Monday, September 08, 2014

You can join thousands of others all around the world in signing this open letter for peace:

Please accept our apologies for the behavior of our Governments and Media. Western Nations, led by the United States, seem determined to start a war with Russia. A sane person would recognize the terrible consequences of such a war and would do everything in their power to avoid it. . . . We pray that through our mutual efforts we may defeat the power-hungry and ruthless criminals who seek to enslave us all. We pray that we may instead foster a genuine peace that makes life on Earth worth living.



Obama commits US to war against Russia in defense of Baltic states

8 September 2014
In a series of speeches and press conferences in connection with last week’s NATO summit in Wales, President Barack Obama publicly declared that the United States military will maintain a permanent presence in the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, which border Russia. He vowed that US air and ground forces will remain poised forevermore to respond to claims of Russian aggression by the governments of these countries by attacking Moscow.
In appearances in the Estonian capital of Tallinn and later in Wales, Obama announced a series of military moves against Russia by the United States and NATO as well as expanded economic sanctions and pledges to bolster the military forces of the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. He made clear in addition that Washington will push for all three countries to join the US-dominated NATO military alliance.
These statements represent an immense escalation of US and NATO military threats against Russia. Without any public discussion, and entirely over the heads of the American people, the Obama administration has committed the country to go to war with the second largest nuclear power in the world over three small countries in Eastern Europe.
At a joint press conference September 3 with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Obama declared, “So I’ve come here, first and foremost, to reaffirm the commitment of the United States to the security of Estonia. As NATO allies, we have Article 5 duties to our collective defense. That is a commitment that is unbreakable. It is unwavering. It is eternal.”
In a speech later that day “to the people of Estonia,” Obama was, if anything, even more explicit about the commitment of US military forces in the Baltic states and their readiness to attack Russia. “Today, more NATO aircraft patrol the skies of the Baltics,” he said. “More American forces are on the ground training and rotating through each of the Baltic states. More NATO ships patrol the Black Sea… I believe our Alliance should extend these defensive measures for as long as necessary…
“Article 5 is crystal clear. An attack on one is an attack on all. So if, in such a moment, you ever ask again, ‘who will come to help,’ you’ll know the answer—the NATO Alliance, including the Armed Forces of the United States of America, ‘right here, present, now!’ We’ll be here for Estonia. We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania…
“Here in the Baltics… it would mean more US forces—including American boots on the ground continuously rotating through Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania.” [Emphasis added]
He went on to declare, “We need to enhance NATO’s Rapid Response Force so it can deploy even more quickly and not just react to threats, but also deter them .” [Emphasis added]. This last statement clearly implies the right of the US and NATO to militarily respond not only to actions, but also “preventively” to supposed threats.
At a press conference two days later, following the NATO summit, Obama reiterated the same belligerent line.
With the commitments announced last week, the US government is tying the fate of the American people and, indeed, the people of the world, to the actions of governments of three small countries whose combined population is 6.6 million. All three governments are rightwing, ultranationalist and rabidly anti-Russian. They represent a criminal layer of oligarchs who made their fortunes by plundering state property after secession from the Soviet Union and the launching of capitalist restoration.
All these governments are also led by individuals with close ties to American intelligence and the Pentagon. They are all imposing austerity programs that are impoverishing the working class, removing all social protections, and opening up their respective economies to unfettered profit making by Western capital.
The President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, with whom Obama shared the stage in the Estonian capital, was raised and educated in the United States. From 1984 until 1993 he worked for US-operated Radio Free Europe, heading its Estonian desk.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, often referred to as the Iron Lady and the Steel Magnolia, went to study in the Special Program for senior executives at Georgetown University in Washington DC soon after Lithuania broke away from the Soviet Union. In the 1990s she served as minister plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian embassy in Washington.
The prime minister of Latvia, Laimdota Straujuma, is a member of the rightwing Unity Party.
All three are US puppet governments. They are highly unstable and riven by internal conflicts. They preside over populations that are seething with anger over the destruction of working-class living standards and the corruption of the ruling oligarchies. They have been among the most belligerent advocates of aggressive action against Russia. Any one of them could, for domestic political reasons, incite or fabricate a military clash with Russia.
Washington is manufacturing a nonexistent threat to the Baltic states from Russia. More than 20 years ago, during the process of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, these countries became independent, with the approval of Moscow. The claim that they now face an imminent threat from Russia is a pretext for violating previous agreements with Moscow not to expand NATO or station NATO military forces on former Soviet territory.
From a geostrategic standpoint, the fate of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia has virtually no significance for the United States. But for Russia, the positioning of US and NATO ground and air forces and military hardware just miles from its border is an existential threat.
How would Washington react if Russia announced that it was stationing troops in Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean? Fifty-two years ago, in the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedy administration declared that Moscow’s installation of missiles in Cuba constituted an intolerable threat to US national security. Kennedy threatened nuclear war unless Khrushchev removed them.
The Russian government and military can draw no conclusion from the current crisis other than the belief that Washington is preparing to attack Moscow. Russian officials have announced that in response to the NATO summit, Moscow is revamping its military doctrine.
In the 1950s and 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, the term “brinksmanship” was used to denote willful recklessness in foreign policy. What the Obama administration is doing today goes far beyond anything carried out by a US administration in that period.
Then, the concern was frequently raised that a heightened level of mistrust and tension between Washington and Moscow could result in a relatively minor incident escalating out of control and precipitating a nuclear war. For that reason, the so-called “hot line” was set up between the two capitals to prevent either side from misinterpreting the aims of the other.
Today, the moves by the Obama administration and its NATO allies seem designed to generate in Russia the greatest possible level of apprehension and goad it into responding militarily. Its population is still haunted by the massive loss of life, which followed the surprise attack by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union in June 1941. In the course of the next four years 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives.
All of the stated reasons for US-NATO warmongering against Russia are lies. The aggressors in the Ukraine crisis from the outset have been Washington and Berlin. They orchestrated a coup led by neo-fascist forces that overthrew the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych last February, following Yanukovych’s decision not to enter into an Association Agreement with the European Union or accept an austerity program dictated by the International Monetary Fund.
They have since used the crisis in Ukraine to pursue a policy of isolating and weakening Russia. It is clear that the purpose of the military, political and economic moves against Russia is to compel it to submit to the dictates of US and German imperialism.
Unless the war provocations of US and European imperialism are stopped by the intervention of the international working class, it is only a matter of time before an incident involving NATO and Russian forces triggers a crisis that could escalate into a full-blown nuclear war.

Barry Grey

Obama Begs for More War                                                  

Did Putin Just Bring Peace to Ukraine?

“In the implementing of their policies, our western partners– the United States first and foremost – prefer to be guided not by international law, but by force. They believe in their own ‘exceptionalism’, that they are allowed to decide on the fate of the world, and that they are always right.”
– Russian President Vladimir Putin
“What did we do to deserve this? What did we do to deserve being bombed from planes, shot at from tanks, and have phosphorous bombs dropped on us? ….That we wanted to live the way we want, and speak our own language, and make friends with whom we want?”
– Alexander V. Zakharchenko, Chairman of The Council of Ministers of The Donetsk National Republic, The Vineyard of the Saker
There is no way to overstate the significance of what has transpired in Ukraine in the last three weeks. What began as a murderous onslaught on the mainly Russian-speaking population of east Ukraine, has turned into a major triumph against a belligerent and expansionistic empire that has been repulsed by a scrappy, battle-hardened militia engaged in a conventional, land-based war. ...
“The defining factor in relations with NATO remains the unacceptability for Russia of plans to move the military infrastructure of the alliance towards our borders, including via enlargement of the bloc,”  said Mikhail Popov, deputy head of Putin’s Security Council.
The issue has always been NATO expansion, not the ridiculous claim that Putin wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. The only one interested in in stitching together a global Caliphate is Barack Hussein Obama and his nutcase neocon advisors. Putin is not interested in an empire. Putin just wants to make money like everyone else. He wants to sell gas to Europe, raise living standards and rebuild the country.  What’s wrong with that?
Putin’s not a troublemaker. He’s not sticking a freaking first-strike nuclear missile system in Havana just 60 miles from Miami. But that’s what Obama wants to do. Obama want to establish NATO bases on Russia’s doorstep and deploy his fake-named “missile defense system” a couple hundred miles from Moscow. Putin can’t allow that. No one in their right mind would allow that. It’s a direct threat to national security. 
Here’s how Putin summed it up in a recent press conference:
“Russia is an independent and active participant of international relations. Just like any nation it has national interests that must be taken into consideration and respected…..We stand against having a military organization meddling in our backyard, next to our homeland or in the territories that are historically ours. I just cannot imagine visiting NATO sailors in Sevastopol,” he stressed. “Most of them are fine lads, but I’d rather they visit us in Sevastopol than the other way around.” (Vladimir Putin)
Washington’s harebrained gambit was doomed from the get go. Who made the decision to topple Yanuchovych,  install a US-puppet in Kiev, fill-out the security services with neo Nazis, and wage a bloody ethnic cleansing purge on the Russian-speaking people in the east?  Who was it?  Isn’t there any accountability among the Obama team or is it all a matter of “failing upwards” like the Bush crowd? 
Here’s Putin again:
“Our western partners created the ‘Kosovo precedent’ with their own hands. In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary….And the UN International Court of Justice agreed with those arguments. That’s what they said; that’s what they trumpeted all over the world and coerced everyone to accept – and now they are complaining about Crimea. Why is that?”
Doesn’t Putin have a point? Isn’t this what we’ve seen over and over again, that there’s one standard for the US and another for everyone else?
Of course it is. But Putin’s not going to stand for it. In fact, just this week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expanded on Putin’s comments in an interview that never appeared in the western media.  
Here’s what he said:
“The current stage of international relations is marked by a transition to a fundamentally new world order – a polycentric model based on due regard for the appearance of new economic and financial centres. And political weight comes with economic and financial influence. Transition to a polycentric world order reflects an objective trend according to which the world order should be based on the world’s cultural and civilisational diversity. This is objective reality, which no one can deny. …
After a long period of dominance in global economy and politics, these countries are trying to keep their positions by artificial means. They know that their economic positions are not as strong as they were after WWII, when America accounted for over half of global GDP, but they are trying to use all available military and political instruments, social media, regime-change technology and other instruments to keep back the objective process of the development of a democratic world order based on the equality of all sides.
Not everyone has realized yet that it is impossible to move contrary to an objective historical process. We strongly hope that this will happen, because otherwise more illegal unilateral sanctions will be approved against Russia, to which we will respond accordingly, as we have already tried to do. But this, I repeat, is not our choice; we don’t want confrontation.” (Press Conference: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov)
“A new world order based on a polycentric model”? What a great idea. You mean, a world in which other sovereign nations get a say-so in the way the world is run?  You mean, a world in which the economic, political, and military decision-making does not emerge from one center of power that is dominated by privately-owned banks, transnational corporations and voracious western elites? You mean, a world in which international law can be applied evenly so that one country cannot unilaterally create off-shore gulags, or incite color coded revolutions, or carry out extra-legal abductions and killings, or order drone attacks on wedding parties or conduct any of the other heinous violations of human rights which imperial Washington engages in without batting an eye? . . .
So while Obama is busy trying to ramp up the violence by rallying NATO to expand the wars around the world,  international peacekeepers will begin the thorny task of implementing a seven-point peace plan put forward by none-other-than Vladimir Putin.
The difference between the peacemakers and the warmongers has rarely been as stark as it is today.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at

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