Could Obama’s Legacy Be Destroyed by His Ukraine Policy? What to Do About It —

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Could Obama’s Legacy Be Destroyed by His Ukraine Policy? What to Do About It —

August 28th, 2014

Eric Zuesse

The Ukrainian Government that the Obama Administration installed after Obama’s successful coup d’etat in Ukraine is now crashing and burning in the process of the newly installed Government’s ethnic-cleansing program to get rid of the people in Ukraine’s southeast, the area of Ukraine that had voted overwhelmingly for the President whom the Obama Administration (the State Department and the CIA) had overthrown in February. The residents there rejected this new Government; this new Government is trying to exterminate them; and the local rebel-fighters against that are winning, and are decimating thousands of troops who were sent in to kill them and their families, and are shooting down many of the bombers that have been sent in to bomb them.

The Ukrainian Government prior to the coup had been economically sustained by borrowing both from Russia to the east, and also from the EU and U.S. to the west (with a substantial portion of the U.S. portion of that debt consisting of IMF loans — the U.S. Government is the major donor to the IMF). These loans were, ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, largely being pocketed by the well-connected former communist nomenklatura or insiders who had been given formerly state-owned industries during the Harvard-designed privatization program throughout the former U.S.S.R. These new oligarchs (such as the current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who received the Leninska Kuznya shipyard and some state-owned chocolate factories, as well as a few other companies in retailing and news-media) got the benefits of those loans and socked away much of their consequent accumulating wealth in offshore tax-havens, so that the mounting sovereign debt of Ukraine is already crushing the Ukrainian population by severe cutbacks in Government expenditures for social services, road maintenance, and other government services, while those oligarchs have palatial residences in Western Europe. The public, in other words, suffer the debts, while the “oligarchs” or aristocrats (the former communist insiders) are now multi-billionaires; and one of them, Ihor Kolomoysky, was assigned a crucial Governorship, from which post he has largely masterminded and overseen the ethnic-cleansing campaign, which is clearing away the local residents in the land-area of the gas-fields Furthermore, in order for Ukraine to pay its debts, it is selling off the assets that had formerly produced income for Ukraine (largely for Ukraine’s skimming oligarchs) such as selling off the gas pipelines that carry gas from Russia to Europe. The biggest portion of Ukraine’s income was the transit-fees from these pipelines, and now these fees will go to investors in Europe and America, instead of to Ukraine. But Ukraine needs this money desperately right now, because the EU won’t extend more credit, and the U.S. is already beginning to wake up to its disaster in Ukraine.

So: this costly war will leave behind a failed-state in northwestern Ukraine, and a separatist southeast, which will likely seek and receive membership in the Russian Federation. The perhaps more than a million refugees from Obama’s ethnic-cleansing program in the southeast will probably return to and rebuild their bombed-out land, and likely receive a kind of Russian Marshall Plan to assist in that effort.

Looking back, it won’t be any sort of feather in Obama’s cap, but instead a black mark that will be comparable to, and perhaps even bigger than, George W. Bush’s catastrophe in Iraq.

rest of article here:

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2014/08/28/could-obama-s-legacy-be-destroyed-by-his

The Russians Are Coming Big Lies

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The Russians Are Coming Big Lies

August 29th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

Anti-Russian lies keep repeating. So many proliferate, it hard keeping up. The latest is over-the-top and then some.

It accuses Russia of launching a major offensive against Ukrainian forces.

Accusations without evidence are made. Kiev sources are cited. They’ve been caught red-handed lying many times.

Nothing they say is credible. It doesn’t matter. Major media scoundrels repeat their rubbish like gospel. More on this below.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed unsubstantiated reports “indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk.”

“(W)e’re also concerned by the Russian Government’s unwillingness to tell the truth even as its soldiers are found 30 miles inside Ukraine,” she said.

“Russia is sending its young men into Ukraine but are telling – are not telling them where they’re going or telling their parents what they’re doing.”

Asked why she said “likely” instead of saying a Russian invasion is underway, Psaki said she “decided to say likely.”

“But why,” she was asked? “(L)ikely implies…some uncertainty because there is a possibility that it’s not.”

Psaki ducked the question. She merely cited “a range of (unsubstantiated) reports.”

“Well, is it an invasion,” she was asked? “(A)re we seeing, like, brigades or divisions crossing the borders into Ukraine?”

“I don’t have any other details to read out for you at this point in time,” she said.

Fact: Washington’s dirty hands are involved in Ukraine’s war without mercy.

Fact: Obama officials support and encourage it.

Fact: Intelligence and material support are provided.

Fact: Parts of the Ukrainian/Russia border aren’t clearly demarcated.

Fact: Nationals and military personnel on both sides often cross over unwittingly.

Fact: Ukrainian soldiers did recently.

Fact: They’ve done it before.

Fact: Russian authorities send them home without incident.

Fact: If Moscow’s intent was hostile, large numbers of heavily armed forces would have invaded.

Fact: Nothing of the kind happened.

Fact: No evidence suggests it.

Fact: No verifiable satellite images exist.

It doesn’t matter. Big Lies proliferate.

On Wednesday, The New York Times first headlined “Ukraine Says Russian Forces Lead Major New Offensive in East,” saying:

“Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but also a wide section of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials described on Wednesday as a stealth invasion.”

The report was then replaced by one headlined “Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front.”

Five armored personnel carriers replaced tanks, artillery and infantry. According to The Times, it’s Moscow’s attempt to blunt “the momentum of Ukrainian forces…”

Both reports lacked verifiable evidence. Ukraine, Washington, other Western countries and NATO have every incentive to lie. Times and other MSM reporters repeat them like gospel.

Numerous earlier anti-Russian accusations were false. Moscow is discretely neutral.

It urges both sides settle things diplomatically. Military solutions won’t work, it stresses.

It wants friendly relations with Ukraine. Putin and Ukrainian president Poroshenko just held official bilateral talks for the first time.

Putin said “Russia will do everything to promote this peace process if it is launched, and in our view, this process needs to be launched as soon as possible.”

Why would Russia invade Ukraine hours after Putin stressed the urgency of pursuing peace? For what benefit?

What sense would it make? What credibility would Putin, Sergey Lavrov and other top Russian officials have left?

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeatedly denies claims about Russian military activity on Ukraine’s borders.

On Wednesday, he said they have “nothing to do with reality.” Claims about an alleged Russian build-up aren’t new, he added.

“Such speculations are uttered regularly.” They’re false. “Russia regularly refutes (them).”

Washington, rogue NATO allies and Ukraine gain greatly by proliferating Big Lies. Media scoundrels repeat them ad nauseam.

Truth is suppressed. It’s systematically buried. John Pilger is right. He calls journalism the first casualty of war.

It’s a weapon of war, he stresses. It’s virulent censorship. It’s deception.

It’s repeating one Big Lie after another. They substitute for honest reporting.

When America goes to war, plans one, or supports an aggressor ally, it’s entirely absent. Managed news misinformation rubbish substitutes.

According to The Times, Russia’s alleged incursion involved “five armored personnel carriers” and unnamed weapons.

It claimed “(e)vidence of a possible turn…in the panicky retreat of Ukrainian soldiers…”

Fact: Ukraine has thousands of heavily armed forces waging war.

Fact: Would they fear confronting five Russian armored personnel carriers if they did cross Ukraine’s border?

Fact: Would they retreat in panic?

Fact: Answers are self-evident.

Don’t expect Times or other MSM reports to explain. Instead, The Times quoted an unnamed “senior American official” claiming without proof:

“Russia is clearly trying to put its finger on the scale to tip things back in favor of its proxies.”

“Artillery barrages and other Russian military actions have taken their toll on the Ukrainian military.”

Previous articles explained Ukrainian soldiers are notoriously underpaid, poorly fed and clothed, as well as deplorably retreated.

Morale is low. Many are forced to serve involuntarily. Many others oppose fighting Ukrainian citizens.

Some defect. Most prefer being home. Some seek refuge in Russia. Many young men cross over to avoid military service altogether.

Even The Times described them as “(e)xhausted, filthy and dismayed.” Many are “unwilling to fight,” do so reluctantly or back off “in full retreat.”

In contrast, self-defense forces show remarkable courage, resilience and strength. In recent days, they achieved impressive gains.

According to RIA Novosti, they took “control of checkpoints and strongholds in the outskirts of Mariupol…”

They hold “the bridge across the Gruzsky-Yelanchik River.” They “moved tanks into Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov” on the Russian/Ukrainian border.

They captured dozens of Ukrainian border guards and soldiers. According to Itar Tass, “Ukrainian troops suffer(ed) heavy losses in southeast Ukraine.”

Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) self-defense forces said their counteroffensive killed or wounded around 750.

Overnight Wednesday, over 150 voluntarily surrendered. Dozens more crossed into Russia for asylum.

According to DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko, around three to four thousand Russian volunteers are aiding self-defense forces.

“Many of them have left the republic, but the majority stayed here,” he said.

“Today very many questions are asked how this could have happened that the DPR army grew from scattered guerrilla units in a strong military organization which can not only resist Ukrainian armed forces, but also defeat them on the battlefield.”

“Kiev and the West stated repeatedly about Russian military invasion to justify somehow massive defeats which Ukrainian army has been suffering already for several months.”

“We have never concealed that many Russians are fighting in our ranks without aid of which we would be in a very difficult situation and this would be much heavier for us to fight.”

Many retired Russian servicemen are involved, said Zakharchenko.

“Current servicemen are also fighting in our ranks (voluntarily), as they came to us to struggle for our freedom…” Moscow didn’t send them.

Public anger is growing in Ukraine. According to Itar Tass:

“Hundreds of protesters blocked one of Kiev’s thoroughfares on Thursday demanding the resignation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and urgent deployment of military hardware in the combat area in eastern Ukraine.”

“The protesters who gathered near the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s headquarters are also seeking the resignation of Minister Valery Geletei and commanders of the military operation in the southeast.”

Others “rall(ied) with similar demands near the presidential administration…”

Meanwhile, US-led NATO intends a “readiness action plan.” It plans one to counter a nonexistent Russian threat.

For the first time, it will establish military “reception facilities” in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

According to Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen:

“We have something already called the NATO response force, whose purpose is to be able to be deployed rapidly if needed.”

“Now it’s our intention to develop what I would call a spearhead within that response force at very, very, high readiness.”

“In order to be able to provide such rapid reinforcements you also need some reception facilities in host nations.”

“So it will involve the pre-positioning of supplies, of equipment, preparation of infrastructure, bases, headquarters.”

In other words, US-led NATO intends a hostile Eastern European presence encroaching on Russia’s border. Asked if it’ll be permanent, Rasmussen said “yes.”

“(F)or as long as necessary,” he stressed. He lied claiming:

“We have seen artillery firing across the border and also inside Ukraine. We have seen a Russian military buildup along the border.”

“Quite clearly, Russia is involved in destabilizing eastern Ukraine.”

“You see a sophisticated combination of traditional conventional warfare mixed up with information and primarily disinformation operations.”

In response, Russia’s permanent mission to NATO said Moscow “will react to NATO moves eastward with a view to ensure its security.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called NATO’s threat serious. They come from “the secretary-general level,” he said.

“They have probably already come up with some plan while moving NATO eastward” to confront Russia.

Doing so advances US-led recklessness to a new level. It increases chances for direct confrontation.

So do anti-Russian Big Lies. According to Rasmussen:

“Since the end of the Cold War we have lived in relatively good weather. Now we are faced with a profound climate change.”

Washington bears full responsibility. Weeks earlier, Putin said “(n)o matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on.”

“…NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas.”

“Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.”

Plans are to incorporate Ukraine into NATO unofficially. Western funding will finance its military.

At issue is targeting Russia. The threat of direct confrontation grows.

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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III“.

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.