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Daniel McAdams

Why Does Ukraine Seem So Much Like Syria?

In Ukraine, US-backed rebels seize weapons from a military depot and begin firing on police -- killing at least ten. The rebel groups occupy and torch government buildings, trade union headquarters, the central post office, and political party headquarters. They occupy local government facilities in other cities and physically attack local authorities. Their goal is to overthrow the elected government.

Reports of rebel reinforcements arriving, with "bulky backpacks near the scene of the latest protests," are suspiciously reminiscent of the "Internet in a Suitcase" project funded by the US government to provide tools for "activists" in regime-change candidate countries. The US has similarly trained and equipped the Syrian rebels.

US-backed rebels are photographed all over Ukraine with weapons, sometimes photographed shooting at police. In Syria, the US covertly provided the weapons and approved Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other "friends of Syria" to provide even more. A Russian official has accused the US of arming the Ukrainian opposition.
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US/UN Fears Assad Win in Free Syrian Election?

Every now and then we have a chance to peek through a tiny window to see how "diplomacy" is done behind closed doors. Last week the leaked conversation between US diplomats plotting the overthrow of Ukraine's government was one such dramatic moment.

Another came yesterday, in an interview with Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, which appeared in the respected Lebanese Daily Star newspaper. In a sweeping interview, the Ambassador discussed the recent bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut and the regional threat of the growing number of jihadist groups in Syria.
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US Aid Arrives in Syria?

As Brown Noses points out on Twitter, it appears as if US aid has arrived to Syria, courtesy of USAID. Isn't it nice to see that the money extorted from Americans and sent to "moderates" in Syria is being put to use building shelters for al-Qaeda and their US-supplied anti-tank rockets
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A Tale of Two Cities: Kiev and Washington

In Kiev:

Violent protestors last month occupied three cabinet ministry buildings as they sought to overthrow the Ukrainian government. Protestors physically blocked the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament from taking his seat at the speaker's podium for weeks. Then they blockaded the speaker of parliament in his own office, forcing him to escape out the window.

As the Ukrainian authorities attempted to restore order and evict protestors from government buildings, the US government threatened sanctions and more if the legally-elected government of Ukraine moved against those occupying government buildings.
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US 'Ukraine-gate' Threatens to Blow Up Into Major Conflagration

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt were caught in a phone conversation leaked yesterday actively plotting over which of the Ukrainian opposition figures should take which position in a post-coup Ukraine government. In the call, they were furious that the EU was not as quick to move from words to action as the US, and decided to bring in the UN to "glue" the "deal" together instead.

This is a scandal of major international proportions, and the implications of this clear evidence of direct US involvement in civil unrest in Ukraine are much more serious than most in the US and EU realize. As is to be expected, however, the US mainstream press is focused not on this evidence of extreme US recklessness and deception, but rather on whether the Russians leaked the call or not. They are ignoring the real core of the scandal to focus on salacious aspects, real or imagined.
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Why Are Syrian 'Moderates' Wearing Al-Qaeda and Taliban Clothing?

Thanks to PartisanGirl on Twitter for pointing out that a recent profile of the "moderate" Free Syria Army on the website of the Atlantic Monthly, lamenting the diappearance of "Syria’s non-violent activists" from social media, included a picture of featured "moderate" Syrian oppositionists dressed in al-Qaeda t-shirts and Taliban-style outfit.

So even the vaunted "moderates"  to whom the US Congress just voted in secret to once again begin supplying weapons  are dressed like Taliban and al-Qaeda. Are they just emulating their heroes or are they actually members of these groups? Is no one expected to notice? Is not the State Department and intelligence community paid in the billions to notice such things? Or are they lying to us too, as is the media?
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Damage Done, McFaul Exits Russia

US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has announced today that he will step down from his post in Moscow and will leave the Obama Administration entirely. He stated that he wants to spend more time with his family.

McFaul leaves behind a legacy of damaged US/Russia relations due in no small part to his blundering, undiplomatic diplomacy. The week of his arrival in Moscow, as an opposition unable to win at the ballot box had taken to the street in attempt to change the electoral result, McFaul met extensively with opposition leaders, raising suspicions that he had been sent to help foment a "color revolution" in Russia.
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A Tale of Two Cities: Fallujah and Aleppo

Iraqi army forces intensified their shelling of Fallujah over the past couple of days in attempt to dislodge control from an al-Qaeda affiliate that last month overran the city and most of the Anbar region in which it lies.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged support to Iraq in its efforts to expel al-Qaeda from Fallujah and Anbar, promising the US would do "everything that is possible" to help the Maliki government take on al-Qaeda in Iraq. The US has already sent at least 75 "Hellfire" missiles and promised to send in drones as well.
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Iran, Syria and the Tragicomedy of U.S. Foreign Policy

As the Joint Plan of Action and Geneva II diplomatic initiatives, dealing with Iran and Syria, respectively, RPI academic advisor Hillary Mann Leverett speaks with Scott Horton for Pacifica Radio with words of caution to those who think the new Senate bill imposing more sanctions on Iran is dead and buried.
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How Dare They Invite Iran to The Syria Peace Conference!

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had the temerity Monday to invite Iran to participate in the "Geneva II" conference on the ongoing crisis in Syria. Though one might believe Iran has a legitimate interest in a conflict right in its neighborhood, the US refused to allow Iran to participate unless its leadership agreed to the pre-condition that Assad must be driven from power. For the US, the result of the conference must be decided before the conference commences. It is Queen of Hearts diplomacy: sentence first, verdict afterward!

Mexico was invited to participate, but Iran, whose border with Syria is some 100 miles away, was forbidden by the US from attending.

So Monday's unexpected invitation from Ban Ki Moon to Iran sent shockwaves through Foggy Bottom.
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