ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

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.

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.

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

The Greek Stock Market Just Collapsed

GREEK MKT

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Now this is Greek tragedy.

Greece’s Athex Composite GD, -12.78% tanked almost 13% Tuesday — the biggest drop for the index on record, according to FactSet. The renewed jitters came after the government, in a surprise move late Monday, said it would bring forward presidential elections to Dec. 17, potentially, setting the scene for snap elections in early 2015.

Here’s why that’s important: Far-left party Syriza currently is leading the early polls and it seems likely they would win a snap election. This is how to think about Syriza:

  • The party has been calling for an end to austerity in Greece
  • Has been campaigning for market-unfriendly measures
  • Is firmly against the international bailout program that helped the country avoid a default during the depths of its financial crisis.

How bad is Greece’s Tuesday collapse? It’s worse than the 9.7% drop the market saw Oct. 24, 2010, at the peak of Greek debt worries. The drop also eclipses the 10% fall Greek markets saw in 1989 during a bout of political turmoil.

“If there is uncertainty about Greece’s political commitment to the bailout program, it seems likely that the QE opposition within the ECB has some temporary tailwinds,” analysts at RBC Capital Markets said in a note. “If that is the case, the [ECB] January meeting (due on 22 January) could be a quite contentious one, and the ECB might choose to wait until after the elections in Greece to decide further measures.”

With Greece’s problems once again in the limelight, investors all across Europe. the Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -2.33%  slumped 2.3%, while Germany’s DAX 30 index DAX, -2.21%  fell 2.2% and France’s CAC 40 index PX1, -2.55%  gave up 2.5%.

Greek government bond yields GR10YT, +0.00%  jumped 75 basis point to 7.90%, according to electronic trading platform Tradeweb.

“Not In Our Name!” 60 German Intellectuals Issue Appeal Against WWIII

Roman Herzog, Antje Vollmer, Wim Wenders, Gerhard Schröder and many other demanding an appeal for dialogue with Russia. ZEIT ONLINE documented the call.

Politik, Ukraine-Krise, Russland, Europa, Krieg, Gerhard Schröder, Horst Teltschik, Antje Vollmer, Bundesregierung, Eberhard Diepgen, Hans-Jochen Vogel, Klaus von Dohnanyi, Manfred Stolpe, Roman Herzog, Klaus Mangold, Mario Adorf, Moskau

American and Polish soldiers during an exercise in Poland in May 2014. | © Kacper Pempel / Reuters

More than 60 personalities from politics, economy, culture and media warn forcefully in an appeal against a war with Russia and calling for a new policy of détente in Europe. Their call they make to the federal government, members of parliament and the media.

Initiated the call by former Chancellor advisor Horst Teltschik (CDU), former defense secretary of state Walther Stützle (SPD) and former Vice-President of the Bundestag Antje Vollmer (Green). “We are talking about a political signal that the justified criticism of the Russian Ukraine’s policy does not mean that the progress we have achieved over the past 25 years in relations with Russia will be terminated,” Teltschik says the motivation for the appeal.

Have signed the text, inter alia, the former leaders of Hamburg, Berlin and Brandenburg, Klaus von Dohnanyi, Eberhard Diepgen and Manfred Stolpe, former SPD chairman Hans-Jochen Vogel, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former German President Roman Herzog and actor Mario Adorf.

The call in the wording:

Another war in Europe? Not in our name!

No one wants war. But North America, the European Union and Russia inevitably drive up to him if they did not finally halt the disastrous spiral of threat and counter-threat stop. All Europeans, including Russia, have joint responsibility for peace and security. Only he who does not lose sight of this goal, avoiding wrong turns.

The Ukraine-conflict shows that the addiction to power and domination is not overcome. 1990 at the end of the Cold War, we were all hoping. But the success of the policy of detente and peaceful revolutions have made sleepy and careless. In East and West alike. When Americans, Europeans and Russians is the guiding principle to banish war from their relationship permanently lost. It is a different Russia menacing expansion of the West to the East without simultaneous deepening cooperation with Moscow, as well as the illegal annexation of the Crimea by Putin, not to explain.

In this moment of great danger for the continent Germany has a special responsibility for the preservation of peace. Without the reconciliation of the people of Russia, without the foresight of Mikhail Gorbachev, without the support of our Western allies and without the prudent action by the then Federal Government, the division of Europe had not been overcome. To allow the German unit peacefully, was a tall, shaped by reason gesture of the victorious powers. A decision of historic proportions. From overcome division a solid European peace and security from Vancouver to Vladivostok should grow up, as it had been agreed by all 35 Heads of State and Government of the CSCE Member States in November 1990 in the “Charter of Paris for a New Europe”. On the basis of agreed principles and first concrete measures a “common European home” should be established, in which all the States concerned should learn the same security. This goal of the post-war policy is not redeemed until today. People in Europe have to fear again.

We, the undersigned, call on the federal government to assume their responsibility for peace in Europe to meet. We need a new policy of détente in Europe. This is only possible on the basis of equal security for all and equal and mutually respected partners. The German government is no special way, if they continue to call in the stalemate for calm and dialogue with Russia. The need for security of the Russians is legitimate and severe as the Germans, the Poles, the Balts and the Ukrainians.

We must also urge European Russia. That would be unhistorical, unreasonable and dangerous for peace. Since the Congress of Vienna in 1814 Russia is a recognized global players in Europe. All who have tried to change that are violent, bloody failed – the last megalomaniac Hitler’s Germany, in 1941, murdering set out to subjugate Russia.

We call upon the Members of the German Bundestag, as delegated by the people politicians to be the seriousness of the situation, and attentive to watch via the peace obligation of the federal government. Who builds only enemy and tampered with unilateral blame, exacerbated tensions at a time in which the signals should be included on relaxation. Embed held exclude must be a guiding German politicians.

We appeal to the media, their obligation to comply with unprejudiced reporting more convincing than before. Editorialists and commentators demonize whole nations, without crediting the story enough. Each foreign policy savvy journalist will understand the fear of the Russians, invited members of NATO since 2008, Georgia and Ukraine to become members of the alliance. It’s not about Putin. State leaders come and go. Europe is at stake. It comes back to take the people’s fear of war. For this purpose, a responsible, based on solid research coverage can help a lot.

On October 3, 1990, the Day of German Unity, German President Richard von Weizsäcker said: “The Cold War is overcome freedom and democracy have soon enforced in all states … Now they can have their relationships so compact and secure institutional,.. that it is a common life and peace order can first be. so begins a completely new chapter for the peoples of Europe in their history. His goal is a pan-European project. It is a huge target. We can do it, but we can also miss . We are facing the clear alternative to some or fall back according painful historical examples again in nationalist conflicts Europe. “

Until Ukraine conflict we thought we were in Europe on the right track. Richard von Weizsäcker’s reminder is today, a quarter of a century later, more relevant than ever.

The signatories

Mario Adorf, Actor
Robert Antretter (Bundestag retd.)
Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bergmann (Vice – President of the Alma Mater Europaea)
Prince Luitpold of Bavaria (Royal Holding KG and license)
Achim von Borries (director and writer)
Klaus Maria Brandauer (actor, director)
Dr. Eckhard Cordes (Chairman of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations)
Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin (Minister of Justice Retired)
Eberhard Diepgen (Former Governing Mayor of Berlin)
Dr. Klaus von Dohnanyi (Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg)
Alexander van Dülmen (A-Board Company Filmed Entertainment AG)
Stefan Dürr (Managing Partner and CEO Ekosem-Agrar GmbH)
Dr. Erhard Eppler (Federal Minister for Development and Cooperation Retired)
Prof. Dr. Dr. Heino Falcke (Propst iR)
Prof. Hans-Joachim Frey (CEO Semper Opera Ball Dresden)
Father Anselm Grün (Father)
Sibylle Havemann (Berlin)
Dr. Roman Herzog (Former President)
Christoph Hein (writer)
Dr. Dr. hc Burkhard Hirsch (Bundestag Vice President aD)
Volker horns (Academy Director iR)
Josef Jacobi (organic farmer)
Dr. Sigmund Jähn (former astronaut)
Uli Jörges (journalist)
Prof. Margot Käßmann (former EKD Council President and Bishop)
Andrea von Knoop (Moscow)
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Krone-Schmalz (former correspondent for the ARD in Moscow)
Friedrich Küppersbusch (journalist)
Vera Gräfin von Lehndorff (artist)
Irina Liebmann (writer)
Dr. hc Lothar de Maizière (Former Prime Minister)
Stephan Märki (Director of the Theatre of Bern)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Mangold (Chairman Mangold Consulting GmbH)
Reinhard Mey and Hella (Songwriter)
Ruth Misselwitz (Protestant pastor Pankow)
Klaus Prömpers (journalist)
Prof. Dr. Konrad Raiser (eh. General Secretary of the World Council of Churches World)
Jim rocket (Photographer)
Gerhard Rein (journalist)
Michael Röskau (Secretary Retired)
Eugen Ruge (writer)
Dr. hc Otto Schily (Federal Minister of the Interior Retired)
Dr. hc Friedrich Schorlemmer (ev. Theologian, civil rights)
Georg Schramm (comedian)
Gerhard Schröder (Chancellor aD)
Philipp von Schulthess (Actor)
Ingo Schulze (writer)
Hanna Schygulla (actress, singer)
Dr. Dieter Spöri (Minister of Economics)
Prof. Dr. Fulbert Steffensky (Cath. Theologian)
Dr. Wolf-D. Stelzner (Managing Partner: Institute for WDS analyzes in cultures mbH)
Dr. Manfred Stolpe (Former Prime Minister)
Dr. Ernst-Jörg von Studnitz (Ambassador)
Prof. Dr. Walther Stützle (secretary of defense Retired)
Prof. Dr. Christian R. Supthut (Board Member Retired)
Prof. Dr. hc Horst Teltschik (former adviser at the Federal Office for Security and Foreign Policy)
Andres Veiel (director)
Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel (Federal Minister of Justice Retired)
Dr. Antje Vollmer (Vice-President of the German Bundestag Retired)
Bärbel Wartenberg-Potter (Lübeck Bishop Retired)
Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker (scientists)
Wim Wenders (Director)
Wenzel (Songwriter)
Gerhard Wolf (writer, publisher)

Malaysia Gets International Permission To Investigate Downing of Its Own Aircraft

‘Malaysia plays crucial role in criminal probe’

new-straits-times

 

MALAYSIA’S participation as a full and equal member of the MH17 joint investigation team tasked with the criminal investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft is expected to result in the identification of the perpetrators of the heinous act, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the investigation was ongoing, with Malaysia jointly participating with the investigation teams from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine in the criminal and technical
investigation group.

“Our participation in the investigation is important and I am confident it can help the team find vital evidence to bring those responsible to justice,” he said after the Kojadi Institute convocation at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Last Monday, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had said in a statement that Malaysia had been accepted as a full and equal member of the joint investigation team that focused on the criminal investigation into the downing of the MAS aircraft.

It was conveyed by the Netherlands National Public Prosecutor’s Office in a letter dated Nov 28 to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

As part of the international criminal investigation process, Gani and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar left for The Hague last Wednesday to attend the third Eurojust Coordination Meeting on the criminal investigation, which was scheduled last Thursday.

Flight MH17 is believed to have been shot down in Ukraine while flying from Amsterdam to here on July 17, and all 298 passengers, including 44 Malaysians, died in the crash.

On the intention of families of victims to take legal action against Malaysia, Liow said the government was prepared for any possibility.

However, he said, his ministry had yet to receive any information on the matter.

“I just returned from Chongqing, China, and have yet to receive any information related to these cases (filing of suits), but Malaysia is prepared to face any charge in court,” he said in response to a news portal report in the Daily Mail of the United Kingdom last Wednesday, which quoted news.com.au as saying that family members of eight of the MH17 victims from Australia would sue Russia, Ukraine and Malaysia.

Aviation lawyer Jerry Skinner, who will represent the eight Australian families from New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, was quoted as saying that he was awaiting information before filing the case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Skinner is known for his negotiation in a US$2.7 billion settlement (RM9.4 billion) for the 270 victims with Libya over the 1988 Lockerbie disaster. Bernama

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