyes closed wide shut.
It must be terrible for Poroschenko to see 'his' troops shelling
population centres and having to explain to 'his' people that they are
instrumental in restoring democracy within the nation state.

Apparently, according to that what was written in this newspaper, the units
fighting on the front lines were predominately made up of the new
recruits of the National guard and privately funded volunteer units,

EmilyEnso oddballs, 36 minutes ago

and the private militia's were recruited from the extreme far right.

Hundreds, many hundreds of Polish and yank mercenaries.
And the resistance is hitting them hard.
The death toll for each group is well into three figures - if not far higher.

Anthony2k12, an hour ago

"US-led military drills"!?

How can America justify that?!!!!

I look forward to RT later announcing "Russian-led military drills in Cuba"....

MiltonDValler, 2 hours ago

How convenient. A "cease fire" plan on the eve of a NATO meeting.
Think the plan will fall apart after the meeting?

Joker -> MiltonDValler, an hour ago

Porosenko is desperate Ukraine army collapsed, hastily retreating that's why.

S0crat3s, 2 hours ago

Whew! Is there any Russian neighbour who has not been invaded, occupied, subjugated, oppressed and had land stolen from them by Russia!!

Joker -> S0crat3s, an hour ago

Whew! Is there any country in the world which wasn't invaded, bombed, had overthrow government, had it's resources stolen, oppressed, subjugated by USA?????

Joker -> S0crat3s, an hour ago

My pall ashleigh2 have interesting list for you and that's only countries which were attacked or bombed what about rest of US crimes?

These are the countries that have been bombed or attacked by the US since the end of WW2:

[Sep 03, 2014] Russia's State Media Misinforms Russians By Translating WaPo Editorial

The Washington Post Funny pages have added a really good one today:

In prosecuting his widening war in Ukraine, [Putin] has also resurrected the tyranny of the Big Lie, using state-controlled media to twist the truth so grotesquely that most Russians are in the dark - or profoundly misinformed - about events in their neighbor to the west.

Most Russians get their news from state-controlled broadcast outlets, which have moved beyond mere propaganda into outlandish conspiracy theories and unhinged jingoism.

To prove the Washington Post editors right the state-controlled Russian internet outlet inoSMI, personally advised by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, "moved beyond mere propaganda into outlandish conspiracy theories and unhinged jingoism" by immediately translating the WaPo editorial into Russian so that Russians can now dive further "into the dark" and "profoundly misinform" themselves by reading this editorial of the Washington Post in their native language.

Dear Washington Post. Your funny pages can not beat Russian humor.

The following is a fundamental characterization of the east Ukraine conflict. It can be summarized in one sentence but I begin with some background first.

The Russian government spokespeople have been saying repeatedly for months they've no intention of military interference in Ukraine. They've also been saying it stronger, by saying there's no conceivable future set of developments that could change this policy. The policy is: the Ukraine conflict is, and shall remain, an internal conflict in Ukraine. This was reiterated by Lavrov today, 1 Sep 2014, when he said: "There will be no military interference [by Russia in Ukraine]. We are committed exclusively to peaceful...." . (By the way, Obama recently reiterated that, no matter what else happens, there will be no military interference by NATO in Ukraine).

On 29 Aug 2014 Russia called for "an immediate and unconditional ceasefire followed quickly by an inclusive national dialogue in Ukraine." Similary Lavrov 26 Aug 2014 said "We firmly believe that ceasefire must be unconditional." An unconditional ceasefire would put the separtists in possession of Donetsk and Lughansk cities. Kiev has repeatedly said it won't agree to that. Kiev says that negotiations will only begin after the mititary capitulation of the separatists. The separtists are left with no choice but to keep fighting. So, the Ukraine conflict is, and shall remain, an internal military contest in Ukraine. It is not, and is not going to become, a political contest, nor an international contest.

On 17 Jul 2014 the US ambassador in Ukraine said: "Ultimately there's not going to be a military solution to this confrontation.... As long as the rebels in East Ukraine continue to receive material support from Russia, I don't think there's any way that Ukraine can prevail military against that." (time 8:20 @ ).

I disagree with the US ambassador. First of all, the material support the rebels get from Russia has been, is, and will be, non-leathal only. It would be contrary to deep principles in the Russian foreign ministry to give weapons to the rebels. The same principles are at the Kremlin. The US ambassador disagrees with me about that judgment. As to who's right, me or the US ambassador, you'll have to decide for yourself from your own information sources, because I'm not going to take the time to demonstrate it today. Assuming now it's me who's right, then east Ukraine is a military conflict that is only going to have a military solution, and, as I said in a previous post, the rebels don't have the resources to win it in the long term (especially they don't have enough fighting men). This is the key reason why Kiev is won't agree to an unconditional ceasefire. Kiev disagrees with the US ambassador.

I was inspired to write the above by Lavrov's comment today that "There will be no military interference [by Russia in Ukraine]."

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 1, 2014 7:24:32 AM | 5

Demian | Sep 1, 2014 8:36:31 AM | 9

@Penny #7:

That shows you how clueless the American elite is about Russia. The Soviet Union thought it needed to jam Radio Free Europe. Post-Soviet Russia doesn't need to jam anything; it allows free access to all public information from anywhere in the world. What it does with Anglophone media and outright propaganda outlets like Radio Free Europe is not block access to them, but mock them.

American officials wail in outrage at Russia. But Russian officials mock the US establishment. Russians have always been interested in other major cultures. It is part of the American self-understanding that America is God's gift to man, so Americans don't even have a concept of other cultures. Either you are an American, or you are someone who can be made to be like an American. Obviously, this cultural autism is having an increasingly detrimental effect on US foreign policy.

okie farmer | Sep 1, 2014 8:50:53 AM | 10

from ITAR and RT:

At talks in the Belarusian capital, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have urged Kiev to acknowledge their autonomy within Ukraine, but said they wish to remain an integral part of the country.

LNR and DNR representatives urged the Ukrainian government to end their military operation in the country's east so that parliamentary and local elections can take place freely.

"The president, government and [parliament] Verkhovna Rada should accept… decrees granting immediate recovery from the humanitarian catastrophe, acknowledging the special status of the territories under the control of the People's Republics, creating conditions - first of all stopping the 'anti-terror' operations - for free elections of local authorities and MPs," the document with the republics' position reads.

okie farmer | Sep 1, 2014 8:56:13 AM | 11

This is an extremely smart move,

have urged Kiev to acknowledge their autonomy within Ukraine, but said they wish to remain an integral part of the country.

imo, this would satisfy the EU, Russia certainly, perhaps Kiev if they would accept a small 'climb down'. The problem, of course, will US/UK.

[Sep 02, 2014] 'Russian tank battalion' helps rebels make gains in east Ukraine, Kiev claims

The first victim in any war is truth... From comments: "Mr Poroshenko is trying to advertise their losses and blame Russia for it. In fact it is well known that there has been huge amounts of desertions in the Kiev army ranks on top of their loses. However by playing this card he is hoping to get NATO and the rest of the world involved in this conflict, instead of sitting on a negotiation table and discuss the demands of eastern Ukrainians. "
Sep 01, 2014 | The Guardian

Pro-Russia rebels are making decisive gains against Ukrainian forces in the east of the country, a turning of tides on the battlefield...

shourav , 01 September 2014 7:55pm
The Ukrainians want us to believe that a Russian tank battalion and supposedly 1000 soldiers can turn the tide of a war? What a joke.

This sort of reporting also exposes the so called idea of the free press in the West. When push comes to shove, even the most 'liberal' newspapers in the West like the Guardian turn into Western propaganda outlets.

What was the report on the Guardian a few days ago about a Guardian reporter witnessing Russian armored columns moving into Ukraine? Whatever happened to that Guardian? Aren't reporters supposed to provide evidence? So is the Western standard of journalism about publishing anything and expecting the readers to swallow it?

Andrey Andreevich K , 01 September 2014 7:52pm
Russian tank battalion includes 93(!) tanks. Not easy to put out of sight. But I believe no foto/video or even satellite images we won't see again.
Jsteel -> Andrey Andreevich K , 01 September 2014 8:01pm
9 tanks plus commander's per company.

So it's 32. Your figure is for a regiment.

Which wouldn't turn the tide anyway. Nothing is right with the "battalion".

geronimo -> Jsteel, 01 September 2014 9:43pm
The traditional size of a Russian Tank Battalion is 3x13 MBTs plus a command tank and extensive support.

The current T90s are 10 metres long and 4 metres wide.

I look forward to seeing the US surveillance footage of 1600 square metres of tank, plus fuel trucks and other support vehicle

monkie -> VladimirM, 01 September 2014 10:16pm
i really have no idea what the joke is, but something else that is funny, the guardian quotes this ex-general:

Vladimir Ruban, a former Ukrainian officer in charge of negotiations on prisoner exchanges

but fail to mention that he not only said in a recent interview that there were no regular russian army troops in the Ukraine, but he had this interesting thing to say about the rebels: my job is to free people from all sides .

UP is the interviewer, GR is the general (small edit for clarity/space saving)

UP: Well, in fact, yes. These are people who threaten the lives and well-being of innocent people.
GR: I do not relate to those people as you would relate to the enemies. It is easy for you to take this attitude. But I have known these people for a long time. There are officers who went through Afghanistan, who protested against Yanukovych alongside us. There are people with whom we stood on the Maidan-Euromaidan. Only, we did not call it by that name.

UP: There-where is "there"?

GR: There-on the other side, behind the line, in the Lugansk and the Donetsk Republics.

UP: You mean, these people were with you during Maidan?

GR: Yes, they are now fighting the Ukrainian Army. They [who stood on Maidan -ed.] are on both sides.

UP: And why do they do it…?

GR: Why did Right Sector do it on Maidan? Or why did anyone stand on Maidan?

UP: If they were on the same Maidan, why do they now oppose those people with whom they used to stand hand in hand?

GR: Because the people who were on Maidan were satisfied with the removal of Yanukovych-that is all. None of the rest of the demands was met. So, they decided to go all the way. For them, removing Yanukovych was not enough; they need a real change. And most of the measures they demand are the same as were proclaimed on Maidan.


monkie -> shpuntik, 01 September 2014 10:00pm
Even some in Kiev don't really believe the Russians are coming, the general in charge of hostage negotiations said in a interview, as recently as the 20th of august, that there were no Russian regular armed forces involved in the conflict.

So, who to trust, the wailing politicians or the general in charge of negotiating hostage releases?
UP is doing the interview GR is the general

UP: But Russia does not recognize this as a war…

GR: What does Russia have to do with it?

UP: You believe Russia is not involved in this conflict?

GR: Did you see any Russian troops there?

UP: I saw militants there from Russia.

GR: Have you seen any involvement of Russian troops?

UP: Officially-no.

GR: You will also not see them unofficially-because they are not there. If you have seen someone who is Russian, or military, this does not imply Russian involvement.

UP: Then what should it be called?

GR: Whatever you like. You know that mercenaries are fighting on both sides?

original source of this translation for the pedants.
randomrob -> CompassionateTory, 01 September 2014 9:07pm
Just re-watched 'The Power of Nightmares'. Back in 1976 'Team B' advised that because there was no evidence of an advanced Soviet submarine sonar, they must therefore have invented a 'non acoustic' sonar! Everything they said turned out to be pure fantasy but has defined US and NATO aggression for decades.
shourav 01 September 2014 8:01pm
I think one should stick to articles by Paul Craig Roberts to figure out what exactly is going on in Ukraine. In fact, even the former Guardian reporter Jonathan Steele, seems to be reportinig the events objectivly. His interview on Democracy Now was illuminating. Cant trust these mainstream media houses.
Andrey Andreevich K, 01 September 2014 8:04pm
The last time Ukrainian army was surrounded, MH17 crashed. Fakes about army of Russian tanks at least suffer only rational mind losses
foolisholdman -> psygone, 01 September 2014 9:21pm

'Russian tank battalion' ....its all lies!
I refuse to believe anything unless its in 3D, High-Definition, mega-mega-pixel resolution in surround sound, using Dolby Advanced Audio for butt-kicking bass.
best regards

The sound is impossible, but the rest is there. The USG has a geostationary spy-in-the-sky satellite with enough resolution to pick up discarded beer botles and read the number plates of cars, permanantly parked over the Ukraine. "Where are the photos of the Russian tank battalions?" I hear you cry. Well son, I'm afraid you'll just have to cry for them as they are classified (like the contents of MH17's black boxes and probably for the same reason.)

dion13, 01 September 2014 8:13pm
While there were talks in Minsk today between representatives of Russia, Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk self-proclaimed republics and OSCE, Petro Poroshenko was busy on the phone with Washington:

- Poroshenko tries to convince Washington to declare 'Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics' terrorist organizations

- Poroshenko has conveyed his thanks to the U.S. Congress for its initiative to grant Ukraine major non-NATO ally status

Black Cat -> dion13, 01 September 2014 8:21pm
Yet again, the US seems to step in to nip the chance of peace in the bud
PyotrGrozny, 01 September 2014 8:15pm
Discussion here seems to be polarised between those who take the Moscow line entirely and those who take the Kiev/Western line entirely. There are positions in between. I can't see how the tide of war can be turned without Russian intervention but at the same time think that the Russian intervention may be (reasonably) justifiable.
jamesoverseas -> PyotrGrozny, 01 September 2014 9:19pm

I can't see how the tide of war can be turned without Russian intervention but at the same time think that the Russian intervention may be (reasonably) justifiable.

As has to be repeated here ad nauseum (because there's only been reporting in Ukrainian / Russian media), the tide of war hasn't turned. The real war was happening in the South - without a single western report on it.

For at least 6 weeks most of Kiev's forces have been trapped in the Southern Cauldron being taken apart. Kiev then gambled on a strike to split Donetsk from Luhansk - this was stopped at the reinforced Shaktersk / Torez / Snizhe line, and the remains trapped in a new series of pockets.

What is happening now has been the inevitable end game for about 8 weeks.

IdreamaPeacefulWorld, 01 September 2014 8:19pm
The poor moral from the Kiev troops have been rampant for the last few weeks. Several pro-Ukrainian blogs show that they have been making major gains against Kiev outing soldiers who had to cross the border to Russia and avoid certain death and in the process gathering a lot of equipment such as tanks, artillery...

In some parts they have been surrounded (just like the Germans in Stalingrad battle) and had to leave everything behind them. Also as no supplies and fuel were coming their way it made their positions untenable.

If western medias were reporting accurately this information it would have come to no surprise that the Pro-Russians were going to win their fight against Kiev. They do not need any armament supplies from Russia as they have been gathering a huge amount along their victories on the battlefield.

Mr Poroshenko is trying to advertise their loses and blame Russia for it. In fact it is well known that there has been huge amounts of desertions in the Kiev army ranks on top of their loses. However by playing this card he is hoping to get NATO and the rest of the world involved in this conflict, instead of sitting on a negotiation table and discuss the demands of eastern Ukrainians.

They did not want to be part of Russia, all they wanted was an autonomous, federal status. They did not want to give it to them as they were afraid that this situation would turn to be similar to Crimea. Unfortunately there was no way that Russia would have done the same thing as the pro-Russian population is less than the one in Crimea. So it was not viable for them to do it.

Now with this ongoing murdering of civilians through intensive shelling the divisions are going to be deeper between east and Kiev. I think that there will animosity against what Kiev have been doing in the East and it will be very difficult to overcome this division created in east Ukrainian minds.

Please Mr Poroshenko, cut on the bullshitting, stop lying and get real. Negotiate till there is some time left or you may loose more than you intended to.

jfleetwood 01 September 2014 8:21pm
Ethnic cleansing and silent genocide against Russian speaking population of Donetsk and Lugansk republics by Kiev junta has failed.

I am glad that NATO and CIA planners lost here. Otherwhise we would have humanitarian crisis with few million refugees in Russia.

We already have almost one million refugees in Rostov and other border regions of Russia. Western media does not report how these refugees live, what they eat, where they sleep. They are not interested for them. Total silence in Western so called free press....

Robert Looren de Jong jfleetwood, 01 September 2014 8:34pm
silence is there because it is total rubbish only ethnic cleansing going on is from the terrorists kidnapping-holding for ransom-torturing and executing people
Vlad Tatarsky -> Robert Looren de Jong, 01 September 2014 8:55pm
Oh, come on - just interview half a millions of refugees from East Ukraine, the silence exists only in West mass media and only until rebels take over in this civil war. Kiev got from US une carte blanche supported by EU for a few thousands of civil collateral damage accepted during the suppression of rebellion. But the limit has been exceeded!
Kaiama, 01 September 2014 9:04pm
The louder Kiev shouts, the more you know it is losing. The Minsk meetings will not produce an instant solution, but it is the start of negotiations. Poroshenko cannot currently speak directly with the separatists or key figures in his administration and certain allied oligarchs will withdraw their support from him.

Kolomoisky is currently the main obstacle to an agreement, but pressure will be applied on him.

Today his Crimean assets were confiscated: this is a message for him to keep quiet, or the DPR will advance to occupy his territories in southern and central Ukraine. Watch for further advances from the separatists as they take over Mariupol and proceed onwards towards the Dnepr river.

[Aug 31, 2014] Vladimir Putin has absorbed the West's 'consequences' and stepped up his aggression

The article is a pure neoliberal propaganda junk, but some comments are interesting. Looks like conservatives generally are more resistant to brainwashing than I though and in some ways can give Guardian commenters a run for the money....
Orenthal, August 30, 2014 8:54 PM
Mr. Peter Foster seems to have been following different news reports than the rest of us over this last year or so. There is a stark difference between the Ukraine region and those other regions he mentioned (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia): it is that the CIA and the Germans spent billions of dollars to effect the overthrow of the Ukraine government as a way of extorting cheap energy out of Russia. And they compounded this crime by carrying out ethnic cleansing on the Russians living in the Ukraine region. Putin -- who is almost universally loved in Russia -- understands that when the Soviet Union was fractured, there were more than 25 million Russians living outside the protection of Mother Russia. It is his duty to protect these people from German schemes that would see these people turned into pitiful refugees. Anyone who thinks that NATO should march 1500 miles across Eastern Europe to mess around in the Ukraine region is insane. And if Obama thinks he should be spending $5 billion of US taxpayer money to overthrow governments 4500 miles from the US homeland, just so Germans can buy energy at below-market-rates, he's insane too. I wonder how many American families have to pay federal income tax to total up to $5 billion?
Some Guy

If the Ukranian people have to pick between 2 evils, than I would pick Russia. At least they wouldn't force them to take 100k African refugees per year, and high interest loans like the EU. The EU asks every country to pretty much give up their culture, and identity upon entering, so that they can be inundated with 3rd world immigrants.

That is why I laugh when people think the west are "fascists" in the 20th century sense. It is a new dawn. The fascists are the ones that are trying to destroy European countries altogether, and that includes Russia and the Ukraine.

Putin is right not to take Western Europe and the US seriously. There is no longer the guts necessary to stand up for ourselves. All the countries right now are being invaded by third world "people", and nothing is being done. The people of the West have been so brow beaten we will literally ostracize someone for standing up for the West i.e ourselves. Sure, we will beat up on the ME, but who couldn't... We couldn't survive a true war

What a delight to see an impotent martinet like Foster bleating on the sidelines of history. You want encirclement of Russia, you want nuclear pre-emptive first strike, you want sanctions and confrontation, so you got it. Putin called your bluff and you're exposed as a loutish war criminal.

Good. Thank you Mr. Putin.

Orenthal > Sal befor
Why should Putin fear Obama? The Ukraine region is 4500 miles from the USA homeland, and the USA has absolutely no interest in what happens in Ukraine. The Ukraine region -- homeland of Khrushchev -- is none of the US's business, and the only region the one-worlders seem to think it should be, is that they want to extort low-cost energy from Russia. Let the Germans pay market rates for gas, just like the rest of us have to do.


In WW2 Red Army casualties numbered upwards of 30 million, yet surrender was never on the cards.

And we're threatening Russia with a mild recession........

sonoran > colonelbonkers

You've only got one side of the equation, the cost. The other side is what's at stake. In 1942 - 45 the occupation of the entire Russian nation by Nazi Germany was at stake.

Now it's whether Russia allows one of the nations they consider to be in their sphere of influence (Russia owns 'em by their calculus) to wander off and associate themselves with the devil-spawn West. I don't think they'd be willing to expend 30 million of their citizens for that.

But really in Russia it's almost always about the current "fearless leader" staying in power.

Sarastro92 > sonoran

No. We're talking about a neo-Nazi coup sponsored by the US State Department and NATO on the Russian border. That's Putin's red line. Serious people recognize that's a legitimate national security concern for Russia.

Don't like it? Get ready for war. Putin's already crashing the EU agriculture sector. So good. Go for broke.

Sarastro92 > Miguel526

ISIS is a creature of the West and bankrolled by the Gulf "allies"... This could be shut down pretty quickly if the desire were there. But having a "new al Qaeda" only crazier, serves so, so many purposes. Look how Cameron is playing this hysteria. Don't expect any fast ending.

Putin and Russia have the high moral ground in this confrontation. The West started it, and Putin's not a joker. He can strangle to decrepit EU economy if he's challenged; and he's ready to go to war to keep NATO and nukes out of Ukraine. For Russia, this is an existential crisis.

But glad to know you're ready to fight WW III over this crap... most of us don't agree. I wish you and the other hot spurs would enlist and join the front lines yourselves. Keep us out of this.

Old Crow

The net result of the West's sanctions on Putin have been to drive up Europe's unemployment and exacerbate deflation. A few more sanctions and full blown depression will likely result.

Sarastro92 > Old Crow •

Uh-oh... You've been reading Ambrose Evans-Pritchard these days. And, of course, what you say is true. The EU economy, including Germany is on a downward trajectory. Sanctions against Russia have spawned counter sanctions by Russia that will break the camels back of the EU.


Utterly shocking, both this unworthy tripe in the Telegraph & that so many readers concur ... supporting the US-EU-Nato, neo-Nazi-including illegal putsch regime in Kiev, who have now bombed, shelled & butchered to death over 5000 civilians in East Ukraine, starting with burning dozens alive & even strangling a pregnant woman to death in Odessa on 2 May. Now there are likely 12-15 thousand Ukraine dead overall including both sides' soldiers / militia.

Half of Ukraine speaks Russian; US-Nato's Kiev tried to outlaw that, menaced to destroy Ukraine's Russians; they have rights to separate. Putin's 'crime' if one, was that of failing to move in & partition Ukraine after the Odessa massacre; partition & Russian troops would have prevented Kiev killing thousands of civilians. Big puzzle is actually why Putin didn't fully invade; some fear that Henry Kissinger 'friend' Putin is US-Nato's secret 'fake opposition' partner in war & chaos, & most of us are deceived. May God help the people of Ukraine, and indeed all of us, as blood tragically flows.


I admire Vlad Putin, always have, he's a genuine Leader. We aren't supposed to have those anymore but... too bad, there he is. We have to deal with it. Putin restored Russian sovereignty. That little window of opportunity which opened in the 1990s to make friends with Russia slammed shut because we kicked them in the teeth. Then there was Kosovo.... Putin makes perfect sense. And he's moving the country in a direction similar to Evola's idea of Imperium, this idea of Holy Russia, giving sovereignty a sacred, almost supernatural quality. The Nashi movement (or is it Nasha?). Major major stuff is happening there.

Putin must make the brainless exam-passing Ivy Leaguers at US Dept of State quite nervous... he looks like someone capable of settling a few scores and therefore must be demonized 24/7. The newsmedia slanders Russia endlessly, I've never seen anything quite like it.

USA is so schizo now, it's simultaneously supporting and fighting ISIS -- have you ever heard of any country doing that? The news keeps telling us how "well funded" ISIS is but they never say by whom, LOL

The world is a madhouse!


This is quite frankly one of the most ridiculous articles I have ever read. Putin is not 'insane': on the contrary he is an astute politician who is fighting for the rights of Ukrainians who feel that their future lies with close ties to Moscow, who do not want to be associated with the western backed fascists that, with the aid of the USA and the EU, overthrew a democratically elected president. As frequent visitor to the Ukraine I believe that 'journalists'without a single clue about the country they are offering their ludicrous opinions about should not be published in print -- save your opinion for whatever deranged blogging site you choose to create.

Mark Tolman > odietamo

My thoughts entirely odietamo, The level of understanding shown by the author this article makes a laughing stock of The Telegraph. I, personally, only see Western aggression toward Russian borders. We are dealing with people who would shoot down an aircraft with 298 civilians aboard in order to blame it on Russia.

Vladimir Putin has quite clearly put a roadblock on US attempts to take down Syria, He has asked who gave the West authority to Assassinate Gadaffi. He has set up the BRICS trading Bloc to compete with the Petrodollar.

Amongst other events, it is easy to see why the West and it's so obviously controlled media is on an anti-Putin orgy.

John Wells

Russia has been calling for talks between the West Ukrainian mobs and the Eastern Ukrainians during this whole stand-off.

John Wells

We (the US) controls NATO, the same as the old Soviet Union controlled the Warsaw Pact. They did it with force, we do it with $$$$.

John Sinclair

I only wish British politicians would stand up to US aggression as well as Putin has.

With this new cold war the EU has pushed Russia to the brink of a hot war and it won't be Russia that will be the loser.

The US safe miles away on another continent is hoping to provoke another war in Europe, as it did last time, so that it can pick up the pieces again. Surely the Germans aren't going to be so stupid as to fall for this ploy a third time?


If you are pushing for more sanctions you may just find that Russia has no longer anything to lose in taking over eastern Ukraine permanently. But then maybe some people in the West actually want a nice big war with Russia to distract the population for the inevitable economic crash that they have only managed to postpone.

In addition when faced with our own gay marriage loving leaders who tolerate paedophile MPs you may just find that Vladimir Putin is actually far more respected by the Western population than the propaganda merchants such as yourself would like to think.

One Last Try

If Brussels wants war, let them organise it. UK is ignored every time that it contests a EUbola enforced law, such as the power rating of vacuum cleaners, therefore, we must reply in kind: ignore them.

We do not apply sanctions on Russia, wiping out the City of London as a financial centre, whilst France is selling them helicopters and ships and Germany selling them Mercedes.

We tell them to stuff it.

Raymond Chow > One Last Try

Russia is fully capable of making their own ships and aircrafts. It's just cheaper to have the French do it in exchange for their oil and gas. All of the military equipment currently used by Russians are Russian made. Look at their ICBM's and ships and submarines and bombers and fighter planes and tanks and artillery pieces all the way down to hand held weapons and you'll see they're all Russian made. So these bs that Russia is dependent on the west for their weapons and all manufactured products is just BS. The west is more dependent on Russia because without Russian energy the west can not manufacture hence their "way of making a living" will suffer.


The EU knew ten years ago that absorbing Ukraine into its Federal State ambitions would cause geopolitical problems with Russia. Yet they still did it. One can only assume that the EU wants war. And our treacherous political leaders in Westminster look like they will bow down to whatever the EU want. It is difficult to believe that the people of this country cannot see what is happening. The MSM don't help who are anti what is best for Britain at every turn.

lgrundy -> hdgdggd 8 hours ago
"The EU knew ten years ago that absorbing Ukraine into its Federal State ambitions would cause geopolitical problems with Russia".

Oh they knew the problems it would cause far longer than ten years ago mate.

Read Fritz Fischer's 1960s historical masterpiece Germany's Aims in the First World War and see how prominently Ukraine featured in Germany's plans for its continental empire.

volvoxglobator > sonoran • 9 hours ago
Utter baloney. The West had no intention of doing anything but taking Russias resources and bringing the country to its knees. The West is now ruled by amoral gay marriage loving fascist war mongers who have paedophiles in high places protected. Frankly Russia has taken the moral high ground and you've lost your moral compass.


Politicians of the EU, by following the US line of bringing Ukraine into NATO, have brought this on themselves, they knew right from the start that Russia was not going to stand by and let it happen, now we have a problem that need not have happened, the best way to solve it, is to advise Ukraine to hold a referendum on splitting the country into two halves, if the majority of the east want to go with Russia, then let them, if the vote goes the other way, then the ones who want Russian rule are free to go there.


When the 'old women of the EU' club, Merkel, Ashton & Lagarde get involved in anything, it's a disaster.

Thinking they can get away with their EU expansionist dreams through the back door & stack a NATO border right up against Russia by simply ousting the rightful Ukrainian PM, was endemic of exactly where they are today. 3 old women against a 'lifetime committed patriot!' .. I know who my money is on & it's not on the 'dried out old women'.

The rest of the EU all 27 countries follow in their wake, hanging on their apron strings & suckling like a load of sissy boys. Putin has absolutely no need whatsoever to play suckling pig. Who was it that said, 'when the ovaries dry up, all that is left is a very bitter ex-woman?' ... oh yes, me!.

Warmongers Ukraine aside, it's no coincidence that 'these three & Baloney Blair have been messing in the Middle East' is it!.

Dan Stockman

I'm not sure why people think we should take a more aggressive stance against Russia for this action. Bear in mind, I am by no means a supporter of Putin or his regime, but then again, I'm not very trusting of our own governments. The United States invaded and occupied two countries with extreme military force, just south of Russia. Imagine if Russia invaded and occupied countries in central/south America. The Monroe doctrine would kick in, right? My point is, some how, we've created this idea that we are allowed to go swinging our proverbial dick around, but no one else is allowed.

Furthermore, all you hawks out there, what is it you wish to do? Send troops? Start bombing rebel positions? Putin knows that the West doesn't want an all out war with Russia, he's counting on it, and quite frankly, he's right. Putin has the West in check. Obama and Europe's leaders are doing their best to keep the conflict isolated to the Ukraine, at this point that is the best we can hope for. Who gives a damn if it makes us look "weak", honestly? Why do you care so much?

Needless to say, you hawks won't have to worry too much longer. Congress will come under the sway of Hawks more increasingly here this year, and then a hawk will take office in 2016.

Then we shall have the beginning of the End. Damn, some of our leaders in the West love to create our enemies. They love to spread the fear and hate over them, to what end, I'm not sure. Welp, we've got two good'uns lined up for the next few years in ISIS and Putin. Get ready for some perpetual war friends, as if it hasn't already been that case for the last decade or more.

Rally the troops, sound the battle cry, all hail the dogs o' war. It's coming even bigger. Count on it. Seems we love a good ol fashioned global romp this time of the century anyway.

Dr Strangelove

The real victims in this if war starts will be Europe, the USA have invested in oil and gas at home, Russia has enough oil and gas across their own country to more than supply their own need, where as Europe is the poor man that relies on every one else for its oil and gas. FACTORYS THAT CREATE ARMS NEED OIL AND GAS, if Europe engages in a war then it will very quickly run out of oil and gas, it would make good strategic sense for Russia to knock out all the pipelines and put the ME fields out of action, My guess is this they have already planned for, NATO might have bases around Russia but they are in the wrong place to protect Europe's energy supplies, my guess is they wont use nukes but use starvation tactics to begin with, well I would if Russian, modern cruise missiles that Russia have can knock out any supply ships without the need to use subs plus Russia will see that as revenge, it always annoyed them how the German U-boats managed to always knock out their supply ships while missing the ones meant for England. The USA may claim they can supply Europe with oil and gas but I don't think one ship will make it, I feel the war will be fought in Europe while both the USA and Russia will suffer little damage.


"Nor (unlike Mr Putin) are we prepared to suffer the recession and energy crisis that would be precipitated by inflicting extreme, crippling sanctions on Russia."

This is your weak assumption. If Russia doesn't make peace with Ukraine the sanctions will be for good because the occupation by force of Ukrainian territory infringes one fundamental principle of post-war Europe. And doesn't Britain pride itself as being the country with the most principled foreign policy...?


Who are you kidding with this article? For starters you think your readership is stupid and didn't notice the overthrow of a democratically elected Ukraine government, the overthrow backed by people of dubious character/beliefs (some would say Nazi) and cookies given out on the Maidan by politicians from another nation.
Then there is the conscript Kiev army which doesn't appear to be able to do anything but shell civilians.
If roles were reversed and it was pro-US citizens who were being shelled, the US would be bombing the hell out of Kiev by now.

Who started this whole mess?

ChanceEncounter > Fak_Zakaix

Sure it is their right, but it is not their right to try and achieve it by disregarding their countries own constitution. They were less than a year away from an election. So if you didn't like the President vote him out!

Suffice it to say the EU is broke and has internal problems of its own, so it will be years before Ukraine actually is allowed to join.
Look how long it is taking countries such as Turkey to join and integrate. And these nations are ahead in line.

sonoran > ChanceEncounter

Russia has controlled politics in Ukraine for decades, the populace engaged in demonstrations when the Ukrainian government balked at an economic agreement with the EU. Why? because it was obvious that this was due to Russia exerting influence. Demonstrations are not "forbidden" in an democracy, they are a legitimate way to express displeasure with the government.

When agents of the government decided they were going to bring in snipers and kill the demonstrators, the government's legitimacy was lost in the people's eyes.

The government didn't represent the will of the people and was using force in order to quell dissent. When can a democratically elected government that has *obviously* been corrupted by the influence of a powerful neighboring State, be overthrown? You say only in an election, but the Ukrainian people say otherwise. The idea that the US and EU could have "orchestrated" this in a nation so completely under the influence of Russia incredibly naive.

More than anything the Ukrainians were rejecting the foreign influence of Russia.

ChanceEncounter > sonoran

Nobody is saying you can't demonstrate - that is a strawman.

Also you speak in generalities, the people want this, or the people want that or the Ukrainian people say otherwise. How do we determine this legitimately?
In a civilized nation it is via the ballot box, not
through confrontation backed by ultra-nationalists. It amazes me that this is so difficult to understand. It is also circular logic, if the will of the people was really as strong as you say it is, then there is no reason this couldn't be achieved via the ballot box.

As for who shot who on the Maidan, that is an open question. Interestingly the new authorities in Kiev are very reluctant to investigate. There was an investigative piece on German State TV about this if you care to research it.

I'm not denying that Russia has historical influence, after all Ukraine is and has been a non-aligned country as far as a buffer to NATO goes and it goes without saying Russia wanted this to continue. However lets not be ignorant about EU/US influence. Other than pastries on maidan we have the CIA director visit shortly after the overthrow. Not to mention US state dept involvement prior to the overthrow - intercepted calls relating to who would form the govt and various forms of paid political protest from NGOs etc.

ChanceEncounter > sonoran

Do you really think the uprising in the East is just a few hundred militamen?
If that were true it doesn't say much about the Ukrainian army mobilised against them.
Pretty obvious that in the east there is support among the population for the anti-Kiev resistance.
All of this presupposes the new govt. is actually in charge, when you
consider the position of some of Ukraines oligarchs who have their own
militias the current situation is frightfully more complicated. In a worst case scenario there could be more to this revolution. See:

With regard to public counter demonstration, I'll leave it to you to demonstrate against people with certain insignia on their sleeves - see how far you get.

digger > ChanceEncounter

you have answered your corner very well and though I hope the Ukrainians can prevail over Putin,you are correct in asserting that the former Ukranian president had only one more year to hold office.This man was elected and you have to feel that Baroness Ashton failed to heed the lessons of Georgia before she embarked on this dangerous journey that has led to this very dangerous confrontation.The noble baroness who has never held elected office is now able to sneak away from her disastrous potfolio and hand the baton on to another lame duck Eurocrat.
Putin has the true Russian mindset that still prevails in Russia since Stalin and suddenly it seems that our 2 latest Nobel Peace prize winners,Obama and the EU have brought us closer to war than ever before and you need to understand the reasons for their award that akes it so ludicrous.
Dangerous days ahead for us freedom loving Europeans and I suspect some very cold nights ahead in December when the 36 inch valves close on the various gas pipelines coming from the East to heat all the homes and power all the gas power plants in the West.

ChanceEncounter > digger

Yes, she is dangerously incompetent. Her reaction on this call with the Estonian foreign minister 'Gosh' says it all. Estonia itself is not really known for being super friendly with the Russians.


Well, why don't we insist that Ukraine hold internationally supervised referenda on secession by Crimea and East Ukraine? Is it because both would say "Yes"?

[Aug 30, 2014] The WaPo Funny Pages Fear Secular Extremists

Compare the level of thinking demonstrated in selected comments with the level of thinking of typical, let's say, guardian, presstitute... I am not trying to suggest who is right or wrong but just compare the level of thinking and intellectual freedom demonstrated by commenters and, say, article Shaun Walker who essentially acts as NATO press attache, not so much as foreign correspondent for Guardian.

The Washington Post editorial page reads like a collection of funnies. Sorry ones though.

There you have the wife of the Polish foreign minister preparing for total war with Russia. Yeah, lets roll out the nukes already! The winner of course, with Europe then devastated, would be the U.S. economy. Those radiating bits left of it.

But the idea might be better than asking the Russian oligarchs to assassinate Putin like a former CIA honcho does. Or better than the idea of an air bombing campaign against Novorossiya right next to the Russia's border and its excellent air-defenses.

There really are a lot of crazy people around. Surely the editors of the Washington Post are part of them. Yesterday they wrote this crazy nonsense:

IF ANY international norm can still be called uncontroversial, it is the stricture against cross-border aggression by one sovereign state against another. Certainly any failure to enforce it in one place invites violations elsewhere.

Fair points out that the "uncontroversial norm" the editor want to apply seemed not to be so uncontroversial when those same editors called for the invasion of Iraq and for the bombing of Syria, Libya, Sudan or whatever other state wins their weekly lottery for threatened destruction.

But the best of the recent funnies was surely this one by David Ignatius which certainly will earn him a decent pile of petro-dollars:

For a generation, Americans and Saudis have worried that the kingdom was a potential tinderbox, with Muslim and secular extremists vying to undermine the conservative monarchy.

"Secular extremists" - now there is a real terrorist threat! The biggest threat EVER! What Americans then have ever "worried" about "secular extremists" overthrowing the Wahhabi nutters in Riyadh? Others then the ones paid by them?

Fast Freddy | Aug 30, 2014 8:26:29 AM | 6

A consequence and contributor to the militarization of US foreign policy is a vast pro-war establishment outside the government. Often funded by government contractors, a horde of advocacy groups, think tanks, and academics exists to explain why the answer to most foreign policy challenges is a large military - or actual military action. These are warmongers, in the most literal sense of war + trader. One who seeks to start wars.

Warmongers are not, by tradition, warriors.
Our warmongers are paid to involve America in foreign wars. b brought forth some fine examples. These articles show the modern art of warmongering at its highest level.

Act now, think later.

Anne Applebaum is a warmonger

ThePaper | Aug 30, 2014 4:27:34 PM | 17

I'm not laughing because those 'crazy' writers and editors actually represent our ruling class in the Western Democratic Empire.

If this gets hotter I would start planning emigration to anywhere far, likely in the Southern Hemisphere, to escape the consequences of the western rulers 'craziness'. For some reason the US block, having not been really attacked in almost two centuries and full of hubris feel no threat or fear, and the European block foolishly think that, like their suicidal anti-European policies have no effect on their chances of getting re-elected, any action they take will have no negative effect on them.

Anonymous | Aug 30, 2014 4:31:30 PM | 18

Same neocon scums that made this possible:

VietnamVet | Aug 30, 2014 8:13:12 PM | 28 published "Journalist from Urals….few weeks spent in the DNR….". This is the best report on the Ukraine Civil War that I've read. The tale of his encounters with the Cossacks is very convincing.

Basically this is a Civil War being fought for political, ethnic and religious reasons spurred on by war mongers and supported by outside nuclear powers for the benefit of western war profiteers and to preserve Russia's national security.

It provides a great impetus to write blog posts like this. Lurking in the background is the fear that suddenly I will be vaporized along with the other inhabitants living around Join Base Andrew when someone due to the mindless dangers of war pushes the nuclear missile launch button that targets Maryland.

Demian | Aug 29, 2014 4:58:59 PM | 34

Observations on recent military developments at the military blog Sic Semper Tyrannis:

The military situation reminds me of the battle of Gazala waged south of Tobruk for several weeks in May and June 1942. Rommel feinted to the north then led his Afrika Korps south to swing around the British defenses. As is common in military operations, things did not go exactly as planned and the battle was an often confused and close run thing. What finally assured Rommel's victory was his belief that his forces were better trained, better organized and better led at all levels. This stood him well in the confused and fluid battle. The army of Novorossiya displays the same qualities.

Today Obama said, "There is no doubt that this is not a homegrown, indigenous uprising in eastern Ukraine. The separatists are backed, trained, armed, financed by Russia." Russia is actively supporting Novorossiya, but that does not mean it is not a homegrown, indigenous uprising. Does the support given to Washington by the French mean that our War of Independence was not a homegrown, indigenous uprising? Kiev has repeatedly vowed to wipe out the Moskals. What choice did the Moskals have but to take up arms and resist.

This is how Americans who are not whores of the 0.01% think.

Bob In Portland | Aug 29, 2014 7:35:48 PM | 52

The US strategy, and the US's international interests, have nothing to do with the common American citizen. It is generally about making the world a safe place for corporations to thrive.

The US did not invade and then stay in Afghanistan because at one time Osama bin Laden lived in a cave in Tora Bora. They invaded Afghanistan because the US wants access to Central Asian oil. It has had, since at least the 80s but probably back to at least the Carter years when the US was funding the Muhajadeen against the Soviets.

Why would western news outlets, after almost fifteen years of US occupation of Afghanistan, not ruminate about TAPI? While things were ripening in Afghanistan in the 90s the US, through the CIA, began funding Muslim radicals in Chechnya. Why? That huge pool of oil and natural gas in Central Asia.

Ukraine is merely the latest is a series of US actions to enrich Big Oil. In the eyes of our permanent government Ukraine itself is at best a cork in Russian gas lines. I say without exaggeration that there was a reason why JFK was murdered in Dallas, America's oil capitol. My country's last fifty years has been a history of what happens to a very powerful country that has been taken over by fascism.

Malooga | Aug 29, 2014 8:38:09 PM | 57

First the good news: For the Ukie junta, the victories will keep getting closer to home. The reporters won't have to travel so far, and the supply lines will be shorter, saving much needed petrol.

Second, it all comes down to the upcoming NATO Summit. We are seeing a lot of nervous preening and posturing before the big event. An event, by the way, which is clearly off-balance, overtaken by the rapidity of transpiring battles in the now, terminally ill, Borderlands. Mark Galeotti's recent piece in the Moscow Times, "Donetsk Is Neither Grozny Nor Stalingrad" will go down in the annals of whoring punditry as almost uniquely out of touch with the real world. No worry, I believe he is tenured. Still, I wish I could get paid for that trash.

The big question, of course, is what Merkel will decide to do. If she sits on the fence any longer, it will take major surgery to pry her off. Disfiguring surgery. And this is already happening.

... .... ...

Parviziyi | Aug 29, 2014 9:49:28 PM | 58

The headline of this thread correctly says "Ukraine Lost A Battle". Some commentators are interpreting this one battle as evidence that the rebels are going to win the war; e.g. Mike Maloney #30 above thinks it's "safe prediction that Kiev is doomed". I continue to think the rebels are going to lose the war, and my fundamental reason is based on a body of information I acquired in April 2014, before the war started: the rebels have only a small base of support among the population of east Ukraine.

Obama said yesterday: "This is not a homegrown, indigenous uprising in eastern Ukraine." I don't agree with that choice of words. I say the uprising is largely homegrown and indigenous, but it doesn't have widespread support among the indigenous population. It definitely didn't have much indigenous support a few months ago. And I don't see factors at play changing a lot of people's minds today.

The evidence about popular support from a few months ago was discussed by many people at the time, including by me on this board at the time, and consisted primarily of (1) the numerous opinion polls in March and April in the East by different polling agencies using respectable methods, and (2) the very small turnout size at anti-Kiev street demonstrations at weekends in March and April in the East. And as one secondary consideration in two pieces, (a) Ukraine's government and political establishment committed itself belately in April to genuine decentralization, which polls show the East strongly wants, and (b) the Russian government consistently and repeatedly advocated in favor of peaceful decentralization (Putin said on 7 May 2014 that the rebels are "illegal armed units of radicalized elements") and the effect of those two pieces was to further de-legitimize the armed rebellion in the minds of the majority of people in the East at the time when the rebellion was sprouting.

Most people in east Ukraine don't accept the separatist spirit of the rebels, nor the violent methods of the rebels, nor significant parts of the rebel propaganda themes. This means rebels don't have a large indigenous recruitment base and can't win in the long term agaist Kiev unless Kiev were to have a failure of willpower. I am confident that Kiev is NOT going to have a failure of willpower because, once again, Kiev knows that the majority of the population in the East has been saying they want the East to remain within the Ukraine nation-state, and thereby Kiev has a solid basis for believing its fight is a virtuous fight. Kiev not going to have a failure of willpower when it thinks its fight is virtuous and it has the knowledge that it has the resources to win the fight militarily in the longterm.

Ukraine's president Poroshenko said on 25 Apr 2014: "Power should be decentralized.... To the regions we would give autonomy on finances, and what language to speak, what monuments to build. That is what people need.... An elected local council would elect an executive committee [to appoint the regional governor]. Not appointed in Kiev by the president as today. Only defense, military, security, and police would be controlled from the center." -- Source.

Malooga | Aug 29, 2014 10:33:38 PM | 59
Sorry, Parviziyi,

The chicken has flown the coop, the cat is out of the bag, the leaves have fallen from the tree, the ice cream has melted and ran.

Putin will absolutely not allow an enemy state the size of the Ukraine on his border -- it is an existential issue for Russia. Numerous Russian elites have gone on record confirming this fact. Russia has planned for this moment since the Soviet Union broke up. This was always a possibility, now it is a reality. Russia will act, under the cloak of plausible deniability, and Ukraine will become part of the Customs Union. Whatever part refuses to go along will be destroyed. That is the reality, regardless of what we wish or want.

So therefore, what we have is a proxy war and public opinion will be manufactured as needed. Why do you ignore how much opinion has changed in the Donbass since Porky began shelling and killing locals en masse? Who cares what people believed in April and May, before their mother was killed right in front of them? Public opinion has radicalized. Elsewhere, almost no one in the country supports the economic performance of the junta. Their support is as thin and undependable as river ice in the spring sun.

Surely you are bright enough to understand political speech. The few crumbs Poroshenko is proposing to throw to the regions have nothing to do with foreign, economic, trade, or military policies. And that is where the rub is. Russia will not allow the West to steal this jewel and direct it towards Russia's destruction. To think otherwise, is to play the fool.

ToivoS | Aug 29, 2014 10:50:59 PM | 60

There seems to big some big changes happening over the past few days in eastern Ukraine. It is almost impossible to discern what is happening reading the western press. Two facts are without doubt.

First the UA and it's volunteer militias (i.e. right sector and oligarch supported units) have suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Donbas militias.

Second these defeats were the result of the Donbas militias on the battlefield who have been resisting the "western" invasion since last June at least.

The response to this latest change on the battlefield is to blame the Russians for sending in its troops. This is obviously not true, though no one will deny that many Russians are backing the Donbas rebellion. However it looks like it is not just the Kiev regime making this claim but it is also coming out more strongly from the Nato command, Britain, some EU nations but more importantly from the US government (OMG listen to ravings off Samantha Power in the UN) but also including from Obama himself.

Obama allowing himself to jump in here is really dangerous. It is obvious that his policy towards Ukraine is now in complete disarray. By coming out in public and blaming the Russians for his failed policies definitely raises the stakes in this game. He is drawing another red line even if he is denying it. It means Obama will have to respond with some kind of escalation in order to "teach those Russians a lesson". Since the Russians are not responsible for the successes of the Donbas militias (except in very indirect ways) Obama's responses will not change one iota the facts on the ground that are now being created. The danger is that Obama will start to think his personal honor is on the line and will do something really stupid like trying to change the military reality in eastern Ukraine. That could become dangerous big time, not just for Ukraine and Russia but for the whole planet.

Would that be ironic? The first black man elected president of the US leads us into a nuclear war because he wants to demonstrate to all of the white men that he "has what it takes" to lead the "free" world.

Demian | Aug 29, 2014 10:59:34 PM | 61

@Malooga #67:

Whatever part refuses to go along will be destroyed.

I wouldn't put it that way. I would say that the social collapse of such parts will not be impeded. I don't see a Grozny scenario emerging in the rump Ukraine; Ukrainian nationalism is not as robust an ideology as Wahhabism.

Also, I think you're seeing this in too top-down a manner, in terms of "Russia acting". This is a civil war, and what determines the outcome of wars is largely the fighting spirit/morale of each side and the degree of competence of the different levels of their militaries. Clearly, Novorossia has a clear advantage in both these factors.

The fundamental reason why Novorossia will win is not that Russia will make it so, but because Ukrainian nationalism is based on a lie, namely, that there is such a thing as the Ukrainian people, who are a glorious, exalted race.

Whereas the Novorossian side is fighting based on a proven principle, that Russians don't like fascism and smash it when it attacks them.

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 29, 2014 11:10:47 PM | 62

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 29, 2014 9:49:28 PM | 66

Thanks for that sober (and sobering) assessment. However, it overlooks several critical factors...
1. Kiev is on the verge of bankruptcy and its Western backers are being (typically) parsimonious with funding.
2. It's not even debatable that Kiev's assault on the RESIDENTS, CIVILIAN and INDUSTRIAL infrastructure of the East are self-defeating TERRORISM and the best possible recruitment tool for the 'rebels'.
3. Winter is coming and the first cold snap will be a game-changer in the EU. People like Marine Le Penn (Fr) have already pointed out the idiocy of the EU following Yankee dictates with ALL the blowback falling on EU citizens and NONE on the Yankees. The first EU citizens with cold tootsies, in the first Winter Preview, will be hunting down their (traitorous, bribed) politicians in the streets. And that will set a precedent for the next cold spell.

The Yankees have lost this one. Real wars can't be won by an utterly corrupt, incurious, Mainstream Media repeating the infantile lies of politicians living in splendid isolation, with well-stuffed pockets, in ivory towers.

james | Aug 29, 2014 11:56:47 PM | 67

@66 Parviziyi.. thanks for your alternate viewpoint, but i have to agree with malooga and demian here in the general direction this is going in, short of the usa doing something extremely stupid like going into a nuclear war with russia. russia is in a commanding position locally..this also favours eastern ukraine's independence from kiev.

Parviziyi quote

"Most people in east Ukraine don't accept the separatist spirit of the rebels, nor the violent methods of the rebels, nor significant parts of the rebel propaganda themes. This means rebels don't have a large indigenous recruitment base and can't win in the long term agaist Kiev unless Kiev were to have a failure of willpower."

let me re-write it for you circa the end of august 2014.

"Most people in east Ukraine don't accept the inclusive spirit of the kiev gov't/junta, nor the violent methods, nor significant parts of it's propaganda themes.

This means the kiev gov't/junta doesn't have a large indigenous recruitment base and can't win in the long term against eastern Ukraine unless eastern Ukraine were to have a failure of willpower."

the very end part definitely isn't in the cards given what hostilities the kiev gov't/junta has dumped on these people since the spring...

at what point does kiev stop listening to the warmongers from the usa/cia? that is the 64,000 question to me.. they may not as they seem to be in a death spiral of sorts here financially speaking.. i suppose that would be a reason to cling to the imf/usa/cia all the more out of what? fear - not strength.. this will only bring more hardship and suffering for all of ukraine, not just eastern ukraine where they are dropping the bombs indiscriminately..

PuppetMaster | Aug 30, 2014 12:29:44 AM | 70

Though I celebrate the Novorossian victory, I fear that the US neocon will achieve their geopolitical goal whether the Novorossians win or lose. Even if Russian gains the eastern Ukraine or even the whole Ukraine and still lose Europe, than, it is a Russian defeat and a Neocon victory.

The solution out of this mess is not in the battlefield. It's not even in Ukraine. I agree with Malooga that the key is in Germany.

Demian | Aug 30, 2014 12:29:49 AM | 71

@james #75:

I just watched a 55 minute (!) interview (no subs) with the Defense Minister of the DPR, Vladimir Kononov. He said that when he asked Ukes who had been taken prisoner why they had come to his land to kill his people, what they ended up saying is that they were fighting for "a unitary Ukraine" (единую Украину).

This idea of a unitary Ukraine is a Uke nationalistic mantra. Since this crisis began, over and over I have heard Ukes reciting it. And a federal state to them is not "unitary". So they are fighting against something that Americans, Canadians, and Germans take for granted, namely, that they live under a federal system of government. Obviously, the reason that Ukes are against federalization is that they want Kiev to have centralized control over the whole country, so Kiev can Ukrainize everyone, even if they are culturally Russian, Hungarian, or Romanian.

Of course, USG is 100% on board with this project, because it would turn all Ukrainian citizens into virulent Russophobes.

One of the many obvious questions that the Western media never asks about this war is why is there a civil war to keep eastern Ukrainians inside Ukraine if they want to leave it, when England is letting the Scots have a referendum about whether they want to stay in the UK?

Malooga | Aug 30, 2014 1:08:32 AM | 72

@Demian 69:

You think I was a little over the top there? Yes, you are right for sure.
I might have said rendered economically and politically non-threatening.

As for the federalization thing -- its been hammered in for years. If they see another way working that belief could fade over time.

Ukrainization is fascism. It doesn't respect the right of minorities -- and there are too many of them to go along with that. Live and let live.

Even in the US where people are rabid about English being the national language, no one has problems with eight languages on goverment forms, or Spanish TV stations. Well, at least not enough to go to war and risk your own life over it.

The Muslim Brotherhood would have eventually tried the same game in Egypt, except over religion -- in a country with almost 15 million Copts. Madness. But divide and conquer is the Western way.

Demian | Aug 30, 2014 2:15:10 AM | 75
Interesting piece over at about how the European press has become a regurgitator of US propaganda, whereas it wasn't before:
The European press has always had it pro-American stooges, or as they are called in polite language, fervent Atlanticists, ready to spread the core postulates of the US (and by extension, Israeli) worldview to their readers. I am thinking here of the people like Joseph Joffe and the ever-ridiculous ball of vanity and intellectual superficiality known as Bernard-Henri Lévy.

But for much of the last three decades, they constituted but one current among many other competing strains in the European press.

Since approximately 2004, however, their specific gravity within European opinion-making apparatus – as evidenced by the changes at El País and other similar "liberal" media outlets – has increased dramatically. Now simplistic American assumptions about who is bad and who is good once chuckled at on the continent, are the new normal in the editorial boards Europe's "prestige press".

And because of this, the US can now impose its invented "imperial realities" upon Europe's citizenry with relative ease.

The author notes that he can't explain why or how this happened. It is too late at night for me to try to come up with possible explanations. But certainly it must have something to do with how neoliberalism became the established orthodoxy among European elites at about the same time.

Malooga | Aug 30, 2014 4:53:43 AM | 84


I'm having a harder and harder time taking you seriously as I read your arguments.

"One billion is enough to carry 75,000 soliders for a year at a cost of 14,000 per soldier. Three billion is enough to do it for three years."

They've had three mobilizations already. Men up to 60 can now be drafted. Where are they going to get these 75k men from? At a burn rate of 500/week, how long will they last?

Meanwhile, in Zaporizhia, Sich Motor employs 27k people who are out of work. With the standard job multipliers, that is half the city. You think they won't join Novorussia?

In Mariupol, the Ukies claim to have 3,000 fighters to defend the city --the actual number after desertions is probably half that. Yet, according to the BBC's correspondent, the pro-Ukraine unity rally only drew a few hundred people in a city of 300,000-400,000. These are facts, not suppositions.

I can't say I know what public opinion is like in the Donbass, because not being there, I don't. But, having watched as much video as I have, I believe I have a strong sense that opinion is running strongly against the junta.

If you are really interested in learning more, and not just trolling, here is some stuff to watch. I'd be interested to know if any of it changes your opinion. None of it is the slick stuff like Vice, its all pretty much straight out there, WYSIWYG stuff.

must watch movie: Ukraine Crisis: Donbass. Chronicle of Genocide. Banned on TV

See also youtube channels: anti-maidan, electropostman,
websites: colonel cassad,
reporters: Graham W. Phillips

I have watched probaby 100 hours of locals cursing out the junta.

Of course, YMMV.

Demian | Aug 30, 2014 5:19:09 AM | 85

@Malooga #84:

I can't say I know what public opinion is like in the Donbass, because not being there, I don't.

Isn't it just normal human behavior that if somebody bombs you with artillery and air strikes, you start thinking of them as the enemy and hating them, and don't want to have anything to do with them? Western Ukies are fed non-stop propaganda that the Novorossian army are shelling their own people and infrastructure.

That's a main reason why Ukies feel righteous about the war, for which they use the doubly dehumanizing term ATO. (People who don't like your form of government (fascism) are "terrorists"; shelling peaceful civilians and infrastructure is an "operation", not genocide.)

The people of Novorossiya know who is wantonly, deliberately killing them.

I think that tells you all you need to know about what Novorossian public opinion is concerning the fascist junta.

[Aug 27, 2014] Maidan: no bottom reached still, and some tires are still burning; or who is rulling in Ukraine by Petr Likhomanov

Compare with the Guardian coverage of Poroshenko presidency...
20.08.2014 |

Starting last fall to ruin their country, Ukrainian radicals and all "passionate ukranians"ary people, it seems, cannot stop. Brainwashed by instilled from outside the illusion that to create a new European, wealthy state is very easy, you just have to sign some kind of paper in Brussels, they decided that they best the way to the civilized world is to kill policemen of "Berkut" and burn tires. Now in Ukraine burn whole cities, and people die by the hundreds, whatever they mean by "heavenly hundred" it was only the first.

Surprisingly, many in Ukraine for the most part do not notice what is happening to them of the tragedy, and still believe that burning tires on the central square if the most effective way of "Europeanization" - ten days ago they burned them again on the Maidan. They are completely devoid of understanding that behind each cubic meter of black toxic smoke there are some financial interests and some struggle for power. And they do not notice the absence of government in the "United and indivisible Ukraine" as such.

No matter how hard Petro Poroshenko to pose as a sovereign head of state, it is clear the "EuroMaidan" is trying to prevent him to become one. And it has many sponsors, like hidden until the time of Yulia Timoshenko, the former head of the presidential administration Serhiy Lyovochkin who recently vacationed in the USA, and bunch of oligarchs, among which itself Poroshenko is not the largest. These people, unlike Poroshenko and Klitschko have not received their dividends from the coup, and now operate through the Maidan militants who monopolize the right to set tire on fire in the central square, as well as to speak in the name of the Maidan.

That are many examples proving that. the first and most obvious is already established legally as the s of the "Right sector", party with its leader Dmitry Yarosh. It is difficult to call.Other then a slap in the face to the President his recent promise to come to Kiev with weapons and conduct a "real reform of the interior Ministry" And Poroshenko the face stoically endured the slap, and while the Minister of internal Affairs Arsen Avakov called Yarosh a buffoon, he did not fire his first Deputy and released militants who were arrested before for racketeering, robbery and illegal possession of weapons.

It is difficult to imagine that in a European country armed Nazi grouping dictated their terms to the government. And this episode while it never became No.1 item in Ukrainian news. As well as the fact that that nobody told all those who are waiting for coming European living standards that Yarosh is just a vassal of Dnepropetrovsk Governor Igor Kolomoisky. Don't they know that Oleg Lyashko, the bitter enemy of Kolomoisky today and the most attractive politician for Ukrainian rednecks has always been a marionette of the competing oligarchic groups Firtash-Levochkin.

Because of this, the internal political situation in Ukraine is such that it is not clear who in Ukraine today hold the real political power, who can answer for their words and commitments, and with whom high interested parties such as the EU, the OSCE, the USA, Russia or the United Nations can negotiate. Because any outcome of peace negotiations or settlement, which Poroshenko hypothetically can sign , immediately can be erased by a couple of dozens of militants-provocateurs with Molotov cocktails and burning tires.

Releasing the destructive energy of the crowd on the square with the promises carefree life "In Europe", the current rulers of Ukraine themselves hostage to the inertia of destruction, which permeated every today's decision by the official authorities, acting in the logic of prohibitions and restrictions. Now the Communist party is banned, and surprisingly the heating in the apartments is severely limited too. Russian media is prohibited and simultaneously social benefits are iether eliminated or not paid even if exist. And we should also remind the readers that it was under "the dictator" Yanukovich that the right of Ukrainians were somewhat expanded (probably for the last time), when the law on language policy was adopted. It gave Russian citizens the right not to feel like second class people. The attempt to revoke this law was, as we all remember one of the first legislative initiatives by the junta after it came to power in February. As well as elimination of prohibition of Nazi symbols in public places.

However, soon this way of thinking and acting of modern Ukrainian authorities (the "authorities" in the singular in Ukraine will return to them like a boomerang. In the form called "lustration". Parliament is preparing to pass a law "About the cleansing power", which does not promise anything good neither officials nor the public. For example, article # 4 of this bill, entitled "Grounds for failure check" automatically refuse the right to public office, all senior officials of the presidency of Yanukovich, who held the posts from February 25, 2010 February 22, 2014. But it was Peter Poroshenko until March 11, 2010 was the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine, later to 23 February 2012 supervised by the National Bank, and a month later became the Minister of economic development in the government of Mykola Azarov. That is the new President of Ukraine in accordance with the provisions of the law to be no way.

No less complicated is the biography of Oleksandr Turchynov, at one time head of the district Committee of Komsomol in Dnepropetrovsk. By the way, the same constraints can touch the parliamentary leader of the ultra-nationalist Oleh Tyahnybok, the former Komsomol activist in the Institute and head of the primary cell of young Communists while serving in the army. And certainly nothing good from lustration can expect the most staunch ally of Oleh Tyahnybok , the fury of Ukrainian Nazi Iryna Farion, who managed to join the Communist party in 1990, one of the last who did this in Lviv Polytechnic University.

The text of the law, in fact, dictated by the Maidan and the dream of a total and complete change of government, an expression which has become the cornerstone of a popular joke about the fact that the complete victory of lustration in Ukraine will take place only if the a huge chandelier is the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada drops in the middle of the session

Under the law does literally everyone who somehow was connected to the previous goverment of Ukraine, any goverment that existed before the February revolution: judges, policemen, officials of ministries, departments, state agencies, prosecutors, military personnel and many other categories up to the heads of local authorities. Unfortunately, few in Kiev understands the depth of the abyss which opens to the Ukraine with the adoption of this law and the subsequent complete victory of the crowd. But there are some tentative signs of sobering such as the resignation of eve of notorious Tatiana Chornovil, head of government anti-Corruption Bureau, who is a far right nationalist and furious adept of universal lustration. She announced in their blog the decision to leave and the futility of her struggle .

"A few weeks ago private Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 gave the audience a remarkable commentary on the acts of one of the richest people in the country," writes in an article for Foreign Policy journalist "Ukrainian Pravda" Sergey Leshchenko. The hero of the story was tycoon Dmytro Firtash.

The channel tried to portray Firtash as a puppet of the Kremlin. "While some viewers may have noticed a strange coincidence: owner 1+1, magnate and politician Igor Kolomoisky, is at the same time the most fierce competitor Firtash," explains the author.

Kolomoisky and Firtash belong to the circle of Ukrainian oligarchs.

"In an ideal world oligarchs away would be a thing of the past. EuroMaidan which six months ago overthrew President Yanukovych, was aiming directly into the cruel system of crony capitalism, which was established in post-Soviet Ukraine. But even now, months later, most oligarchs continue to thrive, increasing their wealth and power. the country is is much worse shape, struggling to rein in the chaos in the East," the article says.

After Maidan the most losses suffered billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, which the author calls "one of those who supported Yanukovych. Problems Akhmetov, says the publication, create the chance for his opponents, especially Poroshenko. The President of Ukraine can be considered as part of the oligarchic system. He would never have reached the present situation, if not for the lack of reliable leaders among the revolutionaries.

"Behavior Poroshenko after the arrest of Firtash is pretty telling," writes the author. At that moment Poroshenko longed for assistance. "And he went to Austria, where he visited Firtash (a few days after the release of the latter secured to enlist the support of the channel Firtash "inter", - stated in the article. By the way, needless to mention that Firtash also used every opportunity on his channel "Inter"to tarnish the reputation Kolomoisky". Firtash, for its part, hoped that Poroshenko will help him avoid extradition to the US and will protect him from Kolomoisky.

Meanwhile after the revolution Kolomoisky has made "impressive rise" continues the author of the article. In March, the new government was desperately looking for local leaders, able to curb separatism and to help the army money. It has appointed Kolomoisky Governor of Dnipropetrovsk oblast. "A citizen of three countries - Ukraine, Israel and Cyprus - Kolomoisky jumped at the chance to create a new identity ardent defender of Ukrainian sovereignty," writes Leshchenko. Due to its nationalist position he has now become one of the most popular politicians, despite the fact that the Maidan swore to save Ukraine from the power of the oligarchs.

"New found popularity Kolomoisky may change the internal political situation in Ukraine", - says the author. The probability that after the October elections Glad the next convocation will be backstage controlled by oligarchs.

The author of Foreign Policy expects acute rivalry from "several factions controlled by the oligarchs." "Unpredictable factor remains Kolomoisky, who has not yet decided who he will Finance", - stated in the article. According to rumors, he plans to bet on the nationalist movement. It is obvious that the Ukrainian business elite still shape the political agenda. "Poroshenko will have to decide whether he really wants to fight corruption, the idea for which the Ukrainians en masse took to the streets, or he is willing to settle scores using the rules of the old oligarchic politics" - so ends the article.

[Aug 27, 2014] No Donbass, no problems

Slightly edited Google translation. A good description of Russian propaganda view on the situation from blog. It is true that junta stated the civil war. Which nationalists, which are a totalitarian sect by definition, often start to preserve their power and crush the opponents. Support by the West only added petrol to the fire. making them more brazen and uncompromising. But after it started victims among civil population and destruction of infrastructure are given. Actually civil wars are the most cruel type of wars in any case.

On 21 August in the British capital began its work, the photo exhibition "Humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine". The conference is organized by the London charitable "Foundation Kultura". The aim of the exhibition - "overcoming information blockade" around large-scale human tragedy in the Donbass.

As stated in the official told the organizers,

"we call the international community to immediately stop the killing of civilians carried out by Ukrainian troops and militants of the national guard with special cruelty as well as the use of prohibited weapons. With the tacit consent of the United States and several European countries is a violation of basic human rights happens right now in the South-East of Ukraine. Basic human right enshrined in numerous international treaties and documents and, above all, the universal Declaration of human rights".

Presented at the exhibition pictures show destroyed homes, schools, hospitals and kindergartens. Photographs tell about the absence in the region of medicines, food and necessities, flows of refugees, seeking refuge in Russia and neighboring regions of Ukraine, about the pain and desperation of ordinary people.

This event in the British capital is very significant, if you consider that fact that from the point of view of the Western media and the huge number of human rights organizations, use of heavy weapons and aircraft against the cities and civilians is complexly absent. It does not exist. and a humanitarian catastrophe does not exist iether.

Well, from the official point of view of the West there no heavy artillery shelling of civilian infrastructure, aerial bombings and mass murder. Just as there is no destroyed infrastructure, a looming famine and mass epidemics. All those facts simply does not exist of humane and enlightened West, which touchingly worries about children with Dawn syndrome and the fate of homeless animals.

Surprisingly, the dispersal of the Maidan protest with several broken noses West noticed instantly, and then shuddered in terror and fall in media hysterics, shaken by unprecedented violence and brutality. And the corpses of dead children Donbass, blown into peaces bodies of its civilians, destroyed schools and hospitals, the blood and suffering of thousands of people under the bombs and shells of ATO forces does not bother neither Europe nor the US one bit.

Apparently the West was struck by the amazing blindness, very similar to its blatant cynicism in selective use of morality for political purposes. Broken by riot police nose of a militant on Maidan is a human tragedy of planetary scale, killed the child of Donbass - means nothing...


2014-08-25 02:13 pm (UTC)

The cynicism of these "civilized" scum knows no bounds. For them Moral and good is anything that is beneficial at this moment. It's always been this way. And all these cring about "democracy and human rights" are used as weapons to conquer and hold in check weaker nations. By the way, we will probably soon see that they will discontinue thier charished "democracy" at home and will return to its natural state: in the best case - to authoritarianism, and at worst -- fascism.

[Aug 25, 2014] Ukraine troops battled Russian armoured column, claims Kiev by Shaun Walker

25 August 2014 | The Guardian

Asimpleguest, 25 August 2014 12:15pm

again? but Poroshenko said the armored vehicles were COMPLETELY destroyed (pulverized) last week...

can we have some pictures and some ''third party'' witness who can confirm?

it is really boring to hear the same BS from Kiev all over again... without any solid evidence!

swing433 -> Asimpleguest, 25 August 2014 12:36pm

Phantom Invasion, phantom tanks, phantom evidence, Phantom destroyed Russian military vehicles. Somebody really gotta do something about this phantom menace.

Ydarn1k -> Asimpleguest, 25 August 2014 12:43pm

Kiev authorities just try covering up complete military disaster in the East by finding new Russia invasion forces every day. Poor planning and logistics of Ukrainian army led to the massive rebel counteroffensive following by encirclement of huge forces south of Donetsk.

Of course it's still not a defeat since Ukrainian army can try to cut through rebel defensive lines and escape, but it's still a big blow to Ukrainian military prestige.

Ydarn1k -> Philip Larmett, 25 August 2014 12:59pm

All right then explain me this. According to Ukrainian media Donetsk and Lugansk are completely encircled and army now is waging heavy fighting in suburbs. How come come that during all these time not a single Russian army soldier was captured or killed? I mean, surely if Ukrainian army had destroyed a platoon of Russian soldiers Internet now would have been filled with photos.

atavistic -> Asimpleguest, 25 August 2014 1:26pm

the way in which every word that falls from Poroshenko's lips is so blindly accepted and regurgitated by this rag. once again there is absolutely no proof provided by anyone to substantiate these claims.

Surely the US could provide some proof as it did with the downing of the Malaysian flight ... oh, it didn't release its information then either did it ... surely the best way to support your ally would be to prove him right!

anyone who believes without question the crass and unsubstantiated rubbish published by this and other rags doesn't deserve a vote!

Scott Maciejewski -> Asimpleguest, 25 August 2014 3:03pm

Next week he'll say he's beaten Russia into submission. this guy's a bad a liar as George Bush and Tony Blair!

Guest222 -> Asimpleguest, 25 August 2014 6:58pm

The biggest issue with this crisis is blatant accusations from Kiev`s side without any proof.

What happened to Malaysian plane? Nobody, except Russia, China and Malaysia seem to be interested in investigation.

mauman -> iamshchik, 25 August 2014 7:23pm

BBC backtracked on a Military column

Natalya Restivo -> Asimpleguest, 25 August 2014 9:34pm

It's 1001th invasion, with no evidence, just Russophobic hysteria for junta's supporters which they need as air to breathe.

uponreflection -> VladimirM, 25 August 2014 12:24pm

"A Ukrainian military spokesman told AFP border guards were battling "several dozen" armored vehicles that crossed the border and headed in the direction of the government-held city of Mariupol."

Even the State Department and the Head of Nato are silent on that. It's too much even for them, I think.

monkie -> VladimirM, 25 August 2014 1:24pm

Even the State Department and the Head of Nato are silent on that. It's too much even for them, I think.

there seems to be quite a lot of silence about aspects of the conflict, the kiev regime has clearly made advances on the ground but the losses suffered seem to be considerable.

have we had any reporting about what happened in the "southern cauldron" as the rebels describe it?

i see these figures quoted a lot:

more than four months of fighting that has cost more than 2,200 lives

but there is a revealing video up on YouTube (with English captions) of the survivors and family members of the missing conscripts of the 30th mechanized brigade confronting the commander demanding answer for what happened to them. apparently only 83 men returned out of 4700. this would point to massive losses for the Kiev regime.
NWObserver -> VladimirM, 25 August 2014 1:32pm

Nothing is too much for the consummate liars in the US State Department or the NATO, nor for those that pretend to believe them.

It looks like they are not interested in backing the Kiev regime's lies with their own, just now.

magix1 -> VladimirM, 25 August 2014 1:49pm

Come on! Last week glorious Ukrainian Army destroyed armored group of 50 Russian tanks which crossed the border and then was destroyed and then mysteriously disappeared. Tanks were presumably destroyed with annihilators and atomizers, some of the column was turned into antimatter, some was reduced to atoms and electrons. That is why no evidence left. Now Russian tanks are "trying to invade Mariupol" which is about 100 km south to the actual fighting.

Why? Ask delusional "Ukrainian patriots". Next week they will be destroying 1000 Russian plane West of Kiev.

ProfWilliams, 25 August 2014 12:26pm

Looks like Poroshenko is lying again about Russian troops.

The latest news is that the rebels have now encircled thousands of Kiev troopers and national guards and are currently moving to liquidate the trapped forces (RT today and Youtube). Many weapons, including tanks have reportedly either been captured or knocked out.

Has anyone else heard about this?

CutThruMediaLies, 25 August 2014 12:26pm

Satire - no justice.

Q Who took down the Malaysian aircraft A Not the Russians as the Guardian would have reported it. Minor Dutch parties sending notes of apologies to Putin...
Q How many Ukrainian Casualties in the ATO? A. 23K....
Q How much Russian Intervention in this war? A. None or the Guardian would have reported it.
Q How many times have the Ukrainians taken cities (e.g. Ilovaske?) 4 times with the latest being 25% taken...
Q What is happening now? An Offensive against the Ukrainian Army with an estimated 6K surrounded and the Right Sector expecting an attack on Mariupol.
Q. In the picture above what are the civilians shouting at A. Fascists..

What a whitewash. I hope the guardian is proud of itself.

GlenninLuton -> CutThruMediaLies, 25 August 2014 12:31pm

what minor Dutch parties sending notes of apology please? Do you have a link?

CutThruMediaLies -> GlenninLuton, 25 August 2014 12:40pm

Oops very minor party one sycophantic sounding professor. Interesting nonetheless. and well qualified.

GlenninLuton, 25 August 2014 12:27pm

I watched this press conference. Lavrov was asked about updates on the tragic deaths caused by the downing of the Malaysian Boeing. He said that the Western voices making accusations based on alleged evidence proving 'Russian backed separatists' had downed the plane had now gone silent and produced NO evidence whatsoever.

He also said that vital information was being withheld from public like black box data and voice records of pilots by Ukrainian Secret Services and their NATO backers.

He accused the western media of not pursuing the truth and the failure by the Guardian to EVEN MENTION this interchange at the press conference only serves to make his point.

MikeKasatsky -> GlenninLuton, 25 August 2014 12:31pm

The Guardian is serving the needs of UK and US

MikeKasatsky, 25 August 2014 12:29pm

The authorities in Kiev lost a sense of reality...

do they think that anyone believes in what they say? I really doubt.
Not even they masters believe in it.

VladimirM -> MikeKasatsky, 25 August 2014 12:35pm

They invent the alternative one, as if there is another Ukraine - Ukraine-2. In terms of Ukraine-2 these things can happen.

blatttman, 25 August 2014 12:30pm

How dare Russia send another convoy to help the people of the Donbass! I mean how provocative can you get with this blatant humanitarian aid for the civilian population.

I Don't understand the media blackout on the peoples suffering in this region, it really is strange, I guess if you speak Russian it can't be news worthy.

MikeKasatsky -> blatttman, 25 August 2014 1:19pm

The West is deeply involved in this mess in Ukraine. The West is prepared to cover up whatever Ukraine does. Most of the media are in a war mode.

ParapolitikosTypos -> blatttman, 25 August 2014 3:45pm

No there isn't a complete black out. Guardian and other western media have reported about the terrible plague of the capture Ukrainian soldiers that few hours ago they were carpet bombing Donetsk with artillery units.

But generally, yes:

  • Zero report about the 700 000 refugees.
  • Zero report about the carpet bombing of Ukrainian cities.
  • Zero reporting about the thousand dead civilians
  • Zero reporting about the humanitarian crises in the East Ukrainian cities.

Well the last isn't true. They reported it as an invasion of Russian trucks carrying food and water for the starving populace.

mauman, 25 August 2014 12:36pm

"Ukraine troops battle Russian armored column, claims Kiev"

Kiev claims an extraordinary amount of Rubbish. It's why you feature a picture of the Donbass "parade" because there is no column.

Or were these the same kind of "Military column" that Shaun Walker claims 2 weeks ago. The one where the BBC later said that they didn't "exactly say it was military" before deleting the comment.

Suppose this phantom column will be defeated like the previous phantom column.

I really don't get why the press keep quoting Kiev. Surely it affects the media's credibility when their sources keep lying and it then becomes apparent that the media have been printing BS propaganda all along and acting as a mouthpiece to ratchet up Ukraine's obvious desire to escalate things, thinking NATO will come to their aid with more than just OUR tax money.

MullahsForLunch, 25 August 2014 12:39pm

The Guardian has become the de facto mouthpiece of the Ukrainian forces....voicing their every insecurity and propaganda to the Western population.

lids -> MullahsForLunch, 25 August 2014 12:45pm
Don't think the guardian editors have cottoned on to the fact that we see these headlines and chuckle..

ID1744585, 25 August 2014 12:41pm

Given their history of brazen dishonesty, and the Western media 's history of craven and unquestioning accession to any claim they make. I would suggest that you have got to be kidding.

After the last series of claims were proven false the Guardian just pretended the whole fiasco had nothing to do with them.

It's clear, War with Russia is a given, until it starts there will be an avalanche of shameless propaganda from the professional liars of the Western media.

Philos83, 25 August 2014 1:02pm

If Ukraine keeps defeating all these Russian armoured columns they'll go into history as the best tank fighters since the Red Army rolled the Wehrmacht all the way back to Berlin.... Of course, these battles would need to be more than fictions fabricated by the amateur propagandists in Kiev

Other than the lack of evidence for any of this nonsense (with a number of NATO satellites over Ukraine you can bet the MSM would be flooding us with pictures) the best indicator that Kiev hasn't encountered any Russian armour is that the Russian Air Force isn't bombing them to smithereens.

[Aug 25, 2014] Who's Zoomin' Who in Novorossiya by TTG

August 19, 2014 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

I share Paul Craig Roberts' disgust for the behavior of Western media in their coverage of the war in Ukraine. Not only does Western reporting show these "newspeople" to be nothing more than a pack of idiots and whores, as Roberts suggests, but the heavy handed propaganda effort makes it damned near impossible for most of us to gain an informed idea of what is actually happening in Ukraine. What is happening? I will try to sort out the true situation and establish a framework for discussing the many facets of the "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" that is the war in eastern Ukraine.

At a macro level, this is a re-ignition of the Cold War. Some just can't pass up a chance to tweak the Bear's nose and are oblivious to the possibly of deadly consequences. Others have long memories and precious little forgiveness. Russia can deal with all that as long as Ukraine is not a hostile outpost of NATO on their border. But I believe it is the Neocons and R2P-ers most responsible for this mess. They've spent five billion and twenty years getting to this point and they appear willing to double down. I think they had dreams of Sevastopol becoming a NATO/US naval base. That would be tweaking the Bear's nose just a little too hard. Beyond the whole spreading democracy vision thing, there is now the specter of a world economy arising to compete with the petrodollar based Western economy. That scares the hell out of some dangerous people… or perhaps it just presents an investment opportunity.

Much has been made of leadership changes and internal turmoil in Kiev and in Donetsk/Lugansk. I don't think we should read too much into this. Both the junta and Novorossiya are new entities born out of violent upheavals only months ago. They are fighting a civil war and Kiev, at least, is subject to the outside pressures I noted earlier. It is too much to expect stability in the leadership circles of either side.

As in many countries, Ukraine has its share of internal tensions and differences. These differences did not guarantee the start of this civil war. What upset the societal equilibrium was the West's investment in the worst element of Ukrainian society. Nuland and her cabal used the ultra nationalists of Pravy Sektor and Svoboda to push their own neocon agenda. The crazies got the money, the training, and the weapons and took over the asylum. The Russian speaking East Ukrainians had no choice but to leave, revolt or die at the hands of the rabidly anti-Russian Banderites. Even the Ukrainians in the western oblasts are beginning to revolt against the junta's call for reserve mobilizations. And in my opinion Putin had no choice but to return Crimea to Russia before the crazies had a chance to ruin it.

The military situation appears to be in a state of dynamic equilibrium. The Ukrainian forces have, up to now, been able to mount battalion or more sized armored thrusts into weakly held rebel territory, but these thrusts, more often than not, got badly chewed up and surrounded. They've lost at least six brigades this way. The rebels recently captured documents where the Ukrainian military command admitted to 14,378 KIA and WIA, 158 POWs, 8,972 deserters, 31 planes, 20 helicopters, 307 tanks, 145 BMPs, 121 BMDs, 283 BTRs, 14 Grad and 11 Uragan MLRS. Rebel losses are unknown. They have much better opsec. Neither side maintains solidly held continuous front lines. This is what allowed the junta to make these armored thrusts, but it also allows the rebel saboteur-reconnaissance groups to range behind the junta lines to destroy their artillery and logistics bases. This video gives a good view of a rebel unit and the nature of most of the fighting in Novorossiya. Of course this kind of fighting is interspersed with artillery and multiple rocket launcher strikes such as this. An accompanying video of the same unit at rest gives some great insights into the mindsets of the rebels.

Artillery has been critically important for both sides. A central element of junta military strategy seems to be the destruction of civilian infrastructure and the killing/terrorizing of the populace. Andrew Kramer of the New York Times gave a good account of this a few days ago, which shows not all MSM reporters are idiots or whores. Artillery has taken the place of airstrikes for the junta forces. However, the rebels are also amassing an impressive artillery force and even the Ukrainian military admit the rebel's fire is accurate and effective.

I use the past tense to describe the armored thrusts of the junta forces because they appear to be losing the ability to concentrate sufficient forces to execute major attacks. They are on their third mobilization. That's a clear sign of running on empty. In order to address the growing unrest in Transcarpathia, the junta had to withdraw 1,200 troops from the front last week. They have no strategic reserve. At the same time a rebel leader announced that 1,200 rebels just returned from four months of training in Russia as reinforcements ready to fall in on a substantial amount of recently captured heavy equipment.

There are also increasing signs of mounting guerrilla operations throughout eastern Ukraine. Small things like the burning of one of Komoloisky's banks in Dnepropetrovsk and the ambush of Polish PMC vehicles and the sabotage of defense maintenance facilities in Kharkov are becoming more commonplace. Partisan groups are increasing sabotage activity around Slavyansk and Krasny Liman, areas where Strelkov withdrew from last month. The partisan activity is strong enough to incite junta artillery to begin shelling Slavyansk from Karachun Mountain once again.

So, where do the opposing forces stand today? If you look at the first map accompanying the NYT article, you would think the rebels are very close to defeat. However, that map shows the high water marks of the junta forces over the course of the four month war. A better set of maps is available here. Look at these maps over time and see the fluidity of the battlefield. Yes, the rebels are giving up ground, but they are preserving their combat forces. The junta is squandering theirs. Every time you read an article like this NYT piece, which proves Paul Craig Roberts' original point, look for an article like this to balance the view.

Last week I said I sensed the junta forces are reaching a culminating point. I still believe that. I don't see them in any position to take Donetsk or Lugansk or to ever seal the border with Russia. The rebels are not collapsing, nor are they ready to march on Kiev. There is a dynamic equilibrium, but time is on Novorossiya's side.

Reprinted with permission from Sic Semper Tyrannis blog.

[Aug 23, 2014] Latvia's Tensions With Russians at Home Persist in Shadow of Ukraine Conflict -

Exceptionally, Mr. Cilevics said, "I am one of those people who have two ears," absorbing Russian media, but also subscribing to reports from European monitors in Ukraine, and finding "the truth is somewhere in between."

It reminds him of Soviet times, he said, reading the Communist daily Pravda, then listening to Radio Liberty, which is financed by the United States. But most people, he noted, "only have one ear."

[Aug 22, 2014] Four accused of painting Moscow building in Ukrainian colours face jail by Alec Luhn

Looks more like Pussi riot provocation, act 2. Guardian serves as an amplifier of the action...
zorrooorroo -> Eric Moller, 22 August 2014 5:32pm
Hooliganism .... A new word .


simply wrong translation of Russian term into English - in Russia it is not anew is the same tactics to uise mistranslation for political propaganda - like transalting Soviet as Russia (and thus equating exclusively ethnic Russians to soviet past, but exonerating Ukrainians, Georgians etc despite those were the same Soviets as Russian were) - all that for political reasons... "n - word" was nearly abolished in English language when political situation made it to depict wrong associations, but nobody is going to stop calling exclusively Russians as Soviets or Soviet Union as Russia - the most funny things happen when foreigners trying to accuse Russians in Soviet foreign policy start to say something like - well, Ukrainians remember what Russians did because of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact - and funny is that they forget that those were not Russia or Russians that benefited from Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but Ukraine and Ukrainians because all those Polish lands were given to Ukraine, not to Russia in USSR - and even today Lviv that Stalin took from Poland according to Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is a part of Ukraine, not Russia...

yet, English language continue to identify exclusively Russians as Soviets - very convenient for non-Russians and for the West too in order to alienate all non-Russian ex-soviets (Georgia, Ukraine, etc.) from Russia...

Linguistic propaganda - that how I call it.

IdreamaPeacefulWorld, 22 August 2014 10:41pm

I love the connection with the pussy riots.

Please check this link and tell me if you would be happy for this to happen in your local museum and call it art!

AstheticTheory, 22 August 2014 11:50pm

They probably calculated the cost of their legal case in the price they charged the front organisations for their 'protest services'.

Bakerpembury, 22 August 2014 11:55pm

It's sometimes said Pussy Riot was invented by the CIA as a drunken joke but " bare breasts" excited them so much they signed off the funding. I'm inclined to believe it.

AstheticTheory -> Bakerpembury, 22 August 2014 11:59pm

There are billionaire backed front organisations and front media outlets who sponsor these activities and promote them in the media. This newspaper is part of a network that actually spreads this stuff.

koshenka, 23 August 2014 12:50am

Pussy Riot are not many. Though I can understand why Tolokonnikova called those who did it heroes: after all, base jumping takes more bravery and skills than fucking in museum.

koshenka, 23 August 2014 1:12am

btw, have Pussy already released some new single? or, I don't know, some old one?

[Aug 22, 2014] Ofcom should be looking again at Putin's TV news channel by Steve Bloomfield

The pot calling the kettle black. Guardian presstitutes do not like competition ;-)
April 24, 2014 | The Guardian
doug88 -> Silliband, 25 April 2014 8:15am
I would suggest that many of the criticisms in the article will ring true with a lot of people. This piece may have the opposite intended effect and end up acting as a advertisement piece for RT.

For example, criticisms of:

And I don't think that exploring conspiracy theories should be considered a negative point. Does anyone remember those crazy people who would tell you that the government is hacking our phones and recording our conversations?

Taku2, 24 April 2014 6:49pm
There definitely is a need for people in the West to have an alternative media view to the servile propaganda which we are being indoctrinated with by the BBC, much of our national media etc. RT presented us with that opportunity, probably initially, but it really has degenerated into doing pretty much what much of the media in the West has been doing; namely a mouthpiece for the government and the elite, except that RT is doing it for the Russian Government.

The time will come when, it is not only our and their politicians who we should not trust, but also their and our media! The media in the West and the East does not, or is fast becoming unworthy of the respect of the listener, watcher and reader. How depressing.

TGondii -> Taku2, 24 April 2014 6:52pm
At the height of the cold war I used to listen to Radio Moscow. Not because it was unbiased, it lied obviously about what was happening in the USSR, but because it told me things about what were happening in the UK and the USA that our media failed to mention.
huzar30 -> TGondii, 24 April 2014 6:57pm
it told me things about what were happening in the UK and the USA that our media failed to mention.
What, if anything, did you learn? Report
TGondii -> huzar30, 24 April 2014 7:12pm
Oh, let's see, all sorts about protests in the UK that never got reported here, British involvement in Cambodia supporting the Khmer Rouge, the World Court verdict against the US for mining Nicaraguan ports. That sort of thing. Factually true, spun for political effect of course, but simply not mentioned in our press at the time.
Taku2 -> TGondii 24 April 2014 8:19pm

I agree with you. RT and the media in the West, especially that which is owned by the elites, have a vested interest in concealing information and 'truths' which their controllers find inconvenient, and will tend to publicise information and 'truths' which their opponents are likely to find inconvenient.

For the reader, listener and watcher to get near to the 'truth', he or she needs to glean it from diverse sources - RT, western media, Euro News, Al Jazeera, et al.

The 'new' really needs to be announced with a warning: Let the listener beware, as 'new' can be harmful to the listener/reader's credibility.

foolisholdman -> TGondii, 24 April 2014 10:40pm

At the height of the cold war I used to listen to Radio Moscow. Not because it was unbiased, it lied obviously about what was happening in the USSR, but because it told me things about what were happening in the UK and the USA that our media failed to mention.

Just so -- & the same is true now of RT and CNTV.

PSmd -> Taku2, 25 April 2014 2:17pm

I like watching RT. Sure it's biased, but it's always interesting to see competing biases, rather than media that is biased in chorus. It's a mouthpiece for pro-Russian bellicosity, but I remember a year ago, they were talking about break up of the USSR, and they said how Russia could have been kept with Belarus and Eastern Ukraine, quite telling now. Also, that only western Ukraine, Baltics and Georgia were the only bits that wanted to leave the USSR, again, an indicator of what Russia may make a play for (i.e. everything but those areas).

They also seem to have many American guests, some from the Left but more from the libertarian Right, united against (US) militarisation and corporatisation.

Al Jazeera is of a slightly higher standard, though, again, they cannot really bite the hand that feeds them either. Sky news, in Danny Dorling's words, seems to view Britain as the London office of an American corporation. It never fails to amaze me how local US news appears on there, and often public building shootings and eccentrics who drive pickup trucks chasing tornadoes.

Taku2 -> PSmd, 25 April 2014 6:50pm

I agree with you; particularly concerning 'comparing biases', as all the official media contains biases, inspite of their newly found qualification: "we cannot varify it." Once something is 'reported', the damage is done, whether or not it can be varified. Why report something which cannot be varified?

As we watch the Russians, Americans and EU building up the Ukrainian crisis into a casus belli, it makes us fully realize how powerful and, if used irresponsibly and mischievously, dangerous the media can be. First comes the media war, which 'prepares' the people, and then come the blood letting

Media manipulation and manipulation by the media has and is currently being used as a substitute for prudent and effective diplomacy. The media is more powerful than the politicians. Seems that we the people are fucked!

TGondii, 24 April 2014 6:50pm

I find it distasteful for a journalist to be asking for the banning of any TV station. If you don't like it, don't watch it. The Iranian Press TV was already removed by OfCom, and I don't think it should have. Anyone watching those channels can see their bias and adjust for that, but they also provide an alternative view. For example Press TV provided good coverage of the Bahrain protests that was entirely missing from Al Jazeera.
Personally I see lots of bias in the BBC. Various university studies showed actual bias in the lead up to the Iraq invasion broadcasting far more pro-war items and interviews compared to pro-peace items, worse even than Sky TV. It's effectively a British government mouthpiece whatever British government is in power, as witnessed by it's very partial coverage of the Scottish independence debate. Saying that I don't think it should be banned.

Aren't there books you should be burning, Steve?

RoyRoger -> TGondii, 24 April 2014 7:10pm

I find it distasteful for a journalist to be asking for the banning of any TV station.

I agree. But, as you know, fascist regimes are keen to shot the messenger; literally.

[Aug 22, 2014] Lži nás jednou zničí všechny (Lie eventually will destroys us all )

The West from the very beginning skillfully dictated the way the world will look at the crisis in Ukraine. Moreover, old anti-Russian propaganda which created the image of "eternal evil" out of Russia helped greatly in this brainwashing. Putin does not know how to run a smart and clever "soft" propaganda campaign. And even prestigious news agencies are now amenable to "political activism", because there is no time for good journalism, says Czech media analyst Irena Rysankova.

Many spoke and wrote about the information war, which accompanies the Ukrainian crisis from the very beginning - with demonstrations on the square, during the annexation of the Crimea, the war in the Donbass, the fall of the Malaysian flight MH17 - and still being played. What weapons and how successful the opponents are using in this war?

For simplicity I will call one side Pro-European and the other Pro-Russian. "Pro-European" definitely has or used to have an advantage. Their method "injecting of news" and the wording of news articles was such that it was clear - there are consultants. Moreover, it was this side which began informing the public new event, such as about MH17, at all levels.

"Pro-Russian" side was actually forces into defense from the very beginning and can only refute the new and new speculations about the events that none of the readers has the ability to reliably check. they also defined the vocabulary for description of events, while taking advantage of the fact that simple and less educated users of the media, and according to statistics those are the majority still perceive Russia as evil. More specifically, this is due to the invasion of the occupation forces in 1968 in Czechoslovakia and later in Afghanistan. Just Russia in the minds of many is still identified with the Soviet Union, and due to this is viewed from the same position, as during the cold war.

In propaganda campaign of "Pro-European" forces that were active event before the key events, which served simply as a trigger, were creatively used all the tools for the management of public opinion. Every time they defined the agenda (agenda setting) that was imposed on the other side. Violent actions (fire on protesters on the Maidan, the plane crash, the shooting of the "convoy of refugees") were used to inject emotions into initially rational thinking about the conflict. this was they frame the information perception (framing) in terms of our pre-existing attitude to the parties. This way the polarization without regard to the facts is achieved: who is good and who is evil ("They only wanted to join the EU", "They wanted to stand in their way to freedom", "They shoot again on our children"). This way the coverage turned into the game of "good" and "bad" guys. Facts are never analyzed independently and impartially, because they always created the circumstances which prevented this. I think that in no way we can talk in information about Ukraine in terms of "people's struggle". On Maidan there were not "the people", but political activists and militants. As well as mercenaries. A naive public intellectuals who joined them, very quickly disappeared after the first blood was shed. Professionalism dictates that, rather, the event were orche4strated by a good consultants.

Russia is losing and will continue to lose. Neither the Kremlin nor the Lubyanka, most likely, have not read the basic labor American Professor from Harvard Gina Sharpe, even though it was first published in 1973 under the title "the Politics of nonviolent action". His main book "From dictatorship to democracy" was released 20 years later in response to the popular uprising in Bangkok and was published in Russian in 1993, after the collapse of the USSR, when the candidate Yegor Gaidar as Prime Minister was rejected, Yeltsin came to power, the putschists made a move against him and civil war could well start, which would finally erased from the face of the earth "the evil Empire". Then it didn't work out, but still even in Russia color revolution scenario got pretty far. In Ukrainian the book "From dictatorship to democracy" was translated in 2004 in connection with the Orange revolution.

After centuries of use "hard power" Russia does not understand how to use "soft power", does not speak of non-governmental diplomacy, you need it to support financial and organizational. Russia is not able to involve themselves in support of stars in pop culture, universities and charitable foundations, commercial companies and non-governmental organizations. Russia had and still has the major drawback - its reputation inherited from days of the USSR, although this is the country in which the majority of European countries exported goods or collaborated in large projects. Thanks to Russian gas we have light, warmth, we travel by car. But for many in Europe they are still "those Russians" of August 1968, the invaders, drunk from vodka. And many of the "new Russians" reinforce the Soviet stereotype. They defiantly proud of his wealth, and so manifestly disregard the law. So we should not be too surprised.

Already in the winter and after the collapse of Viktor Yanukovych Czech blogosphere, or the field of "alternative" media, began to protest that information about the "Maidan" in the Czech Republic is manipulates and that the coverage is Pro-Ukrainian and selective. For example, we can talk about the suppression of information about the aggressiveness of protesters on the Maidan and the focus of the news on police brutality. Whether these claims to Czech media fair?

Partly were and still are. But this is just a problem with the progress of information war, which Russia loses. There are several reasons for bias in the direction of Maidan then they new Kiev government. First, it is Maidan declarations about the liberation from the clutches of the Russian bear and the adoption of European rules, and secondly, the preponderance of professionally prepared Pro-Maidan information, which the media simply replayed. In such situation there is huge demand for news coverage and those who provide the news stream can correct the event or their view on the event as they wish. None of the current journalists want to be engaged in a truly independent "dirt-digging" investigative journalism. In fact, today it is impossible. Sooner or later you will need some research material, sooner or later you will need professional information back office. And then you have the embedded journalists.

Moreover, today the media has no time to think: electronic online world is faster then anything else and the ability to sigh the issue to print at midnight is now a sweet dream about which was only can have nostalgia. I always joke that Karel Capek today would have had no chances at all. Publishing houses want cheap labor, that is, pipeline employees who toss news without too much thinking. Bloggers, as a rule, are either analysts themselves or those who are interested in in the subject for some reason and who understands it. That is, they are not objective. Even respected Agency now send to the frontline hired local people, about professional past and views of which they have little information. Thus, under the guise of top military journalism often we see the work of local journalists, which were hired by agencies.

But lately, we can see some changes. Even mainstream media begin to think about the ethics of their work. Perhaps because some BBC reporters have already begun to publish information about Ukraine, which is not exactly fit "revolutionary enthusiasm" meme: the neofascists of the Right sector, corrupt oligarchs, unscrupulousness members of the government.

In addition, Ukraine government go over the top in this information war. The manner in which President Poroshenko and the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk spread is now simply despicable. The Declaration about the elimination of the Russian convoy, not supported by any evidence, photographs or other materials, and other excesses of the last days show that the information war starts to get out of control, and the Ukrainian government propaganda machine is faltering. If the Ukrainian troops destroyed the Russian convoy, would there no single photo? why they did not show us the corpses, their military ID and uniforms? The serial number of weapons they have had? In is impossible not to notice complete incompetence here. I remember Saakashvili claimed that Russia used in Georgia ballistic missiles "Point". But the evidence of the damage they caused was very badly staged. But in the Czech Republic, Russia priori is guilty or, at least, suspicious. Our indignation about what "those Russians" (more precisely, the Brezhnev of the USSR) did, is passed from one generation after another - to those who do not remember the Prague spring of 1968, not to mention the previous years.

Today it is difficult to determine who is right and who is lying. if the known liar lies again when he said that his opponent is lying. Can he at this time speak the truth? How to find out when the during war, of course, the first victim is truth?

The problem arises when facts themselves incriminated the liars, as happened with the leaked photos downed Malaysian Boeing. Round, smoothly bent in the tin holes with a diameter of 30 mm give to those who are familiar with missiles "BUK", understanding that the plane was shot down but by the rocket but the cockpit was pulverized with guns of the fighters. There were two fighters. Today there are only to answer the question, whose to whom they belong and who gave them the order to shoot.

Both Russia, calling for the unification of the "Russian world", and the EU and the US, referring to the European and Western values, according to some opinions, have polar sympathies: on the one hand citizens fighting the Donbas and the Crimea, and on the other, the rest of Ukraine, mainly Western. Which party do you think the more intensely promoted this propaganda? And with what implications? How to respond to the claim that Russian TV using hostile nationalist programs (for example show Dmitry Kiselev) sparked a civil war in the Donbass?

How can we measure the level of sympathy? with "Applause meter" ? The number of casualties on each side? I don't think the war in the Donbass unleashed by some shows with anchors/talking heads known for their nationalism, such as Dugin or Kiselev on Russian side, or Poroshenko fifth channel and youths from the Right sector on the other side. Propaganda is directed to strengthening of the morale of the combatants. Soldiers who are poorly paid, need to know that they are fighting, and dying for just cause. If there are two warring parties, it is clear that each side produce corresponding stream of propaganda. Both sides try to justify the right to kill fighters from the other. On both sides historians, myth-makers and ideologues work on such a justification. But we must not forget that "the war for Ukraine" is actually an economic war. For displacement from the Ukrainian market of Russia and for a new economic world order. In other words this is struggle is for gas and oil, coal and steel. All those resources are the cornerstone of both the European Union and the Russian power. Ukraine (rather, consultants that support Ukrainian side) have better propaganda. As Europe and the United States have always been more receptive to the stories of the victims of Russian expansion. That means that from the very beginning the emotional advantage was on the side of smaller Ukraine abused by a larger, more powerful neighbor.

Shooing down of MH17 is a new milestone in the crisis. What cant you say about this event? Who presented the more convincing evidence? Which side of the conflict behaved more honestly? And how to evaluate the Russian, Czech and Western media?

- The basic rule of journalism is fair comment must be preceded by a message that will be facts, not guesswork. The statements that the plane was shot down by Pro-Russian militia, appeared too quickly. The culprit was appointed earlier than it was revealed what exactly was the plane that was shot down.. The name of the air traffic controller, who was the first to report that shot down the plane, now is hidden by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU). In this case, neither party behave honestly form the very beginning. The plane crashed in the area of military action, that is a given. Perhaps we ought to ask the question about what experts had learned from black boxes, and why suddenly everyone is silent about their content. And why around this story suddenly there was silence. Downed aircraft perfectly fit the image of the "bad Russians" and "criminal separatists". Czech, and most importantly, the Western media gladly sat down to write the comments.

- With what media and PR reputation Russia coma out of the Ukrainian crisis? The scientist Veronica Suchava-Salminen wrote that the Arsenal of the Russian "soft power" virtually destroyed. Does Russia have a chance in the coming years to cause at least some sympathy in the Western public? Conversely, can we say that the Russian public opinion hostility to the US and the West increased to the maximum?

The question is How important for Russia's is Western public opinion, or she stopped being interested in it long ago? Russia is able to pursue the classical "hard" propaganda. It never has the arsenal of soft power. Putin is an example of courage and determination, on horseback, fishing, tigers, nuclear submarine... "Soft" propaganda is not very well done by Russians. They don't have it, and most importantly, they have no such tradition, although Putin is advised by U.S. PR Agency. Soft power should be carried out systematically, carefully, with knowledge of psychology. Russian propaganda relies on force. The United States, despite all its problems, seem to the outside world to be the promised land. Russia, despite many successes, still looks cold dark Empire. But on the other hand, Russia Today is an excellent start. The broadcast goes 24 hours a day in English, Russian, Arabic and Spanish. Audience of those channels is over 1 billion people.

Speaking about the Russian media, of course, impossible to suppose that in the country there is pluralism in the Western sense. What Putin has done over the years of his reign with the Russian media? What rules do they work, what to speak and write without problems, and what is hard, what can be harassment?

Do you really mean there is pluralism in Western media? And if it exist can you explain in what particular form? The West has reached the stage when (as a Russia) you can write on the Internet to whatever you want, but that nobody reads. And if somebody read, they often do not believe and do not follow blindly. Russians may also, like you, travel freely, if they have the means. They can do business and become bankrupt, can go to Church, can watch satellite TV and use censored words on the Internet. So what? Is this a sign of citizen participation in the actual governance in the country, as implies by the word democracy? Active readers and strong, authoritarian media, which we knew 30 years ago, has been replaced by indifference on the one hand and cynicism of managed media with another. And in general, trolling and viral marketing changed the game and made everything suspicious. Today can be anywhere - and we, in Russia - successfully manipulate the opinion of anybody. Without the ability to defend themselves.

Russian media world is a special subject. Yes, undoubtedly, for the most part it is not "anti-Putin", but, by the way, why would it be so? Putin after a drunken Yeltsin, the first defender of Russian pride, power, before his arrival decaying, country. Putin knows how to be creative with the media. And with those who intrude into his private life, he is able to quickly deal, which confirmed the tabloid edition of "Moskovsky Korrespondent", which was closed after publishing an article about the fact that Putin to marry a gymnast. Newspaper is unprofitable, said its owner. On the other hand, in addition to state television, Putin has created public television, albeit without concession fees, as nobody willing to pay them in Russia. But with a guarantee of independence. By the way, today Russia Today is one of the best news channels in the world, on the level of CNN and BBC. Russia is a country, which at a cursory glance it is difficult to understand. It is a mixture of almost anarchic democracy and the rule of hard, sometimes very hard hand. Democracy should not always mean freedom. Putin himself said about managed democracy, and this to some extent overlaps with the essay by Fareed Zakariya "Illiberal democracy", published in the journal Foreign Affairs in early 1998.

Indeed, the Kremlin primarily controls the heads of state media and agencies. The head of the new Agency "Russia today", for example, was the former head of channel Russia Today. However, the Kremlin has no impact on diverse media stream that exist in Russia and never will. This, probably, is unfortunate. In old days at least it was clear that information published by any newspaper can't be one hundred percent false. Now there is no such assurance. Money, lies and manipulation become a global weapon of mass destruction of this civilization.

It will destroy America, and Russia. No one will believe anyone. Yes, this is the situation we are already face.

Propaganda Shouldn't Pay by NICK COHEN

Psakism is on the rise... And psakism is not a legitimate part of our civilization, it is a cancer." "We are heading towards a media future that is not worth having."


As with Nye Bevan and Conservatives so with me and PR departments:

"No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for press officers. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin."

Or as the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston put it in his recent Charles Wheeler lecture, "I have never been in any doubt that PRs are the enemy."

Let me explain how they are the nearest thing to prostitutes you can find in public life. You might say that biased reporters look more like sex workers, as they try to satisfy their readers' every whim. But there is a small difference. The biased journalist occasionally tells the truth. He might produce propaganda, but his bias or that of his editor will cause him to investigate stories conventional wisdom does not notice. Right-wing journalists uncover truths about corruption in the European Union. Left-wing journalists discover truths about the crimes of Nato armies. They look at scandals others ignore precisely because they do not think like level-headed and respectable members of the mainstream.

Press officers have no concern with truth. It is not that all of them lie - although many do - rather that truth and falsity are irrelevant to their work. Their sole concern is to defend their employers' interests. That they can manipulate on behalf of central government, local authority and other public bodies is an under-acknowledged scandal. The party in power that wishes to stop public scrutiny, or the NHS trust whose executives wish to maintain their positions, use taxpayer funds to advance their personal or political interests. If anyone else did the same, we would call them thieves.

It makes no difference who is in office. Conservatives complained about the spin and manipulation of New Labour but they are no different now. Indeed they are playing tricks those of us who lived through the Blair years haven't seen before.

They withhold information from journalists in the hope of killing a story. If reporters publish nevertheless - as they should - the government tells their editors and anyone else who will listen that they are shoddy hacks who failed to put the other side of the story. An alternative tactic is for press officers to phone up at night, just after an article has appeared online, and try to bamboozle late-duty editors into making changes. I have had the Crown Prosecution Service and the BBC try to pull that one on me. That neither institution is in the political thick of it only goes to show that every dandruff-ridden PR in every backwater office now thinks he is Alastair Campbell.

Politicians and senior civil servants do not rate state-sponsored propagandists by their ability to tell the public what is done in their name with their money. Like corporate chief executives and celebrities, they judge them by their ability to keep uncomfortable stories out of the press.

Compare PRs with other despised trades. Journalists have blown the whistle on journalistic malpractice. Bankers have blown the whistle on financial malpractice. But I have never heard of a press officer going straight and coming clean by explaining how his government department or corporation manipulated public opinion.

Once you could have said that my comparison between press officers and prostitutes was unfair - to prostitutes. Poverty and drug addiction drives women on to the street. Press officers are not heroin addicts or the victims of child abuse. Nor do the equivalent of sex traffickers kidnap media studies graduates and force them to work in "comms". PRs do not do what they do because a cruel world has left them with no alternative to selling their souls, but because they want to.

But that is no longer quite right. As the web destroys the media's business model, PR is where the jobs are. Students leave university and go straight into PR or hang around newsrooms for a few years on internships and petty payments before giving up and joining the former reporters in PR departments.

A profound shift in the balance of power is under way, and the advantage lies with those who can buy coverage. You can see it on the screen and in the press. Television royal coverage is run by Buckingham Palace - I always tell foreigners that if they want to know what Britain would look like if it were a dictatorship, they should watch how the BBC reports the monarchy. Travel journalism is advertising in all but name. Press offices give travel "journalists" free holidays and they repay the favour in kind copy. Political coverage is still of a high quality, but the state-funded BBC is always open to attack from the state's spin doctors. Meanwhile most serious news, business and arts journalism remains clean, but Private Eye has reported anger among Daily Telegraph journalists about the advertising department's attempts to influence what they write.

Such conflicts will grow. The web has made most newspapers imitate most television stations. They give away their content and rely on advertising for an income. At the same time, the web has lowered the price of advertising by making a vast number of new outlets available to advertisers. In his speech, which is worth reading in full online, Peston said: "News that is a disguised advert, or has been tainted by commercial interests, is not worth the name." But the need for money is pushing newspapers into creating more cloaked commercials.

Without sales revenue or conventional advertising revenue, media marketing departments are offering what they call "native" advertisements: commercials disguised as news features. Peston says BBC executives are thinking of doing the same - though how they could hope to retain public funding if they do is beyond me. Readers may not be aware that the videos they are watching or the stories they are reading are "sponsored content", and that is the point. Manipulation works best when no one realises it is happening. PR departments aren't just influencing or stifling news, but creating it, and passing off advertisements as independent journalism.

We are heading towards a media future that is not worth having. To avoid it we will need strict controls, backed by criminal sanctions, against the use of public money for propaganda, and a popular revolt against a pestilential trade. A start could be made by journalists. We should refuse to speak to press officers unless we intend to give them the ridicule and contempt they deserve.

MH17: Australia's rhetorical offensive was cathartic, but self-defeating by Raoul Heinrichs

Quote from comments: "This is trademark Abbott stuff. Aggression, thuggery, hate speech, violence and idiocy", And another telling quote: "I have been living in Australia now for 25 years, never ever experienced that much propaganda in my life. Not even in communist Hungary where I grew up. "
18 August 2014 | The Guardian
brankosal, 19 August 2014 12:15am

We are still waiting for any evidence!!!

harrimike99 -> brankosal, 19 August 2014 12:42am

Now, several weeks on, Australia's achievements look decidedly more modest. In some cases they look more like mistakes….Russian cooperation has evaporated in the face of persistent criticism, replaced by an embargo on Australian agricultural exports. The broader conflict has escalated, and Ukraine faces the very real threat of invasion.

This is trademark Abbott stuff. Aggression, thuggery, hate speech, violence and idiocy; the IPA and News Ltd propaganda are responsible for his election and must bear part of the resulting terror their fool is unleashing on the world stage.

There is no lack of evidence for what has bee perpetrated upon Australians and now the world via their pet rock, the R'Abbott factor.

slorter, 19 August 2014 2:14am

The Western media fell in step with Washington and blamed the downed Malaysian airliner on Russia. No evidence was provided.

Now we have the media story of the armored Russian column that allegedly crossed into Ukraine and was destroyed by Ukraine's rag-tag forces. British reporters fabricated this story.

Abbott just a little boy milking it what it is worth as diversion to his disaster at home; he would not know what the truth was he only reads the daily telegraph.

jezzam2 -> slorter, 19 August 2014 2:35am

Why would British reporters fabricate this story? If their fabrication is revealed, their careers are over. If connivance of the Guardian is also revealed the reputation of the Guardian is destroyed. Oh I forgot - all western media are controlled by the CIA/USA - only the Russian media are free.

oalexander -> jezzam2, 19 August 2014 3:12am

Shaun Walker is still on board, Luke Harding still works ...

Rozina -> jezzam2, 19 August 2014 5:53am

Harding was busted by his plagiarism of material from a Moscow-based English-language newspaper called The eXile. The Guardian had to pay quite a sum of money to that paper and apologise as well.

At least Johann Hari did the decent thing when his plagiarism was exposed by leaving The Independent and returning his Orwell Prize.

madeiranlotuseater -> jezzam2, 19 August 2014 6:02am

The journalists did not fabricate the story. They reported that an armoured column some five or six kilometers away from the border were heading in the direction of Ukraine. Next we hear is that half of it was destroyed inside Ukraine. Sort of two and two makes five.

impleguest -> jezzam2, 19 August 2014 6:29am

they fabricated the story because they were told to do so... they are still in their jobs because they complied with the orders they received... they are not independent honest journalists - they are not independent honest journalists - they are payed to write what the media needs in order to manipulate the public.

nishville -> jezzam2, 19 August 2014 1:32pm

Oh I forgot - all western media are controlled by the CIA/USA - only the Russian media are free.

No, all mainstream media in the world are now controlled by the governments. The silver lining is that our controlled media lies to us but the other controlled media occasionally gives us the truth our controlled media keeps away from us and vice versa. With a little effort the big picture emerges.

sodtheproles -> oalexander, 19 August 2014 2:33pm

Even Walker no longer refers to the incursion. Perhaps because his career-making scoop ended up closer to be a career-ending non-scoop

harryphilby -> jezzam2, 19 August 2014 4:53pm

If their fabrication is revealed, their careers are over.

Most British journalists get promoted on the basis of their fabrications. Assuming they favour the Bankers.

R_Ambrose_Raven -> Commentator6, 19 August 2014 2:56am

A little thought would assist.

Few commentators choose to recognise that the NATO/U.S. ruling class have in their conversion of the Ukraine into a client state crossed what the Russians clearly see both in contemporary and historical terms as a "red line". Western geopolitics have in fact never differentiated between USSR and Russia; it was regarded as an enemy then, it is regarded as an enemy now.

Russia sensibly wishes to ensure that the Eastern Ukraine remains a pro-Russian political force, as a buffer state. It will have to fight NATO aggression at some stage; the further West, the better.

Successively more severe sanctions in fact make Russian intervention more likely; it has less to lose. Indeed, Putin would have been better-advised to occupy the whole separatist region then have a referendum allowing either succession or reunion for individual districts. It would have demonstrated both Russian power and fairness in a region full of prejudice, especially given that the Crimea will always be an excuse for sanctions, hostility and containment.

As should be said repeatedly, note a few things with regard to the Ukraine today:
…1. there is not even a pretence that the current Ukrainian government is acting independently; all important decisions are clearly made by NATO/EU, with the IMF's Austerity package for the people.
…2. the very willing use of force to suppress dissent in what is theoretically a democratic country, both in the East and in Maidan Square itself. Not a word now about any investigation into whose snipers caused the protesters' deaths, either. Obviously the Chinese will feel entitled to refer to the Ukrainian example.
…3. Unlike Syria and Iraq under leaders the West chose not to like, we hear nothing about how the Ukrainian government is killing its own people.
…4. in contrast to Israel versus Gaza no-one is talking of one of the rabbis of the city of Kiev having recommended that given Svoboda and Poroshenko, the Jews of Kiev leave the city and, if possible, the country.
…5. no-one is talking of the "responsibility to protect", either.

NewClearFiction, 19 August 2014 2:18am

I sincerely believe that Abbott jumped on this tragedy to big note himself, to look like a big tough leader of a nation prepared to take on Russia, and in the process win himself accolades from the electorate.

Why he had to fly to the Netherlands to thank people was nothing more than a photo opportunity to raise his esteem in Australian voter's eyes.

Now his and Bishop's rhetoric is ultimately damaging relationships with other countries demanding they also condemn Russia, on top of which, we have now lost a trading partner which once again our farmers and business will bear the brunt of.

I am glad the Guardian is starting to see the broader picture of Tony Abbott's personal popularity campaign.

ID1744585 , 19 August 2014 2:47am
A missive from a parallel universe. To describe the response as diplomatic, is an act of supreme delusion. It was an ignorant response from a group of parochial manservant's, with our worthless media cheerleading every despicable step. This was cynical war mongering trash from the pathetic bottom feeders of the Anglo American Empire the Australian government.

They humiliated themselves with their farcical claim to know what had happened on day one. The response was in fact an appalling and utterly cynical attempt to exploit the grief of the nation for their political aggrandisement.

A psychological operation of the type we see from the rulers of the West everytime they need a new war.

R_Ambrose_Raven, 19 August 2014 3:05am

On the MH17 matter, Abbott's misgovernment is working to serve American interests, the interests of ordinary Ukrainians being irrelevant. It was easy to exploit such an obviously useful issue. There is not even a pretence that the current Ukrainian government is acting independently; all important decisions are clearly made by NATO/EU, with the IMF's Austerity package for the people. Unlike Syria and Iraq under leaders the West choose not to like, we hear nothing about how the Ukrainian government is killing its own people; democracy is not available for non-Chinese separatists.

More alarmingly, Abbot the reactionary appears to share with Howard the warmonger an urge to pressure the U.S. into being more aggressive, despite the cost of such behaviour in and for Iraq - to the U.S., as well.

So, Abbott has an enthusiasm for pursuing the "criminals" that is strikingly lacking in the non-pursuit of the murderers of the Balibo Five. Yet the shooting down of MH17 was probably a mixture of haste plus mistaken identity. Whether people have decided that "murder" is the way to go, or whether the media has persuaded them of it, the fact remains that the crew and passengers are all dead, there is a war on, and those involved show no interest at all in the dozens of civilians dying every day with far fewer roses than the media-exploited loss of MH17.

Recall that USS Vincennes recklessly shot down an Iranian civilian passenger jetliner, Iran Air Flight 655, over the Persian Gulf on 3 July 1988, killing all 290 civilians on board (including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children). Captain David Carlson of the Sides later said that the destruction of the Iranian airliner "marked the horrifying climax to Rogers' aggressiveness". He was nevertheless rewarded with the Legion of Merit. America was directly involved - using an American missile - but it didn't suffer. Note in particular, given the obsessing about blame, that the US never admitted legal responsibility. But of course those killed weren't Westerners; like asylum-seekers, they are nothing. However, it eventually paid compensation to Iran, after Iran sued the US in the International Court of Justice.

Obviously the difference emphasises general governmental contempt for human rights - the West wants to get Putin, whereas the Australian governments wanted to keep Soeharto on side (just as Abbott and Border Generalissimo-MP Morrison want to keep Sri Lanka and PNG on side).

PeterSchmidt -> R_Ambrose_Raven, 19 August 2014 4:43am

Or look at how NATO worked in the past and now:

NATO's war in Libya was proclaimed as a humanitarian intervention - bombing in the name of "saving lives." Attempts at diplomacy were stifled. Peace talks were subverted.

Libya was barred from representing itself at the UN, where shadowy NGOs and "human rights" groups held full sway in propagating exaggerations, outright falsehoods, and racial fear mongering that served to sanction atrocities and ethnic cleansing in the name of democracy. The rush to war was far speedier than Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Max Forte has scrutinized the documentary history from before, during, and after the war. He argues that the war on Libya was not about human rights, nor entirely about oil, but about a larger process of militarizing U.S. relations with Africa. The development of the Pentagon's Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was in fierce competition with Pan-Africanist initiatives such as those spearheaded by Muammar Gaddafi.

Far from the success NATO boasts about or the "high watermark" proclaimed by proponents of the "Responsibility to Protect," this war has left the once prosperous, independent and defiant Libya in ruin, dependency and prolonged civil strife.

Raminak101 , 19 August 2014 3:25am
Australia played a role assigned to it by the US. The Australian government might have been very enthusiastic to play it but being keen does not change its provenance.

It might have been useful internally. But, unless there is an election just round the corner, the short - term increase in support is just that and will fizzle out.

The main objective of the US policy was to use MH17 for completing the takeover of Ukraine. Clearly, there was no intent to find out what had happened. MH17 incident was a political opportunity to checkmate Russia and it was seized.

If Ukraine was behind the MH17 incident (which I consider highly likely), the propaganda frenzy tried to cover it up. The immediate and heavy bombardment of the crash site by Ukraine killed off any possibility of an investigation and looked intentional. In and by itself, absence of any reaction to Ukraine bombardment appeared peculiar, to say the least.

Of course, 'suspicious', 'odd', and 'peculiar' events have been a permanent characteristic of the movement that has led to the current Ukraine government.

All this is water under the bridge. The question to consider is whether it was worth it. For the moment, the answer appears to be in the negative.

The West acted like an inebriated football fan who wanted to beat up someone in the pub for the heck of it. Rage and fury it displayed looked synthetic. It is not time yet to assess the damage, but it does not look pretty.

JJRichardson -> Raminak101 19 August 2014 3:38am
You consider it "highly likely" that Ukraine was behind MH17. Why? And you claim of "immediate and heavy bombardment" is not true.
coober -> JJRichardson 19 August 2014 3:53am
It is as clear as crystal that Kiev Ukraine Government sent MH17 into an active war zone to be shot down.

itchyvet 19 August 2014 7:33am

Quote :

The Abbott government has received considerable praise for its diplomatic response to the tragic downing of MH17. While other countries vacillated, Canberra galvanised an international response by making clear its anger at the perpetrators and their supporters. It secured hasty passage of a UN Security Council resolution."


Um, excuse me, Guardian Editor and Mr. Heinrichs, are you serious ? Of course the name of the writer tells us a lot too.

Diplomatic response ? How diplomatic is it, for a country thousands of miles away from the event, to jump and make UNSUBSTANITATED claims against another country that is not even on our radar. Not only that, but applies to the U.N. to make application for sanctions AGAIN, WITHOUT A SHRED OF EVIDANCE to support such claims ???? Such behavior today is called in the Guardian "Diplomatic" ? WOW, we can certainly see the biases here, even if the editor and the writer were unable to.

O.K. Guardian, seeings as you are so fond of laying blame, please explain to the rest of the World, why we have not seen or heard a scerick of information regarding the black boxes from this aircraft, that is supposed to be in British hands for downloading. Funny how that subject seems to have disappeared off the radar these days, no doubt the same writer or editor could give us an explanation for this missing information.

PeterSchmidt , 19 August 2014 7:40am
A good comment from another commenter:

On August 9, the Malaysian New Straits Times published an article charging the Kiev regime with shooting down MH17. It stated that evidence from the crash site indicated that the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter with a missile followed by heavy machine gun fire.

While it is too early to say conclusively how MH17 was shot down, the preponderance of the evidence points directly at the Ukrainian regime and, behind them, the American government and the European powers. They created the conditions for the destruction of MH17, backing the fascist-led coup in Kiev this February that brought the current pro-Western regime to power. The Western media then supported the Kiev regime's war to suppress opposition to the putsch in east Ukraine, turning the region into a war zone in which MH17 was then shot down.

jezzam2 -> PeterSchmidt 19 August 2014 8:10am
Is this a change of tack from Moscow? Separatists did shoot down the Malaysian airliner but it's the West's fault because they created the conditions for this to happen.
PeterSchmidt -> jezzam2 19 August 2014 8:18am
The plane was shot down by the Ukrainian forces. Rebels have been reporting Ukrainians war planes using commercial airliners as covers for their bombing campaign. Go to Eastern Europe, talk to people. Despite the western media's propaganda, no one believes the Ukrainians.

I have been living in Australia now for 25 years, never ever experienced that much propaganda in my life. Not even in communist Hungary where I grew up.

[Aug 19, 2014] Moscow and Kiev may both need a deal over Ukraine soon by Shaun Walker

Quote: "The Western media have proved for all to see that the Western media comprises either a collection of ignorant and incompetent fools or a whorehouse that sells war for money. "
Aug 18, 2014 | The Guardian
Milogrim , 18 August 2014 7:11pm
Ukraine is becoming Libya on steroids. At least Libya has a future once their wars are over due to its oil deposits, while the Ukraine appears to be a broken and unsustainable corrupted state. Sad.
Rialbynot -> Milogrim , 18 August 2014 7:39pm
The colluding Western media, which includes Mr and Mrs Guardian, have finally got what they seem to have been wanting all along -- the ethnic cleansing of E. Ukraine.

For supporters of ethnic and religious minorities around the world, the year 2014 has irrevocably exposed the phoney liberalism of the established MSM, including the Guardian.

They are all fakes.

They simulate liberalism while supporting the death brigades of fascistoid groups like Right Sector.
We do not need this kind of media. Better to close it down.

Hermius, 18 August 2014 7:39pm

Russia to ask UN to make MH17 crash investigation report

Russia will ask the UN Secretariat to brief the Security Council on the progress in the investigation of the MH17 crash in Ukraine, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Monday.

"We will request that the Secretariat hold a briefing on progress in the implementation of [UN Security Council] Resolution 2166 [which requires an independent investigation into the cause of the accident]. A month has passed since the Malaysian liner was destroyed. Paragraph 13 of the resolution requires the secretary-general to provide the Security Council with investigation progress reports. We hope that this will happen already today," the diplomat said, responding to a question from ITAR-TASS.

psygone, 18 August 2014 7:44pm

..Sunday's five-hour talks between the two countries' foreign ministers in Berlin, where they were joined by their French and German counterparts.

The talks do not seem to have borne much fruit.

Perhaps its time for Sec. of State Kerry to send in Asst. Sec. of State Victoria Nuland.

btw, She recently received a promotion, bigger staff, and a nice pay increase/

She'll arrive, slap these Foreign Ministers around and tell them to get their act together.

Kinda reminds me of the last time Europeans were slaughtering each other -- over Bosnia.

Sec. of State Warren Christopher who had just enough of all the killng sent in Richard Holbrooke.

"miracle of miracles" -- 1-21 November 1995, the euros showed up in Dayton, Ohio ...."and there was peace"

And the moral of the Story? Get a cease fire and make peace -- else we're sending Vickie.


Eklat1973 , 18 August 2014 7:55pm
The Western media have proved for all to see that the Western media comprises either a collection of ignorant and incompetent fools or a whorehouse that sells war for money.

The Western media fell in step with Washington and blamed the downed Malaysian airliner on Russia. No evidence was provided. In its place the media used constant repetition. Washington withheld the evidence that proved that Kiev was responsible. The media's purpose was not to tell the truth, but to demonize Russia.

Now we have the media story of the armored Russian column that allegedly crossed into Ukraine and was destroyed by Ukraine's rag-tag forces that ISIS would eliminate in a few minutes. British reporters fabricated this story or were handed it by a CIA operative working to build a war narrative. The disreputable BBC hyped the story without investigating. The German media, including Die Welt, blared the story throughout Germany without concern at the absence of any evidence. Reuters news agency, also with no investigation, spread the story. Readers tell me that CNN has been broadcasting the fake story 24/7.

Although I cannot stand to watch it, I suspect Fox "news" has also been riding this lame horse hard. Readers tell me that my former newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, which has fallen so low as to be unreadable, also spread the false story. I hope they are wrong. One hates to see the complete despoliation of one's former habitat.

PavelDragunov, 18 August 2014 7:58pm

Ukraine has become a failed state.

- Total losses of Ukies for now are more than 24 000 people (dead, wounded and deserters);
- Almost no airplanes left;
- Hundreds of tanks, APCs, and etc. transferred from nazis to antifascists;
- The Ukie economy is a broke, no money, no industry, no trade, and etc.;
- Mafiosi-oligarchs don't follow any orders from so called "President", and etc.

And The Guardian is talking about antifascists losing the battle? – It's hilarious

siesta , 18 August 2014 8:12pm
Unbiased ?

Dozens of people, including women and children, were reported to have been killed on Monday when the convoy carrying refugees was hit by rocket fire near the eastern city of Luhansk, a Ukrainian military spokesman said. Government forces and pro-Russia rebels were quick to accuse each other of the attack on the vehicles.

This kind of "unbiased" reporting is in vogue when the probability is 99:1 that the Ukranian forces was behind the attack.

[Aug 19, 2014] How to Beat Down a Bully: There's only one way to stop Putin's ugly new doctrine of irregular intervention -- hit back even harder. by Jeffrey A. Stacey , John Herbst

It is clear the the US neocons (which actually dominate State Department) want to use both MH17 tragedy and Ukrainian crisis as a whole to bully Russia. This article is no exception. Jeffrey Stacey expresses his primitive liner neocons views in other his articles too -- see . John Herbst was United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006, period which includes Color revolution which preceded EuroMaidan -- Orange revolution. So he can be called the Godfather of Orange Revolution. Comments to article are really interesting, which can't be said about the article itself. It is standard neocon view on Russia.
Aug 16, 2014 |

The international community is at long last beginning to take a strong stand against Moscow's aggression in eastern Ukraine. There is solid evidence indicating not only that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by Russian-aided rebels in eastern Ukraine, but that the Kremlin has bolstered the rebels with heavy artillery despite toughened Western sanctions. Moreover, Russia has massed over 45,000 soldiers near the eastern Ukrainian border, who are poised to undertake a "humanitarian operation." The large convoy of trucks Russia is sending to aid rebel-held Lugansk could prove to be a thinly disguised Trojan horse, setting off a major showdown once it arrives at the border.

President Vladimir Putin's double game has only ramped up since the downing of MH17, in response to the recent gains Ukraine's military forces have been making against the rebels. After a turning-point victory in liberating the strategic town of Slavyansk last month, the Ukrainian military has gone on to retake three-fourths of its lost territory and is now pounding the last two major rebel strongholds, Donetsk and Lugansk. Many of these rebels are not just pro-Russian sympathizers, they are full-fledged Russian citizens -- including some notorious bad apples like Igor Strelkov and Vladimir Antyufeyev, whom Russia previously used in not-so-subtle attempts to destabilize former members of the Warsaw Pact. Now Moscow is also aiding them by firing artillery across the border at Ukrainian forces attempting a final rout of the rebels.

The time has come for the West to make a decisive move to counter Putin's irregular war against Ukraine. The Russian president has introduced a perilous new norm into the international system, namely that it is legitimate to violate the borders of other countries in order to "protect" not just ethnic Russians, but "Russian speakers" -- with military means if necessary. Putin has notoriously threatened to annex Transnistria, the Russian-speaking territory of Moldova, inter alia. The Putin Doctrine represents a serious transgression of the status quo that has guaranteed the continent's security since the end of World War II; moreover, it violates the most essential tenet of the post-1945 international order.

The aim of Western actions must involve compelling Russia to end all support for the rebels in eastern Ukraine and ensure complete respect for Ukraine's territorial integrity. In order to bring about this result -- and ensure Moscow does not continue its dangerous double game -- a comprehensive approach is needed. It should consist of three elements: even tougher economic sanctions; military armaments to Ukraine; and an updated NATO strategy. The combined effect of this approach is to persuade the Kremlin that the cost of its Ukraine adventure and aggressive pursuit of the Putin Doctrine is too high.

The West has imposed economic sanctions on Russia for the past several months, but the results thus far have been feeble. The problem is partly that the sanctions started small and were only slowly ratcheted up. Moreover, European sanctions have been noticeably weaker than U.S. measures, feeding Putin's calculation that he can continue to act as he chooses, while a reluctant Europe hesitates to impose sufficiently punishing measures.

The sanctions that the United States and the European Union put in place on July 29, however, are strong enough to get Moscow's attention. Indeed, despite Russia's counter-sanctions on European and American food products, Putin is witnessing the failure of his efforts to split Europe from the United States -- not to mention the larger failure of preventing Kiev's new government from tilting to the West. But these measures have not been enough to actually deter Russia from continuing to intervene in eastern Ukraine. The West needs to make clear that the latest sanctions will not be the last if Moscow's aggression is not rapidly terminated.

The second part of a comprehensive strategy is to make it easier for Ukraine to re-establish control in its restive east. Since his late-May election, President Petro Poroshenko has conducted a successful counteroffensive against the rebels in eastern Ukraine. His forces have resealed a significant part of its eastern border and taken back much of the territory seized by the rebel forces. But as Poroshenko's troops have advanced, Moscow has increased the amount and sophistication of military supplies to Ukraine, including the SA-11 surface-to-air missile system that shot down MH17 and the SA-13 system. Thus far, his multiple requests for direct lethal aid have only met with reluctance in Brussels and Washington.

The West has dithered under the assumption that providing lethal aid to Ukraine would escalate the conflict. But a sanctions-dominant approach clearly has not prevented escalation. Indeed, with France's determination to sell the Mistral ships to Russia, the West is in the peculiar position of arming the aggressor and forbidding arms to the victim. If Russia does not cease firing missiles at Ukrainian forces and supplying the rebels with arms and equipment, and does not pull troops back from the border within two weeks, the West should begin supplying Ukraine proper with anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missile batteries, and a variety of additional infantry weaponry. And it should immediately threaten to do even more if Russia invades eastern Ukraine -- including inviting Kiev to join NATO.

The third element of a comprehensive strategy against Moscow requires a clear-eyed understanding of the Putin Doctrine. His stated right to "protect" Russian speakers is an invitation to intervene along Russia's border in all directions, including in the territory of America's NATO allies in the Baltics and elsewhere. For this reason, Washington's response must involve a new approach at NATO for managing the Russian relationship. The NATO-Russia Joint Doctrine that concluded in the late 1990s, which saw Russia as a partner, and which spoke of not building military infrastructure in the new NATO members or permanently deploying major military equipment and forces, needs to be reviewed. Publicly.

The small steps taken earlier this year to reassure NATO's eastern members -- Baltic air policing, NATO maritime movements, several small-scale NATO exercises, placement of U.S. and Western European aircraft around the Baltics and in Poland, and the deployment of a company of U.S. paratroopers to Poland -- need substantial reinforcing. If Russia fails to respond to tougher sanctions, pointed diplomacy, and lethal aid supplied to the Ukraine military, the allies must take further measures at September's NATO summit in Wales.

It would be prudent to follow up NATO's suspension of cooperation with Russia with an official review, with one of the options being maintaining the suspension and another being to end it and all other forms of cooperation. Because Washington still needs Moscow's help with a handful of key things (missile defense, Iran negotiations, Syria peace talks, and agreeing to rules governing cyberwarfare), the aim would be to list ending the NATO-Russia Council as an option -- but with the unstated intention of not actually following through. As NATO's Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow has been arguing, Russia has begun treating the United States and the alliance as an adversary. This is why we need to go beyond suspension and dangle complete cessation, even if for the time being we don't plan to make good on this threat.

Regarding NATO's troop placement, however, the United States needs to use this as the major means of reassuring our allies. It would be a good idea to bring the level of U.S. troops in Eastern Europe up to 1,000 from the temporary placement of 600 paratroopers (this could include 100 to 150 "soft forces," such as trainers). Washington also needs to do its best to get the Western Europeans to add to this total. To entice the Europeans to match the U.S. commitment, Washington should propose not permanent placement but a perpetual rotational arrangement. This way, the reddish line of permanent placement would not be crossed, but NATO would nonetheless achieve upgraded deterrence capability, while mollifying Poland and the Baltics.

Eastern European nations such as Poland are likely to welcome and add to increased capabilities commitments; Western Europeans nations, however, are far more hesitant. Direct lethal aid and a regularized rotational U.S.-Europe troop placement will go most of the way toward re-establishing conventional deterrence against Moscow. But to go all the way, Western allies also need to conduct a yearly exercise in Poland (and make announcements that in future years this new major exercise will be taking place in the Baltic states). This should be a major ground-air exercise of the NATO Response Force (NRF), with a military plan for defending an invasion from the east.

Regarding military capabilities, the United States should endorse both the German proposal to organize clusters of allies that would increase their military capabilities and Britain's proposal that would align Western allies to spearhead NATO military operations beyond what the current NRF plans call for. It is worth remembering that crude measures like the level of overall defense spending are far less important than the current state of military capabilities, which lately have been enhanced even by Western allies that have reduced their defense spending (e.g. France, Britain, and Germany). Furthermore, the alliance ought to augment its operational air force capabilities to be able to conduct 30-day air operations like the one carried out in Libya in 2011 (with the necessary fighter aircraft, flight crews, refueling aircraft, drones, and satellite surveillance). NATO needs to be thinking of capabilities in the full spectrum of land, naval, air, and cyber-power, and air capability is the biggest gap.

Indeed, the time has come for the West to take an even stronger stand against Russian aggression and force Putin to back down and end this crisis. The West should proceed with a fuller slate of toughened sanctions, targeting all major sectors of the Russian economy -- virtually all of their products and services -- and a full-fledged embargo against transferring any arms or defense technology to Russia. Tightening the economic screws is still a major element of a successful strategy to get Russia to cease and desist. But this is not enough.

The Russian president needs to be deterred from annexing other contested territories, like Transnistria, and reinforcing his ugly new international relations norm by deeply interfering in the internal affairs of other national states, such as the Baltics. This will require a series of additional and stronger military moves on the European chessboard. Let Crimea be the apogee of revanchist Russian aggrandizement. It is time for global security and international law to push back strongly against bellicose Russian dictates.

Selected Comments


Dear authors,

After reading the first paragraph of your paper one can realize the astounding lack of academic analysis behind it. Without going into deep analysis it can be easily pointed out that what you call as "international community" is mostly EU and affiliates - Norway as an example, the US, Australia and someway somehow Japan. The rest of the world is not on board. By your surprise the "rest" of the world comprises China (1.3 billion people), India (1.2 billion), LATAM (600 + million), and so on. As you can see, what you call as the international community does not even account for 1 billion people. Instead of instigating and advocating for war you should realize that Eurocentric (and US centric views) (see Edward Said) are rapidly fading into the past and like most US policies of the past century they may create a blowback effect (see Charles Johnson). Secondly, if you want to accuse someone of doing something first of all you have to present proofs of it. That is a basic principle that can be easily traced back to Roman times (2,000 years ago). What you call as "strong evidences" (shooting down of the Malaysian plane) are nothing else than bluff without proofs. "I believe" does not count as proof, nobody cares about what you believe, we care about what evidence you have. Furthermore, if you have the audacity to trash a country as big and powerful as Russia - and its leadership- (6th world biggest economy, and...full of atomic bombs!) without solid proofs you should realize that instead of creating an atmosphere for dialog you are fomenting bickering and misunderstanding to say the least.

My advice is to stop acting as if you have any moral ground (Vietnam, Irak, Afghanista, invasion of Mexico, and so on proofs that you are not better than anyone, just like the rest, and accepting that will maybe make you come to terms with yourself and clear up your analysis) and understand that the world does not work under presumptions, nor is black or white. Stop advocating for war and start understanding that each country acts on its on interest, and that the US or the EU do not have the right to impose its mores on everyone else (no one has the right, nor china, russia, brazil etc, but unfortunately the EU - Spain, France, Uk mostly, and the US has a long history of meddling in everyone affairs, first under open colonial format (Spain, France, UK) and later under disguised moralistic pretenses (US).

Best regards,

A Citizen of the world who is tired of watching fellow humans died without a reason and watching how the media sells itself to that purpose.



Russians/Putin are responsible for downing of the Malaysian airplane? Come again please.

Why don't you charge Putin with Kennedy assassination and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa while you're at it.


You've chosen wrong Bully, dear authors.

I'm Russian married to a French, I live in France and don't watch russian TV. I never supported Putin and in February was really glad for Ukranians. Since then me (as well as many of those who can read in Russian and talk to people from the region) have changed my opinion dramatically - the deeds of so called Ukranian army on the east are terrible!!!

They bomb civilians all the time, they use nazys, they punish those civilians who have relatives in protestants army, and on top those bastards in Kiev lie all the time - it is obvious for any person who has a brain, you don't have to listen to Putin's propaganda to see it. Ukranian revolution has turned from the step to western civilization into the most barbarian war since 1941, and it is not only Putin who is in charge of it.

But you are so stubborn, it is amazing. You believe any bullshit that proves your fears (somebody said something on facebook - wow!), and ignore facts that does not fit the concept. Frankly speaking, when I read articles like this I see no difference between Putin's propaganda and yours. And I see no difference between Putin's support of separatists and yours support of Ukranian army. If you think that people in Donets and Lugansk will happily live with Kiev after what they've done to them - well, it says a lot about your competence as an experts.

So - go both to hell with your military calls.

Sergey Aleksandrychev

@Oligan, you see no difference between Putin's "propaganda" and Ukrainian/American lies? The best propaganda is telling truth, that's why Putin's propaganda is gaining the upper hand.

I have not seen in the Western media or at Psaki's meetins any evidence of Putin's military support to the rebels. They are not separatists. They have always lived on this land, and they defend it against the gang of murderers who came to power in Kiev and consider the people of Eastern Ukrain "subhumans".


I doubt western leaders schooled at the tradition of pol cor guilt will do help eastern allies against Russian revisionism, it's up to us in the east to do this.

as about Transnistria things are more complex since Stalin after the war took big parts from Romania, Poland and Russia and included them into Ukraine. to compensate Moldova for losing southern regions and Bukovina to Ukraine it added Transnistria to Moldova, integrating a huge Russian-speaking population of non-Russians (that nevertheless identify themselves with Russian identity and culture) into Moldova. I honestly prefer Transnistria to be integrated in Russia, otherwise they will act in Moldova as a fifth column, as we see now the pro-Russians doing in eastern Ukraine.


When you say bully, do you mean the Russians or US/EU/Nato?


The reference to "solid evidence" means a shortage of proof. By the way, the US introduced a perilous new norm into the international system - to make regimes inside the borders of other countries crashed. The ukrainian civil war is the reaction to such US invading.


Overly simplistic analysis.


Ukraine is refusing to release the conversation of the plane with the control tower and the radar images of the control tower and the US is refusing to release its satellite and radar images. Kiev clearly has something to hide and that makes them the primary suspect.

Yet the article starts with the claim that the rebels did it. This lie made me skip the rest of the article.


This article is another very thinly disguised piece of neocon propaganda. There are so many assumptions and claims made in this article that have never been proven, but form the basis for the piece.

There is solid evidence indicating not only that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by Russian-aided rebels in eastern Ukraine

Actually there isn't. The only thing that has been presented is a prima facie case, but the US government, who was surely monitoring the area closely at the time the plane was attacked, have refused to produce one iota of evidence. When challenged to produce evidence, the State Department has pointed to social media, insisting that their evidence is too sensitive to share with the public.

Robert Parry has reported that his sources at the CIA and NSA refute the claim that the rebels were responsible.

Moreover, Russia has massed over 45,000 soldiersnear the eastern Ukrainian border, who are poised to undertake a "humanitarian operation."

And what is the basis of this claim other than pure speculation? What is the evidence that the aid intended for the rebel-held areas is a Trojan horse?

in response to the recent gains Ukraine's military forces have been making against the rebels.

The alleged gains made by the Ukraine's military forces have proven to be entirely fictional. In fact, from all the reports I have seen, it is Kiev which at tremendous costs has achieved exactly nothing. They suffered enormous losses in the Southern Cauldron. The re-taking of Saur Mogila has been marketed as a turning point victory, along with all the other so called turning point victories that amounted to nothing. Add to this the very persistent rumors and hints by various commanders on the ground that a big counter-offensive is in the works and the Ukies might well have reached a breaking point.

Putin has notoriously threatened to annex Transnistria, the Russian-speaking territory of Moldova, inter alia.

This is a lie. Putin has not threatened anything of the kind. And how is it that the authors insist this should be NATO's problem when the Ukraine is not part of NATO? This whole crisis is the consequence of the US violating the promise not to extend NATO further eastward beyond Germany. The US would not accept a foreign military power installing bases along it's borders and nor should Russia.

Stacey and Herbst also trivially dismiss the EU's own concerns and argue the EU should put it's own interests aside for the sake of giving Putting a bloody nose. But the fact is that sanctions have backfired. The EU is now returning to recession while he Russian economy continues to grow.

Putin's efforts to split Europe from the United States have not been a failure, they are only 2 weeks old, so Stacey and Herbst's argument that his efforts have failed are premature. The new economic agreements between Russia and the BRICS countries has exposed the limits of Western power to isolate Russia without shooting itself in the foot.

As for the Poroshenko's forces, they are at breaking point and time is running out for them. The longer this conflict continues, the less likely their chance of success.

If Russia does not cease firing missiles at Ukrainian forces

What evidence is there that Russia has fired missiles at Ukrainian forces? What's more, it's odd that Stacey and Herbst suggest the West should begin supplying Ukraine proper with anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missile batteries when they already have them. They have close to a dozen SA-11 surface-to-air missile systems that allegedly shot down MH17. Indeed, the Ukrainian military moved one launcher into the area the day before MH17 was shot down.

It's also grossly hypocritical that Stacey and Herbst object to Russia's stated right to "protect" Russian speakers when the US has done the same in Iraq.

In the end, Stacey and Herbst are complaining about the lack of action taken by the West against Putin while admitting that the West don't have many options short of going to war.


KIEV: The one thing Ukraine needs that could quickly end this torture is HARM missiles. The dozens of Russian Buks, Stelas, now Tunguska missile trucks in the Donbas that are crippling Ukr air power could be destroyed in short order by the radar-targeting air to ground missiles. Able to run full air ops again, Ukraine could stamp out these cockroaches and take back the East in 2-3 weeks, IF they would close the border. There is still a significant threat from all the shoulder mounted infrared AA missiles, but the long range ones are more significant. There's some evidence that Russia has even shipped the S-300 AA rockets, which can reach planes 200km away!

Michael Hammerschlag

WHAT'S PUTIN'S GAME: 4 Scenarios


@mkham11 The one thing Ukraine needs that could quickly end this torture is HARM missiles

Do you seriously the Russians don't have something to deal with radar-targeting air to ground missiles? The Russians have managed to paralyze Western military radar systems effortlessly.

Able to run full air ops again, Ukraine could stamp out these cockroaches and take back the East in 2-3 weeks, IF they would close the border.

If who would close the border? You have no idea what you are talking about. For decades, ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine travelled to Russia to work. Those borders are purely artificial.


I have never read such garbage. US/EU/NATO are the bullies constantly demonizing Russia through a web of lies and deceit. Every recent event since the violent and brutal overthrow of the democratically elected government in Kiev (by a group of far right neo nazi thugs funded by US) has been orchestrated and choreographed to make Putin look like the aggressor. Western media outlets slavishly follow a prepared narrative, irrespective of the truth, to further some political agenda....the expansion of NATO in Europe.

The hypocrisy of the US is nauseating...sticking their nose in where they are not wanted, masquerading as the world's guardian of morals while they turn to poison everything they touch..Iraq, Libya, Egypt, US badly needs a war because they are bankrupt to the tune of trillions of dollars; Putin meanwhile is looking eastwards with the BRICS initiative which will eventually bypass the dollar as the world reserve currency....and Obama sees the writing on the wall!

Every ploy is being used to goad Russia into a military conflict...all the bare faced lies emanating from Ukraine from the Malaysian air disaster (interesting how everybody in the West has gone all quiet on this one...even though they were accusing Russia within hours of the event. Moscow produced satellite images clearly showing presence of Ukrainian fighter jets close to aircraft at time of 'accident'.

US with all their satellite technology weren't prepared to reveal what they saw....we all know why! And latest attempt is the 'Russian invasion' of Ukraine. remind me again, how many tanks where there! Please don't insult people's intelligence.

Even the dogs in the street know what Ukraine and their puppet masters in US/EU are up to!. Meanwhile the Russian speaking thousands of people of eastern Ukraine are being obliterated in a ferocious onslaught from it's own government...and the West remains silent. Enough said!


@ellsid @Boomerang83

If anything the U.S. EU and NATO response to Russia's INVASION of a sovereign country have been pathetically weak.

There was no invasion. Name the date the invasion took place.

The U.S. you love to hate gives more aid to the world than any other country

Most of which is military aid, which amounts to a boondoggle for US arms manufacturers. And no, the US did not bail out Russia.

Yes, the same criminal who stole billions from Ukraine's coffers, whose 'family' and friends ran one of the most corrupt regimes (next to Putin's) in Europe.

All that happened is that the control of the UKraine has passed from one group of oligarchs who stole billions from Ukraine's coffers to another group who stole billions from Ukraine's coffers. The Ukraine is as corrupt now as it was then.

Your really have no clear understanding of what Maidan was about. It had everything to do with the citizens of Ukraine wanting to be rid of their corrupt thieving government.

If that were true, the demonstrations would have ended when Yanukovych was ousted, but they continued. The only thing that changed is that the US media stopped reporting these demonstrations and the neo Nazis who sabotaged the demonstrations and took power then outlawed subsequent demonstrations.

The demonstrators in Maidan were being paid $50 a day from Nuland's $5 billion dollar fund to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

I guess that kind of backfired for when Putin next sets his sites on reconquering the Baltic countries or Poland.

How can it have backfired when Putin has not tried to reconquering the Baltic countries or Poland. The fact is that neo cone lovers and Russophobes like you have been predicting that Russia was about to invade for months now, and you've been wrong.

That's why Poroshenko and the Kiev junta keep coming up with BS stories about cross borders skirmishes, because he is desperately trying to convince the world that the Russians are about to invade.

Those were indigenous revolts against tyrant leaders, which hopefully may one day come to Russian soil

Indigenous revolts that were not only undemocratic, but illegal. What's more, they were sabotaged by extremists with the original demonstrators being sidelined. Egypt has become a dictatorship with even the supporters of the Morsi overthrow afraid of being imprisoned for criticizing the junta. Libya had has been destroyed and taken over by Jihadists.

.the Kremlin has dropped this line when it was pointed out to them these were GROUND ATTACK aircraft that could not fly at this attitude and could not carry air to air missiles.

False. Those aircraft could indeed fly at 30,000 feet and are designed to carry missiles. They tend to operate at lower altitudes when bombing ground targets, but that doesn't mean they are not capable of cruising at higher altitudes.

You're the moron for trying to argue from the position of such ignorance.

"Strelkov"/ Girkin, Borodai, and all the Russian citizens sent in to lead the insurgency all lamented the lack of support the Russia sponsored mercenaries received from the local population.

Rubbish, You have it completely backwards. It is the local population that is behind the insurgency. In fact, they have lamented the lack of support from Russia, not the other way around. Putin has no desire to recreate "Novorossiya", otherwise Moscow would never had given recognition to the new regime in Kiev. Putin knows that the Ukraine is an economic basket case and whoever wins it loses because it's a poisoned chalice.


@ellsid @Boomerang83

Anyone who thinks Maidan ended crony capitalism and the reign of the oligarchs are delusional.

And just to prove that you haven't done any research but are simply parroting talking points you read on some right wing web site, here is evidence the top cruising altitude of a Su-25 is 10km, the same as a passenger plane.

If anyone has been hibernating under a slimy rock it's you. You should also get over your crush' on Neuland and the necons because they have a track record of lying, being wrong about everything and creating chaos and destruction.

marty martel

Previous US ambassador Anne Patterson to Pakistan wrote in a secret review in 2009 that 'Pakistan's Army and ISI are covertly SPONSORING four militant groups - Haqqani's HQN, Mullah Omar's QST (Quetta Shura Taliban), Al Qaeda and LeT - and will not abandon them for any amount of US money', diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show. Amb. Patterson had NO reason to mislead her own State Department or US government.

Admiral Mike Mullen told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on 22-Sept-2011 that: 'The fact remains that the Quetta Shura and the Haqqani Network operate from Pakistan with impunity. (These) Extremist organizations serving as PROXIES of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers.' Adm. Mullen had NO reason to mislead US Senate.

In 'Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War' published in January, 2014, former defense secretary Gates writes: "Although I would defend them (Pakistanis) in front of Congress and to the press to keep the relationship from getting worse – and endangering our supply line from Karachi – I knew they were really no ally at all." So Gates in effect, kept lying to US Congress and press and thereby to the whole World that Pakistan was an ally when it was anything but.

However not just administration but most of the American foreign policy wonks and news media have been deafeningly silent about Pakistani State waging Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan that has been killing thousands of innocent Afghans since 2001.

marty martel

It has been interesting that while raising such a public hue and cry over Russia's support of Ukrainian insurgents, US government, foreign policy wonks and news media have sought to varnish, suppress and even reward similar behavior of Pakistani State that has been playing duplicitous game of 'running with the Haqqani/Mullah Omar's Taliban insurgents while hunting with the American hounds'.

There has been NO doubt in US establishment about from where the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is being waged that has been killing not just thousands of innocent Afghan civilians but US/NATO/Afghan troops as well since 2001.

"For twenty years Pakistan's army - the real power broker in the country - has backed the Afghan Taliban. It helped create the Taliban's Islamic Emirate in the 1990s and build the al-Qaeda state within a state. The army has provided safe haven, arms, expertise and other help to Taliban. It briefly pretended to abandon Taliban to avoid American anger in 2001 misleading George W Bush", so said an ex-CIA official Bruce Riedel at an US Islamic World Forum organized in Qatar on June 9-11, 2013.

[Aug 18, 2014] M of A - Open Thread 2014-18

Quote: "As for Shaun Walker...Shouldn't he forced to resign just as Judy Miller was forced out after the WMD fiasco...after all, his claims are an attempt to lead the country to war. Isn't that a crime? "

Think about this for a minute: Poroshenko issues a statement saying Ukrainian troops destroyed a Russian convoy of armored vehicles on Thursday. If that's true, then it is an act of war by Russia.

At the same time, he hasn't used the convoy incident to deny Russian humanitarian convoy from entering the country. Why?

Yes, I know the Red Cross convoy is still at the border, but the fact is Poroshenko hasn't pointed to the destruction of invading Russian armored vehicles to defend his decision. In fact, he hasn't even brought it up. Why? If you were in his shoes, you'd cut off all relations with Moscow and close the borders AND DECLARE A STATE OF WAR. Wouldn't you?

This just shows that the whole Russian convoy deal is a complete fabrication.
These fu**ers rattle off so many lies, they can't even keep track of what they said a day earlier. It is truly pathetic.

As for Shaun Walker...Shouldn't he forced to resign just as Judy Miller was forced out after the WMD fiasco...after all, his claims are an attempt to lead the country to war. Isn't that a crime?

[Aug 18, 2014] The Anatomy of Propaganda: Ukraine, CIA, WWIII, and the Power of Social Media by RPI Staff

August 5, 2014 |The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

How does the Obama administration frame the issue on the shootdown of the Malaysian Airliner to pin the blame on Putin? Get out early, go hard, go heavy, get your mainstream ducks in a row and dominate, dominate, dominate!

But what about the narrative falling apart? Will anyone hear the lone tree falling in the forest? If the US provided some evidence we would certainly consider it.

The CIA has plenty of decent and excellent analysts who refuse to sign off on the administration's attempt to politicize intelligence to fit the White House's regime change agenda. Will any of them risk their career and speak out?

RPI Director Daniel McAdams and Jay Taylor discuss the big stories of the week here:

[Aug 17, 2014] It looks as if the editors have had enough of being called to task by their readers – and freedom of speech be damned!
August 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm
All right, one swallow does not a summer make, but I noticed this weekend in my forays through the German online papers that one is now moderating out most comments which are pro-Putin (SPIEGELOnline), whereas the other ( has disallowed any comments on the reports about the 'Russian incursion'. Here, in the most conservative German paper, the dissonance between report and opinion pieces on the one hand and the opinion as expressed by the readers in their comments was remarkable. It looks as if the editors have had enough of being called to task by their readers – and freedom of speech be damned!

[Aug 16, 2014] Reuters is not even trying to be impartial anymore
ThatJ, August 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm
Reuters is not even trying to be impartial anymore. They are resorting to "the end is nigh" mantra, which preaches that Russia is falling apart:

Putin's Ukraine gamble hastens exodus of Russian money and talent

* Russia forecasts $100 bln outflows, others say much more

* Big rise in Russian emigration, more expected

* Losing most educated, active, entrepreneurial -pollster

By Guy Faulconbridge, Shadi Bushra and Jack Stubbs

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – The Kremlin's worst clash with the West since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union has accelerated the outflow of two of Russia's most prized assets: money and brains.

Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and support for rebels accused of shooting down a passenger plane over Ukraine then hindering the recovery of the 298 bodies have shredded Western hopes of a lasting alliance with Moscow.

Sanctioned by the United States and European Union, Putin's courtiers are under fire, Russia's $2 trillion economy is threatened with isolation and millions of Russians across the world are wondering what next.

Russia is still earning much-needed revenues from pipelines carrying oil and gas to the West, but, less happily for the Kremlin, capital and talent are flowing in the same direction.

conscious being: "BTW, The Guardian is totally compromised on this topic. All anti- Putin all the time. Hmmm, who owns The Guardian?"
Selected Comments (The High Cost of Leaving – Russia and the EU Sign Divorce Papers)
kirill, August 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm
This is all total BS. Shaun Walker posted a picture of an APC 10 km INSIDE Russia from the Ukr border and started yapping about "how it is not humanitarian aid". Yeah, whatever, tardass.

All the western stooges are falling all over themselves with this and other "proof". Follow the thread at militaryphotos. This shite gets debunked quick.

cartman, August 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm, No nighttime pics either, from when they said the columns tried to sneak in.

Moscow Exile, August 14, 2014 at 9:33 pm

As Walker wrote in the Grauniad: "Wow!"
marknesop, August 14, 2014 at 10:06 pm
What an idiot. Kick him out of Russia, please. Nobody would dare squeal about freedom of the press, because their candy squeeze, Ukraine, is expelling journalists right, left and centre. Apparently now just going in the direction of Ukraine is an invasion. Shake off these fleas, Russia!

[Aug 15, 2014] American Pravda Who Shot Down Flight MH17 in Ukraine By Ron Unz

Aug 14, 2014 | The Unz Review

...A perfect example of this dangerous MSM "conspiracy of silence" may be found in the growing confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, greatly accelerated by the death of almost 300 passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, shot down last month over Eastern Ukraine. The American media and its Western counterparts have almost unanimously placed the blame on anti-government rebels backed by Russia, and darkly insinuate that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the blood of those hundreds of innocent lives on his hands. London's once-respected Economist magazine has repeatedly run shrill covers promoting the great threat of Putin and Russia to world peace, even featuring a photo of the former under the stark title "A Web of Lies." There is the serious likelihood of a renewed Cold War against Russia and with the neoconized Republicans in Congress proposing legislation to incorporate Ukraine as an American military ally and deploy American forces there, the actual possibility of a military clash near the Russian border.

... ... ...

For example, according to the official American story, MH17 was downed by rebels armed with a BUK anti-aircraft missile battery. As it happens, the pro-American Ukraine government possesses a large inventory of exactly those weapons, while it is far from clear that the rebels have a single unit, let alone the expertise to operate such sophisticated devices. Furthermore, there apparently exists radar evidence demonstrating that Ukraine fighter planes were in the immediate vicinity of MH17 just before it was shot down and there are firsthand reports from investigators on the ground that portions of the crashed fuselage showed strong evidence of having been hit the sort of heavy machine-gun fire employed in air combat. I find it extremely suspicious that the American government has repeatedly refused to release the evidence supporting its narrative, while the Russian government has released copious evidence supporting its contrary perspective.

We must bear in mind that the downing of MH17 and the deaths of the hundreds of mostly European passengers came as a fortuitous stroke of fortune for the embattled Kiev government and its neoconservative American backers, given that Germany and most of the other major European governments had just balked at approving the harsh anti-Russian economic sanctions being proposed by the White House. Cui bono?

Furthermore, this terrible suspicion that 300 innocent lives may have been sacrificed in a ghastly false-flag operation by an American-supported government is somewhat buttressed by earlier events. Consider that the overthrow of the democratically-elected and neutralist Ukrainian government was sparked by the massive bloodshed that erupted between riot police and pro-American demonstrators in the Kievan capital, as many hundreds on both sides were suddenly killed or wounded by an outbreak of heavy gunfire over a couple of nights. I found it very intriguing that soon afterward an intercepted telephone call between the pro-Western foreign minister of Estonia and European High Commissioner Catherine Ashton, later confirmed to be genuine, revealed that the bullets found in the bodies of both government police and anti-government demonstrators had apparently come from the same guns. The most plausible explanation of this strange detail is that the snipers responsible were professionals brought in to cause the massive bloodshed necessary to overthrow the government, which is exactly what soon followed. Again cui bono?

Am I certain about these facts, let alone the analysis built upon them? Absolutely not! As emphasized, I've been entirely preoccupied with other matters over the last few months. But if such obvious suspicions are apparent to someone who occasionally glances at the news reports out of the corner of his mind's eye, the total silence of the American media and its huge corps of full-time professional journalists constitutes a very telling indictment. Personally, I think there's a high likelihood that forces aligned with current pro-Western regime were responsible for the massacre in Kiev's Maidan Square and a better than fifty-fifty chance they more recently shot down MH17, but I really can't be sure about either of these things. However, I am absolutely 100% certain that the American MSM has been revealed as a totally worthless source of information on these crucial world events, although it can be relied upon to provide every last detail of Robin Williams' troubled life or the endless foibles of the Kardashians.

In the interests of providing our readers at least some access to alternate accounts of why we may now be heading into a new Cold War against Russia-or even a hot one- I've recently republished a couple of Mike Whitney's fine Counterpunch columns on the mysteries of Flight MH17, which cautiously raised questions rather than claimed to answer them, as well as those of the redoubtable Paul Craig Roberts.

Aside from attracting considerable debate from our website's often "excitable" commenters, whose views range from the sensible to the deranged, our Whitney columns regarding MH17 had a far more important consequence. One of our left-liberal readers was shocked to read facts totally absent from the pages of The Nation, the Huffington Post, or any of the other left-liberal sites she visits. Out of curiosity, she contacted a very prominent left-liberal American academic, someone with special expertise in exactly that area of Europe. To her considerable surprise, he largely confirmed the outlandish "conspiracy theory," saying that the evidence increasingly indicated that the American-backed Kiev government had shot down Flight MH17, either accidentally or otherwise.

... ... ...

[Aug 15, 2014] The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith - The Unz Review

The truth behind the fate of the Malaysian airliner, I thought from the moment that I heard about it, would be politically determined. Its black boxes are in London. In NATO hands?
The European Union is not (anymore) guided by politicians with a grasp of history, a sober assessment of global reality, or simple common sense connected with the long term interests of what they are guiding. If any more evidence was needed, it has certainly been supplied by the sanctions they have agreed on last week aimed at punishing Russia.

One way to fathom their foolishness is to start with the media, since whatever understanding or concern these politicians may have personally they must be seen to be doing the right thing, which is taken care of by TV and newspapers.

In much of the European Union the general understanding of global reality since the horrible fate of the people on board the Malaysian Airliner comes from mainstream newspapers and TV which have copied the approach of Anglo-American mainstream media, and have presented 'news' in which insinuation and vilification substitute for proper reporting. Respected publications, like the Financial Times or the once respected NRC Handelsblad of the Netherlands for which I worked sixteen years as East Asia Correspondent, not only joined in with this corrupted journalism but helped guide it to mad conclusions. The punditry and editorials that have grown out of this have gone further than anything among earlier examples of sustained media hysteria stoked for political purposes that I can remember. The most flagrant example I have come across, an anti-Putin leader in the (July 26) Economist Magazine, had the tone of Shakespeare's Henry V exhorting his troops before the battle of Agincourt as he invaded France.

One should keep in mind that there are no European-wide newspapers or publications to sustain a European public sphere, in the sense of a means for politically interested Europeans to ponder and debate with each other big international developments. Because those interested in world affairs usually read the international edition of the New York Times or the Financial Times, questions and answers on geopolitical matters are routinely shaped or strongly influenced by what editors in New York and London have determined as being important. Thinking that may deviate significantly as can now be found in Der Spiegel, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Handelsblatt, does not travel across German borders. Hence we do not see anything like a European opinion evolving on global affairs, even when these have a direct impact on the interests of the European Union itself.

The Dutch population was rudely shaken out of a general complacency with respect to world events that could affect it, through the death of 193 fellow nationals (along with a 105 people of other nationalities) in the downed plane, and its media were hasty in following the American-initiated finger-pointing at Moscow. Explanations that did not in some way involve culpability of the Russian president seemed to be out of bounds. This was at odds right away with statements of a sober Dutch prime minister, who was under considerable pressure to join the fingerpointing but who insisted on waiting for a thorough examination of what precisely had happened.

The TV news programs I saw in the days immediately afterwards had invited, among other anti–Russian expositors, American neocon-linked talking heads to do the disclosing to a puzzled and truly shaken up audience. A Dutch foreign policy specialist explained that the foreign minister or his deputy could not go to the site of the crash (as Malaysian officials did) to recover the remains of Dutch citizens, because that would amount to an implicit recognition of diplomatic status for the "separatists". When the European Union en bloc recognizes a regime that has come into existence through an American initiated coup d'état, you are diplomatically stuck with it.

The inhabitants and anti-Kiev fighters at the crash site were portrayed, with images from youtube, as uncooperative criminals, which for many viewers amounted to a confirmation of their guilt. This changed when later reports from actual journalists showed shocked and deeply concerned villagers, but the discrepancy was not explained, and earlier assumptions of villainy did not make way for any objective analysis of why these people might be fighting at all. Tendentious twitter and youtube 'news' had become the basis for official Dutch indignation with the East Ukrainians, and a general opinion arose that something had to be set straight, which was, again in general opinion, accomplished by a grand nationally televised reception of the human remains (released through Malaysian mediation) in a dignified sober martial ceremony.

Nothing that I have seen or read even intimated that the Ukraine crisis – which led to coup and civil war – was created by neoconservatives and a few R2P ("Responsibility to Protect") fanatics in the State Department and the White House, apparently given a free hand by President Obama. The Dutch media also appeared unaware that the catastrophe was immediately turned into a political football for White House and State Department purposes. The likelihood that Putin was right when he said that the catastrophe would not have happened if his insistence on a cease-fire had been accepted, was not entertained.

As it was, Kiev broke the cease-fire – on the 10th of June – in its civil war against Russian speaking East Ukrainians who do not wish to be governed by a collection of thugs, progeny of Ukrainian nazis, and oligarchs enamored of the IMF and the European Union. The supposed 'rebels' have been responding to the beginnings of ethnic cleansing operations (systematic terror bombing and atrocities – 30 or more Ukrainians burned alive) committed by Kiev forces, of which little or nothing has penetrated into European news reports.

It is unlikely that the American NGOs, which by official admission spent 5 billion dollars in political destabilization efforts prior to the February putsch in Kiev, have suddenly disappeared from the Ukraine, or that America's military advisors and specialized troops have sat idly by as Kiev's military and militias mapped their civil war strategy; after all, the new thugs are as a regime on financial life-support provided by Washington, the European Union and IMF. What we know is that Washington is encouraging the ongoing killing in the civil war it helped trigger.

But Washington has constantly had the winning hand in a propaganda war against, entirely contrary to what mainstream media would have us believe, an essentially unwilling opponent. Waves of propaganda come from Washington and are made to fit assumptions of a Putin, driven and assisted by a nationalism heightened by the loss of the Soviet empire, who is trying to expand the Russian Federation up to the borders of that defunct empire. The more adventurous punditry, infected by neocon fever, has Russia threatening to envelop the West. Hence Europeans are made to believe that Putin refuses diplomacy, while he has been urging this all along. Hence prevailing propaganda has had the effect that not Washington's but Putin's actions are seen as dangerous and extreme. Anyone with a personal story that places Putin or Russia in a bad light must move right now; Dutch editors seem insatiable at the moment.

There is no doubt that the frequently referred to Moscow propaganda exists. But there are ways for serious journalists to weigh competing propaganda and discern how much veracity or lies and bullshit they contain. Within my field of vision this has only taken place a bit in Germany. For the rest we must piece political reality together relying on the now more than ever indispensable American websites hospitable to whistleblowers and old-fashioned investigative journalism, which especially since the onset of the 'war on terrorism' and the Iraq invasion have formed a steady form of samizdat publishing.

In the Netherlands almost anything that comes from the State Department is taken at face value. America's history, since the demise of the Soviet Union, of truly breathtaking lies: on Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Libya and North Korea; its record of overthrown governments; its black-op and false flag operations; and its stealthily garrisoning of the planet with some thousand military bases, is conveniently left out of consideration. The near hysteria throughout a week following the downed airliner prevented people with some knowledge of relevant history from opening their mouths. Job security in the current world of journalism is quite shaky, and going against the tide would be almost akin to siding with the devil, as it would damage one's journalistic 'credibility'.

What strikes an older generation of serious journalists as questionable about the mainstream media's credibility is editorial indifference to potential clues that would undermine or destroy the official story line; a story line that has already permeated popular culture as is evident in throwaway remarks embellishing book and film reviews along with much else. In the Netherlands the official story is already carved in stone, which is to be expected when it is repeated ten-thousand times. It cannot be discounted, of course, but it is based on not a shred of evidence.

The presence of two Ukrainian fighter planes near the Malaysian airliner on Russian radar would be a potential clue I would be very interested in if I were investigating either as journalist or member of the investigation team that the Netherlands officially leads. This appeared to be corroborated by a BBC Report with eyewitness accounts from the ground by villagers who clearly saw another plane, a fighter, close to the airliner, near the time of its crash, and heard explosions coming from the sky. This report has recently drawn attention because it was removed from the BBC's archive. I would want to talk with Michael Bociurkiw, one of the first inspectors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reach the crash site who spent more than a week examining the wreckage and has described on CBC World News two or three "really pock-marked" pieces of fuselage. "It almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire that has left these unique marks that we haven't seen anywhere else."

I would certainly also want to have a look at the allegedly confiscated radar and voice records of the Kiev Air Control Tower to understand why the Malaysian pilot veered off course and rapidly descended shortly before his plane crashed, and find out whether foreign air controllers in Kiev were indeed sent packing immediately after the crash. Like the "Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity", I would certainly urge the American authorities with access to satellite images to show the evidence they claim to have of BUK missile batteries in 'rebel' hands as well as of Russian involvement, and ask them why they have not done so already. Until now Washington has acted like a driver who refuses a breathalyzer test. Since intelligence officials have leaked to some American newspapers their lesser certainty about the American certainties as brought to the world by the Secretary of State, my curiosity would be unrelenting.

To place European media loyalty to Washington in the Ukraine case as well as the slavish conduct of European politicians in perspective, we must know about and understand Atlanticism. It is a European faith. It has not given rise to an official doctrine, of course, but it functions like one. It is well summed up by the Dutch slogan at the time of the Iraq invasion: "zonder Amerika gaat het niet" (without the United States [things] [it] won't work). Needless to say, the Cold War gave birth to Atlanticism. Ironically, it gained strength as the threat from the Soviet Union became less persuasive for increasing numbers among European political elites. That probably was a matter of generational change: the farther away from World War II, the less European governments remembered what it means to have an independent foreign policy on global-sized issues. Current heads of government of the European Union are unfamiliar with practical strategic deliberations. Routine thought on international relations and global politics is deeply entrenched in Cold War epistemology.

This inevitably also informs 'responsible' editorial policies. Atlanticism is now a terrible affliction for Europe: it fosters historical amnesia, willful blindness and dangerously misconceived political anger. But it thrives on a mixture of lingering unquestioned Cold War era certainties about protection, Cold War loyalties embedded in popular culture, sheer European ignorance, and an understandable reluctance to concede that one has even for a little bit been brainwashed. Washington can do outrageous things while leaving Atlanticism intact because of everyone's forgetfulness, which the media do little or nothing to cure. I know Dutch people who have become disgusted with the villification of Putin, but the idea that in the context of Ukraine the fingerpointing should be toward Washington is well-nigh unacceptable. Hence, Dutch publications, along with many others in Europe, cannot bring themselves to place the Ukraine crisis in proper perspective by acknowledging that Washington started it all, and that Washington rather than Putin has the key to its solution. It would impel a renunciation of Atlanticism.

Atlanticism derives much of its strength through NATO, its institutional embodiment. The reason for NATO's existence, which disappeard with the demise of the Soviet Union, has been largely forgotten. Formed in 1949, it was based on the idea that transatlantic cooperation for security and defense had become necessary after World War II in the face of a communism, orchestrated by Moscow, intent on taking over the entire planet. Much less talked about was European internal distrust, as the Europeans set off on their first moves towards economic integration. NATO constituted a kind of American guarantee that no power in Europe would ever try to dominate the others.

NATO has for some time now been a liability for the European Union, as it prevents development of concerted European foreign and defense policies, and has forced the member states to become instruments serving American militarism. It is also a moral liability because the governments participating in the 'coalition of the willing' have had to sell the lie to their citizens that European soldiers dying in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a necessary sacrifice to keep Europe safe from terrorists. Governments that have supplied troops to areas occupied by the United States have generally done this with considerable reluctance, earning the reproach from a succession of American officials that Europeans do too little for the collective purpose of defending democracy and freedom.

As is the mark of an ideology, Atlanticism is ahistorical. As horse medicine against the torment of fundamental political ambiguity it supplies its own history: one that may be rewritten by American mainstream media as they assist in spreading the word from Washington.

There could hardly be a better demonstration of this than the Dutch experience at the moment. In conversations these past three weeks I have encountered genuine surprise when reminding friends that the Cold War ended through diplomacy with a deal made on Malta between Gorbachev and the elder Bush in December 1989, in which James Baker got Gorbachev to accept the reunification of Germany and withdrawal of Warsaw Pact troops with a promise that NATO would not be extended even one inch to the East. Gorbachev pledged not to use force in Eastern Europe where the Russians had some 350,000 troops in East Germany alone, in return for Bush's promise that Washington would not take advantage of a Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe. Bill Clinton reneged on those American promises when, for purely electoral reasons, he boasted about an enlargement of NATO and in 1999 made the Czech Republic and Hungary full members. Ten years later another nine countries became members, at which point the number of NATO countries was double the number during the Cold War. The famous American specialist on Russia, Ambassador George Kennan, originator of Cold War containment policy, called Clinton's move "the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era."

Historical ignorance abetted by Atlanticism is poignantly on display in the contention that the ultimate proof in the case against Vladimir Putin is his invasion of Crimea. Again, political reality here was created by America's mainstream media. There was no invasion, as the Russian sailors and soldiers were already there since it is home to the 'warm water' Black Sea base for the Russian navy. Crimea has been a part of Russia for as long as the United States has existed. In 1954 Khrushchev, who himself came from the Ukraine, gave it to the Ukrainian Socialist Republic, which came down to moving a region to a different province, since Russia and Ukraine still belonged to the same country. The Russian speaking Crimean population was happy enough, as it voted in a referendum first for independence from the Kiev regime that resulted from the coup d'état, and subsequently for reunification with Russia.

Those who maintain that Putin had no right to do such a thing are unaware of another strand of history in which the United States has been moving (Star Wars) missile defense systems ever closer to Russian borders, supposedly to intercept hostile missiles from Iran, which do not exist. Sanctimonious talk about territorial integrity and sovereignty makes no sense under these circumstances, and coming from a Washington that has done away with the concept of sovereignty in its own foreign policy it is downright ludicrous.

A detestable Atlanticist move was the exclusion of Putin from the meetings and other events connected with the commemoration of the Normandy landings, for the first time in 17 years. The G8 became the G7 as a result. Amnesia and ignorance have made the Dutch blind to a history that directly concerned them, since the Soviet Union took the heart out of the Nazi war machine (that occupied the Netherlands) at a cost of incomparable and unimaginable numbers of military dead; without that there would not have been a Normandy invasion.

Not so long ago, the complete military disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan appeared to be moving NATO to a point where its inevitable demise could not to be too far off. But the Ukraine crisis and Putin's decisiveness in preventing the Crimea with its Russian Navy base from possibly falling into the hands of the American-owned alliance, has been a godsend to this earlier faltering institution.

NATO leadership has already been moving troops to strengthen their presence in the Baltic states, sending missiles and attack aircraft to Poland and Lithuania, and since the downing of the Malaysian airliner it has been preparing further military moves that may turn into dangerous provocations of Russia. It has become clear that the Polish foreign minister together with the Baltic countries, none of which partook in NATO when its reason for being could still be defended, have become a strong driving force behind it. A mood of mobilization has spread in the past week. The ventriloquist dummies Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer can be relied upon to take to TV screens inveighing against NATO member-state backsliding. Rasmussen, the current Secretary General, declared on August 7 in Kiev that NATO's "support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is unwavering" and that he is looking to strengthen partnership with the country at the Alliance's summit in Wales in September. That partnership is already strong, so he said, "and in response to Russia's aggression, NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defense institutions."

In the meantime, in the American Congress 23 Senate Republicans have sponsored legislation, the "Russian Aggression Prevention Act", which is meant to allow Washington to make the Ukraine a non-NATO ally and could set the stage for a direct military conflict with Russia. We will probably have to wait until after America's midterm elections to see what will become of it, but it already helps provide a political excuse for those in Washington who want to take next steps in the Ukraine.

In September last year Putin helped Obama by making it possible for him to stop a bombing campaign against Syria pushed by the neocons, and had also helped in defusing the nuclear dispute with Iran, another neocon project. This led to a neocon commitment to break the Putin-Obama link. It is hardly a secret that the neoconservatives desire the overthrow of Putin and eventual dismemberment of the Russian Federation. Less known in Europe is the existence of numerous NGOs at work in Russia, which will help them with this. Vladimir Putin could strike now or soon, to preempt NATO and the American Congress, by taking Eastern Ukraine, something he probably should have done right after the Crimean referendum. That would, of course, be proof of his evil intentions in European editorial eyes.

In the light of all this, one of the most fateful questions to ask in current global affairs is: what has to happen for Europeans to wake up to the fact that Washington is playing with fire and has ceased being the protector they counted on, and is instead now endangering their security? Will the moment come when it becomes clear that the Ukraine crisis is, most of all, about placing Star Wars missile batteries along an extensive stretch of Russian border, which gives Washington – in the insane lingo of nuclear strategists – 'first strike' capacity?

It is beginning to sink in among older Europeans that the United States has enemies who are not Europe's enemies because it needs them for domestic political reasons; to keep an economically hugely important war industry going and to test by shorthand the political bona fides of contenders for public office. But while using rogue states and terrorists as targets for 'just wars' has never been convincing, Putin's Russia as demonized by a militaristic NATO could help prolong the transatlantic status quo. The truth behind the fate of the Malaysian airliner, I thought from the moment that I heard about it, would be politically determined. Its black boxes are in London. In NATO hands?

Other hindrances to an awakening remain huge; financialization and neoliberal policies have produced an intimate transatlantic entwining of plutocratic interests. Together with the Atlanticist faith these have helped stymie the political development of the European Union, and with that Europe's ability to proceed with independent political decisions. Since Tony Blair, Great Britain has been in Washington's pocket, and since Nicolas Sarkozy one can say more or less the same of France.

That leaves Germany. Angela Merkel was clearly unhappy with the sanctions, but in the end went along because she wants to remain on the good side of the American president, and the United States as the conqueror in World War II does still have leverage through a variety of agreements. Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, quoted in newspapers and appearing on TV, repudiated the sanctions and points at Iraq and Libya as examples of the results brought by escalation and ultimatums, yet he too swings round and in the end goes along with them.

Der Spiegel is one of the German publications that offer hope. One of its columnists, Jakob Augstein, attacks the "sleepwalkers" who have agreed to sanctions, and censures his colleagues' finger-pointing at Moscow. Gabor Steingart, who publishes Handelsblatt, inveighs against the "American tendency to verbal and then to military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies" and concludes that also German journalism

"has switched from level-headed to agitated in a matter of weeks. The spectrum of opinions has been narrowed to the field of vision of a sniper scope."

There must be more journalists in other parts of Europe who say things like this, but their voices do not carry through the din of vilification.

History is being made, once again. What may well determine Europe's fate is that also outside the defenders of the Atlanticist faith, decent Europeans cannot bring themselves to believe in the dysfunction and utter irresponsibility of the American state.

Karel van Wolferen is a Dutch journalist and retired professor at the University of Amsterdam. Since 1969, he has published over twenty books on public policy issues, which have been translated into eleven languages and sold over a million copies worldwide. As a foreign correspondent for NRC Handelsblad , one of Holland's leading newspapers, he received the highest Dutch award for journalism, and over the years his articles have appeared in The New York Times , The Washington Post , The New Republic , The National Interest , Le Monde , and numerous other newspapers and magazines.

rod1963, August 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm GMT


Whether or not such a agreement it exists, it's not wise to push a nuclear armed nation and one that holds the economic fate of the EU in it's hands, into a corner. Then to make matters worse, toppling a regime right next to Putin's with a bunch of shadowy NGO's that are front groups for the USG.

That wasn't going to be well received by Putin and he rebuked us by taking back the Crimea, not that it was Ukraine's to begin with despite what a bunch of sleazy Americans from the Hamptons say.

Bill Blizzard and his Men, August 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm GMT


It comes down to whether or not one thinks that the Russian People have a right to defend themselves againt the mass murderers Susan Rice and Samantha Powers. I'd say it is mighty obvious that the Russian People do.

Samantha Powers is very close personally to the Havard Economists whose economic warfare against the Russian People during the 1990s caused a massive demographic collapse of the Russian Population during the Clinton Era. How many Russians are missing from the Russian Population in 2014?..

The ones that died directly from the billionaire Oligarchs gang rape of Russia and the Russian infants who were never born as a consequence of Clinton Democratic Party Economic Warfare. Is Genocide too strong a word?

[Aug 12, 2014] Whipping up War hysteria one headline at a time: Guardian propaganda war in headlines

A very valuable case study in demoniszation. Look how sophoiisticated propaganda injects emotions and pollute coverage with specific agenda. They do not need any facts. Look at the subject lines and how creatiivly they were constructed to demonize confederates and by extention smeare Russia, who is supporting them. See the topics covered (or more correctly not covered) and compare them with Why the keep us for imbeciles: 21 question that MSM would never raise or try to answer. Nivce example of cretion of artifical reality. After it's thier main task... Coverage basically stopped after August 9. It would be intereting to know why? Are new irrefutable facts are found that make continuation of propaganda Blitzkrieg dangerious
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  3. Australia considers uranium ban as part of sanctions on Russia

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  4. Malaysia Airlines shares suspended as state buyout is announced

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  11. MH17 investigators frustrated at limited access due to fighting

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  13. MH17: memorial service held in Perth for three Australian children killed – video

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  17. Ukrainian army closes in on Donetsk as rebel fighters call on Russia for help

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  19. MH17: second day of search reveals more human remains

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  25. BA calls for global treaty to track surface-to-air missiles after MH17 crash

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  26. Fighting near site of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 leaves 14 dead

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  28. Foreign investigators reach MH17 crash site in Ukraine

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  29. Tony Abbott says airlines should tell passengers about routes over war zones

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  30. MH17: memorial service and national day of mourning set for 7 August

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  35. Belarus to host Ukraine crisis talks

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  36. Qantas should be forced to stop flying over war zones, says union leader

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  43. Telegraph to continue publishing Russian propaganda supplement

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