I hate to admit it but I just saw "The Fifth Estate," the "WikiLeaks" movie (on "Showtime" this week), for the first time (twice). See it if you haven't already. I recommend it highly. Benedict Cumberbatch plays quite an Assange. His portrayal had me jumping up and down in my seat (bed) repeatedly. Daniel Domscheit-Berg seems to have been just about the perfect second man in any creative (and classified) effort until his "commitment" came into question. Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci play themselves. Fascinatingly.
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made . . . .
Victoria Nuland (photo: unknown)
By Robert Parry, Consortium News
22 July 15
s the Ukrainian army squares off against ultra-right and neo-Nazi militias in the west and violence against ethnic Russians continues in the east, the obvious folly of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy has come into focus even for many who tried to ignore the facts, or what you might call “the mess that Victoria Nuland made.”
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while convincing the ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”
To sell this latest neocon-driven “regime change” to the American people, the ugliness of the coup-makers had to be systematically airbrushed, particularly the key role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists from the Right Sektor. For the U.S.-organized propaganda campaign to work, the coup-makers had to wear white hats, not brown shirts.
So, for nearly a year and a half, the West’s mainstream media, especially "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post," twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.
Any mention of that sordid reality was deemed “Russian propaganda” and anyone who spoke this inconvenient truth was a “stooge of Moscow.” It wasn’t until July 7 that the "Times" admitted the importance of the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists in waging war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. The "Times" also reported that these far-right forces had been joined by Islamic militants. Some of those jihadists have been called “brothers” of the hyper-brutal Islamic State.
Though the "Times" sought to spin this remarkable military alliance – neo-Nazi militias and Islamic jihadists – as a positive, the reality had to be jarring for readers who had bought into the Western propaganda about noble “pro-democracy” forces resisting evil “Russian aggression.”
Perhaps the "Times" sensed that it could no longer keep the lid on the troubling truth in Ukraine. For weeks, the Right Sektor militias and the neo-Nazi Azov battalion have been warning the civilian government in Kiev that they might turn on it and create a new order more to their liking.
Clashes in the West
Then, on Saturday, violent clashes broke out in the western Ukrainian town of Mukachevo, allegedly over the control of cigarette-smuggling routes. Right Sektor paramilitaries sprayed police officers with bullets from a belt-fed machinegun, and police – backed by Ukrainian government troops – returned fire. Several deaths and multiple injuries were reported.
Tensions escalated on Monday with President Petro Poroshenko ordering national security forces to disarm “armed cells” of political movements. Meanwhile, the Right Sektor dispatched reinforcements to the area while other militiamen converged on the capital of Kiev.
While President Poroshenko and Right Sektor leader Dmitry Yarosh may succeed in tamping down this latest flare-up of hostilities, they may be only postponing the inevitable: a conflict between the U.S.-backed authorities in Kiev and the neo-Nazis and other right-wing fighters who spearheaded last year’s coup and have been at the front lines of the fighting against ethnic Russian rebels in the east.
The Ukrainian right-wing extremists feel they have carried the heaviest burden in the war against the ethnic Russians and resent the politicians living in the relative safety and comfort of Kiev. In March, Poroshenko also fired thuggish oligarch Igor Kolomoisky as governor of the southeastern province of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Kolomoisky had been the primary benefactor of the Right Sektor militias.
So, as has become apparent across Europe and even in Washington, the Ukraine crisis is spinning out of control, making the State Department’s preferred narrative of the conflict – that it’s all Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fault – harder and harder to sell.
How Ukraine is supposed to pull itself out of what looks like a death spiral – a possible two-front war in the east and the west along with a crashing economy – is hard to comprehend. The European Union, confronting budgetary crises over Greece and other EU members, has little money or patience for Ukraine, its neo-Nazis and its socio-political chaos.
America’s neocons at "The Washington Post" and elsewhere still rant about the need for the Obama administration to sink more billions upon billions of dollars into post-coup Ukraine because it “shares our values.” But that argument, too, is collapsing as Americans see the heart of a racist nationalism beating inside Ukraine’s new order.
Another Neocon ‘Regime Change’
Much of what has happened, of course, was predictable and indeed was predicted, but neocon Nuland couldn’t resist the temptation to pull off a “regime change” that she could call her own.
Her husband (and arch-neocon) Robert Kagan had co-founded the Project for the New American Century in 1998 around a demand for “regime change” in Iraq, a project that was accomplished in 2003 with President George W. Bush’s invasion.
As with Nuland in Ukraine, Kagan and his fellow neocons thought they could engineer an easy invasion of Iraq, oust Saddam Hussein and install some hand-picked client – in Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi was to be “the guy.” But they failed to take into account the harsh realities of Iraq, such as the fissures between Sunnis and Shiites, exposed by the U.S.-led invasion and occupation.
In Ukraine, Nuland and her neocon and liberal-interventionist friends saw the chance to poke Putin in the eye by encouraging violent protests to overthrow Russia-friendly President Yanukovych and put in place a new regime hostile to Moscow.
Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy, explained the plan in a "Post" op-ed on Sept. 26, 2013. Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward toppling Putin, who “may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”
For her part, Nuland passed out cookies to anti-Yanukovych demonstrators at the Maidan square, reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the U.S. had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations,” declared “fuck the EU” for its less aggressive approach, and discussed with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who the new leaders of Ukraine should be. “Yats is the guy,” she said, referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Nuland saw her big chance on Feb. 20, 2014, when a mysterious sniper – apparently firing from a building controlled by the Right Sektor – shot and killed both police and protesters, escalating the crisis. On Feb. 21, in a desperate bid to avert more violence, Yanukovych agreed to a European-guaranteed plan in which he accepted reduced powers and called for early elections so he could be voted out of office.
But that wasn’t enough for the anti-Yanukovych forces who – led by Right Sektor and neo-Nazi militias – overran government buildings on Feb. 22, forcing Yanukovych and many of his officials to flee for their lives. With armed thugs patrolling the corridors of power, the final path to “regime change” was clear.
Instead of trying to salvage the Feb. 21 agreement, Nuland and European officials arranged for an unconstitutional procedure to strip Yanukovych of the presidency and declared the new regime “legitimate.” Nuland’s “guy” – Yatsenyuk – became prime minister.
While Nuland and her neocon cohorts celebrated, their “regime change” prompted an obvious reaction from Putin, who recognized the strategic threat that this hostile new regime posed to the historic Russian naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea. On Feb. 23, he began to take steps to protect those Russian interests.
What the coup also did was revive long pent-up antagonisms between the ethnic Ukrainians in the west, including elements that had supported Adolf Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union during World War Two, and ethnic Russians in the south and east who feared the anti-Russian sentiments emanating from Kiev.
First, in Crimea and then in the so-called Donbas region, these ethnic Russians, who had been Yanukovych’s political base, resisted what they viewed as the illegitimate overthrow of their elected president. Both areas held referenda seeking separation from Ukraine, a move that Russia accepted in Crimea but resisted with the Donbas.
However, when the Kiev regime announced an “anti-terrorism operation” against the Donbas and dispatched neo-Nazi and other extremist militias to be the tip of the spear, Moscow began quietly assisting the embattled ethnic Russian rebels, a move that Nuland, the Obama administration and the mainstream news media called “Russian aggression.”
Amid the Western hysteria over Russia’s supposedly “imperial designs” and the thorough demonizing of Putin, President Barack Obama essentially authorized a new Cold War against Russia, reflected now in new U.S. strategic planning that could cost the U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars and risk a possible nuclear confrontation.
Yet, despite the extraordinary costs and dangers, Nuland failed to appreciate the practical on-the-ground realities, much as her husband and other neocons did in Iraq. While Nuland got her hand-picked client Yatsenyuk installed and he did oversee a U.S.-demanded “neo-liberal” economic plan – slashing pensions, heating assistance and other social programs – the chaos that her “regime change” unleashed transformed Ukraine into a financial black hole.
With few prospects for a clear-cut victory over the ethnic Russian resistance in the east – and with the neo-Nazi/Islamist militias increasingly restless over the stalemate – the chances to restore any meaningful sense of order in the country appear remote. Unemployment is soaring and the government is essentially bankrupt.
The last best hope for some stability may have been the Minsk-2 agreement in February 2015, calling for a federalized system to give the Donbas more autonomy, but Nuland’s Prime Minister Yatsenyuk sabotaged the deal in March by inserting a poison pill that essentially demanded that the ethnic Russian rebels first surrender.
Now, the Ukraine chaos threatens to spiral even further out of control with the neo-Nazis and other right-wing militias – supplied with a bounty of weapons to kill ethnic Russians in the east – turning on the political leadership in Kiev.
In other words, the neocons have struck again, dreaming up a “regime change” scheme that ignored practical realities, such as ethnic and religious fissures. Then, as the blood flowed and the suffering worsened, the neocons just sought out someone else to blame.
Thus, it seems unlikely that Nuland, regarded by some in Washington as the new “star” in U.S. foreign policy, will be fired for her dangerous incompetence, just as most neocons who authored the Iraq disaster remain “respected” experts employed by major think tanks, given prized space on op-ed pages, and consulted at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
[For more on these topics, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama’s True Foreign Policy Weakness” and “A Family Business of Perpetual War.”]
(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 barnesandnoble.com). 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.
As one commenter on Penny's blog said, (with this latest agreement,) the Greeks may only be laying back a while and regrouping after their sellout by their leadership.
If so, we in the U.S. may be able to glean some much-needed strategic thinking from this continuing catastrophe.
July 19, 2015
EU proves that “democracy,” “compassion,” “good will,” are cant used to cloak Western looting and oppression.
Mr. George Romanias, Greek Secretary General on Social Services, has said today, speaking to the Greek MEGA TV station:
“Ι cannot stay in the Ministry. I went to apply some principles. I cannot do the opposite” Mr Romanias said adding that he will submit his resignation by tomorrow morning. “I cannot apply the law they oblige me to introduce. It is not possible to give a monthly pension of 87 Euros to a handicapped person. This is what was put in law”
Speaking about the law introduced with express procedures, upon insistence of the Creditors, including all European governments and the Commission, he said “It is the first time in my life that I see a project of law written with such illiteracy, such amateurism and such ignorance… The Prime Minister was blackmailed, that is sure, but I cannot apply a law I don’t agree with and about which I was not asked.”
This commenter mentioned the 'scrutiny of Deutsche Bank'
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
I've been thinking about this for days now.. Knowing what I want to say and hoping it's understandable?
In a nutshell Greece (Tsipras) is the straw being used to break the camel’s back. The camel's back being the European nations, their distinct histories and identities, being forced into a totally integrated union. (Like the United States of America? See references below)
Or 2 "unions"
Oddly enough this has me thinking about all the phony Confederate flag hoopla- Erasing the history of people.... So despicable.
The idiom the straw that broke the camel's back, alluding to the proverb "it is the last straw that breaks the camel's back", describes the seemingly minor or routine action which causes an unpredictably large and sudden reaction, because of the cumulative effect of small actions.
This gives rise to the phrase "the last straw" or "the final straw", meaning the last in a line of unacceptable occurrences, provoking a seemingly sudden strong reaction.
The use of Greece as the straw that overburdens the EU harkens back to the taking out of DSK, who was on his way to meet Merkel. Apparently Dominic Strauss Kahn and Angela Merkel had worked out some sort of deal with regard to Greece that was unacceptable to the New York Federal Reserve. DSK never made that meeting.
It appears to me that Tsipras is playing an important role in this scheme.
Either the EU integrates completely. Or they help the weaker member states to exit, perhaps into the poor cousin version of the EU. This is why I see Tsipras as a player. A willing participant and not a victim. He get’s a huge voter mandate from the Greeks and then runs back to Brussels?
It makes zero sense unless one understands Tsipras is participating in and pushing a different agenda. Germany appears to be the most resistant state in this one world order bankster agenda.
That could be because they have the most to lose.
Recall the creation of NATO (the global military for the globalists) and this infamous quote? Hastings Lionel "Pug" Ismay: British Soldier/Diplomat and Churchill’s right hand man1st Secretary General of NATOCNN - DSK
On the purpose of NATO: "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down."Is Germany resisting it’s complete subordination? Is Germany choosing to oust the poor cousins starting with Greece in order to put off this total integration and subjugation to Brussels.
Presumably while Secretary General of NATO (1952-1957). See Nye, Joseph. The Paradox of American Power. London: Oxford University Press, 2002. p. 33
As Martin Schultz, president of the European Parliament tweeted this week: "The U.S. have one currency, one central bank and one government. Europe has one currency, one central bank and... 17 governments! It cannot go on like this," before adding: "We cannot live with 17 individual policies on the euro. We need one single euro governance."DSK believed there were other issues that needed addressing. You can read that in the linked article.
Europe must integrate etc......
Unfortunately, it does nothing to address the fundamental issues that have repeatedly landed Europe in crisis since 2009. Former German economic minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg quipped that Europe has not been kicking the can down the road, it has been kicking it up a hill and wondering why it keeps rolling back on its foot.The core issue: Although the European Union (EU) can handle economies of widely varying types and levels of development, the euro area cannot. Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) per person was about half of Germany’s when it joined the euro in 2001. Since then, Greece’s competitiveness relative to Germany’s has slid by about 40 per cent.For a currency union to handle widely divergent economies, they must be deeply integrated across multiple dimensions. In the United States, the average citizen of Mississippi makes just $20,618 (Dh75,833) a year, compared with $37,892 in Connecticut — almost as big a gap as between Greece and Germany. Yet, the US does not worry about a “Missexit”, because the country has various mechanisms for smoothing over differences among its states. The recent problems of Puerto Rico show the danger of being locked to a currency without such buffers.The mechanisms include large fiscal transfers — by necessity currency unions are transfer unions. Last year, 28 US states sent the equivalent of 2.3 per cent of their GDP through the federal budget to the other 22 states. The biggest donor, Delaware, gave 21 per cent. The biggest recipient, North Dakota, got 90 per cent. By contrast, in 2011, Germany made a net contribution of 0.2 per cent of its GDP to the EU budget, while Greece received 0.2 per cent. Would German voters really support a tenfold jump in their contributions from 210 euros (Dh812) to 2,100 euros per person?Large-scale fiscal transfers are not the only mechanism needed. Mississippi has probably run the equivalent of a current account deficit with New York ever since the Civil War. Every April, the banks in the Federal Reserve system reallocate assets and smooth over such regional imbalances. By contrast, when Greece runs a deficit with Germany — for example, due to trade with Germany or capital flight from Greece — its central bank accumulates debts to the Bundesbank indefinitely. The Bundesbank currently holds more than 500 billion euros in credits against other euro zone central banks. Again, would German taxpayers be willing to see the Bundesbank regularly write off some portion of those liabilities?Another reason US states do not pop out of the dollar area is that they (with the exception of Vermont) have to balance their operating budgets. Only the federal government can run a long-term deficit. Again, Germany and other EU states have explicitly rejected any kind of euro-area sovereign-bond arrangement that would pool deficits. Finally, the US has a deep single market for products, services and labour and a true national banking union, all of which in Europe are only partially completed projects. The lack of truly integrated markets allowed real interest rates and inflation to diverge across the euro zone, leading to a loss of competitiveness and a credit boom and bust in the south.Thus, the euro area is stuck in a dysfunctional netherworld between a fully integrated union and a more flexible exchange rate mechanism. So Greece has to become a lot more like Germany (unlikely), the euro area needs to become a lot more like the US (also unlikely) or we will have another crisis (very likely)The euro was never conceived as an end in itself. It was created as a means towards greater growth and unity. It has failed badly on both counts. If US-style integration is politically unrealistic, then the only hope for long-term stability is a slimmed-down euro area of more homogeneous countries.Conclusion:
Europe must get out of its halfway house of horrors. Repeated bailouts and austerity will not achieve that. Europe’s leaders may buy themselves a period of respite this week, but eventually they must choose: Either integrate far more deeply or help the euro area’s most troubled members escape.Either integrate far more deeply or help the euro’s most troubled members escape. In other words to avoid further deeper integration Greece has to be cut loose. It appears to me Tsipras is pushing Germany and the European Union into a must choose situation. Deeply integrate or help the most troubled members to leave so the EU can continue to function.
I'm going to direct you back to this comment:
July 9, 2015
Yes Germany NSA scandals seem to be leaking fast and furious.
Per nyse, A400 crash was also a software glitch and occured days after the NSA Corp espionage allegations on airbus implicating Germany. Heck of a lot of russian and us fighter planes crashing lately.
Curiously the us backed the imf release of the haircuts for greece in what is a breach of bailout protocol.
As you may remember days before DSK was arrested he allegedly advocated haircuts in Ireland and greece. At the time treasury felt the need to issue a statement on geithner behalf that the us did not intervene to block a haircut on the debt. So why would the us be backing a haircut now?
Deutsche Bank Suffers From Litany of Reporting Problems, Regulators Said
Which reads like a pressure tactic - Cause let's face it all the banks are corrupt
Was Strauss-Kahn biting the hand that feeds the IMF? Besides the SDR? By allowing the IMF to vocally express their disdain with the US?I notice DSK is making a bit of a comeback. Has he been properly humbled? Not sure if the deal he had worked out with Merkel would have affected the present day bond bubble? Or if it would have made the present day situation the EU and Greece find themselves in an impossibility?
Can't be sure. However, I'm sticking with what I see at this time. Greece (Tsipras) is being used to put pressure on the EU to fully and completely integrate or split into two factions.
EU & EU 2 the poor cousins
What do you think?
As I said yesterday to jo - I believe this deal was designed to fail
PennyGreek MPs approve austerity package
July 14, 2015