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Heading Toward East/West Confrontation

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014 at 12:39 AM


Heading Toward East/West Confrontation

by Stephen Lendman

It bears repeating what earlier articles stressed. Ukraine's geopolitical crisis is the gravest since WW II.

Washington-backed putschists created a tinder box The entire region and beyond is affected. Inflammatory US/UK/French/German/NATO accusations heighten tensions.

Obama bears full responsibility. Is he spoiling for a fight? Does he want clash of civilizations conflict?

Does he plan full-scale intervention against Syria?" Does he intend it as prelude? Perhaps at the same time as battling for Ukraine?

Will Crimea become a geopolitical flashpoint? Will it divert attention  from his plans for Syria?

On March 17, Daniel Rubinstein succeeded Robert Ford as US Special Envoy for Syria. On March 18, the State Department ordered Syria's Washington embassy and consular missions closed.

Rubenstein commented saying "(t)his week marks the three-year anniversary of" conflict in Syria.

He lied calling daily violence a "revolution." It's Obama's war. He bears full responsibility. Blood on his hands compounds numerous other crimes of war and against humanity.

Rubenstein turned truth on its head saying "Assad has refused to heed the call of the Syrian people to step aside."

He enjoys overwhelming support. The longer conflict persists, the greater it builds. Don't expect Rubenstein to explain.

He lied claiming Assad "directed a war against his own people and created a humanitarian catastrophe in in order to hold on to power and protect his narrow interests."

Most Syrians rely on him. They consider him their last line of defense. Washington-supported death squads terrorize them.

Assad challenges them responsibly. The alternative is perhaps Saudi-style governance. It reflects ruthlessness writ large.

Rubenstein said Washington "determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States."

"Consequently, the United States notified the Syrian government today that it must immediately suspend operations of its Embassy in Washington, DC and its honorary consulates in Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas."

US-based Syrian diplomats are persona non grata. They're "no longer permitted to perform diplomatic or consular functions, and those who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents must depart the United States."

They're ordered out effective by end of March. Administrative staff have until April 30 to entirely shut down operations and leave.

Syria's UN mission remains open. Two weeks ago, restrictions were imposed. Diplomats and staff are prohibited from traveling more than 25 miles outside New York without official US permission. Expect none forthcoming.

According to perverted WashingtonThink, diplomatic relations continue. Rubenstein called it "an expression of our longstanding ties with the Syrian people…"

Perhaps they include the tens of thousands Obama murdered.

Perhaps he expects surviving family members to thank him.

Perhaps anti-American sentiment is greater than ever. Perhaps it reverberates throughout the region. Perhaps well beyond.

In 2011, Washington withdrew its Damascus diplomats. In 2012, its embassy closed. Relations between both governments officially continued.

Syria's Washington embassy said consular services will end next Tuesday.

Russia's Foreign Ministry expressed concern. On March 19, an official statement said:

"We are worried and disappointed by the decision of the United States, which runs counter to the previous agreement between Moscow and Washington to jointly push for a peace settlement of the Syrian crisis in the framework of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012 through persevering cooperation with both the Syrian government and the opposition."

"It seems that regime overthrow has dwarfed the goal of demilitarizing the Syrian Republic by removing chemical weapons from it, as well as helping millions of Syrians who are suffering in the armed conflict, because it is impossible to achieve either of these goals without direct contact with the Syrian government."

Obama wants war. He wants direct US intervention. He wants Libya 2.0. He deplores peace. He subverted earlier so-called peace talks. They were dead on arrival.  

Last summer's shock and awe bombing wasn't cancelled. It was postponed. Overwhelming public opposition delayed Obama's plans.

Perhaps Syrian embassy and consular closures suggests reactivation. Perhaps another major false flag pretext looms. Perhaps bombs away will follow.

Obama wants Assad ousted. He wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing him. He wants another imperial trophy. Perhaps more war looms.

Perhaps confrontation with Russia. On March 18, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and National Security advisor Susan Rice.

A NATO statement said "(t)hey stressed the importance of a unified international response to Russia's continued violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty and breach of international law."

They "reviewed the whole range of NATO's agenda in preparation for the meeting of Alliance foreign ministers in early April."

Perhaps they discussed confronting Russia militarily. Hegemons operate this way. Rasmussen serves as Obama's NATO frontman. He does what he's told. He said:

"We're revising our relations with Russia now. We have already decided to suspend practical cooperation with Russia."

"And when foreign ministers of countries' members of the Alliance meet on April 1- 2, they will reconsider all our relations with Russia."

"We planned to conduct a joint operation at sea on providing the security of an American vessel, on board which Syrian chemical weapons will be destroyed."

"We will guard it, but Russia will not participate in the operation. This is one example of suspending cooperation."

Military cooperation with Kiev putschists will be enhanced, he added. NATO rejects Crimean reunification with Russia, Rasmussen said.

He lied calling it illegal. International law supports it. Crimea is part of Russia. Nearly 97% of Crimeans approve.

Illegitimate putschist prime minister Yatsenyuk's threatened switching from a political to a peninsula military phase. Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov responded, saying:

"No a single Ukrainian military serviceman will enter Crimean territory. I absolutely rule out such an option."

"The approaches to Crimea are blocked from all sides by self-defense units, and therefore not a single Ukrainian military serviceman will step on Crimean soil."

"This is impossible even theoretically, not to mention practically."

Kiev rhetoric is "nothing but intimidation. They have developed a habit for intimidating and pressing, but they can't do anything," he stressed.

Crimea is Russian territory. Ukrainian trappings were removed. Russian ones replaced them.

"Nobody will bully or scare us," said Aksynov. "All this talk about mobilization in Kiev is a bluff."

"I am sure the people of Ukraine and in Kiev itself don't want to fight with the Crimeans."

"Over a hundred people are on duty at checkpoints on the ways leading to Crimea."

"The airport and railway station are being monitored, and the ports are being checked, and all this is happening under our close control, and so I can't even imagine how these people in Kiev may try to enter Crimea. The citizens of Crimea are in absolute security."

On March 19, RT International headlined "Crimean protesters storm Ukrainian Navy base in Sevastopol."

Several thousand cut fences, went inside, removed Ukrainian flags and replaced them with Russian and St. Andrew's ones.

They did so peacefully. No violence occurred. No one was threatened. No one was hurt.

Crimeans are involved. They're negotiating with Ukrainian naval representatives.

Protesters want Ukrainian servicemen to leave the HQ. Russia's Black Sea commander Vice Admiral Aleksandr Vitko arrived.

He's holding talks with Ukrainian naval commander Rear Admiral Sergey Gaiduk. Itar Tass said the Sevastopol prosecutor's office temporarily detained him.

Gaiduk ordered Ukrainian military units to use weapons against civilians, it added.

Earlier the Russian news agency said Gaiduk and around 50 officers abandoned Ukrainian fleet headquarters.

They did so unimpeded. They took their personal possessions and military documents with them.

Precisely what happened isn't clear. Major media misinformation obscured things further. The New York Times cited illegitimate Kiev putschists as sources. Doing so is typical Times deception.

They claimed Ukraine's Sevastopol naval headquarters "had been overrun and that its commander, Adm. Sergei Gaiduk, had been 'taken by unknown men in an unknown direction.' "

An updated report said Kiev "plans to evacuate all of its military personnel and their families, and was prepared to relocate as many ass 25,000 of them to mainland Ukraine."

The Washington Post said "Pro-Russian forces br(oke) into Ukrainian naval base (headquarters) in Crimea."

They "began what appeared to be a steady occupation of Ukrainian military facilities…" Kiev putschists said its Crimean military forces will "stand (their) ground."

Many were seen leaving voluntarily in civilian clothes. Self-defense force member Igor Yeskin said Crimean units will take over other Ukrainian military facilities.

"Today the Ukrainian military is on the territory of the Russian Federation," he said. They have no authorization to stay there. They have two choices. They can either ally with Crimea or leave.

At the same time, Russian lower house State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said legislation ratifying reunification could be approved as soon as Thursday.

He assured doing so "within the shortest period of time. And we will do everything to support the Crimean people in these hard times, especially in the transitional period," he stressed.

Crimea is official Russian territory. National Geographic respects it. "We map the world as it is, not as people would like it to be," NG said.

According to its geographer Juan Jose Valdes, once Russia's parliament approves reunification, its temporary "document will be revised to indicate…Crimea is officially part of Russia…"

"As you can surmise," he added, "sometimes our maps are not received in a positive light by some individuals who want to see the world in a different light."

Rand McNally operates by different rules. It does so disgracefully. Its spokeswoman, Any Krouse, said "we take our direction from the State Department." Doing so destroys RM's credibility entirely.

Map wars rage with propaganda ones. Google shows Crimea as part of Ukraine. Being on the right side of history matters most.

Kiev putschists are polar opposite. They're illegitimate. They said Ukrainian forces won't leave.

Whether confrontation follows remains to be seen. Washington's dirty hands may plan it. Perhaps expect NATO involvement.

Ukraine's military commander Mikhail Kucin told his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov he's authorized to use force.

At the same time, he urged deescalation. He wants things resolved diplomatically. He wants violence avoided.

Maybe he'll join former Crimean Navy Commander Deniz Berezovsky's good example. He resigned as Ukraine navel head.

He switched his allegiance to Crimea. He joined the right side of history. He did it because it matters.

Sevastopol Mayor Aleksei Chalyi asked Ukrainian servicemen to abandon their military units. He told them to report to a temporary registration office.

They'll receive further instructions. They're unauthorized to operate on Russian territory.

Crimean officials want transition handled responsibly. They want violence avoided. Perhaps Kiev putschists have other ideas. Perhaps Washington plans its own.

On March 19, Kiev putschists abandoned Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) involvement. Russians must apply for entry visas.

They want the UN to make Crimea a demilitarized zone. It has has no authority to do so. It's Russian territory. Kiev has no say. Nor Ban Ki-moon or other complicit UN officials.

Moscow reacted to Kiev's new visa rules. It's considering whether to introduce them for Ukrainians. Prior to putschists seizing power, citizens of both countries crossed each other's borders freely. They did so without visas.

On Wednesday, Russia's Federal Migration Service (FMS) began distributing passports to new Russian citizens. Crimeans wanting to join Russia will receive them.

Others are free to retain their Ukrainian citizenship. They're free to leave, if they wish. The rights of all Crimeans will be respected.

FMS head Konstantin Romodanovsky expressed concern about crisis conditions in Ukraine. He cited symptoms of a growing "humanitarian catastrophe."

Elderly people and children entering Russia doubled, he said. They're coming for freedom. They fear trouble. They reject putschist authority. They're concerned for their safety.

On Wednesday, Putin asked Moscow's Labor Ministry to increase Crimean pensions. He wants them matching Russia's level. Doing so will double existing benefits. He told Labor Minister Maksim Topilin:

"All citizens of Russia must be placed in the same conditions. How you do it is your business."

"(Talk) it over with State Duma deputies and do it. There must be no delays. Do it as soon as possible."

According to Topilin, Crimea and Sevastopol have 677,000 pensioners. They get around 0 monthly.

They'll get four times as much now. Kiev putschists slashed pensions by half. They authorized monthly.

Tomilin assured Putin pension reform would be implemented as soon as possible. Authorizing legislation is being prepared. Expect enactment straightaway.

Russian financial aid will help ease transition. Moscow's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced it.

Russia is going all-out to assure smooth transition. Of greatest concern is what Washington and complicit EU partners may plan.

Rogue states make their own rules. They demand obedience. Moscow wants its sovereignty respected. It rejects Western bullying.

Obama threatens world peace. A previous article called impeaching him a national imperative. Eight-time US presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche Jr. agrees. At age 92, he remains active.

He accused Obama of "l(ying) repeatedly to the American people and the Congress and has subverted the US Constitution on behalf of foreign interests - the British/Saudi axis - and its allies."

"In his recent adventure in Ukraine, he is about to lead the United States into World War III."

He stressed the urgency to remove him to prevent it. "Obama's presidency as well as the Bush - Cheney presidency has been a force of pure evil not only inside US but also for Europe and elsewhere around the world," said LaRouche.

They installed "Nazi(s) in Ukraine" to govern. Bush/Cheney operated the same way, he said.

They want "Russia to collapse." They'll "be able to take on Asia" next.

Putin did "a very good job for his part in resisting every temptation to make big mistakes," he stressed.

Elements running Washington "are in stark violation of (America's) Constitution." They're "criminals, and we know these people must be removed from power if we want to save the peace of the planet."

Doing so is an urgent imperative. Humanity's survival perhaps depends on it.

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 three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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