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04 March 2014

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kao_hsien_chih

This organization reminds me awful lot of the Comintern, even more now than before. I'm not sure if I like this sort of business...

optimax

The NED's website lists a multitude of programs which are meant to influence Ukrainian elections by spreading propaganda, training social activists, monitoring the 2012 elections and various other programs for the purpose of spreading dissension, er, I mean democracy.

http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/ukraine

Someone on the news said Putin was delusional because he said the US was behind the various color revolutions and was trying to do the same in Russia. Putin isn't delusional; the American people are ignorant of the activities of their government's international revolutionary institutions. Some of the NED's activities in Russia:

http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/russia

FB Ali

"Were such methods required in the case of the Ukraine?"

There is a strong suspicion that they were. The Russians certainly believe that they were used. Hence their quick and strong response. In Ukraine the role played by Otpor in Yugoslavia appears to have been played by the extreme right-wing groups and their thugs.

The fact that both Milosevic and Yanukovich were corrupt and unsavoury characters does not justify such clandestine methods being used to effect regime change.

The Twisted Genius

Richard Sale,

There was a time when I was all for this kind of stuff... a real cold warrior ready to take on the Red Menace. My family was thrilled when I was assigned to 10th Special Forces. They figured we were one step closer to the liberation of Lithuania. I thought I would die in an explosive laden flaming T-64 as I crashed it into Lenin's Tomb as the last act in the last war.

Well, I've grown a lot wiser since then, even if a little jaded. Now I agree with KHC. It reminds me of the Comintern as well. By all accounts, Nuland and company are of the same ilk. None of them have grown any wiser over the years. Maybe, at some level, they believe they are helping the Ukrainians. It's more likely they see the Ukrainians as expendable pawns to be sacrificed in service to their sordid little game. We really need to get out of this business.

William Herschel

So it's all about credibility... and credulity.

The people who took the chances and people in the future who will be taking the chances have to believe the promises of the United States.

When Russia, without firing a shot, snatched Crimea away from the protesters and when Eastern Ukraine started to look shaky and when it started being whispered that 15 billion dollars were needed but weren't there and when the videos of Right Sector started appearing on the Internet, the US pulled out all the stops to preserve credibility.

And we, as a result, have seen what all the stops are. And, wow, are they impressive. I do declare.

Two examples. If the protesters are reading the New York Times or the Guardian, they must be very impressed. These nominally impartial and left-leaning outlets are making John McCain look like a timid college professor.

And then there's Kerry. That is a Secretary of State? That's a used car dealer. That's Rex Ryan after a psychotic break.

The American people. No role. Not part of the equation.

turcopolier

TTG

"There is appearance and then there is reality." pl

confusedponderer

What was so bad about Yanukovich that they couldn't wait till the next election?

He probably wasn't any worse than his competitors. The Jeanne d'Arc of Ukraine, Timoshenko, took, just like Yanukovich, what Jelzin's neoliberal reforms left for grabs. They are all thieves basically and differ only in political orientation.

I think that the instigators felt they had to do it now to stick it to Putin as punishment for 'meddling' and preventing somebody's favourite wars.

Probably angering Russia and making them less willing to aid with Iran and Syria diplomacy, thus taking the momentum out of Syria and Iran negotiations, was a part as well, just like tying down Obama's energies by getting him sidetracked over Ukraine.

For the people in Obama's administration who are for war and regime change in Syria and Iran, AIPAC and the neocons there is a great degree of overlapping interest here.

If one looks at whom they needed to mobilise to make things work that tells you something too. That's not Otpor material. Yanukovich was still elected twice, the last time with iirc 49% of the vote. That means he had popular support. In face of the people that were active on the street, they can probably be forgiven to have been intimidated.

The neocons and neoliberals talk freedom, but do severe institutional harm to democracy by setting precedents that mobs, need only seek foreign backing and can overthrow their elected governments.

This has nothing to do with Freedom. I am with TTG that likely the Ukrainians are just pawns to the people who concocted this.

One of Americas key problems IMO is the perpetuation of cold war structures and ideology. The neocons and neoliberals, just like the NED people, have sought and found new imperial missions, but retained their claim to 'moral clarity' and liberation.

IMO neoliberal economic theory is as much a cold war product as neoconservatism.

It was conceived as a polar opposite to socialism, and I wouldn't be at all surprised when the initial premise was that the commies are all wrong, let's do the exactly opposite. That to me explains it's popularity in the cold war context: There was a strong political interest to discredit socialism as an economic model, and neoliberalism as a polar opposite seems almost tailored to do the job.

If a cold warrior sought a commie eating economist they had Milton Friedman and his acolytes. Then came 1989 and they claimed victory and declared their ideas orthodox truth.

If one reads the story of their workings in Argentina one can only weep at their social engineering on a grand scale. Naomi Klein has provided a concise account of that in her book 'Shock Doctrine'.

America needs to rid itself of these fighting ideologies, and understand that they were fighting ideologies, and as such didn't necessarily reflect reality but the desire to make a point.

But maybe it never was about that in the first place. To outflank a guy as ruthless as Kissinger you probably had to go hard right, that probably was the only way to make a career in DC politics.

When everybody wants to eat commie for breakfast, you probably needed to want to eat least want to eat radioactive commie to be a real fire breather and get somewhere.

confusedponderer

Interesting observation.

Communism is gone, but they still there. And they think they've won simply by merit of being the last one standing.

Two quotes:

Richard Hofstader:
"The John Birch Society emulates Communist cells and quasi-secret operation through 'front' groups, and preaches a ruthless prosecution of the ideological war along lines very similar to those it finds in the Communist enemy."

Barry Goldwater:
"I would suggest that we analyze and copy the strategy of the enemy; theirs has worked and ours has not."

In order to counter commie subversion, Western countries built a mirror apparatus during the cold war and became like what they fought against?

S.E.

So the the situation seem to fit the definition of "blowback", and to make sense of it, we are explained that Putin "lives in another world".

William Herschel

From Putin's press conference:

"VLADIMIR PUTIN: My dear colleague, look how well trained the people who operated in Kiev were. As we all know they were trained at special bases in neighbouring states: in Lithuania, Poland and in Ukraine itself too. They were trained by instructors for extended periods. They were divided into dozens and hundreds, their actions were coordinated, they had good communication systems. It was all like clockwork. Did you see them in action? They looked very professional, like special forces. Why do you think those in Crimea should be any worse?"

seydlitz89

Richard Sale-

Milo was a bastard and didn't get half of what he deserved.

My office was involved in the prequel to this, when Westport wasn't interested and there was little interest in Washington, London or elsewhere. Larry Eagleburger was running the show regarding former Yugoslavia, so enough said.

We just kept churning out IIRs on atrocities/war crimes, including memory sketches of mass grave sites . . . eventually collecting an impressive mass of reliable information which by a stroke of fate ended up with UN envoy Mazowiecki . . . all part of a very long story, some of which you relate here.

The comparison with Ukraine is more of contrasts imo. What you describe was well thought out, applied and targeted, the very opposite of what has been going on in Kiev by most accounts.

rjj

Somewhere there is an "Arthashastra" PowerPoint

Book XII, "Concerning a Powerful Enemy" says do this sort of thing....

"Spies, gaining access to all these [groups] and finding out jealousy, hatred and other causes of quarrel among them, should sow the seeds of a well-planned dissension among them, ...[details methods] .... In all these disputes, the conqueror should help the inferior party with men and money and set them against the superior party."


http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Arthashastra/Book_XI

turcopolier

seydlitz89

Putin said something yesterday about the US "experimenting" on people as though they are "lab rats." What do you say about that? What do you think should be the limits of the kind of action that you say you participated in? pl

Joe100

All -

Saker has put up a VERY interesting phone intercept –

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/03/intercepted-phone-call-between-estonian.html -

between Ashton and Paet (Estonian foreign minister) reporting on his impression on a recent visit to Kiev and discussion with some opposition members. This is useful as it provides a feel for how the Europeans are seeing the situation (I won't summarize, one really needs to listen) and towards the end Paet indicates that he was told by a credible opposition figure that then same snipers fired on both the police and protesters and that they were working for the opposition.

One wonders who was bankrolling this and pulling the strings. One also wonders whether this will ever surface in the Western media??

David Habakkuk

All,

What purports to be a conversation between Baroness Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Estonian Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet, has been posted by ‘the Saker’:

Having explained that those shot on both sides appear to have been the the victims of the same snipers, Paet goes on to say:

“it is really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened so that there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovich but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

(See http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/intercepted-phone-call-between-estonian.html )

There is also now an RT report, under the title ‘Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders - leaked EU's Ashton phone tape.’

(http://rt.com/news/ashton-maidan-snipers-estonia-946/ )

The whole conversation is well worth listening to, but the crucial section starts at around 8.20.


David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

Interviewed for the PBS ‘Return of the Czar’ programme which appeared back in 2000, E. Wayne Merry, who was Chief Political Analyst at the U.S. Moscow Embassy beween 1990 and 1994, described his and his colleagues unsuccessful attempts to rein in the Jacobin fanatics of the Treasury Department.

In conclusion, Merry commented:

‘I remember, in the early '90s, I think the most poignant slogan that you saw in Russia during the demonstrations was, “no more experiments.” The people were terribly tired of being treated like laboratory rats. This effort to build the new socialist man, scientific socialism had left people feeling completely alienated from their authorities. And the one thing the Russian people wanted was, not to be treated like experimental material.

‘And unfortunately, what they got in the 1990s was, another series of experiments, where many of the scientists conducting the experiments were not even Russians, but were people sitting in offices in Washington, in the U. S. Treasury and the IMF. And I think much of the disillusion with the West, much of the hostility that Russians now feel, particularly towards the United States, is reaction to what they feel was another series of failed experiments.’

(See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/yeltsin/interviews/merry.html )

DH

Here is Julia Ioffes' summary of Putin's press conference, entitled, 'Putin's Press Conference Proved Merkel Right: He's Lost His Mind':

"Slouching in a fancy chair in front of a dozen reporters, Putin squirmed and rambled. And rambled and rambled. He was a rainbow of emotion: Serious! angry! bemused! flustered! confused! So confused. Victor Yanukovich is still the acting president of Ukraine, but he can't talk to Ukraine because Ukraine has no president. Ukraine needs elections, but you can't have elections because there is already a president. And no elections will be valid given that there is terrorism in the streets of Ukraine. And how are you going to let just anyone run for president? What if some nationalist punk just pops out like a jack-in-the-box? An anti-Semite? Look at how peaceful the Crimea is, probably thanks to those guys with guns holding it down. Who are they, by the way? Speaking of instability, did you know that the mayor of Dniepropetrovsk is a thief? He cheated "our oligarch, [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovich" of millions. Just pocketed them! Yanukovich has no political future, I've told him that. He didn't fulfill his obligations as leader of the country. I've told him that. Mr. Putin, what mistakes did Yanukovich make as president? You know, I can't answer that. Not because I don't know the answer, but because it just wouldn't be right of me to say. Did you know they burned someone alive in Kiev? Just like that? Is that what you call a manifestation of democracy? Mr. Putin, what about the snipers in Kiev who were firing on civilians? Who gave them orders to shoot? Those were provocateurs. Didn't you read the reports? They were open source reports. So I don't know what happened there. It's unclear. But did you see the bullets piercing the shields of the Berkut [special police]. That was obvious. As for who gave the order to shoot, I don't know. Yanukovich didn't give that order. He told me. I only know what Yanukovich told me. And I told him, don't do it. You'll bring chaos to your city. And he did it, and they toppled him. Look at that bacchanalia. The American political technologists they did their work well. And this isn't the first time they've done this in Ukraine, no. Sometimes, I get the feeling that these people...these people in America. They are sitting there, in their laboratory, and doing experiments, like on rats. You're not listening to me. I've already said, that yesterday, I met with three colleagues. Colleagues, you're not listening. It's not that Yanukovich said he's not going to sign the agreement with Europe. What he said was that, based on the content of the agreement, having examined it, he did not like it. We have problems. We have a lot of problems in Russia. But they're not as bad as in Ukraine. The Secretary of State. Well. The Secretary of State is not the ultimate authority, is he?"

http://www.newrepublic.com/article
/116852/merkel-was-right-putins
-lost-his-mind-press-conference

William R. Cumming

ALL! Looking for arguments against this comments conclusions!

I think the US should adopt a very different policy view towards Russia, the Ukraine, and the EU, and NATO.

First conclusion! The US has NO leadership anywhere that has an outstanding sense of long or short term geo-strategy including military, economic or political factors [PL and those commenting on this blog excepted of course]!

Second. Instead of viewing Russia and its leadership as Empire Building Cold Warriors IMO this is a totally mistaken point of view. After the fall of the wall, Larry Summers and other IVY leading lights ]most of who benefited personally financially] fully incorporated Russia into a western world dominated by corrupt governments and oligarchs. This was done through privatization of Soviet state assets.

Third,enfeebled democracies are not what the west is now defending! It is their corrupt elites.

So what to be done because the West is under a vast threat from the demographics of the Islamic World and its largely failed effort [if they did try to do so] to control its radical elements. And the West is challenged by a largely corrupt government and oligarchs in China that is using salami tactics against the West and its allies. Salami tactics = a slice at a time.

So admit Russia to NATO and USA leave it. And build up Russia and EU and NATO to forestall Asian and Islamic incursions on the West.

AND BTW IMO ISLAM IS A WESTERN NOT ASIAN RELIGION!

Comments?

Fred

All,

Does anyone know if operatives with or formerly with NED now doing the same in the US - such as with the Tea Party, Occupy movement or any other group?

Babak Makkinejad

Do you know any details of Germany's role in all of this?

Can you shed any light on the motivations of the German Government?

Babak Makkinejad

I have a question for you:

What is "West"?

Babak Makkinejad

This "experimentation" has a long pedigree in Russia - started from the time of Ivan the Terrible, continued during the reigns of Peter the Great and Katherine the Great, and reached its climax under the Red Tsar.

On the other hand, one could argue that without the Red Tsar's experimental programme, the Third Reich would be with us today.

Babak Makkinejad

I wonder the extent to which the "Green Movement" in Iran was a creature of NATO.

Booby

Joe 100

The use of "provocateurs" to agitate demonstrations is not a new thing. In the early '70's when I received riot control training the officer in charge of the formation kept a sniper at his side to take out the armed provocateurs. Over the years I have seen provocateurs used effectively, most recently in Bosnia, Syria & now the Ukraine. The press & public seem to fall for the tactic time after time. I'll be suprised if there is any press coverage of the supposed phone discussion of the Estonian Foreign Minister with the EU minister informing her of snipers among the "Good Guys" in Maidan shooting both demonstrators & riot police. Most of the Maidan demonstrators that I saw with weapons had either pistols or hunting weapons; however, I did see one demonstrator with a sniper rifle in one press video. It's interesting how we now call a demonstation with Molatov Cocktails & small arms a peaceful demostration.

David Habakkuk

DH,

The Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has confirmed the authenticity of the conversation with Baroness Ashton in which following a visit to Kiev he stated that there was ‘now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition’.

His remarks were apparently made last week, so it would seem likely that the information has been in the hands of people in Washington, as well as London, for some days. Even if they did not get it from him, the same sources he found credible must have been talking to other Westerners.

(See http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_05/Estonia-confirms-authenticity-of-Paet-Ashton-conversation-on-Kiev-snipers-0339/ )

It is probably purely coincidental that the transcript of Putin’s press conference in the Washington Post ends just at the point where he responds to a question about the snipers.

(For their abbreviated transcript, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/transcript-putin-defends-russian-intervention-in-ukraine/2014/03/04/9cadcd1a-a3a9-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html )

If one follows the link the WP gives to the complete transcript on Putin’s website, one finds the following exchange:

‘QUESTION: You say that Yanukovych did not give the order to shoot people. But somebody shot at the protestors. And clearly, these were snipers, trained snipers.

‘VLADIMIR PUTIN: You know, some people, including those who were recently among the protestors, have expressed the opinion that these were provocateurs from one of the opposition parties. Have you heard this?

‘REPLY: No, I have not heard this.

‘VLADIMIR PUTIN: Look at these materials – they are freely available. That is why it is very difficult to get to the bottom of the situation. But you and I saw for ourselves when the Berkut fighters stood there with their shields and were shot at – and those were not air weapons that were used against them but assault weapons that pierced their shields. That is something we saw for certain. As for who gave the orders – that I do not know. I only know what Mr Yanukovych told me. And he told me that he did not give any orders, and moreover, he gave instructions – after signing a corresponding agreement – to even withdraw all militia units from the capital.’

Apparently a key source for the Estonian Foreign Minister was a doctor, Olga Bogomolets, who one of the Maidan protestors, and treated people from both sides. It was her evidence which suggested that the people on both sides were killed by the same snipers.

Immediately before Paet’s bombshell, Baroness Ashton has explained that he has she has told the Party of the Regions people ‘that you have to go to lay flowers where the people died, you have to show that you understand what has happened here.’

Her response to Paet's attempt to suggest that she may not understand 'what has happened here', is ‘I think they do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh.’ (Not ‘I do think we want to investigate’, as the ‘Voice of Russia transcript has it.)

One does not need simply to take for grant that Paet is justified in his claims. If Olga Bogomolets is right, then this has to be a ‘false flag’ operation by someone. By contrast to the Ghouta atrocity, which was supposed to provide a ‘casus belli’ for a U.S. attack on the Syrian government, it should be reasonably easy to determine by whom.

The new authorities in Kiev, and their champions in Washington, Brussels, Warsaw, Vilnius, London, etc etc, are in a position to ensure that a fully independent investigation into who was responsible for the sniper attacks is undertaken.

If, as Paet suggests, the new authorities do not want to see such an investigation undertaken, that is very strong evidence that the ‘false flag’ operation was perpetrated by them – just as Putin suggested might be the case.

And indeed, it is striking to find his claim that people who had been among the Maidan protestors were sceptical about the notion that Yanukovich was responsible for the escalation involved in the use of snipers apparently being born out in a rather dramatic fashion.

Like Julia Ioffe, the ‘Washington Post’ treats Putin’s press conference with lofty contempt – commenting on it in an article entitled ‘A brief rundown of Vladimir Putin’s strange, rambling press conference.’ This ends with a tweet from Anne Applebaum, who opines that ‘Putin's press conference reveals that we may have reached the weird moment when the dictator believes his own propaganda.’

(For the WP article, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/03/04/a-brief-rundown-of-vladimir-putins-strange-rambling-press-conference/?hpid=z2 )

What is of course not mentioned is that Applebaum’s husband is the Polish Foreign Minister – and sometime ‘Bullingdon Boy’ – Radoslaw Sikorski: apparently a driving force behind Western policy on Ukraine. If it turns out that the Estonian Foreign Minister is right, I am afraid that the accusation that Putin ‘believes his own propaganda’ may boomerang. Having fallen for a ‘false flag’ operation in Syria, it would then seem, the elites of the West seem determined to do the same in the Ukraine.

For my own part, I am, to put it mildly, extremely sceptical of Putin’s repudiation of the suggestion that Russian ‘spetsnaz’ were not involved in Crimea, and that ‘self-defence’ forces in the peninsula could not conceivably have been trained by Russians. Indeed, I do not think that he seriously expected it to be believed.

An interesting question is whether he is right in the assertion that the Maidan protests had at their centre groups given a very thorough training in Lithuania and Poland. I would be interested in TTG’s view on the question of whether this claim is ‘propaganda’, and whether, if it is, Putin believes it.


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