Dec 19

What you “know” about Aleppo is not true

Aleppo war hypocrisy uncovered

translation and commentary by Don Hank

Featured below is my translation of an article on the site of Movimento 5 Stelle (m5s), an increasingly popular anti-Establishment party which, if it comes to power in the vacuum created by Prime Minister Renzi’s resignation, is likely to take Italy out of the euro. Unlike the UK, whose leaders tenaciously still cling to the EU following the Brexit, Italy’s exit from the euro could be more brusque and throw the EU into a tailspin. Of the major anti-elite parties in the EU core countries, m5s is the boldest, most astute and most brutally honest in its critical analysis of western military and foreign policy. The article below should be book-marked for reference because it lists casualty estimates for the “good” war in Mosul and the “bad” war in Aleppo and shows that the numbers of civilians killed in US-waged wars and the Israeli conflicts with Palestine are extremely high, making Western criticism of Russia and the Syrian government look hypocritical. The article does not list the casualties in Aleppo simply because we hear or read about these every day thanks to the media dutiful reporting them in a tone clearly condemnatory of Russia (and Assad), as if only Russian wars entailed collateral damage.  This article sets the record straight, highlighting the rank hypocrisy of the US and allies.

I took the trouble to investigate independently the casualty statistics listed by Fulvio Scaglione in his article below. Here are links to 3 months of UN figures cited:

http://www.iraqinews.com/features/unami-announces-death-toll-iraq-september/

http://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/un-casualty-figures-iraq-month-october-2016-enar

http://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/un-casualty-figures-iraq-month-october-2016-enar

Not all of the deaths can be attributed directly to US intervention. However, ISIS and its opponents killed a very large number of people as a result of the Obama administration’s refusal to prevent ISIS from entering the towns and cities. He did, however, provide arms to “moderate” terrorists in Syria.

While many conservatives take a dim view of the UN, this organization is the only one providing data of t his kind. Without the UN, the world would be reliant mostly on biased data from outlets loyal to the US government that caused  much of the suffering.

Sadly, from my personal association with prominent and less prominent Brexit activists I have seen that only a minority of them understand that declaring their independence from the EU is only half the battle. They seem unaware that the real enemies are the US and NATO, which constantly beat the war drums against Russia and Assad, despite their own illegal and failed invasions in the Middle East, Ukraine and Kosovo, which leave the world infinitely less safe than before their interventions.

I receive alerts from the main anti-EU parties and after reading their literature, for years in some cases, I would rank them as follows in terms of their grasp of the geopolitical reality, particularly regarding US-waged wars. From most aware to least aware, they are:

Movimento 5 Stelle (m5s) (founded by Beppe Grillo. they will field a candidate for prime minister)

Front National  (founded by Marine LePen, who is eyeing a run for president of France)

Partij voor de Vrijhijd /Freedom Party (founded by Geert Wilders, who is eying a run for prime minister of Holland)

I am not including UKIP (UK Independent Party) in this list because Brits are split on their feelings toward the Atlanticist Establishment; while UKIP was instrumental in bringing about the exit of the UK from the EU, they were only one of several influential groups in that endeavor.   I would put Nigel Farage personally high on the list, because he is in line with Donald Trump – willing to deal with, rather than demonize, the Russians and Syrians. He has in fact traveled to the US to endorse Trump. However, the Brexit groups are divided with regard to remaining in NATO. Some think NATO is necessary for “defence,” despite the fact that all of NATO’s actions in recent years have been offensive and have violated international law regarding sovereignty of states. I also am not including the AfD because there is, at this point, virtually no chance that Germany will exit the EU any time soon.

 

http://www.beppegrillo.it/2016/12/la_guerra_di_aleppo_non_e_solo_come_ve_la_raccontano.html

What they’re not telling you about the war in Aleppo

Movimento 5 Stelle /5 Star Movement   The blog of the stars

by Fulvio Scaglione for TPI

The battle of Aleppo, with the bloodshed of recent days and the terrible years that preceded them, marked among other things the collapse of the Western information system , which is almost indistinguishable from partisan propaganda at this point. Everything in the Western narrative about Aleppo smacks of fraud and deceit. Since the publication of unfiltered and unverified data provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, founded and headed by an adversary of Bashar al-Assad and maintained by the British government, the word “siege” has been applied liberally for Aleppo but only in recent months, and never in the over three years that the city was attacked from three sides by rebels and jihadis, who came to occupy 60 percent of the urban territory.

But in a way, these are small details. The real issue is the refusal to confront a reality which can be summarized as: what happened in Aleppo in recent weeks is not at all exceptional. On the contrary, it is the norm of contemporary war. Don’t believe us? Then let’s have a look around. Take Mosul, the largest Iraqi city, which has been occupied by ISIS for two and a half years.

In mid-October the offensive to free it from the jihadists got underway (finally). Great fanfare, triumphant tones, exultation for civilians who “were being freed” from areas previously under the control of militants (while civilians in Aleppo who come from the neighborhoods dominated by al-Nusra Front, are not liberated but rather “escape”). Now, two months later, everything has come to a standstill and no one is talking about liberating Mosul. Not only that, the offensive by Americans, Kurds and Iraqis has been halted to such an extent that ISIS has removed 4-5 thousand fighters from the Iraqi front and sent them to retake Palmyra in Syria. Why?

The answer is very simple. The two and a half years of grueling bombing campaign gave ISIS plenty of time to organize the defenses in the city. The roads were mined or boarded up or replaced by galleries known only to the militia fighters. Some buildings were demolished to clear lines of fire; elsewhere walls were built to block the lines of fire and passage of the attackers. Finally, thousands of civilians were trapped to be used as human shields.

To be “liberated” Mosul will have to become another Aleppo: the bombings, civilian casualties, children torn apart by the strikes, and so on. There is an alternative, namely, house to house combat with hundreds and hundreds of dead Iraqis and Kurds — which has already been going on, even if military operations are almost at a standstill.

The UN Mission for assistance to Iraq (UNAMI), directed by Jan Kubis, former Foreign Minister of Slovakia (2006-2009), has made available mind-boggling data on the number of Iraqi deaths, civilian and other, of the last few months. In September, ie before the offensive on Mosul, the number of Iraqi civilians killed was 609 (951 injured); the number rose to 1,120 (with 1,005 injured) in October and to 926 (930 injured) in November.

As for the military and other combatants, the figures are: 394 killed (208 injured) in September, 672 killed (353 injured) in October, 1959 killed (and 450 injured) in November. Result? Everything blocked, meaning further suffering for imprisoned civilians in Mosul and more time for ISIS to continue building up.

Of course, nouveaux philosophes [a group similar to the Neocons in the US—Don Hank] and other clowns can harp on atrocities and human rights violations in Aleppo. But they are nothing but hypocrites. In 2004, the US Army fought two battles to “liberate” the Iraqi city of Fallujah, in fact occupied by the militants of al-Qaeda, the forerunners of the militants of al-Nusra, which play such an important role in the battle of Aleppo.

According to the independent NGO Iraq Body Count, between 572 and 616 civilians died in the first battle (April 2004); between 581 and 670 died in the second (November 2004) battle. The Americans used phosphorus arms and apparently depleted uranium. Have you ever heard of any new philosophers rending their garments over this? Do you recall Corriere de Sera [an establishment newspaper–Don] ever mentioning “slaughterhouse” in headlines about Fallujah, as it did referring to Aleppo?

 

And what about Gaza? According to the most conservative data, which are those published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, only 45 percent of the 2,100 Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 war were real civilians and non-combatants. That’s still 945 unarmed people killed in two months of clashes.

Thus it was the very countries that now cry foul over the Aleppo operations, that block motions censure Israel at the UN.  And isn’t Gaza a perfect copy of the eastern districts of Aleppo, attacked with bombs by the Russians and by Assad’s Syrians?

And yet UNICEF has informed us that in the first six months of 2016, Afghanistan had a record number of civilian casualties: 1,601 dead and 3,565 wounded. The worst half-year since the anti-Taliban invasion in 2001. According to UN estimates, 60 percent of Afghan civilians are vulnerable to attack by the Taliban and other insurgent groups and criminals.

But 40 percent of 1,601 deaths is still 640 deaths, or 640 innocent Afghans killed in six months (more than 3 per day) by troops arriving from our countries, that is, by those who are supposed to be protecting and “liberating” them. But everyone is silent; these dead do not deserve the indignation reserved for the dead of eastern  Aleppo.

Thus the war of our times is utterly disgusting. Those who pretend to believe that in Chechnya and Aleppo different things were done than elsewhere, for example in Fallujah or Gaza, are quite simply lying. All of today’s wars are fought on the backs of civilians. All of them.

And in all wars, the armed men, with or without uniforms, are, at the most, collateral victims. Politicians, military people and terrorists know this quite well. So the real issue is to avoid wars as much as possible, not to pretend that there are good wars and bad wars.

(translation from the Italian by Don Hank)

 

Dec 15

The latest fake story from US intel

The new fake news story from US intel

 

Don Hank

The latest msm reports about the supposed Russian hacking are all focused on a side issue and their aim is to deceive you through a subtle ruse.

A prime example is the report of a new statement by the sneaky intel director, who sounds as if he is on Trump’s side but if you read the below-linked article, you see he is still pretending the Russians have been proven to be the hackers responsible for the DNC email leaks. This news of the slightly modified statement is being reported enthusiastically by naive conservatives who fail to notice that the main part of the fake narrative is still in place, namely, the fake story that the Russians were proven to have done the hacking. I showed yesterday, based on the flimsy justifications they gave for their ant-Russian narrative, that they absolutely have no evidence against Russia. Their stated “evidence” reflects the exact same tactic used by a UK “court” (which was not really a court of law) that did an investigation of Litvinienko’s death and after a lengthy probe, finally issued the verdict that Litvienienko was “probably” murdered by Putin. Guess what? There is no such thing as a verdict of “probably” in the jurisprudence of any country in the world! They might as well have simply said “we really really want to believe it was Putin because we hate his guts since he refuses to bow to the Washington hegemon.”

The reporters and the politicians they quote are all still speaking as if the Russians definitely did the hack but are conceding only a minor point — ie, that they may not have affected the election. Yet the allegation that the Russians did it is not proven, not even close. The most likely version is that the hack was an inside job while the entire msm is pushing the story that it was the Russians.

But now, they are focusing on whether the hacking affected the elections, and the new fake story will be that, well, yes, the Russians did it and this is proven (it’s not, of course, as I have shown) but we can’t prove that it affected the elections or that the Russians wanted to affect the elections. This is a more sneaky way of lying to the public and if the public falls for it, the elites win.

This new fake story makes the Establishment seem fair even though in reality they are still the same old deceivers, perpetrating a fraud for which they should be indicted in a court of law.

So why are they doing this? Because their main objective is no longer to un-elect Trump (they’d like to but can’t) but rather to discredit the Russians so that Trump cannot fully implement his plan to establish good relations with them. They will falsely claim that Putin has deceived a good-hearted but naive Trump.

This way the Neocons and Neo-liberals think they can continue to smear Putin and Assad and continue with their plans to destroy Syria and the rest of the Middle East, including the few Christians who are left. Because they expect the public to buy the story that Russia did do the hacking but that the hacking did not necessarily affect the election.

The only way this despicable plan can be thwarted is for the public not to buy this nonsense.

You can help by forwarding this article, including my article proving that the accusers do not have a case against Russia: http://laiglesforum.com/analysis-shows-us-intel-agencies-inventing/4034.htm

Meanwhile, while the intel agencies and their partners in the DNC have no evidence at all to back up their fairy-tale about Russian hackers, according to the WSJ, the state of Georgia has solid evidence – namely, a US government IP address left at the hack site — that does prove the US government hacked their voter data base. Now that’s evidence. And that is the MO of our current government.

Dec 14

Analysis shows US intel agencies invented “Russian” hack story

Analysis show US intel agencies invented “Russian” hacking story

Don Hank

Please forward a link to this article far and wide. The DNC is using the phony story debunked below to influence the electoral college. They could steal the election and plunge us into another 4 years of Obama on steroids.

Countless bytes have been expended trying to show why the story about Russians hacking the DNC is false. However, most omit the most relevant details and fail to analyze the statements by these agencies, which simply do not bear a moment’s scrutiny.

USA Today says Hillary was right about 17 agencies swearing on a stack of Korans that the Russians are responsible for the hacking of the DNC’s emails.

QUOTE:

On Oct. 7, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on behalf of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The USIC is made up of 16 agencies, in addition to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there [where is his evidence? Don Hank]. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

So there you have it. Now why would 17 Obama-loyal agencies lie?

Perhaps because deceit is what they are being paid for. They’re spies, silly.

Here is what ZeroHedge said:

 

QUOTE:

The “17 agencies that actually confirmed” it was the Russians? Well it turns out that was one guy, namely DCI James Clapper: the head of US intelligence. The same man who committed perjury before congress after his NSA surveillance program was leaked [Hank’s emphasis].  He issued a statement that included the phrase:

We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.

The very next sentence is also of interest:

Some states have also recently seen scanning and probing of their election-related systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company. However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.

 

So these “17 agencies have 2 unrelated sets of justifications for their conclusions, namely:

methods and motivations, as mentioned in the USA Today quote, and

scope and sensitivity as mentioned in the ZeroHedge quote.

For those who haven’t noticed that this has all the earmarks of statements made by professional liars who think we’re high school dropouts, let’s analyze these “justifications.”

1–methods: Since Wikileaks is responsible for divulging the leaks, only they could possibly be in a position to know the methods used to do the hacks. Further, the agency does not tell us what the methods were. So this is simply another way of saying “we are making this up as we go.”

2–motivations: This is irrelevant because the Russians are by no means the only group that might be highly motivated to hack DNC emails. Half of US voters and hundreds of groups in the US and elsewhere would be so motivated, so there is no selection factor here that would point specifically to the Russians.

3–scope of the [hacking] efforts: There was a vast cache of emails, it is true. However, these all could have come from a single server or a very small number of servers. Once a hack is successful, one can tap into a large trove of  information with very little effort. So “scope” is not relevant. Any hacker anywhere could have done this. Wikileaks is known for the vast scope of its efforts. In fact, since there is no real proof of Russian involvement in hacks, there is no way anyone could know the scope of  typical Russian hacking efforts in order to make a comparison.

4–sensitivity of the [hacking] efforts: What sensitivity? This is sufficiently vague that no one can really know what is meant. Is Clapper referring to the fact that the hacked information is sensitive? If so, then this too is totally irrelevant because almost all hackers are seeking sensitive information, not just the Russians.

But all of this smoke screen is intended to cover the only relevant detail, namely, the fact that the source of this information is irrelevant and does not change the two relevant facts:

The DNC is not denying that the hacks are real and accurate. This is absolutely amazing because it is the most relevant fact for voters and is being obfuscated by the imaginary Russian involvement.

The hacked information is damning to the Clintons and would, of course, influence anyone to reconsider voting for Hillary because, based on this information, she clearly is a shady character who belongs in the Big House and not in the White House.

Please disseminate this. The DNC is using the phony “evidence described above to influence the electorate college in an effort to steal the vote.

PS: Now there is a new story and all the major msm outlets, including Fox News (eg, Tucker Carlson), are carrying it: The new, completely fake, story is that the Russian hack story is proven (when the above analysis shows it is not) but the real issue is whether or not the hacked information affected the election. Why are they floating this new story? Because they know it is too late to un-elect Trump, but they think they can convince the public that the Russians are not worthy to be our allies. This is intended to derail Trump’s plans to make friends with the Russians and hence, peace in the Middle East.

It will only work it YOU the public buy the fake story.

Dec 01

Another rah rah moment in American history

Trump victory: another rah rah moment

by Don Hank

I wonder if you will recall that the GW Bush wars were started by rah rah talk, as when Dubbya stood at ground zero and, with his arms draped around two NY firemen, proclaimed “the people who knocked down these buildings are going to hear from us.”

So ask yourself: Did “the people who knocked down these buildings” really hear from us? Now every American who experienced that moment lived through the wars that followed. But remember that the “people who knocked down these buildings” were mostly Saudis because it was they who founded and funded – together with the US Deep State – Al-Qaeda. But instead of declaring war on the Saudis, our real enemy, we attacked the enemies of our enemy, the Taliban (which had around that time plotted to oust the Saudi royals) and Saddam, who ran a secular type government with little or no emphasis on Shariah and even had a Christian in his cabinet. The Saudis hate secular leaders and the US helps them eliminate them. (Here is a clue as to why we are so obliging to them: http://laiglesforum.com/how-the-petrodollar-perpetuates-islamic-terror-2/3315.htm).

Thus, absurdly, Dubbya was aiding and abetting the “people who knocked down these buildings” and killed up to 3000 Americans.  And he and his Neocon pals had to know that the Christians and other large groups would leave Iraq in droves if we “won,” and that chaos would ensue, forcing the US to occupy.

And how about that Afghanistan? What a great victory! Rah rah. Not. US and allied troops are still there and the carnage is heart-wrenching – for all but the arms industry and its financiers.

Thus we can state with confidence that, facing the TV cameras at ground zero that day, George W. Bush was thumbing his nose at a bleeding America. (This fits in perfectly with Bush’s cover-up of the Saudi role in 9-11 as reported subsequently by the Washington Post ).

Now with that deception in mind, you will note the unbridled euphoria over the Trump election. Rah rah. Millions of Americans were relieved that we would now have peace.

And in fact, we might.

But we might not either.

Yes, Donald Trump had promised he would cooperate with Russia. The prospect of peace that this signaled is one important reason many Democrats crossed over to vote for him, for example.

But what many of us have forgotten is the eerily similar rah rah moments of the Bush years and what rah rah moments usually mean in our great country. The greatness often lies solely in the rah rah, not in the situation on the ground, in the aftermath, our bleeding hearts and pocket books.

Some exceptionally alert observers are already pointing out that Trump has picked two rank Neocons for his cabinet, who have both warned about “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, despite the fact that it was the US and Europe who started and supported the bloody coup in Kiev for the obvious purpose of goading Russia into a defensive action that could be spun by our media into “aggression.”

Trump’s presumptive defense secretary has warned that the Russian “aggression” in Ukraine is “worse than we think.” This is a lie, as you know if you follow the web site that provides regular sitreps on the conflict in E. Ukraine. Bookmark this site and go there at least once a week. If enough Americans did, our “leaders” would not dare arm the Kiev fascists. Even, if you followed the OSCE’s regular Ukraine reports, you would also know the aggressor is Kiev’s troops (many of which are fascists, eg, the Azov Battalion) that the US government supports.

But Mattis is not the only one beating the war drums against the country Trump promised to “cooperate with.” Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick for CIA director, recently returned from a trip to Kiev, and after fruitful discussions with the Neo-Nazis there, says that “Putin’s aim is to take over Ukraine” (Mike would have fit in nicely in a Clinton cabinet) , implying that Russia wants to attack Ukraine militarily. If that were true, Putin would have done the job a long time ago before NATO had deployed troops all over Eastern Europe, including 30,000 at the Russian borders (reminding Russians of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa that destroyed much of Russia and killed millions of Russians). No one is saying that a Ukraine thoroughly disgruntled with US and EU lies, like the false promise to let the country join the EU, might not voluntarily ally itself with Russia. It would be hard to paint that as Russian aggression, but recent anti-Russian (hence racist) drivel from the Western msm shows that no lie is too big for the warmongering elites to manage.

The latest E. Ukraine (Novorossia is the real name) sitrep shows that the Neo-Fascist sympathizers the US government supports in Kiev are now recruiting Lumpenproletariat, common thugs, with promises of free land, stolen from Russian speakers.

Now we are at another crossroads, another rah rah moment in American history. The euphoria over the Trump victory is great. Many are willing to go along with anything this leader wants. Like Bush, the Evangelicals have anointed him as God’s servant. The chessboard is arrayed exactly as before.

The question is: will you forget the lessons that Dubbya taught us and say to yourself: this time is different and the rah rah heralds a better world? Or will you recognize the rah rah moment for what it is: a time for you to say “not this time!”?

Postscript:

Writing for a news and opinion site is an endless job, as it should and must be. Since this was written, Trump is reportedly eyeing shifty arch-Neocon Mitt Romney for the position of Secretary of State.

So what’s wrong with that you ask? Here is a video featuring Mitt saying “Russia is our worst geopolitical foe” who always “lines up with the world’s worst actors”, among whom he counts Assad, the most pro-Christian leader in the Middle East, who is fighting for  his country’s life against Al-Qaeda and ISIS, groups that are armed and trained by our “ally” Saudi Arabia.

Trump has said he will cooperate with the same Putin that Romney has spent much of his career smearing.

 

Nov 28

RAGA president’s response to Barack Obama’s non-response

RAGA President Dr. W. George Krasnov had written a letter to President Obama (here) encouraging him to earn the peace prize he had won at the beginning of his presidential career, based on a few Norwegians’ expectations rather than on concrete good deeds by Obama. Dr. Krasnov’s letter urged Obama to try and re-establish a dialogue with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Obama’s response (here) was just anti-Russian boilerplate of the kind that has nauseated thinking Americans for years. Dr. Krasnov has given laiglesforum.com permission to repost this letter, which can be found at the site of RAGA, Russian & American Goodwill Association (home page here), an organization which has worked thanklessly for decades to facilitate relations between our two countries. Thanks to the recent unprecedented Russophobia in the Western msm and political sphere, based principally on lies, conjecture and distortions of  Russia in the Putin era, RAGA’s work has never been as important as it is today. I take this opportunity to remind the reader that Russophobia, since it is hatred and fear of an entire ethnic group, is in fact racism, and racism is not a Western value. We need to constantly boldly remind our lawmakers and msm of this unspoken fact.

Join RAGA: http://www.raga.org/contact.html

Join our forum: http://raga.forumotion.com/

I have reposted Dr. Krasnov’s letter below.

TO:  Mr. Barack Obama, POTUS

The White House

FROM: W. George Krasnow

DATE: November 7, 2016

RE: Your letter of October 21, 2016

 

Dear Mr. President:

Thanks for responding to the concerns with the growing tensions in US-Russia relations that I expressed in a short email letter allowed to US citizens by the White House. Both my letter and your response are in English and Russian on the site of Russia & America Goodwill Association of which I am the founder and president.

Frankly, I am very disappointed by your response. I gave you a chance to defend your Nobel Peace Prize as justly deserved. I also gave you the opportunity to lay the foundation for peace policy for your successor. Instead, you chose to attack Russia and her president Vladimir Putin as if I were their apologist.

You are my president, and you owe me an explanation. The intent of my letter was not to argue about Russia, Putin or Bashar Assad. I am sure they can defend themselves. My hope was that you would engage them diplomatically, via a peaceful dialog, to avoid any chance that the current shooting hostilities, be it in Syria, Iraq or Ukraine, do not degenerate into an armed confrontation with Russia and thus put the world at risk of nuclear conflagration.

Your letter lacks the introspection, self-analysis and humility that are necessary for a sound foreign policy. After all, we live in a world in which the United Nations and its Security Council still have a role to play, a role that you and your Republican predecessor try to usurp on behalf of the USA.

Let me remind you that The Charter of the United Nations proclaims that in pursuit of peace THIS Organization is “based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” In my letter, I reminded you about Edmund Burke’s profound philosophical underpinnings for the concept of sovereignty of different forms of government, including those we may disapprove of on ethical grounds. I hoped you would return to the time-honored concept of Westphalian sovereignty that ended the bloody period of religious wars in Europe in 1648. Instead, you assert the policy of world domination in which the United States decides which government is allowed to exist and which is not. Thus, the US finds itself in a wasp nest from which we are unable to extricate ourselves.

I believe you are fundamentally a decent man who wanted to steer the US on the road to peace and justice, domestically and overseas. Not only did I vote for you, but I also published an article, “Obama’s Perestroika Challenge: US & Russia”, to encourage you to do what you promised.[1] Even though “The New York Times” described your election in 2008 as “a catharsis and return to the American dream that was destroyed–politically, economically and socially–under Bush,” I pointed out that at the very start you made the wrong appointments that “bear little signs of new thinking. They… lack a vision of the evolving global community and the role the United States and the West should play in it.

The bad omen was the scandal with Hillary Clinton, your Secretary of State, when she presented her Russian counterpart with a gift-wrapped red button, which said “Reset” in English and “Peregruzka” in Russian. Alas, the latter means overcharge, or overload. The incorrect translation implied hostility, not peacemaking. [2]  While Clinton’s Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov kept his diplomatic cool, she quipped: “We won’t let you do that to us, I promise.”  She kept her promise, and US policy toward Russia has been indeed overcharged.

As a former USDS contract interpreter, I am pained to know that US top leaders do not take relations with Russia seriously, even on a linguistic level. Since the early 1990s we have ignored the voices of such wise, experienced and diverse politicians such as George Kennan, who devised the successful containment strategy but berated the expansion of NATO; Jack Matlock, former ambassador to Moscow, who warned against US meddling in Ukraine, Chas Freeman who likes Putin’s approach to the Middle East[3], Steve Cohen, a long-time champion of better relations with Russia, and Henry Kissinger of the realist school of diplomacy.

I suspect that as soon as you entered the White House, you were surrounded by a group of ideologues espousing the so-called neo-conservative ideology with which they had already infiltrated US intellectual establishment, academia, the Big Media, all branches of government, both Republicans and Democrats. In fact, they are neither “conservative”, nor “neo”, for their main inspiration is Leon Trotsky, the proponent of permanent revolution. Jonas Alexis of the dissident Veterans Today sees the Neo-Cons (that should be the proper name) as “the reincarnation to some extent of both Leninism and Bolshevism”. Mr. Alexis does not spell out to what extent. However, Francis Fukuyama, a former Neo-Con, remembers that the leading Neo-Con Irving Kristol boasted he was “a member in good standing of the [Trotskyist] Young People’s Socialist League (Fourth International).”[4]

Be that as it may, the Neo-Cons are not a mere replay of history. They do not proclaim, “Proletarians of the World unite!” On the contrary, they favor the neoliberal economics and globalization under the hegemony of the United States. The slogan that suits them best is “Oligarchs of the World unite!” Truly, the USA has replaced the USSR as the chief protagonist of a global ideology, albeit it is no longer class struggle and proletarian revolution for global socialism but rather a series of color revolutions aimed at establishing world capitalism. That is why the reset policy you promised failed to take off.[5] That is why you became the champion of the endless wars.

Sometimes, one remembers the Old Cold War with nostalgia, for there was then more professionalism among US diplomats. I was fortunate to review a remarkable book Stepping out of Line: Collected (Nonconformist) Essays on Russian-American Relations, 2008-2012”. It is by Dr. Gilbert Doctorow, my colleague and RAGA author who helped resuscitate the American Committee for East-West Accord. If then, says Doctorow, the West was guided by George Kennan’s containment strategy, now “the legacy of Realpolitik has been… marginalized by the resurgent forces of Neoconservatism in Washington”. As a former Soviet dissident, I admit it was heart-warming to read a book devoted to the American dissidents now dissenting from the Washington Pravda line.

If you go online, you will find a multitude of American dissidents opposed to the monopoly of Big Media, and the number is growing. Do I have to explain to you, Mr. President, who the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) are? This is what they wrote to you on October 2, 2016:

We write to alert you, as we did President George W. Bush, six weeks before the attack on Iraq that the consequences of limiting your circle of advisers to a small, relatively inexperienced coterie with a dubious record for wisdom can prove disastrous. Our concern this time regards Syria…The door to further negotiations remains ajar. In recent days, officials of the Russian foreign and defense ministries, as well as President Putin’s spokesman, have carefully avoided shutting that door, and we find it a good sign that Secretary Kerry has been on the phone with Foreign Minister Lavrov. And the Russians have emphasized Moscow’s continued willingness to honor previous agreements on Syria.[6]

One of the fifteen signees of the memorandum is Ray McGovern, a former CIA career officer who used to brief President Reagan on Soviet affairs.  I first learned about him when he was severely beaten by the security detail for wearing on his back a protest sign during Hillary Clinton’s speech at the GWU. Veterans for Peace, an organization to which I belong, demanded an apology. Doubting that the media would report the brutal manhandling, I posted the news on Veterans Today.[7]

Another signee was Col. (Ret.) Ann Wright, one of RAGA’s authors, whom I heard speaking at a peace rally in Washington. I was proud to place the VIPS memorandum next to my email letter to you inside RAGA Newsletter Antidote 30.

I have been issuing these ANTIDOTES since your government opted for reckless meddling in the internal conflict in Ukraine in February 2014. If the old Realpolitik school diplomats never called for a war against the USSR nor tried to provoke it by stepping into Soviet sphere of influence, Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State made herself famous when she dismissed the EU role in Ukraine, kicked Yats (Yatsenyuk) upstairs, and put Klitch (Klitchko) in his place, all in unprintable language.[8] While accusing Russia of meddling she boasted that the US spent $5 billion to foment anti-Russian hatred in Ukraine.

I believe your world vision lacks introspection and is devoid of curiosity about how the USA might be seen from outside. After the end of the Cold War against the Soviet bloc in late 1990s, millions of people around the world were hoping for the “peace dividend” that would benefit economic development and social services of all countries concerned.  Instead, the US retained NATO and embarked on its expansion. As I already addressed this issue, please read my article The Folly of the New Cold War.[9]

On October 25, 2016, I received a letter from a fellow graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle. I have not seen him since 1973 when I defended my PhD dissertation there. “I think you have hit a great many nails squarely on the head”, he writes about my article. “It’s so very, very hard to find writing these days that makes any attempt to look at Russian policies from other than a crudely Russophobic point of view, depicting the country as some sort of beast or sinister eminence afoot in the world”. A specialist on ancient China, my friend was ready to swallow all that tripe. “These last several months I’ve found myself writing frequently to the editors of the Guardian Weekly (which I subscribe to) scolding them for a steady raft of editorials and commentaries that seem to me very much in this vein. No attempt to present a multi-sided analysis of circumstances involving Russia”.

Another RAGA reader’s comment was brief but to the point: “America’s biggest threat is neither China nor Russia, but rather an ignorant, gullible populace. There is a remedy to this: learn to think independently regardless of the cost”.

I am sure, Mr. President, you too have to deal with the avalanche of information, which needs to be checked for veracity. Alas, you get only the opinions tainted by Neo-Con ideologues. This applies to all information you receive on Russia, Syria, and Ukraine. As Ambassador Jack Matlock wrote about Ukraine, the first and most important spin put on the situation was to portray it “as a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, not among culturally, ethnically, linguistically and religiously diverse people in Ukraine”. [10] He is convinced that “Ukraine cannot normally exist in isolation from Russia” and that sending western weapons there “would be madness” that “would hurt primarily Ukrainians.”

You are surely familiar with Ambassador Chas Freeman’s outstanding career and varied expertise. It was your Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Admiral Dennis C. Blair, who named Freeman as chair of the National Intelligence Council, which compiles intelligence from sixteen U.S. agencies into National Intelligence Estimates. It was very unfortunate that the pro-Israeli lobby blocked Freeman’s appointment. As you may have noticed, any person critical of Zionism and Israel is automatically smeared “anti-Semitic.” This practice not only puts in jeopardy academic freedom but it also obscures our vision of the Middle East and the world at large. It may have started with the campaign of vilification against Professors John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt, the authors of “The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” but such accusations are even more ominous when made against Freeman who is a Jew.

Freeman’s recent talk “U.S. Policy and the Geopolitical Dynamics of the Middle East[11] contains a number of suggestions, which cannot be ignored in any formulation of a sound US policy in the Middle East.

Freeman explains the key reason for the failure of US policy in the Middle East: “Wars don’t end until the militarily humiliated accept the political consequences of their defeat.  Saddam gave lip service to UNSCR 687 but took it no more seriously than Netanyahu and his predecessors have taken the various Security Council resolutions that direct Israel to permit Palestinians to return to the homes from which it drove them or to withdraw from the Palestinian lands it has seized and settled.  Like Israel’s wars with the Arabs, America’s war with Iraq went into remission but never ended.  In due course, it resumed”. Freeman’s advice is just as sound: “The United States needs to get into the habit of developing and implementing war termination strategies.

The most scathing criticism Freeman aimed at the Israeli policy which the US is not only unwilling to challenge but tries to placate and emulate. “Israel’s lack of concern about the consequences of its occupation and settlement of the West Bank and its siege of Gaza has facilitated its progressive abandonment of the universalist Jewish values that inspired Zionism and its consequent separation from the Jewish communities outside its elastic borders.  U.S. subsidies underwrite blatant tyranny by Jewish settlers over the Muslim and Christian Arabs they have dispossessed.  This is a formula for the moral and political self-delegitimization of the State of Israel, not its long-term survival.  It is also a recipe for the ultimate loss by Israel of irreplaceable American political, military, and other support”.
Concludes Freeman: “The United States needs to wean Israel off its welfare dependency and end the unconditional commitments that enable self-destructive behavior on the part of the Jewish state”.

And yet, Mr. President, you found it expedient to reward Israel with the gift of $38 billion dollars’ worth of military equipment for the duration of the ten long years of one, two, perhaps, three presidents whom you deprived of diplomatic freedom.

You seems to be oblivious that it was not Netanyahu, but Putin who got you off the hook[12] when US hawks were about to push you into a bombing attack on Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons. As to your principal peace-making achievement, the Iranian nuclear non-proliferation deal, it was again done with Russia’s assistance while your friend Netanyahu did everything to abort the agreement even by meddling in US domestic affairs.

Remarkably, the man who should have been compiling national intelligence estimates, Ambassador Freeman, finds Russia’s policy in the Middle East sounder than either American or Israeli. According to him, “Moscow sought to reduce the complexities of Syria to a binary choice between life under the secular dictatorship of the Assad regime and rule by Islamist fanatics…Russia succeeded in forcing the United States into a diplomatically credible peace process in which regime removal is no longer a given and Russia and Iran are recognized as essential participants…The campaign reduced and partially contained the growing Islamist threat to Russian domestic tranquility, while affirming Russia’s importance as a partner in combating terrorism”.

Your failure to live up to the promises you’ve made is highlighted by May 15, 2016, report: “Mr. Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and spent his years in the White House trying to fulfill the promises he made as an antiwar candidate, would have a longer tour of duty as a wartime president than Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon or his hero Abraham Lincoln”, or any or any other American president.[13]

It is not a good record, for any president, much less, for the one awarded the Nobel Peace Prize largely on credit, not for actual accomplishments. Forget about score keeping among presidents. We are talking about thousands of American soldiers killed, tens of thousands maimed, wounded, disabled, committing suicides, their families shattered. The count of “enemy” combatants and collateral civilian deaths is even more devastating for the people of the Middle East. The Europeans are forced into accepting millions of displaced persons, including terrorists. Because of US meddling, the Middle East is being de-Christianized, de-secularized, and split into multitude of fanatical sects in search of a foothold while infrastructure for development has crumbled.

US meddling in Ukraine has been no more successful, bringing no benefits for the Ukrainians, nor improving US strategic posture in Europe.

It all started with US meddling in Russia in the early 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin. Until then the USA and Americans were very popular in post-Soviet Russia. I know this because I was visiting then Russia numerous times. However, the heavy-handed US meddling on the side of “pro-Western” neoliberal Russian reformers left a very bitter taste in the mouth of millions of Russians. When the US government tried to blackmail Russia by pressing the IMF to deny her loans, I protested. In March 1999, in the name of RAGA, I mailed an Open Letter on the Russian Crisis to President Bill Clinton demanding to stop meddling in Russian affairs. More than a hundred American experts on Russia signed the letter.[14]

In a cover letter to President Bill Clinton I wrote that “The very survival of Russia as a distinct civilization and a major contributor to the cultural ‘biodiversity’ of the planet is at stake. Anyone who has studied Russian history knows that Russians will survive. And they will remember how they were treated by the West”.[15] Clinton replied in a diplomatically evasive way, but asked me to stay engaged. I have.

In 2012, I voted not so much FOR you as AGAINST Mitt Romney, because he participated in the plunder of Russia and undermining the health of young Russians. Do you not believe me? Then read what two American journalists wrote about Romney’s, and other Americans’ role in Russian reforms: “It was part of a free-for-all that involved wholesale looting of major industries, as Western technocrats helped facilitate the transfer of Russia’s wealth into the hands of a few oligarchs. That set in motion a populist backlash that helped sweep Vladimir Putin into power, giving the Kremlin dominance over a country Romney has lately called our ‘number one geopolitical enemy.’”[16]

There were early alarm signals from US diplomats as well. Writes E. Wayne Merry, Chief Political Analyst at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1990-1994:  “we created a virtual open shop for thievery at a national level and for capital flight in terms of hundreds of billions of dollars, and the raping of natural resources and industries on a scale which I doubt has ever taken place in human history.

As to the claim that the U.S. has the mission to promote democracy throughout the world, Merry tells otherwise:  “I think the election of December 1993 was a clear and legitimate expression of Russian popular will and a rejection of the economic policies that Washington and the Treasury Department and the IMF had pushed on Russia. And when faced with popular rejection, the choice was to ignore popular will and to press on with the policy, and I think there was a huge cost on the long-term development of rule of law and constitutional government in Russia for making that choice.” [17]

I also recommend Janine Wedel’s excellent book Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe. An anthropologist, Wedel argues that the collision between two groups of people, Russian reformers and their American advisers, whose cultural patterns and mentality were too different, was inevitable. Instead of meaningful open cooperation, the collision degenerated into collusion between the least conscientious on both sides. Contrary to US rules that require competitive bidding, says Wedel, the now defunct Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) got the exclusive contract for reforms in Russia because the rules were suspended “for foreign policy considerations”. By the way, Ukraine too suffered from US meddling then. Janine’s book won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

Dealing with Russia, one must always keep in mind that in the 20th century it endured 73 years of totalitarian rule, including the suppression and humiliation of all religions, especially Christianity. Many Americans know about that through the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn whose refuge in Vermont proved to be a blessing not only for Russia but also for the United States. The corporate media likes to portray Putin as former KGB officer in East Germany who regards the collapse of the USSR as a tragedy and feels a nostalgia for Soviet times. What they leave out is that Putin was a witness to the tragedy of the Russian people in the 1990s, the scope of which can hardly be understood by Americans unless they have lived through the Great Depression.  It is not for nothing that Putin has befriended Solzhenitsyn and his widow Natalya and regularly shows up at a Russian church. Most importantly, upon assuming the presidency, Putin’s first item on the agenda was to restore Russia’s SOVEREIGNTY. That is why his popular support is so strong.

As it happens, this year I celebrate two anniversaries. One is the 40 years since I became US citizen in Dallas, Texas, in October of 1976. The other is the 50th anniversary since I set foot on American soil in 1966 when I was invited as a fellow of Slavic Area Studies at the University of Chicago. Coming to America ended my career in Sweden to which I defected in October 1962. I am and always will be grateful to the United States for giving me – along with hundreds of other Soviet dissidents and defectors – a refuge, hospitality, security, opportunity for education, and freedom for research, teaching and writing.

Alas, the changes in this country during in the post-Cold war years were not always for the better. Tom Pauken, a Dallas lawyer and friend of mine, who later became a member of President Reagan’s administration, secured my US citizenship in 1976. In his 2010 book, Bringing America Home, Tom bemoans, “What became of an American culture that once was guided by the principles of Christianity? “Bringing America Home not only explains how we lost our way,” says its jacket, “but shows how our founding principles can help us find our way back”. I agree that America desperately needs to find her way.

I also agree with the thrust of Ambassador Jack Matlock’s book “Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray–And How to Return to Reality.” Matlock is right that “during the Clinton and particularly the Bush-Cheney administrations, the belief that the United States had defeated the Soviet Union led to a conviction that it did not need allies, international organizations, or diplomacy, but could dominate and change the world by using its military power unilaterally”. Both Pauken’s and Matlock’s books were published under your watch, Mr. President. You should have taken a cue, but you did not. Such inattention doomed you to follow in Bush’s and Clinton’s footstep.

A former student of mine at the Monterey Institute of International Studies just sent me a link to Margaret Kimberley’s November 6, 2016, article titled “Russophobia: War Party Propaganda”.[18] It is right on target: “The corporate media, led by newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, are front and center in pushing tales of Russian villainy. Human Rights Watch and other organizations who care nothing about abuses committed by the United States and its allies are also playing their usual role of choosing the next regime change victim.

The current tensions with Russia are so severe as to threaten the survival of Planet Earth. Therefore, I take it as my civic duty to give you my recommendations as to how you could salvage the hope that made the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to you possible. You might use the remaining days in the office by setting up a peace-loving agenda that your successor could not refuse:

  1. First, no POTUS can act wisely unless there is access to reliable information. You have denied yourself such access when you, for instance, failed to fight for Chas Freeman as chair of the National Intelligence Council. Make sure that the next administration is not spoon-fed by the Neo-Cons and their allies in the academic establishment and the corporate media. It is them whom my friend Israel Shamir calls the Masters of Discource.
  2. Start the legislative process for breaking up the corporate media conglomerates and, at least, make the current anti-monopoly laws stick in pursuit of the violators. Brother Nathanael Kapner, a New York Jew who converted to Russian Christianity, goes as far as to propose nationalization of the media.[19] In the very least, a national debate on media abuses is in order.
  3. As the most powerful nation in the world, the USA should work jointly with other powerful nations such as Russia, China, India, and the EU—always under the auspices of the UN—as honest brokers aiming for a compromise between the warring parties.
  4. This especially applies to the conflict in Ukraine. The US should encourage the Ukrainian government to try to resolve its inter-ethnic conflict between Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainians in the same civilized and patient Western way as is done between Flemish and Wallons in Belgium, Catalans and Basques in Spain, Scots, Welsh and Irish in the UK, Quebec in Canada, etc.. Let Switzerland serve as a model to emulate. After all, the Ukrainians and Russians are considerably closer to each other linguistically and culturally than the conflicting groups in any of the above countries. Ukraine’s prospective integration with the EU should not lead to severing economic, cultural, and political ties with Russia.
  5. The Middle East cannot be healed until a peace agreement is reached between Israel and Palestine (both on the West Bank and in Gaza). Both the the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) and the Arab Peace Initiative should be revived ASAP and put to work. You said it yourself on June 9, 2009: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. It is time for these settlements to stop.” Before your term expires, make sure that your successor immediately carries out what you were prevented from doing.
  6. We should admit to ourselves that ISIL (Daesh) would not have emerged without Iraq’s destruction by US bombardment, invasion and occupation. Likewise, the Western attack of Muammar Gadhafi’s Libya created a lot more problems than it solved. Therefore, tell your successor that the regime change strategy belongs to the past.
  7. The US should undertake the initiative of either eliminating or limiting and regulating the use of drones for killing suspected terrorist not only for human rights considerations but also because “collateral” damage from such attacks produces an endless string of suicide avengers. Calling for an international forum, under the aegis of the United Nations, is the first order of things.
  8. Stop supplying weapons to regions and countries where there is civil strife threatening to escalate to civil and international war;
  9. I just met a fellow Veteran for Peace member, Captain (Ret.) Ron Fisher. Learning that I have been in correspondence with you, he asked me to send you his greetings, as well as a series of proposals to secure a peaceful, prosperous, and just life on Planet Earth. You can find it at http://www.wethepeoplenow.org/plan_sdg.htm. Ron is a Naval Academy graduate who served on four nuclear submarines including as Executive Officer of both a nuclear attack and a ballistic missile submarine. He also was trained in the use of both tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. He made nine ballistic missile submarine patrols and six special operations on nuclear attack submarines. His awards include the Legion of Merit, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.
  10. Last, but not the least, I would like to ask you, Mr. President, for something that you can do single-handedly. Please use, before the end of your term, your presidential prerogatives and pardon Edward Snowden. Let him return to the United States, a country that he loves and that has already benefitted[20] from his perhaps illegal deed, committed, I believe, in quest for higher conscience for humankind. I had to wait almost twenty-nine years before the Soviet authorities decided to “rehabilitate” me, for lack of corpus delict, in not returning from Sweden. Every government that fails to integrate dissent as an essential ingredient of public welfare runs the risk of defections and death by brain drain.[21]

As I conclude this letter, I cannot help looking for wise men to guide both of us as they indeed have guided my RAGA project.

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” — George Washington

“True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity, before it is entitled to the appellation.” George Washington

I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” Abraham Lincoln

Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together”. Edmund Burke
So help us God!

Sincerely,

W George Krasnow, Ph.D. (aka Vladislav Krasnov)

President, RAGA.org

 

  1. S. On February 11, 2012, I mailed you a letter I had written on behalf of some people of my native town of Perm. In spite of the unfortunate incident at the airport,[22] I know many Permians were delighted by your visit there as part of your job as Senator. A photograph was enclosed. I never got an acknowledgement, but I want you to know that my invitation to you and Michelle to visit Perm still stands.

[1] https://www.opendemocracy.net/article/email/obama-s-perestroika-challenge-us-russia-0 W.GEORGE KRASNOW 7 January 2009

[2] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/06/clinton-goofs-russian-translation-tells-diplomat-wants-overcharge-ties.html

[3] U.S. Policy and the Geopolitical Dynamics of the Middle East, Chas Freeman, June 9, 2016

http://www.raga.org/news/us-policy-and-the-geopolitical-dynamics-of-the-middle-east-chas-freeman

[4] The Neoconservative Movement is Trotskyism. By Jonas E. Alexis on January 22, 2013

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/01/22/the-neoconservative-movement-is-trotskyism/

[5] World Russia Forum 2011: Is “Reset” Enough? By Dr. George Krasnow on April 8, 2011. http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/04/08/world-russia-forum-2011-is-%E2%80%9Creset%E2%80%9D-enough/

[6] More https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/02/obama-warned-to-defuse-tensions-with-russia/ of October 2, 2016 ALERT MEMORANDUM  FOR: The President/FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

[7] http://www.veteranstoday.com.metacomment.io/2011/02/18/vets-for-peace-demands-apology-from-hillary-clinton/ Vets for Peace Demands Apology from Hilliary Clinton. By Dr. George Krasnow on February 18, 2011

McGOVERN, VET, CIA RETIREE, BLOODIED BY DC COPS. VETERANS’ GROUP DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM SECRETARY OF STATE. HILLARY CLINTON WATCHES AS POLICE MANHANDLE PEACEFUL PROTESTER at George Washington University, Washington D.C., February 15, 2011.

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/feb/07/eu-us-diplomat-victoria-nuland-phonecall-leaked-video

[9] http://www.raga.org/news/the-folly-of-the-new-cold-war-by-vladislav-krasnov

[10] W. George Krasnow, “What the West Missed About Ukraine”, 4/29/2014  http://www.raga.org/news/what-the-west-missed-about-ukraine

[11] U.S. Policy and the Geopolitical Dynamics of the Middle East. By Chas Freeman, June 9, 2016

http://www.raga.org/news/us-policy-and-the-geopolitical-dynamics-of-the-middle-east-chas-freeman

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_of_Syria%27s_chemical_weapons

[13] Mark Landler, «For President, Two Full Terms of Fighting Wars: An Unexpected Legacy”, The New York Times, May 15, 2016

[14] W. George Krasnow, “Open Letter on the Russian Crisis”, http://russialist.org/archives/3094.html##8

[15] http://www.russialist.org/archives/3112.html##5

[16] Jason Cherkis and Zack Carter, “Mitt Romney’s Bain Made Millions On Big Tobacco In U.S., Russia”, The Huffington Post, 10/09/2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/09/mitt-romney-bain-tobacco_n_1949812.html.  Their article became the main source of my own article about Romney, Bain, and Russia, published in Russian magazine Predstavitel’naia vlast’, 2012 ?5, 6 (116, 117) http://www.pvlast.ru/archive/index.899.php

[17] See Mr. E. Wayne Merry’s interview on PBS Frontline, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/yeltsin/interviews/merry.html

[18] Margaret Kimberley’s November 06, 2016, article titled “Russophobia: War Party Propaganda”, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45793.htm

[19] Nathanael Kapner, “If I Were President”, http://www.realjewnews.com/?p=1058

[20] Three Largest Rights Groups in US Call on Obama for a Pardon. By Alex Emmons, The Intercept, Sep 19, 2016

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/snowden-opens-three-largest-rights-groups-us-call-obama-pardon/ri16506

[21] “To Defect or To Integrate? Edward Snowden’s Dilemma”. By W. George Krasnow, fitzgerald griffin foundation

http://www.fgfbooks.com/Krasnow-W.George/2013/Krasnow130905.html

[22] http://www.politforums.net/eng/usa/1440759339.html

 

Oct 05

Those charismatic warmongers

Those charismatic warmongers

 

by Don Hank

There are a number of very charismatic and famous people out there who are awfully good at convincing people of their way of thinking. GW Bush was one. Didn’t ya just love him and his little Texas twang?
Shucks yeah!

And you all know Glenn Beck. Great conservative, right? Charismatic, dynamic speaker, hates big government and taxes on the rich. He’s campaigning for Hillary. That is, he is adamantly against Trump — same thing.

Then there is Trevor Loudon, a baker from New Zealand. The timbre of Trevor’s voice and his down-under accent remind one of Crocodile Dundee. Charming man. He and Cliff Kincaid – less charming to be sure — have a little clique going. They claim to be conservative and have latched on to conservative issues to push for more military spending and stuff. But they have been highly critical of Trump because, see, for them, if you aren’t filled with seething hate for Putin, you are not a good American. One of them posted a piece in which he claims that since Trump once “thought about” building a Trump Tower in Moscow, why that means he is a filthy rotten anti-American commie scum. Stands to reason, right? Never turn your back on them Russkies. They have since come into line with the GOP in its acceptance of Trump but are no doubt ready to turn on him at a moment’s notice.

And then there’s Bill Whittle. Charismatic, dynamic speaker, has his facts straight… Well most of the time. Linked below is his fact filled expose of the KGB, the entire bloody history, tying Putin to all of this blood and gore, even claiming that Putin ordered the killing of a defector in England, despite the lack of any serious evidence, and in fact, despite some keen analysis here, here, here, etc.  By the time you get to the end of Bill’s video, you are convinced that Putin eats little human babies for breakfast and was the brains behind the murder of the Tsar.

Now to be sure, the KGB and its forerunners were horrible in the Soviet days. (Like the CIA in this country, which created the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and knocked off national leaders like Iran’s president Mossadegh whenever it saw fit, causing permanent bad blood between us and them. But of course, ISIS fighters are good guys down underneath and they need US protection and tax payer TLC.)

But in spite of the KGB’s horrid blemishes, there emerged, early on, media and art creations in Russia that glorified the KGB and portrayed it as a patriotic organization that protected its people – which, in its cruel way, it did. For this reason, the KGB has long been known in Russia as the Shield and Sword.

Naturally, then, a 1968 film glorifying a spy was titled “Shchit i mech” (the shield and sword), based on a novel by that name by Vadim Kozhevnikov. Johann Weiss, the man who eventually joins the KGB in the film, was the best friend of another man whose father had been murdered by the Nazis. They were both Germans raised in Latvia, then part of the Soviet Union, and as the plot progresses, we catch, on a train headed for Germany, a glimpse of the Nazis, sinister and cruel, contrasted with the Soviet citizens, their victims, who mind their own business and are peaceful.

On this train is Johann, returning to Germany as part of a mass exodus from Latvia. At first he is caught up in the enthusiasm surrounding the Third Reich, but soon he sees the brutal way that outsiders are treated by the Germans. He eventually joins a spy agency in Germany supposedly to spy on the Soviets, but in fact is a double agent in the service of the Soviets. Bill Whittle would feel uncomfortable with this film.

It is impossible to view the film without feeling revulsion at the Germans and admiration for their persecuted victims, both Jews and Soviets.

In his biography, Putin says that this film was one of the main reasons why he joined the KGB. Now since Putin was born in 1952 and the film hit the big screens in 1968 when Putin was still contemplating his future career choice, it is more than likely that he was telling the truth and his motives were no doubt mostly patriotic ones. Further, Western slander to the contrary, Putin worked primarily as an intel analyst, posted abroad — in E. Germany — and not in Russia, where the traditional KGB harassment of Soviet citizens took place at one time. He also states in his bio that the young KGB recruits of that time were a completely different breed and were only vaguely aware of the atrocities attributed to that organization in the past. Certainly, the mild-mannered Putin had no taste for the brutality of the historic Cheka and its later metamorphoses under Stalin. Almost no Soviets did at that time, a transition period toward more freedom that ultimately evolved into Gorbachev’s Glasnost period.

Of course, we can’t expect Neocons to have seen this Soviet film or to have an intimate understanding of the Russians and their history, particularly those dark years when they were thrust into disastrous contact with the Nazis. So naturally, we can expect a lot of often dangerous ignorance about the Russians in the West. We are not disappointed.

The problem is, as hard as it is for Westerners to countenance, the Russians are not living their lives to please the West, especially not the Neocons. Therefore, the more absurd and hateful things ignorant Westerners say and write about them and their leadership, and the more saber rattling and threats we throw at them, the more worried they get and the more they build up militarily. You’d think the Neocons would be more careful. You’d be wrong.

Even if you don’t want to assign blame, it is certainly long past time to stop the Russia bashing and try to sit back and get as accurate a picture as you can of these people who are not the enemy of We the people but whom we are told by our “leaders” we are supposed to hate for a lot of reasons that don’t quite pass the smell test (see my article “The Russkies are coming” here). But if we fail to show the requisite degree of hate, we are bad Americans in these petite-sized minds.

Can we ever grow out of this irrational state of mind and start being objective about the Russians? Our future survival may very well depend on it.

Linked below is an example of the marshaling of carefully selected facts – couched in slick language — to make the Russians look like congenitally cruel barbarians, in a video presentation that could contribute mightily to WW III.

The irony of this video is that, while it describes many of the horrors perpetrated by the KGB in the Soviet past, it omits a comparison to another country that caused two horrendous world wars, slaughtered millions of innocent Jews in concentration camps, almost destroyed all of Europe and Russia and cost the US hundreds of thousands of young lives. It also ignores an objective comparison with the shenanigans of the CIA that gave birth to ISIS. Selecting the most incriminating facts about any country and pretending that none of these negatives could ever be imputed to one’s own or another country is a recipe for war and it is the exact pattern of selective reporting by which Neocons work their evil.

Such a comparison of Russia with Germany or with our CIA would bring things into proper perspective, but that is not part of the West’s propaganda effort and today is considered beside the point. Bring on the war already!

In fact, without this perspective, the sheeple will slip and slide into another conflagration worse than the other two. It will be nuclear.

Here is that very biased and unbalanced presentation:

http://www.truthrevolt.org/videos/bill-whittle-murderer-kremlin

Don Hank

 

Sep 30

Is new Russian law anti-terror or anti-Christian?

Is new Russian law anti-terror or anti-freedom?

 

by Don Hank

The new Russian anti-terror law is being used by the Neocon media to stoke fear and hatred of Russia, and many observers are now saying that this is a propaganda effort intended to create a war atmosphere. Since we can ill afford a war with a major nuclear power, I have decided to post this as a bit of an antidote.

Our heartfelt thanks to Stephen Beet for writing and distributing the article posted below. As stated in his article, it is not Christian denominations that are targeted by the new Russian anti-propaganda law.  Although the Russian Duma cannot say so, it is mostly aimed at preventing Muslim terror. In order to keep the very large Muslim population happy, however, it is written so as to appear impartial and hence includes Christian activity as well. It is also aimed in part at sects that are claiming falsely to be Christian when a closer look shows they differ from Christianity in obvious ways.

The best example of this is an American self-anointed “priest” who planned to officiate at a pro-gay ceremony in Russia (now you’d think he would know better.) Russia has a law banning gay propaganda aimed at children, and this new anti-terror law in part reinforces this ban. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/american-clergymans-plan-to-officiate-gay-wedding-thwarted-in-ukraine

Stephen discusses Mormon missionaries in Russia in this context. For those who think Mormons are just another Christian denomination, have a look at this, in addition to reading the article below:

http://www.mscbc.org/biblechal.htm

And before you open the below link, a caveat: every major Western religion has child and woman abuse stories swirling around it. Read with an open mind. However, the Mormon church seems to imitate the Catholic church in that, in some cases, clerics have not been much encouraged to report child sex and other abuse. Again, cases like this could possibly found in all major denominations. However, I chose the following link because if contains a large compilation of abuses:

http://www.mormonstories.org/stories-about-child-sexual-abuse-in-the-lds-church/

If you are a Mormon, I hope you will not take offense. This information is focused on the church itself, not the followers.

At any rate, I think most readers will understand that the new Russian law only targets abuses, and Stephen’s brief report should make it understandable why Russian lawmakers were concerned about protecting Russian children and others.

Another sect that Russians are generally skeptical of is Jehovah’s Witnessses. As a reader of Koine Greek, I have seen an example of a serious flaw in the JW translation of the New Testament. I have read the entire New Testament in the original Greek (or what has been identified as the original Greek, taken from early manuscripts) and will be glad to share my linguistic analysis this with anyone interested. But more important in this context is the way JW teachings indirectly encourage their followers to commit suicide. I personally knew a JW father of 4 who committed suicide. Shortly thereafter his children, who had been well behaved until then, wound up in foster homes and had brushes with the law. I had no idea until later that JW doctrine leads to high suicide rates.

Finally, Stephen is a British Christian, NOT Russian Orthodox, and obviously, he does not feel in any way threatened by this new law, which has been the object of the usual Neocon Russophobic propaganda that pervades Western msm and also politics (eg, Hillary campaign’s silly claim that Russia hacked her emails).

JW Suicide

http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1824

abuses

http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/wrong-with-being-jehovahs-witness.php

I have read a resume of the new Russian law in Russian from this site https://50.xn--b1aew.xn--p1ai/PU/Law_news/item/7906913/

and can assure you this law is not as represented in the Western press. It is so vague as to be very difficult to enforce and can be expected to be enforced and interpreted in the courts so as to prevent terror, not to stop Christians from sharing their faith.

Don Hank

 

Just published by the Church of England Newspaper, Don. Stephen

 

By Stephen R Beet

A number of anti-terrorism measures passed by the Russian Duma on June 24th and signed by the President have been widely criticized and deliberately misrepresented in the Western Press.  In fact, if one reads the legislation and examines the background, this law has no substantial affect at all on freedom of worship and is entirely positive.

 

Alexey Komov, an official of the Russian Orthodox Church puts the legislation into context:

 

“New regulation of  missionary activities is just a minor part within the set of the new amendments to various [anti-terrorist] laws. It  says that foreign missionaries need to receive a permission/registration to do their work, and that they should preach only at their mosque/church/etc. But this applies  only to the official representatives of a religious organization. All normal people can freely express/preach/promote their religious and other beliefs with no limitations (which is a Constitutional right), and the law does not forbid that.

 

The law (?????: “? ??????????????? ????????????? ????????????”, ???????? ???????? ??????????????? ??????? ?? ????? ???? ???????? ???????????????…) states that all traditional beliefs are valid and sacred and can be preached. But those who abuse the sacred texts of any religion will be restrained.”

 

I have lived and worked in Novosibirsk for over ten years and know the background to this proposed legislation, which is aimed not at bona fide Evangelical Christians going about their lawful business, but at dangerous and persistent groups who are operating in Russia with the aim of the aggressive proselytizing of young people and the destruction of the official Russian Orthodox Church.

 

I have witnessed the methods of these people and can confirm reports of their gaining the trust of ordinary Russians before luring them into their sects. Many of these groups are financed from the US – especially those professing the beliefs of the Mormons, who are not Christians and who believe (to quote their official website): “Additional books of scripture – including the Book of Mormon – strengthen and reinforce God’s teachings through additional witnesses.  These groups work mainly by targeting young children in ways that would not be tolerated in the UK. In fact, if they went about their business in like manner in the UK, they would be arrested.

 

I have noted the tactics of these ‘missionaries’, mainly young men who operate in small groups. They are sent to Russia (on student visas) with the specific purpose of evangelizing young people, and work under the cover of teaching English in small private language schools, of which there are very many, thus gaining access to children and young people. After they have gained their trust they begin to teach their message subtly and invite children to meetings and parties where they can meet other young people and discuss religious issues. In Novosibirsk they operate on the main metro line in pairs. Being highly trained in the Russian language, they easily get into conversation with unaccompanied young people and give out leaflets which, on the surface, seem innocuous, mainly invitations to “discussion groups”. Sometimes they openly advertise a church meeting.  I lifted one of these leaflets and can confirm that it was from the Mormon organisation.
In the Summer these young men easily get work in children’s language camps where they can have longer and unsupervised access to children and ample opportunity to impart their message. Some years ago I witnessed such a group who had hired a classy motor launch and were spending the Summer touring the banks of the River Ob, offering to give puppet shows to the many children living in organised camps. I attended one of these shows and the whole proceedings were a blatant and highly talented attempt to proselytizing from the Orthodox Church, which these people mistakenly believe is synonymous with Rome. At the end they gave out expensive ‘Bibles’ in Russian. The whole operation must have cost a fortune! Other cults are operating in Russia and there have been several reports of children taking their own lives after becoming involved.

 

This is the background to the new legislation which is designed to limit and perhaps ban the activity of these non-Christian sects and to protect unsuspecting persons. If bona fide Evangelical Christians are also engaging in these underhand ways of ‘evangelizing’, it would seem fair to say that they deserve to have their activities similarly limited.

 

The author is a UK citizen who lives and works in Russia.

Sep 28

US sues German bank for being fooled by US

US suing German bank for being fooled by US government

Kommentar auf Deutsch: http://laiglesforum.com/4004-2

Die Deutschen müssen ihre Unabhängigkeit erklären

by Don Hank

The US has just sued Deutsche Bank for around $14 billion [over a $3 billion loss, so kind of exaggerated – but the Fed and US are broke and ths is a desperate measure], and this has triggered a crisis that will affect the world economy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-deutsche-bank-lawsuit-idUSKCN0VC2NY

Deutsche Bank AG must face a U.S. lawsuit seeking to hold it liable for causing $3.1 billion of investor losses by failing to properly monitor 10 trusts backed by toxic residential mortgages, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said Belgium’s Royal Park Investments SA/NV may pursue claims that the trustee Deutsche Bank National Trust Co ignored “widespread” deficiencies in how the underlying loans were underwritten and serviced, and failed to require that bad loans be repurchased.

If you read the entire report linked above you will see that the root cause of the toxic mortgages sold by Deutsche Bank is not mentioned. No Western news outlet will tell you or remind you of why DB had these mortgages on its balance sheet, because, as usual, corruption in the US government kicked this all off. This is not to say that DB is blameless. But it was fraud on the part of US rating agencies Standard  & Poor and Moody’s that led up to this debacle (and caused the financial crisis of 2008). Some of these securities had been bought from the Fed in 2012 as a result of the bailout of AIG. Obviously, these were represented by the Fed as having more value than they actually had. Otherwise, DB would not have bought them. Please read the citations linked to below to learn the background of what happened.

German banks flooded with 75-90 billion euros worth of bad US mortgage-backed derivatives (from focus.de in 2008):

http://www.focus.de/finanzen/boerse/finanzkrise/finanzkrise_aid_267350.html

My translation of opening paragraph:

The Financial market crisis triggered in the US could, according to media reports, cost German credit institutes up to 90 billion euros. [And this was a report from 2008. The toxic derivatives have never been purged from the German system since then and now threaten to bring down Deutsche Bank, one of the biggest banks in Europe!—Don Hank]

ORIGINAL: Die in den USA ausgelöste Finanzmarktkrise könnte die deutschen Kreditinstitute nach Medienberichten mit bis zu 90 Milliarden Euro belasten

 

http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2012-04/deutsche-bank-hypothekenanleihen

April 2012

My translation: Deutsche Bank has purchased a bundle of structured securities [mostly mortgage-backed derivatives] valued in the billions belonging to the one-time world’s biggest insurer AIG [bailed out by the Fed]. The Institute has, together with Barclays, reportedly won a bid for collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which were dubbed toxic securities in the financial crisis.

ORIGINAL: Die Deutsche Bank hat der US-Notenbank Federal Reserve ein milliardenschweres Paket strukturierter Wertpapiere des einst weltgrößten Versicherers AIG abgekauft. Das Institut habe zusammen mit der britischen Großbank Barclays den Zuschlag für strukturierte Hypothekenpapiere (Collateralized Debt Obligation, CDO), die in der Finanzkrise als Giftpapiere bezeichnet wurden.

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-last-mystery-of-the-financial-crisis-20130619

QUOTE

But the financial crisis happened because AAA ratings stopped being something that had to be earned and turned into something that could be paid for. [In other words, these agencies rated these securities as AAA but they could not have really earned that rating because, thanks to the bursting of the housing bubble, many of the lendees were no longer paying because their homes were no longer worth anywhere near the face value of their mortgages—Don Hank].

That this happened is even more amazing because these companies naturally have powerful leverage over their clients, as they are part of a quasi-protected industry that enjoys massive de facto state subsidies. Largely that’s because government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission often force private companies to fulfill regulatory requirements by retaining or keeping in reserve certain fixed quantities of assets – bonds, securities, whatever – that have been rated highly by a “Nationally Recognized” ratings agency, like the “Big Three” of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. So while they’re not quite part of the official regulatory infrastructure, they might as well be. [Yes, and something else: The SEC had to know that these agencies were faking these ratings because they knew about the housing bubble even before it popped. The SEC is equally to blame but no one can sue them, so the government scapegoated the rating agencies that were, de facto, pressured into faking the ratings—Don Hank]

 

Thus you will see that the US is suing DB essentially for something that was set in motion by the above-named US rating agencies, which were allowed to get away with their fraud by the criminally derelict SEC, a government agency responsible for final oversight, independently of rating agencies.

How interesting that so much of the pain in the world is caused by our corrupt government trying desperately to get money by hook or by crook instead of cutting spending by putting people back to work and staying out of other countries’ affairs.

Like a boomerang, you can expect the aftershocks of the German crisis to hit you right square in the pocket book at some future date.

 

 

 

Sep 26

CNN’s extreme bias

The mouse jumps the cat at CNN

 

by Don Hank

Before interviewing Petro Poroshenko on 9/25/2016, CNN’s Fareed Zakariah had made ads for the show suggesting that Petroshenko is an “authority” on Vladimir Putin because, supposedly, “no one knows Putin better than Poroshenko.” In fact no one but the Russian people, who confer on Putin an over 80% popularity rating, truly know their president, whom they adore. So if Fareed wanted people to really know Putin, then why did they choose as an authority a man who considers Putin his worst enemy, who has only met with Putin a few times and has mainly discussed the aftermath of a disaster created by Western meddling aimed at harming Putin and Russia? Well, let’s see: we are on the eve of the presidential debates and the only motive for choosing the anti-Putin Poroshenko would be to give the US people a distorted image of Putin. Why? Because Donald Trump is perceived as being pro-Putin and CNN sees it as their mission to have Trump defeated. I doubt if their viewers are unaware of this duplicitous strategy. I saw through it instantly – with great aversion.

Secondly, Poroshenko claims that there are x-number of Russian troops on “Ukrainian” soil. That is not true. There are none.

Let me explain:

1—Ukraine does not have a legitimate government in Kiev. The so-called “government” there is the heir to an illegitimate regime under Yatseniuk, who was hand-picked by Victoria Nuland of the US Department of State – as revealed by a now-notorious phone conversation proving that it was the US, and not the Ukrainian people, who installed an anti-Russian current government (this is  based on a transcript leaked to the BBC, as reported here), of which Poroshenko is an extension.   Not only did the US government install Yatseniuk as president but it also, along with George Soros and other Western actors, was deeply involved in the bloody illegal Maidan coup. Fareed himself interviewed George Soros personally in May of 2014 and in that program, Soros admitted that he was involved, as I showed here in an extensive analysis of Soros’ remarks to Fareed. Obviously, if the Maidan coup had been the spontaneous grass-roots movement that it was billed as, there would have been no need for foreign intervention. Yet several European heads of state and officials were there, including German foreign minister Steinmeier. Obviously they did not go because they knew the coup would succeed without them and their agitation. Therefore, the current government in Kiev is not a properly and democratically elected Ukrainian government but rather a foreign government installed by subterfuge and controlled by the US and its anti-Russian allies. It is therefore illegitimate and should be disbanded.

2—Novorossia is not part of the Ukraine. It is a Russian speaking region that was part of the pre-coup Ukraine but now has its own government and its own military. In the same way as Scotland was allowed a referendum to determine its own fate, Novorossia is entitled to determine its own future course and is being illegally denied that right by the Western Establishment. The US-led illegitimate Kiev government deliberately provoked the Russian speakers in what is now Novorossia (Donbass, Lugansk) by denying them the official use of their native language, Russian, causing them to wish to split from Ukraine. Their demonstrations were met by military responses, including murder of citizens by aerial bombardments and assassinations, by the Kiev government, which are ongoing today, as shown at this site, which provides regular updates of Kiev’s violation of the Minsk treaties and ceasefires.

The US and the Kiev regime knew full well that this ban on the Russian language would be offensive to people who had been using Russian in their homes, in their schools, in their local government, on street signs and in official documents of all kinds.

To add insult to injury, Kiev collaborated with groups, such as the Azov battalion, which had ties to the German Nazis in the Ukraine and helped exterminate the Ukrainian Jews. Kiev’s ties to these fascists are extremely offensive to Russians, whose country was practically devastated by the Nazis and lost 11 million soldiers, between 7 and 20 million civilians, and billions of dollars worth of industrial capacity, precious monuments and art treasures, to the Nazis – but also managed to kill 4 times as many Nazis as the rest of the allies combined. To the Russian people, seeing the fascist fighters of US-backed Kiev killing Russian speakers was as if the Western allies had suddenly sided with Hitler. The Washington Post, in a rare report less critical of Russia than usual, recounts this story, closing it with:

“…we shouldn’t forget how the Soviets won World War II in Europe.”

While the highly unpopular US puppet Petro smears Putin, arguably the world’s most popular national leader, as dishonest, he Poroshenko is the dishonest one because he denies the crucially important reality expressed in this point and in point no. 1 above.

Speaking of dishonesty, Poroshenko’s government pretends that it no longer is responsible for the payment of its debt for gas supplies because of alleged Russian involvement with the Novorossian military. That is not true. The real reason that Kiev will not pay is because the corrupt Ukraine government and business class have bankrupted the country and they simply cannot afford to pay this debt.

Thus the reality that Fareed Zakaria carefully shields his audience from is that Poroshenko is an illegitimate, and very unpopular leader (see this International Business Times article), and that the bait that was offered to the Ukrainians to induce them to execute their Maidan coup was precisely something that is no longer available to them, namely, EU membership.  They were cheated.

There are several reasons why EU membership is not available to Ukraine:

—The country, as detailed above, is insolvent and would represent a burden on the already foundering EU, which has since lost one of its key members and tax payers, ie, the UK

—The EU is tearing apart at the seams, with several insolvent member states, an insolvent Deutsche Bank, and a host of third parties in member states that, if able to gain control, will give the people referendums on leaving the EU. If – or rather when – even one more major state exits, the EU will collapse.

—One crucial reason for this vulnerability of the EU is the policy of forcing member states to accept refugee quotas, despite the extreme unpopularity of this policy.

—Another reason for the EU’s vulnerability is the Russia sanctions policy imposed on the EU by the US, which has caused a deep rift in Europe, whose businesses are losing millions as a result of this policy. German businesses are lobbying hard for an end to the sanctions against Russia, as reported by the WSJ.

Poroshenko has been presiding over a country that has lost significant territory and seen double-digit negative economic growth since it began allowing the US to write national policies that deliberately provoke Russia (in a fruitless effort to isolate Russia) and what is now known as Novorossia.

Putin presides over a country that had a GDP of 1,362 billion in 2015 at a population of 146 million.

The GDP per capita of Ukraine was 2,824 USD in 2015 (down from 3,123 the previous year), compared to 9,000 USD in Russia in 2015, or about 3 times less – despite sanctions.

So you can argue over whose fault the Ukrainian failure is, but one thing remains certain: The country that decided to go its own way is arguably 3 times better off economically than the country whose leaders dragged it into a proxy war on the US side. Back when Ukraine was trading freely with Russia, it was still struggling but at least it was solvent. Now, after US meddling, it can no longer pay its debts.

And whether or not Poroshenko is an authority on Putin, yesterday’s CNN interview is still a case of the mouse jumping the cat.

 

Contact CNN’s Fareed Zakaria (fill in short form at bottom): http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form4.html?126

 

Sep 11

Why is the West in constant chaos and upheaval?

Why is the West in constant cultural chaos and upheaval?

by Don Hank

All of the cultural chaos we see around us, notably since Obama was first elected, is the expression of an irrational desire to destroy all traditions, particularly Christianity (though not religion per se) that started with the Enlightenment about 300 yr ago. The west has lost almost all consciousness of the historic and philosophical origins of this but the visible madness started with the French Revolution, a product of the philosophical movement the antedated it. This revolution literally saw blood running down the streets all over France, as anyone even suspected of disagreeing with the Revolution and its concepts of – ironically, brotherhood, equality and freedom, was seized and beheaded. The methods have changed in the 21st century, but the idea of introducing chaos and irrational ideas (“gay” marriage, recruitment of women in battles, “gay” adoption of children, etc.) is very much alive. In fact, the killing has not abated n the least, except that it has been shifted to the Middle East — and Kosovo — where Christians and all non-Muslims must fear for their lives in a world dominated by Sunni Wahhabi violence fanned by a US-Saudi coalition, as explained here, here, here, here, and here).

There was a moderate Enlightenment, typified by Kant, and a radical Enlightenment, typified by Voltaire et al., and this more radical form has survived until the present day, holding the West in its thrall. The reason some blame the perpetual revolution on the so-called Illuminati is due to a linguistic phenomenon that most of the anti-revolutionaries of today know nothing about, and it is attributable to the word for “Enlightenment” in a European language.

Indeed, the word for enlightenment differs greatly among European languages. In French: les Lumières, in German, die Aufklärung, in Spanish la Ilustración and In Italian, l’Illuminismo. In Italy, its followers were therefore called illuminati, which merely meant “enlightened ones.” The people who fought in or sympathized the Risorgimento (the war to unite Italy) were called illuminati NOT because they belonged to a secretive cult (although many did, namely, the Carbonari, who can be compared to the Freemasons, whom they may have imitated), but because they acted out the ideas of the Enlightenment (Illuminismo). Garibaldi’s soldiers were generally referred to as the illuminati. In that original sense most Western “leaders” are illuminati and the vast majority of them, like the vast majority of those who oppose them, haven’t the slightest inkling of this and probably don’t care.

Coincidentally, or perhaps by divine intervention, at the time I was writing this commentary, I was invited to participate in a pro-family conference in Kyrgyzstan. Why not a Western country? I am glad you asked.

There is no longer any Western country where traditional family values can be discussed openly and freely in public. A while back, 2 bakers in Oregon were asked by a gay couple to bake a cake bearing an inscription that ran counter to their faith and their belief in traditional  marriage (perhaps you recall back when marriage was an institution between a man and a woman. GONE). When these bakers, a man and wife, refused on the grounds that the inscription was offensive to their beliefs, they were fined $130,000. That’s the price of a home in many places. The intent was to destroy them financially, a “soft” kind of death sentence. People of faith may no longer live their faith. A preacher in Scotland (part of the “free” world) was arrested, cuffed and taken away last week for preaching from a forbidden portion of the scriptures regarding homosexuality, video here.

So yes, the conference is in Kyrgyzstan where open discussions of family are not forbidden. We welcome you to send them a brief video of you or anyone speaking in favor of a healthy family.

Our contact, Bolotbek Batilov (write zoilanddon@msn.com for instructions on how to attend the conference or send your video)

Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/181466365592157/permalink/194518717620255/

I want to hear from you: zoilandon@msn.com

If you have any comments, kindly post them at the forum below.

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