Category: Russia
Declassified Docs Prove US Repeatedly Promised Russia No NATO Eastward Expansion
| December 12, 2017 | 8:31 pm | Analysis, Russia, USSR | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/world/201712121059942275-us-russia-east-europe-expansion-nato/

Declassified Docs Prove US Repeatedly Promised Russia No NATO Eastward Expansion

Reagan and Gorbachev

Declassified Docs Prove US Repeatedly Promised Russia No NATO Eastward Expansion

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NATO expansion was a key issue as the US, Western European and Soviet leaders negotiated the reunification of Germany.

US and Western European leaders repeatedly promised their Soviet and Russian counterparts in the early 1990s that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe, according to a series of declassified documents posted by George Washington University’s National Security Archive on Tuesday.

“US Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991,” a press release summarizing the document cache stated.

NATO expansion was a key issue as US, Western European and Soviet leaders negotiated the reunification of Germany, in which the alliance’s boundaries would presumably encompass the former East Germany.

READ MORE: ‘Tragic Mistake’: How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Helped NATO in Eastern Europe

The cache includes a cable from the US Embassy in Bonn informing Washington that German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher had urged NATO to rule out an “expansion of its territory towards the east, i.e. moving it closer to the Soviet borders.”

At the time, Genscher also proposed excluding East Germany from NATO’s security umbrella after German reunification.

In subsequent years NATO has expanded beyond the former East Germany to include 13 Eastern European countries, the latest being Montenegro’s admission in June 2017.

NATO Expansion in Europe

Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly stated that the United States failed to uphold its promises, adding that the Ukranian conflict following the 2014 coup that installed a pro-Western government in Kiev has served as a pretext for additional deployments in Europe.

Nevertheless, in 2016, the alliance has decided to approve sending four multinational battalions to each of the Baltic states — namely Lithiania, Latvia and Estonia — and Poland.Most recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance would maintain increased presence in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe “as long as necessary” after the alliance’s members had agreed on instituting a new adaptive command structure to improve the alliance’s ability “to improve the movement of military forces across Europe.”

When Donald Trump Falsifies History
| December 11, 2017 | 7:18 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Imperialism, Russia, socialism, UK | No comments

Monday, December 11, 2017

When Donald Trump Falsifies History

A response to U.S. President Trump’s blatant falsification of historical events.
 
By Nikos Mottas.


Donald Trump seems to have his own version of history. A version that falsifies completely the real historical events. The tycoon- turned President of the USA- decided to demonstrate his ignorance (or, perhaps, ability to distort history) during a Republican Party’s rally in Pensacola, Florida on December 8th. 

 
What did Trump say? Among others, the U.S. President said the following“We are the nation that dug out the Panama Canal, won two world wars, put a man on the moon and brought communism to its knees”.
Apparently, Trump thought that he addresses a crowd of illiterate idiots who were cheering at his moronic proclamations. But, unfortunately for Trump, not everyone is ignorant of historical events.
 
1. The U.S. didn’t win two world wars. The First World War (WW1) began in 1914 and ended in 1918. The United States entered the war just a year before the end, in 1917. Britain, France and Russia were the major countries which bore the burden of war, while the U.S. claimed some victories over the heavily damaged German army when the later were unable to provide enough arms or food to their troops. 
 
As for the Second World War (WW2), Trump is falsifying the historical truth too. Because, it was the Soviet Union – the Red Army and the people of the USSR- which actually defeated the Nazis. Someone must inform Trump about the epic battle of Stalingrad. Someone must tell him about the conquer of Berlin by the soldiers of the Red Army. 
 
The United States’ government had declared war against Nazi Germany in 1941, but it didn’t actively involved in warfare until 1944. The focus of the U.S. was on the Pacific Front, against the Japanese. By the time of the so-called “D-Day”, the Red Army had already won major battles against the Nazis, bringing the frontline close to Berlin.

The Soviet Union paid the highest price in casualties- more than 24 million people (troops and civilians) died during WW2. The respective casualties for the U.S. were approximately 420,000 people. Is Mr. Trump or any of his supporters aware of that? 

2. The U.S. President said that his country “put a man on the moon”. Indeed, astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. However, the first person to journey into outer space wasn’t an American, but a Soviet, Yuri Gagarin. Gagarin’s spacecraft “Vostok” completed an orbit on the Earth on April 12, 1961.

Someone must inform President Trump- in case he doesn’t know- that the world’s first artificial satellite was “Sputnik-1” which was launched on October 4, 1957.

3. Donald Trump also said that the U.S. “brought communism to its knees”. This is a major argument frequently used by the various apologists of capitalism, especially after the counter-revolutionary events of 1989-1991. Trump repeats this convenient- for imperialism- narrative about the supposed “triumph” of capitalism over socialism. However, the reality is far from the grandiose nonsense expressed by Mr. Trump and his like-minded.

Socialism didn’t “collapse”; it was the opportunist counter-revolution that prevailed in the USSR and the socialist countries in Eastern Europe in the end of 1980s. The counter-revolution consistued the last act of a process which led to the distortion of the revolutionary character of the Communist Party, the strengthening of social inequalities and ultimately to social regression. The roots of the reasons which led to the victory of the counter-revolution in the USSR goes back to the decisions of the 20th Congress of the CPSU. 

International imperialism played its own role in the long-term strengthening and promotion of the the counter-revolutionary forces, but it wasn’t an imperialist intervention that led to the overthrow of Socialism. The truth exists in the various deviations from the laws of socialist construction and the weaknesses in solving existing issues of Socialism with capitalist tools, which led to the prevalence of counter-revolution. 

 
Alt-history? Trump claims US won two World Wars & defeated communism
| December 9, 2017 | 8:45 pm | Donald Trump, France, Red Army, Russia, UK, USSR | No comments

https://www.rt.com/usa/412570-trump-us-won-world-wars/

Alt-history? Trump claims US won two World Wars & defeated communism

Alt-history? Trump claims US won two World Wars & defeated communism
Donald Trump has delivered his own reading of history that is likely to raise eyebrows in Russia, China, Europe, and beyond. The tycoon-turned-president claimed the US has single-handedly won two world wars and “brought communism to its knees.”

Trump appeared at a rally in Pensacola, Florida to voice his support for the Republican nominee Roy Moore, who is running for the Senate in Alabama. At first, he reprised the themes popular with his supporters, including illegal immigration, criminal gangs, and mainstream media.

The President was about 70 minutes into his appearance at the rally when he made the following remark: “We are the nation that dug out the Panama Canal, won two world wars, put a man on the moon and brought communism to its knees,” Trump proclaimed to a cheering crowd in front of ‘Merry Christmas’ signs.

The crowd seemed unfazed by the mix of historic events with outrageous claims, cheering loudly when Trump added: “As long as we have the courage of our convictions, and the strength to see them through, then there is no goal beyond our reach.”

Unluckily for Trump, who regularly lambasts media for publishing fake news, his own take on world history does not quite agree with what really happened. The US entered World War I in 1917, just one year before it ended. Washington began sending fresh troops to Europe, claiming some significant victories over the Germans, but mainly because they were unable to replace their losses or provide enough arms, munitions and food supplies for their troops.

For over three years, it was mostly Britain, France and the Russian Empire who bore the brunt of war. The allies engaged in several crucial battles against the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, including the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme. Fierce fighting and heavy losses took their toll on the allies; the Russian Empire collapsed, while France and Britain had to deal with ruined economies, galloping inflation and social unrest.

In World War II, the US focused on fighting the Japanese Empire, its most dangerous enemy in the Pacific. Although the US declared war on Nazi Germany in 1941, in practice it sent military support to the British and the Soviets, delaying direct involvement in hostilities until 1944. By the time of the D-Day landings, the Red Army had already driven the Nazis out of Russia and the east of Europe, bringing the frontline closer to Berlin. Soviet troops captured the Third Reich’s capital in May 1945, forcing Hitler’s generals to surrender.

READ MORE: The sacrifice of the Russian people in World War II must never be forgotten

In a speech to the House of Commons in August 1944, Winston Churchill famously observed: “It is the Russian armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the German army.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s remark on defeating communism may not sit well with several Asian nations, which are coincidentally trade partners of the US in the region, notably China and Vietnam. The Communist Party of China, ruling over world’s most populous nation, may have a question or two about the alleged “defeat.”

READ MORE: German trains troll Trump over #alternativefacts gaffe

The Anti-Empire Report #153

By William Blum – Published December 5th, 2017

Cold War Number One: 70 years of daily national stupidity

Cold War Number Two: Still in its youth, but just as stupid

https://williamblum.org/aer/read/153

“He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.” – President Trump re Vladimir Putin after their meeting in Vietnam.

Putin later added that he knew “absolutely nothing” about Russian contacts with Trump campaign officials. “They can do what they want, looking for some sensation. But there are no sensations.”

Numerous US intelligence agencies have said otherwise. Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, responded to Trump’s remarks by declaring: “The president was given clear and indisputable evidence that Russia interfered in the election.”

As we’ll see below, there isn’t too much of the “clear and indisputable” stuff. And this of course is the same James Clapper who made an admittedly false statement to Congress in March 2013, when he responded, “No, sir” and “not wittingly” to a question about whether the National Security Agency was collecting “any type of data at all” on millions of Americans. Lies don’t usually come in any size larger than that.

Virtually every member of Congress who has publicly stated a position on the issue has criticized Russia for interfering in the 2016 American presidential election. And it would be very difficult to find a member of the mainstream media which has questioned this thesis.

What is the poor consumer of news to make of these gross contradictions? Here are some things to keep in mind:

How do we know that the tweets and advertisements “sent by Russians” -– those presented as attempts to sway the vote -– were actually sent by Russians? The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), composed of National Security Agency and CIA veterans, recently declared that the CIA knows how to disguise the origin of emails and tweets. The Washington Post has as well reported that Twitter “makes it easy for users to hide their true identities.”  Even if these communications were actually sent from Russia, how do we know that they came from the Russian government, and not from any of the other 144.3 million residents of Russia?

Even if they were sent by the Russian government, we have to ask: Why would they do that? Do the Russians think the United States is a Third World, under-developed, backward Banana Republic easily influenced and moved by a bunch of simple condemnations of the plight of blacks in America and the Clinton “dynasty”? Or clichéd statements about other controversial issues, such as gun rights and immigration? If so, many Democratic and Republican officials would love to know the secret of the Russians’ method. Consider also that Facebook has stated that 90 percent of the alleged-Russian-bought content that ran on its network did not even mention Trump or Clinton.

On top of all this is the complete absence of even the charge, much less with any supporting evidence, of Russian interference in the actual voting or counting of votes.

After his remark suggesting he believed Putin’s assertion that there had been no Russian meddling in the election, Trump – of course, as usual – attempted to backtrack and distant himself from his words after drawing criticism at home; while James Clapper declared: “The fact the president of the United States would take Putin at his word over that of the intelligence community is quite simply unconscionable.”

Given Clapper’s large-size lie referred to above, can Trump be faulted for being skeptical of the intelligence community’s Holy Writ? Purposeful lies of the intelligence community during the first Cold War were legendary, many hailed as brilliant tactics when later revealed. The CIA, for example, had phoney articles and editorials planted in foreign newspapers (real Fake News), made sex films of target subjects caught in flagrante delicto who had been lured to Agency safe houses by female agents, had Communist embassy personnel expelled because of phoney CIA documents, and much more.

The Post recently published an article entitled “How did Russian trolls get into your Facebook feed? Silicon Valley made it easy.” In the midst of this “exposé,” The Post stated: “There’s no way to tell if you personally saw a Russian post or tweet.”  So … Do the Cold Warriors have a case to make or do they not? Or do they just want us to remember that the Russkis are bad? So it goes.

An organization in the Czech Republic with the self-appointed name of European Values has produced a lengthy report entitled “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West: An Overview of RT’s Editorial Strategy and Evidence of Impact”. It includes a long list of people who have appeared on the Russian-owned TV station RT (formerly Russia Today), which can be seen in the US, the UK and other countries. Those who’ve been guests on RT are the “idiots” useful to Moscow. (The list is not complete. I’ve been on RT about five times, but I’m not listed. Where is my Idiot Badge?)

RT’s YouTube channel has more than two million followers and claims to be the “most-watched news network” on the video site. Its Facebook page has more than 4 million likes and followers. Can this explain why the powers-that-be forget about a thing called freedom-of-speech and treat the station like an enemy? The US government recently forced RT America to register as a foreign agent and has cut off the station’s Congressional press credentials.

The Cold War strategist, George Kennan, wrote prophetically: “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”

Writer John Wight has described the new Cold War as being “in response to Russia’s recovery from the demise of the Soviet Union and the failed attempt to turn the country into a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington via the imposition of free market economic shock treatment thereafter.”

So let’s see what other brilliance the New Cold War brings us. … Ah yes, another headline in the Post(November 18, 2017): “British alarm rising over possible Russian meddling in Brexit”. Of course, why else would the British people have voted to leave the European Union? But wait a moment, again, one of the British researchers behind the report “said that the accounts they analyzed – which claimed Russian as their language when they were set up but tweeted in English – posted a mixture of pro-‘leave’ and pro-‘remain’ messages regarding Brexit. Commentators have said that the goal may simply have been to sow discord and division in society.”

Was there ever a time when the Post would have been embarrassed to be so openly, amateurishly biased about Russia? Perhaps during the few years between the two Cold Wars.

In case you don’t remember how stupid Cold War Number One was …

  • 1948: The Pittsburgh Press published the names, addresses, and places of employment of about 1,000 citizens who had signed presidential-nominating petitions for former Vice President Henry Wallace, running under the Progressive Party. This, and a number of other lists of “communists”, published in the mainstream media, resulted in people losing their jobs, being expelled from unions, having their children abused, being denied state welfare benefits, and suffering various other punishments.
  • Around 1950: The House Committee on Un-American Activities published a pamphlet, “100 Things You Should Know About Communism in the U.S.A.” This included information about what a communist takeover of the United States would mean:Q: What would happen to my insurance?A: It would go to the Communists.

    Q: Would communism give me something better than I have now?

    A: Not unless you are in a penitentiary serving a life sentence at hard labor.

  • 1950s: Mrs. Ada White, member of the Indiana State Textbook Commission, believed that Robin Hood was a Communist and urged that books that told the Robin Hood story be banned from Indiana schools.
  • As evidence that anti-communist mania was not limited to the lunatic fringe or conservative newspaper publishers, here is Clark Kerr, president of the University of California at Berkeley in a 1959 speech: “Perhaps 2 or even 20 million people have been killed in China by the new [communist] regime.” One person wrote to Kerr: “I am wondering how you would judge a person who estimates the age of a passerby on the street as being ‘perhaps 2 or even 20 years old.’ Or what would you think of a physician who tells you to take ‘perhaps 2 or even twenty teaspoonsful of a remedy’?”
  • Throughout the cold war, traffic in phoney Lenin quotes was brisk, each one passed around from one publication or speaker to another for years. Here’s U.S. News and World Report in 1958 demonstrating communist duplicity by quoting Lenin: “Promises are like pie crusts, made to be broken.” Secretary of State John Foster Dulles used it in a speech shortly afterward, one of many to do so during the cold war. Lenin actually did use a very similar line, but he explicitly stated that he was quoting an English proverb (it comes from Jonathan Swift) and his purpose was to show the unreliability of the bourgeoisie, not of communists.“First we will take Eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia, then we will encircle the United States, which will be the last bastion of capitalism. We will not have to attack. It will fall like an overripe fruit into our hands.” This Lenin “quotation” had the usual wide circulation, even winding up in the Congressional Record in 1962. This was not simply a careless attribution; this was an out-and-out fabrication; an extensive search, including by the Library of Congress and the United States Information Agency failed to find its origin.
  • A favorite theme of the anti-communists was that a principal force behind drug trafficking was a communist plot to demoralize the United States. Here’s a small sample:Don Keller, District Attorney for San Diego County, California in 1953: “We know that more heroin is being produced south of the border than ever before and we are beginning to hear stories of financial backing by big shot Communists operating out of Mexico City.”Henry Giordano, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1964, interviewed in the American Legion Magazine: Interviewer: “I’ve been told that the communists are trying to flood our country with narcotics to weaken our moral and physical stamina. Is that true?”

    Giordano: “As far as the drugs are concerned, it’s true. There’s a terrific flow of drugs coming out of Yunnan Province of China. … There’s no question that in that particular area this is the aim of the Red Chinese. It should be apparent that if you could addict a population you would degrade a nation’s moral fiber.”

    Fulton Lewis, Jr., prominent conservative radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist, 1965: “Narcotics of Cuban origin – marijuana, cocaine, opium, and heroin – are now peddled in big cities and tiny hamlets throughout this country. Several Cubans arrested by the Los Angeles police have boasted they are communists.”

    We were also told that along with drugs another tool of the commies to undermine America’s spirit was fluoridation of the water.

  • Mickey Spillane was one of the most successful writers of the 1950s, selling millions of his anti-communist thriller mysteries. Here is his hero, Mike Hammer, in “One Lonely Night”, boasting of his delight in the grisly murders he commits, all in the name of destroying a communist plot to steal atomic secrets. After a night of carnage, the triumphant Hammer gloats, “I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it. I pumped slugs into the nastiest bunch of bastards you ever saw. … They were Commies. … Pretty soon what’s left of Russia and the slime that breeds there won’t be worth mentioning and I’m glad because I had a part in the killing. God, but it was fun!”
  • 1952: A campaign against the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) because it was tainted with “atheism and communism”, and was “subversive” because it preached internationalism. Any attempt to introduce an international point of view in the schools was seen as undermining patriotism and loyalty to the United States. A bill in the US Senate, clearly aimed at UNESCO, called for a ban on the funding of “any international agency that directly or indirectly promoted one-world government or world citizenship.” There was also opposition to UNESCO’s association with the UN Declaration of Human Rights on the grounds that it was trying to replace the American Bill of Rights with a less liberty-giving covenant of human rights.
  • 1955: A US Army 6-page pamphlet, “How to Spot a Communist”, informed us that a communist could be spotted by his predisposition to discuss civil rights, racial and religious discrimination, the immigration laws, anti-subversive legislation, curbs on unions, and peace. Good Americans were advised to keep their ears stretched for such give-away terms as “chauvinism”, “book-burning”, “colonialism”, “demagogy”, “witch hunt”, “reactionary”, “progressive”, and “exploitation”. Another “distinguishing mark” of “Communist language” was a “preference for long sentences.” After some ridicule, the Army rescinded the pamphlet.
  • 1958: The noted sportscaster Bill Stern (one of the heroes of my innocent youth) observed on the radio that the lack of interest in “big time” football at New York University, City College of New York, Chicago, and Harvard “is due to the widespread acceptance of Communism at the universities.”
  • 1960: US General Thomas Power speaking about nuclear war or a first strike by the US: “The whole idea is to kill the bastards! At the end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian, we win!” The response from one of those present was: “Well, you’d better make sure that they’re a man and a woman.”
  • 1966: The Boys Club of America is of course wholesome and patriotic. Imagine their horror when they were confused with the Dubois Clubs. (W.E.B. Du Bois had been a very prominent civil rights activist.) When the Justice Department required the DuBois Clubs to register as a Communist front group, good loyal Americans knew what to do. They called up the Boys Club to announce that they would no longer contribute any money, or to threaten violence against them; and sure enough an explosion damaged the national headquarters of the youth group in San Francisco. Then former Vice President Richard Nixon, who was national board chairman of the Boys Club, declared: “This is an almost classic example of Communist deception and duplicity. The ‘DuBois Clubs’ are not unaware of the confusion they are causing among our supporters and among many other good citizens.”
  • 1966: “Rhythm, Riots and Revolution: An Analysis of the Communist Use of Music, The Communist Master Music Plan”, by David A. Noebel, published by Christian Crusade Publications, (expanded version of 1965 pamphlet: “Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles”). Some chapters: Communist Use of Mind Warfare … Nature of Red Record Companies … Destructive Nature of Beatle Music … Communist Subversion of Folk Music … Folk Music and the Negro Revolution … Folk Music and the College Revolution
  • 1968: William Calley, US Army Lieutenant, charged with overseeing the massacre of more than 100 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai in 1968, said some years later: “In all my years in the Army I was never taught that communists were human beings. We were there to kill ideology carried by – I don’t know – pawns, blobs, pieces of flesh. I was there to destroy communism. We never conceived of old people, men, women, children, babies.”
  • 1977: Scientists theorized that the earth’s protective ozone layer was being damaged by synthetic chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons. The manufacturers and users of CFCs were not happy. They made life difficult for the lead scientist. The president of one aerosol manufacturing firm suggested that criticism of CFCs was “orchestrated by the Ministry of Disinformation of the KGB.”
  • 1978: Life inside a California youth camp of the ultra anti-communist John Birch Society: Five hours each day of lectures on communism, Americanism and “The Conspiracy”; campers learned that the Soviet government had created a famine and spread a virus to kill a large number of citizens and make the rest of them more manageable; the famine led starving adults to eat their children; communist guerrillas in Southeast Asia jammed chopsticks into children’s ears, piercing their eardrums; American movies are all under the control of the Communists; the theme is always that capitalism is no better than communism; you can’t find a dictionary now that isn’t under communist influence; the communists are also taking over the Bibles.
  • The Reagan administration declared that the Russians were spraying toxic chemicals over Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan – the so-called “yellow rain” – and had caused more than ten thousand deaths by 1982 alone, (including, in Afghanistan, 3,042 deaths attributed to 47 separate incidents between the summer of 1979 and the summer of 1981, so precise was the information). Secretary of State Alexander Haig was a prime dispenser of such stories, and President Reagan himself denounced the Soviet Union thusly more than 15 times in documents and speeches. The “yellow rain”, it turned out, was pollen-laden feces dropped by huge swarms of honeybees flying far overhead.
  • 1982: In commenting about sexual harassment in the Army, General John Crosby stated that the Army doesn’t care about soldiers’ social lives – “The basic purpose of the United States Army is to kill Russians,” he said.
  • 1983: The US invasion of Grenada, the home of the Cuban ambassador is damaged and looted by American soldiers; on one wall is written “AA”, symbol of the 82nd Airborne Division; beside it the message: “Eat shit, commie faggot.” … “I want to fuck communism out of this little island,” says a marine, “and fuck it right back to Moscow.”
  • 1984: During a sound check just before his weekly broadcast, President Reagan spoke these words into the microphone: “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I have signed legislation to outlaw Russia, forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” His words were picked up by at least two radio networks.
  • 1985: October 29 BBC interview with Ronald Reagan: asked about the differences he saw between the US and Russia, the president replied: “I’m no linguist, but I’ve been told that in the Russian language there isn’t even a word for freedom.” (The word is “svoboda”.)
  • 1986: Soviet artists and cultural officials criticized Rambo-like American films as an expression of “anti-Russian phobia even more pathological than in the days of McCarthyism”. Russian film-maker Stanislav Rostofsky claimed that on one visit to an American school “a young girl trembled with fury when she heard I was from the Soviet Union, and said she hated Russians.”
  • 1986: Roy Cohn, who achieved considerable fame and notoriety in the 1950s as an assistant to the communist-witch-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy, died, reportedly of AIDS. Cohn, though homosexual, had denied that he was and had denounced such rumors as communist smears.
  • 1986: After American journalist Nicholas Daniloff was arrested in Moscow for “spying” and held in custody for two weeks, New York Mayor Edward Koch sent a group of 10 visiting Soviet students storming out of City Hall in fury. “The Soviet government is the pits,” said Koch, visibly shocking the students, ranging in age from 10 to 18 years. One 14-year-old student was so outraged he declared: “I don’t want to stay in this house. I want to go to the bus and go far away from this place. The mayor is very rude. We never had a worse welcome anywhere.” As matters turned out, it appeared that Daniloff had not been completely pure when it came to his news gathering.
  • 1989: After the infamous Chinese crackdown on dissenters in Tiananmen Square in June, the US news media was replete with reports that the governments of Nicaragua, Vietnam and Cuba had expressed their support of the Chinese leadership. Said the Wall Street Journal: “Nicaragua, with Cuba and Vietnam, constituted the only countries in the world to approve the Chinese Communists’ slaughter of the students in Tiananmen Square.” But it was all someone’s fabrication; no such support had been expressed by any of the three governments. At that time, as now, there were few, if any, organizations other than the CIA which could manipulate major Western media in such a manner.

NOTE: It should be remembered that the worst consequences of anti-communism were not those discussed above. The worst consequences, the ultra-criminal consequences, were the abominable death, destruction, and violation of human rights that we know under various names: Vietnam, Chile, Korea, Guatemala, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brazil, Greece, Afghanistan, El Salvador, and many others.

Al Franken

Poor Al, who made us laugh for years on Saturday Night Live, is now disgraced as a woman molester – not one of the worst of the current pathetic crop, but he still looks bad. However, everything is relative, and it must be pointed out that the Senator is guilty of a worse moral transgression.

The erstwhile comedian would like you to believe that he was against the war in Iraq since it began. But he went to that sad country at least four times to entertain American troops. Does that make sense? Why does the Defense Department bring entertainers to military bases? To lift the soldiers’ spirits of course. And why does the military want to lift the soldiers’ spirits? Because a happier soldier does his job better. And what is the soldier’s job? For example, all the charming war crimes and human-rights violations in Iraq that have been documented in great detail for many years. Didn’t Franken know what American soldiers do for a living?

Country singer Darryl Worley, who leans “a lot to the right,” as he puts it, said he was far from pleased that Franken was coming along on the tour to Iraq. “You know, I just don’t understand – why would somebody be on this tour if they’re not supportive of the war? If he decides to play politics, I’m not gonna put up with it.”

A year after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Franken criticized the Bush administration because they “failed to send enough troops to do the job right.”  What “job” did the man think the troops were sent to do that had not been performed to his standards because of lack of manpower? Did he want them to be more efficient at killing Iraqis who resisted the occupation? The volunteer American troops in Iraq did not even have the defense of having been drafted against their wishes.

Franken has been lifting soldiers’ spirits for a long time. In 2009 he was honored by the United Service Organization (USO) for his ten years of entertaining troops abroad. That includes Kosovo in 1999, as imperialist an occupation as you’ll ever want to see. He called his USO experience “one of the best things I’ve ever done.”  Franken has also spoken at West Point (2005), encouraging the next generation of imperialist warriors. Is this a man to challenge the militarization of America at home and abroad?

Tom Hayden wrote this about Franken in 2005 when Franken had a regular program on the Air America radio network: “Is anyone else disappointed with Al Franken’s daily defense of the continued war in Iraq? Not Bush’s version of the war, because that would undermine Air America’s laudable purpose of rallying an anti-Bush audience. But, well, Kerry’s version of the war, one that can be better managed and won, somehow with better body armor and fewer torture cells.”

While in Iraq to entertain the troops, Franken declared that the Bush administration “blew the diplomacy so we didn’t have a real coalition,” then failed to send enough troops to do the job right. “Out of sheer hubris, they have put the lives of these guys in jeopardy.”

Franken was implying that if the United States had been more successful in bribing and threatening other countries to lend their name to the coalition fighting the war in Iraq the United States would have had a better chance of WINNING the war.

Is this the sentiment of someone opposed to the war? Or in support of it? It is actually the mind of an American liberal in all its depressing mushiness.

To be put on the tombstone of Western civilization

On November 15, 2017, at Christie’s auction house in New York City, a painting was sold for $450,312,500.

Notes

  1. Washington Post, November 12, 2017
  2. Washington Post, October 10, 2017
  3. Washington Post, November 15, 2017
  4. Reuters, November 12, 2017
  5. Washington Post, November 2, 2017
  6. Wikipedia entry for George Kennan
  7. Sources for almost all of this section can be found in William Blum, “Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire” (2005), chapter 12; or the author can be queried at bblum6@aol.com
  8. Washington Post, February 16, 2004
  9. Ibid.
  10. Star Tribune, Minneapolis, March 26, 2009
  11. Huffington Post, June 2005
  12. Washington Post, February 16, 2004

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to williamblum.org is provided.

‘Hostility Between US and Russia Won’t End Until Trump Leaves Office’ – Analyst
| November 19, 2017 | 6:26 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Russia | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711171059186020-hostility-russia-us-until-trump-leaves-office/

‘Hostility Between US and Russia Won’t End Until Trump Leaves Office’ – Analyst

Official residence of the U.S. President, the White House in Washington D.C.

‘Hostility Between US and Russia Won’t End Until Trump Leaves Office’ – Analyst

© Sputnik/ Natalia Seliverstova
Opinion

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Russia’s State Duma has adopted in the third and final reading an amendment that allows it to mark media outlets funded by foreign countries as foreign agents, in response to US actions. Radio Sputnik has discussed the issue with Stephen Ebert, an independent political analyst.

Sputnik: Is there any likelihood that the US will change its hostile policy towards the Russian media and get a message that their step was wrong?

Stephen Ebert: I actually do not see that in the near future. I think at this point we have come across a bridge. I personally look at requirements depending on what the word “foreign agent” means, but I don’t find it terribly unusual. Having said that, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So I take it from a broader picture, I see this globally. Countries have the right to track or keep track of foreign [media]. And Russia is a foreign country.

I don’t necessarily find it that horrible as long as we all play by the same rules, which to me is what Russia is now doing.

And I would say this: As long as Trump is in  office I guarantee you that any of that hostility, it just won’t end. There is just really a bad feeling in America and it tends to have a lot to do with Trump to be honest, so I think if and when it ends, it won’t end while Trump is president.

Sputnik: How will the ongoing tensions affect the work of journalists in both countries? What impact will it have on international journalism in general?

Stephen Ebert: I have to say and I am a bit embarrassed as I haven’t read into the details of the foreign agent’s requirements. I don’t see a lot of impact on the work of journalists here, but at the same time […] I am not so sure it’s the foreign agent’s law. The US journalistic community has been stunningly insensitive to the work of Russian journalists.

I think leading up to this foreign agents thing that’s particularly troublesome and the fact that almost every media outlet here, it’s not a fake news. But every media outlet tends to always say that if there is a Russian journalist, they work for state-controlled media. And they have been saying that forever and they have been treating them as such. They may not have run up on the street saying, “Hey we are going to take your microphone and camera away.” And I don’t think they will now. But they haven’t treated them as colleagues, they just haven’t. So I don’t think they will get perceivably worse for the work in any country. From what I have seen from Russia they have been more reactive in the last four, five years.

People like symmetrical answers and I don’t see Russia chasing down Western journalists in Moscow.

The Soviet WWII Counteroffensive That Changed the Course of History
| November 19, 2017 | 6:16 pm | Action, Red Army, Russia, struggle against fascism, USSR | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/military/201711191059238666-stalingrad-75th-anniversary-analysis/

The Soviet WWII Counteroffensive That Changed the Course of History

Battles in Stalingrad

The Soviet WWII Counteroffensive That Changed the Course of History

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Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Soviet counteroffensive at Stalingrad, a dramatic battle that routed Axis armies and became the turning point in the war against the Nazis. Russian military journalist Andrei Stanavov looks back on the key events of the battle and its lessons.

Between late 1942 and early 1943, along the snow-covered steppes off the banks of the Volga River, the Nazi war machine suffered the most devastating defeat in its history – one from which it would never fully recover.

The Soviet counteroffensive around Stalingrad, known as ‘Operatsiya Uran’ (Operation Uranus) started on November 19, and continued until February 2, 1943. The daring operation, planned by Soviet High Command and executed by Generals Georgy Zhukov, Konstantin Rokossovsky, Alexander Vasilevsky and Nikolai Vatutin, culminated in the encirclement and liquidation of a 300,000+ Wehrmacht army group led by Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus and units from Germany’s Axis partners.

‘Hell on Earth’

The battle was preceded by the Nazi offensive into southern Russia and the Caucasus in the summer of 1942, during which Nazi Germany reached the zenith of its territorial gains following its invasion of the USSR. Among the goals of the operation was Stalingrad, the strategic industrial city on the Volga with the additional, symbolic importance of carrying the namesake of Soviet leader Josef Stalin, the commander in chief of the Red Army.

Wehrmacht troops in the ruins of Stalingrad, September 1942
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Wehrmacht troops in the ruins of Stalingrad, September 1942

For over two months, Nazi mechanized units, artillery and aviation advanced on Stalingrad, pressing against the Soviet 62nd and 64th Armies and methodically razing the city itself to the ground.

“Nevertheless,” Russian military journalist and RIA Novosti contributor Andrei Stanavov recalled, “the enemy did not succeed in taking the embankment of the Volga and the city center, in spite of their fivefold superiority in numbers and firepower.”

“Stalingrad is hell on earth – Verdun – beautiful Verdun, with new weapons. We attack on a daily basis. If in the morning we manage to advance 20 meters, in the evening the Russians throw us backward.” This was how Wehrmacht private Walter Oppermann described the Stalingrad campaign, in a letter to his brother dated November 18, 1942, one day before the start of the Soviet counteroffensive.

Soviet troops defend a house in Stalingrad
© Sputnik/ George Zelma
Soviet troops defend a house in Stalingrad

Loathe to comparisons of Stalingrad to the bloody WWI meat grinder, Hitler demanded that his generals throw their battered units into Stalingrad again and again. The last push, which began in the fall and involved five infantry and two tank divisions, was halted by Vasily Chuikov’s depleted and pocketed but defiant 62nd Army, which refused to give a single street, house, or room to the enemy without a fight.

“By mid-November, the Germans had been halted along the entire front and forced to switch to defense and entrenchment,” Stanavov wrote. “In total, over 1,000 German tanks, 1,400 aircraft, 2,000 guns and mortars were lost, and 700,000 Wehrmacht soldiers and officers died or were wounded before the impenetrable walls of the city. Quickly assessing the situation, Soviet High Command decided not to give the enemy any time to rest, deciding instead on beginning a crushing counterblow.”

German troops passing through a wrecked generating station in the factory district of Stalingrad on Dec. 28, 1942
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German troops passing through a wrecked generating station in the factory district of Stalingrad on Dec. 28, 1942

With the Nazis bogged down in and around the city, the Red Army amassed a powerful grouping of forces from the South-Western, Don, Stalingrad and Voronezh fronts and concentrated them at Stalingrad, reinforcing them with mechanized units from the reserve. The group included more than a million troops, 15,000 guns and mortars, about 2,000 aircraft, and 1,500 tanks and self-propelled artillery pieces.

“By November 1942, from the operational point of view, the Wehrmacht was not in the most favorable position on the approaches to Stalingrad,” the military journalist explained. “Focused on their assault, the Germans moved their best strike formations into the city, covering the flanks with weak Romanian and Italian divisions. It would be against them that the powerful dual blows from the Red Army forces in the South-Western and Stalingrad fronts would come. Soviet command chose the Serafimovich and Keltskaya areas as the bridgeheads for the assaults, as well as the Sarpinsky Lakes area, located to the south of the city.”

Soviet troops in action using anti-tank rifles around Stalingrad
© Sputnik/ Georgi Zelma
Soviet troops in action using anti-tank rifles around Stalingrad

‘Stunned and Confused’

On November 19, troops from the South-Western Front under the command of Colonel-General Vatutin and part of the Don Front started their offensive. Striking the Axis grouping in its left flank from the north in a lightening advance, the Red Army broke through the Romanian 3rd Army’s defenses, driving enemy forces back 35 km. A day later, rifle divisions from the Stalingrad Front commanded by Colonel-General Andrei Yeremenko struck from the southeast, smashing the 4th Romanian Army and advancing 30 km, softening up enemy entrenchments with 80 minutes of concentrated artillery fire.

One German intelligence officer later recalled the impending disaster about to befall the Wehrmacht: “Stunned and confused, we did not take our eyes off the maps…Thick red lines and arrows indicated the directions of the multiple enemy attacks, flanking maneuvers, and areas where they had broken through. With all our foreboding, we could not even imagine the possibility of such a tremendous catastrophe!”

Consolidating its breakthroughs, the Red Army then began moving the breakthrough groups toward one another. On November 22, the Soviet 26th Tank Corps seized the bridge across the Don and took the town of Kalach –directly behind the German 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Corps. In the space of a few days, the Red Army proceeded to create an iron ring around the 300,000-strong Axis force, including German, Romanian, Italian, Croatian and collaborationist units from the occupied Soviet territories, trapping 22 German divisions and over 160 individual units. By November 30, enemy attempts to break out of the encirclement were stopped.

Stanavov recalled: “The surrounded Axis troops occupied an area covering over 1,500 square km; the length of the perimeter of the pocket stretched 174 km…Deprived of food, ammunition, fuel and medicine, Field Marshal Paulus’ soldiers and officers froze in —30 degree cold. Dying of hunger, they ate almost all of their horses, and hunted for dogs, cats and birds. Notwithstanding the obvious hopelessness of the situation, directives ordering them to ‘fight to the end and not to surrender’ continued to come from Berlin.”

Fighting around Stalingrad, winter 1942/43
© Sputnik/ Oleg Knorring
Fighting around Stalingrad, winter 1942/43

Starting in December, Hermann Hoth’s 30-division-strong Army Group Don attempted to break through the ring in the area near the village of Kotelnikovo. They were met by the 122,000-troop-strong 2nd Guards Army commanded by Leiutenant General Rodion Malinovsky. In fierce battles, Hoth’s tanks got bogged down along the Myshkova River, and the offensive was stopped. Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, the commander of the operation, asked the Fuhrer to allow Paulus to attempt to break through to meet Hoth, but Hitler refused, believing the Sixth Army could still hold on to Stalingrad.

Turning Point in WWII

During fighting between January and early February 1943, the Red Army’s Don Front forces, commanded by General Konstantin Rokossovsky, gradually cut the encircled group up into several pieces and destroyed it. On January 31, Paulus and his command were captured, and promptly surrendered. Axis troops and officers surrendered in droves, notwithstanding orders from Berlin not to do so. The remainder of the 6th Army capitulated on February 2, 1943. An estimated 91,500 troops, including 2,500 officers and 24 generals were captured.

The last Nazi troops leaving liberated Stalingrad, 1943.
© Sputnik/ Georgy Zelma
The last Nazi troops leaving liberated Stalingrad, 1943.

For many years after the battle, Western historians accused the USSR of deliberately mistreating Axis prisoners of war. Soviet and Russian historians have gone on to counter the claims, pointing out that most of the enemy troops were taken into captivity after having been seriously weakened by the fighting and the ensuing three months of starvation while encircled.

In the first three months after their capture, the prisoner death rate at the specially organized Camp #108 outside Stalingrad’s working settlement at Beketovka was extremely high, with around 27,000 POWs having reportedly died on the way to the camp or shortly after arriving. About 35,100 others underwent treatment at hospitals set up at the camp; another 28,100 were sent to hospitals at other locations. Only about 20,000 of the prisoners were deemed capable of labor, and were sent to do construction work. Following the terrible spike in mortality in the first three months, mortality rates for the troops captured at Stalingrad stabilized, and between July 1943 and January 1949, a total of 1,777 prisoners perished. With the exception of those troops and officers convicted of war crimes, the last POWs from the Battle of Stalingrad were released to Germany in 1949.

Stalingrad became the main turning point in the European Theater of World War II, and Nazi Germany’s first major defeat following the air-based Battle of Britain in 1940. In 1943, after their defeat in the massive tank battles at Kursk, and the Allied invasion of Italy, the Nazis’ total and unconditional capitulation became only a matter of time. Stalingrad was the first nail in that coffin.

RussiaGate’s Anti-RT Repression: The Snake Eats Its Own Tail
| November 9, 2017 | 7:26 pm | Russia | No comments

RussiaGate’s Anti-RT Repression: The Snake Eats Its Own Tail

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21:24 09.11.2017(updated 21:26 09.11.2017) Get short URL

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The US’ decision to have RT register as a “foreign agent” wasn’t surprising in and of itself, but the suddenness of the imposed deadline suggests that Washington doesn’t want the broadcaster to comply with these new regulations and that the government is looking for a “legal pretext” to shut the company down.

RT just announced that the Justice Department is demanding that it register as a “foreign agent” by Monday, with editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan slamming the decision as a “cannibalistic deadline”.

I wrote about how the US’ “Foreign Agents Registration Act” (FARA) is being abused to intimidate Americans in an earlier article for Oriental Review titled “State-Sponsored Intimidation, Or When FARA Goes Too Far”, and the general idea is that this piece of pre-World War II-era legislation is being wielded as a weapon against the US’ supposedly sacred value of free speech in order to snuff out all dissenting voices that contradict the Mainstream Media narrative and aren’t part of the “controlled opposition”.

US Demands RT America’s Registration as Foreign Agent Until Nov. 13

That’s why the US government is so insistent on branding RT as a “foreign agent”, but it also wants to deter experts from cooperating with the platform in sharing their views. Not only that, but another motive is to intimidate the broadcaster’s American staff to leave their jobs under the threat of forever having the “scarlet letter” of FARA attached to their resumes, which is enough to make many debt-strapped college graduates think twice about working at RT.

All told, these disturbing outcomes signify that the US is now openly flouting its unstated global ideology in promoting “human rights” and “freedom” by depriving RT and its employees of their freedom of speech, understanding of course that the decree to have the company blacklisted as a “foreign agent” is being done with blatant double standards due to the government’s refusal to have other publicly financed international media outlets do the same as well.

As the saying goes, “the revolution devours its children”, and the American Revolution that gave rise to the freedom of speech as enshrined in the US’ First Amendment is now devouring itself nearly two and a half centuries after its founding, which is what Ms. Simonyan was hinting at when she referred to the impossible decision as a “cannibalistic deadline”.

Like I wrote about in my earlier Sputnik column last week, RussiaGate represents the “Soft Power Suicide Of A Superpower”, and by making it extremely difficult for RT to meet the Justice Department’s deadline on time, the US is laying the groundwork for taking legal action against it for potential noncompliance, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from eventually shuttering its offices and forcing the company out of the country.

Moscow Vows Prompt Response to US Demand on RT Registration Under FARA

Of course, the government might not be so brazen as to publicly admit that this is what’s actually going on, but the effect of harassing RT in the manner that the US government presently is doing amounts to nothing more than making it all but impossible to work, just as Ms. Simonyan earlier said as well.

The height of irony is that the US oftentimes rails against its geopolitical opponents for their own administrative actions against various entities within their territory, deliberately decontextualizing their moves in order to make it seem as though Russia, China, Iran, and others are “dictatorships hell-bent on suppressing their own citizens”, though in this case such an ordinarily hyperbolic and misleading polemic is much more relevant to apply to the US itself because it accurately captures the gist of Washington’s War on Alt-Media, including against its own countrymen who hold dissenting views and aren’t scared to publicly share them.

There might have been a time when the image of a bald eagle proudly spreading its wings encapsulated the essence of the American Dream and what the US stood for in the eyes of the world, but nowadays the country’s new national symbol would more aptly be that of a snake eating its own tail.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.