Saturday, February 28, 2015

So this is where Paul Craig Roberts disappeared to last week. Invited to address an important conference of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow! His first day's endeavor was to explain to Russian government officials and the Russian people why Washington has recently destroyed the friendly relations between America and Russia that Ronald Reagan and President Gorbachev succeeded in establishing. His second day was devoted to explaining how America has become a police state catalyzed by 9/11 and the concomitant loss of the Constitution and the civil liberties it protected. So all Americans should also read these lectures.

The Neoconservative Threat To World Order — Paul Craig Roberts

February 26, 2015 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

The Neoconservative Threat To International Relations
Paul Craig Roberts

For the illustrated version go here:

This week I was invited to address an important conference of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Scholars from Russia and from around the world, Russian government officials, and the Russian people seek an answer as to why Washington destroyed during the past year the friendly relations between America and Russia that President Reagan and President Gorbachev succeeded in establishing. All of Russia is distressed that Washington alone has destroyed the trust between the two major nuclear powers that had been created during the Reagan-Gorbachev era, trust that had removed the threat of nuclear armageddon. Russians at every level are astonished at the virulent propaganda and lies constantly issuing from Washington and the Western media. Washington’s gratuitous demonization of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has rallied the Russian people behind him. Putin has the highest approval rating ever achieved by any leader in my lifetime.

Washington’s reckless and irresponsible destruction of the trust achieved by Reagan and Gorbachev has resurrected the possibility of nuclear war from the grave in which Reagan and Gorbachev buried it. Again, as during the Cold War the specter of nuclear armageddon stalks the earth.

Why did Washington revive the threat of world annihilation? Why is this threat to all of humanity supported by the majority of the US Congress, by the entirety of the presstitute media, and by academics and think-tank inhabitants in the US, such as Motyl and Weiss, about whom I wrote recently?

It was my task to answer this question for the conference. You can read my February 25 and February 26 addresses below. But first you should understand what nuclear war means. You can gain that understanding here:

The Threat Posed to International Relations By The Neoconservative Ideology of American Hegemony, Address to the 70th Anniversary of the Yalta Conference, Hosted by Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow, February 25, 2015, Hon. Paul Craig Roberts


What I propose to you is that the current difficulties in the international order are unrelated to Yalta and its consequences, but have their origin in the rise of the neoconservative ideology in the post-Soviet era and its influence on Washington’s foreign policy.

The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the only constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad. At that time China’s rise was estimated to require a half century. Suddenly the United States found itself to be the Uni-power, the “world’s only superpower.” Neoconservatives proclaimed “the end of history.”

By the “end of history” neoconservatives mean that the competition between socio-economic-political systems is at an end. History has chosen “American Democratic-Capitalism.” It is Washington’s responsibility to exercise the hegemony over the world given to Washington by History and to bring the world in line with History’s choice of American democratic-capitalism.

In other words, Marx has been proven wrong. The future does not belong to the proletariat but to Washington.

The neoconservative ideology raises the United States to the unique status of being “the exceptional country,” and the American people acquire exalted status as “the indispensable people.”

If a country is “the exceptional country,” it means that all other countries are unexceptional. If a people are “indispensable,” it means other peoples are dispensable. We have seen this attitude at work in Washington’s 14 years of wars of aggression in the Middle East. These wars have left countries destroyed and millions of people dead, maimed, and displaced. Yet Washington continues to speak of its commitment to protect smaller countries from the aggression of larger countries. The explanation for this hypocrisy is that Washington does not regard Washington’s aggression as aggression, but as History’s purpose.

We have also seen this attitude at work in Washington’s disdain for Russia’s national interests and in Washington’s propagandistic response to Russian diplomacy.

The neoconservative ideology requires that Washington maintain its Uni-power status, because this status is necessary for Washington’s hegemony and History’s purpose.

The neoconservative doctrine of US world supremacy is most clearly and concisely stated by Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neoconservative who has held many high positions: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Director of Policy Planning US Department of State, Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Indonesia, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank.

In 1992 Paul Wolfowitz stated the neoconservative doctrine of American world supremacy:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

For clarification, a “hostile power” is a country with an independent policy (Russia, China, Iran, and formerly Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad).

This bold statement struck the traditional American foreign policy establishment as a declaration of American Imperialism. The document was rewritten in order to soften and disguise the blatant assertion of supremacy without changing the intent. These documents are available online, and you can examine them at your convenience.

Softening the language allowed the neoconservatives to rise to foreign policy dominance. The neoconservatives are responsible for the Clinton regime’s attacks on Yugoslavia and Serbia. Neoconservatives, especially Paul Wolfowitz, are responsible for the George W. Bush regime’s invasion of Iraq. The neoconservatives are responsible for the overthrow and murder of Gaddafi in Libya, the assault on Syria, the propaganda against Iran, the drone attacks on Pakistan and Yemen, the color revolutions in former Soviet Republics, the attempted “Green Revolution” in Iran, the coup in Ukraine, and the demonization of Vladimir Putin.

A number of thoughtful Americans suspect that the neoconservatives are responsible for 9/11, as that event gave the neoconservatives the “New Pearl Harbor” that their position papers said was necessary in order to launch their wars for hegemony in the Middle East. 9/11 led directly and instantly to the invasion of Afghanistan, where Washington has been fighting since 2001. Neoconservatives controlled all the important government positions necessary for a “false flag” attack.

Neoconservative Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who is married to another neoconservative, Robert Kagan, implemented and oversaw Washington’s coup in Ukraine and chose the new government.

The neoconservatives are highly organized and networked, well-financed, supported by the print and TV media, and backed by the US military/security complex and the Israel Lobby. There is no countervailing power to their influence on US foreign power.

The neoconservative doctrine goes beyond the Brzezinski doctrine, which dissented from Detente and provocatively supported dissidents inside the Soviet empire. Despite its provocative character, the Brzezinski doctrine remained a doctrine of Great Power politics and containment. It is not a doctrine of US world hegemony.

While the neoconservatives were preoccupied for a decade with their wars in the Middle East, creating a US Africa Command, organizing color revolutions, exiting disarmament treaties, surrounding Russia with military bases, and “pivoting to Asia” to surround China with new air and naval bases, Vladimir Putin led Russia back to economic and military competence and successfully asserted an independent Russian foreign policy.

When Russian diplomacy blocked Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and Washington’s planned bombing of Iran, the neoconservatives realized that they had failed the “first objective” of the Wolfowitz Doctrine and had allowed “the re-emergence of a new rival . . . on the territory of the former Soviet Union” with the power to block unilateral action by Washington.

The attack on Russia began. Washington had spent $5 billion over a decade creating non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Ukraine and cultivating Ukrainian politicians. The NGOs were called into the streets. The extreme nationalists or nazi elements were used to introduce violence, and the elected democratic government was overthrown. The intercepted conversation between Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador in Kiev, in which the two Washington operatives choose the members of the new Ukrainian government, is well known.

If the information that has recently come to me from Armenia and Kyrgyzstan is correct, Washington has financed NGOs and is cultivating politicians in Armenia and the former Soviet Central Asian Republics. If the information is correct, Russia can expect more “color revolutions” or coups in other former territories of the Soviet Union. Perhaps China faces a similar threat in Uyghurstan.

The conflict in Ukraine is often called a “civil war.” This is incorrect. A civil war is when two sides fight for the control of the government. The break-away republics in eastern and southern Ukraine are fighting a war of secession.

Washington would have been happy to use its coup in Ukraine to evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base as this would have been a strategic military achievement. However, Washington is pleased that the “Ukraine crisis” that Washington orchestrated has resulted in the demonization of Vladimir Putin, thus permitting economic sanctions that have disrupted Russia’s economic and political relations with Europe. The sanctions have kept Europe in Washington’s orbit.

Washington has no interest in resolving the Ukrainian situation. The situation can be resolved diplomatically only if Europe can achieve sufficient sovereignty over its foreign policy to act in Europe’s interest instead of Washington’s interest.

The neoconservative doctrine of US world hegemony is a threat to the sovereignty of every country. The doctrine requires subservience to Washington’s leadership and to Washington’s purposes. Independent governments are targeted for destabilization. The Obama regime overthrew the reformist government in Honduras and currently is at work destabilizing Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Argentina, and most likely also Armenia and the former Central Asian Soviet Republics.

Yalta and its consequences have to do with Great Power rivalries. But in the neoconservative doctrine, there is only one Great Power–the Uni-power. There are no others, and no others are to be permitted

Therefore, unless a modern foreign policy arises in Washington and displaces the neoconservatives, the future is one of conflict.

It would be a strategic error to dismiss the neoconservative ideology as unrealistic. The doctrine is unrealistic, but it is also the guiding force of US foreign policy and is capable of producing a world war.

In their conflict with Washington’s hegemony, Russia and China are disadvantaged. The success of American propaganda during the Cold War, the large differences between living standards in the US and those in communist lands, overt communist political oppression, at times brutal, and the Soviet collapse created in the minds of many people nonexistent virtues for the United States. As English is the world language and the Western media is cooperative, Washington is able to control explanations regardless of the facts. The ability of Washington to be the aggressor and to blame the victim encourages Washington’s march to more aggression.

This concludes my remarks. Tomorrow I will address whether there are domestic political restraints or economic restraints on the neoconservative ideology.

Paul Craig Roberts, Address to the 70th Anniversary of the Yalta Conference, Moscow, February 26, 2015


At the plenary session yesterday I addressed the threat that the neoconservative ideology poses to international relations. In this closing session I address whether there are any internal restraints on this policy from the US population and whether there are economic restraints.

Just as 9/11 served to launch Washington’s wars for hegemony in the Middle East, 9/11 served to create the American police state. The Constitution and the civil liberties it protects quickly fell to the accumulation of power in the executive branch that a state of war permitted.

New laws, some clearly pre-prepared such as the PATRIOT Act, executive orders, presidential directives, and Department of Justice memos created an executive authority unaccountable to the US Constitution and to domestic and international law.

Suddenly Americans could be detained indefinitely without cause presented to a court. Habeas corpus, a constitutional protection which prohibits any such detention, has been set aside.

Suddenly people could be tortured into confessions in violation of the right against self-incrimination and in violation of domestic and international laws against torture.

Suddenly Americans and Washington’s closest allies could be spied on indiscriminately without the need of warrants demonstrating cause.

The Obama regime added to the Bush regime’s transgressions the assertion of the right of the executive branch to assassinate US citizens without due process of law.

The police state was organized under a massive new Department of Homeland Security. Almost immediately whistleblower protections, freedom of the press and speech, and protest rights were attacked and reduced.

It was not long before the director of Homeland Security declared that the department’s focus has shifted from Muslim terrorists to “domestic extremists,” an undefined category. Anyone can be swept into this category. Homes of war protesters were raided and grand juries were convened to investigate the protesters. Americans of Arab descent who donated to charities–even charities on the State Department’s approved list–that aided Palestinian children were arrested and sentenced to prison for “providing material support to terrorism.”

All of this and more, including police brutality, has had a chilling effect on protests against the wars and the loss of civil liberty. The rising protests from the American population and from soldiers themselves that eventually forced Washington to end the Vietnam War have been prevented in the 21st century by the erosion of rights, intimidation, loss of mobility (no-fly list), job dismissal, and other heavy-handed actions inconsistent with a government accountable to law and to the people.

In an important sense, the US has emerged from the “war on terror” as an executive branch dictatorship unconstrained by the media and barely, if at all, constrained by Congress and the federal courts. The lawlessness of the executive branch has spread into governments of Washington’s vassal states and into the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, all of which violate their charters and operate outside their legal powers.

Jobs offshoring destroyed the American industrial and manufacturing unions. Their demise and the current attack on the public employee unions has left the Democratic Party financially dependent on the same organized private interest groups as the Republicans. Both parties now report to the same interest groups. Wall Street, the military/security complex, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness, and the extractive industries (oil, mining, timber) control the government regardless of the party in power. These powerful interests all have a stake in American hegemony.

The message is that the constellation of forces preclude internal political change.

Hegemony’s Archilles heel is the US economy. The fairy tale of American economic recovery supports America’s image as the safe haven, an image that keeps the dollar’s value up, the stock market up, and interest rates down. However, there is no economic information that supports this fairy tale.

Real median household income has not grown for years and is below the levels of the early 1970s. There has been no growth in real retail sales for six years. The labor force is shrinking. The labor force participation rate has declined since 2007 as has the civilian employment to population ratio. The 5.7 percent reported unemployment rate is achieved by not counting discouraged workers as part of the work force. (A discouraged worker is a person who is unable to find a job and has given up looking.)

A second official unemployment rate, which counts short-term (less than one year) discouraged workers and is seldom reported, stands at 11.2 percent. The US government stopped including long-term discouraged workers (discouraged for more than one year) in 1994. If the long-term discouraged are counted, the current unemployment rate in the US stands at 23.2 percent.

The offshoring of American manufacturing and professional service jobs such as software engineering and Information Technology has decimated the middle class. The middle class has not found jobs with incomes comparable to those moved abroad. The labor cost savings from offshoring the jobs to Asia has boosted corporate profits, the performance bonuses of executives and capital gains of shareholders. Thus all income and wealth gains are concentrated in a few hands at the top of the income distribution. The number of billionaires grows as destitution reaches from the lower economic class into the middle class. American university graduates unable to find jobs return to their childhood rooms in their parents’ homes and work as waitresses and bartenders in part-time jobs that will not support an independent existence.

With a large percentage of the young economically unable to form households, residential construction, home furnishings, and home appliances suffer economic weakness. Cars can still be sold only because the purchaser can obtain 100 percent financing in a six-year loan. The lenders sell the loans, which are securitized and sold to gullible investors, just as were the mortgage-backed financial instruments that precipitated the 2007 US financial crash.

None of the problems that created the 2008 recession, and that were created by the 2008 recession, have been addressed. Instead, policymakers have used an expansion of debt and money to paper over the problems. Money and debt have grown much more than US GDP, which raises questions about the value of the US dollar and the credit worthiness of the US government. On July 8, 2014, my colleagues and I pointed out that when correctly measured, US national debt stands at 185 percent of GDP.

This raises the question: Why was the credit rating of Russia, a country with an extremely low ratio of debt to GDP, downgraded and not that of the US? The answer is that the downgrading of Russian credit worthiness was a political act directed against Russia in behalf of US hegemony.

How long can fairy tales and political acts keep the US house of cards standing? A rigged stock market. A rigged interest rate. A rigged dollar exchange value, a rigged and suppressed gold price. The current Western financial system rests on world support for the US dollar and on nothing more.

The problem with neoliberal economics, which pervades all countries, even Russia and China, is that neoliberal economics is a tool of American economic imperialism, as is Globalism. As long as countries targeted by Washington for destabilization support and cling to the American doctrines that enable the destabilization, the targets are defenseless.

If Russia, China, and the BRICS Bank were willing to finance Greece, Italy, and Spain, perhaps those countries could be separated from the EU and NATO. The unraveling of Washington’s empire would begin.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Here Paul Craig Roberts recalls how Ronald Reagan was perhaps the only American President of the 21st century to avoid war rather than start one or continue one instigated by his predecessor. The war he stopped would have been nuclear, and he accomplished this by respecting the Russian leaders rather than vilifying them. Now the U.S. government at all levels, together with the despicable mainstream media and right-wing think tanks, are lying about Russia’s actions and intentions, which in truth have been accommodating, promoting peace, and resisting sending the Russian Army into the eastern Russian-speaking provinces of Ukraine to protect them from the blood thirsty Neo Nazis currently serving as Ukraine’s shock troops. In PCR’s present post, he excoriates American intellectuals who have published supposed expert opinions in formerly respected journals, which are not merely lies but damned lies about Russia today.

Washington Has Destroyed Trust Between Nuclear Powers, Thus Raising The Specter Of War — Paul Craig Roberts

February 25, 2015 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

Washington Has Destroyed Trust Between Nuclear Powers, Thus Raising The Specter Of War

Paul Craig Roberts

February 25, 2015

Ambassador Jack Matlock made an important speech at the National Press Club on February 11. Matlock served as US ambassador to the Soviet Union during 1987-91. In his speech he describes how President Reagan won the trust of the Soviet leadership in order to bring to an end the Cold War and its risk of nuclear armageddon.

Reagan’s meeting with Gorbachev did not rely on position papers written by staff. It relied on a hand-written memo by Reagan himself that stressed respect for the Soviet leadership and a clear realization that negotiation must not expect the Soviet leaders to do something that is not in the true interest of their country. The way to end the conflict, Reagan wrote, is to cooperate toward a common goal. Matlock said that Reagan refused to personalize disagreements or to speak derogatorily of any Soviet leader.

Matlock makes the point that Reagan’s successors have done a thorough job of destroying this trust. In the last two years the destruction of trust has been total.

How can the Russian government trust Washington when Washington violates the word of President George H.W. Bush and takes NATO into Eastern Europe and places military bases on Russia’s border?

How can the Russian government trust Washington when Washington pulls out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and places Anti-Ballistic Missiles on Russia’s border?

How can the Russian government trust Washington when Washington overthrows in a coup the elected government of Ukraine and installs a puppet regime that immediately expresses hostility toward Russia and the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine and destroys Soviet war memorials commemorating the Red Army’s liberation of Ukraine from Nazi Germany?

How can the Russian government trust Washington when the President of Russia is called every name in the book, including “the new Hitler,” and gratuitously accused of every sort of crime and personal failing?

Washington and its neoconservative monsters have destroyed trust with demonization and blame of Russia for violence in Ukraine for which Washington is responsible.

Washington has forced Europe to impose economic sanctions on Russia that are based entirely on lies and false accusations. The Russians know this. They recognize the blatant hostility, the blatant lies, the never-ending crude propaganda, the hypocritical double-standards, the push toward war.

Simultaneously China is experiencing hostile encirclement with Washington’s “pivot to Asia.”

By destroying trust, Washington has resurrected the threat of nuclear armageddon. Washington’s destruction of trust between nuclear powers is the crime of the century.

On February 24, I held accountable Alexander J. Motyl and the Council on Foreign Relations for publishing on February 5 a large collection of blatant lies in order to create a false reality with which to demonize the Russian government. I observed that the publication of ignorant nonsense in what is supposed to be a respectable foreign policy journal indicated the degradation of the Western political and media elite.

I did not think things could get any worse, but one day later I came across Andrew S. Weiss’ article in the Wall Street Journal.

Weiss’ article is the most amazing collection of misrepresentations imaginable. It is impossible to believe that the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment could possible be so totally misinformed. The false reality that Weiss creates precludes any diplomatic resolution of the conflict that Washington has created with Russia.

What is the explanation for Weiss’ misrepresentations of Putin, the origin of the conflict and the cause of its continuation?

Recalling the confession of Udo Ulfkotte, an editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, that he published under his name articles handed to him by the CIA and that the entire European press does the same, was Weiss handed the disinformation by the CIA, or by Victoria Nuland, or is the answer simply that Weiss worked on Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council, the State Department and the Defense Department and is one of Washington’s propaganda operatives currently operating out of a think-tank?

The more important question is: What is the purpose behind Washington’s cause and misrepresentation of the conflict? Was the destruction of trust between nuclear powers intentional or a consequence of other purposes? Is Washington simply using its ability to control explanations in order to cover up its involvement in the overthrow of a democratically elected government, an outcome that has gone bad? Or is the answer merely that Washington is peeved that it failed to get its hands on Russia’s Black Sea naval base in Crimea and has had to give up, at least for now, on getting Russia out of the Mediterranean and out of the Russian naval base at Tartus, Syria?

As I explained today to an international conference hosted by institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the prevention of “the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere” with sufficient resources and power to be able to serve as a check on unilateral action by Washington.

When Russian diplomacy blocked Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and planned bombing of Iran, the neoconservatives realized that they had failed in their “first objective” and were now faced with a check on unilateral action. The attack on Russia instantly began. The $5 billion Washington had spent funding NGOs in Ukraine and cultivating Ukrainian politicians produced the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government. Washington imposed a puppet government that instantly employed violent words and deeds against the Russian population, resulting in the secession of Crimea and the formation of other break-away provinces.

With English as the world language and the compliant media or presstitutes in Washington’s service, Washington has been able to control the explanation, blame Putin for the crisis, and force Europe to breakup its economic and political relations with Russia by imposing economic sanctions.

In a vain and failed attempt to keep the US as the Uni-power capable of dictating to the world, the neoconservatives have recklessly and irresponsibly resurrected the threat of nuclear armageddon. The neoconservative dominance of US foreign policy makes impossible any restoration of trust. Washington’s propaganda is driving the situation toward war. As neither Washington nor the Russian/Chinese alliance can afford to lose the war, the war will be nuclear. Any survivors will be doomed by nuclear winter.

The entire world must quickly become aware of the danger and confront the evil regime that the neoconservatives–the Sauron of our world–have created in Washington. To do otherwise is to risk life on earth.

At least a bunch of American activists besides Paul Craig Roberts sense the evil of the American government, particularly in its plan to provide weapons to Ukraine, not withstanding the recent ceasefire. Hopefully more Americans will take up the cry. Save our children and grandchildren: no nuclear apocalypse!

No Weapons to Ukraine: An Open letter to the U.S Senate

By Global Research News 
Global Research, February 25, 2015                                                                                                       .

Reject S. 452, “A bill to provide lethal weapons to the Government of Ukraine.”

Why is this important?

The United States is the leading provider of weapons to the world, and the practice of providing weapons to countries in crisis has proven disastrous, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Expanding NATO to Russia’s border and arming Russia’s neighbors threatens something worse than disaster. The United States is toying with nuclear war

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt played significant roles in orchestrating the political crisis that led to a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine’s elected President. Nuland not only exclaimed “Fuck the EU!” on that recorded phone call, but she also seemed to decide on the new prime minister: “Yats is the guy.”

The Maidan protests were violently escalated by neo-Nazis and by snipers who opened fire on police. When Poland, Germany, and France negotiated a deal for the Maidan demands and an early election, neo-Nazis instead attacked the government and took over. The U.S. State Department immediately recognized the coup government, and Yatsenyuk was indeed installed as Prime Minister.

The people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede, and that — rather than the coup — has been labeled “aggression.” Ethnic Russians have been massacred by constant shelling from Kiev’s U.S.-NATO backed Army, while Russia has been denounced for “aggression” in the form of various unsubstantiated accusations, including the downing of Flight 17.

It’s important to recognize Western interests at work here other than peace and generosity. GMO outfits want the excellent farming soil in Ukraine. The U.S. and NATO want a “missile defense” base in Ukraine. Oil corporations want to drill for fracked gas in Ukraine. The U.S. and EU want to get their hands on Russia’s “largest supply of natural gas” on the planet.

We routinely recognize the financial corruption of the U.S. government in domestic policy making. We shouldn’t blind ourselves to it in matters of foreign policy. There may be a flag waving, but there is nuclear war looming, and that’s a bit more important.

Initial signers (organizations for identification):
David Swanson, World Beyond War.
Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.
Nick Mottern,
Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace.
Carolyn McCrady, Peace and Justice Can Win.
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink.
Gareth Porter.
Malachy Kilbride, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.
Buzz Davis, WI Impeachment/Bring Our Troops Home Coalition.
Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Doug Rawlings, Veterans For Peace.
Diane Turco, Cape Codders for Peace and Justice.
Rich Greve, Peace Action Staten Island.
Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance.
Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance.
Heinrich Buecker, Coop Anti-War Cafe Berlin.
Dud Hendrick.
Ellen Barfield, Veterans For Peace and War Resisters League.
Herbert Hoffman, Veterans For Peace.
Jean Athey, Peace Action Montgomery.
Kent Shifferd.
Matthew Hoh.
Bob Cushing, Pax Christi.
Bill Gilson, Veterans For Peace.
Michael Brenner, University of Pittsburgh.
Cindy Sheehan: Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox.
Jodie Evans, Code Pink.
Judith Deutsch.
Jim Haber.
Elliott Adams.
Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin, UNAC co-coordinators.
David Hartsough, World Beyond War.
Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace laureate, Co founder peace people.
Koohan Paik, International Forum on Globalization.
Ellen Judd, University of Manitoba.
Nicolas Davies.
Rosalie Tyler Paul, PeaceWorks, Brunswick Maine.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reading the respected journal “Foreign Affairs”, Paul Craig Roberts laughs his head off over something he took to be a parody of Washington’s anti-Russian and anti-Putin propaganda …only to realize that “the absolute gibberish wasn’t a parody of Washington’s propaganda.” In fact, it was “the purest expression of the blatant propagandistic lies that flow continually from the likes of Fox ‘News,’ Sean Hannity, the neocon warmongers, the White House, and executive branch and congressional personnel beholden to the military/security complex,” concluding “that the morons who are Reagan’s successors have thrown away (the gipper’s willingness to search for detent), thus renewing the threat of nuclear war that Reagan and Gorbachev had ended.”

Washington Has Resurrected The Threat Of Nuclear War — Paul Craig Roberts

February 24, 2015 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

Washington Has Resurrected The Threat Of Nuclear War

Paul Craig Roberts

Foreign Affairs is the publication of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations, a collection of former and current government officials, academics, and corporate and financial executives who regard themselves as the custodian and formulator of US foreign policy. The publication of the council carries the heavy weight of authority. One doesn’t expect to find humor in it, but I found myself roaring with laughter while reading an article in the February 5 online issue by Alexander J. Motyl, “Goodbye, Putin: Why the President’s Days Are Numbered.”

I assumed I was reading a clever parody of Washington’s anti-Putin propaganda. Absurd statement followed absurd statement. It was better than Colbert. I couldn’t stop laughing.

To my dismay I discovered that the absolute gibberish wasn’t a parody of Washington’s propaganda. Motyl, an ardent Ukrainian nationalist, is a professor at Rugers University and was not joking when he wrote that Putin had stolen $45 billion, that Putin was resurrecting the Soviet Empire, that Putin had troops and tanks in Ukraine and had started the war in Ukraine, that Putin is an authoritarian whose regime is “exceedingly brittle” and subject to being overthrown at any time by the people Putin has bought off with revenues from the former high oil price, or by “an Orange Revolution in Moscow” in which Putin is overthrown by Washington orchestrated demonstrations by US financed NGOs as in Ukraine, or by a coup d’etat by Putin’s Praetorial guards. And if none of this sends Putin goodbye, the North Caucasus, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, and the Crimean Tarters are spinning out of control and will do Washington’s will by unseating Putin. Only the West’s friendly relationship with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan can shield “the rest of the world from Putin’s disastrous legacy of ruin.”

When confronted with this level of ignorant nonsense in what is alleged to be a respectable publication, we experience the degradation of the Western political and media elite. To argue with nonsense is pointless.

What we see here with Motyl is the purest expression of the blatant propagandistic lies that flow continually from the likes of Fox “News,” Sean Hannity, the neocon warmongers, the White House, and executive branch and congressional personnel beholden to the military/security complex.

The lies are too much even for Henry Kissinger.

As Stephen Lendman, who documents the ever growing anti-Russian propaganda, honestly states: “America’s war on the world rages. Humanity’s greatest challenge is stopping this monster before it destroys everyone.”

The absurdity of it all! Even a moron knows that if Russia is going to put tanks and troops into Ukraine, Russia will put in enough to do the job. The war would be over in a few days if not in a few hours. As Putin himself said some months ago, if the Russian military enters Ukraine, the news will not be the fate of Donetsk or Mauriupol, but the fall of Kiev and Lviv.

Former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1987-91) Jack Matlock cautioned against the crazed propagandistic attack against Russia in his speech at the National Press Club on February 11. Matlock is astonished by the dismissal of Russia as merely “a regional power” of little consequence to the powerful US military. No country, Matlock says, armed with numerous, accurate, and mobile ICBMs is limited to regional power. This is the kind of hubristic miscalculation that ends in world destruction.

Matlock also notes that the entirely of Ukraine, like Crimea, has been part of Russia for centuries and that Washington and NATO have no business being in Ukraine.

He also points out the violations of promises made to Russia not to expand NATO eastward and how this and other acts of US aggression toward Russia have recreated the lack of trust between the two powers that Reagan worked successfully to overcome.

Reagan’s politeness toward the Soviet leadership and refusal to personalize differences created an era of cooperation that the morons who are Reagan’s successors have thrown away, thus renewing the threat of nuclear war that Reagan and Gorbachev had ended.

Washington’s foreign policy, Matlock says, is autistic, which he defines as impaired social interaction, failed communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

Read Matlock:

Don’t bother with the utter fool Motyl:

After you read this, decide whether you believe the claims of the U.S. government and the suborned "mainstream media" that "Putin had troops and tanks in Ukraine and had started the war in Ukraine" ...but after a year's time was unable to win it? Or do you join Paul Craig Roberts and myself and laugh our heads off at the very idea ...and then cringe at the knowledge that the morons that rule Washington are trying to instigate a nuclear war with Russia.

Kiev Ambassador on German TV: Neo-Nazis are part of armed forces

Goes further and says there are no right-wingers currently serving in Ukrainian Parliament

From Russian Insider, February 24, 2015
By Damir Marinovic

Video is available at link.
Transcript is below.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk (Western Ukrainian from Lvov), made a shocking statement on Günther Jauch’s TV show, one of the most popular political talk shows in Germany.

Answering the question about the large presence of “strange people with SS insignia” in the Ukrainian Army, Melnyk admitted that Azov and Right Sector neo-Nazis are part of the Ukrainian armed forces, that they are controlled and coordinated by Kiev’s pro-Western regime and that without them “the Russian army” would advance much further.

Let’s now carefully analyze his statement:
“Since the last elections there is not a single far right party in our Parliament. And this is important fact”
He is dead wrong on this. Extreme right-wing populist Lyahsko, of the Radical Party, entered the Parliament and is a member of the ruling coalition. Both leaders of Right Sector, Interpol-wanted Dmytro Yarosh and Borislav Bereza, were directly elected in their electoral districts and are currently serving as MPs.

Furthermore, white power Nazi and Azov de-facto leader Andriy Biletsky was also directly elected as an MP and is part of a coalition with Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front party. Next to Biletsky, Andriy Parubiy, founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine is a MP and deputy chairman of the Ukrainian Rada (parliament).

New democracy requires new symbols (neo-Nazi flags) for kids in school

So the far right elements are very much present in the Parliament and unfortunately not only in the Ukrainian Rada, but also in other important institutions. It seems that the whole Ukrainian political spectrum move radically to the right and one can argue whether there are any center-of-left leaning parties present in the current parliament?

Let’s continue with his statement:
“When we were attacked by the Russians last year, we hardly had an army. And that’s why there were a lot of people, volunteers, who were prepared to fight for their country, and they are doing it.”
Nonsense (the part about Russia attacking Ukraine is of course baseless. If Ukraine was invaded, why don’t they provide evidence, or declare war?) We can all clearly remember spring of the last year when many regular Ukrainian army units refused to wage a war against civilians who disagreed with Kiev’s coup d’etat and Maidan revolution. The bloody civil war started only after the new regime manage to consolidate itself, formed, equipped and trained the National Guard units and volunteer battalions composed of far right/neo-Nazi volunteers.

Now comes to most shocking part of his statement:
“These (neo-Nazi) units are fighting together with our army, with the National Guard and other units, and they are coordinated and controlled by Kiev. That’s why there exists no danger that they do something on their own, beyond they have coordinated with the army commanders”.
It is hard to comprehend that the ambassador of a “young democracy” and potential EU member is openly admitting that they are coordinating and controlling neo-Nazis in their war against their own citizens. It is even more unbelievable that at the eve of celebrating 70th anniversary of defeating Nazis in Second World War, we have neo-Nazis as part of armed forces of an European country.

There is one Ukraine and… one Adolf Hitler

It is not a secret that the Neo-Nazi Azov battalion officially became special military unit of Ukraine’s Ministry of the Interior and it is under its control. “Moderate” Poroshenko even decorated them for valor.

However, it is hard to agree with the statement that Kiev regime can fully control volunteer battalions. That was the reason the ambassador tried to change the subject and start questioning authenticity of the photo when he was once again asked to reaffirm that these neo-Nazi extremists are not doing anything wrong.

Just yesterday (19 February 2015), Semenchenko, commander of the Donbass battalion, announced the creation of an independent headquarters for eleven volunteer battalions, to counter Ukraine’s regular army “Generalstab”.

Yarosh’s Right Sector units and Azov battalion announced that their military units have rejected the recent Minsk deal and that they will continue with active fighting in the East according to their own plans. That’s the reason there are still heavy fights in Shirokino near Mariupol between the Azov battalion and Donetsk forces.

In one of the Amnesty’s reports, it is indicated that Kiev has loose regulation on volunteer groups and its “members… act with virtually no oversight or control”.

There are also reports that Poroshenko family had to flee the country since there was apparently ultimatum of the Right Sector to Poroshenko, that he “would suffer the same fate as Gaddafi” because of the Debaltseve humiliation.

Whoever think they can control Nazi marauders and other far-right bloodthirsty loonies should get ready for a nasty surprise.

The ambassador finished his statement with a very important notion:
“Without them (neo-Nazis) the Russian army would have advanced much further. That’s why they are part of this picture. Without these units, it would be much more difficult to defend ourselves.”
I would completely agree with the ambassador reasoning if there was no nonsense about the “Russian army”. This regime can survive and defend itself only with the help of neo-Nazis militants and radicals. This is of course excluding their Western sponsors. If there was no “helping hand” from neo-Nazis and the West this war would be long time over.

It’s a very tricky and risky game the Kiev regime is playing. On the one hand they are heavily dependent upon neo-Nazi volunteer battalions for their survival; on the other hand neo-Nazi militants can easily overthrow the president and government in Kiev.

Finally, if Kiev says it is controlling neo-Nazi battalions, shouldn’t they be held responsible for the crimes committed by them? There are numerous reports about war crimes of nationalist volunteer battalions, even according to the Amnesty International and Human Right Watch. 

It’s obvious that Ukrainian neo-Nazi marauders are not afraid of potential criminal proceedings against them since “full immunity” is a part of the deal they have with the Kiev regime.


Mr. Ambassador,
But do you always know what strange people are sometimes fighting on your side?
There are obviously far right radical unions wearing SS runes
Here we can see “Azov” battalion and there’s a swastika.
Do you always know who is on your side, who is fighting on your side?Do you have them under control?


As far as radicals are concerned,
Since the last elections, there isn’t a single far right party in the Parliament.
And this is an important fact.
And as far as the volunteer battalions that you’ve mentioned, I can only say one thing
When we were attacked by the Russians last year, we have hardly any army.
And that why there were a lot of people, volunteers, who were prepared to fight for their country and they are doing it.


The Right Sector, and those we’ve seen in the photo – the “Azov” army.
But there are thousands of fighters.
It is not just a couple of stragglers.


These unions are fighting together with our army, with the National Guard and other units, and they are coordinated and controlled by Kiev.
That’s why there exists no danger that they do something on their own, beyond what they have coordinated with the army commanders.


So they are under your control?
Can you bet your right arm that they are doing nothing wrong.


This photo…I have seen it already.
But we can’t verify it and prove if it is true or not.
If there really were this flag.
But as I have said before, I’d like to clarify once again,
There units are coordinated by the general staff in Kiev.
They are also part of our defense forces.
Without them, the Russian Army would have advanced much further.
That’s why they are part of this picture.
Without these units, it would be much more difficult to defend ourselves.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Paul Craig roberts is back! Upon clicking the link you will have to scroll down a few more recent pages to reach his article. Enjoy!

Financial Repression: PCR Interviewed by Gordon Long

February 22, 2015 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

Financial Repression: PCR Interviewed by Gordon Long

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. Here he reflects on the supposed "North Vietnamese aggression" in the Gulf of Tonkin leading to a war that was unjustified by marginalizing all those who were skeptical. Only after thousands of American soldiers died -- along with many, many more foreign civilians -- did historians discover that this disaster might have been avoided if only the government had only consulted those who seriously studied the situation before deciding whether or not to go to war. But then, as now, the war mongers get the publicity and the level headed are ignored. So now when a nuclear war with Russia could annihilate the human race, the government and the mainstream media puppets seem ready to follow “Dr. Strangelove” to their deaths …together with ours.

Congress is failing the Tonkin Gulf test on Ukraine

by Robert Parry
Posted on  Information Clearing House, February 21, 2015

As the Ukraine crisis worsens, Official Washington fumes only about “Russian aggression” — much as a half century ago, the Tonkin Gulf talk was all about “North Vietnamese aggression.” But then and now there were other sides to the story – and questions that Congress needed to ask, writes Robert Parry.

February 21, 2015 “ICH” – “Consortium News” – Many current members of Congress, especially progressives, may have envisioned how they would have handled the Tonkin Gulf crisis in 1964. In their imaginations, they would have asked probing questions and treated the dubious assertions from the White House with tough skepticism before voting on whether to give President Lyndon Johnson the authority to go to war in Vietnam.

If they had discovered what CIA and Pentagon insiders already knew – that the crucial second North Vietnamese “attack” on U.S. destroyers likely never happened and that the U.S. warships were not on some “routine” patrol but rather supporting a covert attack on North Vietnamese territory – today’s members of Congress would likely see themselves joining Sens. Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening as the only ones voting no.

Bravery in hindsight is always easy, but things feel quite different when Official Washington is locked in one of its pro-war “group thinks” when all the “important people” – from government to the media to think tanks – are pounding their chests and talking tough, as they are now on Russia and Ukraine.

Then, if you ask your probing questions and show your tough skepticism, you will have your patriotism, if not your sanity, questioned. You will be “controversialized,” “marginalized,” “pariahed.” You will be called somebody’s “apologist,” whether it’s Ho Chi Minh or Vladimir Putin.

And nobody wants to go through that because here’s the truth about Official Washington: if you run with the pack – if you stay within the herd – you’ll be safe. Even if things go terribly wrong – even if thousands of American soldiers die along with many, many more foreign civilians – you can expect little or no accountability. You will likely keep your job and may well get promoted. But if you stand in the way of the stampede, you’ll be trampled.

After all, remember what happened to Morse and Gruening in their next elections. They both lost. As one Washington insider once told me about the U.S. capital’s culture, “there’s no honor in being right too soon. People just remember that you were out of step and crazy.”

So, the choice often is to do the right thing and be crushed or to run with the pack and be safe. But there are moments when even the most craven member of Congress should look for whatever courage he or she has left and behave like a Morse or a Gruening, especially in a case like the Ukraine crisis which has the potential to spin out of control and into a nuclear confrontation.

Though the last Congress already whipped through belligerent resolutions denouncing “Russian aggression” and urging a military response – with only five Democrats and five Republicans dissenting – members of the new Congress could at least ascertain the facts that have driven the Ukraine conflict. Before the world lurches into a nuclear showdown, it might make a little sense to know what got us here.

The Nuland Phone Call

For instance, Congress could investigate the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in orchestrating the political crisis that led to a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago.

What was the significance of the Nuland-Pyatt phone call in early February 2014 in which Nuland exclaimed “Fuck the EU!” and seemed to be handpicking the leaders of a new government? “Yats is the guy,” she said referring to her favorite, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, with Pyatt musing about how to “midwife this thing”?

Among other questions that Congress could pose would be: What does U.S. intelligence know about the role of neo-Nazi extremists whose “sotin” militias infiltrated the Maidan protests and escalated the violence against police last February? [See’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

And, what does U.S. intelligence know about the mysterious snipers who brought the crisis to a boil on Feb. 20, 2014, by opening fire on police apparently from positions controlled by the extremist Right Sektor, touching off a violent clash that left scores dead, including police and protesters. [A worthwhile documentary on this mystery is “Maidan Massacre.”]

Congress might also seek to determine what was the U.S. government’s role over the next two days as three European countries – Poland, France and Germany – negotiated a deal with Yanukovych on Feb. 21 in which the embattled president agreed to Maidan demands for reducing his powers and accepting early elections to vote him out of office.

Instead of accepting this agreement, which might have averted a civil war, neo-Nazi and other Maidan militants attacked undefended government positions on Feb. 22 and forced officials to flee for their lives. Then, instead of standing by the European deal, the U.S. State Department quickly embraced the coup regime as “legitimate.” And, surprise, surprise, Yatsenyuk emerged as the new Prime Minister.

What followed the coup was a Western propaganda barrage to make it appear that the Ukrainian people were fully behind this “regime change” even though many ethnic Russian Ukrainians in the east and south clearly felt disenfranchised by the unconstitutional ouster of their president.

A U.S. congressional inquiry also might ask: Was there any internal U.S. government assessment of the risks involved in allowing Nuland and Pyatt to pursue a “regime change” strategy on Russia’s border? If so, did the assessment take into account the likely Russian reaction to having an ally next door overthrown by anti-Russian extremists with the intent to put Ukraine into NATO and potentially bring NATO armaments to Russia’s frontyard?

Since the entire crisis has been presented to the American people within an anti-Yanukovyh/anti-Moscow propaganda paradigm – both by the U.S. mainstream news media and by the U.S. political/academic elites – there has been virtually no serious examination of the U.S. complicity. No one in Official Washington dares say anything but “Russian aggression.”

Post-Coup Realities

Beyond the events surrounding the coup a year ago, there were other pivotal moments as this crisis careened out of control. For instance, what does U.S. intelligence know about the public opinion in Crimea prior to the peninsula’s vote for secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia on March 16?

The State Department portrayed the referendum as a “sham” but more objective observers acknowledge that the vote – although hasty – reflected a broad consensus inside Crimea to bail out of the failed Ukrainian state and rejoin a somewhat more functional Russia, where pensions are about three times higher and have a better chance of being paid.

Then, there was the massacre of ethnic Russians burned alive in Odessa’s trade union building on May 2, with neo-Nazi militias again on the front lines. Like other topics that put the U.S.-backed coup regime in a bad light, the Odessa massacre quickly moved off the front pages and there has been little follow-up from international agencies that supposedly care about human rights. [See’s “Ukraine’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Reality.”]

The next major catastrophe associated with the Ukraine crisis was the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17. Again, the State Department rushed to a judgment blaming the ethnic Russian rebels and Russia for the tragedy that killed all 298 people onboard. However, I’ve been told that some U.S. intelligence analysts had a very different take on who was responsible, finding evidence implicating a rogue element of the Ukrainian government.

However, following the pattern of going silent whenever the Kiev coup regime might look bad, there was a sudden drop-off of interest in the MH-17 case, apparently not wanting to disrupt the usefulness of the earlier anti-Russian propaganda. When a Dutch-led inquiry into the crash issued an interim report last October, there was no indication that the Obama administration had shared its intelligence information. [See’s “The Danger of an MH-17 Cold Case.”]

There also is little interest from Congress about what the MH-17 evidence shows. Even some progressive members are afraid to ask for a briefing from U.S. intelligence analysts, possibly because the answers might force a decision about whether to blow the whistle on a deception that involved Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior Obama administration officials.

This sort of cowardly misfeasance of duty marks the latest step in a long retreat from the days after the Vietnam War when Congress actually conducted some valuable investigations. In the 1970s, there were historic inquiries into Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, led by Sen. Sam Ervin, and into CIA intelligence abuses by Sen. Frank Church.

Since then, congressional investigations have become increasingly timid, such as the Iran-Contra and October Surprise investigations led by Rep. Lee Hamilton in the late 1980s and early 1990s, shying away from evidence of impeachable wrongdoing by President Ronald Reagan. Then, in the 1990s, a Republican-controlled Congress obsessed over trivial matters such as President Bill Clinton’s personal finances and sex life.

Congressional oversight dysfunction reached a new low when President George W. Bush made baseless claims about Iraq’s WMD and Saddam Hussein’s intent to share nuclear, chemical and biological weapons with al-Qaeda. Rather than perform any meaningful due diligence, Congress did little more than rubber stamp Bush’s claims by authorizing the Iraq War.

Years afterwards, there were slow-moving investigations into the WMD intelligence “failure” and into the torture practices that were used to help fabricate evidence for the fake WMD claims. Those investigations, however, were conducted behind closed doors and did little to educate the broader American public. There apparently wasn’t much stomach to call the perpetrators of those abuses before televised hearings.

The only high-profile foreign-affairs hearings that have been held in recent years have been staged by House Republicans on the made-up scandal over an alleged cover-up of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a hot-button issue for the GOP base but essentially a non-story.

Now, the United States is hurtling toward a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia over Ukraine and this congressional ineptness could become an existential threat to the planet. The situation also has disturbing similarities to the Tonkin Gulf situation although arguably much, much more dangerous.

Misleading Americans to War

In 1964, there also was a Democratic president in Lyndon Johnson with Republicans generally to his right demanding a more aggressive military response to fight communism in Vietnam. So, like today with President Barack Obama in the White House and Republicans demanding a tougher line against Russia, there was little reason for Republicans to challenge Johnson when he seized on the Tonkin Gulf incident to justify a ratcheting up of attacks on North Vietnam. Meanwhile, also like today, Democrats weren’t eager to undermine a Democratic president.

The result was a lack of oversight regarding the White House’s public claims that the North Vietnamese launched an unprovoked attack on U.S. warships on Aug. 4, 1964, even though Pentagon and CIA officials realized very quickly that the initial alarmist reports about torpedoes in the water were almost surely false.

Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1964 was a young Defense Department official, recounts – in his 2002 book Secrets – how the Tonkin Gulf falsehoods took shape, first with the panicked cables from a U.S. Navy captain relaying confused sonar readings and then with that false storyline presented to the American people.

As Ellsberg describes, President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara announced retaliatory airstrikes on Aug. 4, 1964, telling “the American public that the North Vietnamese, for the second time in two days, had attacked U.S. warships on ‘routine patrol in international waters’; that this was clearly a ‘deliberate’ pattern of ‘naked aggression’; that the evidence for the second attack, like the first, was ‘unequivocal’; that the attack had been ‘unprovoked’; and that the United States, by responding in order to deter any repetition, intended no wider war.”

Ellsberg wrote: “By midnight on the fourth, or within a day or two, I knew that each one of those assurances was false.” Yet, the White House made no effort to clarify the false or misleading statements. The falsehoods were left standing for several years while Johnson sharply escalated the war by dispatching a half million soldiers to Vietnam.

In August 1964, the Johnson administration also misled Congress about the facts of the Tonkin Gulf incident. Though not challenging that official story, some key members worried about the broad language in the Tonkin Gulf resolution authorizing the President “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression … including the use of armed force.”

As Ellsberg noted, Sen. Gaylord Nelson tried to attach an amendment seeking to limit U.S. involvement to military assistance – not a direct combat role – but that was set aside because of Johnson’s concern that it “would weaken the image of unified national support for the president’s recent actions.”

Ellsberg wrote, “Several senators, including George McGovern, Frank Church, Albert Gore [Sr.], and the Republican John Sherman Cooper, had expressed the same concern as Nelson” but were assured that Johnson had no intention of expanding the war by introducing ground combat forces.

In other words, members of Congress failed to check out the facts and passed the fateful Tonkin Gulf resolution on Aug. 7, 1964. It should be noted, too, that the mainstream U.S. media of 1964 wasn’t asking many probing questions either.

Looking back at that history, it’s easy for today’s members of Congress to think how differently they would have handled that rush to judgment, how they would have demanded to know the details of what the CIA and the Pentagon knew, how they wouldn’t let themselves be duped by White House deceptions.

However, a half century later, the U.S. political/media process is back to the Tonkin Gulf moment, accepting propaganda themes as fact and showing no skepticism about the official line. Except today, Official Washington’s war fever is not over a remote corner of Southeast Asia but over a country on the border of nuclear-armed Russia.

[For more on this topic, see’s “President Gollum’s ‘Precious’ Secrets”; “NYT Whites Out Ukraine’s Brownshirts”; and “Nuclear War and Clashing Ukraine Narratives.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2015