Mood: on fire
Now Playing: everyone who thinks journalists who do their jobs in North Dakota should stay out of prison should sign this petition.
Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Sunday, 16 October 2016
Breaking: ND Prosecutor Seeks "Riot" Charges Against Amy Goodman For Reporting On Pipeline Protest
Mood: on fire
Now Playing: everyone who thinks journalists who do their jobs in North Dakota should stay out of prison should sign this petition.
Thursday, 6 October 2016
My letter to city hall regarding the Bad Police Contract - And Shutting Folks Out
Mood: don't ask
Now Playing: Portland police push, pepper spray protesters out of city hall
Mayor Hales and all of City Council
Here is what the world is reading...regarding your games with the public citizen of Portland and the police
I am outraged to hear how you are shutting the public out of police accountability.
The groups and activists and concerned citizens are being left out in the cold.
All the while the mayor sends out lying notices to different neighborhoods on spinning the truth about police accountability. That is dirty and deceitful.
The city is under fire from the DOJ regarding our Portland Police FORCE. (force was capitalized on purpose)
And at every turn you fight to do whats right, who close down meetings, refuse to cooperate, shut doors , and arrest people as well as scaring folks to "even dare try to use their opinions" with Homeland Security and armed cops inside the chambers.
You snub all the community who is concerned and care about these issues.
You have outraged citizens who wont even let you speak, you pushed back so hard and neglectful many don't even want to hear you anymore (cant blame em really)
You are taking the whole city down a serious rabbit hole
While you "fix" the outcome and ignore good groups who really care ..like "Portland Copwatch" "AMA" "NAACP" "Consult Hardesty" Mental Health Advocates" and every other person who wants a better policing system that show up day after day on your doorsteps.
The following link is posted on Portland Indymedia which is read "internationally"
The whole world is watching you on the council play games as you close out the public
I sign my name "in bold print" along with the letter by Portland Copwatch that is on Indymedia
I have tweeted this information out to my (1,000 plus) followers
I am outraged how you treat the Portland citizens who care about these police contract issues
You all should step back or down if you cant be honest and figure out how to have democracy in our city.
You DON'T have a right to close the doors and conduct your 'sneaky business' all behind locked doors
I really hold out hope ...that the DOJ will see through all these scandalous dirty trick the Portland City Council is using to stop any real police accountability.
Further more you all should apologize to those you have insulted who are working hard in respectful ways to make "REAL" changes in how we are policed. You have insulted people of the city you work for.
Shame on all you
____ (My Name) _____
The Way they choose to deal with this is captured in this vido footage - as they bylldozed citizens out the doors of city hall sending some to the hosipital and outers to jail. A p[rotest in front of the Mayors house is going on now. City council shoud resignhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2zvGuxXeFw
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
The Whole World Is Watching Austin Police Bad Tactics in 2015
Mood: crushed out
Now Playing: re-post - Austin Police Beat Up Men for Jaywalking in Texas
Two men had just crossed the street when they were rushed by several Austin police officers who shoved them against a wall, punching and kneeing them while telling them to stop resisting.
THIS ARTICLE IS RE-POSTED FROM THIS WEBSITE
Monday, 1 June 2015
Monday, 17 November 2014
Old School Cameras with Film and Today's Youth React
Now Playing: Young Kids Look and Analyze Old Cameras
Topic: ANYBODY * ANYDAY
'Devil camera': '90s point-and-shoot horrifies tech-savvy kids
Watch the next generation of photographers attempt to use a camera with actual film. Get ready to feel old thanks to the latest "Kids React" video from The Fine Brothers.
Video 7 Minutes Here:
Original Article Here:
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
My comments as a COPWATCH member to Portland City Council
Now Playing: Portland Copwatch Talks to The MAyor and City Council 9.17.14
My Testimony September 17, 2014
Hello Mayor and City Council,
I’m a member of Portland Copwatch that wanted to sit down and meet with you about concerns our group had regarding filming by the police. I’m now using this time to speak to you because our group was not able to get a meeting with you without getting by Officer Wesson Mitchell's conflicts of interest. Her position on the issues we've raised comes off as defensive of Bureau behavior and policies. We feel this is not helpful for someone who should be listening to community concerns and figuring out how to implement change, rather than helping perpetuate the status quo.
We are concerned about the police filming residents of Portland. We have seen over and over the Police filming people at public gatherings and protests. When asked “why they are filming” or “what are they doing with the film footage”, the police usually reply “we are using it for training purposes and to ask the City Attorney for more information”. We know that ORS 181.575 states the police are not to be filming, spying on or recording citizens, religious organizations or political groups. And we are concerned that the police are continuing to film and collect this video footage to this day. We have written about this concern repeatedly.
This concern of filming by the police takes me to my next point about the use of lapel cameras that are to be worn by police. I’m speaking of the body worn camera by an officer while on duty. Because, for example, there is not enough information on what is happening with the camera data, and the use and storage of the video footage that is collected, and whether it will be viewed with transparent oversight, we at Portland Copwatch are not able support the police filming the residents of Portland using these cameras.
There has been only one public study made so far on this type of camera worn by police and the information doesn’t prove it makes police behavior any better or safer. It was paid for in part by the cameras' manufacturer, who stands to make money from good press. Many people are saying that police worn cameras can stop police abuse and misconduct, but we don’t know if that is true or if it even changes police conduct.
We do encourage people to film the police, and in fact we offer trainings to the public on “how to film the police” and what a person's rights are, but it’s our opinion that having the “police film citizens” with body worn cameras is potentially illegal.
There needs to be more conversation with the public, oversight committees and organizations on what this type of filming does to our privacy, and how the recordings will be stored and accessed. Will the acquired footage be used for spying, tracing, investigating or data mined for information? We have no assurance the police will use the footage for accountability purposes. We do not know how or who will be reviewing the video tapes and how it will relate to discipline or to correcting bad behavior. We are concerned the footage will be used as a dragnet to hunt for evidence to prosecute people. We are concerned it could be used in assisting investigations that are not warranted nor would be allowed under the purview of legitimate police business. It seems the City already made up its mind to get these cameras, but these questions need to be discussed with residents who need to feel safe and secure in their rights to privacy and not to incriminate themselves. In conclusion, the police should not film the citizens of Portland by any type of camera without at least reasonable suspicion of criminal activity as called for in ORS 181.575.
Our reason for meeting with the mayor in this manner can be expained by this article from our portland copwatch website. http://portlandcopwatch.org/mayormeeting2014.html
Sunday, 14 September 2014
PRISM and FISA - Yahoo wants to tell us what they are doing
Now Playing: Yahoo faced $250,000 per day fines for PRISM dissidence
Topic: Privacy & Security
The requests are part of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and overseen by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISC-R
Full Article here:
The secret courts overseeing the National Security Agency (NSA) threatened Yahoo with daily $250,000 fines if it failed to comply with their orders.
Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell revealed the court's threats in a blog post, following a court victory allowing the firm to publish 1,500 pages of secret papers chronicling its bid to fight the NSA's data requests.
"In 2007, the US Government amended a key law to demand user information from online services. We refused to comply with what we viewed as unconstitutional and overbroad surveillance and challenged the US government's authority. Our challenge, and a later appeal in the case, did not succeed," read the post.
"At one point, the US government threatened the imposition of $250,000 in fines per day if we refused to comply."
Yahoo was one of many firms involved in the infamous PRISM mass surveillance campaign. The campaign saw the NSA siphon data from the companies using National Security Letters.
The requests are part of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and overseen by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISC-R).
The nature of the requests mean the companies involved are not allowed to disclose receiving the orders or what information was handed over without risking arrest.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer claimed she would face "treason" charges if she declined to comply with the requests in June 2013.
Bell listed the court ruling as a key victory in Yahoo's ongoing bid to be more transparent about its part in PRISM and pledged to publish the documents on the company's Tumblr blog in the very near future. He added that Yahoo will continue to work to release further documents relating to PRISM.
"Our fight continues. We are still pushing for the FISC to release materials from the 2007-2008 case in the lower court. The FISC indicated previously that it was waiting on the FISC-R ruling in relation to the 2008 appeal before moving forward," he said.
"Now that the FISC-R matter is resolved, we will work hard to make the materials from the FISC case public, as well."
Yahoo has also made several technical upgrades to its services security in a bid to protect its users from surveillance campaigns since news of PRISM broke. Most recently Yahoo began encrypting all information that moves between its data centres.
US security agencies probed up to 249 Dropbox accounts
Now Playing: Dropbox asked to hand over the keys to user account details Dropbox has revealed that it received up to 249 requests for informa
Topic: Privacy & Security
Full Article here:
Dropbox has revealed that it received up to 249 requests for information on customer accounts from US national security authorities in its latest transparency report.
The report details all the requests made by US authorities between January and June 2014. Under US law Dropbox could not reveal the exact number of information requests made by national security agencies, only a vague range.
However, the report does also reveals that Dropbox had received 268 information requests from US law enforcement agencies, rather than national security agencies. This compromised 120 search warrants, 109 subpoenas, 37 requests relating to non-US accounts and two court orders.
In a blog post, Dropbox's Bart Volkmer explained that this number was a fraction of Dropbox's 300 million accounts, but the company takes each one seriously and challenges some requests. "We also push back in cases where agencies are seeking too much information or haven't followed the proper procedures," he said.
While the report detailed how many information and content requests Dropbox responded to, Volkmer explained that many US authorities try to prevent Dropbox from informing its users of such law enforcement probes, even when they have no legal right to gag the company.
"These types of clauses were attached to 80 percent of subpoenas we received in this reporting period," revealed Volkmer. "Our policy is to notify users about requests for their information, so we push back in cases where an agency requests a gag order without the legal right."
Volkmer went on to explain how Dropbox is pushing for greater openness, better laws, and improved protection for its users' information.
The company hopes the USA Freedom Act of 2014 bill, currently in Congress, will succeed in reigning in the bulk data collection being carried out by US authorities, and allow companies to be more transparent about government data requests.
While the report detailed that the majority of requests were aimed at finding the identity and details of targeted account holders, it also highlighted that 14 search warrants and 16 subpoenas were made into accounts that did not exist.
This slightly comical situation raises the more serious question as to how effective such information-probing can be for US law enforcements, and if it is worth encroaching upon the privacy of people using online services.
Over the past year there has been a furore over information-probing and snooping by government authorities, notably the NSA and its infamous PRISM mass-surveillance campaign.
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Keaton Otis Vigil - September 12 2014
Now Playing: Police Accountability - Keaton Otis Vigil continues in Portland Oregon
2014-09-12 event is NE Portland at the site where Keaton was shot 23 times by the POrtland Police
A video was recorded from this vigil and will be posted here asap.
Monday, 3 March 2014
Neocon Shit storm in Urkraine and around the globe
Now Playing: Ukraine and the neocon agenda - (repost)
Published on Monday, March 3, 2014 by Consortium News
What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/03/03-2 (original post)
President Barack Obama has been trying, mostly in secret, to craft a new foreign policy that relies heavily on cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to tamp down confrontations in hotspots such as Iran and Syria. But Obama’s timidity about publicly explaining this strategy has left it open to attack from powerful elements of Official Washington, including well-placed neocons and people in his own administration.
The gravest threat to this Obama-Putin collaboration has now emerged in Ukraine, where a coalition of U.S. neocon operatives and neocon holdovers within the State Department fanned the flames of unrest in Ukraine, contributing to the violent overthrow of democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych and now to a military intervention by Russian troops in the Crimea, a region in southern Ukraine that historically was part of Russia.
Though I’m told the Ukraine crisis caught Obama and Putin by surprise, the neocon determination to drive a wedge between the two leaders has been apparent for months, especially after Putin brokered a deal to head off U.S. military strikes against Syria last summer and helped get Iran to negotiate concessions on its nuclear program, both moves upsetting the neocons who had favored heightened confrontations.
Putin also is reported to have verbally dressed down Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan over what Putin considered their provocative actions regarding the Syrian civil war. So, by disrupting neocon plans and offending Netanyahu and Bandar, the Russian president found himself squarely in the crosshairs of some very powerful people.
If not for Putin, the neocons – along with Israel and Saudi Arabia – had hoped that Obama would launch military strikes on Syria and Iran that could open the door to more “regime change” across the Middle East, a dream at the center of neocon geopolitical strategy since the 1990s. This neocon strategy took shape after the display of U.S. high-tech warfare against Iraq in 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union later that year. U.S. neocons began believing in a new paradigm of a uni-polar world where U.S. edicts were law.
The neocons felt this paradigm shift also meant that Israel would no longer need to put up with frustrating negotiations with the Palestinians. Rather than haggling over a two-state solution, U.S. neocons simply pressed for “regime change” in hostile Muslim countries that were assisting the Palestinians or Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Iraq was first on the neocon hit list, but next came Syria and Iran. The overriding idea was that once the regimes assisting the Palestinians and Hezbollah were removed or neutralized, then Israel could dictate peace terms to the Palestinians who would have no choice but to accept what was on the table.
U.S. neocons working on Netanyahu’s campaign team in 1996, including Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, even formalized their bold new plan, which they outlined in a strategy paper, called “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” The paper argued that only “regime change” in hostile Muslim countries could achieve the necessary “clean break” from the diplomatic standoffs that had followed inconclusive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
In 1998, the neocon Project for the New American Century called for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, but President Bill Clinton refused to go along. The situation changed, however, when President George W. Bush took office and after the 9/11 attacks. Suddenly, the neocons had a Commander in Chief who agreed with the need to eliminate Iraq’s Saddam Hussein — and a stunned and angry U.S. public could be easily persuaded. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]
So, Bush invaded Iraq, ousting Hussein but failing to subdue the country. The U.S. death toll of nearly 4,500 soldiers and the staggering costs, estimated to exceed $1 trillion, made the American people and even Bush unwilling to fulfill the full-scale neocon vision, which was expressed in one of their favorite jokes of 2003 about where to attack next, Iran or Syria, with the punch line: “Real men go to Tehran!”
Though hawks like Vice President Dick Cheney pushed the neocon/Israeli case for having the U.S. military bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities – with the hope that the attacks also might spark a “regime change” in Tehran – Bush decided that he couldn’t risk the move, especially after the U.S. intelligence community assessed in 2007 that Iran had stopped work on a bomb four years earlier.
The Rise of Obama
The neocons were dealt another setback in 2008 when Barack Obama defeated a neocon favorite, Sen. John McCain. But Obama then made one of the fateful decisions of his presidency, deciding to staff key foreign-policy positions with “a team of rivals,” i.e. keeping Republican operative Robert Gates at the Defense Department and recruiting Hillary Clinton, a neocon-lite, to head the State Department.
Obama also retained Bush’s high command, most significantly the media-darling Gen. David Petraeus. That meant that Obama didn’t take control over his own foreign policy.
Gates and Petraeus were themselves deeply influenced by the neocons, particularly Frederick Kagan, who had been a major advocate for the 2007 “surge” escalation in Iraq, which was hailed by the U.S. mainstream media as a great “success” but never achieved its principal goal of a unified Iraq. At the cost of nearly 1,000 U.S. dead, it only bought time for an orderly withdrawal that spared Bush and the neocons the embarrassment of an obvious defeat.
So, instead of a major personnel shakeup in the wake of the catastrophic Iraq War, Obama presided over what looked more like continuity with the Bush war policies, albeit with a firmer commitment to draw down troops in Iraq and eventually in Afghanistan.
From the start, however, Obama was opposed by key elements of his own administration, especially at State and Defense, and by the still-influential neocons of Official Washington. According to various accounts, including Gates’s new memoir Duty, Obama was maneuvered into supporting a troop “surge” in Afghanistan, as advocated by neocon Frederick Kagan and pushed by Gates, Petraeus and Clinton.
Gates wrote that Kagan persuaded him to recommend the Afghan “surge” and that Obama grudgingly went along although Gates concluded that Obama didn’t believe in the “mission” and wanted to reverse course more quickly than Gates, Petraeus and their side wanted.
Faced with this resistance from his own bureaucracy, Obama began to rely on a small inner circle built around Vice President Joe Biden and a few White House advisers with the analytical support of some CIA officials, including CIA Director Leon Panetta.
Obama also found a surprising ally in Putin after he regained the Russian presidency in 2012. A Putin adviser told me that the Russian president personally liked Obama and genuinely wanted to help him resolve dangerous disputes, especially crises with Iran and Syria.
In other words, what evolved out of Obama’s early “team of rivals” misjudgment was an extraordinary presidential foreign policy style, in which Obama developed and implemented much of his approach to the world outside the view of his secretaries of State and Defense (except when Panetta moved briefly to the Pentagon).
Even after the eventual departures of Gates in 2011, Petraeus as CIA director after a sex scandal in late 2012, and Clinton in early 2013, Obama’s peculiar approach didn’t particularly change. I’m told that he has a distant relationship with Secretary of State John Kerry, who never joined Obama’s inner foreign policy circle.
Though Obama’s taciturn protectiveness of his “real” foreign policy may be understandable given the continued neocon “tough-guy-ism” that dominates Official Washington, Obama’s freelancing approach gave space to hawkish elements of his own administration.
For instance, Secretary of State Kerry came close to announcing a U.S. war against Syria in a bellicose speech on Aug. 30, 2013, only to see Obama pull the rug out from under him as the President worked with Putin to defuse the crisis sparked by a disputed chemical weapons attack outside Damascus. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How War on Syria Lost Its Way.”]
Similarly, Obama and Putin hammered out the structure for an interim deal with Iran on how to constrain its nuclear program. But when Kerry was sent to seal that agreement in Geneva, he instead inserted new demands from the French (who were carrying water for the Saudis) and nearly screwed it all up. After getting called on the carpet by the White House, Kerry returned to Geneva and finalized the arrangements.[See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Saudi-Israel Defeat on Iran Deal.”]
Unorthodox Foreign Policy
Obama’s unorthodox foreign policy – essentially working in tandem with the Russian president and sometimes at odds with his own foreign policy bureaucracy – has forced Obama into faux outrage when he’s faced with some perceived affront from Russia, such as its agreement to give temporary asylum to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
For the record, Obama had to express strong disapproval of Snowden’s asylum, though in many ways Putin was doing Obama a favor by sparing Obama from having to prosecute Snowden with the attendant complications for U.S. national security and the damaging political repercussions from Obama’s liberal base.
Putin’s unforced errors also complicated the relationship, such as when he defended Russian hostility toward gays and cracked down on dissent before the Sochi Olympics. Putin became an easy target for U.S. commentators and comedians.
But Obama’s hesitancy to explain the degree of his strategic cooperation with Putin has enabled Official Washington’s still influential neocons, including holdovers within the State Department bureaucracy, to drive more substantive wedges between Obama and Putin. The neocons came to recognize that the Obama-Putin tandem had become a major impediment to their strategic vision.
Without doubt, the neocons’ most dramatic – and potentially most dangerous – counter-move has been Ukraine, where they have lent their political and financial support to opposition forces who sought to break Ukraine away from its Russian neighbor.
Though this crisis also stems from the historical division of Ukraine – between its more European-oriented west and the Russian-ethnic east and south – neocon operatives, with financing from the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other U.S. sources, played key roles in destabilizing and overthrowing the democratically elected president.
NED, a $100 million-a-year agency created by the Reagan administration in 1983 to promote political action and psychological warfare against targeted states, lists 65 projects that it supports financially inside Ukraine, including training activists, supporting “journalists” and promoting business groups, effectively creating a full-service structure primed and ready to destabilize a government in the name of promoting “democracy.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Shadow US Foreign Policy.”]
State Department neocons also put their shoulders into shoving Ukraine away from Russia. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan and the sister-in-law of the Gates-Petraeus adviser Frederick Kagan, advocated strenuously for Ukraine’s reorientation toward Europe.
Last December, Nuland reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve “its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion.” She said the U.S. goal was to take “Ukraine into the future that it deserves,” by which she meant into the West’s orbit and away from Russia’s.
But President Yanukovych rejected a European Union plan that would have imposed harsh austerity on the already impoverished Ukraine. He accepted a more generous $15 billion loan from Russia, which also has propped up Ukraine’s economy with discounted natural gas. Yanukovych’s decision sparked anti-Russian street protests in Kiev, located in the country’s western and more pro-European region.
Nuland was soon at work planning for “regime change,” encouraging disruptive street protests by personally passing out cookies to the anti-government demonstrators. She didn’t seem to notice or mind that the protesters in Kiev’s Maidan square had hoisted a large banner honoring Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.
By late January, Nuland was discussing with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt who should be allowed in the new government.
“Yats is the guy,” Nuland said in a phone call to Pyatt that was intercepted and posted online. “He’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy you know.” By “Yats,” Nuland was referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister — and who was committed to harsh austerity.
As Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. McCain cheered the demonstrators on, the street protests turned violent. Police clashed with neo-Nazi bands, the ideological descendants of Bandera’s anti-Russian Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi SS during World War II.
With the crisis escalating and scores of people killed in the street fighting, Yanukovych agreed to a E.U.-brokered deal that called for moving up scheduled elections and having the police stand down. The neo-Nazi storm troopers then seized the opening to occupy government buildings and force Yanukovych and many of his aides to flee for their lives.
With these neo-Nazis providing “security,” the remaining parliamentarians agreed in a series of unanimous or near unanimous votes to establish a new government and seek Yanukovych’s arrest for mass murder. Nuland’s choice, Yatsenyuk, emerged as interim prime minister.
Yet, the violent ouster of Yanukovych provoked popular resistance to the coup from the Russian-ethnic south and east. After seeking refuge in Russia, Yanukovych appealed to Putin for help. Putin then dispatched Russian troops to secure control of the Crimea. [For more on this history, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Cheering a ‘Democratic’ Coup in Ukraine.”]
Separating Obama from Putin
The Ukraine crisis has given Official Washington’s neocons another wedge to drive between Obama and Putin. For instance, the neocon flagship Washington Post editorialized on Saturday that Obama was responding “with phone calls” when something much more threatening than “condemnation” was needed.
It’s always stunning when the Post, which so energetically lobbied for the U.S. invasion of Iraq under the false pretense of eliminating its (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction, gets its ire up about another country acting in response to a genuine security threat on its own borders, not half a world away.
But the Post’s editors have never been deterred by their own hypocrisy. They wrote, “Mr. Putin’s likely objective was not difficult to figure. He appears to be responding to Ukraine’s overthrow of a pro-Kremlin government last week with an old and ugly Russian tactic: provoking a separatist rebellion in a neighboring state, using its own troops when necessary.”
The reality, however, appears to have been that neocon elements from within the U.S. government encouraged the overthrow of the elected president of Ukraine via a coup spearheaded by neo-Nazi storm troopers who then terrorized lawmakers as the parliament passed draconian laws, including some intended to punish the Russian-oriented regions which favor Yanukovych.
Yet, besides baiting Obama over his tempered words about the crisis, the Post declared that “Mr. Obama and European leaders must act quickly to prevent Ukraine’s dismemberment. Missing from the president’s statement was a necessary first step: a demand that all Russian forces – regular and irregular – be withdrawn … and that Moscow recognize the authority of the new Kiev government. … If Mr. Putin does not comply, Western leaders should make clear that Russia will pay a heavy price.”
The Post editors are fond of calling for ultimatums against various countries, especially Syria and Iran, with the implication that if they don’t comply with some U.S. demand that harsh actions, including military reprisals, will follow.
But now the neocons, in their single-minded pursuit of endless “regime change” in countries that get in their way, have taken their ambitions to a dangerous new level, confronting nuclear-armed Russia with ultimatums.
By Sunday, the Post’s neocon editors were “spelling out the consequences” for Putin and Russia, essentially proposing a new Cold War. The Post mocked Obama for alleged softness toward Russia and suggested that the next “regime change” must come in Moscow.
“Many in the West did not believe Mr. Putin would dare attempt a military intervention in Ukraine because of the steep potential consequences,” the Post wrote. “That the Russian ruler plunged ahead shows that he doubts Western leaders will respond forcefully. If he does not quickly retreat, the United States must prove him wrong.”
The madness of the neocons has long been indicated by their extraordinary arrogance and their contempt for other nations’ interests. They assume that U.S. military might and other coercive means must be brought to bear on any nation that doesn’t bow before U.S. ultimatums or that resists U.S.-orchestrated coups.
Whenever the neocons meet resistance, they don’t rethink their strategy; they simply take it to the next level. Angered by Russia’s role in heading off U.S. military attacks against Syria and Iran, the neocons escalated their geopolitical conflict by taking it to Russia’s own border, by egging on the violent ouster of Ukraine’s elected president.
The idea was to give Putin an embarrassing black eye as punishment for his interference in the neocons’ dream of “regime change” across the Middle East. Now, with Putin’s countermove, his dispatch of Russian troops to secure control of the Crimea, the neocons want Obama to further escalate the crisis by going after Putin.
Some leading neocons even see ousting Putin as a crucial step toward reestablishing the preeminence of their agenda. NED president Carl Gershman wrote in the Washington Post, “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”
At minimum, the neocons hope that they can neutralize Putin as Obama’s ally in trying to tamp down tensions with Syria and Iran – and thus put American military strikes against those two countries back under active consideration.
As events spin out of control, it appears way past time for President Obama to explain to the American people why he has collaborated with President Putin in trying to resolve some of the world’s thorniest problems.
That, however, would require him to belatedly take control of his own administration, to purge the neocon holdovers who have worked to sabotage his actual foreign policy, and to put an end to neocon-controlled organizations, like the National Endowment for Democracy, that use U.S. taxpayers’ money to stir up trouble abroad. That would require real political courage.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
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