Moscow: US will feel ‘tangible losses’ from ‘destructive, myopic’ sanctions

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The new round of American economic sanctions imposed against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis will only further worsen relations between Washington and Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

EU and US impose new round of sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

“Washington will gain nothing from such decisions except for further complication of Russian-American relations and the creation of an unfavorable atmosphere in international affairs, where the cooperation between our countries often plays a key role,” the statement by the ministry reads.

“We have repeatedly spoken about the illegitimacy and groundlessness of the US sanctions against Russia,” it said, commenting on a new package of sanctions announced by Washington on Tuesday.

In addition to steps taken earlier, the US has now added four new names to the list of Russia-affiliated entities sanctioned by Washington, including the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank OAO, as well as the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about new sanctions imposed on Russia as he departs the White House in Washington July 29, 2014 (Reuters / Joshua Roberts)U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about new sanctions imposed on Russia as he departs the White House in Washington July 29, 2014 (Reuters / Joshua Roberts)

Also, the US will be “blocking the exports of specific goods and technologies to the Russian energy sector”, “expanding sanctions to more banks” and “suspending credit that encourages exports to Russia,” President Barack Obama said on Tuesday.

European Union agrees on Russian sectoral sanctions – top EU officials

The move came just hours after the EU announced its own economic measures targeting the Russian economy. Both the US and the EU accuse Moscow of supporting anti-Kiev militias in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow, in response, said that the US is only pretending to be consistent in its current behavior. In fact, “it is only trying to escape responsibility for the tragic development of the events in Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

“It is not Russia but the Kiev regime and its foreign patrons that can be blamed for the increasing number of casualties among civilians in eastern [Ukrainian] regions,” the ministry said in a statement.

The White House – in its “pretentious, prosecutor-like manner” – continues to put forward groundless charges against Russia, the ministry said. At the same time, the US is covering up “the bloody operation by the Kiev military who, in violation of international laws, have launched missile strikes against peaceful cities.”

In Moscow’s view, “the only goal” that the US is pursuing by imposing sanctions is to “settle accounts” with Russia for its policies that are “independent and unfavorable for Washington.”

“The losses that Washington will sustain from such a destructive and myopic policy will be very tangible,” the Foreign Ministry added.

VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank and one of the institutions targeted by US sanctions, has called them “politically motivated, unfair, legally dubious and economic damaging for all parties.”

The bank said in a statement that the “move appears particularly misguided, given that VTB strictly adheres to all applicable international laws and regulations, including those set out by the US authorities, which they are well aware of.”

It assured the clients that despite the US’s “discriminatory decision” it will continue to meet all of its obligations, adding that the move will not affect the bank’s “operational performance and creditworthiness.”

Another leading Russian bank targeted in the sanctions, Bank of Moscow, also said that its customers would not be harmed by them as the bank is focused on the internal Russian market.

The United Shipbuilding Corporation, in response to the sanctions, said it is considering switching from US dollars to other currencies in its payments with foreign customers, the corporation’s head Aleksey Rakhmanov told Kommersant FM radio station. He added that the sanctions may cause more harm to the company’s civilian customers rather than the military sector.

U.S. ‘NEWS’ MEDIA PROPAGANDIZE FOR WAR AGAINST RUSSIA

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by ERIC ZUESSE | INFOWARS.COM | JULY 28, 2014

Typical is TIME Magazine, which headlined on 24 July 2014, “In Russia, Crime Without Punishment.”

The sub-head, from Simon Shuster, “reporting” for the Russia-hating regime of Barack Obama, in the Russia-hating Ukrainian capital Kiev, was the even-more-slanted, propagandistic: “Vladimir Putin backs the rebels suspected of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Why each new crisis makes him stronger.” Then, to stir the fear in its gulls even more, TIME’s propaganda (though they call this sort of thing “news reporting”) opened: “The scene was almost too horrible to take in, and yet in a world of bristling threats no scene has been more revealing: under the baking July sun of eastern Ukraine, hundreds of bodies lay rotting as pro-Russian militiamen, some of them apparently drunk, brandished their weapons to keep European observers away.” The “Crime Without Punishment” was here alleged to have been such men’s shooting down of the Malaysian jet.

No one yet actually knew whether that passenger plane was shot down by any “pro-Russian militiamen,” or perhaps by the Ukrainian regime who were trying to exterminate as many residents in the “pro-Russian” areas as possible and were seeking support from other countries in their effort to eliminate the people in Ukraine’s regions where the new Obama-installed regime was unpopular, or perhaps even by Russian soldiers across the border inside Russia who were trying to help to protect those Russian-speaking Ukrainians from Kiev’s bombers, or what. But any “news” report that opens with such a loaded phrase as “suspected of shooting down,” without simultaneously saying who is alleged to have “suspected” those individuals, and why, and what the evidence against and for them is, is sheer rabble-rousing propaganda, not actual news-reporting at all, and it’s taking cheap “patriotic” shots, to bolster the allegations and agenda of one’s own government, even if that government might happen to be despised by many of the people who voted for it (people such as the present writer is), who might think that our government has shown too often that it lies through its teeth, like the U.S. media and government routinely do — and like “our” government did in 2003 about the “need” to “eliminate Saddam’s WMD.” How much credibility do the U.S. “news” media, and government, actually have, after that sordid, costly, and bloody waste, in and of Iraq? Perhaps among millions of ignorant people, our regime’s leaders and media still are believed, but not among anyone who followed and analyzed the “news reports” closely during the months leading up to our shameful, scandalous, invasion of Iraq. It was one lie, and distortion, and stenographic “news report” from White House sources, after another – all really just lying propaganda, all designed to win enough suckers so that George W. Bush could claim that “everybody knows he’s hiding something.” And, as the Democratic Party’s “Media Matters” documented as late as 25 October 2010, headlining, “Déjà vu: Right-wing media absurdly claim ‘Bush was right’ about Iraq’s WMDs,” the lies were still being circulated by Republican Party mouthpieces such as Fox “News,” even years later, constantly trying to rewrite history, constantly lying about it. But the Democratic Party’s propagandists are only slightly less untrustworthy themselves, and you won’t find out about that by reading “Media Matters,” which lies only for “Democrats,” even for fake ones, such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — pro-Wall-Street “Democrats,” who protect banksters (at the public’s expense) as much (and as effectively) as self-declared Republican politicians do.

This two-faced, two-conservative-party, system, is mere mockery of a “free press” in a “democracy.” Americans should be outraged, no longer accept it, but just reject the conning of America by the aristocracy’s two political parties, and by the “news” media that the aristocracy control. The independent national-award-winning investigative reporter Robert Parry took the aristocracy’s “news” media to task on 20 July 2014 by headlining “What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?” and he reported that what they saw and showed at the NSA was Ukrainian Government troops operating the missile-launcher that almost certainly brought down the Malaysian plane, and that this fact was being hidden from the U.S. public by the government, the Washington Post, and the aristocracy’s other propaganda-operations called “news organizations.” Parry closed by noting that, “this sort of recklessness is careening the world toward a very dangerous moment, conceivably its last.” But it wasn’t “recklessness”: it was highly professional propaganda, entailing virtually all of the U.S. “press.”

As I documented on 18 July 2014, “Obama Definitely Caused the Malaysian Airliner to Be Downed.” Read that, and then read the TIME “report,” and make your own judgment (it won’t be either mine, or TIME’s, but yours) as to whether this country has the free and honest press that one would expect in an authentic democracy. I contend that we do not (far from it), and that this country’s citizens should no longer accept the propaganda-factory that we do have. We should boycott it, and tell its advertisers that we don’t trust them or their commercials, because America’s democracy is gone: the whole system now is just rigged against the public – it’s rigged to lie.

For example, how did it happen that “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $121 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance.” And, on July 18th, “Senate Approves Transfer Of Additional $351 Million To Israel,” at the very time when our government was pretending to be an honest broker in Israel-Palestine negotiations, and hundreds of Palestinian civilians were being bombed to death with U.S. bombs. Is this democracy? Or is it lobbying, and cash-purchase of “our” politicians? “There has been virtually no debate about such huge payments to another nation’s defense budget when cities and schools continue to cut back on programs.” You can read about “America’s Nazi Allies in Israel and Ukraine,” but not in places such as The New York Times, or the Times of London. Nor (at least till now) even in places such as alternet, commondreams, and truthout. The propaganda-net is broad and deep, as it has to be in a fake-“democracy.” A fuller description of the background of these events is given in the lengthy article “Who Profits from Ukraine’s War.”

This news report is distributed, free of copyright or any charge, to all U.S. “news” media. We’ll see which ones are honest enough to publish it. (And past experience suggests they’ll be only few and small.)

Barack Obama has already checked out of his job

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The degree to which Barack Obama is now phoning it in – sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term, amid golf rounds and dinner parties – is astonishing

By Matt K Lewis12:04PM BST 26 Jul 2014

President Obama has emotionally checked out of his job a couple of years early, it seems. How can one tell?
Candidates for president who brazenly assume they are the inevitable victor are sometimes accused of “measuring the drapes” for the White House.
Obama, conversely, seems to be prematurely packing his bags in hopes for an early departure.

Top priority? Barack Obama greets people in Delaware (AFP/Getty)
Just last week, for example, the Los Angeles Times reported that “The First Family is believed to be in escrow on a contemporary home in a gated community where entertainers Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby once maintained estates”.
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Once again, tough talk followed by soft action against Putin 23 Jul 2014
George Santayana observed that “Americans don’t solve problems, they leave them behind”. Perhaps the president is taking this to heart.
For rumours to catch fire, an element of truth must typically be involved.
The fact that the press would find relevance in speculating on Obama’s post-White House residence – and identify California as the kind of scene the future ex-president would want to hang out in when he leaves office – is perhaps telling.
And, indeed, this comes on the heels of multiple reports from outlets such as The New York Times and Politico, detailing how Obama has increasingly been spending his time at trendy restaurants and fancy, late-night dinner parties with celebrities and various intellectuals.
Rubbing elbows with the rich and elite is fine enough. Unfortunately, the work suffers. The degree to which he is now phoning it in – sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term – is astonishing.
And based on his recent handling of situations much more serious than a possible post-presidential move to sunny California, it seems as if “No Drama Obama” is no longer even worried about keeping up appearances; he doesn’t care enough to fake it.
Consider this: In recent days, a) Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, apparently by Russian separatists in Ukraine, b) In the Gaza strip, the numbers killed continued to mount as Israelis and Palestinians exchange rocket fire, c) a huge influx of children fleeing Central American poverty and gang warfare swamped America’s southern border, creating a humanitarian crisis. And, oh yeah, d) Christians living in Mosul were given the choice to either convert to Islam or flee the area they have inhabited for nearly two thousand years.
You know what else has happened during this time? a) Obama played many rounds of golf, b) he attended numerous fund-raisers, c) he dined on barbecue in Texas and burgers in Delaware, and d) he almost appeared on the comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night television show in Hollywood.
I say “almost” because the White House finally relented. “We ultimately elected not to have the president do that interview over the course of this trip,” the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, conceded. “And that is at least in part related to the challenges of doing a comedy show in the midst of some of these other more serious matters that the president’s dealing with in the international scene.”
The irony is that Obama won election in 2008, partly based on his ability to demonstrate leadership (at least, rhetorically).
And, despite a less-than-perfect first term, the public believed enough in his “hope and change” mantra to return him to office – a move reminiscent of Samuel Johnson’s observation about second marriages being “a triumph of hope over experience”.
But today, one wonders if Obama even has the energy left to summon some of the old magic that got him elected. A souffle, as they say, doesn’t rise twice.
While we tend to think of them as polar opposites, Obama’s predecessor had been similarly excoriated for similarly botching a few big moments where he should have been on the job. For President George W Bush, the images of Hurricane Katrina continue to haunt his legacy. He later regretted not going to there immediately after the hurricane hit.
“I should have touched down in Baton Rouge, met with the governor, and walked out and said, ‘I hear you. We understand. And we’re going to help the state and help the local governments with as much resources as needed’,” he confessed in 2010.
Woody Allen famously said, 80 per cent of life is just showing up. He wasn’t wrong. But, in lieu of showing up, there is an even easier way to avoid looking quite so out of touch. If Obama were worried about bad optics – about appearing out of touch – he might play a bit less golf (another lesson he could have learned from his predecessor).
During one unfortunate event caught on tape, and featured in the Fahrenheit 9/11 film trailer, the then President Bush was unfortunately filmed saying: “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you.” Then, holding up a golf club, he added: “Now, watch this drive.”
This was a brutal blow. Fair or not, playing golf has a way of making one look simultaneously elitist and aloof. Obama tends to dismiss such cautionary tales.
For example, the suggestion that while in Texas he should have gone to the border and addressed the growing humanitarian crisis (instead of attending fund-raisers) was dismissed as the suggestion he do a theatrical “photo-op”.
This is at best unromantic, and, at worst, cynical. Words matter.
Showing up matters. Was it a “photo-op” when Ronald Reagan spoke in front of the Brandenburg Gate and declared: “Tear down this wall!”?
I suppose one could have made that argument.
Obama’s not dumb, and he’s clearly capable of marshalling an effective propaganda campaign when he wants to. So what explains this series of bad optics, which might be described by PR professionals as political malpractice?
The only thing that makes sense is that he is exhausted and, perhaps, has checked out of the job early.
If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, then Obama is dining out, golfing, and raising money while the world collapses.
Matt K Lewis is a senior contributor at The Daily Caller website in Washington, DC

COMPANY IN WHICH JOE BIDEN’S SON IS DIRECTOR PREPARES TO DRILL SHALE GAS IN EAST UKRAINE

Ukraine (or rather its puppetmasters) has decided to let no crisis (staged or otherwise) or rather civil war, go to waste..

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by ZERO HEDGE | JULY 26, 2014

Recall what we said earlier today: the proxy Ukraine war just like that in Syria preceding it, “is all about energy.”

Recall also the following chart showing Ukraine’s shale gas deposits, keeping in mind that the Dnieper-Donets basin which lies in the hotly contested eastern part of the nation and where as everyone knows by now a bloody civil war is raging, is the major oil and gas producing region of Ukraine accounting for approximately 90 per cent of Ukrainian production and according to EIA may have 42 tcf of shale gas resources technically recoverable from 197 tcf of risked shale gas in place.

Dnieper Donetsk shale basin_0

Finally, recall our story from May that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, just joined the board of the largest Ukraine gas producer Burisma Holdings. From the press release:

The youngest son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, has been appointed head of legal affairs at Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings.
Hunter Biden appointed head of legal affairs at Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings. / Burisma.com
R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

R. Hunter Biden is also a well-known public figure. He is chairman of the Board of the World Food Programme U.S.A., together with the world’s largest humanitarian organization, the United Nations World Food Programme. In this capacity he offers assistance to the poor in developing countries, fighting hunger and poverty, and helping to provide food and education to 300 million malnourished children around the world.

Company Background:

Burisma Holdings is a privately owned oil and gas company with assets in Ukraine and operating in the energy market since 2002. To date, the company holds a portfolio with permits to develop fields in the Dnieper-Donets, the Carpathian and the Azov-Kuban basins. In 2013, the daily gas production grew steadily and at year-end amounted to 11.6 thousand BOE (barrels of oil equivalent – incl. gas, condensate and crude oil), or 1.8 million m3 of natural gas. The company sells these volumes in the domestic market through traders, as well as directly to final consumers.
Now put it all together and what happens next should be rather clear.

* * *

Still confused? It’s very simple, really.

In a nutshell Ukraine (or rather its puppetmasters) has decided to let no crisis (staged or otherwise) or rather civil war, go to waste, and while the fighting rages all around, Ukrainian troopers are helping to install shale gas production equipment near the east Ukrainian town of Slavyansk, which was bombed and shelled for the three preceding months, according to local residents cited by Itar Tass. The reason for the scramble? Under peacetime, the process was expected to take many years, during which Europe would be under the energy dictatorship of Putin. But throw in some civil war and few will notice let alone care that a process which was expected to take nearly a decade if not longer while dealing with broad popular objections to fracking, may instead be completed in months!

“Civilians protected by Ukrainian army are getting ready to install drilling rigs. More equipment is being brought in,” they said, adding that the military are encircling the future extraction area.

The people of Slavyansk, which is located in the heart of the Yzovka shale gas field, staged numerous protest actions in the past against its development. They even wanted to call in a referendum on that subject. Environmentalists are particularly concerned with the consequences of hydrofracing, a method used for shale gas extraction, because it implies the use of extremely toxic chemical agents which can poison not only subsoil waters but also the atmosphere. Experts claim that not a single country in the world has invented a method of utilization of harmful toxic agents in the process of development of shale gas deposits.

Countries like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France have given up plans to develop shale gas deposits in their territories.
Not only them but also all-important Germany, which two weeks ago announced it would halt shale-gas drilling for the next seven years over groundwater pollution concerns.

Which clearly makes Ukraine, potentially the last place with massive shale gas deposits and no drilling ban, quite valuable to those who want to develop a major source of shale gas, one which reduces Europe’s reliance on Russian gas even more, yet one whose future depends on one simple question: who controls East Ukraine?

Because what better way to accelerate “next steps” than to start drilling for gas in the middle of the Donetsk republic as a civil war is waging in all directions, and where public mood has shifted decidedly against the local “separatists” in the aftermath of the MH-17 tragedy.

The punchline: who will develop the gas field in conjunction with Shell (jointly owned by the Netherlands and the UK: the two countries that loathe Putin the most in the aftermath of the MH-17 disaster) which in May 2012 announced a tender for the right to develop the Yuzovka shale gas deposit?

Burisma, Ukraine’s oil and gas production holdings, also has the right to develop the shale gas fields in the Dnieper-Donetsk basin of Eastern Ukraine. The same Burisma where R. Hunter Biden, Joseph’s son, was appointed a director two months ago.

White House says Russia ‘culpable’ of MH17 downing, cites ‘social media reports’

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Washington has claimed that Moscow is ‘culpable’ in the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine, as it was Russian authorities that gave the rebels heavy weapons and training. However, the claim was only backed up by reports in social media.

“We’ve seen that there were heavy weapons moved from Russia to Ukraine, that they have moved into the hands of separatist leaders,”said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. “And according to social media reports, those weapons include the SA-11 [Buk missile] system.”

Once again citing “some social media reports,” Earnest added that Russia trained the self-defense forces operating in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

“We do know that it was an SA-11 [Buk missile] system that was in the hands of separatists that brought down the Malaysian airliner last week. We know that Russia had been involved in training separatists to use that system.”

He added that the White House also knows that the Malaysia Airlines jet was brought down by a missile that was fired from the ground in an area “that was controlled by separatists and in an area where the Ukrainians themselves were not actually operating anti-aircraft weapons at that time.”

“So that is why we have concluded that Vladimir Putin and the Russians are culpable to this tragedy… They have been responsible for supplying the terrorists with these — or the separatists with these weapons.”

Earnest said he could not provide the latest intelligence materials, nor speak for the US intelligence service. However, he claimed that the US authorities have proof that Russia fired “heavy weapons” at Kiev troops.

“According to some social media reports but also to some intelligence assessments that have been released by the intelligence community, reports that there has been firing of Russian heavy weapons from the Russian side of the border at Ukrainian military personnel,” the state department spokesperson said.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)

Earnest is not the only one who is pointing the finger of blame for the Malaysia airline crash at Russia. Hillary Clinton, a former United States’ secretary of state, also claimed that it was Putin and the Russians who downed the Malaysian plane in eastern Ukraine.

“I think, if there were any doubt it should be gone by now, that Vladimir Putin, certainly indirectly – through his support of the insurgents in eastern Ukraine and the supply of advanced weapons and, frankly, the presence of Russian special forces and intelligence agents – bears responsibility for what happened,” she said in an interview with CNN.

Moscow refutes Washington’s ‘innuendos,’ says US shares blame for E. Ukraine crisis

Russia: US persists with slander campaign
Moscow, in its turn, criticized the recent comments from the White House, saying that the US has no proof of Russia’s involvement in the Malaysian airplane crash, except doubtful information from social networks.

Washington “doesn’t provide any proof or even the links to the facts which could be viewed and cited. The White House is mentioning certain “intelligence data” which couldn’t be shown and what is more ridiculous – “information from social media.”

According to the ministry, Washington has evidence drawn from “anti-Russian speculations” taken from the internet .

“It is regrettably that at the same time the US continue pushing Kiev to suppress the complaints of the Russian-speaking population. There is only one conclusion: the Obama administration is fully responsible for Ukraine’s conflict and its consequences.”

Tensions between Moscow and Washington spiraled last week, after the Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 298 people crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17. The West has accused self-defense forces of shooting down the jet. The US believes the militias are supported by Russia.

Moscow has denied the accusations, saying it spotted a Kiev military jet near the Malaysian Boeing just before the tragedy occurred.

OBAMA’S UKRAINIAN PLOY COLLAPSES; UKRAINE NOW SEEKS DIRECT U.S. BAILOUT

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by ERIC ZUESSE | INFOWARS.COM | JULY 25, 2014

The Ukrainian leadership has resigned, because of their unwillingness to impose the IMF’s terms, which would impoverish the population within months. That impoverishment would be extracted from the Ukrainian public in order to repay the IMF’s loans, which had been skimmed off by Ukraine’s oligarch billionaires into secret bank accounts in Switzerland and other tax-havens.

Two of the four parties in Ukraine’s ruling coalition have bolted, refusing those IMF terms on loan-repayment; and, so, on July 24th, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had been appointed by Obama’s agent Victoria Nuland, tendered his resignation, and he announced: “The fact is that today you failed to vote for the laws, and I have nothing (with which) to pay wages of policemen, doctors, teachers; nothing to buy a rifle with, nothing to fuel an armored personnel carrier with. Today you failed to take a decision to fill the gas storages to allow us to live through the winter, to at last free ourselves from dependence on Russian gas.”

As the great journalist Michel Chossudovsky, reported on July 24th, Ukraine’s figurehead President, Petro “Poroshenko believes that when sanctions [against Russia] are not working, there are grounds for appeal to the United States Congress to grant Ukraine the special status of a major ally outside NATO (like Israel, Australia, and the Philippines) to enable it to solve its security problems. (Ukrainian News, July 24, 2014, emphasis added) The granting of the ‘status of ally outside NATO’ would set the stage for the possible deployment of US and NATO forces inside Ukraine in the context of joint military operations with the Ukraine Armed Forces and National Guard.”

Consequently, there is now being promoted in Kiev “a bill foreseeing the expansion of U.S. military and technical aid.”

In other words: The government that Obama installed in February is now seeking direct U.S. support in order to continue its ethnic cleansing campaign, which is aimed at getting rid of the people who had elected the man, President Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama’s February coup in Kiev had overthrown. The people that Obama then placed into control there are now expecting direct U.S. assistance, to complete that ethnic-cleansing campaign, which is being carried out in the ethnic-Russian portions of Ukraine, so as to eliminate the Ukrainians who would be opposing the placement into Ukraine of nuclear missiles within a mere ten-minute flight-time to annihilating Moscow.

Obama’s plan, to thus coerce Russian capitulation, seems, in other words, to be even less likely to succeed than it previously was. The proposed direct U.S. aid to Ukraine’s nazis is like a proverbial “hail Mary pass” to a U.S. President who is, himself, barely more popular here, than his stooges in Kiev are among Ukrainians. It’s an act of sheer desperation.

The continued blaming of Vladimir Putin for the consequences of Obama’s racist (anti-Russian) fascism, and for his craving a U.S. monopoly on global power, will become so untenable, that even U.S. propaganda-media — that’s virtually all of the U.S.’s euphemistically called “news” media (like those that warned hysterically about our need to eliminate “Saddam’s WMD”) — will need to start singing a different song rather soon, if only they can find a tune their gulls will enjoy hearing it sung to (and Americans seem to like almost any “patriotic” tune).

And if Democrats don’t soon demand impeachment of President Obama, then his stain upon their Party will be so bad they’ll certainly go down to defeat in November, and Obama’s final two years in office will then be spent by his signing into law legislation passed by two Republican Houses of Congress, both the Republican House and then too by a Republican Senate, very conservative legislation indeed. The available time for Democrats to renounce the fake “Democrat” Obama is short, unless they want to go down along with him, which would effectively signal the end of the Democratic Party, because no party can survive a debacle like that, one brought on entirely by itself. For Democrats not to impeach Obama would, in other words, be political suicide. But, in that case, the Democratic Party would deserve to end: it would clearly have no principles at all, no authentic reason for being.

There is no way in which it’s better for the U.S. to be ruled by two conservative parties than for it to be ruled by one conservative party. Dictatorship, by any other name, is still dictatorship, even if it’s a “multi-party dictatorship.” The people in Kiev are already learning this sort of thing, except that their choice is between four parties, two of which are fascist, and the other two of which are outright nazi, or racist-fascist. If America’s Democrats don’t learn, and apply, this understanding, and soon, that Party is over, and should be, because nothing is left of it, except “liberal” money and money-grubbers, no real progressives at all, just a bad imitation of the Republican Party: two Parties for America’s aristocracy.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

WASHINGTON IS ESCALATING THE ORCHESTRATED UKRAINIAN “CRISIS” TO WAR

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Washington is escalating the crisis and shepherding it toward war

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS | INFOWARS.COM | JULY 25, 2014

Despite the conclusion by US intelligence that there is no evidence of Russian involvement in the destruction of the Malaysian airliner and all lives onboard, Washington is escalating the crisis and shepherding it toward war.

Twenty-two US senators have introduced into the 113th Congress, Second Session, a bill, S.2277, “To prevent further Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia, and for other purposes.” https://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/s2277/BILLS-113s2277is.pdf The bill is before the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Note that prior to any evidence of any Russian aggression, there are already 22 senators lined up in behalf of preventing further Russian aggression.

Accompanying this preparatory propaganda move to create a framework for war, hot or cold with Russia, NATO commander General Philip Breedlove announced his plan for a deployment of massive military means in Eastern Europe that would permit lightening responses against Russia in order to protect Europe from Russian aggression.

There we have it again: Russian Aggression. Repeat it enough and it becomes real.

The existence of “Russian aggression” is assumed, not demonstrated. Neither Breedlove nor the senators make any reference to Russian war plans for an attack on Europe or any other countries. There are no references to Russian position papers and documents setting forth a Russian expansionist ideology or a belief declared by Moscow that Russians are “exceptional, indispensable people” with the right to exercise hegemony over the world. No evidence is presented that Russia has infiltrated the communication systems of the entire world for spy purposes. There is no evidence that Putin has Obama’s or Obama’s daughters’ private cell phone conversations or that Russia downloads US corporate secrets for the benefit of Russian businesses.

Nevertheless, the NATO commander and US senators see an urgent need to create blitzkrieg capability for NATO on Russia’s borders.

Senate bill 2277 consists of three titles: “Reinvigorating the Nato Alliance,” “Deterring Further Russian Aggression in Europe,” and “Hardening Ukraine and other European and Eurasian States Against Russian Aggression.” Who do you think wrote this bill? Hint: it wasn’t the senators or their staffs.

Title I deals with strengthening US force posture in Europe and Eurasia and strengthening the NATO alliance, with accelerating the construction of ABM (anti-ballistic missile) bases on Russia’s borders so as to degrade the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent, and to provide more money for Poland and the Baltic states and strengthen US-German cooperation on global security issues, that is, to make certain that the German military is incorporated as part of the US empire military force.

Title II is about confronting “Russian aggression in Europe” with sanctions and with financial and diplomatic “support for Russian democracy and civil society organizations,” which means to pump billions of dollars into NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that can be used to destabilize Russia in the way that Washington used the NGOs it funded in Ukraine to overthrow the elected government. For 20 years Russian government negligence permitted Washington to organize fifth columns inside Russia that pose as human rights organizations, etc.

Title III deals with military and intelligence assistance for Ukraine, putting Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova on a NATO track, expediting US natural gas exports in order to erase European and Eurasian energy dependence on Russia, preventing recognition of Crimea as again a part of Russia, expanding broadcasting (propaganda) into Russian areas, and again “support for democracy and civil society organizations in countries of the former Soviet Union,” which means to use money to subvert the Russian federation.

However you look at this, it comprises a declaration of war. Moreover, these provocative and expensive moves are presented as necessary to counter Russian aggression for which there is no evidence.

How do we characterize a bill that is not merely thoughtless, unnecessary, and dangerous, but also more Orwellian than Orwell? I am open to suggestions.

Ukraine as it currently exists is an ahistorical state with artificial boundaries. Ukraine presently consists of part of what was once a larger entity plus former Russian provinces added to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic by Soviet leaders. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia permitted Ukraine’s independence, under US pressure Russia mistakenly permitted Ukraine to take with it the former Russian provinces.

When Washington executed its coup in Kiev last year, the Russophobes who grabbed power began threatening in word and deed the Russian populations in eastern and southern Ukraine. The Crimeans voted to reunite with Russia and were accepted. This reunification was grossly misrepresented by Western propaganda. When other former Russian provinces voted likewise, the Russian government, kowtowing to Western propaganda, did not grant their requests. Instead, Russian president Putin called for Kiev and the former Russian provinces to work out an agreement that would keep the provinces within Ukraine.

Kiev and its Washington master did not listen. Instead, Kiev launched military attacks on the provinces and was conducting bombing attacks on the provinces at the moment the Malaysian airliner was downed.

Washington and its European vassals have consistently misrepresented the situation in Ukraine and denied their responsibility for the violence, instead placing all blame on Russia. But it is not Russia that is conducting bombing raids and attacking provinces with troops, tanks, and artillery. Just as Israel’s current military assault against Palestinian civilians fails to evoke criticism from Washington, European governments, and the Western media, Kiev’s assault on the former Russian provinces goes unreported and uncriticized. Indeed, it appears that few Americans are even aware that Kiev is attacking civilian areas of the provinces that wish to return to their mother country.

Sanctions should be imposed on Kiev, from which the military violence originates. Instead, Kiev is receiving financial and military support, and sanctions are placed on Russia which is not militarily involved in the situation.

When the outbreak of violence against the former Russian provinces began, the Russian Duma voted Putin the power to intervene militarily. Instead of using this power, Putin requested that the Duma rescind the power, which the Duma did. Putin preferred to deal with the problem diplomatically in a reasonable and unprovocative manner.

Putin has received neither respect nor appreciation for encouraging a non-violent resolution of the unfortunate Ukrainian situation created by Washington’s coup against a democratically elected government that was only months away from a chance to elect a different government.

The sanctions that Washington has applied and that Washington is pressuring its European puppets to join send the wrong information to Kiev. It tells Kiev that the West approves and encourages Kiev’s determination to resolve its differences with the former Russian provinces with violence rather than with negotiation.

This means war will continue, and that is clearly Washington’s intent. The latest reports are that US military advisors will soon be in Ukraine to aid the conquest of the former Russian provinces that are in revolt.

The presstitute nature of the Western media ensures that the bulk of the American and European populations will remain in the grip of Washington’s anti-Russian propaganda.

At some point the Russian government will have to face the fact that it doesn’t have “Western partners.” Russia has Western enemies who are being organized to isolate Russia, to injure Russia economically and diplomatically, to surround Russia militarily, to destabilize Russia by calling the American-funded NGOs into the streets, and in the absence of a coup that installs an American puppet in Moscow to attack Russia with nuclear weapons.

I respect Putin’s reliance on diplomacy and good will in the place of force. The problem with Putin’s approach is that Washington has no good will, so there is no reciprocity.

Washington has an agenda. Europe consists of captive nations, and these nations are without leaders capable of breaking free of Washington’s agenda.

I hope that I am wrong, but I think Putin has miscalculated. If Putin had accepted the
former Russian provinces requests to reunite with Russia, the conflict in Ukraine would be over. I am certain that Europe would not have joined Washington in any invasion with the purpose of recovering for Ukraine former provinces of Russia herself. When Washington says that Putin is responsible for downing the Malaysian airliner, Washington is correct in a way that Washington doesn’t suspect. Had Putin completed the task begun with Crimea and reunited the Russian provinces with Russia, there would have been no war during which an airliner could have been downed, whether by accident or as a plot to demonize Russia. Ukraine has no capability of confronting Russia militarily and had no alternative to accepting the reunification of the Russian territories.

Europe would have witnessed a decisive Russian decision and would have put a great distance between itself and Washington’s provocative agenda. This European response would have precluded Washington’s ability to gradually escalate the crisis by gradually turning the temperature higher without the European frog jumping out of the pot.

In its dealings with Washington Europe has grown accustomed to the efficacy of bribes, threats, and coercion. Captive nations are inured to diplomacy’s impotence. Europeans see diplomacy as the weak card played by the weak party. And, of course, all the Europeans want money, which Washington prints with abandon.

Russia and China are disadvantaged in their conflict with Washington. Russia and China have emerged from tyranny. People in both countries were influenced by American cold war propaganda. Both countries have educated people who think that America has freedom, democracy, justice, civil liberty, economic wellbeing and is a welcoming friend of other countries that want the same thing.

This is a dangerous delusion. Washington has an agenda. Washington has put in place a police state to suppress its own population, and Washington believes that history has conveyed the right to Washington to exercise hegemony over the world. Last year President Obama declared to the world that he sincerely believes that America is the exceptional nation on whose leadership the world depends.

In other words, all other countries and peoples are unexceptional. Their voices are unimportant. Their aspirations are best served by Washington’s leadership. Those who disagree–Russia, China, Iran, and the new entity ISIL–are regarded by Washington as obstacles to history’s purpose. Anything, whether an idea or a country, that is in the way of Washington is in the way of History’s Purpose and must be run over.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Europe faced the determination of the French Revolution to impose Liberty, Equality, Fraternity upon Europe. Today Washington’s ambition is larger. The ambition is to impose Washington’s hegemony on the entire world.

Unless Russia and China submit, this means war.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

US pulling out its Cold War-era plans over Ukraine conflict, top commander admits

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The United States military’s top commander said during a security summit this week that the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine has prompted the Pentagon to revisit old contingency plans unused since the days of the Cold War.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum that the US Department of Defense has been “looking inside of our own readiness models to look at things we haven’t had to look at for 20 years.”

Commenting on the latest allegations against Russia to surface in the midst of the escalating situation in Ukraine, Gen. Dempsey said that the Kremlin “has made the conscious decision to use its military force inside of another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives.”

“They clearly are on a path to assert themselves differently not just in Eastern Europe, but Europe in the main, and towards the United States,” Dempsey said of Putin’s government.

Hours before Dempsey delivered his address at the Aspen Security Forum, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said during a scheduled press briefing that new intelligence has surfaced suggesting Russia has been firing artillery at Ukrainian military positions from within its own borders. As RT reported at the time, however, Harf’s remarks were quickly questioned by Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee, who in turn called upon the State Dept. to present any evidence beyond the spokesperson’s otherwise unsubstantiated allegations.

“I think that it would be best for all concerned here if when you make an allegation like that you’re able to make it up with something more than just ‘because I said so,’” Lee countered Harf’s claims.

Soon after, though, Dempsey said during his Aspen speech that reports of Russia firing into Ukraine, if correct, would constitute the “first time, I think, probably, since 1939 or so that that’s been the case.” That year, Soviet Union leader Josef Stalin led the Red Army into Poland unannounced and annexed that territory and its 13.5 million citizens on behalf of the USSR.

“I think this is very clearly Putin, the man himself, with a vision for Europe, as he sees it, to what he considers to be an effort to redress grievances that were burdened upon Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, and also to appeal to ethnic Russian enclaves across Eastern Europe with … a foreign policy objective, but also a domestic policy objective,” Dempsey said. “And he’s very aggressive about it, and he’s got a playbook that has worked for him now two or three times. And he will continue to [use it].”

Regardless of what the Russian president’s intentions are, Dempsey said that Putin’s forces are in his opinion hesitant to engage in the Kremlin’s current campaign as interpreted by the US government.

“I think that the Russian military is probably reluctant — — you know, this is risky for me to say this, and 10 of them could end up in a gulag tomorrow — but I think that the Russian military and its leaders that I know are probably somewhat reluctant participants in this form of warfare,” he said.

Even still, Dempsey added, the results could be catastrophic.

“At a time when some folks could convince themselves that Putin would be looking for a reason to de-escalate, he’s actually taken a decision to escalate,” Dempsey said. “Putin may actually light a fire that he loses control over,” he said. “There’s a rising tide of nationalism in Europe right now that has been created in many ways by these Russian activities.”

“And I think that’s a real risk,” Dempsey said. “So I am maintaining an open line of communication with my counterpart, and so far, he’s doing the same with me.”

Earlier this week, Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, told reporters that the Defense Department was scheduled to send military advisers to Ukraine within weeks to “shape and establish an enduring program for future US efforts to support the Ukrainian military through subject-matter expert teams and long-term advisers.”