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by Wolfgang Bittner
Saturday, Jul. 29, 2017 at 3:55 PM
The US and NATO have troops at the Russian border. Russia has no troops at the US borders with Canada and Mexico. Who staged the 2014 coup in the Ukraine? Who promised Gorbatchev there would be no NATO expansion to the East? Who is the stabilizer and who is the destabilizer?
EUROPE'S CONQUEST BY THE US
A Strategy of De-Stabilization, Escalation, and Militarization
By Wolfgang Bittner
[This 2017 reading sample is translated abridged from the German on the Internet, www.westendverlag.de.]
Whoever is for war
as a continuation of politics
with other means
even as a "last means"
after the lies begin
where the shots are fired,
the bombs and grenades
strike and people cry
where there is no home anymore,
Whoever is for war,
where war is still
the "last means."
The laughing one
has only not heard
the terrible news.
The one who points at the filth
is much more dangerous
than the one
who made the filth.
- Kurt Tucholsky
Asking about causes when there are problems – in one's life or in politics – is always sensible and illuminating. For example, we deplore the constantly increasing number of refugees from Africa, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq shaken by war. For Africa, one could undoubtedly argue it is a misfortune when their countries have oil or other mineral resources. They are expropriated and fall prey to incredible poverty without any perspective. Conditions similar to civil war prevail in some of these countries. This is the case in Libya, Yemen, and parts of Syria where people constantly fall between the fronts. They flee since no one wants to remain where people must fear for their life day in and day out.
Thus we should not constantly complain that so many refugees want to come to Europe and Germany or that we accept too few. The answer to the question about the causes of refugee catastrophes is obvious: the US and individual states belonging to NATO must stop undermining and interfering politically in other countries for economic- and power-politics reasons. It is absurd to champion accepting more and more refugees when their countries are destroyed. Many Syrians fleeing war and the Assad regime are convinced the country is better with Assad than without him. A glance at other countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya plunged into chaos by the US with the participation of European states shows clearly who is responsible there.
This is true for the Ukraine. Since 2014, a bloody civil war has raged there with countless deaths and over a million refugees. The chronology of events gives clear evidence for the irresponsible advance of the "western alliance." Besides the scandalous conduct of western politicians and their mouthpieces, the leading journalists in the so-called serious media are clear.
The Dutch journalist and political scientist Karel van Wolferen judges this as follows: "What seems dubious to an older generation of serious journalists given the credibility of the mainstream media is the editorial apathy or indifference for potential clues that could put in question or overturn the official line." He continues: "The European Union is not led (anymore) by politicians with an understanding of history, a down-to-earth assessment of global reality or even sound common sense on long-term goals. The sanctions are evidence or proof of that…" Nothing he has seen or read, van Wolferen writes, suggests that the Ukraine crisis that led to a coup and a civil war was brought about by neoconservatives and a few fanatics in the US State Department and the White House. As frightening as it is, that is true for the large majority of the western media that have decayed to promoters of US propaganda.
EXTENSIVE ENEMY PROPAGANDA
When we open the newspaper, malicious Putin caricatures and photos jumped out at us for a long time. Editorials and reports castigate the supposed warmongering Russians. Malice, allegations, and lies seem ever-present in radio- and television broadcasts. "Stop Putin Now!" was the title of a Spiegel issue. German radio (Deutschlandfunk) asked: "Can Putin be stopped?" "Russia foments conflict." The "psyche of Vladimir Putin" is explained to us. According to ZDF, he feels like "the new Tsar" and is compared with Hitler. "The man lacks humanness," it was said in the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
The emphasis was on "the pro-Russian mob" (Spiegel Online, ARD, Tagesschau) in East Ukraine. "The agitation of the Putin propaganda alarmingly reminded the world of the heyday of Stalinism." The Bild newspaper unmasked "Moscow's war agitation." "Is the fear of many people in the Baltic states justified?" ZDF asked. Correspondingly the US government, NATO General Secretary Rasmussen, and German defense minister von der Leyen urged greater defense spending.
Western politicians fall back into the Cold War. They threaten, demand, and impose sanctions. They support the military amassing troops against Russia while demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from their own borders. Putin constantly breaks international law. This is bellowed constantly from Washington and Berlin. He lies to the world public and provokes the West. The US security advisor Susan e. Rice accused the Moscow government of arson.
The DIE Zeit weekly said Putin must "finally stop Russia's march in nationalist mania." He fueled "the conflict in the Ukraine up to its present tragic worsening." In the Bild newspaper, we were warned: "Never before since the end of the Cold War was the West so close to a military exchange of blows with Russia." The endless litany continues up to today.
There is no word about the overthrow projects of western secret services, government posts, and NGOs for years although their subversive activity is proven. Russia is blamed exclusively for the Ukraine conflict, namely its president Vladimir Putin in a repulsive way on account of the inflammatory diction. The former ARD Russia correspondent Gabriele Krone-Schmalz speaks reservedly of the "unprofessional media."
What is intended with this fire-risk propaganda, militarization, and military presence? Until recently, Russia was an important part of Europe and the European Union on the way to neighborly and economically-profitable relations for both sides. What will economic sanctions do now?
In March 2014, the Welt newspaper reported: "Germany suffers intensely under the sanctions." Direct German investments of 19 billion euros are made in Russia and these investments cannot be simply withdrawn. German capital is invested in auto factories, gas pipelines, and supermarkets. Many firms were and are active in Russia and own shares of businesses. They fear for their businesses and their property.
Bilateral trade volumes that fell 5% in 2013 declined 6.3% in the first half of 2014. German exports to Russia shriveled 15.5%. "More burdens may result from the EU economic sanctions against Russia and Russian counter-measures." In addition, Russia is Germany's greatest energy supplier which will certainly play a part in a further worsening of confrontation. But the politicians do not talk about that,
The former SPD Bundestag delegate and editor of the Internet portal Nachdenkseiten, Albrecht Mueller, addresses another important aspect of western sanction policy: "If a sanction does not work as expected, the same screw is simply turned again and announced publically with a swollen breast. Obviously, no one considers what effects this will have on the inner will for crucial groups in Russia. No one remembers the fact that critical elements are weak in Russia. One can and must speak of primitivity. There is no more reflection and critical thinking in the West."
THE RUSSIAN POSITION
In the polemics and inflammatory commentaries of the western media, the Russian president is attacked and demonized "as though Russia only consisted of Putin…"
As compliant vassals, the CDU/CSU and the SPD join the US policy of confrontation and lies instead of reflecting on their own principles and Willy Brandt's thesis of "Change through Rapprochement." What can we say about a government that constantly breaks its own basic law to join the explosive warmongering of the US?
Article 26 paragraph 1 of the German Basic Law says: "Actions undertaken to disturb the cooperative life of the nations, particularly the preparation of a war of aggression, are illegal and should be punished." Should Germany, circumventing the Basic Law, be "defended" in Hindukusch, in the Ukraine, in the Baltic territories or in Poland? Is a "humanitarian deployment" possible in which NATO led by the US could march into Germany?
The memory of western politicians is obviously brief. That Putin helped Obama in September 2013 by countering the demands of neoliberals for a bombardment of Syria and that Putin contributed to deactivating the conflicts around Iran's nuclear program fueled by the same circles is forgotten.
In Karel van Wolferen's opinion, this led to "neoconservatives teaming up to break the Putin-Obama connection." It is no secret – van Wolferen said – "that neoconservatives ardently long for Putin's overthrow and dismemberment of the Russian Federation." The existence of many NGOs active in Russia but hardly known in Europe serves that goal [Karel van Wolferen, The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith, quoted In www.un2.com (8/14/2014)].
THE STRATEGY OF DESTABILIZATION
The chronology of events that led to the current highly dangerous situation and are quickly repressed gives alarming insight. The chronology begins with NATO's effort to expand to the East contrary to the promises given Gorbachev in 1990 and with the covetousness of Germany and other EU states for new sales markets in eastern European countries. In the Ukraine, Julia Tymoshenko came to power after vote-rigging in an "orange revolution" financed by the US [Hans Springstein, 5 Billion Dollars for the Coup, www.freitag.de (9/22/2014)], a criminal billionaire sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 2011 on account of abuse of office and imprisoned up to the beginning of 2014.
The goal of the EU expansion strategy… was reflected here: to annex the Ukraine as a bridge country of great geo-strategic importance. This corresponded with the interests of the US government and its desire to permanently prevent Russia's ascent in power politics [Jurgen Wagner, Ukraine. The Struggle over the Geometry of Power, www.imi-online.de]. This had to lead to serious conflicts.
When the annexation of the Ukraine to the western block did not succeed in diplomatic ways, the subversive attempt with the so-called Maiden movement was staged with several dubious political intermezzos and interventions in the internal affairs of the country. Nationalists and foreign secret services were involved from the first, not only oppositional-democratic forces. This was made public through a monitored telephone call of the US commissioner for the EU, Victoria Nuland, with the US ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt.
Washington planned the scenario for the time after the long-prepared coup and favored the oligarch Arsenij Jazenjuk who was also prime minister. His Open Ukraine Foundation had close relations with the US State Department and to NATO and was sponsored by influential western organizations [Werner Ruegemer, Jazenjuk made in the US, in Ossietzky 09/2014]. On December 13, 2013, Victoria Nuland boasted in Washington the US invested more than billion for "regime change" in the Ukraine [Hans Springstein, op.cit.]. The ultra-conservative senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain assured the chairperson of the extremist right-wing Svoboda party, Oleg Tyagnibok, of his support in the struggle against the legitimate government. That was hardly mentioned in the western media. Instead Nuland's remark "Fuck the EU" was heard. On June 27, 2014, the new Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed the association agreement with the EU in which western companies were enormously favored.
… On February 22, 2014, Tymoshenko was released from prison. Together with the former boxer Vitali Klitschko, she was received by the German chancellor as the desired candidate for the office of Ukrainian prime minister at the beginning of March 2014. The relationship cooled after Tymoshenko said she wanted to hit Putin in the head and "bump off these damn Russians" [Eckhart Spoo, Fascism is taboo in Ossietzky 18/2014]. Besides the US government had other plans for the office of prime minister.
On February 20, 2014, during the riots, the foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Poland traveled to Kiev to present a "timetable" to President Janukowitsch for settling the political crisis in the Ukraine and strengthening the Maiden-movement against the elected government. Steinmeier met with spokespersons of the opposition as did the US Secretary of State John Kerry at the beginning of March – a new striking intervention in the internal affairs of another state (What would have happened if the Russian foreign minister had stirred up the Occupy demonstrators in the fall of 2011 in Frankfurt against the German government?).
A large part of the demonstrators for liberal-democratic conditions withdrew after militant nationalist forces supported by the West, dominated events, attacked security forces, occupied town halls and committed murder. Janukowitsch had to fear for his life because of the violent protests. He fled to Russia and a "transitional government" assumed power in Kiev under the presidency of Arsenij Jazenjuk. Prohibiting the Russian language in the Ukraine was the first measure to be negotiated. On March 12, Jazenjuk was received by President Obama after visiting Chancellor Merkel in Berlin on February 17. Previously Kerry promised him the complete support of the United States and credit guarantees of a billion dollars.
Jazenjuk's cooperation with militant right-wing extremists was hardly problematized by the western media. A probably forged but revealing photo showed him with the Hitler-salute during a demonstration on the Maiden-Plaza. That the largely Russian-speaking east-Ukrainians did not want to be governed "by a collection of criminals, descendants of Ukrainian Nazis and oligarchs beloved in the IMF and the EU is very understandable.
By Oscar Lafontaine
[This column published on July 6, 2017, is translated from the German on the Internet, www.nchadenkseiten.de.]
We know Trump is a notorious liar. He is not alone. As a generalization, we could say notorious liars in foreign policy romp around all over the world. Now Trump reproaches Russia for "destabilizing conduct." A glance at the map would be enough to make him look ridiculous. US troops are at the Russian border; Russian troops are not at the US borders to Canada or Mexico.
American missile bases were built in Rumania and next year another one will be operational in Poland. There are no Russian missiles in Cuba. They were once stationed in Cuba because of the US stationed missiles in Turkey. Are missiles in immediate nearness to the US? Kennedy was firmly resolved to wage a (nuclear-) war if the Russians refused to yield. Putin could now react the same way.
Two politicians with undisputed authority in the Western community of states could be named as chief-witnesses for the de-stabilizing US policy toward Russia.
Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt said: "America is a much greater danger to the peace of the world today than Russia."
The nobleman of US foreign policy George Kennan called NATO's expansion to the East "the most disastrous error of American policy in the whole era after the Cold War."
The de-stabilization of the Ukraine was the declared goal of notorious hardliners in US think tanks in order to rule the Eurasian continent according to the plan of former security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
What is amazing is that the propaganda of lies of US foreign policy is repeated uninterruptedly by all the western media – apart from several praiseworthy exceptions. The motto is: a lie repeated often enough is familiar and trusted and so becomes truth. Unmasking these lies and preparing the ground for a peaceful foreign policy based on reason is very important in the social media…
On the other side, Michael Gorbachev could be quoted. Germany owes much to him.
"From the Cold War, NATO passes over to preparations for a hot war. They only speak about defense but essentially are making preparations for offensive actions."
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