Ukraine’s Pres. Poroshenko Tries to Stop His Side’s Ceasefire Violations

Eric Zuesse

According to Donetsk People’s Republic Defense Minister Eduard Basurin, speaking Saturday April 11th, the recently reported ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian government’s side are violations by the Ukrainian government’s volunteer irregular battalions, not by regular units of the armed forces of Ukraine (which are conscripts and thus represent the will of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko). 

Furthermore, the DPR’s statement goes considerably farther, to indicate that Ukraine’s President Poroshenko has actually been enforcing his side’s compliance with the ceasefire agreement. According to the announcement from the “Donetsk People’s Republic, Novorossiya”: 

“On Friday, the reports came that the Ukrainian 93rd separate mechanized brigade [the Ukrainan government’s forces] had demanded from the ‘Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists’ battalion [a group of nazi volunteer fighters] to abandon their positions in the area of Peski. The ‘OUN’ battalion is not controlled by the Kiev authorities.

“’Today, on the 11th of April, Ukrainian regular army’s units got involved in the armed conflict’ [said Basurin. He went on to note that this phenomenon, of the regular Ukrainian army fighting against its own irregular volunteer battalions, had occurred earlier, and not only on the present occasion:] On the 1st of April, the DPR Defense Ministry reported that the Ukrainian soldiers of the ‘Donbass’ battalion had opened fire on the positions of the ‘Right Sector’ [another nazi group]. According to the representatives of the DPR militia, Ukrainian units, which don’t want to obey the commands of the Ukrainian armed forces, ‘reserve the right not to abide by the ceasefire regime’.”

This explanation by Basurin is crucially important, because it constitutes, from the ‘rebel’ side, a confirmation of good-faith follow-through by Ukrainian President Poroshenko: that he is disciplining his irregular troops who violate his commands.

Only if Poroshenko disciplines and compels compliance from the ideologically committed nazi battalions can the conflict between Ukraine’s government and the separatist regions be addressed by means of diplomatic agreements and compromises, such as the Merkel-Hollande-arranged Minsk II Agreement, rather than by out-of-control military conflict, which would threaten escalation that could conceivably extend as far as nuclear war between the United States and Russia, which are the two real principals representing the respective two sides in the conflict between Ukraine and its breakaway regions. (The U.S. position is that no right of self-determination exists; Russia’s position is that when your own government is bombing you, the right to secede from that government exists — such a government has lost its right to represent you.)

The original-language (Russian) report on this matter closes (as translated by me): “The Donetsk People’s Republic has repeatedly said that adherence to the truce depends entirely upon the Ukrainian side.” This repeated commitment by DPR is equivalent to their saying that if the military confrontation resumes, it will be solely because of violations from the Ukrainian government’s forces, not by those from the DPR.

The background to this entire issue is that, many times in the past, leaders of the various irregular Ukrainian units have said that they will not respect President Poroshenko’s authority but will fight as and when and whom (even Poroshenko himself) they wish. Here’s the description of this rebellion within the Ukrainian armed forces from my own prior report regarding that matter, which is essential background for understanding the recent news accounts of the Ukrainian war possibly getting dangerously out of control on account of ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian side:

On 10 January 2015, the Fort Russ blog headlined “Ukrainian Armed Forces Are Bombing the Right Sector,” and reported that Right Sector troops in battle were now being killed by Ukrainian Government forces, and were no longer being killed only by separatists. Then, on January 21st, UNIAN headlined, “Yarosh Wounded in Grad Attack,” and reported that “Ukrainian MP and leader of the Right Sector organization Dmytro Yarosh has been injured by shrapnel from a Grad rocket strike.” Also on January 21st, Harrison Koehli bannered at sott.net, “Kiev Lies to Its Own Troops, Sends Them to Be Slaughtered,” and he documented (with recent videos) that Ukraine’s Colonel Oleg Mikats, Commander of Ukraine’s 93rd Brigade, had been captured by the pro-Russian separatists during a battle at the Donetsk Airport. However, Koehli failed to note that Mikats was also one of Right Sector’s leaders, and that not only Mikats but also Yarosh himself had been in that battle, and that Yarosh’s “hand is damaged seriously” from a “close exploding shell” and so Yarosh was evacuated to a military hospital. The Ukrainian site Unian headlined, “Yarosh Wounded in Grad Attack,” and said he “has been slightly wounded from shrapnel” and was up and about. “He is fighting on.” No mention was made of Mikats. As “J. Hawk” commented at Fort Russ, on January 20th, “Mikats’ capture suggests he, a rising star in the Right Sector, tried to prove his organization would succeed where the regular military had failed. Imagine the hero’s welcome he’d have gotten in Kiev had he succeeded in retaking the Donetsk Airport.” And the fact that Yarosh himself was also there, suggests even more strongly, that Yarosh was here aiming to achieve a military victory that Poroshenko’s forces could not, which would embarrass Poroshenko by showing Ukrainians that only by means of the Right Sector’s taking charge of the Government could the war against the ‘Terrorists’  — the ‘Anti Terrorist Operation,’ or ATO — be won. Perhaps one of the reasons why Mikats had been captured was that Poroshenko’s line of command had intentionally left the Right Sector forces “to be slaughtered,” so as to prevent Yarosh from overthrowing Poroshenko. The U.S.-installed operatives were now warring against one-another, and not only against Ukraine’s pro-Russians. On January 29th, Ukraine’s Political Navigator website bannered, “Yarosh Prepares a ‘Parallel General Staff’,” and reported that Yarosh had said that “after a while, it will be implemented” — a “General Staff” of “volunteers” — to compete against and (he expected) outperform Poroshenko’s military team. Yarosh was now just waiting for Poroshenko’s regime to collapse, so that Yarosh’s own people would grab power. And then what? He would dictate terms, to Obama, and also to Ukraine’s creditors? Really? On January 30th, Fort Russ headlined, “’Yatsenyuk and Turchinov started the war!’ — Poroshenko Bloc Deputy,” and reported that in the parliament or Rada, a Poroshenko ally was stating that Yatsenyuk, and his chosen colleague who was briefly Ukraine’s appointed President until Poroshenko, Aleksander Turchinov, were to blame for the war; Poroshenko wasn’t. Rats were scurrying from this sinking ship. The next day, at the same website, the headline was, “Ukraine After Poroshenko — Analysis by Aleksandr Rodzhers,” and this analysis said that another violent Maidan would soon happen, and that U.S. “SecState Kerry personally flew to IMF to persuade them to stop Kiev credits under the pretext of ‘absence of reforms.’” Of course, this would collapse the war-effort; so, Obama had now clearly abandoned the nazis; but the author amazingly assumed the exact opposite: “Poroshenko is being flushed,” the Yatsenyuk bloc wasn’t. More reliably, however, Rodzhers recounted: “Kolomoysky-controlled battalions [yet another group of nazi battalions] are still raiding business[es] but even more nakedly than before, completely ignoring the central authorities, both Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk. All representatives of central authorities have been pushed out of Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye, this process is also evident in Odessa and some other cities.” Kolomoysky was a former White House favorite; he now went his own way, to grab whatever the new chaos was making available to be grabbed. Then, on 1 February 2015, Fort Russ bannered, “We call on all commanders to rise up and start overthrowing the government,” and reported that on that day, “a Volunteer Soldier National Assembly was held, with 500 militants who had fought in the Donbass. ‘We call on all commanders to rise up and start overthrowing the government. The battalion brotherhood is starting a national tribunal’, they chanted. … Their demands to the Verkhovna Rada included the impeachment of the President and the removal of legal immunity afforded to Rada members and judges.” Some wanted not just Poroshenko impeached, but also Yatsenyuk. On February 2nd, Oleg Tsarev, a leader of the anti-coup government in Donbass, whose life had been threatened by Kolomoysky, headlined “Dnepropetrovsk Concentration Camp,” and he reported that Kolomoysky was now a total dictator in the region (Dnepropetrovsk) over which Kolomoysky had been appointed governor. Four days later, Tsarev bannered “Stealing Is Not Work,” and he reported that Tsarev’s own family business, which unfortunately happened to be located in that district, had been forcefully stolen by Kolomoysky. This was the libertarian ideal: real anarchy. Only armed people held power — government was as “small” as possible. The gangsters were the ‘government,’ because there was none other. This was pure libertarianism: only natural law existed, because no man-made law existed to oppose and restrain it.

Apparently, U.S. President Obama has now come down clearly on Poroshenko’s side, against even the nazis (such as Yarosh) who had carried out the coup which made Obama the master of Ukraine. In other words: Obama does not want to escalate this conflict to nuclear war with Russia.

My previous view, that the ceasfire-violations on Thursday and Friday, April 9th and 10th, were consistent with U.S. President Barack Obama’s intentions in Ukraine, is wrong. I was seconding there the view by Igor Strelkov, the former commander of DNR forces, but it fortunately seems to have been wrong. And, thus, U.S. President Obama might turn out not to be the catastrophically bad U.S. President he seemed, just a day ago — worse even than George W. Bush — though Obama has brought us closer to nuclear war than any previous U.S. President has.

———-

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, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

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New Breakaway Republic Is Announced in Ukraine to Join Donetsk and Luhansk Republics

Eric Zuesse

A group of residents in the region of Odessa, one of Ukraine’s largest cities, is trying to break away from the Ukrainian government that was formed after the coup in Kiev in February 2014.

As the first anniversary approaches of the 2 May 2014 massacre by U.S.-backed Ukrainian Government thugs against pamphleteers in Odessa’s Trade Unions Building, who had opposed the 22 February 2014 U.S. coup in Ukraine, there has been forming in Odessa a movement for complete independence from the U.S.-coup-imposed Ukrainian regime. Ukraine’s U.S.-imposed regime’s response is to crush this incipient movement before word of its existence can even get out to the rest of the world.

That May 2nd massacre sparked Ukraine’s civil war, by terrifying all Ukrainians who respected Russian culture and who considered themselves to be part of it (and such Ukrainians dominated the southeastern half of Ukraine). It showed them that the rabidly anti-Russian, pro-nazi regime which had recently been installed by the U.S., was seeking nothing less than their own destruction. (The scenes from it, and testimony from its witnesses, were absolutely horrific.) Throughout the entire southeastern half of Ukraine’s territory, the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama’s coup overthrew, had received large majority electoral support, as a consequence of which, Ukraine’s southeastern half became — after Obama’s anti-Russian coup — a tinderbox for civil war, and for potential separation from the northwestern, nazi-tolerant (often even overtly pro-Hitler), half of Ukraine.

Thus, on April 7th, an announcement by P.S. Kovalenko was made of some courageous individuals who on April 6th were attempting to establish the Odessa People’s Republic. The headline was: “Odessa People’s Republic declared its independence and secession from Ukraine.” This was a naive thing for them to do, publicly and without any military, opposing a heavily armed nazi regime, as they are doing.

Then, on April 8th was headlined by them, “The head of the Odessa National Republic declared the intention to unite with the Donbass.” 

Donbass is the region, encompassing two major cities to the east of Odessa, Luhansk and Donetsk, and their surrounds, the entire area of which had voted 90%+ for Viktor Yanukovych, the President whom Obama overthrew in the February 2014 coup, the coup in which America’s CIA paid the Right Sector army of the Hitler-admiring Dmitriy Yarosh to dress like state security troops and then to gun down anti-Yanukovych demonstrators, so that Yanukovych would be blamed. Yarosh had the key assistance of the head of the other major nazi party in Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, who had led the Maidan protests that served as PR cover for the coup. But the actual troops were Yarosh’s; they were Right Sector — the same far-right group who organized and largely executed the May 2nd massacre in Odessa.

On April 11th was bannered, “About the situation in the capital of the Odessa national Republic.” This reported that:

The security forces (SBU) arrested several dozen residents of Odessa, supporters of New Russia. Those arrested were subjected to severe torture.

Here is the text of the official statement sent by the head of the EPD [People’s Republic of Odessa]:  

“Odessa again, is choking on the blood of their sons. At this time, the Nazis did not wait for May to act. Punishers of ‘Security Service of Ukraine’ arrested several dozen supporters of the New Russia. According to information received, they are now trying the most sophisticated, almost medieval torture-methods. I was told about this by reliable and trusted sources.

“On the outskirts of the city there were created some form of ‘national guard’.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to refer to the movement “Antimaydan” some leaders who for some unknown reason, I have ranked me to the ‘agent of the SBU.’ I would like to know: on the basis of what you have done such a strange thing (that has nothing to do with reality). [He is saying that he supports the anti-corruption sentiments of the vast majority of Maidan demonstrators but not the nazis who used them as cover for Obama’s coup.] The time will come when you will be ashamed of that accusation.

“Long live the united and indivisible Novorossia!

“Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Odessa

“Kovalenko, PS

“Balta city, 04/10/2015”

During the months following the May 2nd massacre, the Obama-installed regime had repeatedly insulted Odessans, and reasserted its hostility and contempt toward them. In fact, President Poroshenko, who was ‘elected’ in an election among only far-right candidates that was held only outside Donbass and mainly in the northwest, actually went to Odessa on 13 November 2014 and he insulted the people there by saying, in a nationally televised “us” versus “them” tirade that clearly left the vast majority of Odessans as being in the “they” category:

“We will have our jobs. They will not. We will have our pensions. They will not. We will have care for children, for people, and retirees. They will not. Our children will go to schools and kindergartens. Theirs will hole up in basements [from our bombs].”

And that’s what he actually did; he specifically targeted schools. A retired Ukrainian general whose sympathies had been with Hitler’s troops displayed the nerve to respond to a Ukrainian soldier’s statement that his function was ethnic cleansing, by saying on a U.S.-funded television station in Ukraine, “I want to offer the Ukrainian artillerists medals, to those who shell the city [Donetsk], the houses and the civilian population, … for they [artillerists] have deserved it [medals]. … The shelling there is done as intimidation, … not just object destruction, but intimidation [to get the population to flee to nearby Russia].” 

In other words: by bombing and shelling the schools, hospitals, etc., in Donetsk, Lugansk and the surrounding regions, that land will become uninhabitable or intolerable, so that even the survivors will need to flee to nearby Russia. This way, the Western aristocrats who want to buy dirt-cheap access to that region’s natural resources (and such privatization of state assets is demanded ‘reform’ of Ukraine by the U.S.-controlled IMF) will not be bothered by the locals who object to the ripping-up of the land on which they live. Those locals will be dead or otherwise gone.

So, whereas the residents in Odessa are probably overwhelmingly in support of the local separatists’ goal, they will be too terrified of the U.S.-imposed regime to back publicly any such breakaway movement.

This is how the U.S., under the Obama regime, no less than under that of his Republican predecessor, is spreading ‘democracy.’

Here is Poroshenko receiving multiple standing ovations during his speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on 18 September 2014, asking for U.S. taxpayers to send him U.S.-made weapons.

And then, virtually 100% of the U.S. Congress voted to donate to his regime these weapons. They did this on 11 December 2014, almost a month after he had told the people who reject the U.S.-imposed government that, “Our children will go to schools and kindergartens. Theirs will hole up in basements [from our bombs].”

This land-clearing operation is being done via tanks and bombers, not via bulldozers. Bullets, bombs (and often landmines), are the technique that’s used. The residents of Odessa aren’t likely to want to join that type of fate.

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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, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

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Want a 60% instant raise? Monetary reform and public banking deliver ~$3 TRILLION to Americans yearly

“That is to say, under the old way any time we wish to add to the national wealth we are compelled to add to the national debt. Now, that is what Henry Ford wants to prevent. He thinks it is stupid, and so do I, that for the loan of $30,000,000 of their own money the people of the United States should be compelled to pay $66,000,000 — that is what it amounts to, with interest. …But here is the point: If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. …It is absurd to say that our country can issue $30,000,000 in bonds and not $30,000,000 in currency. Both are promises to pay; but one promise fattens the usurer, and the other helps the people.”  - Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, interview with NY Times, 1921

The punchline in my series teaching about what the US uses for money is every US household would receive annual benefits equal to a 60% raise:

Monetary reform nationalizes the Federal Reserve (this name is deceptive so the public would perceive it as a government entity) and retain its use for bank administrative functions. Fractional reserve lending by private banks would be made illegal, with the US Treasury having sole legal authority to issue new money for the benefit of the American public rather than the benefit of the banking industry. About 30% of the national debt is intra-governmental holdings (47) and ~16% held by the Fed (48); this debt would be cancelled as it becomes a bookkeeping entry with nationalization. Of the publicly-held debt of various parties holding US Securities, the US Treasury would monetize (pay) the debt in proportion to fractional reserves being replaced with full reserves over a period of one to two years to monitor money supply and avoid inflation. This means the US government would create debt-free money to pay the debt as it’s due exactly to the extent that private banks’ ability to create credit is reduced. The purpose of this is to avoid inflation.

The American Monetary Institute has a proposal called the American Monetary Act (49) to do this. This proposal was also endorsed by America’s best-known economist, Milton Friedman, as the single most important action possible for US economic improvement (see footnote 14 on this monetary reform proposal [50]).

The governmental cost of this reform is negligible because it simply authorizes Congress to enter money into its own account to directly pay for public goods and services. In fact, Americans would save money from decreased reliance on managing taxes.

The benefits are astounding: the American public would no longer pay over $400 billion every year for national debt interest payments (because almost 50% of the debt is intra-governmental transfers, this is a savings of over $200 billion/year). If lending is run at a non-profit rate or at nominal interest returned to the American public (for infrastructure, schools, fire and police protection, etc.) rather than profiting the banks, the savings to the US public is conservatively $2 trillion (51). If the US Federal government increased the money supply by 3% a year to keep up with population increase and economic growth, we could spend an additional $500 billion yearly into public programs, or refund it as a public dividend (52). This savings would allow us to simplify or eliminate the income tax (53). The estimated savings of eliminating the income tax with all its complexity, loopholes, and evasion is $250 billion/year (54). The total benefits for monetary reform are conservatively over three trillion dollars every year to the American public. Three trillion is $3,000,000,000,000. This saves the ~100 million US households an average of $30,000 every year. Another way to calculate the savings is to figure those amounts per $50,000 annual household income (for example, if your household earns $100,000/year, you save ~$60,000 every year with these reforms).

This savings represents a 60% raise for every US household’s income.

Those of us working on these solutions openly invite professional economists and committed citizens to analyze and comment on our observations of costs and benefits.

To give you an idea of this amount, imagine a new stack of $1 bills. New bills are about 200/inch. Imagine if you laminated bills in a horizontal stack; this would be the same size as a 2×4 board. Now imagine that this board of money was to travel on your nearest freeway. How far would the money-board go to equal $3 trillion? Make your guess, then check the footnote (55).

The private sector economic costs of monetary reform are transfers of wealth from the banking industry to the American public. The replacement would be either non-profit banks operating as needed with minimum public cost such as fire departments and the postal service, for-profit banks lending time-deposits in regulated free-market competition, or a hybrid of the two (perhaps with government mortgages at a non-profit rate of 1%). The Public Banking Institute works for the public to act now for at-cost credit (56) rather than waiting for federal reform.

Monetary reform stops the current built-in increases of the money supply through fractional reserve banking, and redirects it for direct payment of taxes for public goods and services. Each dollar transferred from bank creation to public benefit is one dollar less in public tax payment.

endnotes:

47 Treasury Direct. The debt to the penny and who holds it: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current

48 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Federal debt held by Federal Reserve banks. 2014: Q2: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FDHBFRBN

49 American Monetary Institute. American Monetary Act. 2011: http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/32-page-brochure.pdf

50 The Money Masters. Monetary reform act: http://www.themoneymasters.com/monetary-reform-act/

51 Of $60 trillion total debt, a conservative current interest cost of 5% is $3 trillion every year. Two trillion dollars of savings if the profits are transferred to the American public rather than to the banking industry is probably low. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank: https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TCMDO

52 The US GDP is ~$17 trillion. Three percent growth is moderately conservative.

53 Of the US Federal government’s ~$4 trillion annual budget, about $1.7 trillion is received from income tax.

54 Tax Foundation. Hodge, S, Moody, J, Warcholik, W. The Rising Cost of Complying with the Federal Income Tax. Jan. 10, 2006: http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/1281.html

55 About ten times around the world at the equator. Yes, that’s a lot. Earth’s circumference is ~25,000 miles. There are 63,360 inches in a mile.

56 Web of Debt. Brown, E. California dreamin’: how the state can beat its budget woes. July 8, 2009: http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/california_dreamin.php

**

Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).

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It is Not Confusing that US Abandons Own Citizens in Yemen War-Zone but Rescues Saudi Bombers

Most Americans have no idea any of these events are occurring or have only vague, US government/press-created notions of them, but many who are cognizant – principally the abandoned people themselves – express confusion. Why would eight countries, including Russia, China, and India, carry out risky missions to save their own citizens, as well as foreign nationals, stuck in Yemen, but the US would staunchly refuse to do so? All we ever hear from the US government and press is that the US is so incredibly good and altruistic. So, how could this be happening?

There is nothing confusing about the US government abandoning its own citizens in a war zone but rescuing and assisting Saudi bombers in the same war zone (“U.S. military assets had been used to rescue two Saudi pilots” McClatchy; Pentagon spokesman told McClatchy the US will be refueling Saudi bombers “every day from now on.”)

The recently conducted and largest study to date of who effects the actions of the US government, conducted by political scientists from Princeton and Northwestern, looked at about 1,800 US policies – essentially any policy one could imagine – and found:

“…economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

“…the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

Even back during the WWI era, politician Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette fought to oppose “the growing dominance of corporations over the Government”. (Though he was widely hated for this stance at the time, a 1957 Senate Committee “selected La Follette as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators”.)

And Woodrow Wilson noted in his private writings:

“Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.”

Indeed, Yale political science PhD Michael Parenti notes that the American Revolution was essentially a transfer of power from monarchy to oligarchy.  (And see this for another bit of historical context.)

Those who effect US policy have, in pursuit of their commercial and power interests, killed millions of people in the Middle East just during the last thirty years.  They continue today by (in addition to many other illegal campaigns) helping the vicious Saudi dictatorship conquer Yemen through a war of aggression and terrorism.

That the interests of most American citizens – non-elites – would have little to no impact on any of this is not only unsurprising and not confusing, but is explicitly demonstrated through meticulous study.

As many great scholars of the topic have noted, it is up to anyone who dislikes this dynamic to change it.

@_DirtyTruths

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Is This the Start of WW III?

Kiev Breaks Minsk Agreement; Reinvades Donbass

Eric Zuesse

On the Friday before Russian Orthodox Easter, the Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk U.S-coup-installed Ukrainian Government attacks on all fronts on April 9th, to continue their extermination-campaign against the residents of the area, Donbass, that refuses to accept the coup-government that was installed by the U.S. when the Ukrainian President whom 90% of those residents had voted for was overthrown by the U.S. This bare-faced violation of the Merkel-Hollande-arranged Minsk truce would not happen without Obama’s approval. He is choosing to have this done on Russian holy days in order to intensify the provocation against Russia. Obama is thus going all-out now to provoke from Russia a sending-in of Russian army troops and air power in order for Obama to have a pretext to go to war against Russia, his real target “in order to defend an ally” (which has been trying to exterminate the residents in the area that won’t accept Obama’s imposed rule).

The following reposts from Fort Russ:

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/04/kiev-junta-launches-large-scale-attack.html

Kiev junta launches a large scale attack on Novorossia right in time for Russian Orthodox Easter

April 9, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
Based on reports from Rusvesna

Ex-Minister of Defence of DPR Igor Strelkov:

“In general, we can say that the ceasefire is over – the entire front is under fire, including artillery. Shock troops of the enemy moved to the forefront.”

Donetsk under fire

War correspondent “Step” reports: 

Shells are whistling again over the cities of Donbass. In Donetsk the sirens of ambulances and emergency services are heard. Under fire: Kievsky district, Oktyabrsky village, Panfilov mine village, Gladkova, Severny, Putilovka.

The entire evening of April 9 there was a battle in the village of Spartak and near Peski. The punishers used artillery guns, tanks, mortars, heavy barreled artillery. Under the cover of artillery, the enemy attempted to seize the positions of the militia in Spartak and near the airport. During the battle, this attempt was severely suppressed.

Also suddenly the positions of the militia near the town of Yasynovataya were attacked. There was a battle using small arms. To the West of Petrovsky district of Donetsk working mortars are also heard, as well as grenade launchers and heavy machine guns.

From the occupied Volnovakha Dokuchayevsk was fired on. The outskirts of the city are under a heavy fire of the enemy, the people are hiding in shelters fearing the assault on the city by the punishers, who have assembled the biggest formation in this area of about 8 thousand people.

According to a resident of Dokuchayevsk, “Locals demand that the militia do not leave them alone and hold positions at any cost, women are hysterically crying, saying that Ukrainians will go into the city and start a massacre. Older women bless the passing trucks with soldiers and pray for the victory and a speedy liberation to the district from the Ukrainian troops”.

Over Donetsk about a dozen enemy drones were spotted, one of which was shot down near the Lidiyevka mine.

The militia is put on full alert and is ready for a full-scale attack of the enemy.

Shirokino

On April 9, 2015 near Mariupol in Shirokino there was a fierce battle. There were dead and wounded among the militia and the Ukrainian occupation troops.

Tanks approaching Donetsk

00:10. Donetsk.

From several directions at the moment, the occupants are pulling the tank columns to Donetsk.

In particular, a few dozen tanks approached the airport from the direction of Marinka and Avdeevka.

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For more on these events, see updates at http://fortruss.blogspot.com

———-

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, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Politics / World News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Man Lies Face Down, Puts Hands Behind Back; First Thing Officer Does: Kick him Squarely in the Crotch

More info.

Posted in General, Politics / World News | 3 Comments

Locals Protest, Sabotage U.S. Navy Base Construction in Desert in Sicily

270975_539703539401621_956848714_nThere’s a popular movement in Sicily called No MUOS. MUOS means Mobile User Objective System. It’s a satellite communications system created by the U.S. Navy. The primary contractor and profiteer building the satellite equipment at the U.S. Navy base in the desert in Sicily is Lockheed Martin Space Systems. This is one of four ground stations, each intended to include three swivelling very-high-frequency satellite dishes with a diameter of 18.4 meters and two Ultra High Frequency (UHF) helical antennas.

Protests have been growing in the nearby town of Niscemi since 2012. In October 2012, construction was suspended for a few weeks. In early 2013 the President of the Region of Sicily revoked the authorization for the MUOS construction. The Italian government conducted a dubious study of health impacts and concluded the project was safe. Work recommenced. The town of Niscemi appealed, and in April 2014 the Regional Administrative Tribunal requested a new study. Construction goes on, as does resistance.

no-muos_danila-damico-9I spoke with Fabio D’Alessandro, a giornalist and law school graduate living in Niscemi. “I’m part of the No MUOS movement,” he told me, “a movement that works to prevent the installation of the U.S. satellite system called MUOS. To be specific, I’m part of the No MUOS committee of Niscemi, which is part of the coalition of No MUOS committees, a network of committees spread around Sicily and in the major Italian cities.”

“It is very sad,” said D’Alessandro,”to realize that in the United States people know little about MUOS. MUOS is a system for high-frequency and narrowband satellite communications, composed of five satellites and four stations on earth, one of which is planned for Niscemi. MUOS was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. The purpose of the program is the creation of a global communications network that allows communication in real time with any soldier in any part of the world. In addition it will be possible to send encrypted messages. One of the principal functions of MUOS, apart from the speed of communications, is the ability to remotely pilot drones. Recent tests have demonstrated how MUOS can be used at the North Pole. In short, MUOS will serve to support any U.S. conflict in the Mediterranean or the Middle East or Asia. It’s all part of the effort to automate war, entrusting the choice of targets to machines.”

arton2002“There are many reasons to oppose MUOS,” D’Alessandro told me, “first of all the local community has not been advised of the installation. The MUOS satellite dishes and antennas are built within a non-NATO U.S. military base that has existed in Niscemi since 1991. The base was constructed within a nature preserve, destroying thousands of cork oaks and devestating the landscape by means of bulldozers that leveled a hill. The base is larger than the town of Niscemi itself. The presence of the satellite dishes and antennas puts at serious risk a fragile habitat including flora and fauna that exist only in this place. And no study has been conducted of the dangers of the electromagnetic waves emitted, neither for the animal population nor for the human inhabitants and the civilian flights from the Comiso Airport approximately 20 kilometers away.

“Within the base there are already present 46 satellite dishes, surpassing the limit set by Italian law. Moreover, as determined anti-militarists, we oppose further militarizing this area, which already has the base at Sigonella and other U.S. bases in Sicily. We don’t want to be complicit in the next wars. And we don’t want to become a target for whoever attempts to attack the U.S. military.”

What have you done thus far, I asked.

31485102017330209529241454212518n“We’ve engaged in lots of different actions against the base: more than once we’ve cut through the fences; three times we’ve invaded the base en masse; twice we’ve entered the base with thousands demonstrating. We’ve blocked the roads to prevent access for the workers and the American military personnel. There has been sabotage of the optical communication wires, and many other actions.”

The No Dal Molin movement against the new base at Vicenza, Italy, has not stopped that base. Have you learned anything from their efforts? Are you in touch with them?

“We are in constant contact with No Dal Molin, and we know their history well. The company that is building MUOS, Gemmo SPA, is the same that did the work on Dal Molin and is currently under investigation subsequent to the seizure of the MUOS building site by the courts in Caltagirone. Anyone attempting to bring into doubt the legitimacy of U.S. military bases in Italy is obliged to work with political groups on the right and left that have always been pro-NATO. And in this case the first supporters of MUOS were the politicians just as happened at Dal Molin. We often meet with delegations of activists from Vicenza and three times have been their guests.”

1411326635_fullI went with representatives of No Dal Molin to meet with Congress Members and Senators and their staffs in Washington, and they simply asked us where the base should go if not Vicenza. We replied “Nowhere.” Have you met with anyone in the U.S. government or communicated with them in any way?

“Many times the U.S. consuls have come to Niscemi but we have never been permitted to speak with them. We have never in any way communicated with U.S. senators/representatives, and none have ever asked to meet with us.”

Where are the other three MOUS sites? Are you in touch with resisters there? Or with the resistance to bases on Jeju Island or Okinawa or the Philippines or elsewhere around the world? The Chagossians seeking to return might make good allies, right? What about the groups studying the military damage to Sardinia? Environmental groups are concerned about Jeju and about Pagan Island Are they helpful in Sicily?

10543873_10203509508010001_785299914_n“We are in direct contact with the No Radar group in Sardinia. One of the planners of that struggle has worked (for free) for us. We know the other anti-U.S.-base movements around the world, and thanks to No Dal Molin and to David Vine, we have been able to hold some virtual meetings. Also thanks to the support of Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space we are trying to get in touch with those in Hawaii and Okinawa.”

What would you most like people in the United States to know?

“The imperialism that the United States is imposing on the countries that lost the Second World War is shameful. We are tired of having to be slaves to a foreign politics that to us is crazy and that obliges us to make enormous sacrifices and that makes Sicily and Italy no longer lands of welcome and peace, but lands of war, deserts in use by the U.S. Navy.”

##

558e285b-0c12-4656-c906-a66e2f8aee861Fabio D’Alessandro in his own words:

Io mi chiamo Fabio D’Alessandro, sono un giornalista prossimo alla laurea in Legge. Vivo ormai in modo stabile a Niscemi.  Durante gli anni universitari ho fatto parte di collettivi politici ed ho occupato un teatro da destinare a centro sociale. Faccio parte del Movimento No Muos, un movimento che lotta per bloccare l’installazione e la messa in funzione dell’impianto satellitare Usa chiamato Muos. In particolare faccio parte del Comitato No Muos di Niscemi, che fa parte del Coordinamento dei Comitati No Muos, una fitta rete di comitati territoriali sparsi in tutta la Sicilia e nelle maggiori città italiane.

È molto triste sapere che negli Usa si sappia poco di Muos. Il Muos, (Mobile User Objective System) è un sistema di comunicazioni satellitari  ad alta frequenza (UHF) e a banda stretta  composto da cinque satelliti e quattro stazioni di terra, una delle quali è stata prevista a Niscemi, in Sicilia. Il programma MUOS è gestito dal Dipartimento della Difesa USA. Scopo del programma è la creazione di una rete globale di comunicazione che permetterà di comunicare in tempo reale con qualunque soldato o mezzo  in qualunque parte del mondo. Inoltre sarà possibile inviare informazioni criptate. Una delle caratteristiche fondamentali del Muos, oltre alla velocità di comunicazione, sarà la capacità di teleguidare i droni, aerei senza piloti. Recenti test hanno dimostrato come il Muos sia utilizzabile al Polo Nord (north pole), zona strategica. Insomma, il Muos servirà da supporto a qualunque conflitto Usa nel mediterraneo e nel medio e lontano oriente. Il tutto nel tentativo di automatizzare la guerra, affidando la scelta dei bersagli alle macchine. Un’arma strategica e fondamentale per i prossimi conflitti e per tenere sotto controllo un’area ormai destabilizzata.

Ci sono molti motivi per opporsi: anzitutto la comunità locale non è stata avvisata dell’installazione. Le antenne Muos sorgono all’interno di una base militare USA (non Nato) presente a Niscemi dal 1991. La base è stata costruita all’interno di una riserva naturale (regional park) distruggendo sughere (oak) millenarie e devastando il paesaggio a causa delle ruspe che hanno sbancato una collina. La base è più grande della stessa città di Niscemi, la città più vicina all’installazione. La presenza delle antenne mette a serio rischio un habitat delicato, fatto da flora e fauna presenti solo in questo territorio. Inoltre nessuno studio è stato mai fatto circa la pericolosità delle onde elettromagnetiche emesse, né per quanto riguarda la popolazione animale nè per quanto riguarda gli abitanti e i voli civili dell’aeroporto di Comiso, distante circa 20 km dalle antenne. All’interno della base sono già presenti 46 antenne che superano i limiti previsti dalla legge italiana. Inoltre, da convinti antimilitaristi, riteniamo che non si possa militarizzare ulteriormente il territorio, avendo già la base di Sigonella e altre installazioni militari USA in Sicilia. Non vogliamo essere complici delle prossime guerre, non vogliamo diventare obiettivo sensibile per chiunque intenda colpire gli Usa.

Contro la base sono state fatte diverse azioni: abbiamo più volte tagliato le reti di recinzione, abbiamo 3 volte invaso la base in massa, in particolare per ben due volte siamo entrati dentro in migliaia di manifestanti. Abbiamo effettuato dei blocchi stradali per vietare l’ingresso agli operai e ai militari americani. Inoltre sono stati fatti dei sabotaggi riguardanti le fibre ottiche di comunicazione e molte altre azioni.

Siamo in costante contatto con i No Dal Molin, e conosciamo bene la loro storia. La “company” che sta realizzando il Muos, la Gemmo SPA, è la stessa azienda che ha realizzato i lavori del Dal Molin e attualmente è indagata a seguito del sequestro del cantiere Muos da parte dei giudici di Caltagirone. Chiunque provi a mettere in dubbio la legittimità delle basi militari americane in Italia è costretto a fare i conti con la politica, di destra e di sinistra, da sempre filo-Nato. Anche in questo caso i primi sponsor del Muos sono stati i politici, così come accadde con il Dal Molin. Spesso incontriamo delegazioni di attivisti di Vicenza e per 3 volte sono stato ospite dei No Dal Molin.

Molte volte i consoli Usa sono venuti a Niscemi ma non ci hanno mai permesso di parlare con loro. In nessun modo abbiamo contatti con senatori Usa, nessuno ci ha mai chiesto un incontro.

Abbiamo contatti diretti con i No Radar della Sardegna, uno degli ingegneri della lotta No Radar ha lavorato (gratis) per noi. Conosciamo le altre questioni contro le basi Usa nel mondo e, grazie ai No Dal Molin e David Vine, siamo riusciti a realizzare alcuni meeting virtuali. Inoltre, grazie all’appoggio di Bruce Gagnon del Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space stiamo cercando di ottenere contatti con gli abitanti delle Hawaii e di Okinawa.

L’imperialismo che gli Usa obbliga ai paesi che hanno perso la seconda guerra mondiale è vergognoso. Siamo stanchi di dover essere schiavi di una politica estera per noi folle, che ci obbliga ad enormi sacrifici e che rende la Sicilia e l’italia non più terre di accoglienza e di pace ma terre di guerra, deserti in uso alla marina statunitense.

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Rich Middle Class, Poor Middle Class

his great generational injustice is the direct consequence of central banks lowering interest rates to zero and inflating asset bubbles.

How can middle class households have similar incomes but some are asset-rich and others are asset-poor?

Spending and saving habits matter, of course; some households spend virtually all their net income while others “pay themselves first” and scrimp to do so.

But the really big differences in wealth are the result of what assets the household bought and when they were bought.

Those who bought assets at the top of bubbles may still be underwater once inflation is factored in; those who bought long before the Federal Reserve and other central banks inflated credit bubbles every few years have substantial equity even after the bubbles inevitably crash to Earth (revert to the mean).

For example, a household that bought $25,000 of 30-year Treasury bonds paying 12% in the early 1980s and reinvested the $3,000 annual interest (at much lower yields) ended up with over $100,000 by 2012.

Those who bought Apple stock shortly after Steve Jobs took the reins in 1997 did even better.

But few of us are blessed with the insight and courage to make big bets at just the right moment, and hold the bets for decades. Most of us buy homes when we scrape up the down payment, or upon getting married, having children, moving to a new locale, etc. Few of us have the years or willingness to attempt to time long real estate cycles.

Few of us acquire substantial amounts of stock in a corporation unless we work for the company and are granted stock options.

Thus it is no surprise that relatively few households below the top 5% hold substantial financial assets such as stocks and bonds.

Stagnating wages for the lower 90% haven’t made it any easier to save up capital to invest. As noted yesterday in Neofeudalism 101: Strip-Mining the Upper Middle Class, most of the income gains of the past 40 years have flowed to the very top of the income pyramid.

For all these reasons, the family home remains the foundation of most middle class households’ wealth. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve’s policies have generated one credit bubble after another, destroying the old paradigm that buying a house was a reliable way to build equity.

As we can see in the chart of the Case-Shiller Index for the nation and the San Francisco Bay Area, those who bought in the bubble years have little to no equitydespite their large monthly mortgage payments.

Buying a house in the bubble years was an unmitigated disaster in terms of building wealth. Only those who bought in the pre-bubble years of 1987 to 1998 built substantial equity–equity that didn’t vanish even when the bubble popped.

Many households that bought modest homes in the early 1970s and held onto them now have $1 million+ in equity if they happened to live in highly desirable locales such as San Francisco, West Los Angeles, Honolulu, pricey boroughs in New York City, etc.

These households were not any different that the other 60% of households that owned homes. Their great fortune (pun intended) resulted from two unexpected bits of luck: buying before asset bubbles inflated, and buying property in areas that became extremely desirable to buyers on a global scale.

Based on multiples of inflation-adjusted income, housing in highly desirable areas is now more expensive than it was at the top of the 2007 bubble. Viewed from the metric of multiples of annual median income, housing in the San Francisco Bay Area has been unaffordable to all but very high-income households for the past 17 years.

Where does this leave us? With the unsettling reality that the generations that reached home-buying status in the 25-year era of 1973 – 1998 and happened to buy homes in locales that would one day become extremely desirable (and who didn’t extract all their equity in the bubble years) are now Rich Middle Class Households.

Those who bought homes in the bubble years are Poor Middle Class Households with little or no asset wealth.

Is this just or fair? Of course not. This great generational injustice is the direct consequence of central banks lowering interest rates to zero and inflating asset bubblesin a corrosive (and vain) attempt to generate a wealth effect of households borrowing and blowing their newly created asset wealth.

In an economy that isn’t whipsawed by central bank manipulation, the difference between middle class households’ asset wealth is largely behavioral, not the random luck of coming of age before central banks began blowing destructive asset bubbles as a matter of policy.

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Obama Abandons Americans Trapped in Yemen under His and Abdulaziz’s Blitz

When it created a good excuse to help the US re-invade Iraq a few months ago, the US was all about rescuing “trapped” people, the Yazidis, even though it turned out they weren’t actually trapped (though Gazans massacred by US-backed Israel at the same time were and are).

But now it is Americans who are trapped – for real – and they are trapped under a dictator’s illegal blitz, in which the US is a major, open accomplice.

(The bombing of Yemen continues as “Saudi Warplanes Pound Yemen’s Defense Ministry, Food Supply“, and the Saudi naval blockade continues to worsen the humanitarian crisis and food shortage.)

While “at least eight … countries – including Russia, China and India – have rescued their citizens“, as well as rescuing foreign nationals, including Americans, “the United States has refused to launch an evacuation effort“, saying it won’t risk the lives of people Americans pay to, in theory, perform exactly this kind of task, but would risk those lives to refuel Saudi bombers, as the US has been doing, and to rescue Saudi bombers whose planes malfunction.

As for refueling the Saudi bombers, a Pentagon spokesman said “You can expect we will do so every day from now on.”

McClatchy: “Desperation for Americans in Yemen as US Refuses to Mount Rescue”

A Michigan family with two toddlers and an infant was stranded in Yemen after being forced from its home by rebel gunmen. A California woman tried to flee through an arrangement with the embassy of Djibouti, but failed. A mother of four from New York also tried that route, at the State Department’s suggestion, only to hear the same reply: There would be no help.

“Why is the United States not helping us?” said Sallah Elhushayshi, 21, of Brooklyn

Civil rights groups say that between 3,000 and 4,000 Americans remain in the country…

India took out over 4,000 of their nationals in three days. If India can do it, why can’t the U.S.?”

Americans are suing Obama to try to force him to help people in Yemen, but an Obama spokesperson, when questioned, “wouldn’t address the lawsuit“.

McClatchy notes that in Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon (in which Israel saturated entire neighborhoods with millions of cluster bombs), the US was “among the last nations to arrange ships to ferry its citizens to nearby Cyprus.”

Now, for some Americans stranded in Yemen, “it might already be too late”:

With no embassy or consulate for protection, Elhushayshi said, he and his relatives have little choice but to huddle indoors and listen as the world outside descends into chaos.

“Our last airstrike was this afternoon. Our windows were shaking. It was a heavy one,” Elhushayshi said. “We have no gas, no petrol, no bread. Water has become so expensive. And the fighting will start here soon. I see a lot of suffering people taking up guns, and we have no police. It will happen soon. Soon.”

Posted in General, Politics / World News | 2 Comments

5 Second Slow Mo Video Shows What REALLY Happened With Policeman Who Shot Fleeing Man In Back

When You See It …

The officer shooting the unarmed man in the back who was running away is – appropriately – front-page news. But there’s a bigger story … Initially – as Kit Daniels shows – the media believed that the officer shot in self-defense … until the video was released. If the brave witness hadn’t filmed the entire incident on his cellphone, the truth would never have been discovered. The Intercept explains:

Because three days elapsed between the shooting and the publication of the video of the shooting, the Scott incident became an illuminating case study in the routinized process through which police officers, departments and attorneys frame the use of deadly force by American cops in the most sympathetic possible terms, often claiming fear of the very people they killed. In the days after the shooting, the police version of events — an utterly typical example of the form — was trotted out, only to be sharply contradicted when the video surfaced. In most cases like this, there is no video, no definitive, undisputed record of much of what happened, and thus no way to rebut inaccurate statements by the police.

The first report of the Saturday afternoon incident, from Charleston’s The Post and Courier, followed the usual script: The police department’s story portrayed the victim as behaving dangerously, in this case, purportedly struggling to take an officer’s Taser as part of a violent altercation. Family and friends of the slain black victim mourned his loss and questioned the narrative offered by authorities.

The pro-police spin continued two days later, when a lawyer for Michael Slager, the officer who shot Scott, said Scott “tried to overpower” his client, who “felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon.”  Scott’s family and allies could do little more than note that Scott was unarmed, and call for the truth to somehow emerge.

A former U.S. Marshal reveals that law enforcement is trained to justify deadly force by pretending that they felt threatened by the suspect:

Moreover, police have shot people in the back and killed them as they ran away many times before.  Here are a couple of recent examples, which happen to have been caught on tape:

Moreover, police often frame innocent suspects. They also plant weapons on people, as “justification” for shooting them. The practice is so well-known that the New York Times noted in 1981:

In police jargon, a throwdown is a weapon planted on a victim.

Newsweek reported in 1999:

Perez, himself a former [Los Angeles Police Department] cop, was caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from police evidence lockers. After pleading guilty in September, he bargained for a lighter sentence by telling an appalling story of attempted murder and a “throwdown”–police slang for a weapon planted by cops to make a shooting legally justifiable. Perez said he and his partner, Officer Nino Durden, shot an unarmed 18th Street Gang member named Javier Ovando, then planted a semiautomatic rifle on the unconscious suspect and claimed that Ovando had tried to shoot them during a stakeout.

Wikipedia notes:

As part of his plea bargain, Pérez implicated scores of officers from the Rampart Division’s anti-gang unit, describing routinely beating gang members, planting evidence on suspects, falsifying reports and covering up unprovoked shootings.

Here, officer Slager was caught on film planting his taser on Walter Scott after he had already killed Scott:

http://i.imgur.com/DTYSXXC.gif

(This is a slow motion excerpt from the video.)

Why is this happening?

One reason is that many law enforcement officers consider failure to comply with the officers’ demands as a basis for using lethal force. And see this. Police have become so militarized in modern America that – in the words of civil rights and constitutional attorney John Whitehead –  “the only truly compliant, submissive citizen in a police state is a dead one.”

Of course, if we had the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, this would not be such a problem.  Sadly, we’ve lost virtually all of those rights.

No wonder you’re 55 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist.

Posted in Politics / World News | 53 Comments

Ukraine Blocks 10,000 Websites, Confiscates a Newspaper

Eric Zuesse

As I reported yesterday, the Security Bureau of Ukraine, on April 7th, had seized and disappeared two Odessa bloggers, who were trying to get an independent investigation, and ultimate prosecution, of the individuals who participated in the 2 May 2014 massacre of regime opponents, and who burned, shot, and clubbed to death perhaps over 200 in the Odessa Trade Unions Building — the event that precipitated the breakaway of Donbass from the rest of the former Ukraine, the country’s civil war.

And I also reported that April 7th saw the official announcement that, “The security service of Ukraine … has discontinued operation of a number of Internet sites that were used to perpetrate information campaigns of aggression on the part of the Russian Federation aimed at violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order and territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.”

The follow-up to that story is the news on April 9th, which was reported in the courageous independent Kiev newspaper, Vesti, that “SBU has blocked more than 10,000 websites.” It says that, “Law enforcers seized the servers,” and that one SBU official told the newspaper, “‘We have made the decision of the court and confiscated equipment.’ He promised to return the servers in two months.”

Another news report on April 9th in Vesti tells of seizures of that day’s edition of newspapers by far-right toughs at news stands throughout the city, and the story even shows a video of Right Sector toughs raiding and emptying a Vesti delivery van headed out for distribution. The report also said:

“On Thursday, April 9, machines [coin-operated distribution boxes] that were transporting part of the circulation of the Kiev edition of the newspaper ‘Vesti’ were attacked. The attacks occurred around the metro stations ‘Heroes of Dnepr’ and ‘Vasylkivska.’ In both cases, the scenario was the same: the circulation machine was blocked by two cars that emerged containing unidentified men wearing symbols of the ‘Right Sector’ who illegally seized the circulation. In the case near the metro station ‘Vasylkivska,’ a driver was beaten, and the attackers threatened to burn his car.”

Back on 5 July 2014, Vesti had headlined, “Masked men smashed and fired into ‘Vesti’: broke windows, spread tear gas.” A video accompanied that news report, too. The video showed a man outside the newspaper’s office, opening the door, being suddenly attacked by approximately a hundred men who rushed at him from hiding and beat him.

The accompanying news report from a witness said:

“I first heard several shots. Then stones and Molotov cocktails were hurled at windows on the first and second floors. After that, the room filled with tear gas, which quickly spread throughout the office, and it’s still very hard to breathe. One of the guards who tried to stop the thugs was beaten.”

The video shows all of this from the outside of the building.

There are accompanying photos of the ransacked office.

That news report, in turn, linked to an earlier one, on 27 June 2014. That report had said: “Suddenly, four dozen masked strangers came, headed by the controversial deputy of Kyiv City Council, Igor Lutsenko.” These men “began to shout anti-Putin slogans, and then climbed onto the improvised stage” where there was to be presentation of a Constitution Day award. “Finally, radicals tried to throw bricks at our editors, but Maidan volunteers blocked that.”

The head of the Security Bureau of Ukraine, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the man who closed 10,000 online sites on April 7th, was reported, a week earlier, on April 1st, (translation here) saying:

“SBU does not need to invent anything new. It is necessary only to build on the traditions and approaches that were set forth by the Security Service of the OUN-UPA in the 1930-1950 years. They battled against the aggressor [Russia] during the temporary occupation of the territory [Ukraine, which ’temporary’ period was already 350 years], had a patriotic education, military counterintelligence, and relied on the peaceful Ukrainian population, using its unprecedented support.”

This video recounts and shows the history of “OUN-UPA in the 1930-1950 years” and documents that it carried out most of Adolf Hitler’s extermination program in Ukraine during World War II — including 80% of the Babi Yar massacre of Jews, which the Russian poet Yevtushenko memorialized. To the people that the Obama Administration has placed in power in Ukraine, it was a heroic achievement. And yet, far-right Jews are part of it — ideological brothers-under-the-skin, and it also has the support of 98%+ of the U.S. Congress.

The head of the Security Bureau of Ukraine lied about the ‘temporary’ inclusion of Ukraine as part of Russia, and also about how ‘peaceful’ was the reign of Ukraine’s and Germany’s nazis over Ukraine during 1940-1944. But at least he was honest that he is returning to those “traditions and approaches.”

Barack Obama reigned over the entire process and installed these people into power over Ukraine. He has almost 100% congressional support for that within both the Republican and Democratic Parties, even though over two-thirds of Americans who have an opinion on the matter are opposed to his policy. America’s Establishment wants him to pursue this policy more aggressively. And the West’s newsmedia blame Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Here is a video of Ukraine’s troops shelling the Donbass village of Slavyansk and joking that they’ll turn it into a “crematorium.”

As I reported earlier, the founder of Right Sector, Dmitriy Yarosh, was the leader of the thugs who perpetrated the May 2nd massacre, and who also carried out the February 2014 coup that brought these people to power in Ukraine. Starting on April 20th (Hitler’s birthday), his men will be receiving military training and weapons from U.S. troops, whom Obama is sending in to help them and other exectuioners with their program of exterminating the residents in Donbass — the region that rejects the coup-imposed government. So, Yarosh helps Obama not only by terrorizing the few remaining independent news media in Ukraine, but also by installing Obama’s regime there, and now, increasingly, by fighting his war there. Yarosh is already the most powerful person in Ukraine, and yet his power is still increasing there. He’s a man to watch. He wants Putin dead, so Putin is probably watching him carefully. Obama meanwhile, is watching Putin’s ‘aggression.’

———-

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, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

Posted in Business / Economics, General, Politics / World News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Video: Officer says Cops Practice Arbitrary Arrest, Extortion of Poor; Threatens to Arrest Teen for Smiling

Land of the free, or land of authoritarian forces that kill ~1,000 of their own people per year (according to a Federal study), imprison more people than any other society in history, and is “virtually alone in the world in incarcerating thousands of prisoners in longterm or indefinite solitary confinement, a form of torture”? (Amnesty)

Video content is also covered here on Alternet.

Might as well add these other videos that are getting attention at the moment:

Cop Punches Pregnant Air-Force Veteran:

Cop Shoots Walter Scott in the Back 8 Times:

Posted in General, Politics / World News | 7 Comments

Crimes against Humanity: Ukraine President Poroshenko Keeps his Word: “We’ve Bombed the Schools”, Donbass Children Don’t go to School

Crimes against Humanity: Ukraine President Poroshenko Keeps his Word: “We’ve Bombed the Schools”, Donbass Children Don’t go to School

donbass olga luzanova

This article by investigative reporter Olga Luzanova provides photographic and video evidence of the impacts of Kiev regime bombings directed against residential areas and schools in Donbass.

Civilians have been deliberately targeted.  

These war crimes have  been ignored by the mainstream media. They been not been acknowledged by  the UN Human Rights Commission. 

The fundamental rights of children have been blatantly violated by the US sponsored Kiev regime in derogation of international law.  

(M. Ch. GR Editor)

Photos and video footage by Olga Luzanova

We recall that last October, President Petro Poroshenko contrasted the prospects for Ukrainians with those of the people from the Donbass region during a speech in Odessa. In particular, the President promised:

“Our children will go to schools and kindergartens, while theirs will be holed up in basements!”

Thus far, the Ukrainian government has been doing its best to keep its word. Here is one of the children sitting in a basement in accordance with the Ukrainian President’s will.

Photos and video footage by Olga Luzanova

Article edited by @GBabeuf

The Acting Commander of the Perevalsk Command offered me a short tour of a little town which just happened to be in the immediate vicinity of the front-line. The Ukrainian forces had been firing towards the residential district of the town right up until the day when the Militia had mopped up Debaltsevo. We took the road which I knew very well. We drove through the town where I could see the consequences of the shelling all around. We approached the school from its rear and saw there a football pitch with a huge crater in the middle of it. Then we saw another crater from an Uragan missile near the school.

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A third missile evidently reached the building.IMG_2187 IMG_0997

We found quite a large shell fragment, resembling a crumpled aluminium pail, inside the building, but the distinct marking number it bore proved that it was part of an Uragan missile.

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The school had not a single window left intact on the side facing towards Debaltsevo. Evidently, it had not been random fire—we could see that all the strikes on the school were direct hits.

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We walked round the school—its façade, which faced the direction of territory controlled by the Militia, remained almost undamaged. Incidentally, this school used to be one of the most beautiful in the Perevalsk region: it had won a grant for renovation two years ago and was then completely refurbished.

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Now, the image of the book with hammer and sickle and the engraved phrase “Peace to the World” adds more sadness to the whole scene.

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The condition of the building inside was no less terrible: overthrown pieces of furniture, broken window frames. splinters of glass and crumbled plaster on the floor, fragments of wood and brick everywhere, everything slashed and holed.

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In a half-ruined corridor there were stands with portraits of the Heroes of the Great Patriotic War, “killed” once again by Ukrainian bullets. “Nobody has been forgotten, nothing has been forgotten.”

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I should like to note that respect to the values of memory has always been a very important part of our school education. In the light of Ukraine’s conflict, one of the main tools currently employed in Ukrainian schools is the misrepresentation of history—in particular, replacing the names of Soviet heroes with the names of Banderites. Yet people in Donbass do remember their true history: we learned it not only at school, but also from our grandparents, who saw this history with their own eyes and retold it to us again and again, and we shall never forget it.

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I heard a child’s voice outside—a little girl was coming up with a few adults, pointing in the direction of the worst damaged part of the school, saying: “My class was there.” Seven year old Vika was very sad about her school; almost all her friends have left the town, and now, she and her family may have to leave too:

I entered the classroom where Vika and the other first form pupils used to study. Again, the usual scene: pieces of broken glass everywhere, destroyed windows, smashed furniture, holed walls… Books left in a bookcase…IMG_1005

Someone had written on the blackboard “Death to the fascist invaders.”

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Donbass children don’t go to school…

Olga Luzanova

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Politics / World News, Science / Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

As US Citizens Pay their Taxes, Obama Announces Won’t Evacuate Americans from his Yemen War-Zone

McClatchy headlines: “US Reiterates it Won’t Evacuate Americans from Yemen as UN Slams Saudi Attacks

US officials confirmed this week that:

1) They have a dozen or so US military coordinators in Saudi Arabia helping to carry out terrorist attacks against Yemen.

2) The US is physically assisting the Saudi Wahhabi terrorist bombers on their missions.

3) The US is re-arming Saudi Arabia with “bombs and ammunition”, as the Red Cross, World Health Organization, and other humanitarian groups announce a “catastrophic”, worsening humanitarian disaster in Yemen, with nearly 700 people killed and 100,000 displaced.

The United Nations yesterday accused Saudi dictator Abdulaziz, the tyrant coordinating his bombings of Yemen with Obama, of “intentionally bombing a camp for people who’d fled Yemen’s violence last week“.  The UN also confirmed the US-coordinated airstrikes “also had hit hospitals, schools and ‘other civilian buildings.'”

McClatchy re-confirms that a “State Department official said the U.S. government … is providing logistical support for the Saudi campaign“, in addition to the physical, material, and political support also openly confirmed.

While Obama staunchly refuses to evacuate Americans, McClatchy notes, other countries are doing so, “among them India, which rescued 232 people from 26 countries, including an unspecified number of Americans.”

And Sputnik reports “Russia evacuates more people from Yemen, including foreign nationals”.

Some Americans, in desperation, are resorting to suing Obama to try to force him to evacuate Americans trapped in Yemen under his and Abdulaziz’s raining explosives.

Obama’s refusal to help Americans escape his blast zone is particularly stinging given its timing: just as US citizens are being forced to pay tribute to the US government, of which the major, recent study, conducted out of Princeton and Northwestern universities, finds “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

“…the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

While Abdulaziz has been blocking Red Cross humanitarian aid, as aid might threaten to minimally alleviate the effects of his terror-attacks, Antiwar reports: “…Doctors Without Borders finally managed to get a ship through the naval blockade and into Aden.”

However, this “won’t put a dent in the humanitarian crises across Yemen, as major cities run low on food and Saudi planes continue to pound targets nationwide.”

Also see this interview with Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges on US/Saudi aggression against Yemen: “We specialize in illegal wars”.  [It is legally incorrect to discuss rationales for war of aggression, but,] “Houthis are not Shiite, and it is totally incorrect to identify them as an Iranian proxy force.”

Reporter and his UK-based colleague on Twitter.

Posted in General, Politics / World News | 2 Comments

Neofeudalism 101: Strip-Mining the Upper Middle Class

This Neofeudal structure is unstable by its very nature.

I have often examined the Neofeudalist structure of the U.S. economic hierarchy, and the many social and financial fault lines running through this creaking structure. For example:

America’s Nine Classes: The New Class Hierarchy (April 29, 2014)

Are You an Elitist? Class Warfare and the New Nobility (April 26, 2014)

Protecting Elites and the Clerisy Class That Serves Them (September 26, 2014)

Bifurcation Nation (June 24, 2013)

The Three-and-a-Half Class Society (October 22, 2012)

Tyranny of the Majority, Corporate Welfare and Complicity (April 9, 2010)

Today I’d like to examine the neofeudal strip-mining of the class that pays most of the taxes. These taxes support the bottom 50% who pay the 7.65% payroll taxes and receive substantial income tax credits, and enables the super-wealthy to pay lower tax rates on their vast unearned income.

Let’s take a quick glance at payroll and income taxes for context.Individual income taxes and Social Security/payroll taxes total $2.4 trillion.Corporate and other taxes add $600 billion, for a total of $3 trillion in Federal tax receipts.

2 out of 3 taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes:

Put together, people making under $40,000 a year get $81.1 billion from the income tax; that is, they get more refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit than they pay in taxes. But that same group pays $121.5 billion in payroll taxes.

So people making under $40,000 a year–63.9% of all taxpayers, according to theSocial Security Administration, paid a net of $40 billion out of the $2.4 trillion in payroll and income taxes. This is truly a drop in the bucket.

Meanwhile, the wealth of the top .01% has pulled away from the top 10% and even the top 1%:

The Richest Rich Are in a Class by Themselves: top .01% and top .1%

A household income of around $150,000 a year qualifies as a top 10% income:

$145,000 to $149,999: 90.20%
$105,000 to $109,999: 81.09%
$190,000 to $194,999: 95.21%

Because the super-wealthy are in the top 10%, 5% and 1%, the average incomes of these groups are heavily skewed by the enormous incomes of the top 01%. As a result, it would be more accurate to remove the top .1% from the top 10%, 5% and 1%, but I haven’t found any statistical charts that reflect this.

For their part, the top 10% (roughly 15 million taxpayers in a nation of 317 million people) pay the vast majority of income taxes: CBO:Top 40% Paid 106.2% of Income Taxes; Bottom 40% Paid -9.1%

The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes (CBO; highly recommended)

The top 20% pay 93% of all federal income tax and 45% of all payroll taxes. The top 10% pay 77.4% of all federal income tax and 27% of all payroll taxes.

Most of the income gains have flowed to the very top of the income pyramid:

So what makes this structure Neofeudal? Simply this: the tax donkeys who pay most of the tax support the large class of modern-day serfs (working poor and state dependents) while their labor generates the great wealth enjoyed by the Financial Aristocracy.

The class of tax donkeys earns most of their income by their labor, and this income is exposed to both payroll taxes (up to $111,000 annually) and income taxes. Unless they are fortunate enough to be granted stock options in bubblicious tech companies, they do not own the capital needed to skim millions of dollars annually in unearned income like the Financial Aristocracy.

This Neofeudal structure is unstable by its very nature. For every person in the bottom 50% looking with resentment at someone earning $150,000, there’s somebody like me (who doesn’t earn $150K) paying $300 cash for a small tube of medication (that’s long been off-patent) because I can’t afford gold-plated health insurance but earn too much to get healthcare and all medications for free.

This class in the middle–making too much to qualify for federal subsidies, but not enough to afford healthcare, higher education, etc.–has its own fault lines, fractures I will discuss tomorrow.

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