On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us

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The New Cold War with Russia?

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Is the West backing a Gangster State in Ukraine? asked what the hell is going on in the Ukraine.  Now the temperature has been hugely ramped up by the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane.   Professor Steven Cohen speaking to Democracy Now says that we may never know who was responsible… whether it was vested interests or a horrible mistake.  However, he says: I don’t want to prioritize death—I mean, whose death is worse or not so worse. But the reality is… if you’re going to ask an historian…. that the conflict in the Middle East, including Iraq, is going to affect regional politics, but the conflict in Ukraine is going to affect global politics, because we are now in a new Cold War with Russia. Furthermore, Professor Cohen discounts the role of Russia because ‘the Russians certainly had no motive here. This is horrible for Putin and for the Russian position.’

Nevertheless, our corporate press leans towards, or is even overtly blaming Russia, whilst the US are pushing for greater and greater sanctions to be applied. This is a profoundly dangerous situation and it seems that we are again being badly served by our media.  Intelligence author William Engdahl was reported as saying that there is a ‘… tiny power cabal that have so much power in Washington, they want not only a new cold war, they want a new hot war.’

The dread is that such a tiny power cabal are intent on replicating the conditions from a  handbook for ‘world domination’:  Nineteen Eighty Four revisited – Is there a ‘world domination’ study course?

Transcript of the Democracy Now interview with Professor Steven Cohen is reposted below:

 

Stephen Cohen: Downed Malaysian Plane Raises Risk of War Between Russia and the West - transcript of video interview which was posted on democracynow.org 18.07.14

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 298 people has exploded and crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing everyone on board. U.S. and Ukrainian officials say the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile, but it’s unclear who fired the missile. The plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with passengers from at least 10 countries on board, including 173 Dutch nationals, 44 Malaysians and 27 Australians. As many as 100 of the world’s leading AIDS researchers and advocates were reportedly on the plane en route to a conference in Australia, including the pioneering researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society, Joep Lange. Both sides in Ukraine’s conflict are blaming each other for downing the plane. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed to launch a full investigation into what happened.

PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK: We must, and we will, find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone will be left unturned. If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.

AMY GOODMAN: After the plane crashed, Russian media quoted witnesses saying they saw the plane being hit by what looked like a rocket. There have been several other recent disputes over planes being attacked over eastern Ukraine. On Thursday, Ukrainian officials blamed the Russian air force for shooting down one of its ground attack jets and a transport plane earlier in the week. Over the past few days, Western governments have expressed growing concern that Russia is ramping up its military support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. The United States strengthened its economic sanctions against Russia this week, but the European Union has so far declined to follow suit.

For more, we’re joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent piece for The Nation is headlined, “The Silence of American Hawks About Kiev’s Atrocities.” His book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War, is out in paperback.

Professor Cohen, welcome to Democracy Now! What do you think we should understand about what has taken place?

STEPHEN COHEN: The horror of it all, to quote Conrad, watching your reports on Gaza, knowing what I know but what’s not being reported in the mainstream media about what’s been going on in eastern Ukraine cities—these cities have been pounded by Kiev—and now this. “Emeritus,” as you call me, means old. I’ve seen this before. One function of cold war is innocent victims. The people who died, nearly 300, from many countries, are the first victims, nonresidential victims, of the new Cold War. This crash, this shootdown, will make everything worse, no matter who did it.

There are several theoretical possibilities. I am not a conspiracy buff, but we know in the history of the Cold War, there are provocations, people who want to make things worse. So, in Moscow, and not only in Moscow, there are theories that somebody wanted this to happen. I just can’t believe anybody would do it, but you can’t rule anything out.

The other possibility is, because the Ukrainian government itself has a capability to shoot down planes. By the way, the Ukrainian government shot down a Russian passenger jet, I think in 2001. It was flying from Tel Aviv to Siberia. It was an accident. Competence is always a factor when you have these weapons.

Another possibility is that the rebels—we call them separatists, but they weren’t separatists in the beginning, they just wanted home rule in Ukraine—that they had the capability. But there’s a debate, because this plane was flying at commercial levels, normally beyond the reach of what they can carry on their shoulders.

There’s the possibility that the Russians aided and abetted them, possibly from Russian territory, but I rule that out because, in the end, when you don’t know who has committed a crime, the first question a professional investigator asks is, “Did anybody have a motive?” and the Russians certainly had no motive here. This is horrible for Putin and for the Russian position.

That’s what we know so far. Maybe we’ll know more. We may never know who did this.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, the Obama administration has expanded U.S. sanctions on Russia in the latest round of a standoff over Ukraine. Speaking at the White House, President Obama said Russia has failed to drop military support for pro-Russian separatists.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Given its continued provocations in Ukraine, today I have approved a new set of sanctions on some of Russia’s largest companies and financial institutions. Along with our allies, with whom I have been coordinating closely the last several days and weeks, I have repeatedly made it clear that Russia must halt the flow of weapons and fighters across the border into Ukraine, that Russia must urge separatists to release their hostages and support a ceasefire, that Russia needs to pursue internationally mediated talks and agree to meaningful monitors on the border.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Your response?

STEPHEN COHEN: Sanctions are beside the point. Obviously they’ll cause economic pain, possibly equally to Europe, which doesn’t want them, didn’t want them. Major American corporations took out ads in major American newspapers before Obama did this, asking Obama not to do it. When you resort to sanctions, it means you have no policy. You have an attitude. And the anti-Putin attitude in Washington is driving American policy.

Let me mention, because I think it’s relevant to what you’re covering here, your very, very powerful segments before I came on today about what’s going on in Gaza, the pounding of these cities, the defenselessness of ordinary people. The same thing has been happening in East Ukrainian cities—bombing, shelling, mortaring by the Kiev government—whatever we think of that government. But that government is backed 150 percent by the White House. Every day, the White House and the State Department approve of what Kiev’s been doing. We don’t know how many innocent civilians, women and children, have died. We know there’s probably several hundred thousand refugees that have run from these cities. The cities are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kramatorsk, Slovyansk—a whole series of cities whose names are not familiar to Americans. The fact is, Americans know nothing about this. We know something about what’s happening in Gaza, and there’s a division of opinion in the United States: The Israelis should do this, the Israelis should not do this. But we know there are victims: We see them. Sometimes the mainstream media yanks a reporter, as you just showed, who shows it too vividly, because it offends the perception of what’s right or wrong. But we are not shown anything about what’s happened in these Ukrainian cities, these eastern Ukrainian cities.

Why is that important? Because this airliner, this shootdown, took place in that context. The American media says it must have been the bad guys—that is, the rebels—because they’ve shot down other airplanes. This is true, but the airplanes they’ve been shooting down are Ukraine’s military warplanes that have come to bomb the women and children of these cities. We don’t know that.

AMY GOODMAN: There have been several discussions—in the corporate media, it was said that this plane might have had a sort of unusual path, had gone further south, and that they thought it was a Ukrainian military plane.

STEPHEN COHEN: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: Also, in terms of the black boxes, that Ukrainian officials and NTSB cannot get there because it’s rebel-held territory, and that the rebels might have taken the black boxes.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, the rebels have said they’re going to turn them over to Moscow, and Moscow will not conceal them. I mean, Moscow is going to play openness, so far as we know. But what’s preposterous, of course, is the prime minister of Malaysia coming out and telling us that Malaysia will uncover this mystery, when it still can’t find its missing airliner. This is just absolutely preposterous. But you’re right, the investigation is going to be politicized. Will we ever know?

Let me make the point again, though, because you hearkened back to it: This is a war zone. It’s a war zone. It’s been a war zone, an air war zone, for at least a month. Americans don’t know that. I hear you’ve shown it. But that’s—

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, that’s one of the reasons that—well, what I wanted to ask you is, because of what’s been going on in Syria, in Iraq, and now with the Israeli attacks on Gaza, it’s almost as if what’s going on in Ukraine has receded in the consciousness of the media here in this country, even though it’s conceivably much more dangerous and has more long-term impact on the United States.

STEPHEN COHEN: I don’t want to prioritize death—I mean, whose death is worse or not so worse. But the reality is, if you’re going to ask an historian, that the conflict in the Middle East, including Iraq, is going to affect regional politics, but the conflict in Ukraine is going to affect global politics, because we are now in a new Cold War with Russia. We have been for several months. One aspect of cold war is civilian deaths. We’ve had these shootdowns. We had them in the old Cold War. This is going to get worse. It also brings us closer to war between Russia and the West, NATO and the United States. So, if you’re going to ask which is more important—Russians have a saying that, which is worse? And the answer is, both are worse. They’re all worse. But if you’re going to ask which is going to have impact for our grandchildren, it’s what’s going on in Ukraine now.

AMY GOODMAN: We only have 30 seconds, but Obama announcing stricter sanctions against Russia, how significant is this? It was a day before the downing of the plane.

STEPHEN COHEN: I’ll repeat what I said before: By resorting to sanctions, Obama reminds us he has no policy toward Ukraine or Russia other than to blame Putin. That’s not a policy; that’s an attitude.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics, New York University and Princeton University. We’ll link to his piece in The Nation. His latest book, just out in paperback, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to“democracynow.org”.

The Secret Deal that Threatens the Food on Your Plate

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A controversial trade deal between the EU and the US is now being negotiated. The biggest in history, it has the power to affect every part of the food chain.  Untangling the EU-US trade talks : What are the big concerns for food & farming?  What might be the consequences for our food and farming?

The Secret Deal that Threatens the Food on Your Plate

Published on Mar 19, 2014

 

Why is TTIP more than a trade agreement?

Is the West backing a Gangster State in Ukraine?

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What the hell is happening in Ukraine?  Where’s the reporting of the frightening developments described in the video clip below?  Contrast these quotes from the clip with the relative complacency of most MSM reports:

Leading intelligence author William Engdahl’s investigated post-coup Ukraine (and) finds what’s happened is “so astonishing as almost to defy belief”.

Ukraine’s new coalition calls officially for “pre-emptive nuclear strikes”.

Pensions halved to $3 a day, heating costs doubled, forced sell-off of the country’s land and resources – all part of IMF “knee-breakers” imposed round the world, now in Ukraine.

Kolomoysky has his own private army, and set up the Azov Battalion of openly Nazi mercenaries, which London’s Sunday Times admits is behind the bloodshed that has caused revulsion among the population.

In another leaked call an official reveals Kolomoysky’s also behind the Odessa massacre, the deadliest attack so far in Ukraine’s civil war, where he paid Nazis from the infamous Right Sektor Party that burnt, slaughtered and strangled dozens of civilians to death, including elderly women.

Leaked conversation between Deputy Nestor Shufrich and Fatherland leader Yulia Timoshenko:
Shufrich: What shall we do with the eight million Russian(-speakers) in Ukraine?
Timoshenko: Kill them with nuclear weapons.

The neo-Nazis are paying regular reconnaissance visits to nuclear power stations, with obvious intent to hold the whole world hostage. They have paid visits to bacteriological laboratories and, according to the people working there, got hold of bacteriological material that can be used for biological warfare. Other terrorists have merely been dreaming of such weapons – Ukrainian ones, with the connivance of or on direct orders from someone in the junta, may actually use them.

Governments are now voicing concern that Kiev may be violating the international Missile Technology Control treaty, and the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.

Intelligence author William Engdahl ‘… tiny power cabal that have so much power in Washington, they want not only a new cold war, they want a new hot war.’

 

Michael Hudson speculates that ‘This could well be another test on how far things can be pushed, building on Latvia.’ He assesses the current situation:

There was a Chilean-type military coup d’etat there. The people of Ukraine do not sign off on the IMF IOUs and sign the transfer of property. The coup d’etat leaders in Kiev signed up and what do they want? Their aim is not to help Ukraine, their aim is to get rich for themselves and to move as much of their money into London, New York and other centers as they can.

But in addition to the profiteering, Andrew Korybko writes that full-fledged ethnic and cultural ‘cleansing’ of the Donbass region is intended.

This flagrant violation of fundamental human rights is being absolutely ignored by Western governments, which are usually the first actors to prematurely blow the whistle on any suspected human rights violations and threaten military intervention. It is now seen that the human intervention/responsibility to protect (HI/R2P) rhetoric and slogans were nothing more than charades to pursue ulterior geopolitical purposes. In fact, contrary to their established HI/R2P “credentials”, the West, particularly the US, is actually aiding and abetting the Kievan regime that plans to carry out the cleansing [5]. Military advisors, millions in funds, and CIA and FBI support have flooded into Ukraine since the coup, and more than likely, they will all be directed eastwards towards violently suppressing the federalist protesters [6]. In this manner, the US is directly complicit in any and all war crimes that Kiev’s conventional or mercenary forces carry out, up to and including Koval’s ethnic and cultural cleansing plans. Thus, the six million people of Donbass are faced with the same type of humanitarian disaster that was thought to have been forever vanquished from Europe almost 70 years ago.

 

Meanwhile

Top Five Ukraine Stories a Western Mainstream Media “Fail”

If you live to the west of Russia’s borders, what you see and hear from embattled Ukraine is not the whole story. And without the whole story, your version of truth turns out to be a lie. Below are some graphic stories that are necessary to share, if only to show the Donetsk independence movement side of a civil war brought on by major powers’ failure to compromise. Kiev’s new government has apparently been given a credit card to invoke a genocide of collateral damage.

The final story in the Butler piece is repeated in the video clip below.  It is a street interview by Graham Phillips with a woman in Lugansk and speaks for itself of the desperation of ordinary Ukrainians caught up in this terrifying mess.