Friday, September 19, 2014

This Sunday a major climate-change demonstration, possibly the largest in history, will take place in New York City. As the ice that covers the polar seas is shrinking, while the ice shields that cover Antarctica and Greenland are melting, the number of Americans who believe it isn't happening has risen to 23%. And of course our paid off, or hopelessly dim, members of Congress fail to recognize the urgency of doing something about it. Below the Tomgram masthead, Rebecca Solnit has written a thoughtful wakeup call. For my part, I've added for the climate-change deniers a graph showing the sea levels on the U.S. east coast revealing that (1) there were no ice caps either >100 million years before or 30 million years after the impact of a monstrous asteroid on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, (2) the sea levels were extremely high when there were no ice caps (compare with height of the George Washington Monument), and (3) the appearance of the ice caps that we presently enjoy may have been linked to a meteor or comet that struck the Chesapeake Bay 35.4 million years ago (and another one of the same type creating a crater of about the same size and age in Siberia). Moral: support those demonstrators in New York this Sunday!



The Wheel Turns, the Boat Rocks, the Sea Rises
Change in a Time of Climate Change
By Rebecca Solnit                                                            Original Here with links I was not able to embed

    There have undoubtedly been stable periods in human history, but you and your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents never lived through one, and neither will any children or grandchildren you may have or come to have. Everything has been changing continuously, profoundly -- from the role of women to the nature of agriculture. For the past couple of hundred years, change has been accelerating in both magnificent and nightmarish ways.

    Yet when we argue for change, notably changing our ways in response to climate change, we’re arguing against people who claim we’re disrupting a stable system.  They insist that we’re rocking the boat unnecessarily.

    I say: rock that boat. It’s a lifeboat; maybe the people in it will wake up and start rowing. Those who think they’re hanging onto a stable order are actually clinging to the wreckage of the old order, a ship already sinking, that we need to leave behind.

    As you probably know, the actual oceans are rising -- almost eight inches since 1880, and that’s only going to accelerate. They’re also acidifying, because they’re absorbing significant amounts of the carbon we continue to pump into the atmosphere at record levels.  The ice that covers the polar seas is shrinking, while the ice shields that cover Antarctica and Greenland are melting. The water locked up in all the polar ice, as it’s unlocked by heat, is going to raise sea levels staggeringly, possibly by as much as 200 feet at some point in the future, how distant we do not know.  In the temperate latitudes, warming seas breed fiercer hurricanes.

    The oceans are changing fast, and for the worse. Fish stocks are dying off, as are shellfish. In many acidified oceanic regions, their shells are actually dissolving or failing to form, which is one of the scariest, most nightmarish things I’ve ever heard. So don’t tell me that we’re rocking a stable boat on calm seas. The glorious 10,000-year period of stable climate in which humanity flourished and then exploded to overrun the Earth and all its ecosystems is over.

    But responding to these current cataclysmic changes means taking on people who believe, or at least assert, that those of us who want to react and act are gratuitously disrupting a stable system that’s working fine. It isn’t stable. It is working fine -- in the short term and the most limited sense -- for oil companies and the people who profit from them and for some of us in the particularly cushy parts of the world who haven’t been impacted yet by weather events like, say, the recent torrential floods in Japan or southern Nevada and Arizona, or the monsoon versions of the same that have devastated parts of India and Pakistan, or the drought that has mummified my beloved California, or the wildfires of Australia.

    The problem, of course, is that the people who most benefit from the current arrangements have effectively purchased a lot of politicians, and that a great many of the rest of them are either hopelessly dim or amazingly timid. Most of the Democrats recognize the reality of climate change but not the urgency of doing something about it. Many of the Republicans used to -- John McCain has done an amazing about-face from being a sane voice on climate to a shrill denier -- and they present a horrific obstacle to any international treaties.

    Put it this way: in one country, one party holding 45 out of 100 seats in one legislative house, while serving a minority of the very rich, can basically block what quite a lot of the other seven billion people on Earth want and need, because a two-thirds majority in the Senate must consent to any international treaty the U.S. signs. Which is not to say much for the president, whose drill-baby-drill administration only looks good compared to the petroleum servants he faces, when he bothers to face them and isn’t just one of them. History will despise them all and much of the world does now, but as my mother would have said, they know which side their bread is buttered on.

    As it happens, the butter is melting and the bread is getting more expensive. Global grain production is already down several percent thanks to climate change, says a terrifying new United Nations report. Declining crops cause food shortages and rising food prices, creating hunger and even famine for the poorest on Earth, and also sometimes cause massive unrest.  Rising bread prices were one factor that helped spark the Arab Spring in 2011. Anyone who argues that doing something about global warming will be too expensive is dodging just how expensive unmitigated climate change is already proving to be.

    It’s only a question of whether the very wealthy or the very poor will pay.  Putting it that way, however, devalues all the nonmonetary things at stake, from the survival of myriad species to our confidence in the future. And yeah, climate change is here, now. We’ve already lost a lot and we’re going to lose more, but there’s a difference between terrible and apocalyptic.  We still have some control over how extreme it gets. That’s not a great choice, but it’s the choice we have. There’s still a window open for action, but it’s closing. As the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Society, Michel Jarraud, bluntly put it recently, "We are running out of time."

    New and Renewable Energies

    The future is not yet written. Look at the world we’re in at this very moment. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was supposed to be built years ago, but activists catalyzed by the rural and indigenous communities across whose land it would go have stopped it so far, and made what was supposed to be a done deal a contentious issue. Activists changed the outcome.

    Fracking has been challenged on the state level, and banned in townships and counties from upstate New York to central California. (It has also been banned in two Canadian provinces, France, and Bulgaria.) The fossil-fuel divestment movement has achieved a number of remarkable victories in its few bare years of existence and more are on the way. The actual divestments and commitments to divest fossil fuel stocks by various institutions ranging from the city of Seattle to the British Medical Association are striking. But the real power of the movement lies in the way it has called into question the wisdom of investing in fossil fuel corporations.  Even mainstream voices like the British Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee and publications like Forbes are now beginning to question whether they are safe places to put money. That’s a sea change.

    Renewable energy has become more efficient, technologically sophisticated, and cheaper -- the price of solar power in relation to the energy it generates has plummeted astonishingly over the past three decades and wind technology keeps getting better. While Americans overall are not yet curtailing their fossil-fuel habits, many individuals and communities are choosing other options, and those options are becoming increasingly viable. A Stanford University scientist has proposed a plan to allow each of the 50 states to run on 100% renewable energy by 2050.

    Since, according to the latest report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, fossil fuel reserves still in the ground are “at least four times larger than could safely be burned if global warming is to be kept to a tolerable level,” it couldn’t be more important to reach global agreements to do things differently on a planetary scale.  Notably, most of those carbon reserves must be left untapped and the modest steps already taken locally and ad hoc show that such changes are indeed possible and that an encouraging number of us want to pursue them.

We can do it. And we is the key word here. The world is not going to be saved by individual acts of virtue; it’s going to be saved, if it is to be saved, by collective acts of social and political change. That’s why I’m marching this Sunday with tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of others in New York City -- to pressure the United Nations as it meets to address climate change. That’s why people who care about the future state of our planet will also be marching and demonstrating in New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne, Kathmandu, Dublin, Manila, Seoul, Mumbai, Istanbul, and so many smaller places.

Mass movements work. Unarmed citizens have changed the course of history countless times in the modern era. When we come together as civil society, we have the capacity to transform policies, change old ways of doing things, and sometimes even topple regimes. And it is about governments. Like it or not, the global treaties, compacts, and agreements we need can only be made by governments, and governments will make those agreements when the pressure to do so is greater than the pressure not to.  We can and must be that pressure.

The Long View from One Window

I lived in the same apartment for 25 years, moving into a poor but thriving black community in 1981 and out of the far more affluent, paler, and less neighborly place it had become in 2006. A lot of people moved in and out in that period, many of them staying only a year or two. Those transients always seemed to believe that the neighborhood they were passing through was a stable one. You had to be slower than change and stick around to see it. I saw it and it helped me learn how to take a historical view of things.

It’s crazy that anyone speaks as if our world is not undergoing rapid change, when the view from the window called history shows nothing but transformation, both incremental and dramatic. Exactly 25 years ago this month, Eastern Europe was astir.  Remember that back then there was still a Soviet bloc, and a Soviet Union, and an Iron Curtain, and a Berlin Wall, and a Cold War. Most people thought those were permanent fixtures, but in the summer of 1989, Hungary decided to let East Germans (who were permitted to travel freely to that communist country) stream over to the West.

Thousands of people, tired of life in the totalitarian east, fled. Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, as well as East Germany, were already electrified by a resurgent civil society and activist communities that had dared to organize in the face of repression. At the time, politicians and pundits in the West were making careers out of explaining, among so many other things, why German reunification wasn’t going to happen in anyone’s lifetime. And they probably would have been proven right if people had stayed home and done nothing, if they hadn't begun to hope and acted on that hope.

The bureaucrats on both sides of the Berlin Wall were still talking about the possibility of demilitarizing it when citizens showed up en masse and the guards began abandoning their posts. On that epochal night of November 9, 1989, the people made whole what had been broken. The lesson: showing up is half the battle.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been so unnerved by developments in the Soviet Union’s Eastern European holdings that she went to Moscow, two months before the fall of the wall, to implore Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to prevent any such thing. That was early September 1989. “No dramatic change in the situation in Czechoslovakia can be expected,” predicted a Czech official two months before a glorious popular uprising, remembered as the Velvet Revolution, erupted and abolished the government in which he was an official.

There are three things to note about those changes in 1989. First, most people in power dismissed the possibility that such extraordinary change could happen or deplored what it might bring. They were comfortable enough with things as they were, even though the status quo was several kinds of scary and awful. In other words, the status quo likes the status quo and dislikes change. Second, everything changed despite them, thanks to grassroots organizing and civil society, forces that -- we are now regularly assured -- are pointless and irrelevant. Third, the world that existed then has been largely swept away: the Soviet Union, the global alignments of that time, the idea of a binary world of communism and capitalism, and the policies that had kept us on the brink of nuclear annihilation for decades. We live in a very different world now (though nuclear weapons are still a terrible problem). Things do change.

Maybe, in fact, there’s a fourth point to note as well. That, important as they were, the front-page stories about the liberation of Eastern Europe weren’t what mattered most all those years ago. After all, hidden away deep inside the New York Times that autumn, you can find a dozen or so articles about global warming, as the newly recognized phenomenon was then called. And small as they were, anyone reading them now can see that so long ago the essential problem and peril to our world was already clear.

The thought of what might have been accomplished, had a people’s movement arisen then to face global warming, could break your heart.  That, after all, was still a time when the Earth’s atmosphere held just above 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide, the maximum safe level for a sustainable survivable planet, not the 400 parts per million of the present moment (“142% of the pre-industrial era” level of carbon, the World Meteorological Organization notes). In other words, we’ve been steadily filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and so imperiling the planet and humanity since we knew what we were doing.

The Great Smog and the Big Wind

In that fall a quarter of a century ago, the world changed profoundly right before our eyes. Then we settled back into the short-term, ahistorical view that things are really pretty stable, that ordinary people have no power, and that the world can’t be changed. With that in mind, it’s worth looking at Germany today. Maybe because Germans know better than us that things can change for the worse or the better fast, that the world is not a stable and settled place, and that we do shape it, they have been willing to change.

At one point last spring, cold, cloudy Germany managed to get almost 75% of its electricity from renewable sources. Scotland -- cold, gray, oil-rich Scotland! -- is on track to achieve 100% renewable electrical generation by 2020 and has already hit the 40% mark. Spain now generates about half its electricity through clean and renewable sources. Other European countries have similar accomplishments. In fact, many of the changes that we in the United States will be marching for this Sunday have already begun happening, sometimes on a significant scale, elsewhere.

To remember how radical this new Europe is, recall that most of these places were burning coal not just in power plants or factories but in homes, too, not so many decades ago. Everyone deplores the horrific air of Beijing and other Chinese cities now, but few remember that many European cities were similarly foul with smoke and smog from the industrial revolution into the postwar era. In December 1952, for instance, the “Great Smog” of London reduced daytime visibility to a few yards and killed about 4,000 people in three days.

A decade before that, in response to the war Germany started, North Americans radically reduced their use of private vehicles and gasoline and planted more than 20 million victory gardens, producing vast quantities of food by non-industrial means. We have done that; we could (and must) do it again.

At least, we don’t burn coal in our homes any more, and in the U.S. we’ve retired 178 coal-fired power plants, phasing out many more, and prevented many new ones from being built. The renewable energy sources that were, people insisted, too minor or unreliable or expensive or new are now beginning to work well, and the price to produce energy in such a fashion is dropping rapidly.  UBS, the European investment giant, recently counseled that power plants and centralized power generation are no longer good investments, since decentralized renewables are likely to replace them.

Of course, Germany and Britain are still burning coal, and Poland remains a giant coal mine.  Europe is not a perfect renewable energy paradise, just a part of the world that demonstrates the viability of changing how we produce and consume energy. We are already changing, even if not fast enough, not by a long shot, at least not yet. The same goes for divesting from fossil-fuel investments, even though dozens of universities, cities, religious institutions, and foundations have already committed to doing so, and some have by now actually purged their portfolios.  The excuse that change is impossible is no longer available, because many places and entities have already changed.

Last Glimmers

If you want to know how potentially powerful you are, ask your enemies. The misogynists who attack feminism and try to intimidate feminists into silence only demonstrate in a roundabout way that feminism really is changing the world; they are the furious backlash and so the proof that something meaningful is at stake. The climate movement is similarly upsetting a lot of powerful people and institutions; to grasp that, you just have to look at the tsunamis of money spent opposing specific measures and misinforming the public. The carbon barons are demonstrating that we could change the world and that they don’t want us to.

We are powerful and need to become more so in the next year as a major conference in Paris approaches in December 2015 where the climate agreements we need could be hammered out. Or not. This is, after all, a sequel to the Copenhagen conference of 2009, where representatives of many smaller and more vulnerable nations, as well as citizens’ groups, were eager for a treaty that took on climate change in significant ways, only to have their hopes crushed by the recalcitrant governments of the United States and China.

Right now, we are in a churning sea of change, of climate change, of subtle changes in everyday life, of powerful efforts by elites to serve themselves and damn the rest of us, and of increasingly powerful activist and social-movement campaigns to make a world that benefits more beings, human and otherwise, in the longer term. Every choice you make aligns you with one set of these forces or another. That includes doing nothing, which means aligning yourself with the worst of the status quo dragging us down in that ocean of carbon and consumption.

To make personal changes is to do too little. Only great movements, only collective action can save us now. Only is a scary word, but when the ship is sinking, it can be an encouraging one as well. It can hold out hope. The world has changed again and again in ways that, until they happened, would have been considered improbable by just about everyone on the planet. It is changing now and the direction is up to us.

There will be another story to be told about what we did a quarter century after civil society toppled the East Bloc regimes, what we did in the pivotal years of 2014 and 2015. All we know now is that it is not yet written, and that we who live at this very moment have the power to write it with our lives and acts.

A TomDispatch regular, Rebecca Solnit has 16 books out, the latest of which is the indie bestseller Men Explain Things to Me.  

Copyright 2014 Rebecca Solnit

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Here we go again! Because Russia has not withdrawn it's troops from Ukraine (impossible because none were ever sent there), the US and EU have cooked up some nasty new sanctions (not a big problem for Russia but really bad news for Germany, which still feels compelled to do the will of it's lying liege lord of the West).


The US-EU-Russia sanctions puzzle






Published time: September 17, 2014 10:55

Whatever Russia does, doubt does not even enter the equation. The answer is sanctions. So here we go again. The US Treasury-EU latest sanction package targets Russian banking, the energy industry and the defense industry.

The sanctions are mean. The sanctions are nasty. And there’s no euphemism to describe them; they amount to a declaration of economic war.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest won’t be able to access Western capital for long-term funding, including every kind of borrowing over 30 days. And the current 90-day lending bans affecting six other large Russian banks – a previous sanctions package - will also be reduced to 30 days.

On the energy front, what the US-EU want is to shut down new Russian exploration projects in Siberia and the Arctic, barring Western Big Oil from selling equipment and technology to offshore, deepwater or shale gas projects.

This means Exxon and Shell, for instance, are frozen in their operations with five top Russian oil/gas/pipeline companies: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.

No one ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the usual, unknown “senior US officials” – who are now spinning the latest sanction package is to force Moscow to “respect international law and state sovereignty.” A cursory examination of the historical record allows this paragraph to be accompanied by roaring laughter.

And then there’s the US Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, who insists the package will further “isolate” Russia from the global financial system.


The package was also described by Western corporate media as capable of “unnerving already jittery financial markets.” Well, they were not exactly “unnerved.” In Russia, the stocks of companies on the sanctions list went up. In the US, energy stocks went down. Short translation; the “unnerved” markets interpreted the latest package as yet another own goal by Washington and Brussels.

Splitting up Eurasia

As for Russia’s “isolation”, companies are barred from, in Washington-Wall Street newspeak, “important dollar-denominated funding sources.” Or, euphemistically, “Western capital.” This means the US dollar and the euro. Anyone following superimposed moves towards a multipolar world knows Russia does not need more US dollars and euro.

Moscow might use both to cross-purchase goods and services in the US and the EU. Yet these goods and services may be bought elsewhere around the world. For that, you don’t need “Western capital” – as Moscow is fast advancing the use of national currencies with other trade partners. The Atlanticist gang assumes Moscow needs goods and services from the US and the EU much more than the other way around. That’s a fallacy.

Russia can sell its abundant energy resources in any currency apart from US dollars and euro. Russia can buy all the clothing it needs from Asia and South America. On the electronics and high-tech front, most of it is made in China anyway.

Crucially, on the energy front, it would be no less than thrilling to watch the EU – which still does not even have a common energy policy - trying to come up with alternative suppliers. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Qatar, for a number of complex reasons – ranging from insufficient gas to be committed, to an absence of pipelines – are out of the picture.

The Obama administration, for its part, simply won’t allow the EU to start importing energy from Iran like, virtually, tomorrow. Even with a now quite wobbly nuclear deal reached before the end of 2014 - presumably opening the way to an end to sanctions.

The “irrational” markets see what’s really goin’ on; they are not “irrational” but moved by profit derived from realpolitik.

And all this while Moscow has not even counterpunched. And that could be quite lethal – targeting EU exporters to Russia and even energy supplies from Russia. Then the EU will retaliate. And Russia will counter-counterpunch. That’s exactly what Washington wants: a trade/economic war ravaging and splitting up Eurasia.

About that $20 trillion…

On the political front, Ukraine and EU had initially agreed to “postpone the EU Association Agreement until the end of 2016.” You can’t make this stuff up; that’s exactly what Yanukovich did last November, as he knew Kiev could not allow itself to lose most of its certified trading with Russia in favor of a vague “free trade” with the EU. This agreement to “postpone” the agreement was in fact overseen by astonishing mediocrity and outgoing European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso.

But then the European Parliament, during a plenary session in Strasbourg, hurried up to ratify Ukraine’s Association Agreement as President Petro Poroshenko simultaneously submitted it to the Ukrainian Parliament. This does not mean the agreement goes immediately into effect. Economic “integration” with the EU – a euphemism for a one-way invasion of Ukraine by EU products - will start only in January 2016. And there’s no way a crisis-hit EU will incorporate Ukraine anytime soon – or ever.

On Thursday, Poroshenko meets his master, US President Barack Obama, and addresses a joint session of the US Congress. Expect “evil empire” rhetoric to reach interstellar levels.

But it’s on Saturday in Berlin that the real thing starts unfolding; energy negotiations between Russia, the EU and Ukraine. Needless to say, Moscow holds all the key cards.

Washington’s humongous debt is reaching almost $20 trillion – and counting. With a monster crisis approaching like a tsunami from hell, no wonder Washington had to resort to the perfect diversionary tactic; the return of the “evil empire.” It’s the Marvel Comics school of politics all over again.

Russia has a huge surplus of foreign capital - and is able to weather the storm. Germany – the EU’s top economy – on the other hand, is already suffering. Growth is already at a negative 0.2%. This is the way the hysterical sanction wind is blowing – further derailing EU economies. And no one is betting the EU will have the balls to stand up to Washington. Not in vassal-infested Brussels. 


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Paul Craig Roberts: "The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures." "The real question is the purpose of the sanctions." "Russia needs to break up this process ... in order to derail [Washington's] drive toward war." "Russia can tell Europe that since you do not like our oil companies, you must not like our gas company, so we are turning off the gas." "However ... the presence inside Russia of a fifth column that represents Washington’s interests constrains the power of the Russian government."


Washington’s War Against Russia — Paul Craig Roberts

September 14, 2014 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

Washington’s War Against Russia

Paul Craig Roberts

The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures. I would be surprised if Russian oil and military industries were dependent on European capital markets in a meaningful way. Such a dependence would indicate a failure in Russian strategic thinking. The Russian companies should be able to secure adequate financing from Russian Banks or from the Russian government. If foreign loans are needed, Russia can borrow from China.

If critical Russian industries are dependent on European capital markets, the sanctions will help Russia by forcing an end to this debilitating dependence. Russia should not be dependent on the West in any way.

The real question is the purpose of the sanctions. My conclusion is that the purpose of the sanctions is to break up and undermine Europe’s economic and political relations with Russia. When international relations are intentionally undermined, war can be the result. Washington will continue to push sanctions against Russia until Russia shows Europe that there is a heavy cost of serving as Washington’s tool.

Russia needs to break up this process of ever more sanctions in order to derail the drive toward war. In my opinion this is easy for Russia to do. Russia can tell Europe that since you do not like our oil companies, you must not like our gas company, so we are turning off the gas. Or Russia can tell Europe, we don’t sell natural gas to NATO members, or Russia can say we will continue to sell you gas, but you must pay in rubles, not in dollars. This would have the additional benefit of increasing the demand for rubles in exchange markets, thus making it harder for speculators and the US government to drive down the ruble.

The real danger to Russia is a continuation of its low-key, moderate response to the sanctions. This is a response that encourages more sanctions. To stop the sanctions, Russia needs to show Europe that the sanctions have serious costs for Europe.

A Russian response to Washington would be to stop selling to the US the Russian rocket engines on which the US satellite program is dependent. This could leave the US without rockets for its satellites for six years between the period 2016 and 2022.

Possibly the Russian government is worried about losing the earnings from gas and rocket engine sales. However, Europe cannot do without the gas and would quickly abandon its participation in the sanctions, so no gas revenues would be lost. The Americans are going to develop their own rocket engine anyhow, so the Russian sales of rocket engines to the US have at most about 6 more years. But the US with an impaired satellite program for six years would mean a great relief to the entire world from the American spy program. It would also make difficult US military aggression against Russia during the period.

Russian President Putin and his government have been very low-key and unprovocative in responding to the sanctions and to the trouble that Washington continues to cause for Russia in Ukraine. The low-key Russian behavior can be understood as a strategy for undermining Washington’s use of Europe against Russia by presenting a non-threatening face to Europe. However, another explanation is the presence inside Russia of a fifth column that represents Washington’s interest and constrains the power of the Russian government.

Strelkov describes the American fifth column here: http://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/12/we-will-not-allow-for-russia-to-be-ripped-asunder-and-ruined/

Saker describes the two power groups inside Russia as the Eurasian Sovereignists who stand behind Putin and an independent Russia and the Atlantic Integrationists, the fifth column that works to incorporate Russia in Europe under US hegemony or, failing that, to help Washington break up the Russian Federation into several weaker countries that are too weak to constrain Washington’s use of power. http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com.br/2014/09/strelkov-from-swimming-with-piranhas-to.html

Russia’s Atlantic Integrationists share the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines with Washington. These doctrines are the basis for US foreign policy. The doctrines define the goal of US foreign policy in terms of preventing the rise of other countries, such as Russia and China, that could limit Washington’s hegemony.

Washington is in a position to exploit the tensions between these two Russian power groups. Washington’s fifth column is not best positioned to prevail. However, Washington can at least count on the struggle causing dissent within the Eurasian Sovereignists over Putin’s low-key response to Western provocations. Some of this dissent can be seen in Strelkov’s defense of Russia and more can be seen here:
http://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/13/the-new-round-of-sanctions-the-pre-war-period/#more-3665

Russia, thinking the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, opened herself to the West. Russian governments trusted the West, and as a result of Russia’s gullibility, the West was able to purchase numerous allies among the Russian elites. Depending on the alignment of the media, these compromised elites are capable of assassinating Putin and attempting a coup.

One would think that by now Putin’s government would recognize the danger and arrest the main elements of the fifth column, followed by trial and execution for treason, in order that Russia can stand united against the Western Threat. If Putin does not take this step, it means either than Putin does not recognize the extent of the threat or that his government lacks the power to protect Russia from the internal threat.

It is clear that Putin has not achieved any respite for his government from the West’s propaganda and economic assault by refusing to defend the Donbass area from Ukrainian attack and by pressuring the Donetsk Republic into a ceasefire when its military forces were on the verge of a major defeat of the disintegrating Ukrainian army. All Putin has achieved is to open himself to criticism among his supporters for betraying the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The European politicians and elites are so deeply in Washington’s pocket that Putin has little chance of courting Europe with a Russian show of good will. I have never believed that this strategy could work, although I would be pleased if it did. Only a direct threat to deprive Europe of energy has a chance of producing within Europe a foreign policy independent of Washington. I do not think Europe can survive a cutoff of the Russian natural gas. Europe would abandon sanctions in order to guarantee the flow of gas. If Washington’s hold on Europe is so powerful that Europe is willing to endure a major disruption of its energy supply as the price of its vassalage, Russia will know to cease its futile attempts at diplomacy and to prepare for war.

If China sits on the sidelines, China will be the next isolated target and will receive the same treatment.

Washington intends to defeat both countries, either through internal dissent or through war.

Nothing said by Obama or any member of his government or any influential voice in Congress has signaled any pullback in Washington’s drive for hegemony over the world.

The US economy is now dependent on looting and plunder, and Washington’s hegemony is essential to this corrupted form of capitalism.



Monday, September 15, 2014

Robert Reich was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration and named by Time Magazine as one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. Visit his site to see why.


Harvard Business School’s Role in Widening Inequality

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 13, 2014                                                                                                            ORIGINAL HERE

No institution is more responsible for educating the CEOs of American corporations than Harvard Business School – inculcating in them a set of ideas and principles that have resulted in a pay gap between CEOs and ordinary workers that’s gone from 20-to-1 fifty years ago to almost 300-to-1 today.

A survey, released on September 6, of 1,947 Harvard Business School alumni showed them far more hopeful about the future competitiveness of American firms than about the future of American workers.

As the authors of the survey conclude, such a divergence is unsustainable. Without a large and growing middle class, Americans won’t have the purchasing power to keep U.S. corporations profitable, and global demand won’t fill the gap. Moreover, the widening gap eventually will lead to political and social instability. As the authors put it, “any leader with a long view understands that business has a profound stake in the prosperity of the average American.”

Unfortunately, the authors neglected to include a discussion about how Harvard Business School should change what it teaches future CEOs with regard to this “profound stake.” HBS has made some changes over the years in response to earlier crises, but has not gone nearly far enough with courses that critically examine the goals of the modern corporation and the role that top executives play in achieving them.

A half-century ago, CEOs typically managed companies for the benefit of all their stakeholders – not just shareholders, but also their employees, communities, and the nation as a whole.

“The job of management,” proclaimed Frank Abrams, chairman of Standard Oil of New Jersey, in a 1951 address, “is to maintain an equitable and working balance among the claims of the various directly affected interest groups … stockholders, employees, customers, and the public at large. Business managers are gaining professional status partly because they see in their work the basic responsibilities [to the public] that other professional men have long recognized as theirs.”

This view was a common view among chief executives of the time. Fortune magazine urged CEOs to become “industrial statesmen.” And to a large extent, that’s what they became.

For thirty years after World War II, as American corporations prospered, so did the American middle class. Wages rose and benefits increased. American companies and American citizens achieved a virtuous cycle of higher profits accompanied by more and better jobs.

But starting in the late 1970s, a new vision of the corporation and the role of CEOs emerged – prodded by corporate “raiders,” hostile takeovers, junk bonds, and leveraged buyouts. Shareholders began to predominate over other stakeholders. And CEOs began to view their primary role as driving up share prices. To do this, they had to cut costs – especially payrolls, which constituted their largest expense.

Corporate statesmen were replaced by something more like corporate butchers, with their nearly exclusive focus being to “cut out the fat” and “cut to the bone.”

In consequence, the compensation packages of CEOs and other top executives soared, as did share prices. But ordinary workers lost jobs and wages, and many communities were abandoned. Almost all the gains from growth went to the top.

The results were touted as being “efficient,” because resources were theoretically shifted to “higher and better uses,” to use the dry language of economics.

But the human costs of this transformation have been substantial, and the efficiency benefits have not been widely shared. Most workers today are no better off than they were thirty years ago, adjusted for inflation. Most are less economically secure.

So it would seem worthwhile for the faculty and students of Harvard Business School, as well as those at every other major business school in America, to assess this transformation, and ask whether maximizing shareholder value – a convenient goal now that so many CEOs are paid with stock options – continues to be the proper goal for the modern corporation.

Can an enterprise be truly successful in a society becoming ever more divided between a few highly successful people at the top and a far larger number who are not thriving?

For years, some of the nation’s most talented young people have flocked to Harvard Business School and other elite graduate schools of business in order to take up positions at the top rungs of American corporations, or on Wall Street, or management consulting.

Their educations represent a substantial social investment; and their intellectual and creative capacities, a precious national and global resource.

But given that so few in our society – or even in other advanced nations – have shared in the benefits of what our largest corporations and Wall Street entities have achieved, it must be asked whether the social return on such an investment has been worth it, and whether these graduates are making the most of their capacities in terms of their potential for improving human well-being.

These questions also merit careful examination at Harvard and other elite universities. If the answer is not a resounding yes, perhaps we should ask whether these investments and talents should be directed toward “higher and better” uses.

[This essay originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review’s blog.]


ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock" and “The Work of Nations." His latest, "Beyond Outrage," is now out in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His new film, "Inequality for All," is now available on Netflix, iTunes, DVD, and On Demand.


Blogger's Note: Professor Reich has put up many informative (and amusing!) videos on his site.  I attach one of them below:



HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN YOU

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ten years ago a Reagan Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and a Democrat Senator published an op-ed piece in the New York Times entitled "Second Thoughts on Free Trade" ...causing a sensation. The liberal think-tank Brookings Institution organized a conference -- televised by C-Span -- for these two to explain, or perhaps defend, their heretical position. But this improbable duo dominated the conference, and the Reagan Republican, in response to a question, predicted that due to US jobs off-shoring "In 20 years the US will be a Third World country." However, he was too optimistic. Now he concedes that the US has become a Third World country in just 10 years!


The De-industrialization of America

August 11, 2014 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

Paul Craig Roberts, Dave Kranzler, and John Titus

On January 6, 2004, Paul Craig Roberts and US Senator Charles Schumer published a jointly written article on the op-ed page of the New York Times titled “Second Thoughts on Free Trade.” The article pointed out that the US had entered a new economic era in which American workers face “direct global competition at almost every job level–from the machinist to the software engineer to the Wall Street analyst. Any worker whose job does not require daily face-to-face interaction is now in jeopardy of being replaced by a lower-paid equally skilled worker thousands of miles away. American jobs are being lost not to competition from foreign companies, but to multinational corporations that are cutting costs by shifting operations to low-wage countries.” Roberts and Schumer challenged the correctness of economists’ views that jobs off-shoring was merely the operation of mutually beneficial free trade, about which no concerns were warranted.

The challenge to what was regarded as “free trade globalism” from the unusual combination of a Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary and a liberal Democrat New York Senator caused a sensation. The liberal think-tank in Washington, the Brookings Institution, organized a Washington conference for Roberts and Schumer to explain, or perhaps it was to defend, their heretical position. The conference was televised live by C-Span, which rebroadcast the conference on a number of occasions.

Roberts and Schumer dominated the conference, and when it dawned on the audience of Washington policymakers and economists that something might actually be wrong with the off-shoring policy, in response to a question about the consequences for the US of jobs off-shoring, Roberts said: “In 20 years the US will be a Third World country.”

It looks like Roberts was optimistic that the US economy would last another 20 years. It has only been 10 years and the US already looks more and more like a Third World country. America’s great cities, such as Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis have lost between one-fifth and one-quarter of their populations. Real median family income has been declining for years, an indication that the ladders of upward mobility that made America the “opportunity society” have been dismantled. Last April, the National Employment Law Project reported that real median household income fell 10% between 2007 and 2012.

Republicans have a tendency to blame the victims. Before one asks, “what’s the problem? America is the richest country on earth; even the American poor have TV sets, and they can buy a used car for $2,000,” consider the recently released report from the Federal Reserve that two-thirds of American households are unable to raise $400 cash without selling possessions or borrowing from family and friends.

Although you would never know it from the reports from the US financial press, the poor job prospects that Americans face now rival those of India 30 years ago. American university graduates are employed, if they are employed, not as software engineers and managers but as waitresses and bartenders. They do not make enough to have an independent existence and live at home with their parents. Half of those with student loans cannot service them. Eighteen percent are either in collection or behind in their payments. Another 34% have student loans in deferment or forbearance. Clearly, education was not the answer.

Jobs off-shoring, by lowering labor costs and increasing corporate profits, has enriched corporate executives and large shareholders, but the loss of millions of well-paying jobs has made millions of Americans downwardly mobile. In addition, jobs off-shoring has destroyed the growth in consumer demand on which the US economy depends with the result that the economy cannot create enough jobs to keep up with the growth of the labor force.

Between October 2008 and July 2014 the working age population grew by 13.4 million persons, but the US labor force grew by only 1.1 million. In other words, the unemployment rate among the increase in the working age population during the past six years is 91.8%.

Since the year 2000, the lack of jobs has caused the labor force participation rate to fall, and since quantitative easing began in 2008, the decline in the labor force participation rate has accelerated.

Clearly there is no economic recovery when participation in the labor force collapses.

Right-wing ideologues will say that the labor force participation rate is down because abundant welfare makes it possible for people not to work. This is nonsensical. During this period food stamps have twice been reduced, unemployed benefits were cut back as were a variety of social services. Being on welfare in America today is an extreme hardship. Moreover, there are no jobs going begging.

The graph shows the collapse in the labor force participation rate. The few small peaks above the 65% participation rate line show the few periods when the economy produced enough jobs to keep up with the working age population. The massive peaks below the line indicate the periods in which the dearth of jobs resulted in Americans giving up looking for non-existent jobs and thus ceased being counted in the labor force. The 6.2% US unemployment rate is misleading as it excludes discouraged workers who have given up and left the labor force because there are no jobs to be found.


John Williams of Shadowstats.com calculates the true US unemployment rate to be 23.2%, a number consistent with the collapse of the US labor force participation rate.

In the ten years since Roberts and Schumer sounded the alarm, the US has become a country in which the norm for new jobs has become lowly paid part-time employment in domestic non-tradable services. Two-thirds of the population is living on the edge unable to raise $400 cash. The savings of the population are being drawn down to support life. Corporations are borrowing money not to invest for the future but to buy back their own stocks, thus pushing up share prices, CEO bonuses, and corporate debt. The growth in the income and wealth of the one percent comes from looting, not from productive economic activity.

This is the profile of a Third World country.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Paul Craig Roberts reviews the effects of the 9/11 attacks after 13 years, during which "...a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state." And this unfortunate generation has "been born to distrust of Muslims," to give up "privacy and constitutional protections," to accept "continuous warfare," and to live in "a society in which truth is replaced with the endless repetition of falsehoods." Then he reflects on the day of 9/11/01 when "no aspect of the National Security State worked. Everything failed" and remarks that if such a thing had actually been pulled off by a foreign power, "...there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation. Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled..."


9/11 After 13 years Paul Craig Roberts

September 10, 2014 | Original Here                                              Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

9/11 After 13 years

Paul Craig Roberts

The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.

The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.

A generation of Americans has been born into disdain and distrust of Muslims.

A generation of Americans has been born into a police state in which privacy and constitutional protections no longer exist.

A generation of Americans has been born into continuous warfare while needs of citizens go unmet.

A generation of Americans has been born into a society in which truth is replaced with the endless repetition of falsehoods.

According to the official story, on September 11, 2001, the vaunted National Security State of the World’s Only Superpower was defeated by a few young Saudi Arabians armed only with box cutters. The American National Security State proved to be totally helpless and was dealt the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on any country claiming to be a power.

That day no aspect of the National Security State worked. Everything failed.

The US Air Force for the first time in its history could not get interceptor jet fighters into the air.

The National Security Council failed.

All sixteen US intelligence agencies failed as did those of America’s NATO and Israeli allies.

Air Traffic Control failed.

Airport Security failed four times at the same moment on the same day. The probability of such a failure is zero.

If such a thing had actually happened, there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation. Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled.

Instead, the White House resisted for one year the 9/11 families’ demands for an investigation. Finally, a collection of politicians was assembled to listen to the government’s account and to write it down. The chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission have said that information was withheld from the commission, lies were told to the commission, and that the commission “was set up to fail.” The worst security failure in history resulted in not a single firing. No one was held responsible.

Washington concluded that 9/11 was possible because America lacked a police state.
The PATRIOT Act, which was awaiting the event was quickly passed by the congressional idiots. The Act established executive branch independence of law and the Constitution. The Act and follow-up measures have institutionalized a police state in “the land of the free.”

Osama bin Laden, a CIA asset dying of renal failure, was blamed despite his explicit denial. For the next ten years Osama bin Laden was the bogyman that provided the excuse for Washington to kill countless numbers of Muslims. Then suddenly on May 2, 2011, Obama claimed that US Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden in Pakistan. Eyewitnesses on the scene contradicted the White House’s story. Osama bin Laden became the only human in history to survive renal failure for ten years. There was no dialysis machine in what was said to be bin Laden’s hideaway. The numerous obituaries of bin Laden’s death in December 2001 went down the memory hole. And the SEAL team died a few weeks later in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier from which bin Laden was said to have been dumped into the Indian Ocean wrote home that no such burial took place.

The fairy tale story of bin Laden’s murder by Seal Team Six served to end the challenge by disappointed Democrats to Obama’s nomination for a second term. It also freed the “war on terror” from the bin Laden constraint. Washington wanted to attack Libya, Syria, and Iran, countries in which bin Laden was known not to have organizations, and the succession of faked bin Laden videos, in which bin Laden grew progressively younger as the fake bin Laden claimed credit for each successive attack, had lost credibility among experts.

Watching the twin towers and WTC 7 come down, it was obvious to me that the buildings were not falling down as a result of structural damage. When it became clear that the White House had blocked an independent investigation of the only three steel skyscrapers in world history to collapse as a result of low temperature office fires, it was apparent that there was a coverup.

After 13 years people at home and abroad find the government’s story less believable.
The case made by independent experts is now so compelling that mainstream media has opened to it. Here is Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on C-SPAN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zbv2SvBEec#t=23

After years of persistence a group in New York has secured the necessary number of valid signatures to put on the ballot a vote to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The official account, if correct, means that existing fire and building codes are insufficient to protect the public and that all other steel high rise structures are subject to the same failure. The group has been clever to frame the issue in terms of public safety and not in terms of 9/11 truth.

New York authorities, of course, continue to oppose the initiative. The question now rests on a judge’s ruling. It is difficult to imagine a judge going against the government in such a major way, but the group will have made the point that the government has no confidence in the truth of its own story.

Over these 13 years, physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, and first responders have provided massive evidence that completely disproves the official account of the failure of the three skyscrapers. The response to experts has been for non-experts to call experts “conspiracy theorists.” In other words, the defenders of the government’s story have no scientific or factual basis on which to stand. So they substitute name-calling.

9/11 was used to fundamentally alter the nature of the US government and its relationship to the American people. Unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US Constitution. In the name of National Security, executive power knows no restraints. Essentially, Americans today have no rights if the government targets them.

Those Americans born after 9/11 were born into a different country from the rest of us. Having never experienced constitutional government, they will not know what they have lost.

The anthrax attacks of October 2001 have been forgotten, but Professor Graeme MacQueen in The 2001 Anthrax Deception (Clarity Press, 2014) shows that the anthrax attacks played an essential role in setting the stage for the government’s acquisition of unaccountable police state power. Two Democratic Senate committee chairmen, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy, were disturbed by the Bush regime’s overreach for carte blanche power, and were in a position to block the coming police state legislation and the ability of the executive branch alone to take America to war.

Both senators received anthrax letters, as did major news organizations. The TV network news anchors, such as Dan Rather, who compared the collapse of WTC skyscrapers to buildings brought down by controlled demolition, had not yet been fired by Republicans on framed-up charges.

Initially, the anthrax letters, which caused the deaths of some USPS employees, were seen as the second stage of the 9/11 attack. Fear multiplied. The senators and media shut up. Then it was discovered that the anthrax was a unique kind produced only by a US government military facility.

The response to this monkey wrench thrown into the government’s propaganda, was the FBI’s frame-up of a dead man, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had been employed in the military lab that produced the anthrax and was driven to suicide by the false charges. The dead man’s colleagues did not believe one word of the government’s false story, and nothing in the dead man’s past indicated any motive or instability that would have led him to such a deed.

Initially, the US government tried to frame up Steven Jay Hatfill, but despite the best efforts of the New York Times and Nicholas Kristof the attempt to frame Hatfill failed. Hatfill received $5 million from the US government for the false accusation that ruined his life. So the corrupt US government moved on to Ivins.

Ivins was dead and couldn’t defend himself, but his colleagues did.

The entire episode stinks to high heaven. Justice is something that exists outside the borders of the United States. Never expect to find justice within the United States.

Most Americans are unaware of the extent to which the federal government owns the experts who can contradict its fairy tales. For example, no competent physicist can possibly believe the official story of the destruction of the three WTC buildings. But physics departments in US universities are heavily dependent on federal money. Any physicist who speaks his mind jeopardizes not only his own career but also the career of all of his colleagues. Physicist Steven Jones, who first pointed to the use of thermite in the destruction of the two towers had to agree to having his university buy out his tenure or his university was faced with losing all federal financing.

The same constraints operate in the private sector. High rise architects and structural engineers who express doubts about the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers are viewed by potential clients as Muslim apologists and conspiracy kooks. The clients, of course, have no expert knowledge with which to assess the issue, but they are indoctrinated with ceaseless, endless, repetition that 9/11 was Osama bin Laden’s attack on America. Their indoctrination makes them immune to facts.

The 9/11 lie has persisted for 13 years. Millions of Muslims have paid for this lie with their lives, the destruction of their families, and with their dislocation. Most Americans remain comfortable with the fact that their government has destroyed in whole or part seven countries based on a lie Washington told to cover up an inside job that launched the crazed neoconservatives’ drive for Washington’s World Empire.

See also: http://www.globalresearch.ca/no-airliner-black-boxes-found-at-the-world-trade-center-senior-officials-dispute-official-911-claim/5400891

Ever wonder how the 9/11 attacks were actually carried out? If so, check out my work, including my eye witnessing two practice runs against the Pentagon...


Ever wonder how the 9/11 attacks were actually carried out?  If so, go here: http://www.drivehq.com/folder/p11616925/098713455.aspx and download:
(1) My "Towards a Comprehensive 9/11 Conspiracy Theory: The “All Hijacked Passengers Survived” Hypothesis (PDF)
(2) The figures to go with the above, "Slides for New 9/11..."  (PowerPoint, example below):


 (3) "Pentagon Attack..." (self contained Power Point, example below)


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paul Crag Roberts reflects on the flimsiness of the current cease fire in Ukraine, the trouble that Washington has caused Russia, the fact that Ukraine was a part of Russia longer than the US has existed, and Washington's strategic goals to build up military forces on Russia's borders and push the European Union into imposing sanctions on Russia that disrupt the trade relationships and create distrust. Consequently, it appears that the European Union may be getting set to impose sanctions on the Russian energy firms Rosneft, Gazpromneft and Transneft. To this, PCR remarks that "The Russian response to this audacity should be to turn off the gas in the winter without warning. All of it" ...reasoning that "That would bring an end to Washington’s assault on Russia."


The Ukraine Crisis Remains Unresolved — Paul Craig Roberts

September 9, 2014 | Original Here                                              Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

The Ukraine Crisis Remains Unresolved

Paul Craig Roberts

Some Western commentators interpret the cease fire in Ukraine obtained by President Putin as a victory for Russia. The reasoning is that the cease fire leaves Ukraine with disputed borders, which rules out Ukraine’s membership in NATO.

But will the cease fire hold? The right-wing Kiev militias, whose members often wear nazi insignias, are not under Kiev’s complete control. These militias can easily violate the cease fire, and there are already reports of violations. Moreover the billionaire oligarch that Washington has installed in Kiev as president of Ukraine will violate the ceasefire on Washington’s orders, unless, of course, Putin has put the fear of God in him.

To a military strategist the Russian response to the trouble that Washington has caused Russia in Ukraine, longer a part of Russia than the US has existed, is a mystery. Russia lost Ukraine because of its weakness when the Soviet Union collapsed, and Washington forced Russia to permit an independent Ukraine, which served Washington’s purpose of breaking up the Russian Federation.

The western Ukrainians, who fought for Hitler during World War II, maintained an impressive lobby organization in Washington and secured their independent country, but they did not control Ukraine because much of the country consists of former Russian territories made part of Ukraine by Soviet leaders in the 20th century.

Blood ties from intermarriage over centuries and tied economic interrelationships between Russia and Ukraine achieved over centuries essentially left Ukraine as part of Russia, where it has resided for centuries.

This frustrated the World Empire Neoconservatives, who have controlled the US government since the corrupt Clintons, whose regime brought Third World corruption into American political life. Remember Robert Reich, Clinton’s university friend and Secretary of Labor who resigned from Clinton’s cabinet on principle. Clinton betrayed the constituency that elected him, as did Obama. Clinton’s two-timed wife, allied with Zionist Israel, the banksters, and the military/security complex, is the Democrats’ current favorite for their next presidential nominee.

As it was in Rome, dynasties are now the sources of US presidential leadership. And as it was in Rome, the US is on the path to destruction, which occurs when the ambitions of leaders take precedence over the fate of the country.

Keeping Ukraine out of NATO is no doubt a goal of the Russian government. However, the trouble that Washington brought to Russia in Ukraine–by orchestrating a coup, installing a puppet government, and unleashing violence against the residents of the former Russian territories that Soviet leaders attached to Ukraine–is being used for wider purposes than to incorporate Ukraine within NATO.

In other words, Washington’s strategic goals go beyond NATO membership for Ukraine.

One goal is to break apart the economic and political relationships between Europe and Russia. By using Ukraine to demonize Russia, Washington has pushed the European Union into imposing sanctions on Russia that disrupt the trade relationships and create distrust.

The distrust serves Washington’s purpose. Washington has demonstrated to Russia that Washington’s bought and-paid-for European politicians are unwilling to have foreign policies independent of Washington’s. Europe’s lack of an independent policy means that the Russian government is hampered in its use of diplomacy.

Another Washington goal is to build up military forces on Russia’s borders. NATO has used the “crisis” to stoke fear of Russia in the Baltics and in Poland. Washington and NATO generals speak of Russian attacks as if it is a foregone conclusion that Russia intends to invade Eastern Europe. To protect against the “Russian threat,” NATO has created a “quick reaction force” and is building up supplies of military equipment and new bases on Russia’s borders. Whatever the outcome in Ukraine, Washington has used Ukraine to start a new Cold War.

The Western presstitute media, a collection of government propagandists, has misrepresented the situation in Ukraine from the beginning. In place of news coverage, there has been propaganda against Russia. Consequently, Western peoples who rely on the media are misinformed about Ukraine and place all blame on Russia. The fact that the American people are misinformed makes it easy for Washington to continue to orchestrate events to Russia’s disadvantage.

Washington has no interest in resolving the troubles in Ukraine. Washington has successfully used Ukraine to create fear of Russia both in Europe and in the United States. Washington has successfully used Ukraine to damage European-Russian economic and political relations, and Washington has succeeded in starting a new Cold War that will keep profits flowing into the US military/security complex.

As the Kiev government is Washington’s puppet, there is no reason to expect a resolution of the conflict that Washington brought to Ukraine and to Russia.

It is not only Washington that rejects a resolution of the Ukrainian difficulties created by Washington, but also the EU. Washington’s puppet, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the Washington front group – the European Council – announced, if news reports are correct, which they seldom are, that the European Union is imposing sanctions on the Russian energy firms Rosneft, Gazpromneft and Transneft as well as state-run companies with turnover of more than $27 billion a year.

The Russian response to this audacity should be to turn off the gas in the winter without warning. All of it.

As Putin’s interest is to separate Europe from Washington’s control, this would do it. All of East and West Europe and Ukraine would be on their knees in Moscow begging for the energy to be turned back on. All Putin would have to say is 
“only non-NATO members get gas.”

That would bring an end to Washington’s assault on Russia.

The American neoconservatives, a deranged cadre of warmongers, are denouncing Obama for “weakness” for not sending troops to Ukraine. The neocons, who have involved the US since the Clinton regime in costly and failed US military aggressions abroad, claim that Obama’s leadership has resulted in NATO loosing its will and its muscle.

It remains for the Russian government to demonstrate that all muscle over Ukraine and Europe resides in Moscow.