Tag Archives: Putin

Paranoid Neocon Morons, Part 2

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  We apologize profusely for our inability to hold to our promise of posting this on November 27th. We hope you will read it…it’s well worth your time.

 

In Part 1 we dispatched UkraineGater Tim Morrison’s preposterous suggestion that Washington is helping Kiev subdue the Donbas so we won’t have Russkies coming up the East River.

His related claim that Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression is even more ludicrous. The actual aggression in that godforsaken corner of the planet came from Washington when it instigated, funded, engineered and recognized the putsch on the streets of Kiev during February 2014, which illegally overthrew the duly elected President of Ukraine on the grounds that he was too friendly with Moscow.

Thus, Morrison risibly asserted Support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective since Russia’s military invasion in 2014. It must continue to be.

The fact is, when the Maidan uprising occurred in February that year there were no uninvited Russian troops anywhere in Ukraine. Putin was actually sitting in his box on the viewing stand, presiding over the Winter Olympics in Sochi and basking in the limelight of global attention that they commanded.

It was only weeks later – when the Washington-installed ultra-nationalist government with its neo-Nazi vanguard threatened the Russian-speaking populations of Crimea and the Donbas – that Putin moved to defend Russian interests on his own doorstep. And those interests included Russia’s primary national security asset – the naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea which had been the homeport of the Russian Black Sea Fleet for centuries under czars and commissars alike, and on which Russia had a long-term lease.

We untangle the truth of the crucial events which surrounded the Kiev putsch in greater detail below, but suffice it here to note the whole gang of neocon apparatchiks which have been paraded before the Schiff Show have proffered the same Big Lie as did Morrison in the “invasion” quote cited above.

As the ever perspicacious Robert Merry observed regarding the previous testimony of Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, the Washington rendition of the Maidan coup and its aftermath amounts to a blatant falsehood:

The Taylor/Kent outlook stems from the widespread demonization of Russia that dominates thinking within elite circles. Taylor’s rendition of recent events in Ukraine was so one-sided and selective as to amount to a falsehood.

As he had it, Ukraine’s turn to the West after 2009 (when he left the country after his first diplomatic tour there) threatened Russia’s Vladimir Putin to such an extent that he tried to “bribe” Ukraine’s president with inducements to resist Western influence, whereupon protests emerged in Kyiv that drove the Ukrainian president to flee the country in 2014. Then Putin invaded Crimea, holding a “sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles.” Putin sent military forces into eastern Ukraine “to generate illegal armed formations and puppet governments.” And so the West extended military assistance to Ukraine.

“It is this security assistance,” he said, “that is at the heart of the [impeachment] controversy that we are discussing today.”

Taylor’s right that this narrative is at the center of UkraineGate, but there is not a shred of truth to it. Nevertheless, defense of this false narrative, and the inappropriate military and economic aid to Ukraine which flowed from it, is the real reason this posse of neocon stooges took exception to the Donald’s legitimate interest in investigating the Bidens and the events of 2016.

As Morrison put it Tuesday and Vindman said last week, their interest was in protecting not the constitution and the rule of law, but the bipartisan political consensus on Capitol Hill in favor of their proxy war on Putin and the Ukraine aid package through which it was being prosecuted.

As I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25 how its disclosure would play in Washington’s political climate. My fears have been realized.

Not surprisingly, the entire Washington establishment has been sucked into this scam. For instance, the insufferably sanctimonious Peggy Noonan used her Wall Street Journal platform to idolize these liars.

As she portrayed it, bow-tie bedecked George P. Kent appeared to be the very picture of the old-school American foreign service official. And West Pointer Bill Taylor – with a military career going back to (dubious) Vietnam heroism – was redolent of the blunt-spoken American military men who won WW II and the cold war which followed.

As Robert Merry further noted, She saw them as “the old America reasserting itself.” They demonstrated “stature and command of their subject matter.” They evinced “capability and integrity.”

Oh, puleeze!

What they evinced was nothing more than the self-serving groupthink that has turned Ukraine into a beltway goldmine. That is, a cornucopia of funding for all the think tanks, NGOs, foreign policy experts, national security contractors and Warfare State agencies – from DOD through the State Department, AID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Board for International Broadcasting and countless more – which ply their trade in the Imperial City.

But Robert Merry got it right. These cats are not noble public servants and heroes; they’re apparatchiks and payrollers aggrandizing their own power and pelf – even as they lead the nation to the brink of disaster:

But these men embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous. Perhaps no serious blame should accrue to them, since it is the same geopolitical outlook embraced and enforced by pretty much the entire foreign policy establishment, of which these men are mere loyal apparatchiks. And yet they are playing their part in pushing a foreign policy that is directing America towards a very possible disaster.

Neither man manifested even an inkling of an understanding of what kind of game the United States in playing with Ukraine. Neither gave even a nod to the long, complex relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Neither seemed to understand either the substance or the intensity of Russia’s geopolitical interests along its own borders or the likely consequences of increasing U.S. meddling in what for centuries has been part of Russia’s sphere of influence.

They obviously didn’t get it, but we must. So let us summarize the true Ukraine story, starting with the utterly stupid and historically ignorant reason for Washington’s February 2014 coup.

Namely, it objected to the decision of Ukraine’s prior government in late 2013 to align itself economically and politically with its historic hegemon in Moscow rather than the European Union and NATO. Yet the fairly elected and constitutionally legitimate government of Ukraine then led by Viktor Yanukovych had gone that route mainly because it got a better deal from Moscow than was being demanded by the fiscal torture artists of the IMF.

Needless to say, the ensuing US sponsored putsch arising from the mobs on the street of Kiev reopened deep national wounds. Ukraine’s bitter divide between Russian-speakers in the east and Ukrainian nationalists elsewhere dates back to Stalin’s brutal rein in Ukraine during the 1930s and Ukrainian collusion with Hitler’s Wehrmacht on its way to Stalingrad and back during the 1940s.

It was the memory of the latter nightmare, in fact, which triggered the fear-driven outbreak of Russian separatism in the Donbas and the 96% referendum vote in Crimea in March 2014 to formally re-affiliate with Mother Russia.

In this context, even a passing familiarity with Russian history and geography would remind that Ukraine and Crimea are Moscow’s business, not Washington’s.

In the first place, there is nothing at stake in the Ukraine that matters. During the last 800 years it has been a meandering set of borders in search of a country.

In fact, the intervals in which the Ukraine existed as an independent nation have been few and far between. Invariably, its rulers, petty potentates and corrupt politicians made deals with or surrendered to every outside power that came along.

These included the Lithuanians, Poles, Ruthenians (eastern Slavs), Tartars, Turks, Muscovites, Austrians and Czars, among manifold others.

At the beginning of the 16th century, for instance, the territory of today’s Ukraine was scattered largely among the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia (light brown area), the Kingdom of Poland (dark brown area), Muscovy (bright yellow area) the Crimean Khanate (light yellow area).

The latter was the entity which emerged when some clans of the Golden Horde (Tartars) ceased their nomadic life on the Asian steppes and occupied the light yellow stripped areas of the map north of the Black Sea as their Yurt (homeland).

From that cold start, the tiny Cossack principality of Ukraine (blue area below), which had emerged by 1654, grew significantly over the subsequent three centuries. But as the map also makes clear, this did not reflect the organic congealment of a nation of kindred volk sharing common linguistic and ethnic roots, but the machinations of Czars and Commissars for the administrative convenience of efficiently ruling their conquests and vassals.

Thus, much of modern Ukraine was incorporated by the Russian Czars between 1654 and 1917 per the yellow area of the map and functioned as vassal states. These territories were amalgamated by absolute monarchs who ruled by the mandate of God and the often brutal sword of their own armies.

In particular, much of the purple area was known as “Novo Russia” (Novorossiya) during the 18th and 19th century owing to the Czarist policy of relocating Russian populations to the north of the Black Sea as a bulwark against the Ottomans. But after Lenin seized power in St. Petersburg in November 1917 amidst the wreckage of Czarist Russia, an ensuing civil war between the so-called White Russians and the Red Bolsheviks raged for several years in these territories and elsewhere in the chaotic regions of the former western Russian Empire.

At length, Lenin won the civil war as the French, British, Polish and American contingents vacated the postwar struggle for power in Russia. Accordingly, in 1922 the new Communist rulers proclaimed the Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) and incorporated Novo Russia into one of its four constituent units as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) – along with the Russian, Belarus and Transcaucasian SSRs.

Thereafter the border and political status of Ukraine remained unchanged until the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 between the USSR and Nazi Germany. Pursuant thereto the Red Army and Nazi Germany invaded and dismembered Poland, with Stalin getting the blue areas (Volhynia and parts of Galicia) as consolation prizes, which where then incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR.

Finally, when Uncle Joe Stalin died and Nikita Khrushchev won the bloody succession struggle in 1954, he transferred Crimea (red area) to the Ukraine SSR as a reward to his supporters in Kiev. That, of course, was the arbitrary writ of the Soviet Presidium, given that precious few Ukrainians actually lived in what had been a integral part of Czarist Russia after it was purchased by Catherine the Great from the Turks in 1783.

In a word, the borders of modern Ukraine are the handiwork of Czarist emperors and Communist butchers. The so-called international rule of law had absolutely nothing to do with its gestation and upbringing.

It’s a pity, therefore, that none of the so-called conservative Republicans attending Adam’s Schiff Show saw fit to ask young Tim Morrison the obvious question.

To wit, exactly why is he (and most of the Washington foreign policy establishment) so keen on expending American treasure, weapons and even blood in behalf of the “territorial integrity and sovereignty” of this happenstance amalgamation of people subdued by some of history’s most despicable tyrants?

Needless to say, owing to this very history, the linguistic/ethnic composition of today’s Ukraine does not reflect the congealment of a “nation” in the historic sense.

To the contrary, central and western Ukraine is populated by ethnic Ukrainians who speak Ukrainian (dark red area), whereas the two parts of the country allegedly the victim of Russian aggression and occupation – Crimea (brown area) and the eastern Donbas region (yellow area with brown strips) – are comprised of ethnic Russians who speak Russian and ethnic Ukrainians who predominately speak-Russian, respectively.

And much of the rest of the territory consists of admixtures and various Romanian, Moldovan, Hungarian and Bulgarian minorities.

Did the Washington neocons – led by Senator McCain and Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland – who triggered the Ukrainian civil war with their coup on the streets of Kiev in February 2014 consider the implications of the map below and its embedded, and often bloody, history?

Quite surely, they did not.

Nor did they consider the rest of the map. That is, the enveloping Russian state all around to which the parts and pieces of Ukraine – especially the Donbas and Crimea – have been intimately connected for centuries. Robert Merry thus further noted,

As Nikolas K. Gvosdev of the US Naval War College has written, Russia and Ukraine share a 1,500-mile border where Ukraine “nestles up against the soft underbelly of the Russian Federation.” Gvosdev elaborates: “The worst nightmare of the Russian General Staff would be NATO forces deployed all along this frontier, which would put the core of Russia’s population and industrial capacity at risk of being quickly and suddenly overrun in the event of any conflict.” Beyond that crucial strategic concern, the two countries share strong economic, trade, cultural, ethnic, and language ties going back centuries. No Russian leader of any stripe would survive as leader if he or she were to allow Ukraine to be wrested fully from Russia’s sphere of influence.

And yet America, in furtherance of the ultimate aim of pulling Ukraine away from Russia, spent some $5 billion in a campaign to gin up pro-Western sentiment there, according to former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who spearheaded much of this effort during the Obama administration. It was clearly a blatant effort to interfere in the domestic politics of a foreign nation – and a nation residing in a delicate and easily inflamed part of the world.

Indeed, Ukraine is a tragically divided country and fissured simulacrum of a nation. Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard called Ukraine “a cleft country, with two distinct cultures” causing Robert Merry to rightly observe that,

Contrary to Taylor’s false portrayal of an aggressive Russia trampling on eastern Ukrainians by setting up puppet governments and manufacturing a bogus referendum in Crimea, the reality is that large numbers of Ukrainians there favor Russia and feel loyalty to what they consider their Russian heritage. The Crimean public is 70 percent Russian, and its Parliament in 1992 actually voted to declare independence from Ukraine for fear that the national leadership would nudge the country toward the West. (The vote was later rescinded to avoid a violent national confrontation.) In 1994, Crimea elected a president who had campaigned on a platform of “unity with Russia.”

In short, in modern times Ukraine largely functioned as an integral part of Mother Russia, serving as its breadbasket and iron and steel crucible under czars and commissars alike. Given this history, the idea that Ukraine should be actively and aggressively induced to join NATO was just plain nuts.

 

[From an article published by LEW ROCKWELL]

 

………………………………………………………

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

World’s message to Putin: If you attack one, you attack all of us

In sweeping retaliation for Russia’s growing aggression in the West, the United States and nineteen other nations expelled more than a hundred and thirty Russian intelligence officers and diplomats on Monday. The coördinated rebuke—galvanized after Moscow’s alleged assassination attempt on a former double agent living in Britain—is unprecedented since the Cold War, which ended more than a quarter century ago. It sends a muscular message from the West to President Vladimir Putin that he can’t attack one Western country without generating a broad response from them all, a Western diplomat told me. But it also signals the potential for a deeper confrontation that could ripple across other global flashpoints where Western and Russian interests compete.

The showdown also has serious implications for President Trump’s hopes of improving relations with Putin, whom he congratulated just last week on his reëlection to another six-year term. “This is in many ways the end of an illusion—the illusion of some sort of grand bargain with Putin, under which Trump has seemed to operate for so long,” William Burns, a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and now the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told me.

Further actions by the Western alliance are also on the table, a Western diplomat told me. “Today was a pretty extensive set of measures. We’ll see what Russia does in response,” he said. “We and our allies are constantly talking to each other about how we deal with this strategic threat. The locker is not empty.” The White House said that it had not ruled out sanctions against Putin himself.

Washington took the biggest step, ordering sixty spies—forty-eight in Washington and twelve in Russia’s mission to the United Nations, all of whom had been operating under diplomatic cover—to leave the country within seven days. It also ordered the closure of Russia’s consulate in Seattle, which is close to a U.S. naval base and the headquarters of Boeing. On Monday, a sign on the consulate door said that it was no longer taking applications for passports or visas. Other nations, from Canada and Croatia to Spain and Sweden, also followed Britain’s decision, earlier this month, to expel twenty-three Russians. In all, twenty-one Western nations have now ordered the ouster of a hundred and thirty-five spies and diplomats.

“The United States takes this action in conjunction with our NATO allies and partners around the world in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom,” the White House said, in a statement. In a briefing, a senior Administration official said that the actions make the United States “safer by reducing Russia’s ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations that threaten America’s national security.”

Russia announced that it would respond—in kind. In Washington, where early on Monday he was summoned to the State Department for official notification, the Russian Ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, called the expulsions provocative. “Very little still remains in terms of Russian-American relations,” he told a Russian news agency.

In a strange twist, the Russian Embassy tweeted, “US administration ordered the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle @GK_Seattle. What US Consulate General would you close in @Russia, if it was up to you to decide.” It offered options to check: the U.S. consulate in Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, or St. Petersburg.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on national television that Britain had not provided any evidence to support allegations that Russia had used Novichok, a lethal chemical weapon that has never been used on the battlefield, to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British cathedral city of Salisbury, she said.

Tensions between the West and Russia are likely to escalate, at least in the short term, in what could look like a “Cold War on steroids,” Nina Khrushcheva, who is the granddaughter of the former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and who now teaches at the New School, in New York, told me. “Putin is judo-esque to the core of his being. For him, this is all a game: ‘Who’s he going to screw next?’ He wants the upper hand. He doesn’t give up. He doesn’t stand back. He sees an opening and strikes. He punches ten times what he receives. He’s a brilliant tactician but a petty man. We’ve seen that for all his eighteen years in power.”

The danger down the road, Khrushcheva said, is Putin taking broader retaliation—pulling out of international agreements, complicating foreign businesses’ operations, or expelling more diplomats and even foreign journalists. “We can’t predict exactly,” she said. “Seizing Crimea may seem shortsighted from the rational point of view. Russia got a hit in international affairs, but for Putin it was a rise in Russian patriotism. The poisoning of Skripal was shortsighted, and the timing was bad—before the elections on March 18th—but, given Putin’s view that enemies, traitors, must be punished, Russia unlikely regrets it. In essence, from a position of bettering the country, Putin is always shortsighted. But with his tactical victories he is always willing to say, ‘Russia is going to be strong, even if it means being punished by the West, even going hungry.’ ”

Others say that the diplomatic crisis could, over time, force Russia to rethink its strategy. It faces a growing economic morass, troubling demographic trends, the cost of foreign military interventions in Crimea and Syria, and diminished international standing. Putin literally can’t afford another Cold War, William Taylor, a former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, told me.

“This is not the Cuban missile crisis,” Tom Pickering, a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and the U.N., added. “But there are a lot of lessons from the Cuba crisis that we should pay attention to, such as overreaction, overreliance on nuclear weapons, talking about them as if they’re something anybody can use, and a clear sense that, unless adults are truly in charge of the relationship, it can get worse without control.” He warned that the United States and its allies need a strategy with a combination of pushback and messaging through diplomatic channels at the highest level to find ways to avoid real peril.

“At the moment, it’s a game of chicken with no off-ramp,” Pickering told me. “And we need to be looking at the off-ramp.”

The new diplomatic démarche differs from previous rounds, former U.S. Ambassadors who worked in both Republican and Democratic Administrations, say. In December, 2016, President Obama unilaterally expelled thirty-five Russian diplomats for Moscow’s meddling in the U.S. Presidential election. Seven months later, in July, 2017, Moscow ordered U.S. missions in Russia to reduce their staffs by seven hundred and fifty-five people; the majority were Russian nationals banned from employment in U.S. missions. At the time, Trump thanked Russia for cutting back on the expense of keeping a larger U.S. diplomatic presence in Moscow. The largest expulsion since the Cold War ended, in 1991, was the deportation of fifty Russian diplomats after the arrest, in 2001, of the F.B.I. agent Robert P. Hanssen, who had spied for Moscow for more than fifteen years.

“It used to be expulsions were handled with a very precise decorum,” Stephen Sestanovich, a former U.S. Ambassador-at-large for the former Soviet Union, told me. “This has a different look. It’s not tit for tat. You’ve got expulsions taking place in a kind of free-form way that is meant to send signals about the broader relationship.”

The biggest difference in the new response to Russia aggression is Western unity, which is significantly stronger than its response after the Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine or after a Russian missile shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Taylor told me. “It’s so important that the U.S. and Europe and others around the world act in concert,” he said. “The effectiveness of this message—and the clarity—to the Kremlin and to the Russians is magnified when the international community, as a whole, makes it clear that their actions are unacceptable.”

 

[From an article by Robin Wright, written for THE NEW YORKER]

 

……………………………………………………..

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

CIA and its “dirty tricks” against American democracy

There’s an easy way to determine who is a faithful Democratic Party hack in the media and who on the left maintains at least some independence from the party line.

Long-time Democrat Bill Moyers thinks it’s an open-and-shut case that Russia’s Vladimir Putin intervened in the election to help Trump, and that our democracy is in peril. The Intercept thinks the evidence is weak, and that the CIA may have some other reason for “squaring off directly against Trump.” What could that possibly be?

Could it be that CIA Director John Brennan fears that Trump as president could order an investigation into what the CIA has been up to under Obama? What could that be? Could the CIA have been interfering in foreign elections, and if so, could such efforts have provoked Russian retaliation?

The folks at the Intercept are on the far-left, but have decided to maintain some semblance of objectivity when it comes to sensational claims of foreign interference in the 2016 campaign. However, the idea they propose—that the controversy can be solved by Obama declassifying evidence—is not practical. Obama won’t do it, because the intelligence agencies always claim that disclosure will reveal sources and methods. If they do release “evidence,” it will be vague and mostly worthless, just like the stories in The Washington Post and New York Times, where these allegations initially surfaced. These stories are impossible to confirm or deny.

The CIA will want to conceal its hand, not because the evidence may implicate Russia in election interference, but because the evidence we do have demonstrates that the CIA is currently interfering in the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That’s the story that cannot be told, and the one which threatens our democracy. The Times and Post are vehicles for this insidious effort.

We do know that CIA Director Brennan is a far-left extremist—just like Obama himself—who once voted for a Communist Party candidate, and whose sympathies for radical Islam are well-known. Questions persist about whether Brennan, an alumnus of Catholic Fordham University, converted to Islam and why he took his oath of office on a copy of the U.S. Constitution and not the Bible.

But rest assured. Snopes, one of those liberal entities that is now part of the Facebook operation to detect “fake news,” says Brennan’s conversion to Islam remains an “unsubstantiated rumor.” Snopes does, however, report that it is true that Brennan “was sworn in to his office not on a Bible but on a copy of the Constitution.” A photo exists of the occurrence.

The real “fake news” surrounds the claims that Putin intervened to help Trump. At a post-election crying session, Hillary Clinton said that Putin hated her because he associated her with protests against his rule in Russia, and he wanted to get even. Putin did accuse her of stoking the protests. But where is the evidence that the alleged hacking was payback? What’s more, is there evidence that the protests in Russia were inspired or funded by the U.S.? Perhaps that issue ought to be resolved.

Since we know that the Obama administration interfered in foreign elections in Canada and Israel, is it that difficult to believe that the Clinton State Department had a hand in the anti-Putin protests? We noted in a column that Obama had tried, but failed, to take out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but did succeed in taking down Canada’s Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a big supporter of Israel. Where was the media outcry over that?

An additional question is whether or not Obama used the CIA to interfere in foreign elections such as those in Russia, Canada or Israel.

It may be the case that the Democrats and their media allies have opened up an entire Pandora’s Box when it comes to interference in elections. Shouldn’t we “drain the swamp” here before we focus on what others have done to us?

The issue of U.S. interference in foreign elections is a matter that should be investigated by Congress if it goes forward with a probe into alleged Russian hacking into the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

If the inquiry regarding Russia determines that Putin wanted to destroy Hillary’s campaign and elect Trump, that doesn’t make Trump a dupe of the Russians. It may have just been a personal Putin vendetta against Hillary.

The real issue is what policies these two candidates would have pursued. We already know that Obama and Hillary staged a Russian reset that was a spectacular failure, and that Putin used this new development in relations between the U.S. and Russia to launch military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. So the former KGB chief running Russia knew he could get the better of Hillary if she became president.

Writing at Forbes, Paul Roderick Gregory looks at the evidence of how Trump poses a far greater threat to Putin, not in threatening military action against the Russian regime, but in seeking American energy independence. He says, “If Putin’s core objective is indeed to protect his petrostate, he would not root for Trump. The US fracking revolution has transformed the world energy market from $100 to $50 oil, has broken Russia’s dominance of the European natural gas market, and has plunged the economy into a prolonged ‘period of stagnation,’ as the Soviets used to call it. Under Trump, Putin can expect a second energy revolution, which will threaten Putin’s hold on power, which looks strong but is weaker than we think.” This is why there have been reports that the Russians are secretly subsidizing anti-fracking groups in the West.

Gregory says that if you look at the energy picture from Putin’s perspective, he would have preferred the Obama/Clinton policies that “blocked pipelines, imposed strict regulations on unconventional oil and gas, froze leases on federal lands, and used other anti-carbon actions” that had the ultimate effect of propping up the value of the oil resources of his shaky regime.

If the Democrats really wanted to take down Putin’s regime, they would abandon their anti-fossil fuel policies, give up on a “climate change” agreement that benefits our adversaries, and support the President-elect’s policies of growth and resource exploration and exploitation. Instead, they want to blather on about Putin’s hatred for Hillary, using anonymous CIA sources in the media to make a case for a narrow probe.

Let the investigations begin. Let them be far-reaching and broad. Let’s determine what Obama and Hillary’s State Department did not only to Russia, but to Israel and Canada as well. And let’s find out if the CIA was part of this destabilization effort.

If pursued by a Republican Congress with the guts to probe what really went on and get to the bottom of what the CIA has been up to, we may be looking at a scandal that could shake the foundations of the political party that has occupied the Oval Office for the past eight years. This will teach the CIA a memorable lesson about not interfering with the results of an American election.

 

[From an article by Cliff Kincaid, writing for Accuracy In Media]

 

…………………………………….

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

We’ve heard it all now, folks. Obama says his appearance of incompetence, of wavering and uncertainty in the face of international threats, is really just “strategic patience.” Well, gosh…so sorry we misunderstood, Mr. O…

Putin got Crimea and wants lots more. Iran is still working on the bomb. And ISIS is expanding its territory as fast as it can. But fear not, our illustrious Man On Fire in the White House has everything under control.

Mr. ObummerOur fearless leader knows what he’s doing. First he golfs incessantly to make them think he’s a lightweight. He bows and appeases in person. And then at the last possible second, when they least expect it, he…attacks? No, he falls back to his totally-thought-out plan of Patient Strategy. Or Strategic Patience. It’s also been called Leading From Behind.

Just be strategically patient.

Critics of Obama’s foreign policy have for years assailed his administration for responding too slowly to crises ranging from Syria to Russia. In a far-reaching blueprint released Friday that outlines the administration’s worldview, the White House insisted the United States is leading the global effort to confront challenges in a deliberate manner described as “strategic patience.” (“Leading the global effort” from behind.)

Instead of taking that 3 AM phone call, Barry sleeps in and gets back to it at 3 PM.  Strategic patience.

Instead of rescuing Americans under fire in Benghazi, he lets them die and blames a video. Patient strategy.

A White House summary of the strategy, released in tandem with the overall plan, repeatedly highlights the administration’s intent to lead — in partnerships, with military power, and “with a long-term perspective, influencing the trajectory of major shifts in the security landscape today in order to secure our national interests in the future.”

This is the sort of thing a new business  with no business plan puts out to explain why they need money. “We’re, uh, influencing major shifts, working toward synergy in order to secure marketplace share as part of our long-term perspective. You know, shifts. And synergy. Long-term stuff. We just need some short-term money now so we can get to the long-term stuff.”

Friday’s strategy essentially is the written product of what the White House has all along argued is in America’s best interests: Carefully constructed security plans that consider all options before getting ensnared in risky and potentially open-ended conflicts.

Like Libya? You know, the illegal war Obama launched by lying to the UN, that ended with Al Qaeda taking over.

How about Afghanistan? Syria? Iraq? Where are those carefully constructed security plans that consider all options before getting ensnared in risky conflicts?

Maybe we need to be more strategically patient until the carefully constructed plans are revealed.

“The United States should not “attempt to dictate the trajectory of all unfolding events around the world,” Obama wrote. “As powerful as we are and will remain, our resources and influence are not infinite.”

Says the man who keeps trying and failing to influence other countries as he squanders most of our resources and all our influence. Thanks for clearing that up for us, Mr. O.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice is set to publicly roll out the strategy in a speech Friday afternoon at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington.

And if you don’t like her speech, she’ll blame a YouTube video.

Additionally, the White House calls climate change and energy security as key to US national security. Not opposing the man-burning barbarians who are trying to figure out how to get to Washington as soon as possible. Climate change is the key to our security.

Also gay rights. And ObamaCare. And golfing.

Even Obama’s own top advisers have criticized his administration’s national security decisions. Late last month, former Defense Intelligence Agency head Mike Flynn, a retired Army three-star general, said many in the administration were “paralyzed” by the complexity of fighting the Islamic State, leading them to “accept a defensive posture, reasoning that passivity is less likely to provoke our enemies.”

But wait, General. That’s not passivity. That’s Strategic Patience in action.

Although a 1986 U.S. law requires US presidents to issue an annual national security strategy, Obama’s last policy was issued in May 2010, and made the case for ending the war in Iraq and adding more troops to the fight in Afghanistan.

Well, gosh…big mistake. We’re sorry. Those plans worked out pretty well, didn’t they?

[by Daniel Greenfield, writing for Front Page Magazine]
……………………………………

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Putin finds a way to help deliver Palestinian state and retaliate against Western sanctions…

With near-zero chance of getting the UN to mandate Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority turns to Russia for help.

Russia sees a way to retaliate...

Russia has finally found a lever with which to gain revenge on the United States and the West for its support for Ukraine. As payback for the painful sanctions imposed on its economy, Moscow is now brandishing a new diplomatic sword.

The man who handed the Kremlin this sword on a silver platter, thereby enabling it to divert the world’s attention away from what is taking place in Ukraine, is none other than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Out of total desperation given the near-zero chance of gaining UN Security Council approval of a draft mandating an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Abbas has now turned to Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UNSC, in hopes that it will help Ramallah advance the draft resolution.

“How didn’t we think of this before?” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov must be thinking to himself. “Here’s an excellent issue to play with in the UN with which to drive the Americans crazy.”

Lavrov seems downright jovial in the photograph showing him receiving veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat during the latter’s visit to Moscow. For his part, Erekat looks as if he has hit the jackpot – an alliance with Russia, a dream come true for the Palestinian people. Both men, however, are fooling each other and themselves.

In truth, Russian support for the Palestinian draft resolution won’t contribute an iota to advancing the document in the Security Council. Lavrov, who once served as Moscow’s envoy to the UN, knows this full well. In the three years since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Russia has consistently thwarted every attempt by the Security Council to pass a resolution with the aim of removing Bashar Assad from power in Damascus.

The Russians even torpedoed strictly declarative, nonbinding, and symbolic resolutions put forward by the US and the Europeans who sought to condemn the Assad regime. The Americans don’t like seeing the Security Council involve itself with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a portfolio that Washington views as its exclusive domain. One doesn’t need to be an expert in international relations to guess how the Americans would react to a Russian bid to push forward a Security Council draft paper on the Palestinian question, particularly after US Secretary of State John Kerry has also gone on record as stating that the proposed resolution is unacceptable.

What does Moscow gain from all this? It buys time – two, perhaps three days during which the UN doesn’t talk about Ukraine. That’s quite a shabby gain for a country that seeks to solidify its standing as a world power. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are shooting themselves in the foot. Not only have they angered Washington with their obstinacy, insisting on submitting the draft paper for a vote, but now they are perceived by the Obama administration as courting Vladimir Putin, a US adversary. Ramallah wants guarantees from a Russia that is barely hanging on economically due to Western sanctions.

Decades ago, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Abba Eban, said of the Palestinians: “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Now it seems they have stepped up their diplomatic game. Abbas and his cohorts in the Palestinian leadership have intentionally created an opportunity – a UNSC draft resolution and an appeal to Russia – that they will not miss.

[from The Jerusalem Post]

……………………………………

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Global Forecast from NEWSMAX: Prepare for the worst…

As President Barack Obama’s continued lack of leadership puts America’s national security in peril, LIGNET, Newsmax’s intelligence and forecasting online service, has issued a new global forecast.

The Russian annexation of Crimea and mass troop movements by Moscow must be viewed as a major game changer in international norms. The last time an invasion of this magnitude occurred was when Saddam Hussein annexed Kuwait in 1990 to make it Iraq’s 19th province.

With U.S. strength and leadership, Russia’s recent actions could have been prevented or at least mitigated. It may be too late for Crimea, but the United States cannot allow the contagion to spread.

The difference between Russia and the West right now is that Russia has a strategy that it is willing to follow, while the West is hoping the problem disappears.

Mr. Obummer

In this geopolitical chess match, the Russian is outmaneuvering the American at every turn.

The bottom line is that Vladimir Putin’s ground troops are the least of America’s worries. The Russian president’s financial moves are what affect us all. And he’s running circles around Barack Obama where it will hurt Americans the most — from forging relationships with China and India, to his accumulation of gold, oil and other strategic resources.

 
Geopolitical Turmoil and What Lies Ahead

Waning U.S. influence in the Middle East. While the Middle East is the current focus of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, some states in the region have been extremely critical of Obama’s approach to dealing with Syria and with Iran’s nuclear program. As a result, the United States will likely lose prestige and influence in the region in 2014 despite its sponsorship of peace efforts.

The new cyber threats. A rash of cyber attacks during the past year on governments, retailers, and financial institutions has increased public awareness, putting cyber security near the top of the global agenda. Threats stemming from radically different criminal and political motivations have fundamentally altered the international security landscape, opening the door for policy action.

 What’s in store for the world’s economy? Inflation in developed economies has retreated from the highs of 2010-11 as food and energy prices have softened. This downward drift, accentuated in some parts of Europe, has prompted numerous warnings in the media of impending deflation. But will rising price trends in Asia and other developing countries provide a desperately sought offset?

 Healing the rift between the U.S. and Europe. An off-color rant about the European Union by a senior U.S. diplomat is just the latest in a series of incidents suggesting a growing rift between U.S. and EU leaders. The EU continues to share many of Washington’s perspectives on key security issues, however, including countering Iran and combating terrorism.

 North American energy independence: still a pipe dream. Thanks to the shale oil boom, the United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer. But recent setbacks to exploring the Arctic Ocean’s potentially game-changing hydrocarbon deposits have invigorated environmentalists to step up their efforts to block new drilling operations this year and beyond.

 The future of Iran. Mired in decades of slow economic growth and at odds politically with much of the world 35 years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran is at a crossroads in its history. Domestic and foreign policy decisions made this year will set the tone for the nation’s future.

For more information, visit NEWSMAX.COM.

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  Our advice to you in these times of peril and uncertainty is to keep your Bible in one hand and your newspaper in the other. Bible prophecies are being fulfilled today with great rapidity and urgency. Find a good, trusted, accurate source of analysis, one with a perspective that sees further than the end of next week. One that’s very high on our list is The Trumpet; you can receive a free magazine each month, and you can also visit its website any time you like for up-to-the-minute updates. Something you need to consider: If any of the Bible is true, then it is ALL true, because it claims to be inspired, in its entirety, by God. History has always really been His Story, and that is more true today than ever as we watch His Story unfold in front of us.

……………………………….

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The EU dithers, Obama slumbers, and Ukrainians continue to suffer…

Henry Kissinger once pointed out that since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year. All undone, of course, by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”

Putin’s mission is restoration. First, restore traditional Russian despotism by dismantling its nascent democracy. And then, having created iron-fisted “stability,” march.

Use the 2008 war with Georgia to detach two of its provinces, returning them to the bosom of mother Russia (by way of Potemkin independence). Then late last year, pressure Ukraine to reject a long-negotiated deal for association with the European Union, to draw Ukraine into Putin’s planned “Eurasian Union” as the core of a new Russian mini-empire.

Turns out, however, Ukraine had other ideas. It overthrew Moscow’s man in Kiev, Viktor Yanukovych, and turned to the West. But the West — the EU and America — had no idea what to do.

Russia does. Moscow denounces the overthrow as the illegal work of fascist bandits, refuses to recognize the new government created by parliament, withholds all economic assistance and, in a highly provocative escalation, mobilizes its military forces on the Ukrainian border.

The response? The EU dithers and Barack Obama slumbers. After near total silence during the first three months of Ukraine’s struggle for freedom, Obama said on camera last week that in his view Ukraine is no “Cold War chessboard.”

Unfortunately, this is exactly what it is for Putin. He wants Ukraine back.

Obama wants stability, The New York Times reports, quoting internal sources. He sees Ukraine as merely a crisis to be managed rather than an opportunity to alter the increasingly autocratic trajectory of the region, allow Ukrainians to join their destiny to the West and block Russian neo-imperialism.

Sure, Obama is sympathetic to democracy. But it must come organically, from internal developments, you see. Must not be imposed by outside intervention, but develop on its own.

But Ukraine is never on its own. Not with a bear next door. American neutrality doesn’t allow an authentic Ukrainian polity to emerge. It leaves Ukraine naked to Russian pressure.

What Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that American inaction creates a vacuum. His evacuation from Iraq consigned that country to Iranian hegemony, just as Obama’s writing off Syria invited in Russia, Iran and Hezbollah to reverse the tide of battle.

Putin fully occupies vacuums. In Ukraine, he keeps flaunting his leverage. He’s withdrawn the multibillion-dollar aid package with which he had pulled the now-deposed Ukrainian president away from the EU. He has suddenly mobilized Russian forces bordering Ukraine. His health officials are even questioning the safety of Ukrainian food exports.

This is no dietary hygiene campaign. This is a message to Kiev: We can shut down your agricultural exports today, your natural gas supplies tomorrow. We can make you broke and we can make you freeze.

Kissinger once also said “in the end, peace can be achieved only by hegemony or by balance of power.” Ukraine will either fall to Russian hegemony, or finally determine its own future — if America balances Russia’s power.

How? Start with a declaration of full-throated American support for Ukraine’s revolution. Follow that with a serious loan/aid package — say, replacing Moscow’s $15 billion — to get Ukraine through its immediate financial crisis. Then join with the EU to extend a longer substitute package, preferably through the International Monetary Fund.

Secretary of State John Kerry says Russian intervention would be a mistake. Alas, any such declaration from this administration carries the weight of a feather. But better that than nothing. Better still would be backing these words with a naval flotilla in the Black Sea.

Whether anything Obama says or does would stop anyone remains questionable. But surely the West has more financial clout than Russia’s kleptocratic extraction economy that exports little but oil, gas and vodka.

The point is for the U.S., leading Europe, to counter Russian pressure and make up for its blandishments/punishments until Ukraine is on firm financial footing.

Yes, $15 billion is a lot of money. But it’s less than one-half of one-tenth of 1 percent of the combined EU and U.S. GDP. And expending treasure is infinitely preferable to expending blood. Especially given the strategic stakes: Without Ukraine, there’s no Russian empire.

Putin knows that. Which is why he keeps ratcheting up the pressure. The question is, can this administration muster the counterpressure to give Ukraine a chance to breathe?

NORM ‘n’ AL Note: Unfortunately for the Ukrainians, the entire world knows the answer to that question. It is painfully obvious that Obama will do nothing but give speeches. Putin is not worried in the least about Obama or the US military or our non-existent foreign policy. Unfortunately for Americans, Obama is proving himself almost daily to be the most ineffective, do-nothing president in our history. Even when he tries to do something, as in Obamacare, he does nothing. When you elect an amateur to our highest office, you get an amateur’s results.

[by Charles Krauthammer, writing for The Washington Post]

…………………………….

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized