TBR News December 5, 2013

Dec 04 2013

The Voice of the White House


It’s really all about oil.

We consume huge amounts of it.

The Russians are now the world’s largest holders of gas and oil.

We have spent the last three decades trying to sew up all the oil we need.

            Now, with the Saudi fields drying up (but we don’t discuss this) and the Arctic opening up, we are frantically trying to get a foothold within the Arctic Circle but the Russians have beaten us to it.

            That Greenpeace farce in one act was a failed attempt to try to frighten off the Russians. Like all such amateurish rubbish promulgated by our Blessed Saviors, it failed.

            We have no face to save here, none at all.

            Once this country is perceived as being weak, the legion of small, easily-controlled states will rebel and look for other masters.

            Putin’s handling of the Syrian chemical problem was masterful.

            It projected an image of a powerful peacemaker and made Obama.look sick and vicious.

            The forthcoming business in the Ukraine will be another weight on the scale.

            We will have more perceptions of American weakness, as personified by the demarche in Georgia. And if I were a Pole, I would move to Cleveland and improve its image.

            I know what is in store for Poland and they do not.

            Enjoy the holiday season. And be looking for the appearance of devastating information, via the Snowden Papers, concerning the U.S., Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand


            And in the very near future, we will be publishing sensational excerpts from a forbidden manuscript compiled by the CIA’s Robert Crowley on that agencies’ activity behind the scenes in Vietnam.

            Covered will be drug-running, extensive official torture centers, wholesale murder of innocent civilians, international manipulations concerning rubber and oil and much, much more.

            These dramatic bits of iconoclastic history will be seen on the Slaughterhouse Informer.


Crowley Document Catalog  (Partial listing)


prq Inet Box 1206 SE 11479 Stockholm Sweden



Catalog Number                    Description of Contents                               


1000 BH           Extensive file (1,205 pages) of reports on Operation PHOENIX. Final paper dated January, 1971, first document dated  October, 1967. Covers the setting up of Regional Interrogation Centers, staffing, torture techniques including electric shock, beatings, chemical injections. CIA agents involved and includes a listing of U.S. military units to include Military Police, CIC and Special Forces groups involved. After-action reports from various military units to include 9th Infantry, showing the deliberate killing of all unarmed civilians located in areas suspected of harboring or supplying Viet Cong units.

1002 BH           Medium file (223 pages)  concerning the fomenting of civil disobedience in Chile as the result of the Allende election in 1970. Included are pay vouchers for CIA bribery efforts with Chilean labor organization and student activist groups, U.S. military units involved in the final revolt, letter from  T. Karamessines, CIA Operations Director to Chile CIA Station Chief Paul Wimert, passing along a specific order from Nixon via Kissinger to kill Allende when the coup was successful. Communications to Pinochet with Nixon instructions to root out by force any remaining left wing leaders.

1003 BH           Medium file (187 pages) of reports of CIA assets containing photographs of Soviet missile sites, airfields and other strategic sites taken from commercial aircraft. Detailed descriptions of targets attached to each picture or pictures.

1004 BH           Large file (1560 pages) of CIA reports on Canadian radio intelligence intercepts from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa (1958) and a list of suspected and identified Soviet agents or sympathizers in Canada, to include members of the Canadian Parliament and military.

1005 BH          Medium file (219 pages) of members of the German Bundeswehr in the employ of the CIA. The report covers the Innere Führung group plus members of the signals intelligence service. Another report, attached, covers CIA assets in German Foreign Office positions, in Germany and in diplomatic missions abroad.

1006:BH           Long file (1,287 pages) of events leading up to the killing of Josef Stalin in 1953 to include reports on contacts with L.P. Beria who planned to kill Stalin, believing himself to be the target for removal. Names of cut outs, CIA personnel in Finland and Denmark are noted as are original communications from Beria and agreements as to his standing down in the DDR and a list of MVD/KGB files on American informants from 1933 to present. A report on a blood-thinning agent to be made available to Beria to put into Stalin’s food plus twenty two reports from Soviet doctors on Stalin’s health, high blood pressure etc. A report on areas of cooperation between Beria’s people and CIA controllers in the event of a successful coup.

1007 BH           Short list (125 pages) of CIA contacts with members of the American media to include press and television and book publishers. Names of contacts with bios are included as are a list of payments made and specific leaked material supplied. Also appended is a shorter list of foreign publications. Under date of August, 1989 with updates to 1992. Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, Bradlee of the same paper, Ted Koppel, Sam Donaldson and others are included.

1008 BH           A file of eighteen reports (total of 899 pages) documenting illegal activities on the part of members of the U.S. Congress. First report dated July 29, 1950 and final one September 15, 1992. Of especial note is a long file on Senator McCarthy dealing with homosexuality and alcoholism. Also an attached note concerning the Truman Administration’s use of McCarthy to remove targeted Communists. These reports contain copies of FBI surveillance reports, to include photographs and reference to tape recordings, dealing with sexual events with male and female prostitutes, drug use, bribery, and other matters.

1009 BH           A long multiple file (1,564 pages) dealing with the CIA part (Kermit Roosevelt) in overthrowing the populist Persian prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. Report from Dulles (John Foster) concerning a replacement, by force if necessary and to include a full copy of AJAX operation. Letters from AIOC on million dollar bribe paid directly to J.Angleton, head of SOG. Support of Shah requires exclusive contracts with specified western oil companies. Reports dated from May 1951 through August, 1953.

1010 BH           Medium file (419 pages) of telephone intercepts made by order of J.J. Angleton of the telephone conversations between RFK and one G.N. Bolshakov. Phone calls between 1962-1963 inclusive. Also copies of intercepted and inspected mail from RFK containing classified U.S. documents and sent to a cut-out identified as one used by Bolshakov, a Russian press (TASS) employee. Report on Bolshakov’s GRU connections.

1011 BH           Large file (988 pages) on 1961 Korean revolt of Kwangju revolt led by General Park Chung-hee and General Kin-Jong-pil. Reports on contacts maintained by CIA station in Japan to include payments made to both men, plans for the coup, lists of “undesirables” to be liquidated  Additional material on CIA connections with KCIA personnel and an agreement with them  to assassinate South Korean chief of state, Park, in 1979.

1012 BH           Small file (12 pages) of homosexual activities between FBI Director Hoover and his aide, Tolson. Surveillance pictures taken in San Francisco hotel and report by CIA agents involved. Report analyzed in 1962.

1013 BH           Long file (1,699 pages) on General Edward Lansdale. First report a study signed by DCI Dulles in  September of 1954 concerning a growing situation in former French Indo-China. There are reports by and about Lansdale starting with his attachment to the OPC in 1949-50 where he and Frank Wisner coordinated policy in neutralizing Communist influence in the Philippines.. Landsale was then sent to Saigon under diplomatic cover and many copies of his period reports are copied here. Very interesting background material including strong connections with the Catholic Church concerning Catholic Vietnamese and exchanges of intelligence information between the two entities.

1014 BH           Short file (78 pages) concerning  a Dr. Frank Olson. Olson was at the U.S. Army chemical warfare base at Ft. Detrick in Maryland and was involved with a Dr. Gottleib. Gottleib was working on a plan to introduce psychotic-inducing drugs into the water supply of the Soviet Embassy. Apparently he tested the drugs on CIA personnel first. Reports of psychotic behavior by Olson and more police and official reports on his defenstration by Gottleib’s associates. A cover-up was instituted and a number of in-house CIA memoranda attest to this. Also a discussion by Gottleib on various poisons and drugs he was experimenting with and another report of people who had died as a result of Gottleib’s various experiments and CIA efforts to neutralize any public knowledge of these.

1015 BH           Medium file (457 pages) on CIA connections with the Columbian-based Medellín drug ring. Eight CIA internal reports, three DoS reports, one FBI report on CIA operative Milan Rodríguez and his connections with this drug ring. Receipts for CIA payments to Rodríguez of over $3 million in CIA funds, showing the routings of the money, cut-outs and payments. CIA reports on sabotaging  DEA investigations. A three-part study of the Nicaraguan Contras, also a CIA-organized and paid for organization.

1016 BH           A small file (159 pages) containing lists of known Nazi intelligence and scientific people recruited in Germany from 1946 onwards, initially by the U.S. Army and later by the CIA. A detailed list of the original names and positions of the persons involved plus their relocation information. Has three U.S. Army and one FBI report on the subject.

1017 BH           A small list (54 pages) of American business entities with “significant” connections to the CIA. Each business is listed along with relevant information on its owners/operators, previous and on going contacts with the CIA’s Robert Crowley, also a list of national advertising agencies with similar information. Much information about suppressed news stories and planted stories.

1018 BH           A large file (875 pages) concerning Operation PBFORTUNE, the overthrow of Guatemalan president Arbenz at the urgent request of top officials of the United Fruit Company (Levy and Zentner-UFCO) A file under date of January 26,  1952 in which plans were made to kill 58 Guatemalan leaders by CIA-trained assassins. This had the full approval of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Payments to Lt. Carlos C. Armas. German WWII weapons bought by INTERARMCO from the Communist Polish authorities and shipped to Honduras for use in the coup. The disposal of Arbenz Guzman and later, the CIA assassination of Armas (who was following through on the expropriation of UFCO property.) Payments by UFCO to Dulles and the Eisenhower people via his Library listed (total $500,000)

1019 BH           A large file (543 pages) concerning the assassination of the British Lord Louis Mountbatten on August 27, 1979. His sailing yacht, the Shadow IV, was blown up with a 50 pound nitroglycerine bomb detonated from a position on the nearby cliffs. The attack was the responsibility of the Provisional wing of the IRA. One of the perpetrators was captured but the others escaped and were never found. The documents include lengthy British official police and forensic reports, a four page report showing that the IRA attack was instigated by a Paul Nolan, the pseudonym of a Canadian-Irish CIA officer, then serving in Dublin, as revenge for Mountbatten’s failed Dieppe commando raid that resulted in 6,000 Canadian casualties. Also are files on Mountbatten’s family background and a lengthy paper on the CIA support of the IRA conditional upon their leaving American business targets in Northern Ireland alone. Specifically mentioned is a large oil refinery in Belfast. …..

Russian-Backed Free-Trade Zone May Expand Its Borders


November 28, 2013

by Andrew E. Kramer 

New York Times


MOSCOW — Today, a train car loaded with coal in Kazakhstan can rumble thousands of miles across the Eurasian steppes to a factory in Belarus, all without once clearing customs.


Citizens of three former Soviet countries — Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan — can work legally on the territory of one another’s countries.


And in a glass-and-steel skyscraper in Moscow, hundreds of officials at a new international organization have quietly taken over trade policy for these three governments.


After years of fits and starts, a Russian-backed idea to form a free-trade zone on the territory of much of the former Soviet Union is closer to fruition today than ever before.


Adding to the momentum was the decision last week by the Ukrainian government to hold talks on aligning with this group, called the Customs Union, rather than with the European Union. Two other former Soviet states, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, have also committed to joining this group, a sort of Nafta of Eurasia.


“The main Russian point here is to formalize a zone in which Russia has preferential economic interests and privileges,” Alexander Kliment, a Russian analyst at Eurasia Group in Washington, explained in a telephone interview. “Russia has informally been trying to do that for the past 10 years. But the Kremlin wants a formal structure.”


Now, it has that structure. The decision by the Ukrainian president, Viktor F. Yanukovich, to halt talks with the European Union and turn to the Customs Union instead seems a pivotal moment. It also touched off protests in Kiev, illustrating how the choice was also about more than trade: The European Union deal was also supposed to help democratize former Soviet states and spread Western values.


Lost in the broader tug-of-war between East and West were the workaday advantages that the Russian-supported trade bloc is increasingly able to provide as more countries join.


The bloc’s larger population means companies that invest within the region, such as Ford Motor, which builds cars in Russia, have more potential consumers without crossing a customs barrier. Russia offers lower energy tariffs to members. Sergei Y. Glazyev, an economic adviser to Mr. Putin, has said Ukraine will save $9 billion yearly on energy.


As measured by gross domestic product, the Customs Union in its current, three-member format of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan still appears tiny beside the European Union.


The output of the Customs Union states was $2.3 trillion in 2012, compared with $16.6 trillion for the European Union, according to the International Monetary Fund. Ukraine’s economic output of $176 billion last year would only modestly bolster the Russian bloc.


But bulking up with Ukraine’s 46 million consumers would narrow the population gap with the European Union. A Customs Union that included Ukraine would have a total population of about 215 million people, compared with the total population of the 28 nations in the European Union of about 507 million people.


Other potential members of the Customs Union in Central Asia and the south Caucasus, poor nations all, add less in economic output than population. Adding Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which has also expressed interest in joining, would contribute a combined additional $26 billion in gross domestic product and 16.6 million people.


Circling the wagons in the former Soviet space has disadvantages as well. Borrowing rates for businesses are high in Russia, sometimes above 10 percent, and countries that join the union join also the Kremlin’s high-risk, high-interest-rate world, rather than having access to the lower rates associated with better governance in the European Union.


Arkady Moshes, an analyst at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, wrote earlier this year that some consumer prices rose in Kazakhstan as more expensive products from Russia and Belarus supplanted cheaper items from China, something Ukraine might expect if it joined.


The Customs Union took effect on Jan. 1, 2010, and most barriers went down by July 2011. A second stage of integration called the Single Economic Space followed on Jan. 1, 2012. In January 2015, it and the Customs Union will be formally combined and renamed the Eurasian Economic Union, becoming the “Soviet Union lite” of trade that all these deals have been moving toward.


The headquarters, called the Eurasian Commission, employs about 800 people. Already, the commission negotiates on trade matters with this group rather than the Russian government.


Like Nafta, the Customs Union frees the movement of products across borders. But it goes a step further, by also allowing mostly free movement of labor. It is less tightly woven than the European Union, however, having no transnational political power or common currency.


In an interview, Tatyana D. Valovaya, one of the nine governors on the board of the Customs Union, described the group in terms of the many new trade and economic blocs taking form these days, such as the United States-backed trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific free trade areas.


The post-Cold War ideal of homogeneous global trade under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization is breaking down, she said. The institutions that govern trade are weighted to favor the developed countries, where these institutions got their start. “The market is global but there is no global regulation,” Ms. Valovaya said.


            The response has been a rush to recruit nations into regional trade blocs. It is a rivalry recalling the Cold War, but these new trade groups are, for the most part, creedless structures, able to espouse little if any distinguishing ideology.


The Customs Union’s website, for example, openly explains that it drafted its rules for economic integration with an eye on the practices of the European Union, and officials cite Nafta and other groupings as models.


Using this approach, the Customs Union has achieved modest success increasing trade between member states since its inception, a study by the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies found.


“Everybody is looking for at least regional regulation of these large markets,” Ms. Valovaya said. “We in Eurasia are doing it, South Americans are doing it, and the United States is doing it.”


Guardian: We have published 1 pct of Snowden leak

December 3, 2013

by Jill Lawless 

Associated Press

 LONDON The editor of the Guardian said Tuesday that his newspaper has published just 1 percent of the material it received from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and denied that the paper had placed lives or national security at risk.

Alan Rusbridger was questioned by Parliament’s home affairs committee as part of a session on counterterrorism.

The Guardian has published a series of stories based on leaks from Snowden disclosing the scale of telephone and Internet surveillance by spy agencies in the United States and Britain.

Rusbridger said the leak amounted to about 58,000 files and the newspaper had published “about 1 percent” of the total.

“I would not expect us to be publishing a huge amount more,” he said.

Government and intelligence officials have said the leaks compromised British security and aided terrorists. Britain’s top three spy chiefs said last month that al-Qaida and other terror groups were “rubbing their hands in glee” in the wake of Snowden’s leaks.

Several lawmakers have said the Guardian should be prosecuted for breaching terrorism laws.

Rusbridger defended the newspaper’s role, saying stories published by the Guardian and others had prompted debate about the extent of intelligence activities and exposed the limits of regulatory laws drawn up in the pre-Internet era.

“There is no doubt in my mind … that newspapers have done something that oversight has failed to do,” he said.

Rusbridger denied placing intelligence agents at risk, saying the Guardian had “made very selective judgments” about what to publish and not revealed any names.

“We have published no names and we have lost control of no names,” he said.

British police launched a criminal investigation into the leaks after detaining the partner of then-Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald at Heathrow Airport in August under terrorism legislation.

Police have refused to disclose who is under investigation and for what alleged offenses. Rusbridger said he did not know whether the Guardian was being investigated.

He said the Guardian had come under pressure from the authorities in a way that would be “inconceivable” in the United States, where journalists can rely on First Amendment protections of freedom of speech.

Rusbridger cited visits to the newspaper from Britain’s top civil servant, who demanded an end to the stories, and politicians’ calls for the newspaper to be prosecuted.

“I feel that some of this activity has been designed to intimidate the Guardian,” Rusbridger said.

That sentiment was echoed in a letter to the parliamentary panel from the U.S.-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which said that “to the rest of the world, it appears that press freedom itself is under attack in Britain.”

The letter was signed by U.S. media organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Associated Press. It said it was “unwise and counterproductive to react to the reporting on disclosures from Edward Snowden by reflexively invoking security concerns to silence the press or to accuse a news organization of aiding terrorists simply by providing citizens with information they need to know.”


The long arm of US law: what next for Edward Snowden?

The US will chase the NSA whistleblower wherever he tries to go, and if he ends up in an American court, he may not be free for decades

December1,  2013

by Ewen MacAskill in New York

The Guardian 


            After an eventful six months, Edward Snowden will be hoping for a quieter time ahead – but not as quiet as life in a maximum-security American jail. In Russia since fleeing Hong Kong in June, the NSA computer specialist-turned-whistleblower is living under fairly restrictive conditions. But at least he still has access to the internet – crucial to him – although the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, made it a condition of granting Snowden temporary asylum that he do nothing to embarrass the US further.


Snowden has said he no longer has the documents he leaked, having passed all of them to the journalists he met in Hong Kong in June.


On 21 June, his 30th birthday, the US indicted him on three charges, including two under the Espionage Act: theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorised person, with a possible combined sentence of up to 30 years in jail. Further charges could be added. The death penalty is also available under a section of the act but the US attorney general, Eric Holder, said in July that Snowden would not face execution.


America would “do everything in its power short of snatching him from Russia to try to have Edward Snowden put on trial in the US”, said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Centre’s liberty and national security programme at New York University law school. If he was to try to move somewhere other than Russia, the US would go to great lengths to intercept him, she said.


Goitein, who has worked on government secrecy and privacy rights while serving as counsel to the Democratic senator Russ Feingold, the chairman of the constitution subcommittee of the Senate judiciary committee, predicted that if Snowden were to go on trial in the US, conviction and a long sentence were likely: “I do not think they would settle for a few years in the case of Edward Snowden. [He] is likely to face some very significant jail time.”


What are his chances in front of a jury? “Most Americans see him as a whistleblower but many do see him as a traitor. So he would be really rolling the dice,” Goitein said.


In the past, whistleblowers have tended to be treated leniently. The most famous in recent American history, Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon papers that revealed the US government had misled Congress and the public about its activities in Vietnam, was also charged under the Espionage Act but had all charges dismissed.


In 2011, a former NSA executive, Thomas Drake, faced serious charges but they were dropped on the eve of the trial and he was sentenced to a year’s probation and community service.


But the Obama administration is becoming tougher, with former soldier Chelsea Manning sentenced this year to 35 years over the WikiLeaks cables. Goitein said Manning’s conviction changed the legal landscape. “The Espionage Act has been used only a handful of times to try to prosecute leaks to the media, and until recently, the effort hasn’t been very successful. That’s why the verdict and 35-year sentence in Manning’s case was such a breakthrough for the government.”


Under Obama, there have been seven prosecutions, some of which are still under way. Jennifer Elsea, a lawyer at the independent Congressional Research Service, wrote in a recent report: “A number of other cases involving charges under the Espionage Act, including efforts to extradite Edward Snowden, demonstrate the Obama administration’s relatively hardline policy with respect to the prosecution of persons suspected of leaking classified information to the media.”


There is almost no legal protection for whistleblowers disclosing misconduct or abuse.


Like Goitein, Dinah PoKempner, general counsel of Human Rights Watch, is pessimistic about Snowden’s chances in a US court. “While there is little doubt that Edward Snowden would have highly credible claims under international human rights standards for protection as a whistleblower, US law offers no protection for those who reveal to the public wrongdoing in the areas of national security or intelligence,” she said. “His rights would not be protected, and he would not be able to count on this as a defence to criminal charges.”


Snowden has permission to live, work and travel in Russia until 31 July next year, although he is likely to be granted further extensions beyond that. His supporters in Germany, including prominent members of the Green party, are pushing for him to be granted asylum in the country, given the service they say he has done in revealing the scale of surveillance, particularly the secret US monitoring of Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. But the German government has made it clear that this is an unlikely as it does not view him as a political refugee.


One of the worst-case scenarios for Snowden is if Russia, after a few years of exploiting his presence for propaganda purposes, decided to do a deal with the US, possibly exchanging him for a high-profile Russian in an American jail.


The gates of Hell are opening for the Ukraine

November 30, 2013

The Saker

Asia Times


            Just as I have predicted in my last piece about the developments in the Ukraine, European politicians and Ukrainian opposition parties have gone into overdrive to attempt yet another color-coded revolution in Kiev.  The normally demure and low-key Eurobureaucrats have suddenly found it themselves to castigate Russia with irate statements about “unacceptable Russian interference” while their own diplomats actually went on stage to encourage the (illegal) demonstrations in Kiev.  As for the opposition, it used its formidable resources to bring people form all over the Ukraine, the Baltic states and Poland to Kiev to organize a mass rally and, just to make sure that enough people would show up, they began the rally with a free rock concert.  Finally the united opposition parties have declared that they are creating a “united headquarters of the resistance” which will have as its first task to coordinate a Ukrainian-wide general strike.

            Finally, the opposition, lead by Yulia Timoshenko from her jail, is now openly calling for the overthrow of the Yanukovich government and new elections.

            Very impressive.

            And what about the “pro-Russian” Yanukovich government?

            Just as I have predicted, it is already prepared to “zag” following its surprise “zig” of last week.  All Yanukovich & Co. have done is to send Prime Minister Azarov to explain the latest change of mind of President Yanukovich on a TV talkshow hosted by a notorious russophobic Jewish anchor “Savik Shuster” (his real name is “Shevelis Shusteris”- he first worked for the CIA-created Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, then for Russian “democratic” media outlets before joining the “Ukrainian” TV following the “Orange Revolution” in Kiev.  This true “cosmopolite” also holds Italian and Canadian citizenship, probably along with an Israeli one) where nobody listened to a word he had to say: for each economic figure Azarov mentioned in defense of his position, the nationalists responded with emotional slogans, promises of a bright tomorrow and the usual rabid anti-Russian rhetoric.   Still, Azarov explained that he had decided to show up because he hoped that at least on TV they would let him speak (that same day the opposition in the Ukrainian Parliament simply shouted Azarov down thereby successfully preventing him from taking the floor to explain the government’s decision).

            Yanukovich himself hinted that all that had happened was a “temporary delay” and that the Ukraine might sign after all, just a “little later”, maybe in Spring.

            Next, the government ordered their riot-cops to clear the Maidan square in Kiev at 4AM, which was done with the usual level of wanton violence (on both sides).  Azarov then denounced its own cops and announced that a special commission would be set up to investigate the violence and find out who was responsible (who else could it be besides him is unclear).

            Finally, Yanukovich officially declared that he was “deeply outraged” by the violence and that all Ukrainians were united by, I kid you not, “our choice of our common European future”.

            Absolutely pathetic, if you ask me.

            As for the so-called “Russian” folks of Donetsk, they organized an anti-EU/pro-Yanukovich rally were they displayed an immense sea of blue-yellow Ukrainian flags while playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” form is 9th symphony (probably unaware that this was the official Anthem of the EU).

            The contrast between two parties to this dispute could hardly be bigger, I think.  Let’ compare them:

            The Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists

            The Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists are mad, really really mad.  They feel like just one man suddenly changed his mind, reneged on all his previous promises and suddenly single handedly stopped a process in which they had invested a huge amount of political capital.  And they are absolutely correct, this is exactly what happened.  Now the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists are exactly in the same predicament: both feel extremely weak and both fear Russia, both sides are financially bankrupt and hope that a political victory will overshadow their economic failure, both sides hate Russia and feel that it is absolutely crucial to deny Russia any possible advantage (real or imaginary) it might gain from a union with the Ukraine.  Yes, these are purely negative, hate-filled, feelings of inadequacy mixed with self-delusion about a much hoped for but forever unachievable greatness.  But negative feelings, in particular nationalistic ones, can be very powerful, as Hitler has so clearly demonstrated the entire world.

The supposedly “pro-Russian” Eastern Ukrainians

            They have no vision, no ideology, no identifiable future goal.  All they can offer is a message which, in essence, says “we have no other choice than sell out to the rich Russians rather than to the poor European” or “all we can get from the EU is words, the Russians are offering money”.  True.  But still extremely uninspiring, to say the least.  Worse, this point of view reinforces, at least by implication, the key theses of the the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists: that this is a sellout to Russia and that the Russians are blackmailing and interfering whereas, in reality, the blackmail was totally on the EU sides as clearly shown with the demand that Tymoshenko be freed (while Berlusconi in Europe is charged with exactly the same crime, so much for double-standards).

            And what about Russia in all that?

            I am beginning to fear that this will all explode into a real and very dangerous crisis for Russia.  First, I am assuming that the the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will eventually prevail, and that Yanukovich will either fully complete his apparent “zag” and reverse his decision, or lose power.  One way or another the the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will, I think, prevail.  There will be more joyful demonstrations, fireworks and celebrations in Kiev, along with lots of self-righteous back-slapping and high-fiving in Brussels, and then the gates of Hell will truly open for the Ukraine.  Why?

            Well simply because joining one Titanic at the hip with another one will save neither.  The EU is sinking and so is the Ukraine.  Neither has any real vision of how to stop this disaster and both sides are absolutely dead-set to try to hide their bankruptcy by an increasingly strident and outright nasty political rhetoric.   Needless to say, neither empty promises nor nationalistic slogans will feed anybody and the already dying Ukrainian economy will collapse at which point the Russian priority will have to change from supporting it to protecting Russia from the chaos happening just across its 2300km long and mostly completely unprotected border with the Ukraine.  What are the risk for Russia?

            The real risks for Russia

            Being drawn into the inevitable chaos and violence with will flare up all over the Ukraine (including the Crimean Peninsula), stopping or, at least, safely managing a likely flow of refugees seeking physical and economic safety in Russia and protecting the Russian economy from the consequences of the collapse of Ukrainian economy.  Russia will have to do all that while keeping its hands off the developing crisis inside the Ukraine as it is absolutely certain that the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will blame Russia for it all.  The best thing Russia could do in such a situation would be to leave the Ukrainians to their private slugfest and wait for one side or the other to prevail before trying to very carefully send out a few low-key political “feelers” to see if there is somebody across the border who has finally come to his/her senses and is capable and ready to seriously begin to rebuilt the Ukraine and its inevitable partnership with Russia and the rest of the Eurasian Union.  As long as that does not happen Russia should stay out, as much as is possible.

            Sarajevo on the Dniepr

            Right now, all the signs are that the Ukraine is going down the “Bosnian road” and that things are going to get really ugly.  The explosive brew we now see boiling in the Ukraine is exactly the same one which so viciously exploded in Bosnia: local nationalist backed by foreign imperialists who are absolutely determined to ignore any form of common sense, nevermind a negotiated solution, to achieve their ideological goals.  To most sensible and rational people my doom and gloom scenario might seem too pessimistic.  I would encourage these skeptics to take a look at this well-known Polish joke

            A Pole walking along the road happens to spy a lamp. He picks it up, and as it is covered in rust he gives it quick rub. Out comes a genie.  “I’m the genie of the lamp and I can grant you three wishes,” the genie says.   “OK,” says the Pole. “I want the Chinese Army to invade Poland.”  Odd choice, the genie thinks, but nevertheless he grants the wish, and the Chinese Army comes all the way from China, invades, and goes back home.  “Right, second wish. Maybe something more positive,” says the genie.   “No,” replies the Pole, “I want the Chinese Army to invade again.”  So the Chinese come all the way from China, lay waste to more of Poland, and then go home.  “Listen,” says the genie. “You have one last wish. I can make Poland the most beautiful and prosperous place on earth.”  “If you don’t mind, I want the Chinese army to invade one more time.”  So the Chinese army comes again, destroys what’s left of Poland, and then goes home for the last time.   “I don’t understand,” says the genie. “Why did you want the Chinese army to invade Poland three times?”.  “Well,” replies the Pole, “they had to go through Russia six times.”

This is the kind of “humor” a deep-seated inferiority complex combined with a compensatory strident nationalism can produce.  Ask anybody who has ever met a Ukrainian nationalist and he will confirm to you – they make the Polish nationalists look outright mild-mannered and sober.

            Needless to say, when the Ukraine explodes the Eurobureaucrats will look the other way and lock the borders of their respective countries as best they can while the leaders of the Ukrainian nationalists parties will cut and run to the West where they will get well-paid position in academia, various think-tanks and NGOs.  As for the people of the Ukraine, they will be left to fight each other against a background of hypocritical outpouring of crocodile-tears from the so-called “international community?

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’entrate?

            I sincerely hope that I am wrong and that some individual or movement will rise up from the current chaos to prevent the Ukraine from collapsing into the “Bosnian scenario” but, unfortunately, I don’t see any sign of that happening.  Ukrainian politicians – all of them – are a disgusting sight.  Ditto for the EU politicians, by the way.  At the very best they are boring, uninspiring if marginally competent.  At their habitual worst, they are pathological liars, political prostitutes and delusional imbeciles which are too illiterate and too arrogant to ever see the writing on the wall, even when it is written in big, thick, block characters.

            Full disclosure here: I am by training, by trade and by character a pessimist (have you ever met an optimistic military analyst?).  For example, ever since I published my very first post on this blog I have been predicting a US/Israeli attack on Iran, and that still has not happened (worse, I still think that sooner or later the Israelis and their Neocon sayanim colleague will provoke such a US attack, if need be by a false flag operation).  So I have been wrong, very wrong, in the past and I fervently hope that I am wrong again.  Alas, I see no facts or arguments even indirectly suggesting that there is another, hopefully better, scenario for the Ukraine in the future.

            Does anybody else see any?

Vienna Lance (Hofburg spear)




The Holy Lance in the Schatzkammer of Vienna



The Holy Roman Emperors had a lance of their own, attested from the time of Otto I (912-973). In 1000 Otto III gave Boleslaw I of Poland a replica of the Lance at the Congress of Gniezno. In 1084 Henry IV had a silver band with the inscription “Nail of Our Lord” added to it. This was based on the belief that this was the lance of Constantine the Great which enshrined a nail used for the Crucifixion. In 1273 it was first used in the coronation ceremony. Around 1350 Charles IV had a golden sleeve put over the silver one, inscribed “Lancea et clavus Domini” (Lance and nail of the Lord). In 1424 Sigismund had a collection of relics, including the lance, moved from his capital in Prague to his birth place, Nuremberg, and decreed them to be kept there forever. This collection was called the Reichskleinodien or Imperial Regalia.

            When the French Revolutionary army approached Nuremberg in the spring of 1796 the city councilors decided to remove the Reichskleinodien to Vienna for safe keeping. The collection was entrusted to one “Baron von Hügel”, who promised to return the objects as soon as peace had been restored and the safety of the collection assured However, the Holy Roman Empire was disbande in 1806 and the Reichskleinodien remained in the keeping of the Habsburgs. When the city councilors asked for the Reichskleinodien back but were refused. As part of the imperial regalia it was kept in the Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury) in Vienna and was known as the lance of Saint Maurice.


During the Anschluss, when Austria was annexed to Germany, the Reichskleinodien were returned to Nuremberg and afterwards hidden. They were found by invading U.S. troops and returned to Austria by American General George S. Patton after World War II.

            The spear point is not Roman in origin but distinctly Saxon and dates from ca 700 CE. There are three known such relics, all dating from the same period.

            And the equally revered ‘Shroud of Turin’ has been proven to be a fake relic from the 1300’s whereby a model was stripped, given a crown of thorns and had his private parts shelded, then covered with egg tempera and had a cloth pressed over his painted body. In those days, anything was sacred if the church said it was sacred. In one case, the bones of St. Agnes, widely revered as a cure for many diseases, were routinely kissed and fondled by tens of thousands of panting worshippers. A recent analysis of the bones, now covered with greasy human stains, showed, clearly, that the bones were only the spinal column of a sheep.


U.S. Sends New Sub-Killing Planes to the Pacific, Totally Swears It Has Nothing to Do With China


December 3, 2013

by Dan Lamothe 



Tensions between the United States, Japan and China took a new turn Monday night when Vice President Joe Biden asked China to rescind the air defense identification zone it established Nov. 23 over contested islands in the East China Sea. Things could soon get even more interesting, however: the Navy’s new P-8A Poseidon planes are arriving in Japan this week, offering the ability to destroy submarines, interdict ships and conduct surveillance on open seas.


The U.S. military insists the deployment of the P-8s has nothing to do with current friction between China, which has increased since the Asian giant created an area off its coast that it says other militaries must seek permission to use. In fact, the Pentagon first announced the deployment of the planes to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa in October as part of a broader realignment that will also eventually include the deployment of more MV-22 Ospreys and F-35B Joint Strike Fighters from the Marine Corps and R-Q4 Global Hawk surveillance drones operated by the Air Force.


China responded by forming the air defense identification zone, or ADIZ. U.S. and Japanese officials reiterated Monday their militaries will not respect it, setting the stage for a possible altercation with the Chinese. The United States already has demonstrated as much, sending two unarmed B-52 bombers from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam on Nov. 27 over the contested islands in the East China Sea, which the Chinese call the Diaoyus and the Japanese call the Senkakus.


On Monday, Vice President Biden asked China to take back its threat against unannounced aircraft in the ADIZ, saying failure to do so could lead to a dangerous altercation with Japan and its allies, including the United States. That occurred just hours after the Navy announced that the first of its new Poseidon planes had arrived in Japan. They will replace the aging P-3 Orion aircraft the Navy’s 7th Fleet has used for years in the region, Navy officials said.


Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday that the P-8s will arrive in Japan in coming weeks. A Navy official told Foreign Policy the last of the planes could leave from Jacksonville, Fla., for Japan by Friday. They’re armed with aerial torpedoes that target enemy submarines from the sky. A variant of the plane also will be fielded by India’s Navy.


The P-8 is built by Boeing and was first received by the Navy in 2010. The service now has about 12 and expects to ultimately field 117. Rear Adm. Matt Carter, commander of the Navy’s patrol and reconnaissance group, said in a news release last week that it’s essential at a time when the number of submarines in the world is rapidly expanding.


“Other countries are either building or purchasing advanced, quiet, and extremely hard to find submarines and we need to be able to match that technology to be able to detect them,” Carter said.


            China has been expanding its own air arsenal. The U.S.-China and Security Review Commission warned the House Armed Services Committee in November about the Hongzha-6K, its new long-range bomber. It’s an upgraded model of the twin-engine plane the Chinese have used for decades, but it has some significant bells and whistles – including the likely ability to carry cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.


Putin, Saudi Intelligence Chief Discuss Syria, Iran


December 2,  2013

RIA Novosti


            NOVO-OGARYOVO,– Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan near Moscow, the Kremlin said Tuesday.


Putin and Prince Bandar, who also heads the Saudi National Security Council, discussed the situation in the Middle East and in North Africa, it said in a statement.


The sides noted positive dynamics in dealing with the Iranian nuclear problem and exchanged opinions on Syria ahead of a planned international conference aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the civil war there, in which Russia and Saudi Arabia have supported opposing sides.


Iran and six international negotiators struck a deal in late November to slow the Islamic republic’s nuclear program. Tehran will get some $7 billion in relief from sanctions. The deal also stipulates that international observers will monitor nuclear sites in the country.


The long-delayed Geneva-2 international peace conference, dedicated to ending the conflict in Syria, is expected to be held on January 22 in Geneva. Russia has supported the Syrian government during the civil war, while Saudi Arabia has backed the opposition.


More than 100,000 people have been killed and 9 million people displaced since fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, according to the UN.


Panel Says Global Warming Carries Risk of Deep Changes

December 3, 2013

by Justin Gillis 


New York Times


 Continued global warming poses a risk of rapid, drastic changes in some human and natural systems, a scientific panel warned Tuesday, citing the possible collapse of polar sea ice, the potential for a mass extinction of plant and animal life and the threat of immense dead zones in the ocean.


            At the same time, some worst-case fears about climate change that have entered the popular imagination can be ruled out as unlikely, at least over the next century, the panel found. These include a sudden belch of methane from the ocean or the Arctic that would fry the planet, as well as a shutdown of the heat circulation in the Atlantic Ocean that would chill nearby land areas — the fear on which the 2004 movie “The Day After Tomorrow” was loosely based.


            In a report released Tuesday, the panel appointed by the National Research Council called for the creation of an early warning system to alert society well in advance to changes capable of producing chaos. Nasty climate surprises have occurred already, and more seem inevitable, perhaps within decades, panel members warned. But, they said, little has been done to prepare.


“The reality is that the climate is changing,” said James W. C. White, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado Boulder who headed the committee on abrupt impacts of climate change. “It’s going to continue to happen, and it’s going to be part of everyday life for centuries to come — perhaps longer than that.”


While most climate scientists believe the human release of greenhouse gases has made immense changes in the earth inevitable, they hope many of these will happen slowly enough that society can adapt.


The document the panel released Tuesday is the latest in a string of reports to consider whether some changes could occur so suddenly as to produce profound social or environmental stress, even collapse. Like previous reports, the new one considers many potential possibilities and dismisses most of them as unlikely — at least in the near term.


But some of the risks are real, the panel found, and in several cases have happened already.


It cited the outbreak of mountain pine beetles in the American West and in Canada. The disappearance of bitterly cold winter nights that used to kill off the beetles has allowed them to ravage tens of millions of acres of forests, damage so severe it can be seen from space.


Likewise, a drastic decline of summer sea ice in the Arctic has occurred much faster than scientists expected. The panel warned that Arctic sea ice could disappear in the summer within several decades, with severe impacts on wildlife and human communities in the region, and unknown effects on the world’s weather patterns.


Among the greatest risks in coming years, the panel said, is that climate change could greatly increase the extinction rate of plants and animals, essentially provoking the sixth mass extinction in the earth’s history. The panel said many of the world’s coral reefs, a vital source of fish that feed millions of people, already seemed fated to die within decades.


Another risk, judged to be moderately likely over the coming century, is that rising heat in the upper ocean could result in reduced oxygen in the deep. The worst-case scenario would be the creation of huge zones with too little oxygen for sea creatures to survive, with unknown consequences for the overall ecology of the ocean, the panel said.


It considered the possibility that a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, believed to be especially vulnerable to a warming ocean, would greatly increase the rate of sea level rise. It found that risk, in the near term, to be “unknown but probably low.”


The National Research Council is a nonprofit group in Washington that frequently oversees studies on major scientific questions; this study was commissioned by several government agencies.



German minister snubs Ukraine leaders on Kiev visit

December 4, 2013

by Richard Balmforth and Thomas Grove



            KIEV – Ukraine’s prime minister warned protesters trying to blockade government buildings on Wednesday they would be punished for any “illegal acts”, as officials went to Moscow seeking aid to avoid a financial meltdown.


Meeting the Ukrainian delegation, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said their country needed “stability and order”, in the two sides’ first high-level talks since Kiev pulled out of a planned trade alliance with the European Union, provoking mass protests.


Prime minister Mykola Azarov also accused the opposition of trying to provoke violence, and tension remained high in Kiev with protesters confronting ranks of black-helmeted riot police in front of President Viktor Yanukovich’s main offices after his government’s U-turn in trade policy back towards Russia.


The crisis has again exposed a tug-of-war playing out in Ukraine, which has oscillated between the EU and former master Moscow since the “Orange Revolution” nine years ago which overthrew the post-Soviet political order.


The leader of the far-right nationalist party, Svoboda, announced a march on Wednesday to the interior ministry, but no clashes between protesters and riot police were reported.


With foreign ministers from the OSCE human rights watchdog arriving in Kiev for a two-day meeting from Thursday, Azarov tried to project an image of being in control in the absence of Yanukovich, who has gone to China for an official visit.


Urging all political forces to avoid a further escalation of tension, Azarov said: “Everybody must realize that the country’s constitution and laws are in force, nobody is allowed to violate them … All those who are guilty of illegal acts will answer for them”.


Azarov later accused the opposition of trying to stir up trouble. “We know there are 2,500 fighters who are being used as a force with which to provoke law enforcement structures to resist. We are showing that we do not use force, but the opposition does use force,” he told the visiting secretary general of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland.


Despite the turmoil, Yanukovich flew to China on Tuesday and Chinese state media said he was visiting the Terracotta Warriors archaeological site and an aircraft factory in Xian.


Beijing has already provided Ukraine $10 billion in loans, but Kiev needs billions more next year for gas bills and debt repayments. China’s foreign ministry made a noncommittal response to a query whether Beijing would provide any more aid to Ukraine.


In Moscow, the delegation led by a deputy prime minister, Yuri Boiko, was seeking lower prices for Russian natural gas and aid to close gaping external deficits that could set off a balance of payments crisis.


“You are having quite an active political season,” Medvedev told Boiko drily in the meeting at his residence outside Moscow, according to Interfax news agency. “Of course this is an internal matter, but it is very important that there be stability and order in the country.”


Azarov told his cabinet in Kiev that the Boiko visit would continue a dialogue with Russia on trade and economic relations that are “very critical for maintaining and developing Ukrainian industry and economy”.


Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened financial sanctions against Kiev if it signed the trade agreement with the EU last month. Yanukovich abandoned the deal at the last moment, surprising European leaders and angering his domestic critics.


Ukraine’s central bank intervened again on the currency market to support the value of the national hryvnia currency, amid concerns that its stock of foreign reserves of $20 billion will be sufficient to hold the line.


The cost of insuring Ukrainian government debt for five years rose to 1,097 basis points, near-four-year highs. Levels over 1,000 basis points are indicative of financial distress.




Opposition deputies forced parliament to suspend its session, blockading the speaker’s rostrum to further their demands for Yanukovich to dismiss Azarov and his team.


Pro-Europe demonstrators have set up a large encampment on Independence Square – scene of the 2004-5 “Orange Revolution” –


and monitor news events from a giant television screen.


Mobile snack bars dispense soup and hot drinks. People huddle round blazing braziers set up on the street. At Kiev’s city hall, which protesters have occupied since Sunday, people dozed on the floor while others passed through the revolving doors for handouts of food and warm clothing.


The challenge for the opposition now appears to be how to sustain the momentum for change and keep people on the streets as temperatures begin to drop and the harsh Ukrainian winter sets in.


Ukraine faces huge problems to finance a big current account deficit. Cheaper Russian gas would buy time for Kiev to find ways to meet outside funding needs estimated at $17 billion next year.


Despite reports that Ukraine’s Naftogaz had won deferral until spring of payments of gas bills for the last three years, Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller said Kiev owed just over $2 billion for three months of deliveries and no agreements had yet been reached on settling the debt.


Azarov’s government survived an attempt to topple it in parliament on Tuesday in a rough encounter with opposition parties at which he had apologized for police heavy-handedness in which scores of people were hurt.


Trying to defuse protests, the government has defended its foreign policy switch by saying that it marks only a “pause” in moves to integrate further with Europe, rather than an about-turn. As if to underscore this point on Wednesday, Azarov said a delegation would also leave soon for Brussels.




Hundreds of protesters, bearing the national flag or the standard of opposition political parties, rallied on Wednesday near official buildings, but found many routes blocked by vehicles which interior ministry forces had stationed across streets and approach roads.


“We don’t like this government, young people in Ukraine want to join Europe. We want to be able to study and work freely in Europe, that is where Ukraine’s future lies,” said Christina Yavorskaya, 21, a student from the Chernobyl district in western Ukraine. “We want European salaries, a European way of life. There is no future with Russia.”


“There is a chance of getting these bandits out of office. And as long as there is that chance, we’ll be standing here,” said Misha Skoropad, 38, who came on a bus from the western city of Lviv to protest near the presidential headquarters.


The opposition is a loose alliance of political factions ranging from pro-EU liberals to hardline nationalists, without a galvanizing figure in the mould of Yulia Tymoshenko, who co-led the Orange Revolution but was jailed for abuse of power after Yanukovich became president.


Some analysts see Vitaly Klitschko, a heavyweight boxing world champion and now leader of the opposition Udar (Punch) party, emerging from the pack, though he is largely untested.


(Additional reporting by Natalia Zinets and Gareth Jones in Kiev, Katya Golubkova in Moscow and Megha Rajagopalan in Beijing; editing by David Stamp)

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