Nel's New Day

December 1, 2018

DDT: Week 97 – Revelations Increase Call for Revenge

Of this week’s bombshells for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), the biggest may be his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s admission that he lied about when DDT stopped trying to make financial deals in Russia. In 2016, while DDT was campaigning and saying he had nothing to do with Russia, he was negotiating a deal for a Trump Tower Moscow, including illegally working with a sanctioned bank because of money laundering and planning to give Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse to sweeten the deal. Cohen’s testimony also puts DDT’s family in legal danger because of their discussions about the deal. Last year, Donald Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was only “peripherally aware” of the Moscow deal in 2016 and may have also lied to the House Intelligence Committee about the same issue. Cohen may also corroborate the key parts about DDT’s ties to Russia in the Steele dossier. New Yorker reporter Adam Davidson tweeted that “*any* significant real estate development in Moscow is, almost by definition, part of a money laundering scheme.”

DDT claimed that he could do business while campaigning for president, but he concealed his activities while repeatedly lying about them.  He tried to cover his activities by saying that he never cared about building in Russia, but he’s been working on the project for 30 years. DDT accused Cohen of lying but added “even if he was right.”

Another crisis for DDT was Russia’s firing on three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait and seizing 24 sailors. Putin blamed Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko of creating the naval “provocation.” In response, Poroshenko, who accused Putin of trying to take the Sea of Azov, has called for martial law across Ukraine’s border regions for a month. Put has already taken Crimea and eastern Ukraine; now Ukraine claims that Russia is sealing off the Sea of Azov by blockading ports Mariupol and Berdyansk and preventing ships from going under the Crimean Bridge through the Kerch Strait. The EU called on Russia to release the ships and crews and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty; Poland wants new sanctions on Russia. Although DDT seemed to blame Ukraine and Russia equally for Russia’s attack, he finally canceled his meeting with Putin at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires (Argentina) this weekend. Both U.S. and world media, included in Russia, blamed the cancellation, on new revelations about DDT’s lying about his business affairs.

Putin, largely a pariah at the summit because of his attack on the Ukrainian ships, didn’t look happy to see DDT at the summit. Yet he greeted Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam (MBS) with a high five and big smiles. Even after intelligence shows that MBS was responsible for torturing and dismembering U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, DDT still denies that MBS had any involvement in the murder at the Saudi embassy in Turkey. DDT’s faithful sidekick John Bolton, national security adviser, refused to listen to the torture and dismemberment tape of Jamal Khashoggi because it wasn’t in English.

The real pariah at the summit, however, was DDT. U.S. former allies avoided him, and DDT was afraid to connect with his authoritarian friends. David Ignatius has provided a detailed background of MBS’ paranoid and violent move toward power that he compares to Saddam Hussein.

When DDT signed his new NAFTA with Mexico and Canada at the G20 summit, he claimed that the slightly revised and renamed trade agreement is monumental, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out that DDT’s tariffs hurt Canada and mentioned the loss of jobs at a Canadian General Motors factory. The agreement must still pass the Congress with a Democratic House and conservatives in both chambers who opposed the anti-discrimination provision against LGBTQ people.

Although DDT was supposed to talk at the summit with Xi Jinping, China’s president, about solving DDT’s trade Chinese trade war, DDT left early after the death of former President George H.W. Bush on Friday, claiming that he and Xi had declared a truce on the tariff problem. The stock market has been going up and down, based on how buyers perceive the tariff situation. China has found ways to avoid the new U.S. tariffs:

  • Avoid 25 percent tariffs on Maine lobster by getting them from Nova Scotia.
  • Buy more oil from Russia and Saudi Arabia.
  • Get soybeans from Brazil and Argentina.
  • Replace U.S.-made high-tech imports with those from Asia.

DDT blamed the struggles of the stock market and the GM layoffs on the Federal Reserve, especially his own appointee Chair Jerome Powell, yet Wednesday’s headlines stated that DDT might be making a deal with China about the tariffs, and the Dow skyrocketed more than 600 points. DDT is still trying to take credit for the stock market, claiming that it is up 13 points more than the 25 percent rise since he was inaugurated. Even so, the rise is less than that during President Obama’s first two years in office—33 percent.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was behind DDT’s selection of Powell, and DDT has another reason to dislike his hand-picked Treasury secretary. If Democrats request DDT’s tax returns, Mnuchin indicated that he will follow the law. Meanwhile DDT listens to Larry Kudlow for economic advice—the man who swore that there would be no recession just three months before Bear Stearns and the dominos began to fall. Faced with the disaster, he said, “Recessions are therapeutic.” The “therapy” of recessions may occur before the end of DDT’s first term.

DDT’s reputation with his base has been damaged by General Motors’ announcement that it is slashing 14,700 jobs—many in Michigan and Ohio—by eliminating 15 percent of its workforce in North America and closing four factories in the U.S. Offering buyouts to 50,000 salaried North American workers, GM stated that DDT’s steel tariffs cost them $1 billion. Traditional passenger cars went from 50 percent of GM U.S. vehicle sales in 2012 to 31 percent this year while SUV and pickup truck sales increased by 31 percent. The company also gained a massive tax break from the GOP cuts and failed to invest in U.S. jobs, choosing instead to build the Blazer in Mexico. DDT took the closures personally and threatened GM, saying that the company “better damn well open a new plant [in Ohio] very quickly.” He continued, “I love Ohio. I told them, ‘you’re playing around with the wrong person.’ ” He lied that he would eliminate tax credits for purchasing GM electric cars—only Congress can do that—and false accused GM of not paying back the bailout money the company received after the Bush recession.

Over a month ago, Ford announced 24,000 layoffs of its 202,000 worldwide workers and stated that DDT’s tariffs had lost the company $1 billion. It was producing 32.8 vehicles per employee compared to GM’s 52.7 vehicles per employee. The company also plans to switch to SUVs, CUVs, and pickups, leaving the only the Mustang in its passenger-car line-up. Even that car may disappear with China’s tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles.

More Russian connections for DDT:

Late night chats between DDT and friend Roger Stone may have covered WikiLeaks’ dropping bombshells from hacks into Clinton’s campaign, but Stone denies it “unless [Robert] Mueller has tape recordings of the phone calls.” Conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi gave WaPo an August 2, 2016 email in which Corsi told Stone that WikiLeaks was planning a major release of “very damaging” material, the day before a private Stone-DDT talk. Mueller may have evidence that Stone told Corsi to get him the WikiLeaks information and then funnel it to DDT’s campaign.

DDT’s chief defense lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has admitted that he received briefings from Paul Manafort’s attorneys while Manafort was supposedly cooperating with Mueller in conversations not covered by attorney-client privilege. A joint defense agreement exists only between people with common legal interests which Manafort lacked when he claimed he was cooperating with Mueller. Now DDT is suggesting that he may pardon Manafort, possibly as a reward for Manafort passing along confidential information. Manafort shouldn’t count on a pardon, however: he has already pled guilty to state crimes in California, New Jersey, and Virginia. DDT can pardon only federal crimes.

Despite at least 15 blanket denials from those involved, DDT’s campaign team had at least 92 contacts with Russia-linked operatives, and at least 26 high-level campaign officials and DDT advisors knew about these contacts, including three successive people who ran Trump’s campaign.

As more information is released about the Russian scandal, DDT’s tweets become more manic. Last Wednesday, he retweeted images of special counsel Robert Mueller, Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, President Obama, former AG Eric Holder, and former President Bill Clinton—all behind bars—and calling for the Democrats and law enforcement and intelligence officials to be imprisoned and claiming that they should have trials for treason. DDT fan Cesar Sayoc targeted many of these people with pipe bombs. He also falsely accused Mueller of “viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts” in exchange for “relief.” The desperate DDT is calling for more violence.

February 25, 2017

DDT: Lies, Lies, Lies

cpac-ballroomConservatives celebrated at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and his minions this year—a change from last year when he wasn’t even wanted at the conference. DDT’s speech could have been the one he wanted to give last year as he quoted Hillary Clinton’s term “deplorable” and encouraged the crowd to shout “Lock her up!” Another last election message was the conspiracy against Bernie Sanders with “super-delegates.” Numbers also plagued him when he claimed that they would not read about CPAC “lines that go back six blocks.” The speech is probably for his 2020 run, but the lies are the same. Even the ballroom at CPAC was not full for DDT’s speech.

Other false claims from DDT: “Obamacare covers very few people,” and “[the wall is] way, way, way ahead of schedule.” The Affordable Care Act reduced the number of uninsured by 20 million people, and there is no schedule for the wall that may never be built.” The rate of people in the United States who lack health insurance has hit a record low with only 8.6 percent of people, about 27.3 million, being uninsured. That’s 20.4 million fewer people than when the program started in 2010, and the number would be lower if the Supreme Court had maintained the states’ mandatory Medicaid expansion. Red states showed the greatest decline in the number of uninsured, and those without Medicaid expansion had the highest percentage of uninsured with Texas and Mississippi at the top.

Throwing red meat to his CPAC base, DDT defined his enemies: “radical Islamic terrorists”; immigrants who he described as “the gang members, the drug dealers, and the criminal aliens”; and, of course, the “dishonest media.” Also the Constitution as he whined about the “Fiii-rrrst Amendment!” After he talked about keeping “the bad ones” out, he excluded several media outlets from his Friday briefing session.

DDT’s new National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, negated the use of the term “racial Islamic terrorists.” Speaking to his staff, he said that the label was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic.”

 With so much news flooding the air waves about DDT, this one may have slipped through the cracks. One week before Michael Flynn left his position as National Security Advisor on February 13, 2017, he received a proposal for the way that DDT could lift sanctions against Russia. DDT’s personal Mafia-linked lawyer Michael D. Cohen, business associate plus convicted felon and government informant Felix Salter who helped DDT scout deals in Russia, and Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Artemenko are pushing the plan of releasing evidence of corruption to allow Artemenko to take over the government and negotiate a long term Russian “lease” of Crimea.

The goal is to replace the current Ukrainian government with the Russia-tolerant faction allowing DDT to lift the sanctions against Russia’s military invasion and capture of Russia and give Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the $500 billion deal for Exxon Mobil. Flynn has disappeared, but the plan surely remains, most likely with a payoff for DDT. And it’s on paper. Artemenko is currently under treason investigation, and Cohen denied delivering any plan.

DDT’s assertion that his Muslim ban is to protect the country was soundly debunked by a report from his own Department of Homeland Security that concluded citizenship is an “unreliable” threat indicator and that people from the seven countries have rarely been implicated in U.S.-based terrorism. People from the dangerous seven countries identified by DDT, the same ones where he doesn’t do personal profit-making business—Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Libya—are “rarely implicated in U.S.-based terrorism,” according to the report.

Although terror groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen pose a threat of attacks in the United States, the other four countries are “regionally focused.” Of the 82 people “who died in the pursuit of or were convicted of any terrorism-related federal offense,” over half were U.S.-born citizens. Eight of them convicted or died in pursuit of terrorism were from Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen. People are more likely to be killed by guns, trains, a railway vehicle, their own clothes melting or lighting on fire, lightning, falling furniture–the list goes on and on about the dangers of life outside terrorism. Of the 3,252,493 refugees admitted to the United States from 1975 to the end of 2015, 20 were terrorists, 0.00062 percent of the total.  Only three of them were successful in their attacks, killing a total of three people.

At the same time DHS released its report refuting DDT’s claim about Muslims and terrorism, Secretary John Kelly released a memo creating a new DDT-ordered federal office to work with victims of undocumented immigrants. He wrote that “criminal aliens routinely victimize Americans and other legal residents.” Once again, the government is “misrepresenting,” a polite word for lying. Undocumented immigrants are no more likely to commit crimes and U.S. citizens and are less likely to be criminals in some cases.

The Secure Communities (S-COMM) immigration enforcement program failed to reduce crime. A study of 159 cities shows no correlation between crime rates and levels of immigration, and other research showed that levels of recent immigration had a negative affect on homicide rates and no affect on property crime rates. Another study found that immigrant influx was correlated with decreases in homicide and robbery rates.

The only people who need to be afraid are those with brown skin who might be accused of being Hispanic or Muslim. For example, Muhammad Ali Jr., son of one of the greatest boxers and civil rights activists in the nation, was detained two hours on February 7 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FL) airport on his return from Jamaica. He had gone there with his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, who gave a speech about black history. He was asked twice about his religion and “where he got his name,” a common question for Muslims. Agents released Ali’s mother when she showed him a photo of herself with her ex-husband, but Ali had no picture of himself and his father who died last year. DDT’s Muslim ban was overturned three days prior to Ali’s detention, but agents reportedly did not respect the court’s judgment.

NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre is using the DDT system of lying. Before Election Day, he told gun lovers that they had to vote for NRA Republicans because every one of his predictions about Obama taking guns and sabotaging the Second Amendment had come true. The reverse was actually true as federal gun safety laws and those in most states were weakened. At CPAC, LaPierre ranted about how the “Anarchists, Marxists, communists, and the left of—the rest of the left-wing socialist parade” are coming for the guns.

Anti-Trump protesters “spit in the face of Gold Star families,” a revision of history when progressives defended these families and DDT excoriated them unless they were white. LaPierre said these leftists want “to tear down our system.” At the same time, White House and white supremacist Steve Bannon declared that “deconstruction [aka destruction] of the administration” is its goal. The crowning claim from LaPierre was that progressive activists get paid $1,500 a week, $78,000 a year. Watch for the letters of your newspaper because these lies are sure to appear there.

“I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning, my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber—at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead—held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.”

gabby-giffordsThat was the response from Gabby Giffords to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) who used her as an excuse for not facing his constituents. Gohmert won his last election by more than 49 points, and his district is one of the reddest in the country—but he’s afraid of “the threat of violence at town hall meetings.” And he used the 2011 shooting at former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) where she was severely injured and six people were killed. With her customary bravery, Giffords responded:

“To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls. [During my congressional career] listening to my constituents was the most basic and core tenet of the job I was hired to do.”

Giffords’ husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly said that Gohmert shouldn’t “hide behind” his wife to avoid town halls:

“If he doesn’t want to do town halls, he should just say he doesn’t want to face his constituents. He shouldn’t hide behind Gabby.”

Town hall complaints from tens of thousands of people included the repeal of health care, Scott Pruitt’s confirmation to head the EPA, and legislators refusal to investigate DDT’s links to Russia. Many crowds chanted, “Do your job!” Terrified of this response, a vast majority of GOP legislators simply avoided their constituents in any way they could.

Gohmert also repeated lies that “paid” groups were disrupting the Republican town halls. No town hall meetings this year have been violent, even if some members of Congress have called the police instead of facing a group of people. There’s no evidence of paid protesters, and progressive activists haven’t “threatened public safety.” It was the violent Tea Party members who protested Barack Obama’s election and gathered with their guns to threaten and spit on legislators who supported the ACA.

If Gohmert—and his GOP colleagues—are so terrified of vilence from guns, it’s time for them to enact gun safety laws. And it’s time for “these people” to stop lying.

 

 

June 15, 2015

Jeb for President? Part I

The big day has arrived! Everyone knew that former Florida governor Jeb Bush wouldn’t be dashing around the country and coordinating with his Super PAC—something he can’t do after he declares his candidacy—unless he was running for president. Millions of dollars later and on the verge, some people say over the edge, of breaking the law in his campaigning, he’s a bona fide candidate. Here’s what the United States would get with Bush III, as he explains his positions in an opportunistic, passive-aggressive way.

Former Florida Governor and probable 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire April 17, 2015.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Former Florida Governor and probable 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Bush’s Christian belief will guide his governing. That includes supporting the so-called “religious freedom” that merges church and state in laws and courts.

Unmarried women with children should be publicly shamed, according to Bush’s 1995 book, Profiles in Character. Six years later, he allowed a state law mandating that women be forced to publicize their names, physical descriptions, and sexual histories if they put up their children for adoption. The courts, who Bush hates, struck down the unconstitutional law, and it was repealed in 2003.  On the campaign trail, Bush said that he’s only “evolved” on the issue in thinking that “dads” should have a responsibility—nothing about withdrawing his earlier statement.

To make himself more presentable to the vast majority of voters in the United States, Bush does address income equality, which he calls the “opportunity gap.” But his defining statement is that any law that “subtracts from [economic] growth” should not even be discussed.

A speaker for the secretive Coal & Investment Leadership Forum a few weeks ago, Bush wooed the CEOs of six coal companies and their guests. The group has spent more than $17.4 million on campaigns and lobbying since the last presidential election. How much for Bush, no one knows for sure, because he concealed donor names by waiting a long time to declare his candidacy.

In New Hampshire, Bush said that the science is not clear on how much of climate change is “man-made” and “for people to say the science is decided on this is just really arrogant.” In Connecticut, he called on immediate action for climate change because “climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country.” In foreign policy, the United States should encourage countries with higher carbon emissions rates to reduce them but added that fracking and new drilling technologies is decreasing U.S. carbon emissions. The word “arrogance” disappeared in his next trip to New Hampshire.

Bush got more media coverage than he wanted in early May when he changed his position four times after a question about whether he would have started the Iraq War if he knew then what is known now—that there are no WMDs. First, he said “I would have,” then he said that he misunderstood the question before following up with his not hearing the question correctly. Bush finished up the debate with himself by saying that he would not have gone into Iraq. A year after the war when no one found WMDs, the then-governor of Florida praised the war effort and later described it as a noble mission. By 2013, he was still supporting the war, saying that the public would change its mind about thinking that war was a mistake.

A 19-year-old political science student in Nevada engaged Bush after Bush blamed President Obama for the rise of ISIS. Ivy Ziedrich described the reason for ISIS and said, “Your brother created ISIS.” Bush accused Ziedrich of re-writing history, but that’s what he was doing. The United States pulled back in Iraq because of George W. Bush’s Status of Forces Agreement. ISIS is an outgrowth of Al Qaeda which expanded because of the Bush/Cheney administration’s chaotic U.S. invasion of Iraq. Jeb’s solution is deploying thousands of additional U.S. troops to Iraq in another war.

Bush demonstrated his need for war in the obligatory Europe tour for serious presidential candidates when he addressed Vladimir Putin’s refusal to back off in Ukraine. George W. Bush always liked “Poot Poot,” as he called Putin, because he looked into the Russian leader’s eyes and saw his soul. When asked about Dubya’s mistake, Jeb Bush said, “I think Putin has changed.” Only last year, the Fox network, Republican leaders, and evangelical Christians thought Putin was a better leader than Presidential Obama. Now Bush wants more “robust” training exercises in Ukraine.

After the disastrous week of flip-flopping on his brother’s Iraq War, Bush tried to explain that his new wrist watch would make the Affordable Care Act redundant. His position on ACA is replacement with a “consumer-driven” system, a popular term with no substance. His vision surrounding his new Apple Watch:

“On this device in five years will be applications that will allow me to manage my health care in ways that five years ago were not even possible. I’ll have the ability, someone will, you know, because of my blood sugar, there’ll be a wireless, there’ll be, someone will send me a signal. It’ll come here, I’ll get a double beep saying, ‘You just ate a butterscotch sundae’ or something like that. ‘You went way over the top. You’re a diabetic, you can’t do that,’ whatever.

“We’ll be able to guide our own health care decisions in a way that will make us healthy. And ultimately, we have to get to a health system, away from a disease system.”

Even if everyone in the United States could afford the expensive Apple Watch, the device will be reduced to saying “you need medical attention” if a person suffers from a broken leg or a genetic disorder. That medical attention will require health coverage to be affordable. Cancer needs chemotherapy, not a watch. Heart disease requires a cardiologist, not a watch.

Bush does know that his Apple Watch won’t help people with Alzheimers. He wants to cut domestic spending in almost all other areas but calls for increased funding to find a cure for Alzheimers and speed up the approval process for medications to treat the disorder. Tampa Bay Times’ Adam C. Smith noted that Florida state lawmakers in both parties “recall Bush vetoing their budget items targeting Alzheimer’s research and care while at the same time approving tax cuts often mainly for the benefit of specific businesses or wealthier Floridians.” Then Bush called the Alzheimer measures a “want,” not a “need.” His “evolution” may come from his mother-in-law’s Alzheimer’s disease.

Asked about his favorite author, Bush cited Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve which declares that Blacks have a lower intelligence level than Whites. Murray’s newest book, By The People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, calls for dismantling the United States regulatory and welfare programs because of the culture of laziness “in our inner cities in particular.”

Murray proposes a legal defense fund started by “just one wealthy American” to give wealthy people veto power over much of U.S. law. His recommendations would erase the minimum wage, overtime laws, most environmental protections and financial reforms, many worker safety laws, and anti-discrimination laws.

Bush was supposed to be the smart one, yet he’s having trouble demonstrating that characteristic. He can’t speak coherently about Iraq, thinks his Apple Watch is part of an anti-Obamacare vision, isn’t up to speed on immigration policy, and believes people who believe in climate science are “arrogant.”

Because Bush is so weak on foreign policy, he needs advisors—and they show poor choices. His top adviser on US-Israeli policy is George W. Bush. Of the 21 foreign policy advisors he listed, 17 served in the George W. Bush administration including the top policy architect of the Iraq War, Paul Wolfowitz.

Before Wolfowitz became the cheerleader for the Iraq War, he promoted the theory that Saddam Hussein, not Islamic extremists such as Al Qaeda, was responsible for the world’s anti-United States terrorism. The theory started over a decade before the U.S. declared war on Iraq and included blaming Saddam for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the attack on the USS Cole off the Yemen coast. Wolfowitz, top Pentagon official for Bush I, contributed to a book on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing called Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein’s Unfinished War against America. He was also a prime advocate for Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi exile leader, who pushed the false information on Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction onto U.S. leadership.

Wolfowitz disagreed with the testimony of General Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, that it would take “several hundred thousand soldiers” to occupy Iraq; discounted the possibility of sectarian violence in Iraq following the invasion; insisted that Iraq’s oil revenues would finance post-war reconstruction; and declared that he was “reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators.” All these claims were false. Now he’s advising another Bush about global conspiracies.

That’s the tip of the Jeb iceberg. Part II tomorrow.

April 18, 2015

U.S.-Supported Ukraine Run by Neo-Nazis, Oligarchs

Filed under: Foreign policy — trp2011 @ 9:52 PM
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Announcements of presidential candidates, hawks demanding the U.S. declare war on Iran, and the bills giving “religious” discrimination rights to the ultra-conservative have pushed Ukraine off the media. Yet the United States continues to support the neo-Nazi leadership in a country taken over, like the United States, by oligarchs. Yesterday, however, hundreds of U.S. paratroopers landed in Ukraine to train its forces in a fight against “pro-Russian rebels.” Brigade planning officer Captain Ashish Patel said, “This training will help them defend their borders and their sovereignty.” The 173rd Airborne Brigade already trained with Ukrainian forces last September.

The conflict has been going on for 18 months since street protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych because he prevented treaties with the European Union. In the past year, over 4,800 people have been killed and 1.2 million displaced by the conflict. By July EU nations and the U.S. declared sanctions against Moscow, accusing Russians of supplying rebels with the missile that took down a Malaysian commercial airplane. A ceasefire in September was renewed in February although separatists have reclaimed 200 square miles of land in eight months. A bipartisan group of congressional members, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), insist on supplying Ukraine with antitank missiles, reconnaissance drones and other arms.

The U.S. allies in Europe—including Great Britain, Italy, and Germany—oppose this move, arguing that Russia will overcome Ukraine and take the weapons. Ukrainians may even hand the weapons over to Russia; espionage shows that Ukrainian forces cannot be trusted with these weapons. Sending the weapons will also increasingly deteriorate U.S. relationship with Russia, driving Putin to join China in an alliance against the United States.

War hawks ignore or deny the part that neo-Nazis played in the February 2014 coup and their subsequent military offensives against ethnic Russians. Fourteen months later, on the 70th anniversary of the conclusion to the Holocaust, the Ukrainian parliament extended official recognition to Ukrainian fascists who collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews. Any politicians and journalists who criticize the U.S.-backed regime in Ukraine suffer from not only repression but also death.

During World War II, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army joined the Nazis in their mass-murder of Jews, Poles and other minority groups. The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned both Ukraine’s recognition of the UIA and a second bill that equated Communist and Nazi crimes. Dr. Efraim Zuroff said:

“The decision to honor local Nazi collaborators and grant them special benefits turns Hitler’s henchmen into heroes despite their active and zealous participation in the mass murder of innocent Jews. These attempts to rewrite history, which are prevalent throughout post-Communist Eastern Europe, can never erase the crimes committed by Nazi collaborators in these countries.”

 

After the 2014 coup, neo-Nazi militias attacking ethnic Russian cities in eastern Ukraine wore swastikas and SS symbols, a fact largely ignored in the mainstream U.S. news media. Despite the resurgence of neo-Nazi rioters warring against ethnic Russians in the east, the mainstream U.S. media blames ethnic Russians for not submitting to the post-coup regime in Kiev. Hatred for Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, is so prevalent in the United States that it can be easily used to justify aggression against Russia while actually protecting the Ukrainian neo-Nazi leadership.

 

The Jerusalem Post has written about concerns for the safety of Jews in Ukraine, especially after the discovery that the police chief for Kiev’s province has ties with a neo-Nazi organization. Right-wing

Dimitri Jarosch, official adviser to the army leadership, also organized many of the fighters behind the February 2014 putsch. U.S.-backed Maidan protests against Yanukovych in November 2014 came from neo-Nazi militias trained in western Ukraine and bused to Kiev. Commander of the Maidan forces, Andriy Parubiy, became national security chief and incorporated Maidan militia forces into the National Guard that sent to eastern Ukraine to fight ethnic Russians resisting the coup. The U.S. government and media consistently cheered the openly white supremacist, anti-Semite neo-Nazis who overcame Ukraine. Azov commander Andriy Biletsky, also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly, said, “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

 

Ukrainian officials in Kiev have acknowledged that they knew about the militias’ extremist positions but needed troops who were strongly motivated to fight. Over a year after the coup, mainstream U.S. news outlets claim that any mention of significant neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine is “Russian propaganda.”

Ten opposition figures have mysteriously died in the past few months: some are clearly murders while others are claimed to be suicides by the Ukrainian government. This past week Oleg Kalashnikov, a political leader of the opposition Party of Regions, was shot to death in his home. He had been campaigning for the Ukrainians to celebrate the World War II Allied victory, infuriating western Ukrainians who identify with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. The next day Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina was murdered after he protested government censorship on news outlets. Another dissident journalist, Serhiy Sukhobok, was supposedly killed in Kiev, but the Ukrainian government has withheld information about his murderers. If any reports about these deaths emerge in the U.S. media, the killed are called “pro-Russian,” and the U.S. media now avoid any mention of Ukrainian leaders as neo-Nazis.

 

The other rulers of Ukraine are oligarchs, the wealthy businessmen who made their money from privatization during the 1990s. One of them has gone too far even for President Petro Poroshenko, who had appointed him governor. Khor Kolomoisky, who financed volunteer battalions to supplement the country’s army, deployed his personal militia, many of them neo-Nazis, to block regulations on his business interests. The other oligarchs remain, owning and controlling the media and the banks while putting their people into the parliament through a closed party-list voting system. As in the United States, Ukraine’s government is controlled by the wealthy. U.S. media smoothed over the oligarchic control of Ukraine by writing that these men were “too rich to bribe.”

Like the far-right policies in the United States, slash old-age pensions and remove worker protections. They also hiked the price of heating fuel in exchange for a $17.5 billion bailout of the country’s collapsing financial structure.

 

U.S. control of Ukraine is also seen in its Finance Minister, Natalie Jaresko, former chief executive officer of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), created by Congress from taxpayer money in the 1990s to help jumpstart an investment economy in Ukraine. Although her salary was only $150,000, her IRS reporting in 2004 was approximately $450,000. To attain her new position, Jaresko gained Ukrainian citizenship literally overnight; now she is responsible for dispensing $17.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund and billions more from U.S. and European government. Later compensation was removed from public disclosure.

 

Considering Jaresko’s history, there is a question about whether the money she manages will go to the poor Ukrainians or its other oligarchs. Meanwhile the United States is sending paratroopers to the Ukraine to train neo-Nazis who already commit “ISIS-style” war crimes, according to Amnesty International. Ukrainian neo-Nazis want a war with Russia, and the United States plans to give it to them.

December 8, 2014

House Votes for War against Russia

While the nation’s media debates whether jaywalking and selling cigarettes should be capital offenses with the police acting as judge, jury, and executioner, 411 members of the U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a bill that, if approved by the same large percentage of the Senate, can lead the United States into war with Russia. Five Republicans and five Democrats voted against H. Res. 758 “strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.”

This move toward war proves that the House can act quickly if it wishes: the resolution was introduced on November 18, went to committee, and passed on December 4—just 16 days from beginning to end. Yet House members have done nothing about funding anti-ISIL programs and waited to take up the budget to keep the government running until tomorrow—just two days before their lights go out and they leave town. The House wants to start wars, not pay for them.

Those who believe that resolutions are harmless should look back what happened after the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 calling for regime change. George W. Bush used this act as support for the congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq in October 2002. Equally frightening is the remarkable lack of media attention to a vote that can lead to the downfall of the entire world.

With no proof, the resolution accuses Russia of an invasion of Ukraine and condemns Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. While the U.S. was complaining about Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, the U.S. participated in the overthrow in the country’s elected government last February, shown by the $5 billion that the U.S. spent on regime change in Ukraine. The accusation in the resolution that people in east Ukraine held “fraudulent and illegal elections” follows the U.S. pattern of complaining about elections in any country when the U.S. government doesn’t get its desired results. The resolution also urges the government in Kiev to resume military operations against the eastern regions that seek independence.

According to the resolution, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down by a missile “fired by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.” The final report regarding the crash isn’t due for release until next year, and the preliminary report does not state that a missile brought down the plane. The report also fails to blame anyone.

Another complaint in the resolution is that Russia sold arms to Assad government in Syria. The weapons were sent to fight ISIL, considered to be the U.S. enemy. At the same time, the United States inadvertently provided weapons to ISIL by supplying them to Syrian rebels.

The statement that Russia invaded the Republic of Georgia in 2008 is also untrue. The European Union determined that Georgia “started an unjustified war” against Russia, not vice versa.

 

The resolution condemns Russia for its economic sanctions, “coercive economic measures,” against Ukraine, the exact action that the U.S. took against Russia.

Another part of the resolution is a complaint of Russia’s attacks on U.S. computer networks and “illicitly acquiring information” about the U.S. government. As the Edward Snowden leaks show, the U.S. has done massive spying on the rest of the world, even taping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone. In addition, other countries such as China hack into U.S. computer systems, but thus far the House has not passed any resolutions to attack that county.

 

About the accusation that Russian’s state-funded media is to “distort public opinion,” the U.S. government spends billions of dollars to finance and sponsor media such outlets Voice of America and RFE/RL, as well as to subsidize “independent” media in countless counties overseas.

 

The resolution supports Ukrainian President Poroshenko in re-starting his military assault on the independence-seeking eastern provinces, urging the “disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine.” The House bill calls for the U.S. president to “provide the government of Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty.” According to International Law, sending military hardware and/or personnel across and into a sovereign country with the purpose of killing is an act of war.

 

In Ukraine, the United States planned and funded a Neo-Nazi coup that led to the overthrow of a democratically-elected government. The U.S. supported openly fascist, anti-Semitic oligarchs to take over the Ukrainian government. This week Natalie Jaresko, a former U.S. State Department officer, received Ukrainian citizenship and, at the same time, became the country’s new Finance Minister. She had headed a U.S. government-funded investment project for Ukraine that involved substantial insider dealings, including $1 million-plus fees to a management company that she also controlled.

 

In its rationale for the demands in H.Res. 758, the 411 House members voting in favor of aggression against Russia have demonstrated a high level of hypocrisy.

 

  • U.S. and British intelligence have used Ukranian Neo-Nazis against the Soviet Union since the end of World War II.
  • President George H.W. Bush and German chancellor Helmut Kohl in essence defrauded Mikhail Gorbachev in expanding NATO to the Russian borders.
  • The United States destabilized Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, and other countries formed from the Soviet Union in a pattern of color revolutions. The U.S. wants access to Ukraine’s rich store of oil and gas, just as it wants the energy resources in the Middle East.

 

For the past century, the United States has created a phenomenal number of imperialist coups around the world—Latin America, the Middle East, Southern Africa, etc. The U.S. has provided support to terrorist and paramilitary organizations as well as assistance to authoritarian regimes that use terror as a tool of repression. At this time, the U.S. foreign policy is to kill thousands of innocent civilians with drones. It is impossible for this country to pretend to take the high road in such a resolution as H.R. 758. The people who voted for this resolution should be embarrassed by their actions.

 

A provision of the resolution could force NATO to wage war if the United States chooses this option. If the Senate passes H. Res. 758, the president has a green light for war on Russia without further congressional approval. Infrastructure in the United States is rapidly crumbling, and 50 million people live in poverty  partly because of the trillions of dollars spent on just the Middle East wars during the 21st century. The resolution extends that travesty to a possibility of World War III, this time with nuclear attacks, no safety provisions of the past Cold War, and no holds barred. The conservative hawks are determined to attack, a situation that could annihilate the planet before climate change has a chance to destroy all of us.

April 1, 2014

Fools on April Fools’ Day

April Fools’ Day! The day that kids love to play pranks on adults and other kids. The day that goes back to the Roman celebration Hilaria on the first day of the year that is longer than the night. So I’ll celebrate the day by writing about the fools of our time.

My current favorite fools are all the people who think that the Green family of Hobby Lobby, suing to keep their religious beliefs, genuinely care about their avoidance of contraception—which they call “abortion.” While the family refuses to allow their insurance to pay for employees’ contraception, they hold more than $73 million in mutual funds with manufacturers of emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Teva, Pfizer, Bayer, AstraZeneca—all produce contraceptives. In addition, Hobby Lobby’s health insurance covered Plan  B and Ella for years; they only dropped this coverage when they decided to file a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.

Other fools:

Edward Farrell: Perhaps the dumbest man in the United States is the vice-mayor of Maricopa (AZ) for his praise of Fred Phelps. Known for his picketing of funerals of fallen soldiers with signs saying that they deserved to die, Phelps and followers planned to picket the Arizona funeral of the 9-year-old girl killed when then Rep. Gabby Gifford was shot. After the 84-year-old leader of the Westboro  Baptist Church in Topeka (KS) died, the satiric Onion published an “obituary” that described his achievements:

“Nowhere in this country can same-sex partners enter into domestic partnerships, file joint tax returns, or adopt children. The unmitigated failure of the gay rights movement is something that can be singlehandedly attributed to Fred Phelps and his tireless efforts to show us that this was an unholy behavior.”

On his Facebook page, Farrell wrote, “We need more Fred Phelps in this world. May you rest in peace sir.” He later retracted his statement, saying that he didn’t know who Phelps or the Onion was. Maybe Maricopa doesn’t need a vice-mayor.

Walmart: The company that gets profits from underpaying employees who then get benefits from taxpayers has discovered that it may have lost $3 billion a year by cutting back on the number of employees. That’s what the empty shelves from stocking problems have cost the company. They now plan to “add labor hours as part of an effort to bolster ‘in-store execution.’” Over the last five years, Walmart opened more than 600 new stores but employees 20,000 fewer people. The company even got downgraded by an investment research firm that found the company’s “relentless focus on costs does seem to have taken some toll on in-store conditions and stock levels.” The other fools in this story are the taxpayers who keep paying the $243 billion every year in benefits for poorly-paid employees because of the low minimum wage.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: The biggest fools in the disappearance of an aircraft over three weeks ago are the U.S. media that obsessively reported on—nothing. Hour after hour, CNN and Fox entertained its audience about—nothing. Only one thing was discovered: the oceans are full of human-created garbage from lost shipping containers, plastic raw industrial material, and consumer items from people living within 60 miles of coastlines. Entire houses have been found floating in the Pacific Ocean since the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

Plastic trash in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” about the size of Texas, is 100 times more than 40 years ago. Another garbage patch in the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles off the coast goes from Cuba to Virginia. We’re the fools for turning our food source into a garbage dump.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS): The companies that want all foods in the United states to be genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) may have found a patsy to present its bill to Congress. A coalition of grocery, food manufacturing, farmers, and commodity groups wants a “voluntary system” for labeling food that uses GMOs. Such giants as ConAgra and Kraft say they’re just trying to correct the “enormous misinformation” spread by past failed ballot initiatives in California and Washington. Last year, Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced a mandatory GMO-labeling plan. About 93 percent of the public support labeling.

Benghazi: The famous couple, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) have joined Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) “to investigate the terrorist attacks on our compounds in Benghazi.” After 18 months, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) gave up his futile attempt to tar the president and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. There has never been evidence of any wrongdoing on their part in the disaster that killed four people over 30 months ago, but the 2016 election is fast approaching. The Department of Defense has spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours for Congress’s six investigations into Benghazi with 50 congressional hearings. Issa spent almost as much time on that as the House did on the Affordable Care Act.

Ukraine:  Obama wants peace, but the GOP wants to attack any country that has anything that the United States wants. In the case of Iraq, it was oil. In Ukraine, the U.S. wants to throw Russia out of its only warm-water port and surround the country with missile bases.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stomps around the senate floor, yelling about how we should have bombed someone last week. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton accuses the U.S. of being a nation in decline because of its dealings with Russia. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the man who was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction,  said that even a “trained ape” has better foreign policy skills than President Obama.

President Obama has declared sanctions toward Russia after Crimea moved back to a part of the country, eliminated Russia from the powerful G8 group, and makes plans to send ground troops to the Baltic States of Eastern Europe, but none of it satisfies the conservatives, most of them from the South. In Better off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession, Chuck Thompson writes, “The southerner’s enthrallment with war and bloodshed, his veneration of defeat and disaster, his zeal for religious crusade, and easy compliance with the corporate profit motive, has repeatedly dragged the nation into unnecessary wars.”

After the growing success of the Affordable Care Act, the GOP needs another drum to beat. Thus the party has chosen their 2014 position as “Democrats are weak on national security.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused Obama of trying “to alienate and abandon our friends, and to coddle and appease our enemies.” Former Vice-President Dick Cheney blamed what he sees as Obama’s weakness that led Putin to take over Crimea. Putin invaded Georgia in 2008 while Cheney was vice-president, and George W. Bush did nothing.

Most of these same GOP legislators shouting that we need war avoided military service. McCain has his history of being a Vietnam POW, but the dissolution of the draft created a nation of chickenhawk lawmakers. Mike Lofgren, a 28-year member of Congress and author of The Party Is Over, wrote, “If you ever wondered how the United States came to be embroiled simultaneously in two major wars and a half dozen covert ones in the past decade, the cheerleading of Washington’s laptop commandos, with their disproportionate influence in major media, has been a major factor.”

The GOP party of no–erasing health care for everyone except the wealthy, eradicating women’s rights, taking away voters’ rights from anyone who might oppose them, and giving tax cuts to corporations and wealthy people–has no suggestions for improving the infrastructure, lowering the unemployment, and fixing the climate change disaster. Their only foreign policy is saber-rattling.

As Chuck Thompson wrote, “How depressing that we already know that the next Republican warmonger to sweep into power will do so on the same tarnished epaulets of military fanaticism enabled by the outsized influence of the southern polity on electoral America. Southerners are a military people. We were back then, still are today.”

This year we commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Do the chickenhawks want a third world war on this anniversary? China is nervous about the missiles pointed at Russia because China is also surrounded by U.S. naval and air bases. The two countries may declare themselves allies, and the Republicans might decide to take them on. If we take on China and Russia, we might not lose the battles, but we’ll be defeated in the ensuing economic war.

Climate-deniers: If we don’t blow ourselves up by declaring war on Russia and China, the climate will do us in. The U.N. has a second of four reports about the climate. That’s for another day, but Joe Barton (below) is representative of the backward, ignorant thinking of GOP members of Congress.

Joe Barton harnessing the wind

March 12, 2014

Ukraine – Follow the Money

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 7:30 PM
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The media flavor of the month is Ukraine. Everyone has an opinion about what we should do with the country, but most people don’t know anything about the country and its issues. GOP members vary taking military action to free Ukraine weeks ago, as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and only 8 percent of CPAC attendees want, to a position that would “secure and guarantee American safety at home and abroad.” Sen. Paul Rand (R-KY) is a strict isolationist, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wants a fight against “totalitarianism,” and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wobbles somewhere in between. The only thing that the GOP members agree on is that President Obama is wrong, no matter what he does.

Those vilifying President Obama for not taking action need to look back prior to Election Day 2008 about anyone criticizing the president’s approach toward foreign conflict when this was described as “traitor” and “fifth columnist.” They were accused of “treason,”  and characterizing the president as weak or inept was to encourage enemies to act aggressively against the United States.  Ed Koch wrote:

“Democrats and some Republicans in Congress are seeking to humble, embarrass and, if they can, destroy the President and the prestige of his position as the Commander-in-Chief who is responsible for the safety of our military forces and the nation’s defenses. By doing so, they are adding to the dangers that face our nation.”

Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation to help Ukraine and sanction Russia. If the entire Senate doesn’t pass the bill tomorrow, it must wait until after the senators return from another recess and after Crimea votes on whether to leave Ukraine for Russia. The bill, supposedly paid for by cuts in Army and Air Force procurement, would pay $315 million to Russia and Russia’s gas company and lend Ukraine an additional $1 billion that the House has already approved.  

The basis of most conservatives’ attitudes in the United States is that Russia is a bad country and whatever it does is bad unless it’s persecuting LGBT people. There is, however, another perspective about Ukraine. In describing Ukraine’s revolution, Robert Parry wrote about the “neo-Nazis running four ministries running four ministries including the Ministry of Defense.” Although Parry is no fan of Russia, he wrote that, unlike Ukraine, it at least has “a functioning economy.”

In Ukraine, ten “oligarchs” (in the United States we call them billionaires) are buying up media outlets and politicians while almost everyone else in the country faces austerity through great reductions in pensions and already inadequate social services. Continuing political issues there will surely encourage the “rise of right-wing extremists who espouse not only the goal of expelling ethnic Russians from Ukraine but Jews and other peoples considered not pure Ukrainian.” None of this information appears in U.S. media, but a BBC Newsnight entitled “Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine” gives more information.

President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement on February 21 to relinquish much of his power, hold early elections, and order police to withdraw. European nations co-signed the agreement and then did nothing while neo-Nazi militias overran government buildings, forcing officials to flee the country. The U.S. didn’t complain when they violated Ukraine’s constitution, but the U.S. perceives Crimea’s vote to secede as criminal.

Crimea wants to stay with Russia because most of the people are Russian and many speak Russian, but the U.S. opposes that action. Yet the U.S. supported the separation of 15 nations from the Soviet Union in 1991 and the separation of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. That same decade, U.S. facilitated the ethnic divisions of Yugoslavia and bombed Serbia to give Kosovo independence. The U.S. helped oil-rich South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011. Strategists may say that Crimea and Ukraine are far different from all these, but all secessions are unique.

The question that the U.S. doesn’t address is whether the regions of Crimea and eastern Ukraine should be able to vote on a separation. Part of Ukraine goes with Russia, giving Russians more security from the neo-Nazis’ ethnic cleansing. The rest of Ukraine can vote whether to join the European Union.

Russia is threatening to cut off natural gas to Ukraine as it has done before. The European Union also gets 20 percent of its fuel source from Russia through pipelines that cross Ukraine, and that country gets 70 to 80 percent of its natural gas from Russia. This situation makes the U.S. fat-cats gleefully rub their hands together as they consider the potential of Russia going up against Ukraine. It’s 2003 all over again when the U.S. went into Iraq to take over its oil fields.

Ukraine pipeline

Politicians are demanding that the U.S. sell its “surplus” natural gas to Europe and Ukraine as well as remove any controls on fracking in the U.S. Rand Paul wants to drill ” in every possible conceivable place” and send all the U.S. energy resources overseas. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced a bill in the House requiring the Department of Energy to approve and expedite permits to ship U.S. natural gas to Ukraine and other countries, and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced a similar measure in the Senate.

Expanding the exports of natural gas would largely benefit only the wealthy and the corporations because they are the ones who make a decision about where to send their product. Asia pays more than Europe, and there is no impetus to shift the direction of the shipping. The expansion of producing and exporting natural gas would only increase the rate at which resources in the U.S. are depleted and the destruction to the environment. Another problem is the lack of existing infrastructure to send natural gas to Europe. And the third is that the need for this product is seasonal, making the idea undesirable for corporations only interested in profit.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s accusation that Vladimir Putin is violating international law by sending Russian troops into Crimea flies in the face of reason. Ukraine’s president was democratically elected, and the neo-Nazis attacked the country. As for invasions, the United States is guilty of this multiple times, including Afghanistan and Iraq a little more than a decade ago. This invasion ended up killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and left their country a bitterly divided mess. Currently the Obama administration is blowing up people in other nations though the use of drones.

Since World War II, the list of countries where the United States have overthrown democratically-elected leaders includes Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Allende in Chile in 1973, Aristide in Haiti twice, Chavez in Venezuela briefly in 2002, Zelaya in Honduras in 2009, Morsi in Egypt in 2013, and now Yanukovych in Ukraine in 2014. Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela is getting nervous in case the U.S. turns its effort for “democracy” on him. And now the right-wing in the U.S. wants this nation to toss out another democratically-elected leader. 

United States agents have indulged in murder and torture, and the government has a history of training and working with fascists, dictators, drug lords, and terrorists in places including Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Korea, Laos, Libya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Panama, The Philippines, Syria, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, and Zaire. And that’s just since 1944. It’s hard for the United States to take the high ground with Russia when one considers the country’s history.

The United States employs a foreign policy, including with Ukraine, is follow-the-money. The Congress is buying into the philosophy. It is willingly sending money to a foreign country while refusing  to help desperate people within its own borders, and it providing big energy companies with everything they want. This investment will be paid back many-fold in the future with corporate campaign donations.

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