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Daniel McAdams

NATO Exploits Ukraine Crisis to Demonstrate Its Relevance

NATO's bureaucrats — and the military-industrial complex that supplies them — are thrilled with the new lease on life given them by the Ukraine crisis. That is why NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen keeps telling anyone who will listen, that NATO is needed more than ever and it must be given even more new missions. Old cold warriors are coming out of the woodwork to wave NATO flags and talk about the glories of "collective security."

In the below edition of RT's Crosstalk, watch RPI academic advisor John Laughland and fellow NATO skeptic Eric Kraus debate a neoconservative hawk from the Heritage Foundation on the subject of whether NATO has any real value or purpose more than 20 years after the Warsaw Pact shut its doors. The inability of the hawk to provide any reasonable defense of NATO is very telling.
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Against Ukraine War? Obama May Seize Your Assets

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Do you, like 56 percent of the US population, believe that the US should "not get too involved" in the Ukraine situation? Do you think that the US administration putting us on a war footing with Russia is a bad idea? Are you concerned that the new, US-backed leaders of Ukraine -- not being elected -- might lack democratic legitimacy? Are you tempted to speak out against US policy in Ukraine; are you tempted to criticize the new Ukrainian regime?

Be careful what you say. Be careful what you write. President Obama has just given himself the authority to seize your assets.

According to the president's recent Executive Order, "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine" (first reported by WND's Aaron Klein), the provisions for seizure of property extend to "any United States person." That means "any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States."
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Bombshell: Ukraine President Requested Russian Assistance

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Today in an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin dropped a bombshell: President Viktor Yanukovich had sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting Russian military assistance to restore law and order in Ukraine.

Churkin read the letter from Yanukovich to Putin:
People are being persecuted for language and political reasons. So in this regard I would call on the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine.
Yanukovich, for his faults, weaknesses, incompetence, etc., is nevertheless the legitimately elected president of Ukraine. He was not legally impeached according to the Ukrainian Constitution and he has asserted that he remains Ukraine's legal president.
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'NATO Countries Unleashed Nationalism And Fear in Ukraine'

RPI academic advisor, Prof. Mark Almond, explains how the US and its NATO allies are suddenly realizing that they have unleashed a force in western Ukraine that is highly destabliizing, with the repeal of the language law and the repeal of the law banning Nazi symbols being the early legislation passed by the US-backed group in control in Kiev. Panic is setting in the West.
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Obama Draws Red Lines As World Lurches Toward War

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President Obama delivered a brief press statement today in which he stated that rumors about Russian military activity in Crimea were "deeply disturbing" to the United States. He then drew dangerous red lines that threaten a serious international military conflict.

What is the backdrop to the president's warning?

Post-coup Kiev is not Ukraine -- even the media has noted that Ukraine is deeply divided -- and therefore it should have been expected that regions of Ukraine with a vast majority of Russians and Russian speakers would be less enthusiastic over the West's picks to head up the country.
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Ukraine's Fractured Future

A month before violence ripped Ukraine apart, RPI contributor Christine Stone provided an in-depth analysis of Ukraine's precarious position, accurately forecasting the disaster that was to come.
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Victoria Nuland's 'Ukraine-gate' Deceptions

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"That's some pretty impressive tradecraft," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the interception and leak of her now-infamous call to US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt. The call consisted of the two plotting to install a US puppet government in Ukraine after overthrowing the current, democratically elected government.

Tradecraft means "spycraft." In other words, Nuland was crediting a foreign intelligence service with impressive use of technology to be able to hack into her call to the ambassador. Everyone knew she was talking about Russia, partly because the Administration had been blaming Russia from the moment the recording was made public.

However, Nuland knew all along that this was not the case, and she did nothing while the Administration continued to escalate the accusations against Russia.

Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, "It says something about Russia," that they would tap the telephone call. State Department Spokeswoman Jan Psaki was even harsher, calling it "a new low in Russian tradecraft."
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'F**k the EU': Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition

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In the latest debacle for the US State Department and the Obama Administration, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. That the Ukraine regime-change operation is to some degree being directed from Washington can no longer be denied.

The tape (listen below) was released today, on the eve of Nuland's second trip to meet with Ukrainian protestors and opposition leaders in the past two months -- last time she passed out cookies to protestors.

The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process. The "F**k the EU" part is her expressing anger that the EU is not moving fast enough with regime change in Ukraine and her plan is to get the UN involved in the process.
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The Ugly American (and Friends) in Geneva

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US Secretary of State John Kerry's delusions continued as he arrived in Montreux, Switzerland to open the "Geneva II" talks on the ongoing conflict in Syria. Having successfully bullied UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon into rescinding the invitation previously extended to Iran to attend, Kerry proceeded to bully and blunder his way through the pre-opening of the conference.

"We need to deal with reality here," Kerry said on the eve of the conference. "Bashar Assad will not be part of that transition government."

Kerry's pressure on Ban to uninvite Iran to the conference — though Iran is far more affected by the crisis than the majority of countries invited to participate — was based on Iran's refusal to endorse the pre-condition of support for "regime change" in Syria as the goal of the conference. At least "regime change" was the US interpretation of the Geneva I Communique issued after that conference in 2012.
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Obama's NSA Speech: What Reform?

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Speaking from a set that could have been designed by Leni Riefenstahl, President Obama yesterday informed us that not only does our freedom depend on the work of spies, but the very birth of our republic was dependent on the same kind of surveillance network that so many are criticizing today. Critics, therefore, are not only unpatriotic but deeply anti-American. The message was clear: "surveillance equals freedom."

As Constitutional scholar Michael Ratner of The Real News Network points out, if Obama wanted his speech to reassure critics of an intelligence community that has seemingly turned its lens inward, he got it precisely backwards. He did not come out and acknowledge from the start that given recent revelations about NSA surveillance of US phone calls, computers, text messages, etc, our concerns are legitimate and he intends to do something about it. He did not affirm the importance of protecting the First and Fourth Amendments. He did not come out preaching real and concrete reform.

Instead, the president opened his speech placing himself clearly on the side of the surveillance state and opposed to citizens.


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