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Ukraine Refused to Sign EU's ‘Suicide Note’

EU Expansion

This is an excerpt from RPI Academic Advisor John Laughland's recent RT interview. -ed.


Joining an old European geopolitical and ideological project would have been catastrophic for the Ukrainian economy, political expert John Laughland told RT, noting that it was actually the EU, not Russia, blackmailing Ukraine into signing a suicide note.

RT: The European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says Ukraine's U-turn is indeed a major disappointment. Who is the biggest loser here - Ukraine or the EU?

John Laughland: The biggest loser here is the EU because the EU has conceived this Association Agreement, like all the other agreements that it tries to sign with the former Eastern European states, as a geopolitical project. It is very important to understand that in the midst of all the accusations against Russia it is actually the EU which sees Eastern expansion as a geopolitical and indeed an ideological project.
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On Being Thankful...For State Violence?

When people ask me which of the books I have written was my favorite, I respond with my first one: Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival. In it, I analyze how institutions – i.e., organizations that have become ends in themselves – have a need to structure our thinking and our behavior in order that we may dedicate our lives to their purposes. Political systems are the most pervasive and vicious expressions of this syndrome, but other institutions have learned to play this same game. The modern corporate-state is the most apparent example, wherein business corporations have managed to convince most Americans that their interests are synonymous with those of the nation-state. The song from the musical Li’l Abner reminds us that “What’s good for General Bullmoose is Good for the U.S.A.”

The entertainment industry, the mainstream media, schools, churches, foundations, and other permanent organizations have, with but few exceptions, climbed aboard the bandwagon of corporate-state-collectivism to extoll the virtues of a society structured around the principle of state-directed violence. So widespread is the practice that most people hardly recognize it.
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The Globalization of NATO: Military Doctrine of Global Warfare

NATO

The world is enveloped in a blanket of perpetual conflict. Invasions, occupation, illicit sanctions, and regime change have become currencies and orders of the day. One organization – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – is repeatedly, and very controversially, involved in some form or another in many of these conflicts led by the US and its allies.

NATO spawned from the Cold War. Its existence was justified by Washington and Western Bloc politicians as a guarantor against any Soviet and Eastern Bloc invasion of Western Europe, but all along the Alliance served to cement Washington’s influence in Europe and continue what was actually America’s post-World War II occupation of the European continent.

In 1991 the raison d’être of the Soviet threat ended with the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Nevertheless NATO remains and continues to alarmingly expand eastward, antagonizing Russia and its ex-Soviet allies. China and Iran are also increasingly monitoring NATO’s moves as it comes into more frequent contact with them.
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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congress Can Cut the NSA Budget

Judge Andrew Napolitano, an RPI Advisory Board member, explains on Fox News last week that the US Congress can restrain the National Security Agency's mass spying by cutting the NSA's budget. "The recourse is to persuade Congress to clip the NSA's wings by taking some of its budget away from it—and that almost happened a few months ago, and it may happen after the first of the year," says Napolitano.
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US Dead-Enders Still Dream of Color Revolutions

Saaki Fire

The Washington Post's Deputy Editorial Editor Jackson Diehl, is the last of those who still worship at the altar of Georgia's washed up Rose Revolution and its US-funded architect, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Diehl carries water for the Washington Post's institutional Russophobia and Cold War nostalgia, and like all neoconservatives he loves the idea of revolution. In his mind, former Central and Eastern European countries are to be judged only by the degree to which they have completely severed ties with Russia, which one suspects he still in private refers to as the Soviet Union. Thus, in yesterday's print edition of his latest Washington Post comment he laments "Eurasia's receding revolution." Tellingly, his online editor has named the piece "Georgia's westward course," as the piece is all about his great friend Saakashvili and the dangers of his departure from the scene in Georgia.

In reality, the Saakashvili era was marked by corruption, competing mafias, extreme state violence against political critics, and last but not least the initiation of a near-suicidal war on Russia.
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What We Should Not Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

I will be the first to acknowledge that there is much to be thankful for about life in America, especially when compared to those beyond our borders whose daily lives are marked by war, hunger and disease. Despite our kvetching, grumbling and complaining, most Americans have it pretty good compared to less fortunates the world over.

Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that all of our so-called blessings will amount to little more than gilding on a cage if we don’t safeguard the freedoms on which this nation was founded, freedoms which have historically made this nation a sanctuary for the oppressed and persecuted. And if there is one freedom in particular need of protecting right now, it is the Fourth Amendment, which has been on life support for quite some time.

It used to be that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which enshrines the rights to free speech, free press, assembly, religious exercise and petitioning one’s government for a redress of grievances, was considered the most critical of the amendments in the Bill of Rights. Since writing my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, however, I have come to believe that the Fourth Amendment, which demands that we be “secure” in our persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government and, consequently, stands as a bulwark against the police state, is, in fact, the most critical.
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America's Little Spy Helpers Down Under Create an Uproar

Five Eyes

Indonesians are usually an easy-going, amiable people. But this week, they are boiling with anger and a sense of betrayal after revelations that Australia’s Signals Directorate had been tapping the phones of senior Indonesian government officials, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and, worst of all, his wife, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono.

Aussie intelligence was also spying in the very same senior Indonesian cabinet officials who, like the president, are regarded as staunch allies of the US and Australia. This electronic spying was part of the by now notorious, top secret Five Eyes joint intelligence operation between the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – aka “the white man’s spy agency.”

Five Eyes is run by the US National Security Agency; its other Anglo-Saxon members act as loyal junior partners, spying on their neighborhoods and, often, their own people. How much of their local data is passed to Washington is unknown, but it is likely substantial. Disturbingly, it was recently revealed that the US NSA passes information on US citizens to another ally, Israel.
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Can Karzai Save Us?

After a year of talks over the post-2014 US military presence in Afghanistan, the US administration announced last week that a new agreement had finally been reached. Under the deal worked out with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the US would keep thousands of troops on nine military bases for at least the next ten years.

It is clear that the Obama Administration badly wants this deal. Karzai, sensing this, even demanded that the US president send a personal letter promising that the US would respect the dignity of the Afghan people if it were allowed to remain in the country. It was strange to see the US president go to such lengths for a deal that would mean billions more US dollars to Karzai and his cronies, and a US military that would continue to prop up the regime in Kabul.
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Terrorism and the Bill of Rights

Constitution Day

In the aftermath of the Boston bombings last spring, GOP Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham and others called on Barack Obama to treat the surviving suspect in the bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as an “enemy combatant” rather than as a criminal defendant. The episode highlighted the revolutionary change in the relationship of the American people to the federal government that took place in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. For while Obama rejected the plea to treat Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant, no one can dispute the fact that the president of the United States now wields the discretionary authority to go either way — enemy combatant or criminal defendant — with respect to people who are suspected of being terrorists.

Ever since 9/11 the president of the United States, together with the Pentagon and the CIA, has been wielding extraordinary emergency powers that historically have been wielded by the most powerful dictators in history. They include the power of the government to seize people, including Americans, cart them away to a military dungeon or concentration camp, torture them, keep them incarcerated indefinitely, and even execute them, perhaps after some sort of kangaroo military tribunal — all without judicial process to determine whether the person had done anything to warrant such treatment.
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