Popular Resistance News

George Lakey describes how courage develops in movements. Lakey describes courage as each of us expanding beyond our comfort zones and adds that our training for actions should include opportunities to step outside our comfort zone. He suggests we need to view the rapid heartbeat and adrenalin during an action not as fear, but as excitement.

Not Afraid. Parisians gather to pay respect for the victims of a terror attack against 'Charlie Hebdo'. Getty photo.Not Afraid. Parisians gather to pay respect for the victims of a terror attack against ‘Charlie Hebdo’. Getty photo.

Lakey teaches us that envisioning the whole story – where the story starts, the action being taken and its successful impact – emboldens us and calms our fears of uncertainty.

We learn courage in community because courage is contagious. If we build campaigns, not single action protests, there is time for courage to spread.

Challenging Extreme Energy

This week activists with We Are Cove PointSANE Energy and Beyond Extreme Energy went into a protest against Dominion Resources knowing they knew we were coming. There was some nervousness knowing we were facing a well-prepared security force.  But, we had community, we had prepared and we moved forward together. As a result, the investor analysts at the meeting heard our message and were impacted by the protest.

There is some fear in an occupation of tribal land in Arizona where tribes have come together in what one participant describes as “an action that constitutes a holy war, where tribes must stand in unity and fight to the very end.” Some 300 tribal members from across the country are camping out to protect Apache sacred lands which were recently taken by Congress for copper extraction. They are asking for solidarity and support.

The civil resistance campaign in Seneca Lake continues with more than 216 arrests. Sandra Steingraber describes how the community has been built through food, music, mutual respect and common goals. Community has sustained the multi-month uprising.

Over four hundred members of "We Are Seneca Lake" blockade the gates of Crestwood Midstream and stand up to the expansion of dangerous gas storage in the crumbling salt caverns next to Seneca Lake.  Source: PRNewsFoto/We Are Seneca Lake.Over four hundred members of “We Are Seneca Lake” blockade the gates of Crestwood Midstream and stand up to the expansion of dangerous gas storage in the crumbling salt caverns next to Seneca Lake. Source: PRNewsFoto/We Are Seneca Lake.

When we show courage, sometimes the reaction is fear. When 42 members of the Quaker Action Team protested at the PNC regional bank headquarters in Philadelphia, PNC locked down their building. The team wanted to give a quilt to the regional president showing opposition to mountain top removal. The president refused the quilt.

Across the country protests are building against extreme energy extraction. In Lancaster, PA protesters are telling Williams-Oklahoma to go home and stop building the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. In Cove Point, a Maryland protester climbed a crane to protest Dominion’s fracked gas terminal and refinery. Vermont activists are celebrating their success in stopping one pipeline and are urging the entire gas pipeline project be scrapped. Virginians are protesting Dominion pipelines across their mountainside. Iowans formed a new coalition to stop the Bakken pipeline. And California saw its largest protest against fracking with thousands marching. Workers are also standing up to abusive work conditions in a refinery strike that is spreading across the country.

The movement grows because people work to expand it. One West Virginia lawyer is traveling the state to teach people about the impact of pipelines. We see the tremendous growth in the massive days of divestment campaign, ongoing as we write this newsletter.

The movement is having an impact and scoring victories. An energy CEO described how politics is a bigger problem than dropping prices. In Nebraska a judge ruled Trans Canada cannot use eminent domain to take land for the KXL pipeline because there is no public benefit.  There is a perfect storm against extreme energy – costs are increasing, protests are rising, regulation and bans on extraction are growing, prices are falling and Saudi Arabia wants to stop the US shale market. Investors should get out of the dirty, old energy businesses and invest more safely – in a clean energy future.

#BlackLivesMatter Victories

The FBI director made a surprising speech acknowledging racial bias in policing and saying often in our history the police “enforced the status quo” at the expense of African Americans. He urged better recordkeeping of police killings and violence that would include information about the incident and the race of the citizen involved. The #BlackLivesMatter movement made this admission happen.

Ferguson protesters bring casket to mayor's door on 6 month anniversary of Michael Brown's death. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.comFerguson protesters bring casket to mayor’s door on 6 month anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

police officer was indicted in New York for the death of Akai Gurley. This would not have happened without the pressure of protests after failed grand juries in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown killings. Was the city afraid that another non-indictment would escalate protests?

Protests continued this week, the six month anniversary of the Michael Brown killing. In Ferguson, a rolling Monday Mourning protest began at the mayor’s house where a casket was left at his front door.

People are questioning broken windows policing. Researchers have shown it does not work, and now even some of those who had been advocates are questioning it. At the same time, the police state grows. What will it take to undermine the system of injustice and abuse? Michelle Alexander raises one strategy that could crash the system–people demanding the right to a jury trial. If these rights were exercised, it would overwhelm the courts.

More War Talk; A Coup Thwarted In Venezuela

War is an item on the political agenda in Washington, DC. Never mind that we cannot feed the hungry, build modern infrastructure, provide health care for all or transition to a green economy – there is always money for war.

President Obama sent Congress an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to allow war with ISIS. There are serious problems with this AUMF; here are five reasons to oppose it. There is resistance in Congress from both the right and the left. This AUMF can be stopped. Organizing is happening now and we will provide details when they are available.

In Venezuela, a coup that would have included the assassination of President Maduro, was stopped. In recent weeks we’ve described the slow-motion coup in Venezuela and how theUS was waging a covert war, this week it was ended before it could take place.

Vladmir Putin, François Hollande, Petro Porochenko and Angela Merkel at Minsk negotiations by ReutersVladmir Putin, François Hollande, Petro Porochenko and Angela Merkel at Minsk negotiations by Reuters

The history of US-sponsored coups brought to mind a period in Afghanistan where the country had progressive leadership. That was undermined by a CIA coup; look where the country is today.

In Ukraine a US-supported coup has led to a civil war.  The US and Europe have been divided over more weapons and troops with Europe saying “no” and the US pushing escalation. This week a peace plan was agreed to by France, Germany, the Kiev government and Russia. It is fragile, especially because war hawks in the US want to escalate and will create excuses to do so. Will the US learn that meddling in foreign nations causes more instability, insecurity and violence?

Campaign to Stop Fast Track for Trade Deals Grows

Opposition to Fast Track trade authority for corporate trade deals continues to grow.  The hubris of the Obama administration and its Trade Representative, Michael Froman, is shown in how they treat elected officials. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), a high ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, has reasonably asked:

“. . . to view an unredacted copy of the proposed text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). He wants to bring his chief of staff, who has a top security clearance, and he wants to be able to take notes privately. He also wants to review documents that show the position of each country participating in the agreements, as well how the U.S. position has changed over the course of the negotiations.”

Protest in Senate Finance Committee, Michael Froman miffed as Kevin Zeese and Dick Ochs hold banner behind him. Source Reuters.Protest in Senate Finance Committee, Michael Froman miffed as Kevin Zeese and Dick Ochs hold banner behind him. Source Reuters.

Froman has dodged the request. Members of Congress need to refuse to grant the immense power of Fast Track to an administration that treats them so poorly. How can Senator Wyden, who has called for transparency and congressional participation, consider Fast Track when Congress is mistreated?

We mention Wyden because he is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Orrin Hatch wants him to co-sponsor Fast Track when Congress returns from next week’s recess. Contact Ron Wyden and let him know: no Fast Track is acceptable.  After contacting Wyden, contact your representatives through www.StopFastTrack.com. The tool there makes it very easy. This will be decided by April, so now is the time!

Popular Resistance is organizing a Rapid Response Team to stop Fast Track. Congress is expected to introduce Fast Track shortly after the President’s week recess. It must pass in the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee as well as the full Senate and House. They can move quickly and already there is a lot of arm-twisting. Fast Track is a game-changer: Join the Rapid Response Team to stop Fast Track.

At the local level, make your city, town or county a TPP Free Zone. Get your council to pass a resolution saying it will not give up its ability to protect the health and safety of their community, protect workers and the economy or their ability to plan their own future to secretly negotiated trade agreements undemocratically rushed through Congress. The next city considering a TPP Free Zone is New York City. So far Berkeley, Madison, Dane County and Los Angeles have passed TPP Free Zones. Get your city or county to join them.

Breakthroughs: Keeping the Internet Free and Equal

We are on the verge of major breakthroughs for the future of the Internet. Not only is our ten month campaign for reclassification of the Internet as a public utility with net neutrality rules coming to fruition, but the FCC is also likely to open the path for municipal broadband which would allow local governments to provide Internet access as a public service rather than a for-profit business.

FCC security attacks Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese during press conference. Source Eleanor Goldfield.FCC security attacks Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese during press conference. Source Eleanor Goldfield.

The wealthy monopolistic telecom lobby is not giving up. This week one of their puppets, Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, now an FCC commissioner, held a press conference making all sorts of false claims. Popular Resistance interrupted his press conference holding a sign that said: “85% Republican Voters Support Net Neutrality.” We were attacked by the police, thrown to the floor and dragged from the room but we made our point. Commentators noted our mistreatment also explaining how Pai was 100% wrong on net neutrality.

Congress is still considering legislation to undermine the FCC. So far it is not progressing; if it does, it will be a major error with high political costs. Those who seek to undermine the Internet are out of step with supermajorities of voters, where over 80% support Net Neutrality, but also out of step with the tech industry, small businesses and entrepreneurs. It is a miscalculation that will cost politicians their political careers.

Analysts are describing how the people are winning against one of the biggest business lobbies; how something that was politically impossible 10 months ago has become politically inevitable. We’re pleased many of the reports give Popular Resistance some credit. In fact, it was a coalition of advocacy groups, tech corporations and Internet investors–and of course nearly 4 million comments supporting our view that achieved this victory.

No Qualms about Getting in the Government’s Face

In a recent article on our interruption of Commissioner Pai’s press conference the Daily Dot wrote:

“The activists came from Popular Resistance, a group that has no qualms about getting in the government’s face. Popular Resistance members previously protested at Wheeler’s home, and they recently livened up C-SPAN  by storming a congressional hearing on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

High profile actions are what the public is getting to know Popular Resistance for, but our colleagues know that protest is a small part of what we do. Popular Resistance develops an overall strategy for transformative change, helps build a mass independent movement, reports on various fronts of struggle, writes extensively about issues, provides people a path to activism, works in coalitions to build campaigns and helps keep people on track. Resistance against the power structure is necessary but insufficient for success. We thank you for participating because mobilizing masses of people is the key to success for the social movement of which we are all a part.

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Loretta Lynch: Not Enough Evidence to Charge HSBC Banksters

As part of her Questions for the Record, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch was asked about her role in the HSBC handslap in 2012. (See Q 38, h/t Katherine Hawkins)

38. As United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, you helped secure nearly $2 billion from HSBC over its failure to establish proper procedures to prevent money laundering by drug cartels and terrorists. You were quoted in a DOJ press release saying, “HSBC’s blatant failure to implement proper anti-money laundering controls facilitated the laundering of at least $881 million in drug proceeds through the U.S. financial system.”

You stated that the bank’s “willful flouting of U.S. sanctions laws and regulations resulted in the processing of hundreds of millions of dollars in [Office of Foreign Assets Control]-prohibited transactions.” Still, no criminal penalties have been assessed for any executive who may have been involved.

a. Did you make any decision or recommendation on charging any individual with a crime?

i. If so, please describe any and all decisions or recommendations you made.

ii. Please explain why such decisions or recommendations were made.

b. If you did not make any decision or recommendation on charging any individual with a crime, who made the decision not to prosecute?

RESPONSE: On December 11, 2012, the Department filed an information charging HSBC Bank USA with violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and HSBC Holdings with violating U.S. economic sanctions (the two entities are collectively referred to as “HSBC”). Pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”), HSBC admitted its wrongdoing, agreed to forfeit $1.256 billion, and agreed to implement significant remedial measures, including, among other things, to follow the highest global anti-money laundering standards in all jurisdictions in which it operates. As the United States District Judge who approved the deferred prosecution found, “the DPA imposes upon HSBC significant, and in some respect extraordinary, measures” and the “decision to approve the DPA is easy, for it accomplishes a great deal.” Although grand jury secrecy rules prevent me from discussing the facts involving any individual or entity against whom we decided not to bring criminal charges, as I do in all cases in which I am involved, I and the dedicated career prosecutors handling the investigation carefully considered whether there was sufficient admissible evidence to prosecute an individual and whether such a prosecution otherwise would have been consistent with the principles of federal prosecution contained in the United States Attorney’s Manual.

I want to reiterate, particularly in the context of recent media reports regarding the release of HSBC files pertaining to its tax clients, that the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached with HSBC addresses only the charges filed in the criminal violations of the Bank Secrecy Act for failures to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program and for sanctions violations. The DPA explicitly does not provide any protection against prosecution for conduct beyond what was described in the Statement of Facts. Furthermore, I should note the DPA explicitly mentions that the agreement does not bind the Department’s Tax Division, nor the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division. information, which are limited to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act for failures to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program and for sanctions violations. The DPA explicitly does not provide any protection against prosecution for conduct beyond what was described in the Statement of Facts. Furthermore, I should note the DPA explicitly mentions that the agreement does not bind the Department’s Tax Division, nor the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division. [my emphasis]

Lynch seems to want to have her cake and eat it too.

Sure, she and her prosecutors were unable to find the evidence in Carl Levin’s gift-wrapped case. But trust her, she seems to be saying, she might one day see fit to charge some warm bodies with fraud if she’s confirmed.

And note she makes no mention of material support for terrorism????

Because if you’re a bank, such things are legal, apparently.

Cuba Through The Looking Glass

Image result for cuba images

By David Swanson

Today in Havana, Mariela Castro Espin, director of the national center for sexual education and daughter of the president of Cuba, gave us a truly enlightened talk and question-and-answer session on LGBT rights, sex education, pornography (and why young people should avoid it if they want to have good sex) — plus her view of what the Cuban government is doing and should be doing on these issues. She advocates equal rights for same-sex couples and a ban on discrimination, for example.

In other unusual Cuban phenomena, the U.S. government is allowing tourists to bring home $100 worth of rum and cigars. And the U.S. State Department is working on a forthcoming list of products that Cubans can export to the United States. The list will not include numerous life-saving medicines currently unavailable in the United States, and not apparently because the U.S. government believes rum and cigars are better for its people than life-saving medicines. No, the reason is bizarre yet predictable. Stop and guess for a minute before reading on.

Are you guessing?

Good.

The list of products that can be exported from Cuba for sale in the United States (from the point of view of the U.S. government) will include only products from private enterprise, nothing created by state-owned enterprises in Cuba.

In other words, this “opening” is a new tool intended to advance Cuban privatization whether Cubans want it or not — a tool that may have some beneficial side effects, but not a tool designed to advance any relationship of friendship or respect. If U.S. Cuban relations are improved by this move (assuming the Cuban government agrees to it) it will be by accident.

Falling further down the Cuban rabbit hole, I’ve been thinking, talking, and reading about the status of Guantanamo. The United States took the Guantanamo site, and the Isle of Pines (now called Isle of Youth) by force. The 1903 Treaty of Relations was imposed at gun-point and in some ways superseded by the 1934 Treaty of Relations. That 1934 treaty, in important regard, simply reaffirmed the 1903 treaty:

“Until the two contracting parties agree to the modification or abrogation of the stipulations of the agreement in regard to the lease to the United States of America of lands in Cuba for coaling and naval stations signed by the President of the Republic of Cuba on February 16, 1903, and by the President of the United States of America on the 23d day of the same month and year, the stipulations of that agreement with regard to the naval station of Guantanamo shall continue in effect. The supplementary agreement in regard to naval or coaling stations signed between the two Governments on July 2, 1903, also shall continue in effect in the same form and on the same conditions with respect to the naval station at Guantanamo. So long as the United States of America shall not abandon the said naval station of Guantanamo or the two Governments shall not agree to a modification of its present limits, the station shall continue to have the territorial area that it now has, with the limits that it has on the date of the signature of the present Treaty.”

The 1934 treaty fails to legitimate the 1903 documents or the Platt Amendment of the same period, which was imposed on Cuba by force and remained in the Cuban Constitution until 1940. That amendment gave the United States the right “to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty.” This, by 1929, had been rendered illegal by the Kellogg-Briand Pact in which the United States, Cuba, and many other nations committed to settling their disputes without the use of force — force, of course, being what “intervene” referred to and meant in practice. In the decades between 1903 and 1934 the United States did in fact intervene by force repeatedly in Cuba. The Cuban government of 1934 was no more legitimate than the government of 1903.

Interestingly, the Platt Amendment denied Cuba the Isle of Pines without claiming it decisively for the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that there was no legal claim to the island for the United States, that the matter was purely “political.” The U.S. Congress gave the island back to Cuba in 1925.

The argument of the U.S. government for its claim to Guantanamo really does not amount to anything. It amounts to the existence of an illegitimate treaty with an illegitimate government that no longer exists. The current government has refused to cash the rent checks the U.S. sends it. Sometimes the U.S. case is prettied up by claims that the “lease” is due to expire some day. It isn’t. Not in anything written. The crime of stealing Guantanamo, like the Isle of Pines or Vieques or the Panama Canal or the closed bases in Ecuador or the Philippines is what is due to expire some day.

Seeking to change Cuba is openly the policy of the U.S. government, and from the Cuban point of view it amounts to an effort to overthrow the Cuban government. The United States spends $20 million a year through USAID and other agencies to fund activism and “education” or “communications” in Cuba aimed at reshaping Cuba in the image the United States desires. Much of this is done subversively, such as the recently exposed effort to create a Twitter-like tool that would propagandize Cubans without revealing its source.

The U.S. justification for this behavior is that Cuba falls short in the area of human rights. Of course, Cuba says the same of the U.S. based on a broader understanding of human rights. But were Cuba to fund activist groups in the United States those groups would be violating U.S. law due to Cuba’s ridiculous presence on the U.S. government’s terrorist list. And if the U.S. government were to try to honestly justify punishment of Cuba as a human rights violator alongside the absence of punishment of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and so many other human rights violators, the argument would have to be spoken by Alice’s Queen of Hearts.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator forRootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio.

Why keep Saudi funding of 9/11 secret?

image

The U.S. government is continuing to protect Saudi oil gazillionaires by hiding information about their role in financing 9/11.

Tell Congress and the President it’s time to release 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission report on the Saudi role.

Talk about a contrived crisis. NATO, in its ongoing struggle to create enemies and thereby provide itself with a reason to exist, is now calling Russia its greatest threat. In other words, there really is no threat, unless NATO provokes Moscow and in doing so, creates one. In the current period—one that was preceded most recently by almost complete military domination of the world by the United States—Russia’s recent and relatively mild reactions to its growing encirclement by US client regimes and NATO military forces has been ratcheted up to what NATO is calling the greatest threat faced by NATO since that its heyday. Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether the Soviet Union (SU) was ever the threat US citizens were told it was by their government, this recent statement by NATO is overblown and, more importantly, potentially quite dangerous.

During the final years of the Soviet Union, numerous discussions took place between officials of the SU under Mikhail Gorbachev and officials of the US and Germany. These discussions intensified after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. A part of these discussions focused on the continuing existence of NATO and its eastern European counterpart, the Warsaw Pact. Although NATO survived the dissolution of the so-called Soviet Bloc, the Warsaw Pact did not. An undertone of the ongoing discussions between Moscow and Washington was an understanding that NATO would not attempt to recruit nations that were previously in the Moscow-led alliance. According to the NATO newsletter NATO Review, this understanding was never written down and was therefore essentially meaningless. In fact, here is a quote detailing this perception from the journal’s spring 2015 edition:

Thus, the debate about the enlargement of NATO evolved solely in the context of German reunification. In these negotiations Bonn and Washington managed to allay Soviet reservations about a reunited Germany remaining in NATO. This was achieved by generous financial aid, and by the “2+4 Treaty” ruling out the stationing of foreign NATO forces on the territory of the former East Germany. However, it was also achieved through countless personal conversations in which Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders were assured that the West would not take advantage of the Soviet Union’s weakness and willingness to withdraw militarily from Central and Eastern Europe. It is these conversations that may have left some Soviet politicians with the impression that NATO enlargement, which started with the admission of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 1999, had been a breach of these Western commitments.

In other words, Washington lied, again. Consequently, NATO began to invite/entice several nations from the defunct Warsaw Pact into its orbit, beginning with Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 1999. This resulted in NATO forces moving closer and closer to Russia’s eastern flank. Anyone who suggests that there is no strategic element to the incorporation of these and several other nations bordering (or much closer to) Russia is a liar. Anyone who believes this is a fool. The facts seem pretty clear. Washington and its western allies saw the disintegration of the Soviet Union and its alliance as an opportunity to further intimidate Moscow by moving its military forces closer to Russian borders while simultaneously incorporating the economies of the new NATO nations into the neoliberal fantasy then being constructed in the banks and legislatures of the United States, Britain, and Germany.

It is now 2015. After a US-sponsored coup in Ukraine that installed a government favorable to Washington and its plans, various separatist movements coalesced in regions of Ukraine where the majority of the population favors Moscow. The coup itself was preceded by a reasonably popular movement among Ukrainians that was partially funded by western NGOs and US government agencies fronting as pro-democracy organizations. The movement organized a series of protests following election results they did not agree with. After weeks of these protests, armed elements provoked an insurrection in Kiev that resulted in the aforementioned coup. It was only a matter of days before the separatist elements opposed to the new Kiev government held protests that were attacked. The protests turned quickly to armed rebellions, most likely funded (at least partially) by Moscow. A referendum on secession from Ukraine was held in the Crimean region of Ukraine that went overwhelmingly for secession. Despite the election’s non-recognition by most of the west, Crimea remains separate from Ukraine. In the Ukrainian east, battles continue to rage between Ukrainian military units and separatist militias. Estimates of the dead from this conflict range from 6000 to 50,000.

Europe is understandably concerned. The continent fears the battle may spread and wants the war to end. Meanwhile, Washington seems to be pushing for it to intensify. NATO is sending a total of 30,000 rapid-reaction forces to its easternmost members’ borders. In Washington, legislators from both sides of the aisle together with Secretary of State John Kerry and others in the government are lobbying to send lethal weapons to Kiev’s forces. It is fairly certain that Moscow is already arming the separatists. The possibility of a greater war is genuine.

There are those who see the conflict in Ukraine as evidence of a new “cold” war, like that between the Soviet Union and the United States after World War Two. This comparison is misleading. There were genuine ideological and economic differences that fueled the dispute between the United States and Soviet Union. These differences do not exist in the current moment. The United States operates under a monopoly capitalist economy; so does Russia. Both nations are also nominally democracies that are in reality governments run by oligarchs and banks. A better template to utilize when examining the conflict between Washington and Moscow can be found earlier in history. It is the template of inter-imperial rivalry.

To put it simply, Washington does not want its planetary hegemony challenged. Meanwhile, Russia desires to maintain its domination of the world near its borders, while perhaps also playing with the idea of its own “sphere of influence.” The encirclement of Moscow’s western flank by NATO threatens that domination in a very real way. So, Moscow is fighting back. Russia’s position is not merely a defensive one, but it is certainly the weaker player in this game. If Washington begins to arm Kiev, the stakes for Moscow become even greater.

Meanwhile, Kiev refuses to call the conflict a war. Instead, it is being termed a terrorist operation. Naturally, the reason is related to the neoliberal IMF loans Kiev has coming; such loans would be much more difficult to obtain if it was officially at war. The will of those being conscripted to fight in Ukraine’s military is less than enthusiastic, with draft resistance growing. Antiwar protests in both Russia and Ukraine are also growing in size. However, in the United States the citizens are allowing their politicians and generals to involve their nation in the conflict without any sizable protest.

There are no good guys in this conflict. The people of Ukraine are fighting battles in which they are ultimately pawns. Arming either side is cynical and manipulative and paves the way for an expansion of the war perhaps even beyond Ukraine’s borders. A truce should be agreed to that leaves all forces in place while the warring sides and their sponsors negotiate an end to the armed conflict. The motivation for this war resides in the desire to control resources and territory, directly and otherwise. Those Ukrainians desiring independence from Russia are seeing that desire being manipulated by Washington and local politicians with their own designs. Those desiring independence from the new Kiev government are experiencing a similar scenario. The longer the war continues, the more it will be influenced by Washington and Moscow. And the more blood will be spilled.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground and Tripping Through the American Night, and the novels Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator’s Tale. His third novel All the Sinners, Saints is a companion to the previous two and was published early in 2013. Read other articles by Ron.

How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

Eric Zuesse

Newsweek magazine headlined on February 5th, “‘Biggest NATO Reinforcement Since Cold War’ Sets Frontlines Against Russia,” and reported that, “According to general Charles Wald, former-deputy commander of U.S. European Command, … ‘The question for Europe is: is Putin creeping further and further west?’” Wald is quoted as saying that the case of Ukraine especially worries him. This article continues: “‘Is this a precursor to Russia moving into Moldova? Nagorno Karabakh has been bubbling up, and the Georgia issue is still unresolved. NATO has essentially set these [new military] bases in its frontline states,’ Wald says, referring to the countries’ proximity to Russian territory.” So: Russia is moving too close to NATO countries, according to the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department.

But it’s a blatant lie. Actually, since 1999, 11 former members of the Warsaw Pact, countries, which had been allied with Russia during the communist Soviet Union throughout the Cold War, have switched to the U.S. military alliance against their former ally Russia, NATO: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Albania.

So: Russia hasn’t been moving at all, not an inch; but the U.S. certainly has — by surrounding Russia with its NATO missiles.

This Newsweek story is ‘news’ that’s published in a mainstream U.S. ‘news’ source, which people pay bad money for — it’s worse than a waste, it’s their being charged for U.S.-Government propaganda.

Here is authentic news, from an authentic news source — news which had been posted just four days earlier than that Newsweek lie, on February 1st — news that was posted at the Fort Russ blog, which not only is free, but it’s the most thorough and reliably truthful news site of all on the Ukrainian conflict:

“NATO is moving closer to Russia and blaming Russia for being close to NATO.” A video is shown there. 

This video, which was posted to youtube on 17 October 2014, shows a Pentagon spokesperson being asked at a press conference about ‘Defense’ Secretary Chuck Hagel’s accusation, that Russia’s army is “on NATO’s doorstep”; and the (extremely unusual, skeptical American journalist) questioner then asks “Why is that?”

Hagel’s press spokesperson insists there that it happens because Russia has been seizing nations and thus moving closer to NATO; he refuses to acknowledge that NATO has instead been expanding up to Russia’s very border, bringing U.S. weapons surrounding Russia’s periphery. How would the U.S. react if, say, Russia had tried to install nuclear missiles in, say, Cuba — like the Soviet Union tried in 1962?

Here’s that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LexhW8SCM2c.

There are lots of reader-comments to that video, many of which are from fools who are treating Russia as being evil and dangerous, and ignoring the insult to their own intelligence that came forth from Chuck Hagel’s spokesperson in this video, which they had just watched.

However, Fort Russ reports this videoed statement without comment, as being instead a self-evident lie from the U.S. Government, and it is that; not as being (like Newsweek does) a supposed truth from the U.S. Government, a supposed truth that’s being unchallenged by Newsweek’s ‘journalist,’ though ifNewsweek had been an authentic news-source it would have reported that the U.S. Government was simply lying there — since that’s the actual fact, and it’s blatantly true.

As regards the reader-comments to this Newsweek article, here’s a typical sequence of these reader-comments, so that you can see how American readers responded to this piece of sheer American propaganda:

COMMENTS:

—-Bong Valencia · Don bosco academy pampanga

Everybody needs to stop calling Ukraine’s enemies as Russian[backed rebels. Let’s call a spade a spade. Let’s call them Russians! They came from and were sent by Russia.

· 24 · February 5 at 7:57pm

—-Kevin Quinn · Top Commenter

But they LIVE in what’s called ‘eastern Ukraine’ and have been there in some cases for centuries. That is Kyiv”s main point. And theirs. Some have received military training in the Soviet forces, as well as the UA. Some of the younger have been trained in ‘militia camps’ – safe in Russia.

• · 3 · February 6 at 10:57am

—-Sergy K · Top Commenter · Harvard Kennedy School

Kevin Quinn there are at most 15% of locals, 85 % came from Russia, and the military organizers came from Moscow

• · 1 · February 6 at 12:54pm

—-Михаил Бочаров · Top Commenter · МОПИ им. Н.К. Крупской

Sergy K, Where did you take those percentage from? Maybe from The History Of Russian State by N.M.Karamzin or Primary Chronicle Where Did Russian Land Come From or The History Of Kiev Rus? Look these books through in the Harvard Kennedy School Library or at least use Google “Russian-speaking population in Ukraine”.

• · February 10 at 5:06am

—-El D Den · Top Commenter

My hope is NATO destroys Russia once and for all.

· 9 · February 5 at 10:36pm

Noting the claim of one reader there (“Sergy K”) to be from Harvard’s Kennedy School, the present reporter looked to see whether there is, actually, any “Sergy K” who has been associated with that supposedly august and supposedly authoritative School. This is what I came up with:

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/experts/203/sergei_konoplyov.html

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/disc_paper_99_08.pdf

So: apparently, an ‘expert’ at Harvard’s Kennedy School, and even one whose sole published work deals with Ukraine, does, indeed, actually think that 85% of the fighters against the Kiev-based Ukrainian Government’s invasion of Ukraine’s Donbass region are Russian soldiers, not residents. 

On that matter, here is the actual evidence (there’s lots of it, but these are perhaps the most striking):

http://rinf.com/alt-news/featured/ukrainian-government-russian-troops-fighting-us/

http://ukraina.ru/news/20150213/1012102730.html

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/heres-the-ukrainian-delegation-that-gave-misleading-photos-t#.rdzqJPe5X

Furthermore, to the exact contrary of all the similar allegations by the U.S. Government (which say that Russia wants to add to Russian territory the land where Ukraine’s pro-Russia rebels live), the present reporter had headlined on 19 September 2014, “Russia’s Leader Putin Rejects Ukrainian Separatists’ Aim to Become Part of Russia,” and reported that not only did Putin reject it verbally, but that the Ukrainian separatist leaders took his statement as being his final word on the subject, and so decided “We will build our own country.”

In other words: the only reason why the Obama Administration is pushing the fraudulent line that Putin is trying to seize the Donbass region of Ukraine away from Ukraine, is because Barack Obama needs to portray his own sponsorship of an ethnic-cleansing operation to get rid of the residents in Donbass (the rebellious region of Ukraine) as being instead an “Anti Terrorist Operation” by the Government against rebel fighters who (as the Harvard Kennedy School ‘Expert’ said) “85 % came from Russia.”

We’re supposed to be this stupid, and this misinformed, by a propaganda-line that doesn’t even make sense — the line that says the people who are bombing the residents in Donbass and destroying the region, are the invading Russian army, and/or the residents who live there (the “Terrorists,” as the Ukrainian Government calls them), instead of being the Government forces that are trying toexterminate the residents there, and who are actually terrorizing those residents in order to get themto die or else to leave Ukraine.

As to the reason why Obama wants to get rid of those residents, look at this map. It shows the results in the final nationwide Ukrainian Presidential election, the one that was held in 2010 and which pitted the pro-Washington Yulia Tymoshenko against the pro-neutral-Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. As you can see, the dark purple area is the region that voted 90% for Yanukovych. That’s also the area which the Ukrainian Government has been bombing. If the voters who live there, ever again vote for a President of Ukraine, then Obama’s February 2014 coup which overthrew Yanukovych will be elected out of office: the Obama coup-regime will end. That’s why Obama wants those voters to either die or else leave Ukraine. He needs them gone. (And official Washington wants this mass-murder of them to increase; and this genocidal push is bipartisan, both Republicans and Democrats.)

No wonder why the U.S. Government keeps lying, and its propaganda-organs (virtually the entire U.S. press) are lying. The press are controlled by the same aristocracy that control the Government. But, in order to do this, they are playing the American people for suckers. Maybe enough of the American public are, but that’s no justification for what America’s aristocracy are doing. The people who are beingslaughtered aren’t Americans at all, but are instead the entirely innocent residents in the Donbass region of the former Ukraine.

Prior to Obama’s February 2014 Ukrainian coup, that entire country was a democracy, and there was no ethnic cleansing there. But Obama has the nerve now to accuse Russia of “aggression,” when in fact it ishe that is the aggressor. And that’s the sole basis for the economic sanctions that Russians now suffer.

What a massive crime: a war-crime that would be worthy of being tried as such at Nuremberg — but, this time, not by Americans. Obama is instead the anti-FDR President. An American President like this would make Franklin Delano Roosevelt turn over in his grave.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Mother Blames “Unvaccinated” Children After Newborn Gets Measles, Despite Evidence To Contrary

vaccine-needle

A mother whose newborn contracted measles is blaming “unvaccinated” children, despite evidence showing vaccinated children can still spread measles and statistics showing the measles vaccine was linked to more deaths in the past 10 years than the disease.

Not only that, but the person who may have given her newborn measles was vaccinated, according to officials.

The Toronto-area mother, Jennifer Hibben-White, complained about unvaccinated parents on Facebookand her rant was shared more than 275,000 times, but much like the gun control movement, she’s appealing to emotions in defiance of reality.

“If you have chosen to not vaccinate yourself or your child, I blame you,” she wrote. “I blame you.”

“You have stood on the shoulders of our collective protection for too long.”

But public health officials confirmed the other known case of measles in the area was a man who was “vaccinated in the past” and was “in the waiting room sometime between half an hour and an hour” before Hibben-White showed up to a doctor’s office with her baby.

“…Measles is an airborne virus, and can stay on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours after the infected person had left,” Kendra Mangione with CTV News reported.

Another vaccinated person, a 12-month-old infant,also developed measles-like symptoms recently and in 2011 a 22-year-old New Yorker contracted and spread measles despite being vaccinated – twice.

“Since measles cases started cropping up at the Disneyland theme park in California last month, media outlets and health authorities have colluded to whip the public into a panic, urging the unvaccinated to head to their nearest clinic while parroting the claim that the outbreak was exacerbated by people who refused the vaccine,” Adan Salazar reported. “An article published in the Los Angeles Times last week, however, stated that many people infected with measles had in fact been vaccinated.”

And there’s been over 100 times as many deaths linked to the measles vaccine than the disease itself over a 10 year period.

“Between 2005 and 2014, there have been no deaths from measles in the U.S. and 108 deaths from the MMR vaccine,” Globe Newswire reported, citing government statistics.