Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why Are Liberal Commentators Afraid to Relate the WHOLE Ukraine Backstory?

The  Neocon Repukes, including Lindsey Graham, Mike Rogers, and John McCain ("This is a feckless foreign policy!") are all screeching for Obama to "do something" about the Ukraine situation, but this reactionary,  bully boy rhetoric  is what we expect from numb skulls. Any person with even room temperature I.Q. knows that you aren't going to be able to "muscle down"  a proud nation that sports an armed force of 845,000, and  thousands of nuclear-tipped  missiles.

On the other hand,  I've been looking - searching desperately in fact-  for some liberal voice or commentator to at least get the Ukraine back story right, even as the rest of the Neoliberal corporate media gets hysterical - goading Obama into precipitous action.  Yesterday evening I scanned my generally favorite liberal commentators to search for any kind of kernel of genuine, unfiltered, unskewed insight into what's happening in the Ukraine.

I started out with Chris Hayes (All In, MSNBC) and was encouraged when his guest Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Ret.) appeared. He started out, correctly, referencing  that the seeds of the current crisis go all the way back to the administration of George H.W. Bush, when he and his Secretary of State Jim Baker assured Mikhail Gorbachev that "NATO would not go one inch further to the east".. He added: "Then a series of Presidents came in who not only went further to the east - pushed by Lockheed Martin and others, who wanted to sell weapons to eastern and central European countries - but hinted at Georgia and Ukraine."

Most salient, and a key point of history I wanted to see expressed:

"Anyone who knows Russian history .....could have guessed that  President Putin would move into the Ukraine once we had formed a group there, led by the NED and its affiliates - which effectively pulled off a coup".

The NED and its affiliates!! NEOCONS! There it is!  The National Endowment for Democracy,  the Right wing, Nazi -linked bunch which was a central part of Ronald Reagan’s propaganda war against the Soviet Union three decades ago.  And which many have noted has been working to destabilize Ukraine, and with the help of  Victoria Nuland, John McCain and others,  oust Viktor  Yanukovych. But don't believe me, hear out Col. Wilkerson, who went on to say:

"What is Putin to think when a nation that talks about bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO  suddenly effects the removal of his oligarchic leader in Kiev.  If I were Putin I'd have done exactly what Putin did. And anyone who says they couldn't predict this is either a fool or lying"

In other words, Obama spouting more balderdash that "Russia is on the wrong side of history" is Neoliberal codswallop. It's the U.S. on the wrong side for betraying promises it made on the expansion of NATO!! 

More to the point, Col. Wilkerson did confirm that what President Putin said in comments yesterday was correct:  Yanukovych was overthrown in a coup confected by the NED and neocons!

Alas, Chris Hayes - even when the red meat was handed to him on a platter by his guest-   backed away from pursuing the NED - Neocon links to the Amerikkan putsch that delivered Kiev and the Ukraine to "Yats" (Nuland's favorite NED pawn) and went off to discuss the "costs to Putin" and Russia.

I then turned to Rachel Maddow, hoping she might run with it given she already has a documentary on our Iraq invasion folly coming out Thursday. Actually, earlier in the day, in an interview on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell. Maddow charged that the George W. Bush administration's Middle East policy "has steered America's current security policy and response to global crises — including the one in Ukraine." Talking about her new documentary, "Why We Did It," involving circumstances leading to the Iraq War, Maddow told her MSNBC colleague that the Bush administration is largely responsible for the nation's current course overseas.

She went on to say that :

The decisions of our generation on national security are determined more than anything by what the George W. Bush administration did with that nine-year war in Iraq and, alongside it a 13-year war in Afghanistan that’s still going on, and the American people are against those wars."


which is certainly true, and we know the PNAC (Project for the New American Century) was behind the Iraq invasion. Trouble is she didn't pursue the Neocon- PNAC connection to Iraq and then follow it through to how they also wanted Ukraine included in the 'regime change' mix after Iraq, Iran and Syria.  Since the cons couldn't provoke Obama into regime change in the latter two (Putin intervened and caused the 'Cons to back down - while providing Obama and the U.S. with outs), they decided to go after Ukraine - on Putin's doorstep.   If they had had any sense at all, they ought to have known that Putin would respond exactly the way Wilkerson said he would - and which even Wilkerson admitted HE would!   (At least there's one U.S. official or military person who's not a hypocrite!)

I then tuned into Maddow's show at 7 p.m. and she went into a long prelude about the "deal" made to disarm nukes in the Ukraine and how this led to "closer ties with the West". (I dispute the meaning of the term "closer" as she interpreted it and vis-à-vis how the Ukraine or Russia did, based on Col. Wilkerson's earlier assessments).   She then attempted to show it was a formal agreement or "treaty" between Russia, the U.S., the Ukraine and EU not to intervene there.  Hence, when Putin dispatched troops to the Crimea he "violated it". 

This is wrong on several counts. First, what Maddow referenced was not a formal document but a diplomatic agreement. This meant it did not carry any treaty obligations, including for the U.S. to "defend" the Ukraine, or for Russia never to intrude.  What Maddow also neglected to mention in her set piece (and yes it was great to have those nuclear weapons disassembled),  is that while Russia kept her part of the bargain, the U.S. didn't. NATO expansion continued under Clinton. To his credit, Clinton didn't launch an attack on Iraq in 1998 as the Neocons demanded (that had to wait their installation of Gee Dumbya in 2001) but his expansion of NATO partly laid the path to what's unfolding now. 

The problem is that Maddow avoided all of this like the plague. Why? If her work on the documentary  'Why We Did It' is a barometer, she ought to have brought the same ferocity and truth-telling to the fore on the Ukraine,  but she held back. Why? In fact, she had a pro-Maidan compact,  "Ukrainian lobby"  American congress woman on as guest who merely stoked the airwaves with more  anti-Russian propaganda - as if the Neocon controlled media (like The Washington Post) haven't done enough in that regard.

Second,  even the CIA in an LA Times story yesterday, acknowledged that "a 1997 treaty between Russia and Ukraine allows up to 25,000 Russian troops in the vital Crimea region" - thereby scotching the nonsense that Putin "invaded Crimea", certainly in his mind this is balderdash given all actions are in conformance with said treaty, see e.g.

True, CIA director Brennan "doesn't believe this justified Russia's moves", but I revert back to what Col. Wilkerson (Ret.) noted above - that given the U.S. neocons conducted a putsch, a coup - he WAS justified and Wilkerson would have done it too if in Putin's place as he himself noted. 

Then there was the WaPo's Eugene Robinson, perhaps the last relatively liberal voice and columnist on what has become a nonstop cheerleader for Neocon-Neoliberal foolishness. In his column yesterday ('Who are We To Judge Russia') he certainly hits the nail right on the head in his opening paragraph:  

"Let’s be real. It’s one thing to say that Russia’s takeover of the Crimean Peninsula “cannot be allowed to stand,” as many foreign policy sages have proclaimed. It’s quite another to do something about it.

Is it just me, or does the rhetoric about the crisis in Ukraine sound as if all of Washington is suffering from amnesia? We’re supposed to be shocked — shocked! — that a great military power would cook up a pretext to invade a smaller, weaker nation? I’m sorry, but has everyone forgotten the unfortunate events in Iraq a few years ago?"

But from there he veers off into less relevant piffle and issues, including falling into the Neocon propaganda meme trap, i.e.  that his "sentiments are with the legitimate Ukrainian government, not with the neo-imperialist regime in Russia" Again,  failing to see that the government controlled by Nuland's and the Neocon's pawn "Yats" (Arseniy Yatsenuk ) is in fact NOT legit, but was installed after a coup - the same one Col. Lawence Wilkerson acknowledged had occurred in his interview with Chris Hayes.  (See also Cheering a ‘Democratic’ Coup in Ukraine.”)

Hence, with Robinson's weight behind the illegit American puppet Arseniy Yatsenuk  it's not surprising he  doesn't pursue the Neocon -NED links to the putsch in Kiev. WHY not? Are the Neocons THAT powerful in the Beltway that they have everyone by the balls? Why are ALL the professed liberal voices so intimidated? Are they afraid they will lose their jobs if they come out even the slightest in a way that might be construed "pro-Russian"?

What has become ever more apparent to me the past week, is that if intelligent Americans really want to find out the cause and basis of the current crisis, they will have to dig much deeper than any American corporate news source. All of them are laden with propaganda, disinformation and outright untruths - in varying amounts. Pick your poison.  Even the relatively liberal MSNBC has fallen under the "blame Russia" meme.  Sadly, even when shows like Chris Hayes 'All In'  feature informed guests - like Col. Wilkerson - with an opportunity for background and backstory - there seems to be the incentive to punk out, as opposed to pursuing the truth.  Even if that truth leads to the door of a U.S.-sponsored coup, and installation of a figure head pawn.

But as I noted repeatedly before, in my assorted blog posts on the JFK assassination in November, if we don't become more conversant with what really happened in our own history, we will be at the mercy of any brain-twisting propaganda that comes along. And these days, believe me, there's a LOT of it.

At least blog readers can be assured I will do my utmost to keep them properly informed and especially on who they can trust and who they can't!

See also: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/dave-lindorff/54577/not-funny-but-it-s-still-hard-not-to-laugh-how-can-the-us-accuse-russia-of-violating-international-la




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