Saturday, July 11, 2015

Today's Links

1--Today's must read: Obama’s Deadly Cold War Legacy, Robert Parry


when Russia helps these endangered ethnic Russians, who saw their elected president illegally ousted from office in a coup supported if not sponsored by the United States, that’s “Russian aggression.” And, when the ethnic Russians resist the new order, which has now sent Nazis and jihadists to kill them, it’s the ethnic Russians who are the “terrorists.”


To push the irony even further, while Dunford decried “Russian aggression” in connection with a civil war on Russia’s border, he openly declared that the U.S. military stands ready to bomb Iran — halfway around the world — to destroy its nuclear facilities. Asked if the U.S. military had that ability, Dunford said, “My understanding is that we do, senator.”...


there’s plenty of evidence to support the fact that the U.S. intervened in Ukraine, there is no evidence that Putin sought out this crisis or had any designs to recreate the Russian Empire, two key elements of the U.S. propaganda campaign. The truth is that by encouraging and instigating the violent Ukraine coup on Feb. 22, 2014, the Obama administration struck first....


The plan was laid out on Sept. 26, 2013, by National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, a major neocon paymaster who distributes more than $100 million a year in U.S. taxpayers’ money to undermine governments disfavored by the U.S. — or in Official Washington speak to engage in “democracy promotion.”
On the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post, Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward toppling Putin, who “may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”
It’s also important to remember that in 2013 Putin had offended Washington’s powerful neocons by working with President Obama to avert a U.S. military strike against Syria over the mysterious sarin gas attack on Aug. 21, 2013, and by helping to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program. In both cases, the neocons wanted to bomb those countries to provoke more “regime change.”
So, Putin’s peacemaking made him the new target – and especially his cooperation with Obama to reduce international tensions. Ukraine, with its neuralgic sensitivity for Russians as the historic route for bloody invasions, was the perfect wedge to drive between the two leaders....


The plan was laid out on Sept. 26, 2013, by National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, a major neocon paymaster who distributes more than $100 million a year in U.S. taxpayers’ money to undermine governments disfavored by the U.S. — or in Official Washington speak to engage in “democracy promotion.”
On the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post, Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward toppling Putin, who “may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”


It’s also important to remember that in 2013 Putin had offended Washington’s powerful neocons by working with President Obama to avert a U.S. military strike against Syria over the mysterious sarin gas attack on Aug. 21, 2013, and by helping to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program. In both cases, the neocons wanted to bomb those countries to provoke more “regime change.”
So, Putin’s peacemaking made him the new target – and especially his cooperation with Obama to reduce international tensions. Ukraine, with its neuralgic sensitivity for Russians as the historic route for bloody invasions, was the perfect wedge to drive between the two leaders....


Before long, the full firepower of U.S. propaganda arsenal was blasting away, enflaming a new Cold War. That effort was bolstered by the U.S. government pouring tens of millions of dollars into propaganda outlets, often disguised as “bloggers” or “citizen journalists.” The U.S. Agency for International Development alone estimates its budget for “media strengthening programs in over 30 countries” at $40 million annually.....


2--US responsibility in Yemen


Matthieu Aikins, the Rolling Stone reporter recently in Yemen, was interviewed on Democracy Now! yesterday along with Farea al-Muslimi. This is what he said about how Yemenis view U.S. responsibility for the war:
Sure. We found cluster bombs, for example, that are banned under the global treaty, that were used by the Saudis in Yemen, that had been—that originally come from the U.S. There’s no doubt that Yemenis understand that the weapons and the jets that are being used against them were sold to the Saudis by the U.S., that the U.S. is supporting this war with in-flight refueling, with intelligence and targeting. So, absolutely, Yemenis see the U.S. as being responsible. Often when we visit the site of these civilian casualties where women and children have been killed, a lot of the ire that people have on the ground was directed toward the United States [bold mine-DL].


3--Median net wealth plummets among American households


Let me just turn the mic over to Alan Grayson for a moment:
“Why Is Everyone Angry? I’ll Tell You Why” [Alan Grayson, HuffPo]:
But here is the deeper explanation for all of that anger: For most Americans, life simply is getting harder. This was painfully obvious from a Sage Foundation study last year, following up on an article in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. The study looked at changes in the wealth of American households over a decade, from 2003 to 2013. The study found that median net worth had dropped by 36 percent, from $87,992 to $56,335.  
Let me repeat that: The net worth of the average American household dropped by more than one-third in ten years. The decline from the 2007 peak was almost 50 percent, in just six years. (Most of that loss was in the value of one’s home — home is where the heartache is.)
That’s why everyone is so angry. 


4---US Army Chief Insists on More Troops, Arms to Europe to ‘Cope With Russia’


5---MIT Prof Shames US for 'Fictitious and Bizarre' Idea New Nuke Could Win War


6---Why the Oil Glut will Continue and How it Benefits Russia
7--Why Russia's Gas Pipeline Deal With Greece Is Likely to Be Stillborn
A Greek government that remains committed to the EU is not united behind a deal with Gazprom that is far more modest than the one offered in March and April


8---Shrinks aid torture
The US’s leading professional psychologists’ organization helped justify CIA and Pentagon torture programs, a new 542-page report shows. The psychologists involved later profited from torture-related contracts.
The report, concluded this month, examined the involvement of the American Psychological Association (APA) in the validation of the so-called program of enhanced interrogation, under which terror suspects were subjected to torture at CIA black cites and at the Pentagon's Guantanamo Bay prison facility.


9---Jade Helm 15: One nation under siege?


10--Ufa roundup, BRICS prevail


The summits kicked off with BRICS countries agreeing to a $100bn reserve currency pool which aims to protect the member states – the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – from currency volatility shocks.  
















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