Wednesday, April 23, 2014

US Threatens Russia

US Threatens Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Washington bears full responsibility for elevating illegitimate fascist putschists to power. Doing so reflects another sordid chapter in US history. For sure, it won't be the last.

Bullying, bluster and threatening ultimatums define US policy. John Kerry warned Sergei Lavrov. 

Moscow has "days, not weeks," to assure Ukrainian four-part agreement terms are implemented. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki repeated his threat, saying:

"The secretary urged Russia to take concrete steps to help implement the Geneva agreement, including publicly calling on separatists to vacate illegal buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty and address their grievances politically."

"He also called on Russia to assign a senior diplomat to work with the OSCE mission in eastern Ukraine to make absolutely clear to the separatists that Russia supports the agreement and wants de-escalation."

"The Secretary also made clear that Russia’s recent public statement casting doubt on Ukraine's commitment to the Geneva agreement flies in the face of the facts." 

"The Government of Ukraine put forward a broad amnesty bill for separatists to give up buildings and weapons, and has sent senior representatives to the east with the OSCE to help implement the agreement, and had called an Easter pause in its counterterrorism operations." 

"He asked that Russia now demonstrate an equal level of commitment to the Geneva agreement in both its rhetoric and its actions." 

"As noted in Geneva, without implementation, the joint statement is only a piece of paper, and what is needed is true de-escalation."

"The Ukrainians have taken steps. The Russians have to take additional steps." Otherwise, they'll be "consequences for inaction."

Fact check

Kiev putschists deployed neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs. They did so to Eastern Ukraine. They unleashed violence. They violated Easter truce terms straightaway. 

Deescalation is a convenient illusion. Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Rogue EU nations partner in crime.

Cold War 2.0 rages. At stake is world peace. A potential East/West confrontation looms.

Washington wants all rival governments eliminated. It wants pro-Western stooge ones replacing them. It wants unchallenged worldwide dominance. It risks possible global conflict in the process.

Psaki didn't explain. She irresponsibly blamed Russia for US imperial adventurism. It persists relentlessly. Core international, constitutional and US statute laws are violated.

Ukraine is in the eye of the storm. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow. Targeting Russia raises the stakes.

Sergei Lavrov is a consummate diplomat. He shames his US counterpart. Washington should take responsibility for its actions, he said.

"Before giving us ultimatums, demanding that we fulfill demands within two or three days with the threat of sanctions, we would urgently call on our American partners to fully accept responsibility for those who they brought to power," he stressed.

Threatening Russia with consequences won't work, he added. It's "big, independent (and) power(ful)…(It) knows what it wants."

Washington, rogue EU partners and Kiev putschists lie. They "invent possible and impossible arguments against Russia," Lavrov said.

Claiming Russian arms in Eastern Ukraine proves Moscow interference doesn't wash. Saying so is "ludicrous. Everybody has Russian arms in Ukraine."

At the same time, illegal Ukrainian elements have US weapons, not Kiev's military.

Putschist "authorities are doing nothing, not even lifting a finger, to address the causes behind this deep internal crisis in Ukraine,"  Lavrov stressed.

They violated four-party agreement terms straightaway. Days earlier, CIA head John Brennan arrived in Kiev. He came with US administration instructions.

Wage war on Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters, they were told. Putin warned of potential "civil war."

So did Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Putschists launched violence, he said.

"The illegal rulers are trying to restore the order they cynically trampled on when they participated in an armed uprising," he added.

They deployed military forces east. They unleashed Right Sector neo-Nazis thugs. They lied claiming otherwise.

According to Lavrov, they're "running the show" in central and Western Ukraine. They're "trying to affect eastern regions."

Kiev putschists claim Maidan "act(s) legally which is totally inadmissible." Attacking Slavyansk activists shows Kiev want four-party agreement terms derailed, Lavrov said.

"The fact that extremists started to shoot at unarmed civilians is unacceptable." At the same time, putschists target foreign journalists.

Some are blocked. They're denied permission to enter Ukraine. Others are threatened, harassed and arrested. So are Southeastern Ukrainian activists. 

Police states operate this way. Ukraine is one of the worst. Order must be restored, said Lavrov. Real constitutional reform is essential. 

So far it's nowhere in sight. Extremism as well as ethnic and religious intolerance continue. 

Illegally armed groups operate freely. They do so extrajudicially. They rampage with impunity. They threaten anyone challenging them. They shoot to kill.

Russia won't allow civil war in Ukraine to erupt, said Lavrov. "There has been a surge in appeals to Russia for saving them from this outrage." 

"We are being put into an extremely complex position," he added.

"Those who are deliberately pursuing a civil war, possibly, in an attempt to start a big, serious bloody conflict, are pursuing a criminal policy." 

"And we will not only condemn this policy but will also stop it," he stressed.

"Geneva agreements on Ukraine specify no timeframe, but measures should be taken urgently." Putschists haven't done so, said Lavrov. 

"Everything points to the fact that (they) are not able to control extremists, or do not want to control them." 

"The main thing now is to prevent any kind of violence in Ukraine. It is the first clause of the Geneva agreements, the first requirement." 

"This part of the Geneva agreement is not fulfilled, but on the contrary, steps are taken by (Kiev putschists) in violation of" its terms.

"We are concerned that instead of confirming the responsibility for the situation, Kiev and the West-European countries are trying to make Russia responsible."

Claiming four-party agreement terms don't apply to Maidan is "absolutely acceptable," Lavrov added.

Obama dispatched Vice President Joe Biden. He arrived in Kiev. He did so to meet with his new friends. He expressed full US support.

Washington will help its "leaders" create national unity, he said. They face "humiliating threats" and "daunting problems," he added.

He called planned sham May elections the most important in Ukraine's history. They'll be farcical when held. Biden didn't explain.

He came for a victory lap. It's for Obama's latest imperial trophy. If he can hold it, a previous article explained. 

Eastern Ukrainians reject Kiev putschists. They want their legitimate rights respected. They want local autonomy. They're going all-out to get it legitimately.

On April 21, Voice of Russia headlined "Biden to test US face-saving retreat plan for Ukraine," saying:

He'll "explore the possibilities for Washington's face-saving exit from its foreign policy catastrophe in the country…"

Rostislav Ishchenko heads the Kiev-based Centre for Analysis and Prognosis. Washington's failure in Ukraine necessitates a retreat without losing face, he said.

Biden arrived with a mandate. It's "to cover up (America's) retreat." Kiev can't "suppress" Eastern Ukrainian activists. It won't fulfill four-party deal terms.

Biden came to make the best out of a bad situation. Putting lipstick on this pig won't work.

Fascists running Kiev can't hide their extremism. Big Lies don't wash. Washington is public enemy number one. 

Kiev putschists are convenient stooges. They have no legitimacy whatever. Eastern Ukrainians reject them. They do so responsibly. 

Perhaps Western ones will join once their full agenda is implemented. Repression and neoliberal harshness reflect it. People take only so much before rebelling.

Scoundrel media lie. New York Times misinformation is scandalous. Russia bashing repeats daily. On April 21, The Times headlined "Russia Displays a New Military Prowess in Ukraine's East," saying:

It "combine(s) cyberwarfare, an energetic information campaign and the use of highly trained special operation troops to seize the initiative from the West."

It "project(s) power in the 'near abroad.' " It "road-tested" strategy in Crimea. It combines "hard and soft power."

"For its intervention in Crimea, the Russians used a so-called snap military exercise to distract attention and hide their preparations." 

"Then specially trained troops, without identifying patches, moved quickly to secure key installations. Once the operation was underway, the Russian force cut telephone cables, jammed communications and used cyberwarfare to cut off the Ukrainian military forces on the peninsula."

Moscow "sen(t) small, well-equipped teams across the Ukrainian border to seize government buildings that could be turned over to sympathizers and local militias."

"Police stations and Interior Ministry buildings, which stored arms that could be turned over to local supporters, were targeted."

"The Kremlin has used its military deployment to buttress its diplomatic strategy of insisting on an extensive degree of federalism in Ukraine, one in which the eastern provinces would be largely autonomous and under Moscow’s influence."

Fact check:

You can't make this stuff up. Times reports read like bad fiction. No evidence whatever supports its claims. They're manufactured out of whole cloth. They lack credibility.

At the same time, daily content is silent about Washington elevating illegitimate putschists to power. The Times supports them. It pretends they're democrats.

Readers are systematically lied to. Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. 

America's imperial rampaging continues. Times correspondents, contributors and editors support it.

All so-called news fit to print is rubbish. Readers are on their own to learn truth. Times management excludes it from daily content. Doing so is longstanding editorial policy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Outrageous Pro-Kiev Op-Ed

Outrageous Pro-Kiev Op-Ed

by Stephen Lendman

Haaretz editors published it. They know better. They shame their US counterparts. They feature writers excluded from their pages. 

Western ones substitute propagandists. They're illegitimate. They lack credibility. They masquerade as journalists. US media feature them prominently. Readers are systematically lied to.

Hennadi Nadolenko is Kiev's ambassador to Israel. He represents illegitimate fascist putschists. 

Haaretz editors gave him feature op-space. Doing so was shamelessly irresponsible.

Nadolenko took full advantage. He headlined "Nobody wants a war, but Ukraine is fighting back."

"Russia thinks it has found foolproof methods, but a lie is a lie and aggression is aggression. The evidence is everywhere."

None whatever exists. Lies, damn lies and misinformation substitute. More on what Nadolenko said below. A stiff antacid dose would help before reading it.

On June 29, 2010, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych appointed Nadolenko Ukraine's ambassador to Israel. 

He betrayed his country disgracefully. He supports illegitimate fascist putschists. He's a longtime foreign service officer.

From 2007 - 2010, he was Embassy of Ukraine to the USA trade and economic mission head.

From 2006 - 2007, he was Secretariat of the President of Ukraine information strategies/information service department head.

From 2005 - 2006, he was Secretariat of the President of Ukraine deputy information service head.

From 2004 - 2005, he was Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) department of information technologies acting head counsellor.

From 2003 - 2004, he was MFA information technologies head counsellor.

From 1998 - 2003, he was Embassy of Ukraine to the USA second first secretary.

Earlier in 1998, he was MFA department of international organizations third secretary.

From 1996 - 1998, he had other MFA Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine duties.

In 1996, he was MFA department of European and American countries third secretary.

From 1994 - 1996, he was MFA department of European and American countries division of the USA and Canada attache.

Lies infested his Haaretz op-ed. "I would like to share with you the Ukrainian position," he said. 

"After the 'Anschluss of Crimea,' the Kremlin went over to a second stage of the war on Ukraine by starting a covert operation in the country's east."

"Russia is sticking to the same routine as in Crimea. First, it is deploying professional military and mercenaries on Ukrainian territory." 

"Second, it is paying local radicals and criminals to pose as 'pro-Russian forces.' Third, it is trying to make the events look like turmoil stoked by ordinary people."

"But it doesn't look like that at all. Unlike the December-February Euromaidan protest movement in Kiev, this is not a domestic uprising but full-blown foreign aggression against Ukraine."

"There is valid proof that special-operations groups are being deployed on the ground. These are not Ukrainians. They are professional Russian mercenaries waging a war on Ukrainian territory."

"Saboteurs with Russian citizenship are being apprehended throughout Ukraine. This and other evidence, including intercepted radio traffic, confirm that these are foreigners, invaders.

Fact check:

Crimean reunification with Russia was no "Anschluss." Crimeans voted overwhelmingly for it. Nearly 97% did so. Turnout was 83%.

So-called Kremlin Eastern Ukrainian overt or covert operations don't exist. No evidence suggests otherwise. Claiming it changes nothing.

Radicalized elements arrived from Kiev. Putschists deployed them. They did so to incite violence. No Russian forces are involved.

Claiming Euromaidan protests were legitimate doesn't wash. Ousting democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was the most brazen overt coup since Mussolini's 1922 march on Rome.

Nadolenko supports it. He's conspiratorially involved. Claiming Eastern Ukrainian activists have no legitimacy denies their freedom-fighting rights.

Calling them "(s)aboteurs with Russian citizenship" doesn't wash. Nor claiming they're being "apprehended throughout Ukraine."

It bears repeating. So-called evidence doesn't exist. Big Lies substitute. They infested Nadolenko's op-ed. Haaretz editors disturbingly published them. Due diligence was noticeably absent.

Ukraine isn't "fighting back." It's waging war on freedom. It wants illegitimate fascist rule institutionalized. It wants ordinary Ukrainians exploited. 

It wants state enterprises handed to Western corporations at fire sale prices. He wants them free to loot state resources. It's cracking down hard on resisters. 

Police states operate this way. State terrorism reflects official Kiev policy. So-called "anti-terrorist operations" target freedom-loving Ukrainians.

"We hope the multilateral agreement in Geneva on April 17 between Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union will promote the stabilization of the situation in Ukraine," said Nadolenko. 

"We are eager to find a peaceful solution through diplomatic dialogue to ease the tension between Ukraine and Russia."

Kiev putschists violated Geneva agreed on terms straightaway. They unleashed violence. They reject resolving things diplomatically. 

They lied claiming otherwise. They enjoy full US support. One fascist regime backs another. They're partners in crime. 

Don't expect Nadolenko to explain. Or Haaretz editors for publishing his rubbish. It doesn't pass the smell test and then some. It's polar opposite truth.

It ignores what begs to be explained. Not least is virulent anti-Semitism. Haaretz editors owe their readers an explanation. It's sorely lacking.

Nazi anti-Semitism raged. Neo-Nazis operate the same way. They infest Kiev. They hold real power. 

Illegitimate president Olexander Turchynov's Fatherland chairmanship reveals his hate-mongering agenda. Self-appointed prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is a Fatherland party leader.

Other neo-Nazis include parliamentary members. So do ones controlling powerful ministries. 

Neo-Nazi Andriy Parubiy co-founded Ukraine's Social National party. He did so with neo-Nazi Oleh Tyahnybok. It's now called Svoboda.

Both figures wield enormous influence. Parubiy heads Kiev's powerful National Security and Defense Council. 

Tyahnybok heads Svoboda. He chose no portfolio after putschists seized power. Perhaps he has greater aspirations in mind.

Other neo-Nazis dominate policymaking. Obama's new friends are ideological extremists. They represent mob rule. They tolerate no opposition. They're militantly anti-Semitic.

Coverup and denial can't hide it. Eastern Ukrainians highlight it. Putschists target Ukrainian Jews repressively. They number around 200,000. 

Most live in Kiev. They include family members of holocaust survivors. Nightmarish conditions could return. History has a disturbing way of repeating.

Many fear for their safety for good reason. Some plan leaving. Threats were made. Synagogues were torched. Jewish shops were vandalized.

Israel remains silent. Haaretz turns a blind eye. So do other Israeli media. US ones are worst of all. AIPAC ignores what's happening altogether. 

Obama administration officials turn truth on its head. They wrongfully blame Eastern Ukrainians for virulent Kiev anti-Semitism.

Hate-mongering is official putschist neo-Nazi policy. US and other Western supporters pretend it doesn't exist. Kiev Jews know better.

If past is prologue, ongoing disturbing incidents may be harbingers of pogroms to follow. According to one Kiev Jew:

"The greatest concern is what happens if a mob is suddenly incited to attack a synagogue or a Jewish school" or entire community.

"Will police (intervene) to stop them?" Will they be allowed to rampage freely? Will they be encouraged to do so?

Kiev Rabbi Reuven Stamov is justifiably worried. "We have seen many unpleasant things from Svoboda members," he said.

"The authorities haven't done enough to find who is behind (hate-mongering) attacks." Failure to act encourages more of the same.

Things began this way in Nazi Germany. Incidents started slowly. They escalated out-of-control. Mass extermination followed. 

George Santayana's warning goes unheeded. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," he said.

Edmond Burke said much the same thing: "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Ukrainian Jews have just cause to worry. Especially Kiev ones. Neo-Nazi hate-mongering threatens them. 

Official silence whitewashes what demands highlighting. Haaretz editors share blame. 

They owe their readers an apology. Publishing Nadolenko's propaganda shamed them. Their regulars deserve much better. Failure to do so betrays them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cold War 2.0

Cold War 2.0

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article said welcome to Cold War 2.0. The first one never ended. Since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution, Western policy remained hard-wired in place. 

Putin and Obama are geopolitical opposites. They're world's apart. Their ideologies clash. They represent conflicting values.

Putin defends Russian sovereignty. He opposes US imperial lawlessness. He affirms UN Charter and other rule of law principles.

Obama claims a divine right to pursue unchallenged global hegemony. Washington considers Putin public enemy number one. At risk is potential East/West confrontation.

Russia bashing persists. It's intense. It rages daily. It exceeds the worst of Soviet era levels. 

Daily vilifying reinvents the Evil Empire. It's back to the future. It doesn't surprise. Neocons infest Washington. Business as usual continues. 

Recklessness defines US policy. At stake is world peace. On April 19, Putin said there's "nothing to prevent us from normalizing (US/Russian) relations and (reestablishing) normal cooperation."

At the same time, he knows how Washington operates. He knows its dark side. He knows what hasn't existed in a century or more.

He knows it takes a giant leap of faith to expect America to act responsibly. It hasn't throughout its sordid history. Why expect change now.

On April 19, The New York Times headlined "In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin," saying:

"…Obama and his national security team are looking beyond" Ukrainian crisis conditions." They plan "forg(ing) a new long-term approach to Russia…"

They want one "appl(ying) an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment." Presidential advisor George Kennan (1904 - 2005) shaped Washington's containment policy.

He prioritized curtailing its influence in strategic areas. His July 1947 "X" article headlined "The Sources of Soviet Conduct."

He urged "counter(ing) it "effectively." He stressed "containment, saying:

"The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies."

He called doing so "vital to the national security of the United States." He urged undermining Soviet strength.

He outlined covert and overt strategies. He included political alliances, economic policies. He encouraged underground resistance initiatives. 

He urged establishing "Liberation Committees" across Europe. He supported policies short of war.

Influential US official Paul Nitze (907 - 2004) helped shape post-WW II US policy. His Joint State-Defense Department Committee National Security Memorandum No. 68 (NSC-68) prioritized containing Soviet Russia.

Inflammatory language called it an enemy "unlike previous aspirants to hegemony...animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own (wishing to) impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world." 

Obama launched Cold War 2.0. According to The Times, he's "focus(ing) on isolating Russia…" 

He'll do it "by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood, and effectively making it a pariah state."

Even if Ukrainian crisis conditions are resolved, he'll "never have a constructive relationship with Mr. Putin, aides said." He'll spend his remaining time in office containing him.

He'll cooperate only "where progress remains possible." Previous articles explained. Washington's longstanding policy wants all independent governments eliminated.

Unchallenged US hegemony depends on it. Russia is America's main military rival. China is the world number two economy. 

In a half dozen more years or so, it'll surpass America. It'll be number one. Washington is going all-out to prevent it. It wants its military might unchallenged. 

It wants rival states marginalized, weakened, isolated, neutralized and contained. It wants unchallenged global dominance. It's going all-out to achieve it.

Co-opting Ukraine into NATO is a key element of US strategy. Doing so ensures encroaching on Russia's entire Western border. 

Positioning nearby US bases threatens its heartland. Doing so weakens its potential resistance. It achieves greater isolation. 

More absolute US dominance is possible. At the same time, world peace is threatened. Last month, The Times headlined "If Not a Cold War, a Return to a Chilly Rivalry," saying:

"Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Washington and Moscow had struggled to replace their Cold War rivalry with a new form of partnership, one that was tested by crisis after crisis but that endured in its own peculiar way."

After previous ruptures, resets put both countries "back onto an uneasy equilibrium." Putin's decision to "snatch Crimea" changed things, said The Times.

It "usher(ed) in a new, more dangerous era." It involves sustained "confrontation and alienation…" It'll be "hard to overcome." Further resets "appear far off and far-fetched."

The Times left unexplained what's most important. Crimea is a useful pretext. So are overall Ukrainian crisis conditions. Russia's opposition to America's imperial agenda matters more.

It military strength matters most. Washington accepts no rivals. It wants uncontested dominance. 

Achieving it requires eliminating all challengers. Russia alone matches America's military strength. 

It formidable nuclear arsenal and sophisticated delivery systems reflect it. Neutralizing them is prioritized. Efforts to do so go on in real time.

They'll continue throughout Obama's remaining tenure. His successor will persist where he leaves off. At risk is potential East/West conflict. All bets are off if it happens.

Last month, the Washington Post headlined "The 'Russia reset' was already dead; now it's time for isolation," saying:

"…(B)y end of 2013, the issues that animated the reset had withered."

"The relationship was at its lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union when Barack Obama won the presidency; it is now far worse."

WaPo pointed fingers the wrong way. Obama bears full responsibility. Current policy exacerbates things.

US-Russia 2009 reset policy was more illusion than reality. Washington's intentions prevent normalized relations. Obama is more belligerent than Bush. Conflict is prioritized over diplomacy.

Encircling Russia with US bases prevents normalized relations. Militarizing North Africa, the Middle East and part of Eurasia breached GHW Bush's pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev not to do so.

Washington's promises aren't worth the paper they're written on. Russia understands well. At a time no nation threatens America, the Pentagon maintains a growing network of well over 1,000 global bases. Unknown secret ones exist.

Many are positioned near Russia's borders. Doing so is provocative and belligerent. So called missile defense systems and advanced tracking radar are for offense, not defense. 

Friendly countries don't treat others this way. Doing so is fraught with risks. Russia knows it's targeted. US policy destroys trust.

On April 20, the Wall Street Journal headlined "US-Russia Relations Come Full Circle After Ukraine: Despite 'Reset,' Ukraine Crisis Shows US-Russia Tensions Far From Extinguished."

Obama policy "lurched" from reset to "benign neglect and awkward cooperation" to "punitive sanctions and sharp (anti-Putin) criticism."

The Journal like other US scoundrel media lie. They claim Putin aims to restore Russia's imperial might. America alone seeks unchallenged supremacy.

Permanent wars reflect official policy. Transforming all independent governments into subservient pro-Western ones is prioritized. 

Eliminating major rivals matter most. Don't expect media scoundrels to explain. Russia bashing continues.

Putin "seek(s) confrontation, said the Journal. He's gone all-out to resolve things diplomatically. Claiming otherwise doesn't wash. Big Lies persist.

Polls show propaganda works. More than two-thirds of Americans believe Russia invaded Ukraine. Three-fourths believe no justification for what didn't happen.

Over 80% consider it a violation of international law. Before Ukrainian crisis conditions erupted, 44% of Americans called Russia an ally.

Currently, 68% call it unfriendly or an enemy. More than two-thirds view Putin unfavorably. It's polar opposite how most Russians perceive him.

His US public opinion rating is the worst since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution. At the same time, only 35% of Americans believe Washington's Russia policy should toughen.

Over 50% say America should stay uninvolved. They think current conditions are beyond US control. Washington has no responsibility to intervene over Crimea, they say.

Sanctions alone are supported. Over half of Americans back Washington and EU states imposing them. Only a scant one-third think they'll be effective.

Earlier post-Soviet Russia views were more positive. According to a late March Gallup poll, half of all Americans think their government and Russia are heading into a new Cold War.

At the same time, 58% believe Washington shouldn't play a leading rule in resolving international problems. Stay uninvolved, they say.

Steven Pifer is a retired foreign service officer. He's a former US ambassador to Ukraine. He's currently Brookings' Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative director.

He's its Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence as well as Center on the United States and Europe in Foreign Policy senior fellow.

He points fingers the wrong way saying:

"We certainly are headed toward perhaps the rockiest period in US-Russia relations since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991…Unless the Russians change course, we're going to be in a very difficult time, unfortunately."

"Vladimir Putin by his military occupation of Crimea has violated the rules of the game…You haven't seen this (type) blatant grab in the last 25 years," he claims.

He ignored US imperial wars. Post-WW II, they raged. They did so globally. They continue. One country after another was targeted, ravaged, and destroyed. 

Some were occupied, colonized and exploited. Hegemons operate this way. Rule of law principles don't matter. Unchallenged dominance is official US policy. 

Big Lies claim otherwise. Fingers point the wrong way. Victims are called perpetrators. US aggression is called humanitarian intervention.

Professor Michael Kimmage says ongoing events don't reflect a new Cold War. "It's worse," he claims. Western ideals embody "Plato-to-NATO sensibility," he says.

Russia is a "latter-day Persia…Putin and Obama committed themselves to two irreconcilable visions of international politics."

Putin's "politics is set by the assertion of power," he claims. "Russian nationalism and American internationalism (leave little) room for diplomatic maneuvering," he added.

Kimmage reflects mainstream anti-Russian sentiment. Putin is unjustifiably bashed. Longstanding US imperial policy is ignored.

America bears full responsibility for most global flashpoints. Confronting Russia irresponsibly risks much more than Cold War 2.0 politics.

Ukraine is in the eye of the storm. Sergei Lavrov is right. He accused Washington of elevating illegitimate putschists to power.

It should take responsibility for its actions. It should stop issuing ultimatums to Russia. Ukrainian crisis conditions are deepening.

Nothing is being done to change things. Things lurch from bad to worse. Restoring order to crisis-torn Ukraine should be prioritized, says Lavrov.

Washington and EU partners "invent possible and impossible arguments against Russia," he added. Outrageous accusations follow.

"Attacks are continuing in Slaviansk, Mariupol, and other different places in southeastern Ukraine, as well as the attacks carried out by militants in masks, who are acting ruthlessly," Lavrov said.

New York Times policy is one-sidedly anti-Russian. Irresponsible bashing continues daily. Big Lies persist. On April 20, it headlined "Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia."

It called them the same "Russian military and intelligence forces - equipped in the same fashion as Russian special operations troops involved in annexing the Crimea region in February."

No evidence whatever suggests it. Clear evidence points fingers the right way. Kiev-deployed Right Sector neo-Nazis murdered four Slavyansk activists. 

Don't expect The Times to explain. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted. She lied saying:

"There has been broad unity in the international community about the connection between Russia and some of the armed militants in eastern Ukraine, and the photos presented by the Ukrainians last week only further confirm this, which is why US officials have continued to make that case."

Unnamed US and Kiev putschist officials were cited. Concealing the identity of its forces reflects Russian strategy, they claim.

The Times calls it "Russia's flair for 'maskirovak' - disguised warfare." It's more evident under Putin, it says.

Truth is systematically buried. Big Lies substitute. Putin bashing persists. Obama risks letting things spin out-of-control. Rogue leaders operate this way. 

Potential East/West conflict may follow. It bears repeating. All bets are off if it happens.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Marwan Barghouti on Sham Peace Talks

Marwan Barghouti on Sham Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

In May 2004, he was lawlessly convicted of three attacks killing five people. A three-judge panel admitted he had no involvement.

It didn't matter. Weeks later, he got five life sentences plus 40 years imprisonment. He's a prisoner of conscience. 

He calls himself "a political leader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, elected by my people. Israel has no right to try me, to accuse me, to judge me." 

"This is a violation of international law. I have a (legal) right to resist occupation."

In October 2002, he called the "State of Israel directly and indirectly criminally responsible for committing specific acts of genocide, ethnic cleansing, including uprooting Palestinians by military attacks, arbitrary arrests and illegal imprisonment, administrative detention, attacks on women, children and the elderly, systematic and wanton destruction of property and homes, (and) systematic expropriation and dispossession…"

He included numerous other crimes. He accused Israel of willfully imposing inhumane conditions. He remains imprisoned. On April 15, he was interviewed. 

He commented on sham peace talks. He had much more to say. Academic Adnan Abu Amer interviewed him in Arabic. More on what he said in translation below.

Last July, Israeli/Palestinian negotiation began. They were dead on arrival. They've gone nowhere. Israel demands everything its way. It offers nothing in return.

Talks are worthless. An agreed on April 29 deadline approaches. Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. He agreed to extend them irresponsibly. 

He said through year end. Perhaps well into 2015. In return, he demands concessions too minor to matter.

Why he'll have to explain. On April 18, Maan News headlined " 'No breakthrough' in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks," saying:

On April 17, five hours of "very difficult discussions" ended with no agreement. An unnamed Palestinian source said:

"The gap (between both sides) is still wide. There was no breakthrough." On Friday, US negotiator Martin Indyk met separately with both sides. Nothing whatever was accomplised.

Israeli commentator Nahum Barnea compared nine months of talks to prolonged "mutual torture." 

He said "Kerry keeps them going like a gambler in a casino, who insists on putting his money on the roulette wheel, in the hope that the wheel will stop on his number at some point."

"He believed that he would reach a peace agreement. Then he limited himself to a framework agreement." 

"He later limited himself even further to an American proposal for a framework. And then just to ideas."

"In the end, the entire prestige of the United States is invested in a marginal, questionable deal, which will only prolong the mutual torture."

It bears repeating what earlier articles stressed. Chances for an equitable, just deal are virtually nil. 

Extending talks doesn't matter. Multiple earlier rounds  accomplished nothing. Don't expect this time to be different.

Barghouti had his say. He did so from prison. In May 2002, he was kidnapped, he said. Abducting him followed several failed Israeli attempts to kill him.

Over three months of grueling investigation followed. He spent several years in solitary confinement.

His cell was two meters long by 1.5 meters wide. Cockroaches, rats and mosquitos infested it.

No ventilation existed. "I was completely isolated from the world," he said. He got six books every six months. International Red Cross representatives supplied them.

He mastered Hebrew while incarcerated. After solitary confinement, he was moved to an isolation ward. He called the Palestinian situation "increasingly difficult."

Israel "thwart(s)" peace process efforts. Occupation harshness persists. "Israelis again elected government unwilling at all to end the occupation and settlements, and making peace with the Palestinians."

He blames Fatah for not reconciling with Hamas. Failure "complicate(s)" the "Palestinian scene," he said.

He supports "national unity." He said achieving it "constitutes the law of the victory of the national liberation movements of oppressed peoples."

"Reconciliation is a prerequisite for the unity of the people and the establishment of the state," he added.

He's confident unity and reconciliation one day will happen. Palestinians will triumph, he said.

Ongoing peace talks are futile, he believes. They failed because Israel prioritizes violence, instability and dominance. 

He wants full Palestinian UN membership. He wants full participation in international agreements and conventions. He wants Israeli officials held accountable in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He wants more international community help isolating and punishing Israel. He wants Israel boycotted politically, economically and militarily.

He wants popular resistance escalated. He wants all Palestinian elements involved. He wants a future Palestinian state within 1967 borders.

He deplores US involvement in peace talks. It provides one-sided supported for Israel, he said. Doing so makes peaceful conflict resolution impossible, he added.

America isn't an honest broker. If it wanted regional peace, it would have "demanded in a clear and explicit way." 

Achieving it depends "ending the occupation of the territories occupied in 1967."

In "preparation for the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem," he added. And "implement(ing) Resolution 194."

In December 1948, it said "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage which, under the principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible."

Israel's UN admission was conditional on accepting and implementing Resolution 194. General Assembly members affirmed the right of return dozens of times.

Israel denies them. An earlier Israeli Supreme Court decision said:

"Judea, Samaria and Gaza have been under the State's belligerent occupation. They are not part of the State of Israel."

It doesn't matter. Israel governs extrajudicially. Hardliners running things ignore their own High Court decisions.

Jews alone have rights. All aspects of life are affected. Palestinians are systematically denied what's too vital to forego.

Rights include sovereignty, land, housing, culture, education, healthcare, employment, and religious freedom among others. They include everything grounded in international law.

Failure to achieve a just and equitable peace threatens to turn a low-level conflict into a greater one, said Barghouti.

"The Arab Peace Initiative constitutes the minimum accepted by the Arabs to settle (equitably) with Israel," he added.

"But what was issued by the Arab ministerial delegation in Washington in terms of readiness to amend the 1967 borders and accept the principle of the exchange of land damaged the position of Arab and Palestinian rights." 

It open(ed) the appetite of Israel for more concessions. No one has the right to modify or exchange a land border," he stressed.

He wants full Israeli withdrawal from Palestine within 1967 borders. He includes "all settlements." They're on stolen Palestinian land. 

They have no legitimacy. He rejects incorporating them into Israel. 

He calls "the only possible solution at this moment a two-state solution." He stresses sovereign Palestine within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It "must not be abandoned," he said. Occupation harshness must end. He wants Palestinian unity working for "an independent state with full sovereignty."

"Israelis should be aware that the last day at the age of occupation is the first day of peace in the region." It must "announce its willingness to end the occupation."

To withdraw outside 1967 borders. To recognize Palestinian self-determination, "including their right to establish an independent state with full sovereignty and its capital in East Jerusalem."

Barghouti demands Israeli "apartheid" end. He calls it "based on occupation, settlements and racism."

"The alternative for the failure of the two-state solution will not be a bi-national state, but a continuing and widening conflict on the basis of a conflict of existence, (one with) no compromises."

Israeli peace with regional countries won't achieve overall stability, he said.

"The Israelis are mistaken if they believe that the status quo will continue as it is, but they have to realize that the security will only be achieved in peace, and that the Arab people have changed and they can not challenge the region forever."

Abbas "missed a historic opportunity to reach peace in the past eight years," he said. He conspires irresponsibly with Israel, Barghouti believes.

He's Israel's enforcer. He "coordinate(s) an unprecedented security" against his own people. In return, Palestinian land is stolen. 

Jerusalem is Judaized. Palestinians are displaced. Their homes, freedoms and futures are destroyed.

Oppressed people have a right to resist, he stressed. By "all means and methods approved by the United Nations Charter and international law."

Abbas' time is passing. Palestinians alone must choose his successor, said Barghouti. He's committed to keep struggling for their freedom, independence and peace.

He prioritizes doing so. He devoted his whole life to popular struggles. He's confident Palestinians will be free one day. Occupation's "demise" is "inevitable," he said. 

He believes Arabs reject "tyranny and dictatorship, occupation and repression, and do not have to live within the confines of an Arab regime paralyzed and helpless, harrowed and subject to the subordination and domination of American political security and" military strength.

"Arab regimes failed (to) build democratic" institutions. Constitutional reform must end decades of dictatorship and repression, he said.

"(N)ew foundations must be built." Democratic rights must be established. They must be based on "political pluralism," religious rights, intellectual freedom, and rule of law principles.

Revolutionary change depends on it, he stressed. Doing so is the only way to end "subordination."

Regional peace depends on Palestinians achieving their fundamental rights. He includes sovereign independence, equity and justice. 

He believes one day they'll be achieved. He'll work imprisoned or free for that day.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kiev Breaks Easter Truce

Kiev Breaks Easter Truce

by Stephen Lendman

On April 19, Kiev putschists pledged no Easter weekend Eastern Ukraine attacks. They promised "suspension of the active phase of the anti-terrorism operation" to defuse crisis conditions.

A state security service (SBU) spokeswoman said suspension was "linked to the implementation of the Geneva agreement and the Easter holidays."

Putschist Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia added:

"The anti-terrorist operation was put on hold for the Easter time, and we will be not using force against them at this moment."

A day earlier, he said "more concrete actions" will follow next week if activists don't stop resisting. He demands unconditional surrender.

Protesters remain firm. They want their fundamental rights respected. They want local autonomy. They want real democracy.

They reject Kiev putschists. They're illegitimate. They demand they resign.

At the same time, earlier deployed neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs attacked Slavyansk activists.

Reports indicate six killed - four residents and two gunmen. Rossiya-24 TV said:

"Three residents of Slavyansk were shot dead by unidentified gunmen who attacked a block-post in the north of the town. Another person was wounded and is in hospital in critical condition."

"Several cars drove up to the block-post and then those inside the cars open fire. Self-defense fighters promptly arrived at the scene and returned the fire, killing two attackers."

Activists seized two cars. Evidence inside was incriminating. It included Right Sector paramilitary emblems, military uniforms, a machine gun, other weapons, plastids, smoke pellets, US-made night vision devices and aerial photograph maps.

According to RT International, 26 local residents manned the checkpoint attacked. They were unarmed. They had bats alone for protection.

"As (they) ran from the checkpoint, a group of 20 protesters with firearms were called from their camp in the city," said RT.

"They opened fire on the attackers, killing two of them and sending the rest running, according to a Life News report."

Casualties may rise. Gunmen retreated to a nearby forest. Hunting for them continues.

They may have planned attacking an activist-held TV tower, said RT. It's encircled on maps found in their cars.

Separately, other gunmen attacked residents in central Slavyansk. Two injuries were reported. Both victims are hospitalized.

In response to Saturday's violence, activist leaders ordered a midnight to 6AM curfew.

On April 17, Russian, US, EU and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Geneva. Discussion focused on deescalating Ukrainian crisis conditions.

A joint document was agreed on. It's meaningless. It's not worth the paper it's written on. It calls for all sides to end "violence, intimidation or provocative actions."

It condemns "all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism."

It "calls for an immediate commencement of a broad national dialogue which must be inclusive, transparent and accountable."

It stresses doing so "within the framework of the constitutional process, which must be inclusive and accountable."

Ukrainians alone must resolve things. They must do it without foreign interference. 

US-led Ukrainian collusion assures doing things their way. Expect Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters to respond accordingly. They have every right to do so.

Successfully implementing four-party agreement terms depends on real constitutional reform representing vital interests of all Ukrainians equitably, fairly and democratically.

Chances for doing so are virtually NIL! I bears repeating. The agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on. It was dead on arrival.

Kiev putschists violated terms straightaway. They acted with full US support. Obama's new friends represent the worst of societal misfits. They have no legitimacy whatever. 

They rule lawlessly. They tolerate no opposition. It's targeted for elimination. Their Eastern Ukrainian aggression continues. It includes cold-blooded murder.

Calling it an "anti-terrorist" operation doesn't wash. Ukrainian terrorism is entirely state-sponsored. Neo-Nazi thugs operate as expected. 

Further escalation is likely. Perhaps civil war. Maybe spilling conflict cross-border. Perhaps involving Moscow and Washington. 

Great conflicts begin this way. Perhaps the unthinkable will follow. US hegemonic ambitions risk it. Obama may be damn fool enough to pursue what responsible leaders wouldn't dare.

America's rage for war, its formidable weapons, and reckless ambitions makes anything possible.

In May 2000, the Pentagon's Joint Vision 2020 called for "full spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary. 

It asserted the right to use nuclear weapons preemptively. So did Bush's December 2001 Nuclear Policy Review. His 2002 and 2006 National Security Strategies reaffirmed it.

Bush and Obama administrations violated 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. The 1972 ABM Treaty was abandoned.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty provisions are ignored. So are the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention and Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. It prohibits additions to current stockpiles.

International laws, treaties, conventions, standards and norms don't matter. Washington rules alone apply. Might v. right reflects them.

So-called proactive, anticipatory self-defense, first-strike preemption asserts America's right to use all weapons in its arsenal. At issue is achieving unchallenged global dominance.

Obama's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review was old wine in new bottles. Policy remains unchanged. Washington "reserves the right" to do whatever it pleases.

Stop Nato editor Rick Rozoff if one of many distinguished contributors to a forthcoming Clarity Press book. It's titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks Global War."

Ukraine's geopolitical importance in US-led NATO's drive East is significant, says Rozoff. Co-opting it into the Atlantic Alliance ensures encroaching on Russia's "entire Western flank."

It'll do so from "the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south with NATO air bases, naval docking facilities, firing ranges, aircraft, radar installations, interceptor missiles, armored vehicles and troops."

Rozoff calls Ukraine "the decisive linchpin" in US-led NATO plans to establish "a military cordon sanitaire."

Achieving it assures cutting off Russia from Europe. Isolating and weakening it at the same time.

In December 2008, "NATO initiated its Annual National Program with Ukraine," said Rozoff. The same year, Washington "launched the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership."

Founding document objectives stated in part:

"Deepening Ukraine's integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions is a mutual priority." 

"We plan to undertake a program of enhanced security cooperation intended to increase Ukrainian capabilities and to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership. 

"Guided by the April 3, 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration of the NATO North Atlantic Council and the April 4, 2008 Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which affirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO."

"Recognizing the persistence of threats to global peace and stability, the United States and Ukraine intend to expand the scope of their ongoing programs of cooperation and assistance on defense and security issues to defeat these threats and to promote peace and stability." 

"A defense and security cooperation partnership between the United States and Ukraine is of benefit to both nations and the region."

With US-installed putschists ruling Ukraine, Washington is hell bent on transforming it into a "gargantuan" Pentagon-run NATO "forward base."

It's part of America's "inexorable" longstanding drive East. Doing so more than ever threatens world peace. 

It hangs by a thread. The slightest miscalculation risks anything. All bets are off given this risky scenario.

"Flashpoint in Ukraine" includes much more incisive analysis like Rozoff's. Other distinguished contributors assure it.  

Content is special. It's polar opposite mainstream Big Lies. It's required reading to know what's ongoing, the threat it poses, and what's likely ahead.

On April 19, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov highlighted the threat. US-led NATO's further encroachment "one more step towards the Russian border" changes things entirely, he said.

"(T)he entire European security architecture (will need) to be overhauled," he stressed. Further NATO enlargement poses a serious threat.

It remains a belligerent/aggressive military alliance. "Russia will have to take serious measures to ensure its own security," said Peskov.

A potential East/West confrontation looms. Reckless US policy risks it. Today is the most perilous time in world history. The worst of all possible outcomes remains possible.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.