‘Always Look on the Bright Side of War’ Part 2 of 2
The illegitimate coup in Ukraine has triggered a dangerous international situation according to Michel Chossudovsky in “The Neoliberal Neo-Nazi Coup in Ukraine. The World is at a Dangerous Crossroads”:
The World is at a dangerous crossroads: The structures and composition of this proxy government installed by the West do not favor dialogue with the Russian government and military.
A scenario of military escalation leading to confrontation of Russia and NATO is a distinct possibility.
Moreover, this is the first full-fledged Neo-Nazi government in Europe in the post World War II period.
This US-NATO sponsored Coup d’etat –which has led to the formation of a coalition government integrated by Neo-Nazis– is an Act of Warfare against Ukraine.
We have to ask ourselves: Are the architects of this Neo-Nazi government, the people who conspired to install a Nazi regime in Ukraine, are they Neo-Nazis or Neoliberals? They claim to be Neoliberals. They are acting in support of a neoliberal economic policy agenda.
Washington has chosen to spearhead Neo-Nazis into positions of authority. Under a “regime of indirect rule”, however, they take their orders on crucial military and foreign policy issues –including the deployment of troops directed against the Russian federation– from the US State Department, the Pentagon and NATO.
The Ukraine’s National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU) which is controlled by Neo-Nazis plays a central role in military affairs. In the confrontation with Moscow, decisions taken by the RNBOU headed by Neo-Nazi Andrij Parubiy ... and his brown Shirt deputy Dmytro Yarosh ... could potentially have devastating consequences.”
Why did the United States and the EU nations collude with and empower neo-Nazis to bring about regime change in Ukraine? Andre Fomine in “Washington Sanctioning Democracy and Hailing Nazism” writes:
In the end an ugly picture emerges: US foundations and secret services invested billions of taxpayer dollars into a chimerical ultranationalist project for Ukraine, with the intention of removing this nation from Moscow’s sphere of influence. The immediate result of this investment is the establishment of a weak, neo-Nazi-backed puppet “government” in Kiev, an escalating wave of political repression against the new (pro-Russian) opposition leaders there, and the very real threat of civil war and the disintegration of this failing state in the center of Europe.
This is a classic example of how an arrogant and primitive foreign policy can cause serious damage to the image of a nation that wants to be seen as “a beacon of democracy.”
As the Voice of Russia argued earlier this month, the US sanctions on Ukraine would be more appropriately used against the “Euromaidan” activists and the illegitimate government in Kiev and its Western backers, who have virtually destroyed the constitutional order and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Gilbert Mercier in “Engineering Failed States: The Strategy of Global Corporate Imperialism” compellingly describes the modern day, hyper-driven imperialism of bullying nations including and especially the US in which sovereign but struggling nations are treated to disaster capitalism exploitation, then afterward left in conditions of horrendous devastation. He writes:
Almost 70 years after the end of World War II, US military boots are still on the ground in both countries. According to data from the US Department of Defense (DoD), more than 50,000 US troops were still in Germany and almost 40,000 were still occupying Japan in 2011. Overall, according to the DoD, the US military has troops stationed in almost 150 countries.
Imperialism has long been a collective disease for humanity. In its current perverse capitalist incarnation, imperialism’s methods have become even more brutal and ruthless. If the physical destruction of a country’s infrastucture is still in the foreground, this is used in conjunction with the creation or revival of civil wars, ethnic or bloody sectarian conflicts in previously stable national entities. Corporate imperialism aims to break the national spirit.
The few remaining sovereign nations are the final obstacles to the looming threat of a global transnational corporate empire. Corporate imperialism’s only concern is the bottom line: it is on a permanent quest to maximize profit. It is not about bringing the supposed gift of civilization to savages anymore, unlike the old-fashioned imperialist adventures. In this context, why bother to rebuild the shattered countries when the only goal is to plunder resources, either natural or human? Public resources are allocated to reconstruction, but these resources usually disappear in black holes of corporate war profiteers such as Halliburton in the US. Wrecked countries are never rebuilt because they are easier to exploit while they are in a shambles.
The model for transnational corporate imperialism was set up in Iraq, then applied to Libya. This global imperialist strategy is in the works in Syria, the Ukraine, Mali, Central African Republic, and Venezuela. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) usually acts as the armed fist for this process, but sponsored proxy agents such as Jihadists in Syria or fascist factions in the Ukraine and Venezuela are also used to destabilize governments.
The profiteering violent militarism has been justified by hypocritical rhetoric of humanitarianism and so-called democracy-spreading. This rhetoric is straining credibility given the ongoing bloodbaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Alex Lantier in “Anti-Russia propaganda and the fabrication” sees the US corporate media as helping to re-brand and re-legitimize the corporate, profit-obsessed and driven militaristic agenda sustained from the Bush regime by the Obama regime. (Remember how a 2008 vote for Obama was a vote for ending war?) Lantier maintains that the Ukraine situation is being exploited by administrators and media to “shift public opinion”. He writes:
This was the subject of Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne’s commentary on Wednesday, entitled, “Can Putin’s power grab in Crimea bring us together?” In this piece, Dionne wonders how a “war-weary public can be awakened and rallied.” He bemoans statistics showing that only 29 percent of the American population opposes, and 56 percent supports, the view that the United States should not get “too involved” in Ukraine.
So the purpose of the ongoing propaganda campaign is to manufacture a new pro-war narrative, as if that is all that is necessary to erase the lies told about Iraq and Afghanistan from public memory.
Owen Jones in “Libya is a Disaster We Helped Create: The West Must take Responsibility” brings up a useful metaphor that like so much else unfortunately has disappeared down the American citizenry memory hole:
It's called the pottery store rule: "you break it, you own it". But it doesn't just apply to pots and mugs, but to nations. In the build-up to the catastrophic invasion of Iraq, it was invoked by Colin Powell, then US secretary of state. "You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people," he reportedly told George W Bush. "You will own all their hopes, aspirations and problems."
But while many of these military interventions have left nations shattered, western governments have resembled the customer who walks away whistling, hoping no one has noticed the mess left behind.
Our media have been all too complicit in allowing them to leave the scene.
What is even more disturbing is when our political leadership proves so mendacious and/or delusional, as in one recent case with President Obama in Brussels last Wednesday, it defends and twists US criminality in US invasions and occupations of illegitimately regime-changed countries such as Iraq. In “Selling a Lemon” William Rivers Pitt writes:
... At one point, in seeking to shame Russia for its actions, Mr. Obama actually went so far as to try and legitimize America's catastrophic actions in Iraq, so as not to appear hypocritical in his comments. His words:
"Moreover, Russia has pointed to America's decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq War was a subject of vigorous debate not just around the world, but in the United States as well. I participated in that debate and I opposed our military intervention there. But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future."
Facts: America ran roughshod over the international community to get that war going. If an invasion and ten-year occupation isn't annexation, then nothing is. Companies like Halliburton/KBR absolutely grabbed Iraq's resources, because their oil was supposed to "pay for the war," and there were gas lines in Iraq for years after the invasion, because those companies sat on that oil like it was their own private piggy bank... which it was, as it turns out. And as for the state we left Iraq in, thousands upon thousands of people have been killed in the sectarian strife left in our wake. They aren't making decisions about their future. They're running for their lives.
That this president dared to attempt to paper over the horrific smash-and-grab war crime that was America's invasion of Iraq is not merely disgusting; it is dangerous in the extreme, because we are doomed to repeat what we allow ourselves to forget.
Truthout does not forget. We were at the forefront of the struggle against that disastrous war, and we will not stand idly by as an alleged "good guy" slaps a coat of paint over it to cover up the blood on the walls. President Obama sounds for all the world like a used car salesman trying to peddle a lemon, and that will not happen on our watch.
Finian Cunningham expands on the issue of US hegemony in “Putin Holds Aces, Obama Deuces” declares:
The world has had it with US-led aggression against Iran with murderous sanctions that, again, are based on wanton and transparent lies that infringe on the legally entitled rights of the Iranian nation to develop nuclear technology.
The world is sickened by American sponsorship of the genocidal Israeli regime against the Palestinian people - a grotesque regime whose illegal stockpile of nuclear weapons is an affront to international law and morality.
And the world is abhorred by the US-led covert war of aggression on Syria for the past three years, conducted with the help of Arab despots and head-choppers, which has resulted in over 130,000 deaths and millions thrown into abject misery.
More than anything perhaps, the world, including many ordinary Americans, is disgusted by the shameless deception, double standards and hypocrisy of Washington and its European acolytes who claim to represent decency, democracy and the "international community".
Thierry Meyssan in “Can Washington Overthrow Three Governments at the Same Time?” goes so far as putting the realpolitik “regime change playbook” the US and its allies have employed with Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela. He writes:
In all three cases, the U.S. narrative is based on the same principles: accuse governments of killing their own citizens, qualify opponents as ’democratic’; impose sanctions against the "murderers" and ultimately operate coups.
Each time, the movement begins with a demonstration during which peaceful opponents are killed, and where both sides accuse each other of violence. In fact U.S. or NATO special forces placed on rooftops shoot at both the crowd and the police. This was the case in Daraa (Syria) in 2011, Kiev (Ukraine) and Caracas (Venezuela) this week. Alas for bad luck: autopsies in Venezuela show that two victims, one opponent and one pro-government, were killed by the same weapon.
Qualifying opponents as democratic activists is a simple game of rhetoric. In Syria, they are Takfirists supported by the worst dictatorship in the world, Saudi Arabia. In Ukraine, a few sincere pro-Europeans surrounded by many Nazis. In Venezuela, young Trotskyists from good families surrounded by goon squads. Everywhere the false U.S. opponent, John McCain, brings his support to true and false on site opponents.
Support for opponents rests with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). This agency of the U.S. government falsely presents itself as an NGO funded by Congress. But it was created by President Ronald Reagan, in association with Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. It is headed by the neoconservative Carl Gershman and the daughter of General Alexander Haig (former Supreme Commander of NATO, then Secretary of State ), Barbara Haig. This is the NED (actually the State Department), which employs the "opposition" senator John McCain.
To this operating group, you must add the Albert Einstein Institute, an "NGO" funded by NATO. Created by Gene Sharp, it trained professional agitators from two bases: Serbia (Canvas) and Qatar (Academy of currency).
In all cases, Susan Rice and Samantha Power take on airs of outrage before imposing penalties, soon echoed by the European Union, while they are in fact the sponsors of the violence.
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh in “How International Financial Elites Change Governments to Implement Austerity” supports Meyssan’s perspective:
The official rationale (offered by the U.S. and its allies) that the goal of supporting anti-government opposition forces in places such as Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela is to spread democracy no longer holds any validity; it can easily be dismissed as a harebrained pretext to export neoliberalism and spread austerity economics. Abundant and irrefutable evidence shows that in places where the majority of citizens voted for and elected governments that were not to the liking of Western powers, these powers mobilized their local allies and hired all kinds of mercenary forces in order to overthrow the duly elected governments, thereby quashing the majority vote.
After the US's and NATO's, especially Germany's, covert destabilization and collusion with neo-Nazi storm troopers in Ukraine, there is a feverish pitch of warmongering in western media against Russia for annexing a portion of a country that conducted a constitutionally democratic referendum and voted to join it.
None of the European NATO countries seriously have their security presently threatened by Russia, nor does the US. On the other hand, Russia's security, economic and physical, is being threatened by sanctions and NATO's hostile military regional encirclement.
Echoing this contrived chorus line, the Western media are casting Russia, led by Vladimir Putin, as the biggest threat to European peace since the end of the Cold War more than 20 years ago. Never mind the inescapable fact that it was Soviet Russia that largely defeated German fascism in 1945.
Russian security measures on its border with Western-destabilized Ukraine and in the constitutionally reunited southern province of Crimea are distorted as monstrous acts of aggression. Russia’s legitimate cautionary national security measures are presented as an evil specter threatening to “splinter Europe” – in the words of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
This cartoon-like portrayal is bereft of salient facts, facts that are known to the public from its access to alternative news media. Such as the fact that Washington and its European allies are the ones who initiated the unrest over Ukraine by overseeing a coup d’état in Kiev on February 23 – after three months of orchestrated street violence. It is Western governments that have violated international law and sovereignty – and not for the first time. The new unelected Western-backed regime in Kiev is composed of neo-Nazis and other fascists who have unleashed chaos and violence across Ukraine – the latest examples being attacks on pro-Russian officials and property, armed robberies of Russia-bound trains and the harassment of neutral media services.
There have been calls for mass murder and terrorism against Russian people by the coup plotters, including the Western elites’ darling pro-democracy princess, Yulia Timoshenko, who was recently caught relishing the idea of “whacking” Russians and turning Russian territory into ash from a nuclear strike.
But don’t let facts get in the way of a good story, as the Western elites might say. And that story is that Europe is nearly at war again because of “old barbaric habits”. What’s more, it is America – “the brave, democratic America” – that is once again bringing Europe back to civilized peace and harmony, this time from Russian despotism, as opposed to Nazi fascism of before.
The trouble for Washington and its elite European allies is that the wider public is not buying this hackneyed narrative. The wider public rightly see US-led NATO aggression and lebensraum in Europe as the problem, not alleged Russian expansionism…
Paul Craig Roberts in “How Much War Does Washington Want” echoes this sentiment:
The neoconservatives, who have controlled US foreign policy since the Clinton regime, concluded that the Soviet collapse meant that History has chosen America as the socio-economic system for the world. They declared the US to be “exceptional” and “indispensable” and above international law.
Washington had a free pass to invade, murder, destroy, and dominate. The neoconservative claims of “American exceptionalism” sound like Hitler’s claims for the German nation. When the White House sock puppet expressed in a speech the claim of American exceptionalism, Putin replied: “God made us all equal.”
Washington’s opinion is that the exceptional and indispensable nation–the US–is above not only all other nations but also above law. What Washington does is legal. What anyone else does in opposition is illegal.
Washington’s intervention in Ukraine has unleashed dark forces. Yulia Tymoshenko, the criminal Ukrainian oligarch, who braids her hair or hair piece over her head like a crown, was released from prison by Washington’s stooges and has not stopped putting her foot, or both feet, in her mouth. Her latest in her intercepted and leaked telephone conversation is her declaration that “it’s about time we grab our guns and go kill those damn Russians together with their leader.” She declared that not even scorched earth should be left where Russia stands. http://rt.com/news/tymoshenko-calls-destroy-russia-917/
Tymoshenko was sentenced to prison by Ukrainians, not by Russians. Contrast her extreme language and Russophobia with the calm measured tones of Putin, who reaffirms Russia’s interest to continue good relations with Ukraine.
Patrick Cockburn in “How Syria’s Secular Uprising Was Hijacked by Jihadists” points out the current desperate situation Syrians are in thanks to the US and Saudi Arabian relentless instigation and ends-justify-the-means obsession with Assad regime change there:
Syrians have to choose between a violent dictatorship in which power is monopolised by the presidency and brutish security services, and an opposition that shoots children in the face for minor blasphemy and sends pictures of decapitated soldiers to their parents.
Patrick O'Connor in "US and NATO use Ukrainian crisis to advance military build-up in Eastern Europe" explains how proactive the US has become in military preparedness over the Ukraine situation:
These statements [US and NATO officials talking of beefing up military presence near Ukraine], which follow the US deployment of twelve F16 fighter jets and 300 troops to Poland earlier this month, underscore the brazen hypocrisy of the White House and its allies. Washington is now drumming up a war scare over alleged Russian troop movements within the country’s own borders, while at the same time the US armed forces are being deployed in a provocative effort to cordon off Russia from its neighbours.
The installed regime in Kiev is also ratcheting up the rhetoric.
Having installed a regime in Ukraine that includes forces intent on triggering a war between the US and Russia, the White House is now preparing to build up its military capacities. Republican congressman Mike Rogers, chair of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, yesterday told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Obama’s rhetoric did not “match the reality on the ground.” He demanded military aid that the Ukrainian government “can use to really protect and defend themselves.”
Obama’s deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken responded by declaring that the prospect of directly arming Ukraine was currently being reviewed.
Finally, Ralph Nader in “Obama to Putin: Do as I Say Not as I Do” offers insights re the historical distrust of Russia for the US and of Russians and ethnic Russian Ukrainians for the neo-Nazi and fascist forces now empowered in Ukraine:
The Russians have their own troubles, of course, but they do have a legitimate complaint and fear about the United States’ actions following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Led by President William Jefferson Clinton, the United States pushed for the expansion of the military alliance NATO to include the newly independent Eastern European countries. This was partly a business deal to get these countries to buy United States fighter aircrafts from Lockheed Martin and partly a needless provocation of a transformed adversary trying to get back on its feet.
As a student of Russian history and language at Princeton, I learned about the deep sensitivity of the Russian people regarding the insecurity of their Western Front. Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union took many millions of Russian lives. The prolonged Nazi siege of the city of Leningrad alone is estimated to have cost over 700,000 civilian lives, which is about twice the total number of United States soldiers killed in World War II.
Nader goes as far as suggesting this to Obama:
If you want continued Russian cooperation, as you do, on the critical Iranian and Syrian negotiations, ignore the belligerent baying pack of neocons who always want more United States wars, which they and their adult children avoid fighting themselves. Develop a coalition of economic support for Ukraine, with European nations, based on observable reforms of that troubled government. Sponsor a global conference on how to enforce international law as early as possible.
Nader is talking about a paradigm shift to humanism. He clearly has more optimism for Obama's potential than I.
If only Obama and his fellow international gangsters could come to or be made to embrace humanism not patriarchal murderous and rapacious “winner take all” hegemony. If they could act like statespeople capable of empathy not gamespeople who are addicted to war and who clearly have no problem sacrificing innocent human beings as easily expendable collateral damage for profit and power.
[cross-posted on open salon]