Monday, December 22, 2014

Head of Stratfor, ‘Private CIA’, Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was ‘The Most Blatant Coup in History’

© Global Research
RINF | Dec 22, 2014 | Eric Zuesse

In a December 19th interview in the Russian magazine Kommersant, George Friedman, who is the Founder and CEO of Stratfor, the ‘Shadow CIA’ firm, says of the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych that occurred on February 22nd of 2014: “It really was the most blatant coup in history.”

Perhaps he is saying this because of the videos that were uploaded to the Web which showed it to be so, but this statement by him contradicts the description that is asserted by the U.S. White House and the European Union, and the Western press, which description is that Yanukovych’s overthrow was instead just the result of the U.S. Government’s $5+ billion expense since 1991 to establish ‘democracy’ in Ukraine.

Friedman further says that “The Russian authorities can not tolerate a situation in which western armed forces will be [in Ukraine] a hundred kilometers from Kursk or Voronezh [in Russia]”, and that the goal of the U.S. is to “maintain the balance of power in Europe, helping the weaker party,” which he says is Europe. He furthermore says, “The United States considers the most dangerous potential alliance to be between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources.” So: the U.S. is trying to antagonize Germans against Russia. This will weaken both of them. However, that would be not a “balance of power” but an increasing imbalance of power in favor of the United States. The Russian interviewer failed to catch his inconsistency on that.

Friedman was consistent with the U.S. Government’s line that Russia is a threat to the U.S.; he said: “No American president can afford to sit idly by if Russia becomes more and more influential.” He said that this is especially the case in the Middle East, and regarding Syria. But he then clarified himself, “I’m not saying that Russia’s intervention in the Syrian conflict was the cause of the Ukrainian crisis, it would be a stretch.” Regarding Ukraine, he said: “The bottom line is that the strategic interests of the United States are to prevent Russia from becoming a hegemon. And the strategic interests of Russia are not to allow the US close to its borders.” He avoided even to mention the United States as possibly being a “hegemon” itself, one which is trying, along with its NATO allies, to crush Russia for its resisting America’s hegemony — that is, global dominance by America’s aristocracy.

President Obama had something to say about this very question when speaking at West Point on May 28th and asserting (with loaded anti-Russian assumptions and false outright allegations): “Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. … The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed [sp.: past [[somebody at the White House didn’t even know the difference between ‘past’ and ‘passed’ and still don’t, six months afterward]] and it will be true for the century to come.” So: The U.S. President was telling West Point’s graduating cadets that the U.S. is the only hegemon and will stay that way for at least a hundred years. This was their marching-order, from the U.S President himself, their own Commander-in-Chief, representing America’s aristocracy (in this alleged ‘democracy’), for whom they will fight and kill, and, some of them, perhaps even die, or else become crippled for life.

Friedman closed by saying, “Russia will not make concessions in the Crimea, this is obvious. But I believe that it could face serious problems with supplies to the peninsula. Yet Moscow cannot retreat from some of its requirements with regard to Ukraine. It cannot be allowed that Western military appear in Ukraine. This is a nightmare in Moscow. … This is already happening, slowly but occurs. And it will be something that Russia does not accept … The US is not aiming that you need to have control over Ukraine, but that it is important that it is not controlled by Russia.” Here he was repeating his idea that America isn’t seeking to achieve advantage over Russia — that the U.S. has no hegemonic intentions, just “balance of power,” notwithstanding the Commander-in-Chief’s charge, months earlier, to his troops, for them to extend America’s hegemony another century.

He said that this overthrow in Ukraine was a coup aimed against Russia, but then he closed with this statement that Russia is hegemonic but that the U.S. is not, which contradicts it.

Apparently, Mr. Friedman was nervous about losing U.S. Government business by being too honest, but he had already been too honest about the coup, and his self-contradictions didn’t help him at all. Perhaps he believed that the vast majority of people can be fooled, as Americans were about “Saddam’s WMD” and still are about “torture aimed at finding truth,” none of which ever was true, but all of which the aristocracy wanted people to believe to be true. Their rule seems to be: Fools never learn, it’s what they are and will continue to be, no matter how often they’ve been fooled in the past. Perhaps George Friedman was relying on this rule. But why then did he say things that are true but that his paymasters say are not? Might this ‘intelligence expert’ not be intelligent after all? If so, he has fooled the U.S. Government into thinking that he is: he’s succeeded.

Here is an attempt to address the same issues that Friedman did, but without internal contradictions.

—————

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.

America’s Deadly Embrace


Global Research | Dec 21, 2014 | Stephen Lendman

Forget about Greeks. Beware US normalization schemes. So-called rapprochement. Targeting unwary nations.  

Sucking them into its web. Like spiders overwhelming prey. Allegedly ending hostile relations. Imperialism 101 suggests otherwise.

US policies aren’t benign. America is a global predator. History’s worst ever. Wanting all sovereign independent states eliminated.

Replaced by stooge regimes. Ones it controls. Subservient to US interests. Their countries looted for profit. Their people exploited as serfs.

American/Russian post-Cold War rapprochement is instructive. US-instituted shock therapy wrecked the country. Irresponsibly. Willfully.  For profit. At the expense of vital people needs.

About 80% of Russian farmers went bankrupt. Around 70,000 state factories closed. An epidemic of unemployment followed.

Over half of all Russians became impoverished. A permanent underclass followed. Crime. Suicides. Mortality. Alcoholism. Drug abuse. HIV/AIDS. All soared to intolerable levels.

GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell. An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth. At the expense of millions grievously harmed.

Corruption flourished. Scandals repeated with disturbing regularity. Money-laundering became sport.

Multi-billions were stolen. Hidden in Western banks or offshore tax havens. Russia became a hollowed-out dystopian wasteland.

Post-apartheid South Africa was similar. A horrific toll accompanied a new era. Impoverishment doubled. Forcing millions to live on less than one dollar a day.

Unemployment soared to nearly 50%. Millions lost homes. Near one million lost farms. Shack dwelling grew by 50%.

HIV/AIDS infections increased dramatically. Average life expectancy fell below apartheid era levels.

Around 40% of schools have no electricity. Most with it can’t afford the cost. About 60% of South Africans have poor sanitation. Around 40% lack telephones.

Post-apartheid came at a high price. Millions of South Africans suffer horrifically. Out of sight and mind. Predatory capitalism works this way.

Obama’s Cuba gambit threatens its 11 million people. Hopefully Havana’s leadership remains wary.

Decades of revolutionary changes are on the line. Transformational differences too important to lose.

Changing Cuba from fascist dictatorship to model populism. A previous article said longstanding US policy calls for regime change.

Wanting Cuba returned to its bad old days. Social justice eliminated entirely. Corporate rapaciousness replacing it.

Colonizing the island state for profit. Destroying decades of beneficial social change. Including high-quality education and healthcare. Free to all Cubans.

Its Constitution was adopted in 1976. By national referendum. Overwhelmingly approved. Stating in Article 1:
“Cuba is an independent and sovereign socialist state of workers, organized with all and for the good of all as a united and democratic republic, for the enjoyment of political freedom, social justice, individual and collective well-being and human solidarity.”
Article 3 saying “sovereignty lies in the people, from whom originates all the power of the state. (Exercised) through assemblies of People’s Power and other state bodies…”

Article 9 guarantees “liberty (and) full dignity…(A)ssures educational, scientific, technical and cultural progress.

Guarantees everyone able to work the opportunity to do so. Assures no disabled person “left without adequate means of subsistence.”
“(N)o sick person…without medical care. (N)o child…without schooling, food and clothing. (N)o young person…without the opportunity to study.”

“(N)o one…without access to studies, culture an sports. (N)o family…without a comfortable place to live.” The Constitution contains 137 articles.
Revised in 1992. Again in 2002. According to historian Jorge Dominguez, it establishes a sovereign unicameral National Assembly. With no presidential veto.

Empowered to “instantly remove the president, all justices of the Supreme Court, and all top officials of the Office of the Public Prosecutor.”

Subordinates Cuba’s military to civilian authorities. “It creates no authoritarian enclaves or reserve domains to protect the military, privileged economic sectors, or the Castro brothers,” said Dominguez.

It facilitates political transition. National Assembly members act by simple majority. Except for constitutional amendments. Requiring a two-thirds majority.

It can “revoke all laws, decree-laws, decrees, and other regulations issued by any other public authority, including subnational assemblies,” Dominguez explained.

It’s an effective governing instrument. Cuba has no central bank. Or other independent entity authorized for economic or social decision-making.

In 2002, National Assembly members amended constitutional provisions. Guaranteeing permanent irrevocable “quality of the socialist system,” said Dominguez.

Changes sought to constrain future National Assemblies from  ”mak(ing) fundamental constitutional changes.”

Article 52 mandated the Ministry of Education’s budget to be larger than any other ministry. The 1992 Constitution doesn’t mention Fidel Castro by name.

Or afford him special rights and protections. Or grant blanket amnesties or pardons to officials guilty of crimes. Or halt prosecutions.

Cuba has no independent Supreme Court. National Assembly members elect justices. Without tenure. Those abusing their authority can be removed.

“All individual rights are subordinate to the interests of” state, said Dominguez. So are provincial and municipal governments. No “whiff” of federalism exists.

Cubans get essential social benefits. Constitutionally guaranteed. Including high-quality education and healthcare. The state commits full support.

Including for arts and sciences. Other forms of culture. Sports. Vacation opportunities. Day care centers. Full employment.

Unemployment compensation between jobs. Pensions and disability benefits.. Elder care. Organically grown non-GMO foods.

Subsidized food, housing an utilities. Market economy practices operate in tourist, international and export sectors. Separate from Cuba’s socialist economy. Substantially sustains it.

According to Dominguez, political transition in Cuba isn’t likely unless new governance continues providing constitutionally enshrined social rights.

In 2014, Cuba granted state-owned enterprises more autonomy. Freeing their managements. Vice President Marino Murillo saying:

“If we don’t transform the socialist state companies positively, we won’t be able to bring up to date the Cuban economic model.”

One change lifted limits on wages paid. State-owned companies can now use half their after-tax profit. For recapitalization and/or new investment.

Despite Cuba’s increasing private sector, state-owned enterprises remain the backbone of Cuba’s economic model.

In his 2008 inaugural address, Raul Castro said Cuba would “advance in an articulate, sound and well-thought out manner.”

Raising Cuba’s overall standard of living. Increasingly tying individual prosperity to initiative and work performance.

Farmers now work small portions of land on their own. Limited numbers of traders operate privately. Used cars are sold this way.

Access to consumer goods was expanded. Including computers. Cell phones. Home appliances. Greater private use of state land was authorized.

In 2010, new self-employment rules were established. Around 75,000 licenses were issued. Over 50% more than in 2009.

In 2011, purchase and sale of private property was authorized. Credit mechanisms for small businesses and cooperatives were established.

Instituted changes are measured. Limited. Short of Western rapaciousness. Key is keeping them this way.

Not easy with America’s dirty hands involved. Operating out of their Havana embassy. Targeting Cuba for regime change.

Perhaps by color revolution. A US speciality. Fascists replacing democrats.

Months earlier, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Washington spent around $5 billion sabotaging Ukrainian democracy over the past 20 years.

Calling it “democracy promotion.” Establishing a fascist dictatorship. Run by neo-Nazis.

How many billions has Washington spent over the past half century trying to transform Cuba the same way?

What’s ongoing now covertly? With diplomatic relations established, Cuba will be swarming with CIA and FBI operatives. US-funded anti-democracy agencies.

Right-wing think tanks will be involved. Corporate predators intend getting their dirty hands on Cuba’s economy. Raping it for profit.

Will Raul Castro’s government stop them? Will decisive action to taken to maintain Cuba’s core economic model?

Will its officials stay true to their roots? Will they prevent Cuba from becoming a hemispheric Ukraine?

Once America’s dirty hands get involved, will they be able to stop them? Cuba did for over half a century.

Will it stay resolute ahead? Social justice depends on it. Freedom from corporate rapaciousness.

Cuba’s existence as a free sovereign state is up for grabs. What’s too precious to lose.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 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.

Russia US Sanctions and Stupid CIA Oil Wars


The recent headlines talk of a dramatic collapse of the Russian Ruble against the dollar and euro. World oil prices today hover around $57 dollars a barrel. Late August they were over $100. OPEC ministers refuse to act to stabilize prices. The Russian rouble is forced to halt trading in mid-December. Then the US Congress votes yet a new round of economic sanctions against Russia which await President Obama’s signature. When we examine all of this more closely it reveals the strategic great confusion of western elites, especially American Oligarchs frantically trying to find ways to hold their grip on global power.

I sometimes use the very descriptive adjective “stupid” to speak about the actions of people we are accustomed to think of as anything but stupid. Malevolent, evil, satanic even, you say, but not stupid. Yet more and more I find the description stupid the most appropriate. It is in fact their stupidity in being incapable, in their addiction to power, of seeing the larger global consequences of their tactics or strategies.
If we define intelligence as the ability to grasp the interconnectedness of everything in our universe, then we can call stupid those who, despite their vast resources and access to the best minds, are incapable of considering anything outside their tunnel vision narrow world.

Cold War worked from 1946-1990 to stabilize their imperial grip on global power over Western Europe, the Third World, Japan and Asia. The end of that Cold War has seen the dramatic erosion of our power as new upstarts like China and Russia and even Iran assert their sovereign rights in the world, we can imagine their thinking: “Well, then let’s go back to what worked then. Let’s start a new Cold War or even, step by step, a new unconventional global war to retain our American Century, our Project for a New American Century,” as Dick Cheney and friends call it.

They now try a rerun of their 1986 Saudi oil price collapse strategy to topple Putin, Maduro in Venezuela and Iran according to informed reports from reliable Washington researcher Wayne Madsen.
In 1986, Vice President George H.W. Bush, father of George W., together with Secretary of State George Schultz and others convinced Riyadh, as John Kerry did in his September 2014 meeting with Saudi King Abdullah, to run a “reverse oil shock” that had the effect of toppling the over-stretched Soviet Union. It worked in 1986, why not in 2014? Is the thinking of some in Washington.

CIA role and oil price suicide

According to Madsen, who is a former NSA employee with good connections in different factions of Washington intelligence community, it was CIA chief John Brennan and CIA operatives inside the Saudi Aramco state oil company who devised a diabolical strategy of getting the Saudis, along with Kuwait, to flood the world markets with crude and let Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup do the rest of the dirty work with leveraged derivative short futures on crude.

While I cannot confirm Madsen’s assertion that the Saudi flooding perforce will necessarily last another five years after which Saudi production will collapse because the US CIA convinced Aramco against the advice of oil engineers at Schlumberger and other foreign oil services companies not to use salt water injection, that Brennan, who by some who know him has been described as a “knuckle dragger,” was poised to implement the Saudi strategy as an anti-Putin move is entirely plausible.

Only one problem. The brilliant strategy is ultimately stupid because it is collapsing the US domestic oil industry and hundreds of billions of dollars of planned energy investment globally along with lowering Russian oil dollar revenues and the ruble.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New York cop fired for stopping fellow officer from choking suspect; denied pension

© Countercurrentnews.com
Former Buffalo Police Officer Cariol Horne
SOTT | Dec 18, 2014 | Moreh B.D.K.

She was fired for trying to stop a fellow officer from abusing a suspect. Now, former Buffalo Police Officer Cariol Horne is in a battle to get her pension.

"November 1, 2006, there was a call of an officer in trouble at 707 Walden," Cariol Horne recalls.

The officer in need of assistance was Gregory Kwiatkowski. He was responding to a domestic dispute at the aforementioned address, between Neal Mack and his girlfriend who was living with him.

But by the time that officer Horne got there, she says that Mack had already been placed under arrest.

"He was handcuffed in the front and he was sideways and being punched in the face by Gregory Kwiatkowski," Horne recounted.

There were nearly a dozen other officers at the scene, who dragged Mack from the home. Horne says that once he was outside, Officer Kwiatkowski lost all control.

"Gregory Kwiatkowski turned Neal Mack around and started choking him. So then I'm like, 'Greg! You're choking him,' because I thought whatever happened in the house he was still upset about so when he didn't stop choking him I just grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack's neck," Horne said.

First he put a chokehold of a handcuffed suspect, but then when officer Horne tried to stop him, she says that "he comes up and punches me in the face and I had to have my bridge replaced."

Horne was then fired and charged with obstruction for "jumping on officer Kwiatkowski's back and/or striking him with her hands," in self-defense after he punched her in the face.

Officer Kiwatkowski wrote in a sworn statement that "she never got on top of me," indicating that while she tried to stop him, the official report was pure fabrication and he was the aggressor at every turn.

Now, with her 19 year career destroyed for trying to stop a bad cop from abusing a suspect, this mother of five is told she cannot qualify for a pension.

"My daughter said, 'Mommy, why did you go to work that day?' She never said, 'Why did you do what you did?' or 'I wish you wouldn't have done it.' She just said, 'I wish you wouldn't have gone to work that day.' So I don't regret it."

Officer Kwiatkowski, for his part, was forced to retire after getting suspended for choking another police officer in a separate incident, as well as punching another officer when he was off the clock, in yet another incident. Still, in spite of this obvious validation of her claims about Kwiatkowski's insanity and brutality, Horne is still being blocked from her pension.

The City of Buffalo Common Council recently sent Horne's case to the New York State retirement system, saying that they lack the authority to restore her pension. That review is still underway and a determination has not yet been made. Help us spread the word! This is what happens to "good cops" when they try to stop bad cops: the bad cops force them out of their jobs!

Source: Countercurrentnews.com

NYPD Now Officially a 'Wartime' Police Department

TruthStream Media | Dec 21, 2014

The New York Police Department has declared "war" after two officers were killed Saturday in their squad car while taking part in an anti-terrorism drill by a gunmen said to be taking revenge for the death of Eric Garner.

In the wake of the officer shootings, the NYPD's union New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association issued a bulletin showing that the NYPD are most certainly not taking things lightly.

In read in part, "The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.”

Article: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/nypds-...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The “Impending” Russian Maidan


The coordinated manipulation of global energy prices, a NATO build-up in Eastern Europe, and the rekindling of terrorism in Russia’s southern Caucasus region all appear to be ever-increasing crescendos toward a much larger event – a “Russian Maidan.”

The necessary components of a successful Western bid to overthrow the Russian political order include a political front protesting in Russia’s major cities, as well as a full-spectrum economic war to put pressure on Russia’s population, increasing dissent as well as swelling the ranks of staged protests Wall Street and Washington put in Russian streets. Another necessary component includes armed components to act under cover of “peaceful protesters” to escalate street demonstrations, prevent security forces from restoring order, and to carry out the actual physical overthrow of these security forces.

These elements could all be seen in neighboring Ukraine – a nation in which America and NATO’s incessant meddling is a matter of long-standing public record. The Guardian would admit in its 2004 article, “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev,” that (emphasis added):
…while the gains of the orange-bedecked “chestnut revolution” are Ukraine’s, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes. 
Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box. 
Richard Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia, coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze. 
Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko. 
That one failed. “There will be no Kostunica in Belarus,” the Belarus president declared, referring to the victory in Belgrade. 
But experience gained in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev. 
The operation – engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience – is now so slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other people’s elections.
Not only has Ukraine suffered because of  this admitted US-backed political destabilization over the years, but as revealed by the Guardian and other sources, all of Eastern Europe has fallen prey to this brand of foreign-backed subversion, manipulation, and regime change. Considering this documented fact, the prospect of Wall Street and Washington trying likewise in Russia itself is not only possible, it has already been tried before, with likely attempts in the future only inevitable. 

The Blockade…

Already at work is a coordinated manipulation of world oil prices. Revealed among plunging oil prices is that the entire industry is centrally manipulated not by market forces but by political agendas involving the US and its partners in the Middle East, most notably the enduring dictatorship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While any nation possesses the ability to weather such economic measures in the long-term as Iran and Cuba have proven, in the short-term, economic instability is one of the harbingers of political subversion where ranks of street demonstrations can be swelled by those who perceive such economic instability as the fault of the current government, rather than an economic attack from abroad. 

The Political Front and Muscle

The political front that will take to Russia’s streets has already long been identified. It includes the same brand of extreme “nationalists” and ultra-right groups seen overrunning Ukraine’s political order. This includes literal Neo-Nazis. One of the prevailing figures among Russia’s ultra-right is US-backed Alexey Navalny – billed by the West as an “anti-corruption activist,” who is in all reality a neo-fascist operating openly in the service of Wall Street.

Alexey Navalny was a Yale World Fellow, and in his profile it states:
Navalny spearheads legal challenges on behalf of minority shareholders in large Russian companies, including Gazprom, Bank VTB, Sberbank, Rosneft, Transneft, and Surgutneftegaz, through the Union of Minority Shareholders. He has successfully forced companies to disclose more information to their shareholders and has sued individual managers at several major corporations for allegedly corrupt practices. Navalny is also co-founder of the Democratic Alternative movement and was vice-chairman of the Moscow branch of the political party YABLOKO. In 2010, he launched RosPil, a public project funded by unprecedented fundraising in Russia. In 2011, Navalny started RosYama, which combats fraud in the road construction sector.
The Democratic Alternative, also written DA!, is a US State Department National Endowment for Democracy (NED) fund recipient, implicating Alexey Navalny as an agent of US-funded sedition. The US State Department itself reveals this as they list DA! among many of the “youth movements” they support operating in Russia:
DA!: Mariya Gaydar, daughter of former Prime Minister Yegor Gaydar, leads DA! (Democratic Alternative). She is ardent in her promotion of democracy, but realistic about the obstacles she faces. Gaydar said that DA! is focused on non-partisan activities designed to raise political awareness. She has received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, a fact she does not publicize for fear of appearing compromised by an American connection.
That this funding is nowhere on NED’s official website indicates that full disclosures are not being made and that NED is engaged in clandestine funding.  

Navalny was involved directly in founding a movement funded by the US government and to this day has the very people who funded DA! defending him throughout Western media. The mention of co-founder Mariya Gaydar is also revealing, as she has long collaborated, and occasionally has been arrested with, Ilya Yashin, yet another leader of a NED-funded Russian “activist” opposition group.

Ilya Yashin leads the Moscow branch of the People’s Freedom Party and is a leading member of the “Strategy 31″ campaign whose ranks are filled with activists trained and coordinated by US NED-funded NGOs. Deleted from the official NED.org website was Strategy 31’s US funding:
Moscow Group of Assistance in the Implementation of the Helsinki Accords $50,000 
To draw greater attention to the issue of freedom of assembly in Russia and to the “Strategy 31” movement, which seeks to protect this fundamental right. The organization will train a network of regional activists and coordinate their activities through mini-seminars and field visits, and conduct an information cam­paign through press conferences, posters, and educational handouts pertaining to freedom of assembly, to be distributed to the general public by regional partners.
Also deleted was a NED “Democracy Digest” article titled “Strategy 31: A sign of civil society’s resilience.” In it, the “Moscow Helsinki Group” is explicitly stated as leading Strategy 31 marches and that the group is a “long-time grantee of the National Endowment of Democracy.”

The multiple deletions across NED’s networks of Russian “activists” it is heavily funding and directing is yet another sign of imminent subversion, in hopes that links cannot be provided fast enough as the unrest unfolds to undermine the legitimacy of the otherwise US-engineered subversion.  

Yashin’s People’s Freedom Party is lined not only with NED-funded “youth,” but also lined with career politicians and businessmen collaborating with foreign-interests. Among them is Vladimir Ryzhkov  a member of the NED-funded, Washington-based World Movement for Democracy (whose profile has also been recently deleted). There is also Boris Nemtsov whose adviser, Vladimir Kara-Murza (of Solidarnost) took part in a September 14, 2011 NED-sponsored event titled, “Elections in Russia: Polling and Perspectives.”

Revealed is a political front entirely created by the US State Department to pose as the aspirations of the Russian people while in reality a creation and perpetuation of the aspirations of Wall Street and Washington.  Under the unrest this front creates may be a heavily armed front consisting of ultra-right Neo-Nazis as observed in Ukraine, heavily armed sectarian terrorists backed by Saudi Arabia, or both. 

A Look At America’s “Sedition” Handbook 

The use of armed elements to assist in US-engineered political subversion is not speculation. Rather, it is a documented policy included in plans laid for the undermining and overthrowing of other governments around the world. In one particular 2009 US policy paper titled, “Which Path to Persia?” by the Brookings Institution regarding the overthrow of Iran, it is stated specifically that:
One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.
Here, US policymakers are openly conspiring to covertly provoke a nation through political subversion. The resulting “act of aggression” would be portrayed as “unprovoked,” just as has been done regarding Russia’s involvement in neighboring Ukraine and all moves since Moscow has undertaken as the US and NATO continue to move toward war.

The policy paper also openly talks about the particulars of fomenting political unrest. Under a section called literally, “Finding the Right Proxies” it states:
One of the hardest tasks in fomenting a revolution, or even just unrest, is finding the right local partners.
After openly admitting the goal of “fomenting a revolution” or “unrest,” it then details what support to provide these proxies:  
 …students and other groups need covert backing for their demonstrations.  They need fax machines. They need internet access, funds to duplicate materials, and funds to keep vigilantes from beating them up.  Beyond this, U.S.-backed media  outlets  could  highlight  regime  shortcomings and make otherwise obscure critics more prominent. The United States already supports Persian-language satellite television (Voice of america Persian) and radio (radio Farda) that bring unfiltered news to Iranians (in recent years, these have taken the lion’s share of overt U.S. funding for promoting democracy in Iran). U.S. economic pressure (and perhaps military pressure as well) can discredit the regime, making the population hungry for a rival leadership.  
The report finally mentions armed groups supporting US-engineered sedition: 
 Some who favor fomenting regime change in Iran argue that it is utopian to hold out hope for a velvet revolution; instead, they contend that the United States should  turn  to  Iranian  opposition  groups  that already exist, that already have demonstrated a desire to fight the regime, and who appear willing  to  accept  U.S.  assistance.  The  hope  behind this course of action is that these various opposition  groups  could  transform  themselves  into more  potent  movements  that  might  be  able  to overturn the regime.  
What is troubling about this 2009 report is that each and every conspiracy contained within is not only confirmed by the authors to already be well underway against Iran, it is now clear that similar tactics have been used against Syria, China, and Russia itself.  The “Arab Spring” was little more than these tactics used on a regional scale, and what was done in Syria and even Ukraine are almost verbatim pages torn from this playbook.  
  
For a campaign aimed at Moscow itself, it is likely the same playbook will once again be employed. Exposing the insidious, malicious criminality of US policymakers who openly conspire to provoke other nations into conflict and manipulate public perception to maintain moral primacy is the first step to undoing attempts to destabilize and undermine Russia, and all other nations caught in the crosshairs of Wall Street and Washington.

While the West continues to portray Russia as the “aggressor,” throughout America’s own policy papers it can be seen that such accusations are just one part of an immensely insidious and deceitful plan. Portraying Russia as the “aggressors” helps justify further measures to set the board for widespread political subversion within Russia itself. It seeks to justify not only direct ties to opposition groups when they are finally revealed, but also increasingly aggressive interventions both by armed proxies and NATO forces themselves to continue propping up these opposition groups.

The spectacular nature of “invasions” as we imagine them, such as the Nazi blitzkrieg into Western Europe are behind us. Invasions within fourth generation warfare utilize faux opposition groups, covert military support, and full-spectrum economic, political, and information warfare. Russia has built defenses against this form of warfare, confounding the West , but ultimately the moral high ground and all of its advantages is a position only one can hold. Either by truth through exposing the West’s means and agenda will Russia climb to the top, or through the West’s continued successful deception, will Russia be pelted below.
 
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.  


Longstanding US Cuba Policy: Regime Change


Global Research | Dec 19, 2014 | Stephen Lendman

Obama is right. Sanctions don’t work. Not against Cuba. Russia. Iran or other countries. Provided they stay firm.  

Defending their sovereign rights. Cuba did admirably. For over half a century. Against US imperialism.

Its leadership a testimony to successful sovereign resilience. Prevailing against long odds.

Longstanding US Cuban policy failed. Washington’s objective remains unchanged. Regime change! Installing pro-Western stooge governance. Returning Cuba to its bad old days.

Castro gained power on January 1, 1959. Transforming a repressive brothel into a populist state. Ousting Washington’s man in Havana. Fulgencio Batista. A despot by any standard.

Franklin Roosevelt once called former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza “a son of a bitch. (B)ut he’s our son of a bitch,” he explained.

America supports many like him. Batista’s fascist regime earlier. Current repressive Central America/Caribbean governments. In Honduras. Guatemala. Haiti.

Saudi Arabia. Other Gulf states. Ukraine in central Europe. Fascists running Israel. Numerous other repressive regimes.

Obama’s new Cuba gambit reflects imperial policy by other means. Hold the cheers. More on this below.

Until illness in 2006 forced him to step down, Fidel was the world’s longest serving political leader. Now aged 88, its preeminent elder statesman.

Still expressing important views. “Reflections of Fidel.” In September saying “just ideas or disaster will triumph.”

“Global society has known no peace in recent years.” Because of US/European policies. Threatening world peace. With “weapons which could mean the end of human existence.”

He called Western regimes “unscrupulous actors.” Especially America. “(I)nterven(ing) militarily in Cuba…” Earlier owning most of the country. Raping it for profit.

Preventing Cubans from “produc(ing) enough grain to feed the population…Cynicism is something which has become symbolic of imperial policy.”

Rapaciousness defines it. “(O)ur interests,” said Obama. Castro knows them well. Duplicity writ large. Plotting control over Cuba again.

Intending to colonize it for profit. Plunder its resources. Including offshore oil. Exploit its people. Obama is a serial liar.

Claiming US policy is “rooted in the best of intentions…” Brazen dishonesty. Willful deception. Longstanding US policies speak for themselves.

Serving monied interests exclusively. At the expense of beneficial social change. Mindless of democratic rights. Rule of law principles.

Including prohibitions against interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. Sovereign independence is inviolable.

Not according to Washington rules. Imposing them lawlessly. With full scoundrel media support. The New York Times outrageously calls Cuba “a repressive police state.”

Ignoring decades of ruthless US anti-Castro policy. Hailing a “historic move.” “Transformational.”

Claiming Washington is right in demanding “greater personal freedoms and democratic change.”

Instead of exposing it as the world’s most egregious civil and human rights abuser. None match America’s abusive record. Longstanding. Horrific by any standard.

The Times was right calling US Cuban policy “one of the most misguided chapters in American foreign policy.” Mindless of Obama’s intent.

Opening Cuba to America’s monied interests spells trouble. Like it always does. US policies aren’t benign.

Cuba already infested with US anti-government operatives. USAID. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

International Republican Institute (IRI). Freedom House. Center for a Free Cuba. Institute for Democracy in Cuba. Cuba Dissidence Task Group.

Various other groups and initiatives. Raul Castro warned earlier about “attempts to subtly introduce platforms for neoliberal thought and for the restoration of neocolonial capitalism.”

Saying he “reiterated on many occasions our willingness to hold a respectful dialogue with the United States on the basis of sovereign equality in order to deal reciprocally with a wide variety of topics without detriment to the national Independence and self-determination of our people.”
“We propose to the Government of the United States the adoption of mutual steps to improve the bilateral atmosphere and advance towards normalization of relations between our two countries, based on the principles of International Law and the United Nations Charter.”
“We don’t demand that the US change its political or social system and we don’t accept negotiations over ours.”
It bears repeating. Longstanding US policy call for regime change. Obama’s pronouncement shows tactics alone changing.

By establishing diplomatic relations. Opening a Havana embassy. Regime change headquarters. Infested with CIA operatives for sure. Plotting destabilization tactics.

Obama loosening embargo conditions. As much as possible by executive order. Without congressional approval. Unlikely with Republicans in charge next year.

Or Democrats like current Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez (D. NJ). Blasting Obama.

Turning truth on its head saying his “actions have vindicate the brutal behavior of the Cuban government. (S)et(ting) an extremely dangerous precedent.”
“(I)nvit(ing) dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips. I fear that today’s actions will put at risk the thousands of Americans that work overseas to support civil society, advocate for access to information, provide humanitarian services, and promote democratic reforms.”
The New York Times cited unnamed administration officials. Saying Treasury will issue easing Cuban trade regulations. On US agricultural exports. Banking relations.

Commerce Department will permit exports of construction materials. Telecommunications equipment. Scientific, athletic and cultural products. Various other goods.

Efforts will move quickly to replace old rules with new ones. Facilitating travel. Financial dealings. Exports. According to US officials.
“The Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department will scrap a measure that requires people who are already eligible for travel to Cuba to receive special permission from the government for trips such as those involving family visits, professional, religious or cultural programs and humanitarian projects,” said The Times.

“New rules will also make it easier to get there, by allowing the direct purchase of airline tickets to Cuba rather than requiring travelers to go through a travel agent and charter a flight.”
Treasury is increasing how much money Americans may send Cubans. Fourfold. From $500 to $2,000.

The State Department may end Cuba’s unjust state sponsor of terrorism designation. Longstanding US Cuban policy reflects it writ large. Don’t expect The Times to explain.

According to US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson:

“We would anticipate that we will have an embassy before” nominating an ambassador.

“That process is relatively straightforward, frankly, from a legal perspective. We can do that via an exchange of letters or of notes. It doesn’t require a formal sort of legal treaty or agreement.”

White House officials said they spent months determining how far to go unilaterally. Without violating the letter of embargo conditions. Or “eviscerat(ing)” them.

Washington’s Havana Interests Section will serve as its embassy. A future nest of destabilizing spies.

Political analyst Andrew Korybko asked if Raul Castro “reverse(d) the entire Cuban revolution.” Did he make “a fatal mistake?”

By getting in bed with the devil. It remains to be seen how much. Will color revolution follow? At age 88, Fidel’s time is passing. Whether soon or later who knows.

Korybko believes he’s closer to death than Havana admits. An era will pass with his loss. Inevitable sooner or later. Key is what follows.

Raul is 83. Reportedly in good health. Last year saying he’ll step down in 2018. “This is my last term,” he said. Shortly after National Assembly members reelected him for another five years.

At the same time naming Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez First Vice President. Next in line to Raul.

Cuba’s current government appears its last under Fidel and Raul. Possible succession figures include Diaz-Canel. Four other vice presidents.

Including Jose Machado Ventura. Aged 82. Ceding his first vice presidential position to Diaz-Canel.

Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdes. Aged 80. Comptroller General Gladys Bejerano. Aged 66. Both vice presidents.

Others include First Secretary of the Communist Party Mercedes Lopexz Acea. Aged 48. Labor federation head Salvador Valdes Mesa. Aged 64.

In 2013, 68-year-old former vice president Estaban Lazo was named National Assembly president. Replacing longtime leader Ricardo Alarcon.

Earlier he commented on who would succeed Fidel, saying:
“All those who have been trying to fool the world and put out the idea that something terrible would happen in Cuba, that people would take to the streets, that there would be great instability, the door slammed on them and they must have very swollen hands now.”
Cuban policy going forward remains to be seen. New leaders will replace old ones. Hopefully revolutionary spirit won’t change.

Remaining vibrant. Resilient. Redoubtable. Too precious to lose.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 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.

Economic Terrorism and Argentina's "Vulture Funds"

Global ResearchTV | Dec 19, 2014

SPECIAL REPORT: Police Pre-Crime Algorithm Uses Social Media Posts Against You in Real-Time

TruthStream Media | Dec 19, 2014


IN THIS VERY IMPORTANT TRUTHSTREAM MEDIA SPECIAL REPORT:

We have finally reached the moment where Orwell's nightmare in 1984 meets the movie Minority Report. We're living there right now.

And, astoundingly, we still hear people saying "Well, I haven't done anything wrong, so I don't have anything to worry about."

Did you know that any time a police officer pulls you over or responds to your 9-1-1 call, he or she is using a pre-crime algorithm which assigns you a color-coded threat score based not just on your criminal background but on everything including "flagged" purchases and all your social media posts which may include any comments that may be construed as "offensive?"

The officer will receive your color coding — red, yellow or green — before he or she ever even sees you based on factors you are not allowed to see or question. Guilty until proven innocent just got thrown completely out the window. Welcome to the modern era of big data and thought crime in Police State, U.S.A.

Unfortunately, the path we are following does not lead to freedom, liberty or individual self-worth.

It is a collective future. A fascist future. A corporatist future. A Sci-Tech dictatorship. A transcendent vision of perfectionism.

In fact, call it whatever you want.

Just don't be deceived into believing any of it is ultimately in your interest.

*** PLEASE SHARE *** People need to know!