ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

At What Point Will Putin Bend Under Obama’s Ukraine Extortion?

Have we reached the point where American economic warfare against Russia has become so painful that Putin has to stop standing in between Bashar Assad and Obama?  With the “one-two punch” of punitive banking and oil industry sanctions, followed by plunging oil prices, the American aggression is starting to bear evil fruit.

Further economic sanctions of similar severity and as yet to be identified legal sanctions will severely compound Putin’s problems, across the board.  This would probably be enough to crash the ruble, even before any military provocations are carried out.  So, as is the way of geostrategic thinkers, Putin can easily see the endgame of Obama’s gambit, meaning that the military contest will decide everything in the end, so why not go there now?  Thus explaining the resurgence of Russian apocalyptic references to the humiliation being forced upon it.  If we get past all of the diplomatic B.S., who will blink first, when it comes to pulling the nuclear trigger?

If the United States Government insists on pushing this punish Putin paranoia over Ukraine and for resisting his will in Syria, then this summer will be a very dangerous time to visit Europe or the Middle East.  Obama forced this “war or surrender” scenario upon Putin once before, over the Ghouta chemical weapons extortion caper last September (SEE: Syria: Russia will stand by Assad over any US strikes, warns Putin on September 6).  Deflecting that ultimatum, Putin managed to sidestep Obama’s push with the plan to dispose of Assad’s chem weapons, catching everyone off guard on September 10 (SEE: Russian move to avert airstrikes on Syria benefits Obama and Putin).

Now we are faced with another contrived confrontation between nuclear superpowers, this time it is over Ukraine.  The Russian war resolution, a.k.a. “Ukrainian Freedom Support Act,” authorizes Obama to cross all of Russia’s “red lines” on Ukraine, as punishment for helping the Syrian govt avoid the Western siege, as much as it is over aid to the NovoRussian rebels.  In this act, Russia is presented with a list of specific demands, running the gamut from semi-reasonable measures, such as stopping weapons to Donbass, to demands which are outrageous in the extreme, like vetting all Russian aid to Assad through the “internationally recognized government” of Syria, a “government” which is either run by Saudi puppet Ahmad Jarba, or Saudi hand-puppet, Hadi al-Bahra.  In other words, the Saudi pretenders to the Syrian presidency (handpicked by Kerry and Obama) who were assembled in Geneva by Obama, will gain International legitimacy through the Ukrainian back door.   After the Ukraine resolution goes into effect, Putin will be faced with this ludicrous dilemma, have to completely alter Russian foreign and domestic policies to accommodate Washington’s demands.  It doesn’t matter what he does in Ukraine, if he continues to send military aid to Assad, without first getting permission from the Syrian National Coalition, he will be faced with even deadlier (as yet unknown) consequences than the economic warfare inflicted so far.

Assad will very likely be hung out to dry, flapping in the breeze, either way.  Whether Putin accepts Obama’s ultimatum or forces a military solution, it will very likely become impossible for him carry-on for Syria much longer.  Assad’s only hope is if Putin chooses to walk down the hard road, carrying little Bashar along the way.

Obama’s demands cover nearly all facets of Russian international commerce and diplomatic actions, including demands to vacate Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, reverse course in Moldavia, Georgia, not to mention, leaving the rest of Eastern Europe and the Central Asian Republics alone.  Obama wants the entire former Soviet Union territory in one fell swoop.  The US is claiming the equivalent of veto control over the Gazprom decision-making process, as well as the right to arm Ukraine to the teeth, and the right to install propaganda transmitters anywhere now covered by Russian broadcasts.

In other words, the US Congress has set up another international confrontation between the US and Russia, to veto ANY RUSSIAN BEHAVIOR which has not been pre-authorized by the White House.  If Putin doesn’t cede total control over his govt to Obama, in the interests of peace and world government, then the US will move proxy forces into Russian territory, beginning with Eastern Ukraine.  The Ukraine act plainly states that Western allies will enter the Donbass conflict, to provide “evacuation assistance” to refugees in the war zone.

All US anti-Russian sanctions, diplomatic moves and economic warfare have been directed towards bringing Russia to its knees, in a make-or-break showdown, intended to end either in total Russian surrender or world war.  Now the US Congress, speaking on behalf of the entire human race, doubles Russia’s punishment, while also moving the contest into the military sphere, all with the overt intention of destroying the Russian economy and toppling Vladimir Putin.

When it comes down to the wire and Putin is left with no wiggle room, he will once again choose to bend over for Obama and let him ride right up his ass, if he cannot come-up with another judo dodge move.  When push comes to shove, Bashar Assad will be toast and Obama will be crowned king of the world, or else we we warm-up the tactical nuclear missiles.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Jeffrey Feltman Is Coming To Ukraine–the Man Who Starts and Manages the Bush/Obama Civil Wars

feltman

United Nations, Dec 13, 2014:
Jeffrey Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, is scheduled to visit Ukraine early next week in a bid to support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, a UN spokesman said here Friday.”Feltman, in an effort to support the secretary-general’s good offices to assist in finding a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, will travel to Kiev Dec 16 and 17 for consultations with senior officials,” Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing.

The visit of the UN political chief comes just a few days after the trip of the UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, who is currently in Ukraine to assess the human rights situation in the country.

During his visit, Simonovic is scheduled to meet a number of Ukrainian government officials as well as civil society actors, the official said, adding that he is also scheduled to visit the eastern region of the country.

The visits by the two senior UN officials take place one week after Ukrainian forces suspended hostilities against independence-seeking insurgents in the country’s eastern region.

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in mid-April, has claimed at least 4,350 lives and wounded more than 10,000 others, according to the latest UN estimates.

- IANS

Official Russian Statement On Ukraine Freedom Support Provocation

Russian Embassy

Comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on the approval of the anti-Russian bill “The Ukraine Freedom Support Act” by the U.S. Congress

The bill “The Ukraine Freedom Support Act” that was approved by the both houses of the U.S. Congress with no debate and proper voting cannot but produce deep regret by its overly confrontational contents. Once again Washington is presenting unfounded, sweeping accusations and is threatening us with new sanctions. At the same time one puts in the same bag the Ukrainian and Syrian crises, in the fomenting of which the U.S. had a hand, and even the INF Treaty while the adherence to the document of Washington raises questions – saying the least of it. Herewith one promises to provide the Kiev government with weapons to continue the military operation in the Donbass region and straightforwardly announce the intention to use non-governmental organizations to influence internal political processes in our country.
It would seem that the serious challenges for the international security demand the joint efforts of Russia and the U.S. Meanwhile the American lawmakers following the administration of Barack Obama work hard to destroy the backbone of cooperation. The powerful mine similar to the notorious Jackson-Vanick amendment that was adopted in 1974 and was hindering the cooperation for several decades is laid under the bilateral relations. We are beginning to think that Washington cannot refuse to abandon outdated phobias and wants to turn back time.
It is time for the members of the Congress to abandon their illusions on the efficacy of sanctions in their heated campaign against Russia. We will not submit to blackmail. We will not cede our national interests. And we will not tolerate interference in our internal affairs.

 

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the continuing U.S. accusations of the violation of the INF Treaty by Russia

We paid attention to the remarks made by the U.S. high-ranking officials during the Congress hearing on December 10, 2014 regarding the U.S. plans to apply measures of economic and military pressure to Russia over alleged violations of the INF Treaty by the Russian side.
It is regretful that Washington continues to follow the logic of confrontation. Our attitude to the U.S. practice of sanctions is well-known: we consider such unilateral restrictions to be illegitimate and we are not going to obey the U.S. diktat. As for the possible military steps, that the U.S. representatives hinted on, they would only add tensions to the already complicated situation. It is unlikely to strengthen the security of the U.S. and their allies that was discussed at the hearings.
It is worth noting that while announcing such threats the U.S. cannot distinctly formulate what claims do they have and stubbornly decline to definitive their accusations. At the same time the U.S. do not provide satisfactory answers to our justified and substantive counterclaims. This applies to ballistic missile targets which are similar to short and medium-ranged rockets, to the American unmanned combat aircraft that obviously fall within the definition of the ground-launched cruise missile and to the intention to deploy ground mode of the sea-launched cruise missile «MK-41» in Poland and Romania which is able to launch medium-ranged cruise missile.
We are still convinced that threats are not the best means to deal with the problems that may arise in the context of adhering to the Treaty. We are going to act on this basis. We call on the U.S. side to do the same.

House Passed Anti-Russian Ukraine Support Act In March

[SEE: ‘‘Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014’’–S.R.2828]

H.R.4278 – Ukraine Support Act 113th Congress (2013-2014)

Bill

Sponsor: Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39] (Introduced 03/21/2014)
Committees: House – Foreign Affairs; Judiciary | Senate – Foreign Relations
Latest Action: 04/02/2014 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Major Recorded Votes: 03/27/2014 : Passed House

MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOUSE AND SENATE VERSIONS:

1 (I) manufactures or sells defense
2 articles transferred into Syria or into
3 the territory of a specified country
4 without the consent of the inter5
nationally recognized government of
6 that country;

‘‘specified country’’ means—
3 (i) Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova;
4 and
5 (ii) any other country designated by
6 the President as a country of significant
7 concern for purposes of this subsection,
8 such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Esto9
nia, and the Central Asia republics.

If the President determines that
19 Gazprom is withholding significant natural gas sup20
plies from member countries of the North Atlantic
21 Treaty Organization, or further withholds significant
22 natural gas supplies from countries such as Ukraine,
23 Georgia, or Moldova,

3 SEC. 7. MAJOR NON-NATO ALLY STATUS FOR UKRAINE,
4 GEORGIA, AND MOLDOVA.

22 (a) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to
23 provide defense articles, defense services, and training to
24 the Government of Ukraine for the purpose of countering
25 offensive weapons and reestablishing the sovereignty and
22
MRW14623 S.L.C.
1 territorial integrity of Ukraine, including anti-tank and
2 anti-armor weapons, crew weapons and ammunition,
3 counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery bat4
teries, fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance
5 and control equipment, tactical troop-operated surveillance
6 drones, and secure command and communications equip7
ment,

24 (1) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be
25 appropriated to the Secretary of State $350,000,000
23
MRW14623 S.L.C.
1 for fiscal year 2015 to carry out activities under this
2 section.

7 (ii) evacuation assistance available to
8 persons seeking to flee armed conflict
9 areas.

There are authorized to be appro5
priated $50,000,000

15 There are authorized to be appropriated to the Sec16
retary of State $20,000,000

18 SEC. 10. EXPANDED BROADCASTING IN COUNTRIES OF THE
19 FORMER SOVIET UNION.

24 (1) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be
25 appropriated $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years
35
MRW14623 S.L.C.
1 2015 through 2017

 

United Nations, Dec 13, 2014: Jeffrey Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, is scheduled to visit Ukraine early next week in a bid to support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, a UN spokesman said here Friday.

“Feltman, in an effort to support the secretary-general’s good offices to assist in finding a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, will travel to Kiev Dec 16 and 17 for consultations with senior officials,” Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing.

The visit of the UN political chief comes just a few days after the trip of the UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, who is currently in Ukraine to assess the human rights situation in the country.

During his visit, Simonovic is scheduled to meet a number of Ukrainian government officials as well as civil society actors, the official said, adding that he is also scheduled to visit the eastern region of the country.

The visits by the two senior UN officials take place one week after Ukrainian forces suspended hostilities against independence-seeking insurgents in the country’s eastern region.

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in mid-April, has claimed at least 4,350 lives and wounded more than 10,000 others, according to the latest UN estimates.

- IANS

 

 

Americans Don’t Have the Balls To Torture the Truth

CIA boosters weigh in: Man up, America

sf gate

Report On CIA Interrogations To Be Released By Senate Intelligence Chair Sen. Dianne FeinsteinThe Senate torture report has inspired reams of reporting, most of it supportive or at least non-critical. An tide of editorials here, here and here have matched the tone of our own. Sen Dianne Feinstein is the hero of the hour to long time observers.
But now on Day Two the defenders have emerged to criticize the report and explain the past on their preferred terms. Three past CIA directors who presided over the torture years explained their actions in the friendly opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, which added its own hardline editorial. The basic answer: torture –wait, make that enhanced interrogation techniques — worked, thousands of livers were saved, and the temperature at the time demanded tough stuff. Democrats back then wanted bold action, and who are they to complain now?

Present CIA director John Brennan — once Obama’s national security adviser — added his own toned down criticism. His take: mistakes were made, but we no longer do this stuff.
Then there’s the minority report from Republicans on the Democrat-dominated Intelligence Committee that produced the door-stopper 6,000 page still-secret report and the publicly released versions that’s created all the news. The GOP members picked at perceived flaws and noted that no interviews with CIA employees past or present were included to flesh out the claims built on e-mails, memos and printed communications.
Other voices are now surfacing. Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, a liberal Democrat who spent eight years on the Senate intelligence panel, doesn’t think it does any good to release the report without a unified forward action, which won’t happen now. Bush-era legal beagle John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped write justifications for water boarding and the like, weighed in critically.
John McCain, the only member of Congress actually tortured after capture in North Vietnam, offered his thoughts too. He’s a longtime critic of torture, believing it has little value and taints the country’s image. He was the only Republican to speak out in favor of the Senate report’s dismal findings.

It’s hard to know what impact the graphic and gruesome Senate report will have on public opinion. Polls have repeatedly showed a majority of Americans support torture in the terrorism fight. Maybe this time that perception will change.

AMERICAN HOLOCAUST–We Inspired Hitler and S. Africa

The powerful and hard-hitting documentary, American Holocaust, is quite possibly the only film that reveals the link between the Nazi holocaust, which claimed at least 6 million Jews, and the American Holocaust which claimed, according to conservative estimates, 19 million Indigenous People.

It is seldom noted anywhere in fact, be it in textbooks or on the internet, that Hitler studied America’s “Indian policy”, and used it as a model for what he termed “the final solution.”

He wasn’t the only one either. It’s not explicitly mentioned in the film, but it’s well known that members of the National Party government in South Africa studied “the American approach” before they introduced the system of racial apartheid, which lasted from 1948 to 1994. Other fascist regimes, for instance, in South and Central America, studied the same policy.

Noted even less frequently, Canada’s “Aboriginal policy” was also closely examined for its psychological properties. America always took the more ‘wide-open’ approach, for example, by decimating the Buffalo to get rid of a primary food source, by introducing pox blankets, and by giving $1 rewards to settlers in return for scalps of Indigenous Men, women, and children, among many, many other horrendous acts. Canada, on the other hand, was more bureaucratic about it. They used what I like to call “the gentleman’s touch”, because instead of extinguishment, Canada sought to “remove the Indian from the Man” and the Women and the Child, through a long-term, and very specific program of internal breakdown and replacement – call it “assimilation“. America had it’s own assimilation program, but Canada was far more technical about it.

Perhaps these points would have been more closely examined in American Holocaust if the film had been completed. The film’s director, Joanelle Romero, says she’s been turned down from all sources of funding since she began putting it together in 1995.

Perhaps it’s just not “good business” to invest in something that tells so much truth? In any event, Romero produced a shortened, 29-minute version of the film in 2001, with the hope of encouraging new funders so she could complete American Holocaust. Eight years on, Romero is still looking for funds.

American Holocaust may never become the 90-minute documentary Romero hoped to create, to help expose the most substantial act of genocide that the world has ever seen… one that continues even as you read these words.

Obama’s No Fault Foreign Policy

daily star LEB

It is exasperating to listen to American officials pontificate about events in the Middle East and offer what sounds like reasonable proposals to resolve the area’s problems, when those same officials and the entire political power structure they represent refuse to acknowledge that they have played a major role in creating or expanding those problems. This is why it is astounding to watch the United States now lead the military assault against ISIS by using the same techniques that contributed in a major way to the birth and growth of the militant Islamist ideology at the core of ISIS and its criminal deeds.

The latest example of this is a statement the U.S. State Department put out Monday quoting Secretary of State John Kerry.

He stated that “[t]he fight against violent extremism in the Middle East can only truly be won if there are clear and appealing alternatives.”

This simplistic statement sounds so logical and reasonable, but in fact is full of dishonesty and disgraceful critical omissions. I say this because the United States itself played a direct and clear role in helping to foment the spread of ISIS-style violent extremism by creating the conditions for it in 2003 when it invaded Iraq and wiped away the former Iraqi state and government. That war created chaotic conditions that provided an opening for Osama bin Laden to send Abu Musab al-Zarqawi into Iraq to set up a local branch of Al-Qaeda. This small group of killers and anti-Shiite Sunni sectarian extremists expanded slowly and eventually rebranded itself as ISIS.

Kerry’s statement is also problematic in mentioning the absence of alternatives. There are no strong alternatives in large part because for over half a century – and today still – the United States and other major foreign powers have enthusiastically supported Arab autocrats and tyrants whose disdain for their own citizens has been the single most important reason for the growth of ISIS-like mentalities and behavior. The status quo in the Middle East that the U.S. favored and supported for so long made it impossible for any alternatives to emerge.

Kerry’s simplistic statement Monday reveals either dishonesty or sheer ignorance, or perhaps a bit of both. That is truly troubling given that his country has a massive amount of military force that it unleashes regularly around the Middle East, most often leading to troubling conditions such as what we are witnessing in Iraq and Syria today. To then follow up with simplistic statements for public consumption in which he offers solutions to the problems the U.S. helped create is an incredible act of disregard for the basic intelligence and common sense of billions of people around the world who do not share the kind of political and intellectual dishonesty he displays in this case.

It is not the responsibility of the United States or any other foreign power to fix the problems of the Middle East, which are mainly home-grown and stem from over half a century of autocratic or dictatorial rule, massive incompetence and mismanagement in governance, rampant corruption, declining education quality, misguided militarism, environmental irresponsibility, and the trampling of the rule of law and citizens’ rights. The United States knew about all this and more, but nevertheless resolutely supported the political systems that ultimately drove many young people into the realm of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

How can anyone possibly take seriously statements such as those of Kerry? Moreover, why does the United States keep insulting us and the world by making such statements that lack so much logic, credibility and veracity? Presumably, the answer is that the United States feels no real repercussions either from pursuing the corrosive policies it has for half a century, or from adding insult to injury by saying that we need attractive alternatives to stem the flow of our young men into killer movements such as ISIS.

This highlights the wider problem that we continue to suffer from in the Arab world’s relations with the U.S. and other major world powers. That is the perpetuation of colonial attitudes among both American and other foreign elites who toy with the Arab peoples, on the one hand, and Arab ruling elites who play the game of dependent colonial subject, on the other. ISIS represents one of the few fractures in that process that shatters the prevailing conditions of the past century, and, not surprisingly, frightens both Western and Arab rulers. Until those same Arab, Western and other foreign rulers accept that their shared policies were the main underlying reason that allowed ISIS and other such movements to come into being, statements such as Kerry’s this week will only be met with ridicule and disbelief, and have zero impact on anyone other than his poor press secretary who has to disseminate this kind of ridiculous nonsense.

Rami G. Khouri is published twice weekly by THE DAILY STAR. He can be followed on Twitter @RamiKhouri.

- See more at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/Dec-10/280488-the-us-just-refuses-to-take-the-blame.ashx#sthash.DMeEXbIY.dpuf

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