Russia Bashing EscalatesBy Stephen Lendman
It bears repeating what previous articles stressed. Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions.
Russia alone goes all-out to resolve them responsibly. It doesn't matter. Propaganda wars rage.
Brazen lies repeat. Lawless sanctions were imposed. New ones followed. On Sunday, Obama's deputy national security advisor Tony Blinkin said:
"We're going to save a little news for Monday but what I can tell you is this. We will be looking to designate people who are in (Putin's) inner circle, who have a significant impact on the Russian economy."
"Starting this week, in co-ordination with our allies and partners, we'll be exerting additional pressure on people closest to Putin, the companies they control, the defense industry, all of this."
"We'll be looking to designate companies that they and other inner circle people control. We'll be looking at taking steps, as well, with regard to high-technology exports to their defense industry."
"All of this together is going to have an impact."
Obama lied claiming "strong evidence that (Moscow) encourag(ed) the activities in Eastern and Southern Ukraine."
"The goal here is not to go after Mr. Putin personally. The goal is to change his calculus with respect to how the current actions that he's engaging in could have an adverse impact on the Russian economy over the long haul."
"We're going to be in a stronger position to deter Putin when he sees that the world is unified and the United States and Europe is unified rather than this is just a US-Russian conflict."
World unity doesn't exist. Washington bullies other nations to acquiesce. EU ones harm their own self-interest complying.
Days earlier, coup-appointed putschist prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk lied claiming Russia wants to "start world war three." He said it's doing it by occupying Ukraine "militarily and politically."
"Attempts at military conflict in Ukraine will lead to military conflict in Europe," he added.
"It is clear that Russia's goal is to wreck the election in Ukraine, remove the pro-Western and pro-Ukrainian government and occupy Ukraine politically and militarily," he claimed.
"Russia's support for terrorists and bandits who torture peaceful citizens is an international crime."
"If the United States, the European Union and the entire international community continues to be united and act together to compel Russia to fulfill its obligations, then we will maintain the peace, stability and international security system that Russia wants to destroy."
Fact: Sanctioning Russia has no legitimacy. Doing so is political. No legal authority exists.
Fact: Washington wants challengers to its global dominance eliminated. It wants pro-Western puppet regimes replacing them.
Fact: It bears repeating. Washington threatens, pressures and bullies other nations into compliance. Hegemons operate this way.
Washington exceeds the worst of previous ones. It threatens humanity's survival.
Fact: Russia goes all-out to resolve Ukrainian crisis conditions responsibly. Washington bears full responsibility for escalating things.
Fact: Washington orchestrated democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's ouster.
Fact: It elevated xenophobic, ultranationalist, anti-Semitic, hate-mongering fascist extremists to power. They have no legitimacy whatever. They represent mob rule.
Fact: Yatsenyuk is a convenient US stooge. Blaming Russia for Kiev crimes doesn't wash.
Fact: Washington is humanity's greatest threat. Lunatics influence policy. Ukraine is ground zero. Challenging Russia risks possible WW III. Great conflicts start this way.
Freedom House calls itself "an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world."
It deplores what it claims to support. It gets State Department and other US agency funding. It serves Washington's dark side. It furthers its imperial agenda.
David Kramer is executive director. He's hardcore neocon. He's a former Project for the New American Century (PNAC) senior fellow. He held various Bush administration positions.
He's a Russian specialist. He's an Obama task force member. It recommends Russian officials, business leaders and corporations to target.
"While imposing sanctions together with the EU would be nice, the US simply has to lead and not waste more time trying to present a united approach," he said.
"It's easier for us to do so than it is for the Europeans, and they will follow, as long as we lead."
China rejects US/EU sanctions. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Beijing "consistently opposed threatening or imposing sanctions."
"We believe that sanctions are not conducive to an issue's resolution, and may worsen tensions."
"We call on all sides to keep using dialogue and negotiation to appropriately resolve disagreements, to push for a political resolution to the Ukraine crisis. Sanctions are not in any party's interests."
Aleksey Pushkov heads Russia's lower house State Duma foreign affairs committee. He's a Moscow State Institute of International Relations professor.
"For the United States, Russia is an enemy and China is a potential enemy. But the confrontation course with both major powers is a strategic mistake," he said.
Obama's policy shows "the depth of his despair over (Moscow's) growing international" influence.
Separately, peaceful Kharkov weekend rallies became violent. Right Sector thugs attacked anti-Kiev protesters.
Over a dozen people were injured. So were two police officers. Local TV channels aired masked thugs beating activists.
They used bats and sticks. Cars were vandalized. Beatings were random. Anti-Kiev activists plan a massive May 1 demonstration.
They demand local autonomy. They chanted "No to bloody Kiev junta!"
At 11:30AM local time Monday, Kharkov Mayor Gennady Kerness was shot in the back while jogging.
He's seriously wounded. He may not survive. Interfax reported police investigators "working at the scene. The fact of the event has been entered in the single register of pre-trial investigations," it said.
"(E)fforts are under way to investigate all circumstances of this incident."
At the same time, police detained 15 local residents. They had masks, sticks and Molotov cocktails.
Slavyansk self-defense forces seized six Right Sector gunmen. They're being questioned.
Other self-defense forces were attacked en route to Kramatorsk's airport. Their spokesman said:
"We have obtained information that armed foreigners, mainly from the NATO countries, will be landing at the Kramatorsk airport, and sent our mobile group to check this information."
"We came under fire and had to retreat. However, none of our fighters were injured."
Journal Dmitry Timchuk coordinates anti-Kiev information resistance.
"The night went calmly," he said. "The only exception was the shots fired in the direction of our troops in the area of the Kramatorsk aerodrome."
"In the morning, law enforcement agencies came under fire here again."
On Sunday, pro-Russian activists seized a Donetsk TV station. They want blocked Russian channels reinstated. Technical work is underway to do it.
They plan Donetsk People's Republic television. They want Russian programming aired.
Channel 27 was removed. Russia 24 replaced it. According to station CEO Oleg Dzholos:
"There were many demands. First - switch off Ukrainian channels. I explained that we are Donetsk state TV and radio station and from our central control room, there is only our signal."
"There were experts and they understood me. The following demand was - not a demand, an ultimatum - to switch on, if I am not mistaken, Russia-24 TV channel."
Protesters brought satellite antennas and other equipment. Guards protected them.
In March, putschists blocked at least five Russian channels. They included Vesti, Russia-24, Channel One international broadcasts, RTR 'Pleneta,' and NTV World.
At the time an OSCE statement called doing so "repressive." It's "censorship," it added.
The battle for Ukraine's soul just began. It continues. It threatens to escalate out-of-control. At risk is potential East/West confrontation. All bets are off if it happens.
A Final Comment
Russia bashing propaganda remains intense. Anti-Russian Professor Keith Darden got feature New York Times op-ed space.
He headlined "The War on Truth in Ukraine." He lied claiming "Russian television made Slovyansk look like Guernica."
He cited Washington blaming Russia for crisis conditions beyond "a shadow of a doubt." He ignored clear evidence implicating putschists in Maidan killings.
He nonsensically called it "hard to pinpoint when (things) began." He equivocated on calling what happened a coup. He suggested sham May elections will be legitimate.
He said Russia may intervene "at the point of its own guns." He omitted what readers most need to know.
Washington installed putschists run things. They militant fascist thugs. They have no legitimacy whatever. Darden didn't explain.
Neocon Washington Post editors headlined "In Mr. Putin's Russia, the lights of liberty are flickering," saying:
"As Mr. Putin works to undermine Ukraine, he also is smothering what remains of the independent Internet-based news media and social media amid signs that discredited old Soviet tactics such as travel restrictions are coming back."
"The spark of free expression" is fading, they claimed. They praised Boris Yeltzin. He "g(ave) rise to a society freer than any in Russian history."
They ignored his dark side. He instituted Western-style shock therapy. He bled Russia dry.
He handed its wealth to kleptocratic oligarchs. He committed economic genocide.
He impoverished millions. He hung them out to dry. He let corruption and criminality flourish.
Grand theft became sport. Billions in stolen wealth were hidden in Western banks or offshore tax havens.
He surrounded himself with like-minded apparachiks. He used his presidency for unchallenged political power. He implemented policies behind closed doors.
Democracy was fantasy. Ordinary people had no say. Former Nezavisimaia Gazeta editor-in-chief Vitali Tret'iakov said earlier:
"(F)or the greater part of his presidency, Yeltsin slept, drank, was ill, relaxed, didn't show his face before the people and simply did nothing."
"Despised by the majority of (Russians, he'll) go down in history as the first president of Russia, having corrupted (the country) to the breaking point, not by his virtues and or by his defects, but rather by his dullness, primitiveness, and unbridled power lust of a hooligan."
He represented "free market" gangsterism. He was a Western darling. His human wreckage was ignored. WaPo editors turned a blind eye.
They bashed Putin irresponsibly for "working overtime to dismantle (his) legacy…(T)herein lies a second tragedy of the Ukraine coercion," they claimed.
They lied saying "(t)he rollback of democracy in Russia is not a new story. It began under Mr. Putin more than a decade ago."
Russian democracy shames America's fantasy version. WaPo editors didn't explain.
Wall Street Journal editors headlined "The Russia Problem," saying:
Western countries "need…rethinking (on) how to handle a revanchist Russia."
"…Mr. Putin grabbed Crimea…(H)is special forces are now fueling unrest in eastern Ukraine."
Russia "is an authoritarian regime bent on rewriting the rules of post-Cold War Europe."
"Lacking democratic legitimacy, (it) must employ an increasingly virulent nationalism and foreign conquest to maintain power."
"…(I)f unchecked (it) will continue beyond Ukraine."
Fact: Putin "grabbed" nothing.
Fact: Eastern Ukrainians act entirely on their own volition. No evidence suggests Russian involvement. Plenty indicts America overwhelmingly nationwide.
Fact: No Russian revanchism exists.
Fact: Putin respects national sovereignty and rule of law principles. He champions responsible polar-world policies.
Fact: Washington's hegemonic ambitions threatens humanity.
Fact: Foreign conquest is official US policy.
Fact: It bears repeating. Russian democracy shames America's sham version.
"The West…needs to act with more unity and conviction," said Journal editors. They want tougher anti-Russian policies.
They want more NATO involvement. They called Putin "a growing threat to Europe's peace and stability."
They barely stopped short of urging war. They substituted irresponsible hate-mongering rubbish for legitimate opinion. It's longstanding editorial policy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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