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Fire This Time: Ukraine Protesters Burned Alive - Again

Burning Ukraine's Protesters Alive
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
andriy-parubiy-216x300In Ukraine, a grisly new strategy – bringing in neo-Nazi paramilitary forces to set fire to occupied buildings in the country’s rebellious southeast – appears to be emerging as a favored tactic as the coup-installed regime in Kiev seeks to put down resistance from ethnic Russians and other opponents.
 
Ukrainian Secretary for National Security Andriy Parubiy 

 The technique first emerged on May 2 in the port city of Odessa when pro-regime militants chased dissidents into the Trade Unions Building and then set it on fire.

As some 40 or more ethnic Russians were burned alive or died of smoke inhalation, the crowd outside mocked them as red-and-black Colorado potato beetles, with the chant of “Burn, Colorado, burn.” Afterwards, reporters spotted graffiti on the building’s walls containing Swastika-like symbols and honoring the “Galician SS,” the Ukrainian adjunct to the German SS in World War II.
 
This tactic of torching an occupied building occurred again on May 9 in Mariupol, another port city, as neo-Nazi paramilitaries – organized now as the regime’s “National Guard” – were dispatched to a police station that had been seized by dissidents, possibly including police officers who rejected a new Kiev-appointed chief.
 

Who Protects Us From the Protectors?

Call the Cops at Your Peril
by Paul Craig Roberts - ICH
Live free or die” is the motto of the state of New Hampshire. I hope the residents are prepared to die, because living free is not what they do.NH is merely a cog within the Amerikan Stasi State, but I am referring to what goes on within NH itself, not the police state existence imposed by Washington.On May 5 attorney William Baer was arrested at a school board meeting at which he went over a 2-minute speaking rule while trying to get some explanation from the Gilford, NH, school board for assigning sexually explicit reading material to his 14-year old daughter’s English class.
 
The evasiveness of the school board angered Mr. Baer, and he spoke out again in support of another parents protests, and was promptly arrested by a goon thug cop.

The school board chairman, Sue Allen, who has no legislative power nevertheless managed to create a law backed by police violence. After all if Bush and Obama can create laws by edict, why not a school board chairman? Under Allen’s edict, if a parent violates the 2-minute rule that Allen imposed, she has the parent arrested. The goon thug cop wasn’t embarrassed to arrest a parent for making a legitimate complaint during the public comment period of a school board meeting.
 
Remember, we “freedom and democracy” ‘mericans have free speech and protest rights. Actually, don’t remember that, because you no longer have any such rights. These rights are dangerous. They enable terrorists and extremists such as those dangerous people who don’t believe The Government.
 
This is Amerika today. Mr Baer offered no resistance, but nevertheless was lucky that the goon thug cop did not taser him, pepper spray him, and call for a backup SWAT team to beat him senseless or even murder him.

How Boko Haram Aids the West's New Conquest of Africa

Boko Haram V. Nigeria's Crooks
by Eric Margolis
The kidnapping of some 200 girls in northern Nigeria has sparked world outrage. It’s a perfect media sensation: exotic locale and remarkably nasty kidnappers from a northern rebel movement, Boko Haram.

I’ve long been a connoisseur of Third World nasties, starting way back in the 60’s with Haiti’s voodoo chief, Papa Doc. Most have been nobodies who achieved instant international prominence by shooting off their mouths, making lurid threats and committing some dramatic outrage.

The latest is Boko Haram’s chief, a certain Abubakar Shekau. This lunatic has become a world bogeyman by kidnapping the school girls, gleefully prancing in front of TV cameras, and vowing to sell them into marital slavery.

Howls of fury erupted from leftist women’s groups in the US, and from President Barack Obama’s liberal warrior women, Susan Rice and UN ambassador Susan Powers. Hillary Clinton lost no time in jumping on this vote-winning issue.

In a truly heartwarming gesture, China says it will send “specialists” to aid the hunt for the missing girls. This is really about China’s race for Africa’s resources and its growing competition there with the US and Europe. The US wants its troops there before the Chinese arrive.

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An Israeli Pivot to Asia

Israeli Ties Compromise Asian Support to Arabs
by Nicola Nasser
Israel has carved economic inroads into Asia deep enough to compromise the traditional Asian political support for Arabs. If this trend continues, the growing economic Israeli-Asian relations could in no time translate into political ties that would neutralize Asia in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s official visit to Japan from May 11-15 is not a historic breakthrough per se in bilateral relations that date back to 1952. Neither is the normalization of relations in “a matter of weeks” between Israel and Turkey, which was the first major Muslim country to recognize the State of Israel in 1949, as promised by the Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 27.
 
However both events should highlight the historic breakthrough Israel has discreetly achieved in pivoting to Asia, once an Arab reservoir of support in their conflict with Israel over Palestine.
 

In with the Old: Inaugurating Another Cold War

“The Russians are coming … again … and they’re still ten feet tall!”
by William Blum - Anti-Empire Report
blum democracy coverSo, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded.

Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror.
 
And how did this latest example of American foreign-policy exceptionalism come to be?
 
One starting point that can be considered is what former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates says in his recently published memoir: “When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, [Defense Secretary Dick Cheney] wanted to see the dismemberment not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.”
 
That can serve as an early marker for the new cold war while the corpse of the old one was still warm. Soon thereafter, NATO began to surround Russia with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members, while yearning for perhaps the most important part needed to complete the circle – Ukraine.
 

Western Warmongering and Lies Can Lead Only to Greater War

Western Warmongering Based on Lies and Fabrication
by Finian Cunningham - Strategic Culture Foundation
Nearly a year ago American whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the global scale of US government spying. With an annual budget of over $50 billion, the National Security Agency has the technology and the highest political backing to tap into any phone call, email or other electronic communication – anywhere and at anytime. Even, said the Snowden, a president of the US is vulnerable to the NSA’s invasive spying power, such is the agency’s totalitarian reach.

Perhaps the most famous snoop conducted by the NSA was the revelation that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal mobile phone was being tracked. Merkel’s is just one of billions of private communications that the NSA have access to, according to Snowden’s disclosures. And Russia is among the top international targets for American eavesdropping.

Yet with all this capacity to breach private communications, the vast global web of American spy technology has not been able to produce a single piece of evidence to support Washington’s high-flown claims that Russia is secretly orchestrating protests in Ukraine.

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Failing to Get Putin: The Why of NATO's Willful Ignorance

To Understand or Not to Understand Putin
by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch
diana johstoneParis - In Germany these days, very many citizens object to the endless Russia-bashing of the NATO-oriented mainstream media. They may point out that the U.S.-backed regime change in Kiev, putting in power an ultra-right transitional government eager to join NATO, posed an urgent threat to preservation of Russia’s only warm water naval base in Crimea. Under the circumstances, and inasmuch as the Crimean population overwhelmingly approved, reinstating Crimea in the Russian federation was a necessary defensive move.
 
In Germany, anyone who says thing like that can be denigrated as a “Putinversteher” (a Putin understander).
 
That says it all. We are not supposed to understand. We are supposed to hate. The media are there to see to that.
 
While the West doggedly refuses to understand Putin and Russia, Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, seems to understand things pretty well.
 
He seems to understand that he and his nation are being systematically lured into a death trap by an enemy which excels in the contemporary art of “communication”. In a war situation, NATO communication means that it doesn’t matter who does what. The only thing that matters is who tells the story. The Western media are telling the story in a way which depends on not understanding Russia, and not understanding Putin. Putin and Russia become fictional villains in the Western version, just the latest reincarnation of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
 

Turning the Lights Off in Washington: State Hits Kill Switch on Fulbright Program

Washington's Pivot to Ignorance: Will the State Department Torpedo Its Last Great Program?
by Ann Jones - TomDispatch
ann jones they were soldiers coverOften it’s the little things coming out of Washington, obscured by the big, scary headlines, that matter most in the long run. Items that scarcely make the news, or fail to attract your attention, or once noticed seem trivial, may carry consequences that endure long after the latest front-page crisis has passed. They may, in fact, signal fundamental changes in Washington’s priorities and policies that could even face opposition, if only we paid attention.

Take the current case of an unprecedented, unkind, under-the-radar cut in the State Department’s budget for the Fulbright Program, the venerable 68-year-old operation that annually arranges for thousands of educators, students, and researchers to be exchanged between the United States and at least 155 other countries.

As Washington increasingly comes to rely on the “forward projection” of military force to maintain its global position, the Fulbright Program may be the last vestige of an earlier, more democratic, equitable, and generous America that enjoyed a certain moral and intellectual standing in the world. Yet, long advertised by the U.S. government as “the flagship international educational exchange program" of American cultural diplomacy, it is now in the path of the State Department’s torpedoes.
 

Ukraine's Workers' Revolt

The Kiev Putsch: Rebel Workers Take Power in the East
by James Petras
Not since the US and EU took over Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, East Germany, Poland and the Balkans and converted them into military outposts of NATO and economic vassals, have the Western powers moved so aggressively to seize a strategic country, such as the Ukraine, posing an existential threat to Russia.

Up until 2013 the Ukraine was a ‘buffer state’, basically a non-aligned country, with economic ties to both the EU and Russia. Ruled by a regime closely tied to local, European, Israeli and Russian based oligarchs, the political elite was a product of a political upheaval in 2004, (the so-called “Orange Revolution”) funded by the US. Subsequently, for the better part of a decade the Ukraine underwent a failed experiment in Western backed ‘neo-liberal’ economic policies. After nearly two decades of political penetration, the US and EU were deeply entrenched in the political system via long-standing funding of so-called non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), political parties and paramilitary groups.

The strategy of the US and EU was to install a pliant regime which would bring Ukraine into the European Common Market and NATO as a subordinate client state.
 

Impossible and Indespensible: Understanding Syria

Navigating Syria: The Impossible, Indispensable Mission
by Ramzy Baroud  - Palestine Chronicle
I unfriended another Facebook friend this week. It may seem to be a trivial matter, but for me, it is not. The reason behind my action was Syria. As in Egypt, Syria has instigated many social media breakups with people whom, until then, were regarded with a degree of respect and admiration.
 
But this is not a social media affair. The problems lie at the core of the Syrian conflict, with all of its manifestations, be they political, sectarian, ideological, cultural, and intellectual. While on the left (not the establishment left of course) Palestine has brought many like-minded people together, Egypt has fragmented that unity, and Syria has crushed and pulverized it to bits.
 
Those who cried over the victims of Israeli wars on Gaza, did not seem very concerned about Palestinians starving to death in the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. Some squarely blamed the Syrian government for the siege that killed hundreds, while others blamed the rebels. Some writers even went further, blaming the residents of the camp. Somehow, the refugees were implicated in their own misery and needed to be collectively punished for showing sympathy to the Syrian opposition.
 
The only line of logic that exists in the Yarmouk narrative, as in the Syrian story as a whole, is that there is no logic. It has turned out that solidarity with Palestinians has limits. If forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad do the shooting – and the shelling and the starving – then the plight of the refugees is open for discussion.
 
It also has turned out that some of those who pose as human rights activists are rarely compelled by ethical priorities, but rather dogmatic ideology that is so rigid it has no space for a sensible argument based on a serious investigation of facts.
 

Outliving Fear's Existential Usefulness

The Fear Factor: Caution in Our Genes
by Ray Grigg - Shades of Green
Fear is in our genes. This is the argument presented by the theoretical psychologist, Dr. Nicholas Humphrey of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In his studies on the evolution of intelligence and consciousness he advances the notion that we are inherently cautious as the result of a stressful and traumatic history — a caution that continues to affect how we perceive the world and, therefore, how we assess and respond to risk.
 
Given the insights now provided by the science of epigenetics and the known influence of ancestral experience on subsequent genetic structure and expression, Humphrey's notion about this embedded source of fear is convincingly credible.
 
“It is not so long,” he writes, “in terms of biological evolution, since our ancestors emerged from the terrible social and material conditions of the late ice-ages.
Humans who migrated from Africa to Europe were under almost constant threat of famine, ill-health and predation. The genetic memory of those dreadful years has left our species still burdened with anxieties that we cannot easily throw off. So, even today, we modern humans approach life defensively” (NewScientist, “Placebos at Large”, Aug. 3/13). 

Indeed, only a few short centuries have passed since the civilizing institutions of our current society have provided the law, order and security that are the basis of our social structure.