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East/West Confrontation Looms

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Mar. 04, 2014 at 7:51 AM


East/West Confrontation Looms

by Stephen Lendman

Ousting Ukraine's democratically government was planned long before violence erupted last November. Obama's dirty hands bear full responsibility.

The damn fool in the White House targeted four countries at the same time for regime change.

Libya was ravaged and destroyed. Gaddafi's murder followed. Syria was targeted at the same time.

Imported death squads are involved. Dozens die daily. No end of conflict looms. Obama manipulated so-called peace talks to fail. Direct US intervention looks likely.

Venezuelan violence continues. Obama wants Bolivarian fairness crushed. He wants neoliberal harshness replacing it. He's got other targets in mind.

Plundering Ukraine is planned. Conditions remain incendiary. The damn fool in the White House may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Ordinary Ukrainians won't tolerate what's planned. Perhaps eastern Russian nationals will revolt.

Over the weekend, thousands rallied in Kharkov, Donetsk and other cities. They did so against Kiev putschists. They reject them.

Ukrainian flags were removed from government buildings. Russian ones replaced them.

On Friday, Ukraine's navy commander resigned. Illegitimate coup d'etat president Aleksandr Turchinov appointed Rear Admiral Denis Berezovksy to replace him.

Straightaway he switched sides. He swore allegiance to Crimea's people. He pledged to protect them.

Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov appointed him head of the Autonomous Republic's newly created naval forces.

"The Republic will have its own navy, which will be commanded by Rear Admiral Berezovsky," he said.

"Subsequently, this day will be considered the birthday of the naval forces of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," he added.

"All Navy troops dislocated in Sevastopol are ordered to disregard any commands coming from Ukraine's new self-proclaimed authorities."

"Do not take any orders of using arms till my personal instructions."

"(A)ll soldiers (swearing) allegiance to the Crimean people will retain their allowance, health, social benefits, military rank and position."

Those unwilling may "retire." They "won’t be prosecuted." They're free to do what they wish.

On Sunday, reports said Crimean-based Ukrainian military units rejected Kiev authority. They did so en masse.

They sided with pro-Russian forces. They turned in their weapons. They did so peacefully.

Anti-Kiev sentiment is real. It's growing. It's spreading. Serious East/West divide conditions exist. Ukrainians for democratic governance reveal it.

What's ongoing is the most serious world crisis since the 1962 missiles of October. Jack Kennedy was president. He later said he had no intention of confronting Cuba or Russia belligerently.

The damn fool in the White House is no JFK. Neocons infest his administration. His scheme risks global war.

Stephen Cohen is a longtime Russian expert. On Saturday, CNN interviewed him. He was blunt, saying:

"We are witnessing as we talk the making possibly of the worst history of our lifetime."

"We are watching the descending of a new Cold War divide between west and east."

"Only this time, it is not in far away Berlin. It's right on Russia's borders through the historical civilization in Ukraine."

"It's a crisis of historic magnitude."

"If you ask how we got in it (and how) we get out, it is time to stop asking why Putin - why Putin is doing this or that, but ask about the American policy, and the European Union policy that led to this moment."

Western officials and suck up media scoundrels wrongfully blame Putin for policy made in Washington.

Go-along Western partners concurred. They created a horrendous mess. Civilizations may clash. Global war could erupt.

Encircling the Russian Federation with NATO bases risks it. Ukraine shares a 1,400 kilometer border with Russia.

Imagine nearby US nuclear-armed long-range missiles aimed at its heartland. Imagine what Putin won't tolerate. Or any other responsible leader.

The so-called EU agreement Yanukovych rejected had a clause he couldn't accept.

Doing so meant "abid(ing) by NATO military policy," said Cohen. It reflects an "ongoing march towards post-Soviet Russia," he added.

Putin had no choice. He had to act. He did so defensively. He did responsibly.

"(I)f you put him in a corner, you are going to see worse," said Cohen.

Washington's Cold War never ended. At issue is eliminating a major rival. Imagine risking war to do it. Imagine with the damn fool in the White House in charge.

Russia is going all-out to avoid confrontation. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "urge(d) the West to show a responsible approach and set aside geopolitical interests and (respect) the interests of the Ukrainian people."

He knows what he's up against. He knows Washington's real intentions. He knows targeting Ukraine is prelude to what's planned for Russia.

"There are reports that a series of new provocations are being prepared in Crimea, including against the Russian Black Sea Fleet," he added.

Boycotts, sanctions and other measures are threatened. Piling on assures escalated tensions. Russia will defend its interests vigorously. It'll do it responsibly.

Ukrainians must "dissociate themselves from (fascist) extremists who are tying to bring the situation under control through illegal means without shunning violence and open terror," said Lavrov.

Combustible conditions risk open confrontation. The damn fool in the White House makes it more likely.

What's ongoing stems from GHW Bush's broken promise. In 1989, he told then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev NATO wouldn't expand east.

It wouldn't do it to Russia's borders provided Moscow let its former republics become independent and abandoned its Warsaw Pact.

Former Russian republics Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are NATO members.

Other Eastern European ones include Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.

Washington wants all remaining Eastern European nations co-opted. Especially Ukraine. It wants them part of NATO.

US bases encircle Russian and Chinese borders. They do so  menacingly.

So-called missile defense systems intended for offense target them. Neither country threatens America.

Positioning strategic weapons near their borders shows Washington’s real intentions. Imagine risking global conflict doing so.

Imagine if Russia or China positioned nuclear armed missiles on America's northern and/or southern borders.

Imagine if their warships patrolled off its east and/or west coasts. Imagine if they entered Gulf of Mexico waters.

Imagine if their strategy called for ravaging and destroying one country after another. Imagine if they wanted all pro-Western governments toppled.

Imagine if they wanted subservient puppet regimes replacing them. Imagine if they prioritized permanent wars to achieve objectives.

Imagine a potential WW III scenario. Imagine potential armageddon. The damn fool in the White House risks what no responsible leader would dare.

Confronting him matters most. Doing so is crucial. It's the only way to stop his turning one country after another into dystopian wastelands.

He plans it for America. His administration includes a rogue's gallery of scoundrels. They're waging war on humanity.

John Kerry is no diplomat. He's an unindicted war criminal. He belongs in prison, not high office.

He's a billionaire. He wants more countries plundered. He wants his wealth increased.

His outbursts reflect bullying, bluster and imperial arrogance. He disgraces the office he holds. He's indifferent to human suffering. He shamelessly supports wrong over right.

He made the Sunday talk show rounds. He was on CBS, NBC and ABC. He regurgitated one lie after another. Scoundrel media hosts didn't challenge him.

On Saturday, his press statement discussed the situation in Ukraine. It turned truth on its head doing so.

It ignored well planned US crimes. It shamelessly "condemn(ed) the Russian Federation's invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory (in) full contravention of" its international law obligations.

Russia did nothing of the sort. It acted responsibly. It did so to protect the safety and security of its nationals.

It did so lawfully. In 1997, Russia and Ukraine agreed on Partition Treaty terms. Two independent national fleets were established.

Sevastopol, Crimean-based Black Sea Fleet leasing arrangements were agreed on until 2017.

In 2010, renegotiated terms extended them until 2042. Moscow got an additional option until 2047.

Ukraine and Russia maintain joint military control. Moscow's forces have a legal right to be there. It's especially important to protect public safety and security. Kiev fascists threaten it.

Don't expect Kerry to explain. He supports them. He ignores their worst crimes. He won't intimidate Putin to back down.

Claiming he "violate(d) Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity" doesn't wash. Washington does it aggressively. It does it repeatedly. It targets one country after another.

It spurns international law principles. It operates by its own rules. It demands subservience or else. It's by far the worst civil and human violator in world history.

Its rap sheet reflects tyranny writ large. It permanent war policy threatens humanity's survival.

Kerry's bombast doesn't cow Putin. He obeys international law. He calls independent sovereignty inviolable.

He doesn't invade other states. He doesn't threaten neighboring ones. He forthrightly opposes Washington's imperial rampaging.

He supports right over wrong. He's geopolitically polar opposite the damn fool in the White House.

His Foreign Ministry issued a damning statement. It condemned US policy. It did so justifiably.

It called for legitimate national unity governance representing all Ukrainians equitably, justly and lawfully. It denounced Washington and rogue EU partners.

They "turned a blind eye to the atrocities the Maidan militants were committing, their bullying of political opponents and ordinary citizens, their anti-Semitism and aggressive Russophobia, their desecration of the memory of heroes of the Great Patriotic War," it said.

"The West is now allying with unconcealed neo-Nazis, who sack both Orthodox churches and synagogues."

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is a consummate diplomat. He goes all-out for peaceful conflict resolution. He couldn't hold back on Ukraine. He forthrightly said:

"Those who try to interpret the situation as an act of aggression and threaten us with all sorts of sanctions and boycotts are the same (ones) who persistently encouraged political forces close to them to deliver an ultimatum and refuse to negotiate, to ignore concerns of southern and eastern parts of Ukraine and as result it led to the polarization of Ukrainians."

He condemned Kerry's "unacceptable threats." He blames Washington and Western powers for neo-Nazis usurping power.

He forthrightly opposes them. So does Putin. So should everyone cherishing freedom.

They menace everyone they control. They're consolidating power ruthlessly. They're doing so lawlessly.

They're doling out spoils to complicit allies. They appointed two unelected oligarch billionaires governors of Donetsk and Dnepropretrovsk Regions.

Igor Kolormoysky is Ukraine's third richest figure. He made money the old-fashioned way. He didn't do it honestly.

He's got lucrative business interests in banking, oil, ferroalloys, agribusiness and transport. He's worth an estimated .4 billion. He's in a position to increase his wealth substantially.

So is new Donetsk Region governor Sergey Taruta. He's worth about billion of ill-gotten wealth. He has mining and smelting interests. He owns Donetsk's Metallurg Football Club.

Eastern regions want the right to elect their own officials. They reject Kiev appointees. It remains to be seen how they'll react to Kolormoysky and Taruta.

Perhaps they'll hold independence referenda. Ukraine may divide east and west. Crimea may choose its own self-governance.

Ukraine's military remains a wild card. Crimean forces switched sides en masse. On Monday, Ukraine's Sevastopol area-based air force 240th tactical aviation brigade pledged allegiance to Crimean authorities.

Its forces number around 800. It has 50 aircraft. Most aren't operational. A spokesman said:

"Today the command of the 204th base in Belbek has declared that it stands with the people of Crimea." Its force strength numbers about 6,000.

On Monday, reported large supplies of grenades, rifles, other arms and 400 kilos of explosives seized from vehicles with Kiev license plates on Crimea's border.

Shotguns, hunting rifles, axes and ammunition were confiscated from cars at self-defense established checkpoints.

A guard said they're in place to make "sure that everything is in order here" so Crimea isn't transformed into "another Maidan."

Coup plotters won't stop. Washington provides active support. Crimea faces an existential threat. So does Russia.

The damn fool in the White threatens world peace. Whether Putin can preserve it remains to be seen.

If past is prologue, expect full scale US intervention on Syria coming. At the same time, destabilizing Venezuela continues.

Replacing Bolivarianism with neoliberal harshness is planned. Targeting Iran comes next. Russia turn awaits.

Putin knows what he faces. Ukraine appears his red line. Defending it aggressively is vital. Doing it lawfully.

Beating the damn fool in the White House responsibly. Stopping his imperial rampaging. Besting him at his own game.

Doing it decisively. Now's the time to act. Second chances won't come easily. Humanity depends on the outcome. Its future hangs in the balance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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