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Deeper down the rabbit hole of US-backed color revolutions.
by Tony Cartalucci
Believe it or not, the US State Department's mission statement actually says the following:
"Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system."
A far and treasonous cry from the original purpose of the State Department - which was to maintain communications and formal relations with foreign countries - and a radical departure from historical norms that have defined foreign ministries throughout the world, it could just as well now be called the "Department of Imperial Expansion." Because indeed, that is its primary purpose now, the expansion of Anglo-American corporate hegemony worldwide under the guise of "democracy" and "human rights."
That a US government department should state its goal as to build a world of "well-governed states" within the "international system" betrays not only America's sovereignty but the sovereignty of all nations entangled by this offensive mission statement and its execution.
Image: While the US State Department's mission statement sounds benign or even progressive, when the term "international system" or "world order" is used, it is referring to a concept commonly referred to by the actual policy makers that hand politicians their talking points, that involves modern day empire. Kagan's quote came from a 1997 policy paper describing a policy to contain China with.
The illegitimacy of the current US State Department fits in well with the overall Constitution-circumventing empire that the American Republic has degenerated into. The current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gives a daily affirmation of this illegitimacy every time she bellies up to the podium to make a statement.
Recently she issued a dangerously irresponsible "warning" to Venezuela and Bolivia regarding their stately relations with Iran. While America has the right to mediate its own associations with foreign nations, one is confounded trying to understand what gives America the right to dictate such associations to other sovereign nations. Of course, the self-declared imperial mandate the US State Department bestowed upon itself brings such "warnings" into perspective with the realization that the globalists view no nation as sovereign and all nations beholden to their unipolar "international system."
It's hard to deny the US State Department is not behind theIf only the US State Department's meddling was confined to hubris-filled statements given behind podiums attempting to fulfill outlandish mission statements, we could all rest easier. However, the US State Department actively bolsters its meddling rhetoric with very real measures. The centerpiece of this meddling is the vast and ever-expanding network being built to recruit, train, and support various "color revolutions" worldwide. While the corporate owned media attempts to portray the various revolutions consuming Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and now Northern Africa and the Middle East as indigenous, spontaneous, and organic, the reality is that these protesters represent what may be considered a "fifth-branch" of US power projection.
"color revolutions" sweeping the world when the Secretary of
State herself phones in during the youth movement confabs
her department sponsors on a yearly basis.
CANVAS: Freedom House, IRI, Soros funded Serbian color revolution
college behind the Orange, Rose, Tunisian, Burmese, and Egyptian protests
and has trained protesters from 50 other countries.
As with the army and CIA that fulfilled this role before, the US State Department's "fifth-branch" runs a recruiting and coordinating center known as the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM). Hardly a secretive operation, its website, Movements.org proudly lists the details of its annual summits which began in 2008 and featured astro-turf cannon fodder from Venezuela to Iran, and even the April 6 Youth Movement from Egypt. The summits, activities, and coordination AYM provides is but a nexus. Other training arms include the US created and funded CANVAS of Serbia, which in turn trained color-coup leaders from the Ukraine and Georgia, to Tunisia and Egypt, including the previously mentioned April 6 Movement. There is also the Albert Einstein Institute which produced the very curriculum and techniques employed by CANVAS.
2008 New York City Summit (included Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement)
2009 Mexico City Summit
2010 London Summit
As previously noted, these organizations are now retroactively trying to obfuscate their connections to the State Department and the Fortune 500 corporations that use them to achieve their goals of expansion overseas. CANVAS has renamed and moved their list of supporters and partners while AYM has oafishly changed their "partnerships" to "past partnerships."
Before & After: Oafish attempts to downplay US State Department's extra-legal
meddling and subterfuge in foreign affairs. Other attempts are covered here.
Funding all of this is the tax payers' money funneled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House. George Soros' Open Society foundation also promotes various NGOs which in turn support the revolutionary rabble on the ground. In Egypt, after the State Department's youth brigades played their role, Soros and NED funded NGOs began work on drafting Egypt's new constitution.
It should be noted that while George Soros is portrayed as being "left," and the overall function of these pro-democracy, pro-human rights organizations appears to be "left-leaning," a vast number of notorious "Neo-Cons" also constitute the commanding ranks and determine the overall agenda of this color revolution army.
Then there are legislative acts of Congress that overtly fund the subversive objectives of the US State Department. In support of regime change in Iran, the Iran Freedom and Support Act was passed in 2006. More recently in 2011, to see the US-staged color revolution in Egypt through to the end, money was appropriated to "support" favored Egyptian opposition groups ahead of national elections.
Then of course there is the State Department's propaganda machines. While organizations like NED and Freedom House produce volumes of talking points in support for their various on-going operations, the specific outlets currently used by the State Department fall under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). They include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, and Radio Sawa. Interestingly enough, the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits on the board of governors herself, along side a shameful collection of representatives from the Fortune 500, the corporate owned media, and various agencies within the US government.
Hillary Clinton: color revolutionary field marshal & propagandist,
two current roles that defy her duties as Secretary of State in any
rational sense or interpretation.
Judging from Radio Free Europe's latest headlines, such as "Lieberman: The West's Policy Toward Belarus Has 'Failed Miserably' " and "Azerbaijani Youth Activist 'Jailed For One Month,'" it appears that hope is still pinned on inciting color revolutions in Belarus and Azerbaijan to continue on with NATO's creep and the encirclement of Russia. Belarus in particular was recently one of the subjects covered at the Globsec 2011 conference, where it was considered a threat to both the EU and NATO, having turned down NATO in favor of closer ties with Moscow.
Getting back to Hillary Clinton's illegitimate threat regarding Venezuela's associations with Iran, no one should be surprised to find out an extensive effort to foment a color revolution to oust Hugo Chavez has been long underway by AYM, Freedom House, NED, and the rest of this "fifth-branch" of globalist power projection. In fact, Hugo Chavez had already weathered an attempted military coup overtly orchestrated by the United States under Bush in 2002.
Upon digging into the characters behind Chavez' ousting in 2002, it
appears that this documentary sorely understates US involvement.
The same forces of corporatism, privatization, and free-trade that led the 2002 coup against Chavez are trying to gain ground once again. Under the leadership of Harvard trained globalist minion Leopoldo Lopez, witless youth are taking the place of 2002's generals and tank columns in an attempt to match globalist minion Mohamed ElBaradei's success in Egypt.
Unsurprisingly, the US State Department's AYM is pro-Venezuelan opposition, and describes in great detail their campaign to "educate" the youth and get them politically active. Dismayed by Chavez' moves to consolidate his power and strangely repulsed by his "rule by decree," -something that Washington itself has set the standard for- AYM laments over the difficulties their meddling "civil society" faces.
Chavez' government recognized the US State Department's meddling recently in regards to a student hunger strike and the US's insistence that the Inter-American Human Rights Commission be allowed to "inspect" alleged violations under the Chavez government. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro even went as far as saying, "It looks like they (U.S.) want to start a virtual Egypt."
The "Fifth-Branch" Invasion: Click for larger image.
Understanding this "fifth-branch" invasion of astro-turf cannon fodder and the role it is playing in overturning foreign governments and despoiling nation sovereignty on a global scale is an essential step in ceasing the Anglo-American imperial machine. And of course, as always, boycotting and replacing the corporations behind the creation and expansion of these color-revolutions hinders not only the spread of their empire overseas, but releases the stranglehold of dominion they possess at home in the United States. Perhaps then the US State Department can once again go back to representing the American Republic and its people to the rest of the world as a responsible nation that respects real human rights and sovereignty both at home and abroad.
Editor's Note: This article has been edited and updated October 26, 2012.
10/15/13 | MSNBC
When there's a global economic crisis, investors from around the world have spent the last several generations doing one thing: they buy U.S. treasuries. The reasoning, of course, is that there is no safer investment, anywhere on the planet, than the United States of America – which has the strongest and largest economy on the planet, and which always pays its bills.
All of these assumptions, of course, were cultivated over generations, and pre-date the radicalization of the Republican Party.
But what happens when U.S. treasuries are no longer considered safe, Americans can no longer be counted on to pay its bills, and the nation's most powerful economy chooses to default on purpose? The world starts reevaluating old assumptions, that's what.
In Britain, Jon Cunliffe, who will become deputy governor of the Bank of England next month, told members of Parliament that banks should be developing contingency plans to deal with an American default if one happens.
And Chinese leaders called on a "befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world." In a commentary on Sunday, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua blamed "cyclical stagnation in Washington" for leaving the dollar-based assets of many nations in jeopardy. It said the "international community is highly agonized."
I know I've been pushing this thesis in recent weeks, but it's important to remember the unique role the United States plays in global leadership and the extent to which Republican antics in Congress will change the dynamic that's been stable for the better part of the last century.
No major western power has defaulted since Hitler's Germany, so this week may add some history to the potentially catastrophic economic consequences, and the world is watching closely.
Indeed, try to imagine explaining this ongoing crisis to a foreign observer who doesn't fully appreciate the nuances of domestic politics. "Yes, we have the largest economy on the planet. Yes, we want to maintain global credibility. Yes, the process of extending our borrowing authority is incredibly easy and could be completed in about 10 minutes. No, some members of our legislative branch have decided they no longer want the United States to honor its obligations and pay for the things they've already bought."
I suspect global observers would find this truly inexplicable. As it happens, I'd agree with them.
Ezra Klein added yesterday that to the rest of the world, "the United States looks insane right now."
They're dealing with real problems that their political systems are struggling to solve. The United States' political system is creating fake problems that it may choose to leave unsolved.
"The United States was the one bright spot in the world recovery," says OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria. "It was leading the recovery! Leading the creation of jobs! This unfortunate situation with the budget and debt happens at the moment it was looking good." […]
At best, the United States is slowing its recovery – and that of the rest of the world. At worst, it's going to trigger another global crisis. That's why, Gurria says, his concern isn't that the United States' economy is weak, but that its political system is.
It's heartbreaking that so much of the world is now laughing at us, not because we have crises we can't solve, but because members of one party – the one that lost the most recent national elections – insist on manufacturing new crises to advance their unpopular agenda.
To reiterate what we discussed last week, there's a global competition underway for power and influence in the 21st century. Americans have rivals who are playing for keeps. We can either be at the top of our game or we can watch others catch up.
And it's against this backdrop that House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican colleagues shut down the government, threaten default, fight tooth and nail to strip Americans of their health care benefits, and keep spending levels so low we're kicking children out of Head Start centers while our global competitors invest heavily in education.
It's as if some have a vision in which we no longer lead and we aim for second place on purpose.
Great nations can't function the way we're struggling to function now. The United States can either be a 21st-century superpower or it can tolerate Republicans abandoning the governing process and subjecting Americans to a series of self-imposed extortion crises.
It cannot do both.
China is talking about "a de-Americanized world." It's time for Republicans to decide whether they intend to help them.
Mar 24, 2015 | antiwar.com
How should libertarians assess the crisis in Ukraine? Some would have us believe that a true commitment to liberty entails (1) glorifying the "Euromaidan revolution" and the government it installed in Kiev, (2) welcoming, excusing, or studiously ignoring US involvement with that revolution and government, and (3) hysterically demonizing Vladimir Putin and his administration for Russia's involvement in the affair. Since Ron Paul refuses to follow this formula or to remain silent on the issue, these "NATO-tarians," as Justin Raimondo refers to them, deride him as an anti-freedom, anti-American, shill for the Kremlin.
Dr. Paul takes it all in stride of course, having endured the same kind of smears and dishonest rhetorical tricks his entire career. As he surely knows, the price of being a principled anti-interventionist is eternal patience. Still, it must be frustrating. After all he has done to teach Americans about the evils of empire and the bitter fruits of intervention, there are still legions of self-styled libertarians whose non-interventionism seems to go little further than admitting that the Iraq War was "a mistake," and who portray opposition to US hostility against foreign governments as outright support for those governments.
"Yes, the Iraq War was clearly a mistake, but we have to confront Putin; we can't let Iran 'get nukes;' we've got to save the Yazidis on the mountain; we must crush ISIS, et cetera, et cetera. What are you, a stooge of the Czar/Ayatollah/Caliph?"
Some of these same libertarians supported Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012, and presumably laughed along with the rest of us when the neocons tried to paint him as "pro-Saddam" for opposing the Iraq War and for debunking the lies and distortions that were used to sell it. Yet, today they do not hesitate to tar Dr. Paul as a "confused Pro-Putin libertarian" over his efforts to oppose US/NATO interventions in Ukraine and against Russia. Such tar has been extruded particularly profusely by an eastern-European-heavy faction of Students for Liberty which might be dubbed "Students for Collective Security."
It should be obvious that Ron Paul holds no brief for Putin and the Kremlin. Let me inform the smear-artists and their dupes what Ron Paul is trying to do with his statements and articles about Ukraine and Russia. He is not trying to support Putin's government. He is doing what he has always done. He is trying to prevent US intervention. He is trying to stop war.
Some NATO-tarians have responded to this assertion by asking, "If that is so, why can't he just limit himself to simply stating his principled opposition to intervention? Why must he go beyond that, all the way to reciting Kremlin talking points?"
First of all, this is one of the most egregious fallacies that Ron Paul's critics regularly trot out: the allegation that, "because A voices agreement with B about statements of fact, then A must be doing so in the service of B."
To see the fallacy involved clearly, let us draw out the Iraq War comparison a bit more. Before and during that war, in spite of Bush Administration and media propaganda to the contrary, Ron Paul argued that Saddam Hussein did not have a weapons of mass destruction program or ties to Al Qaeda. Saddam argued the same thing. So was Ron Paul just "reciting Baghdad talking points" back then? Was he being a "confused pro-Saddam libertarian"? No. Do you know why Ron Paul was saying the same thing as Saddam? Because it was true. As is widely accepted today, Saddam did nothave a WMD program or ties to Al Qaeda. Is it valorizing Saddam to admit that he told the truth? Again, no; it is simply to abstain from hysterically demonizing him. Of course Saddam was a head of state, and as such, he was a lying murderer. But in this instance, telling the truth happened to serve his interests, which included trying to avoid a war in which he might be overthrown and killed. Ron Paul also told the truth, because he's not a lying murderer, and because he also wanted to prevent such a disastrous war: although of course not for Saddam's sake, but for the sake of avoiding all the catastrophic results that would surely (and did) flow from it.
Ron Paul had no love for Saddam then or for Putin today, just as, notwithstanding endless smears to the contrary, there was no love nurtured by Murray Rothbard for Khrushchev, Justin Raimondo for Milosevic, Lew Rockwell for Lukashenko, or Jacob Hornberger for Chavez. Rather, it just so happens that, to paraphrase Stephen Colbert, the truth has a well-known anti-war bias. That is the only reason why, when speaking about the same international crises, principled anti-war voices so frequently find themselves in agreement over points of fact with tyrants who want to avoid being attacked. The truth can, in some cases, happen to serve the purposes of both good and evil men. That doesn't stop it from being the truth.
Similarly, there are a great many true (and intervention-disfavoring) points of fact concerning Ukraine and Russia that are being completely ignored by the media, which instead regurgitates the intervention-favoring propaganda it imbibes directly from Washington, London, and the NATO bureaucracy. These truths are broadcasted, and this propaganda refuted, both by the Kremlin and by Ron Paul. But again this coincidence does not occur because the two are in cahoots. The Kremlin engages in this broadcasting and refuting because it considers avoiding US/NATO intervention to be in its state interest. Ron Paul does so because, again, it is the truth, and because he considers avoiding US/NATO intervention to be moral and in the interest of humanity in general (Americans, Russians, and Ukrainians, included).
What is this propaganda that Ron Paul labors to refute, along with his Institute for Peace and Prosperity, and like-minded alternative media outlets like Antiwar.com and LewRockwell.com?
According to the Washington/NATO/Kiev/neocon narrative, a peaceful protest movement emerged in Kiev against an oppressive government, was met with a deadly, unprovoked, and uncompromising crackdown, but ultimately prevailed, causing Ukraine's dictator to flee. A popularly-supported, freedom-loving, self-determination-exemplifying government then emerged. But dastardly Putin horribly invaded and conquered Crimea, and engineered a "terrorist" revolt in the east of the country. Putin is the new Hitler, and if the US and Europe don't confront him now, he will continue his conquests until he has recreated the Soviet Empire and re-erected the Iron Curtain.
The reality of the situation, which Dr. Paul and only a handful of others strive to represent, is far different.
First of all, the chief grievance of the protesters was not about domestic oppression; it was over foreign policy and foreign aid. They wanted closer ties with the west, and they were angry that (the duly elected) President Viktor Yanukovych had rejected a European Union Association Agreement over its severe stringency.
Far from "organic," the movement was heavily subsidized and sponsored by the US government. Before the crisis, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland bragged about the US "investing" $5 billion in "helping" Ukraine become more western-oriented.
Once the anti-government protests in Kiev were under way, both Nuland and Senator John McCain personally joined the demonstrators in Maidan Square, implicitly promising US support for a pro-western regime change. Nuland even went so far as to pass out cookies, like a sweet little imperial auntie.
Far from peaceful, the protesters were very violent, and it is not clear which side fired the first gunshot. The Foreign Minister of Estonia, while visiting Kiev, was shown evidence that convinced him that protest leaders had hired snipers to shoot at both sides. And the BBC recently interviewed a Maidan protester who admitted to firing on the police before the conflict had become pitched.
In fact, the hard core of the Euromaidan movement, and its most violent component, was comprised of Nazis. And no, I don't mean to say "neo-Nazi," which is a term really only appropriate for people who merely glean inspiration from historical Nazis. On the other hand, the torchlight marching fascists that spearheaded the Ukraine coup (chief among them, the Svoboda and Right Sector parties) are part of an unbroken lineal tradition that goes back to Stepan Bandera, the Nazi collaborator who brought the Holocaust to Ukraine. Even a pro-Maidan blogger wrote for The Daily Beast:
"Of course the role that the Right Sector played in the Euromaidan cannot be underestimated. (…) They were the first to throw Molotov coctails and stones at police and to mount real and well-fortified barricades."
More fundamentally, what is often forgotten by many libertarians, is that revolutionary street and public square movements like Euromaidan are not "the people," but are comprised of would-be members of and partisans for a new state, every one of which is inherently an engine of violent aggression. What we saw in the clash at Maidan Square was not "Man Vs. State," but "Incoming State vs. Outgoing State."
Far from being completely intransigent, Yanukovych agreed to early elections and assented to US demands to withdraw the riot police from the square. As soon as he did that, the government buildings were seized. The city hall was then draped with white supremacist banners.
Far from being supported and appointed popularly and broadly, the new government's backing is highly sectional and heavily foreign. It was installed by a capital city street coup, not a countrywide revolution. In a deeply divided country, it only represented a particularly aggressive component of one side of that divide. Moreover, its top officeholders were handpicked by Nuland, and its installation was presided over by the US Vice President, as was famously revealed in an intercepted and leaked telephone recording.
And the only thing saving the extravagantly warlike new government from bankruptcy is the unstinting flow of billions of dollars in aid from the US, the EU, and the IMF, as well as "non-lethal" military aid (including drones, armored Humvees, and training) from the US.
Far from being freedom-loving, top offices are held by an ex-bankster (Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whom Nuland handpicked when she said "Yats is our guy" in the above recording), a corrupt oligarch (chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko), and, yes, Nazis (including Andriy Parubiy, until recently the National Security chief, and Oleh Tyahnybok, also mentioned by Nuland in the recording as a key advisor to the new government, and pictured at the top of this article with Nuland and "Yats").
Far from being an exemplar of self-determination, the new regime responded to eastern attempts to assert regional autonomy with all-out war, shelling civilian centers (with cluster bombs, even) and killing thousands. Of course Nazis have also played a key role in the war. As the famous journalist Robert Parry wrote:
"The U.S.-backed Ukrainian government is knowingly sending neo-Nazi paramilitaries into eastern Ukrainian neighborhoods to attack ethnic Russians who are regarded by some of these storm troopers as "Untermenschen" or subhuman, according to Western press reports.
Recently, one eastern Ukrainian town, Marinka, fell to Ukraine's Azov battalion as it waved the Wolfsangel flag, a symbol used by Adolf Hitler's SS divisions in World War II. The Azov paramilitaries also attacked Donetsk, one of the remaining strongholds of ethnic Russians opposed to the Kiev regime that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February."
Plagued by failure and desertion in spite of massive western aid, the "pro-freedom" new regime in Kiev has resorted to conscripting its non-rebeling citizens. Meeting stiff draft resistance and opposition to the war, it has jailed a journalist for merely advocating draft-dodging, prepared a law restricting the travel of draft-age citizens, contemplated conscripting women over 20, and passed a law allowing the military to shoot deserters on the spot.
And the Nazis have also played in key role in the stifling and crushing of internal dissent as well. After the coup, Right Sector began patrolling the streets and squares of Kiev. And in Odessa, Right Sector toughs joined a mob in trapping and burning to death 38 anti-Maidan protesters in the Trades Union House.
Whatever involvement Moscow has in it, the revolt in the east is far from engineered. People there do not need Russian money and threats to know they had absolutely no say in the regime change in distant Kiev, and that it was executed by their political enemies. Russian-speaking and heavily industrial, it would have suffered grievously, both economically and politically, had it been dragged into a new expressly anti-Russian order. It was made abundantly clear which way the wind was blowing when Tyahybok's Svoboda, as the Christian Science Monitor put it, "pushed through the cancellation of a law that gave equal status to minority languages, such as Russian," even if the cancellation was temporary.
Far from "terrorists," the rebels are not trying to destabilize or overthrow the government in Kiev, but are seeking to establish autonomy from it. If anything, it is Kiev, with its high civilian death toll, that has been more engaged in terrorism.
And far from Soviet revanchism, Russian policy has been largely reactive against US aggressiveness. Since Moscow dropped its side of the Cold War by relinquishing its empire, including both the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, the US has taken advantage by progressively expanding NATO, an explicitly anti-Moscow military pact, all the way to Russia's borders: a policy that even Cold War mastermind George Kennan, in 1998, predicted would prove to be tragic. Moscow warned Washington that Russia could not abide a hostile Ukraine, which would be a bridge too far.
But Washington blithely pushed on to snatch Ukraine anyway. The sheer flippancy of it can be seen most vividly when Gideon Rose, editor of the US foreign policy establishment organ Foreign Affairs (published by the Council on Foreign Relations) went on The Colbert Report in the midst of the crisis and jocularly boasted about how "we want to basically distract Russia" with the shiny Olympic medals it was winning at the Sochi Olympics while getting Ukraine "to flip sides." Colbert aptly characterized this geopolitical strategy as, "Here's a shiny object! We'll just take an entire country away from you," to which Rose enthusiastically responded, "Basically!" (Perhaps to atone for such an embarrassing and pandering display of naďveté and frivolity, Rose later published an excellent article by respected establishment foreign policy expert John Mearsheimer arguing "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault." Even that old CFR-associated murder-monger Henry Kissinger has urged reconsideration.)
The takeover included Crimea which is heavily Russian-speaking and has been under effective Russian control since the 18th century. Unsurprisingly, Washington's brilliant "Shiny Object" doctrine failed miserably, and rather than see its only warm-water port pass under the sway of an increasingly antagonistic rival, Russia asserted control over Crimea, doing so without loss of life. Later, following a referendum, Crimea was formally annexed.
Of course this act was not "libertarian"; hardly anything that a state does is. But it is simply a warmongering distortion to characterize this bloodless foreign policy counter-move as evidence of reckless imperial Russian expansionism, especially when you compare the "invasion" of Crimea with the bloody havoc the US has wreaked upon the Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia for the past 14 years.
As for whatever meddling Russia is guilty of in eastern Ukraine, let's try to put it in perspective without absolving it. Just imagine what the US would do if Russia had supported a coup in Ottawa that installed an anti-American Canadian government right on our border, and then perpetually re-armed that government as it bombed English-speaking separatists in British Columbia. Compared to what you'd expect to follow that, Russia's response to a US-sponsored, anti-Russian junta bombing Russian speakers right on its border has been positively restrained.
After all, it is Putin who has been constantly pushing for ceasefires against American militant obduracy and European reluctance, just as, in 2013, it was Putin who successfully pushed for a deal that prevented the US from launching yet another air war, this time against the Syrian government.
Again, this is not to claim that any foreign intervention on the part of Moscow is at all justified on libertarian grounds, or to argue that Putin is anything more than a lying murderer who happens to be more intelligent and sane than our own lying murderers. It is only to make clear that in this respect too, Russia's involvement in the affair is hardly evidence of grand imperial designs.
As an aside: Putin's foiling of neocon war aims in Syria (and potential future such foilings) may be the reason that the anti-Russian putsch in Ukraine, and the new Putin-threatening Cold War it engendered, was advanced by Nuland, who is a neocon holdover from the Bush Administration and the wife of leading neocon Robert Kagan, in the first place.
To think that any country is too big or too dangerous (especially if destabilized) to be targeted by neocons for regime change would be naďve. And to think Putin is too naďve to know this would be equally naďve.
So much for the Washington/NATO/Kiev/neocon narrative. Now to return to the NATO-tarian objection from above: why must Ron Paul stress these points of fact, especially when they make wicked Putin look better, or at least not-so-wicked? Why can't Dr. Paul merely state his principled opposition to intervention?
It might make sense for him to do so if that were enough to make a difference. But the thing is, it's not. The sad but inescapable fact is that the American people are not operating under the same moral premises as Ron Paul and other principled libertarians. As such, the public is susceptible to war lies and distortions. And the Washington/NATO/Kiev/neocon narrative about Ukraine and Russia is nothing but a tissue of war lies and distortions.
As the warmongers are abundantly aware, if Kiev is sufficiently falsely valorized, Washington/NATO sufficiently falsely absolved, and Putin and the eastern separatists sufficiently falsely demonized, then American opinion will provide cover for US intervention, regardless of what principled libertarians say. So the only way to practically stop such intervention is to go beyond statements of principle and to debunk those war lies and distortions; moreover, to debunk them bravely and forthrightly, even if the Kremlin is also trying to debunk them, and even if simple-minded or lying critics will use that parallel to smear you as an agent of a foreign power.
Besides, if Ron Paul's statements really are part of some ulterior pro-Putin agenda, how could he possibly hope for his efforts to advance such an agenda? He couldn't. He is not writing in or speaking Russian; he has zero effect on Putin's domestic support. The only real effect he has is on opinion and policy in the English-speaking world. So, as it concerns the Ukraine crisis, the only real impact he could hope to have is to dissuade intervention.
So much for Ron Paul's "ulterior motives." But what about some of his critics? A question actually worth asking is as follows: Why are some of his avowedly libertarian critics, many of whom profess not to favor intervention (or at least studiously avoid talking about that question concretely) so absolutely livid over Ron Paul's challenge to their narrative? Their English-language blasts against Dr. Paul are also not likely to effect Putin's domestic support one way or the other. Their only possible impact is also on US foreign policy. So, why are they so extremely sensitive about the acceptance in America of a narrative that lends itself toward intervention and confrontation? The question answers itself.
Let me close with a few additional questions.
Why is it "defending tyranny" for Ron Paul to agree with Putin on points of fact, but not for "libertarians" to hail a government that rose to power in a violent putsch, that welcomes outright Nazis in its ranks, that conscripts its people, and that drops cluster bombs on civilians?
What exactly is "libertarian" about NATO, which amounts to an hegemonic, dual-hemisphere, nuclear tripwire, species suicide pact?
What is so secure about a state of "collective security" in which petulant, reckless nationalists in small eastern European countries can drag the whole world into nuclear war over a border dispute?
And finally, why should a new Cold War be launched, and the risk of nuclear annihilation for all our families and hometowns be heightened over the question of which clique rules a particular river basin on the other side of the world?
Ron Paul has excellent, solidly libertarian answers to all these questions. Do his critics?
Also published at Medium.com. Follow Dan Sanchez via Twitter, or TinyLetter.
Wow, what a sad mess the U.S. government is. It's quite frustrating how little say we peons have on what our rulers arbitrarily do to other countries that are no threat to us whatsoever. And these wannabe Ukrainian Nazis...I had no idea they were so powerful in number. Are their attacks on ethnic Russians some sort of "cosmic revenge" for the Soviet Union's starvation of Ukrainians in the 30's? The whole thing is a nightmare. May our leaders burn in hell for the misery they've helped create.
Besides, if Ron Paul's statements really are part of some ulterior pro-Putin agenda, how could he possibly hope for his efforts to advance such an agenda? He couldn't. He is not writing in or speaking Russian; he has zero effect on Putin's domestic support. The only real effect he has is on opinion and policy in the English-speaking world. So, as it concerns the Ukraine crisis, the only real impact he could hope to have is to dissuade intervention. Thank for share
mind blowingly rational stream of conscious and geo-political conscience! It makes tremendous sense particularly if you feel we have been recently duped into 20 or so highly profitable (for oligarchs and financial institutions) wars. Assuming they are going to have another real war with Russia for fun and neo-con profit, where are they going to live in blissful retirement to spend the loot without getting attacked or dripped-on by glow-in the dark irradiated zombies? Are some wars better not started regardless of the causus belli or opportunity for plunder? Is setting-up a game of nuclear armed chicken with the second most powerful alliance on the planet still a good idea if you were planning to retire and spend time growing rhodos and fishing and playing baseball with your grandchildren?
Do neo-cons have a we-were-just-kidding plan "B" or are they truly to committed to a global sepuku / samson option if they / we lose? Do neo-cons do anything other than dream big about obliterating evil comic book enemies and ruling the world? Is it too late to invent a drug or make a video game or addictive snuff porn to keep them better occupied? How come all the neo-cons are moving to the USA and no one elsewhere is complaining about a shortage of them?
Claus Eric Hamle
It is really like 2+2=4: Deployment of missiles in Eastern Europe (Poland and Romania) leads to Launch On Warning (probably by 2017) and Suicide by accident/mistake. What else can the Russians do to defend themselves ? Will they even announce when they adopt Launch On Warning=Suicide Guaranteed. The crazy Americans asked for it -- The Russians want to be certain that they won't die alone. Stupid, crazy, bloody fools in the Pentagon !!!
July 29, 2014 | davidstockmanscontracorner.com
Imperial Washington is truly running amuck in its insensible confrontation with Vladimir Putin. The pending round of new sanctions is a counter-productive joke. Apparently, more of Vlad's posse will be put on double probation, thereby reducing demand for Harry Macklowe's swell new $60 million apartment units on Park Avenue. Likewise, American exporters of high tech oilfield equipment will be shot in the foot with an embargo; and debt-saturated Russian state companies will be denied the opportunity to bury themselves even deeper in dollar debt by borrowing on the New York bond market. Some real wet noodles, these!
But it is the larger narrative that is so blatantly offensive-that is, the notion that a sovereign state is being wantonly violated by an aggressive neighbor arming "terrorists" inside its borders. Obama's deputy national security advisor, Tony Blanken, stated that specious meme in stark form yesterday:
"Russia bears responsibility for everything that's going on in Eastern Ukraine" and "has the ability to actually de-escalate this crisis," Blinken said.
Puleese! The Kiev government is a dysfunctional, bankrupt usurper that is deploying western taxpayer money to wage a vicious war on several million Russian-speaking citizens in the Donbas--the traditional center of greater Russia's coal, steel and industrial infrastructure. It is geographically part of present day Ukraine by historical happenstance. For better or worse, it was Stalin who financed its forced draft industrialization during the 1930s; populated it with Russian speakers to insure political reliability; and expelled the Nazi occupiers at immeasurable cost in blood and treasure during WWII. Indeed, the Donbas and Russia have been Saimese twins economically and politically not merely for decades, but centuries.
On the other hand, Kiev's marauding army and militias would come to an instant halt without access to the $35 billion of promised aid from the IMF, EU and US treasury. Obama just needs to say "stop". That's it. The civil war would quickly end, permitting the US, Russia and the warring parties of the Ukraine to hold a peace conference and work out the details of a separation agreement.
After all, what is so sacrosanct about preserving the territorial integrity of the Ukraine? Ever since the middle ages, it has consisted of a set of meandering borders in search of a nation that never existed owing to endemic ethnic, tribal and religious differences. Its modern boundaries are merely the fruit of 20th century wars and the expediencies of a totalitarian state during the decades of its rise, rule and disintegration.
There was until recently a neighboring "state" of equally artificial lineage called Czechoslovakia. It was carved out of the German and Austrian empires by the vengeful victors at Versailles, urged on by scheming Czech nationalists who coveted the resources of the Slovaks. But notwithstanding revolutions, the Stalinist oppression, the Cold War, the Prague Spring and all the rest of the 20th century mayhem--the machinations at Versailles didn't birth a state that was viable or sustainable. Accordingly, separation has been had, and the parties are better off for it-as are its neighbors and the larger world.
And on the topic of partition there is the ghost of Yugoslavia–another state that emerged in whole cloth from the madness of Versailles. Yes, it has been partitioned now into half a dozen smaller states--Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo and Bosnia. But the operative point is that the partitioner was none other than Washington and its European groupies who had no regard for those happenstance 20th century-made borders when it suited their purpose.
So the sanctimonious yelping from Washington about the sacred territorial integrity of the Ukraine is ahistorical tommyrot. In fact, however, it is a thin fig leaf for a far more insidious purpose. Namely, the self-aggrandizement of the Warfare State machinery that was left stranded in Imperial Washington without purpose or justification when the Cold War ended two decades ago.
So the Warfare State machinery-including its spy network, state department, aid agencies and NGO supplicants- invented enemies and missions to justify their continued existence and their massive dissipation of fiscal resources. Those are upwards of $1 trillion annually if you count everything including veterans and homeland security.
Thus, after arming the mujahedeen in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980s, their Taliban successors were deemed our enemy after the cold war ended-even though they never poised a scintilla of threat to the citizens of Lincoln NE or Worcester MA. So too with our 1980′s ally Saddam Hussein, and also with Khadafy, Assad and the warring tribal potentates and cutthroats of Yemen, Somalia and Waziristan, to name just a few.
But it is in eastern Europe that the Warfare State machinery has most egregiously made an enemy and mission out of whole cloth. As the Cold War was drawing to a close in the late 1980s, then Secretary of State James Baker made a sensible deal with Gorbachev. In return for Soviet acquiesce in the reunification of Germany, the US would insure that NATO did not expand by a "single inch".
Since then, of course, there has been a senseless bipartisan betrayal and stampede in the opposite direction. Starting under Clinton and extending through Bush and Obama, NATO has been expanded from 16 nations at the end of the Cold War to 28 countries today.
Yet the very recitation of its new members underscores the historical farce that this needless expansion amounted to. For better or worse, the formation of NATO in the late 1940′s involved what were perceived to be vital national security interests against a Stalinist policy that by the lights of the hawks and militarists of the day amounted to a violation of his Yalta obligations. Accordingly, NATO constituted an alliance of real nations-England, France, Italy and West Germany--that could make a meaningful contribution to collective security against the perceived Soviet threat of the times.
But Albania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia? And that is not to forget Moldova, Georgia, Macedonia and the Ukraine-all of which are still coveted for membership by the NATO apparatchiks. What could these micro-states possibly contribute to American security? That's especially the case since the Warsaw pact had been dissolved; the Soviet Empire has erased from the pages of history; and the Russian successor was left with an Italian sized GDP encumbered with the destructive legacy of a state-dominated economy that had been appropriated by a passel of thieves, opportunists and oligarchs.
In short, today's Ukrainian crisis is the outcome of the mindless 20-year drive of the Warfare State to push an obsolete NATO to the very doorstep of Russia, and into the messy remnants of the Soviet disintegration. Stated differently, Putin has been in power for 15 years, yet during 13 of those years there was no hue and cry from Washington, London and Brussels that he was an incipient Hitler bent on sweeping conquest. Even the so-called invasion of Georgia in 2008 was a tempest in a teapot provoked by local pro-Russian separatists who did not want to be ruled by a de facto American interloper in Tbilisi.
In any event, it was the $5 billion that Washington spent during the last decade meddling in Ukrainian politics, and finally inciting and financing the February overthrow of the country's constitutionally elected government that precipitated the current civil war. It brought to power a new gang of crooks and thugs who could not govern for a day without tapping the Washington/Western financial lifeline. Indeed, the civil war now raging, the brutal military attacks on civilian populations and the hundreds of thousands of refugees now streaming out of the eastern regions are the result of a crisis made in Washington, not the Kremlin.
So the rebels- who properly fear for their lives and property were the nationalists and neo-fascists who run the Kiev government to prevail-are not "terrorists" by any stretch of the imagination. That is just insipid Washington propaganda. Instead, they are the Russian speaking remnant of the Soviet empire who fear an ethnic cleansing and who noted well the fate of their kinsmen in the hands of Ukrainian thugs during the fire at Odessa.
Once again, the American Warfare State has confected a false narrative to justify policies and missions that have nothing to do with the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Worcester MA. About 55-years ago such a false narrative arose in the form of the "domino theory" that lead to the carnage of Vietnam. Ten years ago it cropped up in the form of the WMD story that led to the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. Today, it is the preposterous story of Ukrainian territorial integrity, terrorists in the East and a latter-day Hitler in the Kremlin.
Unfortunately, false narratives are what the Warfare State does.
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