Sunday, April 20, 2014

Canada Targets Russia

Canada Targets Russia 

by Stephen Lendman

Right-wing Prime Minister Stephen Harper marches in lockstep with Washington. He's Obama's unctuous little sidekick. He dances to his tune. He partners in his dark side. No pun intended.

Canadian travel restrictions were imposed on senior Russian officials. Crimean ones were targeted. Economic sanctions followed. Last month, Harper announced them, saying:

"It's my strong belief we must keep the pressure on and we must continue to maintain sanctions and maintain putting in place strong steps to dissuade this behaviour."

"What the Putin regime has done cannot be tolerated and can never be accepted. The individuals targeted are responsible for undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and for facilitating Russian military action against Ukraine."

"Canada will not stand by while Russia violates Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity."

He condemned legitimate Crimean reunification. He twisted truth claiming otherwise. He supports Kiev putschists. His new friends are fascist extremists  He promised additional ways to help.

In mid-April, he announced more travel bans and sanctions. Foreign Minister John Baird said Canada "cannot sit by while Russia illegally occupies Ukraine."

"Russia's continued provocative actions in Crimea and elsewhere are completely unacceptable."

"Canada and its allies are prepared to take additional steps that will further isolate Russia economically and politically."

He lied claiming Russian "aggression." Russia attacked no one. No Moscow threats exist. Putin deplores war. 

He goes all-out for diplomatic solutions. Don't expect Harper or complicit Ottawa officials to explain.

Canadian lawlessness includes participation in US-led NATO's 1999 Yugoslavia raping. Ottawa is a US coalition of the willing partner. It was part of Washington's war on Afghanistan.

It helped America selectively against Iraq. It actively participated in Obama's Libyan aggression. 

Harper ignores rule of law principles. He's mindless of democratic rights. He supports Obama's war on Syria. 

He endorses lawless drone strikes. He's comfortable about Washington's globalized torture black sites. Police state laws don't trouble him.

He's in lockstep with the worst of Washington's imperial agenda. He's part of US-led NATO's anti-Russian alliance.

He supports illegitimate Kiev fascist putschists. He's in bed with some of the worst societal misfits. He calls them his new friends. 

They include neo-Nazi extremists. They're ideologically over-the-top. They threaten regional peace. They risk open conflict.

Harper matches Obama's belligerence. He supports hardline measures. He wants Russia marginalized, weakened and isolated.

Last month, he said Putin has "no desire to be a partner." He supports "rivalry" instead, he claimed. He twisted truth saying so. He's part of Obama's plan to plunder Ukraine for profit.

He supports making it another Western colony. He wants it geopolitically annexed. He wants it economically looted. 

He wants its people ruthlessly exploited. He wants Canadian business interests served. His predecessor Paul Martin supported Bush's Orange Revolution.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) was involved. Paul Grod serves as president. He accompanied Harper on his March 22 Kiev visit.

Neo-Nazis infest Ukraine's Svoboda Party. UCC members support them. Their predecessors massacred Jews. They partnered in some of Hitler's worst crimes.

Harper partners in Washington's imperial rampaging. He hopes Canadian interests benefit hugely. He wants Canada's oil displacing Russia's European exports. 

He wants Keystone XL pipeline built. When completed, it'll run from Alberta to America's Gulf coast. It'll transport tar sands bitumen to US oil refineries.

Harper played Cold War geopolitics in Sochi. He skipped participation. He symbolically bashed Russia. He rained on Putin's parade. He acted during a disturbingly tense time.

He's in lockstep with Washington's war on humanity. He's a supportive junior partner. He opposes fundamental freedoms. He's geopolitically hardline.

He ludicrously calls America the "indispensable nation." He supports its "exceptionalism." Paul Craig Roberts is right saying its "corruption and mendacity" alone make it "exceptional."

It pressures, bullies and bribes other nations to go along. It eliminates independent foreign leader outliers. It wages one war after another. It does so worldwide.

"The Russians have a real leader," said Roberts. America has "two-bit punks." They masquerade as legitimate politicians. So does Stephen Harper. 

He's polar opposite what Canadians deserve. He mocks legitimate leadership. He supports wealth, power and privilege. 

He spurns social justice. He trashes rule of law principles. He's an unindicted war criminal. He belongs in prison, not high office.

He endorses "Fortress North America." He does so when Canada and America have no enemies except ones they invent. 

He partners in Washington's wars of choice. Lawless aggression defines them.

He targets US enemies. Russia is in the eye of the storm. Harper may have bit off more than he can chew. Obama has a tiger by the tail.

Ukrainian crisis conditions just started. The worst may lie ahead. Thousands, perhaps millions, of Eastern Ukrainians aren't going quietly into the good night. Maybe their Western counterparts will join them.

Activists on the front lines for freedom. They're going all-out to achieve it. Obama thought he had as easy imperial trophy. If he can keep it, an earlier article said.

It may be slip-sliding away. It may launch greater conflict in the process. It may do what no responsible leader would dare. 

It may cross the point of no return. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow. Allying with Washington against Russia makes Harper share responsibility for what happens.

He mocks legitimate leadership. He's deploying Canadian warplanes to Eastern Europe. Positioning more Canadian Armed Forces personnel at NATO headquarters is planned.

More sanctions may be imposed on Russian officials and business interests. He's in lockstep with potential global conflict. He hypes nonexistent Russian threats.

He claims Moscow "expansionism (and) militarism." He calls what doesn't exist "a longterm, serious threat to global peace and security."

He may partner with US-led NATO's Arctic presence. Doing so will involve him in Obama's new millennium resource wars.

They're ongoing. They're part of a modern-day great game. Resources are increasingly important. World supplies are finite.

Major powers scramble for as much as they can control. Oil is especially valued. No one's sure how much is left. 

America, China, Russia and other major nations want control over as much as possible. They're going all out to get it.

Energy is a strategic source of world power. America's "imperial grand strategy" prioritizes controlling as much of the world's supply as possible. 

The Arctic may become another global battleground. US wars have nothing to do with protecting national security. Claiming otherwise doesn't wash.

Harper boasts about supporting Kiev putschists. He turned truth on its head accusing Russia of "aggressive, militaristic and imperialistic" practices.

He ignores Canada's longstanding partnership in US imperial wars. He wants Canada's share of Ukrainian spoils. 

In mid-April, Canadian media said he's quietly preparing for possible military involvement in Syria. 

Censored documents allude to "the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Syria, its impact on neighbouring counties and…the importance of Middle East security."

Syria remains "defiant," they say. "(M)ost likely (and) worst case" outcomes are claimed. They include greater regional conflict.

A possible pretext for intervention assumes that Ottawa recognizes "a legitimate armed opposition group." Details aren't explained.

At the same time, separate documents show Canadian involvement in training anti-Assad elements.

Partnering in Obama's wars threatens world peace. Harper has much to answer for. 

Scoundrel media propaganda suppresses his crimes of war and against humanity. Expect more ahead if he, Obama and rogue EU partners aren't stopped.

Mass public opposition is needed. It's time enough ordinary people stepped up to the plate and acted.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Russia Bashing Continues

Russia Bashing Continues

by Stephen Lendman

Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Russia alone has gone all-out to resolve them responsibly. 

Putin and Sergei Lavrov deserve Nobel Peace Prize recognition. War criminals alone get it. Obama is Exhibit A.

US bullying, bluster, and threats continue. Brazen lies repeat. Sanctions were imposed. Obama threatened more saying:

"My hope is we do actually see follow-through over the next several days, but I don't think, given past performance, that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continues to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine."

Neocons infest Washington. National Security Advisor Susan Rice is one of the worst.

"We expect and we will be watching whether Russia does or does not uphold its responsibility to use its very considerable influence to restrain and withdraw those irregular militia from the buildings and spaces that they've occupied," she said.

"If we don't see action commensurate with the commitments that Russia has made yesterday in Geneva, which we all welcome, then obviously we've been very clear that we and our European partners remain ready to impose additional costs on Russia for failing to adhere to its obligations."

Eastern Ukraine freedom fighters reject Kiev putschists. Putin and Lavrov call them illegitimate. 

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying usurping power "was not a coup." A "vacuum of leadership" was filled, she claimed.

Russia has a "responsibility" to "de-escalate" Eastern Ukraine crisis conditions and implement Thursday's four-party agreement, she added. Otherwise, she warned, they'll be "consequences."

"We're going to test (Russia) over the coming days (on) whether the accord sticks, whether it will be implemented," she added.

"(T)he president (and) Secretary Kerry (see) a strong connection between these separatists and Russia. (Moscow can) influence (them) and change the situation on the ground. There's no question about that."

"I will say we’re clear-eyed about Russia's record of not implementing steps in the past, so we will see if they do take steps this time, and if they don't take steps there will be consequences." 

"But I'm not going to put a date on that. We won't know for a couple of days."

Moscow reacted sharply. Putin press secretary Dmitry Peskov warned against new sanctions. He called imposing them "absolutely unacceptable."

"One cannot treat Russia like it is a shameful student, and brandish a piece of paper on which we put crosses next to the duties it has accomplished."

A separate Foreign Ministry statement was sharply critical. In part, it said: 

"The assessments voiced in Washington regarding the meeting held between representatives of Russia, the US, Ukraine and the European Union are disappointing." 

"The US is trying persistently yet again to lighten the actions of the current Kiev authorities."

"(T)he guilt for the Ukrainian crisis and its current escalation is put groundlessly on Russia…"

"(S)ome statements by US officials have ultimatums and they try to threaten us with sanctions and this is absolutely unacceptable."

"It appears that sanction language substitutes normal diplomacy more and more for Washington."

"The essence of the Geneva meeting was to send a clear signal to Kiev that the situation can be stabilized solely via the launch of comprehensive dialog with regions, especially those, where Russian-speaking residents prevail and whose opinion the central authorities should start listening to."

"We expect that real actions of our Ukrainian and western partners amid the decisions made jointly in Geneva will be more in line with the content of the agreements reached."

On April 18, Moscow's EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov said:

"We proceed from the fact that Ukraine needs a profound constitutional reform. Ukraine and its people deserve a better constitution than the one that is changed by each new president." 

"The work that has been done in Kiev until recently is the wrong path. A reform can be successful only when it takes into account the opinion of all regions, all political parties of a country." 

"It is absolutely natural. And such a reform should be carried out based on the referendum results."

"I think there is no way a referendum can be avoided. The question is its format and essence." 

"Eastern regions insist that it should be held at the regional level. This is a difficult task. So, let us wait and see which solution will be found by Ukrainians."

"As concerns federalization, the first step in this direction has already been made. After all, all the signatories to the Geneva documents agreed that decentralization was needed." 

"The main thing is not how to call this solution but how to implement it. It is vital that such a decision be passed openly, transparently and was accepted in all regions of the country." 

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Lavrov stresses "the of the immediate and complete fulfillment by the Ukrainian authorities of the Geneva statement provision that provide in particular non-use of force and the beginning of a nationwide dialogue on a new constitution involving all key political forces and Ukrainian regions."

All sides must refrain from violence, intimidation and provocations. Lavrov said four-party representatives condemned (all) manifestations of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism."

Russia's Foreign Ministry added:

"The Americans are once again stubbornly trying to whitewash the actions of the Kiev authorities, who have embarked on a course of violently suppressing protesters in the southeast who are expressing their legitimate indignation over the infringements of their rights."

On Friday, Kerry warned Lavrov. According to an unnamed senior State Department official, he holds Russia responsible for "full and immediate compliance" with four-party agreement terms.

"He made clear that the next few days would be a pivotal period for all sides to implement the statement's provisions, particularly that all illegal armed groups must be disarmed and all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners," the official added.

Ukraine's foreign minister Andriy Deschytsia warned Eastern Ukrainian activists. They'll face "more concrete actions" in days if they don't vacate occupied buildings.

People's Republic of Donetsk Governor Denis Pushilin said Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters weren't represented in Geneva.

Kiev putschists usurped power lawlessly. He rejects them. He demands they resign.

"The Kiev junta is signing agreements and fulfilling none of them," he said. "They are provoking crisis."

Illegitimate putschist president Turchynov "committed a crime against his own people. We will keep going to the end."

Georgy Muradov is Moscow's Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) affairs deputy head. On Friday, he said:

Western countries are fighting "total war…Within the context of this policy, they are trying to give a final blow to the Commonwealth of Independent States."

They want its total "disintegration." Key members are being expelled. At issue is eliminating Russian allies.

The Ukrainian scenario may repeat if Russian nationals living abroad aren't protected.

Illegitimate putschist National Security and Defense Council head Andriy Parubiy co-founded the ultranationalist neo-Nazi Social National party. It's now called Svoboda.

He said Kiev intends withdrawing from CIS. Russia's Foreign Ministry denounced the decision. Implementing it adversely affects millions of Ukrainians, it said.

Separately, Lavrov said:

"We are not keeping anyone in the CIS by force but this decision was made not for the benefits of the Ukrainian population but to stage another anti-Russian campaign of propagandistic nature. I don't doubt that."

The Warsaw, Poland-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OECD) main body involved with elections, human rights and democratization.

Russia's Foreign Ministry denounced its biased position on Ukraine. It ignored Kiev's latest human rights violation.

"It is outrageous there has been no official reaction from the ODIHR to Kiev's discriminatory measure against Russian men aged 16 to 60, who have in fact been banned from entering the territory of Ukraine since April 17," said Russia's Foreign Ministry. 

"The incomprehensible explanation of these actions taken by Ukraine as an OSCE member-state…was just shocking." 

"(T)he ODIHR has supported the provocative action against Russian citizens. This nearly total ban on visits by our citizens that the current authorities in Kiev have imposed cannot but cause indignation."

"There have been many examples in history showing that such decisions are just one step away from persecution of other people on account of race." 

At the same time, ODIHR turned a blind eye to other flagrant Kiev abuses. Brutally beating Ukrainian presidential aspirant Oleg Tsarev was ignored.

"(O)ne cannot but feel indignant over (ODIHR's) lack of proper reaction," Russia's Foreign Ministry added.

At the same time, it called OECD equating Kiev violence against journalists to Crimea's media climate "absolutely unacceptable."

At issue was OECD media representative Dunja Mijatovic's statement. After visiting Ukraine in mid-April, she lied calling Crimea's media climate "very dangerous." 

Russian journalists are vulnerable. They've been attacked. Some are barred from entering Ukraine. Russian TV channels are blocked. 

Days earlier, assailants beat Evgeniy Polojii. He's Panorama newspaper editor. Gorlovka.ua's editor was kidnapped. So were Hromadske TV and RT International journalists.

Police states operate this way. Western media scoundrels ignore their crimes. So do ODIHR and OSCE officials.

Russia bashing continues relentlessly. The American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) is a right-wing think tank. Neocons infest its Board of Advisors.

They include former CIA director James Woolsey and Newt Gingrich. Stephen Blank is a senior fellow.

On April 18, he headlined "Russia's Lurch Toward Fascism." 

He outrageously accused Moscow of invading Ukraine. He lied saying Kremlin "attempts to destroy the foundations of Ukrainian statehood, sovereignty, and territorial integrity are also aimed at Russia's domestic opposition to Putin." 

"It represents the culmination of his campaign to suppress political dissent under a wave of officially imposed quasi-religious nationalism akin to that of the later Tsars and (more recently) to the late Stalin and late Brezhnev periods."

He accused Moscow of "fulminat(ing) against 'supposed' neo-Nazis and anti-Semites terrorizing Ukraine…"

He ignored clear evidence proving it. "But what we really see emerging are clear (Moscow) aspects of fascism," he claimed.

Russian democracy shames America's sham version. Monied interests control things. People have no say.

Neocon fascists infest Washington. They're in Europe. They influence policy. They hold high government positions. 

They ignore popular sentiment. They enforce police state laws. They target independent governments. 

They want them toppled. They want pro-Western puppet regimes replacing them.

Putin and Western leaders are geopolitical opposites. Doing the right thing isn't tolerated. Supporting responsible global policies made him public enemy number one.

Blank lies for power. "Putin's Russia resembles its fascist predecessors," he said.

His "actions in Ukraine show (he) can now only move forward to more attacks, threats, and ever intensifying repression that ends in crisis and stagnation," he added.

Putin's Russia is polar opposite his assessment. It applies solely to Washington, its rogue allies, and installed puppet regimes. Don't expect Blank to explain.

Separately, Stars and Stripes headlined "Report: US ground troops to be sent to Poland, Estonia," saying:

Deployment is planned "for a series of upcoming ground exercises aimed at reassuring allies shaken by Russian intervention in neighboring Ukraine."

No intervention whatever exists. Moscow plans none. Claims otherwise ring hollow. Russia bashing continues.

US-led NATO plans call for encroaching close to its borders. It's threatening its heartland.

Last week, NATO said its Eastern European land, sea and air presence will increase. Doing so is provocative.

According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, "an entire range of possibilities and measures are being considered."

Hegemons operate this way. Washington exceeds the worst of earlier ones.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Koch Brothers-Style Free Society

Koch Brothers-Style Free Society

by Stephen Lendman

Charles and David Koch are modern-day robber barons. They're multi-billionaires. Forbes estimates their April 2014 net worth at $40.3 billion each.

Charles is Koch Industries (KI) chairman and CEO. David is executive vice president.

They're $6 billion richer this year than last. They make money the old fashioned way. Behind every fortune lies a great crime, said Balzac. Maybe he was thinking of Charles and David.

KI is America's second largest private company. Agribusiness giant Cargill holds top spot. Its estimated 2013 revenues were $136.7 billion.

KI's are an estimated $115 billion. Both companies way outdistance number three ranked Dell. Its estimated 2013 revenues were $56.94 billion.

Heads of these and other industrial giants won't go begging. Koch brothers want lots more billions than already. 

Getting them any way possible alone matters. They go all-out for all they can. Charles was quoted earlier saying: 

"Most power is power to coerce somebody. We don't have the power to coerce anybody."

Their deep pockets do their coercing for them. They want unfettered market freedom. They each own 42% of KI. They prefer remaining private. Charles once said KI will publicly offer shares "literally over (his) dead body."

KI operates in dozens of countries worldwide. It's in 45 US states. It employs tens of thousands of workers.

Its businesses include manufacturing, energy, oil refining and distribution, chemicals, fiber, intermediates and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, pulp and paper, chemical technology equipment, ranching, finance, commodities trading, plus other ventures and investments.

Both brothers buy influence. They finance radical right interests to get it. They bankroll neocon political action groups, think tanks, and ideologically over-the-top politicians.

They advance extremist limited government notions. They favor business friendly anti-populist policies. 

They abhor regulations. They want freedom to swindle, cheat and grab all they can.

They want state enterprises sold at fire sale prices. They want first dibs to buy them. They want minimal corporate taxes. Ideally they none at all. 

They want their personal tax obligation shrunk to as little as possible. They want ordinary people forced to pay more so they can pay less.

They want social justice eliminated entirely. They want trade unionism weakened. Ideally they want it gone.

They oppose universal healthcare, financial fairness, public education, and environmental sanity. They love job-killing trade deals.

They'll benefit hugely from Keystone XL's pipeline's completion. According to a report released last October, it represents a potential $100 billion windfall.

KI and both brothers separately own two million acres of Alberta, Canada land. It's where Keystone XL's proposed route begins.

KI subsidiaries benefit from pipeline construction. Tar sands oil development is on Koch Exploration Canada land. Koch Supply and Trading benefits from oil derivatives activities.

KI donated millions lobbying for Keystone XL's construction. Supportive think tanks and congressional members are beneficiaries.

Charles and David's influence is pernicious and then some. They want unfettered freedom replacing civil society restraints. They want information about their activities suppressed.

They want unchallenged control. They want nothing interfering with generating maximum revenues.

They donate millions annually to right wing causes. On March 27, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) headlined "Inside the Koch brothers' campus crusade."

It spans America. It philosophizes about the "moral imperatives of free markets and individual liberty."

It's proselytizing goes way beyond Capitol Hill. It focuses on winning hearts and minds of college students. 

It manipulates their minds destructively. It does so at 163 colleges and universities. They're in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Many are left of center. Some have liberal faculty members.

Koch Brothers want students turned against them. They want their vision taught in classrooms. They claim otherwise. So do recipient schools.

Funds aren't donated strings-free. Agenda politics comes with them.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) advocates entrepreneurship freedom. It abhors regulatory restraint. It wants minimal taxes. 

It wants "encroachment of government in the economic lives of citizens" halted. It wants nothing restricting what business wants to do.

It fronts for Koch Industries. In 2004, David Koch and KI board member Richard Fink were co-founders. AFP targets progressive initiatives. Millions are spent doing it. Funding surges in election years.

AFP's agenda is corporatist, soulless, anti-labor, anti-eco-sanity, and anti-fairness. It's against consumer protections. It abhors populism. It wants corporate crooks kept free from prosecution.

It's pro-business, pro-war, pro-privilege, pro-super-wealth, anti-dissent, anti-democracy, anti-civil and human rights, and anti-government of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly.

Charles Lewis serves as American University School of Community Investigative Reporting Workshop's executive director. Earlier he founded CPI.

"The Kochs are on a whole different level," he said earlier. There's no one else who has spent this much money." 

"The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation." 

"I've been in Washington since Watergate, and I've never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times."

Their lobbying expenses rank among America's highest. They go all-out to have their interests served.

Ideally they want their message alone getting out. They pressure employees to support candidates they endorse.

They warn them about dire consequences otherwise. Their jobs are on the line. They'll pay for disobedience.

What Charles and David say goes. They represent dual noxious influences. They're more dangerous than corrupt politicians in positions of power.

They wield their own irresponsibly. Super-wealth lets them do what they want. They take full advantage.

For every dollar spent, they expect huge returns. They take no prisoners. They're all take and no give.

They oppose labeling carcinogens found in their products. They want them freely used. 

They're mindless about potential harm to millions. Profits alone matter. People are expendable. Their welfare is unimportant. Business priorities count most of all.

Tony Carrk is Center for American Progress Health Care War Room director. In April 2011, he headlined "The Koch Brothers: What You Need to Know About the Financiers of the Radical Right," saying:

"Any attempt to understand the modern conservative movement will eventually lead to billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch." 

"Using their vast wealth and connections, the Koch brothers are key players in bankrolling right-wing political action groups, think tanks, and individual politicians, using this array of political power to advance their ideological agenda of limited government and less regulation." 

"Chances are they are part of any recent right-wing attack you have seen lately."

Charles and David use their vast wealth, business empire, and "political network to pursue their right-wing agenda at nearly every level of government. "

"Whether they are contributing millions in campaign contributions, spending millions on lobbying, or investing millions in right-wing think tank and advocacy groups, the Koch brothers’ influence is pervasive."

Their extreme right wing agenda benefits them at the expense of popular interests. They want them eliminated altogether. 

They want unfettered freedom to invest, speculate, trade and accumulate maximum wealth unrestrained. They want nothing interfering in their right to do so.

Anti-government fervor was a Koch brothers opportunity. They helped organize and fund Tea Party protesters. They turned their private agenda into a mass movement.

They took full advantage shaping and controlling an anti-big government uprising. They turned it into serving their personal interests. 

They got millions of ordinary people to support what harms their own welfare. They got supportive right-wing media help. 

Talk show hosts, commentators, and other media figures joined the movement. The New York Times earlier called it "a diffuse American grassroots group that taps into anti-government sentiment."

It's well-organized. It's controlled top down. It's a combination of loosely affiliated organizations. They're ideologically anti-big government, anti-spending, anti-immigration, and anti-compromise.

They're organized, funded and controlled by right-wing corporate lobbying groups. They're manipulated to support business interests. 

Companies like KI benefit enormously. It denies involvement disingenuously. Its communications director said earlier:

"Koch companies value free speech and believe it is good to have more Americans engaged in key policy issues."

"(N)o funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties." 

Their activities declined significantly since 2010. According to Professor Theda Skocpol, chapters dropped from about 1,000 to 600.

It's still a "very good survival rate," she said. Most groups shifted from national to local issues.

Doing so affected their visibility. Chapters place more emphasis on getting preferred candidates elected than pubic events.

Involvement in 2012 Republican presidential primaries was minimal. Perhaps lack of enthusiasm for unimpressive candidates was responsible.

After Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, The New York Times called Tea Party lawmakers "indisputably at the core of the modern Republican Party."

Koch brothers influence is very much involved. They bankroll Tea Party candidates. They do so with company and personal contributions.

They're a pernicious influence on US politics. What benefits them harms most others.

They're not going away. Their financial clout hugely influences US policies. Americans get the best democracy money can buy.

A Final Comment

Wall Street Journal editors gave Charles Koch feature op-ed space. On April 2, he headlined "I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society."

What he has in mind isn't fit to live in. He lied claiming his vision would "create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans."

He means super-rich ones like himself at the expense of all others. He claims to oppose big government.

He wants federal, state and local politicians as well as bureaucrats benefitting him. He wants government resources helping his interests.

He wants social America destroyed. He ludicrously claimed he's not "trying to rig the system."

Millions spent lobbying buy influence. They're not used for good will. They're investments. Effective ones reap huge returns. 

They go right to KI's bottom line. They fill Charles and David's pockets. They come out of ours.

His notion of "liberty" is more for him and less for us. Everyone should embrace his "vision," he urges.

America already is unfit to live in. Imagine one run his way. Orwell put it this way:

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kiev Violates Four-Party Agreement

Kiev Violates Four-Party Agreement

by Stephen Lendman

The ink wasn't even dry. On April 17, deal terms was struck. A previous article discussed them. Hold the cheers. They're not worth the paper they're written on.

Washington negotiates duplicitously. Promises made are systematically broken. Don't expect this time to be different.

Kiev's illegitimate putschists didn't surprise. They violated agreement terms. They did so straightaway. They acted with full US support. More on this below.

On April 17, a joint US/EU/Russia/Ukraine statement said the following:

"The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.

All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism.

All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes.

It was agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days. The US, EU and Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors.

The announced constitutional process will be inclusive, transparent and accountable. It will include the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue, with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies, and allow for the consideration of public comments and proposed amendments.

The participants underlined the importance of economic and financial stability in Ukraine and would be ready to discuss additional support as the above steps are implemented."

A White House statement said Obama "commended the government of Ukraine's approach to today's discussions in Geneva, where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected." 

"…Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by using its influence over the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine to get them to lay down their arms and leave the buildings they have seized."

"(T)he United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures if this de-escalation does not occur in short order."

They support Kiev's sham May 25 presidential election. When held it'll be farcical. It'll have no legitimacy. It doesn't matter. 

Washington rules apply. Ukrainians have no say. Police states operate this way. Radicalized fascist ones are worst. 

Ukraine is Exhibit A complete with prominently displayed swastikas, Iron Crosses, SS insignia, and other Nazi symbols. Media scoundrels ignore them.

Obama's new friends represent the worst of societal misfits. They have no legitimacy whatever. 

They rule lawlessly. They tolerate no opposition. It bears repeating. They enjoy full US support. 

So much for deescalation. Kiev said its Eastern Ukrainian offensive continues. It lied calling it an "anti-terrorist" operation.

Agreement terms stress "all sides (refraining) from violence, intimidation (and) provocative actions."

Not according to illegitimate putschist Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchytsa. Kiev isn't bound by what it agreed to, he claimed.

Ukrainian "troops in the East of the country are carrying out a special operation and can remain where they are," he said.

At the same time, his Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying:

"All sides have pledged to refrain from any form of violence, intimidation or provocative actions." 

"The participants of the meeting strongly condemned and rejected all forms of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including manifestations of anti-Semitism."

Deshchytsa stressed four-party "joint efforts to start the process of de-escalation in eastern Ukraine."

At the same time, Kiev putschist policy is polar opposite. Illegitimate Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk lied saying Kiev will "fulfill" all agreement terms.

Violations occurred straightaway. Expect more ahead. Fascist governance works this way. Crisis conditions persist. 

Escalation is likely. Perhaps civil war spilling cross-borders. Perhaps an East/West confrontation. At risk is global war.

Chances for equitable and just conflict resolution are virtually nil. It takes a giant leap of faith to think otherwise.

Ongoing events bear erie resemblance to September 20, 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared "peace in our time."

He returned from Munich. He waved Hitler's agreement. It wasn't worth its paper written on. Chamberlain pretended otherwise.

"We, the German Furhrer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for our two countries and for Europe," he said.

"We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again."

"We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe."

"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour."

"I believe it is peace for our time...Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

Hard reality awaited. WW II followed. Tens of millions perished. "Peace in our time" became mass slaughter and destruction.

History has a nasty way of repeating. Will flashpoint Ukraine conditions spark the unthinkable? Will Eastern Ukrainian conflict escalate out-of-control? Major ones start this way.

Russia bashing continues. It exceeds the worst of Cold War years. It bears repeating what earlier articles explained. Putin is public enemy number one.

On April 18, the Wall Street Journal headlined "Putin Defiant as Ukraine Pact Reached," saying:

"Yet even as the deal was being struck, Mr. Putin spoke at a televised event in which he adopted some of the language of the separatists and implied that Russia has more of a historical claim to territories in eastern Ukraine than its neighbor does."

False! He respects national sovereignty. It's inviolable, he said many times. No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of others. Doing so violates core international law.

On April 17, Washington Post editors headlined "US, EU, Russia strike a balance on Ukraine," saying:

Agreed on terms "do(n't) mean that Vladi­mir Putin has given up his goal of bringing as much of Ukraine as possible under Moscow’s suzerainty - and making the rest ungovernable." 

"His performance in a televised appearance Thursday, in which he reiterated that the Russian parliament had given him authority to invade eastern Ukraine and referred to the region as 'new Russia,' made clear that his ambition to upend the post-Cold War order in Europe remains unchecked."

False! Putin forthrightly said he's "not trying to undermine the relations between Russia and Europe." He fears Western nations may try to do so.

He called allegations of Russian forces in Ukraine "nonsense." None exist. "There are no Special Forces," he said. "There are no instructors." 

Anti-Kiev Eastern Ukrainian sentiment is entirely grassroots. It's local. It's homegrown. Ordinary people alone are involved.

There are no plans to invade, said Putin. Russia's upper house Federation Council unanimously authorized him to use military forces to protect Russian nationals if needed, he added.

He hopes they won't be needed. He stressed resolving crisis conditions diplomatically. He's realistic. He knows Washington's dark side.

He knows illegitimate putschists run things. They usurped power lawlessly. They sent "tanks, armored vehicles and weaponry" against peaceful civilians. He called doing so a "very serious crime."

"The coup-appointed government in Kiev needs to come to its senses before we can negotiate," he said.

Outside party intervention is unacceptable, he stressed. "Compromise must be reached between various political forces" internally, "not between third parties."

"All we can do from the outside is to support it in some way and go along with it."

Don't expect neocon WaPo editors to explain. Lies substitute for truth. Putin pursues "creeping invasion of Ukraine," they said.

"The United States and its allies must now ensure that Russia genuinely puts an end to its intervention - and that Ukraine is not forced into unacceptable concessions in order to prevent another one," they added.

Their version of events is polar opposite reality. Chicago Tribune editors accused Putin of "flagrant aggression against Ukraine."

First Crimea, they said. Now he "apparently want(s) eastern Ukraine." Russian hoards "close to (Ukraine's) border…could cross over on short notice," they claim.

"By now, there may be no realistic option for stopping the Kremlin from gobbling up another chunk of sovereign Ukrainian territory."

"Europe will be a safer and more stable place if the Russians know that no bad deed will go unpunished."

Ongoing conditions are polar opposite these type views. Big Lies substitute for truth. Recklessness triumphs over reason. 

Things head toward escalating out-of-control. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow.

A Final Comment

On April 18, Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a highly critical statement statement saying:

"The assessments voiced in Washington regarding the meeting held between representatives of Russia, the US, Ukraine and the European Union are disappointing." 

"The US is trying persistently yet again to lighten the actions of the current Kiev authorities."

"At that, the guilt for the Ukrainian crisis and its current escalation is put groundlessly on Russia, despite the fact that the conversation in Geneva was held in a business-like manner and without propaganda."

"Moreover, some statements by US officials have ultimatums and they try to threaten us with sanctions and this is absolutely unacceptable."

"It appears that sanction language substitutes normal diplomacy more and more for Washington. We would like to emphasize due to this that solely the internal position of Ukraine was discussed in Geneva." 

"This is reflected clearly in the accorded Geneva statement, which stipulates certain measures to resolve the situation, including disarmament of all illegal armed formations, release of all buildings and streets occupied illegally and amnestying rally participants."

"It is evident that when we speak about disarmament, it concerns firstly taking arms from Rights Sector rebels and other pro-fascist groups involved in the February revolt in Kyiv." 

The very Maidan supporters should firstly free state offices and other facilities they have taken in Kiev and western regions."

"The essence of the Geneva meeting was to send a clear signal to Kiev that the situation can be stabilized solely via the launch of comprehensive dialog with regions, especially those, where Russian-speaking residents prevail and whose opinion the central authorities should start listening to."

"We expect that real actions of our Ukrainian and western partners amid the decisions made jointly in Geneva will be more in line with the content of the agreements reached."

At the same time, Donetsk activist Sergei Tsyplakov responded to four-party agreement terms, saying:

"If (putschists) release all political prisoners, stop persecutions, and Right Sector lays down their arms and a referendum on Ukraine's political system is in the pipeline, then of course administrative buildings will be freed and the struggle will come to an end."

Tsyplakov doubts Kiev's commitment. Right Sector thugs won't disarm, he said. Activists won't surrender their legitimate rights. Their struggle continues. They deserve worldwide support.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Fake Donetsk Letter Circulating

Fake Donetsk Letter Circulating

by Stephen Lendman

John Kerry denounced it, saying:

"During the past couple of days Jews in one of the cities were sent letters that they should declare themselves as Jews. The letter also contained threats."

"By 2014, after all the lessons that history has presented to us, it is not just unacceptable. It is - absurd. This is - beyond acceptability."

"People involved in this kind of activity on both sides need to understand that there is no place for this."

The story went viral. Media scoundrels feature it. The New York Times headlined "Demands That Jews Register in Eastern Ukraine Are Denounced, and Denied.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) national director Abraham Foxman hypes anti-Semitism hysteria. He supports Jewish supremacy over Arabs. The Times quoted him saying:

"We have seen a series of cynical and politically manipulative uses and accusations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine over the past year." 

"The perpetrators and their targets are opposing politicians and political movements, but the true victims are the Jewish communities." 

"We strongly condemn the anti-Semitic content, but also all attempts to use anti-Semitism for political purposes."

ADL's international affairs director Michael Salberg said Russia or one of its splinter groups distributed the leaflet. 

He accused Moscow of cynically exploiting anti-Semitism. "The message is a message to all the people that is we're going to exert our power over you," he said.

"Jews are the default scapegoat throughout history for despots to send a message to the general public: Don't step out of line."

The Washington Post headlined "What we know about the "grotesque" leaflet handed out to Jews in Donetsk."

It's written in Russian. It has Russia's national symbol on it. It includes an alleged Donetsk People's Republic of Donetsk insignia.

It calls for Jews over 16 to register before May 3. It demands a detailed list of property they own. Failure to comply means citizenship revocation, deportation and assets seized, it said. 

The leaflet reads as follows:

"Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality. 

Due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported (Nazi era allied) Bendery Junta and oppose the pro-Slavic People's Republic of Donetsk, (it) decided that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic's territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register."

"ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles."

"Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revoke and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property."

Jews were ordered to pay $50 to register. "(W)ho is behind the leaflet," asked WaPo? "That's not exactly clear," it said. It looks authentic, WaPo suggested.

"And who received the leaflet," it added? "Again, this isn't exactly clear." Allegedly it was distributed by "masked men wearing military uniforms and carrying a Russian flag Tuesday."

"So, what is going on," WaPo asked? It urged caution. At the same time it said:

"It certainly seems possible that the flier was the work of pro-Russia separatists, working with or without the support or knowledge of" People's Republic of Donetsk Governor Denis Pushilin.

He denounced it. He called it fake. More on his comments below.

"Whatever actually happened, there is one clear takeaway here," said WaPo. 

"With both sides accusing the other of being 'Nazis,' and accusing the other of anti-Semitism, Eastern Ukraine's Jewish community is having an especially tough time during the Ukrainian crisis."

Ukrainian Jews nationwide have one thing alone to fear. They're targeted. They're endangered. Neo-Nazi putschists threaten them.

Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh openly boasts about "killing Jews and Russians till I die." Media scoundrels ignore his threat.

USA Today headlined "Leaflet tells Jews to register in East Ukraine," saying:

"World leaders and Jewish groups condemned a leaflet handed out in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in which Jews were told to 'register' with the pro-Russian militants who have taken over a government office in an attempt to make Ukraine part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media."

US Ukraine ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt lied calling the leaflet "the real deal."

Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein said:

"This is a frightening new development in the anti-Jewish movement that is gaining traction around the world."

Donetsk People's Republic Governor Denis Pushilin allegedly signed it. His spokesman Alexander Maltsev denied it. "This has nothing to do with us," he said.

"It is a provocation." Pushilin called it fake, saying:

"There are similar letters not only addressed to Jews, but also to businessmen, foreign students, people of certain other occupations." 

"This is actually a fake, and not a good one. There's a sign 'People’s Governor." 

First of all, no one calls me by that title. No one elected me. 

"Secondly, the stamp is the former mayor's. Everything's photoshopped."

RT International said the leaflet directed to Jews appears "fake." Former ruling Party of Regions parliamentarian Boris Kolesnikov visited Eastern Ukraine.

He urged carefully checking this type information. Its authenticity is suspect. He said Ukrainian law enforcement official aren't honest.

They lied claiming Russian servicemen involvement in protests. No evidence whatever suggests it. He cited a video. It appeared online.

It features a man dressed in military attire. He addressed anti-Kiev city of Gorlovka police officers. He claimed Simpheropol, Crimean Russian Lt. Col. credentials.

He lied. He was recognized. Local residents said he's a former local cemetery director. According to Kolesnikov, he was "fired two years ago for selling 38 fences, stealing a monument, and extorting money from old women for new graves." 

"There are Interior Ministry and intelligence services in the country, which should give us truthful information," he added.

Donetsk activists threaten no one, he stressed. Misinformation buries truth. Putschists spread it. Washington officials hype it.

In early April, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki lied saying Eastern Ukrainian protests "appeared to be a carefully orchestrated campaign with Russian support."

Asked if the State Department assesses conditions based on Kiev information, she added:

"Well, of course we remain very closely in touch with the Ukrainian Government, and that's who we work closely with, and of course, they are on the ground, so their information is often very relevant and current."

Propaganda wars rage. Washington's dirty hands bear full responsibility. Obama's "new friends" share it. 

Plundering Ukraine is planned. Controlling its resources. Exploiting its people ruthlessly. 

Incorporating Ukraine into NATO. Deploying nuclear armed missiles on Russia's borders. Targeting its heartland. Doing the unthinkable. 

Risking global conflict. It bears repeating. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour