by Stephen Lendman
Consider the times. Daily events should scare everyone. Washington rules alone matter. Unfettered power reflects things.
Rule of law principles are ignored. Core Bill of Rights protections are gone. Freedom hangs by a thread.
Democracy is a convenient illusion. Obama presides over a police state apparatus. Bipartisan complicity shares responsibility. Full-blown tyranny is a hair's breadth away.
Fundamental rights don't matter. Big Brother watches everyone. De facto one-party rule runs things.
Monied interests created a multi-headed monster. Super-wealth and privilege rule. Popular needs go begging.
Social justice is disappearing in plain sight. Money power in private hands is used to make more of it at the public's expense.
Imperial madness defines official policy. Sovereign independence is criminalized. It's considered justification for war.
Unchallenged global dominance is prioritized. Wars rage without end. New ones are planned. Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.
Warmakers win peace prizes. Peacemakers are scorned. War is considered peace. Criminality is rewarded. Doing the right thing is punished.
Today is the most perilous time in world history. Ukraine's crisis is the gravest since WW II. A potential clash of civilizations looms.
Media propagandists masquerade as journalists. Presstitution substitutes for real news, information and analysis.
Defending the indefensible persists. Doing so makes the unthinkable possible. Humanity survived two global wars.
Another one perhaps means armageddon. Avoiding it should be top priority. Russia bashing takes precedence.
It rages out-of-control daily. It's malicious. It's merciless. It's outrageous. It doesn't matter. It continues. More on this below.
Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors. Recklessness defines his agenda. He imposed two rounds of sanctions on Russia. He threatened much tougher ones ahead.
Sergei Lavrov is a consummate diplomat. He responded, saying:
"Unilateral sanctions have never done any good. They are not legal. And they do not have international legal grounds."
"The UN Security Council is the only body entitled to decide on coercive measures towards sovereign states, but it has not made such decisions in regards to the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian administration of President Yanukovych."
"Even if we speak about the Ukrainian constitution, the people who grabbed power in Kiev in an anti-constitutional revolt did that with at least moral support and, I believe, that support was not just moral, by their actions."
"The trampling upon laws, which aimed to bring their stooges to power, who relied on blatant ultra-nationalists and who were unable to control even Kiev without them, and accusations of us and Crimeans of breaching Ukrainian laws are totally void from the legal point of view and, I believe, totally unacceptable from the point of view of morals and ethics."
A Foreign Ministry statement added:
"Lavrov stressed that the decision on Crimea's reunification with Russia reflected the expression of will of the absolute majority of its people, that it may not be reviewed and must be respected."
"Lavrov drew particular attention to the ongoing violence by ultranationalist and extremist forces targeting businessmen and journalists, dissenters, the Russian-speaking population and our compatriots."
"It is time to put an end to the condoning of the Right Sector militants and Svoboda party" extremists.
NATO Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen is a convenient US stooge. He endorses US policies. He supports Kiev neo-Nazi putschists.
On March 20, he lied saying "Russia will go beyond Crimea, and the next goal will be the eastern provinces of Ukraine."
Relations between NATO and Russia can no longer remain "just business," he added. Things are different than weeks earlier, he said.
He blamed Russia for Western imperial crimes. Perhaps he has war plans in mind. Perhaps planned US-led NATO military exercises in Ukraine suggest trouble.
Rapid Trident is scheduled for this summer. Similar exercises are conducted annually.
US forces in Europe web site says they're designed to "promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity, and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations."
Perhaps something more sinister is planned. Perhaps possible confrontation with Russia looms.
On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden commented irresponsibility. Washington could invoke NATO's Article 5 for war on Russia, he said.
Perhaps he knows more than he's admitting. Reckless comments heighten tensions. So do irresponsible sanctions.
EU leaders targeted 12 additional Russian officials. Business ones were excluded. June EU-Russia summit plans were cancelled.
European leaders intend "targeted economic measures" if Russia "continues to destabilize Ukraine," they said. According to European Council president Herman Van Rompuy:
"We will assess each action, each incident in itself. We will not put all our cards on the table…But the preparations are ongoing."
Angela Merkel said: "As long as there is no political environment for such an important political format as the G-8, the G-8 doesn't exist anymore."
Vladimir Putin responded, saying:
"Are they hoping to put us in a worsening social and economic situation so as to provoke public discontent?"
"We consider such statements irresponsible and clearly aggressive in tone, and we will respond to them accordingly."
Columnist Roger Cohen is one of many New York Times imperial apologists. He never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Instead of choosing the right side of history, he's polar opposite every time. Especially when it matters most. Setting the record straight isn't his long suit.
He's been bashing Russia for weeks. On March 20, he headlined "Cold Man in the Kremlin," saying:
"Putin's push for a revived Soviet-like space reached its apotheosis (with) the annexation of Crimea." He called it "a watershed moment for Europe, where such an event had not happened since World War II."
He ignored Yugoslavia's systematic destruction. He turned a blind eye to US-led NATO's full responsibility.
He said nothing about Washington transforming most former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact countries into subservient pro-Western puppet states. He paid no attention to accompanying human misery.
"The Continent is once again combustible," he said. "The United States faces a foe in Moscow who laces his comments about America with contempt."
Cohen wrongfully compared Crimean/Russian reunification to Hitler's Austrian Anschluss. Both events were polar opposites.
Washington bears full responsibility for heightened continental tensions. Rogue EU partners share it. Putin's straight talk is derided. Don't expect Cohen to explain.
Defending the indefensible takes precedence. So does suppressing truth. "The language Putin understands is force and power," he claimed.
"If further Russian designs on Ukraine are to be stopped, President Obama has to respond to the Russian president in the idiom he understands," he added.
He lied accusing Putin of "proposing an alternative civilization of brutality, force, imperial expansion, systemic corruption, a cowed press, conspiracy theories and homophobia."
His characterization describes Washington. For sure not Putin. It bears repeating. Don't expect Cohen to explain.
Neocon Washington Post editors wage daily war on Russia. They repeated the Big Lie about Russian "aggression."
WaPo editors don't recognize the real thing. They call lawless US imperial wars humanitarian interventions.
They consider ravaging and destroying one country after another liberation. Unrestrained plunder is called economic development. Despots running things are labeled democrats.
Hit 'em again harder, they urge. Pile on tougher sanctions.
Punish Putin "while minimizing the collateral damage to the US, European and global economies that could come from a broader economic war."
Credit Obama "for leading the Western response…" US sanctions "still fall far short of what is needed to inflict the 'massive' damage to the Russian economy…"
WaPo editors repeated the Big Lie. Russia invaded Crimea, they screamed. They outrageously accused Putin of "steady escalation since Russian troops fanned out in Crimea nearly three weeks ago."
Putin "appears bent on bringing about the (Kiev government's) downfall," they claim.
Moscow justifiably rejects putschist illegitimacy. WaPo editors embrace it and then some.
"…Putin and his political elite appear drunk with euphoria over their successful seizure of Crimea and skeptical about the West's will to push back," they claim.
"If the latest sanctions do not quickly sober them up," WaPo editors wants tougher policies instituted. Again, they barely stopped short of urging war. Neocons prioritize it.
Garry Kasparov is a convenient US stooge. He's a former world chess champion turned hard right politician.
He's a dubious character and then some. He gets generous National Endowment for Democracy funding.
He's a former Center for Security Policy board member. Neocon Frank Gaffney heads it. Its board, staff and members include likeminded hardliners.
Kasparov is linked to former Yukos oil vice president Leonid Nevzlin. It's no longer operating.
Nevzlin was Russian oligarch Michael Khodorokvsky's partner. He fled to Israel to avoid charges of involvement with contract killers hired to eliminate "objectionable people."
In 2009, Kasparov met personally with Obama in Washington. At the time, they discussed internal Russian elements opposed to Putin.
Kasparov allied with a 2010 "Putin must go" initiative. WaPo editors gave him featured op-ed space. He headlined "It's time to stop Putin."
He repeated the same Big Lie. He "invad(ed) Crimea," he said. He called legitimate reunification "defiance."
He wants Putin confronted more forcefully. He wants tough pressure applied. He wants policies "target(ing) his hold on power."
He claims it's "all (he) cares about…" He berated Obama for saying he won't send US forces to defend Ukraine. He ludicrously called it "a gesture of peaceful intent."
He claimed there's "no dealing with Putin, no mutually beneficial business as usual." He turned truth on its head saying he "feels no obligation to operate by the rule of law or human rights in or outside of Russia."
"Putin is a lost cause," he hyperventilated. Russia "will be until he is gone. The West has been in denial about this for far too long."
"It has always been an error to treat (him) like any other leader; now, there are no more excuses."
You can't make this stuff up. Imagine featuring this type rubbish. Kasparov is no democrat. He's no populist. He's connected to some of the most extremist neocon ideologues.
They deplore peace. They endorse war. They want one country after another ravaged. They want them plundered. They want monied interests alone benefitting.
They want ordinary people exploited. They want despots they control replacing democrats. Their agenda risks global war.
Not according to Kasparov. "Obama and Europe's leaders keep trying to play by the rules even though Putin has ripped up the rule book and thrown the shreds in their faces," he claimed.
He wants him targeted ruthlessly. He wants him ousted. Maybe he has war in mind to do it. He's part of the problem. For sure not the solution.
Wall Street Journal editors continued their daily anti-Russia barrage. On March 20, they headlined "The Russo-Sanctions War," saying:
Putin "keeps ignoring Mr. Obama's pleas to stop carving up Ukraine…" On Thursday, "economic war" began.
Obama targeted Russian business figures. He included Bank Rossiya. It's Putin's bank. It handles financial transactions for other Russian officials.
Obama's Executive Order authorizes targeting key sectors of Russia's economy. Make it scream, Journal editors urge.
"(T)his is an economic war the US should be able to win," they said. If carried to extremes, not without a potential significant global cost.
Conditions worldwide are weak. They're unstable. China's economy is slowing markedly. Slowdown affects India, Brazil, and other emerging economies.
Eurozone countries are troubled. Italy faces major problems. Economic stagnation harms France. Spain, Portugal and Greece remain basket cases.
Problems experienced by one country affects others. US/Russia economic war could ripple globally. Crisis conditions could follow.
Journal editors should know better. They endorse what should be avoided at all costs. They want tougher measures taken.
They lied claiming Russia's "military is poised to move into Ukraine's south and east on the Kremlin's orders."
They urge countering Putin by "impos(ing) enough immediate and substantial pain on (him), his friends and the Russian economy…"
They want world banks forced "to choose between doing business with" America or Russia. They want Moscow's "dominance in European energy" confronted.
They want Ukraine given military aid. The want NATO forces deployed close to Russia's borders. It bears repeating. Perhaps they want WW III.
Media scoundrels lack legitimacy. They support wrong over right. They march in lockstep with lawless US policy.
They blame victims for crimes Washington commits. They lie to readers and viewers consistently. They endorse policies risking global conflict. Don't ask them to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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