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Video: Will cold war between Saudi Arabia & Iran become a full-scale military conflict?

Thousands of people in Yemen have lined the capital's streets in protest against the Saudi-led blockade of the country. The civil war in Yemen...
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Video: Cold War nuclear bunker to become largest cannabis nursery in Germany

A German Cold War nuclear bunker is being given a new life. The Memmingerberg bunker in Buxheim, Bavaria, is to be used as a...

Orwell and the Cold War

'Shocking': US congressmen want answers on claims of secret Cold War radiation tests

Three US Congress members have demanded answers from Washington after a new book claims to reveal...

A Blacklisted Film and the New Cold War

Special Report: As Congress still swoons over the anti-Kremlin Magnitsky narrative, Western political and media leaders refuse to let their...

Macron’s Maneuvers on the New Cold War

Official Washington’s hawks are blocking President Trump’s desired detente with Russia, but that has opened a path for France’s new...

How Media Spread CIA’s Sectarian, Anti-Iran ‘Mideast Cold War’ Narrative

A new Vox video (7/17/17) is the latest addition to a media onslaught that propagates numerous misleading talking points to demonize Iran—just as the...

Republicans Still Pushing False Flags in Syria and Cold War With Russia

Seymour Hersh’s shocking new investigative report shows that US intelligence knew there was no Assad chemical attack in April, but...

Zbigniew Brzezinski, US Cold War national security advisor, dies at 89

Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the most influential US political thinkers at the height of the Cold...

The Fog of Cold War

by John V. Walsh / May 13th, 2017 Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department. — Wernher...

The Fog of Cold War

“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun.~ From Tom Lehrer’s ballad of Wernher...

Picking up the Cold War Pieces: Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan

Somalia partitioned under Italy, Britain, France In 2016, Somalia was declared the most fragile state in the world – worse off than Syria. Famine struck...

The Never-Ending US-UK Cold War on Russia

After decades of delaying, the United Nations finally released archives from the Second World War-era war crimes commission investigating the Nazi Holocaust. The source...

Gore Vidal on the Cold War

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Video: ‘Biggest NATO deployment since Cold War’: Hundreds of British battle tanks arrive in...

Hundreds of British armoured fighting vehicles arrived in the Estonian seaport of Paldiski on Thursday, as part of what is thought to be the...

‘Soviet active measures’: Hearing on Russian influence resurrects Cold War tropes

Though the leaders of the US Senate Intelligence panel said they would follow the facts and...
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Video: ‘Don’t see a single good reason to have Cold War with Russia’ –...

There is no good reason for France to engage in a Cold War-style policy against Russia, National Front leader Marine Le Pen said in...

Boris Johnson says ‘no appetite’ for Cold War with Russia ahead of visit to...

Published time: 6 Mar, 2017 14:53Edited time: 6 Mar, 2017 15:07 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has...
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Video: ‘No appetite’ for Cold War with Russia – Boris Johnson

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called to “engage with the Russians,” speaking to the press ahead of the EU foreign and defense ministers meeting...
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Video: Former FBI Agent: Russia Sanctions Moves the US Closer to Another Cold War

Former FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley says the evidence the Russian government hacked and interfered with US elections must be made public Help ... Via Youtube

How ‘New Cold Warriors’ Cornered Trump

Exclusive: The U.S. intelligence community’s extraordinary campaign of leaks claiming improper ties between President Trump’s team and Russia seeks to...

Is The New Cold War Just Beginning Or Ending?

Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until...

Kucinich Pins Flynn Leak on Intel Community, Warns of Another Cold War

During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria, former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said the intelligence...

The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

Photo by Jedimentat44 | CC BY 2.0 It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a...

The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it...

Pushing for a Lucrative New Cold War

The New Cold War promises untold riches for the Military-Industrial Complex, causing hawks inside the Obama administration to push for...

Can Trump and Putin Avert Cold War II?

In retaliation for the hacking of John Podesta and the DNC, Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and ordered closure of their...

The Cold War, Continued: Post-Election Russophobia

Corporate TV news anchors including MSNBC’s Chris Hayes are reporting as fact–with fuming indignation–that Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin) not only sought to influence...

The Cold War, Continued: Post-Election Russophobia

Mainstream TV news anchors including MSNBC’s Chris Hughes are reporting as fact—with fuming indignation—that Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin) not only sought to influence...

The Bloodthirsty Hawks Want To See The Cold War Boil Over

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - Was the Cold War against communism, or against Russia? Russia was our ally in World War II, and we’d have a...

A New Cold War or a New Detente

The U.S. government’s rush into the New Cold War with Russia has stumbled because of Donald Trump’s victory and growing...

NATO should demilitarize border with Russia, or face new Cold War – Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says NATO’s current policies of adding more troops in eastern Europe...

This Is No ‘Cold War’; It’s Far Worse Than That.

World War III — the first (and final) nuclear war — has never been so likely as it is now. Eric Zuesse, originally posted at...

Duterte vs. Washington’s Cold War System

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (right) is threatening to up-end 70 years of U.S. security policy in East Asia by throwing his alliance to Beijing....
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Video: ‘816 Nuclear Military Plant’: China reveals top secret Cold War-era bunker

China has revealed a top secret military bunker buried deep inside the Chongqing mountains in the Fuling region which was made to manufacture plutonium...

Britain joins biggest European military buildup since Cold War

Britain is deploying troops, aircraft and armor in the biggest military buildup in Eastern Europe since the Cold War. The deployment, which was first floated...

Why the Left Loves the New Cold War

The Clinton campaign’s full-scale effort to turn this election into a referendum on Vladimir Putin is causing liberals like Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of...

Cold War 2.0: How Russia and the West Reheated a Historic Struggle

Gen Sir Richard Shirreff remembers the moment he realised Nato was facing a new and more dangerous Russia. It was 19 March...

Why Progressives Love the New Cold War

The Clinton campaign’s full-scale effort to turn this election into a referendum on Vladimir Putin is causing liberals like Katrina...

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

Cold War: Today, Tomorrow, Every Day till the End of the World

“Russia suspected of election scheme. U.S. probes plan to sow voter distrust.” That’s the Washington Post page-one lead headline of September 6. Think about it....

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

The New Cold Warriors Sic the FBI on Donald Trump

While we have gotten used to the neo-McCarthyite tactics employed by the Clinton campaign linking Donald Trump to the Kremlin, the whole disgraceful operation...

Washington’s Hawks Push New Cold War

As a fragile and partial cease-fire in Syria totters, the back story is the political warfare in Washington where powerful hawks seek to escalate both the war...

Old Cold Warriors Cool to New Cold War

To the surprise of many, some old Cold Warriors, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, are cooling to the idea of a New...

US Arms Makers Invest in a New Cold War

Exclusive: Behind the U.S. media-political clamor for a new Cold War with Russia is a massive investment by the Military-Industrial...
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Video: Strengthening Russo-Turkish Alliance Stokes US-Russian Cold War

John Helmer, Russian-based Anglo-American journalist says that Russia feels threatened by US, NATO, Turkey, and the turbulence at its borders Visit ... Via Youtube

Rethinking the Cold War

The Cold War began during the Truman administration and lasted through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations and was ended in...

New Cold War at the Olympics

The Western media’s Russia-bashing has become epidemic, creating a dangerous dynamic as the world plunges into a new Cold War,...

Ban of Russian Olympic Team: Cold War at its “Best”!

New Cold War is now in full swing and the West is using both old and new tactics, in order to demonize and discredit...

How US Propaganda Fuels New Cold War

The anti-Russian propaganda across the U.S. political/media system is so pervasive that even members of Congress know little about the events that launched...

We May Be at a Greater Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Than During the Cold...

“Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War,” warns William Perry,...

The Olympics as a Tool of the New Cold War

The 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism (non-discrimination of any kind, including nationality and political opinion) seems to be forgotten long ago.  In ancient Greece...

We May Be at a Greater Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Than During the Cold...

 (Photo: John Parie / U.S. Air Force) “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold...

Welcome to the Cold War on Terror

So, here we are again, am I right? Another ISIS terrorist attack in Europe. I wonder what President Obama will call this one? Road...

Western Propaganda for a New Cold War

Western propaganda portrays Russia as the aggressor and NATO as the victim, but the reality looks almost opposite from the ground...
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Video: Vault Guidance? US may resurrect Cold War era department to combat Russian ‘spies’

Washington's dug into the vaults for guidance on tackling what it sees as undercover Russian actions. And it's definitely got a Cold War feel....

Reviving the Cold War? Senate intelligence bill ‘targets Russian spies, diplomats’

The Senate Intelligence Committee is backing a bill to reinstate a Cold War-era committee aimed at...

Bridging Divides of a New Cold War

As NATO steps up military maneuvers near Russia’s borders and congressmen fume about “Russian aggression,” a group of Americans including...

Poland’s ‘Cold War II’ Repression

As the U.S. government ratchets up a new Cold War, Poland is taking hostility toward Russia to the next level, inviting...

New Nukes for a New Cold War

Mythology about the rightness of dropping two atomic bombs on Japan is relevant to today’s “modernization” of the U.S. nuclear...

Andrew Bacevich Talk: ‘Has U.S. Foreign Policy Since the End of the Cold War...

Andrew Bacevich Talk: ‘Has U.S. Foreign Policy Since the End of the Cold War Made America Safer?’ Eric Garris, May 26, 2016 ...

Escalations in a New Cold War

Exclusive: The Obama administration poked Russia in the eye again by activating a missile defense site in Romania while building...

Not new Cold War… but similar, says UK’s man at NATO

The current buildup of forces in Europe is not a reprise of the Cold War,...

Flush With Cold War “Victory,” U.S. Still Fails to Understand Russia’s Security Needs

It does nobody any good for the U.S. to paint Russian President Vladimir Putin as a bogeyman.(Image: Global Panorama / Flickr) It is one of...
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Video: Cold war games: NATO 15k troops, nuclear bombers brave sub-zero temps near Russian...

Thousands of NATO troops hold cold-weather war games in Norway, near border with Russia RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube
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Video: Why Russia and U.S Cold War Could Soon Turn Into A World War

In this video Luke Rudkowski reports on the insane situation between unfolding between Russia and the U.S during the syrian Munich peace talks. As...
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Video: ‘Is it 2016 or 1962?’ PM Medvedev urges Russia & West end ‘Cold...

The relationships between NATO and Russia have slid down toward a new Cold War, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a panel discussion during...

6 Reasons Not to Reboot the Cold War

(Image: IoSonoUnaFotoCamera / Flickr) The Pentagon budget the Obama administration unveiled this week calls for quadrupling spending on efforts to counter Russia. The money would move...

6 Reasons Not to Reboot the Cold War

The Pentagon budget unveiled this week calls for quadrupling spending on efforts to counter Russia. The money would move more troops, tanks, and artillery...

US spy chief warns of new Cold War between US, Russia

The US intelligence chief has warned that tensions between the United States and Russia are spiraling into a new Cold War. Director of National Intelligence...

U.S. Needs to Think Twice Before Reprising the Cold War

Spurred by tensions over Ukraine, President Obama announced plans to add $3.4 billion to this year’s military budget request for Europe. (Photo: Public domain) Not...

Seeking More Cold War with Cuba

The neocons who dominate Official Washington speak most loudly through their flagship newspaper, The Washington Post, almost always seeking confrontation rather than cooperation in...
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Video: We’re back to Cold War relations & geopolitics in security in Europe –...

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gY1boYgxZw The Ukraine crisis and now the downing of Russia's jet by Turkey have ... Via Youtube

The New Cold War and the Death of the Discourse

The truth is often ignored, at first, and when that becomes impossible, truth-tellers are often punished. As two incidents starkly reveal, this is certainly the...
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Video: James Bamford on the Arctic & the Next Not-So-Cold War

Democracynow.org - Investigative journalist James Bamford joins us to talk about his recent piece, "Frozen Assets: The Newest Front in Global Espionage is ... Via...
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Video: NATO holds biggest airborne drill in Europe since Cold War’s end

The largest NATO airborne drills in Europe since the end of the Cold War aim to reassure allies against external aggression threat, American generals...
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Video: ‘F-35 hopeless, less battleworthy than Soviet jets from Cold War’

The F-35 was hailed as the most hi-tech fighter jet ever created far ahead of anything else in the skies. But it's now claimed...

Obama’s Deadly Cold War Legacy

Exclusive: President Obama is endangering his legacy by letting neoconservatives still set his foreign policy, including the creation of a new and costly Cold...
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Video: CrossTalk: Cold War Redux (ft. Chris Hedges)

Over the past year at CrossTalk we have asked guests many times whether we face the specter of a new Cold War. Today it...

The Rush to a New Cold War

The U.S. government and news media have jumped back into Cold War attitudes since early 2014 when a U.S.-backed coup overthrew Ukraine’s elected president and...

Stumbling into a New Cold War

U.S. expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders and last year’s U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine have drawn reactions from Moscow and now counter-reactions from...
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Video: Lizards, No But Reptiles, Yes? Bilderberg’s Cold War Dinosaurs Meet To Sabotage East/West...

"In fact, it's more of a chance for world leaders in politics, business, and technology to exchange ideas frankly without having to hold back...
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Video: Bilderberg 2015: Cold war dinosaurs drive a wedge between EU & Russia. Tony...

Koç pops up at Bilderberg: could this be the year to let it all hang out? I've extended the hand of friendship to one...

Cold War 2.0

In last month’s Anti-Empire Report I brought you the latest adventure of US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki trying to defend the indefensible. She...

The Origin of the ‘New Cold War’

Eric Zuesse This will be history, replacing myth. So: if at the start it might seem unbelievable, I request the reader – please click onto...

US House Declares Cold War on Russia

Stephen Lendman RINF Alternative News Lunatics infest Washington. Crazies. Hardline extremists. Criminals. Lawless fascists by any standard. Dominating both parties. Mocking legitimate governance. Making policy irresponsibly. Including homeland...

In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis

In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies...

The Second Cold War is Here

In October 2013, David Patraeus came out with an amazingly imaginative work called “How We Won in Iraq.” Detailing the ways that US counterinsurgency...

MH17: Cold War Replay?

The last time the U.S. accused Russia of downing a civilian airliner, nuclear war nearly broke out. John Feffer The most bizarre conspiracy theory surrounding the...

Cold War Renewed With A Vengeance While Washington Again Lies

Paul Craig Roberts The Cold War made a lot of money for the military/security complex for four decades dating from Churchill’s March 5, 1946 speech...

Cold War Renewed with a Vengeance While Washington again Lies

Paul Craig Roberts The Cold War made a lot of money for the military/security complex for four decades dating from Churchill’s March 5, 1946 speech...

Cold War Renewed With A Vengeance While Washington Again Lies – Paul Craig Roberts

Cold War Renewed With A Vengeance While Washington Again Lies Paul Craig Roberts The Cold War made a lot of money for the military/security complex for four decades dating from Churchill’s March 5, 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri declaring a…

The post Cold War Renewed With A Vengeance While Washington Again Lies — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

How and Why the U.S. Has Re-Started the Cold War (The Backstory that Precipitated...

When the Cold War ended, in 1990, Russia was in a very weak position, no real threat at all (except for nuclear weapons, but...

‘Cold War Against Russia – Without Debate’

Future historians will note that in April 2014, nearly a quarter-century after the end of the Soviet Union, the White House declared a new...

A NEW COLD WAR? OR JUST AMERICA’S NEED FOR A VILLAIN?

A NEW COLD WAR? OR JUST AMERICA’S NEED FOR A VILLAIN?   John Chuckman We read a lot about a new Cold War, and I think there is truth in the words. Obama’s so-called “pivot” towards Asia is clearly directed at China’s emergence as a great power, at the notion of containing China, to use […]

The New Cold War and the Unquestioned ‘Establishment’

 "Future historians will note that in April 2014, nearly a quarter-century after the end of the Soviet Union, the White House declared a new...

Cold War 2.0

Cold War 2.0

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article said welcome to Cold War 2.0. The first one never ended. Since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution, Western policy remained hard-wired in place. 

Putin and Obama are geopolitical opposites. They're world's apart. Their ideologies clash. They represent conflicting values.

Putin defends Russian sovereignty. He opposes US imperial lawlessness. He affirms UN Charter and other rule of law principles.

Obama claims a divine right to pursue unchallenged global hegemony. Washington considers Putin public enemy number one. At risk is potential East/West confrontation.

Russia bashing persists. It's intense. It rages daily. It exceeds the worst of Soviet era levels. 

Daily vilifying reinvents the Evil Empire. It's back to the future. It doesn't surprise. Neocons infest Washington. Business as usual continues. 

Recklessness defines US policy. At stake is world peace. On April 19, Putin said there's "nothing to prevent us from normalizing (US/Russian) relations and (reestablishing) normal cooperation."

At the same time, he knows how Washington operates. He knows its dark side. He knows what hasn't existed in a century or more.

He knows it takes a giant leap of faith to expect America to act responsibly. It hasn't throughout its sordid history. Why expect change now.

On April 19, The New York Times headlined "In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin," saying:

"…Obama and his national security team are looking beyond" Ukrainian crisis conditions." They plan "forg(ing) a new long-term approach to Russia…"

They want one "appl(ying) an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment." Presidential advisor George Kennan (1904 - 2005) shaped Washington's containment policy.

He prioritized curtailing its influence in strategic areas. His July 1947 "X" article headlined "The Sources of Soviet Conduct."

He urged "counter(ing) it "effectively." He stressed "containment, saying:

"The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies."

He called doing so "vital to the national security of the United States." He urged undermining Soviet strength.

He outlined covert and overt strategies. He included political alliances, economic policies. He encouraged underground resistance initiatives. 

He urged establishing "Liberation Committees" across Europe. He supported policies short of war.

Influential US official Paul Nitze (907 - 2004) helped shape post-WW II US policy. His Joint State-Defense Department Committee National Security Memorandum No. 68 (NSC-68) prioritized containing Soviet Russia.

Inflammatory language called it an enemy "unlike previous aspirants to hegemony...animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own (wishing to) impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world." 

Obama launched Cold War 2.0. According to The Times, he's "focus(ing) on isolating Russia…" 

He'll do it "by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood, and effectively making it a pariah state."

Even if Ukrainian crisis conditions are resolved, he'll "never have a constructive relationship with Mr. Putin, aides said." He'll spend his remaining time in office containing him.

He'll cooperate only "where progress remains possible." Previous articles explained. Washington's longstanding policy wants all independent governments eliminated.

Unchallenged US hegemony depends on it. Russia is America's main military rival. China is the world number two economy. 

In a half dozen more years or so, it'll surpass America. It'll be number one. Washington is going all-out to prevent it. It wants its military might unchallenged. 

It wants rival states marginalized, weakened, isolated, neutralized and contained. It wants unchallenged global dominance. It's going all-out to achieve it.

Co-opting Ukraine into NATO is a key element of US strategy. Doing so ensures encroaching on Russia's entire Western border. 

Positioning nearby US bases threatens its heartland. Doing so weakens its potential resistance. It achieves greater isolation. 

More absolute US dominance is possible. At the same time, world peace is threatened. Last month, The Times headlined "If Not a Cold War, a Return to a Chilly Rivalry," saying:

"Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Washington and Moscow had struggled to replace their Cold War rivalry with a new form of partnership, one that was tested by crisis after crisis but that endured in its own peculiar way."

After previous ruptures, resets put both countries "back onto an uneasy equilibrium." Putin's decision to "snatch Crimea" changed things, said The Times.

It "usher(ed) in a new, more dangerous era." It involves sustained "confrontation and alienation…" It'll be "hard to overcome." Further resets "appear far off and far-fetched."

The Times left unexplained what's most important. Crimea is a useful pretext. So are overall Ukrainian crisis conditions. Russia's opposition to America's imperial agenda matters more.

It military strength matters most. Washington accepts no rivals. It wants uncontested dominance. 

Achieving it requires eliminating all challengers. Russia alone matches America's military strength. 

It formidable nuclear arsenal and sophisticated delivery systems reflect it. Neutralizing them is prioritized. Efforts to do so go on in real time.

They'll continue throughout Obama's remaining tenure. His successor will persist where he leaves off. At risk is potential East/West conflict. All bets are off if it happens.

Last month, the Washington Post headlined "The 'Russia reset' was already dead; now it's time for isolation," saying:

"…(B)y end of 2013, the issues that animated the reset had withered."

"The relationship was at its lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union when Barack Obama won the presidency; it is now far worse."

WaPo pointed fingers the wrong way. Obama bears full responsibility. Current policy exacerbates things.

US-Russia 2009 reset policy was more illusion than reality. Washington's intentions prevent normalized relations. Obama is more belligerent than Bush. Conflict is prioritized over diplomacy.

Encircling Russia with US bases prevents normalized relations. Militarizing North Africa, the Middle East and part of Eurasia breached GHW Bush's pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev not to do so.

Washington's promises aren't worth the paper they're written on. Russia understands well. At a time no nation threatens America, the Pentagon maintains a growing network of well over 1,000 global bases. Unknown secret ones exist.

Many are positioned near Russia's borders. Doing so is provocative and belligerent. So called missile defense systems and advanced tracking radar are for offense, not defense. 

Friendly countries don't treat others this way. Doing so is fraught with risks. Russia knows it's targeted. US policy destroys trust.

On April 20, the Wall Street Journal headlined "US-Russia Relations Come Full Circle After Ukraine: Despite 'Reset,' Ukraine Crisis Shows US-Russia Tensions Far From Extinguished."

Obama policy "lurched" from reset to "benign neglect and awkward cooperation" to "punitive sanctions and sharp (anti-Putin) criticism."

The Journal like other US scoundrel media lie. They claim Putin aims to restore Russia's imperial might. America alone seeks unchallenged supremacy.

Permanent wars reflect official policy. Transforming all independent governments into subservient pro-Western ones is prioritized. 

Eliminating major rivals matter most. Don't expect media scoundrels to explain. Russia bashing continues.

Putin "seek(s) confrontation, said the Journal. He's gone all-out to resolve things diplomatically. Claiming otherwise doesn't wash. Big Lies persist.

Polls show propaganda works. More than two-thirds of Americans believe Russia invaded Ukraine. Three-fourths believe no justification for what didn't happen.

Over 80% consider it a violation of international law. Before Ukrainian crisis conditions erupted, 44% of Americans called Russia an ally.

Currently, 68% call it unfriendly or an enemy. More than two-thirds view Putin unfavorably. It's polar opposite how most Russians perceive him.

His US public opinion rating is the worst since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution. At the same time, only 35% of Americans believe Washington's Russia policy should toughen.

Over 50% say America should stay uninvolved. They think current conditions are beyond US control. Washington has no responsibility to intervene over Crimea, they say.

Sanctions alone are supported. Over half of Americans back Washington and EU states imposing them. Only a scant one-third think they'll be effective.

Earlier post-Soviet Russia views were more positive. According to a late March Gallup poll, half of all Americans think their government and Russia are heading into a new Cold War.

At the same time, 58% believe Washington shouldn't play a leading rule in resolving international problems. Stay uninvolved, they say.

Steven Pifer is a retired foreign service officer. He's a former US ambassador to Ukraine. He's currently Brookings' Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative director.

He's its Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence as well as Center on the United States and Europe in Foreign Policy senior fellow.

He points fingers the wrong way saying:

"We certainly are headed toward perhaps the rockiest period in US-Russia relations since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991…Unless the Russians change course, we're going to be in a very difficult time, unfortunately."

"Vladimir Putin by his military occupation of Crimea has violated the rules of the game…You haven't seen this (type) blatant grab in the last 25 years," he claims.

He ignored US imperial wars. Post-WW II, they raged. They did so globally. They continue. One country after another was targeted, ravaged, and destroyed. 

Some were occupied, colonized and exploited. Hegemons operate this way. Rule of law principles don't matter. Unchallenged dominance is official US policy. 

Big Lies claim otherwise. Fingers point the wrong way. Victims are called perpetrators. US aggression is called humanitarian intervention.

Professor Michael Kimmage says ongoing events don't reflect a new Cold War. "It's worse," he claims. Western ideals embody "Plato-to-NATO sensibility," he says.

Russia is a "latter-day Persia…Putin and Obama committed themselves to two irreconcilable visions of international politics."

Putin's "politics is set by the assertion of power," he claims. "Russian nationalism and American internationalism (leave little) room for diplomatic maneuvering," he added.

Kimmage reflects mainstream anti-Russian sentiment. Putin is unjustifiably bashed. Longstanding US imperial policy is ignored.

America bears full responsibility for most global flashpoints. Confronting Russia irresponsibly risks much more than Cold War 2.0 politics.

Ukraine is in the eye of the storm. Sergei Lavrov is right. He accused Washington of elevating illegitimate putschists to power.

It should take responsibility for its actions. It should stop issuing ultimatums to Russia. Ukrainian crisis conditions are deepening.

Nothing is being done to change things. Things lurch from bad to worse. Restoring order to crisis-torn Ukraine should be prioritized, says Lavrov.

Washington and EU partners "invent possible and impossible arguments against Russia," he added. Outrageous accusations follow.

"Attacks are continuing in Slaviansk, Mariupol, and other different places in southeastern Ukraine, as well as the attacks carried out by militants in masks, who are acting ruthlessly," Lavrov said.

New York Times policy is one-sidedly anti-Russian. Irresponsible bashing continues daily. Big Lies persist. On April 20, it headlined "Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia."

It called them the same "Russian military and intelligence forces - equipped in the same fashion as Russian special operations troops involved in annexing the Crimea region in February."

No evidence whatever suggests it. Clear evidence points fingers the right way. Kiev-deployed Right Sector neo-Nazis murdered four Slavyansk activists. 

Don't expect The Times to explain. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted. She lied saying:

"There has been broad unity in the international community about the connection between Russia and some of the armed militants in eastern Ukraine, and the photos presented by the Ukrainians last week only further confirm this, which is why US officials have continued to make that case."

Unnamed US and Kiev putschist officials were cited. Concealing the identity of its forces reflects Russian strategy, they claim.

The Times calls it "Russia's flair for 'maskirovak' - disguised warfare." It's more evident under Putin, it says.

Truth is systematically buried. Big Lies substitute. Putin bashing persists. Obama risks letting things spin out-of-control. Rogue leaders operate this way. 

Potential East/West conflict may follow. It bears repeating. All bets are off if it happens.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

Cold War 2.0 and the Threat of Nuclear Warfare

As the world’s attention turns to events in eastern Europe, rising tensions between the world’s nuclear superpowers is once again raising the specter of the cold war. And just as in the cold war, this conflict, too, brings with it the prosp...

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Bloodletting in Beirut: Iranian embassy bombing brings Islamic cold war to Lebanese soil

The double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian embassy in a Shiite district of southern Beirut is directly linked to the Syrian conflict and the external sponsors of fundamentalist militias losing ground to Assad’s forces.

The brutal attack on the morning of November 19 was carried out by a motorcyclist who detonated himself near the Iranian diplomatic compound, attempting to breach the walls to make way for another man in a car who attempted to drive as close to the embassy building as possible before detonating his device. The attackers failed to substantially damage the embassy, but the double-tap bombing took the lives of two dozen bystanders and first responders, while injuring over a hundred more.

These tactics directly reflect the methods used by Al-Qaeda against Shiite communities throughout Iraq in the worsening terror campaign raging between Sunnis and Shiites. For the first time, Iranian diplomats were targeted on Lebanese soil, and the attack undoubtedly represents deteriorating relations between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, the latter serving as the principle financier and arms supplier of the hardline Salafist militias fighting to topple the Syrian government, but losing.

The use of Iraqi-style terror tactics on Lebanese soil could be interpreted by some as a spillover from worsening fighting and lawlessness in Syria, but it is more accurately a measure taken by Salafist fighters in response to strategic victories by Assad’s forces, who have the upper hand and are quickly reconsolidating power.

Read the full story on RT.com

Nile Bowie is a Malaysia-based political analyst and a columnist with Russia Today. He can be reached at [email protected].

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While the Middle East teeters on the brink of another prolonged conflict that would engender some form of US involvement, the Obama’s administration’s shift away from the region and toward East Asia is easier said than done. Though the “Pivot to Asia” policy of the Obama administration may not be stealing all the headlines, US military presence around the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca is quietly building up, giving rise to increased American muscle in Southeast Asia. Obama announced the pivot policy during a visit to Australia in 2011, declaring a fully equipped 2,500-strong Marine task force operating from Darwin by 2016. The pivot to Asia is anything but an empty catchphrase, as the US Air Force is beginning to bolster its presence in bases in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, with plans to move 60 percent of US warships to the region by 2020. It’s no secret that these developments are the Pentagon’s response to China’s ever-increasing military and economic clout, and Uncle Sam is boldly sending the message that he’s coming to town.

Washington’s objective is to build a Cold War-style security ring around China by deepening military partnerships with American allies in Southeast Asia, while broadening its capacity to police vital trade and energy chokepoints. Around 80 percent of China’s oil imports pass through the Straits of Malacca in addition to much of its freight trade, and the deepening US presence being established by the Pentagon is designed to limit China’s access to energy and raw material in the event of a major conflict or political crisis. Washington also aims to rope Southeast Asia into its economic sphere through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a plurilateral free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and a handful of Pacific-rim states, with China distinctively excluded. Ongoing TPP trade negotiations have been hampered time and time again due to growing public disapproval and the reluctance of some participatory nations to accept broadened intellectual property rights legislation that would benefit US firms, as well as drastic deregulation of financial sectors and measures that would undermine existing laws in participating countries.

Read the full story on RT.com

Nile Bowie is a Malaysia-based political analyst and a columnist with Russia Today. He also contributes to PressTV, Global Research, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Charles Pierce: Republican Tactics During Hagel Hearing ‘Straight Out of the Cold War 1950s’

Esquire's Charles Pierce hit the nail on the head with his assessment of this Thursday's confirmation hearing of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense -- and you can watch part of Sen. Lindsey Graham's petulant display during the hearing in the clip above.

Today In Hagel Bashing:

It was a bizarre, devotional exercise. Hagel was not being asked for his qualifications to lead the Department Of Defense — which, it should be noted, is largely an administrative one when it comes to the country's foreign relations. He was being asked to engage in a vague kind of theological debate. He was not being asked to profess his faith to Israel so much as to recant his heresies against the policies of the United States that were produced by adherents of a certain sect. He wasn't being asked to endorse Bibi Netanyahu so much as he was being asked to recant his unorthodox opinions as regarding the good works of Bill Kristol or John McCain. He was being asked, en ensemble, by Republicans old and young, essentially the same question John McCain spent six minutes hollering into the wind.

Please admit that we were right.

No. You were wrong. You were wrong in 2003 and you were wrong in 2006 and the Iraq war was a murderous cock-up from start to finish and Hagel, at least, figured that out in midstream.

The whole hearing was nothing more than a show, and we all know that the easiest shows to sell are revivals. The Republican opposition decided to re-litigate the failures of the Bush administration in the context of the world view of Dean Acheson. It was a weird performance.

It was like watching Rent performed on the set of Show Boat. And very little of it had anything to do with Hagel's qualifications to be Secretary Of Defense. Most of the questioning would seem to have been more suited to the hearings earlier this week, when John Kerry sailed through the confirmation process to become Secretary Of State. Hagel's not running to be a diplomat and, frankly, given our experience with that steaming hunk of neocon man-meat, Don Rumsfeld, I'd just as soon not have the Defense Secretary involved in the formulation of foreign policy as much as he is in making sure the grunts who have to carry it out have sufficient body armor.

That, by all accounts, is what Hagel sees the job as being about. What some mullah may have mumbled about him may echo loudly among the stalagmites in Jim Inhofe's brain, but it has absolutely no relevance to the rest of us as far as Hagel's ability to run a Defense department. There is some criticism rising that Hagel was not properly prepared for his testimony. I'm not sure anybody could have been. How could anyone be properly prepared for Jim Inhofe and Ted Cruz in the same day? Those kind of mushrooms are still illegal.

Amen to that. More there, so go read the rest. I'm with Charlie. What a disgusting display we were treated to during this hearing yesterday. Sadly, I'm sure this performance and the others will be rewarded by the lot of them being handed a microphone on Sunday to spew more bile.

Eight Things I Miss About the Cold War

At a book festival in Los Angeles recently, some writers (myself included) were making the usual arguments about the problems with American politics in the 1950s -- until one panelist shocked the audience by declaring, “God, I miss the Cold War.”  His grandmother, he said, had come to California from Oklahoma with a grade-school education, but found a job in an aerospace factory in L.A. during World War II, joined the union, got healthcare and retirement benefits, and prospered in the Cold War years.  She ended up owning a house in the suburbs and sending her kids to UCLA.

Several older people in the audience leaped to their feet shouting, “What about McCarthyism?”  “The bomb?”  “Vietnam?”  “Nixon?”

All good points, of course.  After all, during the Cold War the U.S. did threaten to destroy the world with nuclear weapons, supported brutal dictators globally because they were anti-communist, and was responsible for the deaths of several million people in Korea and Vietnam, all in the name of defending freedom. And yet it’s not hard to join that writer in feeling a certain nostalgia for the Cold War era.  It couldn’t be a sadder thing to admit, given what happened in those years, but -- given what’s happened in these years -- who can doubt that the America of the 1950s and 1960s was, in some ways, simply a better place than the one we live in now? Here are eight things (from a prospectively longer list) we had then and don’t have now.

1. The president didn’t claim the right to kill American citizens without “the due process of law.”

Last year we learned that President Obama personally approved the killing-by-drone of an American citizen living abroad without any prior judicial proceedings. That was in Yemen, but as Amy Davidson wrote at the New Yorker website, “Why couldn’t it have been in Paris?”  Obama assures us that the people he orders assassinated are “terrorists.”  It would, however, be more accurate to call them “alleged terrorists,” or “alleged terrorist associates,” or “people said by some other government to be terrorists, or at least terroristic.”

Obama’s target in Yemen was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was said to be a senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  According to the book Kill or Capture by Daniel Klaidman, the president told his advisors, “I want Awlaki. Don’t let up on him.”  Steve Coll of the New Yorker commented that this appears to be “the first instance in American history of a sitting president speaking of his intent to kill a particular U.S. citizen without that citizen having been charged formally with a crime or convicted at trial.”  (Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, whom no one claims was connected to terrorist activities or terror plots, was also killed in a separate drone attack.)

The problem, of course, is the due-process clause of the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits “any person” from being deprived of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”   It doesn’t say: "any person except for those the president believes to be terrorists."

It gets worse: the Justice Department can keep secret a memorandum providing the supposed “legal” justification for the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen, according to a January 2013 decision by a federal judge.  Ruling on a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the New York Times, Judge Colleen McMahon, wrote in her decision, “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

It's true that the CIA has admitted it had an assassination program during the Cold War -- described in the so-called “family jewels” or “horrors book,” compiled in 1973 under CIA Director James Schlesinger in response to Watergate-era inquiries and declassifiedin 2007.  But the targets were foreign leaders, especially Fidel Castro as well as the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba and the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo.  Still, presidents preferred “plausible deniability” in such situations, and certainly no president before Obama publicly claimed the legal right to order the killing of American citizens.  Indeed, before Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. regularly condemned “targeted killings” of suspected terrorists by Israel that were quite similar to those the president is now regularly ordering in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, Yemen, and possibly elsewhere.

2. We didn’t have a secret “terrorism-industrial complex.”

That’s the term coined by Dana Priest and William Arkin in their book Top Secret America to describe the ever-growing post-9/11 world of government agencies linked to private contractors charged with fighting terrorism.  During the Cold War, we had a handful of government agencies doing “top secret” work; today, they found, we have more than 1,200.

For example, Priest and Arkin found 51 federal organizations and military commands that attempt to track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.  And don’t forget the nearly 2,000 for-profit corporate contractors that engage in top-secret work, supposedly hunting terrorists.  The official budget for “intelligence” has increased from around $27 billion in the last years of the Cold War to $75 billion in 2012. Along with this massive expansion of government and private security activities has come a similarly humongous expansion of official secrecy: the number of classified documents has increased from perhaps 5 million a year before 1980 to 92 million in 2011, while Obama administration prosecutions of government whistleblowers have soared.

It’s true that the CIA and the FBI engaged in significant secret and illegal surveillance that included American citizens during the Cold War, but the scale was small compared to the post-9/11 world.

3. Organized labor was accepted as part of the social landscape. 

“Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of their right to join the union of their choice.” That’s what President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1952.  “Workers,” he added, “have a right to organize into unions and to bargain collectively with their employers,” and he affirmed that “a strong, free labor movement is an invigorating and necessary part of our industrial society.”  He caught the mood of the moment this way: “Should any political party attempt to… eliminate labor laws, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”  “There is,” he acknowledged, “a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things, but their number is negligible... And they are stupid.” 

You certainly wouldn’t catch Barack Obama saying anything like that today.  

Back then, American unions were, in part, defended even by Republicans because they were considered a crucial aspect of the struggle against Communism.  Unlike Soviet workers, American ones, so the argument went, were free to join independent unions.  And amid a wave of productive wealth, union membership in Eisenhower’s America reached an all-time high: 34% of wage and salary workers in 1955.  In 2011, union membership in the private sector had fallen under 7%, a level not seen since 1932.

Of course, back in the Cold War era the government required unions to kick communists out of any leadership positions they held and unions that refused were driven out of existence.  Unions also repressed wildcat strikes and enforced labor peace in exchange for multi-year contracts with wage and benefit increases. But as we’ve learned in the last decades, if you’re a wageworker, almost any union is better than no union at all.

4. The government had to get a warrant before it could tap your phone. 

Today, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (yes, thatrepetitive tongue twister is its real name) gives the government vast powers to spy on American citizens -- and it’s just been extended to 2017 in a bill that Obama enthusiastically signed on December 29th.  The current law allows the monitoring of electronic communications without an individualized court order, as long as the government claims its intent is to gather “foreign intelligence.”  In recent years, much that was once illegal has been made the law of the land.  Vast quantities of the emails and phone calls of Americans are being “data-mined.”  Amendments approved by Congress in 2008, for instance, provided "retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that assisted the Bush administration in its warrantless wiretapping program," which was then (or should have been) illegal, as the website Open Congress notes

There were several modest congressional attempts to amend the 2012 FISA extension act, including one that would have required the director of national intelligence to reveal how many Americans are being secretly monitored.  That amendment would in no way have limited the government’s actual spying program.  The Senate nevertheless rejected it, 52-43, in a nation that has locked itself down in a way that would have been inconceivable in the Cold War years.

It’s true that in the 1950s and 1960s judges typically gave the police and FBI the wiretap warrants they sought.  But it’s probably also true that having to submit requests to judges had a chilling effect on the urge of government authorities to engage in unlimited wiretapping.

5. The infrastructure was being expanded and strengthened.

Today, our infrastructure is crumbling: bridges are collapsing, sewer systems are falling apart, power grids are failing.  Many of those systems date from the immediate post-World War II years.  And the supposedly titanic struggle against communism at home and abroad helped build them.  The best-known example of those Cold War infrastructure construction programs was the congressionally mandated National Defense Highways Act of 1956, which led to the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System. It was the largest public works project in American history and it was necessary, according to the legislation, to “meet the requirements of the national defense in time of war.”  People called the new highways “freeways” or “interstates,” but the official name was "the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways."

Along with the construction of roads and bridges came a similar commitment to expanding water delivery systems and the electrical and telephone grids.  Spending on infrastructure as a share of gross domestic product peaked in the 1960s at 3.1%.  In 2007, it was down to 2.4% and is assumedly still falling.

Today the U.S. has dropped far behind potential global rivals in infrastructure development.  An official panel of 80 experts noted that China is spending $1 trillion on high-speed rail, highways, and other infrastructure over the next five years.  The U.S., according to the report, needs to invest $2 trillion simply to rebuild the roads, bridges, water lines, sewage systems, and dams constructed 40 to 50 years ago, systems that are now reaching the end of their planned life cycles.  But federal spending cuts mean that the burden of infrastructure repair and replacement will fall on state and local governments, whose resources, as everyone knows, are completely inadequate for the task.

Of course, it’s true that the freeways built in the 1950s made the automobile the essential form of transportation in America and led to the withering away of public mass transit, and that the environment suffered as a result.  Still, today’s collapsing bridges and sewers dramatize the loss of any serious national commitment to the public good.

6. College was cheap.

Tuition and fees at the University of California system in 1965 totaled $220.  That’s the equivalent of about $1,600 today, and in 1965 you were talking about the best public university in the world.  In 2012, the Regents of the University of California, presiding over an education system in crisis, raised tuition and fees for state residents to $13,200.  And American students are now at least $1 trillion in debt, thanks to college loans that could consign many to lifetimes as debtors in return for subprime educations.

In 1958, in the panic that followed the Soviet Union’s successful launch of Sputnik, the first satellite, public universities got a massive infusion of federal money when the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) was passed.  The Department of Education website today explains that the purpose of the NDEA was “to help ensure that highly trained individuals would be available to help America compete with the Soviet Union in scientific and technical fields.”  For the first time, government grants became the major source of university funding for scientific research.  The Act included a generous student-loan program.

With the end of the Cold War, federal funding was cut and public universities had little choice but to begin to make up the difference by increasing tuitions and fees, making students pay more -- a lot more.

True, the NDEA grants in the 1960s required recipients to sign a demeaning oath swearing that they did not seek the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, and that lots of government funding then supported Cold War military and strategic objectives.  After all, the University of California operated the nuclear weapons labs at Livermore and Los Alamos. Still, compare that to today’s crumbling public education system nationwide and who wouldn’t feel nostalgia for the Cold War era?

7. We had a president who called for a “war on poverty.”

In his 1966 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Baines Johnson argued that “the richest Nation on earth… people who live in abundance unmatched on this globe” ought to “bring the most urgent decencies of life to all of your fellow Americans.”  LBJ insisted that it was possible both to fight communism globally (especially in Vietnam) and to fight poverty at home.  As the phrase then went, he called for guns and butter.  In addition, he was determined not simply to give money to poor people, but to help build “community action” groups that would organize them to define and fight for programs they wanted because, the president said, poor people know what’s best for themselves.

Of course, it’s true that Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” unlike the Vietnam War, was woefully underfunded, and that those community action groups were soon overpowered by local mayors and Democratic political machines.  But it’s also true that President Obama did not even consider poverty worth mentioning as an issue in his 2012 reelection campaign, despite the fact that it has spread in ways that would have shocked LBJ, and that income and wealth inequalities between rich and poor have reached levels not seen since the late 1920s.  Today, it’s still plenty of guns -- but butter, not so much.

8. We had a president who warned against “the excessive power of the military-industrial complex.”

In Eisenhower’s “farewell address,” delivered three days before John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, the departing president warned against the “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” He declared that “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  The speech introduced the phrase “military-industrial complex” into the vernacular.  It was a crucial moment in the Cold War: a president who had also been the nation’s top military commander in World War II was warning Americans about the dangers posed by the military he had commanded and its corporate and political supporters.

Ike was prompted to give the speech because of his disputes with Congress over the military budget.  He feared nuclear war and firmly opposed all talk about such a war being fought in a “limited” way.  He also knew that, when it came to the Soviet Union, American power was staggeringly preponderant.  And yet his opponents in the Democratic Party, the arms industry, and even the military were claiming that he hadn’t done enough for “defense” -- not enough weapons bought, not enough money spent.  President-elect Kennedy had just won the 1960 election by frightening Americans about a purely fictitious “missile gap” between the U.S. and the Soviets.

It’s true that Ike’s warning would have been far more meaningful had it been in his first or even second inaugural address, or any of his State of the Union speeches.  It’s also true that he had approved CIA coups in Iran and Guatemala, and had green-lighted planning for an invasion of Cuba (that would become Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs disaster).  He had also established Mutual Assured Destruction as the basis for Cold War military strategy, backed up with B-52s carrying atomic bombs in the air 24/7.

By the end of his second term, however, Ike had changed his mind.  His warning was not just against unnecessary spending, but also against institutions that were threatening a crisis he feared would bring the end of individual liberty.  “As one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization,” the president urged his fellow citizens to resist the military-industrial complex.  None of his successors has even tried, and in 2013 we’re living with the results.

...But there is one thing I do NOT miss about the Cold War: nuclear arsenals on hair-trigger alert.

Our Cold War enemy had nuclear weapons capable of destroying us, and the rest of the planet, many times over.  In 1991, when the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union had more than 27,000 nuclear weapons.  According to the Federation of American Scientists, these included more than 11,000 strategic nuclear weapons -- warheads on land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched missiles, and weapons on bombers capable of attacking the US -- along with more than 15,000 warheads for “tactical” use as artillery shells and short-range “battlefield” missiles, as well as missile defense interceptors, nuclear torpedoes, and nuclear weapons for shorter-range aircraft.  We learned in 1993 that the USSR at one time possessed almost 45,000 nuclear warheads, and still had nearly 1,200 tons of bomb-grade uranium.  (Of course, sizeable Russian -- and American -- nuclear arsenals still exist.)  In comparison to all that, the arsenalsof al-Qaeda and our other terrorist enemies are remarkably insignificant.

Ike’s Dream, Obama’s Reality: 8 Things I Miss About the Cold War

At a book festival in Los Angeles recently, some writers (myself included) were making the usual arguments about the problems with American politics in the 1950s -- until one panelist shocked the audience by declaring, “God, I miss the Cold War.”  His grandmother, he said, had come to California from Oklahoma with a grade-school education, but found a job in an aerospace factory in L.A. during World War II, joined the union, got healthcare and retirement benefits, and prospered in the Cold War years.  She ended up owning a house in the suburbs and sending her kids to UCLA.

Several older people in the audience leaped to their feet shouting, “What about McCarthyism?”  “The bomb?”  “Vietnam?”  “Nixon?”

All good points, of course.  After all, during the Cold War the U.S. did threaten to destroy the world with nuclear weapons, supported brutal dictators globally because they were anti-communist, and was responsible for the deaths of several million people in Korea and Vietnam, all in the name of defending freedom. And yet it’s not hard to join that writer in feeling a certain nostalgia for the Cold War era.  It couldn’t be a sadder thing to admit, given what happened in those years, but -- given what’s happened in these years -- who can doubt that the America of the 1950s and 1960s was, in some ways, simply a better place than the one we live in now? Here are eight things (from a prospectively longer list) we had then and don’t have now.

1. The president didn’t claim the right to kill American citizens without “the due process of law.

Last year we learned that President Obama personally approved the killing-by-drone of an American citizen living abroad without any prior judicial proceedings. That was in Yemen, but as Amy Davidson wrote at the New Yorker website, “Why couldn’t it have been in Paris?”  Obama assures us that the people he orders assassinated are “terrorists.”  It would, however, be more accurate to call them “alleged terrorists,” or “alleged terrorist associates,” or “people said by some other government to be terrorists, or at least terroristic.”

Obama’s target in Yemen was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was said to be a senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  According to the book Kill or Capture by Daniel Klaidman, the president told his advisors, “I want Awlaki. Don’t let up on him.”  Steve Coll of the New Yorker commented that this appears to be “the first instance in American history of a sitting president speaking of his intent to kill a particular U.S. citizen without that citizen having been charged formally with a crime or convicted at trial.”  (Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, whom no one claims was connected to terrorist activities or terror plots, was also killed in a separate drone attack.)

The problem, of course, is the due-process clause of the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits “any person” from being deprived of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”  It doesn’t say: "any person except for those the president believes to be terrorists."

It gets worse: the Justice Department can keep secret a memorandum providing the supposed “legal” justification for the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen, according to a January 2013 decision by a federal judge.  Ruling on a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the New York Times, Judge Colleen McMahon, wrote in her decision, “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

It's true that the CIA has admitted it had an assassination program during the Cold War -- described in the so-called “family jewels” or “horrors book,” compiled in 1973 under CIA Director James Schlesinger in response to Watergate-era inquiries and declassified in 2007.  But the targets were foreign leaders, especially Fidel Castro as well as the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba and the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo.  Still, presidents preferred “plausible deniability” in such situations, and certainly no president before Obama publicly claimed the legal right to order the killing of American citizens.  Indeed, before Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. regularly condemned “targeted killings” of suspected terrorists by Israel that were quite similar to those the president is now regularly ordering in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, Yemen, and possibly elsewhere.

2. We didn’t have a secret “terrorism-industrial complex.”

That’s the term coined by Dana Priest and William Arkin in their book Top Secret America to describe the ever-growing post-9/11 world of government agencies linked to private contractors charged with fighting terrorism.  During the Cold War, we had a handful of government agencies doing “top secret” work; today, they found, we have more than 1,200.

For example, Priest and Arkin found 51 federal organizations and military commands that attempt to track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.  And don’t forget the nearly 2,000 for-profit corporate contractors that engage in top-secret work, supposedly hunting terrorists.  The official budget for “intelligence” has increased from around $27 billion in the last years of the Cold War to $75 billion in 2012. Along with this massive expansion of government and private security activities has come a similarly humongous expansion of official secrecy: the number of classified documents has increased from perhaps 5 million a year before 1980 to 92 million in 2011, while Obama administration prosecutions of government whistleblowers have soared.

It’s true that the CIA and the FBI engaged in significant secret and illegal surveillance that included American citizens during the Cold War, but the scale was small compared to the post-9/11 world.

3. Organized labor was accepted as part of the social landscape. 

“Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of their right to join the union of their choice.” That’s what President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1952.  “Workers,” he added, “have a right to organize into unions and to bargain collectively with their employers,” and he affirmed that “a strong, free labor movement is an invigorating and necessary part of our industrial society.”  He caught the mood of the moment this way: “Should any political party attempt to… eliminate labor laws, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”  “There is,” he acknowledged, “a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things, but their number is negligible... And they are stupid.” 

You certainly wouldn’t catch Barack Obama saying anything like that today.  

Back then, American unions were, in part, defended even by Republicans because they were considered a crucial aspect of the struggle against Communism.  Unlike Soviet workers, American ones, so the argument went, were free to join independent unions.  And amid a wave of productive wealth, union membership in Eisenhower’s America reached an all-time high: 34% of wage and salary workers in 1955.  In 2011, union membership in the private sector had fallen under 7%, a level not seen since 1932.

Of course, back in the Cold War era the government required unions to kick communists out of any leadership positions they held and unions that refused were driven out of existence.  Unions also repressed wildcat strikes and enforced labor peace in exchange for multi-year contracts with wage and benefit increases. But as we’ve learned in the last decades, if you’re a wageworker, almost any union is better than no union at all.

4. The government had to get a warrant before it could tap your phone. 

Today, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (yes, that repetitive tongue twister is its real name) gives the government vast powers to spy on American citizens -- and it’s just been extended to 2017 in a bill that Obama enthusiastically signed on December 29th.  The current law allows the monitoring of electronic communications without an individualized court order, as long as the government claims its intent is to gather “foreign intelligence.”  In recent years, much that was once illegal has been made the law of the land.  Vast quantities of the emails and phone calls of Americans are being “data-mined.”  Amendments approved by Congress in 2008, for instance, provided "retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that assisted the Bush administration in its warrantless wiretapping program," which was then (or should have been) illegal, as the website Open Congress notes

There were several modest congressional attempts to amend the 2012 FISA extension act, including one that would have required the director of national intelligence to reveal how many Americans are being secretly monitored.  That amendment would in no way have limited the government’s actual spying program.  The Senate nevertheless rejected it, 52-43, in a nation that has locked itself down in a way that would have been inconceivable in the Cold War years.

It’s true that in the 1950s and 1960s judges typically gave the police and FBI the wiretap warrants they sought.  But it’s probably also true that having to submit requests to judges had a chilling effect on the urge of government authorities to engage in unlimited wiretapping.

5. The infrastructure was being expanded and strengthened.

Today, our infrastructure is crumbling: bridges are collapsing, sewer systems are falling apart, power grids are failing.  Many of those systems date from the immediate post-World War II years.  And the supposedly titanic struggle against communism at home and abroad helped build them.  The best-known example of those Cold War infrastructure construction programs was the congressionally mandated National Defense Highways Act of 1956, which led to the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System. It was the largest public works project in American history and it was necessary, according to the legislation, to “meet the requirements of the national defense in time of war.”  People called the new highways “freeways” or “interstates,” but the official name was "the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways."

Along with the construction of roads and bridges came a similar commitment to expanding water delivery systems and the electrical and telephone grids.  Spending on infrastructure as a share of gross domestic product peaked in the 1960s at 3.1%.  In 2007, it was down to 2.4% and is assumedly still falling.

Today the U.S. has dropped far behind potential global rivals in infrastructure development.  An official panel of 80 experts noted that China is spending $1 trillion on high-speed rail, highways, and other infrastructure over the next five years.  The U.S., according to the report, needs to invest $2 trillion simply to rebuild the roads, bridges, water lines, sewage systems, and dams constructed 40 to 50 years ago, systems that are now reaching the end of their planned life cycles.  But federal spending cuts mean that the burden of infrastructure repair and replacement will fall on state and local governments, whose resources, as everyone knows, are completely inadequate for the task.

Of course, it’s true that the freeways built in the 1950s made the automobile the essential form of transportation in America and led to the withering away of public mass transit, and that the environment suffered as a result.  Still, today’s collapsing bridges and sewers dramatize the loss of any serious national commitment to the public good.

6. College was cheap.

Tuition and fees at the University of California system in 1965 totaled $220.  That’s the equivalent of about $1,600 today, and in 1965 you were talking about the best public university in the world.  In 2012, the Regents of the University of California, presiding over an education system in crisis, raised tuition and fees for state residents to $13,200.  And American students are now at least $1 trillion in debt, thanks to college loans that could consign many to lifetimes as debtors in return for subprime educations.

In 1958, in the panic that followed the Soviet Union’s successful launch of Sputnik, the first satellite, public universities got a massive infusion of federal money when the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) was passed.  The Department of Education website today explains that the purpose of the NDEA was “to help ensure that highly trained individuals would be available to help America compete with the Soviet Union in scientific and technical fields.”  For the first time, government grants became the major source of university funding for scientific research.  The Act included a generous student-loan program.

With the end of the Cold War, federal funding was cut and public universities had little choice but to begin to make up the difference by increasing tuitions and fees, making students pay more -- a lot more.

True, the NDEA grants in the 1960s required recipients to sign a demeaning oath swearing that they did not seek the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, and that lots of government funding then supported Cold War military and strategic objectives.  After all, the University of California operated the nuclear weapons labs at Livermore and Los Alamos. Still, compare that to today’s crumbling public education system nationwide and who wouldn’t feel nostalgia for the Cold War era?

7. We had a president who called for a “war on poverty.”

In his 1966 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Baines Johnson argued that “the richest Nation on earth… people who live in abundance unmatched on this globe” ought to “bring the most urgent decencies of life to all of your fellow Americans.”  LBJ insisted that it was possible both to fight communism globally (especially in Vietnam) and to fight poverty at home.  As the phrase then went, he called for guns and butter.  In addition, he was determined not simply to give money to poor people, but to help build “community action” groups that would organize them to define and fight for programs they wanted because, the president said, poor people know what’s best for themselves.

Of course, it’s true that Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” unlike the Vietnam War, was woefully underfunded, and that those community action groups were soon overpowered by local mayors and Democratic political machines.  But it’s also true that President Obama did not even consider poverty worth mentioning as an issue in his 2012 reelection campaign, despite the fact that it has spread in ways that would have shocked LBJ, and that income and wealth inequalities between rich and poor have reached levels not seen since the late 1920s.  Today, it’s still plenty of guns -- but butter, not so much.

8. We had a president who warned against “the excessive power of the military-industrial complex.”

In Eisenhower’s “farewell address,” delivered three days before John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, the departing president warned against the “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” He declared that “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  The speech introduced the phrase “military-industrial complex” into the vernacular.  It was a crucial moment in the Cold War: a president who had also been the nation’s top military commander in World War II was warning Americans about the dangers posed by the military he had commanded and its corporate and political supporters.

Ike was prompted to give the speech because of his disputes with Congress over the military budget.  He feared nuclear war and firmly opposed all talk about such a war being fought in a “limited” way.  He also knew that, when it came to the Soviet Union, American power was staggeringly preponderant.  And yet his opponents in the Democratic Party, the arms industry, and even the military were claiming that he hadn’t done enough for “defense” -- not enough weapons bought, not enough money spent.  President-elect Kennedy had just won the 1960 election by frightening Americans about a purely fictitious “missile gap” between the U.S. and the Soviets.

It’s true that Ike’s warning would have been far more meaningful had it been in his first or even second inaugural address, or any of his State of the Union speeches.  It’s also true that he had approved CIA coups in Iran and Guatemala, and had green-lighted planning for an invasion of Cuba (that would become Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs disaster).  He had also established Mutual Assured Destruction as the basis for Cold War military strategy, backed up with B-52s carrying atomic bombs in the air 24/7.

By the end of his second term, however, Ike had changed his mind.  His warning was not just against unnecessary spending, but also against institutions that were threatening a crisis he feared would bring the end of individual liberty.  “As one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization,” the president urged his fellow citizens to resist the military-industrial complex.  None of his successors has even tried, and in 2013 we’re living with the results.

...But there is one thing I do NOT miss about the Cold War: nuclear arsenals on hair-trigger alert.

Our Cold War enemy had nuclear weapons capable of destroying us, and the rest of the planet, many times over.  In 1991, when the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union had more than 27,000 nuclear weapons.  According to the Federation of American Scientists, these included more than 11,000 strategic nuclear weapons -- warheads on land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched missiles, and weapons on bombers capable of attacking the US -- along with more than 15,000 warheads for “tactical” use as artillery shells and short-range “battlefield” missiles, as well as missile defense interceptors, nuclear torpedoes, and nuclear weapons for shorter-range aircraft.  We learned in 1993 that the USSR at one time possessed almost 45,000 nuclear warheads, and still had nearly 1,200 tons of bomb-grade uranium.  (Of course, sizeable Russian -- and American -- nuclear arsenals still exist.)  In comparison to all that, the arsenals of al-Qaeda and our other terrorist enemies are remarkably insignificant.

© 2013 Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener teaches US history at UC Irvine. His latest book, How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America (University of California Press), has just been published. He sued the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act for its files on John Lennon. With the help of the ACLU of Southern California, Wiener v. FBI went all the way to the Supreme Court before the FBI settled in 1997. That story is told in Wiener's book, Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files.

Ike’s Dream, Obama’s Reality: 8 Things I Miss About the Cold War

At a book festival in Los Angeles recently, some writers (myself included) were making the usual arguments about the problems with American politics in the 1950s -- until one panelist shocked the audience by declaring, “God, I miss the Cold War.”  His grandmother, he said, had come to California from Oklahoma with a grade-school education, but found a job in an aerospace factory in L.A. during World War II, joined the union, got healthcare and retirement benefits, and prospered in the Cold War years.  She ended up owning a house in the suburbs and sending her kids to UCLA.

Several older people in the audience leaped to their feet shouting, “What about McCarthyism?”  “The bomb?”  “Vietnam?”  “Nixon?”

All good points, of course.  After all, during the Cold War the U.S. did threaten to destroy the world with nuclear weapons, supported brutal dictators globally because they were anti-communist, and was responsible for the deaths of several million people in Korea and Vietnam, all in the name of defending freedom. And yet it’s not hard to join that writer in feeling a certain nostalgia for the Cold War era.  It couldn’t be a sadder thing to admit, given what happened in those years, but -- given what’s happened in these years -- who can doubt that the America of the 1950s and 1960s was, in some ways, simply a better place than the one we live in now? Here are eight things (from a prospectively longer list) we had then and don’t have now.

1. The president didn’t claim the right to kill American citizens without “the due process of law.

Last year we learned that President Obama personally approved the killing-by-drone of an American citizen living abroad without any prior judicial proceedings. That was in Yemen, but as Amy Davidson wrote at the New Yorker website, “Why couldn’t it have been in Paris?”  Obama assures us that the people he orders assassinated are “terrorists.”  It would, however, be more accurate to call them “alleged terrorists,” or “alleged terrorist associates,” or “people said by some other government to be terrorists, or at least terroristic.”

Obama’s target in Yemen was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was said to be a senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  According to the book Kill or Capture by Daniel Klaidman, the president told his advisors, “I want Awlaki. Don’t let up on him.”  Steve Coll of the New Yorker commented that this appears to be “the first instance in American history of a sitting president speaking of his intent to kill a particular U.S. citizen without that citizen having been charged formally with a crime or convicted at trial.”  (Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, whom no one claims was connected to terrorist activities or terror plots, was also killed in a separate drone attack.)

The problem, of course, is the due-process clause of the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits “any person” from being deprived of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”  It doesn’t say: "any person except for those the president believes to be terrorists."

It gets worse: the Justice Department can keep secret a memorandum providing the supposed “legal” justification for the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen, according to a January 2013 decision by a federal judge.  Ruling on a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the New York Times, Judge Colleen McMahon, wrote in her decision, “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

It's true that the CIA has admitted it had an assassination program during the Cold War -- described in the so-called “family jewels” or “horrors book,” compiled in 1973 under CIA Director James Schlesinger in response to Watergate-era inquiries and declassified in 2007.  But the targets were foreign leaders, especially Fidel Castro as well as the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba and the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo.  Still, presidents preferred “plausible deniability” in such situations, and certainly no president before Obama publicly claimed the legal right to order the killing of American citizens.  Indeed, before Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. regularly condemned “targeted killings” of suspected terrorists by Israel that were quite similar to those the president is now regularly ordering in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, Yemen, and possibly elsewhere.

2. We didn’t have a secret “terrorism-industrial complex.”

That’s the term coined by Dana Priest and William Arkin in their book Top Secret America to describe the ever-growing post-9/11 world of government agencies linked to private contractors charged with fighting terrorism.  During the Cold War, we had a handful of government agencies doing “top secret” work; today, they found, we have more than 1,200.

For example, Priest and Arkin found 51 federal organizations and military commands that attempt to track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.  And don’t forget the nearly 2,000 for-profit corporate contractors that engage in top-secret work, supposedly hunting terrorists.  The official budget for “intelligence” has increased from around $27 billion in the last years of the Cold War to $75 billion in 2012. Along with this massive expansion of government and private security activities has come a similarly humongous expansion of official secrecy: the number of classified documents has increased from perhaps 5 million a year before 1980 to 92 million in 2011, while Obama administration prosecutions of government whistleblowers have soared.

It’s true that the CIA and the FBI engaged in significant secret and illegal surveillance that included American citizens during the Cold War, but the scale was small compared to the post-9/11 world.

3. Organized labor was accepted as part of the social landscape. 

“Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of their right to join the union of their choice.” That’s what President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1952.  “Workers,” he added, “have a right to organize into unions and to bargain collectively with their employers,” and he affirmed that “a strong, free labor movement is an invigorating and necessary part of our industrial society.”  He caught the mood of the moment this way: “Should any political party attempt to… eliminate labor laws, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”  “There is,” he acknowledged, “a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things, but their number is negligible... And they are stupid.” 

You certainly wouldn’t catch Barack Obama saying anything like that today.  

Back then, American unions were, in part, defended even by Republicans because they were considered a crucial aspect of the struggle against Communism.  Unlike Soviet workers, American ones, so the argument went, were free to join independent unions.  And amid a wave of productive wealth, union membership in Eisenhower’s America reached an all-time high: 34% of wage and salary workers in 1955.  In 2011, union membership in the private sector had fallen under 7%, a level not seen since 1932.

Of course, back in the Cold War era the government required unions to kick communists out of any leadership positions they held and unions that refused were driven out of existence.  Unions also repressed wildcat strikes and enforced labor peace in exchange for multi-year contracts with wage and benefit increases. But as we’ve learned in the last decades, if you’re a wageworker, almost any union is better than no union at all.

4. The government had to get a warrant before it could tap your phone. 

Today, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (yes, that repetitive tongue twister is its real name) gives the government vast powers to spy on American citizens -- and it’s just been extended to 2017 in a bill that Obama enthusiastically signed on December 29th.  The current law allows the monitoring of electronic communications without an individualized court order, as long as the government claims its intent is to gather “foreign intelligence.”  In recent years, much that was once illegal has been made the law of the land.  Vast quantities of the emails and phone calls of Americans are being “data-mined.”  Amendments approved by Congress in 2008, for instance, provided "retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that assisted the Bush administration in its warrantless wiretapping program," which was then (or should have been) illegal, as the website Open Congress notes

There were several modest congressional attempts to amend the 2012 FISA extension act, including one that would have required the director of national intelligence to reveal how many Americans are being secretly monitored.  That amendment would in no way have limited the government’s actual spying program.  The Senate nevertheless rejected it, 52-43, in a nation that has locked itself down in a way that would have been inconceivable in the Cold War years.

It’s true that in the 1950s and 1960s judges typically gave the police and FBI the wiretap warrants they sought.  But it’s probably also true that having to submit requests to judges had a chilling effect on the urge of government authorities to engage in unlimited wiretapping.

5. The infrastructure was being expanded and strengthened.

Today, our infrastructure is crumbling: bridges are collapsing, sewer systems are falling apart, power grids are failing.  Many of those systems date from the immediate post-World War II years.  And the supposedly titanic struggle against communism at home and abroad helped build them.  The best-known example of those Cold War infrastructure construction programs was the congressionally mandated National Defense Highways Act of 1956, which led to the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System. It was the largest public works project in American history and it was necessary, according to the legislation, to “meet the requirements of the national defense in time of war.”  People called the new highways “freeways” or “interstates,” but the official name was "the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways."

Along with the construction of roads and bridges came a similar commitment to expanding water delivery systems and the electrical and telephone grids.  Spending on infrastructure as a share of gross domestic product peaked in the 1960s at 3.1%.  In 2007, it was down to 2.4% and is assumedly still falling.

Today the U.S. has dropped far behind potential global rivals in infrastructure development.  An official panel of 80 experts noted that China is spending $1 trillion on high-speed rail, highways, and other infrastructure over the next five years.  The U.S., according to the report, needs to invest $2 trillion simply to rebuild the roads, bridges, water lines, sewage systems, and dams constructed 40 to 50 years ago, systems that are now reaching the end of their planned life cycles.  But federal spending cuts mean that the burden of infrastructure repair and replacement will fall on state and local governments, whose resources, as everyone knows, are completely inadequate for the task.

Of course, it’s true that the freeways built in the 1950s made the automobile the essential form of transportation in America and led to the withering away of public mass transit, and that the environment suffered as a result.  Still, today’s collapsing bridges and sewers dramatize the loss of any serious national commitment to the public good.

6. College was cheap.

Tuition and fees at the University of California system in 1965 totaled $220.  That’s the equivalent of about $1,600 today, and in 1965 you were talking about the best public university in the world.  In 2012, the Regents of the University of California, presiding over an education system in crisis, raised tuition and fees for state residents to $13,200.  And American students are now at least $1 trillion in debt, thanks to college loans that could consign many to lifetimes as debtors in return for subprime educations.

In 1958, in the panic that followed the Soviet Union’s successful launch of Sputnik, the first satellite, public universities got a massive infusion of federal money when the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) was passed.  The Department of Education website today explains that the purpose of the NDEA was “to help ensure that highly trained individuals would be available to help America compete with the Soviet Union in scientific and technical fields.”  For the first time, government grants became the major source of university funding for scientific research.  The Act included a generous student-loan program.

With the end of the Cold War, federal funding was cut and public universities had little choice but to begin to make up the difference by increasing tuitions and fees, making students pay more -- a lot more.

True, the NDEA grants in the 1960s required recipients to sign a demeaning oath swearing that they did not seek the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, and that lots of government funding then supported Cold War military and strategic objectives.  After all, the University of California operated the nuclear weapons labs at Livermore and Los Alamos. Still, compare that to today’s crumbling public education system nationwide and who wouldn’t feel nostalgia for the Cold War era?

7. We had a president who called for a “war on poverty.”

In his 1966 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Baines Johnson argued that “the richest Nation on earth… people who live in abundance unmatched on this globe” ought to “bring the most urgent decencies of life to all of your fellow Americans.”  LBJ insisted that it was possible both to fight communism globally (especially in Vietnam) and to fight poverty at home.  As the phrase then went, he called for guns and butter.  In addition, he was determined not simply to give money to poor people, but to help build “community action” groups that would organize them to define and fight for programs they wanted because, the president said, poor people know what’s best for themselves.

Of course, it’s true that Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” unlike the Vietnam War, was woefully underfunded, and that those community action groups were soon overpowered by local mayors and Democratic political machines.  But it’s also true that President Obama did not even consider poverty worth mentioning as an issue in his 2012 reelection campaign, despite the fact that it has spread in ways that would have shocked LBJ, and that income and wealth inequalities between rich and poor have reached levels not seen since the late 1920s.  Today, it’s still plenty of guns -- but butter, not so much.

8. We had a president who warned against “the excessive power of the military-industrial complex.”

In Eisenhower’s “farewell address,” delivered three days before John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, the departing president warned against the “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” He declared that “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  The speech introduced the phrase “military-industrial complex” into the vernacular.  It was a crucial moment in the Cold War: a president who had also been the nation’s top military commander in World War II was warning Americans about the dangers posed by the military he had commanded and its corporate and political supporters.

Ike was prompted to give the speech because of his disputes with Congress over the military budget.  He feared nuclear war and firmly opposed all talk about such a war being fought in a “limited” way.  He also knew that, when it came to the Soviet Union, American power was staggeringly preponderant.  And yet his opponents in the Democratic Party, the arms industry, and even the military were claiming that he hadn’t done enough for “defense” -- not enough weapons bought, not enough money spent.  President-elect Kennedy had just won the 1960 election by frightening Americans about a purely fictitious “missile gap” between the U.S. and the Soviets.

It’s true that Ike’s warning would have been far more meaningful had it been in his first or even second inaugural address, or any of his State of the Union speeches.  It’s also true that he had approved CIA coups in Iran and Guatemala, and had green-lighted planning for an invasion of Cuba (that would become Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs disaster).  He had also established Mutual Assured Destruction as the basis for Cold War military strategy, backed up with B-52s carrying atomic bombs in the air 24/7.

By the end of his second term, however, Ike had changed his mind.  His warning was not just against unnecessary spending, but also against institutions that were threatening a crisis he feared would bring the end of individual liberty.  “As one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization,” the president urged his fellow citizens to resist the military-industrial complex.  None of his successors has even tried, and in 2013 we’re living with the results.

...But there is one thing I do NOT miss about the Cold War: nuclear arsenals on hair-trigger alert.

Our Cold War enemy had nuclear weapons capable of destroying us, and the rest of the planet, many times over.  In 1991, when the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union had more than 27,000 nuclear weapons.  According to the Federation of American Scientists, these included more than 11,000 strategic nuclear weapons -- warheads on land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched missiles, and weapons on bombers capable of attacking the US -- along with more than 15,000 warheads for “tactical” use as artillery shells and short-range “battlefield” missiles, as well as missile defense interceptors, nuclear torpedoes, and nuclear weapons for shorter-range aircraft.  We learned in 1993 that the USSR at one time possessed almost 45,000 nuclear warheads, and still had nearly 1,200 tons of bomb-grade uranium.  (Of course, sizeable Russian -- and American -- nuclear arsenals still exist.)  In comparison to all that, the arsenals of al-Qaeda and our other terrorist enemies are remarkably insignificant.

© 2013 Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener teaches US history at UC Irvine. His latest book, How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America (University of California Press), has just been published. He sued the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act for its files on John Lennon. With the help of the ACLU of Southern California, Wiener v. FBI went all the way to the Supreme Court before the FBI settled in 1997. That story is told in Wiener's book, Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files.

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William Astore on the Myths We Tell Ourselves – Antiwar.com Blog

John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff and a retired Marine Corps general, held a press conference on Thursday to deny he’s quitting or...

The US War in Afghanistan Is Now 16 Years Old. Trump Has No Plans...

On October 7, 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. The war is now 16 years old — and that’s not even...

America’s Long History of Warfare

Americans like to view their country as a force for peace in the world when the historical reality is almost...

KPFA’s Antiwar Voice

by Daniel Borgström / October 5th, 2017 When people ask me why I joined the Marine Corps (at age 18, back in 1959), I tell...

Ken Burns’ Vietnam War: An Object Lesson in the Failures of the Objective Lens

In Ken Burns’ introduction to The Vietnam War, bombs fly back into airplanes and flames leap off of houses into flamethrowers. If journalism resigns itself...

‘Man who saved the world’: Tillerson praises Soviet officer who averted nuclear war

Rex Tillerson took a moment at the UN Security Council to remember Soviet officer Stanislav Petrov,...

The Vietnam War: A Tragic Mistake?

I’ve watched the first three episodes of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick series on the Vietnam War, which take us from the French colonial period...

Global Women Leaders Call On UN Secretary-General Guterres to Appoint Special Envoy to...

INTERNATIONAL - In response to President Trump’s threat “to totally destroy North Korea,” at the United Nations General Assembly, nearly 300 women leaders and...

Anti-war argument 'winning' despite setback in Congress – Ron Paul to RT

Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) fight to repeal post-9/11 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) went...

How ‘Regime Change’ Wars Led to Korea Crisis

Exclusive: The U.S.-led aggressions against Iraq and Libya are two war crimes that keep on costing, with their grim examples...

‘This Has Always Been a Failed and Failing War’

Janine Jackson interviewed Phyllis Bennis about Trump’s Afghan War escalation for the August 25, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

US bombers land in Britain ahead of NATO war games

Published time: 24 Aug, 2017 13:46 US bombers have arrived in Britain for an annual...

US travel warning for Cancun & Mexican vacation spots cites gang-related ‘turf battles’

Popular Mexican vacation hot spots for Americans may not be safe to visit, the US is...

‘Dangerous to be British,’ warns freed Al-Qaeda hostage who converted to Islam

Published time: 11 Aug, 2017 09:33 A tourist held hostage by Al-Qaeda in Mali for...

Peter Van Buren Says: Sorry, No War in North Korea

I’m so sorry to disappoint so many people, but there is not going to be a war with North Korea. No, no, Trump is not...

On the Beach 2017: The Beckoning of Nuclear War

The US submarine captain says: “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re...
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Video: CrossTalk: Bullhorns: Sanctions War (EXTENDED VERSION)

It is time to speak the obvious: Cold War 2.0 is officially on. Though this Cold War is different and possibly far more dangerous....

Insane policy towards North Korea

This year we commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the unjustifiable US use of nuclear weapons against civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those two attacks...

Beneath Helsinki, Finns Prepare for War

Defense planners develop vast network of tunnels and shelters as Moscow plans war games Russia is planning its biggest military exercise in...

Royal Marine annual Arctic warfare exercises scrapped due to lack of cash

Published time: 14 Jul, 2017 11:18 Royal Marine Commandos will be denied the opportunity to...

Avoiding War with China

In recent years, many American leaders have grown cavalier about nuclear war, especially with Russia, but there is also risk...

How the 1989 War on Manuel Noriega’s Panama Super-Charged US Militarism

Manuel Noriega is dead at 83. He seems like a sad footnote to the last disastrous quarter century, but the December 1989 US invasion...

War clouds over South Asia

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End the War on Chiropractic

By Dr. Mercola In the U.S., painkiller addiction is so rampant that 91 Americans die every day from an overdose of prescription opioids or heroin.1Prescription...

Who’s Responsible for the Ransomware Hack?

What should we make of the global ransomware attacks which happened today? We’ve documented that the intelligence services intentionally create digital vulnerabilities, then intentionally leave...

US warned France of Russian ‘cyber penetration’ ahead of presidential elections ‒ NSA chief

The United States needs to publicly “out” Russia for its alleged interference in the US and...

Bigoted Americans Far More Supportive of War Against Syria

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org —— On April 23rd, the U.S. mega-corporate and government-funded National Public Radio network, NPR, interviewed voters about their views on...

’Status quo in N. Korea unacceptable’: Trump scolds UNSC to up payments, wants more...

President Donald Trump chastised the UN Security Council for underperforming and called on it to “impose...

Tell Us Why We’re At War, President Trump

People speak of Afghanistan as “our generation’s” Vietnam, a quagmire, a war that goes on simply because it has been going on. The Afghan war...

Peter Van Buren: Sorry, No War in North Korea

I’m so sorry to disappoint so many people, but there is not going to be a war with North Korea. No, no, Trump is not...

Torturer-Warmonger H.R. McMaster

National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster’s past affiliation with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has created fresh concerns after research conducted...

What would a US-European-Russian war look like?

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Syria could become US-Russian proxy war – Jeremy Corbyn

Published time: 10 Apr, 2017 15:51 British leaders should be wary of a US-Russian proxy war...

The US Military’s Ethos: Of Busy-work, Sweaty Suffering, White Wall Haircuts, Beribboned Uniforms, and...

Why does the U.S. military invest so much pride in working to the point of tedium, if not exhaustion? A friend of mine, an...

Prosecute British citizens who fight for Israel, says Baroness Warsi

Published time: 30 Mar, 2017 15:24 British citizens who join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) should...

Live firing, GPS denial operations announced in Scotland as NATO launches one of largest...

Published time: 26 Mar, 2017 20:06 Massive military exercises with thousands of service personnel involved have...

Democrats Trade Places on War and McCarthyism

Exclusive: The anti-Russia hysteria gripping the Democratic Party marks a “trading places” moment as the Democrats embrace the New Cold...

The War Criminal McCain

“The senator from Kentucky,” said John McCain, speaking to his colleague Rand Paul, “is working for Vladimir Putin … and I do not say...

Mass Extinction Was Due to an Ice Age, Not Warming

By Anthony Watts Watts Up With That? From the UNIVERSITÉ DE GENÈVE The cold exterminated all of them Through age determinations that are using the radioactive decay of uranium,...
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Video: ‘Wars not diminishing’: Putin’s iconic 2007 Munich speech (FULL VIDEO)

On February 10, 2007, Vladimir Putin delivered his keynote speech at the Munich Security Conference, challenging the post-Cold War establishment. RT looks ... Via Youtube

Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War

The West’s vast propaganda machine has pulled in many formerly respectable groups, such as Amnesty International, which just released a...

NYT: Unlike Russian Wars, US Wars ‘Promote Freedom and Democracy’

The New York Times defends its country’s innocence. The New York Times, in its recent rebuff of comments President Donald Trump made about Russia, seems...

Russia’s London embassy trolls Theresa May over ‘beware Putin’ remarks

Russia’s embassy in the UK has ridiculed Prime Minister Theresa May for her warning to...

CIA files: US & Soviet nuclear sub crash off Scotland ‘could have sparked global...

Newly declassified CIA files indicate that a US submarine laden with 160 warheads collided with...

The Ongoing War Against Trump

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The Obama-Clinton (and Democratic Party newsmedia) war against Donald Trump — a war to delegitimize him as the U.S....

Are we working towards ‘humanity’?

Peter Van Els While the winter, outside, descends in all its severity, thoughts go to all those people who now have to face the cold,...

The Deep State Goes to War on Trump

IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this...

Let All Opposed to War Praise Trump’s “Treasonous” Tweet

by John V. Walsh / January 3rd, 2017 When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of “hacking the election” on...

Let All Opposed to War Praise Trump’s ‘Treasonous’ Tweet

When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of "hacking the election" on December 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused...

Fisherman clung to capsized boat for 11hrs, urinated on hands to keep warm

A fisherman who spent 11 hours clinging to his capsized boat in the English Channel...

Britain & Argentina sign deal to identify Falklands war dead

South Atlantic rivals Britain and Argentina have signed a deal to identify the remaining war dead from their brief but bloody conflict over the...

Sweden is 'Preparing for War' with Russia

Officials in Sweden have been ordered to ensure that they are ready for war as fears of a Russian invasion grow. The...

Stay Warm

Depending on where you live, a winter power outage can quickly become a life-threatening emergency. Winter storms with heavy snowfalls, high winds, and a coating...

Warnings from the Cuban Missile Crisis

Don North (Originally published on Oct. 14, 2012) Saturday, Oct. 27, 1962, now known as “Black Saturday,” was the day I arrived in Havana to report on...

Bodies of Argentine soldiers killed in Falklands War to be exhumed

Archaeologists are set to exhume the bodies of more than 100 unidentified Argentine soldiers that...

‘They will kill if necessary’: Historian scolds crackdown of DAPL protest (VIDEO)

Corporate America will eventually “liquidate” Native Americans, like those at Standing Rock who are protesting the...

How Trump Knows that Continued Global Warming Will Make Earth Uninhabitable 100 Years From...

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org He knows it because his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon — a polymath — was personally involved in proving it. Bannon...

Rand Paul Heroically Warns Trump Against Hiring Neocons

Eric Zuesse U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky), who voted against Obama’s TPP and virtually every other Obama sell-out to the international corporations which control the...

Who Will Win the War Between Trump & The Neocons?

Eric Zuesse The first big battle of the Trump transition into the White House is occurring over the fundamental issue that had caused the Establishment...

Trump presidency could herald war with Russia, say UK defense chiefs

A war with Russia could be imminent if President-elect Donald Trump follows through with his...

Cold Hands and Feet?

How do your hands feel? Cold? What about your feet? Nose even? If you have cold extremities, you may attribute this to the outside...

Who Gains from Colombia’s Vote for Permanent War?

(Photo: medea_material / Flickr) In early October, the Colombian people voted NO to peace. Or to be exact, 50.2 percent of 37 percent of the eligible...

Domestic U.S. Politics of War with Russia

Eric Zuesse First, the context in which the issue of war against Russia is being raised: Syria’s government is allied with Russia’s government, and ‘The West’...

The Power Elite’s War

“A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.” Journalist Chris Hedges As the ruling...

Donald Trump’s Anti-War Pedigree

Recently, I saw a lovely work by one of my favourite artists, Alexander Calder, called ‘McGovern for President’. The art was created in support of...

Why Is Obama Threatening Russia With World War 3 Right Before The Election?

(RINF) It sure seems like an odd time to be provoking a war with Russia.  As I write this, we stand just a little...

Whether to Go to War Against Russia

Whether to Go to War Against Russia Is Top Issue in U.S. Presidential Race Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The United States government has already declared...

The Warnings of a New World War

The U.S.-Russia confrontation over Ukraine and now Syria is far more dangerous than is understood by mainstream U.S. analysts as Russia lays down...

Former MI6 spy chief warns Boris Johnson to be ‘careful’ after Russian Embassy protest...

Calling for protests at the Russian Embassy is a risky move, a former head of...

The Dangers from ‘Humanitarian’ Wars

The West is rushing toward another major war in the Middle East, in Syria, behind the “responsibility to protect” banner, which...

The Forgotten Libyan Lessons and the Syrian War

Exclusive: Western leaders are plotting to bomb another Mideast nation, this time Syria, citing “humanitarianism.” But similar claims in Iraq and...

Libertarianism and War

The year was 1956: the icy winds of the cold war were blowing across the political landscape. And it was a presidential...

One of the Greatest Antiwar Thrillers Ever

By D. Blackdeer September 27, 2016 Preceded and overshadowed by the film “Dr. Strangelove,” “Failsafe” provides a serious version of a nuclear weapons crisis between the...

WPost Wants a Bigger War in Syria

The neocon Washington Post wants an even bigger U.S. military intervention in Syria, ignoring the tenets of international law and assuming...

Red-Light Warning on Now, About Hillary Clinton

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Hillary Clinton, on September 19th, was endorsed for President, by the most historically important, intelligent, and dangerous, Republican of...

Tell Us Why We’re At War, Candidates

When I was a kid, successive presidents told us we had to fight in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, because if we didn’t fight them...

What Does It Mean When War Hawks Say, "Never Trump"?

Donald Trump speaks with supporters at a campaign rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona, on March 19, 2016. (Photo: Gage Skidmore) It's not every...

Trump Hypes a New ‘War on Terror’

Donald Trump has urged a new “war on terror” that brings back torture and seeks revenge on terrorists’ families, but...

Who Got Us Into These Endless Wars?

"Isolationists must not prevail in this new debate over foreign policy," warns Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. "The...

War or Peace

For reasons of Hillary’s past record of ill-considered adventurism abroad and for reasons of the mad advisers from the Neocon camp whom she has...

Trump Enrages the War Party

This election season is so much fun because Donald Trump keeps enraging all the right people – and his timing is perfect. Just as...

A Preview of The Coming War Between America and China

John Pilger John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, documentary filmmaker and author. He has twice won Britain’s highest award for journalism. His films have won...

The Antiwar Tradition in American Letters

A review of War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing.  Lawrence Rosenwald, editor.  New York: The...

UK faces climate change wars, deadly heatwaves… and a boost in tourism, govt advisors...

Britain is not prepared for the flooding, water and food shortages, deadly heat waves, and...

We Are the Empire: Of US Military Interventions, Alien Disaster Movies and "Star Wars"

Perhaps you've heard the expression: "We have met the enemy and he is us." Cartoonist Walt Kelly's famed possum, Pogo, first uttered...

Outgoing Obama wants extension of Russia nuclear treaty to thwart future changes – report

US President Barack Obama is reportedly considering offering Russia the chance to extend the New START treaty regarding the deployment of nuclear weapons. He...

A New Fight Over Syria War Strategy

The long internal political struggle within the Obama administration over policy toward Syria has...

NATO Marches Toward Destruction

As the West’s elites growl about “Russian aggression” – as they once did about Iraq’s WMD – NATO leaders meet...

John Walsh: NATO Marches Toward Destruction

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s cry of distress is that of a man watching a tidal wave of destruction gathering force, similar to ones...

Taking the War Out of Warsaw

NATO will be holding a landmark summit in Warsaw on 8-9 July 2016. It takes place at a time when the Atlantic...

Hitler’s Poison Dwarf

The last eyewitness to the inner circle of the Nazis has described the party’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels as a ‘ranting dwarf’ and a...

NATO and ‘News’ Media Pump for WW III — Nuclear War

Eric Zuesse (updated and expanded from my article at strategic-culture.org) INTRODUCTION America’s announcement that Russia has committed ‘aggression’ against America, is an announcement that America is...

The Cold, Cold Monster Strikes Again

I could write a book about the Orlando shooting, its antecedents and its exploitation by the Progressive State of America.  Alas, that won’t be...

The Pentagon Plans for War on Many Fronts

Since both Russia and china possess nuclear weapons, a future war could be on a scale never before experienced. (Photo: the Diplomat) It is often...

America’s War on Terror is a Matrix of Lies and Deceit

Christopher Black So how is your war on “terrorism” going? I’m not doing too well at it since I have no idea who the enemy...

Counting the Crimes of the War on Terror

Nuna Mas, or “Never Again”: The official Argentine report on the crimes of the country’s “dirty war.” (Photo: Arte es disfrutar / Flickr) “The cold was terrible...

Inside The Super Majority that Decide Election 2016 & War with Russia

How well the candidate from either party satisfies 7 questions from a particular group of people will determine who the President of the United...

Playing With Fire: NATO Launches Massive Wargame In Russia’s Backyard

Some 31,000 troops and thousands of military vehicles are taking part in NATO’s “Operation Anakonda 2016” in Poland this week. It is the largest...

Weeks before Chilcot, Tony Blair scolds Jeremy Corbyn for not backing UK bombing of...

Tony Blair has launched a withering attack on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him...

Navy’s £1bn high-tech destroyers break down in warm water

The British military’s supposedly cutting-edge Type 45 destroyers are effectively overheating and shutting down outside...

Rehearsing for World War III

As I write this, US troops are building a bridge across Poland’s Vistula river, and conducting a nighttime helicopter assault to secure...

When Phoenix Came to Thanh Phong: Bob Kerrey and War Crimes as Policy in...

On May 16, 2016, former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey was named chairman of Fulbright University, a US-backed college with ties to the State Department in...

Sweden Joins NATO’s Emerging War Against Russia

Eric Zuesse Sweden, which historically has been a ‘neutral’ country between the U.S. and Russia, is joining the NATO buildup against Russia, allowing NATO to...

Silencing America as It Prepares for War

Orlok | Shutterstock.com   Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968;...

The Pentagon's War on Accountability

The Department of Defense is taking active measures to disguise how it is spending the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars it...

Is Scarborough Shoal Worth a War?

If China begins to reclaim and militarize Scarborough Shoal, says Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, America must fight. Should we back...

‘Antibiotic apocalypse’: Drug resistance to kill 10mn in EU & US by 2050, study...

Antibiotics are failing us – fast. England’s chief medical officer has issued a dire warning...

Pushing Russia Toward War

NATO’s military pressure on Russia and the West’s economic sanctions have empowered Moscow’s hardliners, setting the stage for an escalation of...

Secret Armies, Shadow Wars, Silent Unaccountability

Headline: “Obama Embraces Special Operations Forces” Headline: “Did U.S. Forces Commit Atrocities in a Key...

NATO Announces War Policy Against Russia

Eric Zuesse On May 18th, Britain’s Guardian headlined “West and Russia on course for war, says ex-Nato deputy commander” and reported that the former deputy commander of NATO,...

Women and War

This month we’ve seen a strange confluence of developments, anniversaries, and events bringing the subject of “women and war” to the editorial pages of...

Anti-war Is Pro-American

Thomas Jefferson declared the American way of interacting with the world to be "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations –...

Defense Bill Coming This Week: A Boost for War and Tyranny

Ron Paul For many of us concerned with liberty, the letters “NDAA” have come to symbolize Washington’s ongoing effort to undermine the US Constitution in...

Barack Obama and a quarter-century of US wars

In a front-page article published on May 15, the New York Times calls attention to a significant milestone in the presidency of Barack Obama:...

Defense Bill Coming This Week: A Boost for War and Tyranny

Defense Bill Coming This Week: A Boost for War and Tyranny For many of us concerned with liberty, the letters...

Refugees from ‘Endless’ War

Policymakers in Official Washington talk piously about waging “humanitarian” wars, but the real-life consequences of these interventions play out in...

Taking Responsibility for War

On May 10, 92-year-old Henry Kissinger was given the Distinguished Public Service Award by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. It...

UK prime minister invokes militarism and war to argue for EU membership

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Julie Hyland In a speech pledging to ensure “peace”, Prime Minister David...

The Untold History of US War Crimes

Atomic cloud over Nagasaki, August 9, 1945. (Photo: Hiromichi Matsuda) In this interview, professor Peter Kuznick speaks of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and...

NATO won't surrender if Russia nukes Warsaw – ex-US Supreme Commander

“Putin-dominated” Russia is mistaken if it expects the US to surrender in a hypothetical conflict after...

Climate chaos in UK driven by melting ice-caps, warming over Greenland – study

Far-reaching weather shifts in Greenland, partially due to melting Arctic sea ice, are driving climate...

CIA torture psychologists face court hearing over ‘war crimes’ by black site detainees

Former detainees tortured by the CIA at the agency’s notorious black sites are suing the psychologists hired to help design the controversial enhanced interrogation...

Obama Requests Support for Possible War Against Russia

Eric Zuesse According to Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (German Economic News), on April 23rd, U.S. President Barack Obama is “demanding the active deployment of the Bundeswehr...

The New Propaganda War

Exclusive: Despite Western media dominance, the U.S. government wants to stop the world from hearing the “other side” on foreign disputes by “countering” or discrediting...

Senators scold IRS for data insecurities as tax agency claims more than 1mn daily...

US senators accused the Internal Revenue Service of failing to protect Americans’ private data during a...

Double standards? Britain scolds South China Sea rivals while deploying to own island colonies

British policy on the Falklands, Gibraltar and Diego Garcia left a whiff of hypocrisy when...

Would a Clinton Win Mean More Wars?

Special Report: Savvy neocons see Hillary Clinton as their Trojan Horse to be pulled into the White House by Democratic...

In the ISIS War, Congress Surrendered the Last of Its Authority to Regulate U.S....

With lawmakers consigned to the role of observers, presidents pretty much wake war whenever, wherever, and for however long they see fit. (Photo: U.S....

NATO as a War-Racket

NATO Causes Refugees, Then Uses Them As Excuse for More Invasions Eric Zuesse NATO is the anti-Russia military club of nations, even after the communist Soviet...

War: The great unmentionable in the 2016 US elections

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. The most striking feature of the 2016 US election campaign is...

Features of the war in the Donbass

Alla Pierce "War is merely the continuation of politics by other means", correctly noted the Prussian military theorist General Carl von Clausewitz in his book...

To End No Wars

(Photo: Ivana Vasilj / Flickr Commons) Jason Smith was both very unlucky and very lucky. His bad luck began on February 20, 2015, when he was...

Hillary Clinton: the Queen of Chaos and the Threat of World War III

a katz / Shutterstock.com Maidhc Ó Cathail: In your latest book, you dub Hillary Clinton the “Queen of Chaos”. Can you explain why you chose...

The Dulles Brothers and Their Legacy of Perpetual War

I was intrigued by the 2015 release of David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government....

U.S. Now Overtly at War Against Russia

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on February 2nd that he approves of U.S. ‘Defense’ Secretary Ash Carter’s proposal to quadruple...

Hillary Is the Candidate of the War Machine

Jeffrey D. Sachs There's no doubt that Hillary is the candidate of Wall Street. Even more dangerous, though, is that she is the candidate of...

‘Don’t Panic’: Study pours cold water on police fears over encryption

Criminals may run, but they can’t hide even with encryption, according to a new study from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at...

Adding Up the Costs of Hillary Clinton’s Wars

(Photo: Mike Mozart / Flickr) The Greek playwright Aeschylus — who fought at Marathon in 490 BC, the battle that defeated the first Persian invasion...
nuclear war and the theft of nuclear materials

Nuclear War And Theft of 100 Nuclear and Radioactive Materials Each Year

In 1959, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower sought to reduce America’s atomic firepower by as much as 50% on the grounds that its stock...

Obama, the Crocodile Tears of a Cold Hearted Killer

OBAMA’S TEARS  “Even those tears, I me mine “I me mine, I me mine” — the Beatles   John Chuckman   (RINF) - Had I seen the image of Obama,...

America’s Now-Aggressive War Against Russia

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org America’s aristocracy is determined to take over Russia. Ever since the end of the Soviet Union and of its...

Pentagon ‘thwarted’ Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay — report

The Pentagon has been “thwarting” the president’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for years, Reuters revealed, reportedly creating bureaucratic obstacles and showing...

As December Heat Ends History’s Warmest Year, Media Still Shy Away From the Cause

High and low temperatures over the last 24 hours (12/14-15/15). Source: NOAA As wave after wave of record-breaking high temperatures grips huge swaths of America,...

Cornering Russia, Risking World War III

Official Washington is awash with tough talk about Russia and the need to punish President Putin for his role in Ukraine and Syria. But...

Report Says Palestinians Being Executed in Cold Blood by Israel

Stephen Lendman (RINF) - The Jerusalem Center for Israeli-Palestinian Studies exposed the Big Lie about knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists — saying 78% of the Palestinian victims...

U.S. Prepares War Against Russia in Syrian Battlefield

Eric Zuesse On Tuesday November 3rd, U.S. Defense Department spokesperson Laura Seal told The Daily Beast that twelve F-15C air-to-air combat planes are being sent...

When War Hawks Coo Like Doves

Disastrous policies often raise the question of whether the policy makers at fault are stupid or evil. The scales tips toward malevolence whenever the...

Is Barack Obama Actually TRYING To Start World War III?

Michael Snyder (RINF) - Why has Barack Obama airdropped 50 tons of ammunition into areas that “moderate rebels” in Syria supposedly control? This is essentially...

Russia Supplants U.S. in Global War Against Jihadists

Eric Zuesse A meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman (son of King Salman) ended on early Monday,...
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Video: Cold Welcome: Protesters flock to London in rally against Netanyahu visit

While the Israeli Prime Minister is due in London today, he might not get a very warm welcome. Protests over his visit are taking...

Nuclear War Theme Parks: Mass Destruction for the Whole Family

John LaForge Plutonium was named after Pluto, “god of the underworld,” Hades, or hell. It was created inside faulty reactors, concentrated, and machined by US...

U.S. Publicly Splits v. EU on Ukraine War

Eric Zuesse There now is open disagreement between three Western leaders regarding how to move forward with regard to Ukraine: Barack Obama of the United...

Israel’s War on Gazan Children

by Stephen Lendman (RINF) - A new Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) report is damning, providing more evidence of shocking Israeli war crimes - titled...

Public Law 86-90 – The Vietnam War Shows the Strength of Donbas’ Rights!

George H Eliason (RINF) - Could US Senator John McCain find North Vietnam on a map during or before the period he spent 5 years...

Obama on Iran: The specter of World War III

In an extraordinary speech delivered Wednesday, US President Barack Obama went public with a warning that powerful factions within Congress and the state apparatus...

Nuclear War’s Unlearned Lessons

The upcoming 70th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a fitting moment for the world to contemplate the dangers...

Thousands of Refugees Flee Northward from Greece

http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2015/07/18/tausende-fluechtlinge-fliehen-aus-griechenland-in-richtung-norden/ Thousands of Refugees Flee Northward from Greece Translated by Eric Zuesse, from German Economic News  |  as published: 21:40 clock 18:07:15   The precarious situation in Greece means that thousands...

Toward a Rational US Strategy (Part 2)

In Part One, I dealt at length with America’s relationship with “Lesser” or “Third World” powers because that is where we have been most...

Pentagon chief outlines war preparations against Russia

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. 24 June 2015 The announcement by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in...

Activist warns of Western bullying leading to high risk nuclear catastrophe

The United States and its NATO allies are edging toward a high-risk military standoff with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, a situation that...

U.S. May Position for a War Against Russia

Russia Says It Will Respond If U.S. Does So Eric Zuesse On Saturday, June 13th, The New York Times bannered, "U.S. Is Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry...

How Obama Went From Being a Peace Candidate to a War President

When it comes to his administration’s foreign policy, Barack Obama must feel a little like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III: “Just when...

G7 leaders escalate war threats against Russia

  By Thomas Gaist (WSWS) - During their second day of discussions in the resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the German Alps on Monday, the leaders of the...

March Toward Global War

Norman Pollack (RINF) - The New York Times (NYT) is a trusted source of Administration thinking, particularly in foreign policy, more, an uncanny, sensitive barometer...

US neocons aim to provoke ‘global war’ with Russia: Analyst

The “aggressive” policies of the United States toward Russia are “morally reprehensible” and a violation of international law, a writer and investigative journalist in...

Israel’s War on Palestinian Fishermen, Farmers and Children

  by Stephen Lendman    (RINF) - Israeli viciousness has no limits. Palestinians are systematically brutalized for not being Jewish.    They're harassed, intimidated,...

Ukraine Commemorates V-Day by Waging War and Honoring Nazi Criminals

Ukraine Commemorates V-Day by Waging War and Honoring Nazi Criminalsby Stephen LendmanUS-installed Ukrainian fascists commemorated Poroshenko's established victory in Europe Day of Remembrance by vowing to "destroy Moscow," free its people, and let the...

Israeli Soldiers Break the Silence on Gaza War

Israeli Soldiers Break the Silence on Gaza War

by Stephen Lendman

"Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories." 

They recount disturbing experiences Israel wants  suppressed - horrific crimes of war and against humanity including mass murdering civilians "excused as military necessities, or explained as extreme and unique cases."

Truth is polar opposite. Israel operates lawlessly. Killing, persecuting, ill-treating or otherwise harming Palestinians is longstanding practice. 

No Israeli commander or government official was ever prosecuted for horrific high crimes demanding accountability.

Make no mistake. Israel's 2014 Operation Protective Edge was well-planned premeditated naked aggression against 1.8 million largely defenseless Palestinians trapped under lawless siege.

For Israel's powerful military, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. It was cold-blooded mass murder and destruction - mostly harming noncombatant men, women, children, infants and the elderly.

Israel considers them legitimate targets. International law calls killing them a high crime against peace.

Dozens of Israeli soldiers involved in last summer's war broke the silence on war crimes they were ordered to commit. More on what they said below.

The Breaking the Silence web site said testimonies were collected from over 60 IDF officers and rank-and-file soldiers involved in aggressive war on Gaza.

They served in ground, naval and air operations. Their testimonies were carefully vetted for veracity.

Their comments based on direct involvement exposed government and IDF command Big Lies.

Rules of engagement made Gaza a free-fire zone. Commanders ordered troops "to fire at every person they identified in a combat zone" - meaning anyone, anywhere in Gaza, including civilian neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, UN shelters, and other nonmilitary targets.

Everyone in sight was considered an enemy, including small children too young to understand what was happening.

A May 3 press release headlined "This is How We Fought in Gaza 2014. 

Saying released testimonies "paint a disturbing picture of the IDF’s policy of indiscriminate fire, which directly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians."

"The testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence paint a troubling picture of" official Israeli policy.

Soldiers were told to "shoot to kill" anyone in sight. They were deliberately lied to about areas supposedly cleared of civilians where entire families remained.

"Throughout the Operation, the IDF fired thousands of imprecise artillery shells into residential neighborhoods."

Soldiers were ordered to carry out "mass destruction of civilian infrastructure and homes."

"Many residential homes were shelled, from the ground and from the air, in order to 'demonstrate presence in the area,' or even as an act of punishment."

Breaking the Silence director Yuli Novak said the following:

"From the testimonies given by the officers and soldiers, a troubling picture arises of a policy of indiscriminate fire that led to the deaths of innocent civilians." 

"We learn from the testimonies that there is a broad ethical failure in the IDF’s rules of engagement, and that this failure comes from the top of the chain of command, and is not merely the result of 'rotten apples.' " 

"As officers and soldiers, we know that internal military investigations scapegoat simple soldiers rather than focusing on policy."

"The public must know what missions its sons are being sent to carry out, and according to which norms the IDF acts in its name." 

"We call for the establishment of an investigative committee external to the IDF, which will investigate the policy behind the rules of engagement given during 'Protective Edge,' and the norms and values that stand at the base of this policy."

Soldier testimonies best explain Israel's lawless contempt for Palestinian lives and welfare.

An armored corps first sergeant said in part:

"(B)efore entering Gaza, the commander…said '(w)e do not take risks. We do not spare ammo (including in civilian neighborhoods). We unload. We use as much as possible.' "

A Givati Brigade lieutenant said:

"The motto guiding lots of people was: 'Let’s show them.' It was evident that that was a starting point." 

"Lots of guys who did their reserve duty with me don’t have much pity towards (Arabs). The only thing that drives them is to look after their soldiers, and the mission. They are driven towards an IDF victory, at any price. And they sleep just fine at night."

"They are totally at peace with that. These aren’t people who spend their days looking for things to kill. By no means. But they aren’t afraid to kill, either."

"They don’t see it as something bad. The power-trip element is also at play, it’s all kinds of things." 

"I think that a lot can be learned from Operation Protective Edge about the issue of dealing with civilians, and how that works." 

"There were a lot of people there who really hate Arabs. Really, really hate Arabs. You could see the hate in their eyes."

A Gaza division lieutenant said in part:

"You could feel there was a radicalisation in the way the whole thing was conducted. The discourse was extremely right-wing."

"The military obviously has very clear enemies - the Arabs, Hamas."

"The discourse is racist. The discourse is nationalistic. The discourse is anti-leftist. It was an atmosphere that really, really scared me."

An infantry soldier said:

"The rules of engagement for soldiers advancing on the ground were: open fire, open fire everywhere, first thing when you go in." 

"The assumption being that the moment we went (into Gaza), anyone who dared poke his head out was a terrorist."

A mechanized infantry first sergeant said:

"The rules of engagement are pretty identical: anything inside (Gaza) is a threat. The area has to be ‘sterilised,’ empty of people…"

"Shooting to kill. This is combat in an urban area, we’re in a war zone. The saying was: ‘There’s no such thing there as a person who is uninvolved.’ In that situation, anyone there is involved."

An armored corps first sergeant said:

"During training (they told us) we only enter houses 'wet,' with grenades, and the more of them the better - and (grenade) launchers if you can use them." 

"You’re going to ‘open’ a house? Don’t take any chances, use your grenade launcher, utilise every effective tool you’ve got." 

"Aim, fire and only then go in. You don’t know if there is or isn’t someone in there. Go in ‘wet’ with grenades, with live fire. These were the orders for entering houses."

An infantry first sergeant said:

Orders were "(i)f you spot someone, shoot. Whether it posed a threat or not wasn't a question…If you shoot someone in Gaza it's cool, no big deal."

Commanders "made it clear that there were no uninvolved civilians."

Another first sergeant said "whoever you see (in Gaza), you kill." Asked who gave the order, he said the commander.

Soldiers spoke of "sterilizing" an area - killing everyone in sight. Just open fire, they were told.

Official Israeli policy was kill everyone. All Gazans are considered enemies. Law Professor Phillipe Sands called soldier testimonies "troubling insights into (Israeli) intention and method."

"(T)hey cannot be ignored or brushed aside, coming as they do from individuals with firsthand experience. The rule of law requires proper investigation and inquiry."

Top Israeli government and military officials claiming they took proper care to safeguard civilian lives were lying.

Official Israeli policy considers noncombatant civilians legitimate targets - including women and young children.

Everyone in Gaza is considered a terrorist. The Big Lie is drummed into the minds of recruits - brainwashing them to believe mass murder is the right thing to do.

According to Israeli human rights lawyer/Breaking the Silence advisor Michael Sfard:

"One of the main threads in the testimonies is the presumption that despite the fact that the battle was being waged in urban area - and one of most densely populated in the world - no civilians would be in the areas they entered."

Anyone there was considered fair game to kill. Rules of engagement allowed everything regardless of fundamental international law.

Official Spirit of the IDF code of ethics states "soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property."

Dozens of soldier testimonies show it's duplicitous rhetoric - meaningless. 

In combat, anything goes is official Israeli policy - including indiscriminately mass murdering noncombatant civilians. Accountability remains nowhere in sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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. 

US Wars Kill Mostly Civilians

by Stephen Lendman (RINF) - Post-9/11 alone, millions of civilians perished in US direct and proxy wars. They were either in harm's way, deliberately targeted,...

US Foreign Policy: Permanent Wars on Humanity

US Foreign Policy: Permanent Wars on Humanity

by Stephen Lendman

Throughout its entire history, America waged endless wars at home and abroad.

From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli to battleground US streets and neighborhoods.

US policy reduced its indigenous population to a tiny fraction of its original numbers. How the West was won involved exterminating millions in cold blood.

In the mid-19th century, half of Mexico was stolen. America's killing machine knows no limits.

One state-sponsored genocide follows others. US imperial policy is responsible for tens of millions of lost lives - horrific conditions for surviving millions. 

Democracy promotion is pure fantasy. America tolerates its nowhere. None exists domestically. 

One party rule with two wings runs things. Monied interests alone are served. They have final say. Voters have none.

State-sponsored high crimes are rewarded. Corporate ones are ignored. Popular needs increasingly go begging.

America is a let 'em eat cake society. War-making is prioritized.

Waging them has nothing to do with external or internal threats. So-called "war on terror" is phony. State-sponsored war OF terror is real - waged ruthlessly on humanity.

"We the people" served are rich and powerful elites. Others don't matter.

New World Order ruthlessness is official policy. So is state-sponsored terrorism - permanent wars masquerading as liberating ones. Washington rules alone apply.

Author/historian/US policy critic William Blum documented US imperial policy since WW II.

He explained how Washington toppled dozens of sovereign governments, assassinated legitimate leaders, removed others by coup d'etats, and reigned terror on every continent - an agenda more ruthless today than ever.

US policies are "worse than (most people) imagine," Blum explains. They include virtually every conceivable form of lawlessness.

Hegemons make more enemies than friends. Longstanding US policy is consistent.

It bullies, intimidates, threatens, or otherwise pressures all nations to bend to its will.

Brute force is exerted. Endless conflicts rage in multiple theaters. America's culture is violent.

Wars are glorified in the name of peace. Gun-related violence is by far the highest among Western nations.

Violent films and video games are some of the most popular. One-fourth of adult women are forcibly raped during their lifetimes.

Most of them experience some form of violence during their lives. Children and the elderly are routinely abused.

Many communities are unsafe to live in. Killer cops threaten all people of color.

US combat troops are trained to kill. Enemies are demonized to make it easy. Overseas missions involve mass slaughter and destruction.

RT International interviewed Blum. US foreign policy won't change regardless of who succeeds Obama, he said.

Both parties operate the same way. US foreign policy remains unchanged.

"(F)or two centuries, (America) has had one basic, overriding goal, and that is world domination, at least from 1890s if not earlier," Blum explained.

It "appeals to both Republicans and Democrats or liberals or conservatives."

They endorse US exceptionalism - the notion that American values matter most. Nonbelievers are targeted for elimination. Iron fist rule defines US policy.

"…NATO is just an arm of US foreign policy," says Blum. Without America's involvement, the Alliance wouldn't exist, he maintains.

It's always been for offense, not defense. Governments not in lockstep with US imperial aims are targeted for regime change - most often by war. 

US-dominated NATO's Eastern European expansion targets Russia. "The US cannot stand anyone who might stay in the way of the Empire's expansion," Blum explains - notably Russia and China.

Throughout its entire history, America used force against enemies - real or invented. Iran is a prime target. Nuclear talks are more sham than real.

Since WW II alone, "the US attempted to overthrown more than 50 foreign governments," Blum explained.

"It has bombed the people of 30 countries. It has suppressed revolutionary parties in at least 20 nations - and I forgot other factors on my list." 

"This is a record unparalleled in all of human history, and there's no reason to think it is changing of will change, except if some superior force comes on a scene, that can actually defeat US."

Russia "has two characteristics of an enemy" Washington won't tolerate. "(I)t has very powerful military capabilities." It's "not a great admirer of the Empire."

"The same applies to China. That's all it takes" to be America's enemy - to be targeted for regime change.

It keeps Washington's war machine raging. It makes peace impossible.

Donbass freedom fighters are targeted for elimination. Washington "is expecting to wipe them out militarily at some point in the near future," Blum explained.

"(T)here's no backtracking from these policies." They apply worldwide. Play by Washington's rules or else.

Accept its dominance or face regime change - by war or other means. America always is at war somewhere - directly and through proxies.

It's only enemies are ones in invents. Al Qaeda, IS, and similar radicalized groups are US creations - enlisted to do America's killing and dying, to wage its dirty wars against independent governments.

Washington created this monster, Blum explained. It may be too late to put the genie back in the bottle, he believes. "(T)he barn door may be closed," he says.

World peace is only possible if US wars end. Otherwise expect endless conflicts and unspeakable horrors they cause.

Instead of abolishing NATO when Soviet Russia dissolved, America expanded it eastward to its borders.

It may be too late to save the world, Blum warns. Nuclear war may be just a matter of time. Mass incineration may follow.

Nothing deters lunatics in Washington. They'll risk destroying planet earth to own it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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. 

Israel Joins Obama’s War on Yemen

Israel Joins Obama's War on Yemen

by Stephen Lendman

Obama terror-bombed Yemen throughout his tenure.He murdered hundreds of noncombatant men, women and children in cold blood.

He's at it again. He's waging proxy war against Houthi rebels.

He's using rogue state regional allies to do his dirty work.

They ousted illegitimately US-installed puppet Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Israel quietly joined Obama's dirty war. On March 22, Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi accused Washington and Israel of using Takfiri extremists to stage terrorist attacks on Yemeni civilians.

Mosques were targeted. Scores were killed, hundreds injured. Al-Houthi urged Yemenis to unite against elements aiming to destabilize the country.

"Everyone is a target," he said. He didn't know at the time Washington intended using proxy forces to terror-bomb Yemen into submission.

America's goal is longstanding. Eliminate all independent governments. Replace them with US-controlled puppets.

Hadi was a convenient stooge. Obama wants him back in power serving US interests.

At the same time, denying Iran a regional ally. Aiming to isolate Tehran regionally by eliminating its key allies - mainly Syria and Hezbollah.

Then replacing Iran's independent government with one Washington controls.

America allies with the region's worst despots to further its objectives.

It's in bed with Israel's hegemonic ambitions. Both countries partner in each other's high crimes.

They threaten world peace. They  terror-bomb adversaries.

Washington planned war on Yemen months earlier. It's controlling and directing ongoing Saudi-led aggression against a nation posing it no threat.

Israeli warplanes are involved. Fars News said they're participating in airstrikes.

It quoted Yemen's Al-Haq Political party Secretary-General Hassan Zayd saying:

On direct orders from Netanyahu, "for the first time…Zionists are conducting a joint (military) operation in coalition with Arabs."

Yemen's al-Massira television said aggressor warplanes deliberately targeted civilian homes and a market where people were shopping.

Dozens were killed, scores more injured. Bombing continues.

Houthi forces keep advancing. Reports indicate heavy clashes near Aden.

Senior Iranian parliamentarians urged Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member nations to condemn Saudi terror-bombing.

Iranian MP Zohreh Tabibzadeh spoke for others saying "(w)e expect the NAM countries to condemn this aggression."

Yemenis intend defending their country, she stressed. They deserve universal support against US-planned, sponsored and directed terror-bombing.

On Saturday, Reuters said Houthi fighters continued making gains - despite Saudi-led air attacks.

Yemen is the latest example of Washington's war on humanity.

It's systematically ravaging and destroying one country at a time.

Post-9/11 alone, its aim for unchallenged global dominance took millions of lives.

Gideon Polya estimates Bush/Obama genocidal war on Iraq alone (since 2003) killed 2.7 million people - from violence and "violently-imposed deprivation."

Since 1914, Western wars on Iraq killed nine million, Polya estimates.

What Britain began a century ago, it now partners in what Washington continues - wars without end against Arab populations being systematically exterminated.

Western media scoundrels ignore an ongoing Arab Holocaust far greater than what Hitler did to Jews.

Try finding a single Western report explaining it. None on one of history's greatest crimes.

Arab lives don't matter. Western white supremacists consider them fair game for mass slaughter and exploitation.

Washington's Afghan, Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian wars continue. Yemen is Obama's latest aggression.

It follows his installing Nazis to run Ukraine - to wage dirty war without mercy on Donbass residents wanting to live free from the scourge of fascism.

What happens longer term  remains to be seen. Washington's war on humanity threatens world peace.

Madness defines US policy. Lunatics in charge won't quit until they turn all countries to rubble.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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. 

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NATO countries are to all intents and purposes at war with Russia. The US knows it and Russia knows it too. Unfortunately, most of those living in NATO countries remain blissfully ignorant of this fact.


The US initiated economic sanctions against Russia, has attacked its currency and has manipulated oil prices to devastate the Russian economy. It was behind the coup in Ukraine and is now escalating tensions by placing troops in Europe and supporting a bunch of neo-fascists that it brought to power. Yet the bought and paid for corporate media in the West keeps the majority of the Western public in ignorance by depicting Russia as the aggressor.


If the current situation continues, the outcome could be a devastating nuclear conflict. Washington poured five billion dollars into Ukraine with the aim of eventually instigating a coup on Russia’s doorstep. Washington and NATO are supporting proxy forces on the ground to kill and drive out those who are demanding autonomy from the US puppet regime in Kiev. Hundreds of thousands have fled across the border into Russia.

Yet it is Washington that accuses Moscow of invading Ukraine, of having had a hand in the downing of a commercial airliner and of ‘invading’ Ukraine based on no evidence at all – trial by media courtesy of Washington’s PR machine. As a result of this Russian ‘aggression’, Washington slapped sanctions on Moscow. 


The ultimate aim is to de-link Europe’s economy from Russia and weaken Russia's energy dependent economy by denying it export markets. The ultimate aim is to also ensure Europe remains integrated with/dependent on Washington, not least via the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and in the long term via US gas and Middle East oil (sold in dollars, thereby boosting the strength of the currency upon which US global hegemony rests).

The mainstream corporate media in the West parrots the accusations against Moscow as fact, despite Washington having cooked up evidence or invented baseless pretexts. As with Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and other ‘interventions’ that have left a trail of death and devastation in their wake, the Western corporate media’s role is to act as cheerleader for official policies and US-led wars of terror.

The reality is that the US has around 800 military bases in over 100 countries and military personnel in almost 150 countries. US spending on its military dwarfs what the rest of the world spends together. It outspends China by a ratio of 6:1.

What does the corporate media say about this? That the US is a ‘force for good’ and constitutes the ‘world’s policeman’ - not a calculating empire underpinned by militarism.

By the 1980s, Washington’s wars, death squads and covert operations were responsible for six million deaths in the ‘developing’ world. An updated figure suggests that figure is closer to ten million.

Breaking previous agreements made with Russia/the USSR, over the past two decades the US and NATO has moved into Eastern Europe and continues to encircle Russia and install missile systems aimed at it. It has also surrounded Iran with military bases. It is destabilising Pakistan and ‘intervening’ in countries across Africa to weaken Chinese trade and investment links and influence. It intends to eventually militarily ‘pivot’ towards Asia to encircle China.

William Blum has presented a long list of Washington’s crimes across the planet since 1945 in terms of its numerous bombings of countries, assassinations of elected leaders and destabilisations. No other country comes close to matching the scale of such criminality. Under the smokescreen of exporting ‘freedom and democracy’, the US has deemed it necessary to ignore international laws and carry out atrocities to further its geo-political interests across the globe.


Writing on AlterNet.org, Nicolas JS Davies says of William Blum’s book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II: if you're looking for historical context for what you are reading or watching on TV about the coup in Ukraine, ‘Killing Hope’ will provide it.

Davies argues that the title has never been more apt as we watch the hopes of people from all regions of Ukraine being sacrificed on the same altar as those of people in Iran (1953); Guatemala(1954); Thailand (1957); Laos (1958-60); the Congo (1960); Turkey (1960, 1971 & 1980); Ecuador (1961 & 1963); South Vietnam (1963); Brazil (1964); the Dominican Republic (1963); Argentina (1963); Honduras (1963 & 2009); Iraq (1963 & 2003); Bolivia (1964, 1971 & 1980); Indonesia (1965); Ghana (1966); Greece (1967); Panama (1968 & 1989); Cambodia (1970); Chile (1973); Bangladesh (1975); Pakistan (1977); Grenada (1983); Mauritania (1984); Guinea (1984); Burkina Faso (1987); Paraguay (1989); Haiti (1991 & 2004); Russia (1993); Uganda (1996);and Libya (2011).


Davies goes on to say that the list above does not include a roughly equal number of failed coups, nor coups in Africa and elsewhere in which a US role is suspected but unproven.

The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) is a recipe for more of the same. The ultimate goal, based on the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine, is to prevent any rival emerging to challenge Washington’s global hegemony and to secure dominance over the entire planet. Washington’s game plan for Russia is to destroy is as a functioning state or to permanently weaken it so it submits to US hegemony. While the mainstream media in the West set out to revive the Cold War mentality and demonise Russia, Washington believes it can actually win a nuclear conflict with Russia. It no longer regards nuclear weapons as a last resort but part of a conventional theatre of war and is willing to use them for pre-emptive strikes.

Washington is accusing Russia of violating Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, while the US has its military, mercenary and intelligence personnel inside Ukraine. It is moreover putting troops in Poland, engaging in ‘war games’ close to Russia and has pushed through a ‘Russian anti-aggression’ act that portrays Russia as an aggressor in order to give Ukraine de facto membership of NATO and thus full military support, advice and assistance.

Washington presses ahead regardless as Russia begins to undermine dollar hegemony by trading oil and gas and goods in rubles and other currencies. And history shows that whenever a country threatens the dollar, the US does not idly stand by.

Unfortunately, most members of the Western public believe the lies being fed to them. This results from the corporate media amounting to little more than an extension of Washington’s propaganda arm. The PNAC, under the pretext of some bogus ‘war on terror’, is partly built on gullible, easily led public opinion, which is fanned by emotive outbursts from politicians and the media. We have a Pavlov’s dog public and media, which respond on cue to the moralistic bleating of politicians who rely on the public’s ignorance to facilitate war and conflict.

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst has spoken about the merits of the Kiev coup and the installation of an illegitimate government in Ukraine. Last year, he called the violent removal of Ukraine’s democratically elected government as enhancing democracy. Herbst displayed all of the arrogance associated with the ideology of US ‘exceptionalism’. He also displayed complete contempt for the public by spouting falsehoods and misleading claims about events taking place in Ukraine.


And now in Britain, the public is being subjected to the same kind of propaganda by the likes of Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond with his made-for-media sound bites about Russia being a threat to world peace:


"We are now faced with a Russian leader bent not on joining the international rules-based system which keeps the peace between nations, but on subverting it… We are in familiar territory for anyone over the age of about 50, with Russia's aggressive behaviour a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security... Russia's aggressive behaviour a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security." 

In a speech that could have come straight from the pen of some war mongering US neocon, the US’s toy monkey Hammond beats on cue the drum that signals Britain’s willingness to fall in line and verbally attack Putin for not acquiescing to US global hegemonic aims.


The anti-Russia propaganda in Britain is gathering pace. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said that Putin could repeat the tactics used to destabilise Ukraine in the Baltic states. He said that NATO must be ready for Russian aggression in “whatever form it takes.” He added that Russia is a “real and present danger.” Prior to this, PM David Cameron called on Europe to make clear to Russia that it faces economic and financial consequences for “many years to come” if it does not stop destabilising Ukraine. 


Members of the current administration are clearly on board with US policy and are towing the line, as did Blair before. And we know that his policy on Iraq was based on a pack of lies too.


If Putin is reacting in a certain way, it is worth wondering what the US response would be if Russia had put its missiles in Canada near the US border, had destabilised Mexico and was talking of putting missiles there too. To top it off, imagine if Russia were applying sanctions on the US for all of this ‘aggression’. 


What Russia is really guilty of is calling for a multi-polar world, not one dominated by the US. It’s a goal that most of humanity is guilty of. It is a world the US will not tolerate.


Herbst and his ilk would do well to contemplate their country’s record of wars and destabilisations, its global surveillance network that illegally spies on individuals and governments alike and its ongoing plundering of resources and countries supported by militarism, ‘free trade’ or the outright manipulation of every major market. Hammond, Fallon and Cameron would do well to remember this too. But like their US masters, their role is to feign amnesia and twist reality.


The media is dutifully playing its part well by keeping the public ignorant and misinformed.  A public that is encouraged to regard what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya, etc, as a confusing, disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention based on bogus notions of ‘humanitarianism’ or a ‘war on terror’, rather than the planned machinations of empire which includes a global energy war and the associated preservation and strengthening of the petro-dollar system.


Eric Zuesse has been writing extensively on events in Ukraine for the last year. His articles have been published on various sites like Countercurrents, Global Research and RINF, but despite his attempts to get his numerous informative and well-researched pieces published in the mainstream media, he has by and large hit a brick wall (he describes this here). 


This is because the corporate media have a narrative and the truth does not fit into it. If this tells us anything it is that sites like the one you are reading this particular article on are essential for informing the public about the reality of the aggression that could be sleepwalking the world towards humanity’s final war. And while the mainstream media might still be 'main', in as much as that is where most people still turn to for information, there is nothing to keep the alternative web-based media from becoming 'mainstream'. 


Whether it involves Eric's virtually daily pieces or articles by other writers, the strategy must be to tweet, share and repost! Or as Binu Mathew from the India-based Countercurrents website says:


"It is for those who want to nurture these alternative communication channels to spread the word to tell the world about these avenues. 'Each one reach one, each one teach one' can be a good way to sum up."



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The latest meeting of the BRICS countries, held in Brazil’s northeastern city of Fortaleza last week, represents the bloc’s most significant step forward towards its agenda of building a new multilateral development framework.

After two years of negotiations, the geoeconomic grouping of emerging markets known as the BRICS – Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa – have broken new ground by launching a development bank intended to challenge Western-dominated multilateral lending institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

The New Development Bank (NDB) will be headquartered in Shanghai and will primarily serve to facilitate sustainable development and large-scale infrastructure modernization within BRICS countries, which will each allocate an equal share of $50 billion startup capital with the aim of reaching $100 billion.

NDB loans would not be exclusively for BRICS governments, but also extended to other low- and middle-income countries that contribute to the capital base, which will finance the construction of mega-projects involving electricity supply grids, telecommunications networks, roads and bridges, power stations, shipping infrastructure and ports, and water treatment facilities.

In addition to the development bank, the BRICS group will also establish a contingency reserve currency pool worth over $100 billion, enabling the bloc to raise liquidity protections and collectively hedge against economic challenges. Though member countries will contribute an equal amount of startup capital to the NDB, China will have a 41 percent stake in financing the currency pool, with other members taking on smaller percentages.

BRICS countries represent 41.6 percent of world’s total population, 19.6 percent of global GDP, and 16.9 percent of total global trade, making the five-member community the world’s largest market. Despite extensive economic clout, the BRICS countries together wield only about 11 percent of the votes at the IMF, an institution that is widely viewed as disproportionately delineating influence to the detriment of the Global South.

The BRICS project is not simply about emerging economic powerhouses striving for a wider international role that traditional Western institutions have thus far denied, but rather, it is an attempt by the Global South to articulate an alternative multilateral global order intended to be more equitable, inclusive, dynamic, and suitable to 21st century realities.

As developed economies find themselves today marred in austerity policies and struggling to tackle unemployment wrought by hallowed-out industrial sectors, trade between economies in the Global South now exceeds trade between emerging and developed economies by some $2.2 trillion, more than one-quarter of global trade. China, Brazil, and India have also begun to displace Western nations as large-scale donors throughout Africa and other low-income countries.
The growing role of developing countries in international institutions signifies how the global political landscape is shifting in favor of a multipolar order. The determination for emerging countries to independently pursue institution building has been brought on by policies of Western financial bodies that attach intrusive conditionalities to loans and deny equal voting rights to developing states.

Countries that borrow from institutions such as the IMF are forced to enact structural adjustment policies that scale back on public and social spending, and pressure countries to hurriedly reduce subsides that would better be phased out gradually. Loan conditionalities have also been known to disproportionately favor the private sector and reduce a country’s ability to hedge against speculative capital.

The bloc’s push toward institution building to advance an alternative development vision has been hastened in recent times by several contentious flashpoints in global politics, primarily between Russia and China on one side, and the United States and European Union on the other.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, while the US has spearheaded punitive sanctions against Russia for its purported role in Ukrainian conflict. China has also expressed displeasure with US efforts to refocus its naval presence to the Asia Pacific region, which Beijing views as efforts by the US to interfere in the region’s complex territorial disputes.

The increasing pressure from Western capitals on Moscow and Beijing, who also take joint positions on issues in the UN Security Council, has prompted both countries to deepen their involvement in the multipolar project. Russia and China now intend to more forcefully utilize the BRICS framework to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technology, and diversify political and trade relations with countries throughout the Global South.

The BRICS group will not be solely an economic community, but due to increasingly tense relations with the West, the five-member bloc is increasingly more disposed to cooperate politically to adopt common positions and coordinate joint efforts toward tackling regional issues at the UN level. In contrast to Western leanings toward interventionism, the core principles of BRICS foreign policy thinking centers on respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries.

In a recent interview with news agency ITAR-TASS, Russian President Vladimir Putin articulated his intentions to deepen both economic and political cooperation among the BRICS group, primarily by addressing the bloc’s common position against unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions that violate international law, pledging closer coordination and high‑level consultations between the group’s foreign ministries to jointly forge political and diplomatic settlements.

Washington’s calls for heavy economic sanctions on Russian industries and sectorial trade have been met with opposition by most EU states, who are largely dependent on Moscow for their energy needs. European states are also weary that sectorial sanctions against Russia will drastically drive up gas prices.

Putin has said that any economic sanctions on Russia will eventually boomerang back to harm US interests, and called on BRICS countries to introduce “a system of measures that would help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the United States and their allies, but would promote a civilized dialogue on all points at issue based on mutual respect.”

The primary interest of the BRICS countries is to begin the gradual process of reforming the international monetary and financial system, which remains heavily dependent on US monetary policy. The emerging multipolar alternative being championed by developing states, with varying degrees of antipathy toward Washington, is propelled forward by perceptions that global management on the basis of genuine and equal partnership cannot be realized under current circumstances.

The BRICS countries face an uphill battle and have yet to firmly establish internal decision-making mechanisms, and there are hurdles to address before the bank begins lending in 2016. The NDB can play an important role in channeling capital into industrial assets rather into bubbles and financial markets, thus improving investment confidence, reducing risk, and advancing a productivity-focused development agenda.

The failure of Western-dominated institutions to address their asymmetric influence over global political and economic affairs is the primary factor that has given rise to an alliance of developing countries that intend to correct this imbalance, and one can only hope they work toward bringing about a more equitable and just world order.

This article appeared in the July 22, 2014 print edition of The Malaysian Reserve newspaper. 

Nile Bowie is a columnist with Russia Today, and a research affiliate with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at [email protected].

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War on Fundamental Rights in Ukraine

War on Fundamental Rights in Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Previous articles called it war without mercy. This writer's new book as editor and contributor explains the most significant post-WW II geopolitical crisis. 

Escalating it risks global conflict. Obama bears full responsibility. Washington stops at nothing to advance its imperium.

Imagine the unthinkable. John Pilger fears Washington "threaten(s) to take the world to war."

"We in the west are backing neo-Nazis in a country where Ukrainian Nazis backed Hitler," he said.

"(A) silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules."

Ukraine is "a CIA theme park." Its operatives oversee "savage attacks" against Ukrainians wanting to live free.

"Add the risk of nuclear war," said Pilger. Neocons infesting Washington make the unthinkable possible.

Perhaps Eastern Ukrainian war without mercy is prelude for East/West confrontation. It rages. Civilians are fair game. They're being murdered in cold blood.

Not according to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. She called fascist aggression "restraint."

Kiev has "every right to take steps to maintain law and order," she said.

"(W)e commend and continue to commend the Ukrainian government's restraint and efforts to limit damage and injury to the civilian population."

Psaki blamed Kiev's crimes of war and against humanity on Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighting victims.

"We have a fundamental disagreement with the Russians about what the Ukrainian government is doing and the validity of their own right to maintain calm and order in their own country," she added.

On Friday, Putin voiced concern over ongoing military aggression. He wants it stopped. He urged peaceful conflict resolution.

So did Lavrov. He called for "(m)ore effective mediation efforts…to cease violence in Ukraine and immediately start a mutually respectful dialogue…"

Slavyansk is besieged. Shelling continues. Mortars, howitzers and heavy artillery are used. Artema and Semenovka village were targeted.

Gunfire was heard near Kramatorsk airport. A Donetsk healthcare department statement said army units opened fire on Slavyansk residential areas. At least seven children were wounded.

Donetsk People's Republic leaders accused Kiev of using chemical weapons in Mariupol. They issued a statement saying:

"Kiev bears the entire responsibility not only for their state agencies' actions, but also for the actions by citizens who illegally apply means of chemical warfare."

"Armed groups controlled by Kiev used unidentified chemical weapons (earlier) while storming the City Council headquarters."

"The defenders of the City Council have left the contaminated area." 

"Many of them had their breathing systems damaged, which is likely to have consequences and probably be a danger to their lives."

The statement urged world leaders to condemn toxic choking gas use. Take comprehensive measures, it added. Isolate Kiev putschists.

They're silent about chemical weapons use. They're waging Eastern Ukrainian dirty war. 

With full US support. One fascist regime backs another. Crimes of war and against humanity don't matter.

Hundreds of Slavyansk children were evacuated to Crimea for their safety.

They're aged eight to 16. They're housed at peninsula summer camps. It wasn't easy getting past Ukrainian border guards.

They're safe in Russia. They'll spend at least a month in Crimea. One child told RT International:

His city "comes under mortar shelling. People get hurt as a result." 

"A mortar shell splinter the size of a walnut hit my grandpa's leg and pierced the bone." 

"If it went a little deeper, it could hit an artery, and that would be it for him."

Another child said:

"It's so unusually calm and quiet here compared to Slavyansk. No explosions going off. It was scary." 

"Nobody expected that things like that could start in our city, which was never famous for anything."

A third child said she "was very scared. There were explosions." 

"My dad just celebrated his birthday and he was woken by the sound of shelling on that day. I'm very glad I'm here now. It’s calm here."

Hopefully it'll stay that way. On May 30, Itar Tass headlined "Members of Right Sector plotting attacks in Crimea," saying:

Russian Federal Security (FSB) officers "detained members of Ukraine's Right Sector terrorist group in the Republic of Crimea."

"The group plotted terrorist attacks in the cities of Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol, and later on they planned to destroy several facilities, railway bridges and electricity lines." 

FSB said its "Investigative Department has been working on the criminal case against O. Sentsov, S. Afanasyev, A. Chirniy and A. Kolchenko…"

They're "suspected of setting up a (Crimean) terrorist community." They planned earlier bomb attacks. 

Explosive materials, weapons, gas masks and untranationalist literature were found in their residences. They were taken to Moscow. They're at Lefortovo detention center.

Afanasyev, Chirniy and Kolchenko admitted planning to blow up railway bridges, power lines and public monuments. An FSB statement said:

"The suspects have confessed to being part of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) and to organizing terrorist acts on the territory of Crimea with the aim of destabilizing the social and political situation on the peninsula."

It doesn't surprise. Fascist regimes operate this way. Right Sector thugs are neo-Nazi extremists. They're Obama's new friends.

They're xenophobic, hate-mongering, ultranationalist anti-Semites. They're aligned with like-minded ideologues.

For the first time since WW II, overt fascists have real power. They hold major government posts.

Anointed president-elect Petro Poroshenko serves as nominal leader. He's militantly anti-democratic. 

He's polar opposite what Ukrainians deserve. Straightaway he OK'd full-scale war without mercy.

New leadership changed nothing. Fascism won. Democracy lost. War on Eastern Ukrainians wanting to live free rages.

Poroshenko wants it continued until all resistance is crushed. Perhaps he intends bloodbath slaughter achieve it.

On May 30, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:

"Humanitarian aid will be given to (Eastern Ukrainians) for sure, but I can't say anything about military aid. The military should be asked about that."

Itar Tass said:

"On May 28, the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation sent a note to the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, attracting attention of the Ukrainian authorities to the fact that Russia has been repeatedly receiving requests from citizens and organizations from the conflict zone in Ukraine’s eastern regions where many people are killed and many are wounded in combat operations." 

Russia "has been requested to provide urgent humanitarian aid, first and foremost of medication and medical goods."

"Russia is ready to provide the population in those regions with everything needed, and asked Ukraine to take necessary steps for ensuring urgent deliveries of Russian humanitarian aid to conflict-hit regions in the shortest term possible."

On May 29, Itar Tass headlined "Ukraine's Foreign Ministry turns down humanitarian aid to eastern regions from Russia."

It called Moscow's request "another element of propaganda." It wants Eastern Ukrainians denied what's vital to supply.

On May 30, Interfax-Ukraine headlined "Pentagon delegation to hold talks in Kyiv."

US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said Washington tripled US military aid in the last three months.

Special emphasis was placed on improving border security forces combat readiness. Pyatt expects assistance will grow, he said.

Modernizing Ukraine's "defense and security" apparatus is planned, he added. Making its killing machine more effective he omitted explaining.

War without mercy continues. Kiev putschists want fascist governance institutionalized. 

They want democracy prevented. They want what Ukrainians most  deserve denied.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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


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 

War Without Mercy Continues

War Without Mercy Continues

by Stephen Lendman

Sergey Lavrov calls it fratricidal war. "The West tried to use Ukraine not as a uniting link on the European territory, but as a watershed," he said.

"Those who advocated such policy did not worry about it that much."

"The elections in Ukraine should put an end to violence and serve as a start of dialogue."

Russia wants Eastern regions provided humanitarian aid. Its urgently needed.

Its Foreign Ministry said Moscow is "receiving urgent requests from individuals and organizations based in the conflict zone in the eastern Ukrainian regions, where hostilities led to human casualties and multiple injuries, asking to provide immediate humanitarian aid, primarily medications and medicinal drugs."

"Given the emergency nature of the current situation, (it wants) the swiftest possible reply from the Ukrainian side."

"It was emphasized that the Russian side is ready to provide the population in these regions with the required assistance and therefore proposes to the Ukrainian side that necessary measures be taken within the shortest possible period to ensure the immediate delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to the regions affected by the conflict."

"Specific itineraries and transportation conditions for such humanitarian aid…could be agreed upon on a routine basis between the relevant Russian and Ukrainian government departments," it stressed.

On May 28, RT International headlined "Reports of shooting in Donetsk, as city braces for third day of fighting."

It's ruthless. It targets civilians. Claims otherwise are false. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki regularly twists truths irresponsibly.

On Monday, in response to a question on Ukraine violence, she said:

"In terms of the events over the weekend or the reports of violence, we certainly have been watching those events closely." 

"We remain concerned about the actions of Russian separatists against civilians in eastern Ukraine." 

"We support the efforts of the Government of Ukraine to maintain calm and take steps to maintain order in their own country, and we remain in close contact with them as well."

A follow-up question asked:

"Well, so you believe that this violence is the responsibility entirely of pro-Russian separatists?" 

"Is that - I mean, do you have any words of caution or advice of restraint to the Ukrainian Government?"

Psaki: "Well, certainly to all parties. But I would remind you - and obviously there are a range of reports out there about events that have happened over the course of the past couple of days." 

"There are some involving the airport. There are some involving the fact that a special monitoring mission is missing." 

"So there are a range of different reports, different - and I guess I could speak to all of those." 

"But my point I was making is that the Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainian authorities have every right to certainly take steps to maintain calm and order where they see fit."

Question: "Right. But you don't have any concerns about whether they are acting - that they’re going too far?" 

"You don't have any concern that - do you believe that everything the Ukrainian authorities have done to this point in trying to maintain law and order has been reasonable and appropriate?"

Psaki: "I'm not expressing a concern about the events over the course of the weekend, no, in terms of the Ukrainian authorities, no."

Question: "So in the view of the State Department, view of the Administration, is that what is happening on the ground in the east right now, in Donetsk and other places where there are clashes, where there's fighting, that is all the fault of the separatists?"

"They are the instigators?"

Psaki: "Obvious - they are - certainly, we believe they're the instigators, yes." 

"And we believe - and I think there's broad reporting on their involvement in what's happening at the airport or what happened at the airport over the course of the weekend."

Question: "Well, but there are a lot of reports from my news organization, from others as well, that this isn't entirely one-sided, that - and I mean, the separatists - some of the separatists leaders say that they've been - that the Ukrainian authorities have been shooting at civilians." 

"But you don't - you haven’t seen that?"

Psaki: "But that's not where we are at this moment."

Question: "(I)s there any evidence that Russia's hand is still in - is part of any of this fighting that's going on from the separatists' side?

Psaki: "Well, I think there's been evidence all along that there has been a Russian hand in the activities that have been happening on the ground, whether it's the - how equipped the militants have been, what their equipped with, kind of a trend that we've seen from Crimea that has carried forth to parts of eastern Ukraine." 

So we've seen a great deal of evidence on the ground of their engagement."

Question: "And today (Monday) Russian President Putin called for an immediate halt to the Ukraine's military operations…" 

"And he said that he called for Ukraine to talk to the Russian separatist leaders." 

"Would you support that kind of dialogue to try to resolve this? Or I mean, there's a possibility this could just escalate, so how is the US seeing this being resolved?"

Psaki: "Well, as you know, our primary goal here has been de-escalation from the beginning." 

"But I would remind you that there are a range of calls that President Putin and others have been made that have not been backed up by action in terms of taking their own de-escalatory steps." 

"And we certainly feel there are a range of steps that they could take in order to show they’re going to back their words with action. We eagerly await that."

"I would also point you to the fact that President-elect Poroshenko made clear that his number one priority after taking office will be to restore order in eastern Ukraine by increasing dialogue with citizens of that region, traveling to the area soon after his inauguration, increasing transparency of the ongoing constitutional reform process." 

"And so we believe that's a positive step and the right approach to return stability to the area."

Fact: Eastern Ukrainian activists aren't separatists.

Fact: They're federalists.

Fact: They want Ukrainian unity.

Fact: They want local autonomy.

Fact: They want the right to elect their own officials.

Fact: They want fundamental human and civil rights.

Fact: They're not aggressors.

Fact: They're self-defense force freedom fighters.

Fact: They're not attacking civilians.

Fact: They're defending them.

Fact: From willful Ukrainian military attacks.

Fact: They're targeting residential areas.

Fact: Reliable video images prove it.

Fact: So do ID'd bodies in morgues.

Fact: Claiming Kiev forces try to "maintain calm" turns truth on its head.

Fact: Heavy weapons target self-defense forces and civilians.

Fact: They include tanks, artillery, mortars, helicopter gunships, warplanes, and chemical weapons used earlier.

Fact: Blaming victims is longstanding US policy.

Fact: So is turning a blind eye to perpetrator crimes.

Fact: Claiming Russian involvement in what's ongoing doesn't wash.

Fact: Saying Washington's "primary goal here has been de-escalation from the beginning is polar opposite truth.

Fact: In mid-April, CIA head John Brennan visited Kiev. 

Fact: He held secret talks.

Fact: He plotted war strategy.

Fact: He wants Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters eliminated. 

Fact: He wants them slaughtered in cold blood.

Fact: He wants challengers to Washington's imperium crushed. 

Fact: After his visit, coup-appointed president Okeksandr Turchynov announced a northern Donetsk region "anti-terrorist operation."

Fact: To "protect the citizens of Ukraine," he claimed. 

Fact: To be conducted "stage-by-stage." 

Fact: Vice President Joe Biden visited Ukraine after Brennan. 

Fact: He praised his new friends.

Fact: He pledged more US help.

Fact: He supported war without mercy to crush Eastern Ukrainians wanting fundamental rights everyone deserves.

Fact: Poroshenko OK'd it against Eastern freedom fighters.

Fact: He did so straightaway.

Fact: After his electoral victory.

Fact: Before taking office.

Fact: Doing so shows his real agenda.

Fact: He deplores democratic freedoms.

Fact: He supports fascist extremism.

Fact: He's ideologically over-the-top.

Fact: He's polar opposite what Ukrainians deserve.

Fact: What they expected.

Fact: They'll learn soon enough what they got.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian military attacks continued. Donetsk city center was targeted. Residents were told don't "come close to the windows."

Don't "step out onto the balconies or go outside" unless necessary.

A Slavyansk school was shelled. With students inside. According to an unnamed male teacher:

"Around midday, there was a loud explosion in the school, and I fell to the floor taking cover," he said.

He rushed to the corridor, he explained. He assembled all teachers and students. He took them to a safe place. Clouds of dust were visible.

The shell exploded right above the school hall. Where students gather for special events. Part of its roof was blown away. 

Luckily no students were assembled at the time. Many might have been killed or injured.

Rossiya-24 TV reported nine people injured overall. Including a four-year-old boy.

The channel's crew narrowly escaped injury or death by mortar fire. A shell exploded "literally next to (its) car," they said.

Kiev forces blamed Slavyansk freedom fighters. Their commander, Vladislav Seleznyov, said:

"Currently, we are confirming the information on the terrorists’ shelling of the residential quarters and the territory of the school in Slavyansk."

Kiev forces targeted residential buildings, a city college dormitory, power lines and water pipeline.

Right Sector thugs want heavy weapons. They asked Kiev to supply them. 

Putschists violated their Geneva agreed on obligation to disarm regional paramilitary groups. Including the Dnepr battalion, National Guard, Right Sector extremists and likeminded groups.

They're being used. They're waging war without mercy. They're murdering civilians in cold blood. 

They're blaming their crimes on freedom fighters. They want hardline rule enforced. 

They want fascist governance. They want democracy prevented at all costs.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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


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 

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US-Led NATO’s War on Humanity

US-Led NATO's War on Humanity

by Stephen Lendman

US-led NATO threatens humanity. It's an imperial tool. It's a global killing machine. 

It prioritizes war. It deplores peace. Humanity's survival hangs in the balance.

It includes 28 member nations, 22 Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) ones, seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries, and four Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) states.

They comprise nearly one-third of world nations. NATO plans exponential expansion. It wants new members and partners.

It wants them on all continents. It wants them virtually everywhere. It wants a global military established.

It wants unchallenged control. It wants all outliers eliminated. It wants pro-Western vassal states replacing them.

Its strategy prioritizes war on humanity. It's ravaging and destroying one country after another.

Ukraine is in the eye of the storm. On Friday, Putin said it may join NATO. Washington may take full advantage. 

It may deploy nuclear-armed missiles on Russia's borders. It may target its heartland.

Ukraine's coup occurred, said Putin. "(T)hey (won't) talk to us." They obey orders from Washington. 

"The next step will be Ukraine's membership in NATO. They never ask us about that…" 

"(A)nd they do not engage in dialog with us…'No dialog,' they say…" 

"(I)t is none of your business, and it does not concern you.' " 

"Ukraine may become a member of NATO tomorrow," said Putin. Under US control. 

Doing so threatens Russia. Cooperative relations with Moscow ended. Minimal contacts alone continue.

Putin said Western countries elevated Kiev putschists to power. They have no legitimacy whatever.

"There was a coup d'etat backed by American and European partners," he explained. "Then there was chaos, and now we are witnessing a full-scale civil war."

Washington imposed sanctions on Russia to gain economic advantage, Putin said. They're counterproductive. They won't work.

On the one hand, Chinese investors will replace EU companies if they're squeezed out. So will other global businesses.

On the other, Russian economist/Putin advisor Andrey Belousov said Moscow prepared retaliatory measures in response.

At different levels, he explained. It depends on US policy going forward. Moscow will respond in kind. 

In its own way. Its own timing. "(W)e know exactly how to react," said Belousov.

On May 23, Reuters headlined "Exclusive: EU weighs Russia sanctions from caviar to oil and gas," saying:

"EU leaders will hold their first detailed discussion next week of specific steps they can take against Russia if Ukraine's elections are not free and fair, including restrictions ranging from luxury goods imports to an oil and gas ban."

Reuters cited a two-page document. It explains three scenarios - low, medium and high-intensity sanctions.

Low ones target Russian diamonds, precious metals, furs, vodka, caviar, and other luxury goods.

Medium ones aim at fertilizers, chemicals, tires, vessels to Russia, as well as weapons imports and exports.

High-intensity ones target investments, capital markets, other financial operations, as well as importing oil and gas.

At the same time, said Reuters, "there is no (EU) unanimous backing for (this) move." German and other European business interests strongly oppose it. 

They want no restrictions imposed. They want nothing interfering with bottom line interests.

"Unless there is unanimous backing for stricter sanctions, the EU will not be able to move ahead - a hurdle that has been frustrating for the United States, which is keen for Europe to move further in imposing restrictions on Moscow," said Reuters.

On May 24, Itar Tass headlined "Lugansk Republic head says provocations possible during Ukrainian presidential elections."

A false flag attack may be planned. Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) Governor Valery Bolotov said:

"I recommend LPR nationals not go to the polling stations as we have information about provocations being prepared by the Ukrainian government and National Guard." 

"They will be conducted to later accuse the Army of the Southeast of disrupting the elections."

May 25 voting began. It remains ongoing. Kiev's sham electoral process won't change things. 

Putschist approved aspirants alone are competing. Billionaire bandit Petro Poroshenko looks sure to win. 

A previous article explained. He made his money the old-fashioned way. He stole it.

He supported Maidan putschists. He ignored their violence. He helped bankroll them. He wants Ukraine plundered for profit. 

He's up to his old tricks again. He's paying 1,000 hryvnyas per day (about $84) for anti-Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighter volunteers.

He admitted it publicly. Their "life and health will be insured for one million hryvnyas," he said. Ukrainian forces receive 600 hryvnyas per month.

Results are predetermined for Poroshenko to win. Perhaps on two rounds. Ballot choices exclude democracy. Expect worse than ever policies to follow. 

Fascist regimes operate this way. Ukraine is Europe's worst. Putschists threaten regional security and stability.

Voice of Russia (VOR) interviewed Ukrainian Dennis Schedrivy. He participated in Maidan protests. He supported them. No longer.

Kiev-instigated violence continues, he said. He expects more ahead. He called coup-appointed Kiev officials "junta" governance.

"I don't see (May 25) elections as anything," he said. "The whole thing with Maidan revolution is not successful." 

"According to the law they have adopted, even if the small village (alone) votes…elections will be considered successful."

"I am sure that at least part of the sane world will not accept these elections," he added.

"(T)hey are bombing…civilians…(T)his is a farce. (T)hey will try to (legitimize) this whole circus…"

Growing thousands of Ukrainians express similar views. Nothing ahead looks encouraging.

War without mercy rages. Ukrainian forces target civilians. They're killing them in cold blood.

Freedom is on the chopping block. Fascists want it entirely eliminated. They want unchallenged top-down hardline rule replacing it. 

They want it enforced. They want junta power institutionalized. Gangsterism is planned. Democracy is prohibited. 

They want what most Ukrainians oppose. It remains to be seen how they'll react. Civil war rages. National rebellion may follow.

Nothing ahead looks promising. What kind of government usurps power? What kind establishes itself by force?

What kind rules extrajudicially? What kind by intimidation? What kind of legitimacy do ultranationalist, xenophobic, neo-Nazi, anti-Semites have? 

What kind substitutes unrestrained coercion for rule of law principles? What kind prohibits opposing views? 

What kind mandates its message alone getting out? The same kind substituting despotism for democracy!

The battle for Ukraine's soul didn't end with putschists usurping power. It just began. It continues.

Ukraine's future is up for grabs. Ordinary people alone will determine it. They have every right to do so. 

Hopefully they'll take full advantage. They'll have themselves to blame if not.

A Final Comment

On May 24, RT International headlined "Russian journalists being banned entry to Ukraine to cover presidential election."

They're accredited to do so. It doesn't matter. They're refused entry. RT's press service said:

"Without explaining the reason for refusal, the members of (Ukraine's) border service forced the RT crew to buy return tickets at their own expense."

It's not the first time. It won't be the last. Fascist regimes operate this way. 

Expect more of the same ahead. Expect police state ruthlessness enforced. 

RT's Anna Knishenko, Elderra Khaled ad Konstantin Bolshakov arrived at Kiev's Borispol International Airport.

Knishenko explained what followed, saying:

"At the border control, they immediately took our passports. An hour later, we - one by one - were invited to a special room for an interview."

They were denied entry. For falsified reasons. For not properly explaining why they came, they were told.

Echo of Moscow correspondent Ilya Azar was treated the same way. So were Russian TV channel reporters.

Everyone denied entry had press cards. Ukraine's Central Electoral Committee accredited them to cover its election earlier.

It didn't matter. Fabricated reasons denied them. Kiev wants its message alone reported. It wants truth suppressed. 

"A whole range of Russian media outlets, including Channel One, NTV, TVC and Zvezda channels have been denied entry to Ukraine headed by the coup-appointed authorities," said RT.

Kiev putschists wage war on media freedom. Russian journalists are targeted. So are others not putschist-approved.

On May 23, The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) headlined "Russian journalists barred from entering Ukraine," saying:

CPJ "condemns the move…(It) call(ed) on Ukrainian authorities to allow all journalists to carry out their job without harassment."

CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program researcher Muzaffar Suleymanov added:

"If Ukrainian authorities are looking to build a democratic state, they must stop barring the press from covering public events in the country, especially the presidential vote."

"Openness and transparency are vital for democracy." 

"We urge Ukraine to grant entry to all journalists, no matter their nationality or affiliation, or their newsroom's editorial line."

It "equate(s)" legitimate conflict reporting "with terrorism," he added. CPJ denounced what media scoundrels ignore.

They support Sunday's sham process. They equate putschist rule with democracy. 

They turn truth on its head claiming it. Don't expect them to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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


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 

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Kiev’s War on Freedom

Kiev's War on Freedom

by Stephen Lendman

Western-supported coup-appointed putschists have no legitimacy. Waging war on freedom reflects official Kiev policy.

Washington endorses it. Upcoming sham May 25 elections exclude democracy from ballot choices.

They're at the same time as Kiev aggression continues. They're attacking Eastern Ukrainians.

They're murdering them in cold blood. So-called "anti-terrorist operation(s)" reflect state terrorism writ large.

Fascist regimes operate this way. They reemerged in Europe. Coup-appointed Kiev thugs represent its epicenter.

Upcoming elections are rigged. Democracy is pure fantasy. Results are largely pre-determined. 

Washington wants illegitimacy approved. So do rogue EU partners. They endorsed fascism. They deplore freedom.

Illusion substitutes for reality. Hypocrisy for legitimacy. Duplicity for fundamental democratic rights. 

What everyone deserves. What fascist ideologues prohibit. What Ukrainians face going forward.

Kiev escalated aggressive war. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashivich said:

"We state that the Kiev authorities are still not ready and do not want to fulfill the decisions agreed upon in the Geneva Declaration of April 17 and developed into a 'road map,' which was prepared and officially distributed by the Swiss chairmanship in the OSCE."

It repudiated violence. Kiev "intensifie(d) (its) punitive operations against its own people…"

It's waging lawless aggression. It's "bombard(ing)" Eastern Ukrainian "cities and settlements." 

It's attacking civilians with "heavy weapons." It ludicrously claims Sunday's sham elections represent democracy.

For all Ukrainians. Doing it fairly. Openly. Freely. Leaving no one out.

Under the barrel of a gun. During premeditated aggression. Excluding real choice. 

Targeting freedom. Wanting it entirely destroyed.  Wanting hardline/top-down ruthlessness replacing it. 

Wanting what Ukrainians nationwide deplore. What they reject.

May 22 brought good news and bad. RT International's stringer journalist Graham Phillips was freed.

He's lucky to be alive. Things could have turned out otherwise. As long as he's in Ukraine, he's endangered. He's vulnerable.

He was lawlessly abducted. He was held captive for 36 harrowing hours. He had no idea how they'd end.

Thankfully he's free. But not safe. He's OK, he said. He was intensively interrogated.

"All my work in order," he said. "(N)o charges. (N)o deportation." 

(N)o one laid a hand on me in anger. Ukrainian authorities treated me fairly."

At the same time, it was touch and go. Things might have turned out otherwise. 

Throughout his ordeal, RT supported him. So did his colleagues and followers, he said.

"Thank you so much for all your support during this. Some moments were a little bit difficult, but I knew you guys were there supporting me and that meant the world," he said.

He did so with genuine sincerity. His reporting was special. He did so in the line of fire. He endured clear and present dangers. They remain.

He represents the best of responsible journalism. So do other RT correspondents doing the same thing. And Russian colleagues.

War zone reporting is hazardous. It risks life and limb. Possible abduction, detention, and abuse exacerbate things. 

Phillips was taking photos near Mariupol. He did it "dozens of times" before, he said. Without incident.

"I was questioning these soldiers at the checkpoint in Mariupol on what happened on that day, and I've done that a lot of times before," he explained.

"And then they saw that I work for RT, and then things escalated after that. It got more serious this time." 

"They started phoning people and then I was detained. I had my things taken off of me and interrogated quite thoroughly."

"I was with soldiers at this point at a block post and then the SBU came. This is the Ukrainian Secret Services (SBU)."

Two locals working with him were released. Not him. Around 9PM Monday, he was taken away.

It was after spending around nine hours at a military checkpoint. He was transferred to Zaporozhye at "gun point."

He was sent to military barracks. "An SBU man made it quite clear that I was under detention," he said.

Kiev authorities accused him of spying. Working for RT is a "black spot," they said. He was viewed with "particular wariness," he explained.

He understands Russian. He speaks it. Questions asked included: 

"You are working for Russian TV?"

"What is your purpose?

"Are you a spy?"

At the same time, his interrogators were "all right," he said. "I mean they fed me."

"They looked after me, but I was held at gunpoint, and that was quite dramatic," he stressed.

Early Wednesday, interrogation ended. He was taken to Britain's Kiev embassy.

At the same time, its defense ministry press service said he was detained for "filming facilities which are forbidden from being filmed."

Phony charges claim anything. Phillips was lucky. Things could have gotten serious. 

He could have been detained longterm. He could have been tortured. 

He could have faced kangaroo court proceedings. He could have been imprisoned. He could have been killed.

Russian LifeNews journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko remain detained. They're held incommunicado.

False charges claim they transported weapons. Others said they aided and abetted terrorists. They're "members of terrorist groups." 

They're journalists. They're not terrorists. They aided no one. They're not combatants. They were doing their job.

Challenging captors under duress isn't easy. Or refuting their lies.

On May 22, coup-appointed Kiev national security/defense council head Andriy Parubiy said investigating Sidyakin and Saichenkro continues.

It's up to "investigator(s) to decide whether to hand them over to the Russian side."

Putin denounced their detention. "It's absolutely unacceptable, and, of course, the question arises over the legitimacy of all political procedures in Ukraine," he said.

He called accusing them of carrying portable air defense system weapons "nonsense."

Russia's lower house State Duma passed a statement. It demanded Kiev release both journalists straightaway.

Russia's upper house Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matvienko said:

"We will succeed in freeing our two journalists and guarantee the freedom of their activities in Ukraine, including during large upcoming internal political events in Ukraine - the presidential election."

Russia's Foreign Ministry expressed outrage over Kiev denying OSCE representatives permission to visit both journalists. A separate statement said:

"This kind of lawlessness directed against Russian journalists, which has become a regular practice, confirms once again that the Ukrainian side is ignoring basic norms of democracy, in particular, freedom of speech."

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Ukraine's military and security services of "dangerously interfering with press freedom."

It called for immediately releasing Russian journalists. Deputy Europe and Central Asia director Rachel Denber said:

"We're deeply worried about the fate and whereabout of (captive) journalists. Detaining (them) and then failing to provide information on what's happening to them or to respect their due process rights are serious violations that have to end."

"Failure to provide information on the whereabouts and fate of anyone deprived of their liberty by agents of the state, or those acting with its acquiescence, may constitute an enforced disappearance." she added.

Acting extrajudicially reflects police state ruthlessness. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki endorses the worst of its dark side.

She supports Kiev lies about Saichenko and Sidyakin supporting terrorism. She claims legitimate journalists doing their job responsibly aren't what they say they are.

She accepted Kiev Big Lies as facts. She did so at face value. She dodged questions about their veracity.

A next day follow-up statement softened too little to matter. She called on Ukrainian authorities to investigate what happened. 

She claimed no further updates on what's ongoing. She said nothing about refuting irresponsible charges. Effectively she endorsed them.

Separately, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich accused OSCE's monitoring mission of suppressing vital information.

Inconvenient truths are buried, he said. Outright censorship, he claimed.

Facts are twisted to fit coup-appointed Kiev putschists' policies.

"We believe that the mission should work with citizens' direct appeals, especially considering that the tasks of interacting with civil society and monitoring human rights violations are directly sealed in the mission's mandate," Lukashevich said.

Ukrainian crisis conditions remain far from resolved. Ongoing conflict continues. It rages out-of-control.

It violates core rule of law principles. It enjoys full Western support. It bears repeating.

It targets Ukrainian freedom. It wants it destroyed altogether. It wants hardline fascist rule replacing it.

It's up for grabs how things will end. Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters are going all-out for fundamental rights everyone deserves.

Their struggle is ours. They deserve universal support.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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


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 

Washington Risks Global War

Washington Risks Global War

by Stephen Lendman

This writer's edited and contributed to new book discusses what's ongoing in depth. It explains why it matters. It sheds light on what's likely coming.

It's titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: Why the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Twenty-two distinguished analysts contributed content. They include:

Robert Abele

Michel Chossudovsky

Edward Herman

Nolan Higdon

Michael Hudson

Mickey Huff 

Andrew Kolin

John Kozy

Cynthia McKinney

John McMurty

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Michael Parenti

David Peterson

James Petras

Peter Phillips

Jack Rasmus

Paul Craig Roberts

Rick Rozoff

Rodney Shakespeare

Jeffrey Sommers

Matthew Witt - and this writer.

Chapter topics include:

Introduction: Stephen Lendman 

Washington’s Recklessness Endangers the World: Paul Craig Roberts  

Washington Has Set the World on a Path to War: Paul Craig Roberts 

The New Cold War’s Ukraine Gambit: Michael Hudson 

Obama’s Ukrainian Power Grab, Sanctions and the 
Boomerang Effect: James Petras 

Ukraine and Regime Change: Michael Parenti 

Ukraine: Another Step in Capitalism’s Global Dominance
Strategies and Power Inside the Transnational Global Corporate Class and US-NATO Global Empire: Peter Phillips, Mickey Huff and Nolan Higdon 

Orange Revolution 2.0: Stephen Lendman 

Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine: Another War Based on Lies, Pretexts, and Profiteering?: Cynthia McKinney 

The Geo-Politics Behind EuroMaidan: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya  

Crisis in Ukraine: Russia Extends its Control over the 
Black Sea and Strategic Waterways: Michel Chossudovsky  

The Geostrategic Significance of Ukraine in NATO’s Drive to the East: Rick Rozoff 

Who Benefits from the Ukraine Economic Crisis?: Jack Rasmus 

Mother Russia: An Elusive Prize: John Kozy 

Hangover in Ukraine: Treaty of Versailles Spirits Packaged in Bretton Woods Bottles. The Morning After: Jeffrey Sommers 

The Labyrinth of Geography in a Time of Terror: Matthew T. Witt 

Containing Russia: Stephen Lendman 

The Ukraine Crisis and the Propaganda System in Overdrive: 
Edward S. Herman and David Peterson 

The Norms of Justice, International Law, and the ‘Duty to Protect: Robert Abele  

The Odessa Massacre: Stephen Lendman

Ukraine: From Coup to Police State: Andrew Kolin 

The Kiev Putsch: Rebel Workers Take Power in the East: James Petras 

Is Ukraine a Turning Point in History?: Rodney Shakespeare 

Washington Intends Russia’s Demise: Paul Craig Roberts

The Ukraine Crisis: Decoding its Deep Structural Meaning: John McMurtry 

Ukraine is by far the most significant post-WW II geopolitical crisis. Escalating it risks global conflict.

Obama bears full responsibility. Complicit EU partners share it. Putin deserves no blame for their lawlessness.

Washington stops at nothing to advance its imperium. Millions of corpses attest to its barbarity. 

Replacing independent governments with subservient pro-Western ones is longstanding US policy.

Washington-supported Kiev putschists staged the most brazen coup d'etat since Mussolini's 1922 march on Rome. Claiming otherwise doesn't wash. It denies reality.

On February 22, 2014, Ukrainian freedom died. Fascist extremism replaced it. Coup plotters seized power. They did so extrajudicially. They began consolidating rule straightaway.

Obama's new friends are thugs. He elevated a rogue's gallery of ultranationalist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic societal misfits to power. 

They're fascists. They're ruthless. They include extremist neo-Nazi thugs. They openly display swastikas, Iron Crosses, SS insignia, other Nazi symbols and Sieg Heil salutes.

They represent mob rule. They're convenient US stooges. They have no legitimacy whatever.

They're exploiting Ukrainians nationwide. They're attacking ordinary citizens. They doing it in Eastern cities. They're waging war on their own people.

They're murdering them in cold blood. Right Sector neo-Nazis are involved. So are foreign mercenaries. They're hired guns.

They're trained killers. They operate extrajudiciously. They do so with impunity. On direct orders from Washington. Transmitted to Kiev.

Coup-appointed putschists massed troops on Russia's borders. They did so provocatively. The battle for Ukraine didn't end with them usurping power.

Potential civil war looms. Regional conflict could follow. At risk is a major East/West confrontation. Its spreading it globally. Preventing it matters most. 

Hegemons operate this way. Washington is the most reckless one in world history. Major conflicts start this way. 

Today is the most perilous time in world history. Potential nuclear war is possible. Preventing the unthinkable matters most.

Hopefully "Flashpoint in Ukraine" will help. Readers will fully understand what's ongoing. They'll know why it matters. 

They'll know who's to blame. They understand the risk. They'll realize we're all in this together. Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.

On May 3, Ron Paul headlined "What Does The US Government Want in Ukraine?"

Kiev's "military opened fire on its own citizens," he said. "Dozens have been killed in violence." 

Washington blamed victims for Kiev's crimes. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki turned truth on its head.

She "condemn(ed) the outbreak of violence caused by pro-Russian separatists." They're courageous freedom fighters. 

They're Ukraine's best and bravest. They reject Kiev putschists. They want fundamental freedoms everyone deserves. They deserve universal support.

"Why are people protesting in eastern Ukraine," asked Paul? "Because they do not believe the government that came to power after the US-backed uprising in February is legitimate." 

"They do not recognize the authority of an unelected president and prime minister."

"Would (Americans) accept an unelected government in Washington put in place with the backing of the Chinese and Iranians?"

Washington "gave full support" to violent Maidan putschists. Now they back cracking down hard on Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters.

They falsely accused Putin of supporting them. "The real question is why (Washington) is involved in Ukraine in the first place," Paul stressed.

We're "broke. We cannot even fix our own economy. Yet we want to run Ukraine. Does it really matter who Ukrainians elect to represent them?" 

"Is it really a national security matter worth risking a nuclear war with Russia whether Ukraine votes for more regional autonomy and a weaker central government? Isn't that how the United States was originally conceived?"

"Has the arrogance of the US administration, thinking they should run the world, driven us to the brink of another major war in Europe?" 

"Let us hope they will stop this dangerous game and come to their senses. I say let's have no war on Ukraine!"

Lunatics infest Obama's administration. Francis Boyle addressed a possible East/West nuclear war. Washington's Ukraine policy risks it, he said.

US-led NATO "promot(es) the destabilization and the breakup of Ukraine" for control. It wants its sovereignty co-opted. 

It wants it part of NATO. It wants US bases on Russia's borders. It wants its heartland targeted. It wants it weakened. 

It wants it increasingly isolated. It wants it made another pro-Western vassal state. It risks global war to achieve its objectives.

US-instigated Cold War 2.0 ruthlessness is out-of-control. It's madness. It risks open conflict. 

"The Obama administration and NATO are maneuvering humanity into a reverse Cuban Missile Crisis," said Boyle.

It's right on Russia's borders. "Can World War III be far behind,"  asked Boyle? Can cool heads prevail over neocon lunatics influencing US policy? 

Can humanity be saved in time? It bear repeating what previous articles stressed. It's fate hangs in the balance.

Read "Flashpoint in Ukraine." World-class independent contributors made it the definitive work on this topic. 

It's must reading. It explains what everyone needs to know. 

It's more important now than ever. It bears repeating. We're all in this together. 

We either survive or perish. There's no in between. There's no more dangerous time than now. There's no more important time to act.

Ordinary people can make a difference. It's our choice. Survival depends on us.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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


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 

Kiev Waging War on Its Own People

Kiev Waging War on Its Own People

by Stephen Lendman

Imagine Western-supported putschists toppling Ukraine's legitimate government. Imagine usurping power lawlessly. 

Imagine fascism replacing democracy. Imagine it with US complicity and support. 

Imagine waging war on ordinary people. Ones rejecting putschist power. On freedom fighters.

On Ukraine's best and bravest. On people wanting to live free. For fundamental rights everyone deserves.

Imagine being called terrorists for doing so. On May 16, Kiev declared Donetsk and Lugansk regions "terrorism organizations."

On May 11, they held legitimate referendums. They voted overwhelming for local autonomy. They proclaimed themselves sovereign states.

Kiev's coup-appointed deputy prosecutor general Nikolay Golomsha responded, saying:

"The two so-called 'people's republics' in Donetsk and Lugansk regions are terrorist organizations, which have a clear hierarchy, financing, and channels of weapons supplies."

Kiev's coup-appointed justice minister Pavel Petrenko lied. He wrongfully claimed both regions "were created by assaulting people, intimidation, sabotage, terrorist attacks, beatings, and murder of our citizens."

Criminal cases were initiated, he added. They investigating the "formation of the terrorist organizations."

Activists in both regions are defending their democratic rights. They're doing so courageously.

They're victims, not criminals. They're wrongfully blamed for Kiev crimes.

They continue out-of-control. Kiev declared war. It's attacking its own people. It's killing them in cold blood. 

It's doing so with full US support. On May 17, powerful blasts rocked Slavyansk.

Eyewitnesses said local self-defense forces battled Kiev aggression. The battle began in Andreevka village.

Shelling came from Mount Karachun positions. One resident reported blasts feeling like "lightning struck."

Kiev wants hardline rule institutionalized. It wants opposition elements eliminated. It's waging war to crush them. It's doing so lawlessly. 

Russia's Foreign Embassy responded. It expressed outrage. It demanded Kiev aggression stop, saying:

"The situation around Slavyansk in the Donetsk region dramatically worsened in the early hours of May 17." 

"Ukrainian troops supported by aviation once again attempted to storm the city." 

"This time, civilian installations were shelled by heavy artillery." 

"Some people were wounded. A real threat to peaceful civilian lives was created. All this provokes Russia's rightful outrage."

"We are insisting once again on the immediate stoppage of military actions by Kiev in the southeastern part of Ukraine."

"Such punitive actions against their own citizens show the hypocrisy of the Kiev authorities who falsely declare their willingness to comply with the provisions of the Geneva Declaration concluded on April 17, 2014 and with the road map, developed by the OSCE." 

"The question also arises (whether May 25) election(s) truly meet the democratic norms of the electoral process, when…carried out against the backdrop of the continuing military crisis in Ukraine?"

Moscow wants diplomatic conflict resolution. It wants all fighting halted. It sharply criticized Kiev aggression. It escalated. Its forces attempted to storm Slavyansk.

"There's a real threat to the lives of civilians" said Moscow's Foreign Ministry. "All this arouses rightful indignation in Russia."

Fighting rages during so called national unity talks. They're fake. They have no legitimacy whatever.

Freedom fighters are excluded from participating. Coup supporters alone were invited.

"It seems that the self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities simply use this forum to cover up their aggressive actions," said Russia's Foreign Ministry. 

"We hope that our Western partners will have a drastic influence on Kiev in order to start a real, not ostentatious, work on moving towards national reconciliation in the country."

Washington deplores peace and stability. It prioritizes violence, conquest and control. Chances for diplomatic conflict resolution are nil.

Slavyansk's People's Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev said Kiev forces suffered heavy losses. He claimed:

"The total losses of the punitive fascist Kiev junta during May 2 -12, 201 amount to 650 killed and wounded…"

They include "285 Right Sector extremists, who joined the National Guard, 120 Ukrainian mercenaries, 90 employees of the Security Service of Ukraine, and 70 foreign mercenaries."

Self-defense forces lost eight fighters, he added. Three more were wounded.

On May 17, the Donetsk People's Republic prepared a query for joining Russia. Its Prime Minister Alexander Borodai said:

"Our industry is linked with Russia. If we maintain close economic relations with Russia, the Donetsk People's Republic economy will develop."

"The query will be sent to the Russian Foreign Ministry after the republic’s government is formed. The official draft has been prepared." 

"It is timely to talk about the concrete date for sending the query."

Days earlier, Co-Chairman Denis Pushilin said:

"We, the people of Donetsk, based on results of the May 11 referendum and the declaration of sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic, declare that from now on DPR is now a sovereign state." 

"Given the will of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic, and in order to restore historical justice, we ask Russia to consider the issue of our republic’s accession into the Russian Federation."

On Friday, Right Sector thugs tried seizing Zaporizhia's Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). It's Europe's largest. It's fifth largest worldwide.

It's near Enerhodar. It's in Southeastern Ukraine. It's on the Dnieper River. It includes six VVER-1000 pressurized light water nuclear reactors.

It generates over one-fifth of Ukraine's electricity. Local police detained 20 Right Sector thugs. The previous day, others were captured.

Days earlier, they took over a Ukraine recreation center. Police responded. They seized machine guns and other weapons. They found Right Sector symbols.

On May 9, radicalized elements tried seizing Mariupol's administration building. They were dressed in black. They opened fire on activists guarding the City Executive Committee building.

Latvian European Parliament member Tayyanan Zhdanok addressed fellow MPS. She urged them declare the neo-Nazi Right Sector's movement a terrorist organization.

Asset freezes would follow. They'd be isolated. They'd be denied entry into EU countries. 

They'd be wanted. They'd be subject to arrest and imprisonment if captured. According to Zhdanok:

"(I)t is the Ukrainian interim government that is to bear the main responsibility for defeating the Right Sector, as it will have to finally draw a clear line between political organizations and far-right extremists."

"This line is now vague, and a number of state posts are occupied by radicals of fascist views, their reputation besmirched with participation in violent actions against their opponents or law enforcement authorities."

"After the appalling tragedy in Odessa, where Right Sector militants burnt 43 supporters of Ukraine's federalization alive, the need to prohibit the Right Sector became evident." 

"And an ordinary ban on its activities is inadequate here. There is a need to defeat this extremist organization, disarming its militants, arresting activists and court trial."

Thousands of Right Sector thugs operate in Eastern Ukraine. They arrived to commit violence and mayhem. 

They're targeting area freedom fighters. They're murdering civilians in cold blood. 

They're cold-blooded killers. They masquerading as nationalist defenders. They're responsible for massacring 300 Odessans two week earlier.

They're Ukraine's worst, most ruthless and sadistic. They're neo-Nazi thugs. They're polar opposite Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters.

They hold enormous power. They're aligned with likeminded elements. They transformed Ukraine into a fascist police state.

They aim to crush all opposition groups. They want hardline rule institutionalized. They want fundamental freedoms destroyed.

They want what most Ukrainians oppose. Perhaps Western ones will join Eastern counterparts against them. 

Perhaps once they learn they were had. Perhaps in the fullness of time. It remains to be seen what follows. 

The battle for Ukraine's soul continues. It's not over. It just began. It's got miles to go. 

It's for fundamental freedoms. Ones too precious to lose.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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. 


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

Obama’s War on Ukrainian Freedom

Obama's War on Ukrainian Freedom

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is a major global flashpoint. It's the gravest one since WW II. Washington bears full responsibility. Rogue EU partners share it. 

Fascist putschist stooges do their bidding. Puppet government was installed. Aggression, repression and cold-blooded murder reflect official policy. 

Police states operate this way. Accountability is absent. Coverup and crimes against humanity substitute. 

Events so far are the tip of the iceberg. The worst is yet to come. Ukraine's Interior Ministry dispatched additional special forces to Odessa.

In late April, a National Guard Kiev-1 special unit arrived. It's separate from Ukraine's military. 

It's part of a planned 60,000-strong armed branch. Its mandate is enforcing police state power. 

It's supplemented by neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs. They're authorized to brutalize, terrorize and murder. 

Official Kiev policy is anything goes. Rule of law principles don't matter. They're systematically trashed.

Anti-fascist activists are targeted. Odessa's massacre suggests far worse to come. Expect orchestrated events like last Friday to repeat.

Clear video evidence showed what happened. It followed a Chernomorets Odessa/Metalist Kharkov football match.

About 1,500 pro-Kiev supporters, football ultras and Right Sector thugs marched provocatively. They did so for Ukrainian unity. They got local authorization.

They chanted "Glory to Ukraine! Death to enemies! Knife the Moskals (a derogatory Ukrainian term for Russians)!"

Right Sector thugs wore neo-Nazi insignia. They had chains, bats and shields. They planned trouble. 

They confronted hundreds of anti-Kiev activists. They did so with police support. Violence followed. Shots were heard.

Dozens of anti-Kiev activists sought shelter inside Odessa's Trade Unions House. They barricaded themselves inside for safety.

It didn't help. Right Sector thugs set the building ablaze. They blocked ways to escape. Police did nothing to stop them. They brutally beat activists able to get out.

Forty-six perished. Most succumbed to fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning. Others jumped to their death from windows.

Video footage showed dead bodies, thick smoke, and bloodstained floors. Most bodies had St. George ribbons attached to their clothes. They signify anti-Kiev activism. They represent right over wrong.

Friday's massacre reflects fascism's dark side. Obama wholeheartedly endorses it. One fascist regime supports another it installed. Washington orchestrates Kiev policy.

Coverup suppresses hard truths. Facts are twisted to fit policy. Irrefutable evidence is systematically buried.

Right Sector crimes were ignored. Mass slaughter didn't matter. 
Victims were charged with "mass disorders" as well as "threats and violence against law enforcers."

Coup-appointed prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk accused Russia of engineering Friday's violence.

Yatsenyuk was directly involved. He and other putschists directed Right Sector thugs to commit violence. Blaming it on Russia doesn't wash. 

He dismissed Moscow claims of his government's involvement. He lied pointing fingers the wrong way.

A Russian White Book contains documented evidence of unconscionable Kiev human rights violations. It covers them from late November through March.

According to Moscow's press service:

It's "based on reports in the Russian and Western media as well as statements by representatives of the current Kiev authorities and their supporters, eyewitness testimon(ies), observations and on-site interviews collected by Russian nongovernmental organizations."

Evidence indicts illegitimate putschists. It includes suppressing press freedom. Kiev fascists banned Russian TV channels. 

They shut down independent Ukrainian ones. They want their message alone getting out. They harass, beat, and terrorize independent journalists. 

They brutalize anti-fascist activists. They're waging aggression against Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters.

Clashes continue. Government troops attacked a self-defense forces Slavyansk checkpoint. At least 11 injuries followed.

RT International's Paula Slier twittered: 

"#Slavanyansk: Activists report they've damaged armored vehicles from the #Ukrainian forces in one of the #checkpoints protecting the city."

"Am at TV station #Slavyansk -- see two helicopters -- can't get closer as the army is currently held by Kiev troops."

City bells tolled an alert. Residents were warned. Self-defense forces retreated into Slavyansk after clashing with government troops in Andreevka and Semyonoka villages.

Kiev Security Service spokesperson Marina Ostapenko said ongoing operations aim "to establish a security perimeter around the regions engulfed by violence."

At least one civilian death was reported. Hostilities show no signs of ending. It bears repeating. The worst is yet to come.

Republicans plan legislation authorizing $100 million in Ukrainian military aid. They claim it's to resist Russian "aggression."

They want Crimea again part of Ukraine. John McCain (R. AZ) ludicrously told Crimeans: "We will not abandon you."

Crimeans deplore US meddling. So do growing thousands of Ukrainians. America is public enemy number one. Obama represents the worst of its dark side. No pun intended.

Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters are on the right side of history. They oppose US-installed junta illegitimacy. 

They want democratic governance replacing it. They want fundamental human and civil rights respected.

They want fascist putschists held accountable. So does Moscow.

Its Civic Chamber is an advisory body. It analyzes draft legislation. It monitors parliament and other government bodies.

Russian citizens involved in special state services comprise it. They include academics, political scientists, economists, arts and culture figures, journalists, and lawyers, as well as business, religious and medical figures.

On May 5, Itar Tass headlined "Ukraine's authorities to be called to account at European Court for Odessa tragedy," saying:

"The Civic Chamber of Russia's most eminent in public life wants a role alongside experts from European states in an independent commission investigating Ukraine's Odessa fire tragedy, a chamber announcement said on Monday."

An announcement said:

"We will invite leading Russian and foreign lawyers to file a suit at the European Court of Human Rights." 

"Those behind the terrible events in Odessa and other cities of the country must be brought to account."

Guilty parties must be punished. They include officials authorizing aggression and other forms of violence. 

It's not accidental. It's well planned. It's orchestrated in Washington. Accountability is vital.

"To make our activity more efficient, we are considering establishing a special fund of support for Ukrainian citizens and organizing a broad Eurasian public anti-fascist front," the announcement added.

Russia Federation Civic Chamber members plan petitioning the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR). They want Odessa killers brought to justice.

According to Civic Council member Georgy Fyodorov:

"We are gathering information and preparing to file a suit against Ukraine with the Human Rights Council to the ECHR."

He wants blame laid where it belongs. He wants Kiev's putschists held accountable.

He wants their attempts to blame others exposed. "They need to lay the blame at somebody else's door and tell the Europeans that mythical provocateurs from Russia are guilty of everything," he said.

The petition text reads as follows:

"As of now, the rights of a large proportion of citizens in the State of Ukraine are not upheld by anyone inside that state!" 

"People are kidnapped and taken away to an unknown destination without any charges brought against them."

"They are robbed and killed with impunity. Agencies that are responsible for the maintenance of law and order keep inactive." 

"The self-styled government is stirring up and contributes to fomenting interethnic hatred and genocide against part of its own people!"

Russia's Civic Chamber plans addressing the UN and Council of Europe. They want Kiev's sham May 25 election delayed.

It mocks legitimacy. Holding it while Eastern Ukrainian conflict and instability continue compounds it.

According to Civic Chamber First Deputy Secretary Vladislav Grib:

"I and my colleagues are convinced that any elections in conditions when the country is embraced by bloody clashes and official state authorities cannot guarantee security to people are destined to falsification and will actually provoke only further escalation of current conflict." 

"We will ask for support of our address by all foreign partners, including the member states of the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions."

"After horrible crimes of this 'Kiev regime,' any tolerance or carefulness in their assessments is hardly suitable." 

"Obviously this is a junta carrying out its punitive fascist operations…We will address separately to leading Russian media outlets asking to avoid excessive softness and vague wordings in these issues." 

"People in our country as well as in any other country have a right to be aware of the scale of current threats."

Russia's Civic Chamber proposed an initiative. It wants a special open public list of Western politicians supporting aggression and other forms of violence against Eastern Ukrainian civilians.

Waging war on them reflects high crimes too grave to ignore. Accountability is long overdue. 

Delay assures continued violence and slaughter. It threatens all Ukrainians. It risks spilling cross-border. 

It bears repeating what previous articles stressed. WW III potentially looms.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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. 


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

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Kiev Declares War

Kiev Declares War

by Stephen Lendman

In mid-April, CIA director John Brennan went to Kiev. He did so quietly. He held secret talks. He met with Obama's new friends.

He came to plot war strategy. He wants Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters eliminated. He wants them slaughtered in cold blood.

He wants challengers to Washington's imperium crushed. After his visit, coup-appointed president Okeksandr Turchynov announced a northern Donetsk region "anti-terrorist operation."

To "protect the citizens of Ukraine," he claimed. To be conducted "stage-by-stage," he added. So-called "terrorists" are committe freedom fighters. 

They're Ukraine's best and bravest. They're putting their bodies on the line courageously. They're doing it for fundamental rights everyone deserves.

On April 19, Turchynov declared an Easter truce. Straightaway he broke it. He violated agreed on four-party conflict resolution terms. 

On April 23, he ordered special operations in Ukraine's East resumed. They never ended. Turchynov wants more.

"I demand that security services resume and conduct productive anti-terrorist operations aimed at protecting Ukrainians living in the east of the country," he said.

Putschist first deputy prime minister Vitaly Yarema announced a "relaunch(ed) active phase (of Kiev's) "anti-terror operation."

It's not yet underway, he said. "In the near future, appropriate measures will be taken and you will see results," he added.

"We have obtained the support of the United States, that they will not leave us alone with an aggressor," he said. "We hope that in the event of Russian aggression, this help will be more substantive."

Two bodies were discovered in Slavyansk. One allegedly was former parliamentary speaker Vladimir Rybak.

Self-defense force leader Vyacheslav Ponomaryov called discovered bodies a provocation. "Let's wait for the official identification and forensic medical examination results," he said.

Turchynov lied saying "terrorists who effectively took the whole Donetsk region hostage have now gone too far, by starting to torture and murder Ukrainian patriots."

He lied saying "(t)hese crimes are being carried out with the full support and indulgence of the Russian Federation." 

Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev. He addressed putschist legislators. He repeated one Big Lie after another.

"…(W)e want to be your partner, your friend," he said. "We stand with you. (It's) personal, an emotional commitment, as well, by millions of Americans," he claimed.

He vowed Washington will never recognize Russia's "illegal occupation" of Crimea. He called on Moscow to stop supporting "masked gunmen" occupying Eastern Ukrainian government buildings.

He warned of additional sanctions if "provocative behavior" doesn't stop. He lied claiming Russian special forces operate in Eastern Ukraine.

He claimed they promote unrest. They're involved in occupying government buildings, he said.

He ignored Washington's full responsibility for elevating illegitimate putschists to power. He was silent about neo-Nazis running things.

He said nothing about militant fascist extremism. He turned a blind eye to brazen US-manipulated coup d'etat illegitimacy. 

He praised his new friends. He pledged more US help. "You will not walk this road alone," he said. "We will walk it with you."

Deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes lied claiming "(i)nternational order is at stake. Our (Ukraine policy) is targeted at upholding the international order that we believe has been violated," he said.

He stopped short of explaining Washington's full responsibility. Blaming Russia doesn't wash. Sergei Lavrov was clear and unequivocal, saying:

"There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show" in Ukraine. He called Biden's Kiev visit no coincidence. He came at the same time Turchynov announced renewed "anti-terrorist" operations.

"It's quite telling they chose (this) moment," Lavrov added. Biden's visit followed John Brennan's days earlier. 

Russia will retaliate if necessary, said Lavrov. "If we are attacked, we would certainly respond." 

"If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law," he stressed.

Washington's Ukraine agenda relates solely to its imperial interests. It "doesn't show the slightest understanding of what is happening," said Lavrov.

It ignores root crisis causes. It offers irrelevant "ready-made solutions." Moscow will never fail to aid Russian nationals anywhere, Lavrov stressed.

"Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation," he said.

"Ukraine is just one manifestation of the American unwillingness to yield in the geopolitical fight. Americans are not ready to admit that they cannot run the show in each and every part of the globe from Washington alone."

Russia rejects illegitimate Kiev putschists. "In Geneva, we agreed there must be an end to all violence. Next afternoon, Turchynov declared almost a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot at the people."

On Tuesday, he ordered "anti-terrorist" operations resumed. Moscow rejects use of force throughout Eastern Ukraine and anywhere.

Separately, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby announced 600 US troops sent to Poland and Baltic states.

They'll participate in military exercises. They'll continue throughout 2014. Perhaps into 2015. 

Deploying US forces sends a strong message NATO allies, he said. Washington's commitment is firm.

"If there's a message to Moscow, it is the same exact message that we take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe," he added.

"Russia's aggression in Ukraine has renewed our resolve to strengthening NATO's defense plans and capabilities, and to demonstrate our continued commitment to collective defense in reinforcing our NATO allies in Central and Eastern Europe," he claimed.

At the same time, Finland agreed to a NATO Memorandum of Understanding. It involves maintaining Alliance warships and aircraft on its territory.

Defense Secretary Carl Haglund claimed doing so isn't a step toward NATO membership. "(I)n times of crisis, we are better qualified for receiving assistance from other EU countries, the Nordic countries and NATO countries," he said.

On April 22, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said:

"Moral pressure is being exerted and attempts are being made to convince the public that 'the Russians are bad' and they should choose an orientation towards European democracy." 

"They are talking about some kind of military-technological assistance, advisors and a larger number of joint exercises." 

"NATO pursues the sole task of driving a wedge between Russia and its allies, detaching us from one another."

"We can see that the alliance continues to mount its military presence near our borders." 

"They kept telling us about certain camps training soldiers and officers for missions in 'hotbeds' and 'semi-hotbeds.' " 

"Now it is not a secret that these military units of NATO will be permanent. Whatever they may be called – bases, contingents or formations – their meaning does not change. A military potential is emerging by the Russian borders."

"If anyone thinks that Russia will rush into a project as soon as NATO crooks a finger at us, this is a profound mistake to make."

Russia bashing continues relentlessly. Big Lies substitute for straight talk. The Washington Post headlined "In Russia, a Soviet revival grips leadership," saying:

"…(T)he Soviet Union is suddenly alive and well again in the minds of a giddy cohort of the Russian elite. Not the ideology, please - but the gravity, the cold-eyed assertion of power abroad and at home, and the allegiance demanded by the state."

A litany of lies followed. It's standard WaPo practice. A day earlier, its editors headlined "President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine," saying"

Russia "continue(s) to escalate. Its operatives and those they control have not withdrawn from the government buildings they occupy."

"For weeks, Mr. Obama has held back on forceful measures against Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine on the theory that a measured approach matched with diplomacy would yield results." 

"The policy has failed. Now Mr. Obama must act - or doom Ukraine to dismemberment."

Fact: Russian democracy shames America's sham version. It's more fantasy than real.

Fact: Russia has gone all-out to resolve Ukrainian crisis conditions responsibly. Washington's strategy is polar opposite. It bears full responsibility for what's ongoing

Fact: US-supported putschists have no legitimacy whatever. Eastern Ukrainians have every right to reject them. 

They deserve universal support. Don't expect WaPo editors to explain. Big Lies substitute for responsible reporting.

They proliferate recklessly. They risk escalating things out-of-control. They risk possible East/West conflict.

Washington deplores peace. It rejects diplomatic solutions. Ones agreed to aren't worth the paper they're written on.

Promises made are systematically broken. US strategy prioritizes controlling all former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact countries.

Ukraine is the crown jewel. In his 1997 book titled "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives," Zbigniew Brzezinski said:

"Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire." US control is prioritized. It's been so since Washington broke GHW Bush's pledge not to expand NATO East.

No encroachment on Russia's borders would happen provided Moscow let its former republics become independent. Former President Mikhail Gorbachev was lied to.

America's word is never its bond. Former Russian republics Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are NATO members.

Other Eastern European ones include Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.

Washington wants all remaining Eastern European nations co-opted. It wants them part of NATO.

US bases encircle Russian and Chinese borders menacingly. So-called missile defense systems intended for offense target them.

Neither country threatens America. Positioning strategic weapons near their borders shows Washington's real intentions.

The battle for Ukraine's soul continues. Washington is losing control. Michael Hudson believes it has "no means to follow through."

"The effect is to make the United States look like what Mao Tse Tung called it: a Paper Tiger. Having waved a big stick, the United States and its NATO satellites are now leaving Ukraine broke," he said.

"The aim of prying it out of the Russian orbit has left Ukraine heavily in debt to Russia for arrears in payments for gas (now no longer subsidized) and in danger of losing Russia as its major market for industrial exports." 

Business as usual continues. Saber rattling dares Moscow to respond. Cold War 2.0 rages. Recklessness defines US policy. Russia is wrongfully blamed for US lawlessness.

Vilifying its policies persists. Calling them a major danger doesn't wash. Putin prioritizes diplomatic conflict resolutions. Advancing America's imperium prevents it.

One crisis segues to others. Will Ukraine be Washington's undoing? Rodney Shakespeare suggests a possible "turning point in history." US hubris may precipitate its own downfall.

Is America's empire declining? Washington hasn't won a war since WW II. Militants battle for control in Iraq and Libya. US-installed puppet regimes are weak.

Over 12 years of Afghanistan's war resolved nothing. Nor will another decade of fighting if it continues.

Obama's proxy Syria war reflects failure. America makes more enemies than friends. Will Ukraine hasten Washington's decline? Will its grip on world power weaken?

Will current allies lose patience? Will they cut their losses and abandon partnering in America's imperial adventurism? Will Ukraine be the last straw?

Hindsight is the best foresight. The fullness of time alone will tell. Ending Washington's imperial rampaging can't happen a moment too soon. Humanity's survival depends on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

Obama Heads for War in Ukraine

Obama Heads for War in Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Permanent war is official US policy. At issue is unchallenged global dominance. 

All independent governments are targeted. Eliminating them is prioritized. So is replacing them with pro-Western puppet states.

Ukraine is Exhibit A. Obama bears full responsibility for ousting its democratically elected government. Elevating illegitimate fascist putschists to power followed.

Sham May elections will be farcical when held. Here's an example showing why.

Oleg Tsarev is a presidential aspirant. He's a former Yanukovych-led Party of Regions people's deputy. 

On April 7, he was lawlessly expelled. During months of US-manipulated violent Maidan protests, he forthrightly opposed them.

He participated in a Svoboda Slova talk show. After finishing, neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs attacked him. They brutally beat him. He's hospitalized in critical condition.

His candidacy stands. He won't withdraw, he said. Washington ignored what happened. So did other Western countries. Media scoundrels buried the story. Russia bashing takes precedence.

Russian Foreign Ministry human rights commissioner Konstantin Dologov noted a "shy (Western) silence."

Presidential candidate Mikahil Dobkin participated on the same program. En route, Right Sector thugs confronted him. 

They blocked his car. They damaged it. They attacked his aides. Dobkin explained on air.

He and Tsarvev are independent candidates. Ruling putschists intend having one of their own become president. 

Rigged voting assures it. Opposition elements aren't tolerated. Tsarvev's treatment reveals their dark side. Police states operate this way.

Last weekend, CIA director John Brennan held secret talks in Kiev. Russian media said he arrived under an assumed name.

He held "a series of secret meetings." He did so with Obama's new friends. They're fascist thugs. They're societal misfits. 

They represent mob rule. They have no legitimacy whatever. It doesn't matter. They enjoy full US support.

Washington belatedly confirmed Brennan's visit. White House press secretary Jay Carney lied claiming his arrival was "part of a trip to Europe." 

"Senior level visits of intelligence officials are a standard means of fostering mutually beneficial security cooperation," he added.

CIA elements operate disruptively. They're not good will ambassadors. Their history reflects dozens of lawless operations.

Brennan came to plot war strategy. He wants Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters attacked. He wants them eliminated. He wants them slaughtered in cold blood. 

He wants challengers to Washington's imperium crushed. He risks civil war in Ukraine. He risks potential East/West confrontation. Putin is obligated to protect Russian nationals.

Weeks earlier, he issued a statement, saying:

"Due to the emergency situation in Ukraine and a threat being posed to the lives of Russian nationals, our compatriots, and the Russian military contingent stationed in Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in compliance with international agreements, I ask the Federation Council for permit to use Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine until social and political situation in the country stabilizes."

Under Article 102 of Russia's Constitution, upper house Federation Council members are responsible for deciding whether to deploy government troops externally.

On March 1, they voted unanimously to do so. They won't let their nationals go unprotected. Nor will Putin. 

On April 14, Sergei Lavrov was clear and unequivocal saying:

"If the authorities in Kiev use force, our entire cooperation on the Ukrainian issue will be undermined. We have let this known to our Western partners."

"Here is what is in line with Russian interests - an integral, united, brotherly Ukraine friendly to us, in which citizens live calmly," he added.

"This can be achieved solely by carrying out a deep constitutional reform, in which all political forces without an exception and all Ukrainian regions should participate on an equal basis."

"We support the stance of the southeast…Western hypocrisy over Ukraine is blown out of proportion."

Kiev's "decision to apply military force is an extremely dangerous development." 

"Those, who encourage such actions in Kiev should be held responsible to the full extent."

He means Washington and rogue Western partners without naming them.

Ukraine is Russia's red line. Putin stressed it earlier. He forthrightly supports right over wrong. He's viciously bashed for doing so.

Russia's permanent NATO representative Alexander Grushko said Moscow will act responsibly to protects its interests.

Russia "exited the Cold War and has no intention to return there," he said. "At the same time, we will take into account in our military planning any possible changes in NATO forces and configurations and, if necessary, will take necessary measures in the interests of ensuring our security."

US-led NATO countries alone threaten world peace. Challenging Russia recklessly is official policy. Escalating conflict in Ukraine risks letting things spin out-of-control.

Obama risks doing it. He appears headed for war. Institutionalized recklessness threatens everyone. Confronting him resolutely matters. 

Stopping him matters most. Putin most of all needs to do so. If not him, who? Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.

On April 15, illegitimate putschist president Aleksander Turchynov announced an "anti-terrorism operation" launched in northern Donetsk region.

Overnight Monday it began, he said. He lied claiming it's "to protect the citizens of Ukraine." It's being conducted "stage-by-stage," he said.

A video clip showed Rodinskoye residents stopping a tank en route to engage peaceful protesters.

Putschist National Security and Defense Council head Andrey Parubiy said first battalion National Guard forces "comprised of volunteers from Maidan self-defense troops" were deployed to southeast Ukraine.

Earlier Turchynov proposed having so-called UN peacekeepers involved. Ones he has in mind are regime-supporting paramilitary thugs. The kind Washington endorses.

Lavrov categorically condemned using them. He called doing so "totally unacceptable." Security Council authorization is needed to send them. Russia's veto threat assures blocking deploying them.

Brennan plotted with Turchynov and other regime thugs to wage war. Apparently it started. Neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs are involved. Widespread bloodshed is likely.

On Monday, Putin urged Obama to prevent it. Doing so fell on deaf ears. A Kremlin statement following their conversation said:

"In response to the president of the United States' expressed concern abo