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While John Kerry and Jen Psaki are trying hard to deny US involvement in color revolutions, history tells a different story

‘Even a seasoned cynic sometimes gasps in disbelief. “President Putin misinterprets much of what the U.S. is doing or trying to do,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference in Geneva on March 2. “We are not involved in ‘numerous color revolutions’ as he asserts. In the case of Ukraine, such assumptions are also wrong. The United States support international law with respect to the sovereignty and integrity of other people.”

This is akin to Count Dracula asserting his strict adherence to a vegan diet and his principled respect for the integrity of blood banks worldwide.’

Read more: The US State Department’s Regime Change Mania

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Apologies to Washington and Jefferson for posting this one, but they can take it ;)

From Charles Davis at Salon.com:

Terrible findings in the torture report “are not who we are,” John Kerry claims. Well, here’s a U.S. history lesson

America, nation of torturers: Stop saying "this isn't who we are" -- here's the real truth

John Yoo, Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in “24: Live Another Day,” John Brennan (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh/Fox/Reuters/Larry Downing/Photo collage by Salon)

It’s comforting for those whose actions are not aligned with their stated values to believe that what one does in real life is not what ultimately defines who one really is. It’s nice to think who we are is determined not by the things we did the day before, but by the stated ideals we hope to aspire to fulfill, starting tomorrow. In a nation-state founded by settler-colonial Protestants, the argument is familiar – it’s what’s deep down inside that gets one up into heaven, not the good or genocidal nature of what one does down here on Earth – and as with any half-decent lie, it’s relatable: as fallible human beings, we’d all rather like to believe that we’re not as bad as we are but as good as we say we would like to be.

While founded on the ethnic cleansing of the continent’s original inhabitants and the enslavement of its African workforce, the news – or rather, confirmation – that the CIA employed a revolting range of “enhanced” torture techniques in the wake of 9/11 is being portrayed by some as a vile exception to the United States’ otherwise exceptional history; a “stain on our values and history,” in the words of Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose committee released the report detailing the agency’s use of near-drownings and mock executions and sexual abuse to humiliate and demoralize a foreign “other” under the guise of gathering intelligence. These practices, the terrible things this country has again and again been shown to do, “are not who we are,” addedSecretary of State John Kerry. Indeed, “the awful facts of this report” do not even “represent who they are,” he said of those awful people described in that report (“its important that this period not define the intelligence community in anyone’s mind,” he continued).

“Some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values,” President Barack Obama chimed in, crediting his government with, as always, correcting its own mistakes (“They aren’t picking up prisoners anymore,” Senator James Risch explained to CNN. “What they do is when they identify a high-value target, the target is droned.”).

As a rhetorical ploy, it’s understandable: Saying the United States has always been garbage is not going to be terribly popular in a nation that still fondly refers to a group of sadistic slave-owners as its “founding fathers” — so politicians savvy enough to know that openly embracing torture is not a good look for the world’s leading state-sponsor of holier-than-thou rhetoric, appeal to a history and set of values that never was and never were in practice, as a way to give political cover to their middling, public relations-minded critiques of the national-security state’s least defensible excesses. It’s entirely false, this narrative of extreme goodness marked by occasional self-correcting imperfection, but it satisfies our national ego to think the American phoenix rises from a store of ethically traded gold, not a pile of rotting trash.

“We will likely hear these false appeals to an imaginary history a great deal with the release of the Senate report on CIA torture,” writes Juan Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan. But even historians can fall victim to America’s easier to digest mythology, with Cole proceeding to characterize the ugly truth about the United States – that it was founded on the “exaltation of ‘whiteness’ over universal humanity, and preference for property rights over human rights” – as but a right-wing lie. As he tells it, the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were actually progressives who would almost certainly “have voted to release the report and . . . been completely appalled at its contents.”

Cole follows that assertion up with a list of things that some of these founding fathers said they believed: Jefferson, for instance, argued that the formal abolition of torture in the French legal system was in keeping with “the progress of philanthropy and civilization.” And the Bill of Rights of course prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” But, naggingly, the actual record of those who gave those nice speeches and drafted the Constitution suggests we shouldn’t just believe what they said and wrote down.

“Fascists will argue that the Constitution does not apply to captured foreign prisoners of war, or that the prisoners were not even P.O.W.s, having been captured out of uniform,” writes Cole. “But focusing on the category of the prisoner is contrary to the spirit of the founding fathers.”

Except, it isn’t at all – and if fascism is denying human rights on the basis of nationality or appearance, than the exalted founders were of course fascists themselves. The same document that ostensibly prohibits torture also defined an African slave as three-fifths of a person – and even then, only for purposes of bolstering the political power of those who enslaved them: in practice, they were treated as property whose master could torture or murder them with impunity. This is not pedantry: Hundreds of thousands of people were denied their ostensibly inalienable rights because of the color of their skin; nearly four million by the time of the Civil War, or almost half the population of the South.

Thomas Jefferson, for instance, may have agonized over the evil of slavery, usually in private, but then he also reputedly raped a 15-year-old he owned and, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, paid $70 just so he could have a runaway slave he had already sold off to someone else “severely flogged in the presence of his old companions.” At least once, Jefferson even“ordered the destruction of all dogs belonging to his slaves,” according to researcher Mary V. Thompson. “At least one of the condemned dogs was hung as a disciplinary warning.”

Jefferson was a savage white supremacist who in practice if not always in speech believed that people of color (“slaves” and “savages” as they were known then; “thugs” and “terrorists” as they’re often called today) did not deserve all the same rights as wealthy white Americans like him; he could own them, but they could not even own a pet. The sometimes beautiful talk of universal rights popular around the time of the American revolution was ignored in practice; then as now there were giant exceptions for those whom it would be inconvenient to consider fully human.

Torture has always been commonplace in the United States. As former slave Harriet Ann Jacobs recounted, a wealthy slaveholder who was “highly educated, and styled a perfect gentleman,” tied up a fellow slave to a cotton gin for four days and five nights as punishment for running away; he “was found partly eaten by rats and vermin,” which had likely “gnawed him before life was extinct.” His body was unceremoniously dumped in a grave. “Women are considered of no value,” Jacobs recalled – “This same master shot a woman through the head” for running away, without harm to his social status (“the feeling was that the master had a right to do what he pleased with his own property”) – and any man who resisted a whipping risked being set upon by dogs “to tear his flesh from his bones.”

“I do not say there are no humane slaveholders,” Jacobs concluded her account. “Such characters do exist . . . . But they are ‘like angels’ visits – few and far between.’” And Africans weren’t the only ones denied the rights enjoyed by human property-owning white men.

“The kind of warfare the U.S. military practices today in the rest of the world was developed in their irregular counter-insurgency against Native nations, starting in the British colonial period for sure, but developing uniquely and more harshly once the U.S. was independent with a policy of conquering the continent,” said historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. “The important thing to stress about the use of torture,” she told me, “is that it is unrelated to ‘getting information.’ Torture is used in counterinsurgency to terrorize a population . . . [it’s] a preventative measure to suppress resistance by terrifying the insurgents, breaking their will to continue.” And America has a long, ignoble history of doing it.

In her most recent book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, notes that British colonists in America organized militias in order to steal land from the less-than-human natives, seeking “to disrupt every aspect of resistance as well as to obtain intelligence” by taking prisoners, “destroying indigenous villages and fields and intimidating and slaughtering enemy noncombatant populations.” A settler named Hannah Dustin became a folk hero in 17th century America after presenting 10 indigenous scalps to the Massachusetts General Assembly, which rewarded her “with bounties for two men, two women, and six children” (later on, the bounties were eliminated for indigenous children under the age of 10; “values”).

Seeking to expand his young nation-state’s territory, President George Washington concluded that, “No other remedy remains, but to extirpate, utterly if possible,” the indigenous population that stood in the white settlers’ way. Andrew Jackson personally waged total war against the men, women and children of the Muskogee Nation before becoming president and ethnically cleansing all native peoples East of the Mississippi; today the guy’s face is on the $20 bill. At Sand Creek, during the presidency of Abe Lincoln, dozens of unarmed Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were massacred. “All manner of depredations were inflicted on their persons,” recountedone eyewitness. “They were scalped, their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word.”

Instead of renouncing this history, we have chosen to celebrate a mythical, white-washed version of it, with genocide relegated to a footnote. If our leaders were more honest, they’d admit that the CIA’s recently revealed torture isn’t a break from this legacy, but the fruit of it – the product of decades of dehumanizing counter-insurgency warfare that expanded the USA from 13 colonies on the East Coast to much of North America and, ultimately, a global empire (it’s no coincidence that the code-name for Osama bin Laden was “Geronimo,” taken from the famed Apache leader).

After almost wiping out America’s original inhabitants, the U.S. government went on to declare total war on differently pigmented people around the globe. President Woodrow Wilson re-instituted slavery (or “forced labor”) in Haiti after its political class proved insufficiently compliant, his famed commitment to the right of self-determination not extending to those darker than pasty white. In Vietnam, the CIA’s “Phoenix Program” saw those accused of collaborating with the North Vietnamese subjected to “assassination, kidnapping, and systematic torture,”according to historian Douglas Valentine. Inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were raped and murdered. And today, amid official proclamations that we live in a post-torture age, inmates held in Guantanamo Bay – many of whom could never even go to a show trial because insofar as there’s any real evidence against them it was gained through torture – continue to be subjected to torturous force-feedings that have been condemned by the United Nations.

The abuse, exported across Latin America through the torture-training School of the Americas, also continues here at home, with tens of thousands of black and brown and poor white US citizens currently languishing in mind-destroying solitary confinement, California’s Pelican Bay State Prison alone holding over 500 people in isolation for a decade or more. In Chicago, a cop who electrocuted and otherwise tortured more than 200 people until they confessed to crimes they didn’t do, got off with about 3 years behind bars after the evidence of his sadism became too great to ignore; that’s less prison time than if he had been caught with a gram of crack cocaine.

Pointing all this out – noting that the U.S. government has rarely lived up to its stated ideals – is not to engage in mere pedantry, nor is it an attempt to suggest this country is irredeemably evil. This nation was born in genocide and slavery, sure, still it could conceivably change – but only if, instead of ignoring the institutionalized injustice, we recognizing and call out the systemic cause of the alleged “aberrations” our leaders are forced to distance themselves from every 18 months. The problem is not that the tree of liberty has produced a few bad seeds, but that the settler-colonists who planted it on someone else’s land watered it with blood of slaves and native peoples. It’s not George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who are responsible for making America a state that tortures, but George Washington and that other dick Tom Jefferson.

Avoiding the routine departure from “our values” requires confronting our actual history; it’s the only way to learn from it. Torture and total war are not the work of a few bad people, but the product of a system that from its inception treated human beings as property and the right to property as more important than the rights of women and men – it’s who we are, and if we want the violence wrought by our system to end, we must honestly address the systemic cause. The paeans to our imagined greatness might be comforting, we should resist the temptation to out-patriot the right or else we’ll end up just like them: doing public relations for the system that allows this evil to keep happening. And if humanity ever does manage to kick the habit of installing the worst among us at the top of hierarchical and unaccountable systems of power, history may very well judge us by our actions, not our pretty words and beautifully articulated aspirations.

 

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the White House “not to ever second guess me again” by forcing on Israel a ceasefire with Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

 

An Egyptian-brokered 72-hour ceasefire broke down Friday within two hours of taking effect when Israeli forces shelled central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of Palestinians.

 

The United States and Israel held Hamas responsible for the breakdown of the ceasefire.

 

In conversations with Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior US officials, Netanyahu advised the Obama administration to trust him on the matter, mocking international efforts to forge a truce, according to The Associated Press.

 

Early on Sunday, Israel declared that one of its troops who had gone missing was now dead. The announcement came hours after Israel vowed to further escalate its offensive against Gaza.

 

“We will take as much time as necessary, and will exert as much force as needed,” Netanyahu said Saturday at a joint press conference with Moshe Yaalon, the minister of military affairs.

 

The premier added that the Israeli army will continue its operations in Gaza even after it completes destroying Palestinian fighters’ tunnels.

 

US President Barack Obama had called for the “unconditional” release of the Israeli soldier who Tel Aviv said was captured in the Gaza town of Rafah.

 

Obama had framed the release of 23-year-old Hadar Goldin as a precondition for a possible ceasefire.

 

Netanyahu had told Kerry that Hamas would “bear the consequences of their actions.”

 

Israel’s bloody onslaught has claimed the lives of at least 1,700 Palestinians. More than 9,000 people have also been injured since the beginning of the aggression nearly four weeks ago.

 

Renowned Jewish American thinker Noam Chomsky told Press TV on Saturday that Israel has committed major “war crimes” in Gaza.  Chomsky said Israel is much worse than the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

 

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/03/373828/bibi-to-us-dont-second-guess-me-again/

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 Assad Wins Syrian Elections, Kerry Enraged #news.

In what should surprise no one who is familiar with the Syrian political situation, President Bashar Al-Assad has been re-elected in a landslide victory on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014.

Assad won with 88.7% of the vote, securing a third term in office and seven more years as president of Syria.

Jihad Lahan, Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, announced the results earlier, also stating that Hassan Al-Nouri won 4.3% and Maher Hajjar took 3.2% of the vote.

Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court deemed the voter turnout to be 73.42 percent.

After the announcement of the election results, Damascus erupted with joy and celebration as well as pro-Assad chants. Meanwhile, in Beruit, U.S. Secretary of State and Skull and Bones member John Kerry, erupted in fits of rage and tired propaganda talking points.

Kerry stated, “Nothing has changed from the day before the election and the day after. Nothing. The conflict is the same, the terror is the same, the killing is the same.”

Kerry made no mention of the fact, of course, that the conflict, terror, and killing was organized, funded and directed by the United States and the Anglo-Europeans. Indeed, it is clear that John Kerry himself is responsible for more dead Syrians than Bashar Assad could ever dream to be.

Kerry also stated that the Syrian election cannot be considered fair, “because you can’t have an election where millions of your people don’t even have an ability to vote.”

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Illustration by Matt Kenyon

‘The reality is that after two decades of Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit … ‘ Illustration: Matt Kenyon

The threat of war in Ukraine is growing. As the unelected government in Kiev declares itself unable to control the rebellion in the country’s east, John Kerry brands Russia a rogue state. The US and the European Union step up sanctions against the Kremlin, accusing it of destabilising Ukraine. The White House is reported to be set on a new cold war policy with the aim of turning Russia into a “pariah state”.

That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago. Then, it was armed protesters in Maidan Square seizing government buildings and demanding a change of government and constitution. US and European leaders championed the “masked militants” and denounced the elected government for its crackdown, just as they now back the unelected government’s use of force against rebels occupying police stations and town halls in cities such as Slavyansk and Donetsk.

“America is with you,” Senator John McCain told demonstrators then, standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.

When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbour.

Read more@ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict

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Oh, the burden of empire! It weighs so heavily on John Kerry’s shoulders:

“Secretary of State John Kerry attested Tuesday to the massively complex challenges Washington faces in Ukraine, Russia, Iran and the Middle East, declaring ‘it was easier’ during the Cold War.

“In a candid moment during a State Department speech, the top US diplomat said changing global power dynamics made a quaint memory of the early East-West stalemate, when American children would ‘crouch under our desks at school and practice’ safety steps for a possible nuclear attack.

“’During the Cold War… it was easier than it is today – simpler is maybe a way to put it,’ Kerry told aid and development experts.

“’The choices were less varied, less complicated, more stark, more clear: Communism, democracy, West, East, the Iron Curtain.’”

Yes, those were the Good Old Days – when children in the schoolroom cowered beneath their desks – and we almost went to war with the nuclear-armed Soviet Union over missiles in Cuba which posed no more threat than missiles outside Moscow. Does “quaint” even begin to describe that vintage scene? It’s all so Currier & Ives.

We were the Good Guys and the Russkies were the Bad Guys – and never the morally equivalent twain shall meet! If only we could get back to those halcyon days, everything would be “simpler,” says Kerry.

More @ http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/04/22/john-kerry-clueless-buffoon/

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johnkerry

The sky may not exactly be falling (yet), but the climate is definitely changing enough to screw us all and it’s all our fault on top of it according to the latest report released by the scaremongerers scientific cabal over that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The laundry list of ever-growing threats now includes more death, more natural disasters, more poverty, catastrophic food and water shortages and even potential wars, all because of what they are 95% sure is man-made global warming.

Upon the report’s release, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement on how dire things really are:

“Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice.”

He went on:

“There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”

The IPCC also claims the devastation of man-made climate change will hurt poor people the most. It was not clear if they were specifically referencing carbon taxes or not.

But Reuters points out that, “Still, many governments have pleaded for greater scientific certainty before making billion-dollar investments in everything from flood barriers to renewable energies.”

Al Gore, who The Telegraph noted was poised to “become world’s first carbon billionaire,” and his venture capital firm were probably sad to hear it.

See more at:

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TuneUp Utilities 2014 – Free Download!

The Russians pulled their Treasury bonds out of New York. And Russian corporations are pulling their money out of US banks. These are key signs that the dollar and the current US puppet government could collapse long before the 2016 elections. The dollar could never survive the sanctions Obama and Kerry are threatening. If we are lucky, President Putin of Russia and President XI Jinping of China, are too busy laughing at John Kerry to pay attention. It is not in China’s interest to force America into bankruptcy before China has squeezed every last gold bar out of US and London vaults. Their goal is to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency with a gold backed yuan.

America is on the verge of collapse. The occupying Power of the Bankers has bled us dry with their wars and their Ponzi schemes. They have stolen tens of trillions of dollars from our pensions and savings and sent it overseas. The Bankers are financially prepared if the dollar is collapsed when their puppet President imposes sanctions on Russia or makes some other strategic blunder in June of 2014 or maybe March 2015.

The dollar might survive past April of this year. But it might not. The dollar might even last a few months. But I don’t see how this precarious Dollar Bubble could possibly last until the next President takes office in January of 2017.

I have written of the clash between the Russo-Chinese alliance and the New World Order. But I do acknowledge that the West’s 30 families like the Rothschilds have extensive holdings inside Russia and China.

I have written why I think there will be no war over Iran. And I also do not believe the US military will allow a suicidal attack against Russia.

This collapse has nothing to do with political parties. It has everything to do with the Federal Reserve being allowed to charge us interest on money they created out of nothing. That is what drives the accumulation of Unpayable Debts which is the Cause of Depressions. Depressions are periods of time when Unpayable Debts are cancelled en masse. This is usually done through Hyperinflation as in 1923 Germany  or through default and foreclosure leading to Monetary Contraction as in 1933 America. The Third Way out of a Depression is through a less traumatic but systematic Debt Cancellation as the Babylonians did thousands of years ago.

In the near term, sanctions are worrisome but the inability of New York and London to deliver gold to Asia would be catastrophic. Please understand that collapse is coming as soon as April of 2014 but certainly no later than the inauguration date of the next American President. In fact I think we would be lucky to last that long.

There is an implosion coming. If you work in an American city, you might not be able one day soon to go to work there ever again.

If you live overseas and were thinking of visiting America, in a month or 12 months or 17 months, you might not even be able to safely visit what used to be a great nation.

I have said many times that when people overseas start dumping the dollar, that this will continue gathering steam until One Day American wages are cut in half. I cannot emphasize enough how close we are to the Day the Dollar Dies.

On the Day After the Dollar Dies half of America’s 330 million people will have nothing to eat. They will have no means of getting enough Food Stamps to buy food to feed their families. They will not be able to pay their Utility bills. They will not be able to make their insurance and car payments. But they will have 350 million guns.

On the Day After the Dollar Dies there will be Nationwide Food Riots. Are you prepared? Did you store food and water? The electricity in your area might be cut off. Do you have en exit plan? Does it involve major highways? Those might be blocked by the Department of Homeland Security. Do you have a safe place to go and a reliable means to get there alive and in one piece?

8 million Americans are on that Core list of people to be Disappeared in case of National Emergency which is to say when the Bankers get Hysterical about rioters looking for them. Some of us might wind up in concentration camps. Others might be alive in 30 days or 90 days After The Dollar Dies but find themselves holed up in an armed compound hoping for order out there to be established.

Some could find themselves under quarantine with a local band of survivors in 2016 or 2017 with multiple killer plagues having been released by the Bankers and their Minions.

None of us knows what will happen. But we do know that the Bankers stole everything we worked for. And they will use Hyperinflation to cover up their massive thefts. We do know they killed us by the tens of millions in their wars and in their concentration camps. We do know they have starved people to death by the tens of millions. We do know from their academic and Foundation studies they have plans to starve 500 million people to death when the Dollar Dies. We do know they are spending our tax dollars devising plagues to kill us by the billions. We do know that the Bankers and their Minions have never in the past hesitated when it came time to kill us when they were threatened with loss of control.

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Troops under Russian command fire weapons into the air in Ukraine

Troops under Russian command fire weapons into the air in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

 

Diplomatic pronouncements are renowned for hypocrisy and double standards. But western denunciations of Russian intervention in Crimea have reached new depths of self parody. The so far bloodless incursion is an “incredible act of aggression“, US secretary of state John Kerry declared. In the 21st century you just don’t invade countries on a “completely trumped-up pretext”, he insisted, as US allies agreed that it had been an unacceptable breach of international law, for which there will be “costs”.

That the states which launched the greatest act of unprovoked aggression in modern history on a trumped-up pretext – against Iraq, in an illegal war now estimated to have killed 500,000, along with the invasion of Afghanistan, bloody regime change in Libya, and the killing of thousands in drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, all without UN authorisation – should make such claims is beyond absurdity.

It’s not just that western aggression and lawless killing is on another scale entirely from anything Russia appears to have contemplated, let alone carried out – removing any credible basis for the US and its allies to rail against Russian transgressions. But the western powers have also played a central role in creating the Ukraine crisis in the first place.

The US and European powers openly sponsored the protests to oust the corrupt but elected Viktor Yanukovych government, which were triggered by controversy over an all-or-nothing EU agreement which would have excluded economic association with Russia.

In her notorious “fuck the EU” phone call leaked last month, the US official Victoria Nuland can be heard laying down the shape of a post-Yanukovych government – much of which was then turned into reality when he was overthrown after the escalation of violence a couple of weeks later.

The president had by then lost political authority, but his overnight impeachment was certainly constitutionally dubious. In his place a government of oligarchs, neoliberal Orange Revolution retreads and neofascists has been installed, one of whose first acts was to try and remove the official status of Russian, spoken by a majority in parts of the south and east, as moves were made to ban the Communist party, which won 13% of the vote at the last election.

It has been claimed that the role of fascists in the demonstrations has been exaggerated by Russian propaganda to justify Vladimir Putin’s manoeuvres in Crimea. The reality is alarming enough to need no exaggeration. Activists report that the far right made up around a third of the protesters, but they were decisive in armed confrontations with the police.

Fascist gangs now patrol the streets. But they are also in Kiev’s corridors of power. The far right Svoboda party, whose leader has denounced the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry” and which was condemned by the European parliament for its “racist and antisemitic views”, has five ministerial posts in the new government, including deputy prime minister and prosecutor general. The leader of the even more extreme Right Sector, at the heart of the street violence, is now Ukraine’s deputy national security chief.

Neo-Nazis in office is a first in post-war Europe. But this is the unelected government now backed by the US and EU. And in a contemptuous rebuff to the ordinary Ukrainians who protested against corruption and hoped for real change, the new administration has appointed two billionaire oligarchs – one who runs his business from Switzerland – to be the new governors of the eastern cities of Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk. Meanwhile, the IMF is preparing an eye-watering austerity plan for the tanking Ukrainian economy which can only swell poverty and unemployment.

From a longer-term perspective, the crisis in Ukraine is a product of the disastrous Versailles-style break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. As in Yugoslavia, people who were content to be a national minority in an internal administrative unit of a multinational state – Russians in Soviet Ukraine, South Ossetians in Soviet Georgia – felt very differently when those units became states for which they felt little loyalty.

In the case of Crimea, which was only transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s, that is clearly true for the Russian majority. And contrary to undertakings given at the time, the US and its allies have since relentlessly expanded Nato up to Russia’s borders, incorporating nine former Warsaw Pact states and three former Soviet republics into what is effectively an anti-Russian military alliance in Europe. The European association agreement which provoked the Ukrainian crisis also included clauses to integrate Ukraine into the EU defence structure.

That western military expansion was first brought to a halt in 2008 when the US client state of Georgia attacked Russian forces in the contested territory of South Ossetia and was driven out. The short but bloody conflict signalled the end of George Bush’s unipolar world in which the US empire would enforce its will without challenge on every continent.

Given that background, it is hardly surprising that Russia has acted to stop the more strategically sensitive and neuralgic Ukraine falling decisively into the western camp, especially given that Russia’s only major warm-water naval base is in Crimea.

Clearly, Putin’s justifications for intervention – “humanitarian” protection for Russians and an appeal by the deposed president – are legally and politically flaky, even if nothing like on the scale of “weapons of mass destruction”. Nor does Putin’s conservative nationalism or oligarchic regime have much wider international appeal.

But Russia’s role as a limited counterweight to unilateral western power certainly does. And in a world where the US, Britain, France and their allies have turned international lawlessness with a moral veneer into a permanent routine, others are bound to try the same game.

Fortunately, the only shots fired by Russian forces at this point have been into the air. But the dangers of escalating foreign intervention are obvious. What is needed instead is a negotiated settlement for Ukraine, including a broad-based government in Kiev shorn of fascists; a federal constitution that guarantees regional autonomy; economic support that doesn’t pauperise the majority; and a chance for people in Crimea to choose their own future. Anything else risks spreading the conflict.

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Seriously, what?! Kerry tells Russia ‘you don’t invade a country on completely phony pretexts’

03 Mar 2014 The US Secretary of State spoke today of the unacceptability of invading a sovereign country on phony pretexts in order to assert one’s own interests in the 21st century. But no, he was not speaking about the United States, as one might have thought. “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,” John Kerry said during an interview with NBC’s Meet the [Corporate-Owned] Press… Kerry has also threatened to isolate Russia economically and politically and warned of potential asset freezes and visa bans, adding to media and political hype that followed Russia authorization of sending a stabilization force in Crimea on official request from the authorities.

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John Kerry: Climate change as big a threat as terrorism, poverty, WMDs

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a speech on climate change in Jakarta, Indonesia.

(CNN) – Saying that climate change ranks among the world’s most serious problems — such as disease outbreaks, poverty, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on all nations to respond to “the greatest challenge of our generation.”

Kerry, speaking before college students in Jakarta, Indonesia, also criticized climate-change deniers, saying “a few loud interest groups” shouldn’t be given the chance to misdirect the conversation.

Kerry reiterated U.S. President Barack Obama’s assertion in the State of the Union address that climate change is an undeniable fact.

“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact,” Kerry said at the U.S. Embassy’s @america function in Jakarta.

Too many ecosystems such as Indonesia’s are in peril because of climate change, he said. He said Indonesia’s important fishing trade would be adversely affected, citing a study that said catches in the island nation will decline by 40 percent.Kerry recalled a meeting in Brazil where many experts described the growing problem caused by climate change. The session was in 1992. Very little has been done sine then, he said.

“It is time for the world to approach this problem with the cooperation, the urgency, and the commitment that a challenge of this scale warrants,” he said.

The secretary acknowledged the role the United States plays in greenhouse gas emissions and referred to the President’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for cutting emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels.

“That’s because we’re going straight to the largest sources of pollution,” he said.

Kerry said he and Obama had no time for what he called the “Flat Earth Society.” It will soon be too late for action to prevent the immense costs of doing nothing. People who refuse to look at the evidence and agree on change are “burying their heads” in the sand, he said.

On Friday, Obama toured a California farm hit by serious and prolonged drought. He warned that some damage to the climate had already been done and will continue unless countries “do more to combat the carbon pollution that causes climate change.”

Kerry was fresh off a Saturday meeting in China, the No. 1 producer of greenhouse gas emissions. He said the two nations have agreed to a partnership that will share “information and policies so that we can help develop plans to deal with the U.N. climate change negotiation that takes place in Paris next year.”

But, Kerry added, while industrialized countries produce a majority of emissions, other nations shouldn’t get a free pass.He called on Indonesians to push their government to change policies.

The United States will help, too, he said. He announced $332 million in funding through the Green Prosperity program to help Indonesia tackle unsustainable deforestation and support clean-energy projects.

The United States has also forgiven some of Indonesia’s debt in a debt-for-nature swap in exchange for forest conservation.

The World Wildlife Federation estimates that half of Sumatra’s forest cover disappeared from 1985 to 2008. The government has halted the cutting of virgin forest, also known as primary forest.

“With Indonesia and the rest of the world pulling in the same direction, we can meet this challenge, the greatest challenge of our generation, and we can create the future that everybody dreams of,” he said.

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Kerry signals advance of ‘North American Union’ plan

EW YORK – It was in last year’s State of the Union address that President Obama announced an ambitious trade agreement negotiated behind closed doors with North American and Pacific Rim nations – the Trans-Pacific Partnership – that drew little attention.

Now, ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Secretary of State John Kerry presented evidence that a plan originating with the George W. Bush administration to evolve NAFTA into a European Union-style confederation in North America between the U.S., Mexico and Canada has been put into overdrive with the Obama administration’s effort to obtain “fast track authority” to rush the Trans-Pacific Partnership through Congress with limited debate.

In a joint press conference in Washington Jan. 17 at the conclusion of a ministerial meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade, a reporter posed a question to Kerry. The secretary of state was asked if the U.S. planned to reopen NAFTA and engage in direct negotiations with Mexico and Canada to avoid future conflicts between the Trans-Pacific Partnership currently before Congress and the forthcoming Atlantic counterpart, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, now being negotiated with the Europeans.

Kerry’s surprising answer suggested that with the expected ratification by Congress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, the Obama administration already considers the U.S., Mexico and Canada as part of a “post-NAFTA” world.

“I think that stepping up, all of us, to the TPP, is a very critical component of sort of moving to the next tier, post-NAFTA,” Kerry answered. So I don’t think you have to open up NAFTA, per se, in order to achieve what we’re trying to achieve.”

The Canadian foreign minister, Baird, reinforced Kerry’s point.

“Now listen, we believe that NAFTA’s been an unqualified success; the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, which all three of us are in, offer us the opportunity to strengthen the trilateral partnership, and we’re keen to use that opportunity to do so,” he said.

Jerome Corsi’s “Late Great USA” uncovers government deceptions that threaten U.S. sovereignty

Anticipating the rubber-stamp passage of the TPP by Congress through “fast track” authorization, the White House will have an opportunity to kick off the “post-NAFTA” era at the next North American Leaders Summit meeting between the “three amigos” of President Obama, Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The meeting in Toluca, Mexico, is scheduled for Feb. 19.

As WND reported, Obama announced in his 2013 State of the Union address the plan to add the trans-Pacific free-trade agreement to the trans-Atlantic agreement already in place.

“Fast-track” authority would allow the Obama administration to move the TPP through Congress with a simple majority vote. The rules would limit debate so that no amendments could be introduced to modify the language of the agreement the Obama administration has negotiated behind closed doors.

Leapfrogging NAFTA

As WND reported, the Obama administration has shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership website, spp.gov. The last joint statement issued by the newly formed North American Leaders Summit, operating as the rebranded SPP, was issued April 2, 2012, at the conclusion of the last tri-lateral head-of-state meeting between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, held in Washington, D.C.

Without much fanfare, the White House wrapped Mexico and Canada into the TPP negotiations.

On June 16, 2012, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk issued a statement announcing that Mexico had decided to join the TPP negotiations.

“We are delighted to invite Mexico, our neighbor and second largest export market, to join the TPP negotiations,” said Kirk. “Mexico’s interest in the TPP reflects its recognition that the TPP presents the most promising pathway to boosting trade across the Asia Pacific and to encouraging regional trade integration. We look forward to continuing consultations with the Congress and domestic stakeholders as we move forward.”

Three days later, with similar language, the USTR announced Canada had decided to join the TPP negotiations.

“Inviting Canada to join the TPP negotiations presents a unique opportunity for the United States to build upon this already dynamic trading relationship. Through TPP, we are bringing the relationship with our largest trading partner into the 21st century,” said Kirk. “We look forward to continuing consultations with the Congress and domestic stakeholders regarding Canada’s entry into the TPP as we move closer to a broad-based, high-standard trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Now, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obama administration appears to have leapfrogged SPP ambitions to work toward creating an EU-style confederation by including Mexico and Canada in the TPP configuration.

The 12 nations in the TPP – along with Mexico, Canada and the U.S. – are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.

A graph shows the reach of the agreement across the Pacific, including Peru and Chile in South America; Australia and New Zealand; Malaysia and Vietnam in Southeast Asia; Singapore; and Japan.

Republicans join in

As WND has reported, Republicans under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, with the willing cooperation of Reps. Mark Cantor and Paul Ryan, have given way to multi-national corporate interests backing the party and are preparing to support the White House on passage of the TPP.

On Jan. 9, in a little-noticed statement, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont, together with ranking member Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., announced they were introducing “fast-track” trade promotion authority.

The last line of congressional resistance to TPP appears to be coming from House Democrats concerned that more U.S. union jobs will be lost.

Last year, 151 House Democrats opposed to TPP, led by Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and George Miller, D-Calif., wrote a letter to President Obama stating their opposition to using “outdated ‘Fast Track’ procedures that usurp Congress’s authority over trade matters.”

This week, as WND reported, political analysts with an impressive group of 564 labor, environmental, family farm and community organizations in the Democratic Party’s voting base sent Obama a strongly worded letter charging that pushing TPP undermines the president’s message on income inequality.

“President Obama can’t have it both ways,” Arthur Stamoulis, the spokesman for Citizens Trade Campaign, the group organizing the letter, told WND. “Either the president is for reducing income eligibility as we expect he will say in the State of the Union address, or he can push for Fast Track legislation on the job-destroying TPP free-trade agreement. He can’t have it both ways.”

The power of the punch the Citizens Trade Campaign plans to deliver the White House can be seen by the letter’s signatories.

They include labor unions such as the AFL-CIO; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); American Federation of Teachers; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; United Autoworkers (UAW); United Brotherhood of Carpenters; United Steelworkers (USW); and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Among the environmental organizations are 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club.

Family farm organizations include the National Family Farm Coalition, National Farmers Union and the Western Organization of Resource Councils. Consumer groups include Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, National Consumers League and Public Citizen.

“Income inequality and long-term unemployment are serious problems that the job-killing TPP would only worsen,” Stamoulis said.

Obama’s 2-ocean globalist plan

As WND reported, in his SOTU address last year, Obama announced a two-ocean globalist free-trade agenda:

“To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”

It marked the first time that a decision was made public by the U.S. trade representative to expand on-going trade negotiations to create a free-trade zone with Pacific-rim as well as EU countries.

WND reported in 2009 that the Obama administration had “rebranded” and “refocused” the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America to advance the Bush administration’s agenda of North American integration under the rubric of the “North American Leaders Summit.” The rubric was a less controversial banner, according to confidential sources in the U.S. Department of Commerce and State Department who agreed to speak with WND only if their comments were kept off the record.

In a series of articles dating back to June 13, 2006, WND reported the activities of the extensive tripartite “working-group” designed for the bureaucrats of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to create the regulatory structure needed to transform NAFTA into a fully-functioning regional confederation.

The SPP was simply announced at a tripartite summit meeting held between President George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005.

 

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U.S. vows to defend Japan if China air zone sparks crisis

24 Nov 2013 The United States said Saturday it was “deeply concerned” and committed to defending Japan after China announced an air zone in the East China Sea that covers disputed islets. In a move that U.S. ally Japan branded as “very dangerous,” China said it was setting up an “air defense identification zone” over islands administered by Tokyo to “guard against potential air threats.” In similar statements, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that the United States was “deeply concerned” about the moves by China, which also scrambled jets to carry out a patrol in the newly declared zone.

[LOL. The US government aka the *Nosey Parker of the planet* is ‘deeply concerned’ with another country implementing an air zone. Maybe if the US got out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya and every other country — they’d have more credibility.

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Assad calls for transitional government in America

Speaking to reporters on the Muslim holiday of Eid, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said: “The government shutdown in Washington is a good step in the right direction. The international community should support the creation of a new, transitional government in America in this tough crisis. Syria and her people stand behind such efforts. We hope that Republicans and Democrats can settle their differences, and come together around the creation of a new government that serves the American people better.”

Immediately after Assad’s explosive remarks, Secretary of State John Kerry countered with his own statements, calling for a transitional government in Syria.

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US Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split, But Says It Needs Decades To Safely Eliminate Its Own Chems

The US is demanding, in negotiations at the UN, that all Syrian chemical weapons, stocks and production facilities be eliminated by June 30 of next year.  This has an element of hypocrisy, because the US itself has been incredibly slow about eliminating its own stocks of chemical weapons.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has referred to Syria as having one of the largest chemical stockpiles in the world. But the US and Russia both still have stocks of chemicals many times as large. Syria’s neighbor Israel, which refuses to admit it has the weapons and has yet to ratify the treaty banning them, is suspected of also having a large arsenal.

The US caches, at 3100 tons, are three times as large as Syria’s reported 1000 tons.

***

The United Nations Convention on Chemical Weapons, which Washington ratified in 1997, required signers to eliminate all stocks of chemical arms by 2012. But the US, like Russia, requested an extension to 2023. It claimed that “difficulties involving old chemical warheads” and environmental issues were making it impossible to comply within the framework of the treaty.

Destroying the stocks is no small task. The Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot, in Pueblo, Colorado, still houses an estimated 2611 tons of mustard gas and the Blue Grass Army Depot, Blue Grass, Kentucky, may have on site 523 tons of sarin (the same weapons whose use in Syria caused such an uproar), VX and mustard gas agent. That’s a whole lot of poison to dispose of safely.

Some $10 billion has been spent to date on the process of locating and destroying the US chemical arsenal—and the ultimate cost may top $30 billion. According to the US Army Chemical Materials Agency (USACMA), two mammoth destruction facilities are being constructed, at a cost of billions of dollars each, at the Pueblo and Blue Grass sites, by the notorious war profiteer corporation Bechtel Parsons.

In other words, disposing of chemical weapons is not something you just do, like snapping your fingers.

A Leaky Arsenal?

Worse, some experts suspect the US of the exact same fakeout game it accuses Syria of contemplating.

Meryl Nass, a physician with the group Physicians for Social Responsibility, who since 2007 has run a respected blog about biological and chemical weapons called AnthraxVaccine is wary of reports from USACMA about accidental leaks of sarin gas. “I’m concerned that this could be a cover for removing some stocks from the accounting and the destruction process,” Nass says, “so that UN inspectors can be told that the missing material had simply leaked away.”

Even in the purportedly safest, most stable settings, like those US sites, destroying chemicals and poison gas is a tricky proposition, with vast environmental, health and safety risks. After all, these substances can kill hundreds of people in short order if anything goes wrong. But such concerns surely must be multiplied ten-fold when the same process is being undertaken in a civil war environment in a third-world country such as Syria.

Yet the US is insisting that Syria’s gas stocks must be gone or destroyed within the next eight and a half months. If that doesn’t happen, says Washington, the UN Security Council should sign off on a military campaign. As further backup, the US is still prepared to act unilaterally with a punitive bombing and rocket blitz against the Syrian government’s forces.

US_Chemical_Weapons_Stockpile_c_f_51That impatience is astonishing when one considers that the US itself says it needs over a quarter of a century to destroy its own chemical arsenal. That’s because it wants to construct those two expensive state-of-the-art chemical weapons destruction facilities, ostensibly for safety reasons (though presumably pork barrel politics plays a role.) And it plans to take its time. The Army says the facility in Pueblo won’t begin operation until 2017, and the one in Blue Grass won’t even be ready for operation until 2020.

Another reason some are skeptical about the US’s intentions is that notwithstanding this long-term proposition, the US admits it already possesses and has in the past used mobile truck-mounted destruction equipment capable of destroying five tons of toxic weapons per day. Do the math: at this rate the entire US stockpile could be eliminated in less than two years – that’s 2015, a far cry from the current target date of 2023.

A BBC report says these US mobile destruction units, each called an Explosive Destruction System, work by putting chemical warheads or shells into a “bang box” and exploding them, thus neutralizing the warhead and the toxin. Each unit is capable of destroying six weapons at a time. These units were reportedly used to destroy “more than 1700 items” in the US arsenal since 2001.

But they are no longer being used. Why—is not clear.

Safety Concerns?

The army ascribes these lengthy delays to environmental concerns.

Miguel Monteverde, a spokesman for the Program Executive Office Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, the Army department responsible for overseeing the destruction of the remaining US chemical arms, tells WhoWhatWhy that the snails’ pace should be ascribed to worries expressed by  residents of the Pueblo and Blue Grass communities.

Monteverde says that in response to local sentiment, the army scrapped initial plans to incinerate most of the remaining weapons (the method used to destroy most of the other 28,000 tons of US chemical weapons already eliminated), and new facilities were planned that will use “safer” methods.

The new plants, he said, will also be “fully automated” so that no human hands will have to handle the deadly weapons and chemicals. Yet the army rep concedes that during the destruction of 90% of the US arsenal in prior decades there was “not one fatality” among workers.

As for those mobile Pentagon units, which were designed following 9-11 for use in case a terrorist stash of chemical or biological weapons was discovered, Monteverde says they are “not appropriate” for the job of eliminating the remaining stocks. “There’s too much risk because people have to handle the weapons,” he explained.

chemistry_thumbThat of course begs the question of what risks would be posed to those—most likely Syrians hired by any UN-led team charged with destroying Syria’s chemical weapons—if the process were done in a hurry and “under the gun” of US threats of bombardment.

Many of America’s stockpiled weapons contain deadly toxins linked to explosive warheads or potentially explosive propulsion systems that could be triggered inadvertently.  If this makes deactivating them so difficult it’s taking the US a generation to accomplish, can we really expect an ad hoc international team to eliminate Syria’s weapons in only eight months—in the midst of a horrific civil war?

These would seem the core questions to be asked about this raging international issue. But few are asking them.

Chemical vs. Cluster Weapons

There is one other big issue that suggests a double standard.

While the US decries Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons “against its own people” in the Aug. 21 incident in a Damascus suburb, the United States itself is a holdout (along with Russia, China, Israel, Syria and Pakistan) and an active opponent of another UN convention, which went into force in 2008. It bans anti-personnel cluster weapons. These insidious devices have killed and maimed far more people than poison gas in the years since World War I. And since World War II the primary user of these nightmarish weapons has been the US.

Indeed, it is likely that the Tomahawk cruise missile blitz that the Obama administration came close to launching against Syrian government installations and military targets in late summer—and which it still wants to keep as an open threat—would have included cluster weapons. For they are among the warheads designed for use on the Tomahawk.

surviving-cluster-bombs-04Missile-delivered cluster weapons are notorious for their imprecision, with as many as 98% of their victims proving to be civilians. President Obama, in his Sept. 10 address to the nation on Syria’s chemical weapons, made much of the tragic images of children allegedly dying from Syrian government poison gas weapons in Damascus.

But in trying to make the case for a Tomahawk attack on Syria, the President ignored the reality that fully 40% of the victims of cluster weapons, which the US has used massively in Iraq, Afghanistan and even in Yemen, are children.

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