The Entire Case for Sanctions Against Russia Is Pure Lies

Eric Zuesse

U.S. President Barack Obama has stated many times his case against Russia — the reason for the economic sanctions. In his National Security Strategy 2015, he uses the term “aggression” 18 times, and 17 of them are referring specifically to only one country as “aggressive”: Russia. However, not once does he say there what the “aggression” consisted of: what its target was, or what it itself was. He’s vague there on everything except his own target: Russia.

For those things (what Russia’s “aggression” consists of), Obama’s only statement that has been even as lengthy as moderately brief — since he has never presented it at any more length — was his interview with Fareed Zacaria of CNN on 1 February 2015, which happened to be a statement given only three days short of the first anniversary of his agent’s, Victoria Nuland’s, having selected, on 4 February 2014, whom the next leader of Ukraine would be, Arseniy Yatsenyuk (she called him “Yats”) after the democratically elected and sitting Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, would become overthrown, which happened 18 days later, on 22 February 2014. (It was nothing like Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution”. This wasn’t democratic; it was a coup.)

Obama said there, in this CNN interview, that the reason for the sanctions against Russia was that, 

“since Mr. Putin made this decision around Crimea and Ukraine  not because of some grand strategy, but essentially because he was caught off-balance by the protests in the Maidan and Yanukovych then fleeing after we had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine  since that time, this improvisation that he’s been doing has getting  has gotten him deeper and deeper into a situation that is a violation of international law, that violates the integrity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, has isolated Russia diplomatically, has made Europe wary of doing business with Russia, has allowed the imposition of sanctions that are crippling Russia’s economy at a time when their oil revenues are dropping. There’s no formula in which this ends up being good for Russia. The annexation of Crimea is a cost, not a benefit, to Russia. The days in which conquest of land somehow was a formula for great nation status is over.”

That’s all; he didn’t mention the subsequent shooting-down of the Malaysian airliner over the conflict-zone in Ukraine on 17 July 2014, which was the incident that he used, after the first set of sanctions, in order to get the European Union to increase the sanctions against Russia (and that incident will be discussed at the end of this article because he simply didn’t mention it in this, his lengthiest statement on the cause of the sanctions). His entire reason there — and no reason at all was given in his National Security Strategy 2015 for calling Russia “aggressive” — was “the annexation of Crimea.”

What, then, are the facts on that matter, of Crimea?

First, we must make note of the fact that this annexation occurred on 16 March 2014, when Crimeans went to the polls and voted in a referendum on whether to remain ruled by the Ukrainian national Government in Kiev, as they had been ruled only since 1954, or instead by the Russian national Government in Moscow, as they had been ruled from 1783 to 1954; and we must also keep in mind that this referendum had occurred as a direct result of Obama’s coup against the man, Viktor Yanukovych, for whom Crimeans had voted at around 75% throughout Crimea. In the United States, that type of election, one in which the leading candidate had received 75% of the vote, would be called a “landslide.” 

How would Americans feel if they had voted 75% for a President in 2010, for a six-year term, only to find him overthrown in an extremely violent coup four years later by a foreign power that they despised and feared as an aggressor, as Crimeans overwhelmingly, and by far more than 75%, felt about the United States? Specifically, if you’ll look there (at that link) at those polls by Gallup (and you can get to each one of them there by just two clicks, so it’s quick), what you’ll find is that even before Obama’s February 2014 coup which overthrew the Ukrainian President whom nearly 80% of Crimeans had voted for, the Crimean people overwhelmingly wanted to secede from Ukraine — and, especially now they did, right after the President for whom they had overwhelmingly voted, Viktor Yanukovych, had been overthrown in this extremely bloody coup. Furthermore, in April 2014, Gallup again polled Crimea, and they found that 71.3% of Crimeans viewed as “Mostly positive” the role of Russia there, and 4.0% viewed it as “Mostly negative”; by contrast, only 2.8% of Crimeans viewed the role of the United States there as “Mostly positive,” and a whopping 76.2% viewed it as “Mostly negative.” During the intervening year (i.e., both before and after Obama’s coup and the resulting secession-referendum), Crimeans’ favorability toward America had plunged down to 2.8%, from its year-earlier 6%. Clearly, what Obama had done in Ukraine (his violent coup in Kiev) had antagonized the Crimeans. And, as if that weren’t enough, the 2014 poll provided yet more evidence: “The 500 people that were sampled in Crimea were asked [and this is crucial] ‘Please tell me if you agree or disagree: The results of the referendum on Crimea’s status [whether to rejoin Russia] reflect the views of most people here.’ 82.8% said ‘Agree.’ 6.7% said ‘Disagree.’”

But there turned out to be even more evidence that the referendum-results in Crimea had been accurate: Even after just one click (not even two) from there, you’ll see the following information, also with a link to its source:

Because both of those two Gallup polls had been paid-for by the U.S. Government, Canada’s Government wanted its own read on the Crimean situation; and, so, they hired a different polling organization to do their own poll. However, the Canadian Government got no better news than the U.S. Government had gotten: 82% of Crimeans “Fully endorse” Crimea’s having become part of Russia; 11% “Mostly endorse” it; 2% “Mostly disapprove”; 3% “Don’t know”; and only 2% “Fully disapprove.” Or, to put it simply: 93% approve; 3% don’t know, and 4% disapprove. The results of the referendum had been 96% to rejoin Russia. 4% voted against. That’s like the 4% who disapproved of the return to Russia, in the Canadian-sponsored poll.

In a situation like that, what can one say of President Obama’s statement against Russia: “The days in which conquest of land somehow was a formula for great nation status is over.”

Which country had engaged in conquest here? Did Russia conquer Crimea, as Obama constantly alleges? Or did the United States conquer Ukraine? Is Putin the aggressor? Or is Obama?

Obama knows the answer to that question. He isn’t an ignorant man. He had hired Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to head the State Department, and they had hired Dick Cheney’s chief foreign-policy advisor Victoria Nuland to run the operation to take over Ukraine. (And they kicked off the coup a day earlier than the Maidan demonstrations even started, but the operation had been long planned regardless.) Obama knew that both Clinton and Kerry had voted for the invasion of Iraq and that both have also been lifelong supporters of the CIA’s Gladio operation that hired Hitler’s and Mussolini’s intelligence operatives in order to exploit not only anti-communist sentiment but anti-Russian sentiment in Eastern Europe (and here’s the much lengthier BBC documentary on that), so as for the U.S. to take control of Eastern European countries and strip Russia of its western allies and take Russia over, as well, for an unchallenged American Empire, which Obama constantly refers to as “the one indispensable nation,” meaning that all other nations are “dispensable.” Obama has a consistent record as being supportive of the Gladio operation, and of the CIA’s other specifically anti-Russian operations, though his statement to Fareed Zakaria on CNN pretended that Obama had been friendly toward Russia when Dmitry Medvedev was Russia’s President, throughout Obama’s first term. (He can pretend that, because it helps deceive people to think that Putin must be overthrown, that Putin is ‘the problem.’)

All during Obama’s first term, he was continuing the preparations at the CIA, State Department, etc., to conquer Russia by surrounding it with recently recruited hostile NATO member states, thus far: Croatia and Albania in 2009 under Obama; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia in 2004 under Bush; Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999 under Clinton — that’s a total of 12 formerly Russia-friendly nations which have switched to become members of the anti-Russia military club: NATO.

Obama is having trouble bringing Ukraine into that club, because Putin has set a red line at Ukraine, both because of its size and because of its having, ever since 1783, Russia’s key naval base, in Crimea. President Obama knew that he would be crossing this red line by seizing Ukraine as he did in February 2014, but he did it anyway; and Putin responded by using Russia’s existing military in Crimea to protect Crimeans so that they could have a peaceful and honest referendum, which Putin knew, just as well as Obama did, would overwhelmingly favor rejoining Russia.

Yet now, Obama has the nerve to say that it’s Putin instead of Obama who has been the aggressor here and who should be subject to “regime change.” (Of course, if Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush becomes the U.S. President, then there will be continuity of the existing U.S. imperial regime, which actually started in earnest in 1980, long before Putin came to power.)

Regarding the shoot-down of the MH17 Malaysian airliner (the pretext for Obama’s getting the EU to support increased anti-Russian sanctions): the U.S.-Ukrainian account of the downing is that pro-Russian rebels shot it down by mistake, with a missile. For this, Obama blamed Russia, and his agents who run European governments and the EU went along with that and hiked their economic sanctions against Russia; but, nobody in power believed it, because the postulated scenario is absurd to anyone who knows anything. However, even if that scenario had been true, yet still, Obama definitely caused the Malaysian airliner to be downed. Furthermore, the reason why the official ‘investigation’ into the downing is not being made public is that Obama’s own Ukrainian Government was given veto-power over everything that will be in it, and they won’t allow the additional evidence, above and beyond the already dispositive evidence that has been revealed but not publicized, to be included in it; so, the report is not issued. The Ukrainian Government weren’t able to prevent the decisive proof that their own Air Force plane had intentionally shot it down from leaking out; but the Western press have cooperated with Obama to suppress that information. More information keeps leaking out supporting that earlier proof; but, actually, additional proof isn’t even needed. Publication of the existing damning evidence is. However, no one will be able to suppress the ‘findings’ by the official ‘investigation.’ So: it doesn’t yet exist, and maybe it never will.

In other words: President Obama planned and executed an operation to take over Ukraine for the United States; and for then using that country as a springboard to ‘justify’ sanctions against Russia, including sanctions that have been added, on the basis of Obama’s operation shooting down the Malaysian airliner in order to be able to stir up yet more hatred against Russia. And here is how the ‘news’ media in the West have reported on all that.

If it seems like George Orwell’s 1984, that’s because it is.

However, it’s heading toward a far worse ending. And this isn’t fiction.


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.

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