Friday, May 09, 2014

EU and NATO hypocrisy on Ukraine by Wayne Madsen

EU and NATO hypocrisy on Ukraine

In one of the most blatant displays of hypocrisy in modern international affairs, the same state, supranational, and non-governmental organization actors who stood at the forefront of splitting apart Yugoslavia into seven smaller independent states are also standing at the helm in calling for the preservation of the unity of Ukraine. These players include the European Union, NATO, and the World Bank/International Monetary Fund, in addition to the United States, Britain, Germany, and organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

In fact, the OSCE expelled Yugoslavia from membership in 1992 because it did not want to listen to the Yugoslavian representative present his nation's views on the planned dismemberment of his country to the other OSCE delegations. The contradictions of how the OSCE treated Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and how it is dealing with Russia, Crimea, and the independence-seeking Russian-speaking regions of eastern and southern Ukraine serve as textbook examples of Western hypocritical policies. In the 1990s, the OSCE, which was already infiltrated by George Soros operatives, championed the independence of the constituent nations of Yugoslavia, starting with Slovenia and Croatia, and then moving into the country that would spark a bloodbath: Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the OSCE, the EU, and NATO performed their nation-busting, Yugoslavia was broken into seven nations: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia.

The European "Triune" of the EU, NATO, and the OSCE, however, has vigorously opposed the retrocession of Crimea to Russia and declarations of sovereignty by Donetsk, Lugansk, and Odessa in Ukraine even though these regions have more of a claim to self-determination than did the NATO and EU creation of Kosovo, an Albanian-run statelet in the middle of the Balkans led by organized crime figures and terrorists.

The EU and the United States maintain that any change in Ukrainian borders must be approved by a national referendum held in all of Ukraine. Yet, no national referendum on the preservation of Yugoslavia was ever held. NATO and the EU supported the various breakaway republics of "South Slavia," without any regard to the wishes of the Yugoslav people as a whole.

When Serbs, who found themselves trapped in the newly-independent countries of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, declared their wish for self-determination, they were branded "secessionists" and then "war criminals." In this regard, NATO and the EU treated the Serbs living outside of Serbia proper in the same manner as the moribund and corrupt Western organizations are treating the Russians trapped inside a Ukraine governed by a coalition of neo-Nazis and austerity-driven technocrats.

NATO and the EU were more than happy to have ethnic Serbs have their future determined by the ideological descendants of the pro-Nazi Ustashe in Croatia and the pro-Hitler Bosniak Muslims running Bosnia from Sarajevo. The situation for the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia was no different than that which has befallen ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians in eastern and southern Ukraine. In both the cases of Yugoslavia and Ukraine, the EU, NATO, Soros's organizations, and the neoconservative think tanks in Washington allied with ethnic nationalists tainted with a neo-Nazi hue.

Xenophobic anti-Russian attitudes, which now pervade the governments in Berlin, Washington, London, and eastern Europe, were also prevalent in these same capitals in the early 1990s. Johann Reismuller, the editor of the influential Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, championed the cause of independent Croatia and Slovenia by deploring the "Yugo-Serbs" as "Russian Bolsheviks" who had no place in the European Union. Today, individuals like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Madeleine Albright, John Kerry, have brought their respective Polish Catholic and Jewish Czech "baggage" to bear on steering U.S. policy on a decidedly anti-Russian course. Brzezinski, Albright, and Kerry have adopted Russophobia as a hallmark of American foreign policy in the same manner as they embraced "Serbophobia" as U.S. foreign policy in the 1990s. The only difference is that where they championed the dissolution of Yugoslavia they now seek to maintain the unity of Ukraine. In both cases, they sought to tweak the nose of the Russian bear.

The Slavophobe, Serbophobe, and Russophobe Hungarian Jew George Soros (left) has been at the heart of the troubles of Yugoslavia and Ukraine. Hungarians are not a Slavic people.

The progressive left has been co-opted by the Soros gang to demonize Russia just as they were co-opted to paint Serbia as some sort of evil aggressor. Condemning Serbs in the Bundestag, German Green leader Joschka Fischer equated Serbs with the German Nazis. It has been reported from a number of sources that Fischer, a radical leftist friend of German radical and "Paris 68" provocateur Daniel Cohn-Bendit, both had Cold War links to the CIA. Green Party leader Petra Kelly considered Fischer to be an "upstart" and a "careerist." The question remains: What organization provided Fischer with his lifetime career? Perhaps the same one that provided Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., the poseur "progressive," with his own storied career.

The fact that the CIA and Soros were covering all bases in Europe in seeking the dismemberment of Yugoslavia is evidenced by the fact that independence for Croatia and Slovenia was supported by Fischer on one side and the octogenarian Otto von Habsburg, the heir to the crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, when the CIA is involved in anything, strange bedfellows are always commonplace.

The use of Pussy Riot "feminists" like 
Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, recently feted by the U.S. Senate, is nothing new. During the campaign to break up Yugoslavia, public relations spinners like the Ruder Finn public relations firm, contracted by Croatia, successfully marketed the meme to the international press that Serbs were running "rape camps." The intent was to stir feminist outrage toward Serbia. The story of rape camps was patently false but, was nevertheless, run as a legitimate news story by The New York Times and Newsday. CNN's Christiane Amanpour echoed other propagandists in the news media in reporting non-existent Serbian "atrocities" against "defenseless" Muslim Bosnians. In fact, CNN never reported that the Bosnian Muslims were well-armed. The CIA enabled a number of Arab and other Muslim paramilitary units to enter Bosnia to support the Muslim government in Sarajevo. These paramilitary units included one led by one Osama Bin Laden who moved in and out of Bosnia on a Bosnian diplomatic passport issued, with the approval of the CIA, by the Bosnian embassy in Vienna. Another Muslim paramilitary leader in Bosnia was one Colonel Mohammed Atta of the Egyptian Air Force.

Today, there are reports that takfiri fighters, some linked to Al Qaeda, are being sent into Ukraine from Syria to help the Kiev government fight the Russian secessionists in the east. There are also reports of Chechen terrorist groups arriving in Ukraine to fight the Russians.

Likewise, Jewish-American groups were targeted in a campaign that painted the Serbs as Nazis. Leading Jewish neocons like Richard Perle and Douglas Feith set up the "Bosnia Defense Fund" to funnel millions of donated dollars from Qatar, Brunei, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia to the Bosnian government based on the so-called "Muslim cleansing" threat posed by Serbia.

The final nail in the coffin of Yugoslavia was brought about by the International Criminal Court, an institution which the United States rejects having jurisdiction over its own affairs, but is systematically used by Washington to carry out its political agendas. The indictments for war crimes destroyed any chance that any Yugoslav leader, including Slobodan Milosevic, who suspiciously died while in custody of the ICC in The Hague in 2006, could ever maintain political power. Now, the ICC has stated that it is looking at possible criminal indictments of pro-Russian Ukrainian and Crimean leaders, as well as the leadership of the Kremlin itself. Like the OSCE, the ICC is jam-packed with Soros operatives.

The destabilization of a friendly neighbor by infiltrating and radicalizing secessionist groups. It happened closer to home than you might think. by Wayne Madsen

 The destabilization of a friendly neighbor by infiltrating and radicalizing secessionist groups. It happened closer to home than you might think.
A nuclear-armed superpower deployed intelligence operatives to a neighboring country. The intelligence agents immediately set about the infiltrate a radical secessionist movement in order to push it toward committing acts of kidnapping, assassination, and other violence. After the kidnapping of a foreign diplomat, the central government invoked draconian national security and war measures statutes, suspending civil liberties. The secessionists, who demanded their language, cultural, and political rights within a supposed “federal” system, were demonized by the foreign-led infiltration and radicalization of their movement.
This scenario is not Ukraine in 2014 but Canada, and, particularly Quebec, in 1970. That year, the Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ) launched a campaign of violence against the Quebec provincial government and the federal government in Ottawa. The radicalization of the FLQ was largely carried out by agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency who were infiltrated into Quebec in an effort to portray Quebec nationalists as radical “terrorists.” Today, the United States falsely accuses Russia of carrying out a similar scenario in Ukraine. However, what the United States is claiming is coming from one of the most hypocritical nations in recent world history. And, as far as the Obama administration is concerned, what the CIA carried out in Quebec and Canada in 1970 is a long forgotten footnote of history, however, the same destabilization playbook being used by the United States and Canada in the late 60s and early 70s is being copied today by the CIA and its partners in Kiev.
By the late 1960s, the CIA became concerned about the possibility that the majority French-speaking province of Quebec may opt for independence from the rest of Canada. An independent Quebec, which the CIA believed would drift to the left and withdraw from NATO, was a nightmare for the trans-Atlantic status quo enthusiasts at the CIA and its affiliated think tanks, as well as the Pentagon brass and the Wall Street minions of the Bilderberg Group.
The warnings signs for the CIA included a series of events. On July 24, 1967, French President Charles de Gaulle, declared “Vive le Québec libre!” (Long live free Quebec!) from the balcony of the Montreal City Hall. That same year, de Gaulle withdrew France from the military command structure of NATO and ordered NATO headquarters and other activities to leave France. De Gaulle, arriving in Montreal on the French warship “Colbert” to help celebrate the opening of Expo 67, bypassed the federal capital Ottawa, and was wildly cheered by Quebecois who used the occasion to loudly boo the Governor General of Canada during the playing of “God Save the Queen.”
De Gaulle’s proclamation gave a morale boost to Quebec’s nascent separatist movement. However, in Ottawa, the French-speaking Justice Minister and future Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, along with Prime Minister Lester Pearson, grew alarmed at what they considered French involvement in the domestic affairs of Canada. Secretly, the Security Service of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at the time, Canada’s primary foreign intelligence agency, contacted their colleagues in the CIA for assistance to deal with what was perceived as an existential threat to Canada posed by the Quebec nationalists.
The CIA was fearful of the leftward drift of Quebec nationalism, as shown by the nationalization of Quebec’s hydro-electric resources by Hydro-Quebec, owned by the province of Quebec, and the rising popularity of Rene Levesque, a former Liberal Party member of the Quebec National Assembly, who, in the euphoria surrounding De Gaulle’s 1967 visit and proclamation, founded the Mouvement Souveraineté-Association that same year. Levesque merged his party with another autonomist party, theRalliement National, forming the Parti Québecois (PQ).  
The RCMP Security Service and the CIA decided to begin infiltrating a small radical Quebec secessionist movement, the Front de libération du Québec(FLQ).  Almost overnight, the FLQ, which had only been a nuisance, began carrying out serious bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations, culminating in the “October Crisis” of 1970. Targeted for kidnapping by the FLQ were James Cross, the British Trade Commissioner to Canada, and Pierre Laporte, a vice premier in the Liberal government of Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa. Laporte was murdered a few days after his kidnapping.
Not only Bourassa, but clandestinely, the CIA and RCMP joint Quebec task force convinced Prime Minister Trudeau to invoke the War Measures Act in Quebec. Canadian rule of law was suspended and police began rounding up Quebecois who were strong supporters of Quebec independence. Of the 497 people detained by police, 435 were later deemed to be innocent and were freed. The invocation of the War Measures Act by Trudeau proved to the CIA that the vocally anti-U.S. prime minister could be counted on to support a status quo that was beneficial to the United States and NATO. Trudeau’s son, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the opposition Liberal Party today, is viewed in much the same light as someone who will continue to carry Washington’s water domestically and internationally if the sycophantically pro-U.S. Stephen Harper ever leaves office.
Although the FLQ collapsed after the October Crisis, the damage sought by the CIA and RCMP to the cause of Quebec sovereignty was accomplished. Levesque’s PQ failed to win control  of the Quebec National Assembly in the 1970 and 1973 elections and Levesque, himself, failed to win a seat in the assembly in both elections. However, in 1976, Levesque and his PQ won control of the National Assembly and the new government and carried out a plebiscite on sovereignty association with Canada in 1980. After a concerted propaganda barrage by Ottawa, Washington, and Montreal’s influential Jewish community, the referendum resulted in a 60 percent vote against and 40 percent vote for the sovereignty-association status. The following year, federal Justice Minister Jean Chretien hammered out a new Canadian constitution with the agreement of all the provincial premiers except for Levesque, the British Parliament and Queen Elizabeth, and the Canadian Supreme Court, which ruled that a new constitution of Canada was legal even though it did not have the approval of Quebec.  To this day, Canada’s constitution was never approved by Quebec.
In 1995, the PQ, once again in power, held another referendum on independence. It failed with a 50.6 percent vote of “no” and a “yes” vote of 49.4 percent. A clear majority of French-speakers voted for separation from Canada but the same coalition of English-speakers and Montreal Jews who were able to defeat the 1976 plebiscite did so again. Premier Jacques Parizeau blamed the 1995 loss on “money and the ethnic vote,” meaning the wealthy Jews who were concentrated in the posh Mont Royal neighborhood of Montreal. This year, PQ Premier Pauline Marois and her party lost the election to the Liberal Party, although most major polls predicted the PQ would easily win re-election. There were suspicions in a number of political quarters that the Harper government in Ottawa, working with the U.S. and the Mont Royal clique, pulled off a massive election fraud. But with the defeat of the PQ and Marois, who lost her own seat, the notion of Quebec independence was, once again, dead on arrival.

Not Ukrainian troops on the streets of Donetsk or Odessa in 2014 but U.S.-backed Canadian troops on the streets of Montreal in 1970 after the Nixon administration conspired with the Trudeau government to impose the War Measures Act. The CIA working with the RCMP attempted to kill off the Quebec sovereignty movement in order to protect NATO's northern flank.
The repeated repression of the PQ in Quebec is directly tied to CIA activities. A CIA agent named Jules “Ricco” Kimble was later reported to have not only infiltrated the FLQ in the 1960s but maintained a CIA station in the Mont Royal neighborhood. In 1964, when the FLQ was known as the Quebec Liberation Army, professional teams managed to steal a large cache of weapons, including guns, ammunition, mortars, and grenades from two Canadian armories in the heart of Montreal, the Armory of the Fusiliers Mont Royal and a military command building at Trois-Rivières. That same year, thousands of crates of dynamite were discovered in the hands of the Quebec Liberation Army hidden in Hydro Quebec trucks at the Expo 67 construction site in Montreal. Other weapons that ended up in the hands of the Quebec Liberation Army and later, the FLQ, were sent by the CIA to Quebec to be used by CIA contractors against Cuban targets in Montreal. On April 4, 1972, a bomb exploded at the Cuban consulate in Montreal. The police actually arrested the Cuban diplomatic staff and permitted RCMP and CIA personnel to conduct a sweep of the premises. The CIA took possession of classified Cuban government documents and communications encryption coding material and equipment.

Washington practices hypocrisy over Ukraine. Who can remember when the CIA triggered a crisis in Canada by infiltrating and radicalizing Quebec separatists?
Kimble said he committed two murders that were pinned on the FLQ, although it is not known if one of them was the assassination of Laporte. Kimble was also reported to have been the Montreal point-of-contact for New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw. Shaw was accused by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison on being involved in the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Garrison, while serving on the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, affirmed that Kimble was the real deal. Garrison said, “Every statement of Kimble is true . . . Kimble does not lie. This is a link in a chain, but a valuable link." Kimble was also reported to have been the Canadian point-of-contact for the alleged assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, James Earl Ray. After the assassination of King in 1968, Ray traveled from Canada to the United Kingdom on a Canadian passport issued to “Ramon George Sneyd.” Ray was arrested after he attempted to fly from Heathrow to ultimate exile in white-ruled Rhodesia.
In 1991, a former Quebec minister, who spoke anonymously, confirmed Kimble’s status as a CIA agent. The ex-minister said, “I ​​heard about this place on Mont Royal and its work with the CIA."
In 1971, the Montreal Star published a TOP SECRET CIA memorandum dated October 16, 1970, which stated that the CIA was behind the violence committed in the name of the FLQ. The memo stated, “Some sources recommend that we take urgent measures to temporarily cease contacts with the measures of FLQ militants because of Canadian undesirable consequences with the Canadian government." In other words, the CIA admitted to have conducted “false flag” terrorist operations in Canada. As expected, the Richard Nixon administration and Trudeau denounced the CIA document as a forgery.

The chief of counter-intelligence for the RCMP Security Service, Leslie J. Bennett, confirmed, in 1973, that Montreal was infiltrated by a number of CIA agents during the October Crisis of 1970. Shortly after he made this statement, Bennett was falsely accused by the RCMP of being a Soviet KGB mole and he was forced to move to exile in Australia. It was not until 1993 that the Canadian government admitted that its charges against Bennett being a Soviet double agent were a fabrication. The Canadian Solicitor General exonerated Bennett and he was given a $100,000 payment. Former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer and journalist Peter Worthington suggested that in 1977, the RCMP authorized the publication of a novel in which a Soviet mole, known only as “S,” had risen to senior ranks within the RCMP. They claimed that the RCMP was libelously alleging that “S” was Bennett. KGB officials, including General Oleg Kalugin, later stated that although they had a mole in the RCMP, it was not Bennett.
Bennett was targeted in the vicious campaign engineered by the RCMP and its CIA colleagues to counteract his charges about CIA involvement in terrorist acts in Quebec.
The entire gamut of false flag operations currently being waged in eastern and southern Ukraine by the CIA and its Ukrainian partners should be viewed through the lens of the CIA’s sordid activities in committing terrorist acts, libeling innocent people, and, perhaps, illegally manipulating elections in Quebec from the early 1960s to the present day. There is only one nuclear-armed country that has destabilized a neighboring region that has demanded linguistic, cultural, and political rights. That country is the United States.

The Anti-Empire Report #128 By William Blum - “The Russians are coming … again … and they’re still ten feet tall!”

The Anti-Empire Report #128

By William Blum – Published May 9th, 2014

“The Russians are coming … again … and they’re still ten feet tall!”

So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror. 
And how did this latest example of American foreign-policy exceptionalism come to be? One starting point that can be considered is what former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates says in his recently published memoir: “When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, [Defense Secretary Dick Cheney] wanted to see the dismemberment not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.” That can serve as an early marker for the new cold war while the corpse of the old one was still warm. Soon thereafter, NATO began to surround Russia with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members, while yearning for perhaps the most important part needed to complete the circle – Ukraine.
In February of this year, US State Department officials, undiplomatically, joined anti-government protesters in the capital city of Kiev, handing out encouragement and food, from which emanated the infamous leaked audio tape between the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, former US ambassador to NATO and former State Department spokesperson for Hillary Clinton. Their conversation dealt with who should be running the new Ukraine government after the government of Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown; their most favored for this position being one Arseniy Yatsenuk.
My dear, and recently departed, Washington friend, John Judge, liked to say that if you want to call him a “conspiracy theorist” you have to call others “coincidence theorists”. Thus it was by the most remarkable of coincidences that Arseniy Yatsenuk did indeed become the new prime minister. He could very soon be found in private meetings and public press conferences with the president of the United States and the Secretary-General of NATO, as well as meeting with the soon-to-be new owners of Ukraine, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, preparing to impose their standard financial shock therapy. The current protestors in Ukraine don’t need PHDs in economics to know what this portends. They know about the impoverishment of Greece, Spain, et al. They also despise the new regime for its overthrow of their democratically-elected government, whatever its shortcomings. But the American media obscures these motivations by almost always referring to them simply as “pro-Russian”.
An exception, albeit rather unemphasized, was the April 17 Washington Post which reported from Donetsk that many of the eastern Ukrainians whom the author interviewed said the unrest in their region was driven by fear of “economic hardship” and the IMF austerity plan that will make their lives even harder: “At a most dangerous and delicate time, just as it battles Moscow for hearts and minds across the east, the pro-Western government is set to initiate a shock therapy of economic measures to meet the demands of an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund.”
Arseniy Yatsenuk, it should be noted, has something called the Arseniy Yatsenuk Foundation. If you go to the foundation’s website you will see the logos of the foundation’s “partners”.  Among these partners we find NATO, the National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK), the German Marshall Fund (a think tank founded by the German government in honor of the US Marshall Plan), as well as a couple of international banks. Is any comment needed?
Getting away with supporting al-Qaeda and Nazi types may be giving US officials the idea that they can say or do anything they want in their foreign policy. In a May 2 press conference, President Obama, referring to Ukraine and the NATO Treaty, said: “We’re united in our unwavering Article 5 commitment to the security of our NATO allies”. (Article 5 states: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them … shall be considered an attack against them all.”) Did the president forget that Ukraine is not (yet) a member of NATO? And in the same press conference, the president referred to the “duly elected government in Kyiv (Kiev)”, when in fact it had come to power via a coup and then proceeded to establish a new regime in which the vice-premier, minister of defense, minister of agriculture, and minister of environment, all belonged to far-right neo-Nazi parties. 
The pure awfulness of the Ukrainian right-wingers can scarcely be exaggerated. In early March, the leader of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) called upon his comrades, the infamous Chechnyan terrorists, to carry out further terrorist actions in Russia. 
There may be one important difference between the old Cold War and the new one. The American people, as well as the world, can not be as easily brainwashed as they were during the earlier period.
Over the course of a decade, in doing the research for my first books and articles on US foreign policy, one of the oddities to me of the Cold War was how often the Soviet Union seemed to know what the United States was really up to, even if the American people didn’t. Every once in a while in the 1950s to 70s a careful reader would notice a two- or three-inch story in the New York Times on the bottom of some distant inside page, reporting that Pravda or Izvestia had claimed that a recent coup or political assassination in Africa or Asia or Latin America had been the work of the CIA; theTimes might add that a US State Department official had labeled the story as “absurd”. And that was that; no further details were provided; and none were needed, for how many American readers gave it a second thought? It was just more commie propaganda. Who did they think they were fooling? This ignorance/complicity on the part of the mainstream media allowed the United States to get away with all manner of international crimes and mischief.
It was only in the 1980s when I began to do the serious research that resulted in my first book, which later became Killing Hope, that I was able to fill in the details and realize that the United States had indeed masterminded that particular coup or assassination, and many other coups and assassinations, not to mention countless bombings, chemical and biological warfare, perversion of elections, drug dealings, kidnapings, and much more that had not appeared in the American mainstream media or schoolbooks. (And a significant portion of which was apparently unknown to the Soviets as well.)
But there have been countless revelations about US crimes in the past two decades. Many Americans and much of the rest of the planet have become educated. They’re much more skeptical of American proclamations and the fawning media.
President Obama recently declared: “The strong condemnation that it’s received from around the world indicates the degree to which Russia is on the wrong side of history on this.”  Marvelous … coming from the man who partners with jihadists and Nazis and has waged war against seven nations. In the past half century is there any country whose foreign policy has received more bitter condemnation than the United States? If the United States is not on the wrong side of history, it may be only in the history books published by the United States.
Barack Obama, like virtually all Americans, likely believes that the Soviet Union, with perhaps the sole exception of the Second World War, was consistently on the wrong side of history in its foreign policy as well as at home. Yet, in a survey conducted by an independent Russian polling center this past January, and reported in the Washington Post in April, 86 percent of respondents older than 55 expressed regret for the Soviet Union’s collapse; 37 percent of those aged 25 to 39 did so. (Similar poll results have been reported regularly since the demise of the Soviet Union. This is fromUSA Today in 1999: “When the Berlin Wall crumbled, East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism.”) 
Or as the new Russian proverb put it: “Everything the Communists said about Communism was a lie, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be the truth.”
A week before the above Post report in April the newspaper printed an article about happiness around the world, which contains the following charming lines: “Worldwide polls show that life seems better to older people – except in Russia.” … “Essentially, life under President Vladimir Putin is one continuous downward spiral into despair.” … “What’s going on in Russia is deep unhappiness.” … “In Russia, the only thing to look forward to is death’s sweet embrace.” 
No, I don’t think it was meant to be any kind of satire. It appears to be a scientific study, complete with graphs, but it reads like something straight out of the 1950s.
The views Americans hold of themselves and other societies are not necessarily more distorted than the views found amongst people elsewhere in the world, but the Americans’ distortion can lead to much more harm. Most Americans and members of Congress have convinced themselves that the US/NATO encirclement of Russia is benign – we are, after all, the Good Guys – and they don’t understand why Russia can’t see this.
The first Cold War, from Washington’s point of view, was often designated as one of “containment”, referring to the US policy of preventing the spread of communism around the world, trying to blockthe very idea of communism or socialism. There’s still some leftover from that – see Venezuela and Cuba, for example – but the new Cold War can be seen more in terms of a military strategy. Washington thinks in terms of who could pose a barrier to the ever-expanding empire adding to its bases and other military necessities.
Whatever the rationale, it’s imperative that the United States suppress any lingering desire to bring Ukraine (and Georgia) into the NATO alliance. Nothing is more likely to bring large numbers of Russian boots onto the Ukrainian ground than the idea that Washington wants to have NATO troops right on the Russian border and in spitting distance of the country’s historic Black Sea naval base in Crimea.

The myth of Soviet expansionism

One still comes across references in the mainstream media to Russian “expansionism” and “the Soviet empire”, in addition to that old favorite “the evil empire”. These terms stem largely from erstwhile Soviet control of Eastern European states. But was the creation of these satellites following World War II an act of imperialism or expansionism? Or did the decisive impetus lie elsewhere?
Within the space of less than 25 years, Western powers had invaded Russia three times – the two world wars and the “Intervention” of 1918-20 – inflicting some 40 million casualties in the two wars alone. To carry out these invasions, the West had used Eastern Europe as a highway. Should it be any cause for wonder that after World War II the Soviets wanted to close this highway down? In almost any other context, Americans would have no problem in seeing this as an act of self defense. But in the context of the Cold War such thinking could not find a home in mainstream discourse.
The Baltic states of the Soviet Union – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – were not part of the highway and were frequently in the news because of their demands for more autonomy from Moscow, a story “natural” for the American media. These articles invariably reminded the reader that the “once independent” Baltic states were invaded in 1939 by the Soviet Union, incorporated as republics of the USSR, and had been “occupied” ever since. Another case of brutal Russian imperialism. Period. History etched in stone.
The three countries, it happens, were part of the Russian empire from 1721 up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, in the midst of World War I. When the war ended in November 1918, and the Germans had been defeated, the victorious Allied nations (US, Great Britain, France, et al.) permitted/encouraged the German forces to remain in the Baltics for a full year to crush the spread of Bolshevism there; this, with ample military assistance from the Allied nations. In each of the three republics, the Germans installed collaborators in power who declared their independence from the new Bolshevik state which, by this time, was so devastated by the World War, the revolution, and the civil war prolonged by the Allies’ intervention, that it had no choice but to accept the fait accompli. The rest of the fledgling Soviet Union had to be saved.
To at least win some propaganda points from this unfortunate state of affairs, the Soviets announced that they were relinquishing the Baltic republics “voluntarily” in line with their principles of anti-imperialism and self-determination. But is should not be surprising that the Soviets continued to regard the Baltics as a rightful part of their nation or that they waited until they were powerful enough to reclaim the territory.
Then we had Afghanistan. Surely this was an imperialist grab. But the Soviet Union had lived next door to Afghanistan for more than 60 years without gobbling it up. And when the Russians invaded in 1979, the key motivation was the United States involvement in a movement, largely Islamic, to topple the Afghan government, which was friendly to Moscow. The Soviets could not have been expected to tolerate a pro-US, anti-communist government on its border any more than the United States could have been expected to tolerate a pro-Soviet, communist government in Mexico.
Moreover, if the rebel movement took power it likely would have set up a fundamentalist Islamic government, which would have been in a position to proselytize the numerous Muslims in the Soviet border republics.


  1. See (formerly Russia Today) for many stories, images and videos
  2. Robert Gates, Duty (2014), p.97
  3. If this site has gone missing again, a saved version can be found here.
  4. Voice of Russia radio station, Moscow, April 18, 2014; also see Answer Coalition, “Who’s who in Ukraine’s new [semi-fascist] government”, March 11, 2014
  5., news report March 5, 2014
  6. CBS News, March 3, 2014
  7. Washington Post, April 11, 2014
  8. USA Today (Virginia), Oct. 11, 1999, page 1
  9. Washington Post print edition, April 2, 2014; online here
Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

THE ROVING EYE - Putin displays Ukraine chess mastery By Pepe Escobar

Putin displays Ukraine chess mastery
By Pepe Escobar

Russia's celebrations of the 69th anniversary of the defeat of fascism in World War II come just days after Ukrainian neo-fascists enacted an appalling Odessa massacre. For those who know their history, the graphic symbolism speaks for itself.

And then a geopolitical chess gambit added outright puzzlement to the trademark hypocrisy displayed by the self-proclaimed representatives of "Western civilization".

The gambit comes from - who else - Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is now actively mixing chess moves with Sun Tzu'sArt of War and Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. No wonder all those American PR shills, helpless State Department spokespersons and NATOstan generals are clueless.

Unlike the Obama administration's juvenile delinquent school of diplomacy - which wants to "isolate" Putin and Russia - a truce and possible deal in the ongoing Ukrainian tragedy has been negotiated between adults on speaking terms, Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then discussed and finally announced in a press conference by the president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Didier Burghalter.

The deal will hold as long as the regime changers in Kiev - which should be described as the NATO neo-liberal, neo-fascist junta - abandon their ongoing "anti-terrorist operation" and are ready to negotiate with the federalists in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. [1]

Putin's gambit has been to sacrifice not one but two pieces; he'd rather have the referendums this Sunday in Eastern Ukraine be postponed. At the same time, changing the Kremlin's position, he said the presidential elections on May 25 might be a step in the right direction.

Moscow knows the referendums will be erroneously interpreted by the misinformed NATOstan combo as an argument for Eastern Ukraine to join Russia, as in Crimea. They could be used as pretext for more sanctions. And most of all Moscow is keen to prevent any possible false flags. [2]

Yet Moscow has not abandoned its firm position from the start; before a presidential election there should be constitutional changes towards federalization and more power for largely autonomous provinces. It's not happening anytime soon - if at all.

With the Kiev NATO junta making an absolute mess of "governing"; the International Monetary Fund already running thedisaster capitalism show, Russia cutting off trade and energy subsidies, and the federalist movement growing by the minute after the Odessa massacre, Ukraine is so absolutely toxic that Moscow has all the time in the world on its side. Putin's strategy is indeed Tao Te Ching meets Art of War: watch the river flow while giving enough rope for your enemy to hang himself.

You're with us or against us
Putin asking the people in the Donbass region to postpone the referendum - which will take place anyway [3] - unleashed a fierce debate, in eastern Ukraine and across Russia, over a possible Russian betrayal of Russian speakers in Ukraine.

After all, the NATO neo-liberal, neo-fascist junta has unleashed an "anti-terrorist operation" against average Ukrainians where even the terminology comes straight from the "you're with us or against us" Cheney regime.

And once again the Disinformer-in-Chief is - who else - US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is "very concerned about efforts of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, in Lugansk to organize, frankly, a contrived, bogus independence referendum on May 11". It's "the Crimea playbook all over again and no civilized nation is going to recognize the results of such a bogus effort".

It's hopeless to expect Kerry to know what he's talking about, but still: the people in Donbass are not separatists. These are average Ukrainians - factory workers, miners, store clerks, farmers - who are pro-democracy, anti-NATO junta and - oh, the capital crime - Russian speakers.

And by the way, you don't need to be Thomas Piketty to identify this as classic class struggle; workers and peasants against oligarchs - the oligarchs currently aligned with the NATO junta, some deployed as regional governors, and all planning to remain in charge after the May 25 elections.

The people in Donbass want federalism, and strong autonomy in their provinces. They don't want to split from Ukraine. Against the US-prescribed, Kiev-enforced "anti-terrorism" onslaught, they have their popular defense committees, local associations and yes, militias, to defend themselves. And most of all "bogus" referendums to make it absolutely clear they won't submit to a centralized, oligarch-infested junta.

So the referendums will go ahead - and will be duly ignored by the NATOstan combo. The May 25 presidential election will go ahead - right in the middle of an "anti-terrorist operation" against almost half of the population - and will be recognized as "legitimate" by the NATOstan combo.

Way beyond this cosmically shameful behavior of the "civilized" West, what next?

Nothing will make the ironclad hatred the NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta with its Western Ukraine neo-nazi Banderastan supporters feel against the eastern Donbass go away. But then, in a few months, all Ukrainians will feel in their skins what the IMF has in store for them, irrespective of location. And wait if the new president - be it chocolate billionaire Petro Porashenko or holy corrupt "Saint Yulia" Timoschenko - doesn't pay Gazprom's US$2.7 billion energy bill.

Once again, Putin does not need to "invade" anything. He knows this is not the way to "rescue" eastern and southern Ukraine. He knows the people in the Donbass will make life miserable for the NATO junta and its May 25 offspring. He knows when Kiev needs real cash - not the current IMF self-serving Mob-style loans - nobody in his right mind in the political midget EU will be forthcoming. Nobody will want to rescue a failed state. And Kiev will have to beg, once again, for Moscow's help, the lender of first and last resort.

Lao Tzu Putin is far from going to checkmate. He may - and will - wait. The exceptionalist empire will keep doing what it does best - foment chaos - even as sensible Europeans, Merkel included, try somewhat for appeasement. Well, at least Washington's prayers have been answered. It took a while, but they finally found the new bogeyman: Osama Bin Putin.

1. Putin-Burkhalter talks: an elusive chance for Ukraine, Oriental Review, May 8, 2014.
2. Ukrainian forces prepare provocation against Russia in Donetsk, Voice of America, May 6, 2014.
3. 2 southeast Ukrainian regions to hold referendum May 11 as planned, RT, May 8, 2014.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Remembering the important lessons of the Cold War - THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER

Remembering the important lessons of the Cold War

If anything the past 24 hours have proved, once again, that the US and NATO are opposed to any form of negotiations, confidence-building measures or any other type of negotiations with the Donbass and with Russia.  Even though Putin tried really hard to sound accommodating and available for a negotiated solution, the US/NATO policy is clearly to provoke and confront Russia and its allies in every imaginable way.  The same goes, of course, for the junta freaks whose forces have acted with special brutality during repressive operations in the city of Mariupol.  As for the AngloZionist Empire, it is organizing all sorts of military maneuvers in Poland, the Baltic states and elsewhere.  Logically, many of you are coming to the conclusion that a war is becoming a very real possibility and I therefore want to repeat a few things yet again.

First, there is no military option for the AngloZionists in the Ukraine, at least not against Russia.  This is primarily due to three fact things: geography, US overreach and politics.  Geography, it is much easier for Russia to move a ground forces to the Ukraine than it is for the US/NATO, especially for heavy (mechanized, motor-rifle, armored, tank) units.  Second, simply too many US forces are committed elsewhere for the US to have a major war in against Russia in eastern Europe.  Third, for the time being the western public is being deceived by the corporate media's reports about the "Russian paper tiger", but as soon as the real fighting starts both Europeans and Americans will suddenly wonder if it is worth dying for the Ukraine.  Because if a shooting war between the USA and Russia really begins, we will all be at risk (see below).

Remember how the very same media promised that the poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly commanded and poorly motivated Russian military could not crack the "tough nut" represented by the NATO-trained Georgian military?

Second, we have to remember that it is never possible to oppose to forces on paper and say that "A" is stronger than "B".  Afghanistan and Iraq are perfect examples of the kind of misguided conclusions a self-deluding political leadership can reach when it begins to believe its own lies.  So without committing the political "crime of crimes" and suggesting that the invincible US military is anything but invincible, let me suggest the following: if the Russian conventional forces were to be defeated you can be absolutely sure that Russia would have to engage its tactical nuclear capabilities at which point the situation would escalate into a well-known Cold War conundrum.  The theory of deterrence suggests that you should reply at the same level, but not above, then your adversary's first move.  So, a Russian tactical nuclear strike in, say, Poland or even the Ukraine would have to be met by a similar US strike.  But where?  Where is the Russian equivalent of Poland for the USA?  Belarus?  But that is much more like a Russian strike on Canada - really close to home.  Kazakhstan?  Ridiculous - too far.  Obviously not Armenia.  So where would the US retaliate?  Against Russian forces in the Donbass, but that is right across the border.  Maybe in Russia itself?  But that would mean striking at the Russian territory proper.  What will Russia do in this case - strike at Poland?  Germany?  The 'equivalent' response would be to strike at the US mainland, of course, but that would be inviting a full-scale US retaliation, which would inevitably be followed by a Russian one. And since neither side can disarm the other in a counter-force disarming strike, we are talking about a nuclear world war a la Dr Strangelove, with nuclear winter and all.

Some might find this kind of reasoning ridiculous, but anybody who has participated in the Cold War will tell you that the best minds in the USA and USSR were busy full time grappling with these issues.  Can you guess what they concluded?  That a nuclear won cannot be won.  But that, in turn, means that no war opposing the USA to Russia can be won because anywar of this kind will inevitably turn nuclear before the weaker sides surrenders.  Let me put it to you in a somewhat silly but truthful way: the survival of the USA depends on Russia not losing a war.  Yes, that's right.  And the converse is also true: Russia's survival is contingent on the USA not being defeated either.

This is why Foreign Minister Lavrov has been repeating over and over again that no one side can achieve security at the expense of the other and that security has to be collective and even mutual.  But was anybody listening to him across the Atlantic? 

Of course, for the time being and for the foreseeable future, this will only be true for a war directly opposing Russian and US military forces.  Proxy wars are okay, as are covert operations and wars against third parties.  But for the time being, only Russia and the USA have the kind of full-spectrum nuclear capabilities to be able to completely destroy the other side "no matter what".  Let me explain.

It has often been said that the Russian and US nuclear forces have to be on high alert and that to avoid being destroyed in a counter-force (counter military) first strike they would have to launch on warning i.e., to launch while the other side's missiles are incoming and before they hit their targets.  The fact is that both countries practice what is called "launched under attack" which is launching while some enemy missiles have already hit.  But the truth is that both the USA and Russia could afford what is called "riding out the attack" completely and still have enough strategic nuclear weapons to destroy all the key population centers of the other side.  This is due to their highly redundant strategic nuclear forces.  The fact is that even if, say, the USA managed to destroy every single Russian bomber and every single Russia nuclear silo, and every single Russian strategic nuclear missile carrying submarine, even those in port (who can launch right from there if needed), Russia would still have enough road-mobile ICBMs to wipe off the USA a a country.  The exact same can be said of a Russian first strike on the USA which, even if unrealistically successful would still expose Russia to a massive retaliation by USN strategic nuclear missile carrying submarines.  And in the real world no first strike is 100% successful.  Even 95% successful is not enough if the remaining 5% can still be shot back at you.

Civilians often complain that Russia and the USA have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the planet many times over as it that was a sign of insanity.  In reality, it is exactly the opposite: it is because both Russia and the USA have the peacetime ability to destroy the planet several times over that in wartime neither side can have any hopes of achieving a first strike successful enough to avoid a massive retaliation.  Yes, in the world of nukes, more is better, at least from the point of view of what is called "first strike stability".

This what sets Russia and the USA really apart: no other nuclear power has a nuclear force whose first strike survivability is as high as Russia and the USA" for the foreseeable future all other nuclear-weapons possessing powers are susceptible to a disarming first strike.

Let me give one more example of how nuclear warfare is counter-intuitive in many ways.  We often hear of alert levels (DEFCONs in the USA) and the assumption is that a lower level of defense alert is better.  It is not.  In fact, a higher alert level is better from the point of view of first strike stability.  Here is why:

In complete peacetime (DEFCON 5), most bombers are sitting on the tarmac, most crews doing their training, most subs are moored in port and most critical personnel busy with normal daily tasks.  This is exactly when these forces are the most vulnerable to a disarming first strike.  At higher levels of alert, the crews will be recalled to their bases, at even higher levels they will be sitting in their planes with engines running and at the highest threat level the bombers will be airborne in prepared holding positions, submarines will be flushed out to sea, all personnel in wartime command posts and, in the USA, the President has his key aides either in the air in Air Force 1 or deep inside a bunker.  In other words, a higher degree of alert means much less vulnerability to a first strike and that, in turns, means more time to negotiate, find out what is really going on, more time to avoid a war.

What I am trying to illustrate here is that both Russia and the USA have developed a very sophisticated system to make it impossible for the other side to "win" a war.  That system is still there today, in fact Putin has just invited the other heads of state of the CSTO to be present during a large-scale test of the Russian strategic deterrence forces (not because of the Ukraine, this exercise was scheduled over a year ago).

In other words, this means that the US/NATO know that they cannot "win" a war against Russia, not a conventional one and not a nuclear one either.  Those who claim otherwise have simply no idea what they are talking about.

Which leaves two possible explanations for the current behavior of the West, and neither of them is encouraging.

First, Obama, Merkel & Co. are lunatics, and they are hell-bent into starting WWIII.  I frankly cannot imagine that this is true.

Second, Obama, Merkel & Co are playing a reckless game of chicken with Putin hoping that he is bluffing and that Russia will accept a neo-Nazi run Banderastan which would be hysterically russophobic, a member of NATO and generally become an AngloZionist puppet state like Poland or Latvia.

That, my friends, is not going to happen.  This is why on March 1st of this year I wrote an article warning that Russia was ready for war.  And it has nothing to do with Putin, Russian imperialism or the kind of nonsense the western corporate media is spewing and everything to do with the fact that the US wants to turn the Ukraine into an existential threat to Russia while keeping together by brute violence and terror a fictional country invented by the deranged minds of western Popes and Jesuits which has no existence in reality and which would implode in less than 24 hours if left by itself.

What makes me believe that we are in a crisis potentially much more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis is that at that time both the US and the USSR fully understood how serious the situation was and that the world had to be brought back from the brink of nuclear war.  Today, when I listen to idiots like Obama, Kerry, Psaki & Co. I am struck by how truly stupid and self-deluded these people are.  Here they are playing not only with our existence, but even with theirs, and they still are acting as if Putin was some Somali war lord who needed to be frightened into submission.  But if that tactic did not work with Somali warlords, why would they think that it will work with Putin?

I will want to force myself to believe that behind all these crazy and ignorant lunatics there are men in uniform who have been educated and trained during the Cold War and who still remember the many hours spent running all kinds of computer models which all came back with the same result over and over again: a victory is impossible and war was simply not an option.

It is also possible that the Empire wants to escalate the situation in the Ukraine enough to force a Russian intervention but not enough to have a shooting war.  If so, that is a very risky strategy.  I would even call it criminally reckless.  It is one thing to engage in all sorts of macho sabre rattling with the DPRK, but quite another to try the same trick on a nuclear superpower.  The scary fact is that the bloody Democrats already have such a record of utter recklessness.  Do you remember when in 1995 Clinton sent in two US aircraft carriers into the Strait of Taiwan in a cowboy-like show of macho force?  At that time the Chinese wisely decided against responding to a stupid action by a equally stupid reaction, but what if this time around Obama decides to show how tough he really is and what if Putin feels that he is cornered and cannot back down?

It is scary to think that the fact that Russian and Chinese leaders are acting in a responsible way actually entices the US to act even more irresponsibly and recklessly but this does seems to be the case, especially when a Democrat is in the White House.

When is the last time you remember a US President taking upon himself to make a constructive proposal to avoid military action or a way?  I honestly cannot recall such an instance.

In conclusion I can only repeat what I said so many times: there is no military option for the US/NATO against Russia.  As for whether the AngloZionist plutocracy of the 1% who rule over us has gone completely crazy - your guess is as good as mine.

The Saker