NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine

Exclusive: The New York Times keeps insisting that last year’s Ukrainian coup wasn’t a coup and anyone who thinks so lives inside “the Russian propaganda bubble.” But a slanted Times “investigation” shows that the newspaper remains lost inside the U.S. government’s “propaganda bubble,” writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

During my years at Newsweek in the late 1980s, when I would propose correcting some misguided conventional wisdom, I’d often be told, “let’s leave that one for the historians,” with the magazine not wanting to challenge an erroneous storyline that all the important people “knew” to be true. And if false narratives only affected the past, one might argue my editors had a point. There’s always a lot of current news to cover.

But most false narratives are not really about the past; they are about how the public perceives the present and addresses the future. And it should fall to journalists to do their best to explain this background information even if it embarrasses powerful people and institutions, including the news organizations themselves.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

Yet, rather than take on that difficult task, most major news outlets prefer to embroider onto their existing tapestry of misinformation, fitting today’s reporting onto the misshapen fabric of yesterday’s. They rarely start from scratch and admit the earlier work was wrong.

So, how does the mainstream U.S. news media explain the Ukraine crisis after essentially falsifying the historical record for the past year? Well, if you’re the New York Times, you keep on spinning the old storyline, albeit with a few adjustments.

For instance, on Sunday, the Times published a lengthy article that sought to sustain the West’s insistence that the coup overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych wasn’t really a coup just the crumbling of his government in the face of paramilitary violence from the street with rumors of worse violence to come though that may sound to you pretty much like a coup. Still, the Times does make some modifications to Yanukovych’s image.

In the article, Yanukovych is recast from a brutal autocrat willfully having his police slaughter peaceful protesters into a frightened loser whose hand was “shaking” as he signed a Feb. 21 agreement with European diplomats, agreeing to reduce his powers and hold early elections, a deal that was cast aside on Feb. 22 when armed neo-Nazi militias overran presidential and parliamentary offices.

Defining a Coup

One might wonder what the New York Times thinks a coup looks like. Indeed, the Ukrainian coup had many of the same earmarks as such classics as the CIA-engineered regime changes in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954.

The way those coups played out is now historically well known. Secret U.S. government operatives planted nasty propaganda about the targeted leader, stirred up political and economic chaos, conspired with rival political leaders, spread rumors of worse violence to come and then as political institutions collapsed chased away the duly elected leader before welcoming the new “legitimate” order.

In Iran, that meant reinstalling the autocratic Shah who then ruled with a heavy hand for the next quarter century; in Guatemala, the coup led to more than three decades of brutal military regimes and the killing of some 200,000 Guatemalans.

Coups don’t have to involve army tanks occupying the public squares, although that is an alternative model which follows many of the same initial steps except that the military is brought in at the end. The military coup was a common approach especially in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.

But the preferred method in more recent years has been the “color revolution,” which operates behind the façade of a “peaceful” popular uprising and international pressure on the targeted leader to show restraint until it’s too late to stop the coup. Despite the restraint, the leader is still accused of gross human rights violations, all the better to justify his removal.

Later, the ousted leader may get an image makeover; instead of a cruel bully, he is ridiculed for not showing sufficient resolve and letting his base of support melt away, as happened with Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.

The Ukraine Reality

The reality of what happened in Ukraine was never hard to figure out. George Friedman, the founder of the global intelligence firm Stratfor, called the overthrow of Yanukovych “the most blatant coup in history.” It’s just that the major U.S. news organizations were either complicit in the events or incompetent in describing them to the American people.

The first step in this process was to obscure that the motive for the coup pulling Ukraine out of Russia’s economic orbit and capturing it in the European Union’s gravity field was actually announced by influential American neocons in 2013.

On Sept. 26, 2013, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, who has become a major neocon paymaster, took to the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post and called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward toppling Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At the time, Gershman, whose NED is funded by the U.S. Congress to the tune of about $100 million a year, was financing scores of projects inside Ukraine training activists, paying for journalists and organizing business groups.

As for that even bigger prize Putin Gershman wrote: “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 that time, in early fall 2013, Ukraine’s President Yanukovych was exploring the idea of reaching out to Europe with an association agreement. But he got cold feet in November 2013 when economic experts in Kiev advised him that the Ukrainian economy would suffer a $160 billion hit if it separated from Russia, its eastern neighbor and major trading partner. There was also the West’s demand that Ukraine accept a harsh austerity plan from the International Monetary Fund.

Yanukovych wanted more time for the EU negotiations, but his decision angered many western Ukrainians who saw their future more attached to Europe than Russia. Tens of thousands of protesters began camping out at Maidan Square in Kiev, with Yanukovych ordering the police to show restraint.

Meanwhile, with Yanukovych shifting back toward Russia, which was offering a more generous $15 billion loan and discounted natural gas, he soon became the target of American neocons and the U.S. media, which portrayed Ukraine’s political unrest as a black-and-white case of a brutal and corrupt Yanukovych opposed by a saintly “pro-democracy” movement.

The Maidan uprising was urged on by American neocons, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who passed out cookies at the Maidan and told Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.”

In the weeks before the coup, according to an intercepted phone call, Nuland discussed with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who should lead the future regime. Nuland said her choice was Arseniy Yatsenyuk. “Yats is the guy,” she told Pyatt as he pondered how to “midwife this thing.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, also showed up, standing on stage with right-wing extremists from the Svoboda Party and telling the crowd that the United States was with them in their challenge to the Ukrainian government.

As the winter progressed, the protests grew more violent. Neo-Nazi and other extremist elements from Lviv and western Ukrainian cities began arriving in well-organized brigades or “sotins” of 100 trained street fighters. Police were attacked with firebombs and other weapons as the violent protesters began seizing government buildings and unfurling Nazi banners and even a Confederate flag.

Though Yanukovych continued to order his police to show restraint, he was still depicted in the major U.S. news media as a brutal thug who was callously murdering his own people. The chaos reached a climax on Feb. 20 when mysterious snipers opened fire on police and some protesters, killing scores. As police retreated, the militants advanced brandishing firearms and other weapons. The confrontation led to significant loss of life, pushing the death toll to around 80 including more than a dozen police.

U.S. diplomats and the mainstream U.S. press immediately blamed Yanukovych for the sniper attack, though the circumstances remain murky to this day and some investigations have suggested that the lethal sniper fire came from buildings controlled by Right Sektor extremists.

To tamp down the worsening violence, a shaken Yanukovych signed a European-brokered deal on Feb. 21, in which he accepted reduced powers and an early election so he could be voted out of office. He also agreed to requests from Vice President Joe Biden to pull back the police.

The precipitous police withdrawal then opened the path for the neo-Nazis and other street fighters to seize presidential offices and force Yanukovych’s people to flee for their lives. Yanukovych traveled to eastern Ukraine and the new coup regime that took power and was immediately declared “legitimate” by the U.S. State Department sought Yanukovych’s arrest for murder. Nuland’s favorite, Yatsenyuk, became the new prime minister.

Media Bias

Throughout the crisis, the mainstream U.S. press hammered home the theme of white-hatted protesters versus a black-hatted president. The police were portrayed as brutal killers who fired on unarmed supporters of “democracy.” The good-guy/bad-guy narrative was all the American people heard from the major media.

The New York Times went so far as to delete the slain policemen from the narrative and simply report that the police had killed all those who died in the Maidan. A typical Times report on March 5, 2014, summed up the storyline: “More than 80 protesters were shot to death by the police as an uprising spiraled out of control in mid-February.”

The mainstream U.S. media also sought to discredit anyone who observed the obvious fact that an unconstitutional coup had just occurred. A new theme emerged that portrayed Yanukovych as simply deciding to abandon his government because of the moral pressure from the noble and peaceful Maidan protests.

Any reference to a “coup” was dismissed as “Russian propaganda.” There was a parallel determination in the U.S. media to discredit or ignore evidence that neo-Nazi militias had played an important role in ousting Yanukovych and in the subsequent suppression of anti-coup resistance in eastern and southern Ukraine. That opposition among ethnic-Russian Ukrainians simply became “Russian aggression.”

This refusal to notice what was actually a remarkable story the willful unleashing of Nazi storm troopers on a European population for the first time since World War II reached absurd levels as the New York Times and the Washington Post buried references to the neo-Nazis at the end of stories, almost as afterthoughts.

The Washington Post went to the extreme of rationalizing Swastikas and other Nazi symbols by quoting one militia commander as calling them “romantic” gestures by impressionable young men. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s ‘Romantic’ Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers.”]

Yet, despite the best efforts of the Times, the Post and other mainstream outlets to conceal this ugly reality from the American people, alternative news sources presenting a more realistic account of what was happening in Ukraine began to chip away at the preferred narrative.

Instead of buying the big media’s storyline, many Americans were coming to realize that the reality was much more complicated and that they were again being sold a bill of propaganda goods.

Denying a Coup

To the rescue rode the New York Times on Sunday, presenting what was portrayed as a detailed, granular “investigation” of how there was no coup in Ukraine and reaffirming the insistence that only Moscow stooges would think such a thing.

“Russia has attributed Mr. Yanukovych’s ouster to what it portrays as a violent, ‘neo-fascist’ coup supported and even choreographed by the West and dressed up as a popular uprising,” wrote Andrew Higgins and Andrew E. Kramer. “Few outside the Russian propaganda bubble ever seriously entertained the Kremlin’s line. But almost a year after the fall of Mr. Yanukovych’s government, questions remain about how and why it collapsed so quickly and completely.”

The Times’ article concluded that Yanukovych “was not so much overthrown as cast adrift by his own allies, and that Western officials were just as surprised by the meltdown as anyone else. The allies’ desertion, fueled in large part by fear, was accelerated by the seizing by protesters of a large stock of weapons in the west of the country. But just as important, the review of the final hours shows, was the panic in government ranks created by Mr. Yanukovych’s own efforts to make peace.”

Yet, what is particularly curious about this article is that it ignores the substantial body of evidence that the U.S. officials were instrumental in priming the crisis and fueling the ultimate ouster of Yanukovych. For instance, the Times makes no reference to the multitude of U.S.-financed political projects in Ukraine including scores by Gershman’s NED, nor the extraordinary intervention by Assistant Secretary of State Nuland.

Nuland’s encouragement to those challenging the elected government of Ukraine would surely merit mentioning, one would think. But it disappears from the Times’ version of history. Perhaps even more amazing there is no reference to the Nuland-Pyatt phone call, though Pyatt was interviewed for the article.

Even if the Times wanted to make excuses for the Nuland-Pyatt scheming claiming perhaps it didn’t prove that they were coup-plotting you would think the infamous phone call would deserve at least a mention. But Nuland isn’t referenced anywhere. Nor is Gershman. Nor is McCain.

The most useful part of the Times’ article is its description of the impact from a raid by anti-Yanukovych militias in the western city of Lviv on a military arsenal and the belief that the guns were headed to Kiev to give the uprising greater firepower.

The Times reports that “European envoys met at the German Embassy with Andriy Parubiy, the chief of the protesters’ security forces, and told him to keep the Lviv guns away from Kiev. ‘We told him: “Don’t let these guns come to Kiev. If they come, that will change the whole situation,”’ Mr. Pyatt recalled telling Mr. Parubiy, who turned up for the meeting wearing a black balaclava.

“In a recent interview in Kiev, Mr. Parubiy denied that the guns taken in Lviv ever got to Kiev, but added that the prospect that they might have provided a powerful lever to pressure both Mr. Yanukovych’s camp and Western governments. ‘I warned them that if Western governments did not take firmer action against Yanukovych, the whole process could gain a very threatening dimension,’ he said.

“Andriy Tereschenko, a Berkut [police] commander from Donetsk who was holed up with his men in the Cabinet Ministry, the government headquarters in Kiev, said that 16 of his men had already been shot on Feb. 18 and that he was terrified by the rumors of an armory of automatic weapons on its way from Lviv. ‘It was already an armed uprising, and it was going to get worse,’ he said. ‘We understood why the weapons were taken, to bring them to Kiev.’”

The Times leaves out a fuller identification of Parubiy. Beyond serving as the chief of the Maidan “self-defense forces,” Parubiy was a notorious neo-Nazi, the founder of the Social-National Party of Ukraine (and the national security chief for the post-coup regime). But “seeing no neo-Nazis” in Ukraine had become a pattern for the New York Times.

Still, the journalistic question remains: what does the New York Times think a coup looks like? You have foreign money, including from the U.S. government, pouring into Ukraine to finance political and propaganda operations. You have open encouragement to the coup-makers from senior American officials.

You have hundreds of trained and armed paramilitary fighters dispatched to Kiev from Lviv and other western cities. You have the seizure of an arsenal amid rumors that these more powerful weapons are being distributed to these paramilitaries. You have international pressure on the elected president to pull back his security forces, even as Western propaganda portrays him as a mass murderer.

Anyone who knows about the 1954 Guatemala coup would remember that a major element of that CIA operation was a disinformation campaign, broadcast over CIA-financed radio stations, about a sizeable anti-government force marching on Guatemala City, thus spooking the Arbenz government to collapse and Arbenz to flee.

But the Times article is not a serious attempt to study the Ukraine coup. If it had been, it would have looked seriously at the substantial evidence of Western interference and into other key facts, such as the identity of the Feb. 20 snipers. Instead, the article was just the latest attempt to pretend that the coup really wasn’t a coup.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

26 comments for “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine

  1. After Z
    January 19, 2015 at 14:54

    Libya leader, gone.
    Iraq, gone.
    Assad, in the works.
    The whole regional plan was spoken by Gen Wesley Clark. (7 nations five years) This has been in the making for many decades for Israel, and we are their b***h.
    Ukraine was just another one of those little games. Glad to see Putin deliver the Zionists 1st major defeat in Crimea.
    And Americans are on the hook for all those Ukraine bonds.

  2. cShelton
    January 12, 2015 at 11:52

    It is amazing that the USA was the first country to outlaw corruption of a foreign official in their own country of origin. They then insisted that other OECD countries do the same. Yet Ms. Nuland brag’s that she spent $5 billion doing just that. That the USA has a constitutional clause, Article 6, that makes international treaties the supreme law of the land is priceless contempt for the constitution, international law and the rule of law preached by so many politicians, when the latter are practicing ‘law of rule’.

    • Slavodar
      January 14, 2015 at 23:40

      Yes, the world has already uncoverd the double-standard and the hipocracy of the US government, its agencies and officials.
      Of course, we can see this standard in the rest of the world as well, on various levels, but it runs full throttle in the US Gov.

      It’s funny, how the US still wants to be regarded as the world’s example of all standards. I think the morals of those standards are in the free-fall.

  3. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg
    January 11, 2015 at 15:03

    The Times pieces also set the stage for what is considered acceptable the frame of discourse (i.e.: Just how responsible is Russia generally and Putin specifically for Ukraine’s destabilization?).
    If one asks questions outside this frame of discourse, then you’re a ‘Conspiracists” or a kook or an incurable Russophile duped by too much RT.

  4. tazman
    January 8, 2015 at 19:45

    “European envoys met at the German Embassy with Andriy Parubiy, the chief of the protesters’ security forces, and told him to keep the Lviv guns away from Kiev.”

    That statement alone says it all…. I know of no legitimate protesters that have “heads of security.”

  5. hp
    January 8, 2015 at 12:26

    To paraphrase T.S. Eliot..

    The rats are underneath the piles,
    the “Zionist” is underneath the lot.

  6. Salm S
    January 8, 2015 at 10:53

    Add to that the military coupe against the first democratically president in the history of Egypt,and how many American NGO’s poured huge amount of money in order to bring about his overthrow.Even the US government did not have the courage or the honesty to call it a coupe.

    • January 9, 2015 at 05:01

      Remember when the Russians and others complained about the activities of NGOs interfering in their elections /politics? NED was what they were referring to.
      Albright is in charge of the NED Dems while John McCain leads the NED GOP.

      “Neoconservative Ken Timmerman has identified the core NED activity overseas as “training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques,” surely a polite way to describe interfering directly in other countries’ politics,” writes ex-CIA analyst Philip Giraldi.

  7. Michael Price
    January 8, 2015 at 07:31

    Why does anyone read the NYT anymore, let alone believe them? It’s amazing that Fox News gets all the shit and the “grey whore” gets a free pass.

  8. ltr
    January 7, 2015 at 21:25

    Brilliant essays, we have to hope and trust they make a necessary difference so that we can collectively see a little more clearly before doing ourselves and others more damage.

  9. Brendan
    January 7, 2015 at 15:27

    “U.S. diplomats and the mainstream U.S. press immediately blamed Yanukovych for the sniper attack, though the circumstances remain murky to this day and some investigations have suggested that the lethal sniper fire came from buildings controlled by Right Sektor extremists.”

    It can be said with almost total certainty that much of the lethal sniper fire came from buildings controlled by the Right Sektor and their allies. The evidence for this, from eye witness accounts, video footage and radio intercepts, comes from pro-Maidan supporters, so it isn’t fabricated.

    Many of those shots came from the Hotel Ukraina, which was where many western journalists stayed at that time (if you’ve seen a lot of TV reports from Kiev you might recognise the view from the Hotel Ukraina over the Maidan).

    You would think that the overwhelming evidence that a massacre was carried out partly from their hotel might prompt those journalists to investigate and report who was actually behind the massacre. Unfortunately the western media prefers to stick to the story that it was Yanukovych’s forces who were responsible for nearly all, if not all, of the deaths of the protesters. That version of events gets repeated over and over again, even though no real evidence has yet been presented that links Yanukovych or his forces to any of the deaths.

    • Brendan
      January 7, 2015 at 15:39

      Ivan Katchanovski, who teaches at the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, investigated the Maidan massacre:
      “The evidence presented in my study shows that the investigation of the “snipers’ massacre” by the Prosecutor General Office in Ukraine and by other government agencies is deliberately falsified. The Prosecutor General Office on November 19, 2014 claimed during their press-conference, which was devoted to this issue, that their extensive investigation produced no evidence of “snipers” in the Hotel Ukraina and other locations controlled by the Maidan. They state that commanders and members of a special Berkut company killed almost all of the protesters on February 20th with AKM rifles and hunting ammunition. But no evidence has been made public in support of such findings, with the exception of videos that show them shooting with AKMs. A Reuters investigation recently uncovered that the prosecution case against three Berkut members charged with the killings relies on such videos and photos, and that some of key pieces of such evidence were misrepresented or ignored…

      … Numerous sources of evidence, including videos, which point to “shooters” of the protesters and the police from the Hotel Ukraina and at least 11 other Maidan-controlled locations, are denied or ignored by the Ukrainian government…

      … The evidence suggests that elements of the Maidan opposition, specifically from far right and oligarchic parties, were involved in the killing of the protesters and the police in one capacity or another. This is indicated by the various evidence including the following: radio intercepts of Security Service of Ukraine Alfa commanders and snipers, Internal Troops, and one group of shooters, the location of shooters in the Maidan-controlled areas, trajectories of bullets estimated from their impact points seen in videos, reported by eyewitnesses, or preserved on trees and polls, use of AKM and hunting rifles in the killings, similar types of wounds suffered by both protesters and police, and the failure of the Maidan Self-Defence, the Right Sector, and the Maidan government investigation to find the shooters in these locations. ”

      • hp
        January 8, 2015 at 12:29

        Pay no attention to dancing Israelis on Kiev roof tops sniping both sides.
        (how they roll)

        • flamex
          January 9, 2015 at 18:45

          Could you describe, what evidences exist about involvement and motives of Israel to change government in Ukraine.

          For a while, Israel refused to sell drones to new government and did not support condemnation of Russia’s actions in EU.

  10. Neil Clarke
    January 7, 2015 at 14:07

    There is film evidence that some of the snipers were operating from the journalists’ hotel in Kiev. There is an report from BBC correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse on the BBC website:
    There is also raw footage:
    The shooting from the hotel starts at 05:00
    Gabriel Gatehouse, a Russian speaker, has since been reassigned by the BBC to Africa.

    Incidentally, Vice News’ Simon Simon Ostrovsky, another Russian speaker, has also been reassigned from Ukraine. Take a look at Russian Roulette (Dispatch 83) at 09:00:
    in which a former Party of the Regions deputy and local separatist military leader describes the murder of his son by the Azov Battalion.

    • flamex
      January 9, 2015 at 04:25

      Thanks for mentioning dismissed journalists, who was trying to say truth.

      Small addition to your list:
      New York Times have printed some articles dispersing from “the party line” – dismissed the editor-in-chief without explanation.

      The journalist from CNN – Diana Magnay – was relocated to another place soon after being the only one reporting truth about 2 June in Luhansk.
      “CNN’s Diana Magnay on Luhansk air attack Jun 02, 2014”
      No other major media reported about it. The second biggest was Jerusalem Post with small article. All others have told about that tragedy only a few lines inside big articles related to other news.

      The following is just my ranting:
      Yes, most mass medias are ashamed to print nonsense about “self-bombardments”, presenting it as “according to messages from ukr. mass media”, even from the “freed” Slavyansk.
      Does somebody remember how the brought-down reconnaissance An-30, suddenly for the whole world appeared as cargo An-26 carrying humanitarian freights?
      And how mass media in the USA was “smoothed out” before the second war in Iraq?
      Or how, having passed from Syria to Iraq, fighters of ISIS from “fighters for freedom” turned into the terrorists killing with thousands? And how mayor medias don’t pay attention to the events in Saudi Arabia: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/09/15/record-beheadings-and-the-mass-arrest-of-christians-is-it-isis-no-its-saudi-arabia /?

  11. onno
    January 7, 2015 at 06:35

    Propaganda alwayis was identified with the former Soviet Union also during WW II Hitler used effectively and now the Western media newspapers, TV and Magazines use it effectively to manipulate it population. This was clearly expressed by 17 year veteran journalist at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany’s leading newspaper) Udo Ulfkotte who in NO mistaken language proved that German journalists were paid by the German government and CIA to write political favourable articles.

    The USA use tax payers money to manipulate the minds of people again a similar violation of the so-called freedom of speech which is anchored in the US Constitution. But like always what’s prohibited by laws doesn’t restrict the US government to torture and massacre civilians women and children in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria and now even in a European nation like Ukraine. No wonder President Putin stands up to this USA/NATO aggression and no wonder that President Putin gets more and more support in Europe (in Russia 85%, in Germany 40%+) He not only shows leadership but most of all he defends his nation and his people against a war hungry US Congress of Neocons, (Kerry, Biden, Nuland, McCain, etc), who even today endorses and finances a Neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine as was shown in this New Year demonstration in Kiev celebrating Nazi-friend Bandera who murdered 500.000 Ukrainians and 32.000 Jews at Babi Yar in 1941. And this ALL without any protests from Western politicians incl Merkel, only Czech President Zeman drew attention to this matter and compared this to the beginning of Hitler’s nazism early 1930!
    Ultimately it shows the incompetence and lack of responsibilities of today’s Western politicians from Washington to Brussels and Berlin.

    • January 11, 2015 at 18:45

      Thank you, onno, for those crucial historical recalls. Too soon we forget true history, or else we learn false versions, so then the horrors & nightmares are free to return under evil schemers lusting for power or wealth –or often BOTH– such as the Clintons and the Bush dynasty. The Bushes made good money working both sides of any war they could turn to their benefit, from the Opium Trade in the 18th c. to our current slowly-burning WW3.

      See my swan-song article, “The Ghost of George Carver is Haunting Bush 43”, which I wrote as my last major historical essay.

      As I near 72, I know the first half of my life was lived under the last vestiges of a far freer North America. Our young people have nothing but ashes and bitter herbs to eat in the midst of what Father Thomas Berry rightly named a ‘Wonderworld’ created by rampant technos w/o a moral compass to guide it.

      Perhaps the gravest of our sins are those of nuclear poisoning and genetic manipulations. When I graduated HS age 17 in 1960, the so-called ‘Green Revolution’ was trumpeted as the planet’s salvation. But even then I knew enough biology and genetics to know this was a false promise; now we’ve quietly buried that lie, glossing it over w/Frankenfoods, supposedly insect- & disease-resistant cultivars that require ever-increasing amounts of pesticides. Was genius ever so misplaced?

      I’ll close by quoting what I feel is the greatest line ever written in English, e e cumming’s “a world of made is not a world of born.” Can we today slay our lust for deadly artificialities and subversive synthetics? Or are we so much in love with death, as it’s made evermore profitable, that we will indeed fulfill Lenin’s sardonic epigram, and bid our hangman to supply our noose at the lowest cost?

  12. Abe
    January 7, 2015 at 02:04

    Yury Biryukov, an aide to Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, said on January 6th that during the year 2014, up to $450 million was stolen from Ukraine’s military. This amount happens to be precisely the same maximum amount of money that the U.S. Government, in legislation that was supported by more than 98% of U.S. Senators and Representatives and that was signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama on December 18th, will donate to Ukraine’s military for this year, 2015. Biryukov, who spoke on Ukraine’s Channel 5 TV (which had formerly been owned by Poroshenko), said that the amount stolen in 2014 constituted “about 20 to 25 percent” of Ukraine’s military budget for 2014, which was a total of $1.8 billion. During 2015, that budget is scheduled to be $3.2 billion (in constant dollars), or a 78% increase, in order for the Government to prosecute its war against the Donbass region, where the residents had voted 90% for President Viktor Yanukovych, whom the Obama Administration overthrew in February 2014 in a coup that was disguised as being the result of popular demonstrations for democracy but were actually anti-corruption demonstrations — and corruption now is even higher than it was under President Yanukovych. Indeed, Biryakov admitted that in the Ministry of Defense there is now “total corruption.”


  13. Helen Marshall
    January 6, 2015 at 20:53

    My apologies for the typo – and the last line is my comment, not part of my letter! Wish I could edit the post…

    Thanks to Robert Parry for his continued vigilance on this. Many – no most – of my former State Dept colleagues refuse to believe that the press is promoting this coup…

  14. Helen Marshall
    January 6, 2015 at 20:15

    Here is the letter I sent to the Times on this:
    To the Editor:

    In today’s front page article about Ukraine (January 4, 2015), “Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted,” Andrew Higgins and Andrew E. Kramer give an ironically correctt title, and then write an article over a full page long claiming that “Western officials were just as surprised by the meltdown as anyone else.” Mr. Higgins and Mr. Kramer manage to mention US Ambassador Pyatt once, claiming that he was worried about the violence in the Maidan protests and the possibility of stolen guns coming into play. That is the ONLY mention of any role played by US officials and agencies, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, building a movement to dislodge Mr. Yanukovich over several years and $5 billion dollars, according to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Ms. Nuland was caught in a telephone call to Ambassador Pyatt instructing him as to who should be the chosen leader of Ukraine. Senator McCain is not mentioned despite his highly visible presence encouraging the protests. We need not even speculate about the role of certain US agencies distinguished for dozens of “regime changes.” I am sure that all these folks were shocked, shocked! by the possibility of violence in the protests.

    The article asserts sneeringly that “few outside the Russian propaganda bubble seriously entertain the Kremlin’s line” – ie., that the events in Kiev represent a Western-backed, neo-fascist coup. Are these two writers (and your editorial staff) competing for the Judith Miller Award for Propaganda Reporting?

    Somehow I don’t expect to see this in the TImes.

    • toby
      January 8, 2015 at 08:49

      Notice the author does not mention Israel or Judea once. One might conclude there is a reason.

  15. Harold
    January 6, 2015 at 18:34

    The NYT article is just an exercise in double-talk as it and the toxic NGOs with whom it colludes begin peddling away from their (insane) failed plan. One can’t help wondering what’s in it for the paper of record to blatantly obfuscate in this way.

  16. January 6, 2015 at 18:18

    What amazes me is that New York Times reporters do not seem to understand how similar to the old Soviet propaganda apparatus their newspaper has become on certain topics. The people at the Soviet-era Pravda were paid well and given perks, with the understanding that they would see things in a certain way. What looked to the West as a brutal suppression of democratic impulses in Czechoslavakia (1968) or Hungary (1956) could be interpreted as the consequence of Western incitement. Indeed, the National Security Archive has released U.S. documents showing that:

    ” senior officials were prepared to consider the resort to violence in Eastern Europe in furtherance of U.S. interests…. Radio [Free Europe] overstepped its bounds in encouraging Hungarian hopes of imminent Western assistance. ”

    That certainly didn’t justify Soviet intervention, but it certainly wasn’t hard for Soviet “journalists” to spin American interventions as hostile to the U.S.S.R…

    Just as it isn’t hard for American “journalists” to spin the numerous and significant –and also inexcusable– Russian interventions in Ukraine as being hostile to the U.S. After all, they’re well-paid, they have perks, and who would want to risk such a comfortable perch in the interests of telling the whole truth?

    • Slavodar
      January 10, 2015 at 00:22

      I’m not sure what Russian intervention you’re talking about – “the numerous and significant –and also inexcusable– Russian interventions in Ukraine”.
      Can you specify, please?

      There’s about 13 million russian speaking population in the Ukraine [mostly in the east, little in the west]. These pepole simply refuse to put their faith in the new “Kiev”, composed of individuals who fell in love with the likes of Stepan Bandera.
      These ukrainian Russians, simply don’t want anything to do with the NEO-Kiev. Russia, of course, supports their efforts, but Russia itself is not intervening in the conflict.

  17. W. R. Knight
    January 6, 2015 at 17:44

    What do you expect from the official organ of the corporate/government establishment?

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