How Americans can help world peace

Finian Cunningham

A first step for world peace is for the American people to rein in their reckless government from the international stage and to stop it making misery for so many. Americans need democratic government like the rest of the world needs rid of Washington's thuggish global policeman.

This may come as a shock to many ordinary Americans who tend to think that their country is already the beacon of democratic light unto the world, bestowing all sorts of benevolence to others. Such delusional "American exceptionalism" has to stop. America is only special in a very negative meaning. It plays a central part in fomenting conflict in almost every scenario we care to look at.

We see this nefarious US role in the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian travesty known as a "peace process". In reality, this process is but a continual green light for the Israeli regime to commit massive violation of international laws against the long-suffering Palestinian people.

US Secretary of State John Kerry this week rushed off to the Israeli regime allegedly to urge its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to engage with Palestinians. To many ordinary Americans, as told by their news media, Washington is acting as a hapless peace broker between two implacable opponents. Wrong.


Washington Drives The World To War

Paul Craig Roberts

The CIA director was sent to Kiev to launch a military suppression of the Russian separatists in the eastern and southern portions of Ukraine, former Russian territories for the most part that were foolishly attached to the Ukraine in the early years of Soviet rule.

Washington’s plan to grab Ukraine overlooked that the Russian and Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine were not likely to go along with their insertion into the EU and NATO while submitting to the persecution of Russian speaking peoples. Washington has lost Crimea, from which Washington intended to eject Russia from its Black Sea naval base. Instead of admitting that its plan for grabbing Ukraine has gone amiss, Washington is unable to admit a mistake and, therefore, is pushing the crisis to more dangerous levels.

If Ukraine dissolves into secession with the former Russian territories reverting to Russia, Washington will be embarrassed that the result of its coup in Kiev was to restore the Russian provinces of Ukraine to Russia. To avoid this embarrassment, Washington is pushing the crisis toward war.

The CIA director instructed Washington’s hand-picked stooge government in Kiev to apply to the United Nations for help in repelling “terrorists” who with alleged Russian help are allegedly attacking Ukraine. In Washington’s vocabulary, self-determination is a sign of Russian interference. As the UN is essentially a Washington-financed organization, Washington will get what it wants.

The Russian government has already made it completely clear some weeks ago that the use of violence against protesters in eastern and southern Ukraine would compel the Russian government to send in the Russian army to protect Russians, just as Russia had to do in South Ossetia when Washington instructed its Georgian puppet ruler to attack Russian peacekeeping troops and Russian residents of South Ossetia.

Washington knows that the Russian government cannot stand aside while one of Washington’s puppet states attacks Russians. Yet, Washington is pushing the crisis to war.


CIA director in Ukraine as Washington steps up threats against Russia

Mike Head

US imperialism and its [European puppets] are seeking to redraw the European map, strategically and militarily encircling Russia in order to dismember the Russian Federation. The ultimate aim is to assert unchallenged US hegemony over the Eurasian landmass.

Seizing upon spreading protests and building occupations in eastern Ukraine in response to February’s Western-backed putsch in Kiev, the Obama administration is escalating its accusations, threats and provocations against Russia.

In the clearest sign of intensifying US involvement in the Ukraine crisis, the White House admitted—after vehement denials—that CIA Director John Brennan flew into Kiev over the weekend. Brennan arrived, under a false name, for discussions on how to further exploit the crisis that the US and its allies deliberately triggered by orchestrating the February coup.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded an explanation about the nature of the undercover visit, and deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych accused Brennan of ordering a crackdown on protests in the east of the country.

The CIA initially ridiculed these accusations as “completely false.” Yesterday, however, White House spokesman Jay Carney declared: “We don’t normally comment on the CIA director’s travel, but given the extraordinary circumstances in this case and the false claims being leveled by the Russians at the CIA, we can confirm that the director was in Kiev as part of a trip to Europe.”

Ludicrously, Carney told reporters that “senior level visits of intelligence officials are a standard means of fostering mutually beneficial security cooperation, including US-Russian intelligence collaboration.” He added that “to imply that US officials meeting with their counterparts is anything other than in the same spirit is absurd.”


The Global Banking Game Is Rigged, and the FDIC Is Suing

Ellen Brown

Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for a swindle pulled off by the world’s biggest banks, using a form of derivative called interest-rate swaps; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has now joined a chorus of litigants suing over it. According to an SEIU report:

Derivatives . . . have turned into a windfall for banks and a nightmare for taxpayers. . . . While banks are still collecting fixed rates of 3 to 6 percent, they are now regularly paying public entities as little as a tenth of one percent on the outstanding bonds, with rates expected to remain low in the future. Over the life of the deals, banks are now projected to collect billions more than they pay state and local governments – an outcome which amounts to a second bailout for banks, this one paid directly out of state and local budgets.

It is not just that local governments, universities and pension funds made a bad bet on these swaps. The game itself was rigged, as explained below. The FDIC is now suing in civil court for damages and punitive damages, a lead that other injured local governments and agencies would be well-advised to follow. But they need to hurry, because time on the statute of limitations is running out.


Washington Is Humanity’s Worst Enemy

Paul Craig Roberts

Photo: The sign outside Camp Delta says INTEGRITY. Integrity? Guantánamo Bay is where an evil that knows no bounds is free from all constraint. "Arbeit macht frei" is another one that comes to mind. This is a German phrase meaning "work makes (you) free". The slogan is known for having been placed over the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II, including most infamously Auschwitz concentration camp. - What we're seeing here is a disgusting pretense of representing virtue, which in reality is a cover for the vilest depravity and state-sanctioned perversions. - Editor (Wikipedia)

How does Washington get away with the claim that the country it rules is a democracy and has freedom? This absurd claim ranks as one of the most unsubstantiated claims in history. - There is no democracy whatsoever.

Voting is a mask for rule by a few powerful interest groups. In two 21st century rulings (Citizens United and McCutcheon), the US Supreme Court has ruled that the purchase of the US government by private interest groups is merely the exercise of free speech. These rulings allow powerful corporate and financial interests to use their money-power to elect a government that serves their interests at the expense of the general welfare.

The control private interests exercise over the government is so complete that private interests have immunity to prosecution for crimes. At his retirement party on March 27, Securities and Exchange Commission prosecutor James Kidney stated that his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail” were blocked by superiors who “were focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service.” The SEC’s top brass, Kidney said, did not “believe in afflicting the comfortable and powerful.” In his report on Kidney’s retirement speech, Eric Zuesse points out that the Obama regime released false statistics in order to claim prosecutions that did not take place in order to convince a gullible public that Wall Street crooks were being punished.


We're All Ukrainians Now

Stephen Lendman

On February 22, 2014, Ukrainian freedom died. Western-supported fascist putschists seized power. They ousted Ukraine's democratically elected government. Mob rule replaced it. Illegitimate xenophobic, ultranationalist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic thugs run things. They do so with full US backing.


A barricade in front of the seized police station in the eastern
Ukraine town of Slovyansk
(Associated Press/Daily Mail)

Eastern Ukrainians reject Kiev putschists. They want democracy. They want the real thing. They want what Americans don't have. They're going all-out to get it. They're a role model for freedom fighters everywhere. They deserve universal support.

They continue rallying across Eastern Ukraine. They seized government buildings. They're peaceful. They're courageous. They want local autonomy. They want Crimean-style referendum authority to decide. They want their democratic rights respected. They're entitled to demand them. So do people everywhere.

Illegitimate putschist prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk backed off from earlier threats. He promised legislation granting regional referenda. He spoke as a 48-hour deadline given protesters to evacuate public buildings expired. He'll support greater autonomy, he said. His U-turn was short-lived. He ordered crackdowns on Slavyansk protesters. Kiev calls them terrorists. They're in Donetsk's industrial region. They're under attack. Transport helicopters ferried in troops. They besieged the city. Fighting erupted. Gunfire was heard. Injuries were reported.


How The CIA Made Dr. Zhivago Into A Weapon

Paul Craig Roberts

American Cold War propaganda had little, if anything, to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, by dramatizing Soviet mendacity it made the world blind to Washington’s mendacity.

When Soviet authorities refused to publish prominent Soviet writer Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece, Dr. Zhivago, the CIA turned it into a propaganda coup.

An Italian journalist and Communist Party member learned of the suppressed manuscript and offered to take the manuscript to the Italian communist publisher in Milan, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, who published the book in Italian over Soviet objections in 1957. Feltrinelli believed that Dr. Zhivago was a masterpiece and that the Soviet government was foolish not to take credit for the accomplishment of its greatest writer. Instead, a dogmatic and inflexible Kremlin played into the CIA’s hands.

The Soviets made such a stink about the book that the controversy raised the book’s profile. According to recently declassified CIA documents, the CIA saw the book as an opportunity to make Soviet citizens wonder why a novel by such a prominent Russian writer was only available abroad. The CIA arranged for a Russian language edition to be published and distributed to Soviet citizens at the World Fair in Brussels in 1958. The propaganda coup was complete when Pasternak received the Nobel Prize for literature in October 1958.


The Corporate Colonization of Afghanistan

Ulson Gunnar

A recent TIME Magazine article featured the “US NGO” Roots for Peace, which it portrayed as a victim of a regrouping Taliban bent on subjugating a newly “democratized” Afghanistan. This organization, funded by the US State Department and USAID, claims to be turning “battlefields into bountiful orchards.” But a lack of transparency makes it unclear as to just how they are doing this. With USAID using “aid” to usher in the corporate colonization of Afghanistan through other “NGOs,” its involvement with Roots for Peace raises warranted suspicions.

Already, the War in Afghanistan has given agricultural monopolies like Monsanto a multi-million dollar foothold in the landlocked Central Asian country. As part of efforts to eradicate poppy cultivation across the country, the United States insisted that Kabul sidestep health studies and sign off on an unpopular plan to spray millions of dollars worth of Monsanto’s “RoundUp” glyphosate herbicide across Afghanistan’s countryside. It should be noted that before NATO’s intervention in Afghanistan in 2001, poppy cultivation was nearly eradicated under the Taliban.

In addition to fears that the mass spraying of Afghanistan’s countryside could negatively impact the health of the Afghan people, there were also fears that licit crops could also be destroyed, leaving farmers with failed harvests, anger, and a willingness to further align themselves with armed tribesmen, including the Taliban.


White House Lies to EU about US Gas Supply

F. William Engdahl

The White House and State Department have engaged in brazen lying to EU governments regarding the ability of the US to supply more than enough natural gas to replace Russian gas deliveries. Recent statements by US President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are so patently false that it betrays an incredible desperation in Washington over the situation in Ukraine versus Moscow. Or it suggests that Washington is so out of touch with any factual reality she simply doesn’t care what she says. Either way, it suggests an unreliable diplomatic partner for the EU.

After his recent meeting with EU leaders Obama issued the incredible statement that the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that is being secretly negotiated behind closed doors by the major private multinational companies would make it easier for the United States to export gas to Europe and help it reduce its dependency on Russian energy. Obama stated:

“Once we have a trade agreement in place, export licenses for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier, something that is obviously relevant in today’s geopolitical environment.”

That bit of political opportunism to try to push the stalled TTIP talks by playing on EU fears of Russian gas loss after the US-orchestrated Ukraine coup of February 22, ignores the fact that the problem in getting US shale gas to the EU does not lie in easier LNG licensing procedures in the USA and EU.

In other recent statements, referring to the recent boom in unconventional US shale gas, Obama and Kerry have both stated the US could more than replace all Russian gas to the EU, an outright lie based on physical realities. At his Brussels meeting Obama told EU leaders they should import shale gas from the US to replace Russian. There is a huge problem with that.


Is the US or the World Coming to an End?

Paul Craig Roberts

2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States.

Two pressures are building on the US dollar. One pressure comes from the Federal Reserve’s declining ability to rig the price of gold as Western gold supplies shrivel and market knowledge of the Fed’s illegal price rigging spreads. The evidence of massive amounts of naked shorts being dumped into the paper gold futures market at times of day when trading is thin is unequivocal. It has become obvious that the price of gold is being rigged in the futures market in order to protect the dollar’s value from QE.

The other pressure arises from the Obama regime’s foolish threats of sanctions on Russia. Other countries are no longer willing to tolerate Washington’s abuse of the world dollar standard. Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system to inflict damage on the economies of countries that resist Washington’s political hegemony.

Russia and China have had enough. As I have reported and as Peter Koenig reports here, Russia and China are disconnecting their international trade from the dollar. Henceforth, Russia will conduct its trade, including the sale of oil and natural gas to Europe, in rubles and in the currencies of its BRICS partners.


Civil war looms as pro-US regime threatens massacre of east Ukraine protesters

Alex Lantier

Ukraine stands on the brink of civil war, as the unelected pro-Western regime that seized power this February in Kiev threatens a bloody crackdown on protesters occupying local government offices in cities across traditionally pro-Russian sections of eastern Ukraine.

Protesters are demanding a referendum to federalize Ukraine and limit the authority of the new, far-right regime in Kiev. Some protesters have also called on their areas to vote to join Russia, as the former Ukrainian region of Crimea did last month, or declared independent “people’s republics” in Donetsk and Kharkiv.

Andrei Senchenko, the deputy head of the presidential administration in Kiev, said his regime’s security forces would “shoot to kill” if protesters did not abandon buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv by today.

Senchenko’s threats echoed those of Irina Farion, a legislator from the Fatherland Party of US-backed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk. She demanded death for the protesters saying, “Today’s reaction is unacceptable. The measures should be much tougher. Our people laid down their lives. That’s why those creatures that arrive here deserve only death.”

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that a “special police task force” had arrived from western Ukraine to Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv, after local police units refused to launch a crackdown. He was apparently referring to the deployment to eastern Ukraine of units of the Kiev regime’s new National Guard and of the fascist Right Sector militia, which led the February putsch in Kiev that toppled pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.


Ukraine About To Be Crushed

Brother Nathanael Kapner

THE CRUSHING OF UKRAINE is like a wrecking ball smashing everything in sight.

Not only is the regime in Kiev imploding, complete with parliament fist fights and Right Sector face-offs and shoot-outs, its economy is about to be smashed as well.

In a priority meeting today between Putin and his economic and trade ministers, the upshot of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine was discussed.

Aware that the EU was about to push Ukraine into becoming a consumer nation of European imported goods—instead of a producer nation exporting goods to Russia—Putin asked his team to forge a fitting response.


Understanding the U.S. War State: The New Fundamentalism, "America is God"

John McMurtry


"American Progress," or "Manifest Destiny." Painting
shows an American woman in the sky guiding pioneers
westward.
(G. A. Crofutt, c. 1873.)(Library of Congress)

(Originally published in May 2003)

It is easy. All you have to do is tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” ~ Hermann Goering

Genocide used to be a crime without a name. Although the most heinous of all crimes, the concept was not introduced into international language until after World War 2. Until then, military invasion and destruction of other peoples and cultures masqueraded under such slogans as progress and spreading civilisation.

I was shocked many years ago when I heard Noam Chomsky say that genocide was America’s defining political tradition. Then I realised that the United States (like Canada to a much lesser extent) was based on destroying the lives and cultures of the 25 million or so first peoples who had lived in America for millennia. In the case of the U.S., the story continued with the forcible seizure of Texas in 1845 from Mexican farmers and indigenous peoples, and Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, California and other state territories shortly afterward in 1849. U.S. troops under the slave-owning General Zachary Taylor unilaterally invaded its southern neighbour under the false pretext of avenging American blood, and General Taylor soon vaulted into the White House as a presidential war hero. Even though a young Congressman, Abraham Lincoln, exposed the pretext, and connected it to a Anglo-British business strategy to impose free trade on the regions by financing the prior president, James Polk, into the White House as General Taylor’s commander.

In 1898, once again under the false pretext of self-defence (when the U.S.S. Maine sank from an internal explosion), the Philippines, Guam, Cuba in part, and Puerto Rico were seized from their peoples by another unilaterally provoked war. This war of aggression and occupation, like so many U.S. interventions since, was preceded by a media campaign of whipping up public hysteria and war fever. Media baron Randolf Hearst made the famous remark, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war,” not unlike the U.S. cable and network media daily drum-beat in recent months for war on Iraq. War is a major violence entertainment, and in close partnership with the Pentagon it can go on for months to divert the masses.


Ukrainians Get IMF’s Bitter Medicine

Robert Parry


A customer and street vendor are seen before the background
of an outdoor ad with an image of the Ukrainian hryvnia and
U.S. dollar bank notes in central Kiev.
(Reuters/A. Stepanov)

Exclusive: Though lacking legitimacy from national elections, Ukraine’s coup regime has approved a harsh IMF austerity plan that hits Ukraine’s “99 percent” the hardest and asks little from the country’s “1 percent,” including the corrupt “oligarchs.”

It’s a safe bet that most of the Ukrainians who flooded Maidan Square in Kiev in February did not do so because they wanted the International Monetary Fund to make their lives even more miserable by slashing subsidies for heat, gutting pensions and devaluing the currency to make everyday goods more expensive.

But thanks to the U.S.-backed coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and replaced him with a regime including far-right parties, super-rich ”oligarchs” and technocrats with little sympathy for the suffering of average people, that’s exactly what happened. Although lacking legitimacy that would come from national elections, the coup regime pushed through the demands of the Washington-based IMF.

The process began just 10 days after the violent Feb. 22 coup that forced Yanukovych to flee for his life. IMF officials landed in Kiev on March 4 to hammer out a deal that acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, himself a chilly bank technocrat, has acknowledged is “very unpopular, very difficult, very tough.”

What is also striking about the IMF plan is that it puts virtually all the pain on average Ukrainians. There is nothing in the economic “reform” package that extracts some of the ill-gotten gains from Ukraine’s ten or so “oligarchs,” the multimillionaires and even billionaires who largely plundered Ukraine’s wealth after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

There is no plan for demanding that these “oligarchs” kick in some percentage of their net worth to help their own country. Instead, hard-pressed citizens of the United States and Europe are expected to carry the financial load.


NATO, Russia, and the View from Mars

Eric Draitser

Robert Heinlein’s classic novel Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of a human, born and raised on Mars, who comes to Earth and struggles to understand the world around him. The protagonist of the novel, having no knowledge of the planet, is susceptible to misunderstanding issues based on a literal interpretation of all he sees and reads. Were he to come to the US or Europe today and pick up a newspaper or turn on the news, what would he think of Russia and its ambitions? Conversely, would he even encounter the word NATO? And would he have any concept of the fact that NATO is by far the most dominant military force in the world?

Obscuring the Truth with Media The onslaught of Western propaganda in recent months has attempted to portray Russia as an aggressor – an imperial nation with designs on Ukraine and its other neighbors. Russia is presented as a belligerent actor using its military to menace former Soviet republics in order to reconstitute its former glory.

However, this narrative conveniently leaves out the fact that it is NATO, not Russia, which is actually escalating military tensions throughout the former Soviet space. While the US and European media build the myth of “Bad Vlad” and Russian imperialism, NATO is quietly deploying troops and hardware to critical locations, providing material support to nations along Russia’s borders and those of its allies, and generally raising the stakes and inviting the possibility of war. With headlines such as “Putin’s imperial project threatens European values” (Financial Times), and “Putin’s Imperial One-Man Show” (New York Times), the Western media has done yeoman’s work for Washington and Brussels, establishing the narrative that it is Russia that is an imperial aggressor seeking regional (global?) domination through military force. These media outlets frame the discussion as to the degree to which Russia seeks hegemony, not whether or not this is truly the case.


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