Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ukrainians Against War

Ukrainians Against War

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained most Ukrainian soldiers oppose war. Conscripts are against fighting their own citizens.

Used as cannon fodder in Donbas. Notoriously underpaid. Poorly fed and clothed. Deplorably treated overall.

No wonder most don't want to serve. They want to be home with families. Wanting peace, not war.

Large numbers of conscripts desert. Some join Donbas defense forces ranks. Others seek refuge in Russia.

On January 27, Fort Russ headlined "Poroshenko adviser leaks disastrous data about the fourth wave of mobilization."

According to Yury Biryukov:

"(H)eads of 14 rural councils of Ivano-Frankivsk oblast refused to accept the summons for notifications."

"57% of notified conscripts in Ivano-Frankivsk region did not arrive for medical commission."

"37% of notified conscripts of Ivano-Frankivsk region have left the territory of Ukraine."

Ternopil region rural council heads "openly sabotage events of notification."

Konyukhi, Kozovsky village council head reported residents leaving for Russia on two rented buses.

In Transcarpathian region Colchino, Mukachevo township, only 3 of 105 summons were presented.

In the last 30 days, 17% of Chernivtsi region conscripts left the area.

Unofficial sources report Ukrainian/Romanian border area hotels and motels "completely filled with Ukrainian men evading conscription."

"19% of (Volyn Oblast) notified conscripts refused military service on religious grounds."

On January 28, The Saker reported Ukrainian Deputy Oleg Tsarov saying Washington planned civil war in Ukraine before Maidan.

Orange Revolution 2.0 intended toppling its government. US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt served as point man.

US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland directed things from Washington and Kiev. 

She admitted America spent more than $5 billion over the last 20 years for regime change.

US embassies are hotbeds of subversion. Infested with CIA agents. Working with ambassadors like Pyatt. Against governments Washington wants ousted.

The Saker posed an interesting question. Will Obama one day "be the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to be hanged for war crimes?"

Will Nobel committee members hang with him? Mocking what they claim to stand for. Deploring peace. Promoting war. By giving Peace Prizes to war criminals.

On Tuesday, Russian Presidential Administration head Sergey Ivanov called conditions in Ukraine "a great concern on our part."

"Poor, uncontrollable, legally incapable and insolvent Ukraine is a colossal problem for Russia."

Washington "use(s) Ukraine for" its own interests. It doesn't "care about Ukraine itself."

"…Ukrainian people (have) to face the consequences, while being on the bring of misery."

Ivanov called Ukraine's parliament labeling Russia an aggressor an act of "weak-headedness."

Unsurprising, he added. "I would not be surprised even if the State Rada (Kiev's parliament) tomorrow passes a resolution claiming that Russia had launched an aggression on the Moon."

Taras Kuzio is a paid political propagandist. Writing for Foreign Affairs he headlined "Ukraine Reignites: Why Russia Should be Added to the State Sponsors of Terrorism List."

Ludicrously claiming Putin "wants to rebuild 'New Russia,' the Tsarist empire's term for" eight Eastern Ukraine Russian-speaking regions.

No evidence whatever supports him. Plenty debunks him. Kuzio lied accusing anti-Kiev forces of "terrorism."

Saying Moscow "propagate(s) terrorism and political instability across Ukraine."

Accusing Russia and Donbas freedom fighters of Kiev crimes. Saying "(i)t is time to call Russia what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism."

Media scoundrels proliferate this type rubbish. Responsible editors wouldn't touch it.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is more hack journalist than legitimate one.

Big thinking isn't his long suit. Superficial analysis substitutes for what readers deserve. Propaganda writ large. On January 28, he headlined "Czar Putin's Next Moves."

Irresponsibly blaming him for attacking Ukraine. Saying earlier he didn't equate it to Hitler's aggression.

"(U)sing ethnic Germans to justify his invasion of neighboring lands." Now he does.

Claiming "awful things Putin is doing to Ukraine" without citing a shred of evidence. None exists.

Plenty shows Washington's responsibility for backing, funding, directing and participating in aggression in Europe's heartland. 

Don't expect Friedman to explain. Or NYT editors featuring his rubbish.

Beginning-to-end unapologetic Big Lies. Claiming "Russian troops wearing uniforms without insignia invade(d) Ukraine."

Putin is "destroying Ukraine's reform movement." Friedman calls it "the ugliest geopolitical mugging happening in the world today."

"If Putin the Thug gets away with crushing Ukraine’s new democratic experiment and unilaterally redrawing the borders of Europe, every pro-Western country around Russia will be in danger."

This is what passes for MSM news, information and analysis. No wonder Americans are the most over-entertained, under-informed people anywhere.

Friedman's worldview is polar opposite reality. Russia didn't invade Ukraine. Putin doesn't supply rebels with weapons. Has no revanchist ambitions.

He alone among world leaders goes all-out for regional peace and stability.

Obama and rogue NATO partners want war. Ousted Ukraine's legitimate government. Installed neo-Nazis replacing it.

Arm, fund and train Kiev's military. US forces directly participate in its aggression on Donbas.

Try finding a single MSM report explaining what everyone needs to know. Propaganda rubbish substitutes. 

Big Lies repeat ad nauseam. Global war risks go unnoticed.

A Final Comment

RT International reported on Ukraine's scheme "to create a coordination center for Ukrainian bloggers to present a united front in social media."

Citing Ukraine's information policy minister (aka propaganda minister), Yury Stets, saying they'll become Kiev's online "truth-telling" army.

"To do so we need to unite people influential in social media, and they will tell (Kiev's version of truth) to everyone who reads them."

"You don't need trolls and bots to deliver truthful information to those communicating on the Internet," said Tass.

Kiev's ministry of truth is right out of Orwell's 1984. Propaganda rubbish substituting for hard facts.

RT said Kiev's scheme "prompted an international outcry from journalists alarmed by the move."

OSCE's media freedom representative, Dunja Mijatovic, called Kiev's initiative a clear threat to media freedom.

Days earlier, illegitimate oligarch president Poroshenko proposed suspending accreditation for all Russian journalists working in Ukraine. Including television, radio and print ones.

On January 23, Ukraine's security service (SBU) reported 88 Russian journalists expelled from the country. A willful campaign to suppress hard truths.

Last November, Kiev banned 83 Russian journalists from entering Ukraine. RT and other major Russian TV operations were targeted.

Western media ignore Kiev's war on media freedom. Its Donbas aggression called self-defense. 

Its illegitimate putschist regime called democratic. Its scandalous Russia bashing. 

Ignoring Washington's manipulative dirty hands. Its war on humanity. Not a single MSM source has the courage, credibility or integrity to explain it.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.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. 

Fake Russian Spy Ring Announced

Fake Russian Spy Ring Announced

by Stephen Lendman

Rogue states need enemies to advance their agendas. When none exist they're invented. Longstanding US policy.

Russian national Evgeny Buryakov its latest victim. A Russian bank employee arrested in New York on phony espionage charges.

Two other Russian nationals named. Outgoing US Attorney General Eric Holder announced bogus charges. 

A Department of Justice statement naming "Evgeny Buryakov, aka Zhenya,' Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy in connection with Buryakov's service as a covert intelligence agent on behalf of the Russian Federation (Russia) in New York City, without notifying the US Attorney General of Buryakov's status as an agent of Russia, as required by federal law."

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said "(t)he attempt by foreign nations to illegally gather economic and other intelligence information in the United States through covert agents is a direct threat to the national security of the United States, and it exemplifies why counterespionage is a top priority of the National Security Division."

Buryakov was arrested. Was arraigned before Manhattan US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn the same day.

Sporyshev and Podobnyy no longer reside in America. Both had diplomatic immunity while still here.

Holder lied saying "(t)hese charges demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States."

"We will use every tool at our disposal to identify and hold accountable foreign agents operating inside this country - no matter how deep their cover."

When evidence doesn't exist, it's invented. Buryakov is a US-instigated Cold War II victim.

DOJ's announcement was strategically timed. Three days after Mariupol's shelling. 

Two days ahead of EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on possible new Russian sanctions. Washington considering its own.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement saying:

"Yevgeny Buryakov, Vnesheconombank’s deputy representative in the US, has reportedly been detained in the US." 

"He is charged with gathering intelligence along with two former employees of Russia's diplomatic mission to New York." 

"No evidence to support such allegations was presented.
It seems as though the US authorities are once again resorting to their favourite tactics of building up spy hysteria." 

"Russian-US relations have been going through quite a complex period due to Washington’s antagonistic stance." 

"Apparently, the US has opted for the 'worse is better' approach by deciding to launch yet another round of anti-Russian campaigning."

"The actions to deteriorate our bilateral relations and undermine prospects for interaction between our countries will remain on the conscience of those who initiated them."

"Russia insists on the cessation of provocations unleashed by US intelligence services against Russian citizens, provision of immediate consular access to Yevgeny Buryakov, strict observance of the rights of the Russian citizen and his release."

Washington claims charged Russian nationals operated covertly. Tried recruiting New York City residents as intelligence sources.

Buryakov is accused of being a Russian agent "posing as an employee" of a New York-based Russian bank.

Sporyshev and Podobnyy are called Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agents.

Gathering intelligence "by posing as official representatives of Russia."

"(T)tansmitting intelligence reports…back to SVR headquarters in Moscow."

Subjects "regularly met and communicated using clandestine methods and coded messages, in order to exchange intelligence-related information while shielding their associations with one another as SVR agents." 

So-called evidence includes subjects meeting numerous times from March 2012 through mid-September 2014.

Buryakov allegedly "passing a bag, magazine or slip of paper to Sporyshev." Other so-called evidence sounds just as unconvincing.

Maybe the three were friends. Charges claimed they used code language like going to a movie or sports event as an excuse to meet to exchange intelligence information.

You can't make this stuff up. It sounds like John le Carre or James Bond. 

The latest episode in Washington's war on Russia. Including blaming Moscow and Donbas rebels for Kiev's false flag Mariupol shelling. 

Systematic US efforts to undermine Russia's economy. More on this below.

Why would three Russians arrange an elaborate undercover scheme when they could accomplish the same thing through well-connected lawyers, consultants or lobbyists?

The way everyone in Washington, New York and other US cities do business. Without being charged with espionage.

Their "crime" is being Russian nationals in America at the wrong time. Cold War 2.0 victims.

Washington's way of portraying Russians as bad guys. Guilty by accusation. So-called evidence is contrived and misleading.

None "backs up (DOJ) accusations," Lukashevich stressed. The last similar spy case occurred in mid-2010.

Involving 10 so-called "sleeper agents." Fingered by the FBI, said RT International. Despite no evidence proving criminality.

At the time, Colombia University Russian specialist, Robert Legvold, said anyone could have gotten what they were accused of through a Google search.

Throughout their years in America, they never sought or obtained classified information. Then Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko called charges against them groundless and malicious.

Former KGB officer Mikhail Lyubimov said the whole story looked more like fiction than fact. Having nothing to do with real undercover work.

"How (could these) professionals (not) notice that secret services had been watching them (for) years? If not them, their wives could have noticed," he said. 

"And…it's not clear at all exactly what information (they were) looking for and what (they supposedly) sent to Moscow directly to the Kremlin, Medvedev or Putin. It's nonsense."

Former Russian Federal Security Service head Nikolai Kovalyov said US charges resemble a "bad spy novel."

Getting tough on Russia for political reasons. Using alleged spies as convenient patsies.

The same dirty game repeating. New charges. Different patsies. Go-along media scoundrels regurgitate official Big Lies.

The New York Times headline practically pronounced guilt. Saying "3 Men Are Charged With Serving as Secret Agents for Russia in New York."

Most readers don't get past the headline or first paragraph or two.

In paragraph one, The Times discussed a "secret handoff." In paragraph two, called it "intelligence - gathered…on behalf of SVR."

The Washington Post published an AP report headlined "US announces charges in New York Russian spy ring case."

Again, the first two paragraphs practically pronounce guilt. Saying "Three Russian citizens…spoke in code, passed information concealed in bags and magazines, and tried to recruit people with ties to an unnamed New York university."

"The defendants were directed by Russian authorities 'to gather intelligence,' " according to DOJ charges.

The Wall Street Journal headlined "US Charges Russian Banker in Spy Case."

"(A)ccused him and two others of secretly gathering information about the New York Stock Exchange, US energy resources and sanctions against Moscow."

Like other MSM reports, the Journal emphasized "clandestine meetings." "Coded communications." Russian foreign intelligence agents. Moscow "spycraft."

CNN reported a "Russian spy ring busted in New York." Those charged "are part of the most intense effort by Russia to infiltrate onto American soil since the Cold War," it claimed.

Again, guilt by accusation. Guests CNN interviewed all made similar anti-Russian comments. Part of an ongoing Washington/MSM Russian bashing smear campaign.

Expect more of the same ahead. US and EU leaders are considering more sanctions on Russia. Targeting its technology, energy, defense and banking sectors.

Perhaps this week. After EU officials meet Thursday in Brussels. According to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland:

"We've looked at the sectors where Russia needs us most - the high-tech energy sector, the defense trade, access to credit." 

"There are more things that we can do along those lines. We are looking at that question now, along with Europe."

Nuland was directly involved in last February's US instigated Ukraine coup. Ousting its democratically elected government. Replacing it with illegitimate neo-Nazi thugs.

She remains an unindited war criminal. Ludicrously claiming "an off-ramp for Russia. (A) route back to better ties with all of us…"

Outrageously blaming Moscow for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Ignoring Washington's full responsibility.

Saying "(t)he minute Russia allows Ukraine to control its side of the international border and stops fueling the conflict, the situation will improve."

Code language for demanding Moscow unconditionally accept US hegemony. Surrender its sovereignty. Become another US colony. Never with Putin, Medvedev, and Lavrov et al in charge.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said European foreign ministers will "consider any appropriate action, in particular on further restrictive measures."

He lied claiming "evidence of continued and growing support given to the separatists by Russia, which underlines Russia's responsibility."

On Tuesday, Ukraine's putschist parliament declared Russia an "aggressor" state. Calling Donbas freedom fighters "terrorists."

On Monday, Putin discussed Ukrainian crisis conditions with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Unequivocally blaming Kiev officials for ongoing conflict. In the last 24 hours alone, Lugansk People's Republic's (LPR) health minister reported Kiev shelling killing at least 12 in Stakhanov.

From "Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers." Another 150 people were hospitalized with injuries.

Russia's Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov called reemergent Nazism the international community's greatest threat.

Its epicenter in Ukraine. Its policies directed from Washington. Dolgov saying "(w)e are faced with a very alarming phenomenon - neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and Islamophobia."

"That's a powerful delayed action bomb planted under international security and stability." 

The threat of wider war beyond Donbas looms. Irresponsible US-led NATO policies threaten world security.

On Tuesday, Stop NATO reported Pentagon plans "to deploy hundreds of (tanks and other) armored vehicles near Russia's border."

Imagine Washington's response if Moscow positioned armored columns along America's northern and/or southern borders. WW III could follow.

On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya was clear and unequivocal saying:

"Russia is faced with coordinated efforts to undermine its economy, which come as a hidden part of the official sanctions war against us." 

"The S&P decision to drop Russia’s sovereign rating is in line with this policy. It is absolutely politicised, biased and politically motivated."

"I’d like to add that this decision is worthless, but unfortunately, it has a price, since it increases the cost of external borrowings for us and affects the prospects for the Russian securities markets."

"The fact that this step was taken now is not surprising. By an 'odd confluence of circumstances,' it coincided with yet another round of anti-Russian hysteria." 

Referring to Mariupol's shelling and alleged New York-based Russian spies.

"I personally have no doubt that this decision was not just suggested, but outright ordered by Washington," Nebenzya stressed.

Plenty of clear evidence supports him. Washington's political and economic war on Russia rages. Risking possible direct confrontation.

Downgrading Russian debt to junk was a brazen politicized act. On direct orders from Washington. Entirely unjustified.

Russian national debt as a percent of GDP is extremely low at 11%, Paul Craig Roberts explained. Compared to America's tenfold higher debt at 105% of GDP.

Way understated, said Roberts. All US government data are phony. "Magic numbers," according to Roberts. Manipulated to make rotten conditions look rosy.

Russia’s credit is strong. Nothing suggests otherwise. America's credit rating should have been cut to junk, said Roberts.

Any US credit rating agency trying "would be closed and prosecuted," he explained. Labeled "terrorist organizations."

"Never expect any truth from any Wall Street denizen. They lie for a living." They may help lying things into WW III.

Washington is relentless. Ruthless. Maniacal. Stopping at nothing to advance its imperium. Lunatics running things may destroy planet earth to control it.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.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. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

US Official Insults Cubans

US Official Insults Cubans

by Stephen Lendman

On January 22, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson visited Cuba.

The most senior US diplomat doing so in decades. Calling US/Cuban relations "particular and peculiar. (N)ot built on confidence and trust."

"Built on" decades of illegal embargo. Hundreds of attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. 

Support for Miami-based anti-Cuban fascist groups. Violence destabilizing Cuba. Efforts to topple its government. Attack it with biological weapons. Murder its people.

More on Jacobson's visit below. Her actions were an affront to the Cuban people.

Obama's announced mid-December thaw is more about regime change than rapprochement. 

Wanting pro-Western stooge government replacing Cuban independence. Returning the nation to its pre-revolution Mafia-run days. 

Making it another US colony. A casino capitalism/brothel state masquerading as a legitimate nation.

Letting US corporate predators carve up the country for profit. Exploit Cuban workers. Destroy social justice.

Normalization means rogue CIA agents operating freely. Pro-Western profit-making NGOs grabbing all they can. The way they exploit Haiti and other vulnerable countries.

Obama's gambit promises nothing good for millions of Cubans. America is all take and no give. It takes giant leap of faith to believe otherwise.

Fidel Castro commented publicly for the first time since Obama's mid-December announcement. 

In a letter to the Federation of University Students. Read by a student on state television.

Saying "(m)any friends of Cuba know the exemplary conduct of our people, and to them I briefly explain my position."

"I do not trust the US policy nor have I exchanged a word with them, without this meaning a rejection of a peaceful solution of conflicts and dangers of war." 

"The president of Cuba (Raul Castro) has taken the appropriate steps according to his prerogatives and powers granted by the National Assembly and the Communist Party of Cuba."

"We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all peoples of the world, including those of our political opponents."

Fidel is aged 88. His silence for some weeks raised concerns about his health. Rumors speculated about his death.

He's very much alive. Hopefully in good health. The world's preeminent elder statesman. A consummate political leader. 

Heroic and then some. Enjoying decades of popular support for good reason. 

Unjustly vilified by America. Well aware of its duplicitous history. Based on conquest, dominance and exploitation.

Expect largely business as usual ahead. Jacobson's visit was insulting. Described as a first step toward normalization. Effrontery is no way to do it.

Saying "(a)s a central element of our policy, we pressed the Cuban government for improved human rights conditions, including freedom of expression and assembly."

"There is no doubt that human rights remains the center of our policy and it is crucial that we continue to both speak out about human rights publicly and directly with the Cuban government."

No nation abuses human rights more egregiously than America. On on unprecedented global scale. Jacobson didn't explain.

Instead, meddled in Cuba's internal affairs disrespectfully. Met with dissidents a day after talks with Havana officials.

Said "(i)t was incredibly important for me to hear from them about their struggles, about whether they agreed or disagreed with the US policy."  

"Most important was the discussion of what comes next, what they are going to do, how they want our support, what we can do to help them."

Suggesting continued US disruptive meddling in Cuban affairs ahead. Supporting elements wanting its government toppled.

Josefina Vidal headed Cuban talks. Expressed legitimate displeasure over Jacobson's actions. Her meeting with dissidents. Insulting Cuban people and officials deserving respect.

Vidal saying "(t)his is exactly one of the differences we have with the US government because for us, this is not just genuine, legitimate Cuban civil society."

"This small group of people doesn't represent Cuban society. (T)he interests of the Cuban people. So that's a big difference with the United States government."

Jacobson met with dissidents at US Interests Section head Jeffrey DeLaurentis' residence. Some invited chose not to come. 

Citing a lack of "balance in terms of the diversity of opinion of the participants." Moderates aren't welcome. 

Ladies in White leader Berta Soler boycotted Jacobson's Friday breakfast and later reception. So did other dissidents. Saying  Washington only wants individuals and groups agreeing with its policies.

Supporting the worst of hardline elements. Consistent with its longstanding regime change plan.

Real rapprochement requires entirely lifting embargo restrictions. Total normalization. Treating Cuba like other nations.

Respecting its sovereign rights. Refraining from meddling in its internal affairs. Paying reparations for decades of economic harm.

Washington won't institute any of the above policies. Intends business as usual wrapped in modest changes too little to matter.

Granma reported "removal of limits on travelers' expenses in Cuba…" Permission to use credit and debit cards. 

Family member remittances to Cuba increased from $500 to $2,000 every three months.

Travel agencies, airlines and insurance companies allowed "to organize service for travel to Cuba."

"(T)ourism and maritime travel remain prohibited." What should have been permitted straightaway. With no restrictions.

US export restrictions remain unchanged. Including "on advanced technology products. (L)imited sales to private parties, via Cuban import-export companies" are OK.

Including for construction materials and agricultural equipment. How much allowed is unclear.

"Prohibitions on the export of Cuban products to US markets remain in place, although visitors will be able to return with purchases of up to $400 dollars, including $100 worth of cigars and rum."

US cigar smokers wanting Cuban Cohibas, Montecristos or other brands have to go to Cuba, Canada, Mexico or other foreign countries to get them.

Telecommunications services "is the only sector in which US investment in infrastructure is authorized, along with sales of services, software and equipment," said Granma.

Excluding advanced technology. US financial institutions may open accounts in Cuban banks "for transactions related to authorized activities."

Cuban counterparts aren't granted the same privilege. Key blockade restrictions remain in place.

Including prohibited international dollar transactions. Technology products and equipment bought in other countries containing more than 10% of US made components.

Commercial relations with US subsidiaries in other countries. US imports with Cuban raw materials.

It's unclear whether easing turns out precisely as announced. Or if Washington intends less openness than claimed.

After over half a century of toughness, assume nothing unless or until proved otherwise.

Granma called new measures announced "a step in the right direction…" Lots more needs to be done, it stressed.

Key is total normalization. Executive and congressional action lifting all blockade restrictions "once and for all."

What never should have been imposed in the first place. Most of all, instituting an entirely new relationship with Cuba in all respects.

Not with fascists in charge in Washington. Change requires a political clean sweep. 

A complete makeover. Revolutionary change. Instituting governance of, by and for everyone equitably. 

Ending foreign wars. Closing overseas bases. Turning swords into plowshares. Waging peace, not war. Holding government, military, and corporate criminals accountable.

Establishing even-handed relations with all nations. Maybe some day. Not while lunatics in Washington run things.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.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. 

Russia Counters US Big Lies with Hard Truths

Russia Counters US Big Lies with Hard Truths

by Stephen Lendman

US Big Lies proliferate with disturbing regularity. Obama is a notorious serial liar. His January 20 State of the Union address the latest example.

A previous article said it combined demagogic rubbish, duplicitous boilerplate, pure fantasy, colossal arrogance, and a contemptible assertion of US supremacy. 

Boastful empty rhetoric substitutes for responsible leadership. Obama's legacy reflects permanent wars on humanity at home and abroad.

More murders by drones than all his predecessors combined. Death squad diplomacy worldwide.

Policies benefitting monied interests only. Force-fed austerity during harder than ever hard times since the Great Depression. 

Overall unprecedented abuse of power. Obama calls it leading "with persistent, steady resolve." 

Including using Kiev's military as a proxy force against Donbas self-defense forces fighting for democratic rights everyone deserves.

Subordinating Europe to America's imperial agenda. Controlling NATO's killing machine. Risking the unthinkable.

Possible nuclear war. Washington bears full responsibility. Blaming Russia for its own crimes. Donbas freedom fighters for defending against Kiev aggression.

On Monday, Security Council members discussed Ukraine. US neocon envoy Samantha Power recited a litany of Big Lies.

Outrageously accused Russia of "supporting, training and fighting alongside (Donbas) separatist forces."

Providing no corroborating evidence whatever. None exists. "Russia's end goal remains the same," she claimed.

"(T)o seize more territory and move the line of Russian-controlled territory deeper and deeper into Ukraine."

Russia's "end goal" is peaceful conflict resolution. No territorial ambitions whatever, 

Plenty of evidence proves it. Plenty more shows Washington wants war without mercy continued.

Supplying Kiev with heavy weapons covertly. Training its military. Directing its war on Donbas.

Increasing numbers of US forces deployed near Russia's borders. US combat troops operating in Ukraine.

Evidence shows direct US involvement in Donbas fighting. Don't expect Power to explain. 

Instead she blamed area self-defense forces for Kiev's Saturday false flag Mariupol attack. Killing 30. Injuring scores of others.

Ludicrously claiming Moscow wants control of Mariupol. A port city. To "provide Russia with another means of supplying separatists."

"And controlling the city would be another step toward creating a land bridge to 'illegally' occupied Crimea."

"Russia continues to try to play the international community for the fool, and blame the violence on the Ukrainians."

Power consistently substitutes Big Lies for hard truths. She mocked Sergey Lavrov's candor days earlier saying "(t)he worsening situation in Ukraine was the result of constant attacks conducted by the Ukrainian government troops, which breached the Minsk agreement."

Power lied claiming otherwise. So does John Kerry. Blaming Russia and rebels for Kiev crimes.

Including its Saturday Mariupol false flag. Kerry calling the incident part of "(t)he separatists' new offensive, not just in Mariupol…but along the ceasefire line."

Ignoring Kiev's Sunday launched aggression. Washington's direct involvement. Kerry reciting a litany of Big Lies claiming otherwise. 

Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin countered Power effectively. Kiev wants war, not peace, he explained. 

Criticized Western Security Council members for "unscrupulous diplomacy." Said Russia "condemns all attacks on civilians, and we grieve for all civilian casualties." 

"In contrast to Kiev, where (Poroshenko) once announced mourning or grieving for some civilian casualties" while systematically slaughtering them.

"Along the frontline they deployed forces and equipment, including heavy weaponry." 

"New mobilizations were announced. They put in new orders to military factories." 

"At the same time, instead of measures for the economic reconstruction of Donbass, a policy of suppress(ion)" remains ongoing.

Churkin denounced Washington and rogue Western powers for "egging on the Ukrainian hawks and covering (up) their inhuman deeds."

"The only thing that will lead to is an even greater catastrophe," he warned.

It's unfolding in plain sight. Because of Washington's hegemonic ambitions.

Waging global wars. Ravaging and destroying one country after another. Ukraine very much in the eye of the storm.

War without end continues. Kiev has done nothing to engage Donbas freedom fighters in "inclusive national dialogue," said Churkin.

Instead, it uses "military means." Aiming to subjugate millions of Donbas residents wanting to live free.

"Apparently peace…is not in (the) interest of Kiev's 'party of war,' " he stressed.

"Official Kiev is sabotaging another" Minsk contact group meeting. Proving it wants war, not peace.

Russia fully complies with Minsk terms, said Churkin. It's "in contact with the sides, the leadership of Ukraine, and the rebels and representatives of interested countries, including in the Normandy format."

Kiev's military bears full responsibility for mass slaughter through "indiscriminate shelling" of civilian areas," Churkin stressed.

"We always condemn all attacks on civilians. And we mourn all civilian victims."

"Unlike Kiev, which declares mourning and commemorations for civilian victims while picking which civilian victims in which regions to mourn." 

"Are the people of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk Republics some kind of second-class citizens?"

"It is impossible to ignore the fact that the tragedies of last few days are quite traditionally being used by Kiev to fan the flames of hysteria." 

"The accusations against militias pop up instantaneously, giving an impression they are being 'prepared in advance.' "

"But as soon as the propaganda trick has come to an end, the interest in it falls very rapidly." 

"After some time has passed, very often one finds that the (truth) is very far from what was said initially."

Putin's Friday comments suggests he considers Kiev's regime illegitimate. Largely avoiding calling it a government.

Referring to "official Kiev." "Those responsible." "Kiev authorities." At the same time, calling Kiev's military "not an army, but a (US-controlled) foreign legion, which, of course, doesn't pursue the national interests of Ukraine."

Churkin's comments were similar. Kiev putschists have no legitimacy whatever. Russia perhaps heads closer to saying so explicitly.

Especially with dangerously escalating Donbas conflict. On Tuesday, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin reported over 50 shelling incidents in the last 24 hours.

Largely indiscriminately targeting civilian areas. Destroying or damaging dozens of buildings.

On Tuesday, RT International cited Russia's Defense Ministry exposing a "low-quality fake" video. 

Showing the confession of a man calling himself a spotter for Saturday's Mariupol shelling.

Close examination of available evidence proves Kiev responsibility for the attack. Wrongfully blamed on rebels.

The video conveniently showed up the day after Mariupol's shelling. According to Russia's Defense Ministry:

"The SBU (Kiev's security service) needed 24 hours to force this story out of a man, which - as we see in the clip - is read by the detainee from a piece of paper located left to the screen."

Kiev's SBU identified him as Valery Kirsnov. Saying he was a DPR rebel spotter. Supposedly sending them locations of Ukrainian military checkpoint positions to attack.

His account was fabricated. Kiev propaganda. "The whole story would be more in place in a spy novel," Russia's Defense Ministry said.

His statement was "notabl(y)" inconsistent, it added. In other words, a Big Lie.

"At 1:42 of his ‘confession’ video, Kirsanov said that he sent his contacts the coordinates of a stationary checkpoint of Ukrainian troops in Vinogradnoe village," Russia's Defense Ministry explained.

"At 2:22 of the clip, when answering the question: 'From where did the fire come?' Kirsanov said with confidence: 'From the direction of Vinogradnoe.' "

"In other words, from the direction where the Ukrainian military checkpoint was stationed."

Vinogradnoe is 3.5km from Mariupol's shelled area. The minimum Grad rocket range. The weapons used in Saturday's attack.

A previous article called it Kiev's latest false flag. Three in January. Likely more to come. Perhaps a Ukrainian 9/11 wrongfully blamed on Russia and Donbas rebels.

Kiev wants US-dominated NATO more heavily involved. Perhaps something big is planned to turn Donbas into more of a killing field than already.

Will large numbers of US combat troops get involved? Will Obama bomb Donbas like Syria and Iraq?

Target area freedom fighters with drones? America didn't initiate war through its Kiev proxy to quit. 

Odds favor escalated fighting ahead. The reliable Colonel Cassad site calls war in Ukraine "an armed insurgency against the fascist regime in Kiev and the regime's subsequent attempts to suppress it."

With full US support and encouragement. Including funding, training, heavy weapons and direct US involvement on the ground.

Heading perhaps dangerously closer to Russia's border. If conflict crosses the line, all bets are off.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.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. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Putin's Message to Washington on Ukraine

Putin's Message to Washington on Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Putin is a master politician. Well aware of America's imperial designs. Its evil intentions. 

Wanting Russia marginalized, contained, destabilized, weakened, isolated, smothered and controlled. Using Ukraine as a dagger against it.

Wanting pro-Western stooge governance replacing him. Beholden to US interests. Enabling them to carve up Russia for profit. 

Steal its resources. Exploit it people. Make Russia America's newest colony. Control its vast land mass. One sixth of planet earth's land area. 

On January 23, Putin met with permanent Security Council members. He chairs Russia's key national security, defense and foreign relations body.

Ruling United Russia party heavyweights attended Friday's meeting. Including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Upper house Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.

Lower house State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin. Presidential Executive Office chief of staff Sergey Ivanov.

Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov. Foreign Intelligence Service head Mikhail Fradkov.

Deputy Security Council Secretary Rashid Nurgaliyev. Permanent Security Council member Boris Gryzlov.

Putin's web site published his opening comments. Ukraine a major topic of discussion. 

Putin knows chances for resolving ongoing Donbas conflict diplomatically are slim at best.

Washington bears full responsibility. Deploring peace. Using its Kiev stooge government for war without mercy. Dirty war. Naked aggression.

Relying on Washington to help resolve things responsibly is futile, Putin believes. Especially when supplying Kiev with heavy weapons. 

Training and directing its military. Provocatively deploying US forces increasingly closer to Russia's border. Risking direct confrontation.

Putin said the following in part:

"We are witnessing a dramatic deterioration of the situation in southeastern Ukraine, in Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic."

"(A) week ago…I sent a letter to the president of Ukraine. (A) written proposal to withdraw heavy weapons." 

(T)o such a distance from which it would be impossible to fire at populated areas." Complying with "agreements reached in Minsk…"

"(T)his proposal almost completely coincided with the requirements of the official Kiev…So we suggested that weapons and heavy equipment be withdrawn to the line that Kiev authorities themselves consider fair and corresponding to" Minsk.

"Unfortunately, we received no clear answer to our proposal; in fact, we also saw the reverse action, namely the Kiev government has given an official order to launch large-scale combat operations along almost the entire perimeter of contact between the opposing sides."

"The result: dozens of dead and wounded, and not only among servicemen on both sides, but, even more tragically, there has been loss of life among the civilian population, including children, the elderly and women." 

"The artillery, multiple rocket launchers and aircraft are firing indiscriminately, directly at densely populated areas."

"All of this is happening to the accompaniment of propaganda slogans about the quest for peace and the search for those responsible." 

"The responsibility is borne by those who issue such criminal orders." 

"The people who do this should know that there is no other way to solve such conflicts but through peace negotiations and political means." 

"We often hear…this is their preferred method of addressing issues, but the reality is quite different."

Putin called for a moment of silence. Honoring Donbas victims. He accused Kiev of issuing "criminal orders."

Referred to Ukraine's president without stating his name. Mentioned "the Kiev government" only once.

Mostly referred to "official Kiev." "(T)hose responsible." "Kiev authorities." Suggesting ruling Kiev officials are illegitimate.

Highlighting the "Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic" conflict in his opening comments suggests perhaps he's heading toward official recognition. 

His tone, candor and overall assessment showed growing displeasure with Washington and Kiev's stooge governance it controls.

On January 23, the Financial Times headlined "Russian banker warns west over Swift."

Addressing Davos Economic Forum participants. Calling exclusion from the international banking payment system tantamount to "war."

"Russia's banks rely heavily on the Belgium-based payments system for both domestic and international payments," said the FT.

One "advisor" calls excluding them "the nuclear option." VTB is Russia's second largest bank.

CEO Andrei Kostin was blunt saying "(i)f there is no Swift, there is no banking…relationship."

"It means that the countries are on the verge of war, or they are definitely in a cold war."

"The next day, the Russian and American ambassadors would have to leave the capitals."

Kostin's comments indicate growing "anger and defiance among the Russian political and business elite," said the FT.

"The more you press Russia, I do not think the situation will change," Kostin stressed.

"We have already created a domestic alternative to the Swift system…and we need to create alternatives internationally."

Sino/Russian unity is stronger than ever. Deputy Russian Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said "(w)e are developing our eastern vector."

Intensified since US-dominated Western imposed sanctions. BRICS countries expressed willingness to help each other.

"Large Chinese investors are coming to us," said Shuvalov. Putin's "pivot to Asia" counters Obama's. Stressing growing political and economic ties.

"(W)e are going into a long crisis situation and it may be protracted," Shuvalov said.

"Russia will survive any hardship in the country." Much like it's done before.

Any pressure to change its policies or political leadership won't work, he stressed.

Russia bashing persists. On Saturday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini irresponsibly rebuked Moscow. 

Ignored Kiev's escalated aggression. Supported, encouraged and implemented by Washington.

Blamed Russia for not reining in rebels. Their legitimate self-defense right.

Saying "(t)his further escalation of the open armed conflict has tragic consequences for a population greatly suffering already for far too long." 

"It would inevitably lead to a further grave deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia."

EU nations are their own worst enemies. Partnering with Washington on Ukraine. 

Supporting its illegitimate government. Its naked aggression on Donbas. Irresponsibly blaming Moscow and rebels for Kiev's crimes.

Imposing sanctions on Russia harming their own self-interest. Latvia currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

Its Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevics warned of more Russian sanctions if violence continues.

Major EU countries suggest the same thing. European Council President Donald Tusk said bloc leaders will discuss it at a March summit.

Putin's patience is wearing thin. On the one hand, Poroshenko "sees no alternative" to Minsk ceasefire terms.

On the other, he's increasing Ukraine's military by 100,000. At the time the country is bankrupt.

Deployed new heavily armed combat troops to Donbas. Ahead of launching full-scale war.

Fighting rages. No end of conflict looms. Peace talks are pure fantasy. On Sunday, defense minister Stepan Poltorak said:

"To respond adequately to the actions of the 'terrorist' groups, we are continuing to build up reserves in practically all sectors where combat action is being conducted."

Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Deputy Parliament Speaker Denis Pushilin called Poroshenko "cynical beyond all limits."

"For us the Minsk process was a question of life for our civilians. For Kiev it was a cover" preparing for war.

"Why do they pretend in the US and Europe that they don’t see Kiev’s aggressive policies? It’s business for them in Washington, and we are being killed here."

Shelling Mariupol Saturday was the latest incident. Killing 30. Injuring scores of others. Kiev's latest false flag. Irresponsibly blamed on rebel fighters.

Fort Russ reported Ukrainian soldiers leaving their Donbas area checkpoints early Saturday. Getting out of harm's way. Ahead of Kiev's attack.

Video evidence shows US forces or Blackwater USA-type (now Academi) mercenaries in unmarked uniforms supporting Ukraine's military. When confronted, speaking in English with clear American accents.

It bears stressing. No evidence whatever suggests Russian troops in Ukraine. Or support for rebel fighters. Plenty shows direct US involvement. 

In Kiev, planning and implementing fighting. Supply funding, training and heavy weapons. 

Provocatively increasing US forces near Russia's border. Deploying some in Donbas. 

Don't expect media scoundrels to explain. Proliferating Big Lies. Suppressing hard truths. Blaming Russia and rebels for Kiev's crimes.

On Monday, Putin addressed students in St. Petersburg. Speaking forthrightly like always. Saying Ukraine's military aims to "achiev(e) the geopolitical goals of restraining Russia."

It's "not an army, but a foreign legion. In this case a foreign (US-controlled) NATO legion, which, of course, doesn't pursue the national interests of Ukraine."

"Unfortunately official Kiev authorities refuse to follow the path of a peaceful solution. They don't want to resolve (things) using political tools."

"They used a brief ceasefire only to regroup their forces, and started military operations again."

At a New Delhi news conference, Obama promised new options "to ratchet up pressure on Russia."

"…I will look at all additional options that are available to us, short of military confrontation, and try to address this issue," he said.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Washington has more tools to pressure Russia.

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowsk urged tougher sanctions. Saying "(t)he response of the Western world should be firm."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier hinted at further sanctions. 

Saying "an attack or a broad offensive on Mariupol would be a qualitative change in the situation to which we would have to react.”

Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov responded sharply. Calling threats of new sanctions "an absolutely destructive and unjustified course that would eventually prove to be shortsighted."

"Instead of stepping up the pressure on those who refuse to start a dialogue and to solve the conflict in a peaceful way, we hear they want to resume this economic blackmail against Russia."

On Monday, illegitimate prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk issued a statement saying:

Ukrainian cabinet ministers "adopted a decision to recognize an emergency situation at a state level." 

"The Ukrainian government has decided to impose the state of emergency in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions."

Ludicrously claiming it's to ensure civil protection for its people. The same ones Kiev forces murder daily.

Sergey Lavrov blamed Kiev for "derail(ing) the peace process."

"Time and time again, we’re seeing attempts by the Kiev authorities to solve the problem by violent suppression of the southeast." 

"These are blind-alley attempts, leading to even more casualties among the civilian population."

"It would’ve been naive to expect that the militia forces (to) remain idle when on the Ukrainian president’s orders populated areas are being shelled."

They're obligated to respond. To protect Donbas residents. To combat Kiev aggression.

Washington and Kiev partner in each other's crimes. One fascist regime supports another.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.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.