Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's links

1---"US Will Feel Tangible Losses," Russia Prepares To Unleash Retaliatory Trade Wars, zero hedge

"It's a troubling continuation/expansion of trade as a geopolitical tool," warns one Washington-based consulting firm as Russia prepares to unleash retaliatory actions to US and European sanctions. As Bloomberg reports, Russia said yesterday it may ban imports of chicken from the U.S. and fruit from Europe and is investigating McDonald's cheese for safety. In addition, a Russian lawmaker has drafted legislation that might result in U.S. accounting firms being barred from doing business in his country. All of this is odd given Jack "trust me" Lew's reassurance that Russian sanctions would have no impact on the US economy.

2--The Forgotten Financial Panic of 1914, and the Eternal Recurrence of Short-Term Thinking, naked capitalism

3--Ukraine army uses prohibited phosphorous bombs against civilians in Donbass, reports say, itar tass

4--Here’s Why Libya Is Burning — Again, smirking chimp

5--Blaming Russia as "Flat Fact", smirking

6--US sanctions aimed at getting even with Russia — FM says, itar tass

 we paid special attention to the Geneva Statement of April 17, which we had spent eight hours to draft and which our Western partners had refused to support in the UN Security Council and the OSCE,” Lavrov said. “He (Kerry) agreed with me that this statement was the best basis for further work. It calls for immediately stopping the use of force and starting a constitutional process that must be open, inclusive and accountable and must draw all Ukrainian regions into the constitutional reform. This was not done and no steps have been taken in this direction so far.”

7---Moscow: US will feel ‘tangible losses’ from ‘destructive, myopic’ sanctions, RT

8---MH17 tragedy: Beating drums for war in Ukraine, RT

9--EU imposes its first sanctions against the Russian economy, wsws

10--Ukrainian government offensive blocks MH17 investigation, wsws

11---Right-wing gutter journalism: Der Spiegel rails against Russia, wsws

12---Russia Again Calls for Ukraine Talks to Stop Bloodshed – Lavrov,   Heavy Fighting Prevents International Experts from Accessing MH17 Crash Site,   , It’s All for Oil and Gas – US Economist on Sanctions against Russia, Michael Hudson

13--Are you ready for nuclear war?, wsws

The crisis provoked by American and European charges of Russian responsibility for the shooting down of flight MH17 has brought the world the closest it has been to global war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. But the situation today may be even more dangerous. A half century ago, the Kennedy administration—haunted by fears that miscalculations on either side could precipitate a nuclear exchange—sought to keep the lines of communications open and avoid the demonization of Soviet leaders.

Today, on the other hand, the CIA is directing an incendiary propaganda campaign against Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, a campaign that seems intent on provoking a direct military confrontation with the country with the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world. There is no question that the CIA is mobilizing all the resources and assets it commands—within governments, the media, and among academics—in a carefully orchestrated campaign aimed at polluting public opinion with anti-Russian hysteria.

As of now, there is nothing approaching a definitive explanation of the chain of events that led to the destruction of MH17. Despite all the massive surveillance technology at its disposal, upon which it lavishes tens of billions of dollars annually, the US intelligence agencies have not produced a shred of hard evidence to back up the accusations of Russian responsibility.

But while the physical circumstances surrounding MH17’s destruction remain unknown, the political purposes to which this tragedy is being put to use have become all too clear.
Since the beginning of the week, the three most influential mass circulation newsmagazines of the United States, Britain, and Germany—Time, The Economist, and Der Spiegel—have published cover stories that combine wild accusations against Vladimir Putin with demands for a showdown with Russia.

The most striking and obvious characteristic of these cover stories is that they are virtually identical. The CIA has scripted them all. The stories employ the same insults and the same fabrications. They denounce Putin’s “web of lies.” The Russian president is portrayed as a “depraved” mass murderer.

What is the Russian president to make of the use of this sort of language in the most influential newsmagazines? He is on the receiving end of the same campaign of vilification that was previously directed against Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Putin certainly knows the outcome of these propaganda campaigns. ....

 On Tuesday the Obama administration and the European Union announced that they had agreed on a new set of tougher sanctions. These measures are being interpreted as a transitional measure toward what Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau describes as “The Atom Bomb of Financial War.” Munchau’s piece has been published not only in the Financial Times but also in Der Spiegel.
By a combination of military threats and economic strangulation, the US and the EU are moving to politically destabilize Russia. As their continuous references to the Russian oligarchs make clear, they are hoping that the financial sanctions will encourage a conspiracy to overthrow and even murder Putin. The regime envisaged by Washington would convert Russia into a neo-colonial protectorate, entirely subordinated politically, economically and militarily to US imperialism.

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