Trump Bends to Neocon Pressures

Exclusive: President Trump’s calls for reorienting American foreign policy look to be disintegrating in his first two weeks in office as he embraces the neoconservative hostilities toward Iran and Russia, as Andrew Spannaus notes.

By Andrew Spannaus

The Trump Administration’s goal of de-escalating tensions with Russia is meeting stiff resistance in Eastern Europe where many reject the notion that a diplomatic solution can be reached over the issues of Ukraine and NATO expansion.

Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. August 31, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

This reality was on clear display at the 10th Europe-Ukraine Forum held in Rzeszow, Poland, from Jan. 27 to 29, which brought together over 900 government officials, politicians and analysts from across Europe, to discuss how to respond to the new political situation in the United States while continuing to provide support to Kiev’s efforts to bind itself closer to the West.

The atmosphere at the Forum – an annual event organized by the Eastern Institute of Warsaw – was more muted than last year, as the reality of the “realpolitik” likely to be adopted by President Trump’s administration sinks in.

The previous forum in 2016 was opened by the American neoconservative Philip Karber, president of the Potomac Foundation, who lamented the “sophistic” reasoning of those who argue against providing military assistance to Ukraine and said he couldn’t wait for the next presidential administration to arrive (when it appeared likely it would be headed by Hillary Clinton or a traditional Republican). Karber noted that President Barack Obama had refused to fully arm the Ukrainians in their battle against Russia.

This wasn’t just idle talk coming from Karber, as we found out a few months later in 2016, thanks to leaks published by The Intercept last July. It appears that Karber had gone repeatedly to the front lines of the fight in Ukraine to draw up his own – inflated – intelligence reports regarding Russian intervention. He sent the reports to General Philip Breedlove, at the time the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, who in turn used Karber’s figures to challenge the lower estimates drawn up by official intelligence agencies.

General Breedlove then went a step further, seeking to mobilize pressure on President Obama to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine. Despite enlisting the help of prominent individuals such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell and one of Breedlove’s predecessors at NATO, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, Breedlove’s efforts proved ineffective. Although President Obama continued to direct harsh criticism at Russia in public, behind the scenes his message to the General was: “do not get me into a war.”

Harlan Ullman, senior adviser to the Atlantic Council, wrote to Breedlove about his attempt to “leverage, cajole, convince or coerce the U.S. to react” to Russia: “Given Obama’s instruction to you not to start a war, this may be a tough sell.”

The hope for a more aggressive stance against Russia by the future U.S. administration obviously didn’t take into account the possibility that the next President would be Donald Trump. In January 2016, few gave Trump any chance to actually win the election, and thus the assumption was that by this time, Hillary Clinton or a Republican such as Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush would be occupying the White House.

Former NATO Commander Philip M. Breedlove.

Trump’s election seemed to upend the U.S. establishment’s push for a more aggressive stance towards Russia that has been on full display since last fall in particular. The news media and political class have, in fact, focused almost hysterically on alleged Russian intervention into the U.S. elections, despite crucial gaps in the evidence presented to the public and the question of whether Russian President Putin would have taken such a risk when it appeared Clinton was a shoo-in to win.

The WikiLeaks disclosures – primarily confirming Clinton’s close ties to Wall Street and the Democratic National Committee’s help in undermining Bernie Sanders’s campaign – were not initially considered a major factor in Clinton’s defeat, which she principally blamed on FBI Director James Comey’s last-minute reopening and re-closing of the investigation into her use of a private email server for State Department business. No one has suggested that Putin was behind Comey’s actions or Clinton’s server decision.

Trump’s Uncertainty

The early Trump administration has sent mixed signals regarding relations with Russia. Trump’s initial comments indicated that the U.S. would seek a diplomatic deal to reduce tensions around Ukraine, including by potentially recognizing the pro-Russian referendum in Crimea, in exchange for a broader deal with Russia involving cooperation against terrorism or nuclear arms reduction. However, Trump’s United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday vowed to continue sanctions against Russia until it surrendered Crimea.

At the Europe-Ukraine Forum, the earlier expectation of reduced tensions with Russia was grudgingly accepted by some, but outright rejected by most. Many speakers called for an even more aggressive stance on NATO expansion to include not only Ukraine, but also Sweden, Finland and any other country in Russia’s neighborhood.

Then-Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. March 15, 2013. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Tomasz Szatkowski, Undersecretary of State of the Polish Ministry of National Defense, also said Poland would volunteer to lead a group of nations in creating a first-response network, ready to organize out-of-area military missions in response to Russian aggression. Other officials agreed with the idea of creating an alliance between a group of countries going from the Baltics down through Eastern Europe, to put pressure on the European Union and the United States to head off any potential diplomatic accords with Putin.

The fear among these participants was that Ukraine would lose out in any U.S.-Russian diplomatic accord. They argued further that if nothing is done to counter Putin’s alleged expansionism then Russia will inevitably move into Eastern Europe in order to restore its former empire.

However, this view is based on the assumption that the conflict in Ukraine broke out simply because the Russian president woke up one morning and decided it was time to expand Russian military power again. It ignores what the West did up to 2014, such as expanding NATO towards Russia’s borders and providing support through both official sources and numerous NGOs to “pro-democracy” groups, some of which wanted regime change not only in Kiev but in Moscow.

A prominent example is the head of the U.S. taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Carl Gershman. As journalist Robert Parry has reported, NED funded scores of “democracy promotion” projects in Ukraine, contributing to undermining the previous elected government and touching off the civil war between Ukrainian nationalists from the west and ethnic Russians from the east. Gershman also has called for the overthrow of Vladimir Putin in Russia.

A False Narrative

Although the West’s propaganda narrative has obscured the circumstances around the ouster of Ukrainian President Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, the violent putsch has been called the “most blatant coup in history” by George Friedman, the founder of Stratfor and Geopolitical Futures. At the time of the coup, a diplomatic deal had been struck for new elections by the end of the year, but far-right militia groups stepped in to seize control of the government institutions and the coup regime was quickly declared “legitimate” by the U.S. government and its allies.

A key player in the change in power was U.S. Undersecretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who was recorded in a pre-coup phone call saying “Fuck the EU” with regard to Europe’s role as a mediator for a diplomatic solution, and also hand-picking the person who would become the new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, with the comment “Yats is the guy.”

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

This direct intervention by the West provoked a predictable reaction from Russia, which moved quickly to ensure that Crimea would not end up under the NATO umbrella and then provided support to ethnic Russian rebels in the east of Ukraine who battled Ukrainian troops spearheaded by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and other ultra-nationalist militias.

The intensity of the conflict in Ukraine decreased considerably after a ceasefire agreement was hammered out in early 2015. However, on Jan. 28, barely a week into the Trump administration, new fighting broke out around the city of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. Staunchly anti-Russian media outlets and politicians immediately tried to leverage the situation to block any moves by President Trump to press ahead with a diplomatic solution.

However, at the Forum in Rzeszow, there were at least some voices calling for a recognition of the new reality ushered in by the change in approach in Washington. In private discussions several government officials noted that with further NATO expansion probably off the table at this point, there is no alternative to dialogue.

A few speakers, such as Markku Kangaspuro of Finland and former Ukrainian government official Oleksandr Chalyi, admitted publicly that there cannot be total war with Russia, and that at this point a political solution seems to be the only way forward. The most that can be done, from the standpoint of those who aim to counter Russia’s influence as much as possible, is to try to limit and mitigate a potential deal between Trump and Putin.

Andrew Spannaus is a freelance journalist and strategic analyst based in Milan, Italy. He is the founder of Transatlantico.info, that provides news, analysis and consulting to Italian institutions and businesses. His book on the U.S. elections Perchè vince Trump (Why Trump is Winning) was published in June 2016.

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50 comments for “Trump Bends to Neocon Pressures

  1. Sally Snyder
    February 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    As shown in this article, two Republican Senators are doing what they can to undermine Trump’s foreign policy:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/02/interfering-in-ukraine-breach-of-us-law.html

    This would appear to be a breach of at least two U.S. laws.

    • FobosDeimos
      February 3, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Well, I believe that by now it has become clear that Trump never had an independent foreign policy to begin with. His appointments for cabinet positions (the ones that count, as Tillerson is a decorative figure), and the advisers who surround him (starting with his son in law), all point to a reinforcement of the paranoid national security, military and intelligence policies of the last 25 years or so, with the added terrifying prospects that come about when you realize that the man is a bully. There is no need for anybody to sabotage Trump. He is his own worst enemy.

      • Noravolson
        February 5, 2017 at 11:56 pm

        This is not Trump’s agenda, it’s the global cabal’s agenda. This agenda was around and formulated long before Trump. Trump doesn’t even have the leaway to decide what clothes he will wear on a given day. Get a clue!

    • Bill Bodden
      February 3, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Very good link, Sally. Thank you

      • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
        February 3, 2017 at 10:01 pm

        Bill Bodden,

        I agree. A great link Sally.

        From the article the puzzle:

        “Trump’s initial comments indicated that the U.S. would seek a diplomatic deal to reduce tensions around Ukraine, including by potentially recognizing the pro-Russian referendum in Crimea, in exchange for a broader deal with Russia involving cooperation against terrorism or nuclear arms reduction. However, Trump’s United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday vowed to continue sanctions against Russia until it surrendered Crimea.”

        Is Ambassador Nikki Haley writing her own version of Trump’s plan to recognize the pro-Russian referendum in Crimea, a version that denies the plan ever existed? Is she operating by her own lights? If she is, please God have President Trump turn off the switch.

    • Paul G.
      February 3, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      McCain’s chief advisor in 2008 ( the Pres. election year) was also an advisor to President Saakashvilli (Misha) of Georgia, when Misha started a war with Russia by bombarding the capital city of the breakaway province of S. Ossetia. Is there a connection?
      They of course were routed, and the Russians taught them a lesson by advancing South all the way to Stalin’s birthplace, Gori. McCain and Graham have continually been deeply involved with the little republic that has half the population of Moscow; and has designs on joining NATO. Fortunately Misha is a fugitive under indictment and the present government would like reasonable relations with the Bear; though the NATO aspirations conflict with that.

      By the way Misha became governor of Odessa ostensibly to clean it up; but the Ukrainian corruption was even too much for his crooked little soul and he quit.

  2. D5-5
    February 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    It would be interesting to know what Trump and Putin talked about regarding Ukraine and Crimea last Saturday, following the previous Thursday’s comment by Nikki Haley indicating Russia must surrender Crimea. Surrendering Crimea is obviously absurd. How could Trump and Putin have a warm conversation, as reported, with this new Kiev aggression in Ukraine and Haley’s announcement? Is she in charge or is Trump in charge?

  3. Ol' Hippy
    February 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    It took Obama less than a week and Trump less than two weeks to cave in to the fucking neocons in Washington. I’m guessing now that any form of a lasting peace in my lifetime is off the table. The delusional idiots running,(ruining) things won’t rest until they destroy the planet and most, if not all, people and life on Earth. Politicians are notorious liars and Trump can’t tell the truth even if it’s on the teleprompter. A movement to remove Putin won’t work even if it’s in the wet dreams of all the neocons. It’s a war we cannot win and I wish the hell they’d quit thinking about it. I call this administration a GOP coup that will break every law and take the US back to some time in the last century that the febrile brained think was great; well it wasn’t for a whole host of people, just ask all the dead soldiers and African Americans how great they had it. Time to sit back, relax and wait for the end of the world.

    • Sam F
      February 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      It does look that way at present.

      They allow themselves to be surrounded and outnumbered by the Nat Security Council (NSC), falling for the pretense that they must have constant concerns about security rather than the broad responsibilities of their office. They and their few appointees are socially surrounded and dominated, and hear no other side of the issues. They have no sophistication or sizeable organization of their own, and their Israel/MIC/WallSt/bank sponsors are quite on board with NSC propaganda. They are all idiots and scoundrels.

      NSC should be cut down from 2400 to perhaps 4 members and met with no more than monthly unless there is a crisis.

      If the president must have “councils” let them focus on economics, justice, foreign aid, and other areas of real world responsibility, not bogus MIC/zionist propaganda.

    • GMC
      February 5, 2017 at 5:33 am

      Don’t feel too bad Ol’ Hippy – I lived on and off and then retired in a nice mellow place/peninsula where there were No Americans, no gangs, no crime ,beach’s galore with some mountains beer 80 cents – then came McCain and Nuland and their Neo Nazi’s. Ya I still live on and off there but when the US shows up, so does the Grim Reaper. Putin has Crimea’s back now so life is still mellow on the Peninsula – beer is up to a buck tho. oo da chee { Good Luck}

  4. J'hon Doe II
    February 3, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Ask Mr. Trump about the “wonderful job” Fredrick Douglas is doing. —

    Perhaps Real President Bannon can share a history lesson with our Apprentice In Chief.

  5. Bill Bodden
    February 3, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    While reading the section of this article about people talking up aggression against Russia I was reminded of the lead up to the First World War when talk morphed into war and Kaiser Wilhelm suddenly realized at a moment in time what the reality of war was and when it was too late to reverse course.

    Although the West’s propaganda narrative has obscured the circumstances around the ouster of Ukrainian President Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, the violent putsch has been called the “most blatant coup in history” by George Friedman, the founder of Stratfor and Geopolitical Futures.

    The Geopolitical Futures website – https://geopoliticalfutures.com/welcome-to-geopolitical-futures/ – look like a good source of information.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 4, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      The Schlieffen Plan As you well know Bill was a train (literally lots of trains) filled with weapons and troops that was impossible to stop once put in motion. Today, almost always the U.S. and it’s NATO allies have a modern day version of The Schlieffen Plan in play, and with that we all hold our breath. Border war games, and highly provocative saber rattling, is now common diplomacy, and with that we all are held captive to an overwhelming potential war strategy much like The Schlieffen Plan did to those who were deafeningly ignored but over a century ago.

      That George Friedman site sounds interesting, do you have to pay to get on it? I ask not because I’m cheap, but curious…thanks for the link Joe

      • Bill Bodden
        February 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm

        Joe: Part of the website appears to be free. Sign up for emails for the Reality Check. Load of info there more than I have time for. There is another option with a 30-day free trial that will require payment. You and I may be in the same boat getting to the limit of how many websites we can donate to.

        • Joe J Tedesky
          February 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm

          Yes Bill it is getting expensive to have a free press.

  6. elmerfudzie
    February 3, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    The very foundation and strength of today’s neo-con element rests on a well funded and politically organized Military-Industrial complex (MIC). Unless the general public confronts the MIC’s with, what I refer to as the “Ma-Bell-AT&T” break-up plan, our nation will NEVER be free of both the economic and spiritual drain we have been subjected to since the end of World War Two. These “mega” warmongering corporations such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and many others, have business portfolio’s that belong in the PAST. A PAST that stood against a truly functioning Soviet Union CCCP, with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other mass murderers. That our government somehow, managed to self- appoint a policing role that ruled over all the planets’ tyrants? mind boggling to say the least! That said, back in 1982, Judge Harold Green broke up one of the biggest Telephone monopolies. AT&T ; recall that it was financially supported and operated by our federal government, dare I say, just as the MIC’s of today are. CONSORTIUMNEWS readers should take time, review the flood of tax dollars provided since 1945 and re-examine the whole “revolving door policy” between the legislative branch and corporate CEO’s already mentioned herein. A mass petition?, by the citizenry at large?, perhaps even a state-by-state, referendum vote (California Style) can be applied towards this “AT&T plan”….. First, by approaching mega-war corporations and request a voluntary, dissolution into smaller parts. By redirecting corporate efforts away from manufacture, towards more R&D. For example; exotic weapons systems- that could be quickly manufactured, from partial-assembly? during times of extreme crises. That remaining portion referred to as “finished product” weaponry, would be reserved for defensive/offensive conflicts in outer space, since that’s where it all (techno-wars) seems to be headed anyway. National indebtedness would decline and losses from government subsidies ( U.S. arms sales) would be given over to our major allies. In exchange for these new markets they would reciprocate by allowing the USA to evolve into a political role, such as the highest recognized Court of Peaceable Arbitration, instead of the worlds’ policeman.

    • Sangy
      February 4, 2017 at 3:17 am

      Don’t you realize that the Republic is long dead? There is no power of the citizenry to exercise. Not even a mob could save democracy now – were it to miraculously find common ground for action, it would be quickly quelled by a heavily militarized police…Petitions, referendums — bah, humbug. We’ll be lucky to have a press or a defensible election going forward. For all the liberating we’ve claimed to do around the world, all the uprisings we’ve called for or manufactured, we will go meekly into the good night of history.

  7. John
    February 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    If you know a neocon…..give him or her a coffee enema coupon …for free………WOW I feel better already…..Listen citizens, your #1 job is to discover the neocon agenda……If it requires you family to further their agenda ????? just say no…..

    • Felix Navidad
      February 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

      cream and sugar extra

  8. John
    February 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    To keep every thing fair….I challenge consortium new to make public all donations…… I say that because consortium has at least doubled their amount needed to cover expenses…Is there a problem here ??

    • Sam F
      February 4, 2017 at 11:54 am

      There is very little funding involved and you offer no evidence or argument for suspicion. This is trolling.

  9. Wm. Boyce
    February 3, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Trump is nuts, period, and unstable to boot. If boy Bannon figures they can raise his popularity with his base by going to war, it won’t even take as long as the run-up to Iraq did, just, BOOM! I detect a pattern of that sort of thinking, and it ain’t Trump doing the thinking.

  10. BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
    February 3, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    From Sally’s Excellent Reference via her Link:

    Recent news that John McCain and Lindsey Graham made a trip to Ukraine in early January 2017 was rather surprising. What is even more surprising is this commentary from Lindsey Graham and John McCain, made in the presence of Ukraine’s President Poroshenko on the front lines of the Ukraine civil war, comments which seems to fly directly in the face of Donald Trump’s approach to Russia:

    Urging a restart of the stalled Ukrainian civil war, here’s what Lindsey Graham had to say:

    “Your fight is our fight, 2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of a Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price.

    Our fight is not with the Russian people but with Putin. Our promise to you is to take your cause to Washington, inform the American people of your bravery and make the case against Putin to the world.”

    John McCain had this to say:

    “I believe you will win. I am convinced you will win and we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win. We have succeeded not because of equipment but because of your courage.

    So I thank you and the world is watching and the world is watching because we cannot allow Vladimir Putin to succeed here because if he succeeds here, he will succeed in other countries.”

    Given that some theorize that actions taken by former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Victoria Nuland, may have engineered the regime change in Ukraine, the comments by both Graham and McCain seem particularly malevolent since they obviously are not making any kind of personal sacrifice in restarting this conflict.

    What is even more interesting is a little-known federal law called the Logan Act, dating back to 1799, which reads as follows:

    “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

    [so these senators should be imprisoned for three years to teach them not to interfere in foreign affairs…. THIS IS IMPORTANT. THESE SENATORS HAVE VIOLATED THE LOGAN ACT AND NEED TO BE IMPRISONED FOR UP TO THREE YEARS TO PUT THEM BACK IN LINE AND TAKE THEM OUT OF THE SENATE FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS]

    In addition, a very influential Supreme Court decision from December 1936, United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation looked at the sale of unauthorized/illegal munitions of war and the delicate balance between the powers wielded by the Executive Branch when it acts without congressional authorization in foreign affairs. Here are the key paragraphs in the decision:

    “Not only, as we have shown, is the federal power over external affairs in origin and essential character different from that over internal affairs, but participation in the exercise of the power is significantly limited. In this vast external realm, with its important, complicated, delicate and manifold problems, the President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude; and Congress itself is powerless to invade it. As Marshall said in his great argument of March 7, 1800, in the House of Representatives, ‘The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations…

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 4, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Bart I value your wisdom you bring here, and I respect your stated opinion like no other, but in order to fulfill what you have mentioned like enforcing the Logan Act America needs a lot of help before something as you suggested takes root. Help that will never come from a gerrymandered legislature, nor a public who has been so exposed to lies from on both sides of the aisle to a point of stupidity, that all of this leaves us with a very bad hand to play with. Common sense, and good ideas in our nation’s debate, has become a niche political market for those willing to explore it. I would even be willing to bet, that if our news media were to present at the minimum a one hour broadcast promoting the alternative, coupled with reporting the truth, that a possible majority of Americans would see things as you propose with your comment. Everyone is lying, and spinning, and the actions on both sides of the political spectrum now show it.

    • Don G.
      February 7, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      You didn’t think it through on charges under the Logan act professor. The case would fall apart when the executive branch concurs with McCain and Graham.

      You see prof, all you failed to understand is that Trump is not going to find any room for cooperation at all with Putin. It will be on the pretense of Trump claiming he didn’t understand Putin or he misjudged Putin’s intent, or whatever it takes to wiggle out of the commitment he gave to his followers which he needed to beome elected to pres.

      Really professor, did anybody ‘realy’ think that Trump was going to reverse US foreign policy of aggression throughout the world that’s been the agenda since the end of WW2?? LOL

      And especially a professor??

  11. John
    February 3, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Hmm…??

  12. John
    February 3, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Alright so Trump said he wants to keep evil out of the country? How about a petition at whitehouse.gov, that would be backed by everyone left wing and right wing, to end the Federal Reserve, the cause of most evil in the world based not too far from his doorstep? Who’s with me? How many signatures?

    • Sam F
      February 4, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Needs quite a bit more argument, and a process to avoid disruption.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 4, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      John you may have already read this linked article or something like it, but I thought that this link would give the facts and details to what you said here with your comment….

      https://criminalbankingmonopoly.wordpress.com

  13. Fergus Hashimoto
    February 4, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Calling the eastern Ukraine rebels “ethnic Russians” creates the false impression that they are spontaneously resisting the Ukraine’s government on ethnic grounds. Although they are indeed ethnic Russians, the reason for their resistance to Kiev is that in February 2014 the regional authorities remained loyal to the fleeing president and rebelled. The rebellion is controlled by traditional Soviet apparatchiks allied with Moscow.

    • John M.
      February 4, 2017 at 6:11 am

      It is not true. In most cases official authorities were replaced by people rebel leaders when rebelation began. Also discussion on the subject of ethnic Russians or ethnic Ukrainians is pointless. It was just artificial passport record in Soviet times. People in this regions speak usually both languages.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 4, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Don’t forget that before 1954 and with Kruschev’s handing over the Crimean peninsula over to at that time the state of Ukraine who was part of Russia…and why not when the thought at that time was ‘we are all Russian’ plays a major factor in the loyalties of the many of those who live in Crimea. Also the conquest of the Ukraine area has been a flip flop mesh of ethnicities and nations for centuries, which leaves the east of Ukraine mostly of Russian decent, and likewise influence…here’s a thought, maybe we Americans should keep our noses out of all these other people’s business, and affairs. That may help to turn the volume for war down, considerably.

      • Bill Bodden
        February 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm

        Russia seems to have a much better historical claim to Crimea than the Zionists’ claim to Palestine.

        • Joe J Tedesky
          February 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm

          You had to bring that up, didn’t you? Thanks for the comment.

      • Noravolson
        February 5, 2017 at 11:49 pm

        These types of events happen because the global cabal and the Rothschild banking consortium that use the US Government as it’s enforcement arm are mandating them for their economic plundering. The only way to stop this stranglehold on humanity’s very existence is by violently eradicating the cabal and the corrupt governments it controls.

    • richard vajs
      February 7, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      There are ethnic Russians living in Ukraine – always have been – my paternal Grandmother was one. Her attitude towards ethnic Ukrainians (especially the Jewish ones) was quite low. As far as she was concerned, Ukrainian culture, was either criminal or was a poor, chintzy copy of Russian culture. I am sure that if she didn’t have a lot of fellow ethnic Russians living beside her, she would have moved further East. The idea that Putin wants, “to gobble Ukraine up” is ridiculous – sort of like New York City, Manhattan County wanting to annex Mingo County, West Virginia. Ukraine is the West’s “tar -baby”.

  14. Mark Thomason
    February 4, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Agree, but the Trump Administration only just got its Sec of State, who is one of the major figures expected to change policy toward Russia to something more constructive. In the meantime, hawks made hay while the sun shone. That is a transition thing, not a new direction.

  15. Mike Morrison
    February 4, 2017 at 9:36 am
  16. Isis A. Lucifer
    February 4, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    To really help the US and citizens around the world there is only one way – large international criminal organizations must be abolished. These organizations are used by elites to steal from the people, to foment wars to make rich people richer while people suffer and die, to destroy the sovereignty of nations (through immigration, trade, etc.), and to destroy this planet (land degradation, water degradation, etc).

    Americans and citizens in other countries around the world must insist that the following organizations are shut down and that their tax dollars are not used to fund organizations such as:
    1. The United Nations
    2. NATO
    3. The International Monetary Fund
    4. The Bank for International Settlements
    5. The World Bank
    6. The Federal Reserve and other Central Banks

    People of the world must insist on term limits for politicians and a system where politicians can only receive campaign donations through anonymous funds set aside for political purposes.

    Until this is achieved there is no hope for this planet. The reason is simple – rich people and people in power around the world do not care about the people they are supposed to ethically and morally lead and are using these organizations, economic systems, and bought off politicians and judges in governments to make themselves wealthier while destroying the lives of billions while destroying this planet.

    Why? Because many of the rich and people in power believe they are superior to other people. Many of them are also using black magic to try to keep their power. However, right about now I imagine they are asking why they are being abandoned by their god. Well, the reason is simple – the souls of the dead are fighting against you and you will be defeated.

    Evil has a face and it is found in global economic and governmental systems and the indifference that is manifest through international organizations and governments around the world that attempt to make the people believe they are largely good and just when they are largely evil and corrupt.

    If you don’t see the beginning of Almighty God’s response to these systems yet, keep watching. Either these systems will change or this planet will be destroyed – lock, stock, and barrel – and that includes every rich person hiding in a bunker in New Zealand or Australia. There is no one on this planet that can stop Almighty God once they have made a decision and there is no weapon to stop what God will send. There is no escape from Earth except through God – this is just, it is good, and it will never change – human technology, knowledge, and innovation will never surpass Almighty God until Almighty God allows it – and that time is not here. Almighty God knows the future. Humans do not.

    Almighty God is love but the experiment with Earth is almost complete.

    Believe me.

    • Noravolson
      February 5, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      Hallelujah and Amen!

    • Dieter Heymann
      February 7, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      In July of 1944 a number of international financiers, most prominently the bete noire of the conservatives John Maynard Keynes hammered out the so-called Bretton Woods Monetary System. That was designed to prevent a return of the Great Depression. It has. Several of the baddies you have listed are descendants of the Bretton Woods conference.
      I am far from idealizing the current system but what is your plan for preventing another Great Depression?
      With regards to your God I seem to remember that he rested and looked at what He had created and pronounced it “good”. Your last sentence seems to suggest that that was wrong.

  17. February 4, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    With so many world fires to deal with, this should be tops? Mosul is as bad or worse than Iraq in 2003, we should be marching as in Vietnam era! Way too many nuts in Washington and Trump is certifiable, I am convinced, and may be impeached or have to resign. Neocons are psychopaths and must be opposed mightily, they have caused untold horror since Bush-Cheney! And war is their top agenda item while Planet Earth is dying? I just read that the Bay of Bengal cannot support human populations there, fish are dying and there are dead oxygen depleted zones! Are humans mad? Democrats are still arguing over what caused them to lose this election!

  18. Mark Thomason
    February 5, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    It is about dreams of regime change in Russia.

    They think they can do the hapless Yeltsin as their permanent condition. Unlikely, because he was dysfunctional and led Russia to ruin.

    They could get worse than Putin. He is nasty by our standards, but not so bad by the standards of Stalin and Czars. Russian standards. They have a long way to go, and backward is not the way to get there.

    • Dieter Heymann
      February 7, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      After WW1 Russia has experienced three major changes in governance. The first was the Kerensky revolution of February 1917. The second was Lenin’s revolution of October 1917. The third was the demise of the Soviet Union. I hold that the governance of Russia today is a continuation of the Kerensky revolution but under radically different conditions. Kerensky’s governance unfortunately retained several of the nasty aspects of the Czarist state and some of these aspects are apparently still present in Putin’s Russia. That is what Putin’s Russia appears to me.

  19. Noravolson
    February 5, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    This Corrupt, totalitarian, police-state government has to be made to be gone by Revolution by Guerilla Warfare.

  20. Peppermint
    February 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks to everyone across this site, writers and commenters alike.

  21. bozhidar balkas
    February 7, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Poland, ex-czechoslovakia, hungary, romania, ex-yugoslavia, greece, and bulgaria were not part of the USSR. As for tiny estonia; which may constitute just 0.2% of all russia, i don’t expect russia to invade it if estonians treat the russian minority there as their equals.
    Actually, russians in estonia i deem a big plus for all of europe and a bane to n. america.

    Once a hit on the elected ukrainian government–which most russians supported–was perpetrated, russian minority was legally and morally obligated to take up arms and to obtain peace and a new covenant.

    European non-orthodox christians and their fascio-nazi leaders are, thus, morally and legally wrong. We just hope they do not carry their usual and everlasting hate, anger, insanity [as per Bible commands] beyond the russian red line[s].
    Btw, i am not always pro-russian or pro any religion, clergy, ‘holy’ books, believers but yes pro god[s]; nor do i conflate these different
    entities.
    Surely books are not clergy and clergy are not believers.

  22. Brian
    February 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Feb 3, 2017 How Trump Filled The Swamp

    With promises to “drain the swamp!” still ringing in our ears, we have watched Trump appoint nothing but Goldman banksters, Soros stooges, neocon war hawks and police state zealots to head his cabinet.

    https://youtu.be/cs0BfPDvUQg

  23. Dieter Heymann
    February 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    There is some analogy between President Trump now and the German emperor Wilhelm II. Both hold that their nations existed in a world of mostly nasty if not dangerous states hence allied themselves with a less powerful but still somewhat feared nation. For Wilhelm that was the Ottoman empire. For President Trump that is Russia.
    But Great Britain? Sure that is the analogy of the Austrian Empire for Wilhelm.

  24. Don G.
    February 7, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Trump is not going to improve US relations with Russia. Forget it! He spoke out of turn during his campaign and he said a lot of stupid things which got escalated in order to be opposed to Hillary. And vice versa too.

    Now Trump needs to find a way to get out from under all the promises he made during his campaign only to get elected. He will do that but articles like this one don’t make it any easier for him. He needs to first spin the issue to make it look like he misjudged Putin or Putin wasn’t cooperative, or something like that so his foolish supporters will believe it.

    Did anybody ‘really’ think this ignorant uninformed psychopath of a president was going to change US foreign policy of gaining control of small countries throughout the world. LOL

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