The Questions Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Want Answered About the Clinton Foundation

I don’t know what’s in Peter Schweizer’s book. But I know what the Clintons are capable of.

The Clintons

The Clintons

 

NATIONAL JOURNAL

April 22, 2015 Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.

1. Deny: Salient questions are dodged, and evidence goes missing. The stone wall is built.

2. Deflect: Blame is shifted, usually to Republicans and the media.

3. Demean: People who question or criticize the Clintons get tarred as right-wing extremists, hacks, nuts, or sluts.

(RELATED: What Happens When the Training Wheels Come Off Hillary Clinton’s Campaign?)

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation is both an admirable charity and a shadow political operation awash in conflicts of interest—a reflection of the power couple who founded it. Bill and Hillary Clinton, like history’s most enduring characters, seem to stride through public life with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.

The seedy side of the foundation is a legitimate campaign issue. While the Clintons deserve credit for making foundation donations largely transparent, other activities raise serious questions. They violated an ethics agreement with the Obama White House. Hillary Clinton deleted most emails she sent and received as secretary of State, including any concerning the foundation or its donors.

What did donors expect from the Clintons? Did they receive favors in return? Why did the Clintons do business with countries that finance terrorism and suppress the rights of women? Did family and friends benefit from their ties to the foundation? And, in a broader sense, what do the operations of the foundation say about Hillary Clinton’s management ability and ethical grounding?

These questions are reportedly explored by conservative author Peter Schweizer in a soon-to-be-published book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. I say “reportedly” because I haven’t read the book; I have no idea whether Schweizer reveals any wrongdoing or relevant information. Scheduled for publication May 5, its contents are unknown.

(RELATED: Explaining Hillary Clinton’s Trip to the Health Policy Twilight Zone)

That hasn’t stopped the Clintons from denying, deflecting, and demeaning.

“[I’ll be] subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks, and I’m ready for that,” Hillary Clinton said when asked about the book while campaigning for the presidency in New Hampshire. “I know that comes, unfortunately, with the territory.”

Clever how she casts herself as the victim of a book she hasn’t read and of questions she has yet to answer. The Clinton campaign circulated a memo to its supporters Tuesday night with talking points on the book. According to Politico:

In the memo, [Brian] Fallon links to a series of critical reports on Schweizer and the book, including one ThinkProgress post noting that one of Schweizer’s sources is a TD Bank press release that was revealed to be fake in 2013. Fallon also details how Schweizer has spoken with Republicans—but apparently not Democrats—about the findings prior to the publication date.

The memo quotes a report by Media Matters For America, the liberal watchdog founded by Clinton ally David Brock, that says Schweizer’s Government Accountability Institute has “close ties to a billionaire family funding Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run. GAI has also received substantial support from groups backed by Charles and David Koch,” the libertarian billionaire brothers.

Liberal groups like Media Matters and Correct The Record—a subsidiary of American Bridge, also founded by Brock—have served as a rapid response unit against the book, digging into the author’s record and the book’s alleged findings.

The issue isn’t Hillary Clinton and her ethical shortcuts, Fallon intimates, it’s Schweizer. The memo doesn’t point to Clinton’s detailed defense of the foundation’s fundraising process, because she has never given one. It doesn’t explain why it’s proper for a sitting secretary of State and presidential hopeful to accept foreign donations, because she has never offered an explanation. It doesn’t detail the profits secured by her brother and other intimates via the foundation, because Clinton has never owned up to them. It doesn’t justify the huge personal and administration expenses charged to the charity, because Clinton has offered none.

(RELATED: Cracking Hillary Clinton’s Energy Code)

Finally, the memo doesn’t say whether Clinton’s deleted emails involved favors for foundation donors, because—well, we may never know.

“The book relies on distortions of widely available data that the Clinton Foundation already makes public on its own,” Fallon writes. “The author attempts to repackage and twist these previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories.”

Who is repackaging and twisting facts into absurd conspiracy theories? I can’t say that about Schweitzer; I haven’t read his book. But I do know what the Clintons are capable of.

Hillary Clinton Calls For ‘Toppling’ the 1%…While Being Bankrolled by the 1%

 

 

This really happened. As crazy as it sounds, Hillary Clinton is trying to repackage her war-torn reputation into a populist spitting image of progressive icon Elizabeth Warren. The New York Times reports that“Mrs. Clinton pointed at the top category and said the economy required a ‘toppling’ of the wealthiest 1 percent, according to several people who were briefed on Mrs. Clinton’s policy discussions.”

The New York Times and Huffington Post didn’t bother asking the questions that should have been asked, with their reporting easily summed up by the opening line in the HuffPo peice: “Hillary Clinton believes that strengthening the middle class and alleviating income inequality will require ‘toppling’ the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, according to a New York Times profile published on Tuesday.” That statement, so far, has gone relatively unquestioned by the corporate media.

But, as we all know, politicians tend to say things when they’re campaigning that differ greatly from what they actually do in real life. Firstly, Hillary Clinton’s stance that the 1% needs to be toppled goes directly against the interests of her biggest financiers. Behold her greatest campaign contributors since 1989 below:

hillary-clinton-campaign-contributors

A few familiar faces — Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox (?) — which all happen to fall under the 1% category that Hillary is now claiming to despise. But Wall Street knows the name of the game, it is their game now after all, isn’t it? Politico asked them what they thought about Hillary’s pseudo-populist agenda a few days ago:

Back in Manhattan, the hedge fund managers who’ve long been part of her political and fundraising networks aren’t sweating the putdown and aren’t worrying about their take-home pay just yet.

It’s ‘just politics,’ said one major Democratic donor on Wall Street, explaining that some of Clinton’s Wall Street supporters doubt she would push hard for closing the carried-interest loophole as president, a policy she promoted when she last ran in 2008.

William Cohan at Politico added,

Down on Wall Street they don’t believe it for a minute. While the finance industry does genuinely hate Warren, the big bankers love Clinton, and by and large they badly want her to be president. Many of the rich and powerful in the financial industry—among them, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Tom Nides, a powerful vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, and the heads of JPMorganChase and Bank of America—consider Clinton a pragmatic problem-solver not prone to populist rhetoric. To them, she’s someone who gets the idea that we all benefit if Wall Street and American business thrive. What about her forays into fiery rhetoric? They dismiss it quickly as political maneuvers. None of them think she really means her populism.

This must be some kind of inside joke. 

Wall Street knows it’s all politics. They continue funneling money into her campaign knowing that once she gets into office everything will be just fine for the 1%. These superficial, pseudo-populist calls for empowerment of the common working American will fall to the wayside once she’s elected. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is expected to raise $2 billion dollars during her 2016 presidential run. A large portion of that money is expected to come from two of her closest support groups in the private sector: Wall Street and the military-industrial-complex. Not exactly surprising considering her cozy ties to the banking industry and her track record of supporting pretty much every war America has been in since she became a politician.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Exiled Russian lawmaker explains why Putin isn’t afraid of Obama

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Exiled Russian lawmaker explains why Putin isn’t afraid of Obama

VOX – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On March 20, 2014, when Russia’s State Duma voted on whether to annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea into Russia, 445 of the Duma’s legislators voted yes and one voted no. The “no” was Ilya Ponomarev, a longtime leftist politician and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Within a few months, Ponomarev was exiled from Russia and stripped of his legislative immunity from prosecution. Though he is still officially a Duma member, he now lives in the US and is attempting to organize a more formal opposition to Putin from outside of the country.

We spoke to him in Washington, DC, about the stability of Putin’s rule, the Russian elites who help keep him in power, how things might change, and Putin’s increasingly tense relationship with Europe and the United States. While Ponomarev believes change will come to Russia, he warned that it will take years — and believes it will likely come from a combination of Russian elites turning against Putin and popular unrest, not from the ballot box.

What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited and condensed for clarity.

Let me ask you about Crimea, and your vote in the Duma against its annexation as part of Russia. Did you know you were going to be the only one voting against it?

Yes. I expected this.

So why did you vote against it?

I thought there had to be somebody to show that it wasn’t unanimous. Because if it was unanimous, that would be used later to restore relations with Ukraine [while treating the annexation of Crimea as irrevocable]. But if there was a split, that means you have somebody to talk to [in the Russian government about Crimea’s status]. But of course, I understood that would significantly disrupt my activities in the country.

Did you expect the reaction to be as bad as it was?

I expected they might try a criminal case for sure. I didn’t expect that they would try to isolate me outside of Russia. I would rather expect the reverse — that they would try to contain me within Russia. They decided to go the other way.

Do you regret it?

The vote? Of course not. This was my job to do this. So I consulted with my constituents, and I tried to do right.

After the vote, what was the reaction from your constituents?

The most common reaction, pardon my language, is, “We disagree, but you are a true Siberian man with real balls.” That was the most common phrase I heard.

I understand you’re traveling to Europe soon. What are you working on there?

I’m working with the Russian diaspora, which has been traditionally disorganized and hasn’t had any kind of political agenda. It’s very fragmented. That’s a very dramatic contrast with the Ukrainian diaspora, because the Ukrainians are very well-organized. They were very active in terms of what was going on in 2004 in the Orange Revolution and the recent Maidan events.

The Russian diaspora is not like that. So I want to change it. I want to use it to develop a vision of Russia after Putin.

Within Russia, a big constituency for Putin’s actions in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine has been the neo-imperialist movement and, to some extent, the Russian nationalist movement that sees these areas as rightfully Russian. Are these groups focusing much on the Russian communities in the Baltic states, in Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania?

All Russian speakers. All those who might be seen as wanting to come back. But even the Russian community in Baltic states is divided. Take an example that I know well, Latvia, where we have the largest Russian community. There are people for whom Russian is a native tongue but who agreed to integrate in Latvian society and learn the language. That’s about half of the Russian population there; they are citizens.

They still identify themselves as Russians. They watch Russian TV. The mayor of Riga is Russian, Nils Ušakovs. The party that is supported by these Russians, Harmony, is the number-one political party in Latvia. They get around 30 percent, 35 percent of votes. It’s supported by these ethnic Russians in Latvia, but they are pro-Latvian. They don’t want to join Russia.

But there are ethnic Russians in Latvia who are non-citizens, who say, “We don’t want to learn Latvian language. It’s not our fault that we live here, and they should respect [our rights].” It is a difficult issue of being a non-citizen in your own country, where you have been born. They are very much pro-Russian because they feel oppressed.

That community was supporting a local referendum to acknowledge Russian as a second state language in Latvia. The referendum failed, but a very significant number voted for it. And that basically illustrates the divide.

If Putin’s going to leave office, are you looking toward the Duma elections coming up in 2016 or the presidential election in 2018 as how that would happen?

Most likely not that fast, because it’s impossible to use the existing electoral code and conduct free elections. We will end up with exactly the same system, and I think that without rewriting the constitution, without rewriting the basic political laws, it’s impossible to create a workable system. You would need to have a kind of transitional president, during which these set of laws would be developed.

We have this with the president of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva, who was elected by all different political actors during the revolution. [Otunbayeva served as transitional president in 2010 and 2011 after the government was deposed.] She was a popular figure, and she was trusted by everybody to not abuse power and to not run as a candidate during the next election.

Sure, but the mechanism for that was a revolution.

Yes, I would think that only a revolution would change things [in Russia]; I don’t believe any change will come through the elections.

Who would that come from?

I think that would come from a combination of civil unrest in the streets and from elites who are already dissatisfied with what’s going on, who would come to understand that it’s really dead-end for them in this current system.

Right now, though, there are still hopes [among Russian elites] that a new American president will come into office in 2017 and that he or maybe she will end the sanctions.

Do people believe the sanctions will end specifically because Hillary Clinton would end them, or just that once Obama leaves, whoever comes in will change US policy toward Russia?

The analysis in the Kremlin that has been propagated down, including to the [state] media, is the belief that the Americans are extremely rational and pragmatic. [In this view, the problem is only that] Obama is a lame duck and so he would not do anything, and he already has a personal issue with [Putin]. But as soon as he’s out, the pressure would go.

But elites in Russia are unhappy with how things are going?

Of course nobody is happy with how things are going. The sanctions are disturbing [to the elites]. The elites are nervous, and definitely don’t want to live under such circumstances for a long period of time because it’s a kind of personal instability for them. It creates insecurity. They want to settle this down so that these feelings will go. It hurts their business. Even those who are not under sanctions, they might come under them at any time.

Who are these elites? Are there key people who, if they lose faith in Putin, could be important in determining what happens?

It’s a significant part within Russian elites who can open the gates of the Kremlin in a critical situation. They are within business, the establishment, law enforcement. Nobody wants to fight against their own people. They would never make the first move, but they will join the winning side.

That’s why it has to be a combination [of elites and a popular movement to effect change]. People on the streets need to protest. That’s what was happening in Ukraine. You know, Maidan [the 2013 Ukrainian revolution] would not have happened if it was just people on the Kiev streets. It happened only because it was a combination: people at the top, the inability of law enforcement to really fight, and mass popular movement.

What’s stopping that from happening now?

People are not ready. It takes time. You have to mature to that idea.

People, at the end of the day, are pretty rational. So they always weigh risks, especially risks to themselves. And if there is doubt, they’ll always be waiting whether any change is real or not. So they have to start to feel that the change is real. That has to be in the air, the sense that it’s real. That something is going to change.

s there a belief among the elite that Putin, even if they don’t love him, can at least maintain stability and keep all the internal forces in line?

Yes, some people actually afraid that without Putin it would be a turn for worse. That’s a possibility; that is a very valid fear. A lot of these Novorossiya people [who see much of Ukraine as rightfully part of Russia and may have fought in eastern Ukraine] are real fighters or are real 100 percent fascists. That’s really scary for a lot of people.

One of the usual Putin lines of propaganda is that he never says he is good. The message put out to the [Kremlin] media might say, “Yes, we are bad, but those who might come after us are worse.”

He never says, like, United Russia [Putin’s political party] is good. He says, “Yes, it is corrupt. Yes, it is incompetent. But look at the opposition. They are even more corrupt, they are even more incompetent. They are associated with the ’90s, and in the ’90s it was worse than we have now, so you better stick with the lesser evil.”

And the elites find this message compelling?

eah, many people do. We have seen so often in our lives that it can always be worse. People are really afraid.

The opposition is focused too much on negative things. Like, okay, [opposition figure Alexei] Navalny is against the corruption. Okay, we are all against the corruption. It’s pretty self-evident that we should fight corruption.

That’s why Putin is saying Navalny is as corrupt as all the others. That’s his message. People say, “Probably that’s not true, but still I don’t know. He’s against corruption, we like him, but how?”

Is there anyone you think is providing a compelling alternative message in Russia right now?

Right now I don’t see many people do this. There was a prototype, called Club 2015. It was organized by a group of Russian business people in 1995 who were developing this 20-year vision for Russia.

It was never actually implemented inside Russia despite the fact that four members of the club, who swore that they would promote the ideas of the group, all have prominent positions right now. For example, Olga Dergunova, one of the members, is now chief of the government agency that manages state property.

But another member became a key person for reforms in Georgia, under [former Georgian President] Mikheil Saakashvili. It was extremely successful, and helped to defeat corruption and jump-start reforms. And that came from that [Club 2015] vision.

here seems to be a view in Russia that the US and Europe are somewhat divided over their approach to Russia — for example that Europe is only going along with sanctions because Obama has pressured them into it. Is there an effort by Russia to widen this possible division?

In general, [the view is that] this current administration thinks this all should be a European affair. They have their priorities in the Middle East, which I think is a mistake.

Putin recognizes this lack of attention and lack of strategy and is trying to play on the contradictions. Europe is not very capable as a union in terms of foreign policy, and Putin is trying to increase the possibility that this union could fall apart. He is financing right-wing parties, he is financing separatists.

A fear that I hear from people who work with NATO is that Putin is trying to, as you say, heighten contradictions between the US and Europe, and particularly between the US and Germany, over the degree to which NATO should counter Russia’s actions in Europe. And that part of what he’s trying to do, not just in Ukraine but maybe also in the Baltics, is to force a split between Europe and the US that will divide NATO. Do you think that’s right?

That’s obviously his strategy. The weaker part of NATO is not right now contradictions between Europe and US, but contradictions within Europe. Within the neutral countries of Europe, like in Germany.

First, inside Germany there is a greater degree of anti-Americanism, and Putin is playing on this. It’s 19th-century anti-imperialism that has been translated into anti-Americanism. Putin, again, is trying to use this concept of lesser evil, that you should ally with the lesser imperialism to fight the major imperialism. And a lot of people who are ultra-left and ultra-right tend to agree with that position, and that is facilitating this kind of thing.

Also it’s important to see that in Germany, Social Democrats and Socialists [two major political parties] are traditionally affiliated with labor unions. And that’s all about jobs, and jobs are about economic cooperation with Russia. I hear all the time from German Social Democrats, “Our economic interests in Ukraine, they are minuscule, and our economic interests in Russia, they are pretty large. Of course, we understand that Ukraine is right and Russia is wrong, but, speaking pragmatically about the interests of Germans, common Germans, we should still be with Russia.”

That view also seems to be much more popular with German voters, one of saying, “Let’s not get involved in this, because it’s really just a fight between the US and Russia that could be costly to us, and let’s stick with our economic interests.”

Yes, absolutely. And [the Kremlin] plays on this all the time. They are trying to show Germans that you’d be better off forgiving Russia for all wrongdoings, because that would be to your benefit.

The most extreme version of this that I hear in Washington is the fear that Putin could try to split Germany from NATO once and for all by hinting that he might do with the Russian communities in Estonia or Latvia something like what he did in Donbass, in eastern Ukraine. And because Estonia and Latvia are NATO members, this would force Germany to choose whether it was going to side with NATO and come to the Baltics’ defense, or whether it would say, “No, we’ve had enough of this,” and that this would effectively end NATO.

I wouldn’t think Putin would dare to vote for open military measures in the Baltic states. But of course it would be enough for grassroots movements there to rebel, and Russia would play on this, and that would be used as a lever on Europe.

Rather, I think it’s a very high probability of further advances in non-NATO members in eastern Europe. Definitely Putin might decide for another offensive in eastern Ukraine, after Victory Day [an annual Russian holiday marking the end of World War II] on May 9. Or he might try to build this land corridor to Crimea. He might escalate in Moldova [where Russia has a military base in the separatist region of Transnistria].

With Baltic states, as NATO members, he’ll be more cautious. But he’s the type of guy who is always increasing stakes.

 

 

The New York Times Is Lost in Its Ukraine Propaganda

The New York Times Is Lost in Its Ukraine Propaganda

Exclusive: One danger of lying is that you must then incorporate the falsehood into the longer narrative, somehow making the lies fit. The same is true of propaganda as the New York Times is learning as it continues to falsify the narrative of the Ukraine crisis, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry – Consortium news

In late February, a conference is scheduled in New York City to discuss the risk of nuclear war if computers reach the level of artificial intelligence and take decisions out of human hands. But there is already the old-fashioned danger of nuclear war, started by human miscalculation, fed by hubris and propaganda.

That possible scenario is playing out in Ukraine, where the European Union and the United States provoked a political crisis on Russia’s border in November 2013, then backed a coup d’etat in February 2014 and have presented a one-sided account of the ensuing civil war, blaming everything on Russia.

Possibly the worst purveyor of this Cold War-style propaganda has been the New York Times, which has given its readers a steady diet of biased reporting and analysis, including now accusing the Russians for a resurgence in the fighting.

One way the Times has falsified the Ukraine narrative is by dating the origins of the crisis to several months after the crisis actually began. So, the lead story in Saturday’s editions ignored the actual chronology of events and started the clock with the appearance of Russian troops in Crimea in spring 2014.

The Times article by Rick Lyman and Andrew E. Kramer said: “A shaky cease-fire has all but vanished, with rebel leaders vowing fresh attacks. Civilians are being hit by deadly mortars at bus stops. Tanks are rumbling down snowy roads in rebel-held areas with soldiers in unmarked green uniforms sitting on their turrets, waving at bystanders — a disquieting echo of the ‘little green men’ whose appearance in Crimea opened this stubborn conflict in the spring.”

In other words, the story doesn’t start in fall 2013 with the extraordinary U.S. intervention in Ukrainian political affairs – spearheaded by American neocons, such as National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain – nor with the U.S.-backed coup on Feb. 22, 2014, which ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and put one of Nuland’s chosen leaders, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in as Prime Minister.

No, because if that history were included, Times readers might actually have a chance for a balanced understanding of this unnecessary tragedy. For propaganda purposes, it is better to start the cameras rolling only after the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from the failed state of Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

Except the Times won’t reference the lopsided referendum or the popular will of the Crimean people. It’s better to pretend that Russian troops – the “little green men” – just invaded Crimea and conquered the place against the people’s will. The Russian troops were already in Crimea as part of an agreement with Ukraine for maintaining the Russian naval base at Sevastopol.

Which leads you to the next paragraph of the Times story: “The renewed fighting has dashed any hopes of reinvigorating a cease-fire signed in September [2014] and honored more in name than in fact since then. It has also put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West.”

That last point gets us to the danger of human miscalculation driven by hubris. The key error committed by the EU and compounded by the U.S. was to assume that a brazen bid to get Ukraine to repudiate its longtime relationship with Russia and to bring Ukraine into the NATO alliance would not prompt a determined Russian reaction.

Russia sees the prospect of NATO military forces and their nuclear weapons on its borders as a grave strategic threat, especially with Kiev in the hands of rabid right-wing politicians, including neo-Nazis, who regard Russia as a historic enemy. Confronted with such a danger – especially with thousands of ethnic Russians inside Ukraine being slaughtered – it was a near certainty that Russia’s leaders would not succumb meekly to Western sanctions and demands.

Yet, as long as the United States remains in thrall to the propagandistic narrative that the New York Times and other U.S. mainstream media outlets have spun, President Barack Obama will almost surely continue to ratchet up the tensions. To do otherwise would open Obama to accusations of “weakness.”

During his State of the Union address, Obama mostly presented himself as a peacemaker, but his one major deviation was when he crowed about the suffering that U.S.-organized sanctions had inflicted on Russia, whose economy, he boasted, was “in tatters.”

So, with the West swaggering and Russia facing what it considers a grave strategic threat, it’s not hard to imagine how the crisis in Ukraine could escalate into a violent clash between NATO and Russian forces with the possibility of further miscalculation bringing nuclear weapons into play.

The Actual Narrative

There’s no sign that the New York Times has any regrets about becoming a crude propaganda organ, but just in case someone is listening inside “the newspaper of record,” let’s reprise the actual narrative of the Ukraine crisis. It began not last spring, as the Times would have you believe, but rather in fall 2013 when President Yanukovych was evaluating the cost of an EU association agreement if it required an economic break with Russia.

This part of the narrative was well explained by Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, even though it has generally taken a harshly anti-Russian line. But, in a retrospective piece published a year after the crisis began, Der Spiegel acknowledged that EU and German leaders were guilty of miscalculations that contributed to the civil war in Ukraine, particularly by under-appreciating the enormous financial costs to Ukraine if it broke its historic ties to Russia.

In November 2013, Yanukovych learned from experts at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine that the total cost to the country’s economy from severing its business connections to Russia would be around $160 billion, 50 times the $3 billion figure that the EU had estimated, Der Spiegel reported.

The figure stunned Yanukovych, who pleaded for financial help that the EU couldn’t provide, the magazine said. Western loans would have to come from the International Monetary Fund, which was demanding painful “reforms” of Ukraine’s economy, structural changes that would make the hard lives of average Ukrainians even harder, including raising the price of natural gas by 40 percent and devaluing Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, by 25 percent.

With Putin offering a more generous aid package of $15 billion, Yanukovych backed out of the EU agreement but told the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Nov. 28, 2013, that he was willing to continue negotiating. German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded with “a sentence dripping with disapproval and cool sarcasm aimed directly at the Ukrainian president. ‘I feel like I’m at a wedding where the groom has suddenly issued new, last minute stipulations,” according to Der Spiegel’s chronology of the crisis.

After the collapse of the EU deal, U.S. neocons went to work on one more “regime change” – this time in Ukraine – using the popular disappointment in western Ukraine over the failed EU agreement as a way to topple Yanukovych, the constitutionally elected president whose political base was in eastern Ukraine.

Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, a prominent neocon holdover who advised Vice President Dick Cheney, passed out cookies to anti-Yanukovych demonstrators at the Maidan Square in Kiev and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.”

Sen. McCain, who seems to want war pretty much everywhere, joined Ukrainian rightists onstage at the Maidan urging on the protests, and Gershman’s U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy deployed its Ukrainian political/media operatives in support of the disruptions. As early as September 2013, the NED president had identified Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and an important step toward toppling Putin in Russia. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.”]

By early February 2014, Nuland was telling U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt “fuck the EU” and discussing how to “glue this thing” as she handpicked who the new leaders of Ukraine would be; “Yats is the guy,” she said about Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

As violent disorders at the Maidan grew worse – with well-organized neo-Nazi militias hurling firebombs at police – the State Department and U.S. news media blamed Yanukovych. On Feb. 20, when mysterious snipers – apparently firing from positions controlled by the neo-Nazi Right Sektor – shot to death police officers and protesters, the situation spun out of control – and the American press again blamed Yanukovych.

Though Yanukovych signed a Feb. 21 agreement with three European countries accepting reduced powers and early elections, that was not enough for the coup-makers. On Feb. 22, a putsch, spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias, forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives.

Remarkably, however, when the Times pretended to review this history in a January 2015 article, the Times ignored the extraordinary evidence of a U.S.-backed coup – including the scores of NED political projects, McCain’s cheerleading and Nuland’s plotting. The Times simply informed its readers that there was no coup. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

But the Times’ propaganda on Ukraine is not just wretched journalism, it is also a dangerous ingredient in what could become a nuclear confrontation, if Americans come to believe a false narrative and thus go along with more provocative actions by their political leaders who, in turn, might feel compelled to act tough because otherwise they’d be attacked as “soft.”

In other words, even without computers seizing control of man’s nuclear weapons, man himself might blunder into a nuclear Armageddon, driven not by artificial intelligence but a lack of the human kind.

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

More anti-Russian propaganda from The Times April 22, 2015

Leader of Militant Group in Russia Is Killed, Reports Say

Russia: Activist Leaves Country

Unpaid Russian Workers Unite in Protest Against Putin

White House Acknowledges Armenian Genocide, but Avoids the Term ( i.e.Ukraine’s genocide of ethnic Russians )

E.U. Charges Gazprom With Abusing Dominance

After Workers Asked Putin for Help, Corruption Uncovered

No Let Up in Intense Anti-Russian Propaganda

Anti-war

No Let Up in Intense Anti-Russian Propaganda

By Stephen Lendman

Its viciousness exceeds anything in recent memory. Big Lies bury hard truths. A February 20 Office of the Vice President statement said Joe Biden discussed “the latest situation in eastern Ukraine” with (US installed) president Poroshenko and prime minister Yatsenyuk. He lied claiming “Russian regular troops operating inside Ukraine” supported “Russia-backed separatists” in Debaltseve – “in blatant violation of (Minsk) as well as Ukraine’s sovereignty an territorial integrity.” “…Russia cannot continue to hide behind the false claim that these latest military operations are solely the work of local separatists.”

Western editorial and op-ed pages repeat these false claims. They support sanctions on Russia. Calls for tougher ones drown out good sense.

John Kerry lied blaming Russia and rebels for post-Minsk Kiev crimes.

On Saturday, Reuters quoted him saying “(i)n the next few days I anticipate that President Obama will evaluate the choices that are in front of him and will make his decision as to what the next step will be.”

“There are serious discussions taking place between us and our European allies as to what those next sanctions steps ought to be and when they ought to be implemented.”

“I am confident some additional steps will be taken in response to the breaches of the ceasefire.”

Poroshenko finds new ways to embarrass himself. His military suffered a devastating Debaltsevo defeat.

He displayed fake photos of alleged Russian involvement. T-64 tanks, Grad rocket launchers and others he showed are used by Ukraine’s military.

It’s a spent force. Poroshenko needs outside help to continue waging war on Donbass. He wants US-led NATO doing his fighting for him.

He hopes Big Lies, false flags and other dubious practices will enlist Washington’s direct involvement.

On Sunday, Kiev propaganda reports accused rebels of shelling Kiev forces near Mariupol with new type weapons.

According to Ukraine’s Unian (dis)information agency, “the enemy allegedly used tube-launched projectiles with a special feature: they burst at a height of 40 meters above the surface.”

“(M)icroshrapnel…cause(s) multiple shrapnel wounds…(S)hells were fired at…Shyrokyne” village.

Independent reports indicate rebels withdrawing artillery and other heavy weapons from front line positions. Unian claims about shelling Ukrainian forces are false – propaganda to enlist more Western support.

On Monday, it claimed “Russia (is) ‘stuffing’ Donbas with (ultramodern) weapons.”

Its security service spokesman, Markian Lubkivskiy, blamed Russia for Sunday’s Kharkov explosion despite no evidence whatever suggesting it.

Plenty indicating another Kiev false flag. MP Dmytro Tymchuk accused “militant units south of Donetsk (of) reinforc(ing)” their positions.

“The next echelon with ammunition for terrorist groups of the Donetsk People’s Republic has arrived in Ilovaisk from Russia,” he claimed.

Other Kiev propaganda reports say Russian troops captured Debaltsevo. Western media repeat this type rubbish demanding debunking.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich called Kiev accusations of Moscow’s involvement in Maidan 2014 violence “completely ludicrous.”

An “act of foolishness,” he said. Further proof of an illegitimate retime.

Instead of explaining hard truths, Kiev officials “com(e) up with the kinds of nonsensical ravings that belong in a psychiatric ward,” he stressed

London’s Telegraph sounds increasingly like Fox News. It headlined “Putin will target the Baltic next, Defence Secretary warns.”

It hyped UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon’s Big Lie about a “real and present danger.”

NATO must be ready to repel “Russian aggression,” he said. Prime Minister David Cameron says Europe can’t “turn a blind eye (to) one country…challenging the territorial integrity of another country.”

Despite no evidence whatever supporting his claims, Cameron says rebels “are using Russian rocket launchers, Russian tanks, Russian artillery.”

“(I)t’s come from Russia and we know that.” It’s come in part from abandoned or captured Kiev weapons.

According to rebel representatives, they got hold of around 25% of Kiev’s armaments.

After its devastating Debaltsevo defeat, a rebel statement said:

Their soldiers and commanders “express(ed) special gratitude to the numerous volunteer organizations, who supplied the troops of the junta so well…”

“(V)ery popular are the hundreds of night vision devices, digital radios, modern ballistic calculators and fire control devices, dressing and antishock supplies made in the West, Kevlar helmets (although the Russian are better, but still a big deficit), latest generation armor,”

Rebels presented evidence of NATO supplied weapons – including US-made ones.

The Telegraph cited Fallon saying the “former Soviet states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia could be next to face a Russian-backed campaign to destabilize them.”

“I’m worried about Putin,” he added. Russian “tanks and armour (are) rolling across the Ukrainian border…”

Fallon’s Big Lies don’t wash. He ludicrously claimed Britain only supplies Kiev with “non-lethal equipment.” Rebel captured weapons prove otherwise. Clear markings show their points of origin.

“(S)oft coverage of HSBC” wrongdoing got former Telegraph chief political commentator, Peter Oborne, to resign.

Its “standards…collapse(d),” he said. His reporting on HSBC wrongdoing wasn’t published.

He called Telegraph editorial policy “part of a wider problem.” Oborne resigned “as a matter of conscience.”

Saying “(a) free press is essential to a healthy democracy. There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain.”

“It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth.”

The problem goes way beyond the Telegraph. Western print and electronic media march to the same drummer.

Big Lies drown out hard truths on issues mattering most. All propaganda all the time is strict editorial policy.

Try finding a single MSM report on air or in print explaining the Ukraine story accurately. None exist. Rubbish substitutes.

London Guardian Putin bashing continues. It irresponsibly claims he has revanchist aims. He has “a grand plan to undermine both Ukraine and Europe…”

He “does not want to be seen to lose. His whole political position, in his own country and to an extent in the world, is based on projecting an image of being brilliantly and imperturbably on top of things.”

“(T)his emperor, we may surmise, is secretly aware of the danger of losing his clothes.”

Guardian editors turn truth on its head blaming him for damaging relations with Western countries. If Minsk fails again, for sure he’ll be held responsible.

The New York Times cited Kiev as its source claiming rebel forces “mounted a tank assault on a village near the Sea of Azov” –  despite no evidence proving it.

“…Ukrainian authorities (absurdly claim) a pro-Moscow underground movement…in Kharkov, Odessa, and other” Eastern cities with large Russian-speaking populations.

Instead of debunking this nonsense, The Times features it. Including about junta forces repelling a nonexistent rebel attack on Shyrokyne.

Kiev military spokesman Andriy Lysenk lied claiming its forces “c(ame) under fire 44 times over the past 24 hours despite the casefire,” reported The Times.

Due diligence fact-checking for accuracy isn’t its long suit. Or WaPo’s featuring fake photos of alleged seized rebel weapons indicating they’re Russian supplied.

Overt Nazi Andriy Parubiy was directly responsible for 2014 Maidan killings. He played a key role in replacing Ukrainian democracy with fascist rule.

He’ll visit Washington this week seeking more help for Kiev’s war on Donbas. He wants more heavy weapons than already supplied.

He wants direct US involvement in Kiev’s dirty war. Expect it to resume full-scale once junta forces regroup and rearm. Perhaps this time US combat troops will join them.

Obama won’t tolerate Donbass autonomy. He wants full nationwide control. Perhaps he intends bombing rebel positions. Maybe invading Eastern Ukraine will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

 

VIDEO. Military Escalation in Ukraine. Poroshenko Pushes EU into War, US Tightens Sanctions against Russia

 

 

 

poroshecnko-merkel-hollande-400x225Kiev continues intense shelling of Shirokino, Peski, and Gorlovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic. According to the DPR Defense Ministry, pro-Kiev forces opened fire 74 times over the past 24 hours using battle-tanks, mortars, anti-tank guided missiles, grenade launchers and small arms. Furthermore, the Ukrainian military started an offensive in the settlement of Novotoshkovskoe in the Lugansk People’s Republic. During last 24 hours, 3 pro-Kiev fighters were killed and 16 injured.

Self-styled Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Mun will help him get the European Union involved in the Ukrainian civil war. Poroshenko’s official website reported he had a call with the UN Secretary-General last night.

Scroll down for complete Transcript

21.04.2015 Ukraine Crisis News. War in Ukraine, EU, UN, Poroshenko, Kharkov

 

 

 TRANSCRIPT

Kiev continues intense shelling of Shirokino, Peski, and Gorlovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic. According to the DPR Defense Ministry, pro-Kiev forces opened fire 74 times over the past 24 hours using battle-tanks, mortars, anti-tank guided missiles, grenade launchers and small arms. Furthermore, the Ukrainian military started an offensive in the settlement of Novotoshkovskoe in the Lugansk People’s Republic. During last 24 hours, 3 pro-Kiev fighters were killed and 16 injured. Additionally, Kiev lost 8 fire positions, 2 infantry combat vehicles, 1 armored vehicle, 1 battle-tank and 1 combat reconnaissance patrol vehicle during the fighting. Novorossian Armed Forces sustained 5 warriors wounded in action, 1 infantry combat vehicles damaged, 1 armored vehicle damaged and 2 fire positions destroyed.

Unknown individuals blew-up a jeep in the Kiev-controlled city of Kharkov last night. According to media reports, the jeep belonged to pro-Kiev paramilitary gunmen. We remember on April 7 another explosion took place in the city center near the flag of Ukraine. Tensions between average Kharkov citizens and pro-Kiev patriots are rising. Chaos is spreading over Ukraine.

Self-styled Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Mun will help him get the European Union involved in the Ukrainian civil war. Poroshenko’s official website reported he had a call with the UN Secretary-General last night. The officials discussed implementation of the Minsk Agreements and steps required for deploying EU or UN peacekeepers in the Donbass region. After systematic military provocations against DPR and LPR, getting the EU involved in the war by any means is the primary strategy of Poroshenko’s administration and its US masterminds. Thus, Ban Ki-Mun helps them.

US attempts to tighten anti-Russian sanctions for what it may interpret as default on the Minsk Accords are absurd because Kiev is the main brake on the peace process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained on Monday. “Just feel the logic of it. They say: ‘If the Minsk Accords are complied with, then the sanctions will be lifted, and if not, then Russia should be punished ever stronger’”, Lavrov said describing the position of the EU and US. “In the meantime, a closer look at who complies with the Minsk Accords and who does not makes it clear that Kiev is the main brake on the Minsk process.” On account of this, the longer Kiev disrupts the implementation of the Minsk Accords, the more excuses the West invents to go ahead with pressure on Russia. That’s real absurdity.

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