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[Tru Blu Tuesday] Ukraine-gate

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Would you like to know how to make enemies? Are you a control freak? Does the prospect of intervening in matters that are not your business intrigue you? Well, here is a story just for you!

Read the Ron Paul Institute’s article for all the gritty details.
 
On February 5th, a YouTube video surfaced that embarrassed the United States. The video (see below) is a recording of two U.S. officials – US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt – having a conversation over the phone. The source is unknown, but the conversation is incriminating. In it Secretary Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt discuss people they would like to manipulate and place in political positions in the post-riot-induced Ukrainian government.
 
 
The background story:
Ukraine has been in political turmoil since November 2013. It started when the Ukrainian government halted plans to join the Protesters and police clash in UkraineEU and did a virtual about-face by taking steps to deepen its relationship with neighboring Russia. The people of Ukraine, many of whom favor the EU, have turned out in the thousands to protest these actions. Most of the protesting has been done in Kiev, the nation’s capital. In January, however, the protests became violent and lives have since been lost. Tensions are high as the people of Ukraine battle their government on a daily basis, seeking to invoke changes.
 
The implications:
The leaked phone conversation has essentially provided evidence that the U.S. has been running the opposition to the Ukrainian government. RPI has more details on this here.
 
This is bad. What Secretary Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt have essentially been caught doing is discussing some very invasive meddling in the affairs of another sovereign country. Picking and choosing who advances or holds what positions in a foreign government is unethical at best. Strategizing their opposition, effectively throwing a monkey wrench into Ukraine’s already delicate political scene, is no better. There is simply no place for that within international relations and certainly not from our country – the supposed leader of the free world. What agenda Nuland and Pyatt had cooked up is anyone’s guess, but it is my assumption that they were working to put people in charge in Ukraine who could serve American interests. Correction: American government interests.
 
Press conference video of State Department Psaki defending the leaked conversation.
 
Ukraine RiotsImagine if that was done to us! Imagine if China, for example, orchestrated riot conditions in Washington D.C. which managed to overthrow our government. (If that initially sounded appealing, considering the current administration, you and I think alike.) Let’s say they then puppeteer officials into our highest federal offices who will follow their agenda. American officials under Chinese direction! How would that make you feel as a citizen? I, for one, would feel violated.
 
Just as assuredly, when the people of Ukraine discover our governments interference with their state they will undoubtedly resent us as a nation.
 
The right path:
Other countries already have a low opinion of the U.S. Especially after stunts like the discovery that the NSA was spying on the Chancellor of Germany. Our leaders need to have integrity in all matters , and foreign affairs are no exception. We need to encourage peace and progress in other nations, but do so diplomatically as opposed to manipulatively behind the scenes. As the lone superpower left in the world, we have the responsibility of leading the rest of the globe. We cannot do so if we disrespect them and make them our enemies.
 
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, once pondered the defense of America’s actions towards the world in her infant years:
“…she has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own; she has abstained from interference in the concerns of other, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings as to the last vital drop that visits the heart.”
Unfortunately the same can not be said for our beloved America today as we have had our hands in too many foreign affairs to be considered innocent. It is a goal we can strive for, and an admiral one at that.
 
 
 

[Tru Blu Tuesday] Are We Terrorists?

March 26, 2013 4 comments

Are we, the United States of America, terrorists?

I’ll spare you the suspense and tell you right now that the answer is no. You and I, as citizens, are not terrorists. Relieved? You’re welcome. The reason I ask this question is because in my past discussions on the subject of Iran, many people point to the terrorist group Hezbollah, which they sponsor, as evidence that they have the worlds worst intent at heart. Truly it is a shameful fact, one which should not be taken lightly, but what if we held up our own actions against the same measuring stick?  This isn’t an attack on our service men and women, and should not be construed as such. What this is, is a hard look at some terrible things that have been done under the guise of democracy and freedom, that should never have happened. More importantly however is the question of how people of other nations view us, based on our interactions with them.

Disclaimer: I fully recognize that the United States has done many positive things in the Middle East. I acknowledge the fact that much of what is done is performed with the right intentions, but have horrendous consequences. Again, this is a critique on aspects of our foreign policy and not our service men and women.

 

The definition, for clarity’s sake, must be stated before anything else is said. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, terrorism is  “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion“. The U.S. Law Code similarly states “the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.” With that in mind we may continue.

U.S. assault on civilians and non combatants through the use of drones.

Since the invention of the drone, and more specifically its use as a weapon of war, life for civilians in the middle east has become increasingly hazardous. Despite the claimed intentions of drones as a “surgical” answer to finding and eliminating high level targets in the field, an embarrassing amount of innocent people have died. To illustrate this tragedy, I’d like to bring to your attention a very well done graphic that shows the casualty data in the country of Pakistan. In this country alone, 175 children and 535 other civilians have been essentially murdered, or in political terms are considered collateral damage. Yes, our leaders have determined that it is acceptable for innocent people to die if it means they can nab their target. As dangerous as terrorist groups may be, are we really improving the world’s condition if we kill off the children as well? Forget for a moment that these people speak a different language, practice a different religion and dress in different clothes than you. These are real families with real lives that are being destroyed. What does it matter to them if they are ripped apart by a local terrorist cell or a drone from distant empire? If you were in the shoes of a father or mother who just lost their child to a hellfire missile, you just might consider the country that sent it to be just as evil as a terrorist. Explain to them that it was for the good of the mission. They will not listen.

Did I mention that we are not at war with Pakistan? Technically we are at peace with them. Unfortunately you might have to work to convince their citizens of that fact. Imagine all the loss of life in the actual war zones!

Here is a link to the graphic: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

U.S. involvement in the creation of terrorist groups.

It is a little known fact that, in the 1980’s, the United States government, specifically the CIA, sponsored and trained terrorist groups. The goal of doing so was to combat enemies, namely Soviet Russia, and create resistance by proxy. It is much easier to pay someone else to do your dirty work than to wade through the mud yourself. It is common sense to believe that the CIA did not intend for these groups to become anti-American, but they did capitalize on the nationalistic and religious enthusiasm of the Islamic participants in order to achieve goals beneficial to the United States.

This specific account of CIA-created terrorism is the birth of the Mujaheddin in mid 1979. Used to contest the Soviet Russian presence in the middle east towards the end of the Cold War, this group effectively aided in the failure of the Russian invasion.

From http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-the-war-on-terrorism/

Brzezinski: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, [on] 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion, this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Question: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Question: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Question: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War? ( “The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser”, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, published in English, Centre for Research on Globalisation, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html, 5 October 2001, italics added.)

For more on the subject Ben Swann breached the topic a few months ago on his Reality Check series. Watch it here!

So I ask you,

Considering the actions taken by our military against non-combatant citizens and the shady involvement in the creation of Al Qaeda, is it justifiable for the U.S. to be thought of as a form of state terrorism? Gut reaction says no, it cannot be so. The evidence implies an ugly suggestion however. A suggestion that people in other countries take very seriously. Try to think from the perspective of a citizen of one of those nations. Is it any wonder that they hate us?

Oh, and one more thing….your tax dollars pay for this.

Did Israel Help To Create Hamas?

November 20, 2012 2 comments

In light of the recent atrocities happening in Gaza right now, I think it’s important to realize that this could have been avoided.

Ben Swann, ever so diligent, asks the tough questions:

Blowback: Did Israel Help To Create Hamas?

Ben Swann on Reality Check

ABC’s George Will on last night’s presidential debate 10/22/12

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Surprise, surprise! Someone out there in the media gets it! Last night George Will of ABC made some great observations on the foreign policies of the President and his challenger: They’re not that different. They tried to emphasize their differences, but even so it was apparent both of them only want conflict to different degrees.

Click here for the video

On a similar note….(I apologize for the Tweetle Dee/Dum belittling, but the point is true none the less.)

George Washington On Foreign Policy

October 15, 2012 Leave a comment

In my current quest for sanity in our foreign policy I sought the words of wisdom from a man every American respects. The Father of our country, George Washington, had much to say on the subject of foreign policy. So much so that it constituted the 31st through 42nd paragraphs of his famous farewell address in 1796. As you read this, imagine how it would apply to today’s politics. You may be amazed, as I most definitely was, at the great foresight that he had. Before you contest that these words are no longer applicable to the modern and more complex world of today, recall that we still adhere to the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the virtues of the Declaration of Independence!

If you don’t want to read the entire segment (though I recommend you do), I’ve emphasized the best parts.

Ladies and Gentlemen…President George Washington:

“Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its Virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices ?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential, than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The Nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of Nations has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite Nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite Nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves to the favorite nation,) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing, with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.”

If you read it all, you just did yourself a great service. Pat yourself on the back. If you reached for a dictionary at any point while you read it, I understand.

Hopefully the answer for our current predicaments overseas can be found by simply looking to the wisdom of the past. I wanted to include John Quincy Adams thoughts on the subject, but determined there was enough in this post to last a while. So when considering foreign policy, think like George Washington. Think Tru Blu.

Categories: Foreign Affairs

Meanwhile in China…..The Dollar Under Attack

October 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Whilst the Presidential candidates bicker over who is less bad for the country or who did what to their dog, real issues are happening in the world. In this video, reporter Ben Swann breaks down not only some history on our currency but also how it could be in jeapordy as we speak. Don’t miss this:

Reality Check: What is the Petro-dollar and why is China trying to destroy it?

Gates: War With Iran Would Be ‘Catastrophic’

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Gates: War With Iran Would Be ‘Catastrophic’

Additional thoughts for my last post from the former Secretary of Defense. You really, really, really don’t want this war.

Categories: Foreign Affairs, Iran Tags: , , ,