Archive for March 10, 2014

source: RT.com News via Youtube

“If Afghanistan can become the central Asian ’roundabout,’ to use President Karzai’s term, to where it can be the new Silk Road, think of the implications for that, recalling that, of course, Afghanistan is blessed with the presence of what are trillions, with an ‘S’ on the end, trillions of dollars worth of minerals if, and only if, you can get the extractive technology, the human capital operated, the lines of communication to enable you to get it out of the country and all the rest of that. Very big ‘if.’ And of course, there’s a foundation of security that would be necessary on, on which to build all of that. But, again, the prospects are very significant if you can achieve objectives.” — Gen. David Petraeus, Meet the Press, Sunday, August 15th, 2010
Full video here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/#…

And even if you can achieve those objectives, what gives you the right to? No blood for minerals at http://www.michaelmoore.com/

 

RT in the Eye of a Media Storm

Source:
Global Research, March 08, 2014
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 James Kirchick is just the neutral reporter the Daily Beast would assign to  report on the ideological controversy surrounding the Russian backed RT-TV Channel’s coverage of the crisis in the Ukraine. 

The Beast lives up to its name by sending a hardcore polemical ideologue to uncover what he predictably labels as ideological media bias.

Kirchickis a veteran of the anti-communist wars, now revived as the anti Putin wars, not some neutral journo crusading for democracy.

According to Wikipedia, he is a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington,  prior to this he was writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He is a graduate of theNew Republic, Murdoch’s Weekly Standard and writes for Azure, a magazine that described itself as pro-Zionist and freemarket.

Ok, just so we know who are dealing with here.

And now, to bolster his “credibility” he presents himself as a victim in his latest article that exposes himself, far more than his target, asserting that his rights as a journalist were somehow compromised because of a gutsy quest for truth.

Here’s his exhibit:

•The Headline: “Watch RT, Putin’s TV Network, Call the Cops on Me”

•The Lead:“That’s what happens, it seems, when you ask some simple questions outside RT’s Washington headquarters.”

•The Polemic: “What would possess an American to work for a Russian propaganda outlet, especially now that the world is on the brink of a potential war in Eastern Europe?

I asked that question of about two dozen people coming in and out of the Washington headquarters of RT, the Kremlin-funded television network that has become infamous in recent days for whitewashing Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. No one would answer me directly. Instead, RT called the local cops on me. …”

Kirchik’s first story in his jihad against RT was to interview Anchor Liz Wahl who resigned  flamboyantly on the air denouncing the channel she worked and making her an instant shero among Russia-bashers the world over.

Wahl offered up sweet innocence laced with the veneer of red white and blue (drop the red) patriotism, declaring, “I’m very lucky to have grown up here in the United States,” she said.

“I’m the daughter of a veteran. My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country. And that is why personally I cannot be part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I am proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast I’m resigning.”

Cue the National Anthem!

Funny, after her declaration of independence, and stagy pledge to quit was broadcast on a network that could have cut her off, none other than former Congressman Ron Paul who was interviewed by Wahl weighed in after she claimed RT censored her interview with him.

He denied it,saying, “I don’t think it was slanted in any way.”

Earlier, another RT on-airpersonality, Abby Martin,  also denounced Putin’s Ukraine policy on the air but was not fired and did not quit.

Later, she turned  up on CNN debating Piers Morgan, he of the show about to be cancelled, about how fair and objective most American TV is. She was far better informed on that subject than this departing British host in assessing the US press, and on a network considered by some critics as an “American propaganda outlet.”

In an article about Martin in National Journal, Lucia Graves wrote, “While it’s clear the network maintains a strong pro-Russian bias, Glenn Greenwald on Tuesday defended RT’s coverage, saying it isn’t so different from what we saw on American media outlets in the lead up to the Iraq War. “For all the self-celebrating American journalists and political commentators: Was there even a single U.S. television host who said anything comparable to this in the lead up to, or the early stages of, the U.S. invasion of Iraq?” he wrote.

On Google, a story from CNN on Wahl’s hyped farewell to RT carried Martin’s picture, not hers.

Oh well, details, details!

Back to Mr. Kirchick’sheroism in defense of democracy!

Watch the video of how he posed some of his “simple” questions to RT employees  outside their office.

What you see is a  wise-guy provocateur harassing people entering the building with hostile, if not nasty and self-righteous questions, in an argumentative and aggressively hostile manner.

RT  later challenged this image-building exerciseof the “man who is not afraid of Putin”  with a denial that they called the cops, an “update” that the Daily Beast tacked on to their story.

“RT America did not contact the DC police at any point,” Anna Belkina said in a statement. “The building’s security personnel called in the police after an intruder has been reported inside the building. The police questioned Mr. Kirchick as part of the investigation of that incident.”

Kirchick’s shouted out questions were there to call attention to himself, and score political points, and not to challenge the networkthat actually offers programs with views that are more diverse than on any US TV newschannel. It features programs with Tom Hartmann and even Larry King, both of whom deny they have been censored.

As an occasional commentator on RT News myself, I can and have said the same. I am not surprised that the networks I once worked for, ABC, CNN and CNBC never have me on,  while BBC, RT, Press TV and Saudi TV, among others,feature my commentaries without telling me what to say.

Kirchick is less bothered by what gets on RT than that it exists at all, and especially because the network has built an audience among Americans disgusted by how controlled and manipulated most US media outlets are.

His real target are RT’s viewers who he bitterly denounces as a “species,” perhaps because they are looking for information you never find on the Daily Beast or many of the outlets he whores for as a self-styled “objective newsman.”

Listen to this: “RT has become the go-to network for a particular species of disillusioned American, fed-up with what the “corporate media” is telling them about the world.”

He doesn’twaste any putdowns eitherfrom an arsenal of vituperative broadsides and even—get this— denouncesRT employees as “slovenly.”

He then rants on to share what may have been his Yale-bred elitism about his perception of the people the network interviews that includes politicians and commentators of all stripes.

“RT, both inits employment and viewership,” he writes,” seems to attract a particular type of person. You know the man who writes political chain emails IN ALL CAPS or the bag lady shouting on the street corner about the metal device the government has implanted in her head? Under normal circumstances, no one would give them a television show. But these are the people who appear on, and watch, RT.”

Oh, really– another round of clichés to keep the truth from getting in the way of his preconceived perceptions.

Now, now,  feel better Mr. Kirchick,  time to take your medication,  before you melt down, or stir up more hatred and animosity for people who lack your years of slimy experience as a media warrior in the service of a neocon empire.

MR KIRCHICK?

Oh, you have more to say?

“For the past 9 years, RT has provided steady paychecks and frequent media appearances to a veritable insane asylum of the great unwashed and unemployable dredges of the American fringe.”

Whew, I am glad he got that out of his system, until tomorrow, of course,  when he will find another way of cursing without cursing,while showcasing superiority to those of us in that other sub- human “species.”

Now, let me get back to my Rolling Stones record:

I’ll never be your beast of burden
I’ll never be your beast of burden
Never, never, never, never, never, never, never be

Also, by the way, do I need to say that I am not a Putin booster, my father was a veteran, I have pledged allegiance to the flag many times, and wrote two books and made a film about media miscoverage of the Iraq War. My critique was based, in part, in my own experience in network TV.

 News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org and blogs at NewsDissector.net. His latest book is Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org.

Source:
Global Research, March 08, 2014

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The U.S. has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine

Global Research, March 02, 2014

According to the New York Times, “The United States and the European Union have embraced the revolution here as another flowering of democracy, a blow to authoritarianism and kleptocracy in the former Soviet space.” ( After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility,  NYTimes.com, March 1, 2014, emphasis added)

“Flowering Democracy, Revolution”?  The grim realities are otherwise. What is a stake is a US-EU-NATO sponsored coup d’Etat in blatant violation of international law.

The forbidden truth is that the West has engineered –through a carefully staged covert operation– the formation of a proxy regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.

Confirmed by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, key organizations in the Ukraine including the Neo-Nazi party Svoboda were generously supported by Washington: “We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals. … We will continue to promote Ukraine to the future it deserves.”

The Western media has casually avoided to analyze the composition and ideological underpinnings of the government coalition. The word “Neo-Nazi” is a taboo. It has been excluded from the dictionary of mainstream media commentary. It will not appear in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post or The Independent. Journalists have been instructed not to use the term “Neo-Nazi” to designate Svoboda and the Right Sector.

Composition of the Coalition Government

We are not dealing with a transitional government in which Neo-Nazi elements integrate the fringe of the coalition, formally led by the Fatherland party.

The Cabinet is not only integrated by the Svoboda and Right Sector (not to mention former members of defunct fascist UNA-UNSO), the two main Neo-Nazi entities have been entrusted with key positions which grant them de facto control over the Armed Forces, Police, Justice and National Security.

While Yatsenuyk’s Fatherland Party controls the majority of portfolios and Svoboda Neo-Nazi leader Oleh Tyahnybok was not granted a major cabinet post (apparently at the request of assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland), members of Svoboda and the Right Sector occupy key positions in the areas of Defense, Law Enforcement, Education and Economic Affairs.

Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok

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US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland together Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok (left)

Andriy parubiy.jpgAndriy Parubiy [right] co-founder of the Neo-Nazi  Social-National Party of Ukraine (subsequently renamed Svoboda) was appointed Secretary of the National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU). (Рада національної безпеки і оборони України), a key position which overseas the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, National Security and Intelligence. The RNBOU is central decision-making body. While it is formally headed by the president, it is run by the Secretariat with a staff of 180 people including defense, intelligence and national security experts.

Parubiy was one of the main leaders behind the Orange Revolution in 2004. His organization was funded by the West. He is referred to by the Western media as the “kommandant” of the EuroMaidan movement. Andriy Parubiy together with party leader Oleh Tyahnybok is a follower of Ukrainian Nazi Stepan Bandera, who collaborated in the mass murderer of Jews and Poles during World War II.  Reuters / Gleb Garanich

Neo-Nazi march honoring Stepan Bandera

In turn, Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector delegation in the parliament, has been appointed Parubiy’s deputy Secretary of the RNBOU.

Yarosh was the leader of the Brown Shirt Neo-Nazi paramilitary during the EuroMaidan “protest” movement. He has called for disbanding the Party of the regions and the Communist Party.

Dmytro Yarosh speech at Euromaidan (Centre)

The Neo Nazi party also controls the judicial process with the appointment of  Oleh Makhnitsky of the Svoboda party to the position of prosecutor-general of Ukraine. What kind of justice will prevail with a reknown Neo-Nazi in charge of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine?

Cabinet positions were also allocated to former members of the Neo-Nazi fringe organization Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense (UNA-UNSO):

“Tetyana Chernovol, portrayed in the Western press as a crusading investigative journalist without reference to her past involvement in the anti-Semitic UNA-UNSO, was named chair of the government’s anti-corruption committee. Dmytro Bulatov, known for his alleged kidnapping by police, but also with UNA-UNSO connections, was appointed minister of youth and sports.

Yegor Sobolev, leader of a civic group in Independence Maidan and politically close to Yatsenyuk, was appointed chair of the Lustration Committee, charged with purging followers of President Yanukovych from government and public life. (See Ukraine Transition Government: Neo-Nazis in Control of Armed Forces, National Security, Economy, Justice and Education, Global Research, March 02, 2014

The Lustration Committee is to organize the Neo-Nazi witch-hunt against all opponents of the new Neo-Nazi regime. The targets of the lustration campaign are people in positions of authority within the civil service, regional and municipal governments, education, research, etc.  The term lustration refers to the “mass disqualification” of people associated with the former government. It also has racial overtones. It will in all likelihood be directed against Communists, Russians  and members of the Jewish community.

It is important to reflect on the fact that the West, formally committed to democratic values, has not only spearheaded the demise of an elected president, it has instated a political regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.

This is a proxy government which enables the US, NATO and the EU to interfere in Ukraine’s internal affairs and dismantle its bilateral relations with the Russian Federation. It should be understood, however, that the Neo-Nazis do not ultimately call the shots. The composition of the Cabinet broadly coincides with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland ” recommendations” contained in the leaked telephone call to the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Washington has chosen to spearhead Neo-Nazis into positions of authority. Under a “regime of indirect rule”, however,  they take their orders on crucial military and foreign policy issues –including the deployment of troops directed against the Russian federation– from the the US State Department, the Pentagon and NATO.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads: The structures and composition of this proxy government installed by the West do not favor dialogue with the Russian government and military.

A scenario of military escalation leading to confrontation of Russia and NATO is a distinct possibility. The Ukraine’s National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU) which is controlled by Neo-Nazis plays a central role in military affairs.  In the confrontation with Moscow, decisions taken by the RNBOU headed by Neo-Nazi Parubiy and his brown Shirt deputy Dmytro Yarosh –in consultation with Washington and Brussels– could potentially have devastating consequences.

However, it goes without saying that “support” to the formation of a Neo-Nazi government does not in any way imply the development of “fascist tendencies” within the White House, the State Department and the US Congress.

“The flowering of democracy” in Ukraine –to use the words of the New York Times– is endorsed by Republicans and Democrats. It’s a bipartisan project. Lest we forget, Senator John McCain is a firm supporter and friend of Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok (Image right).

Source:

Global Research, March 02, 2014

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Mar 8, 2014

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Dandelion Salad

by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
East Africa
Crossposted from PressTV
March 9, 2014

The US spooks are on the defensive over escalating geopolitical tensions between America and Russia over Ukraine. This weekend, the leaders of the 6 or so US intelligence agencies are having to explain to their political masters why they are called “intelligence” given that they failed to foresee the Russian security measures that Moscow has deployed in Ukraine’s southern Crimean Peninsula over the past week.

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Dandelion Salad

by Walter Brasch
Writer, Dandelion Salad
walterbrasch.com
March 9, 2014

DSCN2481-1 Image by ProgressOhio via Flickr

The oil and gas industry, the nation’s chambers of commerce, and politicians who are dependent upon campaign contributions from the industry and the chambers, claim fracking is safe.

First, close your mind to the myriad scientific studies that show the health effects from fracking.

Close your mind to the well-documented evidence of the environmental impact.

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Ukraine: The New Cold War Heats Up.

The Strategic Role of Natural Gas and Pipeline Routes

Some Western Europeans say, jokingly, that at least winter is almost over, and if “Putin shuts off the gas,” they will not have to be cold for long.

But as the Ukrainian crisis amplifies, European laughter will be short lived. If the European Union had not been a doormat for Washington’s neocons to wipe their feet on, the crisis in Ukraine would not have been engineered. What were the mock-up EU leadership thinking, if anything at all?

What can the EU gain from forcing the back of Russian President Vladimir Putin against the wall? Further, what can the EU offer to Ukraine at this juncture besides a belt-tightening austerity program similar to the Greek model? It might still be cold in Europe, but the new cold war is heating up.

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Economic war on Russia

Europeans should be concerned about the implications of the economic sanctions being pushed by Washington on Putin’s Russia. Russia’s not so secret weapon in Ukraine’s crisis is gas, and it is an economic weapon that could be aimed both at an unruly West Ukraine and at the EU. In effect, 30 percent of the natural gas used by the EU is Russian, and 60 percent of it transits in a pipeline through Ukraine. Ukraine itself imports 60 percent of its gas from Russia. With the powerful gas supply issue, Russia can easily put the squeeze on the 28 EU members. While only 15 percent of gas used in France is Russian, in Baltic countries it is 100 percent. Something to think about before getting “tough” on Russia.

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Meanwhile, Russia is under attack by the finance sector. On March 3, 2014, the ruble fell by 2 percent against the dollar, and $55 billion were lost in one day from the Russian stock exchange. The banksters are pulling their money out of Russia. The value of Gazprom, Russia’s energy giant, whose exports to Europe transit via Ukraine, fell by $12 billion. Some in Washington’s neocon think tanks are recommending drastic measure to punish Russia, such as: reject visas across the board for Russian citizens to visit Western countries; immediately put Ukraine under the umbrella of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); artificially drive down the price of oil, a prime source of revenue for Russia, by dumping on the global market some of the 700 million barrels from the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For some suits of the global corporate empire, regime change in Ukraine is a stepping stone to the real goal of removing Putin from power in Russia.

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Why regime change in Ukraine is casus belli for Russia

Ukraine’s independence from Russia is recent: about 20 years. Before this, Ukraine was part of the Tzars’ empire for almost 300 years and then part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the communist era post World War II as a Soviet Republic. In the context of the Soviet Union, Crimea, in majority (60 percent) an ethnic Russian area, was given to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.

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Further, in East Ukraine there is also a substantial ethnic Russian population (about 45 percent). Thus the affairs and policies in Kiev will always involve Moscow. By comparison, US citizens should reflect on what would be their reactions if Russia or China were sponsoring a communist regime change, in let’s say Mexico or Canada.

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F@#k the EU: an economic giant but political dwarf

Germany is often described as “an economic giant but political dwarf.” This complete lack of political backbone or even basic dignity appears to have spread to the rest of Europe. The national spokespeople of global corporate imperialism let the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy on them without retaliation, and now the likes of Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, etc. (not that their names matter) are showing their subordination to Uncle Sam by letting Victoria Nulan, a United States official, insult them without demanding her resignation. Ms. Nulan is the wife of top neocon Robert Kagan, the co-founder of Project for the New American Century, and she remains the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the US Department of State. She summarized the EU’s lack of political will crudely but honestly when she said: “F@#k the EU.” F@#k the EU indeed, but mainly Ukraine’s population. If the crisis expands — and people like Mr. Kagan and his powerful friends are pouring gasoline on the open flame — it could become a world war.

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Is Ukraine’s partition the only way to prevent World War III?

In 2013, the world came very close to a major conflict over Syria. Many have credited Russia and China with defusing the situation. A few months later, we are on the verge of another international crisis that is potentially more dangerous. In both cases, Syria and Ukraine, the destabilization was triggered and financed by the West. Russia reacted in each instance more strongly than expected. For example, Russia and Russian nationals are flexing their military and militia muscles in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Even if the west’s foreign policy acumen is low, it should have expected a forceful reaction from Vladimir Putin. Nobody can be so dumb or so oblivious of recent history like the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 or Czechoslovakia circa 1968.

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During the Cuban missile crisis, which lasted for 13 tense days, the USSR and Cuba on one side, and the US on the other, almost came to a direct confrontation involving nuclear weapons over the installation of nuclear missiles by the Soviets in Cuba. The Russian move was meant to prevent the US from toppling its ally Fidel Castro; it was also a retaliation for the threats posed by US nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy, aimed at the USSR. The Cuban missile crisis is rightly considered to be the moment when the Cold War could have erupted into a full-blown nuclear war. The crisis was defused when Khrushchev accepted to withdraw the missiles, and at the time, the US presidency (President Kennedy) still held enough real power to resist the growing influence of warmongers.

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In the case of Ukraine, an involvement of BRICS, and especially its member with the biggest military might, China, to consider retaliations against the West including the threat of a fire sale of US Treasury Bonds, would avoid the crescendo of tensions and sanctions that might escalate to World War III. For Ukraine, it unfortunately appears that the only peaceful outcome is a partition (map above) of West from East plus Crimea. West Ukraine would become EU’s newest poor member, crippled with debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and perhaps with a far-right dominated government. The richer East Ukraine would be a Russian satellite state with all of the benefits and inconveniences.

Generation of crises as attempts to prevent real revolutions

The coup in Ukraine is as much about freedom and democracy as were the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and the sponsored attempt to topple Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. In this Orwellian climate, news outlets become propaganda machines that present neo-Nazis in Ukraine and Jihadists in Syria as being revolutionaries. The crisis is not about Ukraine at all, but rather about putting the squeeze on Russia. It also serves as yet another distraction to switch people’s focus from one fabricated crisis to another, to prevent any sustained examination of the looming systemic failure of global capitalism. Nothing beats a fake revolution to preempt a real one.

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Author’s  Note: Photographs one and three by Trey Ratcliff. Photograph two from World Bank Photo. Photographs four and eight from Pan-African News Wire. Photographs six, nine and eleven from Street Work. Photograph seven from Future Atlas, and photograph ten by Norma Desmond.

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